Transcript of the interview with actress
better known as Rachel/Justine on
plus she travels around the country with her soap co-star Charles Keating performing in COUPLETS
The interview was aired live at 10pm eastern
on Thursday, July 8, 1995
It was conducted by Peter Anthony Holder
the evening talk show host on
CJAD 800 AM, Montreal
CJAD: We have a very special treat for you this hour, especially for those of you who are fans of ANOTHER WORLD. On the line with us is Victoria Wyndham who of late is not playing just one but two roles on ANOTHER WORLD. Victoria, how are you?
VICTORIA: Fine Peter, how are you?
CJAD: I'm fine. Thank you for joining us this evening.
VICTORIA: Well, thanks for having me.
CJAD: ANOTHER WORLD is probably one of the most popular shows in this neck of the woods.
VICTORIA: That's great!
CJAD: There are a lot of people in this area who watch it. We do a soap opera show about once a month the assistant editor of SOAP OPERA WEEKLY magazine, Jonathan Reiner, and we get a lot of soap opera fans who ask questions about your character and other characters on the show. It's very, very popular here.
VICTORIA: Well that's great.
CJAD: You have been playing Rachel for quite some time now. Now you're playing a dual role with the addition of Justine. What's that like doing the dual role?
VICTORIA: It's a little schizophrenic, (laughter). It's just a joke folks. It just twice as much work, but it's really interesting.
CJAD: Now Justine's a bad girl.....
VICTORIA: Yeah, she's a little bent.
CJAD: But for those who have been watching the show for a very, very long time, the role that you're most accustomed to, Rachel, wasn't always a good girl herself, correct?
VICTORIA: No, she wasn't, she was naughty, but she wasn't a psychotic.
CJAD: As the years went on.....because I've talked to other actors before and they have always said it's often much more fun to play naughty then nice....as Rachel became nicer and nicer, did that become difficult to play?
VICTORIA: No it's just a different set of problems. The problems when you're playing a hero or a heroine is how to keep it interesting, you know, so you have to work harder to find the edges that will make the character interesting to people. But there's no question that playing a heavy is lots of fun, especially if you're playing a psychotic, as I'm playing now. The sky's the limit to what I can do with her and it's a lot of fun. It's been a bit of a shock, apparently, to a lot of the fans who I guess are uncomfortable with the notion that Miss Wyndham can be anything but Rachel, but you know, when you're an actor they have to understand that every part you play is a character. Rachel's just as much a character as Justine. Just because I play Rachel doesn't mean that they've seen everything there is to see about Miss Wyndham, and what Miss Wyndham can do. An actor has to have a fuller bag of tricks then just one character. Whereas my co-star says you're travelling very light (laughter).
CJAD: People are very familiar seeing your face on the screen performing on television day in and day out. What's that like? Does it ever become a rut? There must have been lulls in play Rachel over the years.
VICTORIA: Oh sure, when you're back burner it can become tedious. When you're just holding up the sets and doing all the recapitulation of which this particular medium is chock-a-block full, but on the whole I think Rachel has been a pretty interesting character and has enough varied story lines to keep me pretty interested or I wouldn't stay. Also, you have to remember, I'm also a mother with two children. It's a great gig for a working actress who wants to bring up her children and be home every night.
CJAD: How many years have you been playing Rachel Cory?
CJAD: Did you think when you first started 21 years ago that you'd still be doing this role?
VICTORIA: No, I didn't dream of it in my wildest imagination. It was a good job and I had two little babies to provide for and....
CJAD: When you started the role, was it a contract role?
VICTORIA: Oh yes.
CJAD: So you knew you were there for a while when you first joined on.
VICTORIA: Well, you never do. When you're taking over for somebody else, and I took over an established part, you never know if it will work with the audience and whether you can co-op the audience to start rooting for you, or whether they're always going to pine for the original actress who did the role. So in show business everyone's expendable and nothing's for sure.
CJAD: What's that like when you take over a role as opposed to creating one? Was it a difficult process for you? Did you spend a lot of time watching your predecessor?
