August 6th, 2011  |  Leave a comment

The Crystal Chappell Interview – Venice

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

This week’s birthday girl, Crystal Chappell, has a lot to celebrate this summer!  Recently, she won her second Daytime Emmy and the first for her hit web series, Venice! And, she announced she is creating another web soap called The Grove, collaborating with her husband, actor, Michael Sabatino (Ex- Lawrence, DAYS) on the writing chores!  And that is only for starters, because then came the good news for Venice fans that the enterprising Chappell is in pre production and getting ready to shoot season three of the phenomenal web soap.

But that is not all!  If you really want to see the crème’de la crème of soap opera performances, you need to look no further than the past two weeks of riveting drama that featured Chappell doing some of the finest work of her remarkable daytime career on Days of our Lives.  As viewer’s watched Carly Manning’s total descent into drug addiction escalate, and the horror of her arch-nemesis Vivian Alamain pushing drugs down her throat, and the subsequent total fall of a woman so badly damaged by what life threw at her that she feels she had no where to turn and no one to comfort her, Crystal’s performance have many screaming, “Emmy” for next year!  Clearly, we also want to take this opportunity to name Crystal this week’s On-Air On-Soap’s Power Performance of the Week for her stellar scenes. Of course there has certainly been a big bump in the road this summer for Chappell, too, when the powers-that-be at DAYS made the decision to pink-slip her to make way for their new reset version of the series coming in late September.  And while the decision has been heartbreaking for many, as you will read, Chappell has great perspective on it all.

In one of our favorite interviews to date with the soap superstar, you will get an inside preview of the focus of this feature… which is the exciting season three of Venice and what she has planned for her acting troupe. What will happen for Gina, Ani, Lara, Owen, Guya, and Sami?  Crystal definitely has mapped out their paths!  Plus, you will get some inside scoop here on what daytime actress might be one of the leads in The Grove, and something we know will go flying off the bookshelves…Crystal is also hard at work on her first book. Will names be named?  Stay tuned!  Here’s our chitchat with the birthday girl!

 

MICHAEL:

An Emmy later, we pick up our story!  You won the Daytime Emmy for Venice, and we talked that night briefly at the Creative Arts presentations.  When you took the Emmy home, how did it feel?

CRYSTAL:

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

It felt great.  A lot of people worked very hard and put a lot of energy into Venice, and it was completely unexpected!  I was certain someone else would win.

MICHAEL:

Oh, c’mon!  You were up against Tasty Time with ZeFronk!

CRYSTAL:

Seriously, I did not know if we would win. We were up against Disney and I kept thinking, “I don’t know how this is all going to play out.” (Laughs) But winning was a very nice validation of the hard work we put into it, and then I introduced her to my other Emmy, and they have been fast friends ever since!  And that is sort of appropriate, in lieu of what Venice is about… that these two should sleep next to each other.  I also noticed that the modern day Emmy has a little more cleavage!

MICHAEL:

They have given her a makeover!

CRYSTAL:

Yes, even the modern day Emmy goes to Beverly Hills for plastic surgery, or a nip and a tuck here and there.  (Laughs)

 

MICHAEL:

So, season three of Venice is about to go into production and you are spearheading the whole shebang!

CRYSTAL:

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

I can honestly say, we are under a time pinch since we pushed production back a couple of months.  But, I can honestly say that I am just as busy as I was before… no more, no less.

 

MICHAEL:

Are you giving yourself more time to learn your lines this season, from your own scripts?  I mean, more than a day to memorize?

CRYSTAL:

Yes, I am reading it over and over again as I am producing this time.  Hopefully, I am learning it as I go. (Laughs)

 

MICHAEL:

What do you think the avid Venice fan and aficionado can expect from season three?

 

CRYSTAL:

I think they are going to see their favorite characters picking right up where we left off in season two into season three.  There were a lot of stories left hanging in season two; with the Colonel mailing that letter to Ani, the fight between Lara and Ani, and Guya’s new business!  Before, Guya could sense spirits, and now she can actually see them for a reason.  There is clearly some unfinished business between these two sisters.  We are going to figure out what it is about and the audience will know about that.  Ani and Lara’s relationship will go in a new direction, and so will Gina and Ani’s.  But I can tell you it won’t be what you’d expect.

