MY INTERVIEW WITH BILL TIMONEY
(EX-ALFRED VANDERPOOL, ALL MY CHILDREN)
taken after Bill's performance on Broadway in "All The Way"
Hi Bill! Welcome to The Soap Spiel!
Hi Lisa -Thanks again for inviting me onto The Soap Spiel.
You are known for being Alfred on AMC. Tell us what that experience was like?
Tell us what you have been up to since we last saw you on AMC?
Susan Lucci urged me to "go west" and try my hand at LA prime time sitcoms in '86. I made the move, but was not successful. I returned to NYC for some lean years - bartending, graveyard shift paralegal, etc. I then swore that any non-acting jobs I took would be industry-related. I worked as a stunt coordinator for cheesy horror flicks, a stage combat coordinator for university Shakespeare stage productions, stand-up comic, etc. I did a nightclub act with the late great Perry Stephens (Jack Forbes, "Loving"). In the early '90's, I worked my way into a kind of voice-acting called "ADR looping." My voice is in hundreds of movies and TV shows, from HBO's "Sex & The City" to Showtime's "The Affair." I also specialize in dubbing foreign language programming, especially Japanese animation. I've voiced lots of roles on "Pokemon," and I'm best-known in the anime community as Parn, the hero of "Record of Lodoss War," otaku club president Madarame in "Genshiken," and naughty cat Setora in "Queen's Blade." For many of my anime-dub titles, I adapted the scripts, cast the other voice actors, and directed the recording sessions.
Would you ever go back to daytime?
We lost so many in the daytime community this past year. Agnes Nixon most recently. What has Agnes meant for your career?
Do you still see or talk to any of your former castmates?
I'm close with Liz Vassey ("Emily Ann Sago"). When Liz joined the show, she was sixteen. She and her Mom took an apartment on 8th avenue. My girlfriend at the time and I would go up to their place with Chinese food and videos of classic movies. I like to think we helped them adjust to the big city. I'm enormously happy for Liz and admire all she's achieved, from her successful acting and writing careers, to her fantastic marriage to David, to her work mentoring under-privileged girls. She is an amazing woman! I stay in touch with Carmen Thomas ("Hillary") via emails and Facebook. She met for lunch in Los Angeles last year - we hadn't seen each other in many years - and she said "there are no lines on your face? How come you don't have any wrinkles?" I answered "probably because I don't have any children." And I try to see Mr. Wonderful Peter Bergman ("Cliff") whenever I'm in LA; Peter and his wife are friends with our best friends, actor Bryan Cranston and his wife Robin. My wife Georgette and I do projects with the Cranstons whenever we can - the four of us did the Neil Simon play CHAPTER TWO on the Jersey Shore (where we live) some years ago, we worked as voice actors on Bryan's movie TRUMBO, I was a producer on the film Bryan made with Robin LAST CHANCE.... when Bryan booked the play ALL THE WAY, he hired me to help him learn his lines as LBJ. The director then put me in the show; in March 2014, Bryan and I made our Broadway debuts together! He won a Tony, the show won a Tony, and I played a role with Bryan in the HBO film version that aired earlier this year. Some of our adventures are chronicled in Bryan's memoir "A Life In Parts," which hit the stores a few weeks ago. Some people from my AMC saw the show, and they came backstage to meet Bryan. Susan Lucci greeted me warmly, which I appreciated. When Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos came backstage, he introduced himself. I told him that the two of us had played a scene together on AMC in the late '90's - as Pine Valley's banker and Adam's flunky, Alfred had denied an indignant Mark a loan. He didn't remember, and I didn't expect him to (Marcy Walker once said of me, "Bill remembers EVERYTHING!" And it wasn't a compliment!). When Mark started to introduce me to his wife, Kelly pushed him aside and loudly announced "I KNEW BILLY TIMONEY BEFORE I KNEW YOU!!!" I've always dug that woman, and I couldn't be happier about her supremely impressive success as a professional and as a Mom.
In the past few years, I've acted on episodes of PERSON OF INTEREST, BLUE BLOODS and MR. ROBOT. I played the recurring role of "Senator Royce" on the first season of the SyFy Channel TV series 12 MONKEYS. When I'm not acting, I'm writing (Nickelodeon hired Bryan and me to write a script for a TV movie some years back, but then other writers changed it so much that our names aren't on it. The finished film is titled JINXED). I did a scene with Bryan in his movie THE INFILTRATOR, but the scene got cut for time. When I'm not acting or writing, I coach other actors. I also do workshops for corporate clients showing their employees how to use improvisation exercises to improve creativity, listening and speaking skills. I get to travel to places I would never see in my acting career ] have a "blink and you'll miss me" bit as a homeless man in the beginning of Bryan's new movie WAKEFIELD....I have a nice scene with Melissa Joan Hart playing her TV news producer "Max" in the Hallmark Channel's TV movie BROADCASTING CHRISTMAS (which begins airing on November 23rd), and I'll be seen in the indie feature film DELENDA (starring Shirley MacLaine's granddaughter)next year. Currently available on downloading sites is the animated feature film THE STAR MAKER, about a little boy who rides his rocket sled into the galaxy to save the stars. I voiced the role of the boy's robot sidekick, and it's one of my all-time favorite jobs. It's a kids' flicks, but there' lots in there for adults to enjoy. I imagined the robot to be a bit like Alfred Vanderpool, which helped me find the character. I hope AMC fans will check out THE STAR MAKER.
What advice would you give to up and coming actors?
Study. Take class in a very specific acting discipline....then take another one that contradicts that previous approach. Acting is all about your own creative process, not about adhering to any one philosophy. Don't take things personally (easier said than done), and perceive of mistakes and disappointments as healthy learning opportunities. Learn to cook - going out to eat all the time kills a young & hungry actor's budget. And read the Bryan Cranston book "A Life In Parts" - his insight into craft & career and his generous advice is essential! I now coach other actors as a side business, and anyone who wants to engage my services can find me on Facebook. Finally, find something else in your life that fulfills you, something completely separate from your acting pursuits. It grounds you. Georgette and I are passionate about animals; we share our lives with dogs and cats... and we choose to live next to a forest so we can look after the deer, raccoons, opossums and foxes that share our territory. We cured our local alpha female fox of mange last year, and she rewarded us by permitting us to observe her young pups from a fairly close distance. It was glorious!
Thank you so much Bill! It was a pleasure to meet and talk with you!!