Michael Nouri

Michael Nouri

If an actor goes back to weekday television, being the new man in Erica Kane's life is a good way to do it.

Long a staple of prime-time shows -- including "Damages" and "NCIS" lately -- Michael Nouri is working mainly opposite daytime legend Susan Lucci in his recently started stint on ABC's "All My Children." He's playing Caleb McGraw, a mountain recluse who isn't entirely helpful to Erica in the aftermath of her plane crash, since it demolished his home.

"The bottom line is that I really love working," Nouri explains, "and I'm very excited about this character, who's very unusual for a soap. The first time I did a soap was in 1975; that was 'Search for Tomorrow,' and Kevin Kline was on the show with me. I did that for maybe a year and a half, then I didn't do another soap until 'The Young and the Restless' several years ago.

"I have great respect for the people who do daytime television," Nouri adds. "Back in the days when I did 'Search,' we had teleprompters (displays showing dialogue or other instructions) ... which never worked for me. I found them to be very distracting.

"Now actors have to learn pages and pages of dialogue, and I'm not used to that. We'll see how that goes for me. Susan (Lucci) is going to be my teacher."

Also famous for starring opposite Jennifer Beals in the iconic 1983 movie "Flashdance," Nouri maintains he's "not a stranger to characters with rough edges, and I really love playing those. I like characters who are far away from my reality, and I'm really interested in why this guy (Caleb) is living off the grid."