March 11th, 2010  |  Leave a comment

The Terri Colombino Interview – As the World Turns

© JPI Studios

On my recent trip to New York, I had the opportunity to visit the As the World Turns studios in New York and caught up with one of daytime’s best younger actresses, Oakdale’s Katie, Terri Colombino. Through a whirlwind of much publicized personal trials and tribulations, stemming from an off-screen relationship with her then-co star Austin Peck (Ex-Brad) that had thrown her into the constant soap and mainstream celebrity rumor mill, (and the end of her marriage to Artie Colombino), Terri has not had an easy time of it.  Then, to top it off, as we all learned some time ago, the soap opera that she has called her home for almost 13 years is being canceled as of September 2010.  Hard pills to swallow for anyone!

However, on the creative side, the “firing” of Austin Peck and the story that resulted because of it gave Terri Colombino the material of a soap-loving lifetime.  So much so, that the actress is a serious contender as the Daytime Emmy voting heads into its’ final round to pick the five or so nominees in each category.  For both Terri and me, this was an emotional, raw and heartfelt interview.  I was choked up that this might be the last time I ever see the folks at ATWT before cancellation.  For Terri, it was a chance to set some things straight, and create new beginnings.

MICHAEL:

It is very different being on the set of ATWT here in Brooklyn.  How has the experience been since moving here, when you had the original As the World Turns being taped at CBS in Manhattan?  Obviously, it was a dictated move in an effort to streamline budgets before facing cancellation.

© JPI Studios

TERRI:

I think it ruffled some feathers when we first heard the news that we were moving.  I had only been on the show for a year at that time and I was just happy to be working. But I do see the difference.  We are much closer here.  In the city, people would leave for lunch or go on auditions and come back to the studio. Here in Brooklyn, we are just kind of stuck on our own island, but in that way I think it creates better work.

MICHAEL:

And speaking of work, let’s talk about the storyline of Brad’s death and the sequences that followed, which gave you so much strong material to play.  From having his baby, to the ghost arc of the storyline and the funeral, it was draining   for the audience to watch.  But many fans have written to me saying, “It was one of the best performances of the year.”  So, will you submit that material if you are nominated for a Daytime Emmy?  You already have a pre-nomination in the Lead Actress category.

TERRI:

Yes, if I am nominated I will, but this year they did the pre-nominations a bit differently again. You used to be able to only vote for two people from your show and that was to prevent block voting, but now they were letting you pre-nominate anybody from any show.  Unfortunately, I am looking through these and going, “There are so many shows and we don’t have time to watch them all.  I don’t know some of these names and I want to be fair.”  But then, you end up nominating people that you know, who have been on a long time.  I always nominated people’s work I have seen who are consistently delivering good work and are always good, and that is really how it should work.  I mean, we are judged on one great episode and anyone can have one.

MICHAEL:

I recently spoke to Joshua Morrow (Nick) at Y&R, and he had told me he had taken his name out of consideration because three years ago he put himself on the ballot and his cast mates did not vote for him, so it hurt his feelings.  He did not want to go through that again.  In other words, that caused another issue when two people can only get in from your show and somebody is going to be left off a category.

© JPI Studios

TERRI:

Van Hansis (Luke, ATWT) and I were just talking about it this morning.  It’s like high school.  It’s voting for the popular one, not the one who is most deserving, and that is what it becomes and it’s sad.  But I really do believe that when a wonderful performance happens it surpasses the politics.  I remember when Hillary Swank won the Oscar for Boy’s Don’t Cry.  Who knew who she was before that?  But her performance was so unbelievable that it surpassed all of the, “Well, I don’t know her,” attitude.   Look, it’s never going to be a perfect process.

MICHAEL:

Have there been one or two of the shows where you went “This is it! These are the two shows that are some of the best of my career.”

