Friday, March 20, 2009

INTERVIEW: Daytime Emmy Winner Judi Evans

Judi Evans joined the cast of GUIDING LIGHT as Beth Raines in 1983. She won a Daytime Emmy after her first year on the soap. After three years on GL, she moved to DAYS OF OUR LIVES as Adrienne Johnson, and later had an eight year run on ANOTHER WORLD as Paulina Cory Carlino. In 2003 she re-joined DAYS as a new character, Bonnie Lockhart, left, and then came back as Adrienne again. She left DAYS for good (is there such a thing in soap land?) in early 2008 but shortly thereafter received her second Daytime Emmy nomination, 24 years after her first.

We Love Soaps: Judi, I first want to say that I have been a fan of yours for 26 years now. I had just turned 13 when you debuted on GUIDING LIGHT in 1983 and instantly fell in love with you and Beth Raines. What was it like to be so young and joining the cast of such an established show?
Judi Evans: It seems so surreal now, but it was like a giant whirlwind. At 18 I had a job, moved from L.A. to New York, and was under contract. It was a lot to absorb at once, but completely thrilling.

We Love Soaps: "The Four Musketeers" (Beth, Phillip, Rick and Mindy) reunited this month for their 25th high school reunion (it's been 26 years but who's counting). What do you remember about Beth's prom? And are you surprised that fans still remember it so fondly all these years later?
Judi Evans: The prom was magical. The way it was shot, and all the people involved. Great memories! I am surprised people remember and certainly grateful that they do!

We Love Soaps: You have done so much outstanding work over the years I'm still shocked there were 24 years between your Emmy nominations. What was it like to win an Emmy after your first year on GUIDING LIGHT?
Judi Evans: Again, very surreal. I was completely taken by surprise and speechless…..literally!

We Love Soaps: What were your favorite memories from your time on GUIDING LIGHT?
Judi Evans: The Prom, and the Montauk remote for the "Almost Paradise" montage with Lujack.

We Love Soaps: You played a sexual abuse storyline on GUIDING LIGHT with Beth's step-father, Bradley. When you joined the cast of DAYS OF OUR LIVES as Adrienne, you played another abuse storyline with Duke Johnson? Did you see your two characters are similar at least early on?
Judi Evans: The characters were completely different. Beth was a shy introverted artist and Adrienne, at first, was a tough cookie from the streets.

We Love Soaps: You later played Paulina's diet pill addiction on ANOTHER WORLD. You have been a real master of portraying social issues in a relatable and human way that draws viewers in on all three soaps. Have you received a lot of feedback from fans over the years for these storylines?
Judi Evans: I have received a great deal of feedback. I only hope it helped people deal with their own dilemmas and entertained them as well.

We Love Soaps: ANOTHER WORLD was my all-time favorite soap and I can't believe it's been gone almost 10 years. Where do you think Paulina and Joe Carlino would be today in 2009?
Judi Evans: Probably divorced and remarried 3 or 4 times [laughs]. Seriously, they would probably still be running the restaurant and dealing with a few more kids.

We Love Soaps: Over the course of your years on the soaps, what do you think has changed the most about the medium?
Judi Evans: Of course the budgets. Also the emphasis on youth. Don’t get me wrong, youth is great, but give young people credit, as long as the stories are good they’ll probably watch any group, young or “old”.

We Love Soaps: There are constantly reports of doom and gloom for the daytime soap industry, but I feel there is still an audience if you write good stories on a consistent basis. Do you agree? Do you have any suggestions for how daytime could grow (or at least maintain) its audience?
Judi Evans: Al Rabin (former executive producer of DAYS) used to say, “It all begins with the written word.” If you write it “well” they will watch.

We Love Soaps: What have you been doing since you left DAYS?
Judi Evans: I’ve done a few projects for friends, and auditioning like crazy. I’ve also started a new facet to my life. I now sell cemetery property and funerals on a pre-need basis at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California. I find it extremely rewarding to be of service to the community.

We Love Soaps: Would you go back to DAYS or consider another soap? My dream casting is for you to appear on my favorite prime time show/soap, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.
Judi Evans: I would always consider it. We’ll see what happens.

1 comment:

  1. What a great interview, Roger. Legends such as Judi deserve more recognition! Thank for your doing this.