Corbin Bleu Talks Life and Upcoming Role on ‘One Life to Live’

You may remember Corbin Bleu as Austin in Catch That Kid starring opposite Kristen Stewart or in guest roles on Hannah MontanaThe Amanda ShowMalcolm & Eddie and The Good Wife. He now stars in the return of One Life to Live on Hulu. Here he talks life before OLTL, during OLTL and after OLTL.

How is it transitioning from Disney to Broadway to One Life to Live?

I’ve always wanted to tackle all facets of the performing arts in my career. I’ve been able to work in modeling, commercials, film, television, music, touring, and Broadway. Being able to work on One Life to Live is a great opportunity to learn another form. I’m happy to be able to be a part of such a veteran show and put my stamp on a piece of television history.

I read you took ballet as a kid. Have your ballet classes ever come in handy either on set or in the streets. Like, have you ever needed to defend yourself using only the power of dance?

Just as a pianist traditionally starts learning finger exorcises by playing classical music, a dancer of any genre should have a solid classical background. I’ve learned that ballet is the foundation of strength and discipline needed to dance hip-hop, ballroom or any more contemporary styles. I’ve studied with Debbie Allen along with many other various incredible teachers at her Academy. Those skills have absolutely come in handy over the years of working in theatre or musical projects like High School Musical. I would even say it comes in handy in my personal life just dancing for fun at clubs or doing one of my favorite hobbies, salsa dancing!

One Life to Live streams on Hulu Plus. What do you think of companies like Hulu and Netflix producing their own shows? Is this the future of distribution?

There’s definitely more leeway given to distributing projects online to make them edgier and sexier. And especially since the majority of my generation feeds on their information and entertainment via phone, tablet, or computer, companies like Hulu and Netflix will most likely be able to thrive. As for the original OLTL fans, as long as they can adapt to the switch, now they will be able to watch their show wherever they want, whenever they want!

Can you tell us anything about your re-occurring role on OLTL?

I play Jeffrey King. He’s an entirely new character to One Life to Live, which I’m excited about since I get to create him from scratch. There are two major circles where Jeffrey’s storyline comes to play. One is with the young crew comprised of Matthew, Dani, and Destiny. Matthew and Dani are his roomies and it has a very fun and humorous sit-com vibe. The three of them are always jabbing at each other and getting into trouble together. Then there is the storyline of Jeffrey’s work. He takes up a freelance gig at The Banner (Viki Buchanan’s Newspaper). Viki hires him as an advisor in bringing The Banner into the digital age. This is where you see who Jeffrey really is. Smart, quick, and eager. He has a very strong personality when it comes to his work and is one of the only people who isn’t afraid to tell Viki what she truly needs. It’s a great dynamic that the show has never really seen before and the two of them have a mutual respect for one another. I’m honored to be working with Erika Slezak who has become one of my favorite people ever! Not only am I working with a talented, hard-working veteran who has been on the show for 40 plus years, she is one of the sweetest most thoughtful people I’ve ever met in my 22 years of being in the industry.

Is filming OLTL pretty much the same as filming a network show? Is the atmosphere more relaxed or the opposite?

The pace and amount of shots per day is a challenge that I’m enjoying. We can shoot up to 100 pages a day as opposed to the usual 6-10 done in a film environment. I’m memorizing anywhere between 20-50 pages a day! I feel like I’m getting a great mind workout.

You starred alongside Kristen Stewart in Catch That Kid when you were both teens. She had just been in Panic Room and Cold Creek Manor. What was that like? Did you exchange any tips?

I had my 14th birthday on that set! Did we exchange tips? Not so much. At that age there is still such a sense of play. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always taken my job seriously, even at that age, but there is a freedom in the acting that isn’t so much methodical as much as young kids playing pretend. It’s a state I feel we are always striving to return to. The best actors are the ones who can find that spirit again coupled with the perspective adult life.

You were also in Galaxy Quest, which is amazingly funny. You were probably 10 or 11 when that came out. What did you think of the movie at the time?

Yet again, I was very young when I worked on that project. I was working with some big names: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Allen Rickman, Tony Shalhoub… I may have seen movies that they starred in but I didn’t really understand the caliber of people I was working with. All I knew was I was having a blast! What 10-year-old boy wouldn’t want to play pilot in a life-size spaceship!

You’ve released two albums. Are you working on a third? What artists have inspired your music?

I’m not currently working on any music. I’ve been focusing on film and television right now. But I have a great love for music, and even more so performing live. When the right time comes I will most likely get back into it again. Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz and Prince have always been on the top of the list as far as my favorites. I’m a big classic rock fan, Led Zeppelin and Queen are my shiz! When I’m alone I listen to opera and classical, sort of my guilty pleasure, Pavarotti can be heard blasting from the kitchen when I cook. That’s my Italian roots shining through. I show love for my Jamaican heritage as well, love jamming to Bob Marley when the sun is shining. As I mentioned before I love salsa dancing, so Latin music is a big part of my life. And recently I’ve been bitten by the Dubstep bug!

Any other future projects we should know about? What are your plans going forward?

There are a few film projects, several of which are Horror! Nurse 3D and Monkey’s Paw. Actually just released another horror film that my production company was a part of called Scary or Die. Two more films to keep looking out for Sugar and Renee. And right now we are gearing up to start a campaign on Kickstarter for an anti-bullying film currently entitled The Day I Died. I’m really passionate about this project. It’s a subject that you see in the news way too often with serious repercussions for kids. Would love to put a spotlight on it in the film world.

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