Deveraux, 1987-93, 2001-03, 2004-06, 2007, 2001-12)
actors have played Jack
Deveraux, Matthew Ashford is the one
synonymous with the role of the quirky
newspaperman who has had viewers love,
loathe and laugh with him over the years.
You were the third
actor cast as Jack during his initial six-month run. What
was that like? "I
had a very positive meeting with Casting Director Doris
Sabbagh. I had already been on two shows [ONE LIFE TO
LIVE and SEARCH FOR TOMORROW] and knew DAYS was looking
to get into some heavy material with Jack. They wanted
somebody who could stand up against Mary Beth Evans and
Stephen Nichols. I felt it was the next step in my learning
curve to come into something where there were expectations,
yet, don't do what's been done already."
Who did you screen-test with?
"Mary Beth. Nine months pregnant and ready to pop.
She was funny talking bout her swollen feet and swollen
lips. She made me feel very comfortable."
Was it tough adjusting to the
DAYS fan machine? "The other soaps I'd
done had strong fans, but they weren't as vociferous as
the DAYS people. Within not too much time, Jack back a
dark character and went against this supercouple, which
pointed all the negative energy at me. They hated Jack,
and they hated me."
Did you get any advice about
playing the villain? "John Aniston told
me,`Don't twirl the mustache' because I was starting to
play these scenes and having a lot of fun with them. He
said, `It's not necessary. Don't overplay your hand.'
When you read Jack was going
to rape Kayla, di you think, it's over?
"The way Jack was talking Kayla in the actual scene
was very cold and crude. I thought, `These kind of dark
characters don't last long.' It was a brutal act. We did
the scene once. No one wanted to do it again."
Then, Jack ended up on the path
toward redemption. "He had to be shown
up, and he was. There was partially appeased justice,
but not fully. Because it was so ugly, [the writers] didn't
push it. It took years. Jack had to work to redeem himself
and live with the results of his actions. Even though
he wasn't sent away for years, he was a changed person."
How did you feel about the Jack/Jennifer
pairing? "It was an office relationship
and well-crafted. Jack was the boss, and Jennifer was
his student. It was fun playing the itchy back-and-forth.
I found it very romantic, but not full of sentimental,
mushy stuff. I was pleasantly surprised by how popular
Was it odd going from hated villain to half of a supercouple?
"Well, yes, but interestingly
enough, it was still, `Don't ever go near Kayla [laughs].'"
Any funny memories from those
glory years? "In one of the [soap] magazines
in the late-'80s-'90s, Missy [Reeves] and I were declared
the worst kissers; then, in the same magazine, best love
story and best romance."
What was the Jack and Jennifer
wedding at Universal Studios like?
"A zoo! We had to do stunts that were part
of the Universal show. Missy had to be hoisted up on a
pole and spun around. They sewed her into her dress because
they said it was the only way to look good and work. The
whole dress split open anyway. I got to rid on a bucking
bronco. The vows happened at high noon. The sun was in
my eyes, and I was squinting. They wanted emotion, and
I was thinking, `This is horrible.'"
How did you feel about Jack's
demise in 2012? "I
had to laugh when Jack went down the elevator shaft. They
said, `He's really dead.' Then, Josh [Taylor] came up
and said, `Well, he died a hero," I thought, "Finally!
That's the one world I would never have attached to Jack
related articles from sod's 50th special edition
the nuptials of days's
Rituals: The sparks started flying between
newspaperman Jack and virginal cub reporter Jen in 1989.
At first, his neuroses spurred him to reject her, but
they gave in to their feelings in 1990, consummating their
passion on an island after the Cruise of Deception disaster.
Her rape by Lawrence and his loveless union to Eve behind
them, Jack proposed and invited the whole town to the
wedding on live TV.
The Big Day: With RSVPs
pouring in, Jen rented out a local stadium for the nups.
After mishaps including Jack being knocked out by a Wild
West performer, the duo met at the altar, where
Jen recited a moving poem; post-ceremony, her groom privately
reciprocated with a heartfelt letter. After the reception,
the newlyweds exited through the "saloon" in
the arena -- only to have its facade collapse around them,
prompting them to scream in unison.
Fun Fact To withstand
stunts, three of Jen's bridal gowns were constructed --
at a cost of $10,000 apiece.
would-be bride and groom:
jennifer horton and emilio ramirez
April 20, 1990
The Calm Before The Storm:
While they both nursed doubts (she'd fallen for Jack;
he had a growing affection for Melissa), Jen and Emilio
soldiered on with their ill-advised engagement.
Cause For Pause: On
the big day, Jack made sure that the show never got on
the road by disguising himself as a fireman and dragging
a stunned, wedding gown-clad Jen to "safety."Se
quickly recognized that where there was no smoke, there
was no fire, and identified her "savior" by
ripping off his mask. While Emilio sweated out his no-show
bride inside the church, Jack and a protesting Jen barreled
through the streets of Salem on a fire truck to the appropriate
tune of "Rescue Me."
Jack Deveraux, Matthew;1987
Jack and Jennifer, Matthew and Missy; 1991
Story: Jack and Jennifer, Matthew and
Performance: Jack, Matthew; 1993
(Vern Scolfield, 1988-93, 2002,
"Wayne told Genie Francis, `I don't like him."
He's nasty, a real ass.' He was watching my work
and making decisions about me. Genie said, `He's
not like that at all!' She introduced us. I got
to know Wayne and his family, and he got to know
mine.We kept up when we were off the show. I would
go over scenes with him or run lines with him when
I ha an audition. Wayne was legally blind, so I'd
give him a ride if he needed one He was Grandpa
Wayne to my little girls."
about matthew from sod's 50th edition
Reeves: What Stories stand out as favorite for
you? "...Working with Matt [Ashford] was also
such a special time. He was able to be funny, which wasn't
really popular at the time on a soap opera. I give so
much credit to Matthew for that because he wanted to do
something different and it paid off. I happened to be
a part of it, so it was great for me, too. I would follow
what he was doing."
What was it like for you when Jennifer and Jajck became
a supercouple? "We were working so much that
we didn't really realize what was going on outside the
studio. I remember going on a public appearance and I
realized that people like what we did. I think people
just related to the realness of who they were. Jack and
Jennifer were this sort of normal, everyday couple, just
walking through life and laughing at some of it, not taking
it too seriously."
Warlock: What did you think of the François
twist: "...But getting to work with Matt [Ashford],
Missy and Charlotte [Ross], it was a good time. They were
great, I never had a bad day but I was disappointed what
we ended up doing. I was hoping to come back and have
a formidable foe in Matt, if you will, and they didn't
Greason (Isabella Toscano,1989-92, 1995, 200,
2001, 2002, 2003, 2010): "...I loved all things Jack
Sweeney: Who were you first nervous to meet?
"I remember my first feeling, `Be cool, be cool,
don't let these actors know how crazy you are about the
show,' and my biggest concern was that I would accidentally
call Matt Ashford `Jack.' It too me like four or five
years before I admitted to Missy [Reeves] and Matt that
I had their picture on my binder at school."
|The magazine may
still be for purchase in its hard copy form, check your
local newsstand or store. Otherwise, I purchased mine
through Apples apps, and it can also be purchased through
Apple Newsstand; I also believe it can be purchased
for other formats, just go to SOD's
website for more information.