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The Kim Zimmer Interview – Guiding Light Finale

Kim ZimmerAs the light fades this week on Guiding Light, I waited to post this interview with the most acclaimed actress in the shows 57-year television history, Kim Zimmer.  As Reva Shayne since 1983, Zimmer’s bravura performances have nabbed her four Daytime Emmys and a place in soap opera history as one of the most iconic, recognizable, and important actresses ever in the genre.

On-Air On-Soaps salutes the wonderful interview recently posted by Nelson Branco of TV Guide Canada, and all the coverage given to Kim around the web and in print over the last few weeks.
Just of note: a few quotes of this interview ran in my Soapside: Advocate column on September 4th but the rest was held back until now. I hope you enjoy Kim’s outspoken and honest comments, and will listen to the audio feature of our conversation held right after the Guiding Light Tribute rehearsal at the Daytime Emmys.

One final time, here is my last “GL” Kim Zimmer interview. I know there will be more features in our future, especially in lieu of the news that she is writing her memoirs about her time on Guiding Light.  But, you never know where Kim might pop up next.  Read below and find out her thoughts on this matter and getting closure in Springfield.

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

So, what did you think being up there on the stage for the tribute during rehearsal?

KIM:

It was fun. We did this once before for our 50th Anniversary.  The curtain came up and then we were gone.

MICHAEL:

daytimeemmys1.jpgShuffled off to Buffalo?

KIM:

Exactly!  In a way it’s a
little embarrassing, but its fun being on that stage and seeing everyone in the audience.  It’s emotional
to see the faces of all these actors I have known for many years. I am sure there will be tears.  Everyone is looking at his or her future.  Who knows how many soaps we will have left at this time next year?

MICHAEL:

It’s sad!

KIM:

It’s very sad. I was talking to “OLTL’s” executive producer Frank Valentini on the airplane yesterday.  I did pitch him coming back to One Life to Live, where I played Echo. I said, “I won’t sign a contract, but I’ll work cheap if you work me five days a week!” (She laughs.) But I also said, “Who is in more trouble, you or All My Children?”  And Frank said, “Oh, we are not in trouble.  Our show has had better ratings than them for the last five years.”  I was like, “Ok, hang tough boy, hang tough.” (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

How did you feel when you wrapped your last “GL” episode?

KIM:

I had a moment of, Thank God its over, because it’s been hard.  I was never a fan of the new format and production module, and trying to generate story was tough.  Thank God for Olivia and Natalia!  It was the only love story we had on the show, because every one of the other characters on the show seemed to hate each other, and it was nasty.  I think that is one of the reasons that story was so well received by people in the Bible belt, and everyone across the board.  It was because it was a love story. We were thirsty for something like that.  It was nice to have Grant Aleksander (Phillip) back.  I am just sad that I am not going to get to work with my two grown on-screen sons!

double_photo5.jpgMICHAEL:

Because those two on-screen sons (Branson and Pelphrey) are exceptional actors, and finally they got it right. Damn it!

KIM:

I know, I know, and the dynamics between Tom and Jeff is so wonderful.
I was so hopeful we were going to get to play with that some more, and that makes me sad.  I really was looking forward to the day Josh and Reva would ride off into the sunset together, only to see Jeffrey come back from the other direction.  That would have been an interesting dynamic, too.

MICHAEL:

Did you feel disappointed in the end, on how it wrapped up for you as Reva?

KIM:

Well, I was sad that they never brought a Marah back.  I don’t know why that never happened and that kind of pissed me off.  They could never really figure out which one they wanted to bring back, because each one had a different job on the show.  You could bring Lindsey McKeon back, but you could not bring Kimberly J. Brown back, because she would not have worked with Bradley.  It’s just weird.
So, I think that is why they avoided the whole thing.  I think the fans will like the last episode.  I think 60 percent of my fans will be happy and I think 40 percent won’t be. (She laughs).

MICHAEL:

When you saw the end story, were you OK with it?

KIM:

I am very much OK with it.

MICHAEL:

But this whole experience had been like a long mourning process for the fans and the cast. There have been multiple parties and tributes and tons of press.  Will you be happy when it’s finally over and you can move on?

KIM:

I will be happy when September 18th is over and the last air show has been on, because we can’t really move on.  We were all laughing on the last day. Rob Bogue (Mallet) and I were laughing with our on-going scenario. “Has your phone rung? Because I taped my last scene. Have you gotten the call from “Y&R”?  They said they were going to call.”  So, we were all kind of waiting for phone calls thinking, “OK, we are done.  We are available.” (She laughs)

kim_crying1.jpgMICHAEL:

You are so recognizable and iconic as Reva.  Do you think the producers will be able to see the forest from the trees and let you play something else on the soaps?

KIM:

I think it would be very narrow-minded of the executive producers of the shows, if they were to say, “She can’t do anything else.” …Unless, like a “Y&R” or “B&B” brought Reva in, because Reva is not connected to anything really. I would love to play a new character, like a Sally Spectra on “B&B”.  That would be a gas, but I could never replace Darlene Conley. (Ex-Sally)

MICHAEL:

But you really want to play a new character!

KIM:

I said my dream would be to do the same character on all the shows in disguise.  I dye my hair, put contacts in, and always have a different accent on all the shows.  On the last one it would be revealed I was the same character on all those shows.  Three months here and there. You need a little activity on a storyline… bring her in.  Wouldn’t that be a gas?

