INTERVIEW WITH LISA PELUSO (LILA)
Two years ago, the PGP Classic Soaps Blog
interviewed Lisa Peluso about her experiences working on Search for Tomorrow
At the time, she was happy to share that, "I am now happier with my life than I ever have been. After 25 years in daytime and putting my whole heart and soul into it, I'm glad at this point in my life to be focused on my children, marriage, faith and the humanitarian overseas work my husband and I are blessed to have the opportunity to do. I will always treasure my time in daytime, but look at it as my past. I am happier now to focus on reaching out to the world around me in more of a hands-on capacity rather than to entertain it. It was a joy to make people laugh or cry through my work. The way I look at the humanitarian work that I've been privileged to do -- that is now my passion, and more my present focus -- is I get to still do that, but in an even more gratifying way. Rather than through the eyes of a camera, it pleases me to have the opportunity to hold their hands and look into their eyes and try to give something of value more lasting than a feeling that lasts until the next episode. That’s where I am now."
You can read her entire interview, here
This week, www.AnotherWorldToday.com catches up with Lisa to talk about her time in Bay City!AWT
: Cass and Lila got married on the last episode of AW. What was it like to be part of such a historic episode?LP
: It was bittersweet, because the show was ending. I, of course, would have preferred a less high profile option if we could have kept Another World
on the air.AWT
: The wedding was a happy occasion, but the cancellation was not. How did the cast manage to put on happy faces to tape that last episode, when they were really feeling anything but?LP
: Well, in this business, you know nothing lasts forever. AW lasted longer than most. (The final episode) was not an occasion without tears, but the show, even the last one, must go on. That's show biz!AWT
: What are some of your favorite memories of your time on Another World
: Just the daily day to day was a joy. I had such a great experience there. For a while I kept in touch with Robert Kelker-Kelly (Shane), Kim Rhodes (Cindy) and Rhonda Ross Kendrick (Toni), but sadly we have not kept in touch in recent years. But they are all still warmly in my thoughts. I still keep in touch with Eldo Estes, the show's make-up artist.AWT
: Lila came on as quite the bad-girl schemer, but she mellowed in the two years that you played her. What was it like to take a character through an arc like that?LP
: It was awesome. Lila was a great character. I miss her very much.AWT
: What do you think Lila has been up to for the past ten years? What kind of a wife has she been? What kind of a mother? What kind of a stepmother? What kind of relationship do she and Matt have now?LP
: I would think that since she finally found true love and security with Cass, that her attempts at all her new roles would be successful. Because even though Lila thought it was being rich that she really wanted, I think she got what she really needed, in spite of herself.AWT
: What has Lisa Peluso been up to for the past ten years?LP
: I have been settled in a happy marriage now for close to fourteen years. I have two children whom I adore, and I am finally living a life outside of the limelight. Having been in the business literally since I was four months old, it's very nice to be in the place I am in right now. I enjoy life and my family.AWT
: Do you have any message that you would like to send to the AW fans who still have fond memories of the show?LP
: Thanks for your loyalty to the show. AW fans were always the most passionate and loyal fans I've ever known. Love you guys! I miss the show too. I think it was a great experience being part of such a great show, whether you were in it or watching it. We are all part of Another World
INTERVIEW WITH AMY CARLSON (JOSIE)
When Another World
premiered in 1964, its central family was the Matthews, headed by Mother Matthews, and including her three children, Jim, Will and Janet, and her grandchildren, Pat, Alice, Russ, Susan and Bill. (There was also her daughter-in-law, Liz.)
By 1999, the most prominent Matthews on the canvas was Josie Watts Sinclair, Russ' daughter with Sharlene Frame.
Russ fell for Sharlene in 1975. Soon after, he rescued her from a gang rape set up by her brother, who knew that his sister had been a prostitute and figured she'd be up to showing some Navy buddies a good time. Sharlene confessed her past to Russ, then tried to commit suicide by swallowing a bottle of pills. Russ saved Sharlene's life and married her. But when he learned that a sexually transmitted disease had left her sterile, Russ snapped. He began drinking and even hitting Sharlene. Russ' aunt Liz, seeing the perfect opportunity to force that Frame trash out of her family, told Sharlene that if she didn't leave Russ, Liz would expose her past to the entire world.
