|Denyse Tontz - Photo: TOLN|
WE LOVE SOAPS: Welcome to Pine Valley! How much did you know about ALL MY CHILDREN before you joined the cast?
DENYSE TONTZ: My grandparents and my mom had watched every now and then so I knew a little bit. But the cast has been filling me in little by little. All of us newbies have been given bits and pieces of our story to put together.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Your bio is quite impressive. You were an international child model. What was that like?
DENYSE TONTZ: It kind of just happened. I used to try to model for a while before I booked my first big job. I worked for Mattel and there were billboards of my face in Europe. I had a blast and still look back on those days and think it was really awesome.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Mattel! Did you get free toys? Free dolls?
DENYSE TONTZ: I got free dolls that have my face on it.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Cool! You've also starred in shows like BIG TIME RUSH and SHAKE IT UP as well. What has been your favorite experience so far?
DENYSE TONTZ: Probably ALL MY CHILDREN. I know it sounds cheesy for me to say since this is an interview about ALL MY CHILDREN but it really has been. I've mostly done guest starring roles until now and this is my first experience being a lead and having this type of workload. It's a little ridiculous because we're always staying up until midnight memorizing 40 pages of script for the next day. But that's kind of the best part because we're constantly doing something. It's sort of like reading a novel to find out where your story is going to go.
WE LOVE SOAPS: When ALL MY CHILDREN first started in 1970, Erica Kane was an ambitious high school student and he mother, Mona, tried to keep her in line. Is there a chance we might see history repeating itself with Miranda in the "Erica" role?
DENYSE TONTZ: I can't give too much away, but I know they were trying to keep the Kane family traits in the line. Especially with Bianca's (Eden Riegel) relationship with Erica, I think they're really trying to give her a taste of her own medicine. It's interesting to see it shift to another generation.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Eden Riegel is one of the most talented people in the business. And one of the best human beings as well. What was it like shooting scenes with her?
DENYSE TONTZ: She is amazing! From literally the first scene we had she came into my dressing room and said, "Hey, do you want to go over the script with me?" The second we started reading the script, she was a blast to work with. So far some of the scenes they've given us have been really touching, and some have also been a bit comedic. We have a really natural relationship. I love Eden.
WE LOVE SOAPS: I know everyone is tight-lipped about future story, but is there anything you can preview for us about what's going on with Miranda when ALL MY CHILDREN begins? She's in high school now, right?
DENYSE TONTZ: Yes, she's in high school. I've heard the main difference so far is the show is trying to push the envelope a little bit. You'll see some high school scenes with the younger crowd and me.
WE LOVE SOAPS: It would be great to see a more grown-up Miranda in a scene with her grandmother, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci).
DENYSE TONTZ: That would be insane. I don't know what Susan's schedule is but I know she said she'd like to come back. Even as a guest star, it would be such a cool experience just to meet her.
WE LOVE SOAPS: You are also a singer. Is there any chance we'll ever see Miranda singing on ALL MY CHILDREN?
DENYSE TONTZ: I don't know if I'm allowed to say anything about that so I won't.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Okay, I'll just leave it as we would love to hear you sing on the show. Don't you have any album coming out at some point?
DENYSE TONTZ: I'm unsigned so I've been working with a producer the past couple of years and we're actually meeting with labels at this time. It's convenient because half of them are in New York anyway. We'll meet some a couple of New York, and a couple in LA, so fingers crossed.
WE LOVE SOAPS: When you first heard about the role of Miranda, did you know the show would be shot in Stamford, Connecticut?
DENYSE TONTZ: When I first auditioned for the role, it was pilot season and I had a zillion of scripts to memorize, so I was just reading the scripts and had no idea it was in Connecticut until I booked it. It all happened very quickly but I'm so grateful it has, and I can't wait to get back there.
WE LOVE SOAPS: There has been a lot of talk lately about the number of "Zero TV" homes. And young people especially are watching their favorite TV shows and web series in ways other than the traditional television. As a young person, how do you watch your favorite shows?
DENYSE TONTZ: I do have a TV but I don't watch it much because I don't feel the need, and it's hard to keep up with anything. I always end up watching things on the internet later. I can relate to the college generation of viewers. Half my friends don't even have a television. They spend half their times on Netflix and Hulu and iTunes.
WE LOVE SOAPS: You've accomplished so much already in your career, but what are your long-term goals in the business? Where do you see yourself in the future?
DENYSE TONTZ: Ideally I'd love to pursue both acting and music. Originally, to be honest, my main passion was music, and I didn't know I was going to do acting. Now with all I've done, I realized I love acting. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll be able to succeed in both.
Roger Newcomb is a producer and writer in New York City. Aside from co-hosting WE LOVE SOAPS TV, he has written and produced a full-length indie film, Manhattanites, and two radio soap operas, SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES and ROCKLAND COUNTY. He has also made acting appearances in indie web series IMAGINARY BITCHES and EMPIRE. He has consulted on numerous indie soaps, worked as a producer on the first two seasons of Emmy-nominated THE BAY, and is executive producer on the indie short May Mercy Lie, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals.