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The Ron Carlivati Interview – One Life to Live Farewell

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

As we say our final goodbyes today to the unbelievable and magical run of One Life to Live on daytime television, there was one last interview we wanted to bring you, exclusively at On-Air On-Soaps.  Fans have watched over the final months of the series, and especially in this final home stretch, some of the most heartfelt episodes ever given to its loyal audience. A celebration of what life in Llanview is truly about at its core; high emotional drama, clever and imaginative episodes, dark and edgy plot twists, romance and love, but most of all the families and their connections to one another which is the foundation of the series.

Pulling all the strings for the storylines, scripts, and characters you see on screen everyday is the master puppeteer behind the scenes, who has given to us such a rich and delicious conclusion to the 43-year-run of One Life to Live, head writer, Ron Carlivati. It is no secret that Ron and his brilliant writing team endured more trials and tribulations behind the scenes than some of their fictional characters, in an effort to wrap-up the series in a satisfying way.  First, there was the cancellation of the series by ABC, and then Prospect Park announcing they were going to move the show online, only to pull out at the most inopportune time, after filming of the final episode was completed.

Daytime fans are extremely fortunate to have Ron on their side, and as a true fan of the genre. After reading this interview you will come to understand that what you are feeling at home, Ron is feeling also. And, as we watch the curtain come down this afternoon on OLTL, Ron wanted to pay homage to all the eccentricities, love and life, in the town of Llanview. Nowhere is this more apparent than in recent episodes such as: Fraternity Row’s fantasy episode, Viki returns to heaven as lives hang in the balance, the Statesville Prison Break returning many nefarious characters from the show’s past, and an array of touching and humorous nods and episodes to the show’s legacy and to its fans.

Now, Ron has moved on to be the head writer of General Hospital, a position he officially started this past Monday. And, with that came the news that four of your favorites from OLTL will be joining him to kick-start his new tenure. Ron filled us in on that decision, and the making of the final episodes of OLTL.   And with that, here’s our last stop together in Llanview … with Ron!

MICHAEL:

Ron, you crafted some amazing episodes for the final weeks of One Life to Live. Monday we were treated to the episode where Viki goes to heaven and Clint ends up in hell, and a host of other characters lives hanged in the balance. Was it an homage that was inspired by the fact that Agnes Nixon’s original title for One Life to Live was Between Heaven and Hell?

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

Yeah, that has always kind of stuck with me, and Viki’s first trip to heaven I obviously loved, and it was sweet. Then, we did homage to it on our anniversary and that and the idea that given that the title of the show is One Life to Live, I wanted the ending of the show to have some life and death stakes to it, and not everybody sitting around and just reminiscing about their life.

MICHAEL:

Monday’s episode was almost like watching a three-act play and really showed the power of One Life to Live.  It was just a simple two or three person scene with minimal settings or trappings.  And there were so many gut-wrenching dramatic moments, and you gave all the actors amazing words and emotions to play!

RON:

It was a nice way to also have some returns that had a specific reason and purpose to it, like matching Gabrielle with Bo, and Megan with Viki, and even Luna with Cole.  For me, it really made sense.

MICHAEL:

You have been on an amazing roller coaster ride with the show being canceled, and then Prospect Park coming to save the day, and then that being ripped away.  How did all of this upheaval alter what the audience will ultimately end up seeing on the final episode?

