Thursday, May 30, 2013

Q&A: Jill Larson & Robert Scott Wilson On The New ALL MY CHILDREN

Jill Larson & Robert Scott Wilson - Photo: Sue Coflin/Max Photos
We Love Soaps recently participated in a Q&A session with ALL MY CHILDREN stars Jill Larson (Opal) and Robert Scott Wilson (Pete) who shared their thoughts on The OnLine Network's new version of the show. Read the transcript below:

Walker Ragsdale (We Love Soaps): In the past Opal had a little bit of psychic vision. Is that something that you would like to see revisited?
Jill Larson: Oh definitely, I think once a psychic always a psychic and I think that there have been times when it's been used wonderfully and times when it's been used to such extent that, you know, there was a time in Pine Valley where I was foreseeing every possible catastrophe with 100% accuracy and still no one believed me, you know, so that was always - I always sort of had to get a laugh out of that.

But I think that - I hope that they will, you know, make some real use of that because it's a very real talent or skill that supposedly we all have, some are just more able to access it than others. And I think it brings some very interesting qualities to the - to my character and to the canvas at large, you know, so.

Walker Ragsdale (We Love Soaps): Jill, I also have to ask how many fingers do you have crossed that Michael Knight will make a return?
Jill Larson: Oh every part of me that can cross is crossed - yes of course we would all love to have Michael back. And I just have to believe that, you know, we will have him back in some point.

You know, something happened which happened to me too which was that he just go really happy in LA and he just really loves it there and his life is very rich and on a certain kind of trajectory that is important for him to maintain right now. But I can't believe that we won't at some point or another see him show up in Pine Valley.

Walker Ragsdale (We Love Soaps): Rob, I just have one question for you, in one scene we saw Opal have the plate of brownies. With you being shirtless in every scene, when was the last time you actually ate a brownie?
Jill Larson: Well you - I'll just say he ate a couple of them that day.
Rob Wilson: Well that day I had quite a few, that was actually like our first day on set believe it or not, that was our very first day. So it was fun, you know, and I'm not going to lie, I eat my fair share of brownies, but I'm sitting in my gym clothes right now, I just got back so I try to work off what I put in.
Jill Larson: Yes and come on, he's of an age where he can still probably eat anything - let's face it.
Rob Wilson: Hey, I'm not shirtless in every scene, come on.
Jill Larson: No? Oh no you're not - not everything - every other, but not every. But you know, when you've got an asset you've got to, you know, capitalize on it so.
Walker Ragsdale (We Love Soaps): I agree, thank you both.
Jill Larson: I'll do whatever I have to do, thanks man.

Belinda Thomas (Examiner): Hi, my first question was for Jill, tell me what did you think when you found out that Pete was coming back to Pine Valley as a character?
Jill Larson: Well you can imagine I was thrilled. I had had - in fact I was just going over a couple of photographs of past Pete's, you know, we had a little infant and then we had - I think there was one boy in-between the infant and the kid Mitchell who was so wonderful - that sort of big round headed, red head kid that was a great tap dancer.

And then of course we had - we had Daniel who was a delightful Pete also and I thought well gosh I wonder how they will frame or shape Pete this time? And I of course I couldn't be in New York for the auditions but boy they did a great job. I just - I'm thrilled to see my new son sort of more worldly and more fast-paced than those in the past, how he's grown up I guess. And of course it - so as an actress it just gives me great things to play, so I was delighted - that was a long way of saying I was happy.

Belinda Thomas (Examiner): And Rob I would like to ask you a question as well, I wanted to know what it was like learning like Pete's history, are you all caught up on that? And then also you got this shoot the first location scene, what time of day was that and when you were into Pine Valley?
Rob Wilson: Well in regards to everything with the past, you know, a younger Pete I mean I did Maurice so I kind of watched his relationship with his mom. And, you know, I kind of kept, you know, all those fundamentals because, you know, she doesn't feel differently about Pete even though I've grown up and changed, she feels the same way so she still treats me like that little boy.

But, you know, with my experience now as a grown man and, you know, starting my own business and things like that, you know, everybody changes over a amount of time, especially when you leave mom's house and you're on your own for years and you start those new ventures. So I (sort of) brought that - I brought that to the character very much more so but never forgetting the relationships he had with his mom.

