Monday, October 29, 2007

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: TONY CRAIG (DRAPER; EON) PART #2

In Part #1 of our interview, Tony Craig talked about how he got the role of Draper and what he's been doing since leaving it. In Part #2, we discuss his years on the mystery soap.

PGP: The AOL/PGP Classic Soaps Channel is about to start showing your biggest storyline - Draper's trial for the murder of Margo, his subsequent escape, amnesia, and the relationship with Emily while poor April suffers back home.

TC: That was the ultimate storyline for me. That went on for over a year. It only ended when people wrote in and said, "We hate Emily. You can’t let him sleep with her!" And so, as a result, I ended up going back to April. And then we had the whole thing at the amusement park. It was enormous. It was the most fun I ever had.

PGP: Draper's escape after the train carrying him to prison crashes was a lot like The Fugitive. Only on a fraction of the budget and in much less time. How was that effect done?

TC: You wouldn't believe me if I told you. It was all done on the soundstage. They had stock footage of a railroad car. They did everything in close-up, and they had me wandering in about six square feet of artificial trees. I told the director, "Just get a couple of cameras and follow me around, and I won’t go outside this perimeter." And sure enough, that’s what he did. We shot it all in one take on one soundstage with artificial trees and smoke pots. That’s all we did. I was so concerned about not getting out of the camera line and giving them as much as I could in terms of the movement, because it had to seem like I was going for miles, when I was only going six square feet, around and around. I guess when you’re young you can do anything. They ask you to do it and you say, "Sure. What the hell? I’ll do it!"

PGP: You mentioned the amusement park climax to the Emily story. That was shot on location?

TC: We got to ride all the rides all night long. The one thing I remember is that I was deadly sick. I had strep throat and a bronchial infection. I was so sick that night. But they’d booked the amusement park, it was costing them an enormous amount of money, plus they’d trucked everybody out sixty miles, so I had to do it. And I got soaking wet. We shot all night and then I remember I had to be back on the set the next morning at nine o’clock. It wasn't so bad. When you’re young! And it was all so exciting. I enjoyed every single second of it.

PGP: Have you watched yourself on EON since leaving the show?

TC: My best friend here in New York, his daughter, who was not even born when I was on the show, was on YouTube and she came across some episodes.

PGP: What's it like to see yourself?

TC: I don’t recognize myself. I was also in Tootsie and I looked at myself and I was so thin and my hair was so black. Honestly, it looks like a different person. I've heard other actors say that and it’s true. I was a different person. Everything about me has changed. Physically and emotionally. I don’t recognize him.

PGP: Do you keep in touch with any of your EON co-stars?

TC: Oh, yes. At least once a year we have a little mini-reunion here. Terry Davis (April) and her husband, Andy Weyman, who directed the show, come into the city. I got to dinner with Maeve McGuire (Nicole) every couple of months; we went to three shows this summer. She comes into the city from Maine where she lives. Ernie Townsend (Cliff) is a principal now in a high school in New York and we see him. Forrest Compton (Mike), too. We either have a party or a lunch. Retired soap actors are a very tight knit community.

1 comment:

jellisspear said...

Loved hearing Tony's story! I remember Edge very well and miss it to this day!