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The Carolyn Hinsey Interview – Afternoon Delight: Why Soaps Still Matter

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Outspoken, satirical, full of dish, and a fearless soap trouper and columnist through the years, is what has always made soap fans take notice of Carolyn Hinsey’s work.  First, through her decades with Soap Opera Digest, and of course, with her uncanny and outrageously spot-on take on soaps in her column, It’s Only My Opinion.  In addition to that, she continued her reporting on the daytime drama world for the New York Daily News where many times she has dropped an exciting sudsy bombshell or two!  Now after taking a look at soaps from the ridiculous to the sublime, to the juicy gossip, to giving us behind-the-scenes scoops, Hinsey has released her long awaited ode to soaps: Afternoon Delight: Why Soaps Still Matter (Available at thesoapbook.com and amazon.com) and it is a barn-burner!

In it, Hinsey cleverly mixes a soap history lesson, some words of soapy wisdom, solid criticism, and enlightens the readers of some of soaps biggest wrong turns in the genre. There are also some hilarious backstage stories and dirt that the most ardent of soap fans will enjoy and revel in! On-Air On-Soaps certainly got a glimpse when we sat down to read the book, with it’s page- turning ride and look into where soaps have been and where they have ended up, and everything 360 degrees in between.

If you want to know Hinsey’s thoughts about: GL’s destruction via Peapack and Wheeler, OLTL’s Kish mess, soaps overused plot devices, ATWT’s Lily misfire, AMC’s Dixie Cooney death debacle, where all the minorities characters have gone in daytime, and why they have in most cases never existed, and much more, you have come to the right place! Afternoon Delight: Why Soaps Still Matter, has something for everyone, but in the end a splendid love for the genre.  So now, on with our fun and insightful conversation with Carolyn!

MICHAEL:

Why the title of the book?  Did Why Soaps Still Matter get added to the title Afternoon Delight after you watched everything implode in daytime in recent months?

CAROLYN:

Courtesy/4thStreetMedia

No!  Actually, I wanted to call it Why Soaps Still Matter and my publisher came up with Afternoon Delight: Why Soaps Still Matter because it was a more positive title, and it evoked the happy time which all of us still wish we had with soap operas.  The nuts and bolts of the book is: why soaps still matter.  So we combined the two titles, and the cover concept was their idea, which I love.

MICHAEL:

You, like many of us, have had ups and downs in your professional career.  And you in particular, have been privy to so much juicy gossip and inside soap info.  Did you always know you were going to write a book?

CAROLYN:

Having been in this business for almost 21 years, I always thought I should write a book someday.  But I was not sure what to peg it to.  And this book evolved as I wrote it, to be honest with you.  I would find myself getting involved in conversations with people who don’t watch soaps and they would go, “You still write about soap operas?  Are they still on the air?” And I found myself defending soaps to people who don’t understand the connection and why people watch them. And then I was approached to write a book.  I decided to start in the middle and then move forward through the history of them and then back to why they matter.  And to this day, I can’t believe I have to tell anyone why soaps matter.

MICHAEL:

It drives me nuts, too!  I wanted to go through some of the chapters and discuss some of the highlight moments that sparked me as a reader to discuss with you.  Let’s start with In The Beginning, where you say,Irna Phillips’ harshest soap opera moment came in 1973, when she was cruelly fired by P&G, despite having created their entire stable of soap operas and selling billions of dollars worth of their detergent, toothpaste, diapers, and yes, soap.  Unable to take inspiration from any of her own heroines – Phillips died heartbroken later that year.”  And I mean this was the creator of the soap opera medium!  Where did you pull this info from?

CAROLYN:

Some of that came from the Soap Opera Encyclopedia and some of that came from the Museum of Broadcasting about her.  She was apparently very imperious, and there are famous stories of how she always called her actors by their character names. (Laughs) Her single-mindedness created the genre.  I wrote at one point that she made $250,000 a year as a single woman in the sixties.  That is a ton of money now!

Courtesy/Museum Broad

MICHAEL:

You also detail how Irna set more and more of her soaps in hospitals, illustrating her hypochondria and fascination with her own “ailments.”  I had to laugh!

CAROLYN:

She started setting her soap operas in hospitals and according to the research that is because she herself was a bit of a hypochondriac.  She was so fascinated with doctors and nurses and hospitals, that she started writing about them.  Irna was also the first person to hire a doctor as a consultant on a soap!  Back then; it was kind of out there to hire a real doctor to consult with for your soap opera storylines, whereas nowadays it’s very commonplace.

MICHAEL:

In your next chapter, Shining a Light on Soap, you kind of go around the soap horn and point out memorable and favorite stories from the soaps. For As the World Turns, you had said your favorite story was that of Duncan McKechnie who wed Shannon O’Hara in a Scottish castle, and then comes that infamous shrunken head! I thought it was one of the worst stories ever! (Laughs)

CAROLYN:

Maybe “favorite” is not right, but most memorable.  I mean, how do you get a shrunken head delivered to you and go, “Oh, my wife must be dead!” and then just go on with your life?  It’s hilarious!  Think about it!  The whole Duncan and Shannon story was a favorite of mine.  I liked the castle and it was so gothic and dreamy and romantic.  I was also amazed that Michael Swan (Duncan) was from California and he had this fantastic Scottish brogue for 20 years!

MICHAEL:

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I was like, “why do we care about them?”  To me, these characters seemed to be thrown in the mix from the get-go!  Then, you talk about the ending of ATWT in the book, and the final scenes between Holden and Lily.  And as soapers know, it was Noelle Beck as Lily and not Martha Byrne.  I have to say I thought Jon Hensley was amazing in those scenes.  I could only imagined what it would have been like for long time fans if Martha would have been there, too.

CAROLYN:

I thought he did a fantastic job, and I agree with you, but that was not Lily! You are reminiscing to a stand-in about scenes that we all watched in the 80’s and it’s just fake!  It s just not the same and I just don’t buy it.

MICHAEL:

Love of Life But Not Your Co-Star, this killed me. (Laughs)  In this chapter, you mentioned that actors request love interests… and that All My Children’s Susan Lucci prefers tall co-stars because her lighting is better.  But everyone is taller than Susan!  And Walt Willey (Jack) towers over her!

CAROLYN:

I know this from being on the AMC set for the last 20 years, Susan has aged better than any one else in soaps and she knows what she is doing.  Susan knows when you are looking up, your eyes look brighter, and the light is better.  I mean Susan plays all her scenes with her neck up looking at Walt Willey and taller people.  Even the actresses who play her daughters are taller, and so Susan just always looks fantastic. She is smart about that.  The first time I was conscious about lighting on soaps was when Morgan Fairchild was on The City, and they invented the “Morgan Ball”.  Do you remember that?  She wanted her own special lighting on the set.  So they would have this just over her face.  It was like a ball of light, and it is like having a photo retoucher on the set with you, only it’s a light hanging over your head.