And so also the relationship he had with, you know, might crush Colby in the past and how he felt about her, you know, some things don't go away. So I try to honor those relationships but at the same time, you know, bring all the new criteria in which he's, you know, he's kind of ventured into his own life. So it gives me a lot to work with and it's really fun.
Jill Larson: And it really is like real life in that, you know, womanhood to me today in the parts she said that her son's gone away to college and the day she stopped in Philadelphia to meet him for lunch and she said suddenly this man walked toward me and she said I barely recognized him.

And I think that's kind of what Opal is experiencing - this is someone who has been out on his own and lived and yes he's his own person now and so.
Rob Wilson: (Literally).
Jill Larson: But I'm very grateful that he's still so kind and quite frankly patient with his mother - I'm not sure I could be that patient with mine.

Belinda Thomas (Examiner): And location shoot - Rob, how was that?
Rob Wilson: The location shoot was amazing, I mean that was honestly - it's funny because even though that was part of the first episode, that was actually my last day of our third week of filming so we just it was very, but it was really fun.
Jill Larson: Yes by then you had a little sense of who Pete was or you sort of had him in your bones a little bit because you had a chance to play him, right?
Rob Wilson: Absolutely it brought it even that much more realer (sic) and it was just so much fun, I had a such a great day.
Jill Larson: Yes, yes that was a cool shot I thought in the opening scene I thought wow to me it really established oh this is a new Pine Valley and I just thought that it was really great, you know.
Rob Wilson: Thank you, well I'm glad I had a blast doing it so it worked out for everybody I hope.
Jill Larson: Yes.

Tiffany D'Emidio (Eclipse Magazine): I'd like to kind of continue on with the thought of the new experience that you're having, you know, now that you've gone from television to an online format and from network to the online network, how has that - I guess specifically Jill because you've done those, what's the experience been like making that transition?
Jill Larson: Well it's been very exciting and I feel so fortunate to be part of something that is really pioneering in the world of broadcast, you know, I wasn't around when the soaps moved from radio to television but - so I feel really fortunate.

And so that part is good and I think that it's also - there's a different energy, there's a different intensity around producing these shows for the Internet now because we are beginning something new. So there is an excitement, there is an investment, there is a commitment to doing everything we can to make these shows, you know, bring these shows back to when they were at the pinnacle of their success.

And so I think that all of us who were a part of it when the show ended or for years prior to that never imagined this, I mean this was something that could not be imagined, you know. I mean so we're still kind of walking around shaking our heads saying, I can't believe this is happening, you know, but so it's thrilling, just thrilling.

Tiffany D'Emidio (Eclipse Magazine): Did the experience overall any different, I mean you're going in and filming this, but I mean is that any different or is it pretty much the same type of experience? I know it's a shorter timeframe, you know, from one hour down to 30 minutes...
Jill Larson: Uh-hum.
Tiffany D'Emidio (Eclipse Magazine): ...(I mean) overall is it a different setup?
Jill Larson: Well the pace believe it or not has on one hand been a little more - well I don't know, I don't know, I guess I'm contradicting my thoughts before I can even articulate them but because - the way we taped has become even more challenging I guess now.

Because, you know, we started out we - the I think - I don't know how soon the money came through but there was the money then there was the union contracts and then there was only about three weeks to build sets, to hire actors, to write story to buy costumes to, you know, we didn't have hangers to put costumes on. It wasn't like walking into an environment that was already up and running, this was building it from, you know, the toilet paper for the Johns right on up.

And so it was - we were really like shot out of a canon. We had to begin production at a certain time because of the legal something or other about the - having the option and the rights on the show, so we had to get into production before the end of February. And so in that respect for example we shot all of my scenes pretty much for ten or fifteen episodes all over the course of just a few days because my house was one of the first sets to be built.

So while they were building other sets they just concentrated on working in Courtland Manor and so there are things like that that were different but different in an exciting way, you know. And the Prospect Park was very invested in making sure that we all had the time with new actors learning the medium and so forth to really turn in nice performances. And, you know, at the end with network it was really just - if you don't say the wrong words and you don't curse its fine, let's go.

And not - I don't mean to be, you know, say anything detrimental about that it just became the necessity of the pressure of there's no money and how fast can you do it and how much product can you crank out. So we're still cranking out products but there is more time to sort of consider some of those things which is great.

