matthew ashford homepage articles

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(Jack Deveraux, 1987-93, 2001-03, 2004-06, 2007, 2001-12)

While other 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 it became."
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
matthew related articles from sod's 50th special edition
super club
the nuptials of days's
signature supercouples

jack deveraux and
jennifer horton

july 2, 1991

Courting 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.

the 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."

 sod awards
Villain: Jack Deveraux, Matthew;1987
Supercouple: Jack and Jennifer, Matthew and Missy; 1991
Love Story: Jack and Jennifer, Matthew and Missy; 1992
Comic Performance: Jack, Matthew; 1993
in memoriam
Wayne Heffley (1927-2008)
(Vern Scolfield, 1988-93, 2002, 2003, 2006)
"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."
--Matthew Ashford
quotes about matthew from sod's 50th edition
Melissa 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."
Billy 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 write it...."
Staci Greason (Isabella Toscano,1989-92, 1995, 200, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2010): "...I loved all things Jack and Jennifer....."
Alison 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.

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