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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


AWT: Do you remember your initial audition for the role of Sharlene Frame? What did they tell you they were looking for in the character? What do you think you brought to the audition that landed you the role?

AH: I actually happened into a copy of that audition a few years ago, so it brought back the memory of it rather vividly. Mainly, I remember being terrified. Seeing a few of the other women who were also testing for Sharlene in the hair and make-up room, certain that they were more right for the role than I, certain that they were real actresses, certain that they could never be as nervous as me. Then, David (Forsyth; John), of course - I'd never met him and we had to kiss. Bingo, just like that. He was lovely. Anyone who meets David knows that almost immediately. Considerate and a pro at putting a person at ease. Well, we did the scene, I headed back to the theater, I was doing an Off Broadway show. I found my dear friend and castmate Marilyn, and cried my eyes out, sure that I had failed miserably.

AWT: How did Sharlene evolve from the time you started playing her to the time you left? How much did you contribute to the character's evolution and direction?

AH: Well, I can tell you that initially I was, as a fan would know, a farm woman. Country girl, divorcee, widow raising a teenage daughter, making pies and canning a variety of fruits and veggies out on the family farm. My wardrobe was the cheapest on the show, consisting of a number of gingham aprons and my own jeans. Then, I went to the AW Christmas party up in the Rainbow Room at 30 Rock, wearing some sexy black number wardrobe had let me borrow, and danced up a storm. Next thing I knew, (Executive Producer) Michael Laibson called me into his office and said the writers were very excited because they had decided to give me a multiple personality disorder. Of course, this was music to my actor ears! But, the main reason for giving Sharlene the disorder was to get her out of the kitchen, into more little black dresses and therefore into the mainstream of Bay City life! So perhaps my choice of clothing - and a little Jack Daniels - helped shed a different light on Sharlene!

AWT: Why do you think Sharlene has continued to be so popular with Another World fans?

AH: Gee, I don't know, I'd really have to ask them. But, perhaps she seemed like a friend you could talk to, or even a mother who would fight for you. She, before the Multiple Personality Disorder, was a solid citizen, fighting for her daughter, herself, her brother, and then John. Though Sharly wasn't very likable, I always thought of her and Sharlene as a survivors and actually missed Sharly when she was gone.

AWT: You shared the screen with several of AW's leading men. What was it like working with David Forsyth? Mark Pinter (Grant)? Kale Browne (Michael)? Was there a character you wished Sharlene had interacted with more?

AH: Forsyth = extremely special, great fun, loads of laughs, lots of trust, a gift, FFL (friend for life). Pinter = a total pro, great fun, wonderful actor, glad I had the chance. KB = like working with a child - in the best of ways! I recall some very touching moments, love him.
AWT: What do you think contributed to your fantastic chemistry with David Forsyth? How did the two of you go about creating it? What are your thoughts on how John and Sharlene's romance ended?

AH: I did get lucky there. It is awfully nice when you genuinely like the person you're supposed to be falling for. We had a real respect for one another, and truly had so much fun. I think there was an innocence to this couple, and I was so grateful that the writers gave us such lovely material. Two people sort of finding themselves again through each other. It was loaded, rich. In the later years of my time on the show, there were times when I was so sad for the need the producers felt to tear the couple apart. Well, truthfully, there's nothing quite as boring as a well adjusted couple on a soap! And I loved the idea of a love triangle, I just never felt it was executed very well. It seemed arbitrary, with no foundation. But, I loved working off of Linda Dano (Felicia), that's a treat.

Come back Wednesday, February 24, for Part #2


Blogger Unknown said...

So nice to see an interview with Anna. Sharlene was always one of my favorite good/bad girls. And I loved the John & Sharlene love story (and of course, Gregory, who is a major character in Another World Today).

Now, how about an interview with Vicky Windham? I've seen her in guest spots over the years on Prime Time, and have always been curious as to what she's been up to. And what she thinks of AWT.

February 17, 2010 at 4:56 AM  

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