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The Florencia Lozano and Kelley Missal Interview – One Life to Live

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

When One Life to Live has its online premiere on Monday, April 29th on Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes, two powerhouse actresses set the stage for some emotional drama that will pull you in and leave you breathless, and maybe speechless, when all-new episodes begin!  Of course, we are talking about the talented on-screen mother/daughter duo of Florencia Lozano (Tea Delgado) and Kelley Missal (Dani Manning).  When One Life begins anew, viewers will learn what has happened to Tea, who is still reeling from the loss of her husband Victor Jr. and her little baby boy, while Dani is seeking comfort, but has turned to drugs!  This sets the stage for turmoil and angst!  And, who better to play that than scene-stealing Lozano, and the alluring Missal?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Florencia and Kelley to get a preview of: what has happened to two of One Life’s favorite gals when the story resumes in Llanview, their thoughts on the cancellation of the series, and having it brought back to life by Prospect Park, and the undying persistence and power of the shows legions of fans … plus, getting the opportunity to work with Roger Howarth (Todd Manning) again, and Kelley adjusting to the new SORAS’d Matthew in actor Robert Gorrie!

With so many fans concerns of the new One Life being edgier, sexier, and bolder, Missal points out in our conversation that it does come out of story, and it’s not just thrown in gratuitously into the show!  While that should come as a relief to many, still others are wondering if Tea will ever come to know the fact that her presumed dead husband, Victor Jr. (Trevor St. John) is alive, after fans discovered the character was being held captive at the end of the ABC One Life finale? Lozano reveals her hopes for her character and the struggles Tea faces with her daughter, who is all grown up and stirring up trouble all over town.  It’s t-minus less than 24 hours till the return of One Life to Live!  So let’s kick-off the celebration with the fabulous Florencia and Kelley!

MICHAEL:

Florencia, how has this tumultuous turn of events been for you?  First, One Life is canned by ABC.  Next, Prospect Park was going to bring it back, only that did not happen on their first attempt.  Next, you head to General Hospital to be a key component of the baby-switch story where Tea’s baby with Victor Jr. is switched with Sam’s baby, thanks in part to Todd Manning!  Now Prospect Park has the show in production in a magical way with all systems go for tomorrow’s online debut, and Tea is back in Llanview!

FLORENCIA:

Courtesy/ABC

First, I have to say, being on General Hospital was a blast.  I had a great time.  I honestly went with the flow.  I didn’t expect One Life to Live to have another life.  I am incredibly surprised in a very happy way that we are doing it again.  I didn’t have any expectations that we would be doing the show again, and so I didn’t stress on whether it was going to happen, or not.  I really didn’t think it would happen and I believed it was dead in the water.  So, it’s been amazing to get to go back.

MICHAEL:

Tea Delgado has always been one of my favorite characters on One Life to Live.  She always has so much gut-wrenching stuff going on, and she can be powerful, and a spitfire to boot!  Will we see that again on the new One Life?  Will Tea be similar to how she was previously?

FLORENCIA:

Oh hell, yes!  And, Kelley is fantastic.  It’s true!  I would say that Kelley, even if you were not chatting with us in this interview.  Kelley is getting to do some really fun stuff, and so now it’s really fun to play the mother/daughter material.  Tea is of the mindset: “She is getting older … she is challenging.  I love her, and she is driving me crazy.  There are moments where I want to kill her and she wants to kill me.”   There is that grey area, and the complexity of a mother and daughter relationship.  That whole dimension of playing Tea is really exciting.

MICHAEL:

Sweet Dani, now I am every concerned! (Laughs) When One Life starts out she has a drug problem, and we see a sexier version of the character.  Kelley, you must have been thrilled to have this freedom as an actress?

KELLEY:

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler

It’s juicy stuff we are diving into when we check up on Dani.  She is older.  She is 21 when we catch up with her, and so you can see where that can go.  There is Shelter, the new club in Llanview that is focal point.  This has been so much fun playing all of these things that I never had the opportunity to do at the old One Life to Live.  It’s challenging and really hard, but that’s what I like about it!

MICHAEL:

From all appearances, it looks like Dani is front and center when One Life kicks off, and much will revolve around her!

KELLEY:

You know, it’s kind of funny.  On the old One Life to Live, when you saw Dani last time, there was all this stuff going on around her.  She was kind of getting bounced around between all this mayhem within her family, and her boyfriend.  She was just so lost.  She is still lost, but she is acting out a lot more!  You see the internal struggle that she has, instead of her just staying quiet and trying to put on a good face and pretending like things are normal.  She is not pretending anymore.  It’s really interesting to watch her go off into some rather dangerous situations.

