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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Interview with Gerard Christopher by Dan Recchia of Teen Magazines, Inc. December, 1990.


This is the second unpublished interview conducted by Dan Recchia, the former Art Director of Teen Magazines, Inc. As opposed to the first phone interview, this interview took place at the offices of Viacom in New York directly after the 3rd season premiere, the two-part episode "The Bride of Bizarro" (Viacom scheduled the interview). Like the previous interview, this has never been read or heard by the fans until now - at Superboy Theater! Please, do not reprint this without my permission. Dan entrusted this interview to me before he died and I do have the original audio cassette tapes of the interview. Also, you will notice that present in this interview is Viacom's PR Representive. Enjoy!

Dan Recchia: You came up from Florida and I bet you thought it was going to be cool up here right now.

Gerard Christopher: And it's not [laughs]. I called them up last night [Viacom] and asked what the weather was like. Though she told me there that's what happens before it rains; might be some rain coming in.

PR Representative: Yeah, well that happens when it rains but it hasn't rained at all. It's very uh, warm. So does the weather bother you?

Dan Recchia: Nah, I'm alright. So this is really the second part now of the interview that we did earlier this year.

Gerard Christopher: Yeah. It's so funny because if I just turn this way I feel like I'm on the phone. And I really know even the cadence of your voice over the phone.

PR Representative: Wow.

Dan Recchia: [laughs] Well, it was a nice interview with Gerard this year. And I'm trying to remember where we left off on. We talked about George Reeves. And we talked about George Lazenby. Things like that.

Gerard Christopher: Hmm..Hmm.

Dan Recchia: Where we left off at - I didn't do an article because you asked me not to print a lot of the stuff you were saying. You didn't know if you were coming back or not.

PR Representative: [laughs]

Dan Recchia: And I wouldn't print any of that. I didn't want to get you in trouble or anything.

Both PR Representative and Gerard Christopher laugh.

Gerard Christopher: I've learned since last year.

Dan Recchia: I was curious leading off what was going to happen. I'm glad you came back.

Pr Representative: Because of the show....

Dan Recchia: The show wouldn't be the same without you. But without getting into the details, are you happy with coming back?

Gerard Christopher: Oh yeah. I really am. The show is a lot better than it was last year. There is a lot more vision creatively. And people are just working hard. They are slaving away to just make it a lot better. And I don't know if you have seen the show Sunday -

Dan Recchia: I sure did.

Gerard Christopher: What did you think?

Dan Recchia: I loved it. And I watched it which was last Sunday. Which is an unfortunate time-slot.

Gerard Christopher: Yeah. In New York it's not great.

Dan Recchia: Five O'Clock on Sunday is horrible.

Gerard Christopher: In Los Angeles we got a great time, because that's a big market to; we got Thursday nights there which is wonderful.

Dan Recchia: What time?

Gerard Christopher: Seven, seven-thirty.

PR Representative: Yeah, I think it's seven-thirty.

Gerard Christopher: Even seven-thirty is good.

Dan Recchia: Even last year in New York it was on opposite Star Trek, which is like the #2 popular show. I'll watch the show at whatever time. If I'm not home, you know, I'll tape it. I watched it last Sunday. I loved it. I loved every minute of it. Now the show looks different. I mean it looks more dramatic. Tell me about the difference just in - why does it look more dramatic now? Why does it look darker? It has a certain look about it now.

Gerard Christopher: That was a creative choice. We thought that that would be a very interesting way to photograph the show and make it look a lot more exciting. And I think it does. A lot of things that I was complaining about last year was that they were putting me in this very bright outfit that I have to wear standing outside in the Florida sun and it just doesn't give the appearance that I want to give. I would much prefer that my character comes out of the dark space and you see him lit behind. It's just more - to me it's a lot more powerful.

Dan Recchia: Yeah sure.

Gerard Christopher: It's a lot more powerful. And that's what we are going for. Something more dramatic. Something a lot more interesting and I think that we are approaching what we want.

Dan Recchia: Now the impression I got - first, are they putting the movie - well several questions. One, you told me the Salkinds were leaving. Their names are still on the show.

Gerard Christopher: Well there is some --

Dan Recchia: It still says Alexander and Ilya Salkind.

Gerard Christopher: I'll be really honest. I don't really know exactly what their involvement is. I know they are not involved in the day to day operation of the show. They're not. I know there is some involvement, but I don't know what it is. I don't ever talk to them. So as far as I'm concerned I'm doing the show everyday and I don't have to talk to them, so....

Dan Recchia: But last year was he always here, like on the set all the time.

Gerard Christopher: No. Not really. He was uh...he was off the set most of the time. He was most of the time in his office, and he used to get messages back and forth through his office.

Dan Recchia: Alright so, I got the impression - now you told me when we spoke last time that they are going to make it more like Superman this year. And the first impression I got of this thing watching it last Sunday was it looks like Clark Kent and Lois Lane at the Daily Planet. It's not an office, but it's an office.

Gerard Christopher: It is an office.

Dan Recchia: It's an office setting.

Gerard Christopher: It is an office.

Dan Recchia: It's what, the Buearu of --

Gerard Christopher: It's a permanent set, the Buearu of Extranormal Matters.

Dan Recchia: It's the Buearu of Extranormal Matters which they could use on 42nd Street as a set, there's a lot of extranormal matters there.

