Marc Menard: Fearless FactorBy Mara Levinsky Posted: Apr 18, 2003
"I got into acting to meet girls" is a refrain Digest editors are accustomed to hearing from rising male soap stars, a surprising number of whom cut their theatrical teeth in high-school plays for this precise hormone-induced reason. But what sets Marc Menard (Boyd, ALL MY CHILDREN) apart from the pack is just how badly he needed a way to meet girls. "I went to an all-boys high school!" he explains with a laugh. "Drama was the only club where my school mixed with the girls school."
Sitting face to face with the strikingly handsome actor, it's hard to believe that he ever had a dearth of eyelashes being batted his way, even with the extra challenge posed by his enrollment at a single-sex academy. But, he assures you, his distaff dilemma was very real. "I was only 5-foot-6 in high school," groans the now-6-foot-2 Menard. "I used to wear padding in my shoes. I prayed, did a lot of stretching.... But even as a short kid, I wasn't easily
Menard's fearless disposition has long come in handy. It enabled him to summon the nerve not to become a doctor, as his father had pressed him to do, and to likewise reject career option No. 2, law, even after studying several years toward his degree. Two things inspired this decision: a course called Simulated Court Study, which disabused him of the notion that what he terms "real lawyering" resembles the battle of wits represented by TV shows about the court system, and a chance encounter one night while working at a bar. He served a patron who happened to be a director in the midst of music-video casting woes. The guy looked at Menard and said, "You're perfect!" That gig begat another gig, and Voila!, just like that, he became a working model.
"I had never planned on a modeling career," he shrugs. "I just looked at it like paid travel around the world."
And traverse the globe he did. But after three years
of living out of a suitcase, oftentimes in cramped European boarding houses, he officially tired of life on the go. "It got to the point where I was like, 'All I want is my own TV -- and my own linens!' " he laughs. Besides, Menard, whose affinity for the performing arts dates back to those drama-club days (and must be genuine because, let's face it, he no longer needs much help turning girls' heads), was eager to make the same runway-to-soundstage transition as fellow Pine Valleyites Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, see sidebar), Josh Duhamel (ex-Leo) and Aiden Turner