MICHAEL:

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In the chapter you also chronicle the stormy professional relationship between Days of our Lives stars, Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso (Bo and Hope).  I do recall they had their conflicts in the past, but they got over that and are now very cool with each other.

CAROLYN:

Right, and I revisited it in the book because I don’t think soap fans really want to know if their favorite couples don’t like each other in real life.

MICHAEL:

I think that breaks that fourth wall, or wrecks it for them.

CAROLYN:

Yes, I think it does.  So people tend to do very careful interviews.  So if you do get along great and if you don’t, keep it to yourself and play the scenes, because something has struck a chord in the fans. They want to see you two together, and the show wants to write you together, and for you to be popular.  And so I say, just keep your mouth shut and do your job, which is what 99% of Americans do when they go to work, especially, if they have to go to work with someone they don’t like, right?

MICHAEL:

In your chapter Only On Soap Operas, you have listed and pointed out two of my favorite beyond ridiculous things in soaps, starting with…Short Supermodels!  You are so right!  I mean c’mon!  How can Erica Kane and Brenda Barrett be high fashion super models?  Yes, they are beautiful women, but they are so short in stature.  That would never happen in the real world.

CAROLYN:

Courtesy/ABC

Well you know, that is part of what we all love about daytime.  We all have to be in on the joke, and Susan is beautiful, but Erica was trying to be a model in little Pine Valley, Pennsylvania in the 70s, and then she became a New York and international high fashion model.  So I guess back in the 70’s you did not have to be tall to be a supermodel. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What about GH’s Brenda being a supermodel?  I keep thinking, these girls would not cut it on a runway anywhere!

CAROLYN:

Yes, but also in regards to Maurice Benard (Sonny), Steve Burton (Jason) and Scott Reeves (Steven), these are not super tall men.  So if you really had a super model on GH, she would tower over the men and look like a female impersonator.  This chapter was so much fun to do and I can tell you it could have been longer.  And when it all just rolled off my fingers onto my computer, it was all the things I love about soaps and also like to make fun of in soaps, in one chapter.  And when I talk about soap fans being in on the joke, we know when an actress is pregnant, but they are not writing it into the story.  So then, it is so much fun to see how they are going to hide it?  Is she behind a bar or a big table, or is she holding a big purse?

MICHAEL:

We are all in on it!  And soap fans are not stupid at all!  And at times, we all have to just suspend belief and go with it.

CAROLYN:

I agree a thousand percent.  Now I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy from last year where everybody just burst into song.  I am sorry?  You people are making fun of daytime soaps and you have 700 doctors singing through the hospital?

MICHAEL:

Ok, can we talk Doppelganger sex?  Because that is my other favorite in this chapter!  How can these soap women not know the man they are sleeping with is not the real deal?

CAROLYN:

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Well, apparently, everyone on soaps has sex the exact same way, because you are unable to tell when your partner is not your partner. That is the only explanation, Michael!

MICHAEL:

I have to say doppelgangers are getting really tired, wouldn’t you say?

CAROLYN:

I agree!  Well look at Y&R last year. There is no way 27 people are coming to town as look alikes!   I mean, pick one and then every five to ten years you can do another one! And I mean only one! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

In the next chapter, Black To The Future, you discuss the lack of minorities and diverse religious beliefs on soaps. One Life to Live back in the day, had a core Jewish family integrated into the show, and then later and to this day, has the only Jewish character on daytime, Nora Buchanan.  Don’t you think there is something seriously wrong with that?

CAROLYN:

I do.  Especially, because you never see people go into church except for either Christmas, or a christening at a church, but only if there is a shoot out to follow.  So what is the harm in having a Jewish family?  You don’t have to show them going to temple, you don’t have to build a new set and hire a rabbi.

MICHAEL

It is very apparent that the WASPY fictional families drive daytime.

CAROLYN:

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Part of that is that it is hard to introduce something new.  What One Life to Live should have done was keep the Jewish family they had on all these years and not dumped them. To OLTL’s credit they did bring on Hispanics.  I remember talking to Kamar De Los Reyes (Ex-Antonio Vega) and he said, “Don’t say Hispanics, say Latinos.”  They did move from a Jewish family to a Latino family, and at least OLTL is not Lily-white like so many of the other soaps.

MICHAEL:

I think I would like to see a scenario where a Jewish character dies and watch the drama that unfolds from it and how they go through the process of grieving and life and death in the Jewish religion. You don’t see that and it’s kind of disheartening; that we don’t see this diversity and same thing with African Americans, as you discuss in the book.

CAROLYN:

The best thing that Jewish people do when someone dies is you sit Shiva.  And you have either three or seven days and you remember the person who passed away, and that would be such great soap. Think about it; people were sitting Shiva and talking about people who died and someone has too much to drink and they get into a fight.

MICHAEL:

Listen, in real life when you go to Shiva, you are with family and extended family you have not seen in a long time and everyone is upset or grieving or getting on each other’s nerves.  There are fights, tears, and people storming out the front door, and this event could actually be a catalyst for soap stories.

CAROLYN:

It would be a really good dramatic device, never mind being more inclusive of your show…having a Jewish family or two. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

Oh, here we go.  In the chapter Gays of our Lives, I was very interested to read what you had to say about Kish.  I had heard from sources that Middle America in the end was denouncing it, and that ABC was blaming the couple for their ratings woes’.  And then, there was a backlash by both the mainstream and the LBGT community on how could they blame the eroding ratings at that time on OLTL, solely on Kish, when people felt the character of Stacy Morasco was shoved down their throats.  And then I heard from sources, some of the same things you wrote about; that it was more about the actors, Scott Evans (Ex-Oliver) and Brett Claywell (Ex-Kyle).  What do you think went down?

CAROLYN:

There are a number of things that went down.  First of all, One Life tried really hard to write a mainstream gay couple, which is something no other show has done.  And they were vilified from all angles.  Middle America said, “I will not watch two men kissing.” And then the gay community started a backlash that they were not on enough.  How you can then call the only show that is trying to tell a gay story “homophobic,” is beyond me. Some people were saying, but not enough of them, “Great, I love it.  I am watching for Kish.”  So here you are trying to tell this groundbreaking story and you are being hammered by  people who don’t want to see it, and hammered from people who want to see more, and no one was saying, “Wow, great job.”  You persevere and you put the couple together. You have a love scene and one of the guys comes out and the parent’s turn on Fish, which makes everybody go, “Oh, poor Oliver.”  And that in turn, makes us sympathize with him, and makes the audience like him even more than we already did. And then my understanding is, they offered the actors contracts, and they wanted tons more money then they were offered.  The quote I used in the book and that I heard was they wanted, “Robin Strasser money.”  And the truth of the matter is; the guys had only been on the show nine months.  And so they were told what kind of salary they could get for someone who had been on the show that length of time. They could not strike a deal. So then it becomes, “Are we going to do some recasting?  Are we going to bring in another actor to play this role that we are already getting hammered on from two different segments of our viewing audience?”  But then, it dovetailed into my argument, which is: Why don’t soaps just tell the truth more.  If someone would have come forward and said, “We offered them a deal and the actors did not accept it, and we are very disappointed.” That would have gone down better.  But, I also think it’s not fair that the one show that tried to tell this story got vilified, while The Bold and the Beautiful, while set in the world of fashion, still does not have a gay character on the show.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

One of the things you mention in the book is…did OLTL head writer, Ron Carlivati, go overboard because of the same-sex wedding-a-thon, and Dorian pretending she was a lesbian to get votes to be elected mayor?