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

It was obviously a rollercoaster.  We found out we were canceled and that was really hard.  Then we had those several weeks to let it sink in and then go through that mourning process, and just get to that moment where we all were starting to accept it, finally. That is when the Prospect Park guys came along to save it, and then that took us on this whole other rollercoaster ride.  Of course, we were thrilled with the idea that it would continue, and also excited about it being in a new forum even.  It was like a new adventure.  For most of us it was a relief that these characters could continue, and of course, it did have an impact on me.  The minute I heard of the cancellation, you immediately start thinking, “Well, how do I want to wrap this up?”  I then started to plot out where everyone would be and everyone would end up.  And then, knowing it wasn’t going to end really does change things, because you really don’t want everything tied up in a neat little bow.  I have to still keep telling story, so I want to keep moving story forward.  So you start thinking about what things will we leave unresolved, and what things will we leave with a hook to get people to follow us online?  Obviously, we changed some stuff around.  I definitely think I kept the spirit of the ending and it is very similar, but obviously, I would have written some things different and I will talk about that at a future time.  But, on the whole, it helped to know that some actors were pretty certain that they didn’t want to continue with the show when it was to move online. So we were able to give them closure and happy endings, which are Rex and Gigi.  David Gregory wasn’t continuing, so our decision to kill Ford was informed by that.  It was always my plan that if we were going to create such life and death stakes, at least one person had to die, or I think it would be a big cop out.  And that was an agonizing decision, because I truly love all the characters in Llanview.  Even though they are fictional, it is really hard for me to make that decision.  So certain things stayed the same, and certain things did change and were impacted by Prospect Park.  And then of course, we didn’t find out it wasn’t happening until we had already taped our very last scene.

MICHAEL:

The thing that has been the constant from industry insiders and the fans has been, “Why couldn’t they go back and revise the ending, once Prospect Park suspended their efforts to bring One Life online?”  What would you want people to know about that?

RON:

We actually could not go back and tape anything after the fact.  The last tape day had already happened. There was no going back into the studio at that point.

MICHAEL:

So then, as had been rumored, was there one alternative ending shot?

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

Yes, but more has been made of that then it is.  We didn’t do that very much and really that came about when knowing certain actors were not continuing.  With the story I wanted to do moving into Prospect Park’s platform, I wanted to go back and change something at the end of our show as another way to have another hook and another cliffhanger. So we went back and added that. Then once we knew it wasn’t happening it didn’t seem to make sense, so what we did was go back to the original version.  I do want to say that on the whole, I feel it is a satisfying ending.  I do know there are people that are upset that if only we had known this, or if only we had known that, and I have to admit yes, while there are things that I would change, on the whole it is the same spirit of the same ending that I wanted, that I hope will make the audience happy.

MICHAEL:

The Fraternity Row Episode it a classic!  It has to be the funniest spoof ever, while the ending with Roxy and David was heartbreaking!

RON:

I had the writers over to my apartment to watch it the day that it aired and we were laughing our heads off over it, and it was also so incredibly touching.

MICHAEL:

When you were scripting this out, you guys and gals must have had a field day with this?

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

Oh, yeah we really did!  One thing led into another into the other.  Weeks before we had come up with the idea of Fraternity Row being canceled, and then things just started to fall into place at that point.  It really made sense to have a story that mirrored what the audience was going through and what our characters were going through.  It was cathartic for us to write it.  And then when we had the idea for Roxy to wake up in that world, it was just a way to send up the soap genre as a whole and poke a little fun at our own storylines, and give the actors a chance to play something different. Everybody from the top down did such an excellent job!  I think the audience really understood what it was.  It was a love letter to the fans, and in no way was it to make fun of our audience or the genre, because I love both of them.

MICHAEL:

You have to watch these last series of episodes, Ron, and be very proud of what you have done for this show.  No soap opera that has been canceled have I ever seen go out like this.  I think this is because of you and the creative team at One Life.  It is has been truly stunning to watch.

RON:

Thank you, I really appreciate that.  Of course, I am proud and proud of my team.  I am proud of our cast and crew who took what we wrote and far exceeded what I could have possibly imagined in the way that it was executed.  I thought that the montage on the previous Friday of Starr singing, and everyone in peril, and in the hospital hovering between life and death, played out so beautifully.  It really, really broke my heart.   I think the part that got to me the most was when Clint reached to get the phone and he had a heart attack. I knew it was coming and yet I thought they did it so beautifully that it was so powerful.  And yes, it is incredibly sad for us that the show is ending, but it is going out on top, and we don’t feel that we are limping to the finish line.  I think we are all very proud to go out on top creatively, and with the ratings being strong, it really means a lot to me.  It really does!

MICHAEL:

And to think you were an attorney who made the switch to daytime, and now you will be remembered as the head writer, who wrote the final episode of this iconic series, created by Agnes Nixon.

