Soap Opera Digest: We were so excited to hear that you were popping up on THE BAY. Was it flattering to you that the show’s creator, Gregori J. Martin, wanted you for this role even though you haven’t acted for many years?
Carrington Garland Goodman: Yes, it was very flattering! And I have to say, I was completely surprised, like shocked. I was like, “Really?!” I was not thinking about this, not pursuing anything, just doing my thing, so it was completely out of the blue. It was exciting, and I was a little nervous, but I’m so glad I did it. My character, Kelly, is a real estate broker. All the people were lovely and I had a good time.
Digest: It has been so many years since we last profiled you. What have you been doing since you stepped away from show business?
Goodman: Well, I have two kids — one is starting college as a freshman and one is going back as a junior — and I’ve been married to my husband for 22 years. When I first sort of left the acting world, I did interior design for quite a few years and then got married and had children, and the hotel [The Garland in Los Angeles, which was built by her late parents, Fillmore Crank and the actress Beverly Garland] evolved into a whole different entity and a big part of our life; my family’s business is The Garland hotel in Los Angeles, and I participate in that and I created this little store there, a retail store called Store, and so I’m very connected to that. And I really had a great time raising my kids, to be honest!
Digest: Why did you stop acting professionally?
Goodman: I have to be honest. My mom, she was such a hard-working actress and such a professional, and when I left SANTA BARBARA, I continued going out and doing a couple of little things, and she said to me something really interesting, which was, “You know, it’s such a tough business, you have to love it.” And I said, “You know, I have loved this experience, it has been incredible, but I want to do other things, too.” I had other interests, and I wanted to try those, too. It’s really hard to be a young actor trying to make it and then do other stuff. You kind of have to [make that your sole focus]. So I said, “I want to try to do these other things for a while.” I jumped into other stuff, like design — I had my own little business, and I did private homes and it was really interesting and I loved it. So, it kind of morphed into that, and then as I got married, then it was like, “Now I think I want to have a child!” And that was really important to me; I wanted to be home, I wanted to be with my kids. I didn’t want to be working. The journey just went in a different direction.
Digest: Where were you in your life when SANTA BARBARA came along?
Goodman: Well, let’s see, I was in my mid- 20s, I guess, and a friend of mine, one of my dearest friends, decided to be an agent. He said, “You’ve got to be an actor. Let’s just do this! I’m going to be an agent, you’re going to be my first client, we’re going to go have fun.” I was like, “Okay, let’s do it!” The audition came and I auditioned many times, maybe four or five different times, and the final audition was with A [Martinez, ex-Cruz] and then I got the role and it was just a shocker! So I jumped right in there and learned so much and it was a really, really great experience for me. It was my first big job and I had to learn it all as I went along. I learned it all on the job, I really did.
Digest: How did life change when all of a sudden you were a soap star?
Goodman: What really changed is that I worked all the time. I worked many days of the week for long hours of the day. I didn’t have too much outside of that; I didn’t have time. The soap opera star part — I didn’t feel like a star. I didn’t feel like that. I just felt like Carrington, who had to get up and go to work and do a lot, know her lines and know what she’s doing. The people I was working with were very seasoned, very professional, and very good at what they did and I had to rally. I never felt like, “I’ve got this down and I’m so awesome!” I always felt like, “Oh, gosh, is everybody okay with what I’m doing? Is it working? I’ve got to keep trying harder and keep working.” I worked with a coach. I really worked hard. And also, remember, it was Robin Wright’s role [originally]. So, here’s Robin Wright, this gorgeous, beautiful actress who’d just done The Princess Bride. I thought, “Wow, I’m going into her shoes? Okay, that’s not easy!” When I auditioned, the feedback I got was that I did it really differently, I played it with a different tone than most of the other people, and I think that’s what I went forward with, that this is how I saw it and what I did, and I tried to do what came naturally and I didn’t try to force anything or be anybody else or fill anybody else’s shoes. I had to bring what I had, and if it worked, it worked, and if it didn’t, it didn’t.
