Eric Nelsen briefly starred as A.J. Chandler (AKA Adam Chandler III) on Prospect Park's All My Children reboot. Now starring on The Bay, the Emmy-winning actor reminisced on his time on the show with Michael Fairman TV. He revealed that AMC head honchos had planned to write the character of A.J. as gay before the soap's cancellation.
Asked whether he knew prior to joining The Bay that he'd be playing a gay character, Nelsen said:
No, I did not. I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay. The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me. Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison [Goodman], our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York.
They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything. It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, '100% completely.' I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, 'Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.' At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ. So, I was like, 'Yes. I will be all over it. Absolutely.'
So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show. Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially. It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.