Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Marcil's Magic: The We Love Soaps Interview

In case you haven't heard, Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo is returning to ABC's GENERAL HOSPITAL today in the pivotal role as resilient and tortured Brenda Barrett.  Much has already been discussed regarding her landmark return.  But what many overlook is the important and valuable work this Emmy winning talent commits to off-camera.  Read below to learn how she is making a difference in the lives of others, as well as her reaction to ranking #44 on We Love Soaps 50 Greatest Soap Actresses.   

We Love Soaps: What a pleasure to speak with you!  I have admired your work for 18 years.  Earlier this year, We Love Soaps polled 14 different writers and critics and asked them to rank their 50 Greatest Soap Actresses....
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: I hope this story ends well.

We Love Soaps: It does! You came in #44 on the list.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: 44? Is that good?

We Love Soaps: Considering how many didn’t make the top 50, I think so.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: How awesome. 

We Love Soaps: It’s been 18 years since you started as Brenda.  You have now impacted a generation of women and men.  How have your performances impacted those that have watched you?
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: I think the world got to watch me learn.  It was my first acting job ever.  Everyone was incredibly generous and patient.  It was a great great place to begin my life.  I think if there is any impact it is because the writers writer her so well, and my costars were so gracious and kind.  Maurice Benard especially was really my mentor and my teacher.  I think it was a lot of luck.

We Love Soaps: It may be luck, but I also think that Brenda has something a lot of viewers look to.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: Does she? What? Good stretchy pants?

We Love Soaps: The way you embody Brenda has given her resilience, determination.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: She is definitely a survivor, that is true. 

We Love Soaps: ABC doesn’t pre-empt all their shows for just anybody. 
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: I know, that is so sweet. 

We Love Soaps: What do you think the fans still clamor for Brenda after all these years?
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: I think for the reasons I explained.  There was a lot of luck involved.  It was a really special time when I started.  It was a magical group of people.  Tony Geary and Genie Francis had just come back.  Maurice Benard, Ingo Rademacher  Kimberly McCullough, Steve Burton, Jonathan Jackson, Amber Tamblyn, Rena Sofer,  all just really hard workers.  It has always been a special daytime show, there has always been a magic to this show that I think will last.  The magical feeling I have for this show will last forever. 

We Love Soaps: You have a light that shines when you are on screen...
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: Did we date?

We Love Soaps: No, we didn’t date, but I did get most of my clinical training in Indio, Ca.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: That’s where I went to High school! Maybe we are meant to be together.

We Love Soaps: (Laughs),  I know! Now I remember an episode of OPRAH you were on back in 1995.  It was all about walking, training, exercise, looking your best, with Cheryl Tiegs.  You kept directing the conversation back to working on yourself and developing your internal health.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: I’m a junkie about that.  My friend is Jillian Michaels.  She has her new show LOSING IT, and she is originally from THE BIGGEST LOSER.  She keeps me on my toes.  We never read fiction, we are always reading self-help books.  We try to call each other on silly things.  It’s definitely a passion for me to become slightly better than I was yesterday if at all possible.

 We Love Soaps: With that, I know you do a lot to give to others, particularly with Sojourn Services.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: We are getting ready to combine with Guess.  This for the shelter at Sojourn where they have women and children survivors of domestic violence.  Guess is going to be making a T-shirt they will be selling in their stores to raise money for Sojourn.  We’re pretty excited about that.  It’s important for me and my son Kassius. They have done way more for us than we have done for them.  To be able to get outside of ourselves and remember how lucky we are.

We Love Soaps: Do you do counseling there?
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: We go there every holiday.  Instead of buying gifts for everyone, we give them a donation card for Sojourn.  Kassius goes and hand-picks each gift.  We get a list of everyone who is in the shelter.  He goes and hand-picks everyone’s Christmas list.  Then we go there and he gives them to the kids.  It’s been the best thing in our lives.  It’s really amazing for him to see how lucky he is and such a young age. 

We Love Soaps: And you starting something called Patricia House?
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: We originally started Patricia House.  It ended up crossing over into a show that we have started to write.  It’s basically about saving our kids emotionally, and validating their emotions.  We are really excited about it.

We Love Soaps: What drives your commitment to help others and give back?
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: I think it should just be a normal part of all our lives.  It seems like the natural thing to do since we have so much more than we need here.  If we start spreading it around then everyone will have enough. 

We Love Soaps: Have you always had this commitment?
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: I saw it in my mother, and my best friend Jillian Michaels.  She’s kind of my hero.  As much as I do she does one hundred times more.  She is completely committed to every human being she tries to help day and night.  We basically get up and try to be more like Jillian on a daily basis. 

We Love Soaps: What is your key to make your life a little better every day.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: I think listening to how people feel without trying to fix it or change it or judge them.  To love somebody when they are acting or feeling irrational I think can make your day really nice.

We Love Soaps: And to even love yourself at those times.
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: Yes, then you don’t feel so horrible when you’re feeling irrational. 

We Love Soaps: So Brenda is back, is this a contract role?
Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo: It is a visit.  We’ll see how long they will have me.  She’s the best character I have ever played. 

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist seeing individuals and couples in New York City at Mental Health Counseling & Marriage And Family Therapy Of New York. He is also the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve."

1 comment:

  1. Brenda is not all that....i don't understand why they have her back