I was 14 years old, my sister and I were sick and could not go to school. I walked into her room and she was watching some television show. I asked what was going on and hours later I had sat through All My Children, One Life To Live and General Hospital. There began a love affair that lasted more than a quarter of a century. Although in the last many years I couldn’t watch it daily I still kept up on what was going on in my towns of Pine Valley, Llandview and Port Charles. I was heartbroken 2 years ago when I heard they were…
I remember it so clearly; I was 14 years old, my sister and I were sick and could not go to school. I walked into her room and she was watching some television show. I asked what was going on and hours later I had sat through All My Children, One Life To Live and General Hospital. There began a love affair that lasted more than a quarter of a century. Although in the last many years I couldn’t watch it daily I still kept up on what was going on in my towns of Pine Valley, Llandview and Port Charles. I was heartbroken 2 years ago when I heard they were cancelling my beloved AMC and OLTL, but was ecstatic last month when I heard that Prospect Park, the online Network, was bringing them back. How are Erica, Vicki, Dixie, Nora, Adam, Bo, Jesse, Angie, Adam, Zach, Clint, Brooke, Todd, Blair and all of the rest of the characters that I love?
It was a pleasure to sit down with Cady McClain and Hillary B. Smith who played Dixie and Nora on AMC and OLTL respectively for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
How did you get into show business?
Cady – A girl in my tap class was doing commercials and I wanted to do a commercial also because that’s where all the happy people were…in the television. I was 9 years old when I got my first commercial.
Hillary – I just always wanted to do it. I went to Sarah Lawrence because of their theater program. I got cast in a show there and a producer saw it and the rest is history.
You have been in show business since you were a child, but you keep coming back to the role of Dixie. What’s the attraction to this character?
Cady – I think that the core of Dixie is that she really loves her family. I really enjoy being a part of this big family as both my parents died young and I have a small family. I enjoy getting to live through her.
I remember Bo & Nora’s first dancing scene like it was yesterday. How did this come about and did you and Robert take lessons or did it come naturally?
Hillary – We always danced together. Robert had taught Ballroom dancing and I went to dance school. We danced around the studio all the time and finally they wrote it into the script. It made them a real couple that people could relate to them. The dancing is what made them magical.
How exciting was it for you when you won your Daytime Emmy for playing Dixie/Nora?
Cady – It was incredibly beautiful. I never felt like a natural actor as I had to work at it very hard. It proved to me that I could act and it was a beautiful moment. I was grateful for the actors around me that helped me become a better actor (David Canary, Julia Barr, Michael Knight, etc).
Hillary – Oh my god. I had never been nominated before nor did I have Emmy’s on the radar. To get nominated was a big honor as you are nominated by your peers. When I won it was shocking as it was a really good roster of fabulous women who were nominated. I heard them call my name, but at first thought I was the only one who heard that. Then I looked at my husband and he shook his head up and down and said “You Won” and I realized that they really did say my name.
What has been your favorite storyline on All My Children/One Life to Live?
Cady – In the very beginning when Dixie thought she was in love with Adam and her naiveté and then her falling in love with Tad. I will always look back at those days as being magical.
Hillary – I have to say it was the rape trial and that whole year. I am a very technical actress and if you give me a lot of dialogue to learn I will have a feast on it. I loved being challenged with that work and I also had incredible actors to work with. The other story’s that I loved was when Nora went blind and when she was going through Post menopausal. The later was so funny and fun to play. I had a scene where I had dialogue with a dog, it was just so fun!
How does it feel to be a part of one of daytimes most iconic “Super couples,” and what do you think made Tad&Dixie/Bo&Nora a “Super Couple?”
Cady – I just know that Michael and I clicked as people from the very beginning. We have incredible chemistry and he is one of the funniest people I have ever met. We also have a lot in common.
Hillary – It took us by surprise as we were just doing the work and having a great time. It feels good to work with someone where you don’t even have to work. I don’t feel like I ever take my comfortable shoes off. We work well together and make each other laugh. I think they became a super couple because they weren’t forced together. They dated and really liked each other.
How fun was it to go back into production?
Cady – I am so grateful for this moment in time. It’s an incredibly beautiful experience that I wish everyone can have once in their lives. I feel so blessed. I can’t wait to be at work every day!
Hillary – Oh gosh, that was the most exciting thing of it all. We were all texting each other months before to see who was coming back. It was like a family reunion. It was also great to meet Jeff who is really committed to this project! He has been incredibly warm and welcoming and you can see the commitment.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Cady – That I have never been married, but I am engaged now and I think I might marry John.
Hillary – I am a jock. I play a lot of sports and compete.
What should the viewers expect from the new All My Children/One Life To Live?
Cady – Try not to have any expectations. Come at it with an open mind. This is going to blow the Genre wide open. It’s still a soap and your favorite characters but it will be nothing like you have ever seen before, I guarantee you.
Hillary – It’s the same but it’s not. It’s exciting, faster paced and a little edgier and real. We are doing really fun character stuff. I hope everyone to enjoy it as much as we enjoy making it. Our young kids are spectacular actors. I want everyone to come and fall in love again!
Prospect Park will premiere AMC and OLTL on Monday April 29th with 30 minute episodes that fans and new viewers alike can plan to watch with ease and for free on HULU or at the iTunes store (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac and PC). The shows will also be available to the HULU Plus subscribers watching on connected TVs, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. Prospect park partners Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank said “Viewers will absolutely embrace the flexibility that HULU and iTunes provide to watch their shows anywhere, anytime.”