Actor Patrick Muldoon is probably best known for his role as Austin Reed on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. He recently returned to Days to reprise the role after a sixteen year hiatus. He’s left his calling card on other shows like Melrose Place and the movie Starship Troopers.
And last but not least, he’s a boxing fan.
Patrick recently spoke with Kenai Andrews.
MMA Crossfire: On Days of our Lives, Carrie and Austin are leaving Salem because of her feelings for Rafe. They’re hoping they can go back to Switzerland and rebuild their marriage. Did you wish for a better exit?
Patrick Muldoon: I wish there was another way to send us off. But whatever. That’s daytime TV. I wouldn’t trade the year for anything. We had so much fun. One of the highlights of my career was going back to Days.
MMA Crossfire: A silver lining is your character wasn’t written off. There is a chance for you to return in the future.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah we didn’t get killed, which is always nice. Christie (Clark) and I, we really support the show. We get overly sentimental about it (Laughs). Even though I’ve been gone so long – I had a fifteen-year break – it’s still probably the thing I’m best known for. In those 15 years, somebody would call me and ask me when I was going back. We didn’t die. The year was great, but yeah I wish we could have went off a bit happier, for sure.
MMA Crossfire: What was the biggest change you saw in the role of Austin when you came back? He was a boxer and then he became a forensic accountant. That’s a change.
Patrick Muldoon: It’s unrecognizable was the change. And I think that you get that – there was another actor Austin Peck who had the role for eight years – so maybe they were striving for that. But my Austin was much different, and not to disparage Austin Peck in any way who did a great job, but that was his. Mine was much different. I just didn’t recognize the character really at all. He went from this tough guy who’s infatuated and in love with this girl, who isn’t always so right for him, but he’s still a bit heroic. He’s kind of on his heels the whole time. He’s either angry or whining about his relationship. And the writers did a great job. There was some fantastic writing that went on. When Austin had that situation with Abigail’s character, I thought that was written so well. There was some great writing. I just wish there was something that was a little bit more heroic. That was completely absent this trip back, which the last time I played him was the basis of the character. No matter what happens, he goes after what he wants. He’s the hero with the broken heart. It was hard to squeeze that into the storyline.
MMA Crossfire: Yes we noticed some things, like there weren’t many scenes with your onscreen siblings Lucas and Billy. I guess it was hard to squeeze that in.
Patrick Muldoon: That was the other thing. Billy and I had some good scenes, but then again you’re pretty much watching Austin whine. Even though that’s how it was written, it was hard to give him some respect or honor, or do it in a heroic way. But it’s so much fun with the mirroring of Sammy and Kerry – everybody loves those fight scenes, when they’re at each other. But also what I remember that was fun was myself and Brian Dattilo going at each other, because those relationships mirrored each other, which is why it worked so well back in the day. What can you say – There’s how many characters, 35? Austin definitely wasn’t in the forefront this time back. Other storylines were. But whatever. Who knows? Maybe it was a regime change. When a regime leaves, another regime comes in..
MMA Crossfire: They fire the actors.
Patrick Muldoon: All the actors get let go. So that what happens. Maybe someday we’ll go back and do it right. I hope we do.
MMA Crossfire: So, officially you haven’t heard word of a future return.
Patrick Muldoon: I have heard rumors but not word, no.
MMA Crossfire: OK, that clears that up.
Patrick Muldoon: The fun of daytime is the soap opera behind the soap opera is even more interesting than what’s going on onscreen. That gossip starts the day you leave. This is part of the fun of the genre…
MMA Crossfire: It kind of grows and grows and the next thing you know, you’re right back in there.
Patrick Muldoon: Yes. And the fans are very involved, especially in this day and age with the Twitter and the facebooking and everything. The fans have direct contact with the actors and privy to more gossip behind the scenes than they normally would be. You’ve got look at that as fun, I know I do. I love it.
MMA Crossfire: Absolutely. You had a point there. We’re around the same age and I remember the days the stars did the promotional mall tour circuit. In this day of social media, does that still happen? Is it sill vital?
