William Keck
Soap Opera Digest Magazine
Dated: June 9, 1998

SUNSET BEACH's Dax Griffin Finesses His Way
Through Life As A Single Star

Nearly two years ago, before winning the role of SUNSET BEACH bad boy Tim Truman, Dax Griffin was serving cocktails to celebs galore at LA's legendary swing club, The Derby. During Griffin's eight-month tenure tending bar, the club was used as a chief location for the film Swingers - a class of society he came to know well. From behind the bar, Griffin was given a Studio-54ish view of Hollywood's seedier side.

"I saw a lot of stars who overindulged in alcohol and drugs - very interesting," Griffin notes. That said, the actor has no intention of retracing the swervy footsteps of, say, Robert Downey Jr. to the Hollywood detox unit. The strong morals Griffin acquired from his family in Atlanta keep this charmer's feet firmly planted on the ground. "To be fair," Griffin continues, "I've also seen how George Clooney carries himself - very cool and down-to-earth."

While the latter's the kind of celeb Griffin wants to emulate, the BEACH boy admits he doesn't really understand what it means to be a star. "I've met Brad Pitt and recently, Jack Nicholson, and there's no difference between these people and you and me," he explains, as he hurries to stifle mysterious music coming from his state-of-the-art cell phone. "Sure, when you meet Jack, there's a certain feeling that fills your body, but I think that's out of respect. You know, he's had to conquer lots of adversity. As an actor, you sacrifice a lot. This is certainly not out of the normal life. There's no stability, which is a very stressful thing. You always know you could be unemployed the next day."

As a key player in both of BEACH's disaster storylines - last winter's Terror Island and this summer's "Shockwave" - Griffin has good reason to quake in his boots. But he didn't. "I was more concerned when the show first started," he admits. "I thought after I stirred up a little trouble in Sunset Beach, it might be the end of my character right off the bat. And I was worried when I was in a coma for a month. But the producers reassured me everything would be fine."

And for the most part, everything has been, though Griffin would like to see his character finally release Meg to Ben and pursue one of the available BEACH babes. "I think it would be funny as hell to see Tim hook up with Maria, and Ben make the decision to stay with Meg," offers the actor, who opens up about his own love life. "I'm kinda single right now. I still see a few people, but I'm still on the single side. Actually, it's one person - kind of off-and-off thing." The "on-and-off" Ms. Thing is Josie Davis (ex-Grace, Y&R), who Griffin describes as "a great actress and one of my best friends. We're still romantic is some ways, but it's very loose."

Anything but loose was Griffin's bicoastal relationship with his University of Alabama sweetheart. In fact, the derailed romance enabled the actor to relate to his character's broken heart. "When we started the show, I had just broken up with the girl I'd dated for five years," he remembers. "I think her needs were moving toward marriage, which I have nothing against. I just felt, for Dax, that it wasn't the right move. We were both set in our ways and unwilling to compromise. I had to make my job my priority and I didn't need a marriage or a family at that time."

Coincidentally, the marriage-minded lady he broke up with is Shawna Shattuck, younger sister of Y&R's Shari Shattuck (Ashley) and sister-in-law to Ron Moss (Ridge, B&B). "Shawna actually got me interested in acting," remembers Griffin. "I started doing theater, and then, after college was over, I decided to move out to LA." With no place to stay, Griffin and Shawna lived at Shari and Ronn's place for nearly a year.

The college sweethearts split in 1995; she's now engaged to one of Griffin's friends, and he's sharing his Hollywood pad with best bud Chris Newman. Describing his house, Griffin says, "I like it to be relaxing - an escape after I come home. I have a lot of friends who come over and hang out. We're a very laid-back bunch of guys who are very close. Guys I've been around for a long time."

LA's relaxed lifestyle does seem to suit Griffin better than his more conservative hometown of Atlanta. In his younger years, the restless youth would often venture to more liberal parts of town to sate his creative appetite. "There are places in Atlanta, like Buckhead and Little Five Points, which are more in the punk scene," he says. "You can get anything you want, like here in LA, as far as clothing designers, furniture, shoes - a lot of culture. "It's where the cool bars are, too."

While Griffin observed the culture, he didn't copy it. "I've never had green hair or tight clothes," he declares. "I was an athlete in high school and actually considered going to college for football. But I decided against it because I didn't want to use my body as a dummy bag."

As a daytime actor, the health-conscience Griffin has found a safer way to use his body and good looks (thanks to his Irish father and part-Dutch, part-Cherokee mother). "If you're born with it in your genes, you might as well use it," he concedes. "It gets you into the casting room and noticed, but then again, you might not be taken seriously. But look at Brad Pitt - there's a guy who continues to amaze people in really tough roles. And look at Leonardo DiCaprio - a good actor with a good look. You can't get rid of it, so you just have to learn to utilize it to your best advantage."


Considering that he's got no home or job, Tim Truman is an enigma. Griffin sheds some light on these two subjects - or tries to.

DIGEST: Where is Tim living now?
GRIFFEN: "[Long pause] he...umm - the motel, still. He got a bigger room after he came out of his coma. Father Antonio took over my old room." (Sort of. Tim's old motel room was converted into the Mission Bedroom)

DIGEST: How does Tim earn a living?
GRIFFEN: "Everyone wonders how Tim had money for his medical bills. Gregory paid for everything - which helped out a lot. I'm kinda vague on this point, but I think Tim's still employed by him, even after he found out I gave my Liberty stock to Annie."

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