Bob: This is my hospital, and I’m not about to sign off on this surgery unless I’m satisfied that Noah knows what to expect when he wakes up.
Reid: Because his boyfriend is a family friend, or maybe a donor?

— Bob and Reid

Interview LiveBlog | ESS on BuzzWorthy (BlogTalkRadio), 14 September 2010

Okay – liveblog is about as complete as it will get until it becomes a transcript (ETA 1-2 months from now!).

The good news: Eric was able to pre-emptively diffuse a lot of the angst surrounding his earlier comments about him personally being happy with Reid’s end. Given comments on fan boards, I was a bit worried that this interview could get hijacked, but personally I think he gave a very reasonable and articulate response.  The bad news: the caller gushing was SOOOO enthusiastic, we didn’t get to hear a whole lot from Eric!  There were 2-3 good questions, with really long answers, then not much else.

So, without further ado….Highlights:

  • When asked if he felt bad for the fans, ESS responded: “I’m gaining a fuller appreciation of the significance of that. When asked the question initially, from a storytelling POV, Ii said yes, I loved it. But I’m not a viewer – that’s a fun story to tell. I’m  becoming aware because I’ve read TONS of comments now in response to interviews of the impact of it. Not just to viewers but to anyone who’s gay and who would love to see a happy ending for a gay couple. I am becoming more and more aware of how disappointing the ending was.”
  • Would he have done/wanted a love scene? “Yeah, that was the most natural place to go, so yeah….. Ideally you want to be able to portray it. If it’s a moral thing, it’s ok that the straight people are hopping in and out of bed but a loving relationship between two men is immoral???….but that’s where we are as a group of people in this country.”
  • Re: DWB: “They’re at over $16,000 now….I check in on that frequently…pretty amazing – and for it to be done in my name is humbling. That’s unbelievable – congrats for everybody involved – that’s a lot of money for a charity – all in the last 3 weeks…I love that charity – it’s one that I support personally.
  • More big words (not that anyone’s counting): “levity”…oh, and apparently “vicissitudes” which I missed but was happily noted over at the ESS forum ;) 

Host is saying the switchboard is lit up like crazy but Eric hasn’t come on yet. He’s saying hello to callers in the meantime.

Marishay from 801, Matt from California 310, 205 Jennifer from Alabama, 937 Nicole from Ohio, 212 Claire from New York

Host just called him Mr Sheffer and then corrected himself. Oops.  Asking for favorite memories.

26-year viewer says introduction of Lucinda, Lily, Snyders, romance, and the introduction of Reid this year. (go, caller!)

BW: Were you a fan of Luke and Noah?

Caller: Liked ‘em in the beginning but got tired of some of the stories like Ameera.

BW trying to make the intro again. ESS is finally here.

ESS: Am I late?

BW trying not to say “yes” but saying that he’s getting to know the various participants….You played the….most vain, egotistical, narcissistic character who ever hit Oakdale and it was just wonderful. Describe Reid in your own words.

ESS: You did a pretty good job with that. There’s all that and he doesn’t dislike people. Well, maybe some people. There’s something in him that wants to get out and interact with other people. I’m not sure. I’m not very articulate about describing him.

BW: He knows everything, never wrong. Has a heart….for some people…We got to see that with Luke…Many fans were huge fans of LuRe…

ESS: Yeah.

BW: It was a great story.

ESS: There could have been a lot of fun stuff there. It was too bad that it got cut short. There was a lot of groundwork that was laid and to not be able to build on that was disappointing.

BW: Was there something you would have liked to explore more, have them do?

ESS: Just the natural progression in their relationship – to have them come together and to see them date and to portray that would be original – to have them as adults – leaving the college romance behind. Tome to tell a different story with Luke. Whether it was with Reid or with Noah. Just to see Luke in more of an adult relationship rather than a young man relationship/college relationship. Have them find a place together, move in together, breaking up….it all would have been interesting stuff to watch.

