INTERVIEW: Lynn Herring on The Nurses Ball & Her Return To GENERAL HOSPITAL (Part 2)

Lynn Herring first appeared on GENERAL HOSPITAL as Lucy Coe in 1986. In 1997 the character moved to GH spinoff PORT CHARLES. Once that show went off the air in 2003 Herring did not return to GH as expected. In December 2012, Herring finally returned as Lucy Coe and has been featured prominently ever since. We Love Soaps spoke with Herring recently about her life, career and return to GENERAL HOSPITAL. Catch up on Part 1 of our new interview here and read Part 2 below:

WE LOVE SOAPS: You are so fantastic in comedic scenes.
LYNN HERRING: I just love that people come up and tell me they laugh. It's so thrilling to think you're in someone's home and giving them these happy moments in their day. It's the best. There are so many actors who are new to the show, and they are so enthusiastic, passionate and talented.

WE LOVE SOAPS: During the Nurses Ball there were many funny moments, little things that we might not normally see that were played.
LYNN HERRING: Ron is brilliant. I just think he's so clever making the characters have qualities people can identify with, or pull for, or to make them yell at the TV. And we get little hints in the scripts about a possible future story.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: In recent years on daytime soaps those little hints haven't always panned out. It seemed the script writers from day to day weren't on the same page. But GH has really been following through this past year. And there are least mentions of past characters. Years ago after Bobbie Spencer's son, Lucas, came out of the closet, he got gay-bashed and we didn't hear from him again. When Bobbie returned for the Nurses Ball she mentioned that Lucas was doing well and she just wished he had a nice man in his life. Then they cut to Felix.
LYNN HERRING: Let's get Felix a guy! That would be brilliant. Those are the kind of teasers you love because you wonder what's going to happen with that and it gives you a reason to watch. Another one is the anonymous donor check that Lucy was given to underwrite the entire Nurses Ball. We had a luncheon and Ron said, "We never did play out the anonymous donor was. I wonder who it could be." I didn't know if that was a tease he knew or if he's coming up with something. I thought, "How smart is that?" It's a little taste.

Ron and Frank have given new life to everything. When you go to work it's exciting because even when they are tired they are still excited to bring the magic. It's so much fun and they're so respected.

Jack Wagner and everyone that came back said, "The vibe around here is so awesome!" It's so different than trudging into work. I'm excited Ron is going to let Lucy play a little longer. I never thought it would happen that I would get to do the Nurses Ball again and interact with all these characters. But what happens is you forget how much you love this and how much a part of your life it is, and then you don't want it to end. So it's really its tricky to not let yourself be too hopeful.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Another thing I like about current GH is they have plugged the spoiler leaks. It almost feels like the old days when we didn't know everything in advance.
LYNN HERRING: I know it's exciting to know what's going to come, but I don't think shows need to be spoiled all the time.

WE LOVE SOAPS: There were several soap opera magazines covering the shows back in the '70s and they didn't spoil stories. And there were a lot more viewers at the time. Most of the coverage was about the actors' personal lives and I enjoyed reading those stories. Those are the kind of interviews we like to do at We Love Soaps, getting to know the person versus finding out what's happening next.
LYNN HERRING: Jane Elliot was hilarious recently about these magazines she's collected over the years. Donna Armogida is our makeup head and has been at GH probably 30 years. Jane brought her all the magazines she had in her garage trying to just clean up and de-hoarder. We sat and looked at those and the laughs and hairdos and memories. I wish I had a video because everybody was in tears. I love to look back on old magazines. They are classic pieces of work.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Because we do so much with soap history, fans even send us old magazines and I learn new things all the time, especially the romances. DAYS co-stars Quinn Redeker and Deidre Hall were once an item!
LYNN HERRING: Quinn was a really good writer. Wayne said back in the day he had a typewriter in his dressing room and between takes and rehearsals he would run in and write and write. I wonder where he is.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I believe the remaining daytime soaps have a better chance of attracting former viewers to watch again than attracting new viewers. GH once had 14 million viewers. I think there has to be a balance and GH did that well in the past year.
LYNN HERRING: I know a lot of ranchers that work during the day who come in at night and watch. I feel like people have found other venues to watch the show in that I wish we could count. You probably get a lot of people watching after work.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Don't get me started on the Nielsen system.
LYNN HERRING: We got GH50 hats which were really cool, and we had a cake. Everybody showed up. The ABC in charge of programming was there and the head of what owns daytime. Vicki [Dummer, executive vice president of ABC's Times Square Studios, Current Series & Special] gave a wonderful speech about how we're trying to integrate the tweeting and social media. She said GH was the biggest social media show on the network. I hope we keep growing with that.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Do you actually watch GH episodes at home?
LYNN HERRING: We do now. Wayne's so funny. He started watching and he had never watched all the years I had been on. For some reason when I first came back to GH he figured out how to do SOAPnet so he started asking me questions. Now we are watching and it is a blast. He's never seen a lot of these people so to get his take on it, and what worked and didn't work, is awesome.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What was it like battling it out with Richard Simmons?
LYNN HERRING: First of all, the only thing I worried about was the script Ron and the dialogue writers came up with, because Richard didn't stick to too much. {Laughs] He didn't say too many words were on the page. He gets the idea of the scene and then he just rolls with it. It was so interesting because it was ad-libbing at the highest where I had to stay up with him. I had a feeling he was going to take me somewhere, we're going to go and, by goodness, it's going to be fun. And it was! He's so pure because he wants the scene to be funny and high energy, obviously, and he's so passionate about it. You just hold on and fly wherever he goes.

