Interview

Judi Evans Shares Her Soap-Hopping Experience

Hopped from: GUIDING LIGHT (Beth, 1983-86) to DAYS (Adrienne, 1986-91) to ANOTHER WORLD (Paulina, 1991-99) to DAYS (Bonnie, 2003-07; Adrienne, 2007-08) to AS THE WORLD TURNS (Maeve, 2009) to DAYS (Adrienne, 2010-20; Bonnie, 2017-present)

When I joined GL … “I didn’t really know about soaps. A few friends in college watched GENERAL HOSPITAL, so I had a very peripheral idea that they were out there.”

By the time I got to ATWT, soaps … “were my life. I went from, ‘What is a life with a soap?’ to, ‘What is a life without one?’ ”

When I joined GL, I got the warmest welcome from … “Tina Sloan [ex-Lillian]. Unbeknownst to me, she had told the producers, ‘Have her move in with me. She’s moving from California, all alone in New York City.’ When I heard that, I thought, ‘Oh, my God. This woman is amazing.’ ”

When I joined DAYS, I got the warmest welcome from … “Mary Beth Evans [Kayla]. She was the first person I worked with. Just that smile. She’s the consummate sister/mom.”

When I joined AW, I got the warmest welcome from … “Maggie Delgado and Chuck Schoonmaker from the costume department. I met them at the Emmys right before I started on the show. They knew and I knew [that I was joining the cast], but no one else knew. They were so nice and very sweet.”

When I joined AS THE WORLD TURNS, I got the warmest welcome from … “Chris Goutman [former executive producer]. I’d worked with him for so many years [on AW].”

The co-star I consider my most influential mentor is … “Wally [Kurth, Justin, DAYS; Ned, GH], because I’ve known him through so many parts of my life. He has been such a great friend. A lot of times in different situations I’d think, ‘What would Wally do?’ He has probably been the most influential male co-star. Female co-star would probably be Beverlee McKinsey [ex-Alexandra, GL]. She kind of took me under her wing. I spent a lot of time in her dressing room and remember looking up to her and learning a lot about acting and life. She was an amazing woman.”

Of all the shows, I made the closest pals on … “DAYS OF OUR LIVES. I’ve developed some really deep friendships here going back over a quarter century.”

Speaking of soap pals, I recently caught up with … “Vincent Irizarry [ex-Lujack, GL; ex-Deimos, DAYS]. We’ve kept in touch over the years. I reached out to him when he had [brain] surgery.”

On GL, I had the most fun working with … “Michael O’Leary [ex-Rick]. He’s the funniest guy, and he did the best impressions of people. He was hilarious.”

On AW, I had the most fun working with … “Tommy Eplin [ex-Jake]. It was a roller coaster.”

On ATWT, I had the most fun working with … “Jon Hensley [ex-Holden]. I really only worked with Jon.”

When I picture the GL studio, the set that first comes to mind is … “the Raines living room. It was a drab, dreary, dusty, sad living room.”

When I picture the AW studio, the set that first comes to mind is … “the Cory living room. I see that Cory couch in a lot of movies. That was a very popular couch.”

When I picture the ATWT studio, the set that first comes to mind is … “a root cellar I had fallen down into [in the storyline]. I was just thinking about it the other day. I was holding a flashlight between my teeth. It was a metal flashlight and I chipped my tooth on it.”

My greatest on-screen rivalry was with … “Jensen [Buchanan, ex-Vicky/Marley, AW]. We had so much fun fighting over Grant and Jake. There was also a Valentine’s Day ball where Paulina and Vicky dressed the same. They ended up fighting and falling into a pool of water. It was a real DYNASTY day!”

Of all my leading men, the funniest off camera was … “Bryan [R.] Dattilo [Lucas, DAYS]. He is hilariously funny, does great impressions.”

My best dressing room was … “at ANOTHER WORLD. They had taken two storage closets in the basement, because nobody used the basement, and turned them into a dressing room with a little nursery. It was the size of a postage stamp, but it was where I spent most of my time with [son] Austin when he was little.”

My worst/most cramped dressing room was … at GUIDING LIGHT. All the dressing rooms there were pretty small.”

My longest commute to work was to … “ANOTHER WORLD. It was an hour and 20 minutes without traffic.”

My shortest commute to work was … “on DAYS in the ’80s. At one point I lived in Toluca Lake, which was about a mile away from the studio.”

Of all the stories I’ve played, the ones I’m proudest to have been a part of is … “the incest story [on GUIDING LIGHT] and the breast cancer story [on DAYS]. They were both groundbreaking and touched so many people.”

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