Sharlene divorced Russ and left town in 1977, only to return eleven years later with a teen daughter, Josie, in tow. Turns out Sharlene wasn't quite as sterile as she'd been led to believe. And that time moves at a different rate outside Bay City.
Josie, first played by Alexandra Wilson, turned out to be the daughter Russ never knew he had. She went on to be played by Amy Carlson (1993-1988) and Nadine Stenovitch
caught up with Amy, to find out where she -- and Josie! -- are now!AWT
: Do you remember your original audition for AW back in 1993? Since it was a recast (although Alexandra Wilson hadn't played her since 1991), what did they tell you about the character? What do you think you did in your audition that made it clear you *were* Josie?AC
: I remember my original audition. I flew in from Chicago and they tested me with Matt Crane (Matt) and two other girls for Josie. I just played my interpretation of the character. I remember they said that she was fleeing some torrid problems and returning home. Later, when I got the job, Dennis Cameron, a long-time stage manager for AW and still a friend, told me that as he was stage-managing the auditions, he thought, 'No way they'll hire this girl, she's playing her Josie like she would have sex on a pool table!" (Dennis is outrageous, he has a real sense of humor!) But I was playing her loose and wild and as it turns out, Josie had changed quite a bit from her days when Alex played her. Call-girl services, etc... will do that to you!AWT
: When you began playing Josie she was a waitress and ex-hooker and by the time you left the show in 1998, she was a cop. How did Josie change during your tenure, and how much of it was prompted by your portrayal of her? How much of yourself did you bring to Josie?AC
: Playing Josie when I was in my early 20s and struggling to find my own voice as a person and character at the same time was an amazing experience. I think what is interesting about soaps is that the writers can watch and write to someone's
strengths and explore parts of the actors that they may only have had a glimpse of, because they get so many endless opportunities to do so with all the scenes that are played day in and day out. I remember wanting to cut off my long hair and I think that may have also fed the idea to them that I was shedding my past (as Josie). I thought making her a cop was one of the best writing decisions they made because she became someone to really root for.AWT
: Where do you think Josie is now, in 2009? What is she doing? Who is she with?AC
: I imagine Josie in 2009 to be a detective, still working side by side with Gary, still with a tumultuous relationship, but divorced and with a couple kids: A daughter who is a nationally competitive gymnast (since both Gary and Josie were so small), and a potential remarriage for them. I think Josie is more attracted now to more stable men, but she's still drawn to Gary's darkness.AWT
: After leaving AW, you were a regular on Third Watch
and L&O: Trial By Jury
. How is a nighttime series different from a daytime one? Were there any tricks you picked up on daytime that helped you when appearing in shows that feature a great deal of technical jargon?AC
: I always thought that Daytime was the hardest on-camera job in the business. But after shooting Third Watch's
18 hour days out in the elements of all seasons in NY, boiling summers, freezing winters and pouring rain, I decided working 12 hour days on a soap, in a studio with a private dressing room not a street-side trailer, was like going to a spa! The great fun of the soaps was feeling like part of a Rep Company and running around the studio, but it could also become monotonous. And the difference in acting is that you do your "20 pages of dialogue" just once in a very quick, 'do it once' fashion, whereas on film we can do the same scene 15-20 times depending on how many angles they shoot it, so you can't blow it all in one take like in a soap if it's an emotional scene. The soaps are an emotional sprint compared to film, which is more of an emotional marathon.AWT
: In addition to acting, you also have a music career. Where can your fans hear you?AC
: Well, I haven't played music in a long while. I leave that to Syd, my husband, who plays in the indie rock band Les Savy Fav
. He also runs a record label which I helped him start and still work at (when I have time with work and my 2 year old, and I am also due with another child at the end of the summer). The label, Frenchkiss Records
, is thriving. Next year will be the label's 10 year anniversary! So now if you want to see me rocking out it would be at a Les Savy Fav
show or at a show that one of the bands on Frenchkiss
is playing (i.e. The Dodos
(from San Francisco), Passion Pit
(from Boston), or Cut off Your Hands
(from New Zealand)!AWT
: Do you have a message you would like to send to fans of AW?AC
: My message to AW fans is, "I love you all, I feel like I grew up on AW. The love, support and enthusiasm of the fans still means the world to me. Thank you!"
