Roark Critchlow talks playing Mike Horton on Days of Our Lives, his new role on Alaska Daily and more. Read here--->>
Canadian actor, musician, writer, and self-professed dreamer, Roark Critchlow, dreamed of several careers while growing up. He dreamed of being a football player, a musician, or an astronaut. In high school, he began performing in plays and that is when he knew whatever he was going to do, he wanted it to be in the arts. Although Critchlow loved acting, initially he wasn’t sure he could make a career out of it. After high school, it took him a few years, but he came to realize that he could.
“I moved to Los Angeles in 1992, to pursue a career in acting. I started auditioning but nothing was happening. I was working as a bartender. I had a daughter who was a year and a half and my wife was pregnant. After a while of auditioning without any results, you start to wonder, what am I doing here? But then I auditioned for Days of Our Lives and landed the role of Mike Horton. It put me on the map. My first role was on an international television show, which made me an international star. Not too bad, huh?”
Not too bad at all! Critchlow portrayed fan favorite Dr. Mike Horton from 1994-99, he briefly returned to Salem in 2010 and made another appearance in 2022. We asked Critchlow about his time on the soap opera, a couple of his favorite storylines, and his recent return.
“Days is known for stories with a little bit of everything with some pretty far-out storylines which makes for an entertaining time for fans and the actors. In one storyline, Dr. Mike was tasked with keeping Marlena’s body alive while John tried to figure out how to save her soul when she was possessed by the Devil. This isn’t something an actor gets to play every day!” Laughter. “The best part of my time at Days was working with Christie Clark. We had as they say “good chemistry” and we worked really hard to do a good job for the show and for the fans. We still keep in touch. If I am in San Francisco, I’ll go visit with her, her husband, and her kids. She is a fantastic person. Being asked to come back was an honor. The first scene I did was with Bill and Susan (Hayes) which was wonderful. I got the chance to work with and see Matthew (Jack), Kevin (Craig), Patrika (Nancy), and my new sister Cady (Jennifer.) It was great to be back where it all began. My career as an actor has been a fun and long winding road.”
This fun and long winding road include over 100 acting credits (and counting) in television and film. A few of his most recent projects are the television movies Sweet as Pie, A Kismet Christmas, and My Favorite Christmas Tree. Currently, he is on set in Vancouver working on the ABC drama series, Alaska Daily, where he plays a district attorney. The series stars Hilary Swank, Jeff Perry, and Grace Dove and follows recently disgraced reporter Eileen Fitzgerald (Swank) who leaves her high-profile New York life behind to join a daily metro newspaper in Anchorage, Alaska, on a journey to find both personal and professional redemption. The show centers on the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. Critchlow is proud to be a part of the show and hopes that more is done to help and protect indigenous women and their families everywhere. On top of Alaska Daily, he’s also having a good time performing in an amazing production of the Rocky Horror Play being put on by his niece’s production company.
Critchlow describes himself as a serial artist who not only loves acting but also enjoys expressing himself through music, poetry, dance, sketching, writing, and storytelling. “I really enjoy expressing myself through my writing. The first script I ever wrote was when I was on Days and it was terrible. I went through some personal hardships and afterward discovered I had more to say and my writing got better. I wrote little stories, began getting more ideas, and kept practicing. Now I have a pretty fertile imagination. I’ve completed eight movie scripts, a few screenplays, and television scripts as well. Currently, I am shopping my completed work around and writing a script for a producer friend of mine. I’d also like to write a movie, a comedy movie about the First Nations people merging their culture with American culture, the two cultures coming together. I am looking for a writing partner for this project because you want to make sure you are representing people properly. I don’t want to only write scripts about fifty-year-old white guys because that is limiting artistically but you also want to be responsible with your representation. I want to collaborate with people of different cultures. I think there is so much potential for great storytelling. We have to do a better job of getting everybody together in the same room.”
The serial artist and lifetime lover of music has had his hands in the music industry too. Some years back Critchlow started working with the now eighteen-year-old Canadian talented pop singer, Chayce Kennedy. At that time, although Kennedy was young, she was already singing and writing songs. Critchlow worked with the young talent and helped her develop structure and rhyme schemes for lyrics and songs. The two reconnected during the COVID pandemic and co-wrote “Hold Me Again,” “Summer Land,” and “Home.” The songs are available on Spotify.
Critchlow is living his artistic life to the fullest and tells us, “It is good fun!”