Digest: It must be nice working with someone as beautiful as Kathy.Walker: Of course it is [laughs]! More importantly, though, we’re a good team. We recently did really well at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, even though we didn’t spend as much on our arrangement as other competitors. It was very gratifying.
Digest: Let’s talk about OLTL. So, you had to replace James DePaiva….Walker: Yep, I had to replace someone who was extremely popular. No pressure there [laughs]! It was interesting, because I was doing Jimmy O’Herlihy on GENERAL HOSPITAL and then ABC said, „Would you come to New York to play a lead on ONE LIFE TO LIVE?“ I said, „I’ve made it a religion never to replace somebody because they always come back.“ The powers-that-be assured me that James DePaiva would never come back; they even put it into the contract. But then they were all fired, so it made the contract null and void. Guess what? James came back!
Digest: It always does work that way, doesn’t it? Up to that point, how was playing Max?Walker: I knew it was gonna be an uphill challenge, because to replace the male lead on a show is a losing proposition. But I like challenges. I said, „How are we gonna do this?“ and then they had the whole thing with the car accident and the plastic surgery. I said, „I guess I haven’t forgotten that I am in the soap opera medium.“ I thought [then-Executive Producer] Paul Rauch did a clever job in trying to get the audience used to my voice, so for three months I was under this hood and no one saw me; they just heard my voice. I said my new career is voice-over. We took a big risk, and I don’t know if it was successful, but we tried.
Digest: Was it difficult to act with a hood over your face?Walker: Well, everyone joked about it and made fun of me. So, I said, „You try to do it. You replace a popular lead and make it believable.“ That shut them up. They were like, „No, I don’t know how you do it.“ The truth is, working with the hood wasn’t that hard; it was like any other acting choice, like walking with a gimp. What was hard was having to endure the hours of makeup for the burn, which made me look like a leper.
Digest: Did you think the plastic surgery storyline was out there?Walker: Kind of, but it’s better to explain why a character has a different face, especially if people associated a particular actor with that character. Didn’t they recently do another plastic surgery storyline on ONE LIFE?
Digest: Yes, when Trevor St. John took over for Roger Howarth as Todd last year, they introduced the new Todd as someone who’d gotten plastic surgery and was now calling himself Walker.“Walker: See, there you go.
Digest: Hmm … he was Walker, you’re Walker; you were both involved in plastic surgery storylines … it sounds like a conspiracy.Walker: Maybe. I think the only conspiracy, though, is how much money Llanview’s surgeons must be making!