INTERVIEW WITH LINDA DANO (FELICIA; AW): PART #5
: Over the past few years, you’ve done guest appearances on Desperate Housewives
and What I Like About You
, and you appeared in the movie Reservation Road
. Any chance we might see you as a regular on television again?LD
: I love to act, but I’m not looking to have a 9 to 5 job. I really like not having that kind of intense workload. I love that I can spend time at my house and with friends and have no responsibilities. If you’d asked me this five years ago, I’d have said, “Don’t be ridiculous! I’ll never ever stop being a maniac or stop working!” I’ve got to tell you, not working is the best! I’m very excited about gardening this Spring. As everyone says, I certainly have earned the right to do what I’m doing now. I did work like a dog forever. So now it’s just my time.AWT
: But you do have projects outside of acting. You’re working with QVC?LD
: I have a line of home accessories for QVC that I’ve been doing for two years now. My husband died, and I didn’t want to do anything that I had been doing when he was alive. It’s too painful for me. QVC wanted me to come back to do fashion accessories, but I said, “No, please, I really can’t.” So they said, “Okay, how would you like to do Home?” I thought “Wow. I love to decorate people’s homes!” That’s what I started out in life to be, a decorator. So we’ve been doing it for two years. Sometime next year, I’m hoping to add some fashion accessories to my home shows. I also blog for them. Ideas and tips about ways to make your home more beautiful, and how to do it for no money. I do one about once a month. (Check out Linda's blog, here
: You were also the spokesperson for Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals The Support Partners Program
, an awareness program to help people understand about clinical depression.LD
: That was probably the best kind of work I’ve ever done in my whole career. I really believe that I made a difference in so many lives. I found myself right in the middle of depression when I lost Frank, and I really struggled to help myself. In that time, I was asked to help others, and I thought: Maybe I should do this, maybe that’s why God took Frank, maybe I’m supposed to do this
. And, I must say, it helped me, and we helped so many people. People who were living in a pretend world that they were fine and they weren’t fine at all. Which is what a lot of people who are depressed do. I’m really proud of that work.AWT
: Is there anything that you would like to say to the fans, who are still passionate about Another World
10 years after it went off the air?LD
: I will say this: I have been on practically every show. (After AW ended I went to ABC and worked on all of their shows.) And I have to tell you: AW was one great show. It was really beautifully acted, well-written and well-directed. It had a heart that just had a kind of little beat that went on and on and on. When people stop any of us who were on Another World
to say how much they miss us, I understand why, because it really was that kind of show. It reached out and grabbed you as a viewer and made you feel like you were part of a family. And we will always miss it, the way you’d miss a love affair. You’ll always miss it. But the fans' love affair with the show was warranted, that’s what I want to tell them. It was worth the years they spent watching it.
INTERVIEW WITH LINDA DANO (FELICIA; AW): PART #4
Part #1Part #2Part #3AWT
: Which other AW co-stars do you keep in touch with?LD
: My John. My John Aprea (Lucas). You notice what I call him – my
John? He had a major stoke, he almost died. It’s been two years now. And he was just on a Cold Case
. And did phenomenally. He really had to work on this part, he had to really hunker down with the words, and that’s what he was nervous about, that it would be difficult. And I watched it and I can’t tell you how brilliant he was. I was so thrilled. I saw him quite a bit after the stroke, and it was really hard. Because he and I have been friends from The Montefusco
days, when I was in California and working in primetime and we did a pilot together that went to series called The Montefuscos
. He and I were brother and sister. In fact, when we did the love scene for Felicia and Luke, we had to kiss. And I brought him into my dressing room and I said, “You know, I think it would probably be smart if we just did this, just did it. Did it, got it over with, and then we won’t be nervous out on the set.” So we practiced and, all of a sudden, he kisses me, and my knees buckle. And I went, “Oh, dear God, this isn’t going to go well.” I tease him relentlessly about this!AWT
: Were you involved with John initially getting the part of Lucas?LD
: I went to an award show. He and I were both up for an award, I think it was Soap Opera Digest
. He was up for Best Villain for Knot’s Landing
. He didn’t win. I was up for Best Comedian. I didn’t win. But we saw each other. It was the first time we’d seen each other since our days as brother and sister. And we talked and I met his wife, and we had such a great homecoming together. And then I said, “Would you at all be interested in doing daytime?” And he said, “Yeah, sure.” At that point, he was working on Full House
. He played the granddad, and he really didn’t want to be the old granddad. That was sort of not going anywhere. And I said, “If they called you, would you audition?” So, of course, they auditioned him with me. And, of course, I acted differently with him than I did with anyone else, because I wanted him! And lo and behold he got the job! (Gee, what a shock. Sometimes things just happen. I had nothing to do with it, nothing at all.) So that’s how that came about. We’ve been just such dear, close friends since. And Lucas, of course, died in the show. Now, if I were to really fantasize about Felicia alive and well and living in the Hollywood Hills in her Spanish villa, I would say that Lucas came back to life and was living there with her. Felicia and Luke are together at last.
