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Yippee For Calliope

Soap Opera Digest: Were you just nervous coming through the doors?

Arlene Sorkin: I was a wreck. Everybody was so nice to me. Deidre [Hall, Marlena] was so nice to me! Judi [Evans, Bonnie] was a doll to me. I mean everybody. Digest: Was it easy to slip back into Calliope's persona?

Sorkin: When I came home, my children's nanny said, "Hi, Calliope." And I said, "Don't call me that!" I was so nervous. What's really funny is everyone was asking me when the air dates were and I was nervous to tell them. My father-in-law and mother-in-law don't know me as Calliope, they don't even know that I ever played that part! I've tried to be a little bit more subdued over the years, but I guess I've been outed [laughs]! I'm as nutty as ever on the show, so they're all going to see what it was.Digest: Would you want to come back full-time or was it just fun to do now?

Sorkin: As they say, "I'm taking it one day at a time." Everyone there has been unbelievably nice to me. I can't say enough about it. They have nicer things for us to eat and drink [laughs]. In my day, it was just coffee and bagels. Now, they have all sorts of little things that you can choose from. And it's different the way they tape it now. It used to be you had all day, but now they block it and tape it. It's a little bit more stressful than in the old days. I remember John [de Lancie, ex-Eugene] and I went to a movie once between rehearsal and taping back in the day.Digest: It looks like Calliope still has the same taste in clothes and jewelry.

Sorkin: There was one company that provided the jewelry all these years ago. In the beginning, we used to just make earrings out of things fans would send me. I had this one fan, Louann Johnson, who made me the icicles I wore at Calliope's wedding. One time, I was in New York at a very high-end crafts fair. I was walking around and I walked into this booth that had the most incredible jewelry I had ever seen in my entire life. A customer was in there telling the designer, "There's this girl who plays this character Calliope on DAYS OF OUR LIVES and she really should be wearing your jewelry" as I'm standing there. Digest: Are you kidding?

Sorkin: I swear to God. She didn't recognize me. It was so funny. I'm standing there and I went, "Hello! I'm Calliope and I was just thinking the same thing." So from then on, this company called Lunch at the Ritz sent me all of my earrings and all of my jewelry. Interview magazine did a whole full-page ad of me wearing the jewelry. They are works of art. So, when they called me to do the show this time around, I thought "Oh, my God, I should call them and see if they still exist!"
Digest: What else have you been working on?

Sorkin: I'm a big volunteer for the National Breast Cancer Coalition. I've been doing it for 15 years and we do this amazing cabaret event every year. In fact, Marc Cherry [creator/writer for DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES] performed in it last year. It's like no other event. We haven't promoted it that much because we don't need to get people there; it usually sells out immediately. Anyway, I met this woman on a plane and she was wearing this necklace that had a word on it. We started talking. My husband [Christopher Lloyd] is the executive producer of OUT OF PRACTICE, so she was telling me she knows Henry Winkler's wife and all these people. She was saying how she started this company called I Am for different charities and we should develop a one-word necklace for the Coalition. She asked me what the word would be for the National Breast Cancer Coalition and we decided that it's Angry. Angry that so many women are dying, angry that not enough is being done and angry that it's not just a matter of pink ribbons and let's be nice and feminine and hope that somebody helps us. So, I am promoting the National Breast Cancer Coalition. And I have a book coming out May 1 called My Bad, which is a collection of public apologies from the last 25 years. OUT OF PRACTICE. Is there any link with that show to soaps? Anybody that was on soaps? I went to college with Henry Winkler. Tell them they have to watch it or I will come door-to-door!

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