RON:

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

I was an attorney and I gave that up wanting to work on One Life to Live.  I was lucky enough to get a job as a writer’s assistant in 1996, and it is pretty amazing that I am sitting here about to watch the last episode of the show, and I am the head writer.

MICHAEL:

It has to be so surreal for you?

RON:

It is pretty amazing.  I am having the reaction of the fans, but it is a whole other level as well, because I have worked at One Life to Live for fifteen years.  I am part of helping to bring it to its close.

MICHAEL:

Throughout the course of wrapping up the show, there were so many important and key goodbyes, such as Viki and Dorian’s last scenes, and countless others.  Did you feel pressure to get it all right and to the level that the fans would accept?

RON:

Each time you wrote a goodbye it was difficult, because you want it to be satisfying for the audience. You do sit there and try to cover every last thing that everybody wants covered.  Knowing that we thought we were going to continue, there were certain moments where we did not feel that unbelievable pressure that this will be the last time that these two characters will have a scene.  We thought there would be more opportunity for that.  But that being said, I did want there to be satisfying closure for people watching it on ABC.  We did try our best to write it like an ending, even thought we thought it was going to continue.

MICHAEL:

I was surprised and thrilled that ABC let you do your thing with the telling of the Fraternity Row storyline after they dumped the show!  Do you think you snuck one in under the radar on the network execs?  Or, did they know exactly what you were doing and scripting out?

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

I got to hand it to ABC as well, for giving us the greenlight and letting us just do that. With the show being canceled, I really did not know if they would let us have our fun with that, and they really did.  I am really grateful that they did not stand in our way of telling that story.  It wasn’t about attacking anyone who was involved in the canceling of the show, it was more about finding a way to help say goodbye to it, and for us to tell the audience, “We understand what you are going through, and we are going through it, too.” And because they know our characters, and our characters are like their family, we can say, “You know what?  These characters are going through the same thing and the same shock and loss and pain that you are, and that we were as well.”

MICHAEL:

What do you think is the legacy of One Life to Live?  What you would like to leave behind and be remembered for?

RON:

I think it’s a very special show.  I think it’s the show that in a lot of ways people would call the “hammock” show, because it fell between two very successful shows, All My Children and General Hospital.  Sometimes we were the “Rodney Dangerfield” of soap operas that got no respect, or what some people would call, “The red-headed step-child”. I think in a lot of ways it makes me love the show even more.  It is very special and unique.  It could be completely outrageous or unbelievably poignant, and we were able to tackle real issues, and we were able to do wacky and funny things.  So that makes me really proud, that if we could make people laugh or cry and forget their problems for an hour a day, I think to me, that is what the legacy of the show is.

MICHAEL:

There was something just off-center with the soap that set it apart from all the other daytime dramas.  At times, it was a very dark soap, which I also loved.

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

We tried to push the envelope either in a humorous way or a serious way.  We would not be afraid to take it to that edge.

MICHAEL:

As we are head toward the finish line with the last episode about to air nationwide, what can you say as a preview of what to expect?

RON:

I don’t want to give anything away, but it goes back to what I said earlier in taking the show to heaven.  It is about One Life to Live, and all the things both positive and negative that happen in life.  There is a lot to celebrate about life in the last show, which I think gives you a pretty good idea what it is about!  And of course, what would a good soap opera be without a good couple of surprises and twists in there, too.  I think there is romantic pay-off, there is some familial pay-off, and there are some twists and surprises that I hope will make people happy.

MICHAEL:

So, are we going to need the hankies, or are our mouths going to drop?  Or, both?

RON:

(Laughs) Well, hopefully both.

MICHAEL:

When you finished up OLTL and penned the final episode, was it hard for you? Was it like a “Thank God that’s done” moment, or an “Oh my God, I just finished the last episode of One Life to Live, kind of moment?  I would think it was incredibly difficult.

