Crazy For You

Soap Opera Digest: Does it feel like you’ve been on PASSIONS for four years?
Amelia Marshall: Yes and no. Has it been tedious? Not at all. But I look at my kid [Marshall], that’s how we track things. He was 3 when I started and now he’s 7. It’s interesting because I look at my face in the mirror and say, “That wasn’t there when I started [laughs].”

Digest: How do you feel Liz has changed in the past four years?
Marshall: Liz has developed over time and has really taken some strong left turns. When I came on and [she] was on the island, she was milquetoast and there weren’t many edges. I certainly questioned that first year, if that was the gist of Liz. Where is the meat? I wasn’t finding what I needed to sink my teeth into. Then with Jim Reilly, he throws down a tiny little bit and then it comes back a year later and is developed a year later.

Digest: She recently took another turn, and we saw an even more evil side to her when she stabbed Julian and revealed that they have a past together.
Marshall: The whole thing starting with the earthquake with Julian…. Every script I got, I was like, “Where do I go with this?” Because for me, that was another left turn. It really wasn’t one I was ready for. It was like, “Why am I trying to make love to Julian in the middle of these natural disasters?” I don’t have to make sense of it, all I have to do is do it, and do it to the best of my ability.

Digest: After lying about who she is, exposing Eve and now stabbing Julian, is Liz redeemable?
Marshall: Normally, I would say no, but this is PASSIONS. If Jim Reilly says she’s redeemable, she’ll be redeemable.

Digest: Do you like that she’s bad?

Marshall: It’s an awful lot of fun to be going to all these dark and extreme places. I finally realized that there are seven African-Americans on this show and I don’t have to be the flag-bearer for African-Americans. I can just be an actress given a crazy bitch to play and play it to the best of my ability. I don’t have to say, “I don’t want to represent my people like that.” We’ll let the Eve character be upstanding, even though she’s got shades. It’s so much fun to just deal with acting the part and not deal with the politics of it.Digest: What has been your most fun scene to tape?

Marshall: It goes back to the stuff that we’ve done this summer. There is one episode where Liz is drunk. I’ve never gotten to play drunk.

Digest: What has been the most challenging scene?
Marshall: [takes a deep breath] They’re all sort of challenging on different levels. It probably would be trying to shake myself as if in an earthquake and get out the lines, “Make love to me Julian! Make love to me! Take me to my office and have your way with me!” Having to be hit with debris and say things you would never in your life, that’s a challenge. I think my wig was falling off that day because I had shaken myself so much.

Digest: You played Belinda on ALL MY CHILDREN for three years and Gilly on GUIDING LIGHT for seven. Do you see yourself on PASSIONS for seven years?

Marshall: I hope so. I definitely hope so. We have great directors. It’s a fun cast. Like I said, Liz is fun for me. I think I would probably be bored at this stage of the game if I were playing a goody-two-shoes because all my life I played a goody-two-shoes. I can do that probably blindfolded.

Digest: Do you get recognized as Liz?
Marshall: Marshall and I were coming back from New York two weekends ago and we were sitting in the Newark airport eating pizza. A lady walks out from behind the counter and starts cleaning tables. She’s looking at me, making a circle around me and my son. I looked up and I said, “Hi.” She goes, “Do you play Liz?” I said, “Yeah, I’m Amelia. How are you?” She stared at me for a minute and goes, “Are you really crazy?” She never smiled at me. I tried to hug my son, saying, “Amelia’s not crazy, but Liz is.” I think she was literally afraid of me, like I was going to stab her in the middle of Newark Airport. Luckily, most people know I’m just acting…. [I was on an Alaskan cruise], you share tables with another family. My family walked up to the table and before I could pull my seat out and sit down, this woman was like, “I know you. You were on GUIDING LIGHT!” She totally remembered the whole storyline. It was very sweet and fun. For the entire week, she looked at me. She was like, “Can I take a picture with you?” I was like, “Yeah. We’re going to be here all week together, so you better start treatin’ me like a regular person [laughs].”

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