CAROLYN:

In my opinion, it was too much all at once, and did not make sense.  In what community do you pretend to be gay to get more votes?  Never mind that Dorian was never a liar!  I mean, she has been many things, but for her to lie about her sexual orientation just did not ring true.  And, it was too much with everything else they were telling on the show, and if you noticed, they knew it.  Then they pulled back on it pretty fast.

MICHAEL:

The one issue I wanted to bring up that you say in the book is, that it’s hard to create gay storylines for characters, because for instance, gay people don’t have accidental pregnancies.  But I say to you, Oliver Fish got Stacy pregnant after she drugged him.  So in a situation like that, a male gay character can be utilized.  So the beauty of that was the show did weave in the gay couple.  And the thing is, if things hadn’t gone down the way they did, they had a great opportunity because of that act, to tell the story of two men raising a baby!  And now we see that on Modern Family, and that was the part of the story that riveted me.  I wanted the guys to get custody of that child and then see them living in Llanview dealing with that.

CAROLYN:

Listen, if Brett Claywell would have signed a contract, you would have been seeing that story playing out today!  But hold on!  My gay friends are not sleeping with women.  If you are a gay man and you can be drugged into impregnating a woman, yes, it’s dramatic, but is just not very realistic.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Your issue is the realism, and of course I understand that.  I am saying OLTL used it as a plot-device with their gay characters.  Look, I do believe what you said is true.  But in this case, I am like, “Well, let’s just say we suspend belief like we do with everything else in soaps.”  So I am thinking, “OK, we have a gay couple and one of them fathered a child.  Ok, good.  We have an issue for story there that also keeps them on air.”  And then I am thinking, “Good.  Now there will be a fight for custody and that could be poignant.”  I think OLTL rushed this story at the end because, as you say, the guys did not sign contracts, and therefore, Kish got custody very fast and were sent off the canvas.

CAROLYN:

First of all, there is no doctor at Llanview hospital anymore. (Laughs)  And if the actors would have stayed you would have seen Brett Claywell playing a doctor and Scott Evans playing a cop, and they would have been roped in to all the “normal” stories  – kidnappings, and baby-switches and everything else, and in addition to the romantic side of it.  In the same way they are currently writing John McBain and Natalie, they could have written it that way for Kish.

MICHAEL:

One of the juiciest chapters in the books is It’s Not Always The Idiots In Charge, about co-workers who hook up.  But you didn’t really name anyone specifically, although soap fans can probably figure it out! (Laughs)

CAROLYN:

That was the first chapter I came up with and then the follow-up chapter, And Then Sometimes It Is. (Laughs) Well, I did not want to name anyone who was not already out, and I mean, I was not outing people.  I don’t think fans really want to know who is doin’ it behind the scenes and who does not like each other behind the scenes.  A lot of couples have broken up on the soaps because they “did it” in real life. (Laughs)   And then, it all went horribly wrong.  I think a lot of single actors who were put together on-screen, “did it” off-screen; I would have to say 35% to 40%.  And, I would say 20% of married people have done it.

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MICHAEL:

You chronicle the downfall of daytime, I Am Not A Crook But I Will Pre Empt Your Soaps. I looked at this and I personally it was tough reliving this all again. However, I remember I was doing the E! Entertainment Television series, first soap talk show, Pure Soap, as a writer/producer when the OJ trial hit us all in the gut, and then the marketing department pulled the show.  It all went to hell in a hand basket from there.  And I agree with what you said, it never has recovered from it, clearly.

CAROLYN:

What surprised me when writing the book was how much the OJ trial mirrored what the networks had done 20 years before with the Watergate hearings, because either they did not learn a lesson from that, or every network had a new executive in that slot.  So they did the exact same thing by pre-empting the soaps, and it was willy-nilly in different markets, and meanwhile AMC is airing it in Vermont, but not in L.A.  And back then; there was no SOAPnet or Internet coverage of the soaps.  I mean, there were certainly not soap episodes being shown on the web.  So the attitude from the execs was, “Oh well. You missed it.”  And then fans got mad and started tuning out. After that there were a lot of dominos that knocked right into each other. Once people got out of the habit of watching their soaps, and people were telling them to come back, the audience was like, “Screw you.  I did not get to watch my show for nine months.”  People did not understand that AMC did not take themselves off the air, it was ABC and local markets deciding day-to-day, “Are we going to air our soaps?  Or, are we going to air OJ?”  It was disaster!

MICHAEL:

In your chapter, Naming Names, clearly one of the highlights of your book is about Ellen Wheeler destroying what was left of Guiding Light, and how you chronicled the demise of this legendary soap opera.  I loved when you stated, “We turned a terrible corner when they broke up Reva and Josh and hooked him up with her sister, Cassie.  Laura Wright had found out about the storyline during her negotiations and said, ‘I don’t want to play that.’  So when GH came calling, she had decided to take the offer and leave and go play Carly.”  I mean, we all knew this was bad.

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CAROLYN:

You had no anchor on your show, when you break up Reva and Josh; they are your money couple.  Who is going to replace them?   Then Laura left and they recast her with Nicole Forester, who was a perfectly fine actress, but she was brand new.  And here’s Josh going after the much younger woman of the love of his life. It was gross!

MICHAEL:

Later, I think you know they flew journalists to Peapack, and they took us on the tour of their new production model, and also brought us to the production offices to show us how they doubled their offices for the new smaller sets to help their budgets.  And the spaces were so small, and I felt so bad for everyone.  And this is when the digital cameras were up the noses of the actors in these tiny office spaces!  I do think it got better towards the end of their run, and as they said, they were working out the kinks… but still.

CAROLYN:

I would agree 1000%.  People don’t care what is happening on the sets. I write about that in the book.  No one cares where you are.  And a big part of the problem with Peapack was they were working it out on air.  So if it’s raining and you have a scene outside, they just barrel through it and you could not hear any of the dialog.  The situation was troubling.  I think everything that GL did to turn off viewers, obviously contributed to the demise of the show.  It was a very sad ending for a once amazing show.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

I love that you point out the most ridiculous death in daytime, that of All My Chldren’s Dixie Cooney, choking on poison pancakes and dropping dead as you called it, Death By Pancake. But you say in the book, it was caused by the fact that Cady McClain was unhappy with her current story, and told that to then head writer, Megan McTavish.

