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Michael Fairman Interviews Jessica Tuck (Madeline Woods)
Topic Started: Apr 15 2010, 10:04 AM (1,865 Views)
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http://michaelfairmansoaps.com/days-of-our-lives/the-jessica-tuck-interview-days-of-our-lives/2010/04/14/

I'll copy and paste the Days related questions. She also talks about OLTL and True Blood so click on link above to read whole interview.

The Jessica Tuck Interview – Days of our Lives


From 1988 to 1992, no other young soap actress made quite the splash as a performer to watch, then Jessica Tuck. Her role as Megan Gordon on One Life to Live, as the daughter that her mother never knew existed, won Tuck critical raves and a Daytime Emmy nomination. Megan suffered from Lupus and died a tragic death, and her on-screen love affair with Jake Harrison, played by a young Joe Lando, brought daytime audiences to tears. After saying goodbye to Llanview, the talented actress came to Hollywood where she had appeared on countless primetimes series, including her current stint on the hit HBO vampire series, True Blood.

Now in 2010, Tuck returns to daytime in her new role as Madeline-Peterson Woods on Days of our Lives. While certain circumstances surrounding Tuck’s character are being guarded in secrecy, we know that she is the momma bear to Chad, played by Casey Deidrick, and the wife of the Salem D.A. Jessica spoke with On-Air On-Soaps about her decision to take on this new role; the changes she sees coming back to the rigors of daytime, and gives us a preview of Judge Madeline’s plight (perhaps, she could go up against Judge Judy or Judge Cristina in a new courtroom show spin-off, too!).

We also step back in time with Jessica to find out how it was to lose a Daytime Emmy, work with Erika Slezak (Viki), create Fraternity Row, (a soap within a soap), and the hilarious spoof on the Daytime Emmys, The Daisy Awards… all during her time on One Life. So read below, my fantastic chat with Jessica!

MICHAEL: It is so exciting to see you back on daytime! How has it been getting back into the soap grind? It’s a lot different now than your last time at the races with One Life!


JESSICA: It is great that I can take my daughter to school most days and can pick her up, but it’s the racing train of daytime that is tough. I think the hardest part of it is the speed and having to think about things when it’s going a thousand miles an hour, which is something that is not the case in nighttime. In nighttime, you get an enormous amount of time to work on your character and memorize your lines, and get more than one take. In daytime, well, I have to get back into their rhythm.

MICHAEL: In 2010 the pace of taping a daytime soap is shocking!

JESSICA: There is no time, and I used to think it was fast. You have to invent a new word for it because “fast” is not even fast enough. I was so shocked, and I have to admit I felt like I was hanging on for dear life. I am also just a few years older now than I was when I was on One Life to Live (Laughs). I remember the more mature actors that played moms and dads on daytime. I would say, “God, why can’t they memorize their lines?” (Laughs). I now have so much compassion! They do seven and half shows per week at DAYS, and at One Life it was one show a day, and even five shows a week is insanity, and seven and half is extreme sporting! (Laughs) It has been great and everyone here is so nice. And one of the things I love about daytime is: there is no time for anyone to have a ‘diva’ fit. You just have to get in there, hold hands, and run down the mountain. If you don’t hold hands, you are going to be left behind. So the nice thing about this and what is so great is that we are all working together. I love that and it is what I loved about One Life to Live. It is nice to plug back into this on DAYS… everyone working together.

MICHAEL: What about your new role on Days of our Lives as Madeline Woods made you decide to return to your roots?

JESSICA: I did not know that much about her at first, but it was more the opportunity than the actual role, which is still being uncovered. DAYS co-executive producer, Gary Tomlin, is so funny. He came up and whispered something in my ear while I was doing a scene with someone, and I am not going to reveal what he said, but I was shocked. It was something about my character that I hadn’t known.

MICHAEL: Don’t you just love when the EP whispers something in your ear?

JESSICA: I know! Then everyone on set watches your shocked face, while you go, “What?” I still don’t know everything about her; obviously what you see on the surface is just part of the story. There is always a juicy past that makes it fun. I was told that I was going to play a character with a certain past. I thought it would be fun to go back and play, and it seemed like a win/win. And because they go fast, and I am not on everyday, it gives me time to do other things. I am recurring, and so I can dip my toe back into things.

MICHAEL: What if they say, “This is working so well. We want to put you on contract?”