TERRI:

Yes.  I definitely felt like the day when Brad died was one because it was so beautifully written. And that is another thing, too.  You have to have the writing and there has to be a great story.  The way they wrote it was so beautiful, because he comes back to life for a bit there, and you think he’s going to be all right.  And we have this conversation that everything is going to be great, and I go get the baby and while I am gone he dies. He never gets to see the baby.  I don’t get to have a goodbye with him, and it’s really something I have not seen done before, and I was so glad about that.  It was really heartbreaking to me, the whole situation.  So it was not hard to get there emotionally, and all of it was fun in a really horrible way. (Laughs)  My other favorite was after that when we finally got to say goodbye.  Santa Clause made it okay, so that Brad could say goodbye to all the people that he loves for one last night.  Those scenes were really hard to do.  That is my favorite episode.

MICHAEL:

Austin Peck had called me up and was very sad about his departure from the show, and I had spoken to him at that time for my column.  There were things going on that were reported and discussed… was he “fired” or not “fired”?    I actually think his work on air got better after he was killed off and came back as the ghost.

© JPI Studios

TERRI:

I think that happens a lot and it takes the pressure off, in a way.  You’re kind of like, “Well, I am going, so I might as well go out with a bang.”  And he really had fun with that story and really appreciated how much they gave to him.  That Christmas episode was all about him and all about Brad, and it was beautiful.

MICHAEL

I also know it was a very weird time for you when Austin left the show.  The two of you did have somewhat of an off-screen relationship that had been much talked about.

TERRI:

Austin is a beautiful person and beautiful soul, and a wonderfully talented actor.  I mean, there were things that were happening that were true, and then there were rumors happening that weren’t true.

MICHAEL:

Did you feel you were caught in the crossfire?

TERRI:

Yes.  Austin had said if we keep responding to this it’s just going to fuel the fire, and we bit our tongues and let it go through, and it did end up fizzling out.  But, it’s the price you pay of being in the public eye.  It’s just not fair to those who aren’t.  We kept saying, “Thank God, we were not Brad and Angelina”, and we were thankful to people like you and Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly who chose to take the high road as things happened in people’s lives.

MICHAEL:

Well, things happen in people’s lives.  I don’t think any one can stand on the outside that are not part of it and judge anybody.

TERRI:

© JPI Studios

It’s hard, and at one point, you feel like you have to explain yourself.  But you can’t possibly explain the details of your life, his life, and everybody behind the scenes and what is going on.  That is why eventually I just said, “I am going to have to let people say what people are going to say, and live my life, and feel okay about what I am doing.”

MICHAEL:

When Austin was let go, what went through your mind?

TERRI:

I was shocked and saddened and loved working with him, and spending time with him, but this beautiful story came out of it…it was so hard.   So it was bittersweet, because of him being let-go or “his contract not being renewed.”  It turned into a great story because you needed a character that everyone loved and is connected to, to create a story like that. But, I was upset about the reasons people were saying that it happened.

MICHAEL:

You know that people were saying, “Terri must have had something to do with it?”

TERRI:

What we do in our personal lives no one is going to get fired for, because that does not affect the show.  If that happened there would be no more television. (Laughs)  And that angered me… that people would think something like that.  But I knew in the end, once they saw the story, it could not have seemed to them about, “Oh, I found out what’s happening. You’re fired!”  They would see the story was well thought out very far in advance, way before anything that was happening, and I knew that would tell the story.

MICHAEL:

Austin was honest with me.  He had just lost his gig.  He was like, “What am I going to do to feed my kids?” It was so tough to hear but surely anyone whose ever lost a job could relate to that part of the situation.

© JPI Studios

TERRI:

He was very hurt and had gone though a lot, as have I in the past year, and the people that we were close to.  And when what you do affects other people, that is tough.

MICHAEL:

Was it a learning experience?

TERRI:

It was a learning experience, and that is why we go through things to learn for the next time, and hopefully the way you respond to new situations in your life will be clearly different, because you are a better person for it.

MICHAEL:

You are a single mom now to your daughter, Julia.  That must be an adjustment.

