March 17th, 2009  |  Leave a comment

THE LAURA WRIGHT INTERVIEW – GENERAL HOSPITAL

laura_main.jpgThis week on General Hospital, Carly and Jax are set to renew their wedding vows, and actress Laura Wright is showing once again why she is one of daytime’s MVP’s. Playing Carly’s flaws and motivations with such strong conviction, Laura’s performances recently earned a pre-nomination from her peers for Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama Series.

After witnessing heartbreaking performances over the past weeks as a mother trying to come to terms with her son Michael’s medical state, Laura has had to pull out all the stops.

So, what is it like being the central female character on a soap full of mobsters and doctors day in and day out? Or working with soap heartthrobs, Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Ingo Rademacher (Jax)? Or having to play such a delicate storyline as having your son shot, when you are a real life mom?
And, what will Carly do when she finds
out Claudia was behind Michael’s shooting?
For the answers to these and everything
you may have wanted to ask Laura Wright,
but haven’t had the chance, read below
and listen to the audio above!

Listen to the audio:

Play

MICHAEL:

You are one of the hardest working actresses on daytime; you are on almost all the time. Do you ever feel like you have a workload that is hard to manage?

LAURA:

Sometimes. I have two kids, and a life that is very different from Carly’s and the world that I work at. Sometimes, with having an 8-year-old and 10-year-old, it’s hard to juggle, but they are so great here at the studio in making that as easy as possible.

MICHAEL:

I know Jax and Carly are renewing their vows. But before that, she finally gives up hope on Michael?

carly_bedside.jpgLAURA:

I think she finally lets Michael be who he is. I think that’s what she decides. She will not continue to have people poke and prod, and use him as some guinea pig just to get some part of him back, when maybe she should let him be at peace, and then Carly can move forward in her life.

MICHAEL:

Do you find the Michael storyline, where a child gets shot, tough? I mean, you are a mother in real life, so what were your thoughts when you had to play certain beats of the story?

LAURA:

Yes, a little tough. It was very important to me to sell that storyline as best I could, and when you shoot those five days a week, you don’t spend a lot of time out of grief. You do not spend a lot of time as “Happy Laura” with her family, when half of my days are spent with a half-dead child. It was emotionally tough and was hard to shake. I did not want to get too far away from it, because I wanted to do the story justice. So when the weekend hit, I went home to my family. I did not get too far removed, because I wanted to keep it very raw.

MICHAEL:

In an episode, Sonny is surprised that Jax and Carly are renewing their vows in the park.

maurice.jpgLAURA:

Yes, kind of. Those actually came out pretty funny. Maurice Benard (Sonny) and I really love Sonny and Carly being funny exes that pick on each other. He rolls his eyes about Jax and she is like, “You are married to Claudia. Don’t even let me get started.” And, so he kind of started that again with, “Why are you getting married again?” And she says, “I don’t know? Because we love each other, dummy!” At the end of it all he says, joking aside, “If this man makes you happy, then I am happy for you at the bottom of my heart.” It turned out to be a sweet moment, even when he walks out the door he turns and says, “You always did make a beautiful bride.” It was bittersweet, because there was that wonderful moment that makes them Sonny and Carly, but it wasn’t like regret. There was something there to bring a tear to your eye, but not enough to say
anything else.

MICHAEL:

OK, Laura, you know you get to work with the two top guys: Maurice and Ingo. And all the women in America are so jealous of you, yet a lot of them love watching Carly’s maneuverings and how she goes through life. How you do like working with Maurice Benard, one of soaps all-time great actors, and Ingo Rademacher (Jax), one of soaps all-time leading men?

LAURA:

Maurice could not be more wonderful. We always enjoy our scenes, and there is not a lot of rehearsals with Maurice and me, because we do respect each other, and always like what comes out of our scenes. There is such a freedom and trust and fun that happens when we get up on set. ingo.jpgWhen I work with Ingo, I work with him on so many levels. It just works well, and we get along so well. We bicker, we laugh, we fight, and we are an old married couple. We have a great time, and he is just as invested in Carly and Jax as I am. It’s great, even if I have to leave my family to come to work, I couldn’t have two better guys to spend my days with. I can extend that to the rest of the cast as well, and do the work as best as I can. We make it fun while we are here, and then go home. It’s such a joy, and it’s such a supportive cast. If I am struggling with something on-set, Maurice could not be more there for me and he will say, “That was great,” or “Work through it, but if you need another rehearsal we’ll do it.” Same with Ingo, except, he will make more fun of me. He would say something like, “C’mon rookie. Pull it together.” And I am like, ”Come here, so I can hit you on the head.”

MICHAEL:

Do you think Sonny and Carly are the star-crossed lovers in the end, or do you think now Jax and Carly are the star-crossed lovers that fans are rooting for?

LAURA:

It’s hard to say. I have done several personal appearances lately where it could not be more split, if not even more on the Jax/Carly side. It’s flattering that there are so many Jax and Carly fans. There is a nice chunk of them. And, to the Sonny/Carly fans, I have to say, ”I love working with Maurice and the Sonny/Carly relationship.” I love that you never know if they will be together one day, because there is this way that they love each other. But can they love each other like that when they are together? They seem to really tear each other apart when they are together. If they could really love each other the way they do when they are not together, it could be a beautiful thing. Right now, she is able to have that relationship with Jax, where he allows her to be whoever she is, which is to be a brat one minute, and a wonderful wife the next. And, she finds joy and humor in that, instead of ripping herself apart because of it.

laura_black_dress.jpgMICHAEL:

So there is this renewing of their vows, and then…..Olivia gives Jax the DVD!

LAURA:

Yeah, that scary DVD!

MICHAEL:

And he is going to know the truth about Claudia being behind Michael’s shooting, and not know if he should tell you. Is that where this goes?

LAURA:

Yes!

MICHAEL:

What do you think Carly will do, if and when she finds out who is behind Michael’s shooting?

LAURA:

I have two answers to that: The funny version where Carly goes, “Do you see Jax? Do you see how many times you have to lie for a good reason?” But that would not make for good drama. So Carly is going to freak out, cry and go, “You son-of-a-bitch! You lied! How can you keep the most important thing in the world from me?” I would expect she is going to go crazy, and I don’t’ know when, and we are not taping that even anytime soon. That will be a big deal when Carly finds out Claudia is behind Michael’s shooting. I am pretty sure she is going to get upset.

carly_jax.jpgMICHAEL:

What would you love to still do with Carly? What is something you would love to play that you have not had the chance to do with her?

LAURA:

My dream storyline is to do an “Alias” type storyline, where Carly gets to change clothes, kick guys in the face and karate chop them, and then she does it with Jax as a partner. Ingo would look so good in a tuxedo. He would do it in a James Bond version and we could go undercover and be like “Hart to Hart”. We would be really funny at it, too. I don’t know how well that works with General Hospital, but maybe we have our own spin-off!

MICHAEL:

When you tape these big umbrella storylines, like the Biotoxin hospital disaster, or the Metro Court disaster, are those days more difficult to tape because you have to be on-set for 15 hours or so?

LAURA:

The hospital crisis was not, but the Metro Court hostage crisis, which I loved, and I thought was one of the best things ever on daytime, was difficult. However, there is so much camaraderie because you are stuck in the room with the whole cast. Maurice and I connected with that because Ingo was not here at that time. Carly and Sonny were trying to take care of it all and that was great, because no matter what happened, I had an actor that was there for me and vice versa, as tough as it was. I would go down to my dressing room and Dirk Cheetwood (Max) would be up there with his computer and his feet on my coffee table, Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) is drinking a beer on my couch, and they are watching some kind of game on the TV. We would all get dinner and hang out. My dressing room is easy to access near the stairway to the studio.

MICHAEL:

So, you are the fun room?

kim_glamour.jpgLAURA:

During that particular storyline, it was my “dorm room” that had the party.

MICHAEL:

I was in New York recently talking to Kim Zimmer (Reva, “GL”), and we were talking about the glory days of you on Guiding Light. She had the highest praise for you, and loved the Reva/Cassie relationship, with you. Do you ever look back on any of the other roles you have played, either on Loving or General Hospital and have any thoughts on that?

LAURA:

Especially, Guiding Light. I was there for 8 years, and had my kids there.

MICHAEL:

Kim misses you.

LAURA:

I miss her too… gosh! If Guiding Light stays on the air and I need to go back East, I would love to say, “Can Cassie come back?” Almost anything I learned as an actress in this business was probably 60 or 70 percent of it from Kim Zimmer. On so many levels, personally and professionally, I adore her. I loved working with her and playing her sister, and I hope I get to work with her again. It was a great joy to work with her, and a great time in my life.

brian_frons_laura_vert.jpgMICHAEL:

When you got the role of Carly, was it true that since Brian Frons (President of ABC Daytime and SOAPnet) had seen your work previous that he really wanted you for this role?

LAURA:

Well, no. What happened was, two years prior I saw him at the Daytime Emmys and after a cocktail I told him he really needed me on All My Children after Kelly Ripa left, and he needed a blonde on the show. And he said, “Really?” and I said, “Yes. You need some one with light colors. Everyone was so brown-haired. And, you need a blonde and a happy one!” So, the next year he calls my agent and they tell him, “She still has two more years on Guiding Light.” So when my contract was up, I had my agents call back and say, “We were just returning his phone call from two years prior, and that my contract was up and should I renegotiate or not?” And he said, “No! Do not.” I had no idea he was interested in me for the role of Carly. I had thought I was going to All My Children or One Life to Live. Then as soon as I hung up the phone with my agents, I said to my husband, “You know, I never asked him if it was an LA or NY based soap and two seconds later my phone rang and my agent said, “You know this is for General Hospital not for a soap in New York.” I went “Oh, my God! Are you kidding me?” because my husband John and I, we had a whole life out there before. So that was a huge adjustment.

sarah_brown.jpgMICHAEL:

Of course, then Sarah Brown returned to the show, not as Carly but as Claudia. How was that for you, knowing she originated the role and won three Daytime Emmys for it? Now is it like, “Who cares anymore?”

LAURA:

Well, it is like, “Who cares anymore?” because they are different characters. I have to say I was a little like, “Is this going to be weird? Was it?” It wasn’t for one second, because I credit so much of that to Sarah. She is a great actress, and she only really cares about the scene. She does not care if she wins the scene, or who looks better in the scene. She only cares about what the scene is about, and what do we need to get out of it? And if it’s Carly freaking out on Claudia, and Claudia needs to be affected and run out, then that is what we do. If it’s Claudia who is freaking out and Carly has to take the hit and run out, then that is what we do. She is just a wonderful actor to work with, and you can trust her 100% in the scene. She’s always prepared and cares, and is funny, and always makes me laugh. So, it’s a good day to work with Sarah, and certainly challenging. She makes you want to work. The last scene we did together at the end of it, Sarah goes, “Wow, that was weird,” because when you have a scene that reads a certain way on paper and then you tape it, it’s a whole different beast. We thought it was weird, but it was fun. That is why we do what we do; because something happens through a moment that you did not expect.

laura_pretty_horiz.jpgMICHAEL:

In closing, what can we say to look forward to from Carly in the next couple weeks?

LAURA:

Carly goes through a little hardship with Michael, and comes out of it being extremely happy with Jax. And suddenly, like always, the rug gets pulled out from underneath everybody.

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