Tina Sloan wowed daytime audiences for most of the past 35 years starring on SOMERSET, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and ANOTHER WORLD before her signature daytime role came along. Since her 26-year run as Lillian Raines finished with the end of GUIDING LIGHT, Sloan has kept busy on not one, but two indie soaps, put on a stage show for her "Changing Shoes," and wrote a book by the same name. She has also appeared in more than one movie, including short film Oh My Love with former GUIDING LIGHT co-star, Gil Rogers.
Oh My Love is the story of Stu and Beverly, a modest couple from New York City who have been married more than 40 years, and are dealing the aging process that inevitably we all must face.
In this exclusive interview with We Love Soaps, Sloan talks about some of her latest roles and we dive deeper into the part of Oh My Love's Beverly.
We Love Soaps: It had to be hard to lose the soap, but it seems like you're having a great time working on all these other projects.
Tina Sloan: Til the end of March, my priority was doing the book. And I would love to do the play again. The book comes out in September on Penguin. It's quite a good book I must say. I'm quite liking it myself [laughs]. I'm having fun. I just did this DARK SHADOWS kind of thing called Evil Eyes, which is an art video and that was wonderfully exciting. I'm doing things that are just a little different for me. It's fun to play very different roles, like Katherine in VENICE, which was so much fun.
We Love Soaps: You know, there is a Dark Shadows movie in the works with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Maybe you can get into that!
Tina Sloan: Oh boy, that will be great for [Evil Eyes]. I played the Joan Bennett character, the matriarch. I'd love to do that. It was different. I guess that's what I'm loving is the different types of projects. But we all miss GUIDING LIGHT.
We Love Soaps: Sometimes with films or shorter projects the cast gets close but then they disperse and go their separate ways, but I imagine it's completely different having been on a show that lasted decades.
Tina Sloan: I talk to Beth [Chamberlin] a lot. I talk to Grant [Aleksander]. You do stay close, but the relationships do change too. I'm not her mother anymore.
We Love Soaps: It's nice to see you and Beth and Michael O'Leary on web shows, and getting to be funny. There were funny moments on GUIDING LIGHT, but Beth and Michael are so funny on STEAMBOAT.
Tina Sloan: Yes!
We Love Soaps: How did your role as Beverly in Oh My Love come about. Was it through director Jay Bungay? He was an editor on both GUIDING LIGHT and VENICE.
Tina Sloan: He was the editor on GUIDING LIGHT and he edited my play, "Changing Shoes." My play has a lot of film things in it and he did it all. He's a wonderful editor, spectacular. Oh My Love came from a short story. Jay directed it and he's just fabulous. He's very, very talented. He said, "I've got something I'm working on that I think of you all the time for. Would you consider doing it?" I said, "Sure," before I even saw it. I wear no make-up and it was really interesting.
We Love Soaps: How long did it take to shoot? Tina Sloan: I think we shot it in one weekend. It was 9-5 for two days. Jay was so organized. It was really impressive.
We Love Soaps: Having been part of the rushed paced of soap life in recent years, with one take many times, was this experience different?
Tina Sloan: It really wasn't to tell you the truth. The emotion, the pitch, was so high all the time. We had to get it done in a short period of time. I know what you're saying though. On GUIDING LIGHT we would have had to do it in one take without all the different camera angles. It was a very small space that we shot Oh My Love in whereas on GUIDING LIGHT we had space. For one thing, there were no adlibs. On GUIDING LIGHT, you kind of adlibbed. It was quite an emotional film, especially for Gil.
We Love Soaps: When did you shoot this?
Tina Sloan: It was before GUIDING LIGHT ended. We literally did it on a Saturday and Sunday and were back at work on Monday.
We Love Soaps: I remember loving Lillian and Hawk on GUIDING LIGHT as a couple in the late '80s. Gil Rogers has returned to GUIDING LIGHT over the years. After Bradley Raines and before Buzz, he was probably the closest Lillian came to getting married.
Tina Sloan: Right. There were going to get married but he went back to his wife [Sarah]. Ed was her great love I think, but nothing compared to Buzz. She never loved anyone like Buzz.
We Love Soaps: You always had great chemistry with Gil.
Tina Sloan: I hope that came through. You don't know how those things are going to work, having supposedly been married forever. It was interesting to see Gil do something so different. He always played Hawk as loud and boisterous and it was wonderful to have him do this beautiful thing.
We Love Soaps: Your show and book, "Changing Shoes," is about making a transition in life as you get older. Oh My Love has a similar theme. You play part of an older couple who has to accept some of the changes life has brought their way, specially to Stu.
Tina Sloan: This is really, really adjusting to things. It was kind of a devastating movie I thought. Nobody on the outside would see the inner turmoil he had. Once you've done acting on GUIDING LIGHT all those years, you don't have to prepare much because your instrument is so tuned to go wherever you need to go.
We Love Soaps: How would you describe the relationship between Beverly and Stu at this stage of their lives?
Tina Sloan: There's a loyalty that comes with a continuous marriage. You don't just throw up your hands and walk out when someone gets old and starts falling apart. By wearing no make-up, and believe me that was not easy, I was trying to show I was getting older too.
We Love Soaps: Why do you think people should watch this movie?
Tina Sloan: It's so interesting because Jay is young and it's so intriguing that he did this movie. As you get older you do have to face reality. It would be helpful in seeing what your parents are going through. They might not talk to you about this, but they might have secret aches and pains or things they don't want to talk about. They are pretty interesting issues for someone to think about. It's such an aging thing to have happened.
We Love Soaps: I think people of all ages can relate though because a lot of times people don't want to show a weakness, even to their partners.
Tina Sloan: I had the flu for three weeks this winter, and I got so sick. Steve wasn't used to seeing me like this, or my son. That was a weakness and I hated it. It's a reminder that you love through all the diminishing. Whether it's at 20 when you break a leg skiing or when you're older, you stand beside teh person you've chosen to spend your life with. It's a reminder of the fragility of our lives.
We Love Soaps: You're playing so many roles these days. Is there a certain type of character you haven't played that you would like to?
Tina Sloan: It was fun playing Theodora on EMPIRE because she is so bitchy. I played that as Kate Cannell on SOMERSET years ago. I was a wonderfully bitchy character and I loved her. And I loved being Katharine [on VENICE] and being comic. I haven't done that ever. That was the first time I've done something funny, although in the play I'm quite funny. My husband came up to me after and said, "I never knew you were a comedienne."
We Love Soaps: Are you going to be on the next season of VENICE.
Tina Sloan: I think so. Kimmy [Turissi] said I was. I imagine I'll just be a tiny character but that's just fine with me.
We Love Soaps: EMPIRE is a great example of a show that's grassroots that has grown from season to season. I can't wait to see you on it.
Tina Sloan: I'm totally bitchy. It's hysterical.
EDITOR'S NOTE: You can find out more about Oh My Love at ohmylovethemovie.com. To read the We Love Soaps review of the film, click here. Sloan's book, "Changing Shoes," will be out in September, one year after GUIDING LIGHT's final episode. You can pre-order the book at Amazon.com.