Home > Interviews > What does Al the Evil Nurse on #DAYS & Meryl Streep have in common? David Dean Bottrell!

What does Al the Evil Nurse on #DAYS & Meryl Streep have in common? David Dean Bottrell!

by Jim on March 25, 2011 · 0 comments

David Dean Bottrell

To hear actor/writer/acting coach David Dean Bottrell tell it, he is generally known for either playing funny characters or psychotics. But fans can currently see our actor channeling a heavily dramatic monologue by none other than Meryl Streep in the latest run of Streep Tease, which is back and currently selling out to crowds at the Bang Theater in Los Angeles. While Bottrell continues his phenomenal rendition of Streep’s heartfelt monologue from Out Of Africa (truly one of the highlights from the show), there are changes this time around with some new performers and monologues for audiences to enjoy repeatedly.

If you missed last year’s hugely successful first run of the show, which was created by stand-up comedian/actor Roy Cruz, the blend of comedic and dramatic scenes from Meryl Streep movies like The River Wild and Mamma Mia are all performed by men. However, as Bottrell points out, these monologues are not making fun of but, instead, paying tribute to arguably the greatest actress of our time.

Besides Streep Tease, Bottrell is also beginning a stint this week (March 23rd is his first airdate) on NBC’s daytime serial Days Of Our Lives as Al, an evil nurse in a mental hospital. For fans of Bottrell, who are well aware of his recurring role on the hit prime time series Boston Legal, seeing him tackle the wacky world of the fictional town of Salem (and hunky Days star Galen Gering), the episodes are sure to be must-see!

I grabbed coffee with Bottrell on the Sunset Strip recently to talk about how he’s juggling stage and soaps and whether Ms. Streep (or, gulp, her attorneys) have yet to venture to take in Streep Tease.

Jim Halterman: How did the Days Of Our Lives role come about?

David Dean Bottrell:: I got a call from the casting director, Marnie Saitta, and she asked me to come in and read for this relatively small role, which I did, and she said ’I want to save you for something better,’ which I thought was very flattering but sometimes casting directors say that to you and you’ll never hear from them again but luckily Marnie was a woman of her word and probably 2 weeks later I was brought back to read for a bigger role.

DDB (continued): The beauty of it is the role wasn’t written for someone like me. It was written for a tough guy and it was Marnie who championed me to the producers and said ’What if we went in a different way. We went with someone who was very character-y and could be sinister?’ So, I came back in, I tested for the role and I got it. So, I did six episodes of Days Of Our Lives playing Al, the evil psychiatric nurse. Sort of a male Nurse Ratchett, for sure.

David channeling Nurse Ratchett for Al the Evil Nurse on DAYS

JH: So what can you tell me about the story? I know you are involved with Rafe (Galen Gering), who has been imprisoned by the evil Stefano (Joseph Mascolo)

DDB: Stefano essentially has hired my cohorts and me to keep Rafe prisoner in this secret mental institution. So that’s where I came into the plot. We’re keeping him under wraps but he, of course, has amnesia and doesn’t know who he is so that complicates things.

JH: When you go into a job like this and you’ve done a lot of prime time and stage and a lot of different things, how do you adjust your acting style? Days can be very melodramatic in the traditional soap genre but then also go off into the wacky, which it sounds like maybe this is.

DDB: When I got the job, the casting director said ’You know this is a one-take show, right?’ I thought she couldn’t be serious but it’s really one-take, which was a little scary going into it. I came from theater where there was a lot of wonderful rehearsal and you had weeks and weeks to work things out. And then on Boston Legal where you have at least a few days to work things out but this was a lot like live TV. You had four cameras on you, you had one rehearsal, one shot and unless something fell over they were good with it. It’s super fast but I will say once I got used to it, I loved it!

JH: I know you’re on for six episodes, is the door open for you to come back?

DDB: Every script that I shot, the door was always left open at the end of every scene. Anything could happen. So, I guess it’s possible if America demanded that Al the Evil Nurse came back, the door is open!

Performing a Meryl Streep monologue from OUT OF AFRICA in STREEP TEASE

JH: Streep Tease is back! What’s new this time around?

DDB: It’s the 2011 edition of Streep Tease. We have four new performers and four new pieces and we’re also re-choreographing the end of the show, which is where I’m heading after this interview to stumble my way through some dance moves. I’m still doing Out of Africa but many of the pieces are new. It’s going to be fun. Doubt is in the show now, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and a couple more iconic films.

JH: The show was extended over and over during the first run. Did Meryl Streep ever show?

DDB: I’m sure she was aware of it but she herself did not make it. Her agents came at one point…

JH: Did you get feedback? Lawsuits?

DDB: They left without saying a word and we didn’t hear from their attorneys so I’m assuming all is well. We’re hopeful that she’ll stop by at some point in this new run. There’s also talk about taking the show to New York in June and if that happens I don’t see how she cannot come.

JH: I think New York would be a great place for it.

DDB: I think they’re going to love it, too, and I actually think she would love it if she sees it. It’s a comedic tribute!

JH: Now that you’ve done the show for a while, do you look at her work differently having been Meryl in the show?

DDB: I think she’s achieved this remarkable place in the history of film acting in that I think there was a time when you would say ’so and so was the best film actor’ and ’so and so was the best film actress’ but now because of the scope of her career if you say ’Who’s the greatest actor?’ you’d just say Meryl Streep, period. She seems to have reached this place in her career where she can do no wrong.

JH: And since she has gone from serious dramas like Sophie’s Choice to lighter comedies like Death Becomes Her and Mamma Mia it must make it easier for actors like you who can do both comedy and drama to go back and forth. Is that right?

DDB: Well, I wouldn’t want to be a casting director because I think it’s a tough job to figure out who can do what. It’s funny; certain casting directors will only call me if it’s a comedic role. Other people only call me for psychopaths. I feel lucky [laughs] to have such two distinct personalities in the casting community.

For tickets to see David Dean Bottrell in Streep Tease, which is playing now at the Bang Theater in Los Angeles, go to www.StreepTease.net and www.BangStudio.com. Days Of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Everything else about David can be found – where else? –www.DavidDeanBottrell.com and he also has a weekly blog at www.PartsAndLabor.tv and atwww.HuffingtonPost.com.

Photos courtesy of David Dean Bottrell

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