Come back tomorrow to read the big finish! (And since we're talking Linda Dano, you know it's going to be BIG!)
INTERVIEW WITH LINDA DANO (FELICIA; AW): PART #3
: In 2003, you hosted the Another World Reunion Special
on SoapNet. What was that experience like?LD
: That was wonderful. It was just so wonderful to come together again. We had clips in it so we saw work that we hadn’t seen in forever. Some of the stories people told, we’d never heard before. The actor who was telling it had never shared it with anyone, it was their own personal story. And it was just grand. I so loved doing it, and everyone who came was so glad to be part of it. It was great, just great. Another World
was a show that really was a family and we were close.AWT
: You recently had an unofficial, mini-reunion of sorts?LD
: Just recently I, along with Stephen Schnetzer (Cass), John Bolger (Gabe), Mark Pinter (Grant) and David Forsyth (John), we all got together under the heading of Linda Laundra, who was one of our most beloved producers. She asked all of us to do a reading on tape. I hadn’t seen David for a few years. I saw Mark maybe last year. I see Stephen more than anybody, and John Bolger. I came in from Connecticut, but most of them came from far away places. John came in from Boston, and Stephen came in from Washington, DC where he’s in a play. We all got there and it was like we started in the middle of a sentence. It was memorable. We were all so grateful to Linda for inviting us to do this. We did it for free, nothing was spoken about money. We just came because 1) We all love her, and 2) we all love each other. How wonderful to spend an afternoon together!
INTERVIEW WITH LINDA DANO (FELICIA; AW): PART #2
: What do you think Felicia had been doing for the past ten years?LD
: I believe that Felicia Gallant took the next obvious step with her writing. She’s a world-renowned romance writer, so I believe she’s gone into making her books into films. She’s sort of Nora Roberts
, she’s Judith Krantz
. I believe she lives in Hollywood, in fact I even believe she lives in Hollywood Hills. It’s a very old Spanish mansion, very private, with a great view, and she can see the Hollywood sign. She’s Norma (Desmond)
, no question.AWT
: And her personal life?LD
: The great love of her life was Lucas. That will never come again. But I think she has… acquaintances. No one really stays over, though. She doesn’t really want that. She doesn’t want to wake up and see you in the morning. “I think you’re divine, but you need to go home now” is her motto. There’s no taking care of a man or any of that nonsense for her now.AWT
: What about Felicia’s relationship with her daughters, Lorna and Jenna?LD
: I’m sure they both have children now, and I’m sure that she’s a wonderful Grandma. She’s Mame
! She’s Mame only as a Grandma. She adores them, she buys them lavish gifts and spoils them rotten, and then it's: “Leave me alone.”
INTERVIEW WITH LINDA DANO (FELICIA; AW): PART #1
Linda Dano had previously appeared on One Life to Live
and As The World Turns
, but it wasn’t until she assumed the role of romance novelist Felicia Gallant on Another World
in 1983 that she became a daytime superstar.
As proof of her status, after Another World
went off the air, ABC snatched up the actress to appear on three of their shows as the character she'd originated on OLTL.