MICHAEL:

So wait… Lara won’t end up with a man?  Please God!  No All My Children foibles on your show! (Laughs)

CRYSTAL:

Nobody is ending up with a man, I can tell you that.  But… they can be friends with a man.  (Laughs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MICHAEL:

Lara, played by Nadia Bjorlin, took a dark turn in episode eleven that won the Emmy.  Will we see her go down a different path with her life in season three?

 

CRYSTAL:

Lara is going to work very hard to prove to Ani that she can pull it together.  She is going to do just that by looking for ways to do better, and she loves Ani.  So there is definitely a triangle here when you add Gina to the equation.  And sometimes you do these in the name of love for the right things.  But maybe it is not the most honorable thing to do.  But Lara is still a good person.  The thing I like about all three of these women is that they are good people and flawed, and they are making mistakes along the way.

MICHAEL:

Will the same cast be intact featuring both east-coasters and west-coasters?

CRYSTAL:

Molly Burnett (Melanie, DAYS) is coming onboard and I will not say as who just yet.  And whether she is a good girl or a bad girl will actually play into season four.  She has reason to not be so nice.  I adore Molly, and one of the fun things about producing the show is that I get to work with people whom I really respect and love, and they are just good actors.  And that in essence is what this Emmy represents; a lot of hard working people behind the scenes.  I think this cast rose to the occasion and I think that is why the Emmy came home with Venice.

 

MICHAEL:

The big question is, when can fans get their fix of Venice season three? When will you be launching?

 

CRYSTAL:

I think we are on target with this.  I think around late November or early December will be the first episode, hopefully around Thanksgiving.  And then new webisodes will be longer, believe it or not.  Last time we shot 145 pages in 5 and half days.  This time, I think we are up to 170 pages and that is just through episode 10.  We have more time to shoot it this time.  The shortest webisode was 10 minutes last year, and the longest was 20 minutes.  But because of the page count I am working with, cumulatively, we are going to have more show at the end of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MICHAEL:

In our last chitchat a few months back, you announced to me that you have created an entirely new web soap called The Grove, which is a classic soap opera style series. With Venice launching at the end of the year, when can we expect The Grove to debut?

 

CRYSTAL:

Once we wrap Venice, I will be getting into The Grove.  I already have the long-term story on The Grove. Michael Sabatino and I are going to sit down and write the season and I think it will launch in February or March of 2012.  So right about the time that Venice is wrapping up its season, we will be cross producing, basically.  So I will be shooting The Grove and then turning that around. There will be a two-month hiatus basically, and then I will start writing Venice again.  So we are going to move forward with both series.

MICHAEL:

OK.  I ask this every year, but are we going to see a major gay love story in Venice during season three, featuring Jamie?

CRYSTAL:

We will see more of that relationship develop in season three, and in fact, Harrison White (Jamie) wrote the long term of the story.

MICHAEL:

I am also assuming that Jamie and Gina will get into some laugh riot situations that only two best friends could get into!

CRYSTAL:

© JPI Studios

Given the fact that Guya can now see her dead sister… who now lands in the body of a whore at Amber’s memorial, you could say that.  There is a lot of closure that has to happen with Guya and Kate.  So we end up at the Memorial.  And as it happens, in Amber’s family being a hooker is a very honorable profession, a la Las Vegas.  In other words, this is an escort or a paid date with “benefits”.  So this is not something that is frowned upon, necessarily.  It is a very interesting group of people.  But the whole thing is wonderfully kinetic, and there is a lot of fun for Jamie, Gina, Guya and Owen.

MICHAEL:

I want to talk about Owen, played by Galen Gering, for a moment.  Could there be a dark turn in his character in season three?

CRYSTAL:

It is kind of his turn to deal with some issues.  Gina went through hers, and I am not saying they are all resolved, but she found at least a meeting of the minds with her father and she is back at work, dealing with her love life.  And Owen reaches out to his father and does not seemingly do the right thing, and it’s the same response as sister Gina gets!  He hits the wall with this man.  So Owen is not the same in season three, he is acting out.  Sami has disappointed him…although he has disappointed her. Owen is angry; his life is a mess, basically.

MICHAEL:

What about Sami played by Gina Tognoni?  I hear something is not quite right with her.  What can you preview?

CRYSTAL:

We find out things about Sami that never really happened.  Maybe there are things she talks about that aren’t real.  She is not a well person, but she speaks the truth… or she believes she is telling the truth.

