A Q&A with J.Robin Miller (Lydia, GH)

Soap Opera Digest: How have you enjoyed your time on GH so far?
J. Robin Miller: It has been so great. I was very overwhelmed the first two weeks, though. I was kind of thrown into the middle of the storyline.
Digest: What was the hardest part about that?
Miller: Initially, even on my first day, I had to tape two episodes in one day. It was, like, 25 pages of dialogue! I was like, “Man! How do people memorize all of this?” It’s just so fast. The first couple of weeks were a real adjustment because I had only done stuff on prime-time TV, which moves a lot slower. That was the biggest thing. Also, I felt like the new kid in school. Everybody already knew each other, and everyone has pretty close relationships and this camaraderie. Now, I feel very comfortable; everyone’s so great.
Digest: Who was the first person to befriend you?
Miller: Greg Vaughan [Lucky] and probably Cyndi Preston [Faith], who is so incredibly nice.
Digest: How do you like working with Greg?
Miller: He’s great — always willing to help me out. My first few weeks, as soon as I got to the set, he would say, “You want to run lines? Rehearse?” Even while I was doing my makeup, he’d stand there and run lines with me. That was so comforting because it helped me to be prepared, but I also didn’t have to go search him out; he came to me.
Digest: How do you like your character? You play quite a bitch.
Miller: I know! I guess the writers are trying to make Lydia a little nicer [laughs]. She has to have some vulnerability, but she’s definitely pretty feisty. That’s great, actually. I love it because I’ve never gotten to play a part like that. I did a play when I first came to L.A. that was pretty similar to the role I play, and I had a lot of fun doing that. But in terms of casting for television jobs, I had never been cast as a character like that before.
Digest: What were you doing before you landed GH?
Miller: Basically, I’ve done a ton of episodic television. I had a recurring role on BEVERLY HILLS, 90210. My character’s name was Leah, and she was a battered wife who Kelly was trying to help at the women’s shelter. I’ve actually played a lot of funny, kind of bimbo-y roles. I really love comedy, so I’ve done a lot of sitcoms.
Digest: So, playing Lydia has been a real change?
Miller: Yes. I’ve never played a vixen or manipulator like Lydia before. Also, I was playing much younger before; I was playing high school and college. I did an episode of C.S.I.: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION with Tom Irwin, where I played his mistress. That was the first really adult role that I played, and then came Lydia.
Digest: How did the GH role come about?
Miller: When I started acting, I came in and read for [Casting Director] Mark Teschner. On and off, they’ve had me come in for parts.
Digest: Was your GH audition your first foray into daytime?
Miller: Two or three years ago, I was flown to New York to test for GUIDING LIGHT. I’ve always been open to daytime, but I wanted to see where my path and acting — and my life, really — led. There were times when I was like, “No, daytime isn’t for me.” I had booked a couple of pilots and stuff like that, so I wanted to focus on prime-time. Then, this summer, when they asked me to come in for this, I was like, “Yes; I’m going to do this. That would be great.”
Digest: So, things worked out for the best.
Miller: It’s interesting because I didn’t know where I’d end up, and I’m so excited that I’m doing this now. I really love doing this.

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