Almost at the halfway point of 2013, one could say it's been a pretty good year for Wally Kurth so far. The veteran soap star is being used frequently on NBC's Days of Our Lives as Justin Kiriakis and his General Hospital character, Ned Ashton is also back in play on the ABC Daytime soap.
I caught up with Kurth at the recent Days of Our Lives Charity Event for Autism Speaks in Atlanta. Amid plenty of appetizers, cocktails and exuberant fans, we chatted about his two defining suds roles.
DC: You've been having a pretty good year. You're on DAYS and you were on GH again.
Wally Kurth: Yeah!
DC: I've been reading in spoilers that Justin is going to be mixing it up even more with EJ and Sami?
WK: Yeah. I love it. I'm working! When you mix it up with those two, you get some airtime.
DC: There you go.
WK: I'll tell you this, when EJ walked in with that business proposition, that began a story that's still going on right now. He [Justin] gets involved in a really fun plot and stuff happens to Sami where he has to put his legal suit back on. He's helping Sami out of a situation. It's been fun. It's been a really fun three or four months. The writing has been really great. I love working with Ali and James, because I'd never worked with them before. They're fun. I'm having a ball. GH...I forgot about GH, I'm having so much fun at DAYS!
DC: The DAYS taping schedule, how does it make things when you're trying to do interviews? You taped all of that four months ago, right?
WK: Yeah. Well, we're still kind of in the throes. EJ and Justin had a business thing that they sort of wrapped up, I think a month ago. So that went for three months and now I'm involved with something else, but I'm still with Sami and EJ, working on this deal. Yeah, I can remember, but it's hard. It's really hard, especially when you see the show and you're like, "Oh my God, was that...we're just seeing that now?" When you're an actor, you like to remember the lines for that day and then you forget about them. Then four months later, you don't even remember saying that. You don't even remember doing that scene; it's so far in the distance. In spite of what people say about how soap operas move slowly, soap operas move pretty fast! There are certain storylines that go very quickly. You gotta catch up.
DC: There's been this whole romance of Will and Sonny. Sami likes Sonny, but Adrienne has some issues with Will.
WK: That comes back up. That all comes into play; it comes up in what we're doing right now. It all sort of comes bubbling up and I have to take sides, Sonny's side and Adrienne's side. It's really been fun; a lot of good complications come up that I think the audience is really going to enjoy.
DC: DAYS has become really sexy of late, with the stripping and unexpected romances. Are we going to see some hot scenes with Justin and Adrienne coming up anytime soon?
WK: [Laughs] I think there's some discrimination. For some reason, actors over 50 aren't allowed to take their shirt off. I don't know what's going on.
DC: Oh man, we gotta show 'em the You Tube clips! Come on?
DC: Justin and Adrienne in Greece?
WK: Exactly, my God! [Laughs]
DC: You and Jane Elliot played lovers on Days of Our Lives and then mother and son on GH.
WK: I talked about that today! I have to say, it was harder for Jane, because Jane will even say this: For three years she just looked at me with the idea in mind of wanting me [Justin] to want her [Anjelica]. So she had to get that out of her mind, once she started playing my mother. Jane just couldn't go there! [Laughs]
DC: Will you be at GH for the culmination of the battle for ELQ?
WK: I hope so. I love it over there. If I could do both shows, I would. Honestly. You know, the thing about DAYS that I love so much, is that I have Adrienne. I play a husband to a wife for 25 years. How great is that? Judi's [Evans] obviously a doll. I love working with her and I have a son, who's gay! What a great story that is, being a father. Then of course on General Hospital, I'm completely single and I [Ned] have a mother [Tracy], who's like the mother from hell and a cousin [AJ] who is the cousin from hell! So it's really fun over there too. I'm sort of footloose and fancy free. Then on DAYS, I'm more of a family guy.