JESSICA: Well, I don’t even know if they do that anymore. Daytime is so different. Recurring is great. I am about to do an episode of True Blood, where I play Nan Flanagan, and it’s really fun. They work so fast on DAYS, but they do three weeks on and one week off. It leaves me the opportunity to fit other things in.

MICHAEL: The state of daytime soaps over the last few years has been devastating for the business and the fans. DAYS has been a true success story bouncing back in the ratings, while shows like your former soap, One Life to Live, seems to be always facing rumors of cancellation.

JESSICA: Good for DAYS for hanging on, and OLTL is the only one left now in their tiny little island in New York. I can’t imagine that show being canceled. That is where I started. Frank Valentini (exec prod, OLTL) is one of my best friends, and I adore him. We have stayed close through the years, and Bob Woods (Bo) and Erika Slezak (Viki) are like family to me. How could that ever happen? I was shocked when I heard All My Children was moving to Los Angeles.

MICHAEL: The Daisy Awards and Fraternity Row! Did you ever look back and go, “Wow, look what we did? A spoof on the Emmys, and a soap within a soap!”

JESSICA: It was really fun doing that on One Life to Live, and it’s the one thing that is so bad about these budget cuts. You could do so much more and really have fun, and we could never do a Daisy Awards now. We had to rehearse the big production number, obviously, and pre-record some things, and also some of the stuff we did required some more time. I was talking to the kids on DAYS and I was telling them our old schedule. We would go in the morning…dry block the whole show…. and people said their lines. Now, on dry blocking on DAYS, you don’t say your lines, you just get told where you go. Then, there is no camera blocking. We used to do that at One Life, and then dress rehearse through the whole show, and then we would have notes like 40 some minutes after that. Then, we would tape the show. Now, granted it was a much longer day by dividing the afternoon and morning, but there was real time there. Now, there are notes on the fly. At DAYS, eventually after two or three weeks of doing it, I feel now I can relax. It’s hard. My hat’s off to anyone who does soap these days, because I really, really don’t think people understand how fast it is. If they came and watched it, nighttime performers would be blown away.

MICHAEL: How is playing with Casey Deidrick (Chad), as your on-screen son in Salem?

JESSICA: Oh, he is so lovely – aside from being six foot five inches tall! (Laughs) You know what’s funny? I think he thought I was an odd duck. My first air shows I was supposed to hug him a lot and I would go, “I am sorry, but can I practice hugging you?” I will tell you one thing; it’s fabulous when you have to look up at someone. It’s so much better for the light. (Laughs)

MICHAEL: What brings Madeline on to the canvas?

JESSICA: That’s a very good question! I think I pop up because my husband gets attacked. I go to see him in the hospital and that is the device to get me there.

MICHAEL: Where had she been?

JESSICA: I don’t know! (Laughs) I have to make things up for myself and I don’t know where I have been. I guess Madeline has been in Salem, but for some reason no one has ever seen me. David Leisure (D.A. Woods) had been there for a while and he plays my husband. Madeline has been there, but the camera has never focused on that aspect of Casey’s life.

MICHAEL: Is she a smart woman?

JESSICA: I am a Judge. Yes, she is a smart woman. I am Judge Madeline Peterson-Woods. She is very prominent in the town. She and her husband have built reputations for themselves in Salem and have high hopes for their son, who is associating with people they are less thrilled about.

MICHAEL: Such as?

JESSICA: His girlfriends! As it was described to me, Madeline’s husband is more by the book and strict. And, she has more of a motherly relationship with Chad, and he wants his own life, and there is another element to this. I start to clash with someone, and there is another presence on the show that I clash with, that potentially can expose a past that I would like to stay hidden. There is a device to bring me in, and things get more complicated. I have tangled with some others on the show.

MICHAEL: How is David Leisure to work with? He is a very funny man!

JESSICA: When he is not making me laugh? I love him, and it’s implied we have a loveless marriage. We have such a good time off camera, especially at the big tags at the end of scenes, and we look at each other and I am thinking, “Don’t make me laugh.”

MICHAEL: Did you know anyone else from the DAYS cast before you got there?

JESSICA: Peter Reckell (Bo) and I presented at the Daytime Emmys gazillion years ago. So I knew Peter. Peter is someone I connected with. It was fun to catch up with him, but our storyline’s don’t inter-connect, so I don’t see him much.

MICHAEL: I have my thoughts on what is up with Madeline, after seeing last week’s air show, where Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow) and her gave each other some strange looks! Is Madeline a good gal?

