Charles Shaughnessy's realhollywood.com interview on 6 April, 1998

Before Charlie was computer savvy, he did this interview for realhollywood.com on 6 april, 1998. This is the transcript of the interview and if you click on this link Real Audio interview you can hear Charlie doing the entire interview. You need to have Real Player installed on your computer to hear it though. If you don't have Real Player, go to their website and download the free player at Real Player


HSHost says "Hello from HOLLYWOOD! It's Rebecca here coming to you live from BoxTop Studios where all the hip kids come together and share their most intimate secrets. Welcome back to HOLLYWOOD SPOTLIGHT on realhollywood.com. Joining me in the studio tonight are my producer Mike, my screener Glenda, and our fabulous typist Michelle."

HSHost says "All right, if you're a newbie tonightŠwelcome to the show. If you'd like to ask a question, there is a question mark icon on the menu bar you can click on, or just type /ask space and then type in your question. We'd like to give a warm shout out to all of you Excite users joining us tonight. If you're using Excite's VP chat, you can ask a question by clicking on the "something to say?" button on the lower right corner of the stage."

HSHost says "I am really excited about tonight's show. We have a very special guest joining us in the studio, Charles Shaughnessy from "The Nanny". Let's all welcome Charles to the show!"

HSHost says "Hi Charles! How are you? GREAT to have you here with us!"

Novella asks "Do you enjoy working on a comedy?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "It's a lot of fun. They're a great bunch of people. The hours are great. I really have to say we have friendly hours. Better than a 9 to 5. Every 4th week off."

HSHost says "Very nice!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Cushy. And, it's fun. Funny people, funny scripts. We have a good time. Making a comedy is never as much fun as it is to watch. But, it beats meatpacking."

CharlesShaughnessy smirks.

Novella asks "What's it like working with Fran?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "She's Fran! She's an amazing creature who wears so many hats. Producer, star, writer, creator, wardrobe, set, lighting, everything! She's funny! Talented actress. She gets to do it all and does it all very well."

thebabysitter asks "Do you ever personally check out any of the Internet Nanny pages to see what the viewers think of the show?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "you know .... this is embarrassing. I can't even get on it! There is a Nanny page through the Columbia Tri Star website and everytime I get on it says "we've moved from this address" and it's as far as I can get! I'm not very PC literate and I log on and usually get myself in trouble."

HSHost says "You need to get the correct URL."

CharlesShaughnessy says "Yeah, they should give you a forwarding address."

HSHost says "Usually there's a link. But people forget."

CharlesShaughnessy says "If I get to Yahoo and type in "Nanny" but then you get 5 million websites."

HSHost says "You can type in your name!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "There's quite a lot of Shaughnessy's. About 56 Charles Shaughnessy's that have nothing to do with me. New Zealand Rugby players."

Novella asks "Were you suprised by the sucess of The Nanny?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "We knew we had a good show. But, after the pilot we were still a long way from having a success. Then during the re-runs we got very excited and it just went from strength to strength. God! We're a success. Then people talked about the "successful" sitcoms and mentioned us. It was very exciting."

Novella asks "How did you get started in acting?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "I wanted to act as a kid. I must have been 6-7, would do reading out loud. I was always the first one to stick my hand in the air cause I loved reading out loud! I enjoyed showing off. Then we did a play, "Peter Rabbit." I thought I'd be a shoe in for Peter but my best friend got it. All I got to do is stand at the back of the stage and go "Tweet tweet look out Peter!""

CharlesShaughnessy says "I was the best dressed bluebird there but I was devastated that I wasn't Peter Rabbit! I thought it ws a strange emotion to have, I knew it meant a lot to me. That was my first inkling that I'd be an actor. Then I tried to be a lawyer, sensible, and a rational human being. But, in the end, I was sucked back in ... a very willing victim."

CharlesShaughnessy chuckles in amusement.

HSHost chuckles in amusement.

HSHost says "Right! Sucked back in!"

BabySteph asks "As that I am writing a paper on this very matter and you pursued a law degree, what is your opinion on the Exclusionary Rule? Are you for or against it? (BabySteph)"

CharlesShaughnessy says "The exclusionary rule. Oh God .... That might be something peculiar to American law. It might be English jurisprudence. Does it mean no women in men's restrooms or no one under 21 in a bar?"

HSHost says "Hopefully, they'll send it back in."