Since 1999, she has kept busy with a variety of acting, entrepreneurial and charitable projects. We caught up with Linda to find out what she has been up to for the past ten years – and where she thinks Felicia Gallant is now!AWT
: What do you remember about taping the last episode of Another World
: I remember so little of it because I mostly cried. I’ve never seen the last episode; I’ve never been able to watch it. I know that sounds so dramatic – my husband, if he were alive, would go, “Oh, for God’s sake, you’re such a dramatic thing.” -- but I really haven’t. Steve Schnetzer (Cass) and I always talked about pouring ourselves nice, big drinks, sitting down and watching it together. But, we’ve never done it. There’s something so final about that. For me, I’m better off believing that I’m on a vacation, and it really isn’t over. For lots of actors who were on shows for a long time, primetime as well as daytime, you become such a family. You spend more time with these people than you ever do your own family. And when the time comes and it ends, as everything does, it’s just the saddest, saddest, terrible thing.AWT
: So how did you get through that last day?LD
: (Publicist) Vivien (Stern) came to get me that night. It was important to me that I was the last one to leave the building. Again, I’m such a drama queen; but I proceeded to go to every room. We went to wardrobe, all the production offices, every room, and said good-bye. You think I could get any more dramatic than that? I just had to. There was something so final about it. I suppose that’s why I haven’t seen (the last episode). And I’m sure I looked like hell that day, because all I did was cry. By four o’clock in the afternoon I looked like I’d been in a prize-fight. I remember the day very well, there was a lot of press, everyone was saying good-by to everyone else. Beyond awful.AWT
: The last episode was a happy one. Cass and Lila were getting married. How did everyone manage to look so happy when you were all so sad?LD
: I have no idea. I have no memory of that part. I just remember feeling like a life had ended. And it really kind of did. It was like not having your best friend around anymore. It was very emotional and tough, very tough. I remember Anna Stuart (Donna) saying, “Oh my God, it’s like a death.” And it was, it’s how we all felt about it.
Come back tomorrow for part #2 of our interview with Linda Dano!
INTERVIEW WITH MARK PINTER (GRANT; AW): PART #5
Part #1Part #2Part #3Part #4AWT
: Any final thoughts about your time on Another World
: It was a great treat to be a part of the Another World
family for almost ten years. I was very, very lucky. I got to work with some extraordinary people. I made life-long friendships from that show. Two of my best friends are Charles Keating (Carl) and David Hedison (Spencer). Charles lives ten minutes from me, I see him two, three times a week. Hedison was really my mentor. When I met him, we clicked immediately. Again, it was a case of me moving towards an actor who’d been around longer than I have. I see him as much as I can. David is 82 years old now and he wouldn’t mind me saying he looks extraordinary. He’s in great shape, great health. I love him dearly. As I do Charles. Charles is a one of a kind actor. Extraordinarily passionate, a beautifully gifted actor. And not just an actor, a writer, a composer. And then Vicky Wyndham (Rachel) lives in my town up here. All of these people, I took away from my time at Another World
. It was a huge gift for me, more than just monetarily. It was a very important part of my career, and a very rich time in the history of Another World
. I took away great memories.
Come back next week for a five part interview with Linda Dano, who explains exactly where she thinks Felicia is today -- and what she's up to!
INTERVIEW WITH MARK PINTER (GRANT; AW): PART #4
Part #1Part #2Part #3AWT
: Not only do you love doing theater, but so does your wife, Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara; ATWT), and two of your children. Didn’t you all appear in a production together recently?MP
: We did Follies
at Little Theater on the Square in Sullivan, Illinois. We have six kids, and two of them are actors, Kelsey and Dylan. Kelsey graduated Musical Theater from Syracuse, and Dylan graduated Theater from Catholic University in Washington. They’re both plugging away; I’m real proud of them. We were able to put this Follies
project together. It was just going to be a concert version of the show, but it turned into a full production with a 27-piece orchestra behind us. We had only four days of rehearsal, and then we were all off-book.AWT
: Did your daytime background help you memorize all of your lines so quickly?MP
: I think that’s what daytime does for you. It makes you so fast and so quick, and able to take on those kinds of challenges. Oftentimes you say to yourself in the middle of all that, “Why? Why am I doing this?” Or just before the curtain goes up, you look at each other and say, “This is really not fair to us, putting ourselves out there like this.” It’s just horrifying. It’s so horrifying, it really gets your attention. I played Ben and Colleen played Phyllis, and then Kelsey played Young Phyllis and Dylan played Young Ben. We got to work with them, we got to watch them do scenes together. We would be backstage, crying our eyes out, watching them dance and sing together, and then we’d have to get our act together and go back out and do our stuff, too. It was (an experience) I’ll take to my grave.AWT