WE LOVE SOAPS: It was a nice touch to bring back the old "General Hospi-tale" song from 1981.
LYNN HERRING: They would play it over the feed so we could hear it and dance and Richard could do his little moves. People were like, "Where is this from?" And even the younger people seemed to know it somehow in the back of their minds. It's such a nod to our past and to the continuation. And especially mentioning Jessie Brewer (Emily McLaughlin) and Amy Vining (Shell Kepler). When you take the time to respect the past like that it just enriches everybody's experience with our show.

WE LOVE SOAPS: The Nurses Ball was not only entertaining, but it felt like GH. Daytime soaps go off track from time to time when they make too many changes without keeping their history in mind.
LYNN HERRING: You want to feel comfortable. It's kind of like going to your home town. If you change it up to much, it feels like your hometown moved to another country.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You have great chemistry with everyone, but I really love your work with Kin Shriner (who plays Scott Baldwin). I'm interviewing him later today and he's one actor that everyone seems to love.
LYNN HERRING: We tease each other about being cub reporters. The cub reporter in us is so curious about other people we always want to know how they are, if they are happy and what they are doing. He's genuinely interested in other people so when the other actors are around he doesn't talk about himself at all. He's very interested in what they're doing. I think they all admire his enthusiasm for life. He really likes people so that translates to people liking him. We're always stayed pretty close but now, with this resurgence of the show, sometimes we talk three times a day. That's been a fun thing for a our friendship. He's also the best jokester with a very dry sense of humor.

WE LOVE SOAPS: We interviewed you nearly four years ago and people were pretty down on the state of daytime back then. It seems like the tide has turned and daytime is making a comeback with the comeback of GENERAL HOSPITAL, and new versions of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE coming online.
LYNN HERRING: I agree. When you're out and about in L.A. or traveling there's just such an up vibe. I'm proud to be a part of it. Tell me about ONE LIFE TO LIVE. How will I be able to watch it?

WE LOVE SOAPS: You can watch it online for free at Hulu.com. They'll put a new episode every morning.
LYNN HERRING: A lot of times in rural areas like ours people don't have the really high speed internet. We finally got high speed at the ranch! Even though we're still on network, I want everybody to be successful. I just hope people have as many access points to the shows as possible.

WE LOVE SOAPS: In 2009 you played Audrey Coleman in AS THE WORLD TURNS for a while. Did you enjoy that?
LYNN HERRING: I loved my catfights with Colleen Zenk (who played Barbara Ryan). Colleen and I shared a car once and we could have kept riding and riding all day. I remember thinking to myself, "Why haven't I really ever talked to her over the years?" I enjoyed her so much. I was sorry we didn't get more stuff together.

WE LOVE SOAPS: She got ordained last summer to perform my wedding!
LYNN HERRING: Aww. I'm so glad you told me that. I think of her often and wonder what she's doing. I loved, loved, loved her. We get caught up so much in our soap lives, and who has the next story, and what's going to happen to your character. It's so self-absorbed. It's wonderful to get out of that. You love your art but you have to have a life outside so you can appreciate when you have a job.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You've been in the business more than three decades now. If you could go back in time and talk with young Lynn Herring in the early 1980s when you were first starting out, and give her a piece of advice, what you tell her?
LYNN HERRING: I have to tell you the truth. I feel like the most fortunate girl in the world. I love the choices I made about my family being first and never had a desire to do outside work being so fulfilled playing Lucy. I might advise her to invest more in the business. Because my family was first, sometimes that extra script I should have read or extra effort in work, not a GH, but just keeping my hands in show business, didn't happen. I realize now how much I love it. I think I would have acknowledged my love of daytime and show business more back then and kept more fingers in a variety of it. I never admitted how much I loved it until now, getting to come back. So I think I would advise myself to keep your family first but keep more hands in the business because you love it more than you ever knew.

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. He appeared in FRANCOPRHENIA and the documentary SOAP LIFE in 2012.

2 comments:

  1. Lynn Herring is the only Actor/Actress that I ever met in person; it was the mid 80's to mid 90's. I believe she had shown up at a grocery store I shopped at in Portland, OR or maybe it was Seattle, WA? In any event, she was as lovely in person as her personality on TV. Welcome back Lucy! You were sorely missed!!

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  2. Lucy is and should always be a fixture at GH...luv that Lynn is back!

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