TERRI:

I am a single mom, now.  It’s been great.  I have made the most of it; have gotten support from her dad, Artie, which make it so much easier.  We both respect each other very much and we both love her every much and it’s all about her.  I feel like my time with her is much more precious and she is getting the best of me now.  But, she is going to get the best of both us now.  I revaluated my time with her and now we have such a good time.  She is here with me today having the best time, making sure I know my lines, and getting her make-up done and dressing up in a dress.

MICHAEL:

One other tough subject; I was devastated to hear As the World Turns had been cancelled.  Some say at least the actors were given a nine-month heads up where Guiding Light’s cast and crew were only given six months.  How do you feel it was handled?  How are you doing with it all?

TERRI:

© JPI Studios

Well, I think we all kind of knew it was coming.  And in a way it’s easier now, because we know for sure instead of having to wonder.  I think I have been in shock and I am starting to get sad when I think about it.  (Starts to cry)   I love these people here at As the World Turns, and I love what I do, and I love our fans, and to think about what they are losing, too.  I feel like there are other ways to re-work things for the soaps.  What networks are really losing is a special part of America.  Soaps are an art and some other talk show, judge show, or reality show, does not have that.  I think they are going to realize it when it’s much too late.  But, As the World Turns had its time…54 years…and it’s been amazing.  So everything has its time.  You either change with the times or get left behind.

  1. Frances Nonenmacher says:

    I think Terri is a wonderful and sweet lady. I really enjoyed reading her touching interview , it brought tears . Terri is a great actress I enjoy her in every scene e,specially with Austin another great actor. I wish Terri the very best and I feel she will go far.
    Terri thank you for bringing us fans such great intertainment through the years. as I said before you are a great actress. Looking forward to seeing you at the fan club luncheon.

    Reply

  2. Jeff says:

    Michael,
    Thanks so much for this wonderful interview with Terri, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am a huge ATWT fan and I am simply dreading the end of the show this September. I also appreciate your writing for the Advocate. I, of course am a huge Nuke fan… and now, yes, I must admit it a Ruke fan too… but what is your take on the seeming upcoming end to gay story lines on daytime. I mean come September no more Nuke or Ruke, Otalia is long gone, and OLTL has announced the end of Kish… is this it? No more same sex stories on daytime?

    Reply

  3. ELIS says:

    Thank you for this interview. Please, can you do an interview of VAN HANSIS: I love his fascinating portrayal of Luke (ATWT). Van is really an amazing actor and he deserved to be pre-nominated for the Emmy Awards. And I love his powerful chemistry with Reid! Thanks!

    Reply

  4. Frances Nonenmacher says:

    I am watching As The World Turns for 54 years. When I got the call it was being cancel
    I was crying so hard that the person said to me I am not going to hang up until I know you are ok. I am not giving up on trying to find a new home for our show . I and fans will continue to keep our letters , post cards and calls going to Lifetime and other networks for that new home. I will fight for my show as I call it until the very end. They are my As The World Turns Family. I consider them Daytime Best.
    Jeff I am so glad to read you are dreading our show being cancel as well we got until Sept to get that new home .

    Reply

  5. Elle. says:

    I really love what she has to say…. I think the interview was a wonderful read and kudos to her to being open about all of the matters on which he interviewed her.

    At the same time, we now know what happened and we also know that AP was’t fired because of having a affair. Especially when we think about the writers, they’ve really gone out and about with the story this couldn’t have been written in the meantime of us hearing he was being let go and the airdates.

    I’m gonna miss seeing TC on my screen every day, as well as any other character.

    I’m going to miss this show – I grew up with it,. I’m 20 now and I’ve been watching since TC appeared on my screen and recognized her from my fav. kid show Breaker High.

