"I Don't Want to Be Interviewed...I
Have Nothing to Say...Leave Me Alone!"
Daytime TV Magazine, January 1981
by Anne Marie McKenna
Article Provided By Wanda
Then, Michael Levin sat down and told us everything!
The first words out of Michael Levin's mouth were, "I'm sorry you came all the way down to the studio. I really don't feel like talking."
I thought, well, here goes an interview up in smoke. But I decided to stick around anyway. Afterall, we had agreed to meet and chat.
Michael and I left the Ryan's Hope set together, where he had just finished his morning scenes as Jack Fenelli. We walked to Amy's Pub, a few blocks away.
Michael ordered a drink, then remarked, "This'll help me open up a little bit. I'd rather not do interviews, but I don't have the guts to say no. I guess I still get some pleasure from talking about myself, so I can't honestly refuse. If I ever got the courage, I wouldn't bother. Greta Garbo is doing the same thing in a way. By refusing to grant interviews, she's in all the magazines."
"I'm narcissistic enough to believe someone will be interested in me as copy. But I'd much rather talk about my work instead of my life. My life won't sound like it makes any sense anyway."
Well, maybe his life doesn't make much sense, as he claims, but it sure sounds fascinating.
For instance, take his kids. Michael explains, "I have four children, not one of them from the same mother and father." You see, Michael has a son, Jason, from a previous marriage. Michael's wife, Elizabeth, has two children, Sherri and Scott, from her other marriages. And Michael and Elizabeth have one son, Aaron.
Sherri is an illustrator for the Gannett Newspapers in Westchester, N.Y. She's pretty, bright and talented. "God, she'll never get anywhere in the world," jokes Michael. "She'll have to live down those three big handicaps."
The boys all attend school. Scotty, 20, is enrolled at Alexander Hamilton College. Jason, 18, just began his first semester at the University of California.
Aaron, 14, is totally different from the others. "He's the only one who's been brought up with both his mother and father."
Aaron's mother is Elizabeth Levin, who writes for Search For Tomorrow. "I think it's strange, says Michael. "My wife wrote for The Doctors, now she's with Search, and both air opposite Ryan's Hope. Does that make us competitors?"
With Michael and Elizabeth both in the business, you'd think he'd be high on soaps. But not at all.
"Soaps are very insulated. Actors don't become box-office stars from doing them. Millions of people watch daytime television, so why can't we have a film starring Judith Light, and six other top names? Because soaps are looked down on. Viewers don't want to see their soap stars anyplace but on their television screen. I hate that."
"As for TV in general, I think viewers should have something better to do with their time. If you're in a hospital or you're 80 years old, then why not watch daytime television? But, if you're under 60 and you have anything at all in life, then don't bother. Walk around the block, get some air, but don't just sit there! I rarely watch them. A couple of times, I've sat down for a few hours and watched, but it made me depressed and guilty. But I don't think the whole medium is any good, except for sports and interview programs, as long as they have good guests."
I wonder what kind of a talk-show guest Michael Levin himself would make? Well, after my unusual interview with him, I can vouch for one thing at least; he might be infuriating, but he'd never be dull.
Back to Ryan's Bar Online