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INT: Josh Duhamel

Most kids grow up with dreams of being an astronaut, rock star or professional athlete. Josh Duhamel, the dreamy star WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON!, wanted to be a dentist. Not exactly the most exciting occupation, but for a kid growing up in the frozen tundra of North Dakota, it's downright riveting.

When Josh told me he was from North Dakota, I was astonished, mostly because I wasn't aware that people still lived there. Though he's been an successful Hollywood actor for a while now, I could still see hints of that midwestern sensibility that we've heard so much about in the songs of John Mellencamp. Here's what he had to say about playing a self-absorbed, narcissistic actor in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!

JOSH DUHAMEL

How did you approach playing the character of Tad?

I wanted the decision for Rosalee to be difficult. I wanted it to be difficult decision for the audience too. But I didn't want (Tad) to be too nice either. So it was a difficult line to kind of walk. Yes, his reasons for wanting to be with her were ultimately selfish. He's a narcissist, and a lot of times the worst narcissists are the ones who seem like the nicest, most genuine people — who look you in the eye and tell you what you want to hear. And that's what he did, but I think he is a good guy at heart.

And I think the reason why people loved him was because he had these boy-next-door qualities and because he was very likeable and over the last how many years he'd progressively become a bigger and bigger star. Being said "yes" to all the time, he became detached from reality and detached from the person who he was, and he kind of got caught up in everything. He's not the person he was and he's not feeling like he did before. And I think Rosalee helped him feel like that and that's why he wanted to be around her, and I think without even realizing it he basically was using her to make him feel like the person he was. She didn't BS him. He liked that about her.

Would you ever consider going on a date for charity?

I have done it in real life. When I was on "All My Children", we did a thing for Seventeen Magazine when a girl won a date. And I went to her prom with her in Alabama, and she was a sweetheart. I didn't move to Alabama and I didn't buy a farm there, but we still keep in touch.

Did you have any celebrity crushes when you were a teenager?

Lots of people. I used to sneak into my uncle's -- my uncle had a stack of Playboys. I used to like seeing the centerfolds under my George Girvin poster. You know, I think everybody has crushes. I definitely had them. Alyssa Milano was one of them. But I think every teenage boy did.

Have you ever experienced the kind of fan frenzy that Tad generates?

We had what we call Super Soap Weekend in Florida where the biggest fans basically from ABC daytime would go to this big event at Disney World. So you go to this thing and every single person there knows you. It's the weirdest thing. Because everybody knows you, you feel like you're Tad Hamilton walking down the boulevard in Disney World. And we had footage of walking down the streets there at a question-answer thing with all these people watching, or whatever, all these things. It was a microcosm of what it's actually like for somebody like that — Tom Cruise or whatever.

Nevertheless, I did have a sense of what it would feel like. (Soap opera fans) are very loyal. But you have to remember it all comes from a good — they mean no harm. They watch the show every day. They feel that they know you. They do sort of know you, because this character — a lot of it is you. Especially when you're doing it every day. You can't just be playing a character every day, so part of it is you, and they just love the show, and they love watching you. It's all very good, and I'm grateful for it.

Over the years, what's the strangest gift you've received from a fan?

I got these pictures one time of this woman in this lingerie dressed up as a cat. She was a little weird — an older woman.

Do you feel that there is a stigma attached to actors who have worked on soap operas?

There is definitely a stigma attached. It ticks me off a lot of times because there's a lot of really good actors in them. Alec Baldwin was on a show for three years. So I think that anybody who — it's interesting because it's the ones with the biggest ego and insecurities — they thumb their nose. It's the ones who cast me in these things who see beyond that.

What did you learn from all the years you spent working on a soap opera?

To me, I'll put it up against any acting school you want. Cause you're on the job every day learning, and if you use it as a tool to learn, which I told myself early on — this is a great opportunity to really sort of work on becoming a good actor. And when you learn all about how cameras are positioned, lighting, how to manage people and production, all these different things, so that when I came to LA and started auditioning, and I got the parts on Las Vegas in Tad Hamilton — yeah, it's a much bigger playing field but at the same time it comes down to two people in a scene together.

So it helps you to kind of block out anything else and have all the practice on the soap, learning every day doing it, you're able to block all that other stuff out — all the grandeur of being on a big set with all these cameras and lights and everything else. Soaps teach you discipline. You always have a script in your hip pocket. You learn rhythms of scenes and what works. I think if you start staying for too long, you tend to fall into certain bad habits, and I tried not to do that. But to me it was the best thing that could have happened to me doing those three years on that show.

"Las Vegas" seems to be doing well. Is it going to be coming back?

Yeah. The show — we're happy with it. They won't tell anybody until May 15 or whatever — whenever they do that. We hope so. We know they like the show. We've sort of navigated our way through four or five episodes now, and I think we're getting on track now. I think it's funnier. I think the stories are continuing to get — this next one that's coming on is great. So I'm happy. They're happy.

Source: JoBlo.com

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