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Interview: Jack Wagner talks 'My Gal Sunday', return to music with new album

Jack Wagner stars in  "My Gal Sunday" on the Hallmark Movie Channel
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Jack Wagner stars in the Hallmark Movie Channel’s original movie, “My Gal Sunday” premiering Saturday, January 25th. Wagner plays Danny, a retired CIA agent whose daughter (Rachel Blanchard) and son-in-law (Cameron Mathison) are detectives who often turn to him for advice and help. Things turn pretty fast and in a twist of fate, Danny ends up being the one who needs help. Daytime TV Examiner caught up with Wagner to talk about the movie and got the scoop on the actor/singer’s next project, a new album of music – his first since 2005. Check out the interview below:

How did you get the role in “My Gal Sunday?

Jack Wagner: Hallmark called and asked for Jack Wagner in this role.

It's a pilot that may go into a series. Preview your character.

Jack Wagner: My character is more…he's the older, wiser CIA guy who has spent his life protecting the President and working out of Washington. It just so happens that his daughter is now a detective and now his son-in-law, so I'm kind of their go-to guy when they need advice or whatever. I'm sort of this foundation. Unfortunately my character gets abducted and there are a lot of twists and turns to it but that’s sort of who he is.

You play Cameron’s father-in-law?

Jack Wagner: Correct

What was the dynamic for the two characters, what was your relationship like in the movie?

Jack Wagner: Pretty solid...they have a guy relationship. We didn't have too many scenes together. It's pretty drama filled but there's nothing. There's no jealousy or animosity. It's kind of two guys overcoming stuff. I think he has a respect that I'm his father-in-law and kind of a mutual respect for each other. It's pretty good.

You guys both have a background with soaps. Were any challenges or similarities to working on the TV movie vs. a soap?

Jack Wagner: Not necessarily. I think Cameron had a lot of dialogue on his plate so that helps to have that background in soaps because you get so much dialogue sometimes you really have to have that memory muscle and he handled it beautifully. I think one of the things that helps...when you have to go quickly you're able to come up with ideas, or maybe adjust a few things on your feet like when you’re on a soap. In a couple of scenes we had, we were able to tweak things, work with some props, so blocking so there’s one aspect.

Any challenges doing this role? You get kidnapped and the whole drama, the race against time element…

Jack Wagner: My biggest challenge was not working every day. It’s the first time I've ever not played the lead. I was sort of at a place when my life where I felt I needed to work. I said you know what maybe I need to get out of town and take this project so it's really something that was very different for me. You know Cameron's the lead in this. so playing the father allowed me a lot more free time I flew back to LA a couple of times so it was a little different it was an adjustment for me even though I fell into it okay I enjoyed it.

You’ve done TV movies in the past and now you're doing this one. Do you think you'll find yourself doing any more TV movies like this in the future?

Jack Wagner: Right now I’m focused completely on a new album I recorded and I'm just in the middle of independently putting that together, producing it, shooting the video, etc.

So you have a new album coming out. I know you put out some music last year, what can you share about the new album coming up anything?

Jack Wagner: Yeah it's an Americana roots album. I wrote the whole thing, ind of just shelled out my guitar after this project. I was at a weird place in my life, just banging out song after song. I hadn't done that for years and years. I had no desire to continue in the music business at all and sort of like a spiritual awakening to be honest, you know sometimes in our lives you don't know why but emotionally and all of a sudden a motivational will hit me and that's exactly what happened what's this album and I liked into it with the new producer who totally got me. I play guitar on everything, wrote and sang. This is the first time I've done music for an album or song that had not been a formula or a commercial album to fit a television show I was if that's the first time I've done my own album being my age and kind of worried entering the music business, the whole world is different for me now but you know what I'm really into it. I'm independently attacking this and coming from a place of you know um of just who I am.

What inspires you these days? Is your songwriting different now from your songs is in the past? Are there different inspirations for your songs now in songwriting?

Jack Wagner: Absolutely you know it’s not about a truck and my dog, let’s put it that way. So it's about experiences it’s a lot about love and relationships. I'm eight years sober. So now when I approach things I really feel that much more I'm very open minded to things. I think my lyrics are much better than they used to be. I like to create imagery as well as really reality I like to say it the way it is and also put a little twist to it with my lyrics. I think the choruses overall are very catchy. I like pop music, I like country music, and I like ballads. I like to dance and I also like to sit on my guitar in touch people and just play something really intimate. I think I tried to capture all the things I like about who I am musically in this record.

Any other projects besides the new album that you can talk about or basically just into the music?

Jack Wagner: No, I’m into the music right now. As far as acting goes, you know, it's that time of year in Hollywood that's called pilot season and I'm really not too worried about it. I've been so grateful to work pretty steadily for 30 years now and I'm pretty comfortable just focusing on music which I pretty much put on the back burner for 15-20 years.

You recently came back last year to “General Hospital.” You were on ”The Bold and the Beautiful.” Do you see yourself possibly doing another appearance on a soap opera or is it something that after so long you're moving into a different direction?

Jack Wagner: I don't know if there's any left, are there? (Laughs) That’s probably one of the problems with that. I've had really a great run on the soaps I did come back last year for the 50th anniversary of "General Hospital." I re-recorded “All I Need.” Rick Springfield came back and did “Jessie's Girl.” We had all the iconic characters from the 80s back. I'm so glad I did it because I really wanted to pay homage to the show itself as well as loyal fans that stayed and watched the show. It was a great choice with me and I worked with my ex-wife Kristina [Wagner.] It was really a good time.

Lastly, I've got to ask you about your golf tournament your celebrity golf tournament that you work on is it coming up again this year?

Jack Wagner: April 14th. It’s going to be the 8th year for the Jack Wagner Celebrity Classic and it benefits Leukemia Lymphoma Society. My brother’s had leukemia since ‘99 and had a bone marrow transplant. He’s alive and well since 2007, so it's really been a big part of my life do you have this platform. Clearly we all get involved when someone we love or something happens to us, but the support I've had from friends, celebrities and etc. and then at my event. You know I keep it small. I don't try to make it some big blown out thing because it is family to me. The people who come there on my friends, you know. They're not just celebrities that show up, the Joe Pescis and the Tim Allens and the Marcus Allens and the Wayne Gretzkys. They pop in for four or five hours. ["The Bold and the Beautiful" executive producer] Brad Bell, God Bless him, gives 25,000 every year. Several other friends find it in them to give something like that and I knock out over a million dollars a year so Leukemia Lymphoma Society is very happy. I'm very grateful to be a part of it and to lend my name to this and make it happen so it's one of those things I think we all do want a loved one becomes ill and this is just my walk.

Thanks for taking the time. I look forward to seeing the movie.

Jack Wagner: It’s the first time I’ve been in shackles for a whole movie. (Laughs)

Catch “My Gal Sunday” 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

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