Curtis Harding (Soaps In Depth): My first question is actually for Rob, we've seen that Pete can be pretty cocky and he almost seems to be treating this whole Cecilia's guardian as something of a game.
Rob Wilson: Yes.
Curtis Harding (Soaps In Depth): But everything we've seen this guy seems like he could be pretty sinister, do you think he might be getting in over his head?
Rob Wilson: Well you know what, I mean the way we shoot this film is just like - or the show is exactly how, you know, Pete's kind of along for the ride. You know, we're not sure of everything about the guardian, he doesn't know everything about it.

So he doesn't know just how, you know, everything that is as viewers are seeing about this guy, it's still really left in the dark for him. So I mean he just caught up in the motion of, you know, kind of falling in love and just kind of try to win this girl over. So, you know, he kind of finds his goal and he drives right at it, whether its business oriented or, you know, this girl oriented, he kind of doesn't want to get sidetracked by that, you know. So in that aspect I mean I think it's still left in the dark for exactly who this guardian is.

Curtis Harding (Soaps In Depth): So he's pretty driven you think if it comes to a confirmation between the two, he pretty much has what it takes to go head-to-head with him?
Rob Wilson: Absolutely I mean it's something I know myself as an actor would love the challenge, you know, the challenge is what makes it even more fun to play. But, you know, Cecilia gives me plenty of a challenge on her own if you guys even watching. So it's kind of like a no-brainer, you know, I'm going keep on keeping on as they say because I mean I've been jumping through hoops for her from the get-go.
Jill Larson: Yes but it's not so bad.
Rob Wilson: Oh no it's the best.

Kambra Clifford (Soap Opera Network): So I have so many fun questions for you guys but I have to go with the serious one so apologies in advance, how has the decision to reduce the frequencies of the shows by half affected you guys? Like in other words does the reduction of the shows translate to a reduction in like pay or other benefits that you guys might have had?
Rob Wilson: Jill, you want to answer that?
Jill Larson: I will speak but the truth is I don't think that all has been worked out yet, I have a feeling that in the end it's not going to because we will still be working the number of weeks, it's just we won't be creating the same number of shows which I think gives us the opportunity and I think this was, you know, I'm just - this is just a guess but I have a sense or I hope that this was part of the logic in Prospect Park making this decision is that we are no longer daytime, we are anytime.

So we are being judged and compared with nighttime shows that air, you know, ten or twenty-two episodes in a year, they don't air 176. So I think that we are - we really realize that we want to raise the bar and show up with the very, very highest quality of product we can. And you cannot do that at the pace that, you know, it's sort of like we were making Hershey bars but everybody else is making Touché or whatever your famous brand, I'm a chocolateholic as you can tell, you know, the famous hand-made French chocolates or something.

So we want to go more in the - into the hand-made French chocolates arena if we can and that requires time. A nighttime show, you know, they take eight days to produce one episode, so it's an interesting challenge and we'll see where we end up. But I'm not concerned about, you know, oh the poor actors get - loose out on their contracts or something, that issue has not been raised and I don't anticipate it happening, so.

Kambra Clifford (Soap Opera Network): So basically from your understanding as of now it seems like you guys will be spending the same amount of time filming just doing less episodes so that you can put more I guess - not necessarily effort but you can put more into each episode.
Jill Larson: More intention and yes and, you know, this is just my guess, I really, you know, don't quote me on this as being any kind of an official thing.

Kristin Day (Paos Revolution): I wanted to talk to you a little bit about social media and Jill you have taken social media by storm...
Jill Larson: Oh I'm so flattered, thank you - that's the nicest compliment you could pay me these days.

Kristin Day (Paos Revolution): I tell you the fans are loving it because I think you are bringing fans that are very new to social media on because, you know, they're hearing that you're out there with the videos and the tweets and the Facebook posts and so they're migrating over.

And I just wanted to kind of get a sense from you what your experience has been with using it in connecting with the fans versus, you know, what you've had, you know, throughout the years which is, you know, fans writing letters and showing up at events. Just kind of how - what's your take on it?
Jill Larson: Well, you know, when they offered me this - when they called me to be a part of this project and it said and you will be required to do this many Facebook posts and this many tweets and blah, blah, blah and I just said oh god forget it, forget it - no.

And I very wisely hired a young woman who kind of started out as a fan - and now she's very active in various things and she really helped be me get it all going and taught me how to do it and so forth. And now I just find it so fun to be able to have such immediate contact with fans. You know, I always loved getting fan mail but I also always felt the guilt of not responding in a timely fashion and so this is a very immediate means of sharing people's feelings and being able to respond possibly to some things and I just love it, I just think it's really fun.

