Fan favorite Kristen Alderson had in many ways a triumphant, and in many ways a tumultuous last year and half, coming over from ABC’s One Life to Live to General Hospital playing the beloved character of Starr Manning, and then more recently finding out she will no longer playing Starr on GH, but a brand new character! When Starr emerged on GH, the series had made the controversial decision to kill off her beau Cole, and their little baby Hope, to set Starr free for new adventures in Port Charles. The Manning gal then took up with her new guy in story, Michael Corinthos played by Chad Duell.
But out of that came something very sweet, and long time coming for Kristen; she landed her very first Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series category for the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be handed out on Sunday night, June 16th live on HLN, and broadcast from the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California!
On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Kristen to celebrate her nomination, find out what we could about her brand new role on General Hospital debuting next week, and to clarify her stance on if she would consider going to Prospect Park’s One Life to Live to resurrect the beloved role of Starr. Plus, are Chad and Kristen officially dating? Is she rooting for OLTL, or GH, to win Outstanding Drama Series this year? Find out in this heartfelt conversation with Kristen!
What reel and episode did you submit that landed you the Daytime Emmy nomination, and why did you choose it?
KRISTEN: I submitted the reel when Starr says goodbye to Cole and Hope in the morgue. The scenes took place in Llanview, but it was on General Hospital. She says at Cole and Hope’s grave how she had a dream about them being together. It just showed Starr really being sad, and then her face lights up when she talks about all of them and how they were on the beach together, and happy. Then, it also shows her angst towards Sonny, and how she is going to go after him, and it has some flashbacks, too.
It gave you an arc in those scenes, a beginning, middle, and an end, which always seems to be a good choice with Emmy voters!
KRISTEN: It did, it really did. I am hoping it will carry me through at the Emmys. It is definitely really exciting. This is my first Daytime Emmy nomination since I began my career on OLTL! I have been really proud of other material I had done on One Life to Live, and so the way I am looking at it is: this nomination is for all of those times. You know what I mean? But, it’s very exciting!
How did you find out you were nominated?
KRISTEN: It’s really funny. I knew that they were being announced on May 1st. But, I had completely forgotten about it. The night before, I had woken up from a dream where I had met the lead singer of The Killers! I am obsessed with the band. I was floating on a cloud from that dream, and then I looked at my phone and I saw I had a ton of missed calls and texts. I immediately thought, “Oh no! What happened?” I thought something bad had happened. But then two second later, when I saw that Frank Valentini’s (EP, General Hospital ) number came up, I thought “Oh, my God! I got nominated!” I woke up my mom and my brother, Eddie! It was really fun!
How has it been for you having this long hiatus, or break, from being on General Hospital? Hasn’t this whole situation been kind of odd … shipping you off as one character and now coming back as another?
KRISTEN: The craziest part is just being a new character. I guess I was off One Life to Live to the transition to General Hospital for that long, too. But, it is really exciting. The character is completely different than Starr, but at the same time, she has a little bit of Starr in her, obviously. Starr is me in a way (Laughs), so that’s been interesting for me!
Did you have to dye your hair for your new role on GH? Hmmm. (Laughs)
KRISTEN: I can’t say! But I have been hiding my hair so people don’t know till it airs. But it’s killing me, of course, because the last couple of weeks, I am back to work. So, I want to post pictures of me being back to work, and I can’t. I went to the GH 50th anniversary luncheon and I couldn’t take pictures, and so I have kind of been in hiding. (Laughs) I went to Disneyland, I went to The Killers concert, and there are so many pictures I am dying to post on Instagram and Twitter, but I can’t! (Laughs)
Have you watched the new One Life to Live, and many of your former cast mates in action once again?
KRISTEN: I have! I am really excited for everyone, and that they are back and working and all together. The family is all back, and it’s been really special to see all that. I haven’t seen episode three and four, but I saw the first two episodes. I also really enjoyed All My Children. I thought they have done a great job, too. It’s definitely different and something to get use to. Even the characters, I feel, are a little different in ways. They have the freedom to curse and do things that we were never able to do. Now that they are cursing up a storm, I think they are doing it in a really sensible matter. I am really excited for everyone, and eager to see where they take all the storylines. That is crazy that they have not said anything about Starr. I am wondering why Starr is in California with Langston?
Is that where Starr went on GH? It was so confusing, and it happened so quickly! Then, she phoned Michael while he was at the Nurses’ Ball and told him she wasn’t coming back! So, what is she doing? (Laughs)
KRISTEN: The last you saw Starr, she has to leave Port Charles because Langston called her and said she needed to go to California. Starr then said she did not know when she would be coming back. She then called Michael and said she is not coming back. She is in California with Langston, for some reason. I don’t know what it is. (Laughs) I feel like it might maybe that Cole and Hope are alive, or something like that! I don’t know if they have plans for me to come on to Prospect Park’s OLTL at a later time, or what they are cooking up? I would like to know where she is! (Laughs)
Fans love you as Starr Manning, since you were that little girl that we all watched grow up before our eyes on One Life to Live. Many wanted you to come back as Starr to the new online version. Is that even something you would consider doing?
