Ilene Kristen is proving once again why she is one of the most valuable player in soaps! Currently, Kristen is knocking it out of the park during the final weeks of One Life to Live, as her Roxy Balsom is spearheading the campaign to save Llanview’s favorite soap opera “Fraternity Row” which has just been canceled.
However, in real life Kristen is trying to deal with the cancellation of the 43-year-old One Life to Live which air its final episode on January 13th on ABC and Prospect Park’s failure to resurrect the show online.
And, in this new interview with TV Guide, Kristen discusses this coming Monday, December 19th’s very special episode in which Roxy faints while visiting the set of “Fraternity Row” and then wakes up as Lorraine, the leading character on the soap!
Here are some excerpts!
Kristen on her special episode: “I think the fans are gonna love it. This whole cancellation of Fraternity Row is a really brilliant way for our writers to comment on all the hell we’re going through at OLTL. It’s really great because I totally represent the fan base, all the wonderful fans who fought so hard to keep OLTL on the air. I represent the fans who showed up at the ABC upfront last May and booed (former ABC Daytime chief) Brian Frons when he walked into the building. And I’m proud to do so! They’re a fervent group of people. In the episode, Roxy falls unconscious and the next thing she knows she’s the star. And everyone else in Llanview is in the show, too. Lorraine is married to David Vickers. Viki and Clint are her maid and butler. It’s hysterical and a real valentine to our audience.”
Kristen on Prospect Park’s failure to bring OLTL online: “Who knows what really went on there with Prospect Park? I’d like to know the real story someday. I was a little concerned when I heard the name of their (web platform) was going to be the Online Network. I thought, that’s a little… dry. They needed a dazzling, great name. I don’t know what was going on in their hearts and minds. I’d like to think they had good intentions, but a lot of people think it was all a ruse to keep the fans from being upset. Their reputation as a company is a little soiled at the moment. Our union, AFTRA, was only too anxious to speak with them, and the same goes for the Writers Guild. They cancelled a lot of appointments with the unions and I don’t think that’s been represented correctly in the press. The fans need to know the unions wanted to make this happen. I was on the AFTRA committee for this whole project and we did a lot of work — meetings, lots of correspondence — and it never really ever got down to the particulars. It’s like they weren’t serious. Prospect Park hardly went to any of the cast members at AMC, and yet they were claiming that the actors there were demanding this and that. And that was so not true. It’s very enigmatic.”
Kristen on her sadness over OLTL coming to its conclusion: “Not that I ever wanted Ryan’s Hope to be over, but I’m sadder about OLTL going away. I had left Ryan’s two different times and had such a strange history with them, but my last four or five years there were great. But I also knew I wouldn’t get to play another great character if that show didn’t go off the air. Roxy has been the most fun you can have doing something legal. I’ve been able to do some amazing things on this show. Why would I look for another part when Prospect Park said we were continuing? If you can still play Roxy, you don’t look elsewhere.”
What do you think about what Ilene had to say? And, are you enjoying Roxy getting the chance to take center stage with this ingenious storyline that mirrors all OLTL and soap fans sentiments?