Cathy Doe Talks Big Break on Passions, Life After the Show, Her Upcoming Project with Silvana Arias and More! (EXCLUSIVE) Learn more here--->>
Soap Opera News recently had the pleasure of catching up with Passions’ alum Cathy Doe. Check it out below:
Cathy Doe’s path to becoming an actress started with a modeling competition in the South where one of the tasks saw her acting out a commercial on stage. Afterwards, she was approached by two of the judges who told her she had a “commercial face” and advised her to pursue commercial work. “I'd never acted before,” she recalled. “That summer I came up to New York and I booked a bunch of Wendy's commercials in a row. And I started really liking it.” It was then that she decided to go back to school at Florida State for acting to hone her newfound craft before she returned to New York to pursue her new career.
Eventually, she found herself in Los Angeles to tackle pilot season. While working on a short-lived series with Kieran Culkin she landed the role of Simone Russell on NBC’s Passions. In a funny and surprising turn of events, Cathy was also preparing for her role in the independent film Buds For Life. It was the table read for the project that she met her co-star Chrystee Pharris, who just happened to be stepping out of the role of Simone Russell. “She was very sweet. I was kind of nervous about that because I didn't know how someone would feel for somebody else who is about to take over their role,” Doe admitted.
It’s no secret that the word recast has the tendency to strike fear in the hearts of soap opera fans. Worried about the fans reaction and hoping that she could do the beloved character justice, she shared that some sage advice from one of the show’s directors helped her immensely. “[They] told me ‘Don't try to do it like she did. Do it like yourself. Do what you think the character is and so if it's different, they'll like you for a different reason. You won't be trying to be someone else.’”
The character of Simone soon became engrained in television history when she came out as a lesbian. Cathy recalled being called into a meeting with the producers of the show. “I thought I must have done something wrong at first,” she laughed. Instead she was given the chance to represent a community of people, who at the time had very little to no representation in Daytime. Not only was she up for the task but she was determined to ensure that the topic was done with love. “Passions had funny storylines and I wanted this to be serious. I didn't want anybody to be represented as a joke. So, I took it very seriously.”
As the storyline gained press, the actress remembered doing an interview where she learned that the age group she was representing had one of the highest rates of suicide. “They didn't feel like they could come out. They couldn’t be African-American and come out. They couldn’t be in high school and come out without having a stigma placed on them,” she shared. Left with more resolve to be someone that the audience could identify with, she went on to share a powerful and poignant performance that earned the show a GLAAD Media Award.
Passions has been off the air for more than a decade now but it is still beloved by many. Lately, a petition has been circling social media to reboot and revive the series. We asked Cathy her thoughts on where she hoped Simone would be now. “I would love for it to be rebooted, and I would totally be a part of it! Yeah. I would like to see [Simone] have a girlfriend, maybe get married and have children. I would like to see how she raises her children to be independent, care for themselves, and just be proud of who they are.”
As for what is coming up next for Cathy? She has joined forces with her fellow Passions alum Silvana Arias (ex-Paloma) to write an independent horror film, which is expected to shoot in 2022. “We kept in touch and she said, ‘Hey, I wrote this horror movie and I scared myself and I'm stuck halfway.’ Knowing that Doe had a love for the genre, Silvana asked if she wanted to be part of the project, which she eagerly accepted.
Thank you, Cathy, for the chat! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for the latest in her life and career.