Colin Egglesfield’s acting career began when he took a year off from college before heading to medical school. That year turned into life of modeling, acting, and eventually his current role of Josh Madden on All My Children, son to the famous daytime diva Erica Kane (Susan Lucci). Colin talked to BuddyTV about how he got started, his experience in the world of daytime television, his dreams of appearing on Lost, and his new clothing line he designed.
Below you will find a complete transcript of the interview as well as the mp3 audio file.
John from BuddyTV, and today we’re talking to Colin Egglesfield from the soap opera All My Children. Hi Colin!
How are you doing, John?
I’m doing OK. I guess I want to start at the beginning. Before you started acting, you enrolled in medical school, correct?
That’s incorrect. I actually studied, I majored in Biology at the University of Iowa and, with an emphasis in premed, I graduated. I took the MCAT, but I never actually started medical school. What I did was, I wanted to take some time off after graduating after school, just kind of travel, see the world. See if, you know, just wanted to make sure that medical school was something I really wanted to do, you know.
Just right before graduation, I heard about this model search, so I went to that and ended up getting hooked up with this modeling agency in Chicago. And before I knew it, a few months later I was in Miami shooting a campaign for Ralph Lauren and Versace. And kind of got thrown into this whirlwind environment of fashion, and you know, just, you know, the crazy parties and, you know, really top designers.
And before I knew it, you know, in Europe doing runway shows, and in Italy and London and France. And it was just a really cool experience and just something that just kind of felt like it came out of, out of nowhere. But, so after that I ended up in New York City doing, you know, a bunch of the modeling stuff, and you know, modeling and acting lately seems like they really go hand in hand in a lot of ways.
And my agent at the time asked if I’d be interested in going to some commercial auditions and, you know, I’ve never really done any acting since high school and, you know, grade school. And you know, it was just something I was curious in but never something I took seriously, until I started going out in a few commercial auditions and I realized I didn’t know what the hell I was doing!
So yeah, I jumped into an acting class, and studied for a while and started to book some commercials, so I started to see some results. And you know it was fun, it was exciting, and my commercial agency at the time also had a theatrical division. And they asked me if I’d be interested in going out for some auditions for some, you know, TV shoots, TV shows that were shooting in New York, like Law & Order and some other and in films, and so I started to go on those.
And you know, after falling on my face a few times I started to get some good feedback, and you know it wasn’t easy. But I started to book a couple of guest-starring roles and realized that this was something that I really liked, it was exciting and something that I wanted to pursue further.
That’s, that’s a long, strange journey from just taking a year off after taking your MCATS.
Now, when you first got All My Children, were you familiar with the show or the characters, and all the back story?
Yeah, what was funny, it’s ironic, when I was growing up my mom used to watch All My Children every day. You know, my sister and her used to have it on, and so you know, as a kid, you know, playing around in the living room, it was always on. So I always kind of heard the names Erica Kane and Ted Martin and Adam Chandler. So I kind of knew a little bit about the soap.
But you know, I never watched soaps growing up, and the only other soap that I even sort of watched was As the World Turns, because my college roommate used to watch it every day. And so I would come back from class and he would have it on, and I would just kind of sit there, you know, eating my lunch and watch it with him. So I kind of watched that a little bit, but no, I hadn’t really watched it before getting on the show.
Then how do you prepare for something like that? Do you do a lot of research? Do you just hear stories about all the back story? Because there’s a lot of plot going on in the back story of all these characters. And do you get caught up in that?
Yeah, what do I do, I pray a lot. It’s… what do I do, it is a lot, you know. I felt, I definitely felt overwhelmed when I first got there, because it was just, the mountain of material we do everyday is just immense compared to any other form of, you know, acting that’s out there.
We just we go through like 80 on average, about 80 pages a day, so you’ve very little time to rehearse. Very little time to, you know, just kind of investigate and find out what is going on in the scene. So you’re, you know, forced to improvise and just come up with stuff very quickly. And it’s usually through rehearsal where you find that certain things make the scene go better, or find out certain things about your character.
And because you cannot afford that luxury, you just kind of have to, you know, wing it at certain times. And then of course, coming out in the show with really not knowing your character is, it’s just, it took a while for me to kind of figure who Josh Madden is and why he does the things that he does.
And before you know it, you know, along the past two years they would kind of, you know, make up stories as it goes along to make it fit into the storyline. They wanted me to kidnap this girl I was in love with, and you know, fly this airplane and crash on this deserted island. So they just made up that when I was nine years old, my father made me take pilot’s lessons, so I had my pilot’s license.
You know, so, little things like that where you just kind of, you would never have known about when you first started, you just find out as the character and the story progresses. So yeah, sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes it’s pretty funny, but the great thing about it is it’s always something different, it always keeps you on your toes
You mentioned earlier about your mother and sister watching, and hearing the name Erica Kane. And now she’s your mother, and how is it playing the character who’s the son of such an iconic figure in the world of soaps?
You know it’s tough, because she’s so iconic and she’s just, she’s just someone who is revered. And just to me, you know, Erica Kane. Whenever you think of soaps, I always thought of Erica Kane, and to me she’s like daytime royalty. So when I first got on the show I was definitely nervous to work with her, and you just want to make sure that you’re prepared.
And that you, that you are able to bring whatever you need to in order for them to, you know, the other actors and especially Miss Lucci to respect you and want to work with you. And so in the beginning was definitely a little challenging because I didn’t know what I was definitely doing, because it just takes a while to get comfortable with the way they shoot, with the four camera setup and the technical movements and that sort of thing.
But the great thing with working with Susan was that she was so welcoming and so friendly, and kind of just took me under her wing and just showed me certain things. And if she could tell I wasn’t really comfortable or sure about a certain thing she would, she would show me or tell me or, you know, just kind of guide me in the right direction. Because working so quickly, the directors only had so much time to kind of tell you what to do or what you need around the scene that needs to be played.
