The thunderbolt of the seducers of Santa Barbara

 BGérard Neves, Ciné Télé Revue, 1987

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In the memory of Richard Eden and Todd McKee are from now on engraved unforgettable memories. And Paris, France, the French will occupy for them a privileged place forever. "They are splendid !", says with enthusiasm Todd McKee. "Thanks to Ciné Télé Revue, I knew that Santa Barbara was an enormous success in France. But we found a heat here, an enthusiasm which exists nowhere else. I believe that I will come to look for my fiancée in your country !" Ted like Brick, who constantly receive several thousands of marriage demands and photos of girls in bikini who literally offer themselves to them, could not make three steps in Paris without being recognized by their admirers. The phenomenon Santa Barbara exceeds really any imagination : whereas American actors, on posters in the theatres of the Champs-Elysées, make shopping without being recognized, the heroes of the soap-opera are constantly called by fans. Even on the third floor of the Eiffel Tower. It is perhaps what is called the miracle of television... "There is nothing more pleasant than to enter every evening in people homes by the small screen", Richard Eden comments. "At the beginning of my career, I was said that such a role would enable me to belong to their family. I did not want to believe it, but it is true !"

However you can not trap seducers like Ted Capwell and Brick Wallace... Todd McKee, for example, had fun to learn the sentences like "Mademoiselle, vous avez de beaux yeux", for doing better knowledge with his admirers... However, between French and them, it is still a little tormented love story. Richard Eden understands our language very well but he speaks it a little. In their hotel room, the two young actors thus took a lot of pleasure to follow an episode of Santa Barbara on TF1 and to hear themselves speaking French. As an incorrigible seducer, Todd McKee comments : "It is a difficult but enthralling language. There are thirty six ways of rendering comprehensible to a girl that you like her !" Besides many admirers of Ted Capwell worry to know if he will manage one day to spend a night with Laken (played by Julie Ronnie), his current girlfriend in the show. "I cannot say to you when that will happen", he explains, "because in France, Santa Barbara is aired by half an hour episodes and, in America, by one hour episodes. Yes, that will finally happen in the show !"

Richard Eden will not directly follow the love life of his colleague and friend any more : since last 28 September, he stopped the shooting of Santa Barbara. Brick Wallace does not form part of the American season of the show any more because the writers wanted to tighten the intrigue around some characters like Cruz and Eden Capwell. As his role was not significant enough, Richard Eden preferred to go away. But we will see him again soon in other productions. "I currently hesitate between many proposals", he acknowledges. "I was proposed to make a movie in Rome. The cinema is always a dream for a television actor. Look at KeIly who has just shot The Princess Bride. I wish her to succeed in this way because she deserves it ! But I was also proposed a role in another soap-opera, One Life to Live (and a nice amount of money to accept it). Lastly, theatre also tries to seduce me..."

As a great professional, Richard Eden, during his visit in Paris, wanted to go to the Orsay Museum to see Modigliani's paintings : he was indeed offered to interpret the role of the great painter in a part in New York. Unless than he did not return meanwhile in Santa Barbara ! "You never leave such a soap with happiness", he acknowledges. "When, for the last time, I came to play my role on the stage, I had the stomach tied. I had the impression to lose a friend, a brother ! When I emptied my cupboard where each actor deposits his personal stuffs, the tears came to my eyes... When I see how much our characters are loved in France, I regret a little. But you can understand me : I wanted to defend the future of Brick !" The future will decide... It is true that the pressure exerted on the soap-opera actors in America is very strong : it is not rare for them to wake up at 5 a.m. whereas they lay down late with their character. "We work more than twelve hours per day on stage", agrees Todd McKee. "The shooting is difficult because they give us sixty pages of text to learn every day and this is often only at the last time, before the cameras turn, that you completely assimilate it. It is a testing work for the nerves. A Martinez (who plays Cruz) is currently very tired because the intrigue is centered on him. He must play at a rythm of hell !"

Fortunately, each actor has his little secrects to escape the daily stress. Richard Eden, for example, adores campinge and fishing. For him, nothing worthes the return to nature to forget the worries ! "It often happened to me to leave with only one bag on my back to plunge in a world where nobody would talk to me about Brick Wallace", he says. "The young Americans need healthy entertainments. And when I must stay in my house in Hollywood Hills, I talk with my six cats... " He smiles then adds : "The problem is that the youngest is called Brick !"

By discovering the banks of the Seine, Richard Eden regretted not having taken along his fishing rods with him... Todd McKee, prefers windsurfing. "What a pity that you do not have an ocean as in America", he says. "Nothing takes you out of your element better than to make windsurfing in the Pacific while tanning your shoulders at the sun !" Todd McKee however dreams to buy a property in Hollywood Hills that he transform according to his taste : he is a huge handyman. He is besides very proud of a small electronic jeep that he made all alone. Perhaps will he bring back a small French car to his country ? "When I see a city like Paris, I think that the American high schools should offer to each student a trip in France", he says. "There are so many richnesses here, so many things to discover, Paris is the most beautiful city in the world !" Some admirers still call him. He takes the pen tended to him to sign a photo and adds : "When I will be back on the stage of Santa Barbara, I will think of all these marks of affection. It is them, and nothing else, that give you the desire to do this marvellous job that is ours..."

Click on the photos to enlarge them
Todd McKee (Ted Capwell) and Richard Eden (Brick Wallace) in Brussels, Belgium
Todd McKee, Richard Eden, Philippe Goffin and Marylène Bergmann
Todd McKee and Richard Eden in Paris, France
Todd McKee and Richard Eden close to Michel Boujenah, Jean-Luc Lahaye, Katia Tchenko, Jean-Pierre Foucault and their French voice, Olivier Destrez and Jean Roche