June 10th, 2010  |  Leave a comment

The Mary Beth Evans Interview – The Bay, DAYS & ATWT

© JPI Studios

Is there anyone busier these days than Mary Beth Evans in soapland?  This fan favorite has become, for lack of a better word, soap’s talented journeyman, (journeywoman, in this case).   For decades, legions of Days of our Lives, Patch and Kayla fans watched Mary Beth’s plight as heroine Kayla Brady Johnson, who along with her scene partner and best bud, Stephen Nichols (Ex-Patch, now Tucker, Y&R) created quite the soap super couple.  After an abysmal and disappointing ending to their last run on the series, and a victim of no story and budget cuts, Mary Beth continued to prosper by finding new projects and becoming in demand in special soap guest appearances.  Now, not only is she returning for several episodes of As the World Turns as another one of her favorite alter egos as Sierra Montgomery before the show ends its historic run in September, but she is also on her way back to Days of our Lives. Mary Beth, along with a slew of fan favorites, will also be showing up in Salem over the next few weeks for Alice Horton’s tribute episodes, honoring the passing of the late Frances Reid (Alice).

But, just when she thought she couldn’t get any busier, Mary Beth landed the plum leading role in the new web series that has been getting lots of buzz of late, The Bay. The soap coming this fall to computer’s near you, looks to be in the vein of those Aaron Spelling dramas of the 80’s, with lots of convoluted twists and turns between families and generations.  On-Air On-Soaps visited the set of The Bay last weekend, on the first full day of shooting to get some of the skinny on Mary Beth’s new character, and how as a soap veteran she keeps it all vital and exciting for herself.  As we began our sit-down chitchat, Mary Beth was in the make-up chair in the bowels of the location for the day’s shoot…the Hollywood restaurant/lounge L-Scorpion, and I was standing there with my proverbial microphone in her face.  Ever the good sport, and one of daytime’s treasures, here is what Mary Beth had to say about each of her upcoming appearances that should satiate all her fans of all her soaps!

MICHAEL:

Well, this has to be the ultimate Mary Beth Evans interview, because we are conducting this interview in the back of a hot kitchen with no a/c…

MARY BETH:

….Right! We are in a hot, sweaty kitchen in Hollywood.  I was actually just thinking, as we were standing in front of this restaurant, there was some guy outside with his nose pressed up against the glass.  I was thinking, ‘Hollywood Story!  What’s going on there?’  People always come to Hollywood Boulevard to get a glimpse of what they think is the real Hollywood, and it is mostly true! (Laughs) Not as glamorous as some might think, but it’s fun.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Jennifer Owing

So you are filming here in Hollywood, but this restaurant/bar is suppose to replicate a place at the beach, where the new web series The Bay is supposed to take place?

MARY BETH:

Right.  We are replicating this place, which is supposed to be at the beach.  We are at L-Scorpion, which I think is funny because we have Tristan Rogers in the cast and he was Scorpi-o on General Hospital. He said the funniest thing to me yesterday.  Tristan said somebody said to him, “Didn’t you use to be Tristan Rogers?”  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Well, what happens when fans see you in the flesh?  What name do they call out to you?  Is it Mary Beth or one of your soap alter egos?

MARY BETH:

To me they always say Kayla, Sierra or every name.  Michael Bruno, my friend and leading soap opera talent manager will call me Dakota, which was my first soap name…yeah, back in my twenties!  Remember the soap, Rituals? (Laughs).  I go with the flow and I don’t care.   I think what is interesting about soaps is that as actors we all think we are going to have these jobs for 30, 40 or 50 years.  But in reality, you can be let go, or killed-off, or dropped off a balcony, and you get so devastated about it.  But that is really the actor’s life, and really the truth of it.

MICHAEL:

As the World Turns’ Michael Park (Jack) said to me in a recent interview, that actors are really like gypsies.  And in soaps, so many stars make the rounds on different daytime dramas, almost like trading players in baseball cards.

MARY BETH:

© JPI Studios

I never thought it was going to be like that.  When I first went on DAYS, I thought, ‘Oh my God!  I can’t believe I am signing to be on something for three years!’ I never thought I would be doing that.  I had been doing episodics, so I thought that was the way it was going to go, but I had just gotten married and I needed to pay my mortgage.  So, lo and behold, you don’t realize it, but they are such great gigs when you get going on them.  Look, I would have stayed on DAYS forever if Stephen Nichols had not left, and things hadn’t gone the way they did, and with the story.  But in a way, I am glad they did.  I have met the most amazing people. Really, if I were to gather all the people I met in daytime that I consider to be friends, it would be hundreds.  I know a lot of people, and then The Bay came up, and not only are they the most beautiful crazy cast here, but every time I meet a new person it’s like, ‘Oh, my God!’ Did you see who is playing my father?  Nicholas Coster!  Every last person that keeps coming on board, I think, ‘Oh, my God, another fabulous actor.’

MICHAEL:

But you are the lead role, yes?  Sara Garrett is her name.

MARY BETH:

I did not really realize that, but I guess I am.  She is a momma to a lot of people from a lot of different men, so she must have had a good life, right?

MICHAEL:

So basically, what you are saying is she is not a Mary Beth Evans, Kayla Brady, “Goody-Two-Shoes?” (Laughs) That’s great!  So, Sara has slept around?

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MARY BETH:

…Or had been raped, or this or that, but everybody in the story she has some relationship with.  Either she has had an affair with them, been married to them, been raped by, or had a kid with.  There was a review sheet that our producer and writer, Gregori J. Martin, gave me.  I thought, ‘I better tattoo it to my forehead’ because every person has a back-story.  That is the thing about Gregori, who wrote this.  He has got such back-story going for everybody, and he has really thought this out, and he is pulling this off.  I don’t know how he is doing it!

MICHAEL:

Many were concerned, as with some soap web series, that they have been thrown together, or have been disappointing, or never materialize.  However, Venice has been a roaring success.  Was this thrown together in a short time?

MARY BETH:

Gregori said he has thought about it for 20 years.  So, No. I don’t think it was thrown together at all.

MICHAEL:

What enticed you to be part of this, and take on the leading role on a web soap opera?

MARY BETH:

Courtesy/Evans Pie Co.

It was sort of a lark, and mainly, I have just been in the mood to do different things.   I am doing a pilot presentation for a cooking show idea.  And, you know about my pie business?

MICHAEL:

Of course, Mary Beth’s Apple Pie Company.

MARY BETH:

Yes.  I just did a play.  I just want to do go where I can be creative.  I wrote a blog on Hybridmom.com, where I talk about gardening, or my kids, or milestones.  I just want to be in all the mixes, and be alive and doing stuff.  I spent the last three days with my college son painting and sanding our back deck!   I am in the mix all the time.  In my family I want everybody up and doing things, and being very productive.  If you are a creative person you need to find your outlets.

MICHAEL:

As the World Turns is coming to an end in September and you are headed back to reprise Sierra Montgomery one last time this month.  What are your thoughts on the ending of the soap?  Was it pulled too soon?

MARY BETH:

I feel so lucky that I got to go back, and I am going back this week again.  This is the last round of my shows there.  I can’t believe the show is ending.   They were saying P&G wanted out of the soap business.  I wish they would have found someone else to keep the show going, but DAYS has really invented the way on how to do something like that, and keep going.  But, I love the people in New York.  I was there shockingly almost ten years ago at this time.  I think they are fabulous and some of the ATWT cast is actually moving out here.  I am telling them to come to my neighborhood.  It’s very quaint.  (Laughs) Seriously!

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

And when you go back you will work again with Jon Lindstrom, as Craig Montgomery!

MARY BETH:

Yes, it’s hilarious because he was Brady when I was Dakota, and here we are 26 years later, and it was hilarious.  I went and did the Frances Reid memorial episodes on DAYS recently, and then the next week I went to New York.  Now this week it will be my last taping at ATWT and it will be so bittersweet, especially because of the crew.  Chris Goutman (ATWT executive producer) I have adored.  He has treated me so kindly and beautifully.  He would say, “We are so glad that you are here.”  He is the nicest guy.  I have an allergy to make-up. I had a make-up bag that I left there four years ago, but they kept it for me the whole time, and I went back they had it there for me.  I was very touched by that.

MICHAEL:

How was going back for the DAYS tribute to Alice Horton, and the late Frances Reid?

MARY BETH:

I had the best time on the whole planet, and truthfully, I feel like those people are my family.  I have always felt that DAYS was my home and my first love.  So to be there with all of them was so special, and Charles Shaughnessy (Shane) one of my favorite people in the whole planet was there.  Matthew, my son, I was going to name him Charlie after that Charlie, but then I thought it sounded not the way I wanted it to when you say it out loud.  But going back was terrific, seeing Wally Kurth (Justin), Missy Reeves (Jennifer), and Lisa Trusel (Melissa).  I just adored them.

