August 5th, 2010  |  Leave a comment

The Alicia Minshew Interview – All My Children

Courtesy/ABC

Circle Monday, August 9th, and prepare All My Children fans, for the long-awaited return of Alicia Minshew to the role of Kendall Hart Slater.  While Alicia came back in March for a short stint following her maternity leave (in which she give birth to her new baby girl, Willow) this time Minshew is back in the saddle, and staying put in L.A. and with the ABC sudser!  With a cross country move with her husband, Richie Herschenfeld from the Big Apple, the lovebirds decided to make a brand new start in sunny California.   But what brings Alicia’s soap opera alter ego, Kendall, back to Pine Valley?  Do you think it’s only Ryan and Greenlee?  While you will have to read the rest of our interview for that answer, the bigger question on every AMC fans mind is: where does this leave the shows most popular duo, Zendall (Kendall and Zach)?  Alicia gives us some insight into the future of her character with Zach, if Thorsten Kaye (Zach) continues to make guest appearances (he’s back for a limited run beginning August 16th), or an eventual permanent move with the show, or life on-air without him.

Having carried major front burner story for the writers and producers of All My Children in the past, what will the situation be this time now that Alicia is splitting time between career and motherhood?  She will answer that, too.  Plus, you will learn some revealing and great tidbits from Alicia’s original audition from AMC, when she tested with now film star, Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo) and what she thinks of the new AMC head-writing regime, and how it has altered the Pine Valley canvas as she had previously come to know it.

Recently, On-Air On-Soaps had the privilege of being part of a very special interview session with the actress, conducted on the set of All My Children along with different media outlets from a cross section of media platforms.  Alicia showed up camera ready (she was about to do a photo shoot after our interview) and looking sexier than ever!  How does she do it?…great figure, new baby, one of the best on-screen criers in daytime, and one dynamite actress.  All we can say is… it’s so nice to have you back where you belong, Alicia!

MICHAEL:

Welcome back to All My Children L.A. style!  How is it being back to the soap, while dealing with the feeling of being pulled in two different directions… motherhood and career?

ALICIA:

© JPI Studios

I came back to the show in March for a little blip, and that was the first time I got to work with everybody here, and act again and get dolled up again.  It was actually good that I did that, so when I came out to L.A this time, I knew what to expect.  But this time the baby and the hubby are all out here with me.  The first day I was here it was hard, because I was away from the baby, so I had to get into a different mindset.  I said to myself, “I am here to work, which is why I moved here.”  But, there are times I am thinking about my baby and have those thoughts as a mommy.  So I have to really focus. I have to put that aside for a minute and become Kendall.  But as soon as they say, “cut” I go, “How is she doing?  Is she OK?”  I am a new mom, and I have never done this before.  I am sure as time goes on I will get used to it, and my being here.

MICHAEL:

So is your husband, Richie, taking care of baby Willow when you are mixing it up with the folks of Pine Valley?

ALICIA:

My hubby takes care of Willow, and we have a woman who also helps out.  That was part of the deal if I am coming here to work.  Richie owns some restaurants in New York, so the cool thing is he can go back and check on them, and hire people to help work for him.  In the meantime he said, “I am never going to have this experience with my baby again.  So I am going to take the time and spend it with her.”  He is with her right now along with Thorsten Kaye.  They are all having lunch!  So, it’s both of my husbands – my real husband and my TV husband – and my baby all together now.

MICHAEL:

Did you always know when you took your maternity leave that you would indeed come back to All My Children?  For awhile there, it looked as if you were not going to make a definitive move to L.A. to be with the show, and we may have seen the last of you as Kendall, especially when reports surfaced that Thorsten was not coming to L.A.

ALICIA:

© JPI Studios

I figured I would come back.  I mean, I didn’t know for sure what was going to happen, because AMC moved to Los Angeles.  I knew it was not the end for me.  I knew something would be worked out, but I wasn’t sure what.  It was weird though, because I did not know when I would come back, but I just knew I would, eventually.  We just had to wait to see how it went with me being a mom, and with the show coming out to L.A.  Once everything settled, I said, “OK.  Everything’s cool.  Now I can come back.”

MICHAEL:

Moving from coast to coast is heinous!

