Quick Take With Mike Manning

Mike Manning scaled

What was your reaction when you found out that Charlie is Ava’s son and the guy who attacked Allie? “I mean, I really like Tamara Braun [Ava], so when I found out that Charlie is her son, I was really excited to work with her. Working with her has been so great, just because she’s such a fantastic actress and very giving. I’m sad for Charlie, and here’s the thing: I love playing complex characters, and I can honestly say now that we’re a couple of months in, that this is the most challenging role I’ve ever had to play. For months, we saw this very positive, eager-to-please side of him, and on the other side, I knew that he was hiding this secret. Charlie honestly regrets what he did but he can’t change the past. One the one hand, you have a guy who made a horrible, awful mistake and he’s holding all that guilt, and then on the other hand, you have a guy that is genuinely falling in love for the first time in his life with Claire, so to play both of those sides of the same character has been really challenging, and both sides become deeper and deeper as we go along in each episode.”

Being the rapist pretty much nixes a future with Claire. How did you feel about that? “I was a little bummed, to be honest with you, because I was having so much fun. I really was looking forward to the storyline of Charlie and Claire falling in love. Had this never happened, I think Charlie and Claire would be a great match because Charlie is new to town, he doesn’t know anybody else, and Claire, for the first time, isn’t living in Ciara’s shadow, and I think for Charlie, he’s never had the opportunity to meet somebody new and not live in Ava’s shadow. So it’s two characters who I think are both good people but have a crazy side, and finally they’re living outside of the shadows of the people that have been holding them back in their eyes, so I think had this never happened, Charlie and Claire would have worked out and so I was kind of bummed knowing that this happening would get in the way of that.”

Now that Charlie sees what Tripp is going through, does he feel badly? “In Charlie’s mind, Tripp is the reason that Ava never loved him, and we’ll come to find out just how bad growing up was for Charlie. Ava never thought of him as her son, never loved him, and Charlie has spent his entire life trying to get his mother to acknowledge that he even existed. She never did and that’s a horrible feeling for a kid. And Charlie blames all of that on Tripp because Tripp is Steve Johnson’s son, he’s the son that Ava actually wanted, and Charlie is just inconvenient for Ava, so I think Charlie does not feel bad that Tripp is going through this because Charlie doesn’t really know Tripp. In his mind, Tripp is just the reason why Charlie is so miserable.”

How do you feel that the show trusted you with such a big storyline for your first major soap role? “I’m really grateful for the writing and for the character. It’s really challenging and complex, but it’s been really great and I’m grateful the show chose me for the role.”

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