An interview with Jamie Walters!!!
JenRogers: Welcome to Friday@4ET, the first regularly scheduled computer talk show! I'm your host, Jennifer Rogers. Please allow me to introduce this week's guest:
Jamie Walters first came into the public's eye while he was playing the introspective lead singer in the Fox television series The Heights. In 1992, Jamie scored a #1 pop hit with the song "How Do You Talk To An Angel," which was a featured song from the TV show. He also played a recurring character in the MTV series Catwalk.
Jamie now plays Ray Pruit, a blue-collar worker and musician, on Beverly Hills 90210. He joins us this afternoon from Florida (where he' s visiting his grandparents for the holidays) to take questions about everything from his latest CD to what it's like being Ray opposite Tori Spelling's Donna.
Please use the Interact with Host button to send questions and comments to Jamie. Every effort will be made to take as many questions as possible in the time available. Let's begin!
JenRogers: Our first question... Question: Jamie, what was it like to join the cast of such an established show as 90210?
JamieWalt: I was nervous at first, little bit anxious. I knew a few cast members, tho -- Jason and I had been playing hockey for years. Tori and I had done some promo stuff when I was on the Heights in NYC. Luke I knew in New York. I was nervous about doing a good job with such a tight-knit cast.. But they welcomed me warmly... now I'm just having a good time with it!
JenRogers: AlceMicha has the next question... Question: Who is your favorite 90210 character?
JamieWalt: I would say Valerie. She's such a bitch! She's going to stay on. There were rumors that she wasn't going to stay, that she was asked to leave the show because the public didn't like her -- but that was just hype for the show. There was also a rumor that Brian would leave if she did, because they're a couple -- not true.
JenRogers: Another... Question: I've heard that you will be returning to 90210 next season? Have you been offered any other roles?
JamieWalt: I just signed on for another 2 years! I've been offered other roles, but my time is taken up -- we shoot between Monday and Friday....and for me over the summer, during the hiatus, I'd rather be out with my band. That's my first love -- I've done enuf acting this year -- it's time to be with my music!
JenRogers: Here's one from NYtalker... Question: Who's your favorite actor? Has anyone particularly influenced you?
JamieWalt: So many people..Nicholas Cage -- Raging Arizona was great! Sean Penn = another fave. I really enjoy Robt deNiro, who is a *genius* -- he's a chamaleon, he can turn into any character he's playing. Gary Oldman, too.
JenRogers: A new question, from Keetoh... Question: You've recently made several appearances in malls across the country -- and have played to huge crowds. What's it like to be greeted by such big crowds -- are you nervous?
JamieWalt: I've been out almost every weekend since Oct. ,traveling to malls, appearing in nite clubs. Nervous? No I look forward to it. I like it -- meeting people who watch the show and listen to my music. I like having them meet Jamie Walters, not Ray Pruit. My own personality is a lot nicer than his!
JenRogers: Next... Question: Can you tell us how you got your start as an actor?
JamieWalt: I started when I was 18 or 19. I was living in NYC, going to film school at NYU. My first experience was in other student films. I got interested, started taking acting classes. My first break? I was at a cash machine and a guy approached me who said he was in Casting and asked if I'd like to try out for a Levi's 501 jean ad!
JenRogers: Zebra R wants the truth... Question: Do you like acting or singing better?
JamieWalt: Music is my first love. That's what I've been doing longer -- playing guitar since I was 11. Playing in bands means a lot to me. If I were forced to choose, music would be my priority. Not that I'd want to choose! I was really happy when for BH 90210, Aaron Spelling approached me about doing a role playing a musician character...
JenRogers: Astravery wants to know... Question: So what is smooching Donna like?
JamieWalt: LOL! It's part of acting -- having to have relationships with people on the screen, be physical on screen, kiss a lot, get into bed with people half-naked. You have to keep reminding yourself it's a job, make the most of it, have a good time with it!
JenRogers: Many are asking this one... Question: Who are your favorite (music) artists at the moment?