Courtesy/ABC

RON:

It was hard, and you didn’t want to let it go. You think, “Was this good enough? Was this the best that I can do?”  But in the end, you put it forward and we believe in what we did, and we were proud of it.  But it was incredibly hard to write the last show, because the writers were the first group of people to be done at One Life to Live.  It was mid-October that we wrote the last show, and we were the first to really feel like, “Wow, we are done!”  But it did allow me as a participant, to just be at the show and watch them tape some of the last material without having the pressure of my own job hanging over my head at that point.  So I was able to watch some of the last stuff, but I liked to be surprised when I watch an episode to see how it turned out. I was able to do that for the last tape date.  The last moments and the last scene that was taped with Erika Slezak (Viki) was quite emotional.  I was happy and proud to be there. We had a wonderful wrap party, which had everybody there.  And yes, while we were sad, there was a lot to celebrate.  Now, I have been sitting down at 2PM Eastern time every day to watch the show.

MICHAEL:

Will you watch the finale alone, or with other people?

RON:

Yeah, there is a gang that wants to get together to watch it, but I don’t know if I am going to do that.  I think I will stop in and see them after. I just don’t know if I want everybody to see me, you know, as a blubbering mess.

MICHAEL:

I understand exactly!  I will be a blubbering mess, too. With the actors, you have delivered stories that have given them an opportunity to knock it out of the ballpark time after time with their performances, and especially in the final weeks of the show. It must be very heartwarming for you to see.

RON:

Well, absolutely.  People will say to me, “Well, why are you doing this when the show is about to end?” And what you just said Michael is the reason … to see these people we love in these life and death situations and to really watch them act, and break our hearts.  That is what soap operas are all about.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

OLTL fans received some exciting news the other day, in the midst of the sadness of this week when it was confirmed that you and GH exec producer, Frank Valentini are bringing over, Kassie DePaiva, Kristen Alderson, Roger Howarth and Michael Easton from One Life and transplanting them to GH.  Obviously, first and foremost, this is an effort to bring fans of OLTL over to GH to help increase the ratings of the ailing soap.  How come this group from Llanview; the Mannings and John McBain, were chosen and given a one-way ticket from Llanview, PA to Port Charles, NY?

RON:

It is definitely something I thought about right away.  I think that anything we can do to help GH and bring up the ratings and bring any more eyeballs on to the screen from OLTL, is absolutely the reason we should do it.  I think creatively it makes sense.  It will give OLTL fans an opportunity to get a glimpse of what happened after the finale.  And what I want to say to the General Hospital fans is, “This is meant to help enhance the show not take anything away from GH.  It is a wonderful show and I would not be going there to write it, if I didn’t think so.”  It is a story and it is about weaving some of these people into Port Charles.  First and foremost, it is about the people of Port Charles, and I will talk more about that when the time comes. I just want to say to everybody that may have concerns, that it’s all going to be good.

MICHAEL:

And finally, what would you say to the wonderful and passionate fans that have watched OLTL and stood by the show?  It has been heartbreaking to read their comments over the last few weeks on my website. They are going to go through their mourning process, just like you, and everyone connected with the show.

Courtesy/ABC

RON:

I want to say, “thank you” obviously. The show would not be on for 43 years without such devoted fans. The other thing I want to say is; I understand what you are going through because I am going through the same thing.  I am a fan at heart.  I think we have the most passionate fans of any genre, and not just OLTL, but all soap fans. During the final weeks of taping One Life to Live, the fans were standing outside our studio every day, even when it’s freezing cold. We would walk out the door and they would greet you with such love. It really was an amazing thing.  It helped us to say goodbye knowing that we had this support system of people that felt the same way and understood what we were going through.

 

 

 

 

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Lili
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Lili

With all the fairy tales in the press about the actors GH has to cut, and the actors who didn’t get a good ending, I’m offended that the top money people from OLTL are going to GH. Don’t tell me that my favorites aren’t in the budget. They have history!

