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                        VINCENT IRIZARRY
            
David Hayward-All My Children

                     

                Reported by: Amanda
                                                  
March 28, 2003

 

A great actor and a great man, is what comes to mind when I think about Vincent Irizarry. Since 1995, Vincent has been an integral part of the All My Children cast, playing the role of Pine Valley’s devilish and dastardly cardiologist, Dr. David Hayward.  Even though, Vincent has called All My Children home for the last 7 years, he is certainly no stranger to daytime. Vincent started in the soap ranks playing the role of Eric Luvoncek, aka Lujack on Guiding Light. He then went on to play another doctor, Dr. Scott Clark on the now defunct soap opera Santa Barbara, before returning once again to Guiding Light, this time in the role of Lujack’s twin brother Nick McHenry. In between his stints on the soaps, Vincent has had roles in primetime hit shows such as Beverly Hills 90210 and played roles in a Jackie Collins miniseries and the feature film Heartbreak Ridge.

Fans that have followed Vincent’s tenure on daytime, know he has a knack for playing the good guy roles, but his latest role as David is very different. So just how does Vincent feel about playing a bad guy?? “ I would have to say without a doubt that in this medium (daytime), I enjoy playing the bad guy role, it is definitely more exciting and challenging. I have immensely enjoyed finding the shades of gray and nuances in David that do not make him the standard cardboard cut out bad guy.”  Vincent goes on to say, “when ever I see that the writers have given me the opportunity to show a more human side of David, and even being able to exploit that side to the degree of soliciting the compassion of an audience, that is definitely a big deal. It is important for the audience to know why you have just done a nefarious deed and for them to be sensitive to it.”

So does Vincent really enjoy playing David’s devilishly side? “Yes I do actually, for me as an actor it has been great for me to find reasons to justify the thing’s that David does. I have learned to do these things without being apologetic, because David is not apologetic to anyone except for Anna.”

Ok of course, like all new characters that appear on the soaps, it did take the audience a while to warm up to Vincent in the role of David, after all, he was playing the type of role that most fans are not accustom to seeing him in. “For the first few months fans hated my character because he was always in everyone’s face and causing problems; it wasn’t until the writers gave David some back story or history that the fans started to enjoy seeing me with certain actors and actresses on the show.”

In the past 7 years, Vincent certainly had his share of storylines and memorable moments on All My Children, but he cannot narrow it down to just one. “ It’s hard to say because I have enjoyed so many of the storylines. I love working with Finola Hughes, (Anna) and the scenes that we have been playing for the last year and a half are wonderful. Some of the writing for our characters was so complex that it gave us the opportunity to explore the numerous shades to the story and breaking down the scenes.” Of course no storyline would be complete without having an opportunity to work with talented Susan Lucci. 
“ I also loved the storyline with Erica, I felt that David and Erica had a great relationship, it made sense that they would be there for one another. I really like the way that the writers developed that storyline and the fact that it played simultaneously with David’s mother, who would soon be coming to Pine Valley.” 

One storyline that Vincent was not aware that he was going to be part of was the return of fan favorite Dr. Maria Santos Grey, played by Eva LaRue. (Surprised) “ I did not know I was going to be part of her story until I got the script.” As any fan would remember David Hayward did not arrive in Pine Valley until after Maria was presumed dead in the ill-fated plane crash. This year fans saw David’s reaction to seeing Maria’s picture for the first time at the Crystal Ball through flashbacks. “I do feel that the writers did a great job creating these flashbacks and I do think it was important for the audience to have. I went to Jeannie (Jean D. Burke, producer) and asked her if we could create something like this and she graciously did.”

