Ex- Days Leading Man Drake Hogestyn: "I Could Have Been an Actor, Then I Got a Soap Opera"




 


Former Days of Our Lives superstar Drake Hogestyn has finally broken his silence over being treated like just another "spoke on a wheel" by Ken Corday. Here's a snipped of what the man who brought Jason Bourne to daytime revealed to the LA Times:

"There's an old expression: I could have been an actor, then I got a soap opera," Hogestyn said.

"It stopped being about me. It stopped being about me going out for film. It stopped being about me pursuing anything that I wanted to do -- what my dreams were as an actor," said the father of four. "My mission was to provide for these little birds in the nest. . . . I think that's why I kept the character alive for so long."

Now, he said, "I have taken a couple steps back to breathe. It's always been the show, the show. . . . Now, I can be selfish if I want."

 

Hogestyn also talked about how hard it had been to give up John Black's signature eyebrow arch, and that we was considering doing Viagra commercials. In other news, Dena Higley is still employed. Still doing your Mama and Daddy proud there Kenny!
 


Comments

david46208's picture
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15 January 2009
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This MF would have never made it in film or primetime. I don't what is up with Drake. I think we soap fans allowed him to boost his ego. But this man needs ti know that he is no shining talent. No Sean Penn or Denzel Washington who made a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

He has languished for over 20 years as a bad actor on a soap that has had a lot of talented actors on it.

It is folks like him who give the genre a bad name. But then there are the folks at B&B and well...But then I digress.

Oh well, they could have kept Deirdre and got rid of him for all I cared.

Member since:
22 January 2008
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4 min 26 sec

Drake turned down several pilots to stick it out over Days. When he joined the show he was amazing. Sure he started phoning it in during the latter years, but he definitely could have made it in primetime or film. He signed four-year-contracts back when they were unheard of and was a total team player. If Josh Taylor could land a lead in a hit sitcom (Valerie, The Hogan Family) and a recurring role on the original 90210, Drake could have done his thing too.  

MichaelKnight's picture
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24 September 2008
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Oh dear god this man is delusional and bitter. You're a bad actor! You never would have made it in film and should be grateful that you were employed for as long as you were being as bad an actor as you are!

You were employed for 20 years and now you're bitter cause they fired you and you 'gave up' a film career to be steadily employed as an actor for the last 20 years?

Screw you and your breathless bad acting.

Member since:
22 January 2008
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4 min 26 sec

I usually hate when actors diss soaps, but I readily give Drake a pass. You're doggone right he's bitter. He was put out to pasture after being one of this show's biggest draws for 20 years and he wasn't always a ham. He was great for much of his first decade on Days. He didn't really starting phoning it in until circa 99.

season1217's picture
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Is he calling the fans little birds? Is it better to be a spoke or a bird?

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#5Submitted by season1217 on March 2, 2009 - 2:00pm.
season1217's picture
Is he calling the fans new

Is he calling the fans little birds? Is it better to be a spoke or a bird?

****
LMAO, girl he's talking about his kids!

season1217's picture
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I read that all wrong. LOL!

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20 February 2009
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would have, could have, should have...

Life is all about choices and Drake made the decision to stay on daytime. It's sad to see how he was repaid for his loyalty (with a pink slip), but that is how business works and I don't feel bad for the man. He made a very good living off of his "acting" and made a few fans along the way (although I was never one of them).

Member since:
23 December 2008
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Drake's dedicated fans have posted clips on youtube of most, if not all, of his history at Days. He started in 1986, that year and the next few years after that, IMO, were a good showcase for his work. They might be worth checking out.

Member since:
27 January 2009
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"Drake's dedicated fans have posted clips on youtube of most, if not all, of his history at Days. He started in 1986, that year and the next few years after that, IMO, were a good showcase for his work. They might be worth checking out.

