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Introducing Sarah Brown as Madison James

Sarah Brown is an actress who most daytime fans will recognize from her turns on General Hospital (where she originated the role of Carly), As the World Turns and The Bold and the Beautiful. Now, she's arrived in Salem, where she will take on the role of strong-willed businesswoman Madison James. We'll quickly see Madison go toe-to-toe with Kate and develop an interesting relationship with her new employee, Sami, not to mention her new business partner, Brady.

"I love working with them and I look forward to seeing how they develop the relationship between Kate and Madison and where that's going to go," Sarah told us about her new cast mates. "And also Sami and Madison. Initially, they get on like gang-busters, but then run into some issues as we go forward and it's interesting to watch them work through that. It's curious to me where they will end up. Not where they'll end up eventually, but where they'll end up in the next two months, even."

Anyone who can take on Kate automatically earns our respect, so we're definitely looking forward to seeing more of Madison. But who exactly is she? "She's a modern day woman," Sarah explained. "She built this company from the trunk of her car, from the ground up. She was not given every opportunity in life. She was not grandfathered into it; she did not have a financial advantage in any way. It was a passion project that she developed into this international brand that is very popular amongst contemporary working women. She is the model for all of her clientele. They sort of look up to her and this fantasy-type life that she projects that she lives. They want to be like her. So she is part of her brand. The life that she lives is sort of tied up into the fantasy of what you'll get if you buy my products. Her products, I should say!

"And she's got an Achilles heel and it has to do with men," Sarah continued with a smile. "You know? It is a soap opera!"

For an actress who has already explored a variety of characters, in daytime as well as in film and primetime TV, Madison certainly must have had something to attract Sarah and make her want to portray her. "She's just very different in every possibly way," Sarah agreed. "We definitely didn't want to try to recreate anything that I've done in the past. They had already created the character and the basic skeletal backbone of who she is as well as what she would be coming on to the show to do. And it was appealing and it was nothing like Carly or Claudia or Aggie or Julia or any of the other characters I've played, in any way. There was no similarity, really, that I was seeing. She is a professional working woman, a CEO. She's strong, but all the women I've played, almost, all of them have been pretty strong. That appeals to me. But strong is just a word. There's so much more to a woman than that. So her backbone and the base of who she is is a strong woman, but not in similar ways to any of the other characters."

The richly-textured, strong woman that Madison is, then, helped bring Sarah on board, but that wasn't all that made her commit to the part. "Marlene (McPherson) and Darrell (Ray Thomas, Jr., Co-Head Writers) had come on and they were talking about this new character that they wanted to bring on," Sarah told us. "I know that Marnie (Saitta, Casting Director) was familiar with my work and I know that she mentioned my name. I don't know if it came up anywhere else before that but they called and we got together and had a meeting. I had the opportunity to meet Greg (Meng, Co-Executive Producer) and we hit it off tremendously well. Then I had the opportunity to meet Marlene and Darrell and we all hit it off very well. We seemed to be on the same page in terms of what would be interesting going forward, with daytime being the way that it is and what kinds of things need to change. We were just all on the same page. So I felt confident taking the job, feeling like I was going to be surrounded with like-minded, creative people and that it would work out. I just don't want to start something again or get involved in something that was only going to go a couple three months and then wouldn't work. So I felt very confident from what they said and how they pitched the character to me and their vision for taking the show into the future with this reset. I felt very much like it was something I wanted to be a part of."

And, thus far, her expectations of the job seem to have held true. "It's been wonderful," Sarah told us of her time so far in Salem. "I'm just having a great time, creatively. I'm really enjoying the work of the two head writers. I'm really enjoying the way that the set works, that we have a producer on set, on the stage with us, watching everything as it happens, who's able to walk right onto the set and give notes. I think he's really quite brilliant and gives the best notes. I really, really think Noel (Maxam, Co-Executive Producer) is brilliant. His notes always take me to another place. 'Yeah, that's right. Yeah, I get what you're saying. That's right, okay, I love it.' I just think he really knows what he's doing. I've never heard him ever come out and give a cheesy note. I'm just appreciative. I'm surrounded by an extremely talented cast and crew. And they're really fun! So every day is fun. I'm going to Disneyland everyday! I love it."

And who wouldn't love going to Disneyland every day?! We couldn't be happier that Sarah is enjoying her time in Salem and look forward to what she - and Madison - will bring to the show.

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