MICHAEL:

That is pretty brilliant!

bradley_kim1.jpgKIM:

I know.  I have not pitched it to anybody… get busy!

MICHAEL:

If you were to, in a few years, sum up Reva Shayne what would you say? “Reva was…..?”

KIM:

Reva was love.  She loved like no one else.

MICHAEL:

Passionately!

KIM:

Yeah, that is what I would say.  I agree.

MICHAEL:

When you look back, how did being on Guiding Light impact you?

KIM:

Oh, well, the dignitaries I got to meet and the athletes and actors…. I am not saying that is what it was about.  I had three children while I was on the show.  I had a job that enabled me the opportunity to be there for their athletic events and take pictures of them for their proms.  I did not have to pack a suitcase to go somewhere else to film a movie.  It was the perfect job to have to raise a family.

MICHAEL:

What did you feel about many who say Kim Zimmer’s Reva was the focus of Guiding Light?

zimmer_newman_pretty.jpgKIM:

No, I don’t feel that way.  Maybe in the beginning, but in the last five years we have really become an ensemble, which was hard for me to swallow, but I think that is what made our show good.  I know the show focused a lot of story on my character, but I never felt like the lighthouse of Guiding Light, not me.
Other people made me feel that way,
but I never thought I was The Guiding Light. I think that is why our show was so successful.  We had the nicest place to work, because we were family and there was no backstage backstabbing.
If we had a problem with somebody we all said it to his or her face.  We would bring it up. You put your shit out on the table and you dealt with it!

MICHAEL:

You must look back and pinch yourself knowing you won four Emmys and were the most lauded actress in the history of “GL”.  Where are your much-deserved four Daytime Emmys sitting?

KIM:

It is wonderful!  My Emmys are sitting on top of a cabinet of my living room.  And, I have my Soap Opera Digest awards, and the ones that looked like Emmys and looked like a Globe.

MICHAEL:

jim_zimmer_main1.jpgThe Soap Opera Update Awards?

KIM:

Yes, and they are a mess!  Those were fun awards and everyone was so drunk at those events.  It wasn’t timed.  Those Soap Opera Update awards are so tarnished and so disgusting.  I look at those awards and they make me laugh. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

I can’t believe next time I speak with you it won’t be for a Guiding Light interview!

KIM:

I know, it will be weird, but we will
always have plenty to talk about.
Trust me!

Guiding Light

Guiding Light Alum, Michelle Forbes, Lands Key Role in Upcoming Season of ‘New Amsterdam’

She made her mark as Sonia/Solita on Guiding Light and has turned her career into a major primetime and film success.  Now comes word that the talented Michelle Forbes is set to appear on the new season of NBC’s drama, New Amsterdam.

According to TV Line, Forbes will join the cast for the fourth season in the recurring role of Dr. Veronica Fuentes. The character is said to be ‘a calm, poised and fearless fixer who is brought in to reconstruct the failing hospital.”

However, the outlet reports that Forbes’ Dr. Fuentes’ first order of business on her way to reversing New Amsterdam’s declining numbers will be to “wipe clean the inept board.”

Forbes was most recently seen on ABC’s Big Sky and had notable roles in True Blood and The Killings.

The new season of New Amsterdam premieres on Tuesday, September 21st  at 10 pm. EST.

So, looking forward to seeing Michelle in her new role on primtime? Comment below.

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Guiding Light

Soap Alums: Helgenberger, Bonilla, and Ilonzeh Cast in New Drama Pilot ‘Getaway’

Three very familiar faces to daytime fans have their new potentially new nighttime gig!  E.J. Bonilla (Ex-Rafe, Guiding Light) has been added as as series regulars opposite Annie Ilonzeh (Ex-Maya, GH) along with former Ryan’s Hope favorite Marg Helgenberger (Ex-Siohan) to the NBC drama pilot, Getaway.

In Getaway, the loglines for the series read that the proposed seriescenters on a destination wedding at an isolated luxury resort that quickly descends into chaos after a group of dangerous criminals takes the island hostage. The small group of guests, led by a fearless female Army vet (Ilonzeh), will do everything they can to stay alive.

According to Deadline: Helgenberger will play Sen. Charlotte Pierce. As a senior Democratic senator from New York, Charlotte is used to calling the shots. She’s happy to see her son, Jack (played by Matt Long), settle down with his bride, Grace (Jasmine Mathew), but there are darker forces at play she has yet to fully understand. Charlotte will soon have to choose between her family and the political career for which she’s worked so hard.  Bonilla will play Rafi Salinas. Rafi claims to be a fisherman on the run with his friends from a gang of cartel members, but he’s hiding a dark secret that will put everyone at the resort in danger.

So, what do you think of the concept for this new drama pilot for NBC and the cast? Comment below.

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Guiding Light

Murray Bartlett Virtual Interview on Tap

Daytime fans remember Murray Barlett as Cyrus Foley on the beloved Guiding Light. 

Since then, the actor has appeared in numerous TV series and specials and film roles including HBO’s groundbreaking series, Looking and Tales of the City. 

However, now Bartlett can now be seen on The White Lotus, a new series from HBO, where he plays, the resort manager, Armond which bow this weekend on July 11th.

Murray will be chatting with Alan Locher live on The Locher Room You Tube channel on Friday July 16th at 3 p.m. EST/Noon PST. Make sure to have your questions ready for Murray!

You can watch the livestream here.

So, will you be checking out Murray on The White Lotus? What are your remembrances of Cyrus on Guiding Light? Comment below.

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