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Guiding Light R.I.P.

THE BETH CHAMBERLIN INTERVIEW- GUIDING LIGHT

Beth-Mainp.jpg

Beth’s affair with Coop has been exposed. Alan Spaulding has been publicly humiliated and is exacting revenge on his possession, Beth. How? By blackmailing her into an impromptu public wedding. The stage is set for one of the most dramatic returns of all of daytime. This Monday, Grant Aleksander returns for the first time in four years to “Guiding Light” as Phillip Spaulding, and actress Beth Chamberlin couldn’t be happier.

However, in this interview with “On-Air On-Soaps” it’s not all happy faces. Beth and I discuss the imminent departure of John Driscoll, and how the exit will impact the show. So, what’s it like to be the gal forced into a wedding dress, marrying a man you don’t love, while two men you do love are on their way to stop the nuptials? Beth reveals her thoughts, and of course, how she’s got the most rockin’ body on daytime television.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

If we go back to the beginning, were you surprised when you found out that Beth and Coop were going to be lovers, and what the dynamic of that relationship would be?

BETH:

Yes. I was very surprised. In fact, when I first found out, I was on the set just doing a throw away scene with Frank and Coop. Just before we went to rehearsal, and just before we went to tape, Ellen Wheeler, our executive producer, told me, “Oh, and you have been carrying on an affair with Coop, but I don’t want you to play it here because it will be revealed down the road. But I want the audience to look back and say, ‘Oh, that’s what was going on there.” I was completely flustered. I went, “What? What’s going on?” It was great, and I have to say it’s been great fun!

cooperbethinbed.jpgMICHAEL:

I thought Coop and Beth’s affair was the most shocking plot twist of last year!

BETH:

Oh, yes! And what John Driscoll (Coop) brought to the table made it work. Thinking about the fact that Coop is a young writer, and has the same energy that Phillip brought to Beth years ago, it makes sense she would be attracted to him

MICHAEL:

And then to top this off, Beth’s daughter, Lizzie, was once involved with Coop, and Lizzie caught them together!

BETH:

Lizzie almost married Coop, and she did leave him at the altar! So I am not stealing my daughter’s boyfriend or anything like that, but obviously, she was and is quite angry about the affair. So are the people who do know, within Springfield. It’s hard for them to understand and to reconcile it. Although Beth is not married to Alan Spaulding, Alan views Beth as his property, and Alan is a dangerous man!

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MICHAEL:

Did you like the idea of the younger man/older woman relationship, and that you were playing it out on television?

BETH:

I have to be honest. At first, I thought it was great because I love John Driscoll and I think he is a terrific young man. But, I was concerned about it. I think a lot of women may say when they look at Madonna or Demi Moore, “Hey, good for them.” At the same time, it’s something that a lot of women don’t really want. I was concerned about how this would play and would our female viewers get into this. I feel because of the depth and maturity John brought to the scenes, as I was playing it one day, I went “Ah, I get it,” and if I get it, then I will know our audience will get it. I think it’s been a great idea.

alan-beth.jpgMICHAEL:

And this week, Alan found out about the liaison and has now strong-armed Beth to break it off with Coop. So in a heartbreaking scene, Beth tells Coop it’s over and falls apart.

BETH:

Yes, Alan found out and the way he did was explosive. Beth is his property and people do not walk away from Alan Spaulding. It creates a very dangerous situation, and he has a lot he can hold over his head, too. He views this as adultery and you don’t embarrass Alan. He does some awful things and uses everything in his power to make her break it off with Coop. Then he forces her to marry him, even though she is not in love with him.

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MICHAEL:

However, Monday February 9, Phillip returns and we finally see the highly anticipated return of Grant Aleksander. Is Phillip on a white horse to stop the wedding?

Grant-Bethp.jpgBETH:

It’s an awfully nice position for a girl to be in, if she weren’t in such a terrible position. I have two men who are on their way to stop the wedding. One is Coop, and one is Phillip, although Phillip does not know until he gets to town that the wedding is taking place.

MICHAEL:

….That must send him over the moon?

BETH:

That’s a tough thing, especially when you start to look at it. You go, “Wait a minute. You shot me in the chest, Dad. You sent me off, and then you married my wife?”

MICHAEL:

Beth and Phillip are the loves of each other’s life, wouldn’t you say? How is Phillip
going to view that Beth is marrying his dad?

BETH:

It’s ultimate betrayal that Phillip is feeling. Beth does know that he is alive at this point and did not know for years. She thought he was dead. When she did find out, in a sense he was dead to her. Phillip left the family and was gone somewhere out there, and had no contact with them. In her mind, Phillip was gone for good, had a breakdown and had dropped out of sight. So it’s kind of a shock for Beth and everyone!

