is among those rare actors who played a character -- in this case Austin Reed on NBC's
"Days of Our Lives"
-- then took a long break, then returned.
In between, Muldoon starred in movies (
"Starship Troopers") and TV shows (
"Melrose Place") and played with his band, the Sleeping Masses.
"When new writers come in, they fire everybody and bring in new actors," he tells
. "As soon as they let go of all of the actors, there are already rumors of us going back."
"The writers write toward your strength," Muldoon says. "Austin, the first time I played him, was a musician and a boxer. That was the character. Then I left the show and was gone for 15 years and went back after 15 years. This time they brought the character back as an accountant."
Unlike the tragic end so many soap characters meet, Austin is not dying, so Muldoon says there's the possibility of yet another return. In the meantime, he's pretty busy with his band and films.
Muldoon writes songs and plays rhythm guitar. He's completely at home onstage, likening the pace of working on a soap to doing theater. He recalls his first time onstage didn't require scripts.
"I ran for vice president of my grade school in seventh grade," he says. "I had to go up and give a speech, and the whole school votes. I was trying to sell kindergartners and eighth-graders. Remember Guido Sarducci? I did a Guido Sarducci: 'Don't be a goony; vote for Muldoony.' And I won!"
Muldoon has a couple of movies coming up and is considering moving to London.
"The music scene in L.A. has kind of had its day," Muldoon says. "In London and Ireland, it is incredible."
Hometown: San Pedro, Calif.
Legacy: His father and grandfather were lifeguards.
Role he often plays: "I've been the crazy guy who kills everybody," he says. "I am usually the third man -- the guy who tries to steal the girl and gets killed."
Influences: "When I went to college, to USC, a buddy gave me
'On the Waterfront.' It takes place in an environment I essentially grew up in, only the West Coast version. When I saw
Brando for the first time, I don't know what that guy was doing, but I wanted to do that."
Favorite books: "
'The Fountainhead' by
Ayn Rand. I am sitting in my office right now, so I can look at books. Let's see what's up here?
Favorite movies: "I don't think anybody is ever going to do better than
'The Godfather' I and
II. I love those movies.
'Lawrence of Arabia.' "
Favorite music: "I am a
Rolling Stones freak. I love the Stones. I am also a
Doors freak. ... I'm a classic rock guy. I also for a while was into the English, Irish.