Braeden shared that the idea for his memoir came from “family members” and “various friends.” “That’s how it finally came about,” he said.
Although writing this book was not a cathartic process for the actor, he noted that the hardest part of the writing process was to avoid making political comments. “There was nothing really new about it,” he said.
On his plans for the future, he said, “To stay healthy and to keep on working, as well as to continue working out, and to keep reading and to keep informing myself. Also, to keep observing the political process in this country.”
When asked if there were going to be any more books in the future, Braeden responded, “Perhaps. Only to talk about my political observations.”
On his daily motivations, he said, “Trying to make the scene as real as I can. That motivates me every day as work.”
Regarding his proudest professional moments, Braeden said, “Having survived in the business for as long as I have. Getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was an extremely touching moment for me, and many others, but that I must say, was a very touching moment.” “The star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is something permanent. It came after a lifetime of working in this business,” he added.
He described his 1998 Emmy win for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” as yet another “nice” moment.
For one to go into the acting profession, Braeden underscored that it is essential to enjoy the process of acting. “You find that out by doing small theater, and by taking some acting classes. Most importantly, doing theater. Don’t do it because someone told you that you are good looking,” he explained. “If you go about it that way, I will assure you that you will be a failure. I guarantee you will fall on your ass, and you will fail. It leaves you with an empty feeling. You need to study acting!”
Braeden revealed that the soap opera world is the hardest medium for an actor there is. “People outside that world have no clue what goes into a soap each day. It is much harder than a film and nighttime television. The record I did was one month ago was 74 pages of script in one day. The most I’ve done before was 62 pages. That is me, personally. Many of us do, anywhere from 10 to 40 pages a day. The company does at least 120 pages a day. That is unheard of,” he explained. “Back in Titanic, we did two pages a day. A nighttime series does about seven to 10 pages a day. It is amazing how good my fellow actors are. It is wonderful to watch.”
Looking back over the last three decades, Braeden admitted that he does not have any regrets. “I don’t spent time regretting things,” he said. “I am very grateful to Bill Bell who started the whole thing and casted me in it. Beyond that, I am happy about my three granddaughters, and my son is doing very well.”
20 years ago, The Titanic was released, where Braeden portrayed John Jacob Astor IV, the richest man on the ship. “James Cameron is a genius. I admire him a lot,” he said, praising his Titanic director.
Although he has yet to visit Greece, Braeden noted that he would love to someday visit the European country. “The show plays in Greece. I have such enormous and deep respect for the Greek thinkers. It is an extraordinary society and culture. The Odyssey and The Iliad, and Greek history are so extraordinary. I would love to spend some time in that country. I love its culture and its history,” he said.
He defined the word success as “Having become wiser, content with what you have, and being able to stay healthy.” “Obviously, you’ve made some money to live somewhat comfortably, and it means having good friendships and family life,” he said.
The iconic actor stays connected with his fans via his social networks, Facebook and Twitter, and the most impressive part is that he runs them himself, to have that direct one-on-one contact with his fans. “I answer everything myself,” he said. “I am very grateful to my fans. They have been very loyal, and appreciative as they are. That means a lot to me.”
Digital transformation of the entertainment industry
On the impact of technology on the entertainment business, Braeden said, “It certainly has made communications faster, which is not necessarily better, and it has obviously made a lot of people ignore red or yellow lights, and ignore traffic when they have their earphones on, and they listen to their phones. In the business world, Netflix and Amazon make very good films, because they stay away from interfering from what actors and directors do. In that sense, things have changed. Obviously, there is an enormous power aggregated in fewer hands, the Amazons and Googles of the world, and that is something we need to watch carefully, in that it is not being abused. It used to be taught in economics classes, that the more power aggregated in one hand, the less efficient it becomes, but that does not seem to be the case with all the new tech companies. The larger they are, the more productive, they are. It’s a whole new paradigm.”
In his daily routine, as a soap actor, Braeden shared that he uses his cell phone. “Sometimes, they send a script via a computer or the cell phone, and I’ll take a look at it, but beyond that no,” he explained. “I prefer hard copies.”
To learn more about veteran actor Eric Braden and his new book, check out his official website.
Read More: Digital Journal reviewed Eric Braeden’s autobiography I’ll Be Damned.