So I guess there is - there can be something of a downside because I know that some of the actors have with the social media maybe Rob you should speak about this, but I know that some of the actors have felt that people are coming online and saying unkind things and that it's very painful obviously to read things like that. And, you know, I've seen a certain amount of that that when you go on Yelp and people say horrible things about a restaurant and so there is that piece that I guess you could say is the downside, but I've never paid much attention to.
Rob Wilson: (You know with) - everything grows so much in social, you know, networking now it's just incredible, whether it's good or bad I mean as long as people are talking about us - I mean everybody who's either like tweeted me personally or Facebook or something directly towards me has just been so supportive and so loving and really, really great.

But, you know, it's just like on anything else, you know, you can find one of the best actors in the world and find somebody who thinks you're the worse, you know.
Jill Larson: Yes exactly.
Rob Wilson: You can't let that affect you - you can't take that home with you. You know some people think some people are the best (possible crews) in the world while other people will say that they're terrible.

So I mean you know what you take the good with the bad, but in regards to social networking the fans have been amazing I think for all of us. And I mean I know they're in love with Jill, they're really excited to see, you know, Jill and I together and also when I worked with Jordan in Placelia, they've just been really supportive so I love being a part of the social networking with everybody.

Kristin Day (Paos Revolution): Were you prepared for the level of fan interaction coming into it?
Rob Wilson: I had no idea I mean I worked on other shows and I've had people write to me about it or, you know, groups of people that follow certain shows like very hard-core fans per se, but I had no idea what it was like with the soap world until now.

I've only done a couple episodes on another soap in my life and it was just recently, so I memorize, you know, one of the series regular on one so now to be a part of that family and really go along for the entire ride start to finish has just been - it's been amazing, you know. I appreciate all of it, I enjoy every bit of it so hopefully everything just continues and we keep moving forward.

Nina Gregerson (Soaptown USA): This question's for you Jill now that Pete is back and you've got Corlandt Electronics getting ready to go, how about some romance for Opal, is there anything coming for that?
Jill Larson: Yes, how about it Nina - I don't know. I have, you know, I have a lot of women - I think that Opal is a character that women is sort of middle age and, you know, middle age women really respond to.

I think that she's kind of bold and she's - whether it's out of courage or out of ignorance or stupidity we don't know, but always speaks her mind whether it's appropriate or not. And I know I as a person, you know, envy that, I wish I could be more like that so I love all that. And many of those people ask me the same question and I think for the same reason, you know, we ask it about ourselves at this time in life. I have relayed this message to the producers and I can only say that I remain hopeful.

Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): My first question for both of you is, you know, you shot the first couple - chunk of episodes and then you seated control of the studio to One Life...
Jill Larson: (That's right).
Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): ...and I would love to hear, you know, if you've noticed a difference in like the smoothness of the production after perhaps some of the kinks go worked out, you know, over that hiatus.
Jill Larson: Do you want to speak to that Rob or shall I?
Rob Wilson: Yes, I mean I know one thing I mean taking a break from any - just like, you know, any job in particular but especially when your playing a character having a little break is, you know, it's a little different because once you get going, kind of get in that flow and things start to gel together with your theme partner and things like that.

But in this I mean, you know, some of the veterans that had to walk away from the show for over a year came back and, you know, they just - they've done amazing. So I mean for me it's all been a learning curve but, you know, I'm learning so much every single day with you guys and no matter who I'm working with and it's just been really inspiring to watch them. So even with the hiatus being able to come back to work it's on, you know, it is starting to calm and everything's starting to get more fun and, you know, you're not so much in your head.

We have so much - some days, you know, we don't have a ton of stuff and other days we are literally, you know, each individual - each one of us is doing, you know, 40 or 50 pages and that's all - it's very tedious work. And how - when you have to make sure you're still in the moment and, you know, you don't want to miss any of those moments, that's what makes the show so fun and, you know, watch able. So even with the hiatus I feel like it is coming together better and better.
Jill Larson: And I think - I'll just contribute to that, I think that just in terms of getting the bugs out if you will and so forth yes I'm sure the time that - because a lot of the crew are not people who have done soaps before, they've been working up in Connecticut and in film and in nighttime and it is such a different environment.

I had one guy say to me the other day I couldn't believe it when you, you know, you all came back and now people were asking about each other's kids and where did they go to college and who did they marry. And I saw that the, you know, lifelong relationships that you all have and I thought, yes that's where I want to be.

