We Love Soaps had the opportunity to sit down with the fabulous talents who portray the Cramer Women of Llanview. Starting February 12, 2010, this complicated and tortured family will be reuniting on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and we could not be happier! What follows will be a series of articles and features about these courageous women and their legacy on daytime.
We Love Soaps: As a therapist I am fascinated by the Cramer women's family history, and how Cassie has struggled with mental illness and various times. I remember one of her first breakdowns after the loss of unborn child in 1993.
Laura Bonarrigo: That was a big incident. Exhausting.
We Love Soaps: What has it been like for you to come and go as Cassie?
Laura Bonarrigo: It’s a privilege. I am the fourth actress to play Cassie, and I keep getting invited back. So it’s nice to come back, see my friends, see my peers, catch up with what they’re doing in real life.
We Love Soaps: Would you like to show you use you more?
Laura Bonarrigo: Well, I live in New York City and I work as an actor so it would be lovely to be here working. It was great to work on ALL MY CHILDREN last year for a few months. I’ve gotten to do other mediums, some Off-Broadway shows, some commercials, and work like that. It would be great to be working, and daytime is a great place to be working.
We Love Soaps: As an actress, what was it like to portray Cassie’s mental struggles?
Laura Bonarrigo: It was interesting. I learned a lot about it. You’re testing me here, it’s been awhile since I played those stories. But I remember them being emotionally and physically exhausting. But they were challenging to me. It was something different, I had to do research, I had to understand what happens to women when a child dies. That’s what was interesting. Of course playing those dramatic scenes was great. I like playing anything on stage, anything on camera, but not in my personal life. My personal life I like nice and calm and quiet.
We Love Soaps: Cassie was involved in a very popular triangle in the 90’s between her husband Andrew and Kevin. What was that like to be the preacher’s wife who was attracted to a Buchanan boy?
Laura Bonarrigo: I loved it. It was by far one of the best stories. [Wortham] Krimmer and I had worked together for five years by that time. What happens in daytime, which doesn’t happen in other mediums, is the history that you create day in and day out with another person. I love Krimmer. He and I worked so well together. Some of the best work I ever did was with him. I remember the scene vividly where Cassie told Andrew that she had slept with Kevin, but there was this whole confrontation of, “Where were you?” Cassie had just slept with Kevin for the first time. It was palpable on set, the energy between us. And then the scene where Cassie and Andrew broke up, the producers were coming out of the control booth and hugging us. It was silent on stage, it was heart wrenching. Bob and I could go places because there was this history together, this trust. That’s not something I have found easily in other mediums. It’s the same thing when I come in the door and there’s Kassie DePaiva and Gina Tognoni.
We Love Soaps: How has it been to work with Robin as your mother?
Laura Bonarrigo: I love Robin. I just love working with her.
We Love Soaps: Do you remember your favorites scenes playing Cassie? Was it the breakup with Andrew?
Laura Bonarrigo: That was easily one of my favorites. There are so many.
We Love Soaps: Kevin is coming back to Llanview as well. Will we see any of the history between Kevin and Cassie played out?
Laura Bonarrigo: I don’t know.
We Love Soaps: Would you like them to?
Laura Bonarrigo: Yes. I would love to. I don’t know the actor who plays Kevin now. The history between Kevin Stapleton and myself was strong, we had worked together for some time.
We Love Soaps: Can you tell us if this is going to be a short term visit or will Cassie be staying longer?
Laura Bonarrigo: I really don’t know. But for the moment I suspect it’s short-term. Unless a lot of people write in and asked.
We Love Soaps: What would you like to see happen for Cassie?
Laura Bonarrigo: I’d love to get immersed back into Dorian’s life, and Blair’s life, see if there is a story for Cassie. I don’t know who’ is on the canvas anymore, I don’t know the characters.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Please return later for my interview with Gina Tognoni.
- Lunch with Cramer Women -(transcriptions from the panel interview)
- WE LOVE SOAPS TV #9 - Cramer Women Special
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 is re-imagining a world without "shoulds" at www.shouldless.com.