ALICIA:

First, it was a big decision for us….for anybody to move across the country is hard.  Moving sucks!  But, I had such a good support system.  Families helped, my mom came out.  But I have to tell you, Thorsten Kaye helped us move across the country!  He flew out with my husband Richie, and set our apartment up for us.  He hung pictures and everything, and then me, and my mom and my baby, Willow, flew out a few days later. When we walked into my apartment Thorsten and Richie were there, and it was all set up for me.  So let it be known, that my two husbands are the best.  They made the transition great for me, because you know; I have a teething baby right now.  But let me tell you, when we walked into the apartment both me and my mom’s jaw-dropped.  We walked into a home!  The place was decorated better than I ever could have.  Thorsten Kaye could be a first class interior decorator.  He said, “Don’t tell people.” And I go, “Oh, I am telling them!”

MICHAEL:

Was there a part of you that thought, “I am not coming back” because you felt you were done with this character?

ALICIA:

You know, I had very mixed-feelings because I was in such mommy mode.  But, I also felt there was always more a character on a soap can do.  I felt like I wasn’t ready to say bye yet.  It was, one day I would feel one way, and one day I would feel the other way.  I was tired and emotional, as well.  I remember thinking, “I can never go back to work,” but then there were days I felt I miss playing Kendall and having scenes with Erica, Ryan and Greenlee.  I missed that because they were like my extended family.

MICHAEL: 

Courtesy/PregnancyMag

Kendall was carrying the show for several years.  She was always on the screen! This time back, did you ask for a lesser workload to help the transition for yourself with a new baby in tow?

ALICIA:

I know.  I was almost on the show everyday.  And, let’s not forget about being in the hospital with two comas! (Laughs)  I said to the producers, “I want to have great story and be involved in this story, but is it possible to work a little less?”  I am finding right now, that they are really good at not just having three people carrying the blunt of the story.  There are so many good and different storylines right now, and everyone has a really great part.  It seems more even-keeled now with the new writers.  Like you said in the past, it was a lot.   People would say to me, “How are you going to do all that story, plus raising your new baby?”  And I would say, “I would go crazy, even without a new baby!”  So, I did ask to work a little less, but we will see how that goes. (Laughs)  So far they have been good at easing me back in to a few days a week.  But, what is good is I can bring the baby to the studio, and so far she has been great.

MICHAEL:

Now that Kendall is back and here to stay in Pine Valley, have you been informed much of where Kendall is heading in story?

ALICIA:

I am trying to figure out what is going to happen, because she just literally came back.  I do like that I am having scenes with a lot of different people, and it’s not just me and one person.  I have been interacting with David, and Liza, and Greenlee, Ryan, and Zach, and Bianca.  We will see what the future holds.

MICHAEL:

What brings her back to the show on the August 9th episode?

ALICIA:

Courtesy/ABC

Ryan had an aneurysm, and Kendall comes back and she thinks Ryan is dying, and so she is extremely worried, only to find out something is up… he is faking!  Then she gets into helping Greenlee, and she gets sucked right back into all the drama within one episode. (Laughs)  There is even some scenes with Bianca where she says, “I have missed this.  I have missed the craziness of Pine Valley.”  So there is part of Kendall that likes the drama.

MICHAEL:

So what can you tell us about the true status of Thorsten with the show?  Do you think he will return imminently?  Do you think he will continue to do guest stints?  If he continues to come and go, where will that leave Zendall?

ALICIA:

I just taped a bunch of scenes with him, and so he is back for a little bit.  Quite honestly, I am not sure what is happening with him.  You know his whole family is back east.  His wife, Susan Haskell (Marty) is on One Life to Live, and the timing of taking his kids out of school and moving across country is not ideal.  Thorsten said, “I am good right now.  I am not in a position where I can just pick up and move.”  But, he is open to coming back and doing shows.  I am not sure how often he is going to do that, and what that means for Zach and Kendall. Would that mean trouble in paradise?

MICHAEL:

That is what the fans, and I, of the popular duo are curious to know.  Will the show concoct some plot device to break apart Zach and Kendall, or will they keep things going like they are doing with Reese and Bianca, by having Reese in Paris on business constantly?