MICHAEL:

Was it difficult to do, perform and get through those shows?  It must have been so emotional.

MARY BETH:

© JPI Studios

The Frances part was difficult because she affected all the lives of the people that worked with her.  Frances was a pistol and hilarious.  I think that the tears that were shed were true and I know some people had to walk away at times.  I know Missy Reeves was having a hard time.  I love Missy.  We shared a dressing room the entire time we were back.  She is like a little sister to me.  To go back to DAYS… nothing changes there.  The people I love are all there, and because we shoot the show differently, not every one is there at the same time.  I don’t even know if people knew I was gone from the show!  That part was funny, and hopefully, I will be back soon!

MICHAEL:

Have you seen Stephen Nichols, your ex on-screen beau, in his new role of Tucker McCall on The Young and the Restless?

MARY BETH:

You know, Stephen just saw my play and videotaped it for me.  I hounded him, because he has not given it to me yet.  He is a perfectionist.  He will probably edit it, and sweeten it, and it will probably be years till I see it.  But, he and I are lovers for life. (Laughs)  I have not seen him on Y&R yet, but many of the ladies who are working on The Bay project behind the scenes, and fans of the cast of The Bay, have been telling me how great Steven is in the role.  So I need to tune it in!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/SOAPnet

Now that SOAPnet got the old heave-ho and was replaced by a kiddie network in 2012 (Disney Junior ), do you look back at your time as host of the soap reality show, I Wanna Be a Soap Star, and think that at least the network tried to extend soaps into other formats to enhance the cravings of rabid soap viewers?  It also did give birth to some soap careers, i.e. BethAnn Bonner (Ex-OLTL, GL, and AMC).

MARY BETH:

The thing that was funny is I don’t like reality shows per se, and voting people off.  I don’t like saying something bad to someone. Then they asked me to do it.  I said, “Oh God.  I could never do a show like that.” And then Michael Bruno wanted me to it, and he is my pal.  Hogan Sheffer, who I adore, who was the writer for ATWT and DAYS at the time, was the other judge.  It ended up being a really interesting experience for me, and I enjoyed it. That is why I had the little crying incident happen that one time, when one of the performed scenes by the contestants moved me.  I couldn’t stop.  I felt like a total drama queen.  The producer is hugging me, and the camera is over me!  I go, “Oh God.  Don’t put me in in your reality show.  I am just trying to do the job you assigned me.”

MICHAEL:

So here in the hot, steamy kitchen of L-Scorpion on the set of The Bay…. over there in the corner is Tristan Rogers getting made-up in preparation for his scenes today.   Have you worked with him before?

MARY BETH:

Tristan just had his birthday.  I never knew him before, but I wish he was kind of playing my long lost husband.  I am excited to work with him.  I think he has this Sam Elliot thing going on.  I think he is kind of sexy, and he is cute.  And Sandra Robinson and I are old friends.  She had blonde hair when I knew her back when.  But I was in part of her DAYS storyline when she was going to take John Black down.  She injected him with some poison drug thing! 

Courtesy/Jennifer Owing

MICHAEL:

Yes, another wacko soap opera therapist.  Are all therapists insane themselves on soaps?  It seems so (Laughs).  But wait.  I hear your arch-nemesis on The Bay, or your Crystal Carrington to Alexis Carrington on Dynasty, if you will, is played by Lily Melgar (ex-Lily, GH)!  How is that?

MARY BETH:

You know this is funny, too. Everyone was telling me she was on General Hospital, and I could not remember her until somebody said, “She blew up.”  And then I went, “Oh my God.  I was in that scene (Laughs) Now, I do remember her.”  I was in that scene as Katherine Bell, and she is a doll baby, and so beautiful.  And standing next to these girls with their figures, oh please, give me a turtleneck.  I am such a mom in the kitchens.

MICHAEL:

Can we expect mud-fights between the two of you?

MARY BETH:

Why not?  I am game for anything.  I just want to create stuff and keep on trucking, and keep experiencing things.  My lesson to myself and to everyone is not being afraid to try new things.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/The Bay

And you have such terrific fans, and multiple fan bases!  Some of these fantastic ladies are here with you today!