MICHAEL:

John Driscoll’s upcoming departure from the show must have been so devastating for you. I have to say; his performances this past week were some of his best work.

John-Driscoll.jpgBETH:

I have worked with him fairly recently, but I am so upset that he is leaving. It’s really hard for me and for everyone who has known him. He is such a terrific guy, a wonderful gentleman, and a good actor. With this storyline, he has gotten the chance to do great story. He is so terrific! So many people are devastated that he is leaving, and that’s a testament to who he is as a person and as an actor.

MICHAEL:

He will be exiting on the heels of the wedding drama…

BETH:

….I will tell you it’s some good storytelling. The writers wrote a terrific story. I would say for all of us that are involved in the story, our first concern is, “Have we been doing justice to the story they wrote?”

MICHAEL:

Grants’ return has been building for all soaps fans for months. Next week he returns. What are your thoughts of having your on-screen acting partner, and real-life friend, back in the fold with you?

BETH:

It’s fantastic! Grant and I are close and we stayed in touch. Truthfully, we got closer after he left the show, than when he was on the show. We did not see one another that often. We would talk, but he and his wife live quite far from my husband and me, so we rarely see one another. It’s lovely to see him as a friend at that level, and then the other level getting to work with him as an actor. He is such a wonderful actor. Grant is talented and committed to the work. I hold Grant in the highest regard.

Marcy-Beth.jpgMICHAEL:

It must be fun to watch Marcy Rylan (Lizzie), work with Grant Aleksander for the first time. How is working with Marcy?

BETH:

I have adored Marcy from day one. It was one of the things I would talk about with Grant and say, “Oh, I wish you would come back. You’ll love working with Marcy so much.” They had
their first real scenes together
a few weeks ago, and they felt
really good about the scenes.
Marcy is a terrific actress!

MICHAEL:

Now we must discuss the fantastic physical shape you are in. You put all women to shame with that killer body. You do the Kettlebell workout?

Baths-bodyp.jpgBETH:

I am truly in the best shape of my life. I look better in a bikini now then I did in my teenage years. I truly believe it’s the Holy Grail for exercise. I say, there may be other women my age that may be in good shape, but I would guarantee if they were not doing Kettlebell workouts they are not in the shape I am. I see people running and I think what an incredible waste of time. I mean, I am a mother and I am working, and I don’t have time for lots of exercise.

MICHAEL:

What do you eat? Nothing fattening?

BETH:

I eat whatever I want to. That was not true before, and that’s why I think this is the “It”. Anthony Diluglio who I paired with
for my workout DVD, “The Kettlebell Way
to Your Perfect Body” is the foremost
expert on this in the country. He put
together pure true Kettlebell training.
It’s cardiovascular, and strength training
together. I don’t believe in low fat anything.
If I am having “Ben and Jerry’s”, I believe
eat want you want, but you need to exercise
to do that.

Bath-weddingp.jpgMICHAEL:

Did Grant Aleksander who is a big fitness buff himself, direct your video?

BETH:

What he did was advise us. He was not available for the whole project. He is very knowledgeable on the body, and on camera, and so he was able to give me a lot of good advice on how I would go about doing this.

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MICHAEL:

In closing, on Monday the wedding of Alan and Beth begins. Should we expect high drama and do we need “hankies”? Is there going to be a bloody wedding dress?

BETH:

I am telling you it’s such good drama, and not only the part I am part of, but stuff I am witnessing. I think it’s some of the best story in…. I can’t even tell you when. It’s so dramatic, and again, everyone that’s involved in it is bringing everything they have to the table.

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In one of the most exciting and highly-anticipated chats of the COVID-19 stay-at-home television reunions, this one will rank way up there!

Announced on Friday, by Alan Locher for his The Locher Room You Tube channel, a Guiding Light Cooper family reunion is on its way to longtime fans of the beloved CBS soap opera.

Circle Wednesday June 3rd at a special time 5 p. m. EST/2 p. m PST for “Cocktails with the Coopers”.

Joining Alan will be multi-Daytime Emmy winner, Justin Deas (Buzz), fan favorite Beth Ehlers (Harley) along with Frank Dicopoulos (Frank), John Driscoll (Coop) and Fiona Hutchison (Jenna).  

To log in to the Cooper family reunion event with some of the finest actors ever to grace the town of Springfield click here.

So excited to see Justin, Beth and the Cooper clan all together again? Comment below.

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ABC and PEOPLE’s ‘The Story of Soaps’: What Was Your Review Of It?