ChristineDavis asks "I loved watching you as Shane and am wondering how working on a sitcom like The Nanny differs from a soap series?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "At times I'm very for it and at times I think it's a pain in the neck. It's different and it's the same. Hours are different and on a soap you can do a whole different story everyday. Which is fun. The Nanny you do the same story for the whole week, rehearsing it. I liked them both."

CharlesShaughnessy says "I enjoyed my time as Shane. I'm kind of still on Days cause Shane went off on a mission to catch some bad guy in Europe and 8 years later he hasn't managed to catch the bad guy. Every once in a while, someone gets a phone call from Shane! So, I'm still kind of there, in spirit."

HSHost says "That's great! Nothing wrong with that."

CharlesShaughnessy says "No! It's kind of fun, actually."

CharlesShaughnessy smiles.

guest4197 asks "Charles, we think you are great in the Nanny. What started the Pierce Brosnan comparison, and do you want to play the next James Bond (you could fill the shoes well.")

CharlesShaughnessy laughs hysterically.

CharlesShaughnessy says "I'm taking it as a compliiment. I think Pierce Brosnan does a terrific job and I was thrilled when he got to finally play Bond. It was a disappointment when he couldn't get out of Remington Steele. So, with everything he's done and everything he's had to go through in his life, I thought it was terrific that he landed it finally. I'm flattered to be thought of as the next Bond."

CharlesShaughnessy says "I'm not sure I'd want to do it but you kind of take on a lot when you take on a big, international, high profile, franchise role like that. You take on everything that goes with it. It'd be difficult to know if I'd be up for that honestly. That's it on your anonymity. Whatever you have."<

HSHost says "Right! It goes out the window!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Yeah, and there are demands on your life. It'd be an interesting dilemma that I'd have to deal with. If anyone wants to ask me to be the next Bond, ask away and I'll think about it!"

CharlesShaughnessy laughs hysterically.

HSHost chuckles in amusement.

HSHost says "Yes, an interesting thing!"

guest4188 asks "I am Nancy Stein's cousin, Rachael. I have tried three times, unsuccessfully to meet you. I'm coming back out this summer. Is there anyway I could contact you?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Nancy Stein ....."

CharlesShaughnessy ponders thoughtfully.

CharlesShaughnessy says "Oh wow! Nancy Stein? Who's Nancy Stein?"

HSHost says "She wrote it twice even!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Maybe I know a Nancy Stein, but I don't know. It's hard to contact me, I'm not sure I should tell. But, you may get lucky, if you hang out in Nordstrom's long enough. There's plenty of places you can bump into me in Hollywood. Hang out on Melrose on a Friday night, you might see me."

HSHost says "Are you there on a bike?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Yeah, that's my secret life!"

spicoli asks "What's the best part about working on The Nanny????"

CharlesShaughnessy says "All the money you make!!!!"

HSHost says "wowoooohooooo!!!!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "It's really important that you look forward to seeing the people you work with. There are a lot of shows where that's not the case, so we're very lucky. When you're not on camera, you hang and talk and read the newspapers. It's a pleasure to be there which is a real bonus."

HSHost says "That's nice."

Novella asks "When do Max and Fran get married?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Oh, the marriage, yeah! Big episode, I think it's May 13th. Big sweeps wedding. We taped it just recently and it's a beautiful episode. They pulled out all the stops. The set, dresses, designers, lighting, clothes ... it really looked fantastic. It was a nice story, not just a wedding, a fun episode. Sweet at the same time."

CharlesShaughnessy says "They're actually very good shows and they just happen to have a wedding in it or an engagement which I like about this show. They don't shortchange the audience. Not to be missed, though. Absolutely! It's going to be quite an evening."

HSHost says "Okay, May 13th everyone!"

Agent88 asks "Which do you prefer? Acting in the theater, the soaps, sitcoms or movies?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "I haven't done many movies, but I enjoy that and would like to do more. It sounds like a cop out but you really can't choose one over the other. It's like do you like eating chicken or beef. You have to do a bit of it all, I love the theatre and I enjoyed the soaps and I love working on the Nanny. They all test different parts of the actor's skills and toolbox."

CharlesShaughnessy says "It's always useful to keep all those different facets oiled and in working order."

CharlesShaughnessy says "Danny Davis, who plays Niles, the butler is in a play at the Mark Taper called "Dealer's Choice" right now. It'd be interesting to go see him doing some stage work. I love checking that out."

