EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Andrea Evans Reflects on Her 'One Life to Live' Days and Previews Her Latest Role in Dark Comedy 'Dinner at Home Between Deaths'

Andrea Evans was honored at the 6th Annual Indie Series Awards in
2015 for her work on the hit digital series, DeVanity. Photo Credit:
The Headshot Truck
As Tina Lord on ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live, Andrea Evans often had a hand in unscrupulous and far-fetched schemes. As Kat in her new play “Dinner at Home Between Deaths,” currently running at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles until May 8th, Evans plays the whistleblower who instigates the collapse of a Ponzi scheme. Also unlike many of her stories in daytime, “Dinner at Home Between Deaths” is a black comedy, a genre Evans said she relishes. “When I come into the play, that’s when things start coming out,” she said.

“I love comedy when you’re almost afraid to be the first person to laugh,” Evans said in a phone interview. Her voice was warm and easy—but still had the vulnerable, slight quiver characteristic of Tina Lord.

Its dark humor drew her to the play and the role of Kat, she says, along with how timely the topic is, in light of Bernie Madoff duping investors and Senator Bernie Sanders indicting all of Wall Street is corrupt in stump speeches across the country as he campaigns to win the Democratic nomination for President.

“First and foremost I want them to having had a rollicking good time,” Evans said of those who see the play. “I want them to think about the financial situation, but I want them to have a good time.” With an amiable laugh, she added, “And on a professional level, I want them to see how funny I can be.”

Though Evans competed in beauty pageants and performed in regional theater before her big break as Tina Lord on One Life to Live in 1978, which led to her finding a second home in front of the camera for several decades, she said she is getting reacquainted with the stage and enjoying doing so a great deal. “I’m all about trying new things,” she said.

Evans says of her legendary role on One Life to Live that she would revisit it “…in a heartbeat. No matter what else I was doing, I would always come back to One Life to Live, because that’s where my fan base is. The fans have been very good to me, and I would feel I owe it to them. I owe my career and so much else I’ve done to the One Life to Live fans.” And how many fans she has from her years of portraying Tina!

Through her uninhibited, candid portrayal of Tina, Evans won over a generation of soap fans. Among many memorable storylines, she tumbled into the underground world of Eterna; established a solid frenemy-ship with Gabrielle Medina (Fiona Hutchinson); survived attacks by the nefarious Maria Roberts (BarBara Luna) time and again over her true love, Cord (John Loprieno); plummeted over Argentina’s Iguatzu Falls; and of course there’s that iconic moment just before Cord and Kate Sanders’ (Marcia Cross) said, “I do,” when Tina interrupted their wedding with Cord’s (supposed) baby in her arms.

She also memorably played the roles of Patty Williams on The Young and the Restless, Tawny Moore in The Bold and the Beautiful and Rebecca Hotchkiss on Passions.

When I compared the warmth of soap actors toward their fans to the standoffishness of many A-list movie stars, she added, “When you go into someone’s home every day for an hour, it’s a different relationship—a much more personal relationship.”

Diane Cary, Todd Waring, and Andrea Evans star in "Dinner At
Home Between Deaths." Photo Credit: Michael Lamont
“It’s a shame that One Life to Live was canceled, especially because it was doing well in the ratings. It was a shock to a lot of people. And I think people were too quick to throw in the towel [with OLTL and soaps in general], as they haven’t found anything to replace it that truly replaces it,” Evans said of One Life to Live, which was created by Agnes Nixon in 1968 and ran on ABC until 2012.

Of the ongoing relevance of the soap format, Evans said, “It’s a genre that is solid and good and, and it’s present in a lot more of our entertainment than people want to admit.” She also pointed out that much of what finds success on television carries the imprint of soap opera. “Star Trek is a soap in outer space!” she mused. “The soaps that are on now are so solid and doing so well, and I think it’s great that they’re moving so well into digital media. Soaps are here to stay.”

Evans won an Indie Series Award last year for her guest appearance in the hit digital drama DeVanity. She dedicated the win to her mother, who has passed away a few weeks earlier. She also earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for the role.

Of upcoming projects, Evans is producer on a “wacky, crazy travel show,” Hidden Gems that she plays a behind the scenes role in as producer. Also, her production company has optioned a movie called, Wrath, which she hopes it will release soon. And she stars in another dark comedy, the Red Box film, Hit List.

Though those in charge of “Dinner at Home Between Deaths” have no plans to take the show to other cities, Evans said she hopes both its commercial and critical success will lead to its being produced elsewhere in the future.

EDITOR'S NOTE: “Dinner at Home Between Deaths” runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 8th. To find out more about the play or to order tickets, visit plays411.net.

Akbi Khan is a freelance writer, who contributes features and interviews to We Love Soaps.

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