In May, As the World Turns announced that soap vet Forbes March would be taking on a newly created role on the long-running CBS soap. Now, as March prepares to make his ATWT debut this week, the actor talks about what lies ahead for his third daytime persona. Despite claims from show executives that Mason Jarvis would not be a "third wheel," or foil, to any sort of Luke and Noah romance, in a new interview, March won't make the same claims. In fact, the actor hints that he knew something was up from the moment he first read his audition script.
"[When] I got the ‘sides’ for the audition, and saw I was going to be talking to two guys," March tells Michael Fairman for Michael Fairman on Soaps. "I thought, 'That was odd,' because usually in a soap audition if you are reading for a male character it is opposite the young lady you are having a story with. I ‘googled’ it before hand, and went, 'Oh, Luke and Noah, the new Luke and Laura.'"
March explains that Mason, his new Oakdale alter ego, is revealed to be gay very early on in his on-screen timeline. A professor at Oakdale University, Mason is Noah's advisor... and that's where things could get sticky.
"There are three points to a triangle," March smiles. "I assume there will be a triangle, because otherwise I am going to be looking for another job in six months."
Daytime fans may remember March from two of his memorable roles on ABC soaps: Scott Chandler on All My Children and Nash Brennan on One Life to Live. Both of those characters were as established in their heterosexuality as Mason is in his homosexuality. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there are still some performers who are hesitant to play a gay character. March, however, is not one of them.
"I am a little surprised about how much attention it’s getting because this is a gay role. But, you know what’s been really weird? The number of people who have been concerned for my wife, which is so bizarre! They keep saying, 'What does your wife think?' Like this should be a real point of concern for her. I mean, she is this bodacious blond! If anybody can attest to my straight-hood, it is my wife. Do people think I am going to turn gay? I don’t think it works that way," March says with a laugh.
During his time away from daytime, March got to take a much-deserved breather.
"Normally in acting, you get a hiatus. It's not just a holiday. It's a break from something very important. It's built in. In primetime, they get four months off every summer. In the [syndicated television] world, we get two months and then a week every three weeks, where you get to step away from what you're doing and recharge your creative juices. Wipe the slate clean, my dad calls it," March told Anthony D. Langford for his column, Gays of our Lives, on AfterElton.com. "In daytime, you don't have that. It's one of the very few creative mediums -— and for the most part, it's one of the perks of the job, that you have steady work -— but I find it very hard to get out of my character when I get off the show. [..] I was still playing every part I was auditioning for as Nash [Brennan, One Life To Live], which is useless. It was embarrassing. I could see it myself. It was like a trap and I couldn't get out. I was working with coaches and trying different stuff, but I was driving myself nuts. I needed a break. I needed to wipe the slate clean."
March first airs on July 14.