And so a lot of the crew it was, you know, I think that they had no idea that the tape - the speed at which everything happens and so yes One Life to Live probably continued to "break them in" or train them and so when we did come back I think it was smoother. We all felt like we were a little more in command, you know, so yes - did that answer your question (Mara) or did I (ramble)?
Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): It really did Jill, no you did not.
Jill Larson: Okay.

Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): And then I would love to ask both of you for a round up in our July 4 issue, if you can share the most independent thing that you have ever done.
Jill Larson: I've had a few to pick from but I guess the most sort of one you might say culturally independent was going to China to adopt my daughter. That was, you know, we usually think of people starting families with a partner and it was pretty independent and fortunately it worked out well but, you know, it wasn't the way I anticipated beginning a family.

I don't know that sort of a neanders off into a whole other realm but I guess I would say that for that part of my life I mean, you know, it was very independent for me to, you know, when I was 20 go to Europe and drive around for what was supposed to be eight weeks and ended up staying there for three years - finding a job in a country where I didn't speak the language and stuff like that.
Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): You had a huge independent precedence for...
Jill Larson: I guess we did yes, maybe that helped me to prepare for my other act of independence.
Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): Absolutely and yes, Rob, is anything coming to mind for you?
Rob Wilson: Yes I mean I don't think I can compete with that, that's pretty - as independent as it gets but...
Jill Larson: Well you haven't been around long enough my darling.
Rob Wilson: Maybe I mean I'm not opposed to it, who knows but I don't know I'd have to say probably when I started my career and I decided I'm originally from Boston, Massachusetts and I, you know, pretty much decided 3 1/2 years ago that I wanted to be in this industry full time and not just a little that I needed to fully indulge myself.

So I mean I pretty much packed up shop and moved everything I had and, you know, started a new life per se in Los Angeles. And, I miss my friends and my family but I mean I see them as much as I can, I talk to them as much as I can but I mean with anything that you truly want you have to sacrifice some things in order to get there.

And, you know, I've had some pretty independent moments out here in the past 3 1/2 years but I mean at the end I know with enough faith I know everything's just working out and everything's happening the way it should be and you know, I'm definitely not alone any more. You know, I've got so many friends and family out here now that I like to call family that it's all coming together great.
Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): Yes that was - that takes a lot of courage to really leave the nest. I mean it takes courage at a certain age to just leave the nest and go to college but to really strike out on your own to the unknown like that.
Rob Wilson: Yes (and that sort of thing)...
Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): That's still the big one.
Rob Wilson: Yes, you know, I felt like that was probably one of my better independent moments, so.
Mara Lavenski (Soap Opera Digest): Yes, I would agree.

Sara Bibel (Xfinity): [You posted] so articulately on Facebook about the decision to air two episodes a week instead of four, I was wondering if you could follow-up on that because as you know fans are very concerned that this decision was made so soon after the show started airing, how - do you know how long you are guaranteed to be (green lit) for? How long are you definitely going to be producing episodes?
Jill Larson: You know, that's not a question that I could answer because I don't know the answer. You know, we have an agreement that is to go through one sort of cycle and that cycle I think was supposed to end in October and now I think has been extended to November.

And I think that - but the one thing I do know because of course when we first heard this news they were sort of like, oh yes right, oh this happened before and oh now we're being canceled. And it's hard not to sort of go there initially but the truth is these people have invested their heart and soul and their money in making this happen. They believe in it, they want it as they said to us the very first day before we shot the first scene which was fortunately with me and Rob that they hope that this is the beginning of another 40 years, you know.

That's they're vision and we have to try to have confidence and faith that they are exploring and discovering what they have to do to make that a reality, but that's there intention. So try not to be scared is what I keep saying to everybody including myself, you know, because if you - it's like, you know, it's like a romance gone south and once you've been burned than you're a little hesitant to sort of open up again, but I think that we have to, you know, and so.

Sara Bibel (Xfinity): And as a follow-up to that you mentioned that actually it was part of all of the actor's contracts to be active on social media. As far as I know that's fairly unprecedented although I know a lot of primetime shows like the Scandal cast hit Twitter super hard every single week.

But I, you know, in terms of actually being something is - so is that a new thing and can you talk about - can you talk about how that's been for everybody? Because I know I'm sure for the younger cast they are like, well I already do this 400 times a day anyway.
Jill Larson: Well yes I mean for me it was totally new and I think for the obvious reason that, you know, and other contracts I've done they didn't have social media so it's just another example of how this is an entirely new frontier.

