Already have an account?
Get back to the

Extra Jean Page 2

Digest: What are your favorite kinds of stories to tell?
Passanante: I have a deep fondness for romantic intrigue. The Carly/Simon/Jack/
Katie/Vienna/Henry/etcetera group is a lot of fun. I love murder mysteries. But what’s been great on this show is the opportunity to tell family stories with events that have multigenerational ramifications.Digest: I wasn’t thrilled that Carly and Simon fell in love, necessarily, but the actors have all been so great together.
Passanante: Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun to watch.

Digest: Did you have enough time with Paul Leyden (Simon)?
Passanante: Never enough time with Paul [laughs]. That would be impossible! He’s really terrific. I think he’s been absolutely wonderful in this incarnation.Digest: Is there a story that you’ve wanted to tell but haven’t?

Passanante: Not really. That’s really an unusual thing to say on a soap, but no. We joke around sometimes about preposterous ideas, but the things that we’ve actually talked about doing, we’ve either done or we’re going to do or we’re thinking about doing. Digest: Do you watch other shows?
Passanante: I try to tune in periodically, but it’s very hard to find the time to do too much of that. I have friends writing on all the shows, so I like to check in and see what they’re all doing. It’s a good idea so we’re not repeating something. But we need the people at Procter & Gamble and CBS to warn us if we’re moving in a similar direction with other shows on our network.Digest: When it comes to CBS, do you have to “call” a storyline that you want to do?
Passanante: “We got it first!” [laughs] That does happen, but it’s not really intentional because we don’t know that they’re doing it necessarily. Every now and then I’ve been in a meeting with an executive from the network and you start to pitch the story and they look at you like, “Uh-oh.” I think, “Don’t tell me they’re doing it on blah-blah.”Digest: What kind of input do you get from CBS?

Passanante: I talk to [Senior Vice President, Daytime] Barbara Bloom and [Vice President, Daytime Programs] Richard Mensing at least once a week, and we have other, more casual conversations and story discussions and general discussions about overall concerns from time to time. It’s a very helpful and positive collaborative relationship. Digest: What is your working relationship with Chris Goutman like?
Passanante: Chris Goutman is completely generous with his ideas in the best possible way. We have a very close collaboration. He’s great to work with: imaginative and adventurous and respectful. I can’t say enough good things about him.Digest: What is the biggest misconception that people have about you or your job?
Passanante: The question that almost everybody I meet who doesn’t really know anything about how we work ask, “Do you write for just one character?” I think, “How could you possibly do that?” It’s amazing. The other misconception is that I must have a very turgid personal life. I have a very normal personal life.Digest: Does your family give you ideas?
Passanante: Yes, my daughter is pretty opinionated. My husband too, although I don’t listen to him quite as much [laughs]. No, he doesn’t necessarily come up with story ideas.Digest: Does your daughter have favorites?
Passanante: Yeah, when she was little, she always loved any kid on the show, of course. She’s helped me name a lot of the new babies. That’s our special thing. She named Natalie, Sage and Ethan. Digest: It’s her legacy.
Passanante: She was one of these kids who was obsessed with baby names. Now she’s in college, so I have to e-mail her and say, “Quick — Lily’s having a baby!”

Filed Under: