|Ethan faces his past|
By Richard Spencer, Soap Opera Update, 1990
There was a time when you had to wonder whether Santa Barbara viewers would buy Ethan after seeing you play Eden's rapist. Has the cave storyline helped your character have more stability on the show ?
Oh sure. I think that even people that remember me as Zack have made the shift. The new storyline helps them see a different side of Ethan.
What qualities do you like about Ethan that may not be represented in other Santa Barbara characters ?
I think his toughness. Ethan is a very interesting dichotomy. He is very hard-headed and very vulnerable. I had hoped that Ethan would continue to become more humorous and less hard-nosed. Hopefully that will continue. I don't know, because when you have a storyline that has a lot of people, some characters have to serve in the point/ counterpoint plot. I would love to have comedy, but I don't think they see this character as a particularly funny kind of guy. The show is trying to weave a tangled web, so I am just taking it as it comes.
Ethan is connecting with his family. What kind of family life did you have ?
I had a very fortunate childhood. My father was an artist and my mother was a teacher.
Any regrets ?
No. I don't have time for regrets. I think that anything you experience in life, you have to learn from it and use it. I have an older sister who lives in Washington State. I have been married for twelve years and have two children - a seven-year old daughter and a two-year-old daughter.
What do you wish for your children ?
I want them to feel free to discover and know themselves. I encourage their creativity and I want them to be individuals. We live near nature and I want them to grow up with a relationship with the earth, which is how I grew up.
Where did you grow up ?
Malibu. People have a notion of Malibu from Frankie and Annette, but it was pretty rural. There were a lot of trails to walk on, and not as many houses as there are today. We had large sycamore trees and it was beautiful.
How would you describe yourself ?
As creative and introspective and in love with life.
How have you changed ?
I think I have become more of myself. I have simply continued to feel like life is a continual process and an emergence. It is almost as though I have climbed higher and higher. I liken my life to climbing a tree and seeing my life from one view, and then finding another branch and climbing higher and understanding things more completely. I find that now I no longer stand on soap boxes.
Did you used to ?
I think so. I was always expressing different opinions and searching for truth and facts. That is the only way of understanding your own humanity.
What do you hate being asked ?
None in particular. I find some questions terribly banal. Before I was married, I was always asked : "What kind of girls do you like ?" and "What is your favorite color ?"
Do you think actors relay their causes ?
A lot of times it has to do with youth. When you are young you have a tendency to look at the world as though there was always something overlooked by previous generations. People think that if it wasn't overlooked, then why isn't the world in a better state now. I think that some actors think emotionally and don't think things through and stand back and think of the implications. I think it is not so much an actor as it is a personality type.
Do you think a lot of actors are self-centered ?
Yes, because I think acting can be a narcissistic endeavor. An actor is allowed to hide behind a lot of masks and that is what people do in life - take on different definitions - so I think it is a psychological art which many actors think they have mastered.
Could you do something that is not creatively satisfying ?
I don't think so, because I have a strong sense of mortality and I believe we aren't here all that long and you shouldn't die regretting what you never expressed. I am compelled to be creative. It is part of my makeup to be productive. I think I was born to communicate.