Interview with Frank Collison alias Horace Bing.
Interview from 5 March 2006.
This interview is copyrighted by www.drquinn.nl.
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Frank Collison alias Horace Bing
Here are the answers to your questions. I used some American
expressions that you might not understand. Hopefully you have a good translator.
1. You've played Horace for 6 years. Did it ever happen that sometimes, in your personal life you thought and did things like Horace would do? That you actually acted like the character that you played on the show?
- Actors often draw from their own life experience in playing a role. In every
role you expose part of your own personality.In high school I was a bit like
Horace, shy around girls and not into macho activities like sports or
hunting. I related to the episode where Horace goes hunting with "the boys." In
real life I have never been hunting so it was easy to imagine being awkward in
2. You were great in your role as Horace, are you planning or doing that type of role again?
- Truthfully most actors, unless they are major stars, take whatever roles
are offered to them. I consider myself a "utility player" which means I can
play a variety of roles. I do seem to get cast in as goofy guys, hillbillies and
3. How is Joe Lando in real life?
- During the run of DQ my three children were very young and I was very
involved with a Pacific Resident Theatre, a theatre company I helped found. Being so busy, I didn't socialize much with the cast. On the set, I found Joe to be very hardworking and actually a bit shy. He also has a great sense of humor.
I wish Sully had more opportunities to show Joe's fun side.
4. Did you really have to learn to manage the telegraph? Or were you just ticking?
- I started to learn Morse code but the first time I started clicking the
keys, the sound man asked they I not actually make any sounds as they would add in the clicking in post production. I did study the way telegraph operators
operate the key but I didn't actually make any sounds with it.
5.What were your families reactions on you getting the part of Horace in Dr Quinn? Was there very much support, like learning your text during the series?
- My kids loved visiting the set. When I would leave for work they would say,
"Daddy is going to the horsies." All three appeared in various episodes of DQ.
Learning lines has always been easy for me plus Horace never had any huge
long lines so that was never a problem. The support my wife provided was
keeping things running smoothly at home when I was working long hours on the set.
6. What was your reaction when you find out that Horace and Myra divorced?
- I was sad to see Helene Udy (Myra) leave the show but I knew that dramas
need conflict and a divorce is the type of conflict to which many of our viewers
could relate. It did provide opportunities for some good Myra/Horace scenes.
What surprised me was how upset viewers were when Horace fought against Myra working outside the home. Because Horace was one of the "good guys" on the show I think the viewers were disappointed when he displayed his harsher side. I thought Horace's attitudes about women were perfectly in keeping with the typical male of the period. I liked having the opportunity for Horace to
display something other than his good natured side. There are just so many ways Horace could say "Morning Dr Mike!"
7. Was it easy to play Horace, or do you have a very different character?
- Yes, its was easy as I really began to understand Horace. I loved the guy!
8. Did you liked to be Myra's husband?
- Yes, I loved being married to Myra and having a child on the show. We were frequently the comic relief and that was fun. I loved how these two very different types, a prostitute and a telegraph operator, were paired up.
9. How did you got involved in to the Dr. Quinn series?
- Very simple, I auditioned for the role and got it. No call backs and no
screen tests. I know Beth Sullivan fought to get me hired as some people wanted an actor with more credits.
10. Are you do now something other than acting work?
- Are you asking if I am doing something "other than" acting work? Yes, I
sometimes teach acting classes. I also assist my wife, Laura Gardner, in teaching a class for disabled actors.
11. What was the most interesting / fun character you ever had to play?
- Interesting role: Sitting Bull in a play by Arthur Kopit called "Indians." I
felt it was a great honor to play such an honorable man. Fun role: The First
Witch in Macbeth. I had a very weird costume and makeup job. It was a bizarre production.
12. What's William Shockley really like?
- Mischievous and kind.Oh, and he's actually 5 feet tall and bald.
13. Do you miss working on "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman"?
- I miss the steady work and the camaraderie of the cast and crew.
14. Have you learned things about yourself while playing Horace for so many years?
- I learned that being loyal and honest like Horace are qualities to strive
15. Are there people who recognize you from Dr.Quinn or an other movie?
- I am amazed how many people all over the world still recognize me from DQ.
They also remember me from more recent roles such as "Wash Hogwallop" in O, BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? or THE VILLAGE. For a complete list of my work you can go to www.frankcollison.com
Thanks for the time you have for answer the questions!
Really great you wanted to do this!
We want to wish you all the luck in the future, with everything that comes on you path!