Actually that's my jacket I am wearing in the scene, something I found in one of the many recycled clothing joints in Hollywood back then. I still like it but I gave it away a long time ago. It would have been nice had more stuff between Pearl and Mason been written since in retrospect there is clearly a conflict in character and style between these two guys that really could have been exploited. So often the best scenes are where there is the juiciest conflict or clash between opposites and certainly Mason was diametrically opposie in approach and attitude to Pearl. .
Very early on in my work on this show. The makeup guy, my friend Carlos, suggested that I stipel in a couple days growth of beard to give the character a rougher edge. Sometimes it comes off looking like I feel into a vat of Hershey's chocolate but more often than not, it works. Makeup on this show was constantly melting off due to the tension and the heat in front of the lights so if you didn't have Carlos around for touch ups thru the afternoon you could well end up looking like Gloria Swanson on an early morning following a long bender. .
I love this scene for its abiding sweetness. So much of the essential relationship between Cruz and Pearl is embodied here. A. is great in the scene and captures what actors sometimes call the accidental surprise. When he said " but your boat sank, remember Pearl?" we both started to crack up but we used it in character to further the warmth and energy of the scene. It creates a loveable and vulnerable and unpredictable quality to acting when actors are able to do that and keep the cameras rolling.
This is a good example of the importance of tempo in character and in acting. I chose to play Pearl often at a very fast clip which is not my speaking style but which I beleive worked very well for him. I think it made him very,very difficult to play at times because newly memorized lines would then have to come out in bursts of rapid fire delivery. For a boy from a smallish town in the Mid West in the middle of farming country this wasn't easy. But it paid off since it always added energy,verve and vitality to a scene and in Soap the danger is in being too flat on camera.
I forgot about this scene. The E string on the guitar they gave me to do the scene was overstrectched and out of tune so I played a ragtime,funky lick to it that would accomodate that and It worked since rag fingerpicking often tracks 1/2 note below the primary. Robin was great and present in the scene as always and so,so young. You see where I lose track of the song and break up on camera but in this case I knew it would work to our benefit and I just kept going and it did. Plus she has the same kind of uninhibited laugh I do , something more resembling a guffaw or a drunk crow crying from the top of a tree.