Crystal Clear

A long time ago, when Bob Krimmer (Andrew) and Crystal Chappell were both on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, he told her all about his regular 3,000-mile cross-country commute from his home on the West Coast to the ABC studios in New York. “I thought he was insane,” she recalls, laughing. These days, though, the joke’s on her: Chappell and her husband, soap vet Michael Sabatino (ex-Vince, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Lawrence, DAYS OF OUR LIVES et al), sold their Brooklyn brownstone last year and moved out to a beach town in central California, where Sabatino oversees the construction of four new houses while Chappell jets from home to GL and back each week. “And the thing is,” she says, “it’s really very doable.”That her life and career have evolved in this way still surprises Chappell. Most obviously, when she was brought onto GL back in the summer of 1999, her character was slated for a 10-week, doomed-to-failure run as a foil for the unstoppable, invincible force that is Josh and Reva. “I had never played an antagonist before,” she recalls, “and I wasn’t even sure I could do it.” The producers were equally unsure: Despite all the buzz she had generated a few years earlier, when her DAYS heroine, Carly, was buried alive, Chappell still had to audition for the part, which was fine with her. (She had tried out a year earlier for another vixen, Teri/Annie, but that part went to Signy Coleman.) “Honestly, I prefer it that way. I’ve had too many situations in the past where I’ve been handed a part without people knowing the kind of work I do and then they’re like, ‘That’s not really what we expected.’ I was given Maggie [on OLTL] and she was written as a very quirky, comedic character, so I went in and played it the way I thought they wanted and I could tell that people were like, ‘Are you just goofing off? Are you just cashing a paycheck?’ I sort of feel like that wouldn’t have happened if I had actually auditioned and everyone had seen what I was going to do.”