'Guiding Light' Actor Talks About Troubled Character
'Guiding Light' Actor Talks About Troubled Character
It's not uncommon to see teen characters in soap operas dealing with alcoholism or alcohol-related issues, and on Guiding Light, EJ Bonilla's character, Rafe Rivera, is currently going through his own struggle with the bottle. However, the actor has much hope for his troubled alter ego, whose life is close to spinning out of control.

“I think Rafe's smart enough that he realizes he doesn't need [alcohol],” Bonilla told Soap Opera Digest.  “It's just that easy way out, that quick fix. Once you sober up, you're sort of worse off than you were beforehand.  I'd like to see him do better in school and get back on track and realize that if something goes wrong, it goes wrong and the bottle isn't going to do anything.”

That said, Bonilla acknowledges that his character is going facing a tremendous amount of challenges, including having to deal with the “craziness” of his family now that he's living in Springfield, the central setting of Guiding Light.

“He's dealing with a whole load of things he's never had to deal with before and it's a bit overwhelming,” EJ Bonilla said.  “He's a very real kid.  He gets angry and, like a lot of people, they drink just to forget about stuff and calm down.”

On top that, Bonilla's Rafe is also coping with his girlfriend Daisy's (Bonnie Dennison) decision to have her pregnancy terminated, which is actually one of the things that contributed to Rafe's drinking problem.

“Part of it is he's just angry that [Daisy] did this, and part of it is that he's mad that he wasn't there to help her and that she couldn't trust him to tell him.  He felt safe [with her] and that was really different, so it scares him that this person that he got so close to hurt him like that and lied to him or couldn't trust him the way he trusted her,” Bonilla explained.  “He didn't really want to fall back into the alcohol thing, but he did.”

Since Daisy's abortion, the two have begun to make amends, but Bonilla believes it will take awhile before his character can fully commit himself to the relationship again.

“The whole trust thing is huge for [Rafe] and he wants to be with her. He wants to feel that again, but it's hard for him to even be around her,” he said.  “At the same time, he doesn't want to get hurt and he's not sure she's even ready for it.”

See more of EJ Bonilla on Guiding Light, airing weekdays on CBS.

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Soap Opera Digest
(Image Courtesy of  CBS)