December 19th, 2008  |  Leave a comment

THE FARAH FATH INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

fathgreen-lowe.jpgShe plays the feisty and spirited Gigi Morasco on One Life to Live, and many remember her winning performance as Mimi Lockhart on Days of our Lives.

Well, since moving east a few years ago, not only has Farah Fath nabbed a prime role and continuing storylines in Llanview, but she’s found herself a very well known boyfriend… her co-star, John Paul Lavoisier…”Sexy Rexy” Balsom.

“On-Air On-Soaps” got the opportunity to catch up with Farah for this revealing interview. We chat about the hot new storyline kicking off next year for Gigi and Rex, the irrestiable charms of Mr. Lavoisier, and working with some of the top talent in the industry. Farah’s always direct, honest and fun to interview. So, without further adieu…Farah!

Listen to the audio:

Play

MICHAEL:

So, I hear there is big new storyline in the New Year ahead for Gigi and Rex on “OLTL”!

FARAH:

We just started taping our new stuff, which will air beginning in January and February. I am really excited about it, and it will be all I had hoped for on the show. Frank Valentini, executive producer “OLTL”, just wanted us to know that with this new character coming on we will be working a lot again. So, Frank said, “I hope you enjoyed your time off because it’s over.”

MICHAEL:

In July you participated in the 40th anniversary of the show’s “Time Travel” storyline. I thought it was some of the best work you ever done! I loved the dual roles.

FARAH:

It’s my favorite thing I have ever done, too. It was literally so fun to go to work everyday. I have never gotten to play dual roles and have such a fun role. I could not wait for it to air. I have never been so excited to watch my scenes and watch the storyline unfold. We would scurry home from work every day and put on the Tivo and watch it. Words cannot express how John-Paul Lavosier (Rex) and I loved the storyline. At first, we thought it was cheesy, with the location shoot and the dedication the actors put towards their dual roles. I thought it was fun and different to watch. Some people, I guess, did not like it.

JP-farah.jpgMICHAEL:

You and JP are involved in real life and work together so much on-screen. Do you ever critique each other’s work?

FARAH:

We both are in the same boat, so we would never critique another actor, or I give him notes. I would compliment him. The only thing I would do is point out a physical habit, because that is what I would
appreciate if it were me.
But as far as the acting process,
to each his own. It’s a different
creative process for everyone.

MICHAEL:

Did you want to relocate from LA, where you were Mimi on “DAYS”, to New York to work?

FARAH:

You know, I had this overwhelming and gravitational pull to New York. I felt like I needed to move to New York, especially when my time was over on “DAYS”. I felt I needed to start over. And I did not leave the soap to not do soaps. I was looking at all roles. I wanted to do something different and move to New York. So, I went through pilot season. Then I took a meeting with Brian Frons (President, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet) and it all worked out. I was ready to leave LA. I had soaked up my LA sponge, if you will. I am young and not settled down at all, and I wanted to do something different. So, the adjustment was not so much. It was not a sad thing to move. I am having a lot of fun, and I have not looked back since.

MICHAEL:

You told me at ‘Super Soap’ you have had some issues playing an on-screen mom.

farah-shane.jpgFARAH:

Yeah, Shane is eleven now, and the actor Austin Williams is twelve in real life. When I first started I told the directors to be hard on me about playing a mom, and I was told at the last second that I was playing a mother to this ten-year old. It was not like I had any preparation time. I just find it’s not that natural to me. I have to be aware of how I am to this child, and so I have to remind myself, that this is my kid, and I have
done everything for him and
for us to survive, and he is my
world. I don’t have anything l
ike that, personally. I try to
keep that in front of him, and
physically have those motherly
instincts toward him.

MICHAEL:

How is Austin Williams to work with?

FARAH:

He loves acting. Sometimes I worry about the kids, if they are doing it for their parents or did they really want to go on this audition. I have asked him in nonchalant ways. He really does love it, so that is really important.

MICHAEL:

How was it when you got to be heavy in story with newcomer Mark Lawson (Brody)?

mark-lawson.jpgFARAH:

He is really intense, and I like to work with actors who take their work seriously. He is a true actor’s actor. He gets in there and finds the rawest place he can go. He does not care if it’s a big scene or small scene. He is committed. Mark was on contract from the beginning, but that does not really mean anything. I think they were really impressed with him, and he works really hard, does his homework, and I respect that.

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MICHAEL:

Now on to your boyfriend, John Paul Lavoisier. It’s not unheard of that co-stars end up together. It almost looked like you were together, even when none of us knew you were together! Make sense?

FARAH:

Yes, I met him a week before I started. I came in for a wardrobe fitting and he did not have a shirt on. Obviously, I was taken aback with his physique, but I went up to him and said, “Hey. I am Farah Fath. I am playing Gigi.” And he went, “Hey JP, nice to meet you.” And I walked away and I started to question myself, “Does he know who I am and does he know who Gigi is?” JP also said, “I don’t usually walk around without my shirt on.” We did not work together for four or five weeks because I was doing scenes with Erika Slezak (Viki). But, the first time we worked together there was an instant chemistry.