: You talked earlier about starting out in the business and gravitating towards the older actors, asking them for advice. How does it feel to now be the older, experienced actor whom younger actors are coming to for advice? And then having those younger actors be your own children!MP
: It’s funny, isn’t it, how that happens? It’s all a big circuit. My son does ask me for a lot of advice and I try to give him some. Kids find their own ways. But they always have looked up to us. I remember rattling on to a shrink once about kids and my family and how they all showed a penchant for the business. And he said, “Well, I don’t know why you should be surprised at that. It is your family business.” Oftentimes, children do what their parents do, even though you may not send them on that road. We never, ever pushed our kids in this business. Because it’s a very, very difficult business. You want to spare your children the pain of being told ‘no’ all the time. You really, really have to get used to being beaten on the head in this business. Sure enough, they found their way down that road. And then you think, “As long as you’re passionate about it.” Because life is nothing without passion. I don’t know too many actors who aren’t passionate, because why else would you be in this business, unless you were absolutely passionate about being on the stage, or passionate about being in front of a camera, or passionate about writing, passionate about lighting, editing, anything in the business? It requires enormous passion. And they seem to have that. So you can’t argue with it.AWT
: So what are some of your latest professional passions?MP
: I’ve been a writer for years and years and years. My wife continues to remind me I have too many folders of unfinished projects. But, about four years ago, I decided to really sit down and write – passionately -- again. I took on a writing partner and we’ve written four or five screenplays in different mediums. We’ve joined forces with a producing partner and formed a production company called “Transplant Entertainment Group.” We have a slate of seven different screenplays and teleplays which we have been very passionate about trying to find financing for. They are niche dramas that can be done on budgets of five million dollars or less. Our whole niche is to create something which can be done on budget and on time and therefore be attractive to an investor. Also our stories are geared towards women. Our casts are primarily women. We discovered – though I don’t think it’s a big surprise to anyone in the business and or even to the audience – that women that have reached a certain age no longer get the kind of material that men do. There is a dearth of important roles and there are many important actresses out there who need to be re-explored and given opportunities. And it’s not difficult to get to them, because they don’t get scripts anymore. We’ve attached some people’s names to some scripts and now we go about our business of trying to find financing in a very difficult economy. I’m sure that one of these will get produced one day, and if we’re very, very lucky we may get to produce them all.
Come back tomorrow for the final installment!
INTERVIEW WITH MARK PINTER (GRANT; AW): PART #3
Read Part #1 here
Read Part #2 here
: Another World
went off the air almost ten years ago, so did Sunset Beach
, right after. Passions
, the show that replaced AW, was canceled, too. Port Charles
ended in 2007, and now CBS has dropped Guiding Light
: It’s a tough, tough time for television and for daytime television, that’s for sure. It’s a sad, sad thing when a show like Guiding Ligh
t goes off the air. I spent three years of my life on that show, and it’s got such a rich history. When that show goes off the air, I will think about the people who I met on that show and my many, many dear friends who are still on that show and I hate that they’re going through this. I hate that they’re going to have to go through the next three months and have to go through that final day. It is an awful, awful, terrible thing. It’s a death.AWT
: Guiding Light
went to a new production model, and many other shows are tightening their belts, as well. How does that affect the actors?MP
: I hear stories from Colleen (Barbara; ATWT) all the time about how daytime has changed. She said, “Just wait until you get back on a show, you’ll see what I’m talking about.” And I said to her, “I won’t have to worry about that, because it’s not going to happen.” But it’s happened! Jill (Farren Phelps) called me from GH and said, “Would you do this? No guarantees or anything, it’s just going to be for a little while.” And I said, “Absolutely.”AWT
: So how do you like the changes Colleen warned you about?MP
: What I like about GH at this point is the efficiency with which it is run. I think that happens in all of the shows now. They’re very efficient because they have to be. I’m in the studio two hours, three max, if things are running quickly. I get in my dressing room, I get my costume on, I get my make-up on, I go in and I do my stuff, I leave. That’s really amazing. It’s wonderful. You’ve got to be prepared, obviously. I don’t want to use the word ‘factory,’ but it is. Daytime players have always been kind of shift-workers. We’ve always been kind of a factory, in a good sense. Every day, almost fifty weeks a year, we produce product. That is amazing.
Come back tomorrow for Part #4!