MICHAEL:

Did you decide to do that to give Gina Tognoni some story to play, and to bring her talents more front and center?

 

CRYSTAL:

© JPI Studios

She is a brilliant actress, and when she hits those raw places and her humanity in scenes, it’s amazing to watch.  What inspired this story arc was watching her on Guiding Light as Dinah.  I think she will be amazing and I am very excited about it.  I love writing for people and people that I love, but I also love writing for people’s strengths.  I want the best out of them; because I know at the end of the day they are going to walk away with feeling good about their work.

MICHAEL:

You are an actress who now directs and writes and you know the game, and how the actors need to work and like to work.  And I hear from all of your co-stars that they love working with you.  And, that somehow you have a way of working with them to bring out what they need to accomplish in a scene.  I loved hearing that, because if it were me and I heard Crystal Chappell and Susan Flannery (Stephanie, B&B) were going to be directing me, I would run out the door! (Laughs)

 

CRYSTAL:

And you know what? I guess there was a moment when Susan and I worked together with Nadia and Jessica, and Susan disagreed with a point in the shot I wanted to get, and I said, “Well, I really feel that this is what I want.”  And Susan was nothing but cool.  She has been amazing.  She and I made a great team on the set!  We were double teaming people! (Laughs)  I just want people to have a good time about their work and feel safe. An actor has to feel safe in order to do their best work. That is just how it has to be.

 

MICHAEL:

Speaking of another force to be reckoned with and one of the great actresses of the genre, I hear Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH) might be in The Grove?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

CRYSTAL:

At Nancy Lee Grahn’s recent fan event, I kind of tricked her.  I was onstage talking to the audience while she was talking to someone else, and I said, “Nancy, just say, “Yes.”  And she said, “Yes.”  I have been mentioning it to her here and there, but I have not actually sat down with her.  I can tell you that Nancy has been so supportive of Venice.  But I can say there is a great, great part for her in The Grove. Michael Sabatino and I were saying to each other, “Nancy would be great for this role.”  And then you start writing for that actor and you know what they can do, and I get excited.  And I can tell you; I have a harder time writing for myself.  But I love writing what his character is going to do or her character is going to do. That is fun for me, and then I don’t have to learn so many damn lines! (Laughs)

 

MICHAEL:

So you now have a great team of writers on board as your writing team for season three of Venice, including Jill Lorie Hurst.  How are the writing chores going to be divvied up?

CRYSTAL:

What is good about this season of Venice is that I gave them long-term story and the writing team broke it up into dialog.  I wrote a few scenes, but 98% of the scenes were written by them.  If you see something really adolescent and immature, that’s probably the scene I wrote.  (Laughs) There is a scene I wrote between Guya, Owen and Gina and they are having one of their nights.  And they are playing nun-bowling! (Laughs)  That is the kind of stuff I write, all the fun stuff.  But all the smart stuff comes from these incredibly smart women writers with mature, moving, and beautiful dialog, that has that spark and humor to it.

MICHAEL:

Who is the one that says, “I want to write the lesbian sex-scenes?”

CRYSTAL:

Well, that would be me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: MFSOAPS inc.

MICHAEL:

You have new items in your Venice the Series V-Shop, which launched on August 3rd and many of them autographed by members of the cast.  And I hear a brand of tequila…Tequila Revolucion is a new sponsor for Venice?

CRYSTAL:

(Hiccup) Yup! (Laughs) I put myself out there and I tested the tequila.  So to get a good sponsor I said, “I will come in person to taste your products! (Laughs) Well, first of all what is funny about this is, I love, love, love a good tequila, because I don’t drink crap.  They are our first big sponsors and we have these new Venice shot glasses to go with the tequila!  Fans can buy those at the V-Shop.

MICHAEL:

It has been unbelievable watching you over the past few weeks on Days of our Lives as Carly battles her drug addiction and continually and continually spirals downward.  It has been must-see daytime television. And I know you wrapped at DAYS six weeks or so ago.  How was your last day on set?  I know Nadia Bjorlin (Lara, Venice, Chloe DAYS) did not get a big farewell for her last tape day.

 

CRYSTAL:

I finished taping June 24th.  I want to be clear about something… with someone like Nadia Bjorlin who was on a show for 12 years; there should have been a celebration for her.  But for me, I don’t like that kind of thing.  My objective going back was to work. And I can honestly say, I would not have gotten to do all the things I have been doing, if it wasn’t for DAYS, and I am eternally grateful for that.  Look, they are in a state of change and flux and they need to focus on what they need to do.  I have some things coming up in the daytime world that are very positive.  I am hopeful, and I will leave it at that.  I had the lovely Maria Arena Bell (executive producer and head writer, Y&R) come up to me at the Emmys and tell me what a big fan she was of mine, and so we will see. Something will happen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

MICHAEL:

I am sure you will be back on daytime! The powers-that-be would be stupid not to snatch you up.  So I understand you are moving back to your home in Central California and exiting the big city for now.

 

CRYSTAL:

This is something as a mother I felt I needed to do. Because I felt terribly guilty, as a lot of moms do, and that is as actor’s pulling my children around, and my eldest son in particular.  I mean, when I grew up I went to 11 different schools by the time I graduated from high school.  But you adapt, but you are always saying goodbye to somebody.  I just saw what this was doing to him.  So I made a promise to my children, that I will not move them again.  They love it up there.  L.A. is right here and these days you can work anywhere if you have an internet connection. We live in a very small town, so I am going to have to come back down here to L.A. to get my city fix and see my friends, but I will not move my children.  They will go to school with those kids that they have known before and back into the school they were at before   So this has been nothing but positive.  I can tell you that my kids have had an amazing turnaround in the last six weeks.  My eldest was going through a hard time and my little one had gotten very quiet.  I think they have been sensing in the last several weeks that I have been a very happy person.  And Michael is doing amazing and is a wonderful partner for me.  He is getting his electrician’s license up and he has his construction business up there, and things are just so peaceful.

 

MICHAEL:

It’s got to be hard for the kids and for you when Mom is not there and off working.  Now with you having some more availability, that should be good for the kids, don’t you think?

CRYSTAL:

I think being more available to my kids is part of it, but I also believe life has taken me in the exact path I need to be, and so I do not regret any of it.  I just want to keep moving forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MICHAEL:

As fans watch your final month and half as Carly, should we expect her descent into drug hell to go further?  She is such a mess right now!

CRYSTAL:

It gets worse!  But I will say a year ago, Gary Tomlin (ex-co executive producer, DAYS) said to me, “We need to give you something more substantial.”  And I did not think it would go this far, honestly.  I was not expecting a storyline like that.  And I don’t find it depressing, and I don’t understand that mentality, because they actually played it realistically and through rehab and everything else.  I am getting a lot of messages from people saying, “This is hard to watch. But this is what I am going through.”  I got to work with great people.  Melissa Reeves (Jennifer, DAYS) did some great work in the story, and you cannot do that work if you are not given the opportunity.  So I was proud of them for trying it.  And I do like the journey that she takes, and ultimately it’s about forgiveness and learning how to forgive yourself.

MICHAEL:

So with all things being equal, including being pink-slipped from the series, you have liked the drug addiction storyline for Carly?  It has been some of your most gut-wrenching work to date, and that is saying something after the myriad of soap plots in your career!

 

CRYSTAL:

I loved the drug addiction storyline, because it made me work hard.  I find it hard to challenge myself in acting these days.  I feel like I need to go back to the classics and do some work on that.  I was inspired and happy to be put back into the quarry and split some rocks open and really work hard.  I got that opportunity with Carly’s last storyline and I got to work, as I said, with some wonderful people.  I think there is some really wonderful stuff coming up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy/NBC

MICHAEL:

I know that you wanted to get out there to the soap fans; that someone was very instrumental at keeping DAYS alive for the past two years!

 

CRYSTAL:

Yes. September is coming up.  I just want to say that, it would have been the last month of Days of our Lives and I am not saying you have to agree with someone’s taste in story or anything else.  But I think people should know that this show would not be continuing past September if Gary Tomlin had not gone in and negotiated this deal.  It is Gary that got the show the deal it has with the network.  So you do not have to agree with certain things about him, but just be aware with that.  I think if nothing else just say, “Hey, thanks.”  He kept the show on for a couple of years.

MICHAEL:

You have some more exciting news to share here with everyone!  You have now begun writing a book.  Is it going to be a memoir? (fingers-crossed)

 

CRYSTAL:

I am writing a book… a memoir.  I write with humor.  There are things that I don’t get as a person and I look at someone’s behavior and I go, “Really?”  Or, I hear things and I go, “I have no idea what you are talking about.”   It’s a perspective, and it is linked to the partial reason why these soaps are failing and I will leave it at that.  And that is my perspective as it pertains to what is happening now.  I just started writing it and it starts out with new media on Emmy night, and then we will go back.  I am excited about that!  I learned a lot from all the soaps I have been on.  Michael has been on different soaps, and we moved around and so did a lot of actors in soaps, and so everyone has his or her stories.  It has been interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MICHAEL:

Please tell me, you do not have the same ghost writer as Susan Lucci and Kim Zimmer?  I am speaking with Zimmer next week!

CRYSTAL:

Will you ask Kim, when you speak with her, if I am in her book?  Kim is such a talented bitch.  I love her!

MICHAEL:

Venice now looks to potentially be the forerunner for the web for soaps.  With the news that One Life to Live and All My Children are moving to the internet courtesy of Prospect Park, what were your thoughts when you heard this news and have been following the small updates from the company itself? There is a lot to work through to get this to happen, it would seem.  They hinted the shows would be on seasonally, which is similar to how Venice operates.

CRYSTAL:

Initially, I thought the news was fantastic, but I thought there is no way you are going to keep the same format and get advertisers, and I did not understand that. And, that seemed to me that it was not thought out.  But I think it’s possible, if you can get this cast to be wiling to work for much less, and doing it seasonally, that is not a bad idea at all.  But you are talking about asking actors to take a pay cut.  I can tell you; I am going to go to AFTRA to see at least how to get these actors; healthcare and pension.  It’s going to be a challenge, and if they can do it, that will be great.  But a lot is going to have to be sacrificed, that much I know.  They are going to most likely have to use non-union crews.

MICHAEL:

I was hoping it was not just a bone they threw at the now long-suffering ABC Daytime fans of OLTL and AMC, when ABC and Prospect Park sent out that initial press release.  Clearly, things were not in place at all when they made that announcement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

CRYSTAL:

It is about the format and being able to direct people to the web.  There is Internet television coming out, but that is the future and we are not quite there yet.  I would do seasonal subscription, if they want my two cents.  That is what I would do and they can do that.  And as long as these actors are willing to work for less and they use a non-union crew, that is my take on it, otherwise it is very costly.  This is what I want to go in and talk to the union about. We need a new scale for new media that is reasonable.  I cannot afford for my show what now exists for television.  So I want to be able to say, “Here is your salary, and that much is going to go into your pension and that much is going into your health care.”  It all has to be worked out from here on.  And I don’t know how they are now going to not have a hiccup.  Realistically, you have to ask yourself, where is the money coming from?  Who is investing?  And, what are they getting back from it? Because, it is all about money.  How is that going to work and how does that happen?   If they need to talk with someone, have them call me!

 

 

  1. Carol Legere says:

    Is it just me or doesn’ the wonderful beautiful TALENTED Jessica Leccia deserve more mention? And please don’t call me a Jessica Fanatic I just truly believe she gets overlooked way to much. I think Michael should of asked at least some ?’s about Jess. OK I’m ready for the back lash.

    Reply

    olddoolfan replied

    A career and life is represented by the sum total of its parts.

    There is little doubt that Crystal acknowledges the importance that Jessica Leccia has played in her journey. Professionally she is backing her as the lead in not one, but two, webseries.

    As a fan of Crystal, particularly at this time, I absolutely loved this interview.

    Perspective. Perhaps a solid theme for all to consider.

    I am just rather glad to hear that she is doing ok. Maybe even better than ok.

    I’m also even more excited than I was before about the prospect of late 2011 and early 2012.

    Wonderful stuff Michael.

    Reply

    Carol Legere replied

    I know I’m sorry really didn’t mean anything bad I truly love and respect and supportCrystal in anything she does. Michael is so good at his job he is yes very informative and honest. I guess as a fan that loves Crystal and Jessica so much I worded what I was trying to say in the wrong way. Sorry.

    tigger_too replied

    No need to apologize for your opinion your entitled to have one.Thankful to CC for giving us so much JL /Ani in season 2.CC is TPTB of Venice nothing wrong with telling her what you want how else will she know what her audience likes are doesn’t like.Looking forward to The Grove also wondering about NG’s character since it’s a lead.

    tigger_too replied

    My apologizes great interview Michael….thank you.Also would love to see CC join the cast of Y&R only reason I would ever tune into CBS again.

