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Days Of Our Lives

THE SHAWN CHRISTIAN INTERVIEW – DAYS OF OUR LIVES

By Michael Fairman

Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:

You and I were on the phone together for this interview when the earthquake hit, and we are now doing this interview post-quake. So here was the scenario…you and I are on the phone and my whole place was shaking. I did not know where to go. Once we hung up, I checked the news and they said to go out to the street. So, I went to the street and I said to myself, “Should I stand here where the poles are?” What did you do?

SHAWN:

Nothing. I got out of my house. When I listened to the news later they said get under a doorway and then said, “No, no, no” that’s not a good idea anymore, but getting under a desk is a good idea. Then they said, “Go outside”… then, “not to go outside, because there were trees and poles that could fall on you.” I was like, “Well, what the heck, man!”

TV SOAP:

So, what do you think Daniel is really doing right now? Is he playing the field, or is there someone he really likes?

SHAWN:

I think initially Daniel is a guy who lives in the moment, but I think where his romantic intentions lay, are with Chelsea, and then with Kate, this is one of those experiences where Daniel just discovered that he was the cause of Chelsea’s infertility. He immediately hit the bar and got drunk, and Kate came into his life.

TV SOAP:

It’s amazing how Kate is always there when men are down in the dumps.

SHAWN:

Isn’t that great? It’s true. I don’t know all of Kate’s history, but Lauren Koslow (Kate) works very hard at keeping the integrity of her character. She finds herself with these two characters that find themselves in a compromising circumstance with unintended consequences, really. At that moment, I was not involved with Chelsea. We had put our own spin on it. It wasn’t: “I am just drunk and fell into bed with you” and that whole thing. It felt like two people who needed each other at a low point in their life. And that’s our excuse for that. (He laughs).

TV SOAP:

But, what about the blossoming friendship of Docs, Lexie and Daniel?

SHAWN:

Now with Lexie, every time Daniel had a serious issue she always gets the brunt of his rage. I said to Renee Jones (Lexie) that, “It’s funny that every time I am about to lay my heart on the line and tell someone how I really feel, it seems to be you!”

TV SOAP:

That’s interesting, isn’t it? I wonder where that’s going to go.

SHAWN:

It’s interesting to me, because it’s a dynamic that has not been fully explored, and who knows? I mean truly, who knows? It could be one of those moments where your best friend could be one of those people that are there for Daniel, and then something more happens because of it.

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TV SOAP:

Do you think Daniel is a little too old for Chelsea?

SHAWN:

No, I don’t. I think what you have got with the Chelsea character is someone who is so young and spirited that she is willing to put aside all of Daniel’s issues and live in the moment… which is how Daniel lives his life. There is the surfer and the surgeon. Qualities about this character are someone who loves excitement and wants to put himself out there and live on the edge. When he also finds someone who likes that, like Chelsea, who doesn’t like to dwell or live in the drama she is in, because she has this youthful energy about him. It feels like a perfect combination

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TV SOAP:

Does Chelsea know Daniel slept with Kate?

SHAWN:

What’s coming up is that she does find out, and we are just filming that now. Again, what are the consequences of all this? And that’s why I end up once again talking to Lexie. I don’t have any family ties here in Salem, so whom do you turn to? Lexie is a colleague, and since we have worked together in life or death situations, Daniel can count on her trust.

TV SOAP:

Well, Lexie seems to sleep with a lot of the guys, too.

SHAWN:

I know. I heard.

TV SOAP:

She’s another tramp. (He laughs)

SHAWN:

I know. It’s so funny. I don’t want to be another guy on her list. It’s so funny!

TV SOAP:

She does not have a great track record. But, do you think with Daniel being a doctor, it is about the adrenaline rush?

SHAWN:

Yes. For me, Daniel gets a big rush… a big wave. This is how I was introduced, and that adrenaline for putting yourself in life or death situations, is very consistent with someone who finds an extraordinary rush by putting himself, or someone else’s life in his hands. I think for me, that is what Daniel finds exciting.

TV SOAP:

Do you surf in real life? I keep remembering pictures with you on a surfboard, or something.

SHAWN:

I surf occasionally. I did a show called, “Summerland”. Perhaps that is what you are thinking of.

TV SOAP:

I loved you in “Summerland”!

SHAWN:

You’re going to make me cry. Hold on a minute. It was so much fun! We would go to work on the beach three days a week. (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

When “DAYS” put the casting call out for this role, weren’t they going for a “Grey’s Anatomy” type like a “Dr. McDreamy, or “Dr. McSteamy”?