MICHAEL:

So Florencia, I heard in a promo clip you said the word, “F**k” as Tea.  Were you the first actress that got to throw a swear word on camera?

FLORENCIA:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

All the other actors are so much more respectful than I am saying, “I still don’t think this is a good idea to do this.”  And I go, “Absolutely!”  But then the first chance I get to say, “F**k,” I was saying it left and right! (Laughs)  Tea takes over and I have to really hold myself back. (Laughs) You know, she gets very upset! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Tea would be uttering expletives all the time, knowing her as all the viewers do!

FLORENCIA:

Exactly! They have had to tell me, “Don’t say that!  We have had a couple of others in the episode!”  I think actually it’s a good idea that we are able to swear a bit as the characters on the show.  I think we have to be careful about it.   But it’s fun to have some new parameters, in which we can play that are a little less strict, and hopefully we will make the most of them!

MICHAEL:

Kelley, can you address the fans that are concerned that the stuff that Dani goes through is born out of the story, and not just thrown in for shock value?  And where there is swearing, and sex, it is bound to the story? 

KELLEY:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Studios

I have said this before, it’s not exemplifying it … it’s storytelling.  I personally feel all the things that you see her go through are an important part to her story.  It’s really relatable stuff that goes on and very modern.  I think that it is a part of the story that needs to be told for her.  I don’t think they are just putting it in there for shock value, or to get press, or anything.  It’s an important part of her story.

MICHAEL:

Will Tea’s loss of her little baby boy, as she was devastated to find out in episodes of General Hospital, carry over onto the new One Life?  Will she be dealing with the fallout from all of the loss in her life?

FLORENCIA:

It’s funny, what you just asked Kelley and what you just asked me.  Those two questions are very intertwined.  It was a real concern of mine, and I think of a lot of ours, that with this new reboot that it not just be, “OOH!  We want to catch people’s attention! And oh, we are going to take our clothes off and swear and try to be the hot new thing!”  We worked really hard to anchor everything that happens story wise in our history.  To make it make sense within the projectary of what we’ve been playing for many years.  The writers, God bless them, are doing their best, but they are just coming on board now.  So, it’s our job, as well as it should be to say, “OK, Dani OD’d.  Why might she have done that?”  Kelley and I worked hard to figure it out.  I think Tea was really done being a mother after what happened with her son dying.  I think that was such a shock, and such a deep, deep source of grief that she started to really ignore Dani and push her away.  We played that, and sort of sketched that into some of the scenes.  Then Kelley and I really tried to flesh out this whole element of Dani desperately needing her mother, and wanting her mother, and Tea not being there for her.  So the drug problem came out of that.  Dani is not a loose cannon for no reason.  She is reacting to something that is real.  Then Tea starts to go, “Oh, my God. I have been living in this complete haze for the past year!  My daughter needs me.”  And that is where the guilt, the anger, the rage, the burden of being a mother is, and going: “It’s not always unconditional love for your kid.”  Sometimes it’s, “I don’t want to want to feel this way about another human being because it’s just too painful.”  The long answer is: I really hope we have done our job.  It makes the story seem like it has deep roots and ramifications.

KELLEY:

Courtesy/ABC

Amen!  And to add to that, Dani grew up with her father in Tahiti on the old One Life to Live.  It’s almost as if Dani had been fighting her whole life to have a mother.  Now she is fighting with herself.  I think a lot of times in these situations the child blames themselves, or they look toward themselves for problems like, “What is wrong with me? Why don’t my parents want me?”  So, I definitely think we tried to play that, and it’s so easy to play that when I am working with Florencia.  Tea and Dani have has their ups and downs, and had their fights, but this is definitely something different and very emotional.

MICHAEL:

Did the two of you get to share many scenes with Roger Howarth during the time he was filming at One Life as Todd?

KELLEY:

I shared a lot of scenes with Roger!

FLORENCIA:

Photo Credit: TOLN

Oh yes!  He is in there big time with us!  Roger is just endlessly hilarious and surprising. All you have to do is look into his eyes and there is so much to play off of.

KELLEY:

He is very honest in everything he does, which is so awesome to play off of!  Honestly, I couldn’t believe he came back!  I was so excited and so surprised!  I worked with him before, and I was excited to work with him again.  It was fun, the scenes we did!

MICHAEL:

But Dani has major father issues too, because of Victor Jr., Ross, and Todd!

