Before I began writing for Examiner.com, I wrote for TheCelebrityCafe.com. My first interview for them was conducted in Jan. 2012, when I had the pleasure of chatting with actress Alicia Minshew, whom many know as Kendall Hart in All My Children.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: Alicia, first of all, let me start by saying that my sister is a big fan of All My Children.
Alicia Minshew: Thank you. That’s really cool. How did she react to hearing that it was cancelled?
TCC: She was down about it although we both heard a while back that it would be online now. I’ve heard, though, that plans to revive the series are currently suspended.
AM: Yeah, I thought that might happen. I just wasn’t sure how it would work. Right now, we’ve been doing fan events to show the fans we appreciate them, so be on the lookout for future projects.
TCC: Would you be willing to be part of the online series if you were asked?
AM: I don’t know, maybe as a recurring character. But, after being on the series for 10 years playing Kendall (Hart), I’m looking to do other things. I don’t think I’d do it full-time again, though.
TCC: Kendall was previously played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. Was it intimidating to play a role that was already established by another actress?
AM: It was very intimidating (laughing). I heard how great Sarah was so I thought ‘I’d better kick ass in this.’ But she played the role seven years before I did, so I thought there was long enough period of time for me to establish myself in it. But, yeah, I was scared out of my mind for the first few weeks and felt I really had to prove myself.
TCC: Did you ever meet her?
AM: I actually met Sarah a year after I started playing the role. She and Eva LaRue are friends and she came to the set to see her. We just gave each other a big hug and she said I was doing a great job. Sarah had actually sent me a basket of flowers, cakes and cookies with a note saying that Kendall was a great role and for me to have fun playing her. That was really gracious.
TCC: You’ve also made appearances as the character on One Life to Live. What was that like?
AM: That was during a period of time when there was a baby-swap storyline between those shows. Characters from OLTL crossed over onto AMC so Kendall was pissed and went to their town to raise hell. It was kind of fun to play the same character on a different set with a different group of people. But everyone was really supportive and it was fun.
TCC: How was the work routine affected when AMC relocated from New York to Los Angeles?
AM: I actually moved out a few months later because I was on maternity leave for eight or nine months. That was a tricky time because I was taking my daughter across the country to a place where I was now working. It took a while to get back into the swing of it. The workload became harder and we were trying to save money so the show wouldn’t go off the air. It was a tough schedule with a lot of hours and a lot of memorizing scripts. But I wouldn’t trade it because I was working with the same great people, so it was like working with family.
TCC: Are you still in L.A?
AM: Yes, I’m still in L.A. I’m doing pilot season right now, going on auditions. I’ve lived in New York for 16 years and I’m originally from Florida, but it’s different in L.A. because of my child, Willow. With the gorgeous weather they have here, I can take her out by the pool in January. I’m also in Hollywood, and there’s a lot going on there. So, this is a nice place to be for my career.
TCC: You have appearances planned in a show on Oxygen and an independent film. Can you tell us anything about those?
AM: I’m actually meeting with a dialect coach. I’m going to be playing a southern girl for a film that will start shooting in March. Apparently, the producers offered me the role after seeing me on the show and the role is different from Kendall. It’s been fun working with the dialect coach. It’s great how the show has opened doors for me. I also have a guest appearance on a reality show that will air this month or next month. So it’s nice that I’ve been keeping busy.
TCC: Do you have any actors or actresses that have inspired you?
AM: There are so many people. Like many actresses, I just love Meryl Streep. She can just transform herself into anybody. She’s so brilliant. I also like Sandra Bullock because she comes off as a girl next door. She can either may you laugh or break your heart. Even if I may not like a film she’s in, I always enjoy watching her. I’m hoping to see her new film with Tom Hanks soon.
TCC: Yeah, I’d like to see that film also. Are there any non-actors who are an inspiration to you?
AM: Two people outside the business who have inspired me are my mother and grandmother. My grandmother just turned 100 recently and she was dancing at her party. She is someone who loves life and is positive. They are both great examples for me and I am trying to be the same with my daughter.
TCC: Any favorite TV series or movies?
AM: My husband and I love Modern Family. It is so hilarious, so funny. I actually don’t watch a lot of TV right now, though, because I’m raising my daughter. One show I would love be appear on, though, is Grey’s Anatomy. The show isn’t always upbeat but the actresses are so brilliant on it. That would be awesome.
TCC: You’ve done a lot of stage work. How is that different from working on television?
AM: It’s night and day. I did a lot of musicals, with parts where I did a lot of singing and dancing. There’s nothing like the feeling of an audience reacting to you. In the theater, you can be big, whereas on TV, you simplify what you do. You bring it down. I love them both because they are very different. I’m very happy I can do both. On TV, you memorize 30 pages, but you feel pride when the finished product is done to music and shown. The last theater I did was 12 years ago in an off-Broadway production. Last weekend, I was onstage with other AMC cast members at a fan event. I was speaking live on stage and loved it. It was so fun just to have that live, big audience of fans. We shared behind the scenes stories and we were laughing and the audience was laughing.
TCC: Many actors/actresses say they don’t wish their children to follow in their footsteps? Do you feel the same?
AM: This business can be grating, exhausting, upsetting and difficult. Right now, Willow is standing on her head (laughing) so I won’t be surprised if she wants to be an entertainer. If she wants to pursue it, I won’t stop her. I’ve wanted to be an actress from a young age and my parents supported me. Willow will be tough like me. She’ll have good times and difficult times. It’ll be a hoot, actually. But I won’t push her, though. She’s still standing on her head (laughing).