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Interview: Robert S. Woods talks re-launch of 'One Life to Live'

(This interview was originally published on Examiner.com on May 28, 2013.)One Life To Live” is back with all new episodes Tuesdays and Thursdays on theonlinenetwork.com, Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes. 
Many of the shows beloved characters are back, including Emmy Award-winning actor, Robert S. Woods who plays Bo Buchanan. Playing the role since 1979, Woods character has done it all including run a record label, producing a soap opera and his current job, running Llanview’s police department as Commissioner.


Daytime TV Examiner had a chance to speak with the actor about the new online venture, his story lines and working again with celebrity fan Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion).

Check out the interview with Woods below:
Phyllis: Welcome back to “One Life To Live”
Bob Woods: Thank you
Phyllis: What is it like being back?
Bob Woods: It’s great. It’s real exciting, the whole internet thing. I’m sort of a dinosaur whit that kind of thing. The fact that you can watch at your leisure and don’t have to record it if you want to see it again, that you can do that… I think we are on the threshold to a whole new thing that’s going to probably happen. What TV did to radio kind of thing.
Phyllis: what was your first reaction when you heard that the shows were coming back for real this time.
Bob Woods: I was happy to hear it. Just the fact that it lived on, it was still alive somewhere and that people were interested in picking it up and all. Selfishly I thought good, there were a few people that could see what they threw away.
It’s really neat and I like working in Stamford as opposed to the city. You go outside and there are so many places that you can go outside and find exterior locations. It’s easier to shoot that around here. It looks like what the two make believe towns are supposed to look like, Pine Valley and Llanview.
Phyllis: What would you say is the biggest difference between “One Life To Live” before and “One Life To Live” now?
Bob Woods: The schedule we have is great. The two shows are sharing the same studio so we’ve got these great pops of time where we work really hard for a while and then we get the same amount of time to kind of get regenerated and ready to come back.
Phyllis: It sounds like the 5 weeks on and 5 weeks off is working well, and you’re off now?
Bob Woods: Yeah, we’re coming back on Monday. I work tomorrow but it’s a location shoot like we talked about. It’s really fun to drive in. You don’t have to worry about catching a cab – there are no cabs at this time of day. I like it up here. When you get outside, there’s not all the hustle and bustle of the city. When you get off.
Phyllis: How did you spend your 5 weeks off?
Bob Woods: I built some gardens. I bought a tractor (Laughs). I’ve got some land up there that I’m kind of working on. My buddy down the road plants crops on part of it and we garden. We’re getting ready to plant some seeds right away… we bought a little John Deer tractor. There’s a ton of stuff to do constantly.
Phyllis: It sounds relaxing.
Bob Woods: It really is. It’s fun. I’ve always got a kick out of it; especially gardening, watching stuff grow…I spent a lot of time doing that. I didn’t travel much, there’s too much to do around the house.
Phyllis: On the show, I’ve been seeing Bo and Nora enjoying their empty nest. What’s it like working with Hillary (B. Smith, Nora) again on a regular basis?
Bob Woods: It’s great. It’s probably the closest thing to the old “riding a bike” thing. It makes me appreciate again just how easy it all was, learning the words and just listening to each other. And bouncing things off each other. You know, picking up where the other person left off and having the other person there for support . It’s really, really easy. Plus they’ve written some stuff that sort of made the couple what it was, with the prospect of the radio show and everything.
Phyllis: I think that’s great. It’s good to have stories like that around to make people feel good and to just enjoy watching the show again.
Bob Woods: Yeah, I always say you don’t have to only write something to move plot. You can have scenes that are nothing more than, I guess this is the right word for it – fluff – it’s just two people enjoying each other. People will watch that.
There’s the heavy stuff too, like with Matthew (Robert Gorrie) and the empty nest thing. It’s so funny to think that all of a sudden Matthew’s ready to move out.
Phyllis: And that he’s a Dad. Rob has been doing a fantastic job taking over the role of Matthew. What’s it like working with him?
Bob Woods: It’s great. He’s really a genuinely nice kid. He’s not a kid but he is to me. I’m the old guy (Laughs).