KELLEY:

Yeah I guess, but it has almost come to a point with Dani, where she just gives up on a lot of things, including herself.  She used to be so shocked at all of the things that used to happen to her, and with all of her “daddy” issues.  She was always so shocked.  But now, it’s like a really sad acceptance you see in her of: “This is my life.  Shit happens to me. I have awful parents.”  So you kind of see that, and Dani and Todd’s relationship gets really interesting, and not even in a dark way.  But it’s all very confused and weird between them.  They say one thing to one another, but it usually means something completely different!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Kelley, you have a new Matthew Buchanan to play off of!  First there was the wonderful Eddie Alderson, who is not back with the show, but now we have an older Matthew played by Robert Gorrie.  Has it been an adjustment for you?  How is working with Robert?

KELLEY:

Oh, I love Eddie Alderson with all my heart.  I want to marry him some day!  And he knows it! (Laughs) When I heard he wasn’t coming back, I was sad.  He is out in Los Angeles building a life, and I am happy for him.  But meeting the new Matthew, played by Robert Gorrie, we have great chemistry.  We love working together, which is good. You see a lot of Dani and Matthew scenes right from the start, and they play off each other a lot.

MICHAEL:

Florencia, I have always told you, I think you are one of the most phenomenal actresses ever in this medium.  Can we tell your fans that you will definitely figure heavily into story?  Please tell me Tea is still a lawyer and not a cocktail waitress? (Laughs)

FLORENCIA:

Photo Credit: TOLN

Tea is still a lawyer, never fear!  If you need anyone to defend you, she is there. (Laughs) Yes, there is a lot of material for Tea to flail about, and rage at the Gods, and breakdown in tears, and throw things around a hotel room!  There is a lot for her to do.  But I think what Kelley is talking about in terms of the children and the generation of young people on One Life, sort of saying to the parents and to our generation, “You guys are telling us one thing, but the way you lead by example is a whole other story.”  That conflict of: “We want our kids to be one way, but we are not being very good examples of that.”  That is a very interesting conflict, and the new incarnation of this show is really mining that for all it’s worth!  It’s sort of an old age conflict.  The younger generation saying, “You guys have screwed things up for us and you have lied to us!  And now you are reaping what you sew!”   That struggle is … that we can no longer control our children, and we have messed up their lives.  What are we going to do about that now?  That has been a lot of fun to play.

MICHAEL:

What have the fans said to both of you during the time you have been off-screen? Were they reaching out to you on the street, or via social media?

KELLEY:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

I connect to my fans a lot through Twitter.  I just figured when One Life went off the air that everything there would drop.  I did not expect anything from the fans.  I did not expect them to follow me and they have!  It has been a really touching thing.  I am grateful for them.  They remind me of all the work I had done, and it keeps you very humble for people reaching out to you all the time with love, respect, and support.  The fan base has been amazing!  I could not be more grateful to them.  And, it is also fun to hear their insight on what they want Dani to do!

MICHAEL:

Kelley, are you at all concerned with what the fans might say when they see what happens to Dani on all-new episodes of One Life?  Be honest! (Laughs)

KELLEY:

You know, I am!  It’s not my job to worry about the writing, or where the story is going. It’s my job to be Dani.  I have tried my best to put my all into that, and to really do good work.  But the fans are always in the back of my head, and I am always thinking about how they are going to react.  I do think that they have to realize that it is not going to be the old One Life to Live.  It’s going to be different.  But I think if they give it a chance, they are really going to be pleasantly surprised.  I hope they are going to love it. 

MICHAEL:

Florencia, you have ardent fans, and also the TNT brigade of fans who loved Tea and Victor Jr. (He was then Todd thus the “TNT”).  Have you been in touch with them?  What do you think of their unwavering support?

KELLEY:

I did a reading of a play a few weeks ago and my fans were there. And all the time I was off of One Life I would post stuff on my Facebook page.  I don’t do Twitter.  But I am amazed at how smart, sweet, and supportive they are.  I didn’t know who those fans were till I started being on a soap.  Then I heard and saw how committed they are, in a way that I don’t think fans of other mediums are committed in quite the same way.  Like Kelley said, it’s a blessing and an amazing thing.  It’s because of them that we are back and that we have jobs!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

At the end of ABC’s finale cliffhanger of One Life to Live, viewers learned that Victor Jr. was very much alive!  How do you think Tea would react to that … if Tea were to see the love of her life, Victor, again?  Would you like to have the opportunity to play that out?

FLORENCIA:

Yes, of course!  Tea has always had in her heart and mind that she is going to be reunited with the love of her life.  How she thinks that is, when she saw him being zipped into a body bag, is not really a rational sensibility.  It’s something in her that can’t let go of … the dream of Victor Jr. being alive.  So, she holds that in her imagination and in her minds eye with real tenacity.  And, she would love to see him, of course.  She would love to see that for her daughter’s sake as well, not just for her own, but also for her whole family.