VICTORIA: I looked at what she was doing to see what they wanted me to change. I was brought on to definitely take this character into a different direction, so that was my mandate. So I certainly had to watch to see what Robbie had done, so that I knew where the character was at the time and where I could go with her, without trying to imitate. You don't watch somebody else and then imitate them. So when I came on I had a mandate to do whatever I had to do with her, and yet that's not an easy situation for the rest of the cast and not an easy situation for the fans. So you go through a period of adjustments that I'd say lasted about a year.
CJAD: On this program in the past we've had some other long running stars from other Proctor & Gamble shows, primarily AS THE WORLD TURNS, and the one question I bring up to them is how much of a keeper of the character are they. I ask that question to you. As time goes on, how much are a keeper are you of the flame of Rachel? Do you have a say into what is done to Rachel's character over the years?
VICTORIA: Not too much of a say into what's done to her, but I can certainly put in my two cents. They can ignore it, but I think after a while in this medium where there is such high turnover among the writing staff and the producing staff, especially on our show lately, you do become the keeper of the character. They do look to you to get a certain amount of input that sometimes they choose to ignore or sometimes they choose to go with it. It all depends on who you're working for and how they feel about the show. There's no question that in a long form medium that this is the only continuity that you can possibly get with a character would rest squarely on the shoulders of the person playing the character. But that said, the people who I work for can do anything they want with her. They own her, I don't. But I don't have to play her if I feel that they are doing something too wrong. I haven't, luckily, been in that situation ever. They've always been very respectful about what I do with her and they seem to like her.
CJAD: Let's go to the lines. Ray, hi, you're on the air.
CALLER: Yes, good evening. I'd like to tell you that I have been a long time fan of the show and of your talents.
VICTORIA: Oh, thank you very much.
CALLER: I have watch you from way back and seen how way up you've gotten in your talents and I was surprised that maybe you wouldn't have gone as some of your co-workers have and tried to go on to bigger and better things, but you stayed on.
VICTORIA: Well that had a lot to do with my children. I didn't want to bring my children up in California. We're an East Coast family. I also don't like to go off....you know when you go off to do nighttime or movies, with a movie you might be away from your family from six weeks to a year. With nighttime you may be away for six weeks and that was more time away from my family then I ever wanted to spend. ANOTHER WORLD has provided me with a very nice living where I could stay home and be home with my children every night and do homework and be a regular Mom, so that seemed like a better alternative then gadding about and pursuing a career. The kids seemed more important than the career.
CALLER: How did you find all the years acting together with, ummm, what's-his-name that passed away a couple of years ago?
VICTORIA: Doug Watson.
VICTORIA: Oh, well, we were very, very close friends.
CALLER: I found that he was a great actor too. He was just a tremendous actor.
VICTORIA: Yes, he was a wonderful actor and a wonderful man and it was a very difficult time losing him. Still difficult to talk about.
CALLER: Anyway, I hope the show continues and also continues to climb.
VICTORIA: Well, what do you think about Justine?
VICTORIA: It's okay, you can tell me that you hate her.
CALLER: I don't know if it's so much that I hate her, or it's because, oh, I don't know.....I don't like her story line too much. Maybe that's why.
VICTORIA: And why is that?
CALLER: I don't know, maybe it's because I think I'm used to you so much on your feet. Level headed. To your feet. As you say, that's the way you are in real life, I guess that's why you stuck with the show with so long.
VICTORIA: Well you know, sometimes an actor needs a stretch.
CALLER: Well I don't like anything with killings or murder, or poisoning....
VICTORIA: She hasn't killed anybody.
CALLER: Yet! (laughter)
VICTORIA: Do you know something I don't know. I don't think so! Listen, let's not put her in jail for murder before she's done some. I don't think you have to worry about her killing anybody.
CALLER: Anyway, continue the good work.
VICTORIA: Okay, thanks a lot.
CJAD: When Douglas Watson passed away, was there any talk about recasting?
VICTORIA: Oh no. There are some people who are irreplaceable and he certainly was one of them. I think everybody was very united in that sense. You can't replace him and it would be foolish to try. We miss him. Like Connie. We can't replace Ada either. So there wasn't an attempt to. That's what's sort of cool about soaps. They sort of do run a parallel....you know they are an alternative life form. They run parallel to real life. People grow up and they have their children and sometimes they die, just like in real life.
CJAD: Colleen, hi, you're on the air with Victoria Wyndham.
CALLER: Hi Victoria, how are you doing?
VICTORIA: Fine, how are you?