  2. Candace says:

    Great interview Michael. Thanks for your support of Venice. And thank you Crystal – your interviews are always so much fun to read.

    I do wish we could have found out a little more about Ani and whether Season 3 will tackle her body image/ co-dependency issues. Guess I will just have to wait and see!!

    Reply

  3. Perla says:

    Very good and interesting interview, many things CC shared is cleared and well explained.
    I just can wait for season 3 to start and also to see how her story on dool will end. She is a great actres really enjoy seeing her performed, she give her all in everything she do.
    Thank you Micheal for this great interview you’re the best.

    Reply

  4. Carol Legere says:

    Hey sorry didn’t mean anything bad towards Michael It was a great interview alot of good info and I am so looking forward to V3 and The Grove. Love anything Crystal does and will always support her. I am just such a CC-JL fan .Yes Michael you are the best.

    Reply

  5. KESM says:

    Tomlin got the 2year deal for Days? Just what does Ken Corday do anyway? Also, a lot of people don’t get a big goodby party at Days. I don’t think it means anything at this point so many people leave then they come back at some point. I think Nadia would have a chance of coming back in 9months-a year.
    I’m getting excited about season three of Venice. Let’s see what new dialogue writers and a longer format looks like. I have respect for Crystal for foraging ahead with the series.

    Reply

  6. SunshineSharon says:

    Great interview Michael with the committed, talented & honest Crystal Chappell. She always gives credit where credit is due & doesn’t shine the light on herself. That is commendable. The interview was educational, informative & fun. Hugs

    Reply

  7. crystal fan1 says:

    Geat interview with crystal,michael.She is such a dynamic woman and loving woman,i can see why all her acter friends have such love for her.Can’t wait to see molly on venice,hopefully in many scenes with crystal.Its great that gina,nadia, tina, hillary, jessica will be back with venice.The grove is getting more interesting,with the news of nancy lee grahn as a lead in the grove.

    Reply

  8. Anne-Marie says:

    Great interview!

    Reply

  9. Msmith says:

    Crystal chappell is always a consummate professional! great interview I am excited to hear
    of the possibility of Y&R ! I have watched CC from her very first debut on Dool and loved her work on GL Michael great interview! Onward to the Grove and Venice:)

    Reply

  10. Heather T says:

    Can’t wait for Venice Season 3! Crystal did say that Jess is the heart and soul of V. No worries!

    Reply

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Loved the interview, it did give us some insight into what’s coming up this year on V3. I don’t know if I’m being paranoid, but that one sentence “But I can tell you it won’t be what you expect.” When she speaks about Gina and Ani’s relationshipl, is kinda making me think that she and Gina are not gonna end up together. Cuz that’s what I expect. I know it’s a soap and all but can we have some fun Gina/Ani moments for at least one season? I guess I’m just gonna have to wait and see. Really can’t wait.

    Reply

  12. Ann says:

    Thanks for another great and very informative interview. I can’t wait to watch Venice, Season 3, especially after the tidbits that Crystal has given during your interview. Great job, Michael! Thanks!

    Reply

  13. Chrissie says:

    Good interview. I hope that both Lara and Gina continue to be both flawed and neither is painted as perfect. I want Ani to be torn and make a real choice. So far so good. That is really the favorite part of the show for me. Those three, plus Guya’s journey. Can’t wait for Season 3. :)

    Reply

  14. Doe says:

    Michael, what a terrific imterview with Chrystall. She is the best. We should remember what an innovater she is. Not only the award winning VENICE, but her new webisodes that will be forthcoming. I admire her fearless answers to your difficult questions, Michael. She is truly a hero for her backing the actors and fighting for all things soap related. Hopefully, when she approaches AFTRA for union backing, it will pay off. She has proven what a fine actress she is on DOOL. I believe she is an all-around humanitarian. I applaud what she is doing in creating new outlets for soaps and actors with her webisodes. She has a fun personality and how great is that she and her husband are co-writers and will be doing more so with THE GROVE. I look forward to your memoir. You are a beautiful human being…..

    Reply

  15. aa says:

    So, I am guessing, Ani’s story is all about Lara now.