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Ju
Guest
Ju

Florencia always gives insightful interesting interviews about her character and story. Kelley has grown up too. I cant wait to see Tea and Dani again. Love them

Alexandra
Guest
Alexandra

These two are the reason I care at all (if Trevor St. John returns, too, that is just icing).

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

I just love Flo and Kelley. Tea is one of the top characters that I adore and who could not love Dani. This is happening tomorrow and I doubt if I will be able to sleep tonight. Thank you PP.

Jennifer Janeiro
Guest
Jennifer Janeiro

Very nice interview with both. I hope Dani makes it out of the drugs ok but I so do not want a Dani and Mathew pairing!

MEG
Guest
MEG

THIS WAS A GREAT INTERVIEW ,I’VE LUVE FLORENCIA FROM THE MIN TEA CAME TO TODD/VICTOR IN HIS JAIL CELL,AND KELLEYLDANI WHEN SHE FIRST MET TODD/TREVOR ,IIIIIIIIIIIIIII CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR TOMORROW TO SEE THEM ON FX CANADA ,THANKYOU SO MUCH TO PP AND FX ,TSJ IS THE ONE WHO MADE ME LUV OLTL. 10:30 AM CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH.

emlons
Guest
emlons

Great interview i too agree Florencia is one of the best actresses in anything she does. I love how she can make any emotion she portrays so believable. I also enjoy watching Kelley go toe to toe with Florencia she has improved so much since we first saw her (she was already good then)
Thanks again for the interview
Will be watch on 4/29 @4:00am on my smart tv, at 11:30 at work on my tablet and at 3pm on the smart tv again – missed the show that much. 🙂

Jason
Guest
Jason

Damn i wish they didn’t spoil that Dani was now a drug addict.. I hope they don’t copy the stuff with Rachel from the past…BUT i sitll can’t wait to see the show tomorrow!! #OLTL

Rose
Guest
Rose

awesome!!! loved the show!

Annick
Guest
Annick

Awesome interview. Love this dynamo acting duo and Florencia is priceless, love her.

heidi
Guest
heidi

Great interview Michael!!! Love Florenzia/Tea and hope Kelly/Dani gets healthier very soon!!! Knowing Tea and Todd she will… have some challenges with that.

Sunshine
Guest
Sunshine

Michael one more thing the media named Todd and Tea TNT when Roger and Florencia portrayed them because every scene was electric between, them TnT fans are still a fanbase very much devoted to Roger and Florencia’s TnT. TnV is Tea and Victor, so please don’t make it seem like TNT fans are all Tea and Victor fans because we’re not thanks. Really enjoyed the interview it was a great read.

TnT 2.0 Forever
Guest
TnT 2.0 Forever

Some Victor and Tea fans still call them TNT as well. As far as I know, the name TNT hasn’t been copy-written, so anyone can use it. Its really not that big of a deal. Besides, did you see the love seen between Victor and Tea yesterday? Now that’s explosive chemistry!!!

Monica
Guest
Monica

Another great interview, Michael! I’m looking. For more of Tea’s wrath in the future and seeing how Dani deals with all the pressure and pain of her circumstances. So cute what Kelley said about Eddie Alderson! I love him too and miss him on OLTL, but he seems to have moved on.

Simi
Guest
Simi

Oh my! I wish Todd (RH) and Tea fall back in love. I loved them together. Everyone seems to love Tea and Victor and Blair and Todd. I loved their scenes when they played the characters on GH.

TnT 2.0 Forever
Guest
TnT 2.0 Forever

After yesterday’s love scenes between Tea and Victor, they definitely need to stay together. Tea is such a sexy woman, she needs a man who doesn’t think twice about fulfilling those needs.

TnT 2.0 Forever
Guest
TnT 2.0 Forever

After yesterday, I also don’t see Tea giving up sex with Victor. She is hooked! The Todd and Tea ship has sailed, people need to let go and allow the characters to mature and evolve. Tea is a grown woman and a mother and no longer an immature twenty-something, she doesn’t need to be sucked into the Todd/Blair/Tea love triangle.

Sunshine
Guest
Sunshine

Claire Labine the fabulous writer who created TnT back in 97 called Roger and Florencia’s chemistry “lightening in a bottle” she went against the current of TnB and created this couple just because of how amazing RH and FL are together and as the characters they play. The name TnT has been around way before TSJ ever played his version of Todd on OLTL and that’s thanks to Claire Labine, Florencia L, and Roger H.

Brian Greene
Guest
Brian Greene

Bless Florencia, Kelley, & OLTL–Yay! 😀 <3 😀 <3

Chels
Guest
Chels

I like tea delgado

Grace
Guest
Grace

Great interview!

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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