********

I agree. I watched him in his first few years on the show. I suppose Deidre helped carry him for his first year, but he was definitely able to keep going after she left the first time in 1987. Drake, IMHO, was able to be a pivotal actor and anchor to the show for at least 15 years. But, as Jamey says above, at some point around 1998/1999 his performances seemed stale. But, I remember his time with Genie Francis ("Diana Colville") and Staci Greason ("Isabella Toscano") as being among my favorite periods of DOOL history.

Miry's picture
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30 October 2008
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I don't think he is really dissing soaps here (note: I didn't read all of the interview, just this lil' bit here). I think he was more saying that being a popular actor on a soap afforded him the opportunity to stay on said soap and get PAID! and he chose to continue to do that (which let's be honest, also afforded him the opportunity to do the same thing over & over which can lead to people phoning it in *cough* Maurice Benard *cough*-- though John did have like 8 different back-stories, Drake was still playing the same character) to support his family instead of spreading his acting wings by doing/trying something else.
I really don't see where the anger is coming from here people, I think he is just stating some facts about his life which are probably true. I am pretty sure that he got offered tons of parts, but turned them down for a steady, reliable paycheck that being on contract for multiple years gave him.

Miry's picture
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30 October 2008
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Yeah, I just read the rest of it, and I believe what I am saying still holds true. He said it was about the show which I take as meaning two things: (1.) Sometimes when you are a part of something big like that, you want to do whatever you can to keep it going. Plus he does have a lot of die-hard fans and that can swept you up for sure. (2.) He has a family. As a parent I think you want to take care of your family; provide for them (I am not a parent, but I assume that is what they are all about)... so of course as an actor quitting your steady gig to do a pilot that might never get picked up (how many has Tyler Christopher done? ...and his ass is still on GH) or join a theater company to play the heroine addict in this new production that no one may never pay to go see might seem like an amazing opportunity to sink your teeth into something meaty & new... but then what are your kids going to sink their teeth into when you can't afford dinner that night?
(I am not saying that he would ever really be that hard-up for some money, but when you have kids you gotta think about the future, and future normally means college and Lord knows, that ish ain't cheap).

I gotta say, I respect him more now than I did before.

Member since:
8 February 2009
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You know, I used to love John back in the day on DOOL, eyebrow arch and all, but let's face it, he's no Jack Nicholson. Hell, he's no Zac Efron (I kid, I kid!). But the way he worded his comment made him sound very ungrateful and arrogant. Yes, it was shameful the way Corday kicked him out off the show, but DOOL fed his family for some twenty years. He is now acting like he was too good to be on this show, and he just stayed on for a steady paycheck when he could've been this big movie star. It's sorry grapes, but, hey, I'll let him have his moment after being fired. I just don't know if it's a good idea to diss an industry that may be your only chance of employment in the future.

Member since:
2 March 2009
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The bottom line is, the man turned down offers to do other work out of dedication to Days and KC paid him off for his 20+ years of work by firing him over the phone of all things. He's definately earned his right to be bitter if you ask me.

I also don't think the man is as horrible of an actor as people make him out to be. He and 29 other people were picked out of a group of 175,000 people at a casting call. So he couldn't have been that bad. And he never had any formal training as an actor. That being considered, I think he holds his own. Sure, he's had his bad scenes, but so has just about every other actor.

He's has always been commended for being a team player and being humble with his fans and his cast mates and it sounds to me like he's just finally expressing his frustrations over what happened to him. Not being a pompous ass.

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3 March 2009
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This man is an incredible actor, and he said nothing that could be construed as a slam against soaps, the soap fans, or even dool(if i were him I'd be SINGING!) it was a classy quote from a gentleman who had some primetime success before he came to daytime. come on folks, dont jump on the defensive because drake said he stayed in daytime cause he had some mouths to feed(the birds in question) he was and is and always will be the hero of dool. our own jason bourne, and he deserves a little respect!!
+!

