One Life to Live started taping the reboot on March 18 in Stamford, Connecticut . OLTL 2.0 is an online series produced by Prospect Park , slated to air on TOLN, Hulu and other sites beginning April 29, 2013. Most of the original faves are on board – including Llanview’s favorite bad girl Blair Cramer, played by (who else?) Kassie DePaiva.
Carolyn: How did you feel walking onto a OLTL set again?
Kassie: My whole body just shook with happiness. I am so glad to be doing this again. There is a really good energy there. So many of the people that I had grown to love at OLTL are there, and I had a complete flashback to P&G with all the people working there that I know from Guiding Light.
Carolyn: Right – you were Chelsea Reardon! Is OLTL coming back fast-forwarded years ahead like AMC?
Kassie: No. There are some recasts, but other than that it’s pretty much current time. I have not seen Natalie and John’s baby yet, but I’m sure he’ll be a little older. My little Sam is the same. Well, he’s not mine, he’s Margaret’s [laughs]. They’re making the teenagers young adults. You can tell a different tale when you’re 21 than when you’re 16. I think the fans will like it. It’s creative. I look at it that we have an opportunity to be more than a soap – it’s scripted drama. We can tell a different type of story.
Carolyn: Where do we find Blair?
Kassie: Blair is pretty much where she was. They’re addressing what happened at the end of OLTL, not what went on in Port Charles [on GH]. There’s a Tomas reference, then we pick up with her relationship with Todd. Roger [Howarth] is there. Todd comes back to town because of a family issue, and Blair and Todd pick up where they left off. They have a lot of unfinished business, a lot of rich history to pull from. Fans need to know that [head writer] Susie Bedsow Horgan was producing OLTL during the ‘Golden Balloon’ wedding, and she honors that.
Carolyn: How long is Roger going to be on OLTL?
Kassie: I don’t know the length of his stay, whether it’s short-lived or long-term. I don’t know if a deal has been worked out between Prospect Park and ABC. Gosh, I hope so. I love my daughter Starr and I love my off-and-on bad-boy husband. I watch GH. It was refreshing to see Todd in a new environment on GH where he was not colored by his past. But here it’s like, ‘Dude, we know who you are.’ I love that.
Carolyn: Does OLTL address Todd’s relationship with Carly on GH?
Kassie: We don’t mention Carly, but I only have this week’s scripts. I would love for that to happen. What I am playing is, ‘I love Todd but I know he has slept with Carly.’ That has not been addressed, but I’m playing it. Blair and Todd have always been so terribly jealous of any other relationship, so it’s embryonic. I hope they address that Blair knows: ‘Why don’t you go home to your blah-blah girlfriend, Todd?!’
Carolyn: What can you tell me about Trevor St. John returning as a very much alive Victor?
Kassie: We’ve got to address something there – that was the last shot of the episode! That’s all I’m going to say.
Carolyn: How about the other characters?
Kassie: They pick up with Viki and Clint, and Dorian is a big frickin’ senator. There’s a big event that is going to shake up a lot of things, and some big reveals. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a soap, full of things that make you want to tune in tomorrow.
Carolyn: How are the sets?
Kassie: Beautiful. Fans will go, ‘Wow, that’s the exact same set.’ Hurricane Sandy did come through the Eastern seaboard, so if something looks different we can explain it that way. I’m sure Robin [Strasser] will throw that in!
Carolyn: Has Blair seen David Vickers yet?
Kassie: I work with Tuc [Watkins] tomorrow. He’ll bring a bunch of sunshine to the set. It’s all good. I adore the actors on OLTL, it was so wonderful to see Erika [Slezak] on Monday. The only bad thing is that Florencia [Lozano, Tea] and I have dressing rooms that are further apart. Hillary [B. Smith, Nora] and Florencia are in a different section, I miss them.
Carolyn: How do the dressing rooms work?
Kassie: We share with AMC. It’s funny to see whose dressing room you overlap with. I share with Vincent Irizarry [David], Hillary has Cady McClain [ Dixie ], Erika is with Debbi Morgan [Angie], Bob Woods [Bo] and Thorsten [Kaye, Zach] share. There was a chair and a lamp on a side table in my dressing room, and I called Vincent and said, ‘I’m going to have to bring in a makeup table.’ He said, ‘You can decorate it in Laura Ashley for all I care!’
Carolyn: What’s your overall impression so far?
Kassie: It’s a lot of hard work. Even though we all know what we’re doing, there’s a new crew, new sets, new boss, new facility. I equate it with putting on my 3-inch pumps: ‘I’ll get used to walking soon.’ I want you to come out Carolyn, it’s a really good vibe. Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz want this to be successful. They watch every scene. They are very hands-on and very appreciative. After working under the umbrella of a network for so long, I feel so much more freedom. They are really grateful and say ‘Thank you.’ Not that ABC wasn’t grateful, but it was a machine. We were so used to being the red-headed stepchild at OLTL; now we’re the gem in the crown. It’s nice. One actress – I won’t tell you which one – said, ‘It’s like having an abusive boyfriend that you didn’t know was abusive until you dated a nice guy.’ For the last 25 years I feel like I’ve been fighting to keep these soaps on the air. Now, it’s a fresh start. It feels similar, but it’s totally different. It’s not a daytime soap anymore. Any time you want to watch us, we’re there. It will be good for the binge watcher and for the person who just wants to visit Llanview – and really good for everyone who missed it.