    Reply

  6. Michael Bird says:

    Once again, a thoughtful and insightful interview on your site. Terri Conn Colombino has portrayed a character on ATWT who has been easy to love, even when Katie makes ill-advised decisions! I remember her crush on Holden back in his WOAK producer days, and her deceptions being revealed at the Endicott awards. That was such a long time ago, right when Terri first came on the show.

    Her work during the Brad ghost story was, by far, her best. The goodbye on Christmas Eve was one of the best episodes of ATWT, ever. And it was made all the more bittersweet with the doom of cancellation hanging over our heads.

    Again, thanks for a great job as always.

    Reply

  7. Donni says:

    I am so sad this is being cancelled It is the one Big Highlight of my day. I have been watching it since 1985 and don’t want to stop…. all I can say is WHY, WHY, WHY oh the anguish and frustration we all feel…. Not Fair!

    Reply

  8. Donna Bremke says:

    There are no game shows or reality shows that can offer a person a slice of entertaiment like a soap opera. I’ve been a watcher of “As The World Turns” since high school. I remember my mother and sister discussing the characters’ lives as if they were family members. We used to say it was better to talk about Lisa and Bob than someone in our own family since that would have been gossiping. I’m in my late 60′s and have enjoyed the stories from 1974. I will really miss this show!

    Reply

  9. Betty Caudle says:

    I have been watching “As The World Turns” since April of 1956…..yes, ever since it was first on!! The Hughes, Lowells……. Jeff and Penny were favorites of mine. Will miss it, but like someone said, it had a good run. Am looking forward to the next few months. Wondering how it will all end up.

    Reply

    John Cacace replied

    Will they have a memorial on As the World Turns for Helen Wagner

    Reply

    John Cacace replied

    Will they have a Memorial on As the World Turns for Helen Wagner

    Nancy Bristol replied

    Is today your birthday, John?

  10. Chris says:

    I have been watching ATWT since 1987 and am devistated they are cancelling it. When I watch TV and see all the terrible talk and judge shows, shows about loggers and tiny chocolatiers and then I really can’t believe they are cancelling our beloved show. My daughter has been watching with me for the last few years and she is going to college in August. Losing her and this show pretty much at the same time will be really tough on me. It was something we share and I am so sad it wil be gone. I have written to other networks to please pick this show up, if you love ATWT please write to Lifetime and Soap Network to pick it up.

    Reply

    Patricia replied

    I wrote to Lifetime and Soap Network. I love ATWT — think it’s the best out there, the performances, the story lines… I don’t want to see this one go.

    Reply

    Patricia replied

    Also emailed Oxygen: http://www.oxygen.com/legal/contact.aspx
    and
    We Tv: http://www.wetv.com/contact-we-tv.html

    Maybe if we all email and show the support the show won’t have to end after all!

  11. jean says:

    Isn’t anything being done to try and get another network, cable, or internet, to take over ATWT? It’s so frustrating to me that I never read that anything is being done to keep this great show on the air? Is there anyone we can write to?

    Reply

  12. nell says:

    we are all so sick of our favorite shows being cancelled everyone should just stop watching cbs ! too many game/talk shows already they all stinks!

    Reply

  13. Rita Kennedy says:

    Terri is such a lady and a wonderful actress.
    I am so sad that As the World is been taken away. Why?
    Isn’t there anything that could have been done to save the show.
    I’ve been a fan for the past 19 years since I moved to New York and will miss everyone in Oakdale.

    Reply

  14. Chris says:

    I have been a devoted fan of ATWT for 44 years. After that much time, the characters are like family, and I am stunned by the cancellation of the show. If there is any way to influence the Powers That Be to keep it going, please tell us how.

    Reply

  15. Bonnie says:

    I have been watching ATWT since 1972,. I have never cried when a show has been cancelled, but I did when I found out about ATWT. When I was pregnant with my daughter in 1987, I decided that my daughter’s name was going to be Sierra, after Sierra Esteban, Lucinda Walsh daughter. So I guess you could say I am going to miss my “other family”.