ALICIA:

That is what I am waiting to find out right now.  And right now, we are actually having things go great between them.  I mean, we have had it out.  He is annoyed that she gets caught up in the Greenlee/Ryan drama, but it’s the Zach and Kendall that the audience loves to see.  I think he goes off to do business in Europe or something.  So I am curious as to what is going to happen as we move forward. 

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

Do you think it will be a hard pill for the fans to swallow, if it ends up being a solo Kendall, or do you think they will come to like it?  It would open up other avenues for story.

ALICIA:

I do think the fans are so used to Zach and Kendall, so it may be tough.  Then, I think back to before there was Zack, and Kendall was wild.  Kendall was with Ryan for a while and J.R.  And, if you take a look at Kendall before Zach, she was sort of a force… that was a strong woman who was all over the place, and who was fun, and who didn’t have kids.  However, now that Kendall does have kids, and she did find the love of her life, she is definitely different.  But I think if she truly had to be alone for a while, it could be interesting.  She has that relationship with Greenlee that is almost like her other relationship, in a way that is just so interesting to watch.  I think it will be hard for fans to get used to Kendall without Zach, for sure.  They may not like it, but you just never know, they could throw me with somebody and people could think it’s really cool.

MICHAEL:

Who would be an interesting choice for a man for Kendall if Zach were no longer on the canvas, God forbid!

ALICIA:

That I haven’t been with? (Laughs) Not Ryan… been there, done that.  Would it be David?  Do I want Greenlee’s sloppy-seconds?  I don’t know.

MICHAEL:

What about a brand new man?  I think that would make more sense, somebody down the road whom she takes a fancy to or is attracted to, that she does not have years of baggage with.  Like the idea?

ALICIA:

Even I am so dedicated to Kendall and Zach, but again, we all must move on at some point.  If that is the way it has to be, then why not?  I also feel there would need to be a good amount of time for her to get over Zach.  I do not want her to be thrown in with somebody else immediately, because that would make Kendall look needy.  Let her be alone for awhile! 

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

Is Kendall going to get back into her company, Fusion?

ALICIA:

I had my first scenes at Fusion in a year.  Bianca and Greenlee are keeping the company afloat which is good, but Kendall walked in and saw the company was doing good, and she had to excuse herself because she was almost crying!  Bianca was showing her how great everything was going, so it made her really miss it.  She had a moment, and she had to leave.  I think she feels she has missed a great part of her life raising the boys.  I think she is ready to come back to Fusion.

MICHAEL:

While you were away some other major changes have taken place to the core of AMC, including the casting of Christina Bennett Lind as your on-screen sister, Bianca who replaces Eden Riegel.   Have you worked with Christina, and if so, what are your first impressions?

ALICIA:

Christina has the sweetness of Eden.  And, I said if they are going to recast Bianca, she better be a damn good actress, number one… and number two, she has to embody that sweetness that Bianca needs to have.  Christina has that the minute you meet her.  She is a doll!  She greeted me with big hugs.  And, it was different for me because Eden Riegel is one of my very closest friends.  I have had this connection with her as my sister on the show for years.  It made me sad that I would not see Eden here on the set anymore.  So at first, I almost felt like Bianca was another character, but then once Christina and I got into it and started working together, I was right there with her.  Christina is on top of her game.  She understands the character of Bianca really well.  I felt like her sister and I was hoping that would happen, which is great!  And, I have heard Eden and Christina are email buddies.

MICHAEL: 

Courtesy/ABC

Yes, they have connected, and both are extremely supportive of each other’s new roles on daytime.   Have you seen Eden on her new soap, Y&R, and did you check into Pine Valley and AMC while you were at home during your time away taking care of little Willow?

ALICIA:

I heard Eden and Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) are duking it out over on Y&R.  I think that is awesome!  For a while, I had not watched AMC while I was away, because I needed to focus on my baby and not think about the show for a while.  I knew I would get sucked back into it if I started watching it.  I purposely did not watch.  I kind of liked not knowing what was going on in Pine Valley.  The more you see it, the more your natural inclination is to miss being a part of it.  Every now and then, I would turn it on for a second and see Rebecca crying or something crazy, and that was it.  When I came back a few weeks ago, I was like, “What is going on?  Who is with who?”  So it’s kind of fun for me.

