Bryan Dattilo is best known as Lucas Roberts, a character he has played on Days of Our Lives for nearly 14 years. Currently his character is embroiled in yet another love triangle as they try to determine the father of Sami’s twins is Lucas or E.J.
Dattilo spoke to BuddyTV last week about plans for his recent 36th birthday, his role on Days of Our Lives, his relationship with his actress sister Kristin and how they almost played the Walsh twins on Beverly Hills, 90210, and why he thinks he would be a perfect candidate for the celebrity edition of The Apprentice.
Below you will find a complete transcript of the interview as well as the mp3 audio file.
Hi, this is John from Buddy TV, and today I’m talking with Brian Datillo from the soap opera Days of Our Lives. How are you doing?
I’m doing good, thanks for having me.
So this weekend is your birthday, correct?
It is, man. I’m gonna be 36 on Sunday, [July 29].
Well, happy birthday! How do you plan on celebrating?
Thank you very much for the happy birthday. I was gonna go to Vegas and blow my money at the roulette table again, but I’m starting to think that’s not a great idea. As I get older and wiser, I’m trying to stay away from gambling, so I might just have to bite the bullet and bet on some horses.
(laughter) Well, maybe you’ll have better luck with that than the roulette table.
Yeah, roulette’s a tough game.
OK now, you’ve been on Days of Our Lives for how long… eight years now, I believe?
Oh no, since 1993, and I was in a coma for a year. So I think it’s bordering, what, 14?
Yeah, that would be 14 years. So how has it changed since you started?
The show, or my character, or me, or just everything?
Everything. The pace of the show, the style of the show, working on the show?
Well, I’ve been on so long, that actually hair fashions and clothes fashions have come and gone. So fashion has changed. When I first started on soaps, I think men had a little more credibility. And now as it goes on, I think the men get kind of dark or kind of doormat in the soap opera world.
I think there’s a change. We’ve gone through a lot of different head writers, so that the dynamic of the show, the scene length and the character development has gotten a lot better. Instead of getting two or three-page scenes, now we get four or five six-page scenes, and allows you to get more of a character.
The storyline moves a lot quicker now. When I first started, the storyline was a lot slower, the hair was a lot higher. I think it’s just a grind, you got to develop new ways to develop your characters, so the writing and all that helps.
Yeah. And over all those years, have you had a favorite moment or favorite scene that you’ve done?
Favorite moment or favorite scene… any time I get to be a bad guy. I used to have a drinking problem, I used to kidnap my kid, I used to do… anything that has to do with the negative life, or get to show the human side of your character. I like those moments, I don’t like when I’m too good.
My favorite episode would probably be my first one, where I was naked with a rock star. That’s my favorite.
Right now, your character Lucas and Sami, she’s pregnant with twins and it’s a whole ‘Who’s the father?’ plotline. Can you tell us anything about what’s going on, and where it might be going?
Well, I’ve been involved in a lot of love triangles, which is two guys fighting over one girl. I think that it should be the other way around, to tell the truth, but that’s not for me to say. I am in a triangle now with E.J., Sami, and Lucas. Lucas always seems to be the guy who’s kind of just hanging on to his woman, while all the other studs try to cock block him.
I’m glad if the babies turn out to be mine, but then again, that could always switch with a soap opera. I thought they were his, and it turns out the babies are mine, but now the guy still hangs around. He drives me crazy and he still pushes my buttons, and I’m the guy losing control, and trying to hang on and bounce off the walls and stuff.
So even though they are my babies, I think it just opens the door to a lot of conflict between Lucas and E.J. I think ultimately would be cool to find out, if they were actually even almost related in some way, that might be a little red herring.
Yeah. I was trying to do a little research on this whole topic, and apparently there’s a lot of rumors on the Internet, or there was, that the twins were gonna be one of yours and one of E.J.’s?
Is that still a possibility, or is that even medically possible?
It’s definitely medically possible. We tackled it in a scene where Sami was in the hospital, and her mom played by Deidre Hall, Marlena Evans is a doctor. She went in and explained to us that there’s a chance that there could be two different fathers medically, so we kind of played with that for about a week or two, with a little carriage in front of the horse.
But if that didn’t come to be, but you never know, because Lucas’ mom Kate is messing with the records. Trying to get the lab boy Nick to change the result, so even though Nick changed the results for Kate, just to say they were E.J.’s babies, now they’re Lucas’ babies. We still don’t know for sure, but right now as it stands, they’re Lucas’ babies.
He’s gonna raise them, he’s gonna be protective of them, he’s gonna get it right with Sami and be a family unit. But then there’s E.J., who still lives across the hall and still claims to be in love with Sami.
And then they have that whole story with Colleen and Sam, and that’s not going nowhere. So it’s kind of interesting, because we have a lot of different storylines overlapping each other, but it ties all the characters in together. We have different storylines, you don’t know what you’re watching.
Yeah, exactly. Now, I just want to talk briefly about, your sister is also a working actress…
And I’m wondering, is there any competition there? Or you see, she got a guest role on this show, and you’re doing this?
When we were growing up, the competition was fierce, because there’s only a year between us. When we were eight, nine years old first getting into acting, we were in acting class together. My sister would write huge character breakdowns, character histories, three or four-page improv monologues about the character.
She really got in-depth and loved acting, and watched old movies, and wanted to be an old movie star. I never wanted to do it, I always wanted to play baseball and hang out and goof off. My mom actually started to bribe me with baseball/football cards to get me to go to the acting classes.
Then when I went, I was not really intimidated, or I didn’t feel any of the pressure of having to do it or wanting to do it. So I think it freed me up to actually get a lot of work when I was little. My sister started to get a lot of work in high school, and she did every episode of everything pretty much.
We were going to be the twins on 90210, but she went and took another pilot. Then I had to read with Shannon Doherty, and that didn’t work out. We’ve gotten close on a lot of things together, and we chose to kinda go different routes in our career. When I had a chance to get into daytime, I really thought that was attractive for me, because I looked at acting as a way to make money and make a living.
My sister kind of does it more for the art and the passion, and the actual desire of it. Now that I’ve been into it for so long, I’ve kind of developed that. But she’s had that more than me, and now I think she’s really happy for me. I don’t know if she would ever do a soap. I think that it’s not she couldn’t handle the workload day-to-day, but it doesn’t allow any challenges to make your role creatively fulfilling.
I think she’s more the type of the actress who needs to do a lot of different roles, have a lot of different things going on, or a lot more of… I don’t know, I’m a blue-collar actor, and she’s a black-tie actor.
Yeah, makes sense. OK now, on your official website it says that one of your favorite shows is The Apprentice, correct?
With the announcement that Donald Trump is doing a celebrity edition, is that something you might be interested in or gonna try to get on?
Me and the Don would see eye-to-eye on so many things. I see a lot of myself in Mr. Trump, so I kinda like that. I would love to do it, I think that he’s hilarious, I think his humor is really underplayed. I think that we would get along real well. If he plays roulette, forget about it, we would never even separate.
And if he bets on sporting events, forget about it. He likes good-looking women, I like good-looking women, he likes a nice… You know, I don’t think he does the bubbly, I don’t think he drinks. That might be our only difference. But yeah, I would love to be a celebrity apprentice, that’s right up my alley. But you know, I would lose out on stuff like that to Alison Sweeney, I’m not as big as she is.
You could be big, though. Before Dancing with the Stars, I don’t think General Hospital‘s Kelly Monaco was that huge, and now everyone knows her.
This is true.
This could be your big break to the primetime masses.
God help it, from your mouth to God’s ears.
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of NBC)