Alicia Minshew - Keeping The Faith

Playing the devilish Kendall Hart on ALL MY CHILDREN isn’t the first time Alicia Minshew has raised a little hell. Just ask her father,
Jim — an Episcopalian minister.

“One time during the announcements I remember my dad said, ‘I have a personal announcement to make. Alicia, if you don’t stop laughing, you’re going to be in big trouble when we get home,'” she chuckles. “He kind of did it as a joke, but the entire church turned around and looked at me. I was mortified.”

She wasn’t too embarrassed to scope guys on Sundays, though. “We always had cute boys in our church,” she giggles. “Leave it to me, I always found something. ‘Ooh, there’s that cute blond boy in church. I’m going to church today (laughs)!’ I had my first kiss at church. God bless the church!”

Religion also inspired Minshew to become a performer. “I started singing in church,” she relates. “They always had me do solos up in front of the church, and we used to put on little Bible plays.”

That experience helped Minshew land the plum role of Erica Kane’s estranged daughter years later. “Coming in, I knew of Susan Lucci (Erica) and I thought, Oh, my God, how am I going to do this? She’s so wonderful, and I’ve never done this before,'” she recalls. “She immediately made me feel comfortable and put me at ease. Now, a year later, I have a great rapport with her. She’s a giving actress, and I feel like we’re friends. The other day I was tired when I showed up to work and she gave me a hug and some tea. She chats with me about things. I feel lucky that I get to work with her.”

Minshew also feels blessed to be involved with the Fusion gals. “The storyline is great because it’s rare that you see a bunch of women bonding [on daytime]; it’s always about catfighting,” asserts Minshew. “Sure, we have our fights and our tiffs, but you see young women get together, form friendships and have girly talk.”Kendall’s new girlfriends are watching her back since she got involved with the mysterious Michael Cambias. “Michael’s charismatic,” smiles Minshew. “He was taken by Kendall immediately, and she’s not used to that. He’s this powerful, rich, cultured man of the world. She’s like, ‘I’m this girl from the Florida swamps. What could you possibly see in me?’ But he makes her feel special. He finds her sense of humor refreshing, and she finds everything about him enchanting and dreamy.”

Even though it’s revealed to viewers that Michael is up to no good this week, Minshew embraces this new direction after being in romantic limbo since Ryan left Kendall last summer. Flirtations with Aidan and JR didn’t work for fans — or Minshew. “Aidan was the guy that Ryan saw Kendall with, so there was something weird about going from Ryan to Aidan,” Minshew muses. “She’s always going to be attracted to Aidan and they’ll always have a connection, but friendship is the best thing for them.”

When Kendall started puckering up with young JR, however, “I thought: Are they going to put me with this teenager? The [fans are] going to call me a cradle robber, which they did,” exclaims Minshew. “I had people come up to me in the street and go, ‘Girl, you better leave that teenager alone. I can’t believe you were swapping spit with that kid.’ I definitely get interesting responses from people!”

Minshew could relate when Ryan took off last year — she and her own boyfriend, Michael, had called it quits after four and a half years. “We were together for so long, but it was for the better,” she states. “We’re still friends. We’ve learned a lot from each other, and we’re both in good spaces in our lives and in our careers. If I saw him right now, we could have a cup of coffee and we’d be cool, which is nice. And I probably drove him nuts, so maybe he’s better off without me (laughs)!”

Minshew is now enjoying the time by herself. “This is the first time I’ve ever had my own apartment to myself,” she marvels. “I’m decorating it my way with my things, coming and going on my time, going to sleep when I want to. It’s a huge sense of independence and freedom that I’ve never had before. I’ve always had sisters or roommates or boyfriends or somebody to live with. It’s liberating, and I feel the strongest I ever have. I
didn’t realize how fun it was. Sometimes I’ll sit home and just watch a movie and laugh and crack myself up. I love going to movies or going out to eat by myself. I used to be afraid of that.”

The dating scene isn’t so bad, either. “I’m enjoying it,” she smiles. “I’m learning things I didn’t know about what I would like or not like.” Don’t look for her to settle down anytime soon, though. “I think it’s because I just had a long relationship that I can’t fathom thinking about getting married and having children now,” she stresses. “I want to get married and have children someday, but I’m doing my own thing. My career is very important, so those plans are on the back burner. But who knows? Talk to me in a year and I could be like, ‘Yes! I want to get married and have kids right now!'”

Minshew isn’t shying away from marriage despite the fact that her parents divorced when she was 14. “I remember being OK with it,” she offers. “My mom said I must have blocked that out because there’s a period of time where I was clearly upset and I don’t even remember it. Fourteen is a tender age, and we were all surprised because we thought they got along so great. But both my parents were there to communicate with me at all times. As time moved on and they healed and found new people in their lives, I just wanted them to be happy.”

Which they are. “They are the best of friends,” she declares. “My dad married my mother and her new husband. My mother and her husband go to my dad’s church. My dad is remarrying in a few months and my mother is invited to the wedding. My parents have a lovely dynamic, and they’ve kept it healthy and very loving. I’m lucky that I was raised in that atmosphere because it’s carried through into my life.”

Her parents aren’t the only ones who are proud of Minshew’s success — she’s got a church full of fans cheering her on. “My dad keeps asking me for 50 more autographed photos,” chuckles Minshew. “People come up to him and go, ‘We saw your daughter on the show today. What a vixen.’ But they love it. When I go home and go to church, it’s all about ALL MY CHILDREN. They’re so cute. They knew me when I was doing theater and dancing and saying, ‘Someday I’m going to move to New York and be an actor.’ A lot of them grew up watching ALL MY CHILDREN. So to see me grow up and then appear on their favorite show is a cool thing.”