MICHAEL:

What did you think about Madison being with Ryan?  Shockeroo, right?

ALICIA:

Yeah, I was shocked!  Last time I saw AMC, Madison was a bad girl and a wife of somebody, and Ryan was Ryan. Then I saw them kissing!  I was like, “What happened to Greenlee?”   But I kind of like Madison and Ryan together.  It was nice to see Ryan with someone other than Kendall and Greenlee.  Also, I had no idea who Caleb was.  I met Michael Nouri (Caleb) and I like him!  I think he is great!  I do work with him in a couple upcoming episodes.  I was like, “What is he doing here?”  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Susan Lucci (Erica) has not been here since you returned.  You and Susan have created memorable moments with each other as on-screen mother and daughter.  Are you looking forward to getting into the soap sandbox with her again?

ALICIA:

Courtesy/BroadwayWorld

It is weird not having Susan Lucci here.  I said that I feel like there is a huge presence missing, and they were like, “Duh, your mother?”  I do miss her.  I can’t wait for her to come back from her vacation and hiatus, because I always have fun working with Susan; whether we are fighting, or whether we are being loving to each other.  I have always loved the relationship between Kendall and Erica, even before I played her.  I liked the dynamics between Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ex-Kendall) and Susan.

MICHAEL:

Did you stay in touch with Cameron Mathison (Ryan) and Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) during your maternity leave?

ALICIA:

Cameron took pictures of the baby and came to visit me in the hospital.  Rebecca came to visit the day I gave birth and helped set up my baby’s nursery.  So these are two really close friends who were part of it from the beginning.  And it’s funny, on AMC it’s about the three of them Kendall/Ryan/Greenlee, and in real life that is how we really are, minus all the drama.  When we get together, it’s really three people who genuinely love each other and care about each other.  Rebecca and I probably kept in touch the most, and Cameron and I every now and then.

MICHAEL:

What if Willow, when she grows up says, “Mommy, I want to be an actress.”?  Would you be OK with that?

ALICIA:

Yes, of course.  I knew I wanted to do this since the time I was six.  I would say to my mother, “Put me in drama classes and acting classes – I want to sing, dance and act, etc.”  My parents were always extremely supportive.  If I can be like my parents with my daughter, then I will support her.  I just don’t want to get caught up being a stage-mom.  I will never be that!  Willow certainly has the personality for it, and I am not bragging! (Laughs) She is a fun and happy girl.

MICHAEL: 

Courtesy/ABC

Many fans want to feel rest assured that this time you won’t be leaving any time soon.  Can you tell us what your official status with the show is now?  Have you signed a new deal yet?

ALICIA:

We have not discussed contracts thus far.  Look, I moved my family to L.A.  So I am not going to be on again and off again.  We made a point to be in L.A. because I do have more time left on my current contract, and I want to be a part of the show as long as I still can, and while the baby is little.  Maybe it would have been different if I was in Thorsten’s situation, and had to pull my child out of school.  I mean, then I don’t know if I would have come back.

MICHAEL:

Did you realize, when you auditioned and started on the show years ago, that Kendall would become such an intrical part of the soap?

ALICIA:

No! No! When I first auditioned for the character of Kendall, they told me the name of the character was Candy!  So, they did not tell me it was for the part Sarah Michelle Gellar played years ago, or that it was going to be Erica Kane’s daughter.  Then, I had a few sets of callbacks.  I remember it was when I got the final screen test; the casting director of AMC Judy Blye Wilson called me and said, “This is for Erica’s daughter.  The role Susan Lucci plays!”  Then immediately I got nervous and went, “I can’t do this!” And then Judy said, “You can do this.  Be your feisty self.”  I was excited because I knew this was a cool role.  I remember screen testing with Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo) and to this day I say he helped me get the part because he was so sweet, warm, and inviting, and gave me so much to play off of.  I remember having so much fun in that screen test.  That is when I got the part, but did I think it would last me this long, or be this central a character?  No, I had no idea. I was just lucky I could memorize my lines! (Laughs)

MICHAEL: 

© JPI Studios

What was the point where you realized, “Oh my, I guess I am one of the leads on the series?”

