Andrea Evans talks soap career, new project and much more. Read the full interview here--->>
We recently chatted with actress, producer, Andrea Evans. We talked Tina Lord, her daytime past, her desire for a daytime future, her hit documentary Rocking the Couch and her "tie" to Abraham Lincoln. Yep. That Abraham.
Andrea fell in love with acting and there was never a need to look back. "Acting is the only job I've really ever had. I started doing it when I was 10 years old. It's been something I have always loved and never tired of. My mother, who is a musician, was doing a semi professional play in the Chicago area where I grew up. They were putting on a musical and they had a role in it for a young girl. They asked me if I wanted to do it. I said yes. I did it. I loved it. I never stopped."
Pre-daytime Andrea was in commercials. She worked regularly in productions in Illinois. She also was in a major mini series. Andrea shared with us the cocktail ice breaker story of all cocktail ice breaker stories. "Also, in college I did this pioneer epic called The Awakening Land. We actually shot in the same cabin in Salem, IL that Abraham Lincoln helped build. I studied by the same fire he studied by. I told my daughter about the experience. I remember picking her up from school one day when she was about five. The kindergarten teacher came out and said, 'Kylie had a very colorful story that you studied with Abraham Lincoln.' Laughter. 'I know I'm an older mother but I know I'm not that old.'" Laughter.
Tina Lord (One Life to Live) was Andrea's first break out role. Although, we made the case sitting by the same fire as Abraham Lincoln was a stronger contender. Of course, Tina Lord was pretty special too as Andrea mused. "How often do you get the chance to take a character from a teenager to a middle aged woman? That doesn't usually occur in anything but a daytime show. "
Andrea's daytime career also included Tawny Moore on the Bold and the Beautiful, Rebecca Crane on Passions and, how I became acquainted with Andrea, Patty Williams on The Young and the Restless. Once Andrea started in daytime she continued to work outside the genre. She had a recurring role on Capitol News. She's done films, movies of the week and theater. But, "Most definitely my audience knows me from my daytime work no doubt about it."
Since we were speaking to One Life to Live royalty, we asked Andrea if she had heard anything more about the possibility of an One Life to Live (or AMC) reboot since the initial story came out that those hallowed words of a reboot had been reported as being spoken in the halls of the ivory tower of ABC daytime. "When I first heard it from fans and on social media I kind of disregarded it as just wishful thinking. But then I saw the original article and it did come from the people at ABC. So, I don't know what that means. I know ABC bought the rights back for the characters. Usually they don't fight for something if there isn't a reason. I'm not sure if that means there will be a reboot or not. I can tell you nobody has approached me about it. But I would think there is some inkling of truth to it because it came from ABC." We hope with every fiber of our soap being the inkling of truth grows into a reboot reality.
Andrea is ready and eager to return to daytime. "The love of my life and the love of my career is daytime television. I would absolutely love to go back. I love it. I enjoy the process." She is not ruling out any destination. She did specifically state, "I'm interested in visiting Salem. I can channel my love for the supernatural there. I'd love to visit Port Charles. And if Llanview came back, I'd be happy to visit there too."
Since the cancellation of One Life to Live, Andrea has concentrated mostly on film and as of late specifically producing. She has produced the timely and relevant documentary, Rocking the Couch which delves into the history/root of the term/topic. In the piece, people share their personal and individual stories. And it highlights an ignored breakthrough case. Before that Andrea and I talked about the scandals involving the fall of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, the new societal landscape, the responsibility of the industry and if she (being in the industry) has seen an authentic shift regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault beyond the hashtags.
"I think there has been a shift. I think the unions have taken it more seriously and have implemented more rules. Beyond that it will just take some time to see. Hopefully, we will see a better attitude toward this. And people won't have to go through this." We commented from a non-industry view point; one day we were living in this pre #metoo movement world and then the next day, at least it felt like, everything had changed. Andrea said it felt the same from the inside. "Harvey Weinstein is the poster child for this.When his story broke, it ripped the top off the whole thing. Then the Bill Cosby scandal was unfolding at the same time. I never in a million years would have thought what happened would have happened to America's TV dad. It's almost like a Greek Tragedy."
The falls for both Weinstein and Cosby were swift and long which might have been a surprise. But the issues rooted in their falls could hardly come as a shock or surprise to those in the industry according to Andrea. "Being in the industry we all knew what was going on. We all in certain instances looked away myself included. It's time people take responsibility for that. The times have shifted. Social Media has had alot to do with that. People are truly paying attention to something that truly should be paid attention to. Because everybody knew it."
Rocking the Couch, available on Amazon Prime, is doing its part in helping bring and keep attention on the issue. We heard the pride in Andrea's voice about the mark her documentary is making in shedding light and awareness on this serious topic and helping to spark change and progression. "My partner and I wanted to tell a different story about that situation. We started doing it last year in the middle of the Weinstein and Cosby scandals. We thought it was only being told from one angle. It wasn't telling the history of it. And it wasn't telling how it is mostly not well known actors that this happens to. It usually happens to actors who are trying to get their foot in the door. The people who are most vulnerable. We wanted to tell their story. And we also wanted to tell the history of how we got the ridiculous term "casting couch" that everybody in the world knows about. Sexual harassment and sexual assault occurs in every business. We are the only ones who have a term that people know about and quite often laugh about. It isn't funny. We also wanted to focus on a specific case that happened in the 90's where 12 women took a talent agent to court who had sexually assaulted all of them. They won. But somehow it escaped the press. I think it is a story worth telling." Absolutely it is. We learned alot talking to Andrea. One of the lessons that stood out for us was that this issue isn't specific to women. Men are victims also, imparticularly gay men.
In the documentary, three soap stars detail their experiences. "We have three different soap stars that are interviewed. Tonja Walker (General Hospital, One Life to Live), Carrie Mitchum (Bold and the Beautiful) and Kim Ulrich (Passions). All the women, especially Tonja and Carrie, tell their heart wrenching stories about their early years in Hollywood. Carrie and Kim bring their own wisdom from a different angle. Carrie from her grandfather Robert Mitchum, who was in the industry, and Kim who is married to a very successful casting director. She talks about how it's not the casting director. They just get the bad rap."
Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the topic and the difficulty in talking about it; it was no surprise for us to learn there were those who didn't want to share or participate on camera. "We could not get any gay men to talk. There were alot of people who would not talk to us. We tried and tried. I'm a big believer in diversity. I reached out to my African American actor friends and we could not get anyone to talk. Other friends male and female; wouldn't talk. Understandably, this is such a sensitive issue. I totally respect whomever didn't want to talk. I'm very proud of the people who did. It is a very difficult thing, very difficult. African Americans and gays are already in the minority and most likely felt it wasn't a good idea or in their best interest to talk. They already have a harder struggle. They probably didn't want to make it harder for themselves. I can respect that."
Rocking the Couch is doing so well, Andrea and her team have been given the green light to create a "Rocking The" series. "We will be rocking some other topical subjects. It will be "The Rocking The Something Series." That could go on forever. We are purposely looking for topical subjects. We have about five topics we are considering. But I won't talk about it just yet. Just know we could be rocking things until I'm in my rocking chair." Laughter.
It was a pleasure talking to Andrea!
Check out Rocking the Couch on Amazon Prime!
We look forward to Rocking with Andrea well into the future and hoping to see her back in daytime!
Thanks so much Andrea!