    Reply

  16. Marcella says:

    Learning of the cancellation of ATWT has stunned and saddened me. ATWT is the only daytime program I have watched for the last 42 years. I feel as though I have lost 30 members of my family. Please don’t do this.

    Reply

  17. Karen McKibben says:

    I am deeply saddened by the cancellation of As The World Turns! I would imagine you will be replacing it with a reality show or silly game show. Obviously I will be making ABC my network of choice…

    Reply

  18. Peggy says:

    I have watched As The World Turns for the past 28 years ..since I was 17. I had my fingers crossed that ABC would possibly pick the show up, but that looks like it is not going to happen. ATWT will go the way of Guiding Light, which I also watched until it ended last September. I am afraid this cancellation will end my “soap opera” watching days. I don’t want to get interested in another one only to have it canned. CBS has canceled many shows I have enjoyed.

    Reply

  19. Gloria Abercrombie says:

    Thank you Terri and all the other cast members for your wonderful work. I have watched ATWT for 50 years. The only soap I have ever watched. I can’t imagine CBS opting for a talk or game show in that time slot. I too was hoping another net work would work ATWT into their schedule. I’ll be watching for you and the others in the future (somewhere) I hope.

    Good luck to you all.

    Reply

  20. Nelda says:

    I too have watched ATWT for 54 years and am sad that it has been canceled. CBS will probably be replacing it with another game show or reality show. :) . The show that replaced Guiding Light sucks. Surely CBS realizes their ratings will be going down.

    Reply

  21. Christel says:

    I have watched the very first episode of As The World Turns in 1956 and have watched it ever since, I hate the thought of it being cancelled,it never even entered my mind that they would cancel the show,why in heavens name???? I loved Penny and Jeff,Chris Hughes and Penny’s best friend Ellen Lowell,too bad that some of these characters haven’t been featured anymore,I would love to see Penny again,she was not mentioned much at all in the later years.I am not too thrilled with some of the new characters that were brought on like Gabe and Liberty and Vienna,out of nowhere, especially Gabe was grabbed out of thin air with no background to a familiar character,it was only mentioned about Sierra and Craig but nobody ever heard of the woman that was Gabe’s mother,frankly I do not care about that character.Bring back the old familiar ones.

    Reply

  22. Peggy Antoniak says:

    Terri’s interview was very insightful. I do believe the “powers that be” do not take in to account what people watch over the age of 49. I am 64 and have watched soaps all my life. I never watch prime time TV, just the soaps. Why? I love a good story. ATWT’s will be missed by a person that buys alot of advertised products. I also TIVO all the soaps. I have lost SB, GL, AW and ATWT and am not taking it very well. Baby Boomers buy, guys, they have the money. Stupid move. I also love to read. Guess I’ll be turning the TV off shortly. Terri – great job and nobody with any goodness in their heart would ever judge a sweet lady like you. Live your life and be happy.

    Reply

    Pat Lesch replied

    Peggy could not have said it better. I too have watched the soaps for many years. My two favorites are GL and ATWT. I also will be turning off the TV, or at least CBS. I guess anyone over 49 just does not count with CBS.

    Reply

  23. Brandy says:

    I SAD! I have been watching this show since the 70′s ! My mom and I always watched it together. . I am going to miss this amazing cast! They truly are like family. Great interview with Terri . I also liked the Christmas eve show with Brad . I love a good cry, and I have shed many on this show! Thanks ATWT I’ll miss you!!

    Reply

  24. Brandy says:

    P.S. One good thing …I will have 5 extra hours a week to myself and I promise it will not be used on tv. I am so sick of whats on tv right now ….cooking shows , talk shows , court tv . I don’t watch any of it .But, I love the Bravo network!

    Reply

  25. Michelle says:

    I am saddened that this great show has to end. It is the only one that I watch. Eric Sheffer Stevens you have been a great asset to the show. I wish you had come along sooner. To all the cast you will be greatly missed. I wish each and everyone of you much success in your future endeavors. In my family this show had already come down to the 4th generation. What a great loss.