MICHAEL:

Weren’t your first scenes in the diner and Rex yelled, “Morasco?”

FARAH:

Yeah, and those were some really well written scenes. I liked his work ethic and his fun personality immediately.

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MICHAEL:

Did either one ask the other out on a date?

FARAH:

No. It just happened organically, and we just started hanging out together and there was no asking out. I have never dated anyone I worked with. I actually made it a rule, and it’s really easy to know someone that way. We were definitely friends first. He is pretty wonderful, but he is a terror and a handful. I have to tell people, “He’s my boyfriend, but he also is my little brother,” as sick as that is true.

JP.jpgMICHAEL:

JP’s comedic timing is beyond brilliant!

FARAH:

I know! That was the first thing I noticed right away when I met him. He is super talented. He has a huge range, and he can do it all, and do it all in one scene. He is a very good actor, and he’s better than me and I told him that. I hope in four years when I am his age, I am that good.

MICHAEL:

If you were to describe JP in a few words, what would you say?

FARAH:

Charming… goofy… sweet and laid-back. He would say the same about me.

MICHAEL:

When Gigi arrived in Llanview she was thrust into story with Viki. So, there you are in your first scenes working with thee Erika Slezak! Were you nervous?

FARAH:

I was not nervous. I was excited. I mean, I knew all about her. I was antsy to get back to work, and when I heard I was going to start on air with Erika, it made it all the more suspenseful. I had nine months off and I was ready to act. I was so excited it was going to be with her. Watching her work the first few weeks was fascinating. She is a genius! She does not look at her scripts. She is so prepared she knows everything, and everything about every storyline, and everything about every piece of history with the show. She is consulted about these things. I don’t think I have ever seen her mess up. We hit it off. I think my not being nervous around her, and my talking to her like a normal person might have helped. We had so much fun and we would gossip together about the soap world. Erika is also down to earth.

MICHAEL:

How was working with “Bitchy Bangs” Adrianna, played then by Melissa Gallo Fumero?

FARAH:

Working with Melissa is a fun dynamic because she plays the bitch so well. At the beginning, when Gigi came on, she just took it. Then the writing starting to change to where Gigi would stand up for herself and fight back. It’s always fun to have catfights.

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MICHAEL:

“One Life” had Adrianna and Rex together and then they brought you on the canvas. Was the intention always to do the Rex and Gigi romance, even though Melissa was leaving the show?

farah-sexy1.jpgFARAH:

My character was written to fill the void of Melissa Gallo leaving the show. They knew pretty far in advance. The part was written for me to work with JP, and have the characters eventually come together. Brian Frons (President ABC Daytime/SOAPnet) really banked on, thought and hoped that JP and I would work well together. He had seen my work and personality on “DAYS”. I guess if the chemistry wasn’t there for some reason, they might have changed gears and gone with another storyline, but it was always planned, yes, from the beginning that Rex and Gigi would be a couple. At the same time, if Melissa hadn’t been leaving this may have happened anyway, you never know.

MICHAEL:

Do you think the fact that you and JP are a real life couple has any influence on the two of you staying together on-air? Soap history has shown that sometimes if the writers see a couple off-screen together they may partner them on their soap.

FARAH:

I don’t think real life couples have much on the writers. I think if we stay together and they decide to break Rex and Gigi up, they are just going to do it. We might care and be sad as actors that we can’t work together anymore, but what else can we do?

MICHAEL:

Who else on the cast of the “OLTL” would you just love to work with more?

FARAH:

I like working with Trevor St. John (Todd), and I only had a hand full of scenes with him about a year ago. He came to Paris, Texas looking for his son. All the scenes we did were very fun, because he is very unpredictable. He works like I do. He does not plan anything, he just let’s it happen. His scenes are different every time he tapes them. If we do a re-take, it’s different than the ones before, and that is so interesting to me. I don’t know in what way they would have Gigi and Todd working in a storyline together, but he is so interesting, funny, and raw.

MICHAEL:

Who else on the show?

FARAH:

Robin Strasser (Dorian) is phenomenal! She had spoken to me when Dorian took over BE and Gigi was working there at the time. She was hoping they would do a, “Devil Wears Prada” storyline with Dorian and Gigi. I thought that would be really fun. But it did not go that way. Dorian ended up quitting, and we never worked together again.

MICHAEL:

What is Gigi doing for work these days?

FARAH:

The scenes where I am at now, I am working at Rodi’s. But, the scenes I was telling you about at the beginning will kind of lead me to a different direction.

farah-Xmas.jpgMICHAEL:

Since Rex is already a PI, I am feeling Gigi and Rex will be PI’s like a “Nick and Nora” spy coupling.

FARAH:

I am hoping that. I mentioned that at “Super Soap” that it would be fun, but as soon as I got back to the studio, I found out she is not going to be a PI, but it is in that realm.

MICHAEL:

So, I was close.

FARAH:

It’s a mystery with romance, and it’s an umbrella story.

MICHAEL:

Since you have been a bit back-burnered of late, do you like it better when you are working?