    Michael, not one question about Ani? How am I supposed to get excited about the upcoming season.

    Looking once again as if JL/Ani is an afterthought.

    signed,
    Crazed lunatic JLFANATIC

    Reply

  16. Ruby says:

    Loved the interview ,thank you Micheal.

    Reply

  17. PJ says:

    Great interview. A big “Thank You” to you Michael, and Crystal. It must be such a delight to interview Crystal. She is always so open and honest with her responses, and has a great sense of humor. Looking forward to Season 3 of Venice, and the launching of “The Grove”.

    Crystal, I wish you nothing but love, happiness, and success. Hope we get to see you on Y&R.

    Reply

  18. Tess says:

    Really enjoyed the interview Michael – great variety of questions that garnered both humor and information. As a long-time fan of Crystal from her first run on DOOL, I’m constantly amazed by her abilities. In the past 2 yrs she has earned the respect and admiration of her new castmates (not to mention creating lasting friendships), while becoming an Emmy-winning web mistress – NOT BAD :-) I’m extremely excited for Season 3 of Venice as well as The Grove and her writing partnership with hubby Michael! The addition of JHL and others to her writing team is also WIN. Great admiration for mama CC in putting her family first :) Next… an Emmy nom for Crystal for this drug s/l… brilliant job!

    Reply

  19. Dani A. says:

    I was happy when I heard about The Grove but was kind of hoping it was something different. Loved Crystal’s work since Carly Manning back in the 90s. In fact Carly of the 90s is my all-time favorite heroine and Olivia Spencer, my all-time favorite character period in daytime. Let’s not forget Crystal’s other hugely popular pairings such as Bo and Carly (and yes I liked both Bo’s) and her other GL pairings with Robert Newman which was my favorite and Grant Aleksander among others. I enjoyed Venice Season 2 beyond the triangle. Loved Hilary B. Smith, Jordan Clarke, Wes Ramsey, and enjoyed Liz Keifer and look forward to learn more about Gina T.’s character. Honestly, Lara only became interesting once they went full on into her alcoholism. Every good soap needs a good drunk and Lara should stay a drunk, seriously. I find Ani only slightly more interesting than Natalia and that is not saying alot for me. I posted before that Crystal has to take care of many fanbases but I think The Grove would have been an opportunity for that. An actor never wants to get pigeon holed in playing the same type of role and I think with the one year hype of Otalia that maybe she is forgetting that both Carly and Olivia were responsible for some of the most romantic and erotic pairings in daytime history. Hell Olivia and Buzz were even hot. I am a fan so I will support Crystal’s project but maybe expanding her screen pairings would be a smart move. Those CarBos came back to DOOL and showed their support in the polls and most importantly the ratings.

    Reply

    Jen replied

    Dani it sounds to me like you are a wee bit of a homophobe. You don’t want CC “to get pigeon holed” by playing a lesbian but it would be okay for her to play multiple heterosexual roles? Your hypocrisy is showing dear. I will support CC in anything she does regardless of the role she chooses to play. Her one year with Otalia regenerated her career. She got an Emmy nod for it. So of course she would want to market what made her popular. It’s different and brought a whole new fanbase to soaps in general. As far as Carbo goes, they had chemistry in the 90′s but it didn’t work this time around. Sorry but it is true and I was a HUGE Carbo fan back in the day. The fans showing their support on the polls as you say is also pointless because the polls have no vote limit and the same 50 people can vote over and over again. If there was really as big a following as you think then the sl wouldn’t have gotten canned. These are the facts. Don’t worry though I am sure CC is going to make the big mistake of making Molly B Gina’s long lost daughter and ruin everything Venice was promised to be just to make you and the 49 other Carbo fans happy. That is why she is making The Grove for the Otalia fans because she will make Venice into a warped version of DOOL.

    Reply

    Dani replied

    Wow, what a dopey response. You made so many leaps “Jen” that I am amazed you are still standing. How in the hell do you get “a bit of a homophobe” out of that post? I guess if you are a CC fan in your warped mind you have to just love Otalia/GiAni. I wasn’t impressed with the pairing, it happens not all same sex storylines/pairings work. Deal with it. Uh, 49 CarBo fans? I do not know what you are gettiing your information from but as I indicated in my original post CarBo, not Otalia fans came back to DOOL for Bo and Carly. They showed their force in the polls and the most important Nielsen ratings. Unlike Otalia which did absolutely nothing to increase GL’s audience no matter how much hype those Otalia boards tried to generate. Those are the fact genius. Check your information the next time you post and your labeling someone a homophobe for not liking a same sex pairing is offensive and ignorant.

