"New Jack City"

Soap Opera Weekly
December 27, 1994

CHARACTER: Jack Deveraux, the politician-turned-journalist who's returned to Salem determined to win back ex-wife Jennifer and daughter Abby.

BIRTH DATE AND PLACE: Dec. 24, 1964; Ogdensburg, N.Y.

MARITAL STATUS: Single

EDUCATION: "I graduated from West Point, and then I was stationed in Berlin."

ROAD TO STARDOM: "I really wanted to leave the Army, but I didn't know what I was going to do. Somebody saw me buying jeans in a department store and said, 'Hey, I'm starting up an agency of Americans, and there are some films coming to town; I wonder if you're interested.' I said, 'What the hell is this? Well, it will be an interesting experience for a day.' I went and worked one day as an extra, and I got called back and got three weeks of work and a credit."

HANGIN' WITH MR. HOPKINS: "I got to see Anthony Hopkins work (Valley played a soldier in "The Innocent"), and I realized that it was really kind of a respectable craft. I had some chances to talk to him. For the most part, it was just watching him work."

CHRISTMAS IN N.Y.: "I left the Army, and I came back to Berlin because I was doing a play. I was studying acting with a coach there, Dr. Rainer Beck, and it was just great. His classes were just amazing. So I decided around Christmas, 'I think I'll go to New York now -- give it a whirl.' So I went to New York about two years ago."

FREQUENT FLIER: "I auditioned in New York [for Days] with Rosalie Joseph. She liked me and she called me back to tape it, and then they sent the tape to Los Angeles and I tested there. I found out the following day that I had the job."

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: "It was kind of strange just walking into a new place. I mean, it's great just getting a job, but whenever you go into a new environment, you're kind of listening and watching people, and trying to figure out what the hell is going on. So I didn't just walk in [and] grab the bull by the horns."

BAUER POWER: "I like working with Jamie Lyn Bauer (Laura). She's worked on daytime for so long, but she's not bored with it; none of it becomes mechanical or rote to her. Every line that she gives, she has thought out and made sure that it's right with her character. I've learned an awful lot from working with her. She's really serious, and she's still passionate about what she does."

STAMP OF APPROVAL: "Taking over for Matthew Ashford, I had no idea who he was. It wasn't like I was taking over for my big brother or anything. I did a play in New York ("Hurlyburly") as part of a showcase. The part was [previously] played by Harvey Keitel, and I didn't watch what he did in the play. Every time you take over a role, you're going to put your own unique stamp on it. People said, 'Yeah, Matthew Ashford, he did a great job,' and I'm sure he did, from the way people talk about him. But I hope people will get used to seeing me in the role."

HISTORY OF A CHARACTER: "I have done some research on the character, and I have asked all the other actors to tell me the type of relationship they had with Jack. Interpretation begins with the script on the first day. All I can do is use my instincts and then let it happen. I think this character is so interesting. Things just bubble up from underneath, and then he's got to do stuff. Jack can't really control himself -- he's passionate about things. If he wants something, he wants it with everything he's got. Jack is a little more theatrical than I am in real life."

PRIEST TO HUNK: "Father Pete (the role he played on "Another World") had just as many desires as Jack -- he was just as human. It's just [that] Jack gets a little more opportunity in the storyline to do something about it, whereas Father Pete was usually talking and supporting. He was trying to give Brett spiritual advice. Father Pete was tempted, but it wasn't like he really had an opportunity to put that into action."

JACK BE NIMBLE: "Lately I've been shopping, just trying to find little knickknacks, like towels for my bathroom. I like to read. I like to rent old movies. I like to run and hike. I go to the gym and play some basketball. I love to swim, too."

A little side note...

CASTING THE ROLE

Recasting the role of Days of Our Lives' Jack Deveraux was not an easy task for the NBC soap: Matthew Ashford, who had played the role from 1987-'93, had been very popular. In recasting the role, Days took the opportunity to change the character a bit. Stephen Wyman, supervising producer, explains, "Mark Valley is going to make the character of Jack even more fascinating. He's got a controlled intensity, a feeling that there is a lot of power beneath his chiseled good looks. With Mark we can explore new places in the relationship between Jack and Jennifer."


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