The secrets of Mason Capwell

 BJean Poggi, Télé 7 Jours, 1989

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"I always wanted to learn French. It is the most beautiful language of the world." Lane Davies could not give more pleasure to the director of the French institute of Villefranche-sur-mer, who had prestigious pupils, like the American novelist James Clavell and ambassadors, film directors, important officials. Mason Capwell, the other seducer of Santa Barbara, with Cruz Castillo, is accompanied by Louise Sorel and Todd McKee, two of the other heroes of the show of TF1 : "We all wish that a French director gives us one day a role in a film or a TV movie and our natural language must not be an obstacle."

The Mediterranean sea replaced the Pacific, and far from Santa Barbara, the actors prove to be studious pupils. The courses start, indeed, at 8.30 a.m. and finish towards 6 p.m. with a pause for the lunch of one hour between 12 and 1 p.m., which does not leave time to discover the greedy halts of the country, but they make up for it on the evening ! Lane Davies, however, ensures us that he follows a very strict diet not to grow bigger : "I am 38 and if I want to keep all my admirers, and many Frenchwomen, I must be careful with myself." The Capwell son in the show, indeed, gave up his role in Santa Barbara after an ultimate shooting on June 30. "I do not know yet if during the fall in September, Mason will be eliminated - one easily dies in the American soaps - or simply replaced by another actor. The producers did not want to say anything to me." Lane Davies acknowledges that he hopes that they will have evil to find a successor to him.

"I play the role since the beginning and it is a little as if he was my double. That can appear stupid or pretentious, but I have the impression that the role belongs to me. Moreover, by shooting episodes, each day from morning to evening, you do not know any more who you are. Many actors and actresses, and not only in Santa Barbara, have the same feeling. Marcy Walker said to me one day that she dreamed of Eden in the night... She has evil to cure her nightmares. For this reason, after five years, I wanted to take my distances with Mason, and sometimes already, I regret it..." Lane Davies did not agree either with the evolution of his character : "I liked him machiavelic, cynical. The producers suddenly transformed him into a lamb, too wise, too transparent, boring. It was necessary for me to think a lot before deciding to leave this show, which made me known in the whole world. Todd McKee thinks like me, he wants other roles, but for the moment, he stays."

Todd approves, while concentrating on his French exercise book... He recalls that Lane played as well Hamlet, that Man of La Mancha, in the role of Don Quichotte. He besides knows the repertory of Jacques Brel and begins to sing Je Vous ai Apporté des Bonbons,  Amsterdam, Madeleine, then explains that if he is sometimes seen bearded in Santa Barbara, it is that at the same time, he plays theatre : "I was born on July 31, 1951 in Dalton, Georgia, son of actors of theatre who had this passion in the blood and who transmitted it to me. I feel myself well on scene and, as soon as I have the occasion of it, I play a part, even for a few dollars. I recently played Cyrano de Bergerac and that interests me to see Depardieu, one of the actors whom I admire the most in the film. I would like to invite him in the theatre that I created, two years ago in Simi Valley, a town located at one hour from Los Angeles."

Lane Davies began on cinema in 1978 in The Magic of Lassie with James Stewart and Mickey Rooney, then was engaged in some episodes of Dallas and CHIPs, and finally in Days of our Lives. "In July 1984, the role of Mason was proposed to me and I did not hesitate, as if I were irresistibly attracted by the role and especially, I felt very close with all the other actors. We form a family and this journey in France with Louise and Todd is like a dream. I also love a lot my wife... in the show, Nancy Grahn. She supported me much as well in the life than during the shootings. I had scenes of drunkenness difficult to play and I repeated alone with her. She was near to cry..." Strange Lane Davies, who is much more than a simple hero of soap and who, as Louise Sorel entrusts it, is able to energise you, to give you all the energies : "I have a girlfriend I love and I will marry one day, but I often need to be alone. I try to be it at least two to three times by year. I find myself face to God, the universe and the nature. In my house, I garden, I carve wood and I fish. I travel as a recluse and it is there that I think that I would like to play one day Mason Capwell again..."

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