Gerard Christopher: [laughs]

Dan Recchia: Is that right next to the Buearu of Extra-Marital Affairs?

Gerard Christopher: Yeah, probably [laughs].

PR Representative: [laughs]

Dan Recchia: The Bearu of abnormal valuables?

Gerard Christopher: Some of them are probably like - some of them are probably filed in the same office.

Dan Recchia: Is this supposed to be a government thing?

Gerard Christopher: Yes.

Dan Recchia: The government has no money for things like this.

Gerard Christopher: Yeah really.

Dan Recchia: It's very - but what was the reason. Who came up with that, first of all?

Gerard Christopher: That was one of the writers. Or a combination of some of the writers. I guess somebody had the initial thought and they built it up to that. I really wasn't involved with that at the time because I was in the throws of what I was going through during hiatus.

Dan Recchia: Right.

Gerard Christopher: And although they asked me to get invovled it didn't work out for other reasons with me finding out whether or not I was coming back to work. But I think it was a good choice because it's a place where Clark Kent can go, and he can be in the mist of all of this stuff. He finds out about all this crazy stuff happening. And he's in a position where he can intervene and act on things that he wants to.

Dan Recchia: Well first I wondered if it was the government, because if it's a private organization --

Gerard Christopher: No, it's a government organization.

Dan Recchia: If it's private I was saying "who's paying for this"....

Gerard Christopher: [laughs]

Dan Recchia: I can just see the boss, you know, the Perry White figure going "I want that UFO investigated now!"

Gerard Christopher: Well no, that's why it's a government thing [laughs] where it's this guy, Dennis Jackson, is kind of a buearacratic guy who is budget conscious and he wants most of these things filed because he thinks that most of them are...well BS.

Dan Recchia: So, how does this change the storylines?

Gerard Christopher: It's just it's more adult. He's dealing with much more real things now. He's much more of an adult, he wants to know why he's here, where he's from, where he got his powers. He's trying to find out. And he's pretty single-mindly focused on finding out that. And that's what prevents him from getting involved with a woman. That's what prevents him from doing bad things. That's what prevents him from getting off the track. That's why he stays a good guy because when he's tempted to do something bad, well like anybody would, if he's frustrated with going after the same criminals everyday rather than just -- well you know Lex Luthor tries to kill him almost every time they meet.

Dan Recchia: Well yeah but --

Gerard Christopher: If you met somebody who tried to kill you almost everytime you interacted with him and you had the power to kill him, you don't even have to, well you could just look at him and kill him, would you do it? Realistically?

Dan Recchia: Realistically, no, I wouldn't do it.

Gerard Christopher: I might. I might.

Dan Recchia: Wow...just looking at him.

PR Representative: [laughs]

Gerard Christopher: And that's something that comes --

Dan Recchia: But it's still a -- I mean I watch the show. I'm not a kid. I mean, I'm 39 years old. I love this kind of material, ok. I have friends my age. I have friends my age who love this kind of stuff also. But it is primarily a show aimed for younger people.

Gerard Christopher: It's fantasy. It's innocent.

Dan Recchia: The thing is, are they going to be doing more of, the villains and things, are they going to be doing any more of the DC comics things like Bizarro and Metallo.

Gerard Christopher: Bizarro, yes. Metallo, no.

Dan Recchia: And Myzptlk?

Gerard Christopher: No, the things that are over-the-top are gone. Things are going to be much more contemporary. I'm writing the show this year.

Dan Recchia: Oh you mentioned that, you talked about wanting to do that.

Gerard Christopher: I'm writing it now. It's about real issues in the world. Picture the world in a situation that's grave. In the world but as if we had Superboy. Would he intervene?

Dan Recchia: That's fine. That's how the series began, by the way. When it began, the first ones that John Haymes Newton did, they were very reality based. The first 13 were bought.

Gerard Christopher: Unfortunately, there were also budgetary constraints. You can only take things so fa, you knowr.

Dan Recchia: Right. Right.

Gerard Christopher: We can't go on location to God knows where in the world and do the show. So you have to think creatively thik that and incorporate that. But the one that I'm going to make is that Superboy gets involved in real issues. Real war and peace and life and death situations that will, you know, globally impact the world. I mean, the whole world is involved. And that's what I think is more real.

Dan Recchia: Right.

Gerard Christopher: When I look at myself or think of myself as having these powers, would I be good? Would I be bad? Would I be tempted to be bad? I'd probably be tempted to be bad a lot. Would I date women? Would I date one woman, would I be married or would I date a hundred women? What would I do? Would I be good, bad or would I want money? Would I sell my services, how would I be?

Dan Recchia: Right, right. Well what would be interesting also is I think the reaction of other people to Superboy.

Gerard Christopher: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Dan Recchia: Would they try to use him? Would try to put him on TV? Would they -- they got a lot of milelage with that out of New York with the Spiderman comics by trying to make him semi-realistic by tying to do that.

Gerard Christopher: Hmm...hmmm.

Two days later Dan Recchia interviews Stacy Haiduk and she speaks about a script she received called "Roads Not Taken". Dan had interviewed John Haymes Newton, but it got deleted accidently by his former Editor. However, he spoke of how Newton bought him pancakes for breakfast during the interview.


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