July 11, 2009 - 10 years of Santa Barbara : le site Francais
July 30,
2009 - 25 years of Santa Barbara

Richard Eden : «Brick was a romantic man for me.»

 By Nicolas, exclusively for Santa Barbara : le site Francais, August 2009

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On last August 13, Richard Eden agreed to take on his time to answer exclusively to most of the questions of Santa Barbara : le site Francais. The actor talks about his debuts, the Santa Barbara years as Brick Wallace, and at last about his career since his departure of the show.

The beginnings before Santa Barbara

At first, I'd like you to tell us a little about you : How old are you today ? Where do you live ? Are you still married or have children ?

First of all - yes I am married and have two cats. I have been married since 1993 and no children. My wife's name is Shannon.

To know you better, what did you brought from yourself in the character of Brick ?

I was very new on television when I started Santa Barbara. I think I brought fear to Brick! But other than fear, I brought passion from myself. I believed in being passionate - Brick was a romantic man for me.

When did you know you wanted to be an actor ?

I decided to become an actor by chance. I attended and improvisation class and liked it. I had been a musician and wanted to try something else. Very shortly afterwards, I appeared in Neil Simon's comedy play Barefoot in the Park. Later, I played Stanley Kowalski for the first time (I have played the role twice) in A Streetcar Named Desire. I was pretty much hooked to at least try acting for a while.

How did you start your career ?

After those two plays in Toronto, Canada, when I was in my 20's, I did television in Canada and then left for New York where I appeared in a hit play by Joe Orton called Entertaining Mr. Sloane. That was the real start. I joined Actors Equity and I was $400.00 per week to act Off-Broadway.

 

The time of Santa Barbara

How did you start in Santa Barbara ? Did you know the show before your arrival two months after its beginning ?

After that play, I left for Los Angeles, California, and after a year of television and another hit play, I screen tested for Santa Barbara. I did not know anything about Santa Barbara. I screen tested at midnight with ten other actors. The show was taping then and they were taking all day and night to shoot those first two months. So, I screen tested with the gal who would play Amy. When I walked out, the producers and NBC executives came out of the booth and said I was Brick. I felt bad because they were still screen testing actors.

How did Brick was presented to you at first ? Did you know he would one day become a member of the Lockridge (and the Capwell) family ?

Prior to screen testing they said to me, "We want a Caucasian that acts like Cruz. Sexy, passionate." I said, "Then why are you wanting me?" They didn't laugh. So, I wore a tight tee shirt and acted like Stanley Kowalski. I guess, I reminded the NBC executives of Marlon Brando. So, next thing I know I am acting with the best actors around. My first day, I was so nervous, I kept looking at the wrong camera. But then I got okay at I think. Being an actor trained in the "Method" made me slow to get going. They didn't like that. Pretty soon, I got fan mail and I felt reassured.

They told me I would play Dame Judith Anderson's chauffeur. I said, "Dame Judith?" They said yes. Then they told she wanted a young man opposite her. They never told I would be a Lockridge. Dame Judith was wonderful. Nick Coster was brilliant and I adored Louise Sorel.

Brick and Amy made a great couple, as they both had strong personalities and had a very modern way to live their love for a daytime soap-opera (Amy's desire of independence, the long time they dated before living together and get married, Brick's fast agreement to adopt Amy's baby...). What was your vision of their couple ?

We had very different ideas about Brick and Amy. She became pregnant in real life and that changed the storyline between us.

Brick knew many strong storylines: his love story with Amy, the adventures on New Stailand Island, Amy's death, Johnny's kidnapping... What were your favorite storylines and the ones you particularly disliked ?

I hated New Stailand - ha, ha, oh my God that was awful!

At the very beginning of 1986, Brick discovers he is not a Wallace, but the son of a Lockridge and a Capwell. Do you remember your reaction when it was said to you ? How is it for an actor to discover that his character is not the one he seemed to be ?

Discovering I was a Lockridge was fun. It was my job. I just yelled at Dame Judith for lying to me - ha, ha...

It seems that Brick never really succeeded to get over Amy's death. Even after a long period of mourning, he seemed to have lost some of his sense of humor, his taste for life. Do you agree with that feeling ? What did Brick would have needed to remain a central character on the show ?

I think after Amy you are probably right.

After Amy's death, it seemed obvious that for a few weeks, the writers tried to pair Brick with Santana, before he finally dated Jane. What did you think of these new love partners for Brick ? According to you, was there another female character who would have been a good partner for Brick ?

There was no getting over Amy but for me, Brick had some nice moments with one gal, but they never did find one that worked I guess.

What were your favorite male and female acting partners as Brick Wallace ?

I loved them all. Including a crush on Robin Wright who became Sean Penn's wife.

Did you keep in touch with members of the cast or the crew after your departure ? Did you continue to watch the show after that ?

I do know that after the show we went to Paris and me and the other actor were mobbed by fans. Sacrée Soirée was show we did. I loved Paris, Belgium and would live in Paris in a moment.

 

These 22 last years after Santa Barbara and now

Can you come back on the following years of your career after your departure from Santa Barbara ?

Since then, I have done many things and movies and my wife and I have our own production company and we have a new film coming soon called The Intervention. It's a psychological thriller and I star in the film. I would like to show foreign distributors in order to sell our film to France and Europe. Our sales representatives world wide are Circus Road Films in Los Angeles. To all my fans of Santa Barbara in France - Check out below : Our web site is : www.thinkpicturesprods.com. You can also see more information I am sure on imdb.com.

You played Robocop in this great action show in 1994. Were you aware when you accepted the part that your face would quite never be seen by the audience ? Did you regret this for your popularity ?

I am doing autographs shows in Los Angeles and still enjoy the fans from that series as well.

What would you like to say to all the Santa Barbara fans all over the world ?

Thank you so much for being a fan of mine, and of course Santa Barbara. Au revoir ! Bon Chance !

 

Once again all my thanks to Richard Eden for his time and funny memories.