April 20th, 2009  |  Leave a comment

THE NOELLE BECK INTERVIEW – AS THE WORLD TURNS

noelle_leather.jpg

It will be a year this coming May, that Noelle Beck has been airing in the role of Lily Snyder on As the World Turns. One of the most notorious soap stories of 2008, had Noelle inadvertently at the center of a controversy that saw Oakdale’s central heroine and fan favorite Martha Bryne exit the role after nearly two decades, and two Daytime Emmy Awards.

A bit of the back-story: the show’s executive producer, Chris Goutman had stated, “We made Martha an incredibly generous offer in hopes that she would remain a valuable member of the “ATWT” cast. Unfortunately, Martha has decided to leave despite our best efforts to keep her.” Byrne would later assert that the contract negotiations fell through because of the shows refusal to guarantee her the same number of episodes and appearances
she had in 2007, and that a casting breakdown
went out in the middle of talks to recast her role.

Fast forward to today, where Noelle Beck who won the coveted role, has been doing a winning job and making the part her own. With a hot storyline involving Lily’s gay son, Luke, her former lover Damian, current hubby Holden, and the mysterious, Zoe and Zac, this week Lily steps into her own to help those she loves.

In this new interview with Noelle, we chat about life in the shoes of Lily Snyder now, and if she ever has any regrets taking over the role. How important is it playing the accepting mom to her on-screen gay son? Noelle tells me it’s much closer to home for her than some may think, and we chat about her best bud on the show, Van Hansis. Never at a lost for “hot” leading men to work with, Noelle seemingly gets the cream of the crop no matter what soap she’s on. (Many remember her as Trisha from 1983-1994 on the ABC Soap “Loving”, where she was paired with Robert Tyler’s, Trucker) She admits she’s one lucky gal, and we discuss the pairings.

Here’s Noelle!

Listen to the audio:

Play

MICHAEL:

Lily is involved in a big storyline and this week more of the story is revealed. Damian has come back and Holden’s upset, and this is going to be a big mess.

NOELLE:

You love a big mess in daytime!

MICHAEL:

How is working with Paolo Seganti (Damian)?

paolo.jpgNOELLE:

I love Paolo. He is such a great guy. I am half Italian, so I try to speak Italian to him, and he suffers through it with me. (She laughs) He is very handsome and adorable, and has a big twinkle in his eye. I think it’s great for my storyline to have him back in town because Lily and Holden can’t be happy forever. That’s doom in soap opera and we need a lot of conflict, and there is a lot of history there. So, that’s good.

MICHAEL:

Is Lily going to find herself torn between these two guys, again?

NOELLE:

Not initially. She is only torn because she really believes in Damian, and Holden doesn’t, and Luke is skeptical. The story started out with Lily and Noah trusting Damian and everyone else is very skeptic about him. Then that changes. I think maybe they will go in that direction, and I hope they do. But from the beginning, it’s more about Damian having come back to bond with his son and ask for forgiveness, and to be a part of his life. I think Lily trusts him.

holden_lilly_damian.jpgMICHAEL:

Why does she believe him?

NOELLE:

I think initially, she feels so much guilt for when Luke ‘came out’ to her. Lily did not want to believe Luke was gay. She felt maybe he was confused. Now, I was not the actress playing the part when that storyline was told (Martha Bryne was), and Damian was trying to convince Lily to send Luke to a deprogramming camp, and at the last minute she couldn’t do it. She had a situation with Luke, where she fell down the stairs while she was pregnant. That led to a series of bad events. Since then, Lily and Luke have come full circle. She is an advocate for him and his lifestyle, and she loves and supports him. But, I think she has a tremendous amount of guilt for how she reacted initially.

MICHAEL:

But this week Lily finds herself working closely with Damian to find a kidnapped Luke and Noah. Isn’t she starting to feel a pull towards Damian?

NOELLE:

Lily has strong feelings for Damian because of their past. She wants to believe the best in him because she would love to see a closer relationship between him and Luke. Plus she is fighting those romantic feelings from the past because she is so committed on making her marriage work.

z.jpgMICHAEL:

We find out more of Zoe and Zac’s real motives. It’s revealed that Zoe may have a connection to the Grimaldi family. As part of the plan to save Luke and Noah, Lily dons a dress as part of the plan to smoke out the “Z’s”. Why?

NOELLE:
Damian wants her to wear a cape similar to one Anna Pinarossa wore who wanted part of the Grimaldi fortune. Damian believes this has a role in the kidnapping.

MICHAEL:

Speaking of the “Z’s”, how has it been having newbie’s Nicholas Gailbreath (Zac) and Melinda Sullivan (Zoe) in the cast?

NOELLE:

They are very well-liked here at the studio.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Van Hansis, as your on-screen son, Luke?

NOELLE:

He is my absolute favorite! We have so much fun together, and we giggle all the time. He gets all of my jokes, and I get all of his. We are like two partners in crime, and we are naughty together, but we make sure that the job still gets done on time!

noelle_van.jpgMICHAEL:

Is there ever a difficult scene for you in playing the mother of a gay son, where you feel you must take extra care in its presentation to the audience that is watching the show?