JamieWalt: Tom Petty
JamieWalt: The Black Crows
JamieWalt: Matthew Sweet
JamieWalt: Steve Miller Band
JamieWalt: Allman Bros
JenRogers: JTG2 wants you to reveal some secrets... Question: Hi, love the show, can you tell us about upcoming episodes for 90210?
JamieWalt: We're almost done with the season -- 2 more episodes to shoot. In the final one, we see more of Ray's angry temper-- he takes it out on Donna..we're left wondering what the hell his problem is and why he's taking it out on Donna. Is Donna going to put up with this? Or is she going to tell family and friends that Ray is abusing her?
JenRogers: MarilynNS. what's up?... Question: Do you still keep in touch with the other Heights costars?
JamieWalt: Last nite I played a gig in Tucson, ARIZ with Zack Throwne -- who played Lenny on the Heights. He and I wrote the second single on my new CD.
JenRogers: FDUDEINC wants to know about your music... Question: Jamie, what inspires you to write?
JamieWalt: I try and write songs that people can identify with universally -- people who are old, young, all ages. I try to write about experiences we all have: love, love lost, relationships. I write from my own experiences. Some songs are a culmination of lots of different experiences. "Hold On" is a lean-on-me kind of vibe that comes from a lot of different personal experiences.
JenRogers: Sterneesh wonders about DisneyWorld... Question: Is this Sunday your first performance in Orlando, at Disney's Pleasure Island?
JamieWalt: My first time there live. I was down there at Halloween doing a promo for Fox, but this is my first time promoing music
JenRogers: Another new question... Question: Is there anyone you'd particularly like to work with -- either as a musician or as an actor?
JamieWalt: I'm looking forward to getting together and writing with as many people as I can.
JenRogers: SPENCERBO... Question: I love your music! Is there a new album in the works?
JamieWalt: We're still on the first single from this album -- "Hold On." It's climbing up the charts...we'll release the second single -- "Why?" -- soon. After we see how that does, we'll know when to release the second album. We hope we don't have to put it out until next spring!
JenRogers: Here's JisLoco... Question: Hey Jamie, where's home? Are you a good housekeeper/cook?
JamieWalt: Yeah, I love being at home. I'm actually very domestic. I spend so much time out on the road living in hotels that when I do get home I'd rather stay there, hang out with my dogs, cook, relax. I live in LA, have for about 4 years. Originally, I'm from Marblehead, a suburb of Boston.
JenRogers: SIGKAPGIR has one... Question: What has been the best part of working with the 90210 cast?
JamieWalt: The best part has been having a job! Getting a paycheck every week!!
JenRogers: Poco12, come on in... Question: Jamie, Who is a better kisser on BH 90210: Tori Spelling or Tiffany Amber Theissen?
JamieWalt: Unfair question! I have to kiss Tori a lot more than Tiffany. I've had more experience with Tori... but Valerie was exciting and new!
JenRogers: KISS1027F, what's on your mind?.. Question: What was it like when you hosted the Weekly Top 40 with Rick Dees and how does it feel to have the number 7 song in America on radio and records with "Hold On"?
JamieWalt: It's a great feeling! You never get used to it! Every time I hear my song on the radio I still get a a chill up my spine. Rick Dees has been a great friend, and I gotta thank him a lot for playing my music and supporting it.
JenRogers: Here's a date request from Sniciker23... Question: I've been trying to win a spot to go to brunch with you on Easter Sunday without much luck. I hope that you enjoy Orlando and if you need a guide let me know - Darcy S. -
JamieWalt: Come to the show anyway! Sorry you couldn't get in for the brunch. But if you come to show, make an effort to meet me. I'll be signing autographs. Hey, Darcy!
JenRogers: FDUDEINC asks... Question: Jamie, what do you do in your spare time, if you have any?
JamieWalt: This year I haven't had too much, but I enjoy writing music, playing ice hockey, mountain biking, hanging out with friends I don't have too much time to see anymore.
JenRogers: HOOFHOOF, go ahead... Question: Can I have an autograph?
JamieWalt: Sure. Best of luck! Yours, Jamie Walters
JenRogers: BabeKn wants to know... Question: Do you like being on the show? Is Donna nice in real life?
JamieWalt: Yeah, Tori is a great person. Great sense of humor! We've had a chance to hang out quite a bit this season on and off-camera.
JenRogers: Tocoo12di inquires... Question: How old are you, Jamie?
JenRogers: Next is LawGuy22... Question: Hi Jamie. What do you think of the domestic abuse angle coming up in the story with you and Tori?
JamieWalt: As an actor, I think it's an interesting role to play. It's a serious issue -- I can't take it lightly. I hope people in the world who are suffering from abuse will feel a connection with it and it sparks conversations with other people that will help them get thru their problems.
JenRogers: A new question... Question: Jamie, I love the episode you did on "Quantum Leap"; what was it like traveling through time with Scott Bakula?
JamieWalt: I had a great tme working with those guys. Both Scott and Dean were great. I had a chance to work with Dean again on a series called Vanishing Son. He played my father. I always either play him as a young man, or we're related somehow! I wasn't too crazy about having to wear that white skin-tight lycra outfit, tho!!
JenRogers: Jamie, we have a lot of questions about your tour schedule. Can you give us an update?
JamieWalt : The tour is posted in the ABC Beta Guest Souvenirs library (Keyword: FRIDAY). We start in May, continue in June and July -- we'll try to get to as many places as possible!
JenRogers: Spleeb has a question... Question: Do you have a girlfriend?
JamieWalt: Yeah, I'm seeing someone. "Seeing someone" means yeah, I have a girlfriend, but I'm not married yet.
JenRogers: AKinney42 wants clarification... Question: Is it true you used to be engaged to Drew Barrymore?
JamieWalt: Yeah, it's true -- it was quite a few years ago. That relationship got so much attention, and I'm not exactly sure why. It didn't last that long. She and I are still friends. The time wasn't right to get that serious with each other.
JenRogers: RoseEm, what's your question?... Question: Did you enjoy your game against the Boston Bruins alumni at the Boston Garden a few weeks ago? Did you grow up playing hockey?
JamieWalt: Yeah, I grew up in Boston playing hockey, so it was really cool to play in Boston Garden with Bruins I grew up watching -- like Bobby Orr, Terry O'Reilly.
JenRogers: BLONDEE40 wonders... Question: Hi Jamie, I'm Karen f/27/NY, what kind of music do you listen to?
JamieWalt: I listen to all different kinds -- straight-ahead rock, mostly.
JenRogers: Let's hear from JimFrame... Question: Mr. Walters, when The Heights ended, were you concerned about finding such a great role again?
JamieWalt: Definitely. I was bummed out that I was out of a job. It was actually a good opportunity to concentrate on my music for awhile. I guess good things come to those who wait, because now I'm on to bigger things than The Heights with BH 90210!
JenRogers: JoeyJam77 wants to know... Question: At first Ray was a good guy, but lately has turned into a real creep. Why the transformation and will he revert back to good guy status?
JamieWalt: I think that the rest of this season Ray continues with this bad guy vibe that he's got right now. Next season we get into why Ray is that way...what the demons are in his closet. I think people are going to understand why he's the way he is and realize he's not so bad. Btw, I also think the audience gets sick of people who are so *nice* on TV -- every once in awhile you have to throw 'em a curve ball.
JenRogers: DW Bitzer asks... Question: Jamie, ARE YOU THE MACK DADDY WHERE YOU LIVE?
JamieWalt: I definitely have a good time where I live. But you have to be careful about being a Mack Daddy -- it can catch up with you!
JenRogers: HotBodGre has an intriguing concern... Question: Is Tori's dad concerned about your love scenes?
JamieWalt: It's a little bit awkward having love scenes as well as abusive scenes with the boss's daughter. I have to be careful about it. Luckily, he doesn't hang out at the set.
JenRogers: JisLoco, you're on... Question: Did U ever have a real crush on one of the actresses?
