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Talking With OLTL’s Loyita Chapel

Longtime ONE LIFE TO LIVE fans know all about Loyita Chapel. She's appeared on the show on and off for years — as Blaize, Dallas and now as 1968's Renee. She's also married to Robert S. Woods (Bo). We recently were privileged to chat with her. Be sure to pick up the Sept. 2 issue of Soap Opera Weekly for more on the Woods family appearance.

Soap Opera Weekly: You have been so terrific on the show! Is Dallas going to be there for a while?

Loyita Chapel: Oh, bless your heart! I have to be honest with you, I have no clue. I know from week to week what my schedule is. I don't know what the plans are for her. It's been so much fun, because it's been quite a while. I do plays occasionally in town, which I love and adore. I'm an actress in a weekly group, but it's been a long time since I've been on camera. I finally feel like I got my legs back, now that things are slowing down. I would truly welcome more dates in the future for Dallas to be part of the story; however, with college-searching (for son Tanner) and my mother coming to live with us for several months, it's been a little hectic!

Weekly: We just love the scenes between you and your husband (Robert S. Woods, Bo), John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex) and Farah Fath (Gigi).

Chapel: J-P is a gift for my husband to work with, because he always has a good attitude. He is always prepared, he is grateful for the job, he loves it and has his head screwed on straight. I love the way the story picks up between 1968 and [the] current [time], and flips back and forth with Delphina and Delbert [Fina]. I thought it was interesting that Rex is having the same conversation that Gigi is having. Both of them were amazing. The workload that Farah had one day...I think she had 51 pages.

Weekly: She said it was the most work she has ever had in her life as an actress.

Chapel: And not one complaint. I told Woods, "Boy, am I impressed!" because she is clearly a pro. I am having a good time. It was also fun to see Andrea Evans (Tina), because when I played Blaize 20 years ago, Andrea was on the show. Also, John Loprieno — I didn't see him the day he shot his scenes as Cord (which aired Aug. 12), but, of course, I got a phone call, and we keep up with him throughout the year. So it was really nice. I loved the heaven scenes with Mark Derwin (Ben).

Weekly: From the photos I've seen, your son Tanner is very handsome.

Chapel: Oh, thank you. He is tall. We were always told because he was extremely premature at birth that he would be rather short, and all of a sudden, in the last couple of years, he has just shot up. He is taller than Bobby. He is...a real teenager! He is a good, caring person at heart. We are crazy about him.

Weekly: What an inspired idea, to have Tanner do those scenes as young Bo heading off to war.

Chapel: It was kind of an obvious choice. Tanner absolutely looks like Bobby did when he was that young. Age-wise, Tanner is a little bit young to play him, but when he dressed in that uniform, boy, what a shocker! I have to say, and I am tearing up as I tell you this, I took Woods to the airport when he went to Vietnam, and his mother unfortunately missed him. The airplane had to close the doors before his mother was able to get there. So that scene when I had to say goodbye to J-P on the set, the relationship is very different, but I actually had the scene in real life with Woods, putting him on the airplane. So it was tough, it was hard, and it was especially hard seeing our own son right there. I am a mom who has a son of that age in this horrific worldwide situation of unrest.

Weekly: Were you and Bob on the set when Tanner taped his scene?

Chapel: He was, and it was really interesting, because I was working that day, Tanner was working and Bobby wasn't working. I was nervous because Tanner [is not] an actor, nor has he ever truly expressed an interest [in doing it]. There are a lot of perks to being an actor. For example, he loves J-P's life and can't wait to go play golf with J-P and hang out, and Tanner knows Michael Easton (John), and Thorsten Kaye (Zach, ALL MY CHILDREN) is like an uncle to him. He has grown up being surrounded by these successful actors, but he never really expressed an interest in it himself. He would be a good director. I think he has a good eye — when we go to see a feature film, he can sit there and tell when the looping is bad, and this and that, and yet he has never really said, "Yeah, I would like to go to film school."

You can catch Tanner Woods' acting debut on the Aug. 27 episode of ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

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