CAROLYN:

The story I heard was Cady was not very happy with some of the things that were being written, and she expressed that to then head writer, Megan McTavish.  And I make this argument all the time and I will make it again to you:  It is fine if you want to make a creative decision to kill a core character.  What was wrong with that story and criminal about that story was that they did this in three episodes.  It did not have any proper ending.  Dixie did not get her own funeral.  She had to share her funeral with Babe. So it was clearly some kind of retribution for something, because if you are a good head writer and you are killing a big character, you should get tons and tons of mileage out of it.

MICHAEL:

How do you think they are handling it now, going back and resurrecting the character from the dead and fixing their mistake?  I call it, “The Dixie Debacle”!

CAROLYN:

You know, I give them credit for that.  This is another one of those arguments where soaps fans are in on the joke.  I will accept any way that they will bring back Cady McClain as Dixie.  Obviously, David Hayward is going to be behind all this.  He is already making all those cryptic phone calls and that is fine.  I will completely accept it; just put her back on my screen! (Laughs)  I kind of do know how it all plays out; I thought it is as good as it could be, considering we watched Dixie and other characters die! (Laughs).

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/SOD

I loved the ending of the book and the chapter, The Heart of the Matter, and it grabbed me about how soaps touch people, and how they give viewers a family and a lifeline.  I thought the quote from One Life to Live, EP Frank Valentini’s, was beautiful and just perfect.  Do you feel the same way, that soaps are an extended family to viewers?

CAROLYN:

Yes, I do feel that way that soaps are a family.  And when you have upheaval in your life or you are moving, or starting a new job or starting a new school, and you turn on the TV and there is Viki, Clint and Bo, I consider them my family.  And if I am far away from home I can turn on the TV and I would know they are there. That is how soap fans feel. You have no idea how many people live by themselves, have had hardship in their lives and lost loved ones, and they are kind of sad, and they turn on their soaps, and there is a party in Pine Valley or there is Nikki and Victor going at it at Gloworm.  It means something.  And that’s why I can’t believe I have to tell people why soaps matter in a whole book – because who doesn’t get that?

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md1347
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md1347

Brett was on a contract with OLTL from the beginning. Scott was on reoccurring and I believe he was happy with that. Soaps… realistic? ROFL. I’ll just leave it at that.

Appleridge
Guest
Appleridge

Yeah I dont buy that crap about Brett Claywell & Scott Evans. Brett had a deal. Scott didnt want one. ABC saved money by having Scott recur.

ABC got scared and dropped the story. I know CH wants to sell books but couldnt she have called Scott & Brett and got their sides of things.

Im sorry but folks writing about things they hear second hand and arent there to experience themselves, I always find suspect.

md1347
Guest
md1347

She got this one so wrong… is anything else right?

Doe
Guest
Doe

Interesting interview, Michael, but very good. Carolyn has written a lot of information that we can visualize. I think the story about Susan Lucci only wanting tall men partners is hysterical. And the fact by stretching her neck so the lighting hits her just right making her look younger is so funny. But obviously, it worked for her. Hmm…maybe I should try that. I’m a petite woman,also. Anyway, the book Carolyn wrote is full of great stories about our soaps and I for one will enjoy reading all of it. Michael, another job well done and you were so good… Read more »

Soap_Stud
Guest
Soap_Stud

Carolyn’s love of the soap opera medium is greatly appreciated. In a time when everyone says the medium is dying, I embrace those, like Carolyn and PP, who still believe in it and know millions of fans still want it.

Holly
Guest
Holly

Quick question, Michael, and sincerely asked:

Are you as ignorant as Hinsey on the misinformation and false information you printed in this interview, or did you just not feel like following up with her mistakes or correcting her at all?

liz
Guest
liz

I am honestly more surprised that you had opted to publish the so-called ‘information’ about Kish’s contract situation than what Hinsey said; anyone who had followed Kish and the debacle surrounding their firing knows Brett Claywell was on contract from day 1.

RW
Guest
RW

I agree, I expect this kind of garbage from CH, but I am surprised by Michael. You interviewed Scott and Brett a week before they were fired, Brett at the Emmy awards red carpet and even had a radio interview with Brett after the Kish debacle. You, of all people, should know that what she said were lies. Brett signed a multi-year contract to play Schuyler Joplin but then Scott Clifton became available and they gave him the role. Because of Brett’s contract, Ron created the role of Kyle Lewis and eventually came up with the groundbreaking and award winning… Read more »

Tim
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Tim

I’m no authority on soaps, as OLTL was my first soap, and only while Kish was on. However even I know the numerous inaccuracies she stated as to why they aren’t on the show. There had to be much more going on behind the scenes from homophobic higher ups. Rapists, murderers, multiple marriages, and the like are ok, but a loving gay couple make people quit watching? (and don’t get me started about her “soaps being realistic” comment).

Mairead
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Mairead

Just more BS from Carolyn….I didnt believe her when she wrote for SOD where she only praised her ‘friends and favourites’ in return for favours….no loyal viewer ever believed the contradictory statements made by ABC and the sunsequent unconfirmed rumours made about Brett and Scott and wont believe hers either..it was no secret that Brett already had a contract while Scott didnt..they both were totally committed to KISH and their loyal fans so it seems ludicrous that they wouldnt have wanted to continue this groundbreaking story which was popular with a huge majority of the so called ‘mainstream’ audience….during this… Read more »

Mairead
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Mairead

P.S….THANKS Michael for at least including the great pictures of KIsh…..

Chip Coffey
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Chip Coffey

Months ago, when rumors were flying that Roger Howarth would be returning to OLTL, some people (myself included) commented on Carolyn’s Facebook page that we would be upset if his return meant that Trevor St. John would be let go as Todd. Carolyn Hinsey snapped at us saying “For the last time, Roger Howarth is NOT returning to OLTL, so stop posting about it.” Well, as we all know, she was wrong about that scenario, too.

michael
Guest
michael

yeah, soaps still matter . . . except to the gay audience. CH is a hack, always has been and always will be. And I’m surprised and very disappointed by MF’s and Michael Logan’s lack of balls when it comes to this issue. Who the hell do they think are watching these shows??

sheree lynn
Guest
sheree lynn

hi Carolyn,i read soap opera digest monthly and abc soaps in depth for many years!!!!20 or more.thanks for all your doing!!i have soap opera secrets ,special too!i love watching on tv too.dools,b+b,gh,oltl,amc and i miss all old soaps on tv.afternoon delight will also be great too!

General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright Talks on Mob Boss Carly and Her 30-Year Evolution in Daytime

She’s a fierce, force to be reckoned with, one who delivers raw and emotional performances time and time again, while never forgetting from where she came, and always willing to pass on to her newer co-stars’ the wisdom she gained from the grind of performing in front of the camera in the toughest acting genre there is … daytime drama.