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

Most of the actors at gh want to leave ,and one life to live is on a budget or I should say, was on a budget.they know how to save money and put on top notch programing ,so the actors coming over arent that high paid.abc spent far more money on gh then they ever did for oltl.and I like that some of my favorite friends from landview are heading to port charles.Ive watched both soaps so Im not just a oltl fan I am a all my children ,one life to live and a 49 year fan of general… Read more »

Splum
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Splum

Wouldn’t call them the “top money people” but I get your point.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Michael,
Thank you for posting this interview with Ron Carlivati. I read it just minutes before watching the finale here on the east coast. I have to admit I stayed home from work today so I can see the last epsisode as it is broadcast on the network, just like we had had to watch it when the series went on the air, before VCR’s and soapnet.
Mark

Outlandt
Guest
Outlandt

Thank you Michael… now I feel a lot better. Ron and Frank are the DT (DreamTeam), I knew they loved our soap… and still do. Beautiful, touching and open conversation… great job to everyone involved with the production… great job and THANK YOU!!!!

Soapgirl21
Guest
Soapgirl21

I love that a few Llanview favs will go to GH. I wouldn’t watch it otherwise… I started watching ATWT after AW went off the air b/c of a cpl characters moving over… it’s a great idea…

Denise
Guest
Denise

Tissues please!

Carol Painter
Guest
Carol Painter

I Loved This Interview, as I do All of The Interviews with OLTL actors…I Loved the Finale Today..I just Loved it.. OLTL is The most Well written Fun Soap EVER. And I have Watched ONLY all 3 soaps on ABC…IMO, CBS soaps, NBC soaps can not compare.. I could never get into them…they always missed the mark for some reason… ABC soaps, especially OLTL was The Funniest, silliest, most entertaining…and at the same time balanced a series of serious topics. Ron C, and his Team…should be VERY PROUD of Everything they have ever written, They did a beautiful Job, especially… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

Well, as I said on twitter yesterday after the Finale aired, that OLTL’s finale EASILY was the BEST finale when you compare it to GL and ATWT. Both of those finale’s were not all that great. So, when I watched the Finale of OLTL, I was extremely pleased with how the show went out and they went out on top! I’ve got to hand it to Ron Carlivati for his genius mind in crafting that final episode. And what a shocking ending! I just cheered when I saw that final scene with Allison Perkins and the script that she threw… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Damn, a lover of the show, and a man of his word regarding a promise.

Very hard to do when characters are going to their neighborly show, that you can catch them on.

And you sound Firm. Hummm, what’s your sign? lol

Carol Painter
Guest
Carol Painter

Hi Michael, I hear you…and I completely get it..I honestly feel so much Hate For ABC Disney for What They Allowed Frons to do…That I Have Boycotted everything They are connected to……with the exception of Soaps, And Two nightly programs Castle, and Greys Anatomy. I feel Good About Supporting Programs that are Well written…That Have Writers, Actors, etc…I feel The movement to Get Rid of these programs by Idiots (I should say Greedy idiots) Like Frons/abc /disney…has been a trend for many years..It started when they Took NORM McDonalds sitcom off for “Millionaire” with Regis Philben….10 – 15 yrs ago?…and… Read more »

MySoapsinheart
Guest
MySoapsinheart

I have watched all 3 of the soaps from AMC OLTL and GH. I will continue to watch GH. Can only hope they will bring Natalie into the mix since she and John just got back together. Though its not the same and I still hold hope that someone somehow will get all of our soaps restored to production and airing. Yet I will continue to watch GH as I have watched all my soaps for decades. It is the only show that I watch for that particular station. Thank you One Life To Live cast and crew, as always… Read more »

Susan M.
Guest
Susan M.

Pl;ease answer my question.. Tried your site Michael but, can’t get past your captcha code.. Can’t get it right.. What ever way I type ii in.. very frustrating… Please answer my question : Is Natlie & baby Liam joing John (michael Easton) on GENERAL HOSPITAL…… What will happen to that??? Will it carry over on to GH?????Waiting for response… Need an answer .. Need to know…And I didn’t like the last episode of OLTL… Left you crying for more.. A lot of things left unsaid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again,please answer my question!!

Paul James Hurlburt Jr
Guest
Paul James Hurlburt Jr

I am glad One life to LIVE Characters are going over to Gh I really am.

