Catching Up with Shawn Christian
When Shawn Christian chose to leave the role of mechanic, Mike Kasnoff, on "As the World Turns," we knew that we’d see him again very soon, because actors as cute and talented as Shawn just don’t disappear. So, it was no surprise when he showed up on "Ellen," shortly thereafter, as a gorgeous gay plumber. "She’s so funny," raves Christian about Ellen Degeneres. Since then, there’s been no stopping him. Just recently he played Rachel’s gynecologist, on "Friends." He’s also been on "Charmed," "Spin City," and had a recurring role on "Crossing Jordan." Now he’s hoping that his pilot, "Red Skies," will be picked up as a series by USA. We recently got to sit down and talk with this adorable family man about acting, ATWT, and his loved ones.
SOAPDOM: How do you like living in L.A.?
Christian: I Love LA. I love NY and Chicago, too. They’re totally different experiences. In New York, I didn’t have a car, and of course, here, I do. It’s an eye-opening experience. My parents came to visit me recently, and in one weekend, I took them to the mountains, where it was snowing. Then we went to the desert, which is spectacular at night, and the next day, I took them to the beach. It’s amazing to be able to do that.
SOAPDOM: Did you enjoy your stint on "Crossing Jordan?"
Christian: "Crossing Jordan" is a ball. What a great group of people! Everyone there is extemely kind. They have been so nice to me, making me feel like part of the family.
SOAPDOM: It’s got to be different from doing a soap…
Christian: Yes, with a soap, you’re with that family everyday. And with "Crossing Jordan," it was an established show. I had to hop right in. Both soaps and primetime shows have their own challenges. There’s a lot more down time (in primetime), when it’s not your show, but Jill Hennessey (star of "Crossing Jordan") works her a$$ off. She’s there from the first scene to the last.
SOAPDOM: Tell us about your new pilot.
Christian: It’s called "Red Skies," and it’s directed by John Woo. We did it for USA and everybody’s really excited about it. It’s an action-dramedy, really high intensity action stuff. I play a very mysterious FBI agent…an international profiler of serial killers.
SOAPDOM: Who else is in it?
Christian: A lot of great people…Kadeem Hardison, from "A Different World," for one. He’s so much fun…a ball. I love working with him.
SOAPDOM: What was it like doing "Friends?"
Christian: It was great. Really cool. I played Rachel’s gynecologist (Dr. Schiff). They are such a tight-knit family. It was wonderful to sit back and watch these pros work. They’re the best at what they do. They’d go with the audience -- see what was working, and create on the spot. It was cool watching them; just amazing. I did "Spin City" right before "Friends," and they were so nice, as well. Everyone just welcomed me into the family.
SOAPDOM: What’s your favorite role since leaving ATWT?
Christian: "Temors 3" was really fun. We did that about a year ago, and it just came out on DVD in October. We shot it out in the mountains. We’d wake up and watch the sunrise in the mountains, then watch the sunset. They built this town in the middle of nowhere. (For those unfamiliar with "SOAPDOMemors," the original movie starred Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward. Giant worm-like creatures attacked Paradise, a small town. In "Temors 2," the big worms were back, but once they started eating, they evolved into totally different creatures.) Well, they’ve evolved again, and Michael Gross (Steven Keaton, "Family Ties") is back. He was in the previous two movies. Everyone should go rent it! (He laughs.) I play this zen cowboy, and I got to impov and do kooky comedy and action-stuff. I think that was my favorite.
SOAPDOM: What other roles were fun?
Christian: "Ellen" was one of my first half-hour experiences. The show was hysterical and Ellen was hysterical. She’s so talented…so funny. That role was so much fun…I played a gay plumber. I’ve been very lucky; I’ve gotten to play a variety of roles.
SOAPDOM: Do you ever miss ATWT?
Christian: I do miss the people. They were a really great group. I talk about them a lot. I speak with Bronson Pickett and Jordana Brewster, now and then. We send cards. I occasionally tune in to see what’s going on. I saw a little today. It’s hard to find the time when you have a baby.
SOAPDOM: Tell us about your family.
Christian: Deborah and I have been married for five years. She’s my personal assistant and my sweetheart, so that works out great, because we get to spend all our time together. And we have a baby, Kameron. He’s a year and a half. It’s so hard to leave them, when I work. We shot the pilot in San Diego, so I was gone during the week. Now, when I leave the house, I can tell that Kameron’s wondering when I’ll be back.
SOAPDOM: Would you ever consider doing another soap?
Christian: I’ve been approached by three or four different soaps, since leaving ATWT. I think Y&R had offered me something and GH. It really makes you feel so blessed…and if the timing were right, I would have taken them. I totally understand and respect the people who do go back to soaps, because it’s a weekly paycheck and normally, as an actor, you just don’t get paid on a regular basis. Working on a soap is a great gig!
Since our conversation with Christian, he was offered and accepted the recurring role of Ross on "One Life to Live." His former ATWT character, Mike Kasnoff, is also making his way back to Oakdale with newcomer Mark C. Collier. Collier began airing as Kasnoff on Tuesday, July 2, 2002. After his stint on OLTL, Christian did a guest-starring role on Birds of Prey on The WB.