Getting to know ‘General Hospital’s’ Kelly Sullivan
During a recent trip to Michigan, Kelly Sullivan (Kate/Connie) was gracious enough to grant Soapdom an interview.
Sullivan and co-star Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) were in Michigan to host a fan event in the beautiful city of Troy.
The talented actress was more than happy to chat about her new experience in daytime, as well as the road she traveled before arriving in Port Charles.
Soapdom: How old were you when you did your first Broadway show? Was your desire to be a theater actress?
Kelly Sullivan: I was 22. I thought I was going to be an opera singer when I was a young girl. I started training classically in high school. I went to college for music and I kind of transition into theater because I was too lazy to learn all the languages.
Soapdom: Were you hesitant about doing a daytime drama?
Sullivan: It’s actually a very theatrical experience for me – it’s very similar to the theater. The work ethic is harder than theater. Theater is hard too – it’s hard because it’s eight shows a week. With soaps, you have new material every day. So you can’t really get comfortable – there’s nothing predictable. Theater and soaps are similar because a lot of the circumstances are at a much more heightened level. There are never any really casual moments.
Soapdom: Was it intimidating to take on a role that was a recast?
Sullivan: When I got cast in the role, I didn’t know much about it and I’ve replaced people before in the theater, so I understand that process. I also knew there’s no point in getting intimidated by something that’s out of your control. All you can do is the best you can do. And it’s your version of every story.
Soapdom: Were you nervous working with a soap icon like Maurice Benard (Sonny)?
Sullivan: I wasn’t nervous about working with Maurice because I really didn’t know much about him. I Googled him and was like ‘Oh that guy! Oh, of course!’ In our first scene I had to slap him across the face. I really clocked him, because I didn’t know. And he was like ‘Dude! You’re not supposed to hit me for real!’ Maurice is an extremely intense individual. He takes great pride in what he does and has a great work ethic. I find that very inspiring and he helped me a lot with understanding the genre.
Soapdom: How challenging is it playing a character with dual personalities?
Sullivan: If I watched my early moments of Connie, I would hide under my couch pillows. I’m having a lot more fun with it now. I have a ball with just playing and having fun and being free with Connie.
Soapdom: How tough is it to leave the emotional stuff behind at the end of the day?
Sullivan: I think I’m a little insane, just to begin with. I really enjoy the challenge of going into the work and having it be alive and in the moment and powerful. The ‘falling apart’ stuff with Dr. Keenan was very challenging for me. I would come home and just stare at the wall.
Soapdom: Do you miss performing for a live audience?
Sullivan: Yes. It can be either the greatest experience or the worst, especially with comedy. You can just bomb, so it can be really hard. I think in a play or musical if you start a bit rough, you can always win the audience over. I really miss the live interaction. It’s a whole different relationship. You get into a zone. I can’t describe it – it’s a really magical experience.
Thanks to Kelly Sullivan for spending some time with Soapdom. For more on Kelly Sullivan, visit her official website.
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