Todd Talbot played Matt Walker was a main regular on all four seasons of Nickelodeon’s, first and only soap opera, Fifteen (named Hillside in Canada where the cast was from). If you were a die hard Nick fan during this time you might remember it but not a lot don’t(Fifteen has gained a cult following since and is now getting a full season released to streaming). Matt was one of those high school jocks who had a sweet girlfriend but had one secret: he was an alcoholic; adding on to the crazy dramatics of teen angst! I did an email interview with Todd to talk about his days filming the third and fourth seasons of Nickelodeon Studios Orlando,what went on behind the scenes, and a crazy way it can get reopened today! Watch Todd everyday on HGTV’s “Love It or List it” and make sure to visit his website toddtalbot.ca
1. How did you get the role as Matt Walker?
I auditioned in Vancouver along with a few thousand other kids, it was a long process that culminated in an on camera test to memorize the entire script and do it all the way through with a reader. I was dreadful but the reader made one mistake and I jokingly said that “I can’t possibly do this if he can’t get his lines right” and the producers loved that attitude and later told me that it sealed the deal.
2. Favorite episode that sticks out to you?
I haven’t seen an episode in over 20 years! maybe one of the first because it was all so new! First kissing scene with Laura Harris.
3. What was a typical day like at Nick Studios?
We would get there REALLY early, get into make up based on the call sheet. If we had some time off, we would run over to Universal and play on some of the rides. Other than that, we would hang in the green room, learn our lines, hang in the dressing rooms, roam the halls, spy on other shows shooting, regular kid stuff.
4. Do you remember any other shows being filmed where you were at?
Clarisa Explains it all ? There was a show that had dancers and a motorized chair – really cool!!
There were some game shows…can’t remember their names. I’d love to host a game show there now!
5. Considering that you were so far from home (Vancouver), what was one of the good things about living/working in Orlando?
The beach, the weather, Universal
6. Do you still keep in touch with anyone from the show?
Not really, I bump into a few folks here and there.
7. Have you ever been slimed?
8. Did you have a favorite ride at Universal Studios Florida?
I remember there was a flint stones ride, Also king kong
9. Fifteen was the first soap opera for Nickelodeon and definitely ahead of its time. How do you feel about it making a huge impact on fans today along with 90s Nickelodeon shows?
It was a blast, I learned a lot, if folks enjoyed it or get a kick out of it now that’s awesome, I still have a hard time watching it. Very critical of young Todd!
10. Has there ever been any talks of a reunion show?
Not that I’m aware of, it would be a monumental task getting everyone together. Might be fun to do a reunion party!!
11. Another Canadian show that was imported from Nickelodeon to the U.S. was “You Can’t Do That on Television.” Did you ever watch that?
A couple times, we shot season two of Fifteen at CJOH in Ottawa and that is where YCDTOTV was shot, before our time.
12. Any other behind the scenes or fan moments that happened on set at the studios you can recall? What do you miss about the show?
Met Steadman (Oprah’s guy) along with his daughter one day when they were on a back stage tour. I remember shaking his hand and realizing my hand could barely grip his gigantic hand! Cool guy!
13. I think that Nickelodeon Studios was a special place for kids and adults to interact with actors and tv shows and just have a lot of fun especially somewhere like Orlando. Would you agree with that?
I do, and now having two young kids of my own, I think they would get a kick out of something like that now!
14.Would you like to see Nick Studios be re-opened?
Only if they were going to shoot a show called ‘Forty’ The life and times of Matt after rehab!!
15.Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions about Nickelodeon studios Todd. I’ll show you the project once it’s finished. Take care!
Hope this works for you.