“All My Children’s” Lindsay Hartley and Jordi Vilasuso On How the Show’s Cancellation Impacted Their Characters
“All My Children’s” Lindsay Hartley and Jordi Vilasuso have had a lot of ups and downs in their short tenure on the show. The duo, who play siblings Cara and Griffin, were brought on to be the new love interests for popular characters Jake (Ricky Paull Goldin) and Kendall. Both had their storylines changed when ABC canceled the show and the writers decided to focus on giving all of the show’s established couples happy ending as Hartley then ended up having unexpected chemistry with Michael Knight, but Tad and Cara’s romance was also shortlived, and now she finds herself in an out of left-field romance with David (Vincent Irizarry) that also has proven surprisingly entertaining. Vilasuso was left out in the cold romantically when Kendall reunited with Zach (Thorsten Kaye). At a recent junket, the actors opened up about the challenges of being the new kids on a canceled show.
Tell me what the mood is on set and with your co-stars
Villasario: It’s weird. I have only been here since October but I have become very close to everyone, especially [Hartley] on the show. It’s disheartening. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but today feels like it’s kind of real and it’s a little sad.
Hartley: I feel like this week it’s hitting everybody a little more. Now we can really see that it’s over in two and a half weeks. But I can’t imagine, and I said this over and over again, and I said this at the fan event, everybody relocating their entire lives across the country for the show, and then to have it be canceled. It sucks for us, absolutely, because we totally dig everybody here and they were all so loving. The cast is incredible. They’re just very genuine and they took us in, open armed, and then this thing happened. But everyone’s got to do what they’ve got to do to move on.
Vilusario: There’s huge highs and there’s tremendous lows. For me, the lows last pretty long and then the highs come.
What has it been like playing characters whose love stories were cut short because your love interests former spouses both came back from the dead?
Hartley: We should have a story at the end where we’re really not [siblings,] where we actually do love each other.
Vilasuso: Back to what it actually was at the beginning. What was your last name?
Hartley: Cara Finn.
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Are your characters going to find new loves before the show’s ABC finale?
Vilasuso: What was explained to me was all this stuff would happen. I was actually really inspired by her because Lindsay was upset, like really upset, ‘Eff this, I don’t care,’ and I was taking the perspective of, ‘Well, this is what they’re giving me and I’m going to deal with it.’ The more I got to know, and the more scripts that I’ve read, I was like, ‘She is so right. This is frustrating! What the hell is going on here?’ So she would tell me they would go upstairs and talk to [Executive Producer] Julie [Carruthers] and I think after you had done that I was like, ‘I’m going to do that too. I’m going to go upstairs, knock on her door, sit outside in the waiting room and find out what the hell is going on.’ And what Julie explained to me is, and she was very nice, it’s a very noble end for me. Although I do end up heartbroken, I do learn how to ultimately love, which is something I hadn’t really done except for my family, and to really be vulnerable and to put myself out there for a woman, whereas before I think he had very shallow relationships.
Hartley: I was frustrated because I was brought on specifically for Jake [Ricky Paull Goldin]. That was my story. He was my soulmate. That was presented to me. I worked real hard to create something with him. We finally get to cross the line, and then the show gets [canceled.] Well, we actually knew right before. We were supposed to actually sleep together. But when the show got canceled, it turned into just a kiss because they thought that was easier to accept. Then they pursued the Tad thing to get me away from Jake, and then they knew Dixie (Cady McClain) was coming back, so that was my triangle but then Dixie and Tad had to end up together because they’re the supercouple. I was like, ‘Where am I going?’ But I totally got it because I joined late in the game. This is a show that’s been on forty-something years. This is history. And then I find that my character is now with David. I really just angled left. So after I got over Tad I was just like, ‘Whatever. Anybody else?’
“Vampire Diaries” Creators Out Themselves as Soap Fans
“The Vampire Diaries” features cliffhangers at every commercial break, complicated serialized plots, gratuitous male nudity, and starcrossed romance. In other words, it is a soap opera. Yes, it has vampires, witches and werewolves, but so did “Dark Shadows” and “Passions.” While plenty of primetime showrunners refuse to call their shows soaps no matter how precisely the label fits, executive producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson have both recently outed themselves as daytime fans. Plec told Entertainment Weekly that she was excited that Sebastian Roche, whose primetime credits include “24″ and “Supernatural,” was joining the show because she was a fan of his work as Jerry Jax on “General Hospital.” Last night, Williamson tweeted about the season finale of the other primetime vampire soap, “True Blood,” “I’m really upset about Nan. Jessica Tuck is one of my favorite actresses. Ever since Megan on ‘One Life to Live.’” Given that TVD features two different sets of sexy, evil, dysfunctional brothers, I wonder what Williamson thinks of the Two Todds on OLTL. I love that two of my favorite primetime writers are willing to acknowledge their love of soap operas. They join Mike Kelley, creator of ABC’s hot new primetime soap “Revenge,” who told a roomful of journalists at the TCAs that watching Abby Ewing on “Knots Landing” when he was younger inspired him to become a television writer. Be sure to check out the new season of TVD this Thursday, along with the premiere of Williamson’s new show, “The Secret Circle,” which stars recent “Days of Our Lives” alumna Shelley Hennig and was co-created by Andrew Miller, the husband of “The Young & the Restless” star Eden Riegel.