Interview

Cassandra Creech Interview

It was a pivotal day in Cassandra Creech’s life — the moment she knew she wanted to be an actress. “I was sitting in my granddaddy’s living room floor in his farmhouse and watching Cicely Tyson in THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN,” she begins. “I was completely mesmerized because she ages throughout the entire film and watching that transformation, with the age and the makeup, it was so real to me. I loved the magic of that. I think I was 7 or 8, and that’s when I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be a storyteller, just like that.’ ”

When she got older and decided that performing was, indeed, her path, her life plan was not immediately well-received. “My family wanted me to go to law school!” Creech shares. “I had been accepted at a few colleges, but at that point, the seed was so deeply planted in me, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I knew it! I actually started out doing pageants, because that was the only thing that was accessible to me. And then performing and dance classes, that was where I thrived. That was where I was happy. After my twin sister passed away from cancer, that was perfect for me. My mom got me into dance classes. I was very active in school and singing in the choir. When you lose a twin, it’s losing a connection unlike any other, but the arts was just something I embraced immediately, thanks to my mom. Carolyn Creech is an extraordinary woman.”

Creech moved to New York to try to make her dreams a reality. “Growing up a country girl, you always want what you don’t have, so I was thirsting for the city,” she explains. “I just knew that was where I wanted to start. There was no question in my mind. It just made sense. It called to me, and it was so unknown to me — that freedom, that life…. I was excited and I was going to conquer the city. I was going to jump right in and I did.”

Her first job out of the gate was landing the role of Dana on ANOTHER WORLD in 1994. “That was a lot of fun,” she recalls. “When I wasn’t shooting on set, I was standing behind the scenes and watching everyone work, and I was fascinated by the process. It was all new to me, so watching people work was incredible, like Linda Dano [ex-Felicia], who just embraced me. She was always so full of life. I always gravitate to the older crowd, like I did with my grandfather, because I know that’s where the wisdom is and I resonate with them.”

Creech’s next soap job came a few years later, when she was hired to play Denise on AS THE WORLD TURNS. “I screen-tested for it with Peter Parros [ex-Ben], and I actually lived across the street on 57th Street and I would walk by,” she marvels. “I went in and it felt easy for me. I was ready. I was ready for the character. Felicia Minei Behr [then-ATWT executive producer] met me outside the building on my first day. She gave me a tour of the studio, and that was just a class act. Everything about it was easy.”

Including embracing her new alter ego.  “Denise had no rules,” Creech recalls. “Some of my first scenes were with Lauren Martin [ex-Camille] and I was the complete antithesis of her. Denise had no boundaries. She knew who she was in her body. She was safe in her sexuality but still she was also looking for a foundation, too. The producers gave me a lot to play. There was also a deeper, darker side of her. She had a child she gave away, but when you have darkness, you also have light, and playing that was a great journey.”

After wrapping in Oakdale, the actress headed to the West Coast, where she landed a slew of prime-time spots and two roles on DAYS, as convict Keisha in 2010 and as incarcerated Diane in 2018. Getting tapped to play B&B’s Grace was a welcome invitation. “It’s a sense of familiarity; it was like riding a bike,” she notes. “The muscles come back. You don’t lose them but once you are on the set, it’s like, ‘Yeah! This is how it goes.’ This is my bliss. This is my happy place. Period.”

And she knows the potential exists for a relationship between Grace and Carter. “I think Grace believes Carter is a good guy, but he’s making some bad choices,” Creech observes. “As for a romance, I do get fan response about that all the time. There is extraordinary potential with the storyline. The question is how daring the writers are going to be. How outrageous will they be with it? But wherever they go, I will be there for it.”

As will her mother, who loves seeing her daughter on the soap. “She is as proud as can be,” Creech smiles. “And, she is very involved in the storyline and actually all of the B&B storylines. She is very proud, and she sacrificed a great deal for me to be here.”

Just The Facts

Birthday: December 30. “Having a birthday between Christmas and New Year’s? Honestly, it’s sad [laughs].”

Hails from: Clayton, NC

My Guy: “Herbert is the man in my life right now, my golden retriever and the love of my life. He is the leader around here, and I learn from him, truly.”

Last Binge Watch: “RAY DONOVAN.”

Hobby World: “I paddleboard. I’m an avid hiker. I sing. I love yoga retreats. I love anything in nature, like gardening and camping. If you can’t find me, I am camping somewhere.”

Dream B&B Co-Stars: “Kimberlin [Brown, Sheila] and Thorsten [Kaye, Ridge]. I could see Ridge and Grace having drinks at a bar and chatting each other up and finding out what’s going on, and who knows? Maybe she will have finally met her match. But those are my top two.”

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