Interview at CBS.com,
Getting the Girl
TRENT DAWSON has been a fan favorite for years playing Henry Coleman,
Katieís sidekick and partner in crime who always provided comic relief. Fans
always clamored for more and ATWT delivered when Henry confessed his unrequited
love for Katie to Jennifer, which has propelled the character into a front
burner storyline for the first time. CBS.com caught up with Trent about finally
getting a story of his own.
CBS.com: Youíve been on ATWT for a while. Whatís it been like to
finally have a meaty storyline of your own?
TRENT DAWSON: Wonderful. Itís been unique in that thereís a real core
to it. The whole love affair is really well grounded. And top of that is still
Henry Ė wonderfully zany. Itís been an interesting joy to combine the two.
CBS.com: Were you surprised when you were told about the story?
TRENT DAWSON: Totally surprised. Terri [Colombino, Katie] was on
maternity leave and the Nikki [storyline] wound up and I booked a theater gig in
Baltimore. So, they just put me in jail for a couple of months while I was doing
that. [Laughs] Towards the end of that gig down in Baltimore, I got some scripts
and I was like, ďWhoa!Ē When I got back to the studio, they said, ďYou
guys are going to get married.Ē And I was like, ďYeah, right.Ē They say a
lot of things, and things happen that I didnít think were going to go through,
and then they did. Itís been very shocking and wonderful Ė wonderful,
CBS.com: Have you gotten fan feedback about your story?
TRENT DAWSON: Yeah, a lot. Somehow I went from being the comic villain to
being the most sympathetic character on the show! [Laughs] Terri [has gotten fan
mail saying,] ďIf you break his heart, weíre never going to love you
again!Ē Iíve gotten a lot of feedback, especially on set, from the crew,
[who] is incredibly excited that Iím finally getting a girl. The writers and
the producers, their response has been very, very positive as well.
CBS.com: What does Henry think he will gain from marrying Katie, when he
knows what her true motives are?
TRENT DAWSON: Well, these are two characters that exist in a world of
denial. What they did was have me come out to Jennifer of all people and say,
ďIím in love with her.Ē What that did for me was set some ground rules and
set a very specific objective, which was very helpful. Iím in love with her,
but itís never going to happen. But I finally came out and said, ďI am in
love with her.Ē That is sort of the cornerstone for how I approached
everything after that. Heís hoping [the wedding] will happen, but heís
waiting for the other shoe to drop. When we were shooting the wedding stuff, we
had to do an insert shot of just me waiting for her to come out in her wedding
dress. And this is after Margo had come out and said, ďSheís going to marry
you.Ē And so I knew she was going to marry me. They shot it for a few seconds
and the director came over the microphone and said, ďTrent, you look like
youíre in pain.Ē And I was like, Iím sure this isnít going to happen Ė
even though Iíve read the script and I know it does! Heís just driven by
this love and hoping it will work out but somewhere inside he thinks itís not.
But itís a different Henry. Itís not the same Henry thatís like, what can
I gain? All he cares about is her happiness.
CBS.com: Do you think Mike still has feelings for Katie?
TRENT DAWSON: Oh, yeah. Thereís still chemistry there.
CBS.com: What do you think is the future of Henry and Mikeís
relationship? Henry has always been really nice to Mike, in spite of the
TRENT DAWSON: Yeah, I helped with [Mike and Katieís] initial wedding
plans and that sort of thing. Itís funny, Iíve gotten a lot of response on
that. Mark [Collier, Mike] and I get along very well, but we didnít anticipate
hitting it off as well as we do on screen. Thatís been a really fun element to
play, because [Henry and Katie] are lying to [Mike] and setting him up, and at
the same time I think itís a very painful thing for Henry to do. Iíve tried
to bring that out. Iím trying to play like eight different things at once. He
loves Mike and he doesnít want to hurt Mike, heís also jealous of Mike,
heís also trying to set Mike up to make him jealous. You try that! [Laughs]
The bottom line is that he cares about Mike deeply. I think down the road Ė
this is a soap, Iíve got to get my heartbroken somewhere Ė that relationship
will come back into play.
CBS.com: Could Henry end up with someone else?
TRENT DAWSON: I donít know. Weíve sort of put all our eggs in one
basket here. The lines Iíve had have been, even if we never even consummate
[our marriage], youíre the only wife Iíve ever wanted. Heís really madly,
desperately in love with Katie. I think thatís going to be the point of focus
for him for a long time.
CBS.com: What is it like working with Terri, who youíve worked with for
a long time, with this totally different dynamic?
TRENT DAWSON: Itís been great. I had a little apprehension about and
she did, too. But then we found out that weíre both good kissers! [Laughs]
What helped me was [the] declaring the love issue. Itís not something that all
of a sudden [happened], this is a long-term development. This is best friends
who find out that theyíre good dance partners, you know what I mean? Weíre
having a blast with it.
CBS.com: Did you miss Terri when she was away on maternity leave?
TRENT DAWSON: Oh, God, yes. The best acting I do is when Iím with her
on the show. Itís a lot of pressure; itís an hour worth of television a day.
Everyone there is really good, but I really, really listen when she talks, and
thatís the key to doing good work. For some reason, she just brings out the
best in me that I can do. And I missed that a lot.
CBS.com: Have you seen a change in Terri now that she is a mom?
TRENT DAWSON: I have. I also knew Ė this is weird Ė when she was
pregnant. I saw her walking down the hall and she hadnít told anyone and I
sort of tilted my head to one side and knew it. I knew around the time she was
supposed to deliver. I was in my apartment thinking, ďHmmm.Ē And about five
minutes later she called and said, ďIím in the hospital and I had the baby
and sheís beautiful.Ē I donít know what thatís about. Sheís a woman;
sheís not a little girl anymore. I donít know how to express it; it just
sort of comes through after [having the baby]. Sheís still a goof ball. I
donít know how to describe it, but itís just lovely.
CBS.com: How about a job or career for Henry?
TRENT DAWSON: Thatís actually been something Iím trying to figure
out. Heís fallen into this lush lifestyle, but when you look back at the
beginning, he wanted to be the next Lesley Stahl. He wanted to own a media
conglomerate and get rich. He was very driven. Now, heís into the horses and
martinis, which is pretty good. [Laughs] Job-wise, Iíve heard some things
tossed around, so Iím really curious to see [what happens]. I think his whole
focus now is Katie, whatever will make her happy.
CBS.com: Now that Henry has his own storyline, do you think weíll ever
see any of his family or learn more about his background?
TRENT DAWSON: Every so often they drop something in [about Henryís
past]. Iíve mentioned sisters and stuff like that. I want them to bring
Henryís mother [on the show]. Iíve mentioned the past, and you can never
tell if Henryís lying or straight, but itíd be great if they brought in
CBS.com: Whatís ahead for Katie and Henry now?
TRENT DAWSON: Itís interesting. After they tie the knot, itís kind of
like the end of The Graduate where they finally [run off together] and
they get in the back of the bus and are like, we did this amazing, exciting
thing, what do we do now? Thereís lingering love and lust she has for Mike
that plays a part, but she turns a corner.
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