Soapdom contributor Merle Goldberg recently worked behind the scenes for the making of SOAPNet Reveals Hottest Hunks airing Thursday, October 27. She takes you Inside the Bubble of what it's like sitting face to face with some of daytime's hottest guys! Read on...
It's an odd word, one that most daytime guys hate! Ask any of them ' Kristoff St. John, Lorenzo Lamas, and Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Jack Wagner. But they're great sports and know how to laugh when it comes to the label.
In late August, I was booking and interviewing talent for SoapNet's special on daytime's hottest hunks. Most of my friends, even the ones who don't know Pine Valley from Genoa City were jealous. Even their daughters, Vassar graduates, were salivating over the chance to meet hot, hunky, gorgeous, muscular MEN!
What was I missing? I was so busy talking to publicists, writing questions, and meeting deadlines, I couldn't even think about interviewing, let alone sitting less than two feet from some of television's most devastatingly handsome men. My job was to produce, get the interviews set up, and make those men talk.
My first encounter was with Jack Wagner (Nick, B&B). I wasn't really familiar with the guy. I stopped watching GH years ago and was never a fan of Melrose Place. The camera crew set up in B&B's make-up room, and the second he breezed in we began taping. What became abundantly clear was his self-deprecating look at the work and his life. Hunks ' a word he easily tossed to his B&B co-star, Antonio Sabato, Jr., not a mantle he wants to carry at this point in this career. The man is one tall drink of water and his smile is a killer. What may have been his best moment, however, may ultimately wind up on the cutting room floor. Since B&B is viewed in so many countries, this show is a whole new experience for this domestic God. If you ever run into him, ask him to speak to you in French, Italian, or Spanish. It may all be gibberish, but it sure is appealing.
A few days later I was back at CBS for a marathon round of interviews. It started at 8 AM with Y&R's Kristoff St. John (Neil), the ultimate nice guy. It has been years since Kristoff and I crossed paths. Around the time of the OJ trial, CBS aired CBS Soapbreak, a limited series, hosted by Kristoff. I was his writer. He was a doll then, and I'm happy to report, he's a doll now. He just wanted to have fun ' and fun we had! When I asked him what it was like to do a love scene, he gave me the step-by-step choreography of where the hands, legs, arms, faces, and ultimately ' lips are placed. Romantic, it's not. But St. John makes it look that way, which is just fine with the fans. If humor is an aphrodisiac, then Mr. St. John has what it takes to be a hunk!
The crew rushed to the next set-up, B&B's publicity office. Lorenzo Lamas (Hector, B&B) was up next, and I really knew very little about him, except that he comes from Hollywood royalty - Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl. Again, I was much too busy to be concerned with his good looks and great bod. That is until he sat across from me in his immaculately pressed jeans, navy blue sports coat, white-white oxford broadcloth shirt, and lavenderish-pink tie. Still I wasn't ruffled. Then he removed the tie, unbuttoned the shirt, and placed his hands squarely on his knees. This guy has great hands! I mean, elegant long fingers and great big palms. It was hard to keep my mind on the interview. I was falling for the guy's hands. When I asked him his favorite part of his body ' he replied, 'My hands.' What else is there to say?
Truth be told, Antonio Sabato, Jr. (Dante, B&B), was never on my radar screen. We were in such a rush to re-set for his interview there wasn't much time to think about anything ' except ' don't keep him waiting. Just as he entered the camera crew set the last lights, he sat down, I sat down and we were off. Sabato is the quiet, reflective type. So, I had to listen very carefully and didn't have time to pay attention to his looks, or anything else for that matter. Now, that's where I missed the boat.
About a week later I was screening his interview for another portion of the show and discovered his smile. Whoa! It could make a girl melt! What was I looking at during the actual interview? In his soft-spoken gentle manner, there was something much more, and it was most definitely a killer. His lips just curled up and suddenly his eyes lit up. As with all the interviews I was sitting less than a foot away from him and I must have been sleepwalking. Usually, I'm a sucker for accents, any accent. While screening the tape, it was suddenly very clear that Antonio was more than just his accent. His warm, charming smile made it very clear what so many women already knew and understood about this very shy, unassuming gentleman.
Rather than hunk, I would call all four of them gentlemen. Their kindness, but most of all their genuine sense of caring is what really came through, even with the humor, the hands, and the smile. Each one of them displayed a wonderful sense of chivalry when it came to the actresses they have to 'bed and wed' on a daily or weekly basis. These guys are more than just hunks ' they're the real thing!
Tune in to SOAPnet' 'Reveals Hottest Hunks,' premiering Thursday, October 27 (11:00 p.m., ET/PT).
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