CALLER: Fine, thank you. I've been watching ANOTHER WORLD for, oh God, at least 25 years. I love it. I am totally addicted to it.
VICTORIA: Good for you.
CALLER: Ummm, Justine.
VICTORIA: (laughter) What about her?
CALLER: Well, she kind of grows on you after awhile.
VICTORIA: Oh good, I'm glad to hear you say that because she's grown on me too.
CALLER: Yes, I'm beginning to think like her and wonder what her next ploy is going to be.
VICTORIA: (laughter) She's fun to watch.
CALLER: Yes she is. Although I must admit, I do miss having Rachel around to sort of keep everybody solid, you know.
VICTORIA: Well for all of the rest of you that are worrying about Rachel, may I assure you that she's is going to be back....
CALLER: Oh well that I didn't doubt.
VICTORIA: ....yeah, on the air very shortly. You'll see her get out of this predicament that she's in.
CALLER: And I love Carl. I'm thrilled you married him.
VICTORIA: Oh that's great.
CALLER: I missed where Amanda went.
VICTORIA: I know.
CALLER: Where did she go?
VICTORIA: Well apparently she was going out to San Francisco to deal with some business out there.
CALLER: And is she coming back?
VICTORIA: No, not as that actress.
CALLER: Oh, and is another actress going to take her place?
VICTORIA: I don't know what they are going to do. It's as big a surprise to us as it was to you.
CALLER: Yeah, I couldn't figure out what had happened to Amanda.
VICTORIA: I know.
CALLER: And the other one that I'm kind of touchy on is your granddaughter.
VICTORIA: Yes, isn't she adorable?
CALLER: But I like the other one better, because she was short, she was blond, she had short hair and very, very peppy. I find the other girl is very tall with long hair and it sort of totally disoriented us into how could this person take over.
VICTORIA: I know. Well, you know, they make those decisions without consulting any of us certainly, so we feel as surprised and disturbed by those kind of changes as you do.
CALLER: It kind of takes a while to get used to get accustomed to the new character.
CALLER: And I'm thrilled Michael is back.
VICTORIA: Oh, are you. That's good. Well, are you going to come down and see our show when we are at Greenwich Odeon in Rhode Island. Some of you people from Montreal came down and saw Charles and I performing last summer.
VICTORIA: We're going to be up there again at the end of August. I think it's August 25th.
CALLER: Oh....and the other one that I'm thrilled is back is Jake.
VICTORIA: Oh yes
CALLER: I'm totally in love with Jake.
VICTORIA: Yes that's fun to have him back.
CALLER: Yes it is. Mind you I like all the characters. I think it's fantastic. Every now and then I just wish it would move a little bit faster.
VICTORIA: I think you might start seeing that happen.
CALLER: Yes, eh.
VICTORIA: Yeah, I think they're feeling the same way. The writers, so you stay tuned and see what happens.
CALLER: And you know what, you sound exactly like you do on TV.
VICTORIA: Isn't that amazing.
CALLER: Actually, I didn't know you were on the program and I just turned the radio on and I heard your voice and I knew right away it was you. I couldn't believe. You sound so much like you sound on TV. So I guess you use your real voice. (laughter)
VICTORIA: I do, I use my real voice for Rachel, certainly, but not for Justine.
CALLER: Oh it's wonderful and thank you so much for being on the program and it's just been thrilling talking to you. I'm one of your number one fans.
VICTORIA: Okay great. Thanks for watching.
CJAD: Bye, bye.........The Proctor & Gamble shows currently had a shuffle of top management. Executive Producers. I'm just wondering from your perspective, because, as I've mentioned, we had some other people on from other shows. Most recently Eileen Fulton from AS THE WORLD TURNS just last month. What affect does it have when management, in this case Executive Producers change like that.
VICTORIA: Incredible affect. It's very....what would the analogy be....the analogy would be like if you were in a large family and everytime somebody came through the door and you were expecting your father and it were a different father. (laughter)
CJAD: Or you're a foster child going from home to home.