JamieWalt: No. LOL!
Question: Have you ever dated a cast member? JamieWalt: No, I don't like to make a mess where I eat.
JenRogers: AMorris10 wonders... Question: Why did Ray sleep with Valerie anyway?
JamieWalt: I think Ray was a little bit confused, and he's having a hard time trying to fit in with this BH crowd. He was just flattered that Valerie was into him -- as well as the fact that Donna wasn't having sex with him, so he needed an outlet. And if you remember, his *mother* practically gave him permission to do it!
JenRogers: MarkK27 is curious... Question: Have you seen Tori's house? What's it like?
JamieWalt: LOL! It's cool -- a really nice place. Easy to get lost over there.
JenRogers: DandyGal asks... Question: Will Donna and Ray ever make love?
JamieWalt: I think that if she is ever going to lose it on the show, it will most likely be to Ray. But that probably won't happen until the end of next year, or even the season after that. One of the big things that will come up next season? Donna heavily questioning why she's holding onto her viriginity.
JenRogers: Now, Tocool2di asks... Question: What was your favorite 90210 show you starred in?
JamieWalt: Hmm... So far, the first episode I was in...and the episode where Donna comes to visit me in Portland, where I first start to get absuive. (Don't be scared! -- it's just TV.)
JenRogers: JanineS58 wants the inside scoop... Question: Do you think they will bring back Brenda?
JamieWalt: I don't think so. I've heard a lot of rumors, but none of them seems to be true.
JenRogers: Sunnydaz wonders... Question: How did you react to the fame and publicity that came after your introduction as Ray Pruit on 90210 AND after "How do you Talk to an Angel" was released??
JamieWalt: My first real brush with success was when "Angel" went to #1. It was very exciting, but I was busy working on The Heights at the time -- isolated in our little cocoon in Vancouver..didn't really have a feel for what was going on back in the States. With BH, I live in LA, and can really feel the vibe. I get to hear my music on the radio, hear what people think. It's a lot more exciting this time around.
JenRogers: Coffee219. asks.. Question: Do you have plans to act in any movies?
JamieWalt: Would love to do that! But I don't see how I'll have the time in the next 2 years. Hopefully, when I get done with BH90210 I'll be able to spend some time with my music -- and then we'll see.
JenRogers: BridgeOne has one about your social life... Question: Are you friends with any other actors your age? Leonardo DiCaprio?
JamieWalt: I try to stay out of the whole Hollywood Actors Scene. I know a lot of those guys, but it gets competitive. And tiring -- to go out every nite and hang out with all these different people, you know?
JenRogers: Margrtavi wants the truth... Question: Do you really play music or are you another Milli Vanilli?
JamieWalt: The fact that I've had 2 hit songs back to back and that you can come see me play live should answer that question for you!
JenRogers: A different question from our audience... Question: Has your new-found fame changed you any?
JamieWalt: No-- it really hasn't. I'm lucky that I grew up in a completely normal environment. So far, I've been able to hold onto that base. I enjoy fame, but I take it with a grain of salt and just enjoy it while it lasts.
JenRogers: TK1TK1 has one... Question: Do you have an E-Mail address? JamieWalt: You can leave messages for me in my new folder on the Friday@4ET message board. Keyword: FRIDAY
JenRogers: HOOFHOOF has another one about BH 90210... Question: How are things going with you and Donna on the show...any sign of marriage in the future?
JamieWalt: I haven't heard of any. It's always a possibility. Especially with Donna wanting to hang onto her virginity until she's married, I can imagine that thought crossing Ray's mind. But nothing like that would happen until late in the next season.
JenRogers: JCSANDIEG asks... Question: Jamie , Do ya get a lot of fan mail?
JamieWalt: I do get a lot. I try to reurn all fan mail. I'll answer any you send me here on the Friday@4ET message board! (Keyword: FRIDAY)
JenRogers: Sidekick1 has the next question... Question: If you weren't an actor/singer what would you be? :)
JamieWalt: I really don't know, and thank God I'm an actor-singer because I don't think I could do anything else! I couldn't sit behind a desk. I need to be creative, and out and about. Thank God I've got the career I've got now!!
