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Soap Opera Weekly
Matthew Ashford
Photo of Matthew
All Known Aliases (AKA):
Tom Hardy, General Hospital;
Jack Deveraux, Days of Our Lives;
Cagney McCleary,
Search for Tomorrow;
Drew Ralston, One Life to Life
Last Seen: Port Charles
Charged with: Four diverse character portrayals; however, it was Ashford's stint as the multidimensional Jack on Days where he truly made his mark. During his six years on the show, he transformed the character from a rapist into a comedic kook and lovable leading man. And, in the process, his Jack and Melissa Reeves' Jennifer emerged as one of daytime's most beloved supercouples.

While on the Loose: Upon checking out of GH, Ashford considered going back to New York when his daughter Emma was diagnosed with retinal eye cancer. "When you've got a child that could very possibly die and is in the hospital every day for months and then in and out of clinics, your life energy goes in different directions." Ashford stayed in California and with his wife Christina Saffran, helped their daughter survive her illness.

Ashford has guest starred on Providence and Oh Baby and tackled his most challenging role on Pacific Blue. "I played a homicidal maniac with five different personalities."

Filmwise, "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss got some notoriety in the independent film world. I played an underwear model on his way out. In another movie, called Wish You Were Dead, which has yet to come out, I play a hairdressing hit man."

If Captured by Daytime: While industry insiders and fans would probably agree the perfect place for Ashford would be back as Days' Jack — especially now that Reeves has returned as Jennifer — to date the actor has not been approached about reprising the role. But if that opportunity came up, I'd definitely give it serious look. I had a ball playing Jack."

What do you miss most about daytime?

"The opportunity to work on a character that continues to grow and develop. You're not recreating the wheel, but when it really gets moving you start developing behavior. It's not like you're starting in a series where you have to retrace all the steps and do every little bit in exposition. In daytime, when you get the characters going and the situations are sketched out, you get to just play the scenes when everything is really flying."
What do you like least?
"I was hard to work on things and have them taken away from you because there wasn't enough time [to air them]. Or you watch actors do enormous amounts of work in courtroom scenes — just squeezing blood out of their brains trying to get these big words out — while the camera is sitting on the girl sniffling tearfully in the corner."

What are some of your funniest memories from behind the scenes?
"I remember once on Days, I was taking Diana Colville's (Genie Francis) name off her office door at the newspaper. I was cleaning the glass, when there was a knock on the door. Wayne Heffley (ex-Vern Scofield) opened the door and got a full squirt right in the face, which he didn't expect. The camera was on him, so they got Wayne blinking and twisting in the wind. Another time, Missy (Reeves, Jennifer) was about to got on "The Cruise of Deception." I was telling her that I was going with her, because she needed somebody who knew what they were doing and had a strong sense of journalistic integrity. There was some word in the script like "balustrade." I didn't know what it was, and I knew I had more to say after it. So I just said, 'We'll get up on this balistrate, balcony, balustrade.... whatever!' Missy laughed, because I totally flubbed it. I said, 'OK, you can laugh about it, but I really mean it. We're going to do this.' It was a funny spontaneous moment and a turning point for Missy and me. We started figuring out how far we could go."

Days Promo Jack&Jennifer, Billie& Austin
Matthew & Missy with Lisa Rinna & Patrick Muldoon
(Billie and Austin Reed)

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