INTERVIEW: Roark Critchlow Previews 'Pregnant at 17,' His New Lifetime Movie

Roark Critchlow
Roark Critchlow is known to Days of Our Lives fans as Dr. Mike Horton, a role he played from 1994-1999. On DAYS, Roark’s character had a legendary romance with Carrie Brady played by Christie Clark.

Critchlow’s latest project is the Lifetime Movie, Pregnant at 17, which premieres Saturday, February 20 at 8pm ET/PT. After witnessing a brutal crime, things are finally starting to look up for seventeen-year-old Chelsea (Zoe De Grand Maison). Madly in love with Jeff (Critchlow), an older and accomplished married man, who promises her the world, Chelsea’s life takes a turn when she discovers she is pregnant with his baby.

Serial Scoop recently spoke with Roark Critchlow who previewed tonight's Pregnant at 17 premiere. Read our interview below.

SERIAL SCOOP: Dr. Mike Horton is still missed after all of these years. Would you ever come back if the opportunity presented itself?
When Jeff’s wife (Josie Bissett) discovers his affair and meets Chelsea, she decides to help her out with the baby, but when a dark figure from Chelsea's past returns, it puts all three of them in danger.
ROARK CRITCHLOW: It’s interesting, and I have gone back any time they have asked. I went to the 50th anniversary party in November. That was fun. A contract role, my goodness it would be nice. There is certainly nothing wrong with a little security in this business. DAYS was a great time. A great bunch of people. For six years I worked with 32 different actors, and however many other crew, and production, and there were very few complications. I’m still in touch with Christie Clark (ex-Carrie DAYS), still in touch with Austin Peck (ex-Austin DAYS), now Ali Sweeney (ex-Sami DAYS) because I did a Murder She Baked that aired a month ago. She is producing those now. There is no problem with it all in terms of conceptually. My only concern would be that I could still take some time to do other things. I don’t know if they are amenable to that these days. It’s cross promotional so I feel like it would benefit everybody. So no, I have no problem with the idea of being on DAYS -- but if I was there I would want to be able to continue doing other things.

Roark Critchlow & Josie Bissett in Pregnant at 17 Photo by Reel One Entertainment
SERIAL SCOOP: You mentioned you attended the 50th anniversary party for DAYS. Anybody that you caught up with that you hadn’t seen for a while?
ROARK CRITCHLOW: I haven’t seen Drake (Hogestyn-John Black) for a while; Drake and Victoria (his wife). It’s always great to see Drake and Victoria. The people that I had kept in contact with were all there, so I hung out largely with those people. But it was a huge space so you found people and gravitated towards these circles of people and found your fun place, and people would move through.

SERIAL SCOOP: So you did see Christie?
ROARK CRITCHLOW: Heck yeah. And Tom, her husband, they were one of the benefits of the show. That guy is great. He and I really have a good time. So yeah, the whole night was great fun. Ken Corday (DAYS Executive Producer) knows how to throw a party.

Roark Critchlow & Josie Bissett in Pregnant at 17 Photo by Reel One Entertainment
SERIAL SCOOP: Pregnant at 17 is your new movie premiering on Lifetime. How would you describe your character Jeff?
ROARK CRITCHLOW: Well, it’s roughly autobiographical. I was actually pregnant at 18. They changed the dates to protect the guilty. [laughs] Without giving anything away about the movie, I can tell you that people tend to view Jeff as being bad. I tend to view him as being a person who, through circumstance and tragedy, finds himself in a position where he makes a very bad decision. That decision never would have been made, nor would he have been in that situation, had his life gone a little bit better and more according to plan. It’s the kind of thing you have to do as an actor. It’s an old thing you have to learn early on, if you’re trying to learn. Very few people go through life thinking they are the bad guy. The choices he makes are bad, but as a person he isn’t a serial offender. He got put in a tough position and was weak.

Josie Bissett & Zoe De Grand Maison in Pregnant at 17 
Photo by Reel One Entertainment
SERIAL SCOOP: What was it like working with Josie Bissett and Zoe De Grand Maison?
ROARK CRITCHLOW: I have been lucky -- starting with Christie Clark. I’ve had nothing but lovely experiences with the ladies I have worked with. Josie was a pleasure to work with and that isn’t just a cliché. She really was. And open. And there was one scene where she was concerned about what was going on. And I loved it, because even with the body of work she has, she still cared enough to be worried during one scene about how it was coming off, how it was working, how was it serving the movie. That kind of professionalism is lovely. And you care, because she is also super nice.

Zoe put up with me [laughs] At one point we were at a location that was a house that they had rented from a family who had a bunch of kids. They had these three little tricycles, but they were roughly big wheels. We wound up having races around the driveway. [laughs] It’s pretty important also because she’s not 17, but she’s young. And I am sure as heck not 17, so you want to be comfortable with people. And I put in the effort with her to put her at ease with me. She hasn’t had as much experience with love scenes as I have, and it has got to be professional. She held up her end admirably. I made sure there was never any concerns or cause for concern on her part. And as soon as we realized we were both going to be professional and smart about it all, it made everything move along quite nicely. She really did a great job in this movie.

SERIAL SCOOP: Do you have a favorite moment from the film?
ROARK CRITCHLOW: I got to see a scene where, I believe, you see a part of Jeff that is... it’s a strange moment, but I felt proud of the way I handled the scene. And it was a delicate scene, and you want to get the right tone. It’s in a parking lot, that’s all I can tell you.

SERIAL SCOOP: What is it about Pregnant at 17 that you think will entice viewers to watch?
ROARK CRITCHLOW: Well, they didn’t pull any punches with the title. [laughs] If you’re looking for something that is a little more provocative than normal, than this might be the one. Josie Bissett isn’t going to hurt. And I believe there are a series of these movies. It’s got something of a following I think. I don’t want to call it niche markets, but it’s a competitive world these days in TV. A very different place. We are going to benefit from something they have already built I think. I have a friend of a friend who was told I was in this and she went. “Oh my God, oh my God, I love watching those!”

Having been privileged to preview Pregnant at 17, starring Josie Bissett and Roark Critchlow I can say with confidence this is a movie that can’t be missed.

Watch a sneak peek of Pregnant at 17 below.

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