When former General Hospital star Vanessa Marcil joined the cast of Pop’s reality series, Queens of Drama (Wednesdays 8PMET), her long time fans were stoked to get to see the woman who played the feisty Brenda Barrett on the ABC daytime drama series from1992- 1998, then returned in 2003 and won a Daytime Emmy for her work, and then returned one more time in 2010 for a longer stint, and followed that up with guest appearances in 2013 surrounding the GH Nurses Ball! Marcil also went on to star in the primetime drama series Las Vegas as Sam Marquez.
If you watched the first four episodes of Queens of Drama, you know that Vanessa along with Crystal Hunt, Lindsay Hartley, Hunter Tylo, and Chrystee Pharris are trying to come up with an idea to pitch to a television network for a new show using their soapy background and expertise. But, they have run up against and joined forces with the formidable Donna Mills, who doesn’t allow anything to get past her, and is trying to executive produce this all-girl creation and steer the gals in a certain direction.
Tonight on an all-new episode, the “Queens”, since Vanessa has made it clear she does not want to act in front of the camera in the girls production concept, but would rather remain behind-the-scenes, they had to Palm Springs for an outing and the drama ensues … and we finally get to the bottom of that promo where Vanessa looks to be the first girl to throw a drink! But where does it land?
Marcil sat down with On-Air On-Soaps to give us some insight into shooting the docu-series, the drama in front of the camera, and gives us the scoop on how her new fiancé, a police officer, swept her off her feet!
What was your overall takeaway from being part of Queens of Drama? Everyone is talking about the scene in the promos, where you get mad saying, “I don’t care what Donna wants” and then we see you throwing a drink. Can you elaborate?
VANESSA: I can tell you this: it was a hilarious good time, and just like with all jobs that I have had there are days when I wanted to punch somebody in the face. But just for the record: I don’t throw drinks on girls … and I don’t call girls, “bitches”. That is not my nature. I am not a mean girl. If you see me do anything, I would act more like a mob wife: punching someone in the face! (Laughs) I am saying this because everyone thinks in Queens of Drama I throw a drink at somebody, and I am saying for the record, I don’t throw a drink at anyone, and I don’t throw drinks at girls! There is one moment where I get pissed and I throw my drink off the table. Now if it was Brenda on GH, she might throw a dinner role at someone, or whatever. Someone tweeted, “Are you going to throw a dinner role at anyone, because Brenda threw one at Carly (Laura Wright)?” I enjoy stuff like that, because I think it’s very funny. Brenda thought that was hilarious! (Laughs) I mean, I would get into a fist fight with somebody if they really hurt someone I loved. All the other stuff is boring to me. I think it’s silly.
When you found out that the premise of the series is that they wanted these “Soap Queens” to create an original new show, and would collaborate to come up with a concept to pitch a network, did you like that part about it?
VANESSA: Yes, and that was the whole pitch to us. I love docu-series, and behind the scenes stuff, and blooper reels. So it really was: you girls are going to get together and create a female production company and create a show and try pitching it – which means – it could happen, or could not happen. And you know me, I am a risk-taker and I love that. And that was a big appeal to me for being in this show – having that underdog feeling to it of: Can we actually pull this off … or, will we tragically fail?
There are some very controlling personalities amongst the women on Queens of Drama!
VANESSA: Halfway through I thought these girls are crazy, and I can’t work with them! I have had that feeling many times at work. You know what I mean? That’s the way you feel at times. It’s not that different than any job anyone has in the workplace. My sister is the CEO of a company and she said it’s the same thing in her work.
Had you ever watched Donna Mills as Abby Cunningham on Knots Landing? You have quite the interesting relationship with her on Queens of Drama!
VANESSA: No. I never watched Knots Landing, and that’s hilarious, and here is where there is six degrees of separation. Donna played my baby daddy’s (Brian Austin Green) mother on the show. I should at some point watch a clip that the two of them are in together. It would be cute to see. Now that I am in Queens of Drama with Donna, the two of them send love through me to each other.
You are now engaged! What about this guy (MC) worked for you to decide to accept his proposal?
VANESSA: Yes, I am now engaged, and we are planning our wedding for next summer. For 20 years I never got married, and I was never the girl that wanted to, and then I decided to marry my last husband because I felt it was the right thing to do. I had known him for 12 years and it didn’t work out. And then I said to myself, “See, it’s not meant for me to be a married girl.” Maybe, I thought it wasn’t meant for me to fit into society like that, because I was thinking I should do this to fit into society! (Laughs) But now this happened! So, I learned to say, never say never about anything! Every time I say, “I’m not doing this. It’s not for me,” look at me now? I am now planning a wedding with an Iraq war vet who is a police officer! I have no secret message, or how you know this is how you know someone is the right one. I just know that when he asked me I genuinely wanted to say, “Yes!” He was on one-knee in his police uniform on the side of the road. I just knew that I meant it when I said, “Yeah! I would like to do this!” But again, who knows? It could turn out to be wrong again, but you got to trust your gut, and follow your heart, and when you fail you learn stuff from it.
And you met you man getting a speeding ticket?
VANESSA: Yes! He pulled me over. You will see more about that story coming up in a new project I am working on.
Finally, are you staying in touch with your General Hospital people: former cast and crew?
VANESSA: Oh, always! Are you kidding? I have stayed in touch with almost everyone I have worked with, and it’s really meaningful to me, and the best job I have ever had. I grew up in Indio, California working at a Wienerschnitzel, and I cannot believe that I am lucky enough to do this. It’s unreal to me.
So, what do you think about Vanessa on Queens of Drama? Are you enjoying watching how the story unfolds and the dynamics between the actresses? Share your thoughts below, but first watch the promo for tonight’s fifth episode via Pop!