From Marian Catholic to 'Man Candy': Southland's Colin Egglesfield Talks 'Something Borrowed,' Football, Family & the Soaps
From shy Crete middleschooler to Hollywood hottie, Colin Egglesfield builds a loyal fan base in TV & film.
Colin Egglesfield is an internationally known model, has inspired numerous fan pages featuring his work in 'man candy' underwear advertisements, and portrays the love interest, Dex, of both Kate Hudson's and Ginnifer Goodwin's characters in a new chick flick Something Borrowed, which opened this weekend.
The 38-year-old Crete, Ilinois native has built a loyal fan following portraying hunky heros and ne'er-do-wells on television's Gilmore Girls, Nip/Tuck, the new Melrose Place and Charmed, as well as in films including, Beautiful Dreamer and Vampires: The Turning.
During an interview Friday with Chicago Heights Patch, Egglesfield appeared every inch the Hollywood hipster, granting interviews from his bedroom lounge featuring a stunning high-rise view from the Trump International Hotel, as a bevy of comely female publicists stood by to monitor his press schedule.
However, the 1991 Marian Catholic High School graduate happily admitted, instead of spending Thursday evening with a supermodel on his arm, he attended a Chicago-area showing of Something Borrowed with his parents, extended family, college friends, "and the doctor who delivered me, Dr. Bonnanno."
Further shattering the image of the haughty leading man, Egglesfield joked that for his next film, he's ready to play Quasimodo—"Would be fun!"—or alternately, a man with a hideous facial deformity. "That would be great!"
And Egglesfield asserts, he never, ever greets his image in the bathroom mirror with the salute, "Good morning, Man Candy!"
"I wake up in the morning, going, oh God, I've got to go to the gym today, I've got to read four scripts, I've got to meet with my acting teacher, I've got to drive across town for coaching," said Egglesfield. "There's a lot of work that's gone on."
Tedious as he makes it all sound, Egglefields love what he does. That love is instrumental, according to him.
"If you don't wake up each morning with burning desire to do whatever it is that you want to do, chances are you're not going to be successful," he said. "Especially with acting, because you face so much rejection on a continuous basis. I average (for) every 100, 150 auditions I go on, I get one job. For every one yes, I get 99 nos."
Visiting Chicago Does an Actor Good
The elder Egglesfields, reached by phone at their Morris, Illinois, home, said encouraging their son has given them insights into the ups and downs of the acting life.
"Sometimes, he'll call and say, 'Dad, Mom, I give up, I can't take it," said Colin's father, William Egglesfield. "He needs a pep talk."
Trips home to the Midwest are an antidote for East and West coast stress, says the actor's Dad. "He likes to chill out and get back to sanity again, just get away from the hustle bustle."
Mother Kathleen Egglesfield said on visits home, her middle child is handy around the house: "He's great, he pitches in, helps with the dishes."
The matriarch of the Egglesfield clan said as a child, Colin was shy, and to her mind, the least likely of her three children to tackle an acting career.
Firstborn Kerry, now a mother of four, and younger brother Sean, a Southwest Airlines pilot, were both considered more outgoing. However, she likes to point out, Colin did take children's drama lessons at the Illinois Theatre Center in Park Forest.
Lessons From the Football Field
Egglesfield said he credits Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights with developing his discipline and drive, in particular, the school's football program led by coaches Ron Guagenti and Dave Mattio.
"They recognized some talent in me, and they encouraged me to keep practicing and to improve my talent, because they saw something in me that maybe I didn't recognize that I was able to do myself," said Egglesfield. "They were very encouraging and challenging, they taught me determination, persistence and hard work."
"It made me realize that when you have a goal and really work hard toward something, it's not always easy, but in the end, if you do work hard enough, and are dedicated enough to what you do, you really can be successful."
Later in the day on the Marian campus, Coach Mattio seemed unsurprised that Egglesfield credited high school football as a career inspiration.
"Football is the only thing that prepares you for life," said Mattio, who recalled Egglesfield as a tough athlete who "had a competitive mean streak" yet was popular with the student body.
Mattio said he's a big fan of Egglesfield's work but admitted, with Something Borrowed, he'd likely wait for the DVD.
"If there's no blood and guts, I probably won't see it (on the big screen)," the coach said.
Erika Kane's 'Transplanted Fetus'
Although Egglesfield graduated Marian, then the University of Iowa, planning to follow his father's career path as a doctor, he entered and won a modeling competition, which led to work as an actor in television, film and a lengthy stint on All My Children as wild child Josh Madden.
"Yes, I was Erika Kane's transplanted fetus," said Egglesfield with a huge smile, relishing his recall of the legendary soap's improable twists and turns. "I ended up stealing my brother-in-law's $20 million dollars from his casino. ... Then I took my lesbian sister's girlfriend hostage, 'cause I got caught in the casino and I didn't want to be arrested," he said.
The plot only got more over-the-top, according to Egglesfield.
"And my brother-in-law ended up shooting me, in the head. ... I became brain-damaged. And my sister was dying of heart failure, because a tornado had come through Pine Valley," he recounted. "So Erica decided to take my heart and transplant it into my sister.... My heart lives on in my sister Kendall's chest."
But loyal soap fans know that was not the end of Josh Madden: "I came back for one episode ... as a ghost."
Although the All My Children plotlines were, at times, laughable, working with soap opera legends like Susan Lucci for three and a half years was an invaluable experience, said Egglesfield.
"It became a second family for me because I was spending so much time with the same people, and doing so much work in such a short amount of time," said Egglesfield. "Everyone's always knocking soap opera actors, but soap opera actors are some of the most talented people I've ever worked with, because normally, we're shooting a 90-page script every day. In regular film or tv, you're shooting maybe three to five pages every day."
After taking in Egglesfield's star turn as sexy Dexie in Something Borrowed, fans won't have long to wait for more of his work. Look for him on TNT's Rizzoli and Isles as younger brother Tommy Rizzoli, and in the upcoming Lifetime Television Movie, Carnal Innocence scheduled to air June 13.
"I'm Tucker Longstreet, I fall in love with a girl who comes into town because her grandmother has passed away," said the Marian Catholic alum. "She inherited her grandmother's house. We start a relationship, and then a couple of women end up being murdered in the town. It's kind of a murder mystery, love story."
In the future, said Egglesfield, he'd like to tackle comedy. "I would love to do a sitcom. I don't know if I'm funny enough to do it, but with sitcom and comedy it just feels like it's the most freeing and just the most fun."