NOELLE:

I personally love the storyline, because I have a brother that is gay. I feel very connected to the story for that reason, and I feel very privileged to be able to play Lily in a way that helps my family and me. It’s sort of a blessing. I really do feel connected to Van for some reason. Our scenes are very easy because we naturally have a bond, and I look forward to those scenes. I don’t know if it’s because it’s something that is so real to me in my life, or if it’s just because I have such a great working relationship with Van.

MICHAEL:

You had such a difficult task of filling the shoes worn by Martha Bryne (Ex- Lily). What was the process you went through in taking over this role?

NOELLE:

martha_noelle.jpgI hadn’t been involved in daytime for quite awhile. I left in 1993 and there was a big long gap since I returned. I was raising my children and not watching a lot of daytime TV. So I forgot how committed and loyal soap fans are, because a lot of the work I did after I left “Loving” was episodics and pilots. People don’t have that kind of loyalty to characters like in soaps, because you are not in their homes every day. When I met with Chris Goutman about taking over for Martha, it did not dawn on me that I was going to have this tough task. I thought, “Oh, she does not want to stay. And, you are finding somebody new?” Well, I did not realize it wasn’t as kosher as everybody made it out to be. I was a bit nervous going to work the first day. I have to admit from the first minute I walked through the door everyone was so amazing. I did not have any weird feeling from anybody. Jon Hensley (Holden) could not have been more fantastic. It wasn’t until I started reading things about it in the soap magazines and online did I feel a bit uneasy. When I did daytime before, they didn’t have any blogs. So I didn’t know when people didn’t like me. Ignorance is bliss. I was like, “I think this is fun,” and then I was reading a lot of negative stuff. It’s hard not to take it personally. Than I thought, “You know what? I am not going to do this to myself. I’m just going to do the best job I can.” I met Martha, and she is lovely. I just figured I have got to move forward for myself, because I can’t let this affect my work, and it’s been much better. But, had I known it was going to be this hard, I probably would have thought about it a bit more before jumping into it as quickly as I said, “yes” to the job. But I am glad I did, because I love doing it.

MICHAEL:

Did Martha give you some advice or a hand-off to take over the role? Or, were those just rumors?

NOELLE:

No, but my first day of work I walked in to my dressing room and there was this huge bouquet of flowers from her wishing me “good-luck”. I thought that was an incredibly classy thing to do, and it made me feel comfortable. It was lovely thing for her to do.

roberttyler.jpgMICHAEL:

How was doing the now defunct ABC soap “Loving”? You were the young lead, Trisha Alden!

NOELLE:

It was fantastic! They were a great group of actors as well, and so was the crew. I had an amazing storyline the whole time I was there. We were Trisha and Trucker, and I had that beautiful actor Robert Tyler (Trucker) to work with the whole time.

MICHAEL:

Speaking of leading men, since Holden and Lily are the central couple of “ATWT”; did Jon Hensley ever sit down and give you the lay of the land, or tips on playing the couple?

johnhensley_noelle.jpgNOELLE:

First, let me say, he is another beautiful man. I am really lucky. I get all of these amazingly handsome men in daytime. Jon is the sweetest man, and from day one he had been kind and patient. He sat down with me and he would go over things with me, and run lines with me as much as I needed. He is not necessarily my source for back storyline, (She laughs) but he is a great guy. Jon kind of gets bored when I ask about all of that, so I will go and ask one of our producers, Vivian Gundaker, who has been with the show for a long time about all the history.

MICHAEL:

You get to work with Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda) as your on-screen mom….

NOELLE:

…who is the best actress in daytime or maybe anywhere!

MICHAEL:

How is she to work with? She can make the phone book sound interesting!

elizabethhubbard.jpgNOELLE:

I love her! She never says anything from the script. She changes all of the lines, so you have to be on your toes when you work with her because you never know what she is going to say. She is such a classy, colorful, intelligent, crazy lady, and super talented. I get really excited when I get to work with her. I don’t think they use her enough. I think they should write more for her because she is so fantastic to work with, and
I hope they write more for us.

MICHAEL:

Being beautiful in daytime is most often a prerequisite. At this point in your life, if someone compliments you on how you look, can you handle a compliment and just say “Thank You,” or are you shy about it and uncomfortable?

NOELLE:

I go, “Thank you,” because I try to bring it from within. There are a lot of outwardly beautiful people, so if you think the compliment is coming from something deeper than that, it’s easier to accept it. Look, everyone knows, as actors, we have got a team of people making us look good. At “ATWT” that includes the team from make-up, wardrobe, to the hair-people. I have a whole team! But, I try to project being a good person, so I hope that is what is showing through.

foursome.jpgMICHAEL:

Can you tease what’s coming up in the next few weeks with Lily?

NOELLE

There are these bad events that keep happening that Holden thinks Damian is responsible for. So, there is going to be a lot of turmoil because Holden’s not going to believe Damian, and I am going to believe him. Then when the boys get kidnapped, it gets more difficult.

MICHAEL:

And speaking of the boys, this week, Luke is still in trouble after Lily tries to
save the day. How does
she feel that she failed to
free her son?

NOELLE:

She feels horrible and Holden is furious with her. Lily’s not giving up though!

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