ALICIA:

You know, when that started to happen was when Bianca was raped.  I was all of a sudden given tons of dialog.  I was called in to the office of our producer at the time, Jean Dadario Burke.  She told me that Megan McTavish, who was our head writer at the time, had written some material for me that is really intense, really emotional, and you are going to be fighting for your sister.  She then said, “I just want you to get ready.”  I never will forget that day.  I then started getting the scripts.  Eden and I were in the thick of it together. It was crazy emotional stuff that was new for me to play, and it took me awhile to find my groove with that, too, and to be comfortable and connect to it.  But then the more I did, I thought this is amazing… Bianca was raped, and Kendall was a product of rape.  Then there was a show where Kendall was helping Erica get over her rape.  I remember for months I was in the zone, and making my mark.  It was a year or two into the role that I realized what an amazing character Kendall is, because they were writing the hell out of her.  I was always lucky, because no matter what head writing change was made, I had writers who wrote the part well.  So therefore, I will never
complain about a writer! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Now that you’re back, do you have the feeling that new AMC head writers, David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski, are sort of feeling you out?

ALICIA:

Yes.  I think the new writers are feeling me out now.  They don’t know me.  I definitely think they are going to test the waters with me and see what they can do, which is always fun, because it’s not the same thing.  I can tell you they wrote some scenes with me and Thorsten that I just really loved, and scenes with Greenlee and Ryan already, and so they are familiar with my work from that. This gives me something to look forward to… something new and something different. 

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

So, if you could have a direction for Kendall for the fall of 2010, with the new head writers of AMC, after all is said and done, what qualities would you like this version of Kendall to have?

ALICIA:

If I am not with Zach, I would like Kendall not to be a pushover and be really ballsy, and even more than she usually is.  When I first started she was a first class bitch!  But then, she softened up more after she became a mom.  I like the idea of her causing trouble.  I think it would be great if she were a good solid person when it comes to her children, but then you see a totally different side of her.  I would also love to see more humor in her. Sometimes Michael Knight and Susan Lucci, as Erica and Tad, respectively, can be hilarious and Kendall could be, too.  There have been some funny moments in the past, but I think if you add more of that in, that adds another element to the reality of life.  In my own personal life, I laugh all the time about so many things.  So why not bring that to the show?

  1. Mildred Kydd says:

    Noooooooo! If Kendall can’t be with Zach, then I want her to grow old and gray alone, because I don’t want anything except Zen! (lol).

    Reply

    Tammy S replied

    I just love Kendall and Zach together – minus all that garbage before they left. They are really a true couple and they need to stay together. I can’t imagine her with anyone else, but like AM said – if she must be without Zach, then let her be alone for a while.

    Man I love TK – I’ll tape all the shows I can so I can see him!! LOL

    Welcome back to AMC!! We’ve sure missed you!

    Reply

  2. clair says:

    Love the interview with Alicia! She is one classy lady! Interested see what they will write for her in the furure. She has outshined the crud writing on AMC for the last several years. So i know no matter what it will be great to watch. While it would be easier for her to play Kendall in the beginning without a hubby, we can still get fiesty Kendall with one. I just want the character and Alicia to be happy for awhile. I think they both deserve that. Would love to see Alicia ad libbing more like she did years ago. She is such a hoot! Kendall needs someone to adore her for just the way she is. Pray AMC will let the be Zach if Thorsten comes back in some capacity. Sad about the prospect of her with someone new.

    Thank you for the interview with her :) Always love to hear or read anything about her. While I adore Thorsten I go and stay with Alicia

    Reply

  3. Doe says:

    I am so glad that Kendall is back in the fold. I hope Thorsten will find a way to stay in the story with all his traveling back and forth. I loved when Alicia was talking about her husband and Thorsten setting up their home in LA while she was back in NYC. He is a major friend. I’m for the Zendall to stay together. So, hopefully, the writers can make that happen and keep it in the forefront…….

    Reply

  4. Karen Millason says:

    That was an awesome interview Michael. I really enjoyed it. You asked some terrific questions.

    For a long time now, I’ve been craving a single Kendall for some of the same reasons Alicia brought up. I miss the fire and fun. If David and Donna do it and can do it anywhere close to how Alicia describe it, I’ll be a very happy viewer.