Member since:
28 November 2008
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Yes, Drake DID turn down other projects to stay on DAYS. Since some here are so busy bashing him and refuse to do your research, here ya go. Years ago (around 1997) he met with Oscar winner Joe Pesci and Gary Busey about the possibility of co-starring with the twosome in a new flick where Zodiac Pictures was after DRAKE to play a lead role in this film. Producers arranged a meeting between Drake and Shaw at a local restaurant but the drawbacks were that Shaw was under surveillance by the Feds ever since his release from prison, and Drake's association with the project, would cast him under a watchful eye as well so it fell through. Shelley Long also wanted Drake to play her co-star in a WB sitcom called "Kelly Kelly" as a widowed firefighter with kids. Drake said he would do it as long as it didn't take him off DAYS, but when it came time to sign the contract (months later) it was announced that he has to leave DAYS since the producers didn’t think they could work around Drake’s DAYS contract. Because of this he turned it down because he put his role as a father and provider first. He was also picked for a sitcom called, "Put the Seat Down" which he also turned down for the same reason. Author Clive Cussler (Raise The Titanic), who still has a running character named Dirk Pitt in his books, was watching the dungeon work Drake did on DAYS and he called the studio to ask for the name of Drake's agent because he said, 'After all these years, I think I found the actor to play Dirk,' which was a LEAD role but Clive refused to sell his material unless he has FULL casting approval which he has yet to get. Drake in NO way put down soap operas and is simply saying that now that he no longer has children at home, he can afford to take other acting roles that he WOULD'VE turned down before when he had young children at home because number one for him was providing for his family. In most cases that would be applauded but because this is Drake we're talking about, the man is ATTACKED, unbelievable. I am happy that Drake doesn't have to deal with the age discrimination at DAYS as well as BAD writing. Drake is an extraordinary actor...DAYS casting saw this fact back in 1985 since Drake WAS picked to play "The Pawn" even though some actors well known in daytime TV did test for the role. Drake wasn't handed this role because he is gorgeous and has a fabulous body, he won it because he is a talented actor and IMO the only actor on DAYS who can make unbelievable events believable (IMO no other actor on DAYS could've played the role of John and made it believable). He would do ANYTHING for his character; even drop 20 pounds for added realism to his storyline. He played the most complex character on DAYS and went through the most character changes on that show and fans GLADLY went along for the ride and I for one thank him for 23 years of enjoyment...no other actor has touched me the way that Drake's portrayal of all of his characters did. In past roles like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Generation (both lead primetime roles) Drake was awesome as a leading actor even at THAT time. IMO DAYS writing was for the MOST part crap and Drake was given some of the most hideous scripts that he once again not only worked with but he was a joy to watch. Anyway, I said, my piece so carry on with your Drake hate, something this board is known for. Something I learned a LONG time ago is that Drake will NEVER be able to say anything without being attacked, yet people wonder why he hasn't spoken about being let go from DAYS until now…this is case-in-point.

Member since:
28 November 2008
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When Deidre left the show in 1987 that would usually mean that her leading man would be written out too, but instead Drake went on to stay on the show and be one half of two popular pairings (RoJohn and Diana and John and Isabella) as well as work with MANY leading ladies because Drake was able to sell ANY scene no matter how idiotic the writing was. He is also one of the few actors who can sell emotion filled scenes and he has had chemistry with everybody he has been in scenes with, male and female. A bad actor is something he'll NEVER be but sadly he has had to deal with HORRIBLE writing and writers who made John more of a machine than a man. That ISN'T Drake's fault and Drake has EVERY right to question the writing and defend his character through the years without being bashed and saying it is sour grapes. How shocking that other actors do the same thing and are applauded. Drake is AWESOME and I can't wait to see him light up my screen in his next role.

yandr09's picture
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21 February 2009
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RE: DRAKE .. don't know where most of you are coming from!

1. what's with the "MF"? he's NOT an "MF" !! it goes right back at ya!

