Alicia Minshew talks All My Children, Beacon Hill returning to soaps and much more. Check it out here--->>
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Fangirling how I was fangirling. We got to talk to Alicia Minshew. My girl crush any day of the week! I was nervous about this one, really nervous. How awesome was it that she was nicer and cooler than I could have imagined! Super nice. Super sweet. Love her even more now. Alicia and I talked All My Children, what she's been up to since, Beacon Hill, if she is interested in coming back to soapland and more.
Alicia was born and raised in Florida. This young girl from the small city of Stuart, FL had big dreams. From the time Alicia was in her first play in high school she knew. She knew she loved acting and she loved entertaining. She knew that was the path for her.
Alicia had a very specific idea of where she wanted her desired path to begin. She spent a lot of her days (like most soapers did) watching soaps with her grandmother. Alicia told us she would often think to herself when she was a little girl, wouldn't it be cool if she moved to New York one day and be on a soap opera! Cool? Yes! But more like fantastic!
Alicia did move to New York where she auditioned and auditioned and auditioned for soaps. She auditioned for Days of our Lives, Passions and All My Children (numerous times). Alicia's persistence and resolve paid off. "The casting director at All My Children, Judy Wilson, brought me in her office when the role of Kendall came up. She said 'I think this is a good one. It is perfect for you.' I didn't know what role it was because they actually called her "Candy" at first. They didn't want to give it away that they were bringing the character back. I did my screen test with Josh Duhamel (Leo). I always say I feel like he's one of the reasons why I got the role because he made it so fun. And it was so easy to flirt with him, look at him."
Judy was right the role was perfect for Alicia. They wanted a second audition. It was then that Alicia learned from Judy that she was auditioning for the role of Susan Lucci's daughter, Kendall Hart, that was previously played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. "I instantly got nervous. I thought there was no way I'm going to get this important role. Judy told me, 'Just go in there and be your usual fun feisty self. Do what you do and have fun with it.' That was really good advice. So boom, I was on the show for ten years and it changed my life. I had this amazing job and it has opened the doors to all the other projects I've done since."
It's impossible to talk about Kendall and not talk about Zach Slater, the other half of the supercouple Zendall, played by Thorsten Kaye. Zendall's onscreen chemistry was magnetic. The pairing wasn't initially in the soap coupling cards but the people at All My Children saw what we all would see supercouple magic. "Kendall was paired with Ethan, Zach's son, played by James Scott. And Eve LaRue's character, Maria, was with Zach. Both couples had their own lovely chemistry and their own thing. Then one day, I'll never forget it, they had a scene with Thorsten and myself. I think it was in a casino where our characters were trying to help Erica. I think that is when the writers saw some fun little spark. It was kind of the way that we looked at each other. They saw the spark very early on is what I remember them telling me. That's when they said, 'Hmm. Let's see what we can do with Kendall and Zach that could be interesting.' They ran with it. I remember the first day I met Thorsten. We hit it off the minute we met. It was so easy with him. We understood each other's energy. He would make fun of me all the time and I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. I got his sense of humor. He got mine. The writers took us on this incredible journey." Yes! Can we take it again?!
Alicia was glad when All My Children lived on again on the web. But unfortunately, the timing wasn't right for her. It was a very difficult decision for Alicia when she decided not to sign on. One of the producers of the show did ask Alicia to come back for a very short arc. "Ginger, the producer, at the time asked me and I did a couple of very brief scenes. I was happy to be given the chance to do it. And I got the chance to give everybody hugs. I was hoping the show would continue if for nothing else than the sake of the great fans. I felt bad it didn't work out. But who knows it could be reignited in another way. Everything is being rebooted. So why not All My Children." We still have it among the top of our soap prayer list.
Right after All My Children, Solila Parida, a fan of the show and Alicia contacted her about a role in her film, Desires of the Heart. Solila wrote Alicia's role specifically with Alicia in mind. The film was a romantic mystical love story. Alicia read the script, loved it and was more than happy to star in it. The movie opened the door for Alicia in the independent movie world. Alicia enjoyed the variety of playing different roles, working with different cast and crews, filming in various locations and participating in the film festivals. She also loved the change of pace. The slower pace of film versus the rapid pace of daytime lent Alicia freedom and more time to create in her roles. Alicia's movies are on iTunes, Amazon and Apple TV. Check them out. She has also done guest stints in primetime. Her most recent was guest starring on NBC's hit show, The Blacklist.
When Alicia was working on the web series Tainted Dreams, Crystal Chappell (who was working with the creators and writers of Beacon Hill, Jessica and Linda Hill) reached out to Alicia about Beacon Hill. Jessica and Linda who are soap fans themselves wanted to put together a core group of actors from daytime to play the characters. Alicia knew right away this was a project she wanted to be a part of. "As soon as I heard who was a part of it, it wasn't just Crystal, it was Ricky Paull Goldin, Melissa Archer, Sarah Brown, Ron Raines, so many great actors whom I looked up to and respected. And then I read the script and I knew even more so that I wanted to be a part of it. The writing is very smart. I said, 'I'm in.'" There were a couple of other dynamics that intrigued Alicia about Beacon Hill. It's the first time she's played a gay character and the first time she has played in a political show.
Who is Alicia's character on Beacon Hill? Who is Sarah Preston? Alicia told us. "Sarah is driven. She basically left her lover, Katherine (played by Sarah Brown) to go be a reporter in New York City. She just up and left. She comes back to town and they have to deal with why she left. But there is also the issue that Sarah's entire family and Katherine are in politics. So, I'm the reporter that is reporting on my own family including my ex-girlfriend. I genuinely love them. But I also have to do my job. I have to get the scoop. That sometimes can include doing things that might not seem like the nicest things. She's trying to find a balance between her loved ones and her career. Oh yeah, Sarah also has a current girlfriend, Diane. It's really good stuff."
The first season was released in 2014 and the cast will start filming season two at the end of September. We asked Alicia what she could share about the long-awaited new season. "I've read the script. Let me tell you it is really good. They made it timely with everything that is going on in our world today; race, creed, sexuality, politics, the #MeTooMovement, just everything."
We would love for Alicia to come back home to daytime. But right now she's happily and contently living in New York with her family raising her daughter, Willow. All four soaps are filmed on the West Coast. But Alicia told us never say never. Maybe if the right role came along with a finite small arc or maybe when Willow gets a little older, she could come back. It's a glimmer of hope and we will hold on to it with all our might!
Soap family let's keep all of our fingers crossed for Alicia. Alicia and her producers will be pitching their outrageous comedy, Murphy. Her friend, Markus Redmond, the creator, wrote it with her in mind. Markus also wrote and directed This is Now a 2016 film that also starred Alicia and Nadia Bjorlin (Days of Our Lives). Alicia says; Murphy is Alicia times a hundred. He wrote it with me in mind but made me a crazy insane woman." Laughter. We are rooting for Murphy, Alicia!
Life is pretty good for Alicia. She is remaining open to whatever the universe has for her. She trusts the universe will take care of her. She is going with the flow!
Alicia's message to her fans;
"My message is one of gratitude for constantly supporting me in any roles or projects I've done after All My Children. Definitely watch Beacon Hill because you are in for a treat. And thank you for always supporting me."
This was so great to connect with Alicia!
Watch Beacon Hill season one!
Look out for season two!
Keep your fingers crossed for Murphy!
I AM KP Smith