: How was it returning to AW as Frankie’s look alike Annie?ABM
: The funny story about Annie was that literally two weeks after I moved to Los Angeles, (then-AW's Executive Producer) Chris Goutman calls me to offer me the role of Annie. He said that regretfully Frankie is so very dead and they were very sorry they couldn’t bring her back, but they had this role of Frankie’s lookalike, Annie. They offered me a two year contract, but I was hesitant with all the cancellation rumors circling and didn’t want to move my family back to New York when everything was so iffy. So we agreed to do six months and see what happened - and then the axe fell!AWT
: What was it like filming the last episode of AW as Ghost Frankie?ABM
: I think it was probably like what the Guiding Light
set is now. They were all in mourning. Another World’s
cast also had to film a lot of episodes in those short weeks to make the finale date. Since I had already mourned and moved on when I left the show back in 1996, it was a little different for me. It was great seeing the cast and crew again, but because I had already grieved Frankie’s end back in 1996, it was a little less burdensome. I was glad to be able to say a final good-bye to the show as Frankie and not Annie, and grateful that Frankie was given a place in the finale because I felt Frankie had been a thread in the fabric of the show and had earned a place at the table. If I had been in Los Angeles when everything was wrapped up, I would’ve been so sad. Even more bittersweet was that the 35th Anniversary Book
came out the week the show was ending, so we were using them like yearbooks as we said our good-byes.
One funny thing I remember was that we were shooting so many episodes so quickly, that we had to do quick costume changes. They had a changing booth right on the floor. I remember changing as fast as I could and suddenly standing in the booth naked when Chris Goutman’s voice came over the system doing the countdown for the next scene.
I loved my final scene with Stephen, where Frankie comes to him in a dream and gives him permission to be in love with someone else. It was really us saying good-bye. I felt whoever wrote those scenes really knew Frankie and knew her and Cass’s relationship really well.
I also really enjoyed working with a grown-up Charlie. There was a scene where as Ghost Frankie, I was supposed to put my arm around her as we look up at the stars in the sky. Well, since I was a ghost she wasn’t supposed to see me and we weren’t supposed to be looking at each other. I lift my arm to reach around her and bonked the poor actress in the head! She was a pro but I was so bummed that the last moment Frankie has with her daughter is hitting her in the head!AWT
: What have you been up to since leaving AW? Where can your fans see you these days?ABM
: Well, I’m still a working actor, which is entirely due to my manager who has stuck by me through so many years. For a while after Another World
, I was kind of stuck in an age range where I was too mature to play the younger cool moms, and too young to play a mother of older kids. I literally had one line on my resume that represented seven years of hard work, which, in many ways, left me in the position of having to start over. I’ve just started getting jobs playing the mom of kids that are my own kids’ ages, in no small part due to my manager banging down doors and never giving up on me.
In January I shot a movie, 13
, with Mickey Rourke, 50 cent, and Jason Statham. It’s a dark story where I play the mother of Sam Riley, who is just fabulous and gives a breakout performance.
Next I did, a movie called, ironically, Twelve
, about rich kids in New York and excessive drug use. I play Chace Crawford’s mother. He was a really sweet guy. I even asked if they had cast his mother on Gossip Girl
and he said ‘Sorry, but yeah.'
In 2008, I did a naughty little movie that may give all the Frankie fans pause. It's called Choke
, with Sam Blackwell, based off a book by Chuck Palahniuk. I played a sex addict and did my first nude scene. It was a real leap of faith for me and was a bit nerve wracking, but I felt everything was handled with respect and treated beautifully. I really love the movie.
I also did a movie with Richard Gere called Brooklyn’s Finest
where I play his wife. It was out a year ago and bought at Sundance. I think it’s currently being reedited. Hopefully I won’t end up on the cutting room floor!AWT
: When Another World Today
premiered, Frankie was the overwhelming first choice for the character AW fans wanted brought back from the dead, pronto. To what do you attribute her enduring popularity?ABM
: Oh, that’s so kind! I think what made her so popular was that her overall agenda was to be good. Frankie was a good soap character without being a goody two shoes. She was funny, quirky, had a backbone and was fiercely loyal. She was a truly spiritual person. I remember doing a SOW online chat and a question came ‘When is Frankie going to embrace true religion?’ and I remember replying ‘Who has stronger family values than Frankie?’ Frankie really was a woman who walked the walk. Maybe she didn’t practice in the traditional sense, but she was dedicated to family, she was a loving mother, a devoted wife, and unflinchingly devoted to the people in her life. Isn’t this exactly what Christ preached?AWT
: What would be a dream storyline for Frankie after all these years?ABM
: Wow, I’m still trying to get used to other versions of us out there! I think a dream storyline that I had for Frankie was that she’d go to law school and become a public defender. Bringing a bit of my political side into it, Frankie would’ve stuck up for the underdog as she always did and probably would’ve battled Cass in court. They’d have that respectful, adult relationship like Nick and Nora or Hepburn and Tracy.AWT
: Do you have anything to say to the fans who campaigned to have Frankie live again?ABM
: I can’t tell you how moving it is that people loved the character so much. The loyalty of the fans has been so sustaining to me over the years. I will be in a store and will get recognized and the funny thing is, it’s not my face but my voice that will get the head whipping around in my direction. I seriously cannot emphasize how sustaining it is to realize you had an impact and your work was appreciated. It has really meant everything