First up: Alicia Minshew.

“I play Angelica Caruso, the senior producer of Painted Dreams which is the soap within a soap,” explained Minshew today. “She is the caretaker of all these crazy people; the mama bear. There’s a great line in the script about her – ‘People like you, but they don’t respect you’ – because she’s friends with everybody. She blurs the lines instead of being the boss.”

Alicia Minshew at Blondies with her first script

Alicia Minshew at Blondies with her first script

Before filming her scenes, Minshew shared an amusing kumbaya with fellow All My Children veterans Grant Aleksander (ex-Alec) and Larkin Malloy (ex-Travis). “Larkin would have been my stepfather on AMC,” she mused. “He is perfect for the role of Henry, the director of Painted Dreams. I know who that role is based on. People were scared of him, but I loved him.” As for Grant, “I don’t think I have a connection to Alec, although I did work with his ‘ex-wife’ Kelly Ripa [ex-Hayley]. He’s so handsome. Kendall would have slept with him for sure.”

The first day of filming was in Blondies Sports Bar on the Upper West Side, a frequent hangout for the actors from AMC and One Life To Live over the years. “I’m so grateful Patty [McGreevey, owner] let us film here,” said creator/director Sonia Blangiardo. “It was like coming home.”

The TD crew set up hair, make-up and wardrobe in the back room of the bar, the site of many soap parties over the years. “The last time I was here, I was having a drink right over there,” cracked Minshew. “And now I’m getting dressed!”

Despite not having worked directly with most of the actors before, Minshew said she walked in and “everyone was hugging and kissing. There’s a lot of love in this room. It’s fantastic.”

Her first scenes were with Colleen Zenk (ex-Barbara, ATWT), who plays the mother of Angelica’s friend Anthony. “I met Colleen once, we were both nominated the same year for lead actress [Emmy]. I was like, ‘I’m not worthy!’”

“I remember that,” Zenk chimed in. “It was 2011. World Turns had already gone off the air. Laura Wright [Carly, GH] won.”

As for Zenk’s character, “She’s an Italian mother with a gay son who works as a PA on Painted Dreams. She’s a bit overbearing, as Italian mothers can be,” she winked.

The first day went very well, especially when you consider that TD’s cast and crew was shooting in a bar. “No one drank,” said Blangiardo, “although I bet a few people wanted to!”

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