And how exciting it is that we are all here and that you are all participating in it and, you know, I keep meeting people on the street that say, oh Opal oh I used to love that show and I have to tell them, well you can watch it again. Oh yes reruns, I'm like no, no - new episodes and they're always surprised and delighted to hear and hopefully they go and actually, you know, check it out. But it's a huge education curve on all sides of the fence, you know - it's more than two sides.

Michael Fairman (On Air On Soaps): First of all obviously when the viewing schedule change was announced and Jill you beautifully put, you know, put it together on Facebook and Rob I just wondered on Twitter as well when you're on, were you getting bombarded?

You know, I'm just trying to - did you have to kind of manage the fans and feel like how are you going to deal with this? Jill you did that message, but Rob did you do anything as well or did you get pushed back like I can't believe this is going on?
Rob Wilson: You know what, I don't want people to get scared, you know, that's the main thing because...
Michael Fairman (On Air On Soaps): Right.
Rob Wilson:'s kind of like we all spoke about in the beginning was like, you know, as soon as they said that it's like, oh wait so now it's only two days a week? I mean at the end of the day you know what, it's a work in progress.

You know, and I think - I've watched Cady McClain and Jill and a number of other people say it's so, you know, pretty much if we knew how to do it at the beginning we would of done it at the beginning. Luckily they caught it now and they changed it up, you know, early enough. You know, and even though it's a little bit scary like oh now we're only releasing two episodes a week, we're putting on a quality product that we can't bombard.

The viewers want to binge watch the show with, you know, after two months, you know, a huge amount of episodes to catch up on, it's overwhelming. You know, so we want to make sure that people don't forget about just the casual viewers as well. Because even though we have these hard core fans and they want to see the show and they love the show they're going to - we hope that they're going to go watch the show, whether it's Mondays and Wednesday or Monday through Friday.

Michael Fairman (On Air On Soaps): Did you have a moment of oh no for you being one of the newbie's on the show and Jill having gone through this before with ALL MY CHILDREN where they were cut back from changes in this, did you - was there a moment of uh-oh?
Rob Wilson: from a business perspective it's a business move and at the end of the day that's what we are all doing, working in a business, you know.

So I understand - I wouldn't be doing this if it were going to hurt the show, you know, so obviously to keep the fans calm I don't want them to think we're going anywhere because we're not and we have a lot more stories to tell when we go back there in a couple of months, but at the same time obviously when you see that the first thing you think of is almost in a negative. But in this format we're not on broadcast television, you know, we are on an online network now.

So I mean if we knew how to do this at the beginning we would of and the fans I'm sure even though it was only going to be two days a week plus a recap show, the fans would still be very thrilled to know that the show is coming back

Michael Fairman (On Air On Soaps): Well one of the things I wanted to say to both of you and get your reaction on is I've noticed the - what I love about the new ALL MY CHILDREN is the incredible pace of the story - so this thing moves, I mean it moves. Stuff is happen- jammed-packed in that 25 minutes that I think people, you know, don't you both agree that it's just like moving? It's not, you know...
Rob Wilson: I'm actually really glad you brought that up because the main point of this is each episode that we have is so meaty in 30 minutes that if you miss one episode you're pretty lost, if you miss two episodes you don't even know what just happened.
Michael Fairman (On Air On Soaps): Right.
Rob Wilson: You know, so I mean we need to have those viewers be hooked on watching each of the shows and not skip around and really be able to follow the entire storyline.

And when you're giving them that much context and you're cramming it in, it's you know, it can get overwhelming because somebody led - I mean even a lot of fans that have been reading they haven't even been able to start watching this, they want to put aside some time to watch it. But are they going to be able to put aside enough time to watch like 30 episodes for like a month's worth, you know? So it's really case-by-case but I really think that it's for the better and I like the whole set as well.
Michael Fairman (On Air On Soaps): Hey Jill do you feel, you know, having done the show before do you notice the pace of the show how it's moving when you see...
Jill Larson: Yes, yes it is and I think that that's a good thing and I also think that there - it's one of the reasons why I'm really glad that they are taking a break because I think that, you know, you can only - you can only go - you can only crank out and I use that word intentionally that much story that fast for a finite amount of time before the stories become, you know, just whatever - it's just throw anything at the way and see if it sticks.

