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Sara Bibel interviews Ali Sweeney
Topic Started: Jun 17 2009, 11:30 AM (1,576 Views)
Ellie


http://www.fancast.com/blogs/deep-soap/deep-soap-alison-sweeneys-grace-ful-interview/

Monday, the cast of Days of Our Lives gathered in a park outside the studio for a photo shoot. The theme was summer fun: picnics, tug of war, volleyball. Unfortunately, due to L.A.ís June Gloom, the sky was grey. Believe it or not, it was cold. The close knit cast didnít complain. Actors played frisbee and whiffle ball while they waited their turn. Actresses posed in sleeveless dresses despite the threat of rain.

I interviewed Alison Sweeney (Sami) about her tour de force performance when baby Grace died, the men in Samiís life, Crystal Chappellís return, and how DOOL has managed to succeed despite numerous obstacles.



Why did you make the unusual decision to play the scenes surrounding Graceís death without any make-up?

First of all, I thought the writing was incredible. They did such an amazing job of telling the story. As a parent (my daughter is five months old), it occurred to me that you wouldnít spend two seconds looking in the mirror to put on make-up. Itís funny because we were taking advantage of the fact that I donít get a lot of sleep because of both [my] jobs so we used all the circles under my eyes to our advantage in the scenes. I just wanted to play it as true as I [could] and make it realistic. I donít know any woman who would put make-up on in a situation like that.


Was it tough to play, since your daughter is about the same age as Grace?

It was certainly heartbreaking. Even my husband was affected by the scene when she writes the insert for the funeral service and is talking about the baby. Itís hard because as a parent I see so many of those moments, things that other people wouldnít know. Because it was so fresh for me, each thing that Sami was listing off is so true. As the Mom of a five month old baby, every word hit home for me.


When is Sami going to find out that her baby is still alive, and is being raised by Nicole?

I donít know. I am looking forward to that more than I can say. Every layer of the storyline is so intricate and so interesting and so emotional. Thatís the next beat to play out is for the truth to come out. I canít wait to find out when that happens. Itís going to be so good. Galen Gering (Rafe) walks by. Especially Galen Gering.


You two are so great together. Sami has had so many leading men over the years Ė

Not that many!


Thatís true. For all her flaws, Sami is the most monogamous character on daytime.

I clarified that with [Co-Executive Producer] Gary Tomlin the other day. I was like, ďJust for the record, Sami is probably the only person in daytime who has never cheated on her significant other. Itís the same three guys over and over.Ē

Gering: Itís constant rotation.


Sami and Rafe (and you and Galen) have such a great rapport. Rafe, from the start, hasnít wanted another woman and has sincerely appreciated Sami for who she is.

Itís different. He basically came in, a total blank slate. Sami was in a different place in her life. Constantly, for the past fifteen years, sheís had something looming over her, something sheís done wrong. Sheís really grown and changed. The whole Grace thing was part of that. Then meeting this guy who really took her for who she was and didnít hold her past against her. It was nice.


But Rafe has yet to see the darker side of Sami.

Itís interesting. Thatís one of the lessons sheís trying to learn from Graceís passing is that the little stuff doesnít matter. I had that scene with Rafe in the hospital when she was wishing there was something she could do to help her daughter. All that crap I pulled, all the things I used to do to get what I wanted is irrelevant. Now I want to save my daughterís life and thereís nothing I can do. Samiís always been someone with a plan and an agenda. Now, in the most important moment of her life thereís nothing she can do. I think that really changes you. Weíve seen a big shift in Samiís goals and who she is. But at heart sheís still Sami. A leopard doesnít change its spots.


So is she going to revert to form when she finds out Nicole stole her baby?

There are no words to describe how angry she is going to be [when the truth comes out.] But it doesnít take away from her loss of Grace. No matter what happens with Sydney, she still had this beautiful girl that she raised and loved and thought of as her own. Whether itís her flesh and blood or not, she will always mourn the loss of this child. There will always be a loss. Getting Sydney back will not take that away.


When the truth comes out, how do you think it will impact Sami and EJís relationship?

Right now she absolutely hates EJ. The interesting thing is that hate is not the opposite of love. So weíll see.


EJ hates her, too. Is he going to attempt DiMera style revenge on Sami?

This week, youíll see that he has a plan to get back at her. Itís interesting because as Nicole has been saying all along, why doesnít he just leave her alone? Either youíre interfering in her life or trying to get revenge. Itís always Sami this and Sami that. Obviously I think EJ isnít just going to let it drop.


Who do you think is the right man for Sami?