VICTORIA: No, not a foster child so much. You know, these shows become a family and your whole group is like an extended family and you have a leader, right. Or it would be a though we had a different President every week. It's off putting and unsettling and you're not sure exactly what that producer is going to do. All of our producers have contributed to the show. There hasn't been one that hasn't. All of our writers have too, but that much change in that short amount of time is always going to be upsetting to any organism. So it's been difficult to weather all of those changes for everyone. For the writers, for the actors, for the staff, the directors, everybody. And yet, the good news is that there's a great commitment to the show on the part of the network and our sponsor, Proctor & Gamble, and they feel that our current new producer is the one to take us ahead and I certainly hope they're right.
CJAD: You mentioned with our last caller, the show you're doing in Rhode Island. We should mention the stuff you get to do outside of playing the characters you play on ANOTHER WORLD.
VICTORIA: Well, that's true. We are doing.....Charles Keating, who plays Carl and I, have been working for the last year together doing a play that we put together ourselves called COUPLETS. It was born directly out of the fan interest in the poetry that Charles and I did when the two characters were courting on ANOTHER WORLD. The fans would write in about how much they enjoyed listening to the poetry and they would send us their favorite poems. At the time Charles and I were touring in LOVE LETTERS and people kept asking us at the theatres where we were performing that piece, "would you come back with something else, whatever you want to do next year?" So Charles kept saying, "you know, we really ought to come up with our own show." Then when we started getting all the poetry in direct response to the story line on ANOTHER WORLD, he who has a great love of spoken word and has spend many, many years at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, working in verse, said "why don't we put together a concert incorporating the spoken word. Poetry, prose, letters, songs. And so we did and COUPLETS was born and that's the show we're touring now all over the country. We're doing it as benefits in the U.S. and we're hoping to get up there to Canada and that some of your communities would be interested in seeing COUPLETS also. We've gotten our first COUPLETS gig at Prince George Island in October and that will be our first gig in Canada, which will be lots of fun. It's a terrific show and we're performing it down in Rhode Island in August. August 25th. So if any of the Montrealers want to come down and see us, we'd be happy to have you. A number of you came down and saw us do LOVE LETTERS last year so....
CJAD: Where in Rhode Island exactly?
VICTORIA: The Greenwich Odeon, Greenwich, Rhode Island, which is about twenty minutes outside of Newport. We had a whole contingent of Canadians come down to see us last year, so I hope some of your listening audience will do the same thing this year.
CJAD: Victoria, you've played the role of Rachel for awhile and soap fans are rabid fans. They really get into the shows and they really get into the characters. When you travel around with Charles Keating doing a show like COUPLETS, especially considering you work with him on ANOTHER WORLD and people see you with him all the time on ANOTHER WORLD, do you find that sometimes people have a hard time separating the two of you from the roles you play?
VICTORIA: Yeah, for instance, when we were in Rhode Island, you know, Newport is such a tourist spot. Such a magnet for summer travellers, and we were just mobbed going down the streets. At one point we were in the car, in his car, and we had a photographer with us, because he was doing a story on the birth of COUPLETS. The fact that we were working on it. The streets are very tiny in Newport so we're in the car and we are sort of moseying on down the streets, checking out the windows on the way down to the beach. Some kids saw us and recognized us in the car and before we knew it all these kids were running after the car and we couldn't make much progress very quickly. Pretty soon they surrounded the whole car. We had to stop, get out, do pictures with them all. And then, the other really funny thing, and this happened the whole weekend. The night after our performance at the Greenwich Odeon Theatre where we were performing, around three o'clock in the morning, we both got hungry for something to eat. We had done our performance and everything else and so we went....we were staying at I think, the Holiday Inn. We went down to the desk to find out where we could find an all night diner or something. A place to get eggs and bacon. And he said, "oh this is Rhode Island. The streets are rolled up." He said, "but if you go down there about 12 miles or so, toward Providence, you might find an International House Of Pancakes that's open. So we got in the car and we drove and drove and drove and drove and drove and sure enough we found the IHOP. We got out of the car and the place was jammed because all of the rock n' roll clubs had just let out. So it was jammed with all of these teenagers. We got in, we got a table. We're sitting there, we're having our eggs and bacon. And it's wall to wall kids from the clubs. And everybody there knew us, so every group of kids that would go by the table would stop and talk and chat and ask for autographs and stuff. This had gone on and on and on, and all of a sudden the waitress delivers to our table one fried egg on a plate, (laughter). And she says, "this is from table number seven," pointing way across the dining room, (laughter). And this group of kids jumps up and cheers, "It's from us! It's from us! We would have sent you a drink but there's no liquor in this place, (laughter). So they sent us one fried egg on a plate, which we thought was delightful! So we had a great party at the IHOP from three o'clock to four o'clock in the morning. Another bunch of kids from another table insisted we come over to their table and have some of their pancakes with us, so we sat down and chatted with them. Then lo and behold, another table picked up our check. They get a big kick out of seeing us together. We were just down in Tennessee and we had the same response. We're walking down the street in this town where we were playing in Tennessee and it's the middle of the day and it's a city and every single car that went by, people are hanging out of the cars, yelling at as, "it's Carl and Rachel!" Waving and stopping and cause traffic jams. They get a big kick out of seeing us together. And it a way, I guess, they think they're seeing Carl and Rachel.