Phyllis: How is Bo handling watching Matthew as a father?
Bob: Well it’s kind of aggravating for him that Matthew really hasn’t yet stepped up as a Dad. With him and Destiny (Laura Harrier), Bo is at least trying to get them to be friendly. [Matthew] stands up for himself now and doesn’t try to manipulate it I guess. But it’s tough shows to do. It’s a good family and it always was with Eddie growing up in the role. I’ll always love him. You know aging a character which I guess they can write more stories. Rob’s been great and true to it.
Phyllis: The story plays well and realistically on screen.
Bob: It’s him. He’s really good too.
Phyllis: Have you had a chance to work with Corbin Bleu as Jeffrey?
Bob: No, not really any kind of scenes with him yet. I think maybe coming up because some of the mystery portion I think that we get into. I’ll probabrably be working with him more as he asks questions and such about what’s coming up. That’s another guy that’s really something.
I actually worked with his Dad years ago on “One Live To Live” back in the 80s, David Reivers. He told him about “One Life” and he asked if he had any scenes with Bob and he said Bob Woods. Bob Woods? I used to work with him on the show.
Phyllis: It really is a small world. You talked about Bo being involved in a mystery coming up. I like that the police department was a big part of the old show and seems to play a great role in this show and that Bo is a part of it.
Bob Woods: Yeah, apparently, I left. I was fired again. The Mayor fired me and somebody said you’re the commissioner again. I think it was Michael Easton (John, One Life To Live) who told me. He said “Hey, we had a line on “General Hospital “where I said “well at least they had the good sense to hire Bo again as the Commissioner.” So I’m still the Commissioner.
When the show left, I kept my old badge. It had a picture of me on it and I thought you know what, I earned this thing. I’m taking it. So I brought it back and now I use it here. They’ve got another one for me, so if I ever want to take the old one and put it back on the shelf, but for now the one that I carried feels right. It allows me to put on the Commissioner’s badge and go into that office.
Phyllis: And Snoop Lion is making another appearance?
Bob Woods: Yeah, he’s back. It’s funny he told me “I used to watch you with my grandmother when I got sent home from school and I got sent home a lot.” He’s really good too, a good actor. He’s done movies and everything else. He’s a natural. I’m amazed by the amount of dialogue he could handle. They loaded him up. In all my time I’ve been acting, I never heard of a 14 page scene.
He had [a scene] with Robert. You know Robert was really excited too and Corbin to work with him. It’s a real…I don’t want to say party because we are working, but he did boost our energy and made everything happy and exciting when Snoop’s in town. This is the third time he’s been on the show.
Phyllis: He’s an old pro now.
Bob Woods: You know he passed me up. I stopped a scene because I got mixed up in the dialogue and I said “How do you do it Snoop? You’re making me look bad.”
Phyllis: Lastly, it’s great that you, Hillary, Erica (Slezak, Viki), and Jerry (verDorn, Clint) …that all of you came back. It makes the show really solid and secure. Why do you think it was so important for the core cast to take part in this?
Bob Woods: The show is the same name that it was before. When you turn it on, you’ve got to see some familiar faces. That was the first question I asked [executive producer] Jen Pepperman when I talked about coming back. I said “What about Erika and she said Erika’s coming back. What about Rob? Robin Strasser (Dorian)? And she said her too. Well I said there you go. You’re set right there because as long as you have those two, they walk into a room and you know you’ll have to fasten your seat belts.”
Then I found out that Jerry’s back, Hill. There’s our family. It’s intact. We have Tuc (Watkins, David). We got our whole core back. They recast Matthew but we pretty much got everybody, so we were good to go. People, they really needed that.
I don’t know if it’s a security thing but the familiar faces that have been there and that are so well established when you get that back, it’s great. I wish my old friends at “All My Children” would have been able to do that… to help it out.
Kassie (DePaiva, Blair), Roger (Horwath, Todd), Trevor (St. John, Victor)... they’re all back. You know what you are watching. You don’t have to watch the credits to see who they are. You know it’s “One Life to Live.”
Phyllis: It’s still one of my favorite shows.
Bob: Thanks, It’s good to hear.
For the latest in television news, follow me on Twitter @Phyllis_Thomas

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