KRISTEN: Here is the thing; I was considering it right off the bat. I was fully ready to go to Prospect Park. What happened was; that they offered me to come back in March for a week. I said, “Yes” right away. And then they called and said, “We don’t need you this soon.” I think they figured it may have been too soon to write me on for just a week, and then not have me on after that. I did not hear from them for a while, and then they did not ask me to come back till the end of May, or beginning of June. So, it was not in stone when they would actually need me. I said, “Look, I can’t sign on to anything now because I don’t know where I am going to be then.” At the time, I had no plans on going back to GH, as of yet. I was kind of auditioning. So, I did not want to put all my auditions on hold, which I would have had to do. So I said, “Contact me later, and I would be really interested in maybe doing it.” It was just too far in advance. I feel kind of bad. Fans feel that I turned down One Life to Live. I was 100% prepared to go back in March, and I am not saying anything against Prospect Park. They apologized to me profusely for not being able to work it out for that week in March. I am sure they already had written way ahead. We left on really good terms. They said, “We will contact you later about possibly coming on,” and so I said, “Awesome.” It’s funny. Josh Kelly (Cutter) called me the night of the AMC and OLTL premiere. He said, “You should really think about coming to the show. I am telling you Kristen, it’s going to be really good!” And I said, “I never said I was never going to!” (Laughs) It is still up in the air. One Life to Live was my home, and it was my home, since I was six-years-old. I would never stick my nose up to it!
And … Roger Howarth (Todd) and Trevor St, John (Victor Jr.) are on the show right now, and it’s been amazing to see them again on the same show! They are Starr’s two dads, for all intent and purposes!
KRISTEN: Oh, I know! And, Trevor was there! That would have been really fun, but maybe later in the year.
So when General Hospital first came to you and they informed you that you are going to be playing a new character, and you will no longer be Starr, didn’t your jaw drop to the floor?
KRISTEN: It was really scary at first, because it’s a huge risk. I have seen a lot of people on soaps do it before and it doesn’t work out, but then on some soaps, it does. I just had to put my trust in Frank and Ron Carlivati (head writer, GH). Ron is an amazing writer, and they both have known me since I was six-years-old. I trusted them to take care of me, and the fans who loved Starr. I am really anxious for everyone to see her and to see what kind of character I will be. I don’t know how they will react? I am sure there will be a lot of people who will say negative things … just to say negative things. When I went to a recent fan event in New Jersey, people were like, “If you are a new character, we are going to love the new character, no matter what!” I know my true fans will be there for me, hopefully! (Laughs) I am under contract to ABC, but I am also in Los Angeles now. I moved my mom and brother out here. My brother is still going to High School out here, and my mom is looking to find a job out here. So for me to tell them, “Ok guys. Never mind, we are moving back to the east coast,” I just don’t think that’s fair. Our life is out here now, and we are really happy and settled. I did not want to be far away from L.A. for too long.
We all assume the new character will have scenes, and will be a love interest for Michael Corinthos?
KRISTEN: Well, it’s pretty obvious that there are a lot of Starr and Michael fans out there. I am sure they are anxious to see that, and at the same time, they are treating me as someone completely different.
So, it’s not a joke on an inside joke? In other words, it’s not that they perhaps just changed Starr’s name to “Char”, or something like that? (Laughs)
KRISTEN: It’s definitely not a joke. It’s definitely a brand new character, and Michael does not in any way shape, or form, say, “Hey, you kind of look like her!” I am a new person, and so we really have to treat it that way. Michael also just got his heart broken. I don’t think he is going to be jumping into anything quite so soon.
From the looks of it, you, Roger Howarth, and Michael Easton all re-appear on General Hospital on the same airdate, which is now Monday, May 13th as different characters.
KRISTEN: Yes, we are all coming back on the same day, which is really exciting. I think. We are all brand new characters, and what has been really fun is to figure out who everyone is. I went into work not kind of knowing who I was, and not knowing who anyone else was, either! (Laughs) And everyone has to look a little different and be a little different, so …Michael Easton did not cut his hair. I think they made a little tweak to his appearance, but it’s not anything major.
The big question: Are you and Chad Duell officially dating? There seems to be some inquiring minds, who may not know what is going on.
KRISTEN: Yes, we are dating. I’m very happy. We are having a lot of fun together and were looking forward to strutting down the red carpet together at the Daytime Emmys!
Kristen, were you a judge on a blue-ribbon panel for the Daytime Emmys? What category did you participate in?
KRISTEN: I judged in Lead Actor. I thought everyone was really good I thought our group of GH men in that category were really strong. Jason Thompson (Patrick) literally killed me. Oh, my God, we texted him, and actually Chad and I, and my family sat down and watched the tapes! Jason Thompson took our breath away. It gives me chills all over every time I watched it. I know how they film scenes over at GH, and so they do them one at a time, and there is a lot of time in between where you can kind of fall out of it, and it’s very easy to do that, and Jason never did. You felt his pain got more unbearable for Patrick, the more the episode went on. It was so amazing!
Were you shocked that your cast mates, Finola Hughes (Anna) and Kelly Sullivan (Kate/Connie) did not score a Lead Actress nomination, when they had two of the powerhouse performances of the Emmy eligibility year?
KRISTEN: I will say this … Kelly Sullivan …. no one in soaps had a harder storyline than she had!
What race are you most looking forward to the most at the 40th annual Daytime Emmys?
KRISTEN: I am also looking forward to One Life to Live and General Hospital both being nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, that is the thing, every one keeps saying which would you rather have win? And I think; GH on one hand was so great in 2012, and they deserved so many kudos. But then, the last three episodes of OLTL were so strong, that it is going to be so hard to beat that! I am excited for all the nominees for GH, though! I will tell you that.
So GH and One Life fans, excited for Kristen’s long-awaited first Daytime Emmy nominations for her heartbreaking scenes? Who do you think she will play when she returns to General Hospital? And, would you like to see Kristen make a return as Starr Manning to One Life to Live? Weigh-in!