General Hospital’s Laura Wright’s (Carly) real-life soap journey actually has a very humble beginning when in 1991 – fresh off a job at a gas station – she landed in Corinth and the role of Ally Rescott on ABC’s Loving.  Up next, a jaunt to its re-imagined version, The City, until the series ultimate demise in 1997. But that was just an appetizer for soap fans of Wright’s burgeoning talent, when next she ventured to Springfield and CBS’ Guiding Light to take on the role of a stripper with a heart-of-gold who ultimately would be crowned a princess, Cassie Layne. Then, after a popular 8-year-run, she would head to General Hospital, and one of the most coveted roles in soaps, that of Port Charles’ Carly Corinthos following in the footsteps of powerhouse actresses, Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun. In her 20th year in daytime, Laura took home the gold for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series back in 2011, and that brings us to now.  Next week on June 7th, marks Laura’s 30th year in daytime filled with memorable on and off-screen moments that she has cherished.

Meanwhile, currently on GH, Laura is getting to play Carly in a whole new set of circumstances as she enters her three-decade soap anniversary. In story, we find Carly stepping up to run the mob, now that she and everyone else believes her husband, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is dead, and while her best friend and mob enforcer, Jason (Steve Burton) had to go on the run. And from the looks of it, Carly is adjusting to the mob boss role quite well … but is she really?

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Laura to get the lowdown on Carly’s life without Sonny, which has pushed her front and center into managing crimes and misdemeanors, mafia-style, all to protect the ones she loves, and to reflect on her amazing ride in daytime; which has made her one of the all-time leading ladies of the soaps.  Here’s what Laura shared about it all.

Photo: ABC

When you first found out what the structure of this storyline was going to be, where Sonny was going to “die” along with Julian (William deVry), and then he turns up alive and has amnesia, what was your initial thought?  Did you know how far they were going to take this for Carly, as far as her now running  the mob in Sonny’s place?

LAURA:  I had no idea about the mob part of it until about two months ago. As far as Sonny having amnesia and having another life now, I love those kinds of stories.  It also gives you as an actor something to play, and what else are you going to do with Sonny and Carly?  You can’t really break them up.  You’re talking to the person who is game for almost anything, so I loved it.  What does Carly’s life look like now as everybody believes that Sonny has died? How does she even take care of herself?  For me, it gave me great material to play because of how it all started to crumble.  Ava (Maura West) takes Avery, Cyrus (Jeff Kober) starts taking over the territory and the town, and Carly starts losing all of this security in her life as she knew it in trying to protect her family, and it was scary for her.

Photo: ABC

Of course, viewers could see where this storyline was heading once Carly lit in to Nina (Cynthia Watros), when Nina was in Nixon Falls and saw that Sonny was very much alive! You could see that Nina was going to seek revenge on Carly and not tell her about Sonny, aka “Mike”, all the while getting closer to him.  What do you think Carly would do if she found out that Nina was with Sonny and kept it from her?

LAURA:  You know, Carly before taking over the mob would have been awful, but now… and I was thinking about this the other day …  I’m like, “Carly would go after her with a gun!”

For years, I’ve always loved this idea of, “What if Carly became a mob boss?”

LAURA:  If they did have Carly go after Nina, then Jason and Sonny would be like, “You cannot do this.”  I think there is this blind rage, at least for a moment.  It can’t just be standing there and yelling at her, do you know what I mean?  Carly would probably take action and then Nina would disappear, or it’s like ‘get me away from her because I am going to kill her’ for what this woman did.  So, you have to have at least an episode of that before you come to your senses and realize that you have children and responsibilities, and you’re going to have to do this the right way, but you have to have the moment of losing it.  It’s stealing their life.  It’s great stuff.  My other thoughts are, “Poor Cynthia,” (laughs) because she’s got to be the nicest human being on the planet, and she is so fun to work with, and so great and committed, so we are going to have some interesting times getting through whatever they write.  I have no idea what they’re writing by the way, and I have no idea when it’s going to happen, but I am sure it will be great.

Photo: ABC

With the way GH shoots their taping schedule, I am assuming now you barely see Maurice, because you are basically in two different parts of this interconnecting story?

LAURA:  We shoot by set.  So, if Maurice is working in the morning, and I am scheduled at let’s say at noon, by the time I get there, he’ll be gone.  So, it’s fascinating. It’s kind of running parallel of what is happening on and off screen because I don’t see him at work, either.

Photo: ABC

Carly seems that she is becoming pretty comfortable in this mob role.  There was a scene that recently aired between Diane (Carolyn Hennesy) and Carly, where Carly was discussing her options of what to do with Gladys (Bonnie Burroughs).  Does Carly like the power this brings her?

LAURA:  I think so, but it’s not like she’s sitting around going, “Oh, this is amazing.”  It’s seriously what she has to do.  What she is seeing is that there are so many moving parts that she didn’t realize how difficult it was.  Sonny made it look easy.  There’s not a time to even take a breath.  You’ve got to always be on your toes.  You know, she is doing it in ‘Carly fashion,’ so it’s always entertaining, and trying as a woman to put out all the fires, but there’s 20 fires behind it, because there is just someone constantly trying to take your seat, trying to hurt your family.  There’s just always something to look out for whether it be from the other families or law enforcement.  I think that Carly is surprised that she is good at it and surprised at how making these decisions is becoming easier and easier for her, but I don’t know if she sits back and enjoys it.  At this point, from air to what we are taping, the decisions don’t stop, and the danger doesn’t stop, and more decisions have to be made, and there is no one else to do it.  This is a world that is life or death.  This isn’t like, “Well, if they don’t like me, I’ll just find someone else to do the job.”  There’s nobody else to do that job.  It’s not that world.  You don’t get to walk away, and she is learning that more and more, as she plays in the big world.

Photo: ABC

So, Jason went on the run with Britt (Kelly Thiebaud).  How does Carly feel about that?

LAURA:  Britt saved his life.  She said that on camera.  “She saved your life; she can take you wherever.  I trust her.”  Carly saw how Britt stepped up and helped him.  I don’t think there is anything else that Carly is thinking right now.  Carly doesn’t have the luxury of being old Carly and being snippy, catty, wanting to vet every person in Jason’s life.  It’s just not her reality right now.  That would be a luxury if she could go back and be that person, but that’s not it.  Right now, it’s assessing the situation.  “Is he safe?  Is she taking care of him?  Great.  I don’t care about anything else right now.”  This is the difference between old Carly and mob-boss Carly.  Those days are gone.  She would give anything to go back to those days because she didn’t have to have the world on her shoulders because Jason was safe, and Sonny was alive.  It’s not where she is now.  It’s a different dynamic that she was forced into.

Photo: ABC

When you and Steve Burton are in scenes together, whether it’s just in your eyes, or expressions or emotions, there is so much going on, or at least that’s how it plays to the audience.  Is the relationship between Carly and Jason one of your favorites to play, because it’s so unique and deep rooted into their history? 

