Northern Kentucky native Rebecca Budig burst onto the soap scene in 1995 in the role of Michelle Bauer on GUIDING LIGHT. In 1999 she created the role of Greenlee Smythe on ALL MY CHILDREN and has earned two Daytime Emmy nominations while playing the character. Over the years Bugid has hosted WE's FULL FRONTAL FASHION and co-hosted THE VIEW. She's also appeared on a number of television shows such as CSI, HOPE & FAITH and OUT OF PRACTICE.
As 2009 winds down, the actress has returned to ALL MY CHILDREN just in time for the show's 40th Anniversary in January. She spoke with We Love Soaps about her soap return, the current state of daytime, and offered New Year's kissing tips for our readers.
We Love Soaps: Tell me about your return to ALL MY CHILDREN. When it was announced the show was moving to Los Angeles, did you instantly think a return might be possible?
Rebecca Budig: Oh God, no. My first thought was, "Is everybody going? Is the crew going?" It was so crazy I couldn't' believe it. I never thought, "Oh, I can go back." They would have to want me to come back, and you can't just call somebody and say you want a job. But the fact that it is in L.A. and my home is there now definitely is a bonus.
We Love Soaps: How do you feel about New York versus L.A. in terms of places to live? I've lived in New York for several years now and feel like I couldn't live anywhere else.
Rebecca Budig: Well, Roger, I feel the same way, but I had no choice. The business is out there. [Laughs] Well, I do have a choice, I could live here, but it's less expensive to live there. I love New York, it's in my blood, I lived here for 12 years. Ultimately, I'd love to live on the East coast because my family is in the Midwest and I have a sister in New York, but for now it's L.A. Nothing's ever set in stone.
We Love Soaps: Maybe ALL MY CHILDREN will move back to New York! [Laughs]
Rebecca Budig: You never know!
We Love Soaps: No one ever thought it would move, so...
Rebecca Budig: I never thought it would move.
We Love Soaps: Are we going to see Greenlee battle Erica for Ryan's affections? I think most people expect to see that.
Rebecca Budig: Well, I think we are. I haven't taped any of that yet, or even seen any of that yet. But I can't imagine, with Ryan being with Erica, and Ryan being Greenlee's so-called fiancé, or so she thought, there not be something going on.
We Love Soaps: Is there a chance we might see some of Greenlee's darker side in 2010?
Rebecca Budig: I think there's a chance, definitely.
We Love Soaps: Do you enjoy playing that?
Rebecca Budig: Are you kidding? That's why I love the character. That's why I stayed all those years ago because she was such a fun character to play.
We Love Soaps: Are you excited about ALL MY CHILDREN's 40th Anniversary episodes? You have returned and there will be several former cast members returning for those shows.
Rebecca Budig: I'm excited about it. It's an honor to be part of a show that's been on the air for 40 years. It's incredible.
We Love Soaps: ALL MY CHILDREN used to have so much heart, and I feel like the heart has gone away a bit with some of the new characters.
Rebecca Budig: I think their goal is to get back to that. I think with Chuck Pratt gone they're really focusing on getting the heart of the show back.
We Love Soaps: We lost GUIDING LIGHT this year, a show you starred on as Michelle Bauer, and AS THE WORLD TURNS is going off the air in 2010. How do you feel about the state of the daytime soap industry as we finish 2009?
Rebecca Budig: I think that things change and evolve. We're lucky to have had them for this long to be honest. I think that times have changed, and to me it's sad, because I grew up watching the soaps, so it's sad to see some of them go. But I also think there's room for change, and change can be good. I think us going to L.A. is a great change and hopefully it's for the better.
We Love Soaps: Every show I watch on television, other than AMERICAN IDOL, is a soap. All the primetime shows have continuing stories now.
Rebecca Budig: GREY'S ANATOMY is a soap. It's funny, someone will say to me, "You're a soap actor." And I say, "No, I'm just an actor." But they're all soaps. I also think a lot of women work when they used to not work so it's changed the dynamic of daytime.
We Love Soaps: Let's talk about New Year's Eve. Are you spending it in New York or L.A.?
Rebecca Budig: I'm in New York right now but heading to L.A. We're doing nothing much, just very low key. Most years I don't really go to huge, huge parties. I'm normally a low key New Year's Eve person. I don't make big plans.
We Love Soaps: The kiss at midnight is the big moment on New Year's Eve. You qualify as an expert on the subject having kissed some of the hunkiest guys ever on soaps like Josh Duhamel, Aiden Turner and Cameron Mathison. What would you say are the essential items everyone should have to prepare themselves for the big kiss?
Rebecca Budig: Well, soft lips is essential so I'd have a lip balm. Fresh breath to me is the epitome. You have to have fresh breath. I use Colgate® Wisp™, a single use toothbrush. I've been using them a long time. They are becoming more popular now. I also think you need to have confidence and be present and in the moment.
We Love Soaps: I'm not sure I've seen the Colgate® Wisp™ before.
Rebecca Budig: You haven't? You know what it is, I like to go to the drug store and meander around and look at stuff [laughs]. I saw them and thought, "This might be really good for the plane," because I travel quite a bit. And they're really little and fit in your purse so I started using them. I use those things all the time. I brush my teeth in the morning and then I leave the house and have coffee, and then I want to brush my teeth again. So for me, it's a really good thing. It's better for me than mint strips or gum because they're not long lasting.
We Love Soaps: Would you say there are any New Year's "don'ts" that people should avoid?
Rebecca Budig: Don't overindulge yourself in alcohol!
We Love Soaps: If you go could back to 1995 when you first started your soap career, knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself?
Rebecca Budig: I don't think that I would. I found my way, especially on GUIDING LIGHT, where I was so green. I did everything I could to get better. I'm one of those people who challenges myself everyday to do the best I can. So I don't know what I would say. I'm sorry! [Laughs]
We Love Soaps: Well, it doesn't sound like you have lots of regrets so that's good news.
Rebecca Budig: I don't.
We Love Soaps: What other career aspirations do you have? I know you used to host a show on Saturday mornings.
Rebecca Budig: I used to do a lot of hosting. I haven't in a while, but I do like hosting. I'd love to host again. I'd love to do a primetime show, or have a part on a primetime show.
We Love Soaps: Being on ABC, you'd think they would feature their daytime stars on their primetime shows more.
Rebecca Budig: I've said I want to be Alison Sweeney. I want to have a primetime show that I host and work in the daytime!