With five episodes left after today of One Life to Live, there are two characters whose personal lives hang in the balance, who are not part of the gunfire! Tea and Tomas Delgado! The brother/sister duo’s race to the Llanview finish line is fraught with so much inner turmoil, intrigue, and most of all, seeking justice for the ones they love. Tomas has been MIA and framed for a murder he did not commit, while Tea knows Todd Manning killed her husband, Victor Jr.! How will this all play out?
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with two veteran performers of the daytime landscape, our choice for Most Overall Performance by an Actress in Soaps in 2011, Florencia Lozano (Tea), and the very popular Ted King (Tomas), to get their thoughts and sentiments as we prepare to say goodbye to the 43-year-old soap! Here’s Flo and Ted, one last time!
What would the two of you say to the fans, who through their passion and unwavering loyalty almost got One Life its second life on the Internet, and the opportunity you have to play such outrageous, emotional and touching stories on an iconic series like OLTL?
FLORENCIA: I feel so grateful to have gotten the chance to tell stories on TV, and what we get to do is a real blessing. Were we surprised that it was the fans that were the ones to spark the interest for us to have possibly moved this show online? I have to say no, because it’s kind of an amazing thing for me to talk to them individually, and how much it means to them to follow these stories and be connected to them.
TED: … And, how savvy they are. Each storyline challenges us as actors. The fans will ask and inquire to why did you play it this way? Or, why did you play it that way? But to have your audience love that, is amazing.
From Victor’s death, to the scenes at the chapel at his memorial, to the cancer storyline, Florencia you have played such high stakes drama and with such deep rooted emotional angst in your scenes during your time at One Life. How did you get through them all?
FLORENCIA: I had an acting teacher tell me once, “Never forget you get to do this.” And that is true. We get to do this and have a personal cathartic experience, and use our demons and express ourselves as human beings. People watch that and feel moved, and that is a pretty great life to get to have. I am tremendously grateful. This medium has taught me so much because we move at such a fast pace, and that after doing this, I feel like I could do anything.
TED: There is so much instinct involved in this style of performance, in that you can be prepared for anything else in your career whether it is comedy or drama.
FLORENCIA: I have loved acting with Ted. We were thrown together when he first started on the show and having these emotional scenes about him not coming to our father’s funeral. I was able to look in Ted’s eyes and everything was there, and that was cool since he was a relative stranger to me. We both knew we were brother and sister and that was it, and it was so fun … like I could go anywhere with this actor.
Were you surprised when you found out Tea was going to be pregnant?
FLORENCIA: I was surprised! I think everyone was surprised and it’s different. I liked the cancer stuff, which was scary, and I like that in this medium we get to do that and have these highs and lows that take us all over the place, and I am always up for that challenge.
Many were hoping, perhaps, for a time jump for the end of the show next week, so we could see a little Victor Jr.!
FLORENCIA: I doubt that I am going to give birth by next week! (Laughs) I think they are going to open some juicy possibilities and introduce some surprises and things that are going to peak your interest, and then leave off where people are going to continue to watch should the show ever come back.
So does Tomas have a major cliffhanger ending? I have my thoughts! We don’t even know where he is!
TED: There is some elevated drama that will take place for my character. But I think the concept is that there is not just one cliffhanger, but a lot of individual storylines that make sense with regards to the storylines that have already existed. I have been happy about the complicated storyline they have given me since I have been here. Tomas has this attraction to this woman, Blair, who clearly has this huge past with another man. So that is an interesting thing to have to play, and it is a big challenge as an actor to play. Blair has some big Louis Vuitton baggage! (Laughs)
What had been your most memorable experience, Florencia, during your years at One Life?
FLORENCIA: We went to Hawaii for God sake, and that was unbelievable. It was a beautiful beach and we were making love in the water, and that is how Dani got conceived. It was the only time Roger Howarth’s Todd and Tea had sex!
Florencia, right before Victor Jr. was shot, Trevor St. John (Victor Jr.) played an amazing moment with Tea and his family after reeling from the news that he was not Todd, but Victor Jr. He denied the truth and was boasting to his family, “I’m Todd. Let’s all pack our bags and head to Hawaii!” How did you feel about those scenes and the sudden ending to Trevor’s time at One Life?
FLORENCIA: In those scenes, Victor Jr. (Trevor) almost seemed to be like he was trying to convince himself, and it was tragic to watch. I miss him tremendously. Honestly, I wish that they had not had such an abrupt ending. I think they had many more beats to play. It was such a twisted mind-bend that we all had to get into – “OK. There were two Todds, facial surgery, brainwashing, OK,” – and we could do it and we did do it. We as actors are all willing to take that leap, but then I wish we could have played that out like, “Wait. What happened? What was the brainwashing like? What were you thinking? What was I thinking?” You know, all of that fine grain stuff that comes out of the actual circumstances. That is what people wanted to watch and what we wanted to play. So I was disappointed that it went down as: “OK. This is Todd. This is Victor and move on.” I think there were scenes between Tea and Blair that could have been interesting. For Tea, I felt like she knew deep, deep down that this man was a different man. And to have her explore that would have been great drama; in the way that we lie to ourselves and then we can’t anymore, then what happens?
So I don’t foresee the Delgados skipping off into the sunset at the end of the run. I know many wish for Tea to get some inner peace and happiness, and that the truth of Victor’s killer finally comes out and there is a comeuppance. Need I say more?
TED: Well, my character is not allowed to be happy, (laughs) and he is really stuck and in his final moments. They are difficult to play.
FLORENCIA: All of this is tough to play for everyone. There are a lot of goodbyes. Ted and I are left in sort of anguished positions, and it’s great for the story and where it can go. I love that Tea is pregnant now and that she is going through all this emotional sturm and drang, and yet there is this beautiful thing happening at the same time. This is a very big ending on a lot of levels for all of us.
TED: It’s hard to finish any show. I have been on quite a few and the emotions behind the scenes completely overlap with the work on the screen.
FLORENCIA: And the drama the fans are feeling, we feel that. We know what this means for them.