Kathy Hardeman and I did a LOT of brainstorming on the subject of interviews this year and decided on a few premises:  a minimum of GH questions, a few standards for each interviewee and limiting the interview to approximately 5 minutes so as not to monopolize their time.    For the printed portions my interviews, I have left out the niceties of introductions and good-byes, but would like to offer my thanks to all of the celebs who were kind enough to share some time with us.  Here is the basic meat of the interviews:


Interviews By Katrina Rasbold

Tyler Christopher 

KR:  “Into the West” seems to be a quite a hit and it’s a very different type of story telling than is GH.  How did you adjust into the differences between taping an epic saga versus a daily serial?

TC:  How did I adjust… into what? 

KR:  Into the different style of production.

TC:  I’ve done prime time before, but doing both shots at the same time got to be a drag with the jet lag and such.  It was a change of pace, but all in all, it was a pretty great project.

KR:  What’s in your CD player these days? 

TC:  Oh gosh, I’ve got John Mayer in there, a lot of mixed stuff. 

KR:  Do you watch any prime time shows? 

TC:  None. 

KR:  We don’t ask much about General Hospital, by the way.  We figure you’ll get asked about that plenty, so we tend to go off topic. 

TC:  I don’t watch General Hospital either.  I tend to watch the educational channels. 

KR:  Do you have any outside projects coming up? 

TC:  No, not right now.  I just focusing on the show [GH] and on wrapping up “Into the West” publicity wise.   

KR:  Do you have any charities that you’d like to talk about? 

TC:  Not specifically.  I raise money for my theater company which helps a lot of up and coming actors, giving them a place to show their stuff. 

KR: Do you have any stage productions coming up? 

TC:  No.  We don’t have anything going on right now as far as that’s concerned. 


Blake Gibbons: 

KR:  What’s in your CD player these days? 

BG:  Merle Haggard.  That’s not going to be too hip, but Merle Haggard.  Dwight Yokum.   

KR:  What do you watch in prime time: 

BG:  I just saw that show the other night called “Cathouse” and I love America Choppers with Big and Little Paul.   

KR:  Do you have any outside projects coming up?   

BG:  A couple of things I did about a year or two ago are finally coming out.  I did a movie with Gail Harrold that is going to be released on DVD pretty soon and then I did a western about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for ABC and that’s been sold to TNT and is going to be coming out. I just did a movie for the Sci Fi Channel that will be released this fall.   

KR:  To what miracle do we owe all of this recent Coleman exposure on GH? 

BG:  You know, I have no idea.  I changed my cologne, maybe that’s it.  It was great to be thrown into a new deal.   

KR:  So tell us all, what was going on with the hair for a while there? 

BG:  Well you know, Coleman is testing out a new line of hair products, so before I get them out to the public, I like to test them out on myself.  As you can see, some work and some don’t.  Coleman must not be coiffed all the time.  It’s not my way.  Every once in a while I’ll show up coiffed to keep it real.


JJY and Leslie Charleson 

KR:  You’ve both worked on GH for decades and played opposite many several strong actors.  If you could write the dream cast for a new soap, what would it be? 

JJY:  Dream cast for a daytime show? 

KR:  Yeah!  If, God forbid, General Hospital ended tomorrow  

JJY:  God Forbid *snort* 

KR:  ...and someone came to you and said, “We want you to do the casting for a new daytime drama, who would you choose?” 

LC:  That’s too tough of a question.  

JJY:  I want to work with Gene Hackman.  Who else?  Oh, I would so like to work with Hillary Duff.  Maybe she could be my kid. 

LC:  *laughs*  Usually the question is, well, what we used to talk about anyway, is who do you really hate the most and want to go into a great big movie set and have them blown up.  Years ago when I did a Rock Hudson series… 

JJY:  Really?  You did a McMillan and Wife? 

LC:  No, this was just McMillan, no wife. 

JJY: Really?  I didn’t know there WAS that! 

LC:  There WAS!  We were all sitting around and one of the guys said that Robert Blake was the one he’s most like to have blown up.   

KR:  What’s in your CD player these days? 

JJY:  Actually, I have a lot of CDs that I make of my own,  MB3 songs.  I’m not a computer guy, but my daughter has an IPOD and my wife has an IPOD.  I don’t have an IPOD, I just sit there and manually record songs for my work out. I ride a bike about an hour a day. 

KR:  Do either of you have any outside projects coming up? 

JJY:  I do.  I have a “Drake and Josh” coming up on Nickelodeon that will air around September.  It’s just a guest starring role as a bad guy, a money laundering story.  Basically, these kids are buddies and they lose their IPOD in a airport and the wrong one gets taken back.  The one that they get has a code in it that goes into the bad guy’s money making machine, so the bad guy is going to track them down and kill them.  But literally on the set downtown, they had 50,000 brand new one dollar bills.  The director, producer, whoever wanted to use real money because what happens is their little girlfriends go into the warehouse, sneak around and plug in these huge propeller type fans, so I was literally working with 50,000 one dollar bills blowing all over.  We were walking on it, it was up in the rafters.  It was great. 


