We did not think it was even possible to find Daytime Emmy winner, Cady McClain (Dixie Martin) more endearing than she already is … but in her latest blog on her website, Cady makes us love her even more with her honesty mixed with humor that cuts to the chase.
In her writings, McClain deals with the issue at-hand that has been of concern for long time viewers of All My Children. That is, that when AMC returns on April 29th there will be a host of new faces who have joined the series!
Cady reveals just how exciting the new additions to Pine Valley truly are including: Eric Nelsen (AJ), Ryan Bittle (JR), Sal Stowers (Cassandra), Robert Scott Wilson (Pete(, Jordan Lane Price (Celia), and Heather Roop (Jane) and Denyse Tontz (Miranda). She also reminds the viewers that All My Children had always been about exactly this at its core – the children of the residents of Pine Valley in some shape or form – and the veteran characters who are beloved staples of the iconic series.
Here now is an excerpt from Cady’s blog: “I want to talk about the new young people on All My Children, and why I think (and hope) the audience should give them a chance. I am not known for blowing smoke up anybodies hoo-ha, right? Let’s just start with that as a baseline for this conversation!
Before you totally freak on me, let me tell you that I TOTALLY understand what happened to AMC during the ‘oughts of 2000-2010. The show lost heart (in my opinion) and it’s way. Franz and company dominated and upended the show during that time, throwing old favorites into the fire and overwhelming the fans with too many new faces. I can totally get why someone might say, “Oh please, not again!” or “Stop ruining my show!”
Here is why I think, no scratch that, I KNOW that is NOT going to happen. First off: lets look at the COMPANY of actors on the list. On the classic side, there are: Julia Barr (Brooke), Jill Larson (Opal), David Canary (Adam), Ray MacDonnell (Joe Martin), Debbie Morgan (Angie), Darnell Williams (Jesse), me (Dixie), Eden Reigal (Bianca), Vincent Irrizary (David), Francesca James (Evelyn), Jordi Vilacuso (Griff), Lindsay Hartley (Cara), and Thorston Kaye (Zack)… that’s THIRTEEN veterans of the show in place from the START, and you can bet there are more to come.
On the newbie side there are: Eric Nelsen (AJ, son of JR), Ryan Bittle (JR), Jordan Lane Price (Celia, can’t tell you who she’s related to… YET!), Heather Roop (Jane), Sal Stowers (Cassandra, daughter of Angie and Jesse), Robert Scott Wilson (Pete Cortland, son of Opal and Palmer), and Denyse Tontz (Miranda, daughter of Bianca)… that’s only SEVEN and almost all of them are related to long standing, beloved core characters!
Then lets consider that Agnes Nixon was not allowed to give hardly ANY input when Franzie was running things. He REALLY threw her to the fire! NOW she is back in FULL FORCE and is totally and completely respected by the new bosses of the show. I have personally heard Jeff Kwatinetz talk about how blown away he is by her and her genius. Not only that, but Ginger Smith, who was an associate producer under every regime since I started, oh 25 years ago (lets not talk about that number, shall we?) is AT THE HELM. In all my years, I have never known ANYONE who LOVED and UNDERSTOOD All My Children at it’s CORE like Ginger. She is the MAIN reason I returned. I love and respect her so much.
Now let me tell you about my experiences with these young people. I don’t know if you’ve heard me talk about this yet, but you will. The short version is: when I came to the set the first day, I COULD NOT LEAVE IT. Even though I wasn’t shooting until the end of the day, I stayed on the set for HOURS. Guess who sat next to me all that time? Eric Nelsen who plays “AJ.”
We sat and watched the monitor and I talked to him about the show, it’s history, how to work with cameras, everything that came into my mind on that very special day. He was a total doll, respectful, grateful and attentive. He studied at PCS, aka Professional Children’s School for Actors, and I could tell he is very passionate and committed to his work. As a child actor myself, we had an instant bond. Later, I got to watch him do his thing on set. He is totally committed, adorable, and incredibly talented. I can’t speak highly enough of this young man. I totally adore him.”
For more of Cady’s thoughts on the other new kids on the block, make sure to visit her blog here!
So what do you think of the point that Cady is making? Will you give the “newbies” a chance and kick back and enjoy the story and just let it play out before making any judgement? Which “New Kid” are you looking forward to seeing the most? Let us know your thoughts!