That is such a loaded question! I canít give an answer.


You joined the show when Crystal Chappell was playing Carly. How do you feel about her return?

Itís amazing. I admired her work when she was on [Guiding Light]. I think sheís such a talented actress. Iím thrilled to have her back. I used to be a fan of the show [before joining it] and she was one of my favorite characters.


Do you think any of the other old school cast members are going to be returning?

I have no idea. It sort of seems sad and odd to me that they would let go of some wonderful cast members and then bring in new people in the same situation. I donít know what the thought behind that is.


How has DOOL managed to rebound despite being the lone soap on NBC?

Itís difficult, being on in the middle of the day with nothing else in the line-up. We can only thank our fans. The loyal Days fans have stuck with us all these years. The best part about how hard itís been with the budget cuts is that the only thing we can do to make a good show is to write a good show. Everyoneís turning to the writersí office to say, ďrescue us,Ē and thatís what theyíve been doing.



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Alligato
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Very intersting.

I am so glad she mentioned that no matter what Nicole says, it won't erase that Grace was the daughter she knew and lost. I was hoping that Grace wouldn't just disappear when the Sydney reveal comes out.

Kudos to AS for pointing out why some people were axed to bring in other people. Why are we supposed to believe they will write Carly better than Payla? I am confused about that too, and saddened. I still miss my Jarlena. I guess Carly as a single woman has alot more story in her than Payla, the happily married couple.

And I am not sure if I buy that Sami has changed at all, unless they really plan to write her as the new Marlena. Why do they need to change her and make her so good?
And interesting that Sami has never cheated on any of her men. Really? I wonder why it bothers her when people say that she has many leading men. It's a soap, its supposed to be that way. :)

Good interview. Thanks for sharing.
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PhoenixRising05
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GET EM STEPH!!

Very good interview.

Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.

Big kudos to her on her comments about performing without makeup. Not very many actresses grasp that and that really makes a difference, even if it's minimal, in a performance. Big kudos to Ali on that.

I do think Sami has changed and since the WP story I've felt a combination of the Sami of the last few years and the "old" Sami so I'm happy. I love her and Galen together too and agree with her comments about them.I like that she reminded Gary of how Sami never cheats on men. So true. Her comments about the baby switch story were spot on too IMO. I love the story.

As for all the returns, I think her comments on that pertain to losing Drake and Dee and I can't blame her because when your just an actor and not on the business side or in the writer's room day after day, your left in the dark as much as viewers and alot of things become hard to understand, especially when it comes to people you love and naturally you would prefer they stay instead of them leaving and others returning in their place later on. It does sound like she is active in talking to Tomlin and the writers and so on but I don't see them offering up much info to her on comings and goings, why they do this and why they do that, etc. They probably just provide her with info she needs to play a certain scene right or something and that is the extent of it. I'm glad they brought up CC since I know Ali came on shortly before she was leaving so that was a good question.
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Liz<3Days
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I am so SICK of SAMI...and this interview just added fuel to the fire!

PLEASE...just because you didnt wear make-up doesnt make you Meryl Streep! Those scenes were passable at best. What's sad is that AS watched the scenes, yet after the hospital, did the same ass face that she does for everything! Just shows a lack of understanding for a scene and acting in general!

All I hear is ...MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME...throw ecrappy a bone...MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEM...I <3 writers, please keep me in glitter...MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME...poor vets, that doesnt mean I'll leave....MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME!

Thanks for posting.
Liz
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Kenny
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Ellie
Jun 17 2009, 11:30 AM
Do you think any of the other old school cast members are going to be returning?

I have no idea. It sort of seems sad and odd to me that they would let go of some wonderful cast members and then bring in new people in the same situation. I donít know what the thought behind that is.
Although I'm happy about the returns of Justin and Carly, I don't get it either.
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Ellie


PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
As for all the returns, I think her comments on that pertain to losing Drake and Dee and I can't blame her because when your just an actor and not on the business side or in the writer's room day after day, your left in the dark as much as viewers and alot of things become hard to understand, especially when it comes to people you love and naturally you would prefer they stay instead of them leaving and others returning in their place later on.
You seem to be dismissing the fact that Ali is wondering how the show could bring back vets from 91 while firing the show's two lead actors, by saying that Ali is in the dark as to the behind-the-scenes plans for the show. I'd doubt Ali's as clueless as you think she is, and I credit her for bringing up that point. It is possible that those in the 'writer's room', as you put it, are not making a particularly intelligent decision with this hiring move. It's telling to me that those in the industry are wondering about this in the first place. I understand that you yourself seem to support this hiring decision, which is your prerogative. But I'd hesitate to say that because Ali is wondering about it, she's in the dark as to some greater plan. There really may be no greater plan at all.


