Shooting a soap opera in a bar isn’t as fun as it sounds – the booze is fake! White wine is apple juice, cosmopolitans are cranberry juice in fancy glasses, and martinis are water with olives (gross!).
But when filming on Tainted Dreams went a little long last week in Blondies, a few people decided to swap out their fake drinks for real ones. Granted, we were shooting a party scene where Grant Aleksander as executive producer Adam Clark made a big announcement and we WERE in a bar… but one actor probably should have stopped after that second martooni.
I shot my scene with professional actors Alicia Minshew, Terri Ivens and Austin Peck and then, yes, swapped out my apple juice for chardonnay to watch the fun during the party scenes. *He married WHO? Practice shocked face for camera *
Happily, I got to sip wine, er, apple juice between takes with former B&B and AMC star Bobbie Eakes.
“It’s so good to be back in New York,” she enthused. (Eakes and her husband David Steen are currently living in California.) “The last time I was in Blondies was with a bunch of actors for some charity event. I can’t remember which one because you had so many events, but we were all drinking and having fun.”
Eakes portrays Courtney Parish on Tainted Dreams. Courtney is the Vice President of Daytime Programming for the network that airs soap-within-a-soap Painted Dreams.
“I’m Grant’s boss,” she enthused. “I’ve never been anybody’s boss! The only ‘real’ job I ever had was as the fry chef at McDonalds.”
In a move unusual for a soap, Courtney has a great home life.
“She’s happily married to Eddie Parish, played by Jimmy DePaiva,” shared Eakes. “Kassie DePaiva was supposed to play my role but it didn’t work out. I’m glad, because I get to make out with her husband.” (Perhaps they’ll deal with that at their next “Divas of Daytime” concert.)
Eakes describes Courtney as a cross between her two former characters. “She’s like an older Macy, in that she’s educated and devoted to her husband. Like Krystal, she’s not a victim, which Macy kind of was.”
Former AMC co-star Walt Willey (ex-Jack) plays Courtney’s ex-husband, Gregory. “He fooled around on her and she caught him in the act,” eyerolled Eakes. “They got divorced and then he fooled around on his next wife. What goes around comes around.”
They’re happy to be working together again; neither Eakes nor Willey was part of All My Children’s reboot on the Internet.
“I had a deal in place when AMC went off the air, but a year later there was no contact,” revealed Eakes. “They have fewer vets on AMC than on One Life To Live. I think that’s a mistake.”
Tainted Dreams is FULL of soap vets (click here for complete cast: http://tainteddreamstheseries.com/about-tainted-dreams/characters/), including many from AMC. In addition to Eakes, Minshew and Willey, Grant Aleksander played Alec Mcintyre, Terri Ivens was Simone Torres, and Michael Lowry portrayed Jake Martin.
Minshew was the tipping point for Eakes.
“One of the things I loved most about this project was that Alicia was central to it,” smiled Eakes. “We all know who Kendall is, but this shows what Alicia is. She’s funny and kind and down-to-earth and a little bit of a sailor when it comes to her language. Salty; I love that. That’s when I said, ‘This will go. If Alicia is at the center of it, this will surely go.’”
Eakes credits creator Sonia Blangiardo for assembling a dream cast – pun intended.
“It’s low-maintenance and high-talent,” she praised, “which is the best possible combination.”
I’ll drink to that!