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INTERVIEW: Catching Up With ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Kelley Missal

Kelley Missal reprises the role of Dani Manning when
new daily episodes of OLTL begin airing on The
Online Network via Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes.
We Love Soaps was on the set of ONE LIFE TO LIVE on Monday as the soap shot a brand new opening sequence. We caught up with several actors from the cast to see how they were feeling about the show's April 29 return on The Online Network available on Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes. Kelley Missal began playing Danielle "Dani" Manning in 2009 and continues the role in the new version of the soap. Check out our conversation with Missal below where she talks about how she spent her year off from the show, offers a preview of what's ahead, and shares her excitement over the return of ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Welcome back! I'm an eternal optimist and I have to admit to having doubts that we would be here today.
KELLEY MISSAL: Who knew? Well, the fans knew. They believed 100% and never gave up. When I left ONE LIFE TO LIVE I got really sad. Then I kind of got over that and closed that chapter in my life. So opening that back up in this new atmosphere, with these new people and with new production feels really amazing.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Have you been going to school?
KELLEY MISSAL: Part-time, almost full-time. I go to a community college near my house. And I also did my first film this summer.  It was slow going but so much fun. It's an anti-bullying film called The Contest and I play a Ukrainian chef with an accent. It's totally different from Dani so maybe people can catch it.

WE LOVE SOAPS: So you're back playing Dani. Do you feel the character has matured during this year off?
KELLEY MISSAL: She's matured. We catch up to her at 21 and she's going to college.

WE LOVE SOAPS: And she's living with two guys now!
KELLEY MISSAL: She's living with two boys which is funny. They're all friends, and Rob [Gorrie, who plays Matthew Buchanan), Corbin [Bleu, who plays Jeffrey King) and I work off each other really well.

WE LOVE SOAPS: It sounds like a great sitcom setup. Is there a comedic aspect to the story?
KELLEY MISSAL: There's a lot of funny stuff that goes down at that apartment. People can watch out for that.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I knew Corbin from High School Musical but also saw him in "Godspell" last year.
KELLEY MISSAL: He's a really talented guy. It's really cool he has that in the background.  He's been great on set.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I just toured the new sets. How are you liking them?
KELLEY MISSAL: The sets have been amazing. And the prop department has made everything feel so real. Our [apartment] set has a working fridge. You don't think that's a big deal but it helps when you're doing a scene and have to go to the fridge to grab a beer. And the sets are beautiful. I watch the monitor and other people doing their scenes and the colors just look amazing. There's a lot of new sets too.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE's younger cast includes Andrew Trischitta,
Laura Harrier, Kelley Missal and Rob Gorrie.
WE LOVE SOAPS: I read recently something like 25% of college graduates don't get cable TV these days. More and more people are watching shows in different ways. As a young person, how do you watch TV shows?
KELLEY MISSAL: I watch TV online with Netflix and Hulu. My friends are excited because [the new ONE LIFE TO LIVE] is so mobile and they didn't always find themselves in front of the TV at 2 p.m. before.  Now they'll be able to pull it up on their iPads, iPhones, computers, TVs, anything. It's so much more convenient. I'm really excited it's an online thing. My grandma bought an iPad and she's ready to go.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What are you most excited for people to see about this ONE LIFE TO LIVE that may be a little different than the original?
KELLEY MISSAL: I'm most excited for people to see everyone together again, because the stories are really juicy. For me especially, doing the younger storylines, it's more relatable stuff. Whether it's the sets or the props or the fact that the story is really happening, it feels more real and current.

WE LOVE SOAPS: We've heard a lot about the new Llanview nightclub, Shelter.
KELLEY MISSAL: A lot of stuff goes down in Shelter. It's a really fun set and we have extras all the time on set working with us. They play music, and it's fun, and there are fake drinks everywhere. I really enjoy shooting in it.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Over the years on soaps, we've watched some of the worst dancing ever in dancing scenes at fictional soap clubs. I've always assumed there is no music and all the actors are dancing to their own beat.
KELLEY MISSAL: That's what happens! It's hard because they play the music for about ten seconds and then it's silent so you have to keep the beat in your head. I had a scene where I had to dance and I danced full out so watch for that. [Laughs]

WE LOVE SOAPS: Do you think the shooting schedule--five weeks on, five weeks off--will be a good thing?
KELLEY MISSAL: Absolutely. We shot year-round before, and it's going to be great to work your ass off for five weeks then take a break and gather yourself, see your friends and family, then get right back into it. I think that's one of the reasons it came together so well, people saw the five weeks on and off and thought, 'I can do that.'

WE LOVE SOAPS: Was there any doubt you would come back?
KELLEY MISSAL: No. My heart was set. I missed Dani and missed ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

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.

5 comments:

  1. well i am so looking forward to seeing Dani and all of the caracters on OLTL as i have missed them dearly... i cant wait to see all of the changes that has been made..i am so excited to have you all back...

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  2. Wonderful. I love Dani, and it sounds like the actress is having a blast. I'm glad she came back! Counting the days...

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  3. Kelley is by far the prettiest and sexiest actress to debut on OLTL since Bree Williamson. Can't wait to see the new episodes. :)

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