LAURA:  Oh, I love the Carly/Jason relationship. It’s the loyalty and that their dedication to each other is unbendable, unbreakable.  It’s so unwavering.  It’s great to play because it’s like being in a really good relationship, even though he’s not her ‘person’, but he kind of is.  It’s being in a great relationship that means that you get to be 100% you and everything that means, and that person loves and accepts you. There’s such incredible love and freedom, and that’s what it’s like to work with Steve because Steve approaches our scenes – and almost every scene when I watch him with other people – that there is no undercutting judgment, only help.  If I’m struggling with a line or I don’t want to do something, he’s either like, “Yeah, I agree. That’s unnecessary; cut it,” or he gives me a really great way of looking at it, where I’m like, “Oh, that is a really interesting thing, thanks!”  So, then you have full freedom to feel and play and do anything, and that’s kind of what you see.  There’s just a confidence, and I think it is also the relationship.  I think it has to be there when I work with Steve because the relationship between Carly and Jason is that way.

Photo: JPI

Carly and Jason accept each other for who they are, all their flaws, and the dangers that come with their lives.  Wouldn’t you say?

LAURA:  She accepts him 100% for who he is.  She wants to manipulate the world around him, so he is safe, and perfect, and always there, but she still accepts him when nobody else does and vice versa.  He knows that Carly is going to destroy things, and mess up, and spiral.  Like, she had that scene where she said, “Even when Jason knows I’m wrong, he supports me.” It’s really that right there that is everything between the two of them, and it’s the hardest thing to find in any relationship, real life, TV, etc.  We always want to change people to make them be who we want them to be so that we feel okay. It’s a great soap opera relationship because it causes conflict in every other relationship that they have, which is great for storytelling in a show because then there is always a challenge, always a hurdle, always a problem built-in if you need drama. It’s because there is so much acceptance and unconditional love and support that they are free to be who they need to be, and I feel that as an actor working Steve as well.  I think that’s what you see when you say there’s ‘a lot going on’.

Carly’s plan for Gladys took quite a turn!

LAURA:  Well, Carly thought the second that Cyrus finds out that Brando (Johnny Wactor) is the father of Sasha’s (Sofia Matteson) baby that Cyrus is going to want to take him out, so she basically said to Gladys, “Look, I’ll set you up.  I’ll give you all the money you want.  Hell, I’ll even buy you a house.  Leave town, but you have to tell everybody that you lied about Jason,” and she doesn’t bite the bait.  So, you then have Carly saying, “Well, we can do this the easy way where I just pay for your life and you go, or we can do it the hard way,” and the hard way is me letting her know that, “You have a grandchild on the way, and your son is going to be murdered if you don’t do this for me,” because it puts Cyrus back in prison because he is on probation, and he has now obstructed justice.  It’s all on Gladys’s testimony.  That was Carly’s plan.  Right now, her biggest threat is Cyrus and obviously as viewers have seen things did not go as planned!

Photo: ABC

June 7th you will be celebrating 30 years on daytime! Do you remember your first day on Loving? What happened?

LAURA:  I do.  Oh, God!  I remember what dress I had on.  I remember how my hair was.

Were you like in “Oz”?

LAURA:  I looked like Oz. (Laughs) I looked like Dorothy… the dress they had me in, the hair, are you kidding?  I didn’t know what a boom was!  I was really loud.  I had one line: “Grandma!” and that was it, and then they had to note that because I kept saying, “Grandmaw,” and they were like, “It’s not ‘Grandmaw.’  It’s ‘Grandma.’”  Then, I did whatever they said at first, but then the longer I was on the show, I was like, “I say ‘Grandmaw.’ I’m not saying ‘Grandmuh.’ I don’t care. (Laughs) Everyone gets their own personalization of how they say what they say.”  That was my big argument, and now I’ve had a thousand arguments over 30 years, but that was my first big pushback because I would be doing, what in my mind was great work.  I got all of the lines out, my God, and that was before we could do pickups, and when we shot the show in order. Those cameras had wheels. So if you were on set, and they shot the scene before us, you had to be ready to go, and they would fly down the studio on those cameras to set up to start shooting the next scene.  If I got through a scene and they had to do it over again because I said, “Grandmaw,” I would be so angry. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

Who helped you the most on Loving?

LAURA:  Nada Rowand, who played my grandmother, Lisa Peluso, who played my aunt on the show, and Eric Woodall was my best friend and he played Matt Ford.  He and I would get together every Sunday night, and here’s a little bit of trivia for you … Eric lived with Billy Porter! They graduated from Carnegie Mellon together.  So, I would go over to his apartment, and on Sunday night, we would go over all of the scripts together for the whole week because Eric graduated from Carnegie Mellon; I worked at a gas station. (Laughs) We had very different talents that we were bringing to the table for this soap opera job.  Eric helped me a great deal, my gosh, and so did Bernie Barrow (Ex-Louis).

Bernie was an amazing actor and the only Daytime Emmy winner, ever from Loving!

LAURA:  I had scenes with Bernie because he played my grandfather on the show. I had no idea about half the notes that they were giving me. Bernie would pull me aside and explain what they meant and teach it to me in a way where I knew how to incorporate it into my scenes and adjust and take the notes.  He was extremely helpful.  Then, there is the famous Noelle Beck (Ex-Trisha) story, where two weeks after starting the show, Eric and I were invited to go to the Daytime Emmy Awards.  I was dying because I grew up watching daytime television, and I grew up watching the Daytime Emmys.  So, when I was allowed to go, I told my mom to ship me my prom dress from my senior year of high school, which was this poufy, emerald green thing, and it looked like something from Dynasty with jewels all over it.  I got it, and I was so excited, and everyone on the show was like, “Oh, my God, someone has got to tell her … she cannot wear that dress.”  I didn’t know you could go to wardrobe and ask to borrow a dress, because I’d only been on the show for two weeks maybe.  The same day, they came to me and said, “So, if Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica, AMC) doesn’t win, you’re going to be interviewed on Good Morning America the next morning about how the gas station girl got a job.”  So, it was a big deal. I’m getting ready for the Emmys, and to put this emerald-green dress on, and there is this knock on my door, and it’s Noelle Beck.  She has this beautiful, black, strapless dress. She’s like, “Your dress is beautiful, but I don’t know, I think this is really simple, and I think you might really look beautiful in it if you want to try it on.”

Photo: JPI

Her dress?

LAURA: Her dress! It was a dress that was in Noelle’s closet on the show because she went to wardrobe and was like, “Laura cannot wear that emerald green prom dress.  She will be laughed at.”  I would have been mortified because I did not know what people wore.  I had never been to a red carpet! Noelle went to wardrobe, and they all came up with this dress, and so she came to me and said, “Your dress is so pretty, but I think this might go better with Eric’s suit,” or however she sold it! I tried it on, and I just felt so sophisticated, and I was like, “It’s okay if I wear this!?” and she’s just like, “Oh, my God, yeah!”  When I think back to that story, I’m like, ‘thank God for Noelle Beck’.  It was one of the funniest stories ever, and her dressing room was right across the hall from me, and she was from Maryland; I was from Maryland.  She was like a sister.  Noelle was always looking out for me, personally.

Photo: ABC

Over the years, you have become one of the great leading ladies of daytime.  Was there a moment, when you were like, “I’ve got this down now … I really know what I’m doing.”

LAURA:   There have been different moments.  I remember the first time where I felt like ‘an actor.’  It was when they shot and killed Casey (Paul Anthony Stewart) on Loving, and he had to die in my arms.  I embodied something and felt it in a way that was different.  I didn’t know what it was at the time because I was playing my emotions of Paul leaving the show. I was really confused because I was like, “Do I really like this guy?” like in real life, because I didn’t know.  I didn’t have any tools of acting to know how to separate.  I was so in love with the characters’ love story, which was also my feelings at the time because I didn’t know the difference.  I didn’t know where Ally stopped, and Laura started.  I was just kind of playing myself.  I remember they called Paul to the set for a goodbye, and they were giving him a big cake and everything, and I could barely hold it together.  I couldn’t believe he was leaving.  I was like, “You’re going to say, ‘I changed my mind,’ right?” and I really believed that.  I really was like, “There’s just no way he’s going.”  Then, we had to shoot his scene, and I was very emotional and upset.  But, it was the next day where I had to go and play the scenes where he is dead and talk about it to the family, and that was when I just lost it.  I just changed as an actor in those scenes.  I remember having an opinion.  When the writers were telling me the story that they were going to tell, I remember saying, “Well, I think the interesting moment is she is not going to believe it,” and they were like, “What do you mean?”  I say, “When she comes home from the hospital, I think she needs to be like, ‘We have to go back.  Casey is at the hospital, and he needs us,’ and they were like, “That’s such a great thing to play.”  That’s what shifted for me.  I just remember there was a moment where Ally couldn’t lie anymore. She couldn’t convince herself, and then she had to tell her son that Casey wasn’t coming back.  I really understood what it was to get lost to a scene; what it was to not be Laura going, “I’m going to act now and play this scene.”  I learned how to become the character and transform in the moment.

It’s was on-the-job training.

LAURA:  Oh, for sure on-the-job training, because I went to one acting class thinking that in New York City I need to know what I’m doing, and I was so terrified to get up and speak in a scene that I literally could not talk.  I couldn’t even function outside of the safety of what I knew on a soap opera set.  I had that happen with my meditation teacher training a few years ago.  I almost left the training because it was terrifying for me to get up and not know what I’m going to do and have the script, no cameras in front of me!  It was very bizarre.

Photo: CBS

And later, Guiding Light came your way!

LAURA: When The City got canceled, I shot a pilot that did not get picked up, and my agents were like, “What do you want to do?” and I was like, “I’m really good at daytime… can we just stick with that?  I don’t really want to do this auditioning thing.” So, then all of the sudden within a week of me saying, “I think I’ll do daytime again,” I had a screen-test for All My Children and Guiding Light at the exact same time.  I was like, “What are the parts?” and I wasn’t going to pit them against each other because my agent was like, “It’s bad taste. We don’t represent that kind of negotiation.” You have to pick because before you go into any screen-test, you already have a pre-negotiated contract, and the deal has been placed.  So, you know going in what your situation will be.  So, it was All My Children, playing a doctor, or a stripper with a heart-of-gold on Guiding Light.  It was the role and that Guiding Light just had a better money offer that pushed me towards that screen-test. Then, I had to go in and meet Paul Rauch (Former EP, GL) before I screen-tested, and then Jim Brown and Barbara Esensten who were now the head writers at GL. They wrote for me on The City.  They were the ones who said, “Let’s get Laura Wright in here and see if she wants to do this.”  It’s interesting, because when they were shooting Annie’s (Cynthia Watros) big trial on Guiding Light, and Kim Zimmer (Reva) had these incredible, long days and tons of dialogue in the courtroom scenes. Then, they throw this screen-test at her with me in the middle of the afternoon! I remember when we were doing the scene. Kim had jumped to another part in it, and of course, I knew the script backwards and forwards because I’ve had it for a week and a half.  Kim had probably looked at it that day because she’s got a thousand other lines that she’s learning for that week of shows.  We were in the middle of the scene, and they’re rolling cameras, it’s very emotional, we’re going at each other, and Kim had jumped to the next page of a line, but I knew exactly where she went, so I went right there. We got back on track and ended the scene, and Kim goes, “She just saved my ass in that screen-test!” and we just started laughing.  It was a great moment.

Photo: LWInstagram

The cast of Guiding Light was so amazing!

LAURA:  So amazing, and that’s where I met my man.

Wes Ramsey (Ex-Sam, GL, now Peter, GH) at the time had a crush on you if I recall the story.

LAURA:  Yes, he had a crush.  I don’t know if he wanted to go out with me because when I first came on, I was pregnant, so that would have been weird! (Laughs) We have a funny story that he told me four years ago when we got together. Wes was going through old photos that he had logged into his computer and was trying to put things in different files, and he’s like, “Oh, my God.”  He had come back a few times on Guiding Light after he’d left, and one of the times was after I’d had my son, and this was when Richard had died, and Cassie had chopped all of her hair off.  So, he was going through these photos and he showed me that he had snuck a picture of me.  (Laughs) Then, he’s like, “See, I told you I had a crush!”  I’m like, “Oh my God, that’s so funny!”

Do you and Wes run lines together at home, even though you are in different storylines on GH?

LAURA:  If he needed me too, I would, but Wes has a totally different way of learning his lines than I do.  His prep work is very different than mine.  His is very professional and probably how you should do it. He is a Juilliard graduate.  So, he was taught well, and I’ve just figured it out.  Mine is just pure survival …’the gas station girl’.

Photo: ABC

What was the impact Guiding Light had on the trajectory of your career?

LAURA:  Guiding Light was 100% an actors show. They told a different kind of story, and the actors across the board were serious and wanted you to take it just as seriously. You were either going to sink or swim on that show, and I had to figure out how to swim. I think I spent the first six months in my dressing room crying when I wasn’t on set, trying to figure it out.  I was really taken care of on Loving.  I was 20-years-old when I got that part, 27 when I left. When I went to Guiding Light, it wasn’t like I wasn’t taken care of and protected, but it was a new energy. No one knew me.  No one knew what I was capable of.  I didn’t even know what I was capable of at the time, and you weren’t going to phone it in there.  I started working with Kim Zimmer and Jordan Clarke (Ex-Billy Lewis).  My God, you’re thrown in with people who make you feel things and play things that are uncomfortable, because that’s what we do as actors.  We make it uncomfortable, and we stretch the boundaries, and we play these emotions that are so raw and real.  One day I was freaking out over a scene with the characters of Edmund and Dinah, and I just said I would never do this.  I was just adamant. The director, said, “We have to do this.  So, you have to give me one reason where you could stay in this room.”  I said, “I guess my daughter could walk in the door, and I don’t want to leave her,” and he goes, “Great!  That’s great,” and I go, “Or…” and it just opened this door of there’s a thousand ways I could play a scene.