CJAD: Let's go back to the lines, we have Roy. Hi you're on the air.
CALLER: Oh hi, Miss Wyndham. I have been watching you since I was eight, so that 26 years already. Well I haven't watched you. I guess I was watching Robin Strasser before.
VICTORIA: Oh, cool. That's nice of you. Thanks for watching.
CALLER: You know, I didn't used to like you very much because you weren't the old Rachel. The old Rachel wasn't very nice until she met Mac, right?
VICTORIA: That's right.
CALLER: And I was a big fan of Beverlee McKinsey.
VICTORIA: Why didn't like Rachel, but you loved Beverlee McKinsey?
CALLER: Because, I don't know, I felt sorry for her.
VICTORIA: Would something make you feel sorry for Rachel?
CALLER: Now I do.
VICTORIA: Because of Justine?
CALLER: Oh yeah, I feel sorry for Rachel right now. I don't really like the present story line with Justine, but that's my own opinion. I think you're great.
VICTORIA: Well, why don't you like it?
CALLER: I don't know. I think it's a little bit too far out. All of a sudden this woman who looks....you know, Carl doesn't remember the love of his life looks exactly like the present love of his life. That's a little bit hard to believe.
VICTORIA: Oh I don't know. Do you think that he means that? I don't think he means that. I just think he's telling her that to get her off the track.
CALLER: Oh you think he does remember?
VICTORIA: Oh of course!
CALLER: Oh, I see.
VICTORIA: Anyway, that's neither here nor there. What about Justine herself?
CALLER: No, I mean, it's a little bit far out. It just seems a little bit far out. I've been a little bit upset with the show lately because the continuity of the characters and the story lines have not been very good. You know, Iris suddenly disappears off to prison. It's not very believable that this woman who's very wealthy has these incompetent lawyers and they don't appeal. And now that Evan has sort have been exposed she isn't let out of jail. And now Amanda has suddenly disappeared and now you've told me she isn't coming back. Isn't she the girlfriend of Ryan?
VICTORIA: Yes, in real life.
CALLER: So how is that going to work?
VICTORIA: Well, he's pretty upset.
CALLER: I could imagine. This was on her part or did the producers do it?
VICTORIA: No, the producers let her go. This happens when a show goes through these kinds of changes. It happens when new administrations come in. They don't know the history of the show. They hire writers who don't know the history of the show and then weird things happen, and stories get told, maybe not as well as those of you who know the history. All I can say is we're very grateful that you guys keep hanging in there with us and hopefully the boat will right itself and get on a better course. But you're not the only ones who notice all of these......
CALLER: Well it's not like it's small minute details. These are major characters that have been there for years and years. To write them in and out like that just seems to me a little bit disrespectful to the fans, because we remember all these things.
VICTORIA: But you see, let me tell you what their point of view is. This is where you as fans should be more....should probably write more. Write to the powers that be. Write to NBC and let them know.....
CALLER: Oh I have written to them. They write these polite little letters which I don't think anybody's actually read and they send them back saying "thank you for your letter" and it doesn't really say anything.
VICTORIA: No, no, no, they do read your letters very carefully when you send them to the right channels and the right people. The point is, let me tell you what their point of view is. Their point of view is they don't think that there is any reason to really care about the history of a soap. That's the common wisdom.
CALLER: Why is that?
