In an exclusive interview with Soapdom.com, Ilene Kristen (Roxy, OLTL) has confirmed that she was recently in Los Angeles taking meetings with a number of daytime and primetime shows.
“I headed out to LA to see some of my friends,” Kristen shared. “I had lunch with Roscoe Born (‘Terrible’ Tom, Y&R), Shanelle Workman (Gaby, B&B; ex Flash, OLTL) and I even had drinks with Marc Cherry (Executive Producer and Creator, Desperate Housewives).” Her social engagement with Cherry and their close mutual friend Anthony Scavone went very well. “He invited us to tour Wisteria Lane,” said Kristen, “which we did several days later and we also got a chance to visit with another friend, Desperate Housewives producer and writer, John Pardee.”
While she was in town, Kristen likewise took the opportunity to meet with the casting directors of all the west coast soaps. “I like to take meetings in person,” she revealed, then hinted that she would not be adverse to making the move west to land a role on Bold and the Beautiful, Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives or Passions should something become available that would suit her. “Although, I didn’t get to meet the Passions folks when I was out there. They were on hiatus.”
Currently on recurring status as Roxy Balsom on One Life to Live, a loveably delightful and refreshing character, Kristen is getting fidgety sitting home waiting for the call to come from Llanview. “I am much too active a person and actor to sit by the phone. I want to work, and I miss playing Roxy at full speed.”
Two time Daytime Emmy nominated Kristen was taken off contract in August 2004 and has remained on recurring ever since. She just completed two days of work as Roxy, but had not worked on the show from mid August to September 30th. Which means we are not going to be seeing much of Roxy in October. Kristen finds it unrewarding to be plucked into the middle of a story willy nilly. “My daughter Natalie (Melissa Archer) just went through a terrible ordeal. It would have made a lot of sense to have the woman who raised her as a more integral part of the story all along.”
Kristen loves playing Roxy and given the opportunity would continue to play and develop the character. Upon her drop to recurring status last year, she told TV Guide’s Michael Logan, “Roxy is so bent, so delightfully inappropriate - the possibilities for her were endless.” She remains hopeful that the powers that be at One Life to Live will recognize the gem that have in that character and write more story for her.
“It’s great playing roles like Roxy. It’s so much fun for an actor,” she said. “I got the job on OLTL on September 10, 2001. And did not have to work on the show until September 27. In that time period between the 10 and the 27th I made a pact that I was going to entertain people in the wake of 9/11 to the best of my ability, because I felt that people really needed it.” That motivation was the impetus behind Kristen’s development of the character. Roxy was also modeled on Kristen’s real friends and family.
“Roxy was based on people I know,” Kristen revealed. “My cousin Adrienne Hara, and friend Dhonna Goodale, and a bunch of women I had seen hanging out at rock club bars over the years that were ‘good ole girls.’ Dhonna used to have an expression, ‘you must be a special kind of stupid,’ and I used that expression in Roxy’s dialog.”
Kristen always brings a certain something to a scene, and it would be fun to see a refreshing character like Roxy on any one of a number of other soaps.
“Fran Bascom (Days of our Lives casting director) is wonderful, and I had a great time touring the set of the Bold and the Beautiful with Shanelle Workman (Gaby),” said Kristen. Couldn’t you just see Kristen playing Amber’s relative on B&B? Or maybe Tabitha’s witchy way-out cousin on Passions? Or maybe even a new contender for the plumber’s affections on Desperate Housewives?
“I am a lifer as far as acting goes,” Kristen said. “I have been a professional performer since I am 14 years old. And I do not want to feel forced into retirement. I have a lot of vital force left in me. Acting is a healing art. Performing for people heals people. It’s very healing for the audience. I consider myself being in the healing arts and that performing was my healing gift for the world. And I want to continue to perform.”
Whether it’s back to Roxy for a more meaty storyline, or taking on the challenge of a new character on a new soap, Kristen is ready and willing to get back into the thick of things. Meanwhile, to keep herself busy, she continues to sing with her “partners in crime,” the Lost Tribe, and will be appearing at The Triad, 158 West 72nd Street, NYC on Friday, October 28. “It’s a $20 cover and a 2-drink minimum, and Erin Torpey (ex Jessica, OLTL) will be my special guest.” RSVP 212 362-2511.
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