Photo: CBS

When you came onto General Hospital and embodied Carly, did you feel like this was it now… and that you were in command of your craft?

LAURA:  No, because it took me a long time to get comfortable.  I’m the fourth Carly, so you want to honor what they’re writing, you want to honor the fans and what they love about the character, and there were three women who played her before me and somebody loved something about all of them. So, you want to bring that, as well as make your own mark.  You’re taking over a leading female role of the show with that much passion and dialogue that comes with the character, so it was a lot of pressure at first, but I was excited for it.  I showed up every day ready to kick ass, but as far as feeling like, “Ha ha, it’s mine; I’ve made it!”, I’ve never felt that.

Photo: ABC

I have spoken to many of your co-stars through the years, and they often share how you helped them within a scene, or with something they were struggling with.  That is where experience can be a great asset for a performer in this medium.

LAURA:  As a female lead on the show, I do think it’s important to lift other women up to become their own female leads, and I do mean that.  If I’m working with someone, and I see them get a note that they don’t understand, or it’s a technical note, but gosh, it’s an important scene for them emotionally, anything I can do to help them in that moment, whether it has anything to do with me or not, I am there for.  There was a bathroom scene that I think aired a week or so ago with Carly and Sasha.  In the scene, Sasha (Sofia Mattsson) has all of her makeup in front of her, and the shot they need to get is through the mirror.  Sasha has a full conversation with Carly, who is standing upstage. It’s very difficult to do that when you don’t have rehearsal time to figure it out. They gave her the note that they needed her to say her line into the mirror, or they can’t get her face, right? I’m like, “Hey, do you have any idea how you’re going to do that?” because it’s so hard! I wanted to help. Having 30 years’ experience in something feels great, and it’s shocking because where did those 30 years go? What incredible memories I have, but what it’s gifted me the most is being able to help people through my experience, and through what I have learned along the way.  The whole show shines when we all shine, not just when one person does.

Photo: LWrightInstagram

What do you think your late parents would say about your 30 years in daytime?

LAURA:  Oh, they would be so proud… so happy.  It’s just so crazy that it’s been 30 years, and 2020 being the longest year with what we all experienced with Covid-19.  Looking back on my daytime career, I don’t know why, the shows didn’t let me go. I think it really was work ethic.  I can really say my work ethic is a huge part of me sticking around because I never got lazy.  I was never not going to figure it out.  I was never one to show up not knowing her lines, or being a problem, or not caring. I think that’s what kept me going, and then listening, watching, feeling, and I’m just so grateful.  I’m like, “Wow, what a ride!”

Photo: ABC

… And what can you say about what your time as Carly has meant to you within your now illustrious daytime career?

LAURA:  I love every second of it.  It’s my choice how I show up on that soundstage.  After 30 years, I am not bored.  I have had my moments of trying to find the fun in it and caring about Carly’s storyline at the time. That’s my own choice though, right?  It’s a choice – how I choose to show up every day there – and what I choose to find interesting and challenging, and I do.  No matter what storyline they’ve given me, I can choose for it to be, “Okay, I’m here.  I’ve been doing this for so long, I could do it in my sleep,” or I could choose to show up and go, “Where am I going to kickass today?  Where is the moment?”  Now, I don’t love the amount of time it takes for my hair to get blown out; I’ll be honest (Laughs). I’m an antsy person.  But when I get on set, it’s my choice to find the love and the fun of it, whatever that is for me.  I choose to open up every script I get, the second I get it, and am always excited to see what I’m doing.

Photo: ABC

Finally, what would you say, as a tease of what we should look forward to in the coming weeks involving Carly?

LAURA:  All I can say is there is amazing stuff coming, amazing performances, amazing excitement, amazing heartbreak, amazing surprises.  It’s all coming.

So, are you into Carly running the mob? What do you think will happen when and if Carly finds out Nina has been with Sonny aka Mike for months?  What has been your favorite moment of Laura’s on the soaps throughout her 3 decades in daytime? Share your thoughts and congrats to Laura in the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Telma Hopkins and Bryton James Talk on their ‘Family Matters’ Connection, Amanda Sinclair’s Past, and the songs of Tony Orlando and Dawn

This week, kicks-off a very special guest appearance by Telma Hopkins on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.  Hopkins plays Denise Tolliver, a private eye with some very important intel for Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan), about her past, her father, and her biological family drama.

Photo:CBD

Telma’s guest stint on Y&R reunites her with her dear friend and former on-screen son, Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) after they appeared together on the late 80’s and 90’s sitcom Family Matters.  Fans of the comedy series remember a very young Bryton as Richie Crawford and Telma as his mother, Rachel.  Year laters, they now have the opportunity to work together in Genoa City.

Photo: CBS

In a new interview out today on the Michael Fairman Channel, Telma and Bryton chat virtually with Michael, and we learn that Telma is a longtime fan of Y&R, a huge fan of Mishael Morgan’s, and just how Denise Tolliver’s arrival in Genoa City will set the stage for fireworks to come.

And while Telma and Bryton reminisce about first their first impressions of each other on the Family Matters set, we also delve into another key part of Hopkins career as part of the iconic singing trio Tony Orlando and Dawn, whose hit singles included: “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole’ Oak Tree”, “Candida”, “She Don’t Love You” and more.

Photo: CBS

So, excited to see Telma and Bryton together again? What were your first impressions of Telma as Denise Tolliver on today’s Y&R? What is your favorite Tony Orlando and Dawn tune? Did you watch “Family Matters” with Telma and Bryton years ago? Share your thoughts in the comment section.  But first check out their full interview below.

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Days Of Our Lives

WATCH: Daytime Emmy Nominations Special 2021 Replay

Last night, during the Daytime Emmy Nominations Special Livestream on the Michael Fairman Channel, 15 nominated performers who will be going for gold on the upcoming 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, shared their reactions and their excitement at learning they were in the running in the major Daytime Drama performer categories as chosen by their peers.

Throughout the livestream, the actors also shared what scenes they chose for their reels in the competition that landed them in the top spots in their respective categories.

Photos: ABC, CBS, JPI, NBC

During the broadcast, Michael welcomed: The Bold and the Beautiful’s Darin Brooks and Courtney Hope, General Hospital’s, Maurice Benard, Finola Hughes, Max Gail, Briana Lane and Dominic Zamprogna, The Young and the Restless’ Bryton James, Melissa Claire Egan and Alyvia Alyn Lind, and Days of our Lives nominees: Victoria Konefal, Cady McClain, Wally Kurth, George DelHoyo, and Tamara Braun.

In addition, NATAS President and CEO Adam Sharp shared insight into this year’s nomination process, the year in daytime, and teased what to look for on the upcoming Daytime Emmy Telecast on June 25th on CBS, where the award show recently got a two-year pick-up.

In case you missed it, enjoy this kick-off to Emmy season and watch the Daytime Emmy Nominations Replay below.  Then let us know what moments you enjoyed the most during our show, and who you are rooting for to take home Emmy gold in the comment section.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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