VICTORIA: If I knew that, I'd probably not just be an actress. I'd probably be a producer. If I understood why they feel that way when there's every indication that that's not true and long term viewers do care about the history and they do have a respect for the characters and they want to see their characters taken care of and honoured and the history of the show honoured. I don't understand where they get this notion that they can ignore the history of a show and it won't matter.
CALLER: I thought that was the whole point of a soap. That as they say, "the continuing story of ANOTHER WORLD."
VICTORIA: That's right. I agree with you. I'm on your side. This is what I always get. This is what the actors always get when we go to them and we say, "excuse me, but the history of the character is such that this happened so this doesn't make much sense." You're told, "we don't care about the history." "Well maybe you don't care about the history, but fans do care about the history.
CALLER: Well I hate to say it, but ANOTHER WORLD's ratings haven't been as good as they used to be. I don't know whether that's part of the problem.
VICTORIA: I think it is, don't you?
CALLER: Yeah, I agree with you completely. ANOTHER WORLD used to be the top rated of the soaps and it's not these days.
VICTORIA: Yeah, right.
CALLER: And I think part of the problem is they've played so loose and fast with the characters.
VICTORIA: Yeah, I know. I think they're major....unfortunately, there seems to be a major mind set among the television executives that says, "we don't care about the history of the shows. We want new viewers. We don't care about the old viewers." And to me that seems very short sighted. If you've got a long running show where generation after generation....I mean, when we're out touring the show that Charles and I are out doing now. You know, our live show, the stage show. We have people coming backstage to us that there are three generations. There's a grandmother who got her daughter hooked on the show, and that daughter got her daughter hooked on the show. That's three generations representing. And my friend just said, and/or son. And that's true. Generations of people watch these shows and to say, "well, we don't care about the old fans" strikes me as being extraordinarily short sighted. Why wouldn't you care about the fans. They are the ones that have kept your show on the air all of these years.
CJAD: On that note Roy, I've got to let you go but writing is a good way of getting involved because I know that they do pay attention, and especially if you have a computer because I know that if you write on-line, I've seen a lot of soap fans talking about a lot of different soaps on-line and I know that the producers and the writers and directors check that out regularly.
VICTORIA: Yeah, they do, that's true.
CJAD: Jacqueline, hi you're on the air.
CALLER: Yes, hi, I finally get to talk to you. I've been dying to do this.
VICTORIA: Oh cool.
CALLER: I sit down and watch it all the time and I end up crying and I have a little boy and he says, "Mummy it's only a program, don't cry." Anyways....what's going to happen to Rachel. She's not going to die, eh?
VICTORIA: Oh, of course not!
CALLER: Good, because I'm sitting here wondering "oh my God, is she going to die?
VICTORIA: Oh, how could I possibly do that. You know when you play more then one character, it's like having more then one child. You don't all of a sudden ignore the one child just because you've got another child, so I wouldn't let that happen.
CALLER: What happened to Iris? Is she going to be back?
VICTORIA: I don't think so, but you know, I don't know much about what they're doing now. As I've been saying all along this evening, we've got new people in. A new administration in. So it's hard to know what they are going to do. The last administration let her go. I don't know if this administration is going to go get her back or not. They don't seem to be particularly interested in the history of the show so, from what I'm hearing at least, so I would assume from that that the answer would be no. But I have no idea. And you know, they can say things like that and then three months down the pike all of a sudden get religion and all of a sudden decide, "oh well wait a minute, I think we should carry on tradition of the show," and then...you know....so that's both the good and bad news about television. It can change very quickly.
CALLER: Because I've been watching you since I was about ten. Really, really young. I've been watching ANOTHER WORLD for so long.
VICTORIA: And how old is your child?
CALLER: Six, so he gets a little upset when I start crying.
VICTORIA: So there you go, you're raising another generation of ANOTHER WORLD viewers.
CALLER: What's her name....Justine....I don't like her very much.
VICTORIA: I don't think you're supposed to.
CJAD: Jacqueline, does your son watch the show with you?
CJAD: Does he pay attention to it?
CALLER: Yes he does.
CJAD: I started watching soaps when I was five so....
VICTORIA: Wow! That's good!
CJAD: It's been a long time.
CALLER: Boy I guess so, because my boyfriend, he keeps saying, "why do you watch this. You know, people actually act this in real life?" And I say, "I don't! I know this. I'm not going to go out and act it." But he's really not a soap fan. Not at all.
