Colin Egglesfield (ex-Josh, AMC) discusses his role on the new ‘Melrose Place’ and more in exclusive TVSource Magazine interview.
Colin Egglesfield stars as Auggie Kirkpatrick, a sensitive sous chef with a dark past, on The CW’s new drama Melrose Place.
Egglesfield grew up in the Midwest. Following high school, Colin earned a degree in biology/pre-med hoping to follow in his doctor father’s footsteps. While traveling abroad, Colin was “discovered” as they say by noted photographer Bruce Weber. Soon, Colin had worked for everyone from Calvin Klein to Versace.
In 1997, Egglesfield moved to New York City to pursue modeling, but he stumbled into the acting world instead. Colin soon booked TV shows as Law & Order: SVU and Leap of Faith. After a brief move to Los Angeles, he landed guest roles on Gilmore Girls, Nip/Tuck, Charmed and appeared in films such as Must Love Dogs, Beautiful Dreamer and The Good Guy. Egglesfield returned to New York when he landed a regular role as Erica Kane’s son on All My Children.
When not filming, Egglesfield runs his own T-shirt company, Shout Out! Clothing, whose shirts come with Velcro letters, allowing the wearer to create endless customizable messages. Egglesfield philanthropic efforts include raising money for organizations such as Team for Kids, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, as well as tutoring underprivileged youths at The Door Youth Center in lower Manhattan. Egglesfield currently lives in Los Angeles.
How did you get the role of Auggie?
I was in New York and I had just finished my role on All My Children. And I just started auditioning for all the new pilots that were being cast and I was just a little leery once I heard they were redoing Melrose Place. Having come from All My Children, I wasn’t sure if going on to a primetime soap opera was going to be something that would be the best idea for my career. But once I got the material and read it, it didn’t feel campy and over the top like the previous one did. It was really well written and I really liked the characters. I just went in there and was fortunate enough to have the casting director think I was right for the role, and with me coming out to Los Angeles. I met the director and producers and read for them. They really like my audition and then they invited me to come in and read for the whole studio and network test. It was one of the most nerve wracking experiences but fortunately it worked out. I’m having a ball right now and I just love playing this character.
Did you watch the original Melrose Place?
I didn’t really. I was more of a 90210 fan [Laughs]. I always kinda knew who the characters were though. My sister would have viewing parties and stuff. I always knew who like Amanda and Billy and Sydney were. Everyone always talked about it. It was so iconic back in the day and to be a part of it now makes it much more special.
Tell us about your character Auggie.
Auggie is a chef at a cool, hip restaurant called Coal. He’s also a recovering alcoholic and is struggling with some demons from his past and is trying to stay on the right path. Sydney, who he met in alcoholics anonymous, is trying to help him get back on track and encourages him to become a chef. He ends up at the restaurant and he starts to become presented with some choices that do affect a lot of other characters on the show. Not to mention at the end of the first episode I’m caught with a bloody rag throwing it into the fire. I guess that says something a little about my character in the sense that what you see is not always what you get.
What is it about the new Melrose Place that sets it apart from the original?
I think it’s more relevant, more current. The way this is shot, it’s edgier, a little darker, and a little grittier. I think the writing isn’t as campy and over the top, but it’s still juicy and fun to watch. It definitely adds something that the previous one had in terms of the guilty pleasure factor.
When you’re watching it I feel like it’s a little more grounded in the sense that these characters are a little more relatable and people can identify a little more with who these characters are, with what they’re going through. But at the same time, it is a bit of heightened reality with makes it that much more fun to watch.
Some of the fans have commented on some of the sparks with your co-star Ashlee Simpson-Wentz. Any chance we’ll see Auggie & Violet hooking up?
Well it is Melrose Place so anything is possible [Laughs]. Having Auggie being someone who is kind of teetering on the edge of falling off, having his past demons haunt him in not always doing the right thing. He runs into a little bit of trouble in the middle of the season and Violet has kind of always been there. She does like him and she’s trying to be friends with him and help him out any way she can. Something happens to Auggie where he could use a friend and that friendship definitely starts to turn into something else. But you have to wait until episode — I think eight or nine before something like that happens.
What is the dynamic of the cast? Do you all get along? Do you hang out off set?
Yeah it’s been great. We all really enjoy hanging out with each other. They’re such a great group of people. I’ve become really good friends with Shaun [Sipos], Stephanie [Jacobsen] and Jessica [Lucas]. Michael just got recently engaged so him and his fiancée don’t normally hang out and do like, the going out and dinners and stuff. They like to be a little more homebody and be responsible [Laughs]. The rest of us though, we hang out and on set we just have fun together. It makes going to work that much better because when you get along with the people that you work with, I think that’s when you’re able to do your best work.
Have you kept in touch with any of your former co-stars at AMC?
Yeah. I keep in touch with Aiden Turner and Chrishell Stause and Denise Vasi. Those are the three I primarily keep in touch with. But it’s been great. A lot of people from the show, once they heard I got Melrose, called me or texted me or e-mailed me and congratulated me. I just saw a bunch of them at the Daytime Emmys here a couple weeks ago, so that was cool to be able to see a lot of them. I saw Susan again for the first time in a while. That was cool.
What was your most memorable moment on AMC?
I’d say probably working with Susan. You know just having grown up watching — my mom was a huge fan of the show, my sister was as well — so I grew up with the show on in the living room while I was playing around with my Legos and whatever else I was doing. So to be a part of a show with someone so iconic as Erica Kane not to mention playing the role of her son, that was the most special thing about being on All My Children. Susan herself — she’s just such an awesome, amazing gracious person. She just made being there that much cooler and much more fun and fulfilling. That’s why it was so great to see her again a couple weeks ago, to thank her for everything she did for me while I was there.
Can you tell us about your t-shirt company, Shout Out! Clothing?
Yeah! It’s been going really good. It’s been about three years I think we’ve been selling. It’s been great. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve met a ton of people through the festivals and events that we’ve done with it and it’s just a great way for people to express whatever it is they want to say and be able to change it up instantaneously. Kids love it because it’s such a great educational tool and I’m hoping to get more involved with some sort of educational foundation. I’ve been so busy with the show and getting situated in Los Angeles, and now that I’ve had time to do that, I’m starting to focus more on Shout Out and doing some more events as well. So hopefully we’ll be seeing more of it soon.
You’ve also done a lot of charity work. Why is giving back so important to you?
Because there are so many people who’ve helped me get to where I wanted to go. If it wasn’t for people — whether it was words of encouragement or just helping me out with an audition or giving me advice on how to — anything from acting to just helping me get to where I wanted to go. I couldn’t have done it without my family or my friends or people who have reached out and have been generous. I just know the value of when people are in a position to help those who don’t have the same opportunities as other people. I just feel like what comes around goes around, so the more you’re able to help people, the more help just comes back into your life one way or the other. I’m a firm believer in that. Being able to see a kid smile after helping them with their homework or helping them get closer to where they want to go in life. To me there’s nothing more rewarding.
Starring: Ashlee Simpson-Wentz as Violet, Colin Egglesfield as Auggie, Katie Cassidy as Ella, Laura Leighton as Sydney, Thomas Calabro as Dr. Michael Mancini, Stephanie Jacobsen as Lauren, Shaun Sipos as David, Jessica Lucas as Riley, Michael Rady as Jonah.
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