JESSICA: Madeline is a good person. I have some sort of sordid past that I have moved beyond and there are others that I may have to ‘pay the piper with’, so to speak.

MICHAEL: So back to DAYS, as we wrap up, give me a good teaser to tune-in to watch you as Judge Madeline?

JESSICA: She may come across as the dignified judge in Salem, but her past is surfacing and threatening to ruin all she has built!
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LuvingLumi
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♥ LUMI ♥

Okay so she's one of Stefano's former call girls...that we ALL know now! Lol
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lysie
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The image I have in my head of Tomlin is becoming more and more creepy. He's reminding me of one of those villains who plants the seed of an idea in an unsuspecting person's head and then slithers off.
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Agent Orange


LuvingLumi
Apr 15 2010, 10:16 AM
Okay so she's one of Stefano's former call girls...that we ALL know now! Lol
Yeah, probably worked her way through law school.
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Kenny
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Why does Tomlin just randomly sneak in and whisper these story twists into the actors ears right before they're about to tape a scene? I hate that. Wouldn't it throw the actors off kilter? Why not tell them what's going on from the very start so they can adjust their performances to include a little subtext? It's a shame that the actors are just as in the dark about their characters motivations, etc. as the viewers are.
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Paxton
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Dreaming of a Melanie-free Days

I'm already interested in Madeline and her past, though I fear that her sordid past is exactly what we all assume it will be, and let me just state for the record that I am completely uninterested in Chad being a DiMera, or Chad, period.

Thanks for posting!
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PhoenixRising05
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GET EM STEPH!!

Kenny
Apr 15 2010, 11:20 AM
Why does Tomlin just randomly sneak in and whisper these story twists into the actors ears right before they're about to tape a scene? I hate that. Wouldn't it throw the actors off kilter? Why not tell them what's going on from the very start so they can adjust their performances to include a little subtext? It's a shame that the actors are just as in the dark about their characters motivations, etc. as the viewers are.
I think it goes along with what was done in the past on soaps, which is that in stories that involve shocking twists or reveals (ex. Salem Serial Killer, possession, etc) you don't tell the actor what is going on because sometimes they will tip off what is going on. They are usually let in on the big secret eventually but you don't do it right away. A few months ago, Crystal Chappell did an interview where she admitted it was hard to play out the whole story with her daughter because she knew who it was and had to try not to hint at it to the audience in her scenes with TS and MB and it actually did come off in her scenes that she knew. That is why you have to be careful when you tell an actor.

Deidre Hall didn't know she was the killer at the start either. I believe she was told along the way. She was never told she was going to be possessed either until the point where she had to. I could go on and on and this has been going on in daytime for years. It's a careful balance.

It is weird the way he did it. I've never heard of someone being told on set something like that, unless he felt it would help her performance which it may have. Maybe he saw something that wasn't working and whispered what he did to help her along to improve the scene.

Anyway, good interview. I'm very intrigued by her character.
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Ellie


PhoenixRising05
Apr 15 2010, 12:17 PM
Deidre Hall didn't know she was the killer at the start either. I believe she was told along the way. She was never told she was going to be possessed either until the point where she had to. I could go on and on and this has been going on in daytime for years. It's a careful balance.
I don't think that's a good example because the difference is, in both cases, she was called into a meeting in Corday's office, and they all discussed it. They asked her her concerns, told her the plan, gave her their ideas, etc. That's vastly different than if Corday had pulled her aside "on stage", as they say, and said "you're the killer!".
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IMissAremid
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After all... tomorrow is another day!

So Stefano knows about Madeline's past. Wonder what he will do with this judge he can blackmail? Get custody of EJ's kids or something?
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Kenny
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Quote:
 