CJAD: Thank you for the call, Jacqueline.....Dolly, hi, you're on the air.
VICTORIA: Hi Dolly. How are you?
CALLER: Oh not too bad. I just wanted to say I admire your character very much and you do it so well.....
VICTORIA: Thank you.
CALLER: But I can't stand Justine.
VICTORIA: (laughter), This seems to be a consensus this evening.
CALLER: And I'm waiting for the time, and I hope it's soon that they get her off there.
VICTORIA: Okay. So you don't appreciate what I'm trying to do here, showing you a......
CALLER: I think you do well in the role, but I don't like the role.
VICTORIA: Well that's okay. I don't think you're supposed to like her, but it sounds you're enjoying hating her.
CALLER: Oh I am!
VICTORIA: Well then, that's a successful character on a soap, (laughter)
CALLER: Maybe, but I'd rather have you.
VICTORIA: Well you've got me. I do Justine too. (laughter)
CALLER: You know I watch it everyday.....
VICTORIA: You know the trouble is, the reason I'm teasing you is about not liking Justine is because she's one of my creations too. She's like one of my children, so I can't say that I don't like her. You know, you always like your children.
CALLER: Yeah, but it's the role, you know. How the devil can she be so nasty?
VICTORIA: (laughter) Well, she's not going to do anything to Rachel. Rachel's too smart for her.
CALLER: Well I hope so!
CJAD: Okay Dolly, thank you for the call......You were talking earlier about the networks and also about the producer and the changes at the top. One of the problems that some of the NBC soaps have faced is the fact that not all the affiliates are on line. I mentioned that here in Montreal the affiliate we see it on from the United States plays it at eleven o'clock in the morning. Is that a problem for the show?
VICTORIA: Yeah, it's always a problem for the show when you're time slot varies around the country. Mornings don't seem to be the greatest time for people to watch soaps. Their habits seemed to have been established for the afternoons. But what's great about the Montreal situation is that you've got us on both at two and eleven. That's terrific on two different stations, but who cares, you know. But in the U.S. where some markets have it on at twelve o'clock and some markets have it on at one o'clock, some at two, some at three, that makes it very problematic for promotional reasons and for pre-emption reasons. You're never sure who's been pre-empted, what area of the country has seen something or not seen something. So that doesn't help, but we're just lucky to have lasted this long, I think we all feel. And if we get a few more years out of it, that will be great. And we have been extraordinarily grateful for our very faithful and loyal Canadian viewers. They're the best. I mean they really are loyal, and love the show and always have. So we hope they will hang in there with us, because I think, what I'm seeing from this new administration is better scripts, tighter story telling, more interesting stuff. Yes, there has been a lot of changes and I'm sure the changes will continue, but they're very much trying to make the changes be for the better. I guess we just have to trust that they will be. Have faith.
CJAD: Let's go back to the lines. Linda, you're on the air with Victoria Wyndham.
VICTORIA: Yes, that's me.
CALLER: Oh, I really enjoy the program. I've been a loyal fan for 20 years. I hate Justine. (laughter). She looks totally insane, you play her so well.
VICTORIA: Oh thanks.
CALLER: I mean, I'd like to see her gone, but I like the way you do her.
VICTORIA: Oh good. Well all of that ambiguity is good. That's an acceptable response to her.
CALLER: I was wondering about how you felt about.....like a lot of people have disrespect for actors who are on soaps, as opposed to movies or prime time. How do you deal with that.
VICTORIA: Most of the time I don't have to deal with it, but the few times I have....I just did a made for television movie a few months ago in L.A. It's going to air in November, I guess, at this point.
CALLER: Is this for NBC.
CALLER: Oh great!
