Soap Opera Digest: What were your first impressions of one another — and have they turned out to be true?
Courtney Grosbeck: It was such a quick audition process that my first impression wasn’t a strong one. I knew I liked him. I knew he was a cool person, and that hasn’t changed. I still like him.
Anthony Turpel: Well, that’s good. My first impression was, “Wow, this girl must be good,” because she auditioned and the same day she got the chemistry session. That’s impressive, so I knew coming in she had the upper hand on everybody else because that rarely happens.
Grosbeck: Aw, Anthony…. Thanks!
Digest: How did you develop a bond?
Turpel: I remember I wanted to avoid school as much as possible so I said, “I can’t. I’m rehearsing lines,” and I was just hanging out with Court the whole day.
Grosbeck: With work days, it’s really easy to get to know your co-workers because there is downtime, and that worked to our benefit. I remember my first day, Pierson [Fodé, Thomas] called Anthony and me down and we all ran lines together, and that was so meaningful to me. It was such a helping hand. I’ll never forget that, and that got the ball rolling.
Digest: Have you picked up any acting tips from your older TV siblings, Pierson and Courtney Hope (Sally)?
Turpel: I talk to Pierson a lot, and if I have any questions or if I need help on something, he’s always there. Any actor I think would agree that just watching other actors will make you a better actor. They’re both very talented, so it’s great to be able to watch and learn from them.
Grosbeck: I agree.
Digest: What have your characters learned from theirs?
Turpel: Probably how to not have a relationship. And, don’t betray Dad or you’ll get fired.
Grosbeck: Good one! I feel Coco’s learning a lot more about herself through Sally and what she does in the face of opposition. I also think that’s true to life. I learn so much about myself through my relationships with other people, and I think that’s what Coco is doing with her sister.
Digest: What have been your favorite scenes so far?
Turpel: I like any scene where R.J. and Coco are just having a conversation. It feels real to me, like it’s just two teenagers talking, and that’s a good thing. Soaps tend to be fast-paced, with people getting married and divorced, and with these two, it’s a different pace. They can just be kids.
Grosbeck: I agree with that Anthony, but then you could also go to the opposite side of the spectrum and mention the forklift scene, when Courtney pushed R.J. out of the way.
Turpel: That was fun!
Grosbeck: I had never done any kind of stunt before, so it was a memorable scene to film for that reason alone.
Turpel: Courtney is strong! She pulled me into those boxes like Superwoman. It was insane!
Digest: What do your family and friends think of your TV romance?
Grosbeck: Mine have been overwhelmingly supportive. Mainly I get, “What’s he like in real life? Are you guys friends?” Either you really like your co-worker or you don’t get along and I’ve been really lucky in that I love everyone I work with, so I’m really proud to be able to respond to that question and say, “He’s really awesome and we’re really good friends.” None of my friends have teased me or anything. What about you, Anthony?
Turpel: Yeah, I get teased a lot.
Grosbeck: Do you?
Digest: It’s a guy thing.
Turpel: It is! My friends are ruthless. I always get it on the days I go to school. My buddies always like to make fun of me. I’m not really a person to be going out on lots of dates or anything like that, so when they see that on TV, I really hear about it.
Digest: We’ve already talked about R.J. and Coco’s first kiss. Have the kissing scenes gotten easier?
Grosbeck: Yes. That was my first on-screen kiss, so it was very nerve-wracking, but since then, I feel like we’ve gotten used to it, especially since it’s extremely choreographed. It’s hard to make it romantic because it’s in the most unromantic scenario with so many people watching. But, I’ve gotten more comfortable with it, which happens with time.
Turpel: That was your first on-screen kiss, that was my first kiss ever, so I was very nervous. I think she could tell I was nervous. But after a while, it’s like another day at the office.
Grosbeck: Wow, that’s great to hear — kissing me is just another day at the office!
Digest: Would you like to eventually mix it up and play a really soapy storyline?
Turpel: Actually, I love playing it real.
Grosbeck: I do, too.
Turpel: It’s cool to work on a soap because you get to experience a lot of different emotions in a short amount of time, but with Coco and R.J., it’s nice for them to not have to deal with that soapiness and just be kids who really like each other without all the outside influences.
Grosbeck: That’s not to say they haven’t been through their own drama, but that drama has been pretty grounded and relatable.
Turpel: I was surprised to learn how many teenagers watch our show. They’ll DM me on Instagram and I see their comments, so we do have a younger audience out there and it’s cool we have something they can relate to.
Digest: Your characters really work a lot for being teenagers. Do you think we need to see them in school come fall?
Grosbeck: I think as characters they have a very mature lifestyle and I think it’s cool to see teenagers in the workplace and not caught up in all the trappings of high school life. But heck, I’m not opposed to them having some friends and seeing into their social lives, as well. That would be awesome, too.
Turpel: That would be cool. What’s interesting about R.J. and Coco is that they’re not normal kids. They’re the heirs of these two fashion companies and especially R.J., he got into the business because of his family name, and personally, I think that’s more interesting to explore than hanging out at a locker and dealing with school drama.
Digest: Tell us something about the other that people would be surprised to know.
Turpel: Court is really into Vietnamese coffee and now she’s got me hooked on it. Vietnamese coffee is super-strong and when you are waiting for five hours for your scene to come up, you get a little tired, so that really puts a kick in your step.
Grosbeck: Oh, my gosh. I am so happy that’s what you said. I was a little nervous.Anthony is the Heely [roller shoe] king. He heelies around the set and I don’t even think he knows this, but I am super-jealous.
Turpel: Are you?
Grosbeck: Yes! He gets everywhere super-efficiently. They call him to set and he’s there in three seconds, and I actually have to use my feet and walk. I think he’s on to something, and he looks super-fly rolling around.
Digest: What is something you would like to accomplish in the next 10 years?
Grosbeck: This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m really passionate about social issues like sexism and racism, so in my career, I’d hope to be a part of projects that start discussions on the issues that I’m really passionate about. That’s the beautiful thing about film and television. It’s a powerful medium, so that’s hopefully where I will be in the next 10 years.
Turpel: I want to stay in this business, that’s my No. 1 priority, but I also love to write. I write scripts. I don’t show them to anyone, but I like to do that. So, if I had to veer off from acting, I’d like to write. But, you can never predict the future — especially on a soap opera! w