MARY BETH:

They are fun girls and they travel from all over the country and it’s amazing.  Now, they are all on staff here, so it’s all good… good for me.  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Ok, I am going to let you go.  They are putting on the finishing touches of your Sara Garrett face, and then you are going to…?

MARY BETH:

….I am going to go out there now and knock em dead!

  1. Sherry says:

    I love Mary Beth’s enthusiasm for life and her willingness to take chances. She is also one of the most down to earth people you could ever meet. It’s no wonder fans adore her and are willing to follow her where ever she goes. Looking forward to seeing her reprise her roles on Days and ATWT. Most importantly I can’t wait to see her flesh out Sara Garrett and watch as The Bay takes shape. It will be an interesting ride all MBE fans will enjoy.

    Reply

  2. Kat says:

    Thank you for this interview! I love Mary Beth Evans. I’ve followed her for years. But today, in your interview, I learned something I hadn’t known before, and that was fun!

    Reply

  3. Shelley Keddy says:

    What a great lady. I have been a fan of hers for years and everytime I read another interview it only confirms to me why I am. The Bay sounds great I hope its a web soap which makes it and wish her the best of luck on her cooking show pilot from reading her hybrid mom blogs it is obvious that any type of home/garden/cook show would be a great fit for her.

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  4. Hilary says:

    Thanks for bringing us this great interview, Michael. You really bring her luminosity to print!

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  5. Mia says:

    Thanks for the interview! I am so excited for MB’s new show! It sounds awesome!

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  6. Michelle says:

    Mary Beth Rocks! Thanks so much for the interview. I always love when you are the one to be
    interviewing. It was Fabulous! Thanks Michael!

    Reply

  7. Julie says:

    Great interview, I cant wait so see MBE back at Days as Kayla (my fav soap character) and back at ATWT as Sierra. I’m looking forward to watching “The Bay” too, the first Bay promo was fantastic, the more Mary Beth the better I say, what a fantastic cast they have pulled together for that web series.

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  8. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the interview! With all of these upcoming shows it is a terrific time for Mary Beth’s fans. I am so looking forward to seeing her back on Days this month for some episodes. Also, I am super excited about The Bay. This show is creating so much excitement on the internet. It is a dream come true for soap fans!

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  9. Jill says:

    Thanks for going on set to get the interview with Mary Beth. I am happy to see her on screen again after the way that DAYS dismissed Stephen and Mary Beth after this last run. I’m glad they were smart enough to bring her back to say good bye to Alice. I can’t wait for THE BAY based on what I’ve seen and heard so far. Glad someone is at least trying to listen to the fans!!

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  10. Liz K says:

    What a GREAT interview! I can’t wait to see her play Sara in “The Bay”!

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  11. wendy says:

    I adore Mary Beth.Can’t wait for the “Bay” to air. Never watched a web show. So I’m excited about something new. Great interview.

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  12. Leslie says:

    Lovely interview! She is always so sweet and classy! I love everything she does. Looking forward to her returns to ATWT and DOOL, although they will be sad. I never gave up on a Steve & Kayla return and I got it, now I’ll hope again for one of quality that lasts!

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  13. JenA says:

    Thanks for getting this great interview. Mary Beth certainly has a zest for life that seems so infectious. I think I want to be her when I grow up : )-

    It was interesting to hear some of the details about her new show and her returning appearances. It would be interesting to hear more about the cooking pilot show.

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  14. Kat says:

    I want to hear more about the pilot presentation for the cooking show, too! I mean, if you ever have a chance to find out more about that, Mr. Fairman.

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  15. daysfan says:

    I really enjoyed seeing Mary Beth back on Days during the Alice story arc. They gave her scenes with her Brady siblings Bo, Roman and Kim, and screen daughter Stephanie as well.

    Loved Mary Beth’s slight smile as she put the rose on Mrs. H’s casket. Great touch. I hope Days can have Kayla visit Salem once in a while.

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  16. Jennifer Nicole Kayla Sheaffer says:

    Peace to you always Mr. Fairman as you have always been an awesome tunnel to our favs and sharing the coolest answers to the greatest questions! Appreciated by many I am thankfulo you so respect Mary Beth and daytimers to keep plugging away and giving us a great experience with them when we cannot be there ourselves!

    Reply

  17. janet says:

    marybeth how do one get to you the bay will it be hard to get to watch wish you have patch from days come be with you love you guys so much lookin forward seeing you on the bay and anything you do i miss hering you on the radio tonight couldn’t find you anywhere hope to get you next time thanks.

    Reply

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