Q&A: Brian Letscher Talks Nick at Nite's 'Hollywood Heights'
Night time soap for teens has something for everyone
Summer TV doesn't have to be relegated to reality TV and reruns. There are a lot of entertaining dramas and comedies on broadcast TV and basic cable alike, and that includes Nick at Nite's juicy new teen soap, "Hollywood Heights."
Based on the Mexican telenovela "Alcanzar una Estrella" ("Reach for a Star"), the soap follows Loren (Brittany Underwood, "One Life to Live"), a teenager who makes a far-fetched but exciting connection with a hot rock star (Cody Longo) and becomes his girlfriend and songwriter.
Ashley Holliday plays Loren's best friend and biggest supporter, Melissa, and actor Brian Letscher ("Scandal" and "Puccini for Beginners") plays Melissa's dad, Gus. Meredith Salenger ("Damages") plays her overprotective mom, Lisa, and the two often argue about what's best for Melissa. Their battles make for some the show's most compelling moments.
We caught up with Letscher to talk about the show and what viewers can expect in the coming weeks. "Hollywood Heights" airs weeknights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nick at Nite.
MSN TV: Gus is a good dad, right?
Brian Letscher: I think Gus is a terrific dad. To say "a good dad" is always a relative term. It depends on who you're talking to and how they perceive that. I think he thinks he's doing absolutely what's best for his family. He loves his kids to death and loves his wife and is a good family man. So, there's no drama in that respect with him. But we all do the best job we can as parents. And when you're running up against really serious challenges and your kids are having a lot of trouble, you do the best you can and then you hope for the best. You hope they learn to make good choices and that's what he's going through with Lisa.
What's Lisa's deal? Does she just love her son more?
It's very Freudian. We've developed different relationships with our kids as it went on. She got closer to our son Phil and she got closer to our daughter, Melissa -- in different ways. We're able to talk to them in different ways and they're able to hear us in different ways. Melissa can hear what I'm saying to her in a way that Melissa can't or doesn't want to. Or I might be a little bit harder on Phil. I think I am.
Because he's a boy?
Yeah, maybe because he's a boy. Maybe because in the second episode I'm having a conversation with him about his future and I say "I just have this feeling something is going on here." I think it's a little bit of that too. He's a boy and who's becoming a man now, and I think guys can kind of see that. I can kind of look at him and go "I need to have a firmer hand with him because I just feel like he is not as prepared to make good choices as Melissa is." For whatever reason that's the feeling you've got. And as parents, you've got to go on your gut a lot of times. You can't go digging through their sock drawers all the time if you want to build trust. So you just have to go on those feelings.
So is Melissa a Daddy's girl?
Yeah, she's definitely a Daddy's girl to some degree but I think she's got a lot of personality and she's got a really strong personality. If Gus has a weakness, it's Melissa.
It's a valid point when Gus asks Lisa if she is as hard on Phil as she is on Melissa. But that has to be a part of the show for dramatic effect, right?
You hit the nail on the head. That is the dramatic dynamic of our marriage. There's drama between me and Phil, and between Lisa and Melissa and between Lisa and I. That's where our conflict comes in. We each feel the other person treats one of the kids the wrong way or favors one of the kids. That's where our d-r-a-m-a comes in.
"Hollywood Heights" airs weeknights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nick at Nite.