    Reply

  26. Donna says:

    It’s a tragedy that ATWT is going off the air. This show has some of the best acting and best stories. There is no comparison. ATWT has always been about relationships, family, love, hate, and day-to-day life. There is no other re-placement for this show. I started watching it in the late 80′s and I don’t know what I will do when its off the air. I hope to see my favorites on another soap or yet, start a new soap. What will I do without watching my favorites – Henry, Katie, Barbara, Craig, Carly, Jack, Luke…etc!! Good luck to all of you and hope we get to see you in another show – or re-start ATWT again!!!

    Reply

  27. MaryLynn says:

    I, too, cannot believe that they are cancelling my only soap. I am 64
    years old and my mother and I used to watch “As the World Turns” together when it first started. Now my 44 year old daugher watches it.
    My Mom passed away 5 years ago and I really feel this is another
    part of her leaving. It seems like a death in the family. Even my husband agrees that the acting on the show is good (and he even has
    a crush on Terri Colombino). Putting yet another nasty talk show on
    the air is ridiculous. Now there will be absolutely NO GOOD TV on
    during the day. I think from what I’ve heard that the last episode
    is on 9/11, which was one of the worst days in American history and
    also my birthday!!! Good Luck to the all the cast. I’ll be looking for
    you.

    Reply

  28. donna says:

    I love….. AS THE WORLD TURNS…..I am just sick that the show is being cancelld..CBS. is making a very big mistake..I my self and so so many others feel the same way ..I dont want to watch a reality show and see people eat bugs. and do stupid things for money…At least AS THE WORLD TURNS…has class !!!!!!!!…I have watched the show since I was 9 years old and Im 45 now…so this is very sad ….The Cast of AS THE WORLD TURNS…are family to millions of viewers……when they hurt on the show ..we hurt to .when Brad died I cried so hard…My heart was breaking for Kaitie…so to the entire cast ….I love you all.and you will be missed dearly….and to..CBS……YA”LL SUCK !!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  29. cindy says:

    I am sorry to see this soap go because it is a loss of an era from my child hood, I loved all of the characters and the actors here, they will all be sadly missed. There are very few left willing to show the truth of real life in the real world so I don’t know who will when all of the soaps are off the air, I tape mine and watch them when I have my quiet time, it is my way of forgetting my problems and see someone else in a way. Thank you all for your hard work and GOD speed to you all where ever you go.

    Reply

  30. Ginny says:

    I have been watching AS THE WORLD TURNS as much as I could from the 50s’ and 60s’. I was in school but when I graduated in 1965 I watched it every day. I am going to miss it very much. I remember when Penny (Bob’s sister) and Ellen were 2 of the main characters. It always had great stories. Will it ever come back?

    Reply

  31. mmc says:

    I loved this show and i particularly loved the story of Luke and Reid and their falling in love.I also loved the fact that Reid and Katie became such good friends.that’s why the ending was so hard to take.Bad enough that ATWT was leaving us after 54 years but to kill off Reid and leave Luke grieving was cruel and insensitive.We loved them and their beautiful story and wanted them to have a happily ever after like everyone else! And as far as Chris getting Reids heart, does it make sense that everytime Chris hugged she could feel her friend Reids heart beating in his chest.that woluld drive a sane person crazy and Katie still was fragile.IU hated the ending of this stiryline of luke and reid .had it ended differently, maybe I could have come to terms withATWT ending, but now I can’t.I do wish all these wonderful actors success in whatever path they follow.i wish i knew where i could get photos of aTWT cact. Does anyone know?

    Reply

  32. Summer says:

    Thanks for the intimate profile on Terri. I know I saw in a Soap Opera Digest or CBS Soaps that she had attended a fundraiser with “Real Life Beau” Austin Peck and I was surprised. I just wanted to know if it was true – so thanks.

    Reply

Leave a comment