Patrick Muldoon: Well it doesn’t happen like it used to. I mean I remember going out almost every weekend. It still does happen, but they’re pretty much just affiliate trips where we’ll go to a city of the NBC affiliate of a certain city. It’s great, but it’s not like it was with the mall trips and auto shows and all that stuff. That’s the economy. Maybe they can’t afford to do that anymore, I don’t know.
MMA Crossfire: I think you hit it on the head earlier. They’re taking advantage of the social media. But tell me about this MMA thing because this is MMA Crossfire. It was interesting to learn you were a fan and you’re doing Krav Maga. How did you get rolled up into that?
MMA Crossfire: When exactly did you start this?
Patrick Muldoon: Mid-90s.
MMA Crossfire: I see. And you’ve been probably watching the MMA scene blow up in that time. You are a big UFC fan.
Patrick Muldoon: Sure. Yes.
MMA Crossfire: Have you been keeping with the main stuff?
Patrick Muldoon: I haven’t been keeping up with this year. The last big fight was Silva?
MMA Crossfire: Yes, Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at UFC 148.
Patrick Muldoon: And did Silva win that one?
MMA Crossfire: Yes, so he’s still undefeated in the UFC. What do you think?
Patrick Muldoon: He’s a monster.
MMA Crossfire: Everyone was thinking Sonnen would be the guy, but the ref had to stop it in the second round.
Patrick Muldoon: Wow. Another guy that I trained with in the late 90s was an early UFC guy named Eric Paulsen. Do you remember him?
MMA Crossfire: Barely.
Patrick Muldoon: Eric Paulsen was the light-heavyweight shoot wrestling champion of Japan. He was just a buddy; he dated my girlfriend’s sister. The nicest guy; the last guy in the world you would think was lethal, but he was a bartender in Manhattan Beach. He would fly off and do these incredible competitions in Japan. So I would train with him too at the Jeet Kune Do studio.
MMA Crossfire: Have you ever thought about competing?
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. It’s a tough thing. It’s a tough thing because this year I’ve sparred. I caught a jab. I was boxing at Freddie Roach’s gym (Wild Card Boxing Club). I caught a jab; it hit me at the wrong spot. My eye turned totally purple. You know when you get that really dark purple? We were off that week, luckily. So, it’s a tough thing to balance, competing and keeping up the acting gig. Also, if you break your nose, you’re out for a long time.
MMA Crossfire: It does take a lot of dedication I suppose.
Patrick Muldoon: That’s the thing. You can’t go to work with a broken nose.
MMA Crossfire: There are some big fights coming up.
Patrick Muldoon: I know. Rampage is going to fight again, right?
MMA Crossfire: Right, he has one fight left on his contract. And Tito Ortiz last fought on the UFC 148 card with Anderson Silva and is now officially retired. What are thoughts on his career?
Patrick Muldoon: He had such a strong start. He came in and really owned people. His problem was hands. That’s the thing. You get on the ground with a grappler, you’re done. If you get punched by someone who knows how to throw a punch… Oh that’s it. Anderson. Is that the guy with the big right hand?
MMA Crossfire: Anderson Silva is more of a Muhammad Ali or Roy Jones Jr.
Patrick Muldoon: No, who’s the guy from Orange County with the big right hand? Henderson? Is that his last name?
MMA Crossfire: Yes, Dan Henderson is the guy.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah, that dude is bad news, but yeah Ortiz had problems with that guy with the mohawk.
MMA Crossfire: Chuck Liddell.
Patrick Muldoon: Chuck Liddell, yeah. Here you have a big puncher and a big wrestler. Those are great fights though because they can go any way. The wrestler gets the puncher on the ground, he’s in trouble. The wrestler gets hit, he’s in trouble.
MMA Crossfire: Ortiz was just inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. That kind of speaks to what you said about his career. Yes, he had his problems with Chuck, but everybody had problems with him. Chuck was probably the best guy of that era
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. Chuck just found a way to hit people cleanly.
MMA Crossfire: He could knock you out in an instant.
Patrick Muldoon: Right.
