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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


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 (1998-1999). 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!"


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