FARAH:

John-Paul likes to work, work, work and have stuff to do everyday. I am the opposite. If I have nothing to do, I will sleep all day, but he feels he constantly has something he has to do everyday. Me too, sometimes. I like working a lot. Sometimes I surprise myself when I like to work a lot, and it’s also fun not working a lot!

MICHAEL:

Do fans still call you “Mimi” from your “DAYS” job?

FARAH:

Most of the messages are, “I like you as Mimi from ‘DAYS’, but I like you as Gigi on ‘OLTL’.” A lot of people came up to me at “Super Soap” and said, “They watched me on ‘DAYS’.” It’s nice that people made the jump with me to One Life.

MICHAEL:

Then, how did you feel about the Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John) firings, and the current state of the soap industry budget cuts?

FARAH:

I don’t know what to think about it. I know Ken Corday (executive producer, “DAYS”) is in a tight spot and he has a lot of cutting to do. Listen, I don’t know what Marlena and Johns numbers are. I feel bad for Deidre and Drake personally, but I know Ken needs the show on the air. I know that “AMC” had cuts. I know Susan Lucci took a pay cut. I have not heard about anything at “OLTL”, but I am a team player. I know John-Paul and I will do what we need to do to help our show. I think hearing about Deidre and Drake, and Susan Lucci and Kristian Alfonso (Hope), and Peter Reckell (Bo) taking cuts, and for me personally, since I am not in those categories, I feel like they are going to impact the top stars first. When I was on “DAYS” in 2006, it was mandatory that we had to take pay cuts. So I have been there before and in this situation before. I think “OLTL” is the one show that does not go over budget every year. We do locations and musical acts, and that’s because they only do those things when we are still under budget and we have money to play with. We are keeping our fingers crossed that our show is in good shape.

MICHAEL:

Which of your former cast-mates of “DAYS” do you still stay in touch with?

cook-fath1.jpgFARAH:

Jason Cook (Ex-Shawn “DAYS”, now Matt “GH”), Martha Madison (Ex-Belle) a bit, Kyle Brandt (Ex-Phillip) is doing an ESPN show called “The Jim Rome Show”. He writes and produces his show, and does a radio show. He actually is so talented. I think he should host his own sports show, but he likes writing best.

MICHAEL:

Do you ever just pinch yourself and stop for a second and look at what you have accomplished at such a young age? Not many girls that are younger actresses have had the opportunity to have leading roles on two soaps.

FARAH:

It is cool, and it takes people like you to bring it up. I am proud of myself and it is great, but I am constantly on the track of trying to get better and do better. I never feel like I am good enough, so I am always trying to improve. Even though I have sort of made my mark in daytime, it still could be taken out from under me. Look at Deidre and Drake. I want to do my best.

MICHAEL:

Would you like to pursue a feature film career?

FARAH:

It’s always an option. I really hate auditioning, to be quite honest. I really like the soap opera world. I get to do it everyday. I never say never, but I am very content with my career and the current state of it.

MICHAEL:

What are you and JP doing for the holidays?

FARAH:

We are going to his parents’ house for Christmas. This will be the first time I don’t go to my parents’ house in Kentucky. I was there over Thanksgiving and broke the news to my family that I am going to spend my Christmas with JP.

MICHAEL:

How did that go over?

farah-sister.jpgFARAH:

They were all pretty upset. My family loves JP. They think he is cute and funny and they approve. My sister and I are close and she is my best friend. She thinks he is very good for me. So, we will spend Christmas in Pennsylvania. We don’t have New Year’s Eve plans yet, but maybe Atlantic City because we like gambling.

MICHAEL:

Yes, I know you do. Now you have a ‘jonesing’ for Poker?

FARAH:

I want to get onto a Celebrity Poker tournament. We were scheduled to play in one event and JP got sick. It was at the Mohegan Sun, and it was a celebrity event. He felt so bad because I worked hard at getting this gig, but he was so sick, poor thing.

MICHAEL:

And then there is bowling night with Lavoisier and Fath, right?

FARAH:

Bowling is every Tuesday. We have a place you can bowl all night for $28.00 in New York. It’s called Chelsea Piers. We got new bowling balls. Since we advanced our skills, we got heavier ones. JP loves it. He has a lot of hobbies, and I found my self hobby-less. All I did was work. So, I decided bowling would be my thing. However, he has taken over and now he wants to be a pro bowler. We have been watching the PGA Bowling on ESPN everyday!

MICHAEL:

So, will Shane ever come to love his real father?

FARAH:

I think once they start the new storyline that is not going to be the issue anymore. That had sort of been our holding storyline, and we are going to move on to the next big thing.

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farah-jpcar1.jpgMICHAEL:

In closing, what can we tease your fans to look forward to in the New Year from Rex and Gigi?

FARAH:

Right now, they are a happy couple and trying to get Shane to accept Rex as his father. But they kind of get past that, and someone comes to Llanview from their past, and stirs up their relationship. Rex and Gigi find themselves trying to solve something together. They are going to get into a lot of trouble. It’s back to fun Rex and Gigi. You are going to see the Rex and Gigi that first were on the screen together, because JP and Farah are itching to be comedic and loveable once again.

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