Five Minutes With (New) FeliciaBy Tom Stacy Posted: Jun 10, 2005
Soap Opera Digest: Congratulations on landing GH.
Sandra Ferguson: Thank you! Pretty cool, huh?
Digest: How did this come about?
Ferguson: Here's the irony: The casting director of GENERAL HOSPITAL, Mark Teschner, actually granted me my first audition ever back in New York City. It wasn't for GH. It was for another soap he was working for. Over the years, we've become friends. And it's funny because I had screen-tested and auditioned for the show [several years] before and I said I'd love to work on GH. I used to joke about it saying, "Well, if the character of Felicia ever needs to be replaced, let me know." And then all this time later, I get a phone call. Apparently, he had taken one of my old screen tests from a couple of years ago and sent it to the producers. I was thrilled. So, he finally got to actually hire me. He screen-tested me I don't know how many times for how many shows, but now, finally, I get to work with him, so that's very cool.
Digest: How was your first day?
Ferguson: I got thrown to the wolves. Wham, bam, here's your director, your stage manager, five, four, three, two, one, go. Actually, I was out really early that day, so it was almost like it didn't happen. It was crazy. But now I'm on more of the schedule that I'm used to. It's very intense because there's a lot going on with Felicia as I'm stepping in here. Thank God, I work with great people. I got hired and four days later, I was on set and I was trying to catch up on everything I hadn't seen in a gazillion years. I remember watching the show when I was in middle school, so I was trying to identify people from back then. It was like taking a crash course in the history of Port Charles.
Digest: What's your take on Felicia?
Ferguson: I have to say that, above all, I like her heart. She's very caring. She's a devoted mother, and very assertive. She's not a pushover, and she's not stupid by any means. She's got a lot of really great qualities.
Digest: Did you watch any shows to prep for taking over the role?
Ferguson: They did not send me tapes and in a way, I'm glad. That way, I think [the characterization] will be much more rich without me thinking, "Well, what would the previous actress [Kristina Wagner] have done?" But I did get as much as I could from talking to people who are involved with the show and I got an idea of where they would like the character to go, so that helps. It's a lot to take on. But it's great fun to take it on.
Digest: Any jitters about taking over for a fan fave?
Ferguson: I did take over for a very popular character [Brooke] on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL [where she filled in during Katherine Kelly Lang's maternity leave in 1997] and that went amazingly well, so I can't really think about any negativity. There's no use worrying. Worrying is a waste of energy. I'm looking forward to meeting all the GH fans.
Digest: What have you been up to since we last saw you on-screen?
Ferguson: I actually took a hiatus. For about three years, I've been completely away from acting, but I must admit, I'd been missing it. I came back in January of this year. I just missed it too much. I kept feeling the pull to come back, and my [representative] was encouraging me, so I said, "Yeah, we'll do it." So I trained and went back into class and got my tools as ready as I could.
Digest: How does it feel to be working again?
Ferguson: It's great. Prior to this, I did a little scene in The Longest Yard, but they didn't use it. I ended up on the cutting room floor. It happens. Working with Adam Sandler was fun. It was a good experience. It gave me the taste of working again, which got me fired up. And now, I'm back.