Transcribed below are portions of our interview together. Click here to see the full video.
We Love Soaps: How are you enjoying this today?
Crystal Chappell: It’s been great. I don’t usually get to hang out with the whole cast so that was really fun. And the fans have been so welcoming and kind. Yes, that’s a relief.
We Love Soaps: Were you concerned that DAYS fans would not embrace Carly?
Crystal Chappell: I like to think positively, I was hoping that they would. But there’s this big assumption that she’s going to be a foil. I actually like how they're writing the story. And I like Carly 2.0. She’s fun, edgy, and she’s got secrets.
We Love Soaps: Are there Otalia fans here today?
Crystal Chappell: Oh yes!
We Love Soaps: They really did carry over from GUIDING LIGHT to DAYS.
Crystal Chappell: Yes, they are the best. They are so supportive of me. What more can you ask for? They are kind, they are funny, they are bright, and generous beyond belief. I’m a really lucky girl to know them.
We Love Soaps: I did an interview with Claire Labine recently.
Crystal Chappell: I love Claire!
We Love Soaps: I was asking her about writing ONE LIFE TO LIVE and GUIDING LIGHT and she told me how much she loved writing for you. Specifically in 2000 with starting to transform Olivia into a more sympathetic character.
Crystal Chappell: I’ve been a fan of hers for years. Not just her talent and her writing, but she’s just a terrific woman.
We Love Soaps: Now do fans who come to this event know about VENICE?
Crystal Chappell: There were a lot of people screaming, “Venice” out there. I’m assuming these are my GL gals and my Otalia fans. But the word is spreading and that’s always nice. We’re going to have 12 episodes, approximately 6 minutes long, and I’m really really pleased with how it turned out. I can’t thank this cast enough for stepping up. We had Nadia Bjorlin and Galen Gering step up at the last minute. And they were brilliant, they were so good. It’s been so fun to watch these actors without the confines of network censorship perform. There’s a freedom that comes out of you. I know for myself, you can say certain things that you can’t say on television, you can do certain things that feel more natural and more realistic. Everyone just jumped on it, they were great.
We Love Soaps: Here at We Love Soaps we are talking about it constantly. We are so excited. Roger and I did a film segment over at Hotel Erwin awhile back.
Crystal Chappell: I know! I was so in love with both of you! I so am! I saw that after the Emmy’s and I went, “I love those boys, I’m just going to take care of them the rest of my life.”
We Love Soaps: Well we really admire and respect what you’re doing. I have been watching you since you started on DAYS in 1990. I not only admire your acting career, but in 2009 I have admired how you have stepped up and been proactive as far as the creativity in your life. You’ve not just been part of an ensemble, you’ve also stepped up as a writer and producer. How did you make that transition within yourself?
Crystal Chappell: Thank you first of all. I learned a lot the last year and a half at GUIDING LIGHT. Seeing the state of daytime in particular, and realizing the reason we made the changes we did was just to get an extra year out of it. [It was] the hardship of watching hundreds of people get fired and losing their jobs, but the idea you can keep a few more employed. I used to stay and watch them work, and Ellen Wheeler gave me the opportunity to stay behind and edit with the producers. She let me do it. I had been writing for years with my friend and writing partner Kim Turrisi. When the show got canceled, there was overwhelming support worldwide from Otalia fans, it was huge! The way they felt free to tell me their story meant so much to me. It felt like I had a responsibility to do something. It was an opportunity for me to do something creatively, but I also had all this support from the fans. I just felt like something good was going to come from it. In terms of producing it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to direct, it’s not a new desire. But it’s an opportunity now. I’m really proud of the project and how it turned out.
We Love Soaps: It sounds like you feel a responsibility to serve the people who you’ve already helped in many many ways on Guiding Light.
Crystal Chappell: But they’ve helped me by supporting me and sharing with me. They’ve given me this opportunity, that’s how I see it.
We Love Soaps: What else can you tell us about the plots of VENICE?
Crystal Chappell: It’s just about this woman’s struggle to fix what’s wrong in her. Because of her unhealthy relationship with her father, played brilliantly by Jordan Clarke, she’s not accepted by him and it messes everything else up in her life. She’s got this beautiful woman who wants to have a relationship with her and she’s in love with but it’s so messed up. And then it’s all the outside forces that come in, her relationship with other characters. I want it to be an ensemble piece. It’s about relationships, love, romance, and lust and in the end there’s a nasty little thing that happens to one of the characters.
**Thank you Crystal Aminzadeh of Shine-On Media for this picture of Crystal and Damon
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Damon L. Jacobs is a Marriage Family Therapist practicing in New York City, and the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve". He has started blogging again at www.shouldless.com..