MMA Crossfire: But Dan Henderson – he has a big fight coming up. He’s going to fight the prodigy Jon Jones for the title in September.
Patrick Muldoon: Right on. Well, I love Dan Henderson for those reasons. He’s got both. The wrestling skills, but he also has the ability Liddell had which is to hit people, set people up for these massive right hands. That’s not easy to do when people are throwing front kicks and keeping you at a distance. It’s a different thing when you’re boxing and you can get in close. It’s a different thing when people are throwing knees when you get close and front kicks to keep you outside to land straight punches and crosses
MMA Crossfire: Absolutely, it changes your whole strategy. But when are we going to see a MMA guest star on a soap opera like Days of Our Lives.
Patrick Muldoon: Well, I’ll tell you what. When I did it in the 90s, we had one of the Witherspoon triplets – I think it was Lloyd Witherspoon – who was a pro boxer. And you get those when the characters get into whatever sport. My character was a boxer back then, so you had someone like Lloyd come in. He was an opponent. But it was great to be with somebody who knew so much more than I did, so that I was fake. People who don’t know what they’re doing and they’re always the ones that have something to prove. If one of the characters got into MMA, we’d see a MMA guy. It would be fantastic
I got approached – I don’t know if anything will come out of it. It’s just a rumor, but there’s some TV show out there right now that’s talking to Chuck Liddell and they’re also talking to me.
MMA Crossfire: Really.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. Actually, I just read it and it takes place in Vancouver. It’s called World of Hurt. I don’t think it’s financed yet, but I know that Chuck and I are independently speaking to these guys about putting this show together. It’s got something to do with police and a MMA gym somehow fighting crime together. I would love that if that happened; Chuck Liddell and I on the same TV show, that’d be great.
MMA Crossfire: Wouldn’t that be something. Any other projects you’re working on or looking into?
Patrick Muldoon: After Days, I’m doing a Christmas movie with Hailey Duff, called Christmas Eve. She plays Eve, and I’m shooting that right now with Hailey. She’s awesome. And I finished a movie In the Dark with Elizabeth Rohm from Law and Order, Shannon Elizabeth from American Pie, and Elizabeth Pena. Everybody’s name is Elizabeth in that movie.
MMA Crossfire: Well, that makes things easier (Laughs).
Patrick Muldoon: For sure.
Patrick Muldoon: I think it’s awesome. Women are fighting for our country in Afghanistan, they can certainly fight MMA. I remember when women’s boxing first came out; even I was like, “Do I really want to see that?” That stigma is definitely gone now. Women can compete in the same sports men do. It’s not sexist anymore; they’re getting respect as athletes in their chosen sport and I think that’s great
MMA Crossfire: They’re earning respect, absolutely. I’m going to put you on the spot. Your favourite all-time MMA or boxing bout. The best one you ever saw.
Patrick Muldoon: Well let me say boxing wise, I think it was… what was the name of the guys? They had three fights?
MMA Crossfire: Ali –Frazier.
Patrick Muldoon: No, (Marco-Antonio) Barerra and (Erik) Morales. Those fights were probably the most exciting fights I’ve ever seen. They must have set a record for most punches thrown and landed. The first two fights especially – if you ever get a chance to see them. If you haven’t seen them, they’re kind of inhuman. How these guys attacked and they hated each other. Still hate each other (Laughs). Some people watch soap operas and cry. I owned the The Thrilla in Manila, watched that and cried.
MMA Crossfire: (Laughs).
Patrick Muldoon: When you take into consideration that was 120 degrees, and both those guys were pretty high on hours, Frazier and Ali. It was still a fifteen-round fight, back when they had fifteen-round fights, and you just don’t know where they get the energy. Tell you what, I thought the Holyfield – Tyson I was incredible.
