Watts Up?

Soap Opera Weekly: How is Julie different from Cameron?
Rolanda Watts: The more cases Cameron won, the bigger her baubles got, the more fancy her clothes. She is just the worst of the worst of lawyers.Weekly: Would you like to see Deacon’s case go to trial?
Watts: Absolutely. I love those feisty scenes and all those courtroom dramas. In fact, we were getting going in there [on set] and the director had to say, “Just calm down now. Let’s get back to the compassionate side.” Right, we’re on the same side!Weekly: How did this role come about?
Watts: I went in and auditioned and got a callback. I may be known by one name, but I still got to go in there and audition like everyone else. There were about six of us, waiting in the proverbial waiting room. Major diversity — different ages and ethnicities. They were waiting for Julie to walk in, and she did. Julie’s in here (pointing to herself) somewhere, because it just felt so comfortable.Weekly: How do you like working on B&B?
Watts: It’s just an honor to be here. I’m thrilled to be part of a winning team. Deacon ain’t bad to work with. Isn’t he gorgeous, with those blue eyes? And during the break he goes, “Is it time for the kiss?” I’m like, “Yes!”Weekly: Have you given up interviewing for acting?
Watts: I’m a working actor. I leave everything open. Thank god I’ve had opportunities to develop a lot of different skills. It’s a whole different set of muscles and I want to be able to do anything. I can’t see me doing news anymore, but if there was a special something that really affected me, I’d want to do a documentary. I’m still a producer. If I found a great talent that I thought would be wonderful in a talk show, I might produce that. But I love the acting now. It’s going to be hard to kick me off the stage! I do a lot of voice-over work and a lot of guest starring on kids’ shows.Weekly: What’s the difference between talk shows and soaps?
Watts: I had no clue how much hard work this was. You’ve got to have your character developed when you walk in. You’ve got to know those lines and they go to mean something. I have so much admiration for soap stars. It’s hard work. I just want to do the right thing and be good.Weekly: Do you watch soaps?
Watts: Honey, I remember when Phillip washed up on shore from Vietnam. That’s how far back I go with ALL MY CHILDREN!Weekly: What talk shows do you watch?
Watts: I love DR.PHIL. I watch Dr. Phil, because he brings integrity. And he also is a therapist. It’s amazing what he’s able to do, a big ol’ man talking to a bunch of women, who just want to sit in the kitchen and gab with him. He really tapped a nerve.Weekly: What happened with your talk show? (ROLONDA aired for four seasons.)
Watts: No. 1, we had King World that supported us. They gave us a chance to get our legs. I think that we had a great deal of integrity. One of the tones that I set on the show was, “Y’all look. I’m a journalist. I can’t blow my whole credibility on who shot Johnny,” but there are [other] ways that you can do a story. We took shows like, “There are Too Many Babies Calling My Man Daddy,” and while that got the audience in, it was also a story about single parenthood and kids without fathers. It was about the deadbeat dad syndrome. It was a way to be compelling without [being] sensational. Of course, eventually that didn’t work anymore. Audiences were saying, “Well, that was really nice of you to be so respectful, but where’s Jerry [Springer]?” We had to make a tough decision, either we go that route or we find something else to do.Weekly: Any regrets?
Watts: I think in life you will be challenged by decisions that you will have to lean on your integrity to decide. There’s no way I could go back to Spelman College and Columbia University (Watt’s alma maters) and my mamma and daddy’s house having done the kind of schlock that was expected to make ratings. That’s just me. That’s my personal choice and there’s not that much money in the world that’s going to make me give up my integrity and my credibility.

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