And that's what I think we're trying to avoid and so this couple of months break gives our writers the chance that they did not have before we began which was some time to really look ahead and really explore long-term story and character development and so forth because we have to remember that this is still a medium that is unlike any other in that there is time and it's great to have it move quickly.

But don't give up the great opportunities for real character development and emotional connection and all of the things that this form is known for and, so.

Michael Fairman (On Air On Soaps): Well my last thing I wanted to say before I have to go is that Rob, you know, it was very interesting that they're kind of pairing David and Pete up as business partners when the back-story of evil Vanessa who was David's mother - and Opal wasn't so good either...
Jill Larson: Now wait a minute.
Rob Wilson: You know, it's crazy because I've done so much research as I possibly could in order to keep this as, you know, as close to where their relationships were from before, you know, way before my time. And let me tell you I've had some people come at me saying like, they take it so personal that me and David are both start of business that it's been a shame.

And I'm - it excites me to do it because, you know what, as much as I need him in my business and his funds to get, you know, everybody going it's equipment and electronics it's just crazy to know all the storylines that took place and how like snaky he is about everything and like riding that fine line makes it really fun to play because, you know, we're both trying to get something, you know, from each other but at the same time we both have, you know, all our ulterior motives and...
Jill Larson: Which is - yes and which is my point exactly is that here's a great story and wouldn't it be great if the writers had had time to actually write in - Opal knows the history, Opal was a part of all of it - Opal hated his mother with a passion that is rarely matched.

And yet there's been no place on the canvas for her to - I can see her saying I want the company to succeed but not with him and doing all kinds of things to get in the way of that or to, you know, I mean and that is - that's a beat that hasn't had a chance to be played and, you know, hopefully maybe there will be some of it down the road.
Rob Wilson: (We'll see).

Omar Nobles (TVSource Magazine): My first question is for you Jill, what - how can I do this - how much does Pete remind Opal of his father?
Jill Larson: Oh I think quite a bit, I think that, you know, his father was - had dazzling charm and obviously Pete does too and his father was - had an extraordinary talent for business and obviously Pete has that or he wouldn't be driving a Ferrari.

And yes I think it's so wonderful for Opal to have him around because he is a piece of Palmer and she misses both of them so very much. So this is - yes so it's a really - it's a real thrill for her to have him around.

Omar Nobles (TVSource Magazine): Now you really take in sort of like the mantle when it comes to social media and interacting with the fans and what not, how important is it for you to relay the concerns of the fans regarding, you know, the success of the project and just, you know, it's sort of like when you posted that update after enough - about the reduction in episodes, you really explained everything clearly and sort of calmed them down, how important was that for you to do that for your fans?
Jill Larson: Oh gosh it was very important, you know, we are - I don't think it can be expressed enough how appreciative we are of the fans and because we all know, oh I get sort of choked up when I talk about it - we all know that were it not for the passion of the fans we would not be doing this at all.

You know, that, you know, before this all began Hulu did a survey asking, you know, if these shows were on Hulu would you watch and evidently the response was so much greater than anything they had even hoped for. But that's when, you know, the investors started to write checks, so we all are very grateful.

We want to be respectful, we want to take care of you, we want you to understand that you are part of this process and to not feel like oh they're just doing things arbitrarily because, you know, they feel like it or whatever sort of - the way that did feel in the end, you know, when we were on ABC that things were just randomly done. Oh let's try this or whatever with no regard for the people that supported the show.

And I think Prospect Park has really done a terrific job at, well I hope - I don't know, but is your experience - I feel like I'd like to think that they've done a really good job of, you know, staying connected with the fans, considering the fans. I think it's because of some of the viewing practices or viewing habits of the fans that they made this decision - I don't mean that solely, I don't mean to get that you know, but that was taken into account. So anyway that's a very long - I'm sorry I tend to ramble, but...
Omar Nobles (TVSource Magazine): No, no that's fine.
Jill Larson:'s a long way of saying that yes it was extremely important to me. I came home that night I was fried and had to go back the next morning and I just thought I have to write something right away before people get too, you know, downcast and despondent about this.

Omar Nobles (TVSource Magazine): [Jill], one more for you and then I'll ask a couple for Rob, if there's one person you could convince to come onto the show besides Michael Knight, who would it be?
Jill Larson: Convince - I don't think I'd have to convince much of anybody.
Omar Nobles (TVSource Magazine): I mean if you could bring back someone to - if you could bring someone unto the show besides Michael Knight who would it be?
Jill Larson: Well just personally I really miss Bobbie Eakes, I love her and I love that character that she played and, you know, that would be really fun to have her around and part of our gang again. So but I feel that way about everybody, you know, I'd love to see Wolf back, you know, so we'll see hopefully they will have their day and time.

