It was a unique time in my career. I had finished two feature films, “On Golden
Disney’s “Night Crossing” during the summer and late winter,
respectively, in 1980. Sometime in
the spring of 1981 CBS had contacted my
agents about me being in “An Innocent Love”. I flew
out to Los Angeles and met
with the producers Steve Binder and Buck Houghton and got the job.
The movie itself didn’t air on television until the following year in 1982.
When did you meet Melissa Sue Anderson for the first time?
I actually met Melissa for the first time at the airport in Los Angeles before flying
to Seattle. I
was fourteen at the time and was traveling with a guardian (usually
my grandfather, but I think
one of my older sisters accompanied me at the
beginning of this trip). Melissa was an adult and
Although we weren’t seated next to each other on the plane, Melissa was
enough to invite me over so we could get acquainted. It was a great way to “break
ice” and become friends.
How many days did it take to shoot the film?
Television movies are usually 3 weeks (6 days of shooting, 1 day off). If memory
serves it was
scheduled to be around 18-21 days.
I thought that the scenes in the backyard looking through the telescope and
the ending of the movie with your goodbye to Melissa as she leaves for UCLA
were touching. You and Melissa had great chemistry in the film. How was
your working relationship?
My working relationship with Melissa was terrific. She was not only a real “pro” because of her
own extensive background in the business, she also made the work
fun. I think she realized what I
was going through both as a young actor and teen,
and she made an extra effort to joke with me
Was the film shot entirely on location in Seattle including Harry Woodward’s
home? The scenes on the campus of the University of Washington were well
Yes, we shot the entire movie in Seattle and surrounding areas. The University of
a beautiful campus - even though it rained a lot.
How was your working relationship with Rocky (Steven) Bauer? You had
good chemistry with him.
Rocky was very nice to me. My character, Harry, is a little jealous of his character,
because of his relationship with Melissa (Molly), but Rocky never showed
any animosity towards
me on or off the set. The only time I ever really saw Rocky
was when we were filming together.
I enjoyed the scene with your mother (Pat Finley) in your bedroom where
your mother shares about a past relationship. Most of the film, she plays the
overprotective mother, but she shows a sensitive side by sharing her story with
Harry. How was your working relationship with Pat Finley?
Funny, but I didn’t get to know Pat very well, and part of that was due to our
schedule. I was
involved in a lot of scenes, so my days were full. People think
actors’ lives are so “free” and
“glamorous”, but it’s not always the case.
Especially for a child actor, it’s leave the hotel, go to
work, go to school with your
tutor, back to work, then back to the hotel and go to bed. Repeat
the next day.
Regarding Pat, we both showed up to do our scenes and moved on. She’s a terrific
actress and made our scenes between “mother and son” easy and enjoyable.
It looked like you were enjoying yourself with Max (Bill Calvert) and Mario
(Christoff St. John) during your scenes together. You were hitting each other
pretty hard during the pillow fight. How was your working relationship with
I think one of the reasons Bill, Christoff and I had so much fun was because we
were around the
same age and could relate to one another. The director, Roger
Young, allowed us to ad lib when
necessary and created a “free” environment so
our friendship appeared “real” on film.
The pillow fight scene was a perfect example of that. Roger made it clear to us
that he didn’t
want any of us getting hurt, but he did want us to enjoy the moment.
The three of us had a great working relationship. We used to like pulling “pranks”
another. They got me good one day, too. Bill and Christoff somehow
snuck into my hotel room
while I was away on set. I was working fairly late, so
when I got back to my hotel room, they had
“music” playing and the appearance
that someone was “sleeping” in my bed. It freaked me out. I
ended up asking
some of the crew members to “sweep” my room and get the intruder out. At
they were fooled, too - they thought someone was actually in there. When we
was a prank I caught a lot of good natured grief over it.