And so she was, yeah, she was great. She still is great with regards to, with all that stuff. And now that we’ve worked together for a while, I feel like it’s fun, because the way they’ve written our characters is such that it’s very similar to a real mother-son relationship. In the sense that that she definitely cares about me and loves me, but at the same time is protective and wants to help me, so at times I feel like she’s overstepping her bounds. And I want to, you know, push back, so we kind of have this push-pull love-hate relationship at times, which is fun to play, so.
What other… are there any other actors on the show that either you enjoy hanging out with on a personal level, or that you wish had more screen time with?
You know, I’ve become pretty good friends with Aiden Turner he’s just, he’s a great guy. His dressing room is right across the hall from mine, so you know we just end up, you know, walking into each other’s rooms and just hanging out. And he lives pretty close to the studio, and he and his wife, they have people over at their apartment. They’ve got a really beautiful, you know, outside terrace at their apartment so they have people over. When we go over there and hang out, and you know, and drink some beers on his patio and go out.
And as far as other actors I want to work more with, you know, I really liked working with Alexa Havins. She plays Babe, and since I kind of was given the cold shoulder by her, they all of a sudden, they just dropped our storyline. You know, I was actually pursuing her for so long, it got to the point that it was a little obsessive. And once she got divorced from J.R., they just kind of let our story die. And since then I miss working with her, because she’s just a really cool girl, and we had fun working together, so.
OK, moving away a little bit from All My Children, just more on a personal level. Do you ever just Google yourself or read what everyone writes about you online?
Yeah, I occasionally Google myself just to see what’s out there. And I used to do more so when I first started, because when you first get on the show, you just kind of want to, you’re curious to see what people say about you. You sort of just want to make sure that the fans are responding to what you’re doing and that they like what you’re doing.
And are, you know, if they want something different, you kind of want to give them a little bit more of that or whatever. But after a while, it just got to the point where I just felt like I needed to not pay so much attention to that, because it was just, you know, you’re never going to be able to please everyone all the time. I heard this quote where it said that 30% of the time people are going to like you, 30% of the time people aren’t going to like you, and the other 40% just aren’t going to care.
So it’s, you know, you just kind of got to find out what you like to do, what your groove is, and derive your fulfillment and satisfaction from that, rather than trying to, you know, always please everyone all the time. Because if that’s what your objective is, you’re going to fail all the time. So occasionally someone will send me an article or an e-mail saying that, that you know, someone wrote something.
Someone actually runs a MySpace page, it’s not even me. So sometimes I go to these fan club events and people say, “Thanks for adding me to your page!” I’ll just say, “Oh you’re welcome!” But I mean it’s just, it’s not even me, it’s someone else who took my picture and set it all up. So yeah, occasionally there’ll be stuff like that, and actually there was someone who used my picture on match.com one time as well.
And I don’t know how they expected to get someone to go on a date with them, because you know you put someone else’s picture as your profile, and then you, you know, get someone to go on a date with you. How do you explain when you show up for the date that you don’t look like Colin Egglesfield from All My Children? You know, things like that come up occasionally, and are pretty funny.
You mentioned earlier about all the, when you were starting on the small guest roles on other shows. Are there any shows on TV right now that you would love to be a part of?
Yeah, I’d love to be on Lost. I think it’s one of the best shows on TV. Let’s see what else… There was… I love, I mean, Entourage is one of my favorite shows as well, that would’ve been cool and is one of my favorite shows as well. That would’ve been a cool one to be a part of as well. What else is out there… there’s, there was a miniseries on HBO called Band of Brothers that I really loved, that I wish I could’ve been a part of. Let’s see, what else is out there…yeah, I would say Lost is probably my top choice.
Is that to just get a trip to Hawaii? Or just to…
Yeah, absolutely! Why wouldn’t you want to get to Hawaii? What a great place to work! Yeah, not just that. The writing is phenomenal, the stories are so interesting. The characters, the way they write the characters is just, it’s really interesting and really in-depth, and unlike a lot of other shows that are on air right now.
Who would you like to play on that? One of the other castaways, someone in a flashback?
Oh, if I could, I’d love to play the role of Jack, Matthew Fox’s role, I think. Or maybe Locke, he’s just kind of mysterious and cool
Yeah. I guess I really only have one last question, do you have any other upcoming projects? Or what are your plans for the rest of the summer?
Well, one big project I’ve been working on is, this year, I started my own clothing company called Shout Out Clothing. And you can check out shoutoutclothing.com. It’s, it’s a really fun, cool concept where it’s a t-shirt that has hook and loop letters, that you can take off and reapply on the shirt as many times as you want to spell out with your own message.
So the shirt that you get comes with free copies of each letter and number and some symbols, so you can, you know, pretty much every day switch out whatever you want to say on your shirt. We’ve been working on it now for the past three years, and I just got the website up about four months ago. Just right now basically been trying to promote it sending it to different magazines, and sent some shirts to some different celebrities in Hollywood, just trying to get it, just trying to promote it as much as I can right now.
But that’s pretty much been taking up a lot of my time when I’m not in All My Children. And as far as the summer goes, the thing about All My Children that’s, that’s kind of crazy is we work year-round. Like, most TV shows like primetime shows will film for, you know, 6-9 months. Then they’ll have at the least 3 months hiatus, where you kinda regain your sanity. Whereas with All My Children, we film all year-round and we got between Christmas and New Year, and a week off at the end of August, so hopefully at that time I’ll maybe be able to go to Hawaii. We’ll see.
We’ll see. Well, thank you very much for talking with us, Colin!
Thanks a lot, John, it was my pleasure.
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)