2. he wasn't dissing soaps for crying out loud .. he was committed to the soap for years .. he was SIMPLY stating that he could have launched a career in acting in movies and do what he wanted to do ... instead he sacrificed that and CHOSE to stay with a soap opera .. AND NOW .. he is able to kick back and be 'selfish' - in other words do what he wants purely for him .. the soaps were time consuming day in day out for many years ..

it was a secure and regular income to FEED THE LITTLE BIRDS (his children), NOT the fans ... he gave to the fans by acting on DOOL for years ... ALSO ..

3. delusional and bitter??? GET REAL .. read what he said again a THOUSAND times if you have to ..

4. he did a damn good job all those years .. ANYONE ELSE HERE BEEN ACTING FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND GETTING PAID UNTOLD THOUSANDS, MILLIONS ????? i don't think so!

GOOD ON YOU DRAKE! mr cool john black!!!

yandr09's picture
Member since:
21 February 2009
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RE: DRAKE .. don't know where most of you are coming from!

1. what's with the "MF"? he's NOT an "MF" !! it goes right back at ya!

2. he wasn't dissing soaps for crying out loud .. he was committed to the soap for years .. he was SIMPLY stating that he could have launched a career in acting in movies and do what he wanted to do ... instead he sacrificed that and CHOSE to stay with a soap opera .. AND NOW .. he is able to kick back and be 'selfish' - in other words do what he wants purely for him .. the soaps were time consuming day in day out for many years ..

it was a secure and regular income to FEED THE LITTLE BIRDS (his children), NOT the fans ... he gave to the fans by acting on DOOL for years ... ALSO ..

3. delusional and bitter??? GET REAL .. read what he said again a THOUSAND times if you have to ..

4. he did a damn good job all those years .. ANYONE ELSE HERE BEEN ACTING FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND GETTING PAID UNTOLD THOUSANDS, MILLIONS ????? i don't think so!

GOOD ON YOU DRAKE! mr cool john black!!!

cornelison's picture
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3 April 2009
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Drake is being honest & I don't blame him. There ARE numerous bad actors in daytime soaps. He must have found playing the same character day after day as tedious and no longer challenging. By the late 1970's most actors on daytime had stage experience in New York. They were gradually outnumbered by good-looking people called "actors."

Member since:
3 June 2009
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4 years 45 weeks

First off I met Drake hogestyn in person.He was one of the sweetest,down to earth and polite gentleman i have ever met in my life.I dont think someone who has never met him before should call him MF as in the prevous comment.I think he would have made it in film or tv..All soap acting is over acted that is the way it has always been one every soap.I loved the couple of john and Marlena and I watched it since i was grammer school mostly due to Drake.I believe the powers that be for Days of Our Lives ripped out the Heart of The show when they fired Drake Hogestyn and Deidre Hall..I hope Days of Our lIves get canceled now.

Member since:
9 January 2010
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To that person saying he is no Jack N, you got that right he is much better.  Jack N is a HORRIBLE actor and has only had 3 good movies in what 40 years ??(one flew over the... being the best)

I once saw a crying scene with JN and it was so bad I had to laugh, but DDH have shown time and time again what a good actor he is like when Marlena "died" at the roof top.

Days has not been a good show since the 90s and I wish DDH got out in the 90s and actually got into movies or primetime.

Now it wouldnt matter because American primetime has sucked badly the last 10 years. 

Drake have every right to be bitter, if he wasnt something would be strange with him LOL

Joe Mascolo is a better overall actor then DDH but I still think DDH is good enough for a good independent movie(its easier to do a movie than a soap so whats the problem??))

Joe Mascolo is the best actor Days have had, then Drake then Peter Reckell.  The other male actors cant even be compared to those 3.

Member since:
14 September 2010
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3 years 30 weeks

My, my, sorry I did comment on this when this article first appreared...

To correct the misconception of the statement made by Drake Hogestyn pertaining to "little birds", he was not referring to fans nor was he, in anyway, being degrading to anyone...A Drake for the so uninformed is a "male duck" and Mr. Hogestyn was actually speaking about his own 4 children as "little birdss in the nest to provide for" and that being the reason to remain contracted to NBC for DOOL... I commend this man for putting his family frst, so many do not and let their star status blind their priorities...