Susan M.
Guest
Susan M.

So am I !!!!!!! I hope more actors from OLTL join GH!!!!!!!!!!! Such as Melanie Archer (Natlie)… Has to join Michael Easton (John Mcbain) & baby Liam on GH!!!!!! I miss most of all Erika Sleak(Vicki)….. Clint , Bo & Nora !!!!!!! OLTL was the best soap opera..It was like a family OLTL.. you could see the closeness among the actors.. The warmth.. OLTL FAN

Gerardo Ramirez
Guest
Gerardo Ramirez

Ron C. did a wonderful job as head writer & I wish him well in his GH endeavour

Peggy Kempfer
Guest
Peggy Kempfer

I am very disappointed that ABC soaps are being cancelled. I will not watch anything that takes the place of any of the soaps. In fact, I watch Revenge and General Hospital and that is all I will watch on ABC. I have started watching the cable stations.

Brian Greene
Guest
Brian Greene

Thanks Ron–We OLTL Fans In Northwest Illinois Appreciate & Love What You & Frank Have Accomplished For This Show Very Much! 😀

Alley
Guest
Alley

RC was right about one thing. The Mannings and McBain will have me (and I’m sure a few others) tuning into GH. Before I heard the news, I was boycotting ABC for good.

My boycott of The Chew and The Revolution stands. I will not watch that crap. EVER.

Jared
Guest
Jared

I loved the finale. LOVED it! I had a suspicion that Alison was reading her script to TSJ, but I was still shocked, because of what I read about TSJ not filming the finale. Great job on keeping this a secret, because it was truly a treat for us fans! Maybe I will give GH a chance because I’m curious what happens next. At the same time, I know we’re supposed to support all the soaps, but recent events, like RC/FV moving to GH, as well as OLTL characters moving to GH, I feel it just proves (to me, at… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Yeah, TSJ returning in the finale, was the best kept secret in daytime, and almost active entertainment.

M. H.
Guest
M. H.

I have watched OLTL since day 1. When I worked I taped it, now I have it saved on cable. I will not watch ” The Revolution ” . We have enough of these ” help” sbows. Sometimes people need ” escapism” too, a chance to look at others problems and forget your own for awhile.

PaulaKate Prince-Meserole
Guest
PaulaKate Prince-Meserole

I know that things are in uproar right now since Friday’s last episode. But i am keeping a positive thought about this whole thing. The fact that One Life To Live Characters are being added to the canvas of General Hospital is good news! I refuse to borrow trouble or be upset by anymore of the millions of depressing rumors flying around out here like feathers after a pillow fight. This is no time to choke. OLTL live viewers need to continue to boycott “the chew” and “the Revulsion” but for everything that we have been fighting to accomplish tune… Read more »

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

alot of people dont like the idea ,I do ,I think its the best thing to happen to general hospital .for years ive been watching gh go down hill ,everything evolves around sonny and his kids and his problems ,and watch me get in trouble for this but I did not like the brenda story ,they thought if they brought her back the ratings would go up ,but instead went down ,and still going down for 3 weeks now.robin is leaving lucky is leaving ethan is leaving ,there the main people ,the quartermaines ,the fans love them, and the old… Read more »

Elhu
Guest
Elhu

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Ron, Frank, all the superb stars of OLTL, the crew behind the scenes, and to you, as well Michael (for keeping us so well informed of everything going on with our soaps and the people on them, as well as for being a wonderful fan yourself). This show was exceptional and will be greatly missed, but it went out with the utmost class and style. I so enjoyed every second of each of the last week’s episodes (I love every episode, each day on this soap, but I am referring to the heightened… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Nicely stated. Rex would be great as Dillion, not Lucky. And the 2 Todd’s playing out would be wonderful, especially with Trevor St. John, opposite Sonny, which I spoke on in depth on this site as it relates to their complex /cool style (paired) opposite one another.

Elhu
Guest
Elhu

Totally agree with you 1loveabcsoaps, Rex would be a perfect Dillon, and Trevor St. John opposite Sonny, would also be fun to watch play out for sure, for the exact reason you stated, their totally different personas. Here’s hoping our wishes come true!!!!

Jay
Guest
Jay

You had me until you made the enormous blunder of suggesting JPL play Lucky Spencer. That’s a big, fat NO! Jonathan Jackson IS Lucky Spencer, and he’s already made it clear that he’s open to returning. There should never be another Lucky recast.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

yeah jonathan jackson is lucky,but,he is leaving .general hospital needs a lucky and if jj doesnt want to play him anymore maybe jpl will ,never say never ,anything is possible in the magic world of the soaps.thats what keeps me tuning in ,I looooove drama.

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

I concure, unless they find another TSJ to recast the role. The other 2 Lucky’s weren’t bad, they won emmy’s for it. Jacob Young (AJ, amc) Greg Vaughan. I think JPL as lucky is more like Jacob Young when he played it. Johnathan Jackson, (although free spirited like JY, and JPL) JJ goes from free sprit Lucky to good concious cop/bad boy cop, to dark and deep places one wouldn’t even call acting, if you didn’t know better. No, JPL could easily be Dillion, and GUESS what, he would be a BETTER Dillion. But no one can be Lucky, and… Read more »

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

I agree totally Paula and I will give GH a second look when they start airing their episodes!!! Everybody else should do the same NBC has survived several years with just one and I was furious when they cancelled Another World, so who knows they may return it to must see TV!!!

heidi
Guest
heidi

Great Interview Michael… thank you!!! However RC is the one who should get thanked for such a great finale… last week… last month… last few months… just phenomenal story and writing!!! You gave us great story…. great use of the characters… great emotion and you treated everyone (fans and cast) with such care… but with a nice nudge to something coming… very well done!!! Michael has had such great content and such great conversation and a safe place for fans to vent and mourn their loss! The discussions about the last two epidodes has been fun. I now can say… Read more »

Jay
Guest
Jay

In the 20 years I’ve been watching OLTL, Ron Carlivati is my second favorite headwriter (behind Michael Malone). I am so grateful to have experienced this man’s resurrection of OLTL, which was nearly unwatchable for me before he took up the reigns. His passion for this show, and the genre at large, is as obvious as it is refreshing. And he’s talented. No other ABC writer was able to navigate the landmines of suck dropped by Brian Frons with such aplomb. I think you, Frank Valentini, the writing team, the crew, and all the actors, for making this final week… Read more »

Jan
Guest
Jan

I cant even read but I didnt watch anything on abc today. Wouldnt dream of it.

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

My understanding as of today is the 4 oltl characters coming to GH is short term. According to Kassie DePaivia.

jason
Guest
jason

great interview

cheyanne
Guest
cheyanne

I will not be giving my ratings to GH until Ron’s favorites from OLTL are gone. I’ve watched GH for 30 yrs and i’ve watched OLTL since day one. I don’t want OLTL characters on GH. Just like i didn’t want AMC charaters on OLTL. Hmm wonder why Ron didn’t bring AMC characters to OLTL yet he’s bringing OLTL characters to GH RME. GH has a big cast that needs him to write for as well as bringing vets back. That should be what his main priority is not bringing his favorites over from OLTL to keep. Yet only bringing… Read more »

Jill
Guest
Jill

I’m trying to get throught the first week of a non-existant OLTL and it is not easy. I’ve watched OLTL faithfully since the early 90s. I refuse to watch THE CHEW or THE REVOLUTION, so I flip to the cable channels (mainly ID and HISTORY CHANNELS). I’m hoping that the OLTL characters coming to GH will bring back the GH I once knew and loved. I was one of those people on the Luke/Laura bandwagon back in the early 80s….those were the days huh? And I also enjoyed GH in the early 90s with the return of LNL, Lucy Coh… Read more »

Scott
Guest
Scott

Yeah, sorry, I don’t believe what he says about it being about Port Charles and the people on the show. I see him turning it into OLTL 2.0, I never found OLTL to be entertaining and found their finale to be below the bar of what I expect a series finale to withhold.

I give RC/FV one full month of airtime before I decide whether to keep GH or ditch it.

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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