The legendary Claire Labine, creator of Ryan’s Hope, and writer for General Hospital’s BJ’s heart transplant storyline, One Life to Live, Where the Heart Is and Love of Life talks with We Love Soaps about her soap career. In Part One of the interview Labine discusses what made Ryan’s Hope work. She said it was due largely in part to the actors. Here is an excerpt below!
Labine comments: “We were so lucky. They were so generous to the show, and they worked so hard. Helen [Gallagher] sort of set the bar. We had kids to who never been in a studio in their lives and had very little experience even on the stage. Then we had our old timers who were a little bit cynical and who had been around the track a few times. And Helen walked in with her two Tony’s and the respect of everybody in the building and said, “Okay, I’m a song and dance girl and I’m here to do the job.” She came every morning prepared. She was fearsome to the kids that were not. Anyone who had a scene with Helen really paid attention. And that was a gift to us. She is a gift to the world. We didn’t cast for looks. We did cast for a certain familial style and appearance. I mean Kate [Mulgrew] could have been Helen’s daughter, they had the same sort of style. Siobhan could have been Bernie Barrow’s daughter. We lucked out with two directors Jerry Evans, and Lela Swift, who got it. They understood what we were trying to do.