SHAWN:

They had talked about it, but look; Patrick Dempsey is an extraordinary actor, as well as a person, and I am no “McDreamy”. But, I think that it was part of what they were looking for. But, I can’t be that, so I have to find my own expression.

TV SOAP:

You are always cast as the ‘good looking guy’ because of your looks. How do you handle compliments based on your looks?

SHAWN:

I can take them graciously, for sure. Look, I have heard worse. (He laughs) I will take what I can get. It’s humbling. “But you know what? Everybody has extraordinary qualities and enormous flaws, and I am one of those people who has both. (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

What is your best quality?

SHAWN:

I think a lust for life, which also can be a bad quality. You know what I mean, right? I want to have this experience (acting on “DAYS”), which is why I love doing what I do. I get to take myself and put myself in these unusual circumstances, which I wouldn’t get to have happen in my real life. For instance, when I get these roles often as guest stars on shows, I will be villains or evil characters, or downright cruel. Someone had seen me on “The Ghost Whisperer” and said, “You were just evil, and you were torturing Jennifer Love Hewitt!” I went, “Yeah, I know. It was fun wasn’t it?” So sometimes you get privy to some of those roles, and you get to throw your looks right out the door.

TV SOAP:

Which is good, in a way?

SHAWN:

It’s great! I put forth that much more effort and work to make sure I am not going to be the pretty boy who walks in and they go, “He is just this one dimensional cardboard cut out who is pretty, and let’s just do that.” It is something you earn. All actors have to do that. You have to understand that everyone wants to put you in a box. I work really hard to try and stay out of that box.

TV SOAP:

When you make the list for the top 25 ‘soap hunks’, is that all right with you?

SHAWN:

Hell, yeah! I will take a compliment. Look man, I will take what I can get, and any of those compliments I give to my Mom, because she is the beautiful one.

TV SOAP:

You have also been on “ATWT” and “OLTL”. Do you have a favorite soap role?

SHAWN:

They do start to blur into one, but I would have to say it’s usually the one that I am doing. I get invested in it and excited about it. It’s when I can blend comedy and drama, and play someone who does not take himself seriously, like an anti-hero, where things can change on a dime, but also with a sense of humor. Those are the most exciting characters.

TV SOAP:

Have you stayed in touch with some of your former soap cast mates?

SHAWN:

Yeah, during the Daytime Emmys… I had drinks with Maura West (Carly, “ATWT”).

TV SOAP:

She is a great actress!

SHAWN:

She is fantastic! I love her and miss her. She is so gifted, and she figured it out. She knows what she wants and she is doing it. She is a great mother, and she has a great family and a great life outside of New York and the soap world. Certainly, she has an extraordinary reputation and talent in the soap world.

TV SOAP:

Can you say a few words about working with Lauren Koslow (Kate)?

SHAWN:

She has this humble sexuality and sensuality that I don’t know if she is aware of. She has a great sense of humor about it all, and about life, and is almost a little quirky.

TV SOAP:

…Rachel Melvin (Chelsea)?

SHAWN:

She is absolutely quirky and refreshing, bold and honest, and I respect and appreciate that, especially being in LA.

TV SOAP:

…And Renee Jones (Lexie)?

SHAWN:

She seems to be very much in touch with whom she is. She is willing to work hard when we have scenes together. She is available to put in the work, and I find her giving and honest.

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TV SOAP:

So, with everything that has transpired that hit the news in the past week about “DAYS” head writer Dena Higley leaving the show… what is going on over there? Is anyone writing the show? Are you concerned?

SHAWN:

There are pow-wows going on, and I don’t know what’s really going on with the head writer, whether she is in or out. I really don’t. But you do hear whisperings throughout the hallways. A part of me tries to stay out of that and do what I was brought on to do… and that is act.

TV SOAP:

If you could have a storyline for Daniel that you created, what would it be?

SHAWN:

Maybe there is something dark and interesting about addiction. Someone who had a passion or an addiction to adrenaline can manifest himself into anything. That would be interesting and consistent with who he is.

TV SOAP:

Have you been to Australia?

SHAWN:

I haven’t, and if there is any way to get me there… let’s go! Yes, Michael. Figure it out and I am there.

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TV SOAP:

In closing, what can we say to the fans to look forward to from Daniel? So you could be somebody’s somebody, because we never know in soaps.

SHAWN:

And if he is sleeping with everyone, it could just be off the charts crazy! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Are sex scenes tough to do on daytime?

SHAWN:

They can be. They are technical. They are not as sensual as they come off on air, but for me, I keep trying to push the envelope. But it’s daytime, and it has its limitations, but it certainly can be awesome. It beats shooting a murder scene in a movie at 3AM in downtown LA. You know what I mean? (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Absolutely!

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