MMA Crossfire: That was pretty good. I thought you might say something like the Irish boxer Mickey Ward and Arturo Gatti…
Patrick Muldoon: Oh yeah. Arturo Gatti in anything was so exciting. I was at De La Hoya – Gatti, but De La Hoya was too big for him. It was a tragedy what happened to Gatti
MMA Crossfire: Yes it was. That was a big mess with the court stuff. Unfortunate for the children and the family.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. I can go on and on about fights. As far as MMA fights, let me think… I mean you have to go back to the Shamrock – Royce Gracie ones. Those were incredible. I even seen some Hickson Gracie stuff. He was insane and that was before all of this MMA stuff, pre-UFC. Who’s the huge guy with the blonde hair?
MMA Crossfire: You’re thinking Brock Lesnar?
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah.
MMA Crossfire: Brock Lesnar and maybe Shane Carwin?
Patrick Muldoon: That fight…
MMA Crossfire: Where he defended the title? He got beat up in the first round and came back in the second?
Pat Muldoon: Yeah, I think that’s the fight. It was an incredible fight right?
MMA Crossfire: Yeah it was. He was two heartbeats away from getting stopped but he survived and choked him out in the second.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah man, that was an unbelievable fight.
MMA Crossfire: Yeah. That was a great fight. That put Brock on the map. That was one of the best periods for the UFC because he brought a lot of eyeballs from pro wrestling into the UFC.
Patrick Muldoon: What a monster that guy is.
MMA Crossfire: Yes he is. He recently retired too, but you can’t take away what the man was able to accomplish in such a short period of time.
Patrick Muldoon: Absolutely.
MMA Crossfire: How tall are you?
Patrick Muldoon: 6’ 2”.
MMA Crossfire: OK. Who knows, maybe we might see you spar or an exhibition bout (Laughs).
Patrick Muldoon: Who, me?
MMA Crossfire: Yeah, you.
Patrick Muldoon: You know what? It’s funny. I’ve always in the back of my head always wanted to have one amateur boxing fight. They don’t let you have an amateur fight after a certain age, I forget what age it is.
MMA Crossfire: Yeah.
Patrick Muldoon: Do you know what age that is? Because I asked Freddie Roach for one and said, ‘No man, you’re too old.” (Laughs).
MMA Crossfire: No, I don’t know. I thought if you could show them you were serious, about it, you could get that overturned, but I don’t know.
Patrick Muldoon: I was in my late thirties when I asked them. I’m 43 now, and I think I asked them when I was 38 or something.
MMA Crossfire: I see.
Patrick Muldoon: But one thing that’s encouraging is that you got Bernard Hopkins. Is he still light-heavyweight champion of the world at 50 years old?
MMA Crossfire: Yeah, he won but he got stripped on a controversial decision. He shouldn’t have lost it.
Patrick Muldoon: But he’s 50, isn’t he?
MMA Crossfire: Yeah. And he did win it fair and square so that’s to your point.
Patrick Muldoon: Still, to be world champion at 50-years-old that’s encouraging, that’s awesome. The guy’s in great shape. There’s a fighter too that can do anything. I remember when he destroyed (Felix) Trinidad.
MMA Crossfire: Yes, that was an eye-opening fight.
Patrick Muldoon: Trinidad didn’t land a punch.
MMA Crossfire: And Trinidad was one of the top guys. He was the guy everyone thought was going to take over.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. Trinidad went from in that year – and you’ve got to give it to him – after he beat (Oscar) De La Hoya he beat (William) Joppy, then he went up to Hopkins. Joppy was the next weight class up and he destroyed him. Destroyed him. But Hopkins is a great thing for us old guys. An amazing defensive fighter as well as offensive.
MMA Crossfire: He will forever be The Executioner and on the MMA side, we had Randy Couture who just retired. I was octagonside for his last fight in Toronto (UFC 129). I think he was almost 49 when he hung it up.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. And you’ve got to give it to the MMA guys because before all of this stuff… of course it would help you in street situations, but you didn’t know what was effective and what wasn’t. But think about what they’re doing. It’s the most dangerous sport in the world. Throwing knees everyday… and you can’t go into these fights hype. You have to relax. It’s really become an art, MMA. So strategic. You have to know when to go for it and when to relax, because if you go for it all the time, you’re not going to have an ounce of energy left…
MMA Crossfire: It’s evolved in the direction of the skill aspect. Before like you said, fighters had one discipline but the fighters today have several disciplines, which means you have to know more as the opponent to combat what they know. You have to outsmart them.
