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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


AWT: You took over the role of Paulina from Cali Timmons because the writers wanted to take the character in another direction. What did they tell you about Paulina when you started and how did you go about making the role your own?

JEL: Michael Laibson, a producer on the show at the time - LOVED him - told me ‘Free reign, baby! Do whatever you want to do.’ I’d never been told that before, but Michael was so great and encouraging, and I just took the character and ran with it. I quickly learned to hit the ground running or risk getting run over. My first day there I was in dress rehearsal with an actress and they asked me ‘Who are you?’ and I said, ‘I’m Paulina’ and they replied 'Well, no one told me!’ and I answered ‘Well, now you know!’

AWT: What's your favorite memory from your time in Bay City?

JEL: I had such a great time working on Another World that there wasn’t really any one thing that stands out. I loved working with Tommy (Eplin; Jake) and Joe (Barbara; Joe), and Julian McMahon (Ian) was great. Tommy always kept me laughing and I never knew what to expect.

AWT: What was your favorite storyline?

JEL: I loved them all, but you always love your first storyline and the whole love/hate/falling in love marriage-of-convenience Paulina had with Jake was just so fun and it was classic, well-written, soap-opera drama. You had a great relationship between two very strong people, and there was always fireworks between them no matter what. Those two could be sitting on the couch eating popcorn together and there’d be sparks. Just a great relationship.

AWT: What was one storyline you couldn't wait to be over?

JEL: I have yet to read a storyline that I hated! I’m such a total viewer and love to read the whole script, flipping the pages in anticipation. I just have such a great respect for writers, especially daytime writers, who have to put out scripts on such short notice. The work is always phenomenal.

AWT: How would you compare Mark Pinter, Tom Eplin and Joe Barbara as leading men?

JEL: All of them were great, different, but great and really, really professional. And they all made work so much fun that I felt like I wasn’t working at all.

Mark Pinter’s Grant was written in such a cool, fun way and Tom as Jake was funny and passionate, but so professional and together. One thing I learned early on was that if I didn’t earn Tommy’s respect it was going to be rough, but I did and we had a great time working together.

Joe Barbara was a sweetheart and the epitome of a nice guy even when I treated him so horribly while I was pregnant. I don’t know what it was, but while I was pregnant with my son I had an aversion to Joe to the point that I was just mean to him and I felt so bad but I couldn’t help myself! He’d ask me what he did wrong and what did he do and I felt terrible but just couldn’t explain it. As soon as my son popped out, I loved him again and he and I were buddies again. To this day, he holds it over my head about that time and loves teasing me about how terrible I was.

AWT: What was it like filming the last episode of AW?

JEL: It was so weird and surreal. Initially I couldn’t believe it and it really didn’t sink in at the time because we were already having to focus on getting the final run of episodes started (we were given really short notice on the cancellation). I think it took me a couple of years to really process it.

AWT: Where do you think Paulina is now?

JEL: I would hope that she’d still be happily married with Joe and their family. Although I do admit that I think she and Jake had a bit of unfinished business. Jake was her first true love. There was a lot of adventure and passion and romance with him and she never forgot that. I always thought she could be happy with Joe but there was one thing missing and that’s the passion she had with Jake.

AWT: How would you answer the question: Where is Judi Evans now?

JEL: I like to keep busy because I’m not one for sitting home for long! I’m still acting here and there. Before coming to ATWT, I did DAYS, playing Bonnie and Adrienne. I just did a movie of the week with Eddie Cibrian. When I’m not auditioning, I work at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, CA assisting with the arrangements of funeral options and pre-need arrangements. I really enjoy my work because I get to meet and help a lot of people at a difficult time.

AWT: Does your son, Austin, remember being Dante on AW? Has he watched himself? Does he have any interest in continuing in show business?

JEL: I’m not sure if he’s actually watched footage of himself, but Austin does remember being on AW. He recently mentioned remembering a scene where he was crying because his mother was being taken away. I thought ‘Oh no, is he going to need therapy? Did I traumatize him by having him on the show playing my son?' He’s done some other acting projects on his own, but he’s finding himself more interested in critiquing movies. He goes to two or three a week and knows so much about the actors and directors and stories. He’s really quite talented and I’m just so impressed with him!

AWT: How did the role on ATWT come about?

JEL: It’s interesting. My manager, Michael Bruno, was talking to Mary Clay Boland (casting director at As The World Turns) about what was coming up and she mentioned the role of Maeve, and he immediately thought of me. He called me up and asked if I was interested in something short-term with a commute back and forth between coasts and I told him sure. He put it all together and I came on as Maeve. I’m so grateful to him. He’s the best manager in the world and a great, great friend.

AWT: How is Maeve different from Paulina? How is she different from GL's Beth?

JEL: Maeve and Paulina are worlds apart. Maeve is sheltered and meeker and milder than Paulina. Maeve married at 18 and stayed married her whole life to the same man who unfortunately is abusive.

Beth and Maeve are similar in that they’re both sheltered, but Maeve comes from being so isolated, living in the back woods of Kentucky. Beth was an introvert who, in a lot of ways, kept to herself even when out and about in society.

I can’t say that any one character is my favorite because there are so many things I like about all of them. I just like to take anything given to me and go with it

AWT: Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans of Another World?

JEL: Thank you, thank you, thank you all so much for so many years, and your loyalty, and for letting us entertain you and for keeping Another World alive all these years!


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