As any avid AMC fan would know, the coveted role of David’s mother Vanessa went to none other than Marj Dusay (currently Alexandra Spaulding on Guiding Light). “ I loved how they introduced David’s mother onto the show. It was definitely a real turning point for the character because up until then the audience had no real understanding as to why David was doing the things he was doing, it gave a lot of history to David’s storyline.” Once again Marj was playing opposite the man that fans had known to be her onscreen son. “ Marj is great, she always brings this wonderful flipped out energy to her work, you never know what she is going to do. She is a true delight to work with.” Of course Vincent was excited to be paired with Marj once again, “ I was definitely overjoyed when they brought her name to me for the role of Vanessa.”  I was able to ask Vincent if the fans will ever see Vanessa back in Pine Valley, his response, “ I don’t know, I have no clue where they are going with it or how they would incorporate Vanessa back in, but NEVER say NEVER on these shows.”

Of course David has been paired with the very lovely and talented Finola Hughes (Anna) and they have been thrust into one of the front burner and most heart wrenching storylines playing out on daytime television today, dealing with a child who is sick. “ Again I love working with Finola and especially the current storyline that we have been given. I don’t know too much about what is coming up for David and Anna, but Leora is playing central to our storyline right now and the fans are seeing how obsessive David is becoming in caring for her and how that is impacting David and Anna’s marriage.”  Rest assured fans that there seems to be enough storyline coming up that we will see David and Anna on our screens on All My Children throughout the summer.

As for all you David and Anna fans, they are no plans to have David and Anna mourn the loss of their child. “I am not aware of any plans to kill little Leora at this point in time, but what fans need to understand is that a lot of times we have no control over how the story plays out. Soap Operas are much like real life, sometimes you just don’t know what is going to happen.”

Of course, when you are in a front burner storyline and have a leading lady, you need the chemistry in order to make the pairing work. Vincent was able to give me some insight to what it takes to have that amazing chemistry that daytime super couples must possess.  “Creating the chemistry between a couple has to be a two way street, there is no possible way you can create it by yourself, you can’t manufacture the chemistry if the person is not their with you in scene. There has to be communication and openness with one another. It helps to be in scenes with an actor or actress that you respect and you can play off of each other and be moment to moment.” David and Greenlee have some amazing chemistry together and I asked Vincent if it didn’t work out with Anna, could we see a Greenlee and David romance in the future, (laughing) “who knows, maybe, I don’t know all I can say is maybe.”

A few weeks ago, fans of daytime waited in anticipation to see whether or not their favorite actor or actress made the final cut and was nominated for an Emmy. One deserving actor not on the final list was none other than Vincent himself. (Laughing) “Whenever I have the material to back up the nomination, I don’t get nominated, but the year that I do get nominated I have my weakest year as far as story is concerned, case in point last year.” Vincent went on to say how surprised he was at the final list and that more people from All My Children and other shows that gave Emmy worthy performances did not get nominated.  Personally, I think he has had his best year ever and I say give this man an Emmy PRONTO!!!!!

Of course Vincent loves meeting and greeting his fans and has an official website that follows his entire career. “They do a great job creating my website and I am very pleased.”  In August, Vincent has an upcoming fan event, his Annual Tea, and this year though it will be quite different. “ We will be hosting our annual tea this year, but this time it will be on a ship and we will cruise around Manhattan.  "I am really very excited about this and meeting the fans. We have raised over $70,000 dollars all of which has been donated to various charities over the years by doing these fan events."

So if after reading this interview you just cannot get enough of Vincent be sure to check out his official website www.vincentirizarry.com. Also, for Vincent fans in the Chicago area, be sure to check out Vincent’s live appearances at Zanie’s Comedy Club on Saturday April 5th.  On the 5th he will be doing a live show at 1pm in Vernon Hills, IL. Tickets are $25/person and can be purchased by calling (847) 549-6030.  The other show is the same day, but this time at 5pm at Zanie’s in St. Charles, IL. Tickets can be purchased by calling (630)513-1761 VIP seats are $40/person and it includes a private gathering with Vincent and $25/person for the regular show.

A special thank you goes out to Vincent and his Fan Club president Sandy Strider for making this interview possible.

 

 

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