Ingo StarHeís Not Yet Bigger Than The Beatles, But TITANSís Ingo Rademacher Still Has Plenty Of Time by Adam Kelley
If only he didnít lead such an incredibly charmed life, Ingo Rademacher (David, TITANS) would be surfing the South Seas right about now. "I had all these plans for after I left GENERAL HOSPITAL [as Jax]," he sighs. "Iíd been working for four-and-a-half years nonstop, and it went by so fast, I just thought, ĎHello, letís live a little here.í So, what I wanted was to go to Indonesia for a couple of months - just to kick back, hang out on the beach, grow a beard.
Instead, heís still in L.A., still clean-shaven... and, alas, still hard at work. "This incredible opportunity came along," he says, referring to his role on Aaron Spellingís latter-day DYNASTY, TITANS. "It was the sort of thing I just had to do. And I figure if it doesnít work out, it could lead to good things."
Judging from his GH experience, itíll work out. Rademacher sailed into Port Charles in January 1996 - and by February, he was literally and figuratively the showís golden child, the Coppertoned calendar boy at the heart of Jax-and-Brendamania. "It was pretty amazing how that storyline took off," nods the actor, whose life changed overnight. Rademacher suddenly found himself mobbed at personal appearances... on the covers of TV Guide and Playgirl... chatting with Rosie OíDonnell.... posing for posters.
"Itís weird because I always forget Iím on TV," he laughs. "Like, I'll be walking down the street with my friends, and I wonít notice anything, and my friends will be like, íDude, all these people are looking at you.í Itís like, you just live your life and do normal things... like I call up Pacific Bell to change my phone plan, and theyíre like, íOh, Ingo, youíre on GENERAL HOSPITAL.í And Iím always surprised by it. Always."
Looking back, heís hard-pressed to articulate the secret of his success with Jax. ""Iím not really sure what it was. I guess I came on the show with a lot of energy and life and that Australian kind of ruggedly laid-back attitude. I think thatís what Americans love about Australians, and my character was very much like that when he first came on. And my accent, although that started to swindle out toward the end.í
Unfortunately, the loss of Vanessa Marcilís Brenda in 1998 precipitated a major dwindling of Jaxís story, as well. The character got weak - and his portrayer got restless. "I probably should have left after three years on the show, right at my peak," reflects Rademacher, who extended his contract bit by bit out of financial concerns. "I was trying to set myself up." He explains. "That's just my nature. Iím a Taurus, very grounded. If I donít have a safety line on me, Iím not gonna climb that wall.
"I donít really regret [staying as long as I did], but it was a little frustrating toward the end," he continues, ""There were a lot of words exchanged. I had people from high places at ABC come up to me and say, ĎSorry, we havenít really done a lot with you.í And Iím like, ĎI know.í" In the end, that dissatisfaction made his departure pretty easy. "There was absolutely nothing they could do to make me stay. No amount of money. Nothing they could have promised. If they had said, Ď$10 million a year,í I would have said, ĎNo.í"
That resolve has less to do with the actorís healthy savings account ("I didnít need to make TITANS") than with is resume. "There are a lot of things I want to do. Itís like, were you watching the show when Vanessa left? That was the first time I ever had material that heavy, and I want more of it. I want to dig deep. I want real drama. And that was never gonna happen on GENERAL HOSPITAL. Itís just not written that way; itís more of a fairy tale."
Recognizing that, Rademacher fulfilled his obligation, got his congratulatory cake, checked out his dressing room one last time and "ran to the beach." He forgot to watch his final episode, which aired on August 28. He doubts heíll return. As for his characterís fate, eh shrugs, " If they recast him, they recast. If he dies, whatever. I'm on to the next thing now." That said, the actor insists that his over-all experience on daytime was positive. "Believe me, Iím very grateful for the opportunity. Iíll have my [GH] mug with me on every set I ever work on."
Certainly, he has it for coffee breaks at TITANS, which he got partly because of his soap pedigree. "I got this job without reading for it," he grins. So, what did Spelling see in him? "Um.... If I was him... I think he knew that I was leaving and just basically hopes that I can draw the daytime audience. Hopefully, people will follow me from [GH] to this. Just from a producerís point of view, thatís money in the bank. I mean, that would be my guess. But whatever it is, itís very flattering."
All in all, itís bringing him closer to the goal he set six years ago, when he started commuting from Australia to L.A. every pilot season. ""I had been coming close to a lot of nighttime shows, one-hour dramas," he says, and now thatís heís nabbed one, heís thinking about where it might lead. "Iíd like to venture into film," muses Rademacher, who decided to forsake his annual beefcake calendar for the good of his professional life. ("Theyíre probably not the best thing for your career. Some people might think, ĎThatís kind of cheesy.í") "Iím gonna wait and see what happens, hopefully do a movie on my hiatus." Long-term, his ambitions are grander. "Iíd like my own production company, to get involved in all aspects of the industry - writing, directing, all that."
Thereís just one other thing Rademacher wants, something heís not likely to get soon - but a guy can dream. "It would also be nice," he says, "to have a vacation."
Making Mrs. RightRademacher isnít currently dating, but he knows exactly what heís looking for - and assuming she exists, he sees himself married with children within the next seven years, "I want to have it all," he muses. "I want to have a friend, somebody Iím really passionate about and 100 percent in love with, someone whoís like my twin soul. I wonít settle for anything less. And that could be hard to find, but I know itís out there. I know thereís a woman whoís the mirror image of me, who things along the same lines and has the same values and grew up in a situation similar to min. Thatís what Iím going for. I donít think in terms of blonde, brunette, whatever. I just want someone whoís athletic and outdoorsy." Anything else? "Yeah," he grins. "I want her to hurry up and find me."