BW: They never explored Nuke beyond a kiss. Another went further. Fans wanted to see that explored – sure someone on the line was gonna ask that so I beat ya to it. Sorry. Would you not have minded? Would you have wanted to do it? Would have have done it?

ESS: Yeah, that was the most natural place to go, so yeah. Luke and Noah – maybe Luke would be tortured for next 5 yrs. Ideally you want to be able to portray it. If it’s a moral thing, it’s ok that the straight people are hopping in and out of bed but a loving relationship between two men is immoral???….but that’s where we are as a group of people in this country.

BW: (thought there would be more Nuke backlash) but people were so accepting of LuRe.

ESS: I haven’t experienced any negative reactions mailwise– through other people I have heard that there are a group of people who really support those two and are not open to any change in that storyline and I get that – historical, fantastic, amazing actors. And everybody loves Van and Jake  and I totally get that. Overwhelmingly what I’ve experienced is support for the s/l. and people seemed willing to go wherever the story was gonna ago. And nobody would want to leave Noah out completely that’s why I’d imagine he’d always be part of it somehow. who knows Reid may have been going in a few months and they  would have another go at it from a new starting point.

BW: someone asked me to ask you about the charity fundraiser…

ESS: They’re at over $16,000 now….I check in on that frequently– overwhelmingly positive channeling of energy…an incredible accomplishment – very moving….Started on Facebook – pretty amazing – and for it to be done in my name is humbling. That’s unbelievable – congrats for everybody involved – that’s a lot of money for a charity – all in the last 3 weeks – they blew apart that goal so they set a new goal – I love that charity – it’s one that I support personally.

Called from AL: Roll, Tide! not only did we not get the whole enchilada but we barely got a pinto bean…don’t you feel bad for us?

ESS: I’m gaining a fuller appreciation of the significance of that. When asked the question initially, from a storytelling POV i said yes, I loved it. But I’m not a viewer – that’s a fun story to tell. I’m  becoming aware b/c I’ve read TONS of comments now in response to interviews of the impact of it. Not just to viewers but to anyone who’s gay and who would love to see a happy ending for a gay couple. I am becoming more and more aware of how disappointing the ending was.

Not that I thought everyone was gonna love this. There’s no way I thought people were gonna feel good about it. And it does means something to me that people are so disappointed. I’m very moved by it that people are so invested in it and they love it so much and love that character and that relationship so much. And I fully get that the show did NOT satisfy people there and play that out.

One comment was that it would have been fun to see a gay marriage between the two with so much material with Reid freaking out. Obviously it’s way too soon for that – they couldn’t have had a thing like that. They really accelerated that relationship in the last few months – even though they didn’t show and love making or making out – but the fact that they got where they did felt pretty accelerated.

I feel very sorry about it for everyone who’s not involved in the storyline.

MISSED A BIG SECTION HERE

Caller mentioned the scene where Janet says Dusty was a great man and Reid says who cares…saying what we all think.

ESS: ….They wrote him as an imposter not just to the town but the genre.

Caller: I was incredibly upset when Reid died. One thing I liked was what we found out afterwards stuff about his background from Uncle Angus. Did you know any of this?

ESS: They didn’t ever spring (the backstory) on me. I had to come up with my own. I read the (Angus) scene in the breakdown (not the script) …then I saw him in the studio and I asked ‘what is he doing here?’ I love that guy! I’m honored to have him play my uncle. They never told me anything about Reid’ history….haven’t seen the scenes yet.

Caller: The questions everybody wants to ask have nothing to do with you or decisions you made…

BW: Daytime Emmy – are you submitting anything?

ESS: That’s too far in the future for me. I will look into that….Van deserves it. I don’t know anything about Emmys but I thought he was FANTASTIC. I wrote him a note. I knew he was good when we were doing it but when I watched it I thought he was fantastic. And Terri, too. She was beautiful and has a great emotional connection and all that stuff.