    I love her thoughts about Kendall’s past, present and future. They echo a lot of my own feelings.

    It was especially great going back in time to that great Kendall and Bianca story.

    Reply

  5. Heidi says:

    Nice interview and yes Kendall needs to be left alone, but still married to Zach with the kids, they can just be off screen. I couldn’t accept Kendall with anyone else because no one can grab her ass like Thorsten!!! Sorry, but not sure Lish can find that level of comfort and trust with another actor……JMO.

    Reply

  6. Sharon says:

    Welcome back to Alicia- I haven’t watched since she & Thorsten made a brief appearance in April & I’m really looking forward to having my Zach & Kendall back! However, I’m very disturbed to hear that Thorsten Kaye may not be staying. That might be a deal breaker. I just can’t imagine the show without the handsome, magnetic & very talented Mr. Kaye & for me, it’s unwatchable without him. I hope something can be worked out- even if he only returns from time to time, I would have something to hold onto & look forward to. I’m going to make the most of the coming episodes with Zen & worry about the rest later- there is no one like Zen & no one else like this couple! They are a fairy tale come to life!

    Reply

    RitaC replied

    I, too, have not watched since December then again in April. ITA with everything you said. Having TK from time to time is better than not at all.

    Reply

  7. Vicki says:

    Michael…great interview! If Kendall gets to come back full-time, then Zach does too. I can’t imagine seeing Kendall a lot and not have sexy Zach there too. I really hope that AMC makes it enticing enough for him and his family to move out west. The kids can go to so many of the wonderful private schools here in So California. Besides, how can you not love the wonderful CA weather right? I am looking forward to seeing Kendall again on the show though. Kendall always made Greenlee a lot more interesting.

    Reply

  8. Sue says:

    So, Alicia and family made the move to the west coast. Looks like she worked thing out. So glad for her. Haven’t watched AMC in a few years, I guess the fans still want Zendel.
    Love hearing from her, thought she was a big part of the show.
    Thanks for the interview.

    Reply

  9. bennie says:

    HURRAH FOR MY ZENDALL I JUST HOPE ZACH COMES BACK OFTEN ENOUGH TO KISS KENDALL IN THAT WAY THAT MAKES ME WANT A CIGARETTE AND I DONT SMOKE LOL!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  10. MA says:

    Yes, humor is something that continues to be missing from the writing of AMC in spite of some great comedic talents on the show. Tad, Opal (and Petey when he was there), Jack and Erica (and together they can be very funny), Jake, Jesse and Caleb, and dark humor for David. It would be nice to see a new and humorous Kendall, we have seen some light moments with her.
    AMC needs to hire one writer who is gifted at humor. You have the talent for it, make good use of it and turn the ratings around. If people are laughing again, they will tune in to the show.
    When I first watched AMC, it was a hoot with Opal at the beauty salon, Tad as the shampoo boy, and Phoebe as the over the top duchess, Erica as the insufferable diva, and Myrtle with her carnival background. Benny played the straight guy in a zany soap with funny situations and characters.

    Reply

  11. Joeann says:

    I love Zach (TK) and Kendall (AM) and always will.They are the only reason I will come back to AMC to watch. The show as it stands now I cannot watch here hoping the writers do a better job with Zendall this time around.

    Reply

  12. semaj says:

    i love zendall we better get some happy zendall scenes i miss zendall on amc it’s not the same without zendall

    Reply

  13. Blair says:

    I also only watched Kendall’s visits since she and Zach left in January. I have no interest in the Greenlee hour at all and gave myself a break from AMC while Kendall was off screen. I’m ready to start watching now that Kendall is back.

    Reply

  14. TheWineClubDirectory says:

    My two daughters are 15 months apart, and are now 21 and 22. They fought from day one, and never really liked each other. They were only one grade apart on school and competed with each other over EVERYTHING! They are both pretty, and thin, and fought like crazy. Sad, because I never had a sister, and I had always hoped they would be close, but alas, they were not, and still are not. It doesn’t always work out the way we wish it would. They are as different as night and day, and I don’t ever see them being close. Sad. Glad it’s worked out for the rest of you.
    TheWineClubDirectory.com

    Reply

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