Digest: What stands out about the people you worked with there?
Goodman: Judith McConnell [ex-Sophia] was so lovely, she was so sweet with me. Just a really lovely friend, and Jed [Allan, ex-C.C.] was — he was Jed! And he was great. I was really good friends with Peter Love [ex-Ric]. He is just hilarious and a great spirit, great soul. Marcy [Walker, ex-Eden] and A were a little older than us, but Todd McKee [ex-Ted] and Peter and I, we were kind of all the same age and so we connected. I always thought Nancy Grahn [ex-Julia, now GH’s Alexis] was always very professional. I mean, everyone was very good. John Callahan [ex-Craig] and Roscoe Born [ex-Robert/Quinn], who both passed away in the last year, which I thought was just so sad, were so great to work with, both of them.
Digest: I’d love to hear your memories of them.
Goodman: John was really energetic and had a great sense of humor and just a really fun attitude toward the whole thing. He was fun to work with. Roscoe was a little more serious, but so solid and so good and grounded. A little more quiet kind of personality. A deep thinker. I don’t know why, but [our pairing] just worked. That chemistry just came out. He was great. I was really lucky to have been able to have worked with them.
Digest: What do you remember about shooting on location in Paris in 1989?
Goodman: That was memorable! I think I had shot maybe one day in the studio and then they took me to Paris, so that’s where I started the character. They wanted me to do all my scenes in French to begin with and I finally said, “I don’t think I can do that! I am just learning how to do this, this is all new to me and I don’t speak French. I could maybe say a couple lines!” It was a challenge. And it was freezing cold; we had to wear long underwear under everything. Just the logistics of doing it, it just felt like it wasn’t easy for anybody — all the different sets and all the different spots we were in, the hotel and the river. Marcy and A did a lot more than I did, but yeah, that’s how I started. I was like, “Not only am I starting on a soap opera, but I’m starting in Paris. Okay!” Peter and I bonded because we had both started around the same time. It was exciting and thrilling and we developed a really nice friendship.
Digest: What do you remember about your exit from the show in 1991?
Goodman: Well, I did my first contract and I renegotiated for a second contract and then the Dobsons [Bridget and Jerome, the show’s creators] came back to the show after a period of time not being involved with the show for all kinds of legal reasons, and when they came back, they really wanted to restructure the show and what I learned was that they wanted Kelly to be a little older, a little more mature. Kelly [who was ultimately recast with Eileen Davidson, now Y&R’s Ashley] ended up having a relationship with Cruz and that was part of that, and me as Kelly, I guess, they didn’t see that.
Digest: The show still has a huge following internationally. Have you ever experienced that fan mania on your travels?
Goodman: I did go to France while I was on the show after we filmed there and yes, I experienced all that mania. It’s interesting, because I’ve been on Facebook for a long time, not very actively, but I get people from all over the world who find me and want me to be my friend on Facebook because of SANTA BARBARA! I find it hard to believe because it was so long ago.
Digest: Are your children aware that you were on a soap?
Goodman: Absolutely. I’ll show them a clip of something and they just go, “Wow!” They think it’s so funny. They get it — well, they do and they don’t because they didn’t grow up with soap operas. They’re into, like, RIVERDALE. But they get a kick out of it, definitely.
Digest: Do they have any interest in the arts?
Goodman: My son is interested in theater and wants to pursue that. He’s very good. I think it’s great! He’s got it in his soul. My daughter did a lot of filmmaking and acting in school and she’s very good, but she’s not as interested in pursuing it. They both play music, they sing, they write music, they taught themselves how to play piano and guitar. I can’t do any of that stuff! My husband is musical, but we can’t sing! We sing in the car to the radio and the kids go, “You guys have to stop.” They got it from somewhere, but it wasn’t from us!
Digest: How do you think of the time you spent on SANTA BARBARA when you look back on it now?
Goodman: I feel proud that I did it. I am proud that I was a young, inexperienced actress and I went in there and did it and I did the best I could do. I think it gave me a lot of confidence to feel like I could do a lot of other things in life.