VICTORIA: So you should look for it. It's called. Oh it's a terrible title. It used to be called something else and then they changed it to TERROR IN THE SHADOWS, which sounds like a slasher movie and it's not. It's a suspense drama and there are three of us from soaps on it. Marcy Walker and........oh that nice gal from one of those L.A. soaps.....and me. So that will be fun to watch, but alls to say, to address your question, when we were out there, the director is an old Hollywood director. He's never watched soaps and clearly not worked with any soap actors. So the first day of rehearsal we're all assembled. Now the cast is wall to wall soap people doing a nighttime movie. The first thing he says to all of us as we're sitting around the table is, "now I don't want any of this soap acting." We all look at each other. Half the table took extreme umbridge at what he was saying, and of course I'm sitting there grinning because I think, "what rock was this guy under." I mean, there hasn't been such a thing as soap acting since my father was on soaps. I mean, that went out with the year of the flood. So I'm quite amused because this guy has just dated himself and it's clear to me now that he's never seen a soap in the last 30 years. So I think to myself, "what a great opportunity to really bust his chops at the end of the movie once we've shown him what we can really do." And of course we preceded to then save him an enormous quantity of money because soap actors can do scenes correctly the first, second and third takes, so you don't need ten takes, which saves a production company money. Soap actors can learn more material, more words, so that a director can do a longer take, which means the cameras stay rolling longer and he gets more of thing produced, in the can. So, I don't know, it took him about two or three days before he was singing a different tune. (laughter). And so that's how you handle it. You just show them how good we are and then they get terribly impressed.
CALLER: Okay, thank you very much.
CJAD: Okay thank you for the call.....Going back to those years when you first started on the show, around that time....now they have more soap opera magazines out and people are aware of who Victoria Wyndham is, but all the actors I recall, growing up when I was watching soap operas....people knew the characters. "Oh, there's Rachel." But they might not know Victoria Wyndham. That has changed for you and other actors, hasn't it?
VICTORIA: It has done. It changed very slowly, but it has changed. You know, they still, first of all, look at me and say, "oh Rachel", but usually they can come up with my name. But my cutest story is I'm coming down from Boston, driving on the freeway down from Boston, and I go through the toll. The toll taker takes my money and her eyes get big and she gets all short of breath and she grabs my hand. She won't let me go. She goes, "oh, oh, my favorite show, ANOTHER WORLD. Rachel right! Rachel right!" And I go, "yeah, yeah, it's Rachel." And she goes, "oh Miss Strasser, I just love your work." (laughter) And I went, "you're very welcome," and I drove off, (laughter). I've only been doing the part for 21 years. Robin Strasser did the part for five. (laughter).
CJAD: What did you do before the 21 years?
VICTORIA: Well I did theatre and night clubs and another soap. I did GUIDING LIGHT.
CJAD: On GUIDING LIGHT, were you Leslie?
VICTORIA: No, I was Charlotte Waring Bauer.
CJAD: Married to Mike.
VICTORIA: Yes. Michael Bauer.
CJAD: Okay, that's what I thought, because I had an argument with my Mother and she said, "no that wasn't you", and I said, "no, that was you!"
VICTORIA: Yeah, you were right!
CJAD: Okay, Mom if you're listening, I was right!
VICTORIA: (laughter). Doesn't that make you feel better?
CJAD: (laughter) Oh it makes me feel great!.....Let's try and get another quick call. Christine you're on the air.
CALLER: Okay, I was just calling to say I like Justine. I like your acting in it.
CALLER: I was wondering. Do you find it hard doing a dual role?
VICTORIA: It certainly is a lot more work. Yes, it was quite challenging at first, because I knew everybody would have problems accepting me doing anything else but Rachel. Because when you play one part for that many years, you know there is going to be resistance to it. So there was a lot of nerves about it, but once she was allowed to be herself, and once I was clear on how to play her, it's been a lot of fun.
CALLER: Yes, I think it's wonderful. And Vicky. Will she be playing the Vicky/Marley dual role.
VICTORIA: I don't know what they're going to do. I think they don't dare do two double roles.
CJAD: On that note I've got to let you go. We're all out of time. Victoria Wyndham, I thank you for being on the program with us. We worked hard trying to get you on the program. I know you really wanted to do it and we were shuffling schedules around.
VICTORIA: I know, I'm sorry.
CJAD: No, no problem at all. I thank you for being on the program. Again, you're doing COUPLETS. You're going to be doing that in Rhode Island, not to far, at the Greenwich Odeon Theatre in August.
VICTORIA: August 25th.
CJAD: You're playing Rachel and Justine on ANOTHER WORLD and in the fall we get to see you at nighttime in TERROR IN THE SHADOWS also on NBC, an NBC Movie Of The Week.
VICTORIA: That's right!
CJAD: I thank you for talking with us.
VICTORIA: Well thank you for having me, it's been a lot of fun.