"Pure Soap" Interview

Hosted by Shelley Taylor Morgan
November, 1994

[  A clip is shown of Mark Valley portraying Jack  ]

Shelley: Welcome, Mark Valley.

Mark: Thank you.

Shelley: Yeah! Well, it's all starting to unfold now.

Mark: Yeah, it sure is.

Shelley: Any fan reaction on the street yet?

Mark: Um, no fan reaction on the street yet. But I've gotten some nice letters.

Shelley: All right, I'm not going to talk too much about storyline now because you're new and we all want to know all about you. So, married, single?

Mark: Single.

Shelley: Single, okay. And you used to be in West Point?

Mark: Yeah.

Shelley: Tell me about that. How did you get from West Point to Days of Our Lives?

Mark: Um, well, first thing I did is I graduated.

Shelley: Yeah. [laughs]

Mark: Then, I was in the army for five years. I was stationed in Germany for the most part and after the wall came down in Berlin, they started having some more films moving into the area and I was getting a little bit, um... I was just interested in films and what was going on in Berlin so I started working as an extra in a film there.

Shelley: While you were still in the army?

Mark: While I was still in the army, yeah. And then one thing just happened after another and I left it.

Shelley: It just seems so incongruous. The military and West Point and acting. So did you have inklings of this before you were even in the army or is this something that unfolded while you were in there?

Mark: I had inklings of it, I guess you might say. Like very small dot inklings.

Shelley: You didn't have schooling in the theater?

Mark: No, no. My sister did a lot of plays in high school and in college as well. And I used to like to watch her shows. She was really talented and I didn't really think it was a possibility until I was in Germany. I actually started working on some of these films.

Shelley: Like what? Like what?

Mark: Um, there's a film called "The Innocent" directed by John Schlesinger with Anthony Hopkins and some other people.

Shelley: Not bad.

Mark: Not bad, yeah. And it was great to watch Anthony Hopkins work. As soon as he walked on the set, everybody just made sure they had their stuff together because...

Shelley: He's phenomenal, isn't he?

Mark: Yeah. You really gain a lot of repect for the craft when you watch somebody like that work.

Shelley: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah.

Shelley: Yeah. So, now, you were on Another World briefly.

Mark: Right, as Father Peter. [he's smiling]

Shelley: Father Peter. I remember that. But that wasn't a contract role.

Mark: No, that was a recurring role.

Shelley: And, I guess you were plugging away going on auditions. Were you in New York when you got the call to audition for Days out here?

Mark: Yes. I actually auditioned twice in New York for this. They sent a tape to Los Angeles then they called me up and had me go out there for a screentest. So I screentested with about five other people here in Los Angeles and, of course after the screentest I still didn't know. So I flew back to New York, read the Sunday paper and drank a cup of coffee and tried to forget all about it. And then Monday afternoon, they called me up and said, 'Mark, you're going. You got the job.'

Shelley: Pack your bags, you're moving to California!

Mark: Pack your bags. You're leaving tomorrow morning at 10:00.

Shelley And you don't have any choice because when you go to test, you're already signed, sealed and delivered.

Mark: Right. You sign your contract when you screentest.

Shelley: And so now, have you settled into life in L.A. Have you gotten an apartment and all of that?

Mark: Um... [he smiles] I'm still settling.

Shelley: Well, just one more quick break and Mark will answer whatever it is you want to know. Kinda. [Mark laughs]


Shelley: Hey, we are back and I am here with the new Jack, Mark Valley. Now, do you know that I was your stepmother?

Mark: Yes! You were my evil stepmother.

Shelley: Kinda evil. Yeah, I played Angelica for about this long. I was there long enough to have the baby. Anyway, let's go on to the phones. We have Tammy from Michigan.

CALLER: Hi Shelley. Hi Mark.

Mark: Hi.

CALLER: What I wanted to know was: do you think Jennifer is gonna allow Jack to become involved in Abby's life despite Jennifer's bad feelings towards him?

Mark: Okay, Tammy, is that your name? Um, I think Jennifer will let Jack see Abby. I mean, she knows that Jack's Abby's father and she wants the best for her daughter and she knows that Jack's gonna be an important part of Abby's life no matter what happens. So I don't think there's gonna be any kind of reluctance on Jennifer's part to let Jack see Abby.

Shelley: Okay. And we have Joe from Virginia.

CALLER: Hey Mark.

Mark: Hey Joe.

CALLER: I was wondering: do you think in the future you'll be seeing a battle with Victor Kiriakis again?

Mark: .........Well, I don't really want to say too much about this, to tell you the truth. [Shelley and Mark are laughing here because he took a long pause before he answered. He just sat there smiling.] But, um, let's just say that Jack is coming back and he's not gonna shy away from a fight. If somebody gets in the way of what he wants...

Shelley: Fireworks ahead. Okay, we have Robyn from Boston.

CALLER: Hi. I was wondering when you started Days, was there pressure on you, expectations, to live up to the legacy of Matthew Ashford?

Shelley: Good question.

Mark: Good question. No, I'd say there wasn't that much pressure at all actually. I mean, a lot of people kind of alluded to Matthew Ashford and the work that he'd done and that he'd done a brilliant job and soforth. But to tell you the truth, I've never really seen Matthew's work. I didn't really know what I was being compared to so...

Shelley: It's probably better that way.

Mark: Yeah, so actually it was quite good. I'd say no, there wasn't a lot of pressure. People cast me for the job and they wanted to see what my interpretations is gonna be and everyone's been quite supportive as far as that goes.

Shelley: How's it been like on the set. Like your first day when you came on and had all this controversy had preceded you.

Mark: It's funny. I just walked on the set and it seemed to be this kind of acting vacuum. You know, everything that was going on outside of the studio, you know, the role being recast and soforth, it just seemed to be very external. Everyone was very professional and I'd done my homework and everybody knew what they were doing so I was just trying to figure out what was going on. So it went really well.

Shelley: Who have you ended up pal-ing up with on the set now that you've been working?

Mark: Um, in spite of his abrasive personality, I'd say Jason Brooks.

Shelley: [laughs]

Mark: [laughing too] He's somebody that I'm getting along with pretty well.

Shelley: We have Wendy from Texas.

CALLER: Hi Shelley. Hi Mark.

Mark: Hi. How are you doing?

CALLER: I was wondering if you are in any way related to Paul Michael Valley on Another World that plays Ryan?

Mark: [smiles] No, as a matter of fact when I was on Another World and I was in the rehearsal room, Paul Michael Valley came in the room and he said, 'Oh yeah, you have my name.' And I said, 'No, wait a minute, wait a minute, you've got my name!' [they laugh] But no. We talked for a little while and there's no relation. I think he's from the Midwest somewhere and I'm from Upstate New York. There's not a lot of Valley's in this country.

Shelley: There's lots of hills.

Mark: [laughs] There's lots of hills.

Shelley: Thank you so much for visiting us.