And, yes, Drake Hogestyn is a star, just as much as any other "name" in Tinseltown... He had my vote as star material the first time I saw him on DOOL those 2+ decades ago... And, to boot, married or not in real life, he was pleasing daily to a housewife's eyes...

If any of you think that acting in a soap is not tedious, grueling and demanding work; think again!!! Many stars left soaps to go on to other venues; meaning they left their contracts to the soap they appeared in... But when an actor has a young family to feed, as Drake had or still may have,they are not be at liberty to take risks for the uncetainty of a "maybe successful" acting career elsewhere...

And on that note I will say that Drake had the abilities to further his careers in other venues of acting because his roles on DOOl showed many facets of his versatile acting... However, being the "BIG MALE LEAD" for a very long time in DOOL, he was probably, which is so unfortunate, not allowed to venture too far away from his contract and obiligations within that contract to DOOL... I am seeing this happen again with another young handsome male lead contracted to CBS, Alex O'Loughlin... Such contracts do curtail an actor's career towards maximum stardom in a freelance path... That is the plight especially of those actors that are the draw that keeps fans coming back to watch the show as Drake was for DOOL for years and Alex has been in his contracted networks shows and will be in until his contract is up or cancelled...

DO NOT condemn Drake Hogestyn for his years of coming into our homes to entertain daily on a soap and for providing for his family first and foremost... Many men should take a lesson from this dedicated man... Thank you Drake for making DOOL memories so lasting.. I wish you well and do hope that now you can pursue your heart's goals...

Member since:
14 September 2010
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3 years 30 weeks

I just went back and totally read all of the comments here...

For shame on those who have bad mouthed Drake... What generation are those that did from is all I will ask there?

And I had not a clue that Ken Corday fired both Drake and Diedra Hall... How dare that ungrateful man do this to the show's heart couple!!!!! I feel Corday is looking to have more of the younger crowds tune in to DOOL, but from the acting I have seen from the younger actors on DOOL, I think DOOL's popularity is doomed... And it serves Corday right!!!!

I feel sorry for those of the longer running cast who will probably feel the axe in time and who also devoted years to DOOL like Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso (Bo & Hope since 1983)...

It was mentioned that normally when one of a couple parts a show, it is likely the other partner will be let go as well... Well I thank whomever that allowed Francis Reid to remain as the matriarch of the Horton Clan after MacDonald Cary passed away in real life... Her role was original and she was the only matriarch of the Horton Family... No one could ever replace her in her portrayal of Alice Horton... She was not let go and no other actor was brought in to play the original patriarch of the Horton Family, Dr. Tom Horton, for years played by MacDonald Cary from DOOL's premiere until his death back in the 1980s... There is not a woman in the audience that did not love Grandma Horton, especially when she did her part in rescuing Bo from jail by baking him poisoned donuts so he'd be sent to the hospital as a plan was put in motion to prove his innocence...

Perhaps the choice for keeping Francis was out of respect or possibly that viewers would have become enraged, but i am thankful she remained... IT IS TOO BAD THAT CORDAY FORGOT HOW TO RESPECT OR APPRECIATE HIS ACTORS AND HONOR HIS AUDIENCES... HOW SMALL OF CORDAY TO FIRE DRAKE OVER THE PHONE; SHOWS JUST HOW LITTLE OF A MAN KEN CORDAY REALLY IS... WELL HIS DAY MAY COME, USUALLY DOES, FOR WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND...

AlistairCrane's picture
Member since:
4 May 2008
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2 years 36 weeks

Drake and Deidre should NEVER have been fired. As long as they're gone, Days has guaranteed that I will never tune back in.

DHFan4Life's picture
Member since:
14 September 2010
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3 years 30 weeks

Thank you for the great info and the thoughtful post about Drake. I love him, I always have and I always will. I think he's terrific and I will watch him wherever he goes. I hope to see him again soon doing a job he loves, Deidre, as well. They definitely deserve it.