JenRogers: Deanster6, what's your question?... Question: Jamie, do you find it difficult to balance an acting and singing career?
JamieWalt: It takes its toll on me physically and mentally. I'm always traveling. Can't remember last time I had a day off -- think it was about a year ago. But I'm lucky both are doing well and I have the opportunity to do the 2 things I enjoy the most.
JamieWalt (ASIDE TO CHAT ROW): Hi, Sarbeth -- what's up?!
JenRogers: NHBrewer asks... Question: Is that a real tattoo?
JamieWalt: Yeah, I actually have 3 real tatoos! Both arms and one on my back. They cover up 2 of them on the show. I have an angel, a thunderbird, and a cross on my back.
JenRogers: A question from an L.A. member of Friday@4ET... Question: Ever play volleyball?
JamieWalt: ummm -- I have played volleyball but I'm not a big beach person because I don't like getting sand in my toes, and shorts, and hair, and *everything!*
JenRogers: NozenRnd wants an opinion... Question: Music-wise, who do you think you sound most like?
JamieWalt: A lot of people have compared my stuff to John Cougar Mellencamp and old Brian Adams -- as well as Tom Petty.
JenRogers: TDKJTC is a guitar player and needs help... Question: What are the chords for "Hold On"? I've been trying to figure it out but have only been able get the first four.
JamieWalt: LOL! Well, the verse is basically C to G to F and back to G. The chorus is basically F to G to C to A minor. You can buy the sheet music in stores -- it's available. You'll get the rest of the song.
JenRogers: AmyMoya is next... Question: What's your favorite song?
JamieWalt: "American Girl," by Tom Petty -- and "Take the Money and Run," by Steve Miller Band.
JenRogers: Jaz121 is from home (and shouting)... Question: WANNA CHILL SOMETIME? I LIVE IN BROOKLINE.
JamieWalt: Yeah, I'll be back in Boston, playing at Great Woods, on June 3!
JenRogers: Next is Hmom26... Question: What do your family and good friends think of your success? Did they always know you were going to make it someday?
JamieWalt: My step-brother used to tell me that I sucked! (Now he just wants to hang out and go to clubs with me.)
JenRogers: NH Brewer needs info... Question: Did you decide to grow sideburns before or after you became a cast member of 90210?
JamieWalt: I've had sideburns since I could grow 'em -- since I was 16, 17.
JenRogers: Mela577, what's up?... Question: On the show, when Ray is up there performing at the club... is that your real band?
JamieWalt: Some of the guys in the band are really in my band -- the bass player, John Pierce, and the drummer, Gary Malaber, who used to be drummer for Steve Miller Band.
JamieWalt (ASIDE TO CHAT ROW): Hi, BSAB!
JenRogers: We're coming to the end, I'm afraid. Let's take just a few more questions from the audience... Question: Who did you like working with on the show?
JamieWalt: Tori, Brian, Tiffany, and Kathleen... I've gotten to enjoy working with them. Hopefully, next season I'll get a chance to work more with some of the other cast members.
JenRogers: Rachelsis needs to know... Question: Will the truth ever come out about Valerie and Ray? If so, will it ruin the great romance between Ray and Donna?
JamieWalt: I think that Donna becomes a little suspicious...but Donna never wants to find out the truth. So, as far as I know, it's left unsaid.
JenRogers: On that note, we must say goodbye, because our time is gone. Many thanks to Jamie for a wonderful session this afternoon! Much luck!! A transcript of this live event will be available for downloading sometime this weekend from the Friday@4ET Transcripts library. (Keyword: FRIDAY)
JamieWalt: Thanks, everyone!
JenRogers: Audience members, please be back here with us next week in the ABC Beta Odeon, when our guest on Friday@4ET will be LIVE with Regis & Kathie Lee executive producer MICHAEL GELMAN. Until then, have a safe weekend and a great week. BYE!!!
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