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The Front-runner: Geneva Hyman

Digest: How does it feel to be in the final three?

Hyman: Very surreal, but definitely exciting.Digest: How did you find out about it in the first place?

Hyman: I was about to graduate and sort of doing my background research as an actor moving to New York, perusing the New York soap operas, reading their Web pages and getting myself updated. I was on the AS THE WORLD TURNS Web site and saw this. I just thought, "Wouldn't that be wild?" The timing was right, I was moving to New York anyway, so I had a professor of mine put the scene on tape for me. I made the semi-finalists' round and flew to New York and then they sent me a contract and I decided to do it. It all happened really fast. I kept thinking, "After this round, surely I won't hear from them anymore." Digest: So you were looking to work on a soap anyway?

Hyman: Yeah, it was a role wherever you can get a role. I knew that there were some soap operas that filmed in New York and what a great gig!Digest: Was the reality show experience what you expected?

Hyman: I never really watched reality television. I watched a little bit of PROJECT RUNWAY, so I'm not completely clueless, but as far as knowing the interview style or anything about how it actually works, I had no idea. It was difficult to have cameras on you at all times because your day-to-day behavior is so closely monitored that you suddenly become very very aware of it. It put me in my head a little bit, like, "How am I coming across? Am I wearing the right thing?" Questions that I normally wouldn't think about in day-to-day life, I began to examine very closely. There was a little bit of paranoia, but after the first week, a lot of that disappeared and it just kind of became its own little universe.Digest: You won the first challenge, so you got the great room in the loft and shared it with Ian — good decision?

Hyman: It was really nice, and I was very lucky that it turned out that way because everyone needs a certain amount of personal space for their stuff and their peace of mind. So I was lucky I had that so I was able to stay calm and go to bed when I wanted to and people weren't coming in and out. Ian was a really good roommate. He was respectful and quiet, and we did a little bit of recapping at the end of the day. We got along fine. I think everyone got a little stressed out toward the end and tempers were flaring, but for the most part, I did get along with him.Digest: What was the best thing about the loft?

Hyman: It had a nice balcony that wrapped around two sides of the apartment. It wasn't big, but it was breezy and you could go out there and sit or read or eat breakfast and look at Midwood. I enjoy being outside. Digest: Who do you miss the most?

Hyman: Strangely enough, I grew rather fond of Alex. Once I figured out his sense of humor and his personality, he's really as charming as you want him to be. He's a sweet guy. Hopefully, I encounter him in the future in some capacity.Digest: What was your most embarrassing moment?

Hyman: Two things: In the rehearsal for the romance scene where I'm working with Justin, we had 10 minutes to practice, so I was like, "We should probably just go for it before we have to do the real thing and get all of that out of the way." So we're going through the kissing part and I turned around and there were three cameras on us. And of course, the whole crying ordeal, where I'm made to look as though I can't take criticism. It's not constructive criticism that's a problem, it's unwarranted embarrassment. I felt like I did cry and I was honest. It was just my day, I guess, to suffer the repercussions. There seems to be some discrepancy about whether I don't make interesting choices or I ask too many questions. Sometimes they're like, "You play it safe." And sometimes they're like, "You question it too much." I think I'm somewhere right where you should be between making choices and following directions.Digest: When did you start watching ATWT?

Hyman: A little before I sent my tape in, I started watching just to get a feel for how each soap opera differs from others. But now I watch every single day. I'm visiting my grandmother right now and we set aside time to watch it together. My whole family's watching, so I'm pretty caught up in it, as one would expect.Digest: Do you have any favorite characters or storylines?

Hyman: I guess I'm watching to see what's happening with Carly and Simon. There are a lot of loose ends and commitments on Carly's side. Simon's kind of free right now, so of course, he's going for it.Digest: You've said that your favorite character was Jennifer; there's certainly a resemblance between you and Jennifer Ferrin.

Hyman: I knew a little bit about her; I knew that she was from the South. She actually went to school with some of my friends, so they knew of her, at least, even if they did not know her. I think redheads are naturally interested in other redheads. I caught word that she might leave the show and I was like, "I need to keep on top of that information in case I hear of any auditions," but it turned out her character passed away. Digest: If you won, what kind of character would you like to play?

Hyman: I'd have to go with the red-hot lover, vixen role. Not necessarily the bad girl, but mischievous, mysterious. Digest: And what character would you like to be paired with?

Hyman: I think everyone's great, but the older men, the 30-year-old and 40-year-old men, they're way more dreamy. Michael Park [Jack] is definitely a frontrunner. Digest: It would be interesting for Dusty to see her, like if someone brought her to Oakdale to sort of mess with his mind.

Hyman: I was actually thinking the very same thing, and it would give everyone a lot to talk about: Is he interested in her because she reminds him of Jen? That kind of thing. And could he be any more gorgeous?Digest: How does your family feel about you being on the show?

Hyman: My family is ridiculously excited. I think like most families, they're a little skeptical when their child wants to be an actor. They're like, "Oh, honey, be a doctor or a lawyer." But this has really put them at ease, that at least I'm competitive in the professional world and they've gotten such a kick out of following it all. They're all along for the ride. They call me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Digest: It must be hard not to tell them what's coming, that you made it so far.

Hyman: You have no idea. They can't help but read between the lines when I disappear for a while. I think they can see how happy I am and they can infer a little bit that things have been going well with this. My lips have been sealed to any and everyone.Digest: Why should fans vote for you?

Hyman: I think that this particular job intersects my life at the perfect time. It's so very rare that the timing and situation is perfect. It almost feels fated to me, and just being on set and being around all of the actors, I got along with all of them and it made me so happy to be a part of all of that and I feel like I'm the best candidate for the job, I really do. I think Ian and Alex are good actors and more power to them, but I feel like it's hard for women, you really have to fight for it in this business. It's a lot of hard work and I think I've put in a lot of hard work to get this far and it would just be a complete dream come true!

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