Omar Nobles (TVSource Magazine): Rob, what is it about Celia that Pete finds so interesting?
Rob Wilson: You know what I think it just ties into what everybody finds interesting and I think the mystery of somebody, you know, something that drives your passion to find out more about somebody.

Not knowing everything and having something that, you know, not all girls have. And I think with Celia she has so much that's unknown and that intrigues Pete because Pete always goes - you have me calling myself Pete...
Jill Larson: That's very good darling because that's who you are.
Rob Wilson: no but Pete he really - he's such a business man that he loves a challenge and he loves to kind of, you know, just to have that winning attitude and with Jor- with Celia that is so difficult for him and it intrigues him so much it keeps him going, you know, it keeps the thrill of the chase per se - if everybody likes the thrill of the chase, you know, because there's too many easy buttons out there, you know, and so Pete likes the challenge I think.
Jill Larson: Hum and I also think it was a little love at first sight wasn't it? I mean...
Rob Wilson: Yes…
Jill Larson: ...that's how I imagined it.
Rob Wilson: I heard it was just something about her, you know, that intrigued him.
Jill Larson: Yes.
Rob Wilson: Whatever it was, you know, as soon as she dropped the necklace
Jill Larson: Love at first sight isn't always so logical it just is what it is.
Rob Wilson: Right, right, yes and you know what I think that (would have definitely played) input as well, you know, and as soon as I, you know, as soon as they got to meet each other and kind of have their own moments, it just intrigued him even more.

So he's really had to take a step back and change his, you know, "player ways" from what he was doing in California and really have to take a step back and do that that (general analysis), you know, the way his mom raised him - so that all plays back into it.
Jill Larson: (Naturally), you know, when you're heart is opened by love you suddenly become tender and almost - there's almost an innocence that returns because you're vulnerable, because you have a lot invested in oh, uhh.

Omar Nobles (TVSource Magazine): And my final question Rob is what has been the most challenging aspects of - the most challenging aspect that you have experienced since joining ALL MY CHILDREN, what has been like your most difficult thing for you to either just accomplish or take in whether it was a scene or, you know, something you didn't quite get when you got the script, like what is the most challenging moment so far?
Rob Wilson: Well I mean there's always going to be questions that arise and, you know, with good directors and, you know, the support we have around us, you know, they've helped me kind of get myself to where I need to be.

If I make a wrong choice before we film it, you know, will get me on, you know, the right track and things like that because there's so many storylines and so much history that I'm only trying to get up to speed enough to, you know, get the stories across the board the way they should be and the way they were written to be.

But you know what, my biggest challenge was also one of my favorite things which is just the workload, you know. I mean Pete has had some heavy, heavy days some days and, you know, I've learned to study as much as I can, rehearse to myself as much as I can and then just kind of let it go. Something that I've been taught in classes for years now but it really shows right up until our last couple - our last week and a half there.

You know, where I was kind of overwhelmed and I was kind of to take a step back and know just go scene to scene, moment to moment and just remember that this is the funniest thing. You know, I have so much fun working with these people and forget the words on the page, just be in the moment and they'll come. And so with that being the most difficult, it was also the most fun, so I really can't say enough about it, it was great.
Jill Larson: Yes you have had - yes you have had some very, very long and hard days. I mean times when I just sort of see you staggering to the end - like many of us - like all of us on different days...
Rob Wilson: Well here is the thing, sometimes...
Jill Larson: ...but you've always maintained that sort of relaxed, okay I'm here, I'm going to do it and let's see how it goes and it's been very successful for you I think, you're doing beautifully.
Rob Wilson: Oh thank you, thank you so much and I mean like I said, I mean even with that it was challenging, it was a little difficult, kind of overwhelming at the beginning but as soon as I worked with everybody and kind of met with everybody their approach to this, they've done this for so long.

And you know what I just I think that was the right, you know, the right amount you know, positivity around it I think we can all be doing this a lot longer and I just want to be able to get to the where they are because I love working with these people and it's been really, really fun.

Walker Ragsdale is a freelance blogger with a passion for everything pop culture. For feedback or questions, you can email Walker Ragsdale at [email protected].