Actors Cameron Mathison and Jack Wagner star in the Hallmark Movie Channel original movie “My Gal Sunday,” premiering Saturday, January 25th at 9:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. CST. Based on the Mary Higgins Clark novel of the same name, the movie tells the story of Sandra "Sunday" O'Brien-Parker (Rachel Blanchard) and her husband Henry Parker (Mathison), who team up as amateur detectives to solve the disappearance and kidnapping of Sunday’s dad, Danny (Jack Wagner).
Daytime TV Examiner caught up with Mathison to get a preview of "My Gal Sunday," his thoughts on playing "All My Children's" Ryan Lavery and with the Oscar and Grammys Awards coming up, he also talked about his experiences hosting the red carpet for ABC and "Good Morning America."
How did you end up with the role as Henry Parker?
Cameron Mathison: I had a relationship with Hallmark and I had done a couple of the projects for them earlier in the year. After working with them for a little bit, I think they saw that I was a good fit to play this role.
Is there a chance that this movie may turn into a series?
Cameron Mathison: Yeah. I think there's always a chance of that.
In the movie your character and "Sunday" have a sort of "Hart to Hart" relationship. How did you guys work together and how would you describe your roles with each other in the movie.
Cameron Mathison: It was fun to get to know Rachel [Blanchard, (Sunday)] and at the same time working with her. There's a beautiful kind of relationship I think between the two main characters. I think that there is so much admiration and trust between the two that its fun to play off of. You have that level where you have faith in each other and confidence in each other. It becomes very comical and you can kind of play off each other in a way, to make each other laugh. There are certainly more aspects that can come out of it. These two know each other so well, they finish each others sentences. We give each other a little bit of a hard time and as you said it is sort of Hart to Hart. It's a little bit like that.
Jack Wagner plays your father-in-law?
Cameron Mathison: Yeah (laughs)
What was it like working with Jack and what was the dynamic between your two characters?
Cameron Mathison: I'm supposed to be quite a bit older than his daughter. So really Jack's character and Henry Parker are similar in age, sometimes it happens in marriages. I love Jack and I'm a big fan of his. I have been for a long time. I think he's really good at what he does. You gotta have a certain level of confidence, just a little relaxed way about everything that he does on screen and off screen...it's actually very helpful to watch him. He's just so confident and relaxed in work, which is such an incredible and valuable skill to have because then the characters can come out a lot more in a genuine way. There's no tension, there's no blockage. I could just see him really being this character. It was so it was fun to watch.
You wear so many hats – actor, reporter... what do you find the most rewarding about your career right now?
Cameron Mathison: Good question. I definitely think all the different aspects like being a correspondent or a special contributor for "Good Morning America" and hosting brings something different. And acting obviously is something different. I think that they all bring a different sense of reward for sure, but I would probably say the most rewarding is getting to work on acting projects...shooting it, having it being edited, doing the voice over and having it become a finished product. Yeah the most rewarding is beginning to shoot and then completing an acting project.
Of course so well as and we know you so well as Ryan Lavery. What process did you use to make this character different than your "All My Children character?
Cameron Mathison: Every character is different but the process just similar for me. I just try to read the script over and over to try to get a sense of the character. I kind of get a couple ideas and have those come through and obviously I work with the other people, from the director and the other actors. The character kind of develops from there. Now with some of these projects, like this one, you don't really have the time to kind of to come up with these at the expense of character. It’s done pretty quickly. But I think in many ways, the process is very similar but I think it's pretty different with "All My Children because after a certain period, I didn't have to do any character work at all. I knew the character better than the writers did after playing him for 14 years and many writers had come and gone throughout the years. So I would just show up for work and the words would come out as Ryan. I’d be very in touch with a story line, with what just happened, etc. Where as with a different role like Parker, it's more of a creation. Ryan on "All My Children" was sort of never ending. Many times there was a lot of growth and probably regression with Ryan over the years but I knew the character so well and for such a long time to be able to care and work on that.
You've been doing a lot of TV movies lately. What do you like most about doing TV movies?
Cameron Mathison: It's the closest thing between a soap and a prime time show in the sense that it's not quite as much material and as fast as a soap and it’s not as drawn out as a prime time series. I like that. I like that is a good transition from so much time on "All My Children" and going through a hundred ten pages of dialogue a day for the show and maybe just seeing 30 pages just for yourself. Here, doing just seven to nine pages. It's great that kind of environment I like the fact that it's got some good pace to it. There's an element of excitement for that. It's almost a little bit like doing it live and I really enjoy that aspect.
Lastly, you were a correspondent for the Oscars nominations. You do a lot of red carpet events and so many interviews. What kind of homework do you do to prepare for all the interviews you have to take on in such a short amount of time when you are live on the carpet?
Cameron Mathison: I'll tell you this right now, any red carpet job I'll do for GMA or for ABC related outlets, I think it's the hardest thing that I have to do for them and I mean that sincerely. The reason is I don't live, breath, and study the movie industry all year long. So when the Oscars come around, its just second nature and I have all the information and I know it. So whether it's the Grammys red carpet or the Oscars, it’s by far the hardest thing compared to other things that I do like sit down interviews or anything like that. Any kind of informative segments -that is easier because then you just kind of dive in and do your specific homework, which is fun. I feel like with every segment I do, I learn more and more about things especially on something like GMA. Often times there's very cool things to learn about, whether it be a person, an actor, a celebrity. Whether it's a subject or whether it's a lifestyle thing or family subject, its very educational. It really is professional for me because being a contributor on a news show is so different than anything else that you do. It's so different than hosting. People think it's sort of in the same category as hosting and it’s not at all. Hosting is way easier, it's quite challenging.
Catch "My Gal Sunday" premiering Saturday, January 25th at 9:00 p.m. EST/ 8:00 p.m. CST on the Hallmark Movie Channel.
To read more articles with actors from your favorite shows and movies, check out my pages at Daytime TV Examiner, Classic TV Examiner and Animation Examiner. Also, follow me on Twitter at @Phyllis_Thomas