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GH’s Haley Pullos (Molly) On Her Controversial New Lifetime Movie

Credit: Lifetime

In FROM STRAIGHT A’S TO XXX, a biopic premiering on Lifetime on Saturday, February 11, Haley Pullos (Molly, GH) plays the lead role of Miriam Weeks, a student who became a porn star to pay her way through Duke University and faced death threats and cyber-bullying when her secret was exposed. She talked to Digest about the challenging project.



By Mara Levinsky

Soap Opera Digest: What drew you to this part?

Haley Pullos: I was actually sent the storyline and the breakdown for the project and I read it and I read the script and it was just so interesting. I’m a huge feminist and so I’m all about women empowerment and being able to make your own choices and that’s what I feel like this whole movie focuses on. Miriam was just terrorized and abused by everybody for making her own choice and I wanted to be able to tell that story because it’s so heavy and important.

Digest: Were you nervous about tackling such sophisticated stuff?

Pullos: Right. It was definitely challenging, certainly something I’ve never even come close to before, but that’s another reason why I wanted to do it — because it was just so out there and so different from anything anybody has ever seen me in before.

Digest: Were your parents on board with it?

Pullos: Yeah! They’ve actually been completely supportive the whole time. They want everyone to be able to make their own choices as well, so they understood the importance of the movie.

Digest: What was the audition process like?

Pullos: The casting director actually contacted my manager because they had me in mind. I went in and I met with some of the producers and I read a few of the scenes with them and I discussed the whole script with them and I told them a little bit about myself, and I letthem know that I really am interested in the subject. It’s not just me pretending to have an interest in this; I’m actually passionate about this and they were pleased with that, because obviously this is an important thing and they don’t want somebody just going through the motions.

Digest: How long did it take to shoot?

Pullos: It honestly wasn’t very long. It was, like, three weeks? 16 days? Oh my gosh, that’s it.

Digest: What was your emotional life like during that time?

Pullos: Kind of what you would expect it to be. I mean, there are some extremely heavy scenes in the movie, and you have to go to an extremely heavy place to get to those emotions. Sometimes you get stuck there and you have to, like, go to the bathroom and take your time for five minutes and pull yourself out of it and you’re like, “Okay. It isn’t real. Everything’s fine.” And then you can be okay again, and everything is happy and it’s a wonderful experience. But it was a lot of emotion. I had the honor of working with one of the greatest directors, in my opinion, Vanessa Parise, who directed the movie, and she was just so good at getting me where I needed to go for those heavy scenes. She would pull me aside and she would just have a conversation with me. We would talk as though I really was Miriam and she’d ask me questions and I’d answer her and it would really pull me to that heavy place, and I would just start bawling and then she’d be like, “Okay — and action!”

Digest: What was it like watching the finished product?

Pullos:I’ve seen it a couple of times now, and I’m glad I’ve been able to watch it. This is just so different for me, you know, so I was proud of myself! It’s the biggest thing that I’ve ever done for my career. My dad watches it, like, once a day and he always cries. It’s so sweet.

Digest: Do you think the GENERAL HOSPITAL audience will be surprised to see you playing such a different character?

Pullos: You know, before I announced the movie I was really nervous about what everyone’s reaction was going to be just because it is so different from GENERAL HOSPITAL and I didn’t know if they would be shocked or angry or whatever, but the feedback has been so positive and so supportive and everybody is saying things like, “You’re such a talented actress, of course you can handle something as heavy as this,” and “What an important role,” and so because of the wonderful reaction I’ve been getting from just talking about the movie, I really think people are going to like the actual movie as well.

Digest: When you have an experience like this project, one that’s by its very nature is going to stretch and challenge you, did you feel a change in yourself as a performer form start to finish?

Pullos: Yeah, I don’t know if I can actually put my finger on specific changes, but overall I do feel a little different. I feel like my process is a little different for getting into character and I put more of a backstory behind all of it, and I think it really has helped me grow.

Digest: Does it kind of awaken in you a desire to take on more challenging stuff?

Pullos: Oh, my gosh, yes. I mean, yes. I’ve been looking back at photos actually from behind the scenes and stuff, and I just look so happy, and I was so happy. I was really, really enjoying the experience and all of the people and all of the work that I put in and, you know, this is what I want to do with my life. This is my passion, this is my craft, and being able to really perform something that I love so much, is the most wonderful experience I think I can ever have.

Digest: The movie is based on actual events and the life of a real person. How did that factor in to your development of the character?

Pullos: Miriam did a lot of press, a lot of publicity, when she was in the public eye and so I was able to go back and watch videos of her interviews, read stuff that she had written. She even did a documentary that I watched, so I had a lot of access to a lot of information about her which was really, really helpful.

Digest: What kind of reaction did you get from your GH family when you got the movie?

Pullos: Everyone was so supportive and really proud of me, and I think Frank [Valentini, executive producer] said something like, “I knew this was going to happen sooner or later.” Nancy [Lee Grahn, Alexis] was like, “Heck yeah, girl! You get it!” It was really sweet.

Digest: Why do you think this movie is important for people to see?

Pullos: This movie is so important because it shows you the depth and the hardship of being hated simply for making a decision for your own life, and I think everybody needs to understand that that is the message. [What she did] was legal. It was fully legal. It’s not like she did anything legally wrong. You might have different morals, and that’s okay, that’s your own decision with your own life, but this woman made a legal decision with her own life. That’s her choice and she shouldn’t have been harassed the way that she was, and that’s why I think it’s important.