INTERVIEW WITH MARK PINTER (GRANT; AW): PART #2
Read Part #1
Episodes of Another World
from 1991 are currently airing on Hulu.com. Do you ever go back and watch your past work?MP:
I watched my work when I was really young and first on daytime because there is always value in watching yourself and figuring out what you’re doing wrong technically. But I never did watch Another World
. I prefer to live in the moment of taping, I know a lot of actors are like that. It’s always much better to feel like you got something done in the scene, in the studio, in the moment, with your fellow actor, under the gun. And then when you see it done, it’s always disappointing to me.AWT
: Because, in the medium of film and television, you lose such control over it. As opposed to being on stage in the theater where you are in control. In theater, you are flying by the seat of your pants. In television and film, they have the final edit. Anything that you do can either be captured or not captured, and more often than not it’s not captured. That’s not a negative thing, that’s just the way it is.AWT
: How does knowing that affect your performance?MP
: When I first started in daytime, it was 1979 on a show called Love of Life
. I’ve done a lot of daytime, and I always found myself getting close to older actors. And most of them came from the theater: Shepherd Strudwick (Professor McCauley on LOL; James Matthews on AW), Ron Tomme (Bruce; LOL), Bill Roerick (Henry; GL), Larry Bryggman (John; ATWT). All these people came from the theater. They understood that this was a medium where you were really asked to work, and work fast. But they came from a process, which was the legitimate stage, which is where I came from. I would watch them work on the set and just steal everything I could from them. Because if you admire actors, you steal from them. It’s a wonderful thing. Some of my favorite actors, I’ve tried to emulate. Whenever I get in trouble, in theater, during the process, in rehearsal, if I’m stuck I bring to mind certain actors and it always calms me down.AWT
: So you would rather work in the theater?MP:
If only I could make a living! I could do theater 365 days a year, but I can’t afford to. So I have to pick and choose the theater I do now. But it’s always for the love of it. I’ve done mostly original theater in the last ten years. I’ve done a few off-Broadway plays, done a lot of classics. I am doing General Hospital
, now, and I do that because I need to work, that’s really what it comes down to. There’s less and less work available to most of us who have been around for a long time. This business has changed dramatically. I never, ever thought I’d do daytime television again. I really, really thought, “Well, those days are gone.”
Come back tomorrow to read Part #3!
INTERVIEW WITH MARK PINTER (GRANT; AW): PART #1
Actor Mark Pinter portrayed Another World’s
multifaceted, Machiavellian Grant Harrison from 1991 to 1999.
Though the good people of Bay City believed him dead, viewers caught a glimpse of the disgraced politician on the series’ last episode, sipping a drink and seemingly living it up in the tropics, very much alive.
In addition to AW, Pinter appeared on the daytime dramas Love of Life
, Guiding Light
, As The World Turns
(where he met his wife, Colleen Zenk Pinter), Loving
, All My Children
, and currently General Hospital
He reminisced with Another World Today
about his time on the show, what he has been up to since then, and his personal thoughts on what his AW alter ego has been doing for the past decade.AWT:
Were you on the set of Another World
for the taping of the final episode?MP:
No. I left the show six months before it went off the air. They killed Grant, but then he reappeared in a stunt where you see him sipping a pina colada in a grass hut somewhere.AWT:
So what do you imagine Grant has been doing since that moment?MP:
I think he got away with all the money, and he’s just been living the high life somewhere on an island in Fiji. He probably bought an island, built a nice little place, and is content to laugh at everyone while he got happy with the natives. He obviously ducked out of sight and decided it was too much for him and he’s just laying low, that would be my guess. And he’s fathered a whole mess of little Fiji-ans. He’s just as happy as a clam.AWT:
So much of Grant’s motivation, for both his good deeds and bad, was his love for his son, Kirkland. How has Grant managed to be separated from him for all these years?MP:
I loved that Grant was always in love with Vicky, desperately in love with her, desperately wanted her, and had this child with her. Family rooted him and still roots him. It’s his reason for living, his reason to survive. He wanted family and went somewhere where he could have that and not be bothered anymore. The whole thing about Grant, the whole reason he was such a successful character despite the fact that he had maybe ten Headwriters during the time I was on the show, was they never failed to keep him a loving father, in spite of all the blackness and all the unforgivable things that he was asked to do by so many. They always had the good sense to have him dote on his child. I think that’s really good writing. Make certain that your villains are lovers, as well, because that makes them attractive.
If they’re just one-sided characters who have no dimension, if they’re just pure evil for evil sake, well, there’s not much to grab on to for the audience.
I think an audience wants to love something about a bad guy.
They’re usually the interesting people.
I’ve played both, and most of the successful characters have been the bad guys.
Make sure to come back tomorrow for Part #2!