Soap star set to strut his stuff
IT WAS refreshing to hear Ronn Moss swear. It kind of snaps you out of the whole Ridge Forrester thing because it was hard not to imagine the person at the end of the phone line was sitting in some LA mansion, in a monogrammed bathrobe, phone in one hand, glass of wine in the other with a fire crackling behind him.
His famous dulcet tones doing nothing to help you focus on the fact you are talking to an actor and musician not, let's face it, the two-dimensional caricature of his day-time television persona.
Moss is arguably the ultimate soap star and his alter ego Ridge Forrester is one of the world's most recognised, most symmetrically chiselled faces on the planet thanks to a quarter of a century of appearing on one of daytime television's most successful programs, The Bold and The Beautiful.
And while Moss said his life is far from what we saw on B&B, he did admit he was sitting at home with a glass of wine when I called.
"I'm just kicking back here on a Tuesday night. My wife (Devin) and our German artist friend have just gone out to get some Chinese take-away, so they'll be back in about an hour or so," he said.
The now-retired soap opera actor certainly seems relaxed and is enjoying his new-found freedom post B&B, a freedom that has provided the chance for him to return to Australia and pursue his long-time love of music.
"I've been to Australia many times, but not for many years now," he said.
"I love it there. I know it sounds like I'm kissing everybody's arse but there is something about Australia that really got me when I first went there. I think it's because we share a sense of humour, the ability to take the piss out of stuff - that's a favourite expression over there I like.
"Australia and I get along really well. For some bizarre reason a lot of people down there kind of accepted me, which I'm really happy about. I feel very at home there."
The 62-year-old's new Australian tour - simply titled An Evening with Ronn Moss - arrives in Coffs Harbour on November 20. And while he wasn't sure if he had travelled through the area on previous trips, he became more confused when asked whether he had seen a big banana on the side of the road.
A few seconds of silence was followed by a polite "Say what? No, I don't remember anything like that".
He did however say he'd keep an eye out for it once he understood this country's obsession with big objects and why a giant piece of fruit sits on the outskirts of a regional city.
It's not surprising Moss doesn't recall such oddities when he tells you about his schedule on his previous visit.
"I've done two solo tours in Australia which featured whatever bullsh** I wanted to do back then," he said. "They were great but I did 29 shows in 31 days. This time I'm giving myself more breathing room so I can actually enjoy being there. People are going to see a very different side of me with this show."
Moss said this tour was going to be very one-on-one with the audience, an up-close-and-personal look into his life and career.
"An intimate evening with me," he said.
"In the first half I'll be playing some acoustic songs on the guitar, the stuff I love doing, and then I'm also going to be showing footage that I have taken behind the scenes over my 25 years with B&B. Nobody else has seen this footage, not even people from the show, so Australia will be able to see it for the first time. It's going to be a lot of fun."
In the second half of the show Moss will take to the stage with his rock and roll group Player, a band that "I've been with forever, before the TV show even started.
"I think people are going to be surprised because I don't think they realise this element that I've been involved with for all these years.
"They know me as Ridge and all that, but they don't know this other rock and roll side."
Player was formed by Moss and former Little River Band member Peter Beckett in 1977.
"We will be playing new music every bit as relevant now as our older stuff," Moss said. "People may not realise how much movie music we actually did. They will recognise a lot of the songs but they didn't know Player was the band behind them. That'll be a cool discovery for everybody."
Of course, Moss realises most people will be there to see the guy who played Ridge Forrester, a relationship he enjoyed for 25 years until he walked away from the set in 2012.
"I honestly haven't struggled letting Ridge go at all. When I walked out the door that last day I was able to let go of the whole thing," he said.
"Everyone likes to put up pictures of their family and make it real homey. I never did that. In 25 years my dressing room was the kind of place I walked into and had five minutes in and walked out. I kept my room like that the whole time. That was me. I've let go of it and now I'm onto other things."
Moss said he did embrace what he did with B&B and said he had an "amazing feeling in my heart of what I dedicated to those 25 years".
"I miss the people I work with but I don't miss the grind of doing that kind of a show. Being able to move on and do the creative things I've always wanted to now, it feels great. I can spend more time with my kids and my wife and my music."
Moss said despite the sometimes zany plotlines of the show he really gave it his all as an actor.
"We would make fun of stuff often on the set because we had to get that comedy thing out of the way," he said.
"Yes, sometimes things seemed over dramatic and they were written in a funny way but, when push came to shove, when we actually had to film it we had to get that out of the way and do it for real.
"In all those years, as funny as we thought those situations were, we appreciated the gamut of stuff you have to go through trying to write 260 shows a year. We had some pretty amazing scenes, emotionally heavy and some very realistic scenes that would make you cry, laugh and feel."
Moss, the star of 6046 episodes, said he had several favourites but couldn't begin to go through them.
"When a show is on that long you can of course make fun of it. Make fun of the genre, make fun of those looks we gave, that whole thing, but if you look at the show over time we did some awesome work."
Crazy for Ridge?
AS you would imagine, Ronn Moss has a lot of crazy fan stories to tell. Marriage proposals, you name it, but too many to mention in this interview.
He did hint however, that he might share a few during his show.
"When I'm in LA it's not a hassle, in the mid-west or south it gets crazy so I need bodyguards," Moss said.
"When I go to Europe, that's when it really gets crazy. It's very funny though. I don't take it seriously. That's the humour thing I share with Australia. I take my work seriously but not myself."