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ATWT: Tvguide Interview with Van Hansis(Luke)

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Angel in Oakdale


By Nelson Branco.

‘ATWT’ preps for daytime’s most groundbreaking story yet — but are fans ready to see two men fall in love? Van Hansis speaks.

× Van Hansis gears up for one of daytime's most explosive storylines

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We wish we knew how to quit Van Hansis (Luke, As the World Turns), damn it! Yes, we admit it: we have a crush on Luke Snyder, who has one of the sexiest names a soap character has sported in eons. His portrayer also boasts a killer moniker, which screams “future movie star” in the tradition of ATWT alum Parker Posey.

As soap fans know, every now and then a newcomer hits daytime with such impact: he or she seduces us, capturing our imaginations in a profound, inexplicable and addictive manner.

Steve Burton (Jason, General Hospital), Eden Riegel (ex-Bianca, All My Children), Kyle Lowder (Rick, The Bold and the Beautiful), Greg Rikaart (Kevin, The Young and the Restless), and Tom Pelphrey (ex-Jonathan, Guiding Light) all come to mind. Hansis exhibits the same “It” appeal that unapologetically demands we fall in love with this mercurial aura unconditionally.

Currently, we’re in intense therapy sessions thanks to those dumbass Emmy panel members, who misjudged Hansis’s younger lead actor category (he lost to one of the worst younger actors on soaps, Y&R’s Bryton McClure).

Luckily, however, we were able to momentarily forget our fragile mental health when TV Guide recently chatted with the Greenfield, Mass., native about ATWT’s groundbreaking love story between Noah and Luke, becoming a gay icon, and what the future holds..

TV Guide: Congratulations on your success. Did your Emmy nomination this year reinforce the fact that you’ve made Luke your own? [Kim Zimmer’s son, Jake Weary, originated the role as a teenager.].

Van Hansis: I knew that I had my place on the show when I had a scene with Elizabeth Hubbard [Lucinda], because she’s a powerhouse. Martha Byrne [Lily] told me that when you act opposite Liz, it’s sink or swim. The scene went very well, so I felt like I was fitting in here..

TVG: There were some rumours that Weary didn’t want to play a gay role, so he left the series. You didn’t have any reservations – why?.

VH: In a way, it’s been a great role to play, because it’s not your average soap opera story. It’s an honour to be a part of a storyline that few have the courage to tackle in this industry..

TVG: Luke, regardless of his sexual orientation, is daytime’s most realistic teen..

VH: The problems Luke experiences are issues everyone needs to weather, regardless of sexual orientation. Luke’s very grounded for a teenager, which is rare in soaps..

TVG: Thanks to playing Luke, you’ve been lucky to be a part of such groups as the GLADD community. You’re a gay icon now..

VH: [Laughs.] The first GLADD Awards I went to in 2006 were stressful, because I hadn’t done a red carpet before. I look back at those pictures now, and I look terrified. This year, I went with Jake Silberman [Noah] and Jennifer Landon [Gwen], and I was much more comfortable with the press. That element of what we do is actually much harder than acting. Giving a voice – especially to a large group of people who don’t have one on daytime television – was an honour. I don’t take that responsibility lightly..

TVG: Are your parents supportive regarding you tackling this role?.

VH: My parents are over the moon. They’ve been very supportive my entire life. They clip out my magazine clippings to show to our family dentist each week!.

TVG: Luke has fallen in love with Noah, and it looks like ATWT is gearing up for daytime’s first real love story between two men. Is daytime ready for ‘Oakdale: Brokeback Mountain’?.

VH: Yes. It happens in real life, so why not in daytime? It’s funny, because people don’t ask that question when it comes to primetime TV. People assume [daytime is] a conservative medium — and personally, I don’t think it is. I read the fan message boards, and trust me: our fans are more than ready for this. Daytime underestimates its audience sometimes..

TVG: Hello —I completely agree! It’s important to note that the writers are always eager to tell these stories, but when you factor in the network suits, who feel the need to pee on the trees as it were, true greatness becomes impossible..

VH: It must be refreshing as a writer to write something new when you’re so used to penning baby-switch storylines! Luke is a character whom the audience roots for. Soap fans are very protective of their characters, and they want him to be happy – which, of course, includes falling in love..

TVG: Will Luke and Noah get physical on the show?.

VH: I don’t know yet..

TVG: Would you be angry if ATWT skirted the physical aspect of their relationship?.

VH: Yes, it would be unrealistic. If two people are in love, they just don’t walk around town holding hands. I would hope the writers include some physicality. If we’re going to go this far, we should do it right..

TVG: I can’t remember the last time I was this psyched about a storyline on daytime. What’s the romance going to be like?.

VH: It’s interesting, because Jake Silberman is such a good actor, and Noah is so levelheaded, while Luke can be bratty at times. The chemistry is good, I think. He works at WOAK, and I can’t say any more than that, unfortunately. Luke thinks that Noah is straight, and Luke doesn’t want to go down the same road as he did with Kevin last year. Luke knows he likes Noah, so because of that he’s almost meaner to Noah, which throws everything off kilter. [Laughs.].

TVG: Is Luke’s mom Lily going to freak out over Luke’s new love, or will she be too busy trying to kick her diet pill addiction?.

VH: [Laughs.] You know, we’re not there yet, but let me tell you that the best part of this storyline is that it’s about family. Holden’s support and love for Luke is so touching, and although Lily comes around, it’s going to be a whole different story seeing her son in love with another man. I can only assume that’s how it’s going to play out. Lucinda, of course, will be all for it!.

TVG: You have a year left on your contract – tell us you’re not already thinking of leaving ATWT!.

VH: I love the show and the character, but there are also a lot of new things I would like to try. Maybe I can do both..

TVG: Do both — and that’s an order..

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Uh...I wish ATWT would give the Luke/Noah story half the attention everyone else has. As for the interview itself...I think it's an over-the-top gushfest. "One of the sexiest names in soap opera"???? *rolleyes*

I'm only so glad this guy never pimped Paul Leyden this hard. I would have had a heart attack.

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I'd be in therapy too, if I had to blatantly lie and tear apart a good actor in order to make Van Hansis look good. Is this SERIOUSLY in TV Guide? In a dead heat test of raw acting skills, I'd put Bryton ahead. Luke Snyder's emotional range appears to consist of sulking with an occasional self-deprecating chuckle. It's really old and tired by now, seeing how much people are ready to spit shine Hansis' behind just because they want to commend ATWT for having a gay romance (that, or they think he's just dreamy, you never know). If anyone caught the preview at the end of today's episode, that story is starting with Passanante's trademark characteristics of steaming crap. His work in the coming out scenes was incredibly underwhelming, and that is what cost him an Emmy.

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