We were thrilled when “Guiding Light” star Jeff Branson -- this year’s Daytime Emmy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor -- took some time to chat with us. Especially since he was in the middle of a move from New York to Los Angeles, driving cross-country with “Emmy” (as he affectionately named his statue) in the passenger seat of his car.
Here’s what Jeff had to say about his win, the role of Shayne Lewis, and the end of radio and TV’s longest running drama:
First of all, congratulations! How was it hearing your name called?
It knocked the wind out of me … I thought that it could easily go [Vincent Irizzary’s] way -- he does great work. But the way it turned out (with the tie) … I had a feeling it could maybe happen. Then I sat there and I think they actually said Shayne Lewis. They didn’t say Jeff Branson … and Danny Cosgrove tapped me on the leg and said, “That’s you, man.” But I was floored, I was absolutely floored.
What attracted you to the role of Shayne?
I’ve been around long enough to know that if I got the chance to play Kim Zimmer and Robert Newman’s son -- I wanted to take it. I was a little hesitant about the format they were shooting on when they first came to me … But they quickly figured out a few things lighting-wise and changed cameras and, all of a sudden, the way they shot the show was 100 percent better. When they told me who I’d be playing and the breakdown for the character and also to work with Gina Tognoni -- that kind of grabbed me and jerked me back in. It was that good.