  20. Ceridwyn2 says:

    Thanks for the wonderful interview, Michael! Crystal, as usual, is such a dynamic and charismatic person. So looking forward to Venice and The Grove. Excited by the addition of NLG and fingers crossed, Laura Wright to The Grove!

    Reply

  21. Violet says:

    What a class act: a responsible mother and a caring employer (health care; pensions). Crystal’s memoir is going to be amazing! I can’t wait to read about her take on the history and future of soaps and her personal journey. She is such an example of integrity, professionalism, humor, and warmth. Thanks, Michael, for asking the good questions and keeping us fans informed on CC, Venice, and soaps in general.

    Reply

  22. VICKIPEI says:

    I loved the interview with Michael Crystal, I think it shows once again that is a great woman, always concerned about all his fans, his team, thank you to know this great woman and actress. She has started a big way and that this is only the beginning of many successes to come, Venice, The Grove, His book,…. CRYSTAL CHAPPELL you are great, you deserve all the best, thanks for all this to come …. I am PROUD to be a Chilean FANS Crystal Chappell …

    Michael thank you very much and congratulations for this great interview with CC

    Reply

  23. Annihilator says:

    This interview was pretty interesting as it covered many topics. My favorite part of Venice is the love triangle between Gina, Ani, and Lara. It is the most dramatic, exciting, well acted, and romantic story on Venice in my opinion. This story has loads of potential. Jessica has great chemistry with Crystal and Nadia so it just works so well. I also hope that Gina and Lara won’t be written as perfect or too saintly. I think Gina and Lara are interesting characters because of their complex and dark sides.

    I also would like to see Ani be written as a little more stronger and proactive in her relationships. I like that Ani is a loving, generous, and free spirit type of person, but I don’t want her to be a pushover. I’d also like to see Ani written as being very torn between Gina and Lara. A love triangle can’t work if the person in the middle is not properly torn on their decision. So I hope the writing reflects all of this. I really hope to see more of the Gina, Ani, and Lara triangle on Venice in season 3. I’m also interested in the story with Guya on Venice. Crystal and Jessica make a wonderful team. So I’m glad they are teaming up again for The Grove. I’m also a big fan of Nancy Lee Grahn. The other actors rumored to be cast on The Grove are also pretty good. The Grove sounds like it will be written like a prime time soap. So I’m very excited to see what is in store for The Grove.

    Reply

  24. kelltwomyn says:

    Great interview, Michael! So looking forward to V3 and beyond, as well as The Grove.

    Reply

  25. Hilary says:

    Thanks for the interview, Michael. Very insightful. I think there was a missed opportunity here, however, in that the recent Twitter debacle was not discussed. I would have liked to have gotten something from her on that.

    Reply

    KESM replied

    Go back and read past interview. It was addressed already.

    Reply

    Hilary replied

    Oops! I missed that, thanks much.

  26. Lee says:

    Thanks for the interview, Michael. You truly are one of the best in covering this industry.

    As always, I admire Chappell and her fearless determination in bringing ‘Venice the Series’ to life. As the series has evolved, I have loved seeing her vision expand, and her solutions become more sophisticated. I look forward to seeing what Chappell will continue to accomplish as she takes further strides in laying the foundation for web dramas.

    Kudos, as well, to Chappell in her roles as wife and mother. And really, in juggling it all as best as she can.

    Reply

  27. Ali says:

    What a good interview. You covered many key topics and Crystal shared many things. We already know this but Crystal certainly is such a well rounded professional as well as a wonderful Mom. She is also so appreciative of her fans. You always do such a great job Michael. Thanks.

    Reply

  28. Tara says:

    I love CC and will miss her on DOOL.

    Reply

  29. RJ says:

    Thank you Michael for the good interview, and thanks to Crystal for doing it. I have heard such good comments about Venice. I hope to see it soon. While I am pleased that Days has made changes and is going in a different direction, I am sorry that Crystal will be leaving Days. She is a talented actress. I am sure we will be seeing a lot of her in other venues or soaps. Best of luck, Crystal in all your endeavors.

    Reply

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