An Interview With an ’80s Actor

Keely Deloache, Contributing writer

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Keely Deloache: So, I am doing an interview for my school newspaper on people from the 80s generation and what it was like for you growing up in the 80s Hollywood scene. A lot of things have also changed since that time, and I was wondering if that this is a culture shock for you now?

Clark Brandon: Well I mean right now television is super exciting to me, and you call it television but I don’t know what you call it because everyone watches on it their iPad, or the phone, or their TV computer. But when I was in television there were three networks, and there were probably 50-60 hours of television a week produced, now there are actually 400 scripted shows out there so I think television is amazing right now and obviously the quality is a little different because, but back then we were really limited by our advertisers, right? And so you couldn’t be really provocative ya know? You couldn’t push any envelopes and you had all these incredible restrictions, so you kinda got these bland maybe at ten o clock, if you were a Hillstreet blues or something like that. You could kind of touch on the social issues or push buttons with the things that I think that television does so wonderfully, but now, nowadays it’s really an enormous fertile ground for actors, writers, and directors to have this access to amazing audiences so, I’m actually thinking of re-entering on a sort of informal level on television because there’s so much work available, there’s so many neat shows. Look at the difference between Facts of life which was actually pretty forward thinking back then.

KD: I’m sorry, could you define forward thinking?

CB: Well they did deal with things that you’d be surprised! They dealt with race they dealt with a whole a bunch of things in a sitcom 80’s style but at least they were talking on a simplistic level, but that’s what I was saying, that was the norm in the 80s and as an actor, that was so much more frustrating for me to always sort of have these one dimensional characters and now I think the characters are so much more richer and complex story lines or original, crazy, across the board…

KD: Mhm

CB: So yeah, it’s not a culture shock, it’s really a pleasure to be an audience member now, at the same time I’m even thinking it may be fun to jump back, now that I’m old too, I play character parts, ya know? I don’t always have to be that guy with the letterman’s jacket on.

KD: It was more of a pea coat most of the time (chuckles), but I get what you’re saying. I think people back then, they had more values than they do now, like you see a lot of reality television, now we have the Kardashians to look up to. I’m just saying back then, everyone, it was just more…

CB: No you’re absolutely right cause on some level, television has to be more supervised if you have families and all that because there’s so much out there, same with the internet, and if…(trails off) uh yeah! There was a certain… It’s funny because, within the industry, the 80s was crazy, (laughs) ya know what I mean?

KD: Yeah

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An Interview With an ’80s Actor