Matt from CA: I am suffering from Reid Oliver withdrawal syndrome. I miss Reid. Because of the death of Reid I can’t watch the last week. When he came out of Chris’s room it felt like a moral judgment….b/c you saw Benry, Chris and Katie, Kim and Bob, other couple – and they’re all happy and they get to have a happy ending – we get to see their relationships  go off into the sunset.

ESS: Moral judgment as in straight couples vs gay couples? I fully understand that.

Matt: It has nothing to do with you or your portrayal. Whether that was intentional or not, that’s how it came off to me.

ESS: You’re not the only one. I’ve read that a lot. At the time, I wasn’t aware of that. We got the scripts and everything happens so fast, I thought “That will play off well.” Obviously the number of people who have that response – it’s a legitimate reaction.

Matt: lots of gushing about Eric’s acting…need to submit to the Emmys – I think you and Van will be tied for the win. Reid was such an amazing character. You’re in a league of your own…

ESS: I really appreciate that.

Matt: Can you tell a story of your first time acting?

ESS: I wanted to do it in high school. They only did musicals in my high school and I didn’t do (m)any of those. I started doing skits in my church youth group. They were scripted tings then we would get into improv things. That’s when I first knew I was good at it and enjoyed it. When I was in college I auditioned for the theater program without any experience. And I did that for four years.The first play I tried out for….

I didn’t get into Into the Woods (I don’t sing so they couldn’t find any place for me). I was in Wenceslaus Square by Larry Shue (?). I played a guard (?) and a construction worker. That was as small as you could get. That was the first time I got in front of an audience, doing something and that didn’t discourage me. …kept going in college.

Matt: The iron is hot. Can’t wait to see what’s next. To me, you’ll always be Reid Oliver, like William Shatner will always be Kirk.. Wish I could have seen you in VT – but I’m unemployed and I’m broke.

ESS: I know something about that!

Matt: The world needs to see you….Your talent is…mindboggling…..you’re breathtakingly talented.

ESS: Thank you.

Matt: And you have beautiful eyes.

ESS: Thank you. I’ll keep ‘em.

Louisiana caller: Good luck. Do you have anything coming up?

ESS: Doing a film in NY with a bunch of friends and others. But it came out of a group of friends and we’re shooting it over two weeks here. I’ve got another week of it. It’s pretty quick. It’s been a hectic horrible schedule, so I’m on my way there, soon. But it’s a film. Those don’t come out for a year and a half. I was gone for all of August. Just back last week. Soon I’ll be looking for work again.

Caller: Which do you enjoy more, comedy or drama?

Eric: Missed the exact wording, but basically it was that he likes both and if he does too much of one I feel the need to do the other. I enjoy comedy more. Even in heavy stuff I always try to put in some levity and goofiness. If I do too much of one I miss the other.

Jamilla from PA: You get it (what fans are thinking) and thank you for getting it.  Question about working with Jake and doing the “thanks to me you can see the door” scene.

ESS: I always have fun with him. Jake’s a great guy. Was that before he hit me? (before)…he didn’t say much about the scene except that they did it knowing it was the setup for the punch scene, which he loved...I’m really happy wit the way it went…that Noah gets to do that because he has been so noble. (Really, Eric, really?) It was a great Noah moment.

Nuke fan from OH: You’re the home wrecker – but you make a fantastic homewrecker – if anyone had to do it I’m glad it was you….You have chemistry with everyone –you remind me of a young David Canary from All My Children.

ESS: That’s a nice thing to say.

Nuke fan: If you had your pick, what would you do next?

ESS: If they would do another season of The Wire I’d love to do that. Otherwise, I’ll keep pursuing film. I love doing TV. It would be nice to be on a show for awhile – but for me I want to keep coming back to theater. That’s what I want to do when I’m old. I want to do everything – how’s that for an answer.

Another caller comment about being glad he’s doing theater, wanting to see him, being broke.

ESS: It’s gonna turn around for all of us pretty soon.

Sound cut out at this point, I think because it was the end of the originally scheduled 45 minutes.

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