Patrick Muldoon: Then you have that guy… Who’s the guy from Russia?
MMA Crossfire: Fedor.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah, with his weird timing punch. I haven’t seen him fight. Has he fought? Nobody ever beat him huh?
MMA Crossfire: I sound like a broken record, but he recently retired as well. He retired on a winning streak but suffered some big losses in 2011. One of the losses was to guess-who Dan Henderson, who ended the mystique of Fedor with a vicious first-round knockout.
Patrick Muldoon: Man! When did I miss that? Are you kidding me?
MMA Crossfire: It was last year. It was a great fight. Fedor had Henderson on the ropes, then he spun around with an wrestling move, reversed the position and used the right hand. Ref had to stop it.
Patrick Muldoon: I’m telling you man… He’s an old-timer right?
MMA Crossfire: Fedor is getting up there but…
Patrick Muldoon: And Henderson is pretty old too, isn’t he?
MMA Crossfire: Hendo just turned 41 I think, and he’s fighting for the title.
Patrick Muldoon: Well I hope he wins because that guy … when you’re around that long… I loved it when knocked out that English dude.
MMA Crossfire: Michael Bisping. Oh yeah. That was vicious and then there was the aftermath.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. He hit him, and then he hit him again.
MMA Crossfire: You’re being kind. (Laughs)
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah.
MMA Crossfire: But Bisping survived. He’s still fighting, doing well. Henderson is fighting the 24-year-old sensation Jon Jones. He’s a 6’ 4” guy who’s the light-heavyweight champion right now, so he’s 205. He’s 6’ 4”, with an 84-inch reach. Guys can’t get to him. That’s the problem, so he’s at the top of the heap right now.
Patrick Muldoon: That’s insane.
MMA Crossfire: Yeah. He’s too long and of course he’s well rounded, so if you try to get in there, he can put you away in a variety of ways. He beat Rampage last year. He beat three ex-champions in one calendar year last year. The fighter of the year.
Patrick Muldoon: Incredible.
MMA Crossfire: That’s why everyone wants to see what Dan Henderson can do, because he will be the most difficult opponent for him to date.
Patrick Muldoon: Well, I can’t wait to see that. I’m a boxing fan first and foremost. I’m a boxing freak, right. And MMA, I get into it…
MMA Crossfire: Well let’s get into it, because there was the huge controversy with Pacquiao losing to Timothy Bradley. How did you score that fight?
Patrick Muldoon: I’m like everyone else; I didn’t understand at all. It was bizarre. I’ve seen the fight twice. Just to make sure that I looked at it from a judge’s perspective. OK, maybe Pacquiao just looked busier. But no, he was landing. Nothing to take away from Bradley, I’ll say this: It’s the first time that guy’s been in a major major fight and held his own against probably the most confusing boxers to fight. A lefty where you’re getting hit from so many different angles and he’ll spin you until you’re dizzy, Pacquiao.
MMA Crossfire: He took the blows, I’ll admit. He took the punches, but I think to you, I and everyone else – except the judges – Pacquiao was coasting. I had it 11-1.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah, I did too. It was a joke.
MMA Crossfire: They’re going to rematch in the fall. Pacquiao gets another chance, but the state of boxing today Patrick. I mean, a lot of questions with this decision and others. People are wondering if it can survive with this kind of judging and lack of big bouts. We’re still waiting for Pacquiao-Mayweather and Floyd was in the slammer until recently.
Patrick Muldoon: I’ll tell you what. I used to not dig Mayweather. I don’t dig what he did to that kid where the kid head-butted him and he hit him on the break.
MMA Crossfire: I think it was Marquez..
Patrick Muldoon: No…
MMA Crossfire: Not Marquez, Pacquiao fought Marquez. I forget, but I know who you’re talking about.
Patrick Muldoon: I loved the Pacquiao-Marquez fights too. There you had a really unorthodox fighter and a true boxer in Marquez. Just those heavy leathers, straight down the middle. But everybody goes, ‘Marquez contested the fight,’ but he did not win that fight. Pacquiao won that fight.