HSHost says "That's wonderful!"

guest4188 asks "Any plans for movies in your future?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "I did some indies last summer and now they're trying to find distributors and get out. I'd love to do more, I'm just waiting for someone to ask me! I'm optimistic that there will be more in the not too distant future. Maybe this summer."

HSHost says "A good plan!"

FrostFire asks "Any chance of stopping back to Days for a episode or two since Patsy is back as Kim?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Yeah, they could ask me. With a big episode where one of the characters died and they had Shane call up and they had everyone come back. I bumped into one of my old castmates and said, "They should have called! I would have done one." I wouldn't mind going in to do one episode, that'd be kind of fun. Nothing too regular, I've been there, done that."

Novella asks "Did you enjoy working on Soap Operas and would you ever go back?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "But, if the timing and the moment were right, I wouldn't say no. Yeah. I enjoyed the soap and the work. I didn't enjoy everything that went with it too much. The world that you enter ... the peripheral world, the magazines, the hunks, the fan clubs, much as I love my fans and appreciated their support, it can get very overwhelming and demanding on your time and psyche."

CharlesShaughnessy says "There's a certain proprietary feeling that soap fans have, because they see you everyday, they own you. That gets tiring. I don't miss that, but I do miss the soap. If I did it again, I'd do it under a much lower profile. Not try to be soap hunk of the month!"

HSHost says "Oh, c'mon! You know you want it!"

HSHost chuckles in amusement.

FrostFire asks "When did you play on GH? Who did you play?"

CharlesShaughnessy laughs hysterically.

CharlesShaughnessy says "I want it bad!!! I was Holly Scorpio's cousin way back in 1984. I was Allistair, Holly's cousin. Sort of funny, charming con man. Who went to the spa and conned all the rich old ladies. A bit of a rotter and a cad. They switched this big haul of jewels I got for a case of jellybeans."

HSHost says "Ha ha!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Yeah ...."

bridie asks "May 13th! Now you've spoiled it for us Aussies who are at least a year behind the Americans! What wedding???!!!!"

CharlesShaughnessy laughs hysterically.

HSHost laughs hysterically.

CharlesShaughnessy says "Ooops! You guys down under, if you hadn't heard it from me, you'd have seen it in the skywriting. This wedding will get some major coverage. You'd have to go move into a cave. You'll catch up on May 13th 2020 or something!"

CharlesShaughnessy chuckles in amusement.

HSHost chuckles in amusement.

HSHost says "Yeah."

guest4256 asks "charles, you must have kissed Fran thousands of times by now, how do you keep the passion alive on screen? ya'll are great together!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Well, yeah, you know you just ... I'm Maxwell and she's Fran at that moment. When you're acting, you're living the situation. The writers are good at creating a situation and you're there as these two people madly in love and right then it's who you are. That is acting. It's real in the moment. It's not like she's unattractive! Not like you're kissing the back end of a bus. It's certainly not difficult."

CharlesShaughnessy grins evilly.

HSHost chuckles in amusement.

Agent88 asks "What character traits do you and Maxwell Sheffield share?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "Well we look very alike ;) And, we talk alike."

CharlesShaughnessy grins evilly.

HSHost chuckles in amusement.

HSHost says "Isn't that peculiar!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "I think I'm a hip, cutting edge kind of guy. But, Fran thinks I'm the absolute embodiment of Maxwell. Whenever I protest, she laughs and says, "What are you talking about?" You ARE Maxwell. We both have the British reserve in a way and the slightly skewed sense of humor that is peculiar to us Brits. But, then there's a lot that's different. I'm much more in tune with my kids than Maxwell is. But, Max has openeed up a lot and relaxed a lot. He's kind of out there a bit now. We're getting closer and closer to each other."

HSHost says "Yeah."

bridie asks "You mentioned that you were thinking of doing law. My mother (herself a well known commedienne in the 60s and 70s told me to go and get a law degree before I even thought of acting (I'm now doing a Phd on using drama to help homeless youth instead). Why do you think so many actors gravitate toward law?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "It's a good question. I don't really know. There's a certain theatrics to law to getting up in front of a bunch of people, speaking and pursuading. Appealing to their emotions as well as their reason. So there is that. But, on the other hand, you're writing your own speeches and doing your own adlibbing and it's a very cerebral experience/business. Whereas the theatre is very visceral."

