Ambyr Childers recently turned 19-years-old and currently plays Colby Chandler on the daytime soap oepra All My Children. As an athletic child, she segued her abilities into an acting career, and soon thereafter appeared in the David Spade film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. Ambyr spoke to BuddyTV about how she got her start in acting, what it’s like for a young actress in the entertainment industry, and what’s in store for her character on All My Children.
Below you will find a complete transcript of the interview as well as an mp3 audio file.
Hey, this is Oscar Dahl from Buddy TV, and I’m here with Ambyr Childers from All My Children. Ambyr, how are you doing?
I’m doing well, thank you. How are you?
I’m great. Just first off, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into acting? You know, growing up, was that something you always wanted to do?
When I was little, I had a very athletic family, so my dad always pushed us to do sports. I love playing golf and basketball and everything, but acting is something that I’ve always had an interest in. I love television and I love the idea of movies, I’m just very intrigued and very fascinated with how they’re made and what they can come up, with ideas that they come up with.
I was playing softball at the time I was around 12-years-old, and one morning I was getting ready for school and looked in the newspaper, and I saw this advertisement for acting. And I go, “Oh, maybe I can give this a shot, it sounds kind of interesting.” It just kind of caught my eye and stood out for me.
So I asked my dad, he was sitting right there and he was like, “I’ll make a bet with you. If you make all-stars for softball, then I’ll take you down to L.A. and get this done.” And sure enough, I made the all-stars, and then daddy had to take me to L.A. So that’s how I kind of got started, and I did the headshot thing, and then the pages, and my career kind of just took off from there.
Nice. You did a couple of things before, but your first kind of big role was in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. What was that experience like, to work on a pretty big-time Hollywood film?
It was amazing. I got to work with some of the most amazing people that I have met so far in this industry. Fred Wolf is the writer and producer, David Spade, and the director Sam Weisman. They were just all really good to me, and it was a great experience.
What would you say you most learned from the whole experience?
What, from being on the movie set?
That whole movie set probably gave me my confidence. I think there’s a point in everyone’s career where they do OK. This is for me, I could do it, I could fit in, I am just as good as everyone else is at that age. When I was 15, I think that’s when a young woman needs to have confidence the most, and that movie set specifically gave me that, I believe.
Cool. Can you tell us how a couple of years later, you landed your role on All My Children?
Yeah, I actually landed the role of Colby on All My Children. Are you there?
Yeah, I’m here.
Sorry, I’m in the office, so I hear phone calls everywhere. Anyway, I was graduating high school last year, and I had auditioned for maybe like a month or so before I graduated in June. Around May sometime, and two weeks before I graduated, I ended up booking the role. Of course, the last week of school is the finals. So I was taking all my finals early, flying out to New York for the screen test, flying back.
Then they had finally back for all the wardrobe fittings, so it was kind of hectic, you know, that last week or whatever, but we got through it. I finally started work and then ended up flying back for my graduation, so I was glad that I was able to do that, and they accommodated that for me ’cause I was really nice to all of my class. I spent all four years of high school, and I finished, I completed. So that was, it was real nice.
Cool. You know, growing up, were soap operas something that you were a fan of? I mean, did you ever see yourself being on one?
I never really did, but I’m very open-minded. When I first started the business, I wasn’t specifically saying “I want to do movies, I want to do television.” I was just like, you know, “I want to do a little bit of everything, and see where my interests are the most, and what I like to do.”
In elementary school, this was really funny. The way our school system works down here, I have to do thee months in school, one month off the school. So you know, we’d get off in July, and then like, September again. So it was kind of cool, but during those months that I was off, what was on during the day was nothing but soap.
So I was always watching soaps, and then my mom would come in from the office and say, “What’re you watching?!” And I was like, “Nothing!” And it was actually cartoons. But that family really kind of watched soap operas, and then after that as you get older, you’re into the MTV and all the good stuff.
You know, to me at least, so far it’s such a different genre from primetime TV or films. What’s been most different about being on a soap set compared to a film set?
The intensity is a lot higher. Just from being on the movie Carolina, that I did actually before Dickie Roberts, and then being on Dickie Roberts. It’s very… you have maybe five scenes that you do a day, or maybe your own character in the movie that you have, but when it comes to soaps, it’s like, “All right, you’re on item two, but we’ve got 42 items to film today, so you better know your stuff.” I mean, you better.
The intensity and the pressure to get everything done perfect is a lot harsher than it would be on the movie set. I look at this whole experience, I was talking with my costar Brent Weber and was like, “You know, soaps are like, really a great way for an actor to start out.” It’s like boot camp, you have 50 pages of dialog to memorize, but the next day you have 35. So I mean, you really have to be on top of yourself everyday after work.
It’s like coming home and having to do homework, you have to study for that next day, because you have to get up at 7 o’clock for hair and makeup. So it’s challenging, but once you get into it, you get the flow, the motion and you learn how you’re going to study your lines and what works for you becomes a lot easier.
Can you tell us a little bit about what’s coming up for the next couple of weeks for your character on All My Children?
What is coming up… oh goodness. See, I’m so lost because, okay, well, Colby and Josh have a little fling going, and Diva kind of gets in the middle of everything. Colby’s emotions are really being played with, and she has a lot on her plate right now with her family, with everything.
And then her own love relationship with JR, so everything’s kind of like… she’s being pulled so many different ways, that it’s a lot for a young girl of the age of 16 to handle. But the way that the writers are writing my character is very mature, so I liked it, how I’m understanding, I’m actually being the parent in most of the situations.
I’m giving my own parents advice on what to do. They’re not giving me advice because they’re acting a little more immature than I am, so that’s basically what’s coming up. I can’t say too much.
Are there any future projects outside the show for you? Or if not, where do you see your career going in the near future?
Right now, I’m really just focusing on what I have at All My Children, and that alone is a project in itself. We’re always getting new material, so there’s always something new to work on. The time and scheduling on the show is pretty rough, so for me, to do other auditions and stuff, it’s kind of hard.
When the opportunity does arrive, we try to work it out, but right now my main focus is All My Children and it will stay like that. That could tell whatever the future has to bring for me.
Alright Ambyr, I appreciate stopping by, and thanks for the time!
Well, thank you very much!
-Interview conducted by Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)