Speaking to 'The Tribune' in 1986, John James made the comment, "To me, acting is a business. You have to be a jack of all trades: a salesman, because you’re not pitching yourself as the product; a marketing manager. See, I love business, the challenge of it. I’ve investigated and tried to start companies. Someday I’ll do that. But I like what I’m doing right now and look at it as a business. Maybe that’s what’s helped me through the dry periods. It was never for me some off-the-wall caper. You have tools to use – your voice, your body.

"There's a certain discipline involved. The working hours are ridiculous, you have to train like an athlete. And to last, you must have knowledge of the whole aspect of production. The simple task of reading a play or a script, you must read as if you were a carpenter reading a blueprint. Great friendships can develop within the profession, but the bottom line is that it's a business."

Of acting, John James elaborated, "I got into techniques later at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York; but in the beginning, what I got along with was truth in acting, something I’ve never forgotten. What this means to me is complete believability in what I’m doing. Not acting, but doing. I think that’s the trick of it. You always have what I call the third eye.

"Both your eyes are on the character, but the third eye is on the audience. It’s an awareness that you are performing. I had an acting coach tell me once that life actually rather boring, that if you try to portray life on stage, you'll be boring. 'Make it a little interesting,' he said. That's why I feel there's a fine line between knowing that you're performing and being as real as you can be. It's an energized form of reality."

In 1980, Joyce Selznick was hired by ABC to search for talents for the network. John James' agent sent him to Hollywood. After meeting with the ABC representatives, he signed a contract and within 2 weeks tested for a role on 'Dynasty'. "Nothing better could have happened to a young actor (then 23) ," John James recounted. "The problem with California as I see it – I think it was Errol Flynn who said, 'You can fall asleep under a palm tree, wake up and it's 20 years later.'

"I've been through what seems like the blink of an eye and it is 6 years later (1981-86). I wonder what the days look like. We go to work and it's still dark. There are no windows on a sound stage. There is little time to meet people other than those with whom you work … It's a tough business. People set up their goals and there are pros and cons. The pros would be that everyone should do what they want to do. The cons are that we are all chasing careers rather than making commitments toward others as far as relationships are concerned.

"People ask me about feature films, and I say 'What features?' I wouldn't do the ones that were offered me. They were garbage. TV is the medium of today (in the 1980s) and the future. Feature films are becoming like Broadway with only 7 to 10 quality pictures being made a year. TV is constantly improving, especially two-hour movies, which deal with important issues and significant stories. Their impact is 10 times greater on the public.

"I'd like to ... one of these days, damn it, if Broadway is still there, I'd love to do a Broadway show. And I'd love to do a real classy film. I won't do film just for the sake of doing it, there's too much junk out there already. But I think there is light at the end of the tunnel when they do films like 'Out of Africa', 'Murphy's Romance', 'The Color Purple'. There's light out there."

In 1985, John James switched from Warner Hollywood Studio ('Dynasty') to Paramount ('The  Colbys'). Speaking to 'United Press International', John James made known, "'The Colbys' was in the works for two years (since 1983). They convinced me it would be great to recreate a show like 'Dynasty' and do it even better. We're not going to be the flip side of a hit record. Viewers are hip and wise to spin-offs. When 'Dynasty' began, some people said it was a rip-off of 'Dallas'. It wasn't. And viewers wouldn't watch a second-rate 'Dynasty'.

"'The Colbys' has its own style and feeling. At this time (the first season) it is a little more male-dominated than 'Dynasty'. We also have a more cinematic look. Charlton Heston, Barbara Stanwyck and Ricardo Montalban have all been major movie stars. We look more like a weekly movie than a TV show. In one scene I watched the three of them doing the special things film actors were trained to do and it was like going back to the 1950s watching them do their work.

"I agreed to 'The Colbys' if Aaron Spelling, Douglas Cramer and Esther Shapiro would let me see what was planned for the show. 'The Colbys' is an actor's show – no car chases, explosions and guys firing Uzis in each hand. 'Dynasty' has changed actors' attitudes about working in television. Now it's OK for all actors to work in a prime-time series. Look at the big stars in 'The Colbys', and more major stars may be added in the future."