CharlesShaughnessy says "For me, it's incredibly important to do something else at that time that gave me a sense of self-esteem and confidence in myself as a human being that was capable of doing other things. So that when I was rejected for roles or had a hard time auditioning, I did not feel that that was all of me. I felt like there was this other part of me who was a smart law graduate who was able to do other things. In the meantime, I did the acting thing. If that's all you have, you're that much more vulnerable and it's that much harder. It was important to me to have a sense of myself outside of being an actor that was really important. An intellectual strength."

HSHost says "We've got the definition of the exclusionary rule."

BabySteph asks "(Exclusionary Rule) It is when evidence is supressed (here in the States at least) due to obtaining it illegally. It usually causes havoc in "big" cases. So you'll have the explanation now...this is not a question."

CharlesShaughnessy says "That DOES apply to jurisprudence as well."

CharlesShaughnessy says "Makes sense to me. It's one of those things in Law if you open the door a crack, you're in danger of opening the flood gates. Somethings you have to legislate against and say, "This is not legal." Evidence cannot be used if it's obtained illegally. Nevertheless, you can't condone or allow the cracks to open cause the next thing everyone is wire tapping everyone and setting others up and you've got this terrific perversion of the system."

CharlesShaughnessy says "It's frustrating but very necessary. My wife is very emotional and we'll be watching things on TV and she'll say, "Fry the ****!" And I'll say you've got to be reasonable and look at the facts You've got to go down certain steps. There's got to be a certain kind of code of conduct in order for the busines of law to be administered failrly."

CharlesShaughnessy says "It keeps us civilized."

HSHost says "I could never be a lawyer cause I'd be way too opinionated."

Tuddy asks "You have such a great Shakespearean-sounding voice. What is your experience there?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "It's good to have that training in life. To have a balance. At drama school, we did a lot of Shakespeare. I played it both professionally and as a student. In England, it's very much part of our culture so you're brought up on it much more than here. People here, when they hear an English accent. they assume you're a brilliant actor, probably related to Laurence Olivier!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "And, if not, you're very talented, cause you speak so well. It's an unfortunate happenstance of birth, over here it translates into a terrific advantage. But, it's not always valid."

Agent88 asks "What do you find different about living in the states as opposed to living in England? Do you miss anything?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "There are American actors who are FAR better than English actors with accents! I miss the soccer and the beer. An English bitter. A good draft Abbot Ale or something like that. I miss watching Chelsea football club every week. I can watch the football here now cause it's here and the beer's here now! There'll come a time when I won't miss anyting!"

HSHost says "I know you wanted to mention your father."

CharlesShaughnessy says "My father has written a book called "Confessions in Writing" and signing copies from 7-8 at Book Soup on Sunset. I'll be there and my dad will be there and people there. It's an interesting view of working as a writer in the world of film and TV in England from the 40's to the present day. He's going to read a bit and sign some copies, so if you're in the area come on by."

BillyMilikin asks "Tell us about your relationship with your father?"

CharlesShaughnessy says "There's my brother, myself, my mom and dad. We were very close. It was interesting growing up. My dad grew up in an upper class English environment, private school, joined the guards, so I grew up in that world. But, at the same time, he was in showbiz. So, he had all these society friends and showbiz friends. Our house was full of two kinds of people, the snooty ones who were nice but posh and would have these big country houses where they'd shoot or something."

CharlesShaughnessy says "Then these wild bohemian actors who'd be falling down drunk or something. That was his life, too. He had his feet in both worlds and it was interesting seeing him operate in both worlds. To this day, they have friends in both areas of life. We used to go see Chelsea football club play every week together. He'd buy tickets from Scalpers and sneak out and watch the game. It used to drive my mom crazy!"

CharlesShaughnessy says "We'd talk about the game in hushed tones over dinner after we snuck out to see it! We had great family vacations. My dad would drive the car to Dover and down to the Ferry and then on to the train to Paris and drive across Europe ... somewhere. Full of adventures and mishaps and family rows, ... it was a very happy, full childhood. A good relationship, which we still have."

CharlesShaughnessy smiles.

HSHost says "I love that! That's wonderful. Charles thank you so much for joining us tonight, it was great to have you on our show."

Produced by Universal Studios, Copyright © Universal Studios 1999, All rights reserved


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