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New TVGonline interview w/Chris Beetem (Jordan)

June 29 2004 at 12:13 PM
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Chris Beetem
Jordan Sinclair, As the World Turns

For months, As the World Turns viewers have been asking, "Just who the heck is Jordan Sinclair?" The mysterious newcomer, played by Chris Beetem, romanced the daughter of the town's most meddling mom and married the rich socialite who's desperate to adopt his birth son in record time. ATWT has finally justified Jordan's speedy assimilation into the town's front-burner stories: He is the son of the town's most dastardly villain. It was a shock for viewers — and for Beetem, who's learning to navigate life in Oakdale when your last name is Stenbeck. — Delaina Dixon

Did you always know that Jordan was going to be the spawn of Stenbeck?
Not for the first month and a half I was working. Other actors told me their theories; maybe I was James' brother's son who disappeared 20 years ago and is the true heir to the Stenbeck legacy. It was a quite an interesting surprise.

It was a good move. Before the revelation of your family ties, you character seemed to come out of nowhere.
I don't think fans liked that too much, so it is good. Even though the roots Jordan has in Oakdale are strange ones, at least he has some roots. Anthony Herrera (James) has been playing the arch villain of the show for a couple decades, so it's very cool. He's amazing. Even though his character is so twisted, he still manages to draw me in.

They're not biologically related, but it's kind of creepy that Jordan's dating Jennifer —
His half-sister through marriage? [Chuckles] It is a little weird. They are not related by blood, though we still don't know who his mother is. That's a mystery, and if it pops up that it's [Jennifer's mom] Barbara, oh boy...

Hasn't ATWT made it clear it's not Barbara?
All that stuff could have been manipulated by James. He tends to lead people around by their noses. It's still a mystery.

Knowing that Jordan is James' son, do you feel obliged to bring some of his father's traits to the character?
I'm not trying to introduce any aspects of James' personality into my character yet. Jordan was an orphan who went to the best schools, and he was very well groomed. Not having a family, he developed certain strengths of character, which are his father's weakest traits.

Will James and Jordan ever be able to bond as father and son?
They are both very strong-willed, so I think they might, at a certain point, establish a respect for each other. But unless something completely devastating happens to Jordan and his whole mindset switches, I never see them being friends. I think they'll make great enemies.

Following in his brother's footsteps of hating their father.
Paul may have a deep hatred for James, but I think Jordan might be a little more committed to bringing him down.

Now that you've been revealed as a Stenbeck, how are viewers responding to you?
I have to say that all the fans that I've met are really amazing. They have nothing but compliments for me. Every once in a while, a mom will come up and shake her finger at me and say, "I know what you are up to, you are a Stenbeck." [Chuckles] One lady who came up was dumbfounded. She started stuttering, "You're Jordan." I had never had anyone react like that before so I was kind of dumbfounded myself.

You're about as mysterious as your character's past. What piqued your interest in acting?
An uncle of mine took me to see an R-rated movie when I was 12, Excalibur. It was one of the original movie portrayals of the King Arthur legend. I started asking my uncle all these questions about it. He said, "Those aren't knights, they're actors." I said, "I could be an actor," and decided to become one. I went to the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts and Temple University. I studied here in the city with a teacher named Maggie Flanigan for five years.

Where did you get your first professional break?
On CBS, in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Grace and Glorie. I played Gena Rowlands' grandson.

Now you're in Oakdale. What has been your hardest hurdle in daytime?
My memorization is not that bad and I can handle the speed okay. It's the blocking, knowing where to move when you're doing the scene, that's my weak point. Roger Howarth (Paul) and Cady McClain (Rosanna) just throw me around and show me where to go when we are doing the scene.

Do you have a Park Ave. style of fashion like Jordan, or more hanging out in the park?
I come from Philadelphia, and what we have in Philly is a preppy homeboy style. It's the Ralph Lauren baseball caps with baggy jeans and nice sneakers — it's very far removed from my character.

What else did you learn in Philly?
I beat box. When I was growing up, hip-hop was just starting to come to the forefront. I heard the Fat Boys' first album and got into it. I used to break dance a little bit, do a little popping and jam with the Roots. There's a lot of basement parties in Philly, and I took to the mic a couple of times. I could challenge anyone.

I'd like to see that.
Let me know if it's resurrected and I'll start practicing.


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