But what I think Mayweather is doing… Mayweather is such an excellent defensive fighter and Pacquiao is also…
MMA Crossfire: It was Ortiz. Victor Ortiz.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah, Ortiz. You know, I don’t dig that. The champion should never win that way, how Mayweather won that fight. That was ridiculous man.
MMA Crossfire: It was, but let’s face it. It was the referee’s fault because he separated them and he gave Mayweather the opportunity to get in that free shot in.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. And it was that kid’s first major fight. But whatever. You have to protect yourself in the ring always, I understand that. But Mayweather does not get hit. He’s such an excellent defensive fighter; he doesn’t take a lot of damage in his fights. And Pacquiao is a true lightweight. So, he gives everything every fight. And he gets hit. These are big wars that Pacquiao is going through and I think Mayweather knows it. And I think Mayweather will wait as long as he can, collecting these paycheques and it’s simple for him. If he can make $50 million dollars a fight, why would he risk it? So that’s what it is. And he wants Pacquiao to go through a few more big wars because almost every fight, Pacquiao takes damage. The Marquez fight, Pacquiao got hit a lot. You don’t see Mayweather… He got hit by Sugar Shane (Mosley) but that was it. He got dropped by Sugar Shane.
MMA Crossfire: Sugar Shane is long gone…
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. But that was the only time I saw Mayweather hit the deck.
MMA Crossfire: Right.
Patrick Muldoon: What I’m saying is that Mayweather is just waiting for Pacquiao to have a few more wars and then he’ll fight him.
MMA Crossfire: Now that he lost to Bradley, last I heard the Mayweather camp was questioning the fight saying, ‘Why should we fight Pacquiao? He just lost to Bradley.’
Patrick Muldoon: He doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao because he doesn’t know if he can beat Pacquiao (Laughs).
MMA Crossfire: It’s just another excuse to lay off, I understand. But we’re right back to square one again. First it was the drug test, and then it was this and that. They were so close at one point and now it’s like we’re at square one again.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah… but everybody knows Pacquiao beat the hell out of Bradley so…
MMA Crossfire: Well that’s true.
Patrick Muldoon: We’re at square one again because Mayweather has an excuse.
MMA Crossfire: Yeah.
Patrick Muldoon: The real thing is that Pacquiao is a huge risk because he could lose. So why risk it when he can take $50 million dollars a couple of times a year.
MMA Crossfire: Yeah.
Patrick Muldoon: He’s got everything to lose…
MMA Crossfire: Who am I to question Pretty Boy Floyd? He’s doing it a lot better than I am, that’s for sure.
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. And nothing to take away from him. Same thing…
MMA Crossfire: 43-0…
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. As good as he is offensive, he is defensive and one of the greatest fighters ever. And he beat Marquez – badly.
MMA Crossfire: Yeah he did. And he beat Miguel Cotto in his last fight pretty good too.
Patrick Muldoon: And that was a great fight. So it’s not like he’s ducking competition, but he is ducking Pacquiao for sure.
MMA Crossfire: We’ve got to get the announcer who stood up to him. That might be a good fight. What was his name, Larry? (Laughs)
Patrick Muldoon: Yeah. Nobody likes Larry Merchant. (Laughs)
MMA Crossfire: He’s still got some spunk. He shocked me when he said that. (Laughs)
Patrick Muldoon: I have to side with Mayweather on that one. (Laughs) Larry Merchant has probably never been in the ring in his life and he is negative. He puts down boxers. I’d like to give it to him, because he’s been around for so long. But yeah. Larry Merchant is tough to listen to.
MMA Crossfire: Well Patrick, I really appreciate taking the time out of your schedule to talk with us today. Perhaps we can do it again when a big fight is coming up.
Patrick Muldoon: You can probably tell from this interview that I love talking about this stuff, so yeah it would be great.
MMA Crossfire: The feeling is mutual (Laughs). Alright great. Well, thanks again for doing this.
Patrick Muldoon: Thank you, Kenai.