Tuesday’s night airing of ABC and PEOPLE’s two-hour special The Story of Soaps featured many notable daytime and primetime soap stars, past and present, clips from backstage to classic memorable moments, and some participants who were providing commentary on the erosion of the daytime soaps in our culture.  Still others, maintained and realized that everything today is serialized from the news we watch, to some of Netflix’s most binge-watchable series, and of course, the birth of reality-programming.

Throughout the airing of the special, The Story of Soaps was trending on Twitter and social media either at the #2, #3 or #4 spots for the entire duration of the broadcast presentation, and the cancelled and beloved All My Children was also at one point trending.

However, known soap writers, journalists, ardent fans, and actors of the genre, were all on Twitter last night live-tweeting their thoughts as the special went down, and there was definitely mixed reactions and reviews, when all was said and done.

What the special did not shy away from, but tackled, was Luke’s rape of Laura at the campus disco on General Hospital. and how that moment now, as Genie Francis (Laura), so eloquently put, would be considered as ‘date rape’ in our culture.  The series even included a pivotal moment where Laura addresses Luke (Tony Geary) about the rape years later, after helping Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) through her rape ordeal.

John Stamos (Ex-Blackie Parrish, GH) got a bevy of “Right On’s!” for his comment that the soaps do not get the credit that they deserve and clearly came through as one of the soaps greatest supporters, as did former The Doctors and Knots Landing star, Alec Baldwin.

However, throughout the two-hours, Andy Cohen’s commentary was thread throughout; mostly citing soap’s demise and the creation of reality-programming and his “Real Housewives” franchise, that the special touted as the new soap operas.  It continued on the narrative that people preferred to see real-life drama then made-up drama on a fictional soap.  And while, that has been a trend in American culture for decades, the commentary came off as often out of place in a celebration of the soaps; and bringing in a lot of negativity to the special that soap fans were tired of hearing.

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The special did also address the cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live, (which many were not sure they were going to do – given this special was airing on ABC), where One Life’s leading lady and six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki) said what we all wanted to sa ywhen the ax fell on the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, “People were horrified”.

Clearly, OJ Simpson and his murder trial and reality-programming were also given a chunk of time to show where the once mighty landscape of daytime soaps which once had 13 shows on the air, dwindled town to 4.  But, it would have been nice to see more time spent on how in this day and age, the people in this current landscape of the genre work so hard to get episodes done at an unbelievable pace, and how in that climate the performers still deliver gut-wrenching performances.

Photo: ABC

Former Loving, OLTL and Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston, did point out how the once powerful soaps, just don’t have the dollars they used to, and need to, to help with production costs and their taping schedule.

Viewers were reminded of soaps’ socially relevant storylines including hankie-inducing moments from: Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Stone’s (Michael Sutton) HIV/AIDS storyline on General Hospital, to Billy Douglas being a gay teen coming out on One Life to Live, played by a young Ryan Phillippe.

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There also did not seem time spent on the contributions of William J. Bell; one of the most prominent writers of the soap genre of all-time.

For many commenting on social media last night, there seemed to be a feeling of some glaring omissions of participants who could speak on this genre, who have been in the trenches as soap producers, soap writers, pundits, actors, and more, who were not included in the special.

So, what was your review of The Story of Soaps? How would you grade it? Do you feel it accurately reflected the history of the genre?  Were you happily surprised,  or when it came to the end where you over it, or somewhere in between? Sound off in the comment section below.  Below are some tweets from notables who have worked as an actor, a writer, and a journalist in the soaps.  

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More online virtual conversations are on the way with beloved former soap stars.  First up, motion picture and TV star, Matt Bomer (Ex-Ben, GL) and the cast of White Collar, who will reunite on an all-new installment of Stars In The House, airing live on Thursday, May 7th starting at 8 p. m. EST.   You can watch it here.

The cast of White Collar will appear together in support of The Trevor Project.   Fans who have missed this crew of special agents and con artists will be able to interact with the cast in real time, ask questions, and donate to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people, for the chance to have their names read on air.

The Stars in the House series from hosts Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley has brought together casts from beloved comedies and dramas over the COVID-19 pandemic originally in support of The Actors Fund.

In addition, more news today from The Locher Room.  There is yet another Guiding Light virtual reunion on the way. This time featuring: Jerry verDorn (Ex-Ross), Denise Pence (Ex-Katie), Elvera Roussel (Ex-Hope), and Michael Tylo (Ex-Quint).

Circle next week on Tuesday May 12th beginning at 3 p.m. EST to watch the livestream featuring these past favorites from Springfield here.

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So, interested in the Bomer or verDorn featured online chats? Comment below.

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