I think it goes along with what was done in the past on soaps, which is that in stories that involve shocking twists or reveals (ex. Salem Serial Killer, possession, etc) you don't tell the actor what is going on because sometimes they will tip off what is going on.
Was that really necessary in this case though? The story hasn't even begun yet and we've already guessed that Kate and Madeline were Stefano's whores. If Tomlin was going for a shocking reveal here (which I'm guessing will take place in the next two weeks), he failed, LoL.
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A few months ago, Crystal Chappell did an interview where she admitted it was hard to play out the whole story with her daughter because she knew who it was and had to try not to hint at it to the audience in her scenes with TS and MB and it actually did come off in her scenes that she knew.
It should've come off in her scenes that she knew -- because Carly DID know.
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Deidre Hall didn't know she was the killer at the start either. I believe she was told along the way. She was never told she was going to be possessed either until the point where she had to. I could go on and on and this has been going on in daytime for years. It's a careful balance.
I see your point here... sort of. However, the difference is that those were BIG stories. Nothing happening on the show today compares even a little bit. Also, the producer didn't just randomly hop on the set one day and whisper, "Psst... you're the killer!" right before Marlena appeared above Tony's hospital bed with a syringe in her hand, LoL. Plus, with the show taping so far ahead these days, telling the actors what's really going on with their characters should be the least of the producers worries re: twists being spoiled ahead of time.

It's not a crime for these actors to be told what's going on with their characters and what their motivations are. I don't think that would spoil much. If anything, it would help improve their performances, and God knows they need all the help they can get.
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It is weird the way he did it. I've never heard of someone being told on set something like that...
Didn't another actor or actress (I forget who) recently say that Gary Tomlin did the same thing to him/her on set or right before a scene or something?
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Maybe he saw something that wasn't working and whispered what he did to help her along to improve the scene.
And if that's the case, there's a problem -- because MANY things "aren't working" these days. This is why the actors need to know what the hell is going on with their characters and what their motivations are. They need a little direction. To express otherwise is absurd to me. There's a reason that daytime has had directors and producers for all these years. I don't believe for a second that they're suddenly not needed just because the pace is faster behind the scenes.
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DesignatedShelley
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Kenny
Apr 15 2010, 12:59 PM
There's a reason that daytime has had directors and producers for all these years. I don't believe for a second that they're suddenly not needed just because the pace is faster behind the scenes.
If anything, that's why they're needed more.
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aimees76
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What I don't understand is that she is supposedly a "prominent citizen" in Salem ... and presumably has been around for awhile since Chad grew up in Salem before he was shipped off to boarding school just for the duration of Mia's pregnancy, and her husband is the D.A. and all that ... why are she and Kate/Stefano just now crossing paths? That is the only thing that is sticking out to me, lol, I could care less about the rest of it, which I think is fairly obvious how it is going to play out ...
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aimees76
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... Molly said that was how she found out that Carly was Melanie's mother, GT whispered it in her ear just before a scene after she asked why Melanie was being such a bitch to her.
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Kenny
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aimees76
Apr 15 2010, 01:12 PM
What I don't understand is that she is supposedly a "prominent citizen" in Salem ... and presumably has been around for awhile since Chad grew up in Salem before he was shipped off to boarding school just for the duration of Mia's pregnancy, and her husband is the D.A. and all that ... why are she and Kate/Stefano just now crossing paths? That is the only thing that is sticking out to me, lol
That doesn't make sense to me either. It's stupid. However, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief as long as this story delivers. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
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Kenny
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aimees76
Apr 15 2010, 01:14 PM
... Molly said that was how she found out that Carly was Melanie's mother, GT whispered it in her ear just before a scene after she asked why Melanie was being such a bitch to her.
Ah, yes. I thought so.

I wonder how many other people Gary Tomlin has done this to?

And how stupid did Molly have to be to not realize from the very start why Melanie was being such a bitch to Carly? LoL @ her not understanding the irrational anger either though. And Gary's explanation was stupid. "You're being a bitch to her NOT because you actually have a reason... we just want to do a typical long-lost-daughter-hates-mother story. Neat, huh?" Yes, Days writers. You really deliver when it comes to sensible storytelling.

/ENDSARCASM.
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pspcindy
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Thanks for posting the interview. I love MF and his enthusiasm for daytime tv. Jessica Tuck is a great actress and I love having her on DOOL. Hope she stays for a while. She is also coldly wonderful as the Vamp P.R. person on "True Blood".
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StephanieYates
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Agent Orange
Apr 15 2010, 10:56 AM
LuvingLumi
Apr 15 2010, 10:16 AM
Okay so she's one of Stefano's former call girls...that we ALL know now! Lol
Yeah, probably worked her way through law school.
and personally. i dont really think it's that bad.
I had to be a stripper to pay for college. and now i'm successful in the military.
i didn't have sex with 20million different people
we all have our little pasts and if that's the case, she should embrace and it and own up to it.
i got a lot more respect from my peers for telling them rather than them finding out by themselves.
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