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Sindacco
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PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
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Ellie


Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:13 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
I think though that here, Ali is the one holding her fanbases hostage. If she knows who the writers want Sami to end up with, she should say it. Instead, she consistenly makes comments like this one, which have all three Sami couple fanbases pining away and campaigning. I'm sure she loves that.


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Liz<3Days
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Ellie
Jun 17 2009, 12:15 PM
Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:13 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
I think though that here, Ali is the one holding her fanbases hostage. If she knows who the writers want Sami to end up with, she should say it. Instead, she consistenly makes comments like this one, which have all three Sami couple fanbases pining away and campaigning. I'm sure she loves that.


:applause: :applause: :applause:
ITA!
Liz
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Ponz
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Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:13 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
That predicament is entirely self-inflicted. Choosing to pander to multiple fanbases creates a vicious cycle whereby they expect/demand more and more from you in the future. It's like celebrities who play up to the tabloid press and then whine when they intrude into their personal lives.
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PhoenixRising05
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GET EM STEPH!!

Ellie
Jun 17 2009, 12:07 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
As for all the returns, I think her comments on that pertain to losing Drake and Dee and I can't blame her because when your just an actor and not on the business side or in the writer's room day after day, your left in the dark as much as viewers and alot of things become hard to understand, especially when it comes to people you love and naturally you would prefer they stay instead of them leaving and others returning in their place later on.
You seem to be dismissing the fact that Ali is wondering how the show could bring back vets from 91 while firing the show's two lead actors, by saying that Ali is in the dark as to the behind-the-scenes plans for the show. I'd doubt Ali's as clueless as you think she is, and I credit her for bringing up that point. It is possible that those in the 'writer's room', as you put it, are not making a particularly intelligent decision with this hiring move. It's telling to me that those in the industry are wondering about this in the first place. I understand that you yourself seem to support this hiring decision, which is your prerogative. But I'd hesitate to say that because Ali is wondering about it, she's in the dark as to some greater plan. There really may be no greater plan at all.


I'm not dismissing anything. All I'm saying is that the cast is more then likely as much in the dark as we are most times and that includes Ali because I can't see TPTB giving her info on their reasoning. There is no reason too. Besides, just look at how many times an actor is asked a question and the fans and people online no more then the actor does. Also,
the returns were just announced so I doubt Ali had had the chance to even ask about what the reasoning was here. In a way, I think she said what she said just so the fans of those who left could see that people at the show are aware of what the reaction may be to this. She has actually taken on Dee's role of trying to sell the show so I can see her throwing her feelings about the returns and ousters out there just as a way of appeasing fans who may be upset.

Maybe I'm just coming from the perspective that there is a plan here as I feel the show has been on a long-term plan since December now and the returns are so random that I feel there has to be a reason for them. Whatever the case, it's too early to say if there is a plan for sure and if this is a mistake. I don't think people wondering about it means a damn thing as I've yet to hear anyone major in the industry wondering about. In fact, all the the media outlets I've seen are buzzing about all this and praising it. It's only fans that seem to be wondering the most and now we have Ali wondering about it but not exactly seeming outraged.
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PhoenixRising05
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GET EM STEPH!!

Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:13 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
It was a tongue in cheek comment in my part. It doesn't really matter to me if she says anything or not. I just think it's stupid that she has to avoid the issue. I know some feel she should just come out with it but considering how vicious some have been in the past, I can see why she would choose to avoid the issue entirely. I've seen her make comments in the past and get blasted from EJami fans and Lumi fans so she's probably learned to just keep her mouth shut and avoid angering any of the fanbases.
Edited by PhoenixRising05, Jun 17 2009, 12:42 PM.
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six
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Thanks. Good interview.
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Sindacco
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PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 12:42 PM
Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:13 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
It was a tongue in cheek comment in my part. It doesn't really matter to me if she says anything or not. I just think it's stupid that she has to avoid the issue. I know some feel she should just come out with it but considering how vicious some have been in the past, I can see why she would choose to avoid the issue entirely. I've seen her make comments in the past and get blasted from EJami fans and Lumi fans so she's probably learned to just keep her mouth shut and avoid angering any of the fanbases.
So let them blast her. It only proofs what we already know, most fan bases are filled with psychos.
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PhoenixRising05
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GET EM STEPH!!

Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:58 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 12:42 PM
Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:13 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
It was a tongue in cheek comment in my part. It doesn't really matter to me if she says anything or not. I just think it's stupid that she has to avoid the issue. I know some feel she should just come out with it but considering how vicious some have been in the past, I can see why she would choose to avoid the issue entirely. I've seen her make comments in the past and get blasted from EJami fans and Lumi fans so she's probably learned to just keep her mouth shut and avoid angering any of the fanbases.
So let them blast her. It only proofs what we already know, most fan bases are filled with psychos.
Too true. I guess I'm just thinking of it from her perspective. She may not want to deal with vicious comment after vicious comment on her blog or Twitter or vicious behavior in public at her appearances. It's easy to say for us but she is the one that would have to deal with it all the time and there is no way it wouldn't bother her.
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SaveDaysNow


Hmm. . .Sami never cheated on any of her men??? I'm wondering if that's how Lucas would've felt when he came home to find her boinking EJ last year? Since that idiot ran out of bed half naked to chase after LUCAS, it looked to me like she was busted cheating!! AS has such the selective memory. . .all for the glitter of Sami.

Wearing no makeup during DEATH scenes for a little baby is not some stroke of acting genious. And her performances during Grace's death were so-so AT BEST. AS still overdid it and showed us her ugly crying face. She loves to hype herself in any way possible while still trying to look 'humble'. LMFAO

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SocRMum1
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Much prefers sweevil, snarky EJ over Father Figure Fucktard Eejiot.

SaveDaysNow
Jun 17 2009, 01:06 PM
Hmm. . .Sami never cheated on any of her men??? I'm wondering if that's how Lucas would've felt when he came home to find her boinking EJ last year? Since that idiot ran out of bed half naked to chase after LUCAS, it looked to me like she was busted cheating!! AS has such the selective memory. . .all for the glitter of Sami.

Wearing no makeup during DEATH scenes for a little baby is not some stroke of acting genious. And her performances during Grace's death were so-so AT BEST. AS still overdid it and showed us her ugly crying face. She loves to hype herself in any way possible while still trying to look 'humble'. LMFAO

Considering the fact that Sami was married to EJ when she slept with him, I think it's fair to say that she didn't cheat...then. However, I do recall Sami and Lucas doing the deed while she left her wheelchair bound husband and newborn infant across the hall, so that rather invalidates her point, IMO.

As for the nastiness of fan bases - far be it from me to say there isn't plenty of snarking and sniping around the many soap boards. However, at least in my experience, that doesn't carry over in 'real' life at personal events. I have been to two different fan events in the past year at which both James Scott and Bryan Datillo were present, and the most recent one had Ari Zucker there with them, as well. Not once at any point in either event did I hear any nasty comments directed at the actors regarding the fan wars, nor did I see any fans engaging each other in verbal disputes. Each time the actors and the fans showed no signs of the fan base 'wars' having any sort of impact at all. Which is as it should be.
I just wanted to put that out there for what it's worth...sometimes I truly beleive the so called 'wars' are given far more emphasis than they really deserve. Everyone likes certain pairings, or certain actors or certain stories. MOST people can keep that in perspective when given an opportunity to interact with the actors involved.
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Aliaron
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Sami's loyalty was her only redeeming quality. It used to be she could hurt her family, but you couldn't. That's how it USED to be.
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daisy132


Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:13 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
She's a smart lady in keeping "neutral". She wants to keep all her fans, and no fans (crazed or not), no paycheck.

I think her preferences are loud and clear. She doesn't voice them directly, but Galen this, and Galen that, the "clean slate" with Rafe, "a Lumi fan at heart", well, you get the gist. Oh yeah, she mentions James too, when he eats a peanut butter sandwich.
Edited by daisy132, Jun 18 2009, 08:41 PM.
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Manda1


daisy132
Jun 18 2009, 08:29 PM
Sindacco
Jun 17 2009, 12:13 PM
PhoenixRising05
Jun 17 2009, 11:56 AM
Love how she steered clear of the "who should Sami be with" question.
Love? What's there to love about that? I think it's sad how some fan bases are holding the actors hostage so they can't say what they really feel.
She's a smart lady in keeping "neutral". She wants to keep all her fans, and no fans (crazed or not), no paycheck.

I think her preferences are loud and clear. She doesn't voice them directly, but Galen this, and Galen that, the "clean slate" with Rafe, "a Lumi fan at heart", well, you get the gist. Oh yeah, she mentions James too, when he eats a peanut butter sandwich.
I think it is great that she enjoys working with Galen so much as he is her significant other on screen right now and they are in so many scenes together - work would be unbearable otherwise. So it would make sense that GG would be part of the interview.
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