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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


INTERVIEW WITH LES BRANDT (RAFAEL) Part #1


AWT: What do you remember about your AW audition for Rafael? Who did they tell you the character was?

LB: Well, I don’t know if too many people know this, but when I auditioned for Another World in the beginning, I auditioned for a three day character called Maximillian. And I didn’t get that role. But from that audition, they thought that I did such a professional job, they brought me back to write a role for me. I had just gotten out of the academy and was like: ‘They’re writing a role for me?’ It kind of just developed after my second meeting, and I really didn’t know anything other than Rafael was an edgy, dark-sided bad boy type and that’s all I really knew at that point.

AWT: What was your background before coming to Another World?

LB: I started acting right out of high school. I moved from my hometown of Amarillo to Dallas and I had a mentor by the name of Adam Roarke, who unfortunately passed away in 1996. He was my first formidable acting teacher. He’s a very well known actor and was in a lot of movies in the 60s and 70s. I love Adam like my own father. He helped me get to New York and into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in 1992. I went to the Academy and did one year of their two year program. After having been working back in Dallas for about five years commercially and on stage, it was hard to sit in school and after a year I just said there’s too much action going on around here for me not to roll the dice! I just wanted to give it a shot and I did and I landed a few really good national commercials and a few print campaigns, some really big work, and then just at the end, I was on my last leg and having to deal with leaving New York and go back to Dallas when I got the call to come in to read at AW. It just came together. When you least expect it, that’s when the universe and everything just comes together and it works out. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for that opportunity.

AWT: What do you think you brought to the part that got you the job?

LB: I think they liked my vulnerability. I was just a kid from Texas in New York, and just out of school. I had worked previously in commercials and this was my first real gig, my first big job, my first network job, and I think there was an air of vulnerability about me that worked for the character of Rafael. He had this rough exterior that he needed to get through the day to day with, but he was really a sensitive guy.

AWT: You came on as the thug who kidnapped Maggie on Cecile's orders, and left as the guy who'd charmed her into eloping with him (and skipping the pre-nup)! What was that transition like to play as an actor?

LB: It was a nice entrance! I liked it. It was a dramatic beginning, with Rafael hiding in the bushes and jumping out to grab the girl on Center Street on a dark foggy night and then kidnap her. And to know that her mother was the one who wanted me to do that was even more interesting. It was a short period from the kidnapping to falling in love to the plan to take this girl to Spain. A very short window, but the writers were phenomenal and they made it work and the transition , I think, was easier because of it. When writing is that good, it makes the work of an actor less arduous. It was great. I enjoyed those moments very much.

AWT: What was your favorite arc of Rafael’s story?

LB: I guess I liked the interaction that he had with his friend Nick Terry, who was played by Kevin McClatchy, a phenomenal person and actor. They were rebels and they shared comedic moments and they had moments like playing basketball one on one or while having a drink at Carlinos or even in silence, where they would share their feelings. Without saying anything they almost always knew what was going on with each other. Nick genuinely cared about the direction Rafael was going and would try to advise him when he felt Rafael was getting aggressive and dramatic and going off the deep end. It was a real friendship and I liked those two male characters and how they would watch out for each other.

AWT: What’s a scene or moment during your time on the show that you wish you could redo?

LB: My kissing scenes! Like I said, AW was my first real job out of the academy and I feel like every time I had a kissing scene, which was plentiful, I would black out and we would have to cut a few times because I was actually really giving the girl a kiss and I didn’t know it! It was like a moment of paralysis. I’m kissing in scenes all the time now, but looking back, I was petrified on AW, kissing Lisa Brenner (Maggie). It was just funny like that. I would apologize profusely and she would say ‘No, it’s okay!’ but I just don’t think the producers want it (and they didn’t) and I didn’t! Lisa was so sweet and very wonderful to work with, very professional and very spontaneous. It was a dream to work with her. She made it such a pleasure to work.

AWT: What is a storyline that you wish Rafael had while on the show?

LB: Something with him being a more upstanding guy where he wasn’t lurking or being a henchman or trying to convince the girl that he was worthy. I wanted him to be able to show that he was worthy. He had a heart of gold and was a good guy, he’s just had a few bad shakes, so give him a shot and show what he can do. I wanted him to do well.

Come back next week for Part #2, where Les talks Carl, Cecile and more!

4 Comments:

Blogger YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

damn i miss this show

March 17, 2010 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 18, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

Good interview! The "kissing" stuff was fun to hear and I appreciate Les being candid and having the ability to laugh at himself. Thanks for the article!

March 18, 2010 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger The said...

Amazing..Les Brandt is the ultimate professional and deserves all the success he receives!

March 19, 2010 at 3:50 PM  

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