From Michigan to Germany to…the Olive Garden, GUIDING LIGHT’s Nicole Forester (Cassie) tells Weekly all about her travels.
Soap Opera Weekly: What was it like growing up in Michigan?
Nicole Forester: I think of it as a very wholesome, healthy place to grow up. It was very safe, and there were still open pieces of land there when I was growing up. I have two older brothers who took very good care of me. We’d go waterskiing in the summer or sailing, because you can’t go 20 miles in any direction in the whole state without hitting water. In the winter we would go downhill or cross-country skiing. I liked it because you have the four seasons. It’s a well-rounded place.
Weekly: Your friend Michelle Ray Smith (Ava) is from there, as well.
Forester: She tells me about places to shop in Michigan that I had no idea [existed]! What was I doing? I was wasting my formative shopping years. Now every time I visit my family, I’m going to have to do a little shopping. Michelle and I went out on a girls’ night a couple of weeks ago to Quality Meats, a restaurant that friends of mine designed. It’s lovely to go to dinner with Michelle. We got a little tipsy.
Weekly: I understand that you speak German.
Forester: I had a German boyfriend…all things start with a boyfriend, don’t they? I decided that I wanted to know his language, so I went to UCLA Extension (night school) for three years. It was twice a week, two-and-a-half hours at a time. It was a really good education. It was fun to get away from the whole acting world and just be a normal civilian in the evenings. That relationship ended two years into my studies, but I was like, “I may have lost my man — I’m not going to lose my language skills!” So I kept going to class and then I decided that I needed to be in Germany for a while. I decided that I would pick someplace I’d never been with that boyfriend, so I picked this small town called Schwabisch Hall. The whole town looks like a fairy tale! There are little cobblestone roads, and the church bells would wake me up in the morning. I stayed in student housing, and outside of my windows were lilacs. I remember breaking down crying on my second day because the teachers were so wonderful. The boyfriend initiated it in my life, but I really run with it because I love the idea of being bilingual or multilingual and just the [German] language itself.
Weekly: Lately, there’s been no escape from your Olive Garden commercial.
Forester: They’re not fooling around! I’m so grateful. I love it. I have the Olive Garden commercial, and the American Airlines commercial is still running.
Weekly: Have you been to the Olive Garden since the commercial came out? Do people look at you funny?
Forester: I haven’t tried to go into an Olive Garden, but I’ve been thinking about those salads and the breadsticks. Scott Bailey (ex-Sandy) told me that he went into the Olive Garden in Times Square once and there was an hour wait! I also feel like I should get first-class travel on American Airlines for life.