A charming, mysterious character...

 BRichard Spencer, Soap Opera Update, 1990

 Home   Cette page en Français  

What are your initial impressions ?

Is this the start of the interview ? Usually in Australia they say hello to each other and talk for a while before the start of an interview. In England it is a very different set-up than what I have found in America when I did Dynasty.

Yes, this is the start of the interview.

My first impression of daytime is that it is probably some of the hardest work that I have ever done. It is sort of like theater, isn't it ? It is like doing a play everyday. I have a great deal of respect for these actors on daytime.

Did you already know any of the actors on Santa Barbara ?

No, but I knew of Terry Lester from the early days of The Young and the Restless, because at one stage I was going to join The Young and the Restless before I got something else.

How do you spell your last name ? Healey or Healy ?

I'm glad that you asked that. I am Irish, and the real Irish spelling is Healy. But it has been changed to Healey. Which spelling do you prefer ?

Healy. It's the spelling you were born with. Which spelling do you prefer ?

Healy, the Irish name. I have been wanting to speak with the producers about changing Healey to Healy. What do you reckon ? It won't confuse too many people, will it ? Should I change it ?

Yes. How do you compare Santa Barbara to Dynasty ?

I find the people on Santa Barbara to be very friendly probably more so than anyone I have ever worked with. I find the cast to be very close-knit, very open and very helpful. With Dynasty, I found a very different set-up. I was treated very well, but it was kind of like a mega-star show. I worked Mostly with Joan Collins, but I am meeting everyone on this show. I had a great time with Joan. It was an experience.

What is something viewers don't know about you ?

The strangest thing is that I received all of this fan mail before I even started. I got all this fan mail and people were commenting on the first week. I've played MacBeth on Monday, Richard III on Tuesday, on Wednesday I played a poor man's DeNiro, and on Friday I played a Remington Steele. Now we have an idea of what we are doing (with the character).

Do you feel comfortable with the show ?

The truth is, acting-wise, Terry Lester and Nancy Grahn made me feel so much at home it was beyond belief. They worked with me and helped me out until I got used to the routine. One reason why I took this character is because it is one hell of a character.

Will the audience sympathize with Derek ?

He really is a good person. There have been a lot of instances in his past that people have been bad to him. We are trying to make him likable, but his motives are pretty powerful - which give an edge to him. It will be like opening up a hornet's nest. One advantage of doing a show like this is that if you do get a good character, people like Sheri Anderson (the co-headwriter) will support you. Mr. John Conboy (the executive producer) has some great ideas. What confuses me is that Santa Barbara wins awards, but they don't have a large audience yet.

Don't worry, you're not alone - it confuses a lot of people. What have you been doing in between Dynasty and Santa Barbara ?

I did a mini-series called Flair, focusing around the fashion world, a bit like Dynasty in a way, high gloss. It was made in Australia with Joseph Bottoms and Heather Thomas. I did my first feature called Strangers, based on Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, and the character was very psychotic. I played eight weeks in the bush. I had to turn down a feature to do Santa Barbara. I was going to do another mini-series based on Rupert Murdoch's life, The Paper Man. But what happened was that my green card restrictions meant that I couldn't leave America, so when I came over here to see the Santa Barbara people, I was stuck with a green card restriction, meaning I had to spend more time in the states. It was just my destiny. Then Santa Barbara came into the picture and saved me.

How would you describe yourself ?

I am six foot seven, I have blond hair and blue eyes...

Are there any other questions you think I should be asking you ?

I honestly think this is going to be one of the most exciting storylines that I gave came across in years. I am enjoying the character. I would like to say that I am very much of home of Santa Barbara and very happy. I think it is one of the biggest challenges I have ever had. In the end you work for money, but the ideal is to work for something you enjoy doing. So what is important to me ? That is the $64 question. It sounds like a cliché, but what really matters to me is getting married and starting a family. Settling down. Remember I am Irish here. I am not English.

You didn't quite answer this question the first time. What do you think viewers don't know about you ?

To be honest, I am a very fortunate and lucky person. I came to America in 1985 with nothing. And I mean nothing. Another thing is that I have never been to New York. In fact, as I talk to you today, I can tell you that I have never been outside of Los Angeles in this country. I've never even been to Santa Barbara.

 Télé 7 Jours, 1992


James Healy, 42 years old (Sean Rowan, Joan Collins's fourth husband in Dynasty and Derek Griffin in Santa Barbara) in prison for attempt of murder. He was arrested on February 06, in Los Angeles, whereas with a piece of glass, he was going to cut the throat of his sister's husband, Benjamin Rivera, of who she was separate ! His sister, Annemarie, 35 years old, and a friend, Henri Marechal, 39 years old, were also arrested. The doctors hope for the total cure of Benjamin Rivera.