Wednesday, February 11, 2009

FLASHBACK: Martha Madison: Life takes a toll on Belle 2008

DAYS OF OUR LIVES - Martha Madison: Life takes a toll on Belle

Jamaica Gleaner
March 25, 2006

Martha Madison discovered two things of special significance when she assumed the role of Isabella (Belle) Black on DAYS OF OUR LIVES in August 2004:

Madison had replaced the popular Kirsten Storms, who played the role for five years, and she worried how the fans would accept her in Storms' place. But she soon learned that what concerned the fans was not that she would now be playing Belle, but how she would play her. And once they saw what she brought to the role, they applauded wholeheartedly.

She knew that some of the fans might have wanted to see her repeat Kirsten's interpretation. But that was off the table for Madison.


"Every actor brings something of herself to a role," Madison says, noting that if she had copied the previous rendering, "I wouldn't be acting; I'd be imitating. It's an actor's (responsibility) to give an honest performance."

Continue reading...

As it turned out, the fans liked what she brought to Belle and accepted her immediately.

The second discovery was Belle's history. To say she has lived a drama-filled life is a huge understatement.

"Things are always happening to Belle," Madison says.

She was just a baby when her older sister, Sami, tried to give her away. Her birth helped end her mother's, Marlena (Deidre Hall), marriage to Roman Brady when it was discovered that her biological father is John Black (Drake Hogestyn). Through the years she found herself in one difficulty or another, including nearly dying of poison, suffering from postpartum depression, and seeing her baby daughter come close to death. Her husband, Philip Kiriakis (Kyle Brandt), lost a leg in Iraq, and her former lover, Shawn Douglas (Jason Cook), who may be her daughter's real father, has married her best friend, Mimi (Farah Fath).

Madison says she never thinks of Belle as a victim of her circumstances, "because she has this strong core that helps her overcome her problems."

However, love is said to be the great leveler. People can come through all sorts of dangers and challenges. But when love goes wrong, it's difficult to set it right.

Madison agrees that Belle's life has always been measured not by her misfortunes but by her moral strength. She knows the difference between right and wrong, yet she seems to ignore the pain she would cause Philip if he knew about her situation with Shawn, and the pain it would cause Mimi if she tried to reconcile with him.

"Belle feels that she and Shawn belong together," Madison says. And in her heart, that's what counts.

What would Martha Madison tell Belle Black Kiriakis if the two met over a pot of tea?

"I'd tell her to be honest with herself and admit that she doesn't want to hurt anyone," Madison says.

But what if Belle says the honest thing is to act on the love between her and Shawn?

"Well, making choices in real life," she says, "means having to live with the consequences. It's also what drama is about. Making a choice sets the scene for what happens next."

Stay tuned for what is bound to be a bumpy ride for a lot of Salemites, and both fans and performers wouldn't have it any other way.

No comments:

Post a Comment