«The mail of the actors is accounted to measure their popularity !»

 By Joan Mac Trevor, Ciné Télé Revue, 1987

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In the United States, John Allen Nelson gave up the character of Warren Lockridge who made his fame in Santa Barbara. He already made two movies : Hunk and Saigon Commandos. And he hopes well to find his place at the sun of the 7th Art. This smiling strapping fellow, very sympathetic, lives in a modern apartment in Studio City, San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles. For two years, his heart has been occupied by the charm and the tenderness of a Swedish friend, Aase Samuelsson. They share a common passion : to cook ! John cooks six days per week and Aase the seventh ! At their table, you can often find two stars of Santa Barbara : Todd McKee and Nicolas Coster.

Who was John Allen Nelson before Santa Barbara ?

A guy from Texas. I was born there. Between one and four years old, I lived in Germany where my father was in the US Air Force. Except this short interlude, I always lived in South Georgia. Three years of medicine before realizing that I wanted to be an actor. My girlfriend of the moment, a singer-dancer, took a big part in that in fact. Then, it was New York, where I studied for one year under the direction of Joanne Woodward, Mrs. Paul Newman. It is in New York that I was hired for Santa Barbara in June 1984.

Was it a firmly contract for several years ?

A two year and a half contract. But that does not have a lot of sense for the actor, who must respect the terms of it, whereas the producer can put an end to it when he wishes it. In fact, this contract is a protection for the producer, since the actor cannot retract.

Do you regret to have left Santa Barbara ?

Yes, financial regrets. It is the only and unique reason I would have stayed a little longer.

Can the viewers of Santa Barbara influence the show by their reactions and their mail ?

Without any doubt ! Sometimes the producers, following the request of furious or scandalized viewers, give life again or try to give life again to a character they had "killed". As for the actors, the number of letters they receive is accounted every week to know the state of their popularity or their unpopularity.

Does an actor like you has to be proud and too much sure of himself to succeed ?

Not necessarily proud, but sure of himself and his importance. If he is not, he will never succeed. As an actor, you always should be convinced that you are special and that you have something special to offer. It is besides this particularism, which distinguishes you from the commun run, that people seek in you.

Do you maintain good contacts with your former partners of Santa Barbara ?

My best friend is Todd McKee. We do everyting together. Last week, he organized at his place a surprise-party for my birthday, where he had invited 75 persons of Santa Barbara. I love him really much. Nicolas Coster too. During all the episodes, a real relation father-son get developed between us, on stage and out of stage. That is him who taught me deep-sea diving. We see one another very often. And then Louise Sorel. She is in New York now. So far. She broke my heart.

What seduces you in a woman ?

The eyes. Not only their beauty, but their depth. In some eyes, I discovered the heart of their owner. A look : it is terribly indiscreet...

What are your hobbies ?

I love fishing. It is a sport which begets meditation, peace, silence. I read a lot... and I knit ! Sweaters and scarves. There are many free times on a film set. It is easier to knit than to read while waiting for your turn. It is an occupation that requires less concentration. And then, I like to swim, make deep-sea diving with Nick (Nicolas Coster).