John James made his television debut in 1977 in the daytime drama, 'Search For Tomorrow', "Soaps do more than 300 episodes in one year. A series like 'Dynasty' produces 25 shows a year. I've done both and the difference is tremendous. It’s obvious the story lines in prime time have much more impact. The episodes move ahead much faster."

On 'The Colbys', Emma Samms played the "thought-to-be-dead" Fallon Carrington. Speaking to 'Gannett News Service', Emma Samms said, "It would have been easier to play a part no one else had played before. But it's a pivotal role and a real honor to have been chosen. There is a difference in my Fallon. At the moment (in 1985), she's had amnesia. She doesn't really know who she is."

John James added, "With my help she's beginning to remember the past she'd forgotten, and heaven knows where we'll be going next season (1986-87)." Emma Samms continued, "But she still has the fire and spirit she always had. She's just more vulnerable and frustrated. I do an American accent. It's difficult, but I've been doing it for quite a while. I was in the 'Ellis Island' mini-series that was shot in England, playing an American. If I could do it there, then I can do it anywhere."

John James continued, "ABC is putting a lot of money in the show (the sets for 'The Colbys' costed $2.5 million alone). One of the pros about this business has to do with the people. What a cast we have, Barbara Stanwyck, Charlton Heston, Ricardo Montalban – what a savvy cast, and of course Maxwell Caulfield, Emma, Tracy Scoggins, Stephanie Beacham, Claire Yarlett, Michael Nader. We're all sort of locked in together. We seldom see daylight. When I was in high school, I'd seen 'The Graduate', and thought Katharine Ross the ideal woman in this world. When I walked onto the set the first day, I discovered she was my 'mother'. Someday I must tell her.

"A show like this develops slowly; you have to develop compelling characters as well as exciting action so people who start tuning in become addicted. When I was in New York recently (in 1986) to appear on 'Good Morning America', I had a chance to see how addicted. I stopped in a small store for a six-pack and from the fellow who was putting away cans of peas to a lady in elegant couture, they all knew me and wished me luck on my wedding schedule for that evening's episode.

"Right now (at the end of season 1), of course, we're on hiatus and I'd love to know where our writers go on that hiatus from which they return with the bizarre, intriguing twists of plot. We have the Shapiros, Esther and Richard, who created and produce the show. They spend the summer brainstorming with the Pollacks, Robert and Eileen, our supervising producers, and with writer/producers Bill Bast and Paul Huson and then come up with a concept for the whole year, which is called 'The Bible'. We live by that. But we only get it one script at a time, usually two weeks before the shoot. In a continuing TV drama, we do 45 minutes of dialog involving human relationships and emotions every week."

Of Jeff Colby, John James noted, "When you suddenly get $500 million, as my character did, you change. He's now (on 'The Colbys') a leader of the pack. Before (on 'Dynasty'), he was kind of a 'yes man' to Blake Carrington. Now he stands on his own two feet. It's a stretch for me and the character. Jeff was a little naïve before and manipulated by people. He doesn't allow that now."

In one year, John James traveled to Kenya and camped among "15 million wildebeests. I'm not kidding, that's the size of the herd. Anywhere you look, you can probably see 50,000 animals. When a hippopotamus brushed the side of your tent at 2 in the morning, it wakes you up pretty good. Sleeping with one eye open is a new experience. You have tribesmen watching the place at night but elephants walk right through the camp."

John James also traveled to Austria, Germany and Italy, "In Salzburg, it was like being the Pied Piper, a lot of fun for about 10 minutes. Then you want to get on with your shopping. It always seems that as soon as you'd sign autographs and start moving on, there's another little group of 20 people waiting. It becomes difficult. Especially when you're with someone and want to look around and enjoy. It's difficult even to buy underwear at Bullock's today (in 1986). You feel like somebody is watching you."

In 1984, John James co-starred with Donna Mills in the TV movie, 'He's Not Your Son'. Speaking to 'Today TV Tab' in 1983, Donna Mills discussed fame, "Mind you, I'm not complaining, for what you gain is certainly enough to compensate for what you lose but becoming a recognizable face does cut down on your privacy. I forget, sometimes, that people are going to know who I am now (on 'Knots Landing'). I can be in a department store shopping for shoes and suddenly people are turning to look at me. It still makes me uncomfortable. It was more fun for me when I was able to shop without being spotted."

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