Ted King 

KR:  I heard at one point that you were invested in mountain climbing and had hadn’t moved forward with that.  Are you going to give it another shot? 

TK:  Well, I’m taking a big trip to Europe in August, so that’s kind of my focus right now, so I won’t have time to train unless I make it up to the Pyrenees in Spain.   

KR:  Although it was a long time ago for you, I really enjoyed watching you in “Charmed.”  You took a character that could have been fairly benign as written and gave Andy a lot more dimension and depth.

TK:  Well, that’s my job.

KR:  And not everyone does that job as well as you did with that character.  So what is in your CD player these days?

TK:  Right now?

KR:  Yes 

TK:  I’ve got an album called “Guero,” by Beck.  White Stripes, a new record.  I’ve got a jazz trombonist who is absolutely fantastic named Wycliff Gordon who is hard to find, but wow, he’s so, so talented.  Oh and AC/DC “74 Jailbreak.”


Rick Hearst

KR:  So what’s in your CD player these days? 

RH:  I am such an old school boy!  I have a lot of one hit wonders and tend to move from one genre to the next, but I always go back to my staples.  The Eagles are always great.  When I want to get back to my heart and listen to something that is going to really reach into my soul, it’s always Peter Gabriel.  Right now, I’ve been playing “Secret World Live” because that concert in Milan just has a way of  just piercing right through me and making me just want to stop the car and get out and go [insert tribal dancing here.]  Ted [King] is a huge Gabriel fan too and when I told him that I loved Peter Gabriel, he put together a burned CD for me and he called it “Soundfreak” with different mixes of Peter Gabriel and I used some of that when Ric was sort of spiraling into madness. 

KR:  At one point, you said you were going to get into a new form of marital arts that you hadn’t done before.  Did you pursue that? 

RH:  You know what?  I wanted to start to getting into Kung Fu, but I couldn’t find a good studio for that and I’m also very enamored with Kempo , so I’ve been working consistently with boxing, which is the Americanized version of that.  Most people who are into martial arts tend to gravitate towards boxing because it is such an art.  It’s sweet science, you know?  There’s action and reaction and all of that.  If you are able to look at boxing and martial arts as a way of dealing with your life, you can see that you are going to come up against obstacles, “Man, why am I not getting through to this guy?”  Well, maybe you need to step back, maybe you need to change your defense.  Just watch, keep yourself loose, keep yourself ongoing, but keep your eyes open at all times.   

KR:  Are you watching anything on Prime time? 

Not as much any more, but I was watching “Dancing With the Stars,” can tell you that!  That final episode, it was me, my wife, my inlaws and our two kids sitting in front of that television and went Kelly got those 10’s, we freaked out. She’s tough!  She’s proven that she’s a tough Philly girl.  We’re very proud of her, all of us.


Greg Vaughan 

KR:  How is your fiancee’s low carb store going? 

GV:  The market is doing very well, thank you for asking.   

KR:  Do you indulge in the low carb lifestyle yourself? 

GV:  I indulge and I participate.  I’ve been able to take some time to go by and help at the store. 

KR:  Were you low carb before you met your fiancee?


GV:  (over his shoulder) I’M AT THE END OF THE LINE!!  (back to me) It’s just something that she got me into.

KR:  What’s in your CD player these days?

GV:  Oh, lessee, Kenny Chesney, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kold, Bryan Adams, Jeff Buckley

KR:  Is there anything in prime time that you watch?

GV:  I’m a big CSI guy.  I like the original one best.  I watch The History Channel, anything sci fi.    

 At that point, JJY practically grabbed him by the ear and threw him in line.  :)


Jill Farren Phelps

One of the most rewarding interviews (on a personal level) was very unexpected.  JFP attends the main luncheon each year, but I never considered approaching her, having always found her to be a bit formidable.  This time, I went for it and made a point of turning off my tape recorder when speaking to her.  I had always wondered why the stars always spoke so highly of her when clearly, she was no favorite of the fans.  Now I know.  It's because she is extremely fun, candid, vivacious and intelligent. Admittedly, I was a bit surprised.   Most of the conversation felt personal and I was grateful that she spoke so openly and respectfully with me.  I never expected to come away saying, "What an awesome lady!" 

One comment that pleased me was a clarification (all be it unintentional on her part, I think) of a previous quote she'd made (and I'd attacked) of "The viewers think they know what they want and we have to show them what they really want."  She said basically the same thing, but elaborated to say, "They think they want their favorite couple to get married, have babies and live happily every after, but that quickly becomes boring.  They don't call it daytime 'drama' for nothing."  OK, THAT actually made sense and shows how comments change when they are taken out of context.

Suffice it to say she was NOT happy at One Life to Live and was very definitive about that.  She wishes that viewers were able to understand how different soaps are run from years ago and that they are now, more than ever a business, that most decisions that are made about casting, storylines and such are made in that light.  She said, "We are really trying to put out a quality show on almost no money, comparatively speaking.  It's almost impossible." 

I definitely came away from the conversation with a new look at things.  (That's right.  I've been swayed to the dark side!)


Interviews by Kathy will be posted soon!