|Heather Roop - Photo Credit: Lucas Rossi Photography|
WE LOVE SOAPS: Let's talk about your journey to get to ALL MY CHILDREN. When did you decide to become an actress?
HEATHER ROOP: I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. I majored in theater at Valdosta State University in south Georgia. I started acting in high school and I started doing national commercials. My first one was a Ford commercial and it would air during 90210. It was fun to go to school the next day. It was fun to be working right away at that age.
I had such a love for the theater world and the community, and the types of artists I met in that world. They very much felt like my community. I actually was doing a lot of musical theater in high school, doing pageants; I had to come up with a talent so I started singing. I did musical theater all throughout college and right out of college booked my first national tour with Robert Goulet. I went on the road for a while which was an unbelievable experience.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Have you done any shows here in New York City?
HEATHER ROOP: No, I haven't. I moved to New York after I studied Shakespeare in London for a while. I lived there for three years but every time I auditioned I would book musical tours out of town. I have to say that's on my list of dreams to still come true. I would love to do a Broadway show.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Are you L.A.-based now?
HEATHER ROOP: I actually just moved back to Atlanta. I was in L.A. for about ten years, and I just made the transition back. There's such a film and TV market in Atlanta right now. They shot DEVIOUS MAIDS here, with Susan Lucci, speaking of ALL MY CHILDREN. There's a lot of opportunity here and I wanted to be close to my family. I have a very large extended family here.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Did you have any acting heroes or actors that you looked up to, growing up?
HEATHER ROOP: Mine would definitely be in the film world. The thing that really got me interested before I even auditioned for a play in high school was this Audrey Hepburn biography where she talked about her life as an actor as well as the ambassador for UNICEF. I thought it was amazing how she used her success in acting and transferred that to being a humanitarian, to make a difference, kind of like what Angelina Jolie is doing now at UNICEF. That's always been in my heart, so I've been a volunteer for years at Make-a-Wish and was a counselor in L.A. I would love to be able to use any sort of attention to help with humanitarian causes.
WE LOVE SOAPS: You are playing Jane McIntyre on ALL MY CHILDREN. So far she seems like she's everyone's pal, a really nice girl. Are we going to start to see a few more layers pulled back on her?
HEATHER ROOP: Absolutely. And we've already filmed a lot of that before we left. There's been a good fifteen episodes where you started to really understand her background. It's been a slow progression, and I like that. I was talking with Ginger Smith, the showrunner, and there's been so many returning characters, she had the idea of growing my character slowly, and getting the fans introduced to me, and knowing me before we lay out this whole storyline. There were a lot of big storylines to tackle from when the show ended [on ABC]. But we'll get there, slowly but surely. I'm excited and love seeing what the writers are coming up with. It's fun to live in these fantasy worlds, and soap opera fans are so incredibly loyal.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Has playing Jane changed your feelings about coffee or going to a coffee house like Starbucks?
HEATHER ROOP: It's so funny because in one of the scenes I was pouring Dr. David (Vincent Irizarry) an "expresso" (with an "x") and drip, and they came up to me and said, it's "espresso". Vincent said, "Shouldn't you have researched this, Heather?" But funny enough I actually worked at a Starbucks in high school but I had never been corrected. I've always said "expresso". So I know how to make coffee.
There was a while when the cast would come up to me and say, "Heather, I need a coffee in the scene, and a croissant. And maybe a to-go cup." And for a while, I kept just doing it and giving them all their props. And then I realized I could probably mess things up, because there was a lot of action, and I said, "Actually, y'all should probably start going to the props guys."
WE LOVE SOAPS: What has been your favorite thing about working at ALL MY CHILDREN so far?
HEATHER ROOP: I think the new scripts. Watching these stories unfold ourselves is sort of like getting a new gift every time you open it to see where your storyline is going to go and who you're going to interact with. And that's fun, too, because the more your story progresses the more you get to work with new actors who bring new things and new energy to the scenes.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Did you or anyone in your family watch soaps growing up?
HEATHER ROOP: Yes. I actually grew up with my mom watching DAYS OF OUR LIVES. My mom watched ALL MY CHILDREN, ONE LIFE TO LIVE and DAYS. I had seen several of the episodes so I knew who a lot of the characters were. At the Daytime Emmys it was fun because I knew a lot of those characters.
WE LOVE SOAPS: What are your thoughts on new media? A lot of the younger cast I've spoken with don't even have TVs or cable. Are you a high-tech person?
HEATHER ROOP: I've become that way. I've always traveled and I watch these shows on my iPhone. I love that downtime at the airport waiting for flights. That's where I've been watching a lot of them. And I have an Apple TV, and got my parents one to stream everything. And now all the episodes are going to be put up on Monday.
WE LOVE SOAPS: I think that was the best way to go.
HEATHER ROOP: This is such a new endeavor them they are learning and changing things as they go along, and listening to how viewers are watching it. I think fans are starting to understand that and not be fearful about what's going to happen with the show. They know it's doing to keep evolving to fit their needs.
WE LOVE SOAPS: What are you long-term career goals?
HEATHER ROOP: I could stay on ALL MY CHILDREN for years. I am really having so much fun. But I would love to be doing a Broadway show as well. There are some Broadway musicals I would love to do, like "My Fair Lady." And I've also been in the independent film world and would love to continue to do that. It's very hands on and I like that sort of camaraderie.
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.