Michael O’Leary first came to the attention of soap viewers when he debuted as Rick Bauer on Guiding Light back in 1983. He continued off and on in Springfield until the show left the airwaves in 2009. He’s managed to stay busy, especially this year with a role in the final spooky installment, “Halloween Ends” — the ultimate horror franchise that recently was released in theaters and on Peacock simultaneously. The actor sat down with Soap Hub to talk about the experience, having a GL pal with him on the red carpet, and Jamie Lee Curtis’s surprising soap connection.
Michael O’Leary Gets Scary
The latest film featuring the ultimate scary villain, Michael Myers, and his nemesis, Laurie Strode, played by megastar Jamie Lee Curtis, was shrouded in secrecy for months, but now that it’s finally in theaters and streaming on Peacock, the beloved actor is able to talk about what it was like to be a part of pop culture phenomenon “Halloween.”
“I’ve seen it four times,” he shared excitedly. “Krista [Tesreau, ex-Mindy, GL] ended up being my guest for the red carpet ceremony, and she was kind enough to avail her beautiful home in Santa Monica, so I stayed there. It was my first time at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, it was just so…I’d never seen so many photographers in my life, and then, of course, all the fans were lining up for the franchise.
“I have to admit,” he continued, “I was not a follower of the Halloween franchise. In fact, I never saw Halloween until I saw 2018 on the plane on the way to L.A., so I was really not all that familiar. I don’t really like scary movies, but I thought I got to figure out what’s going on here, so I watched 2018 before I saw ‘Halloween Kills’ and it was just fantastic. To be there in this glorious setting of that theater, which has all that history.” Luckily, he had a dear friend and former GL co-star by his side to witness it all.
“Krista was adorned in a beautiful orange evening outfit,” O’Leary explained. “We walked the red carpet together, and it was just wonderful to have this lifelong friend who I’ve known for 40-something years, it seems, to be my guest, my date, so to speak, and to experience this with me. It’s really sort of emblematic of these wonderful relationships I have from Guiding Light, with Krista being one of the most precious friends I’ve had to experience that opening with me.
“The movie was great, and I was very happy with the scenes I had in the movie, and afterward they threw a wonderful after-party at this really cool venue, and that was it. I got a chance to visit with the director [David Gordon Green].” Believe it or not, taking his former GL co-star wasn’t the only Guiding Light connection Michael O’Leary had with regard to this film.
“I met Jamie Lee Curtis the first day of the movie, she was so mobbed the whole time, I didn’t want to bother her, but she and Susan Pratt, who played Claire Ramsey on Guiding Light, are best friends,” he revealed. “So we discovered on that first day on the set that we had a mutual friend, and Jamie Lee is godmother to Susan’s children. We spent the first day talking about that. She’s absolutely wonderful. I just loved her.
“And then we called Susan Pratt while we were on the set, and I had the chance to talk with her; I hadn’t spoken to her in 30-something years, at least, since she broke Rick’s virginity on the show,” he quipped. “Susan was just a doll baby when I started the show, she made me feel really at home. She was only there for a short period of time while I was there, so it was just sort of full circle to be with Jamie Lee Curtis. Susan had told me about them being really good friends, so I brought it up, and she was like, ‘Oh my god, I love Susan, and we’re best friends. I’m talking with Susan Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis, it was sort of surreal. It was really great.”
“Halloween Ends” is doing really well at the box office. Be sure to check out Michael O’Leary portraying Dr. Mathis in the horror flick.
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