|«Old seducers are very requested on television !»|
By Joan Mac Trevor, Ciné Télé Revue, 1989
He is the fifth actor to endorse the identity of C.C. Capwell in Santa Barbara , which makes say to an accustomed of the stage that to play this character is a little like being married with Elizabeth Taylor : you never known if you will be there the following day. Jed Allan is however not man to weary of a role quickly. In Days of our Lives, another very popular daytime soap in the United States, he played Don Craig, during twelve years, and the happiness he tests to work is legendary. Therefore is he determined to mark the character of C.C. of his print. If he acknowledges readily a career less ambitious than he would have liked it, Jed Allan however admits that his more beautiful success is his private life. Thirty years of life with Toby, and not a cloud, and three superb sons, of which Mitch Brown who was a time in the cast of Capitol. When one asks him what he would wish for his character, he answers without hesitation : "more sex !". No, nothing can really deteriorate this happy nature, not even the spectrum of the old age and dead which, from time to time, comes to visit him.
You remained twelve years on Days of our Lives, anoth
er very popular soap. Did you test difficulties of integrating you into the team of Santa Barbara and the character of C.C. Capwell ?
Personally none. They are rather the producers who had to be accustomed to me and with my way of playing. I left Days of our Lives in 1985 when they started to privilege less than twenty years old guys and that my role was reduced.
How to preserve an intact enthusiasm on a soap when you play every day the same character ?
The same character, perhaps, but not the same situation. With the theatre, you start again the same part daily. But, on a soap like Santa Barbara , it is every day another part that you play. Your reaction to the character depends each day on the way in which your partners approach themselves their character. But it is certain that as soon as you weary yourselves of a role, this lassitude appears on the screen and is perceptible by the witness. What does not exclude, of course, that there can be days "without it".
Which difference between a soap like Santa Barbara and another like Days of our Lives ?
Schedule ! On Santa Barbara , I'm never on stage before 7.30 a.m., sometimes 9.30a.m.. On Days of our Lives, it was every day 6.30a.m.. And, the evening, I came back home just in time to sleep, while requesting that the sleep comes to visit me. I did not have any more time to see friends and a few time to see my wife.
How did you begin in the show business ? Did your family help you ?
I wanted to be a disc jockey, or any occupation related to the show business. My father was a musician, and is always besides, but I never had encouragement from my parents, at least not at the beginning. I was 21 years old when I started, in 1956, in Broadway. A small role, not large-thing, but, at the end of one week, the part was given up. Then I was chorus boy, singer and dancer in the musical All America before being the witness of the beginnings of Robert Redford in Barefoot in the Park. In 1967, finally, I was the star of a show which was descended by criticism. It was the end of my career in Broadway. A little later I made my luggages and left for California. I obtained there at once a role in the film Ice Station Zebra.
Did your career proceed as you would have wished ?
Not really, no. But I ceased of worrying for that, preferring to do the work I have the best than I can. It is the condition of the true happiness and the true agreement with oneself. If I had not been married (he get married in 1958), my career would have probably taken another aspect. But, when one has the load of a household and three kids, this responsibility influences your professional choices incontestably. One has less of audacity and more reserve. What does not want to say that I regret getting married. On the contrary, my union with Toby is certainly one of the successes of my life.
Which is the most significant engine in a marital union and within a family ?
Conversation ! It is cement which binds the members of a family. My wife shows herself particularly exceptional in this art. She is very close to my children. In fact, we all idolize her at home. I would have wished, as a child, to know the same conditions of blowing. Never my mother sat down to speak to me. My father did not even have time of that. Toby, my children and me are very French in our family relations. We embrace ourselves and we grasp ourselves a lot. We are very conclusive in our affections.
Does the age have a lot of importance for you ?
Enormously. Too much perhaps. I cannot be made with the idea that my life runs out without hope of return and that I will have to grow old and die one day. It is my great terror. Death is an idea which regularly comes to haunt me but to which I can't be accustomed. When I think that I am 53 years old and that I exceeded half of my terrestrial existence, I remain deafened about it. Because I feel still young, terribly young and alive.
You are tall (1.90 meter), you are elegant and you carry well. Do you think that these physical assets supported you in your career ?
Certainly not ! They would have me rather underpriviledged, at least at my beginnings. My physical assets, like you say it, predestined me to roles of leading men. It is at least the role in which saw me those who employed me. But like the leading men abounded and that I was prisoner of this image in which one had locked up me, I missed the boat. Today, my physical appearance helps me much. One often asks old seducers - look at John Forsythe - to be elegant, to have presence and a discrete charisma. It has been very appreciated in the TV shows for a few years.
What is success for you ?
I don't know. I never really knew success. Not really failure either. Success, for me, would have been better parts. More films, and as a star. Great shows. In Santa Barbara , I am not a star. Only an actor in a group of twenty-five.
What would you see like the supreme honor in a career of actor ?
A reward. An Oscar or a Tony doubtless. I know actors who despise this kind of honor. But, when you do not win any, you feel frustrated, disconcerted. You wonder why. A reward, it is like a recognition of your talent. The absence of reward makes you doubt of yourself and your aptitudes. Am I thus so bad or so ordinary that I do not have right of it ?