Lindsay Hartley on Leaving DAYS and Joining AMC

Lindsay Hartley (Cara, AMC; ex-Arianna, DAYS) is not afraid to explore her feelings, onscreen or in print. Here, she shares what it was like to lose a soap job — and rebound quickly.Soap Opera Weekly: How did the role on AMC come about?

Lindsay Hartley: I was on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, and I was in a storyline meeting and was told that they could go two different ways with my character, and that they would let me know after the Emmys. The week after the Emmys, I went in to [get] the update on which direction they were going with my character, and I was told that they were going to kill her.

Weekly: That must have been a surprise…

Hartley: I was completely shocked, devastated — what do you do in that case? Everything sucked in that moment. I was so bummed, because I loved working with Eric [Martsolf, Brady] and Galen [Gering, Rafe]. These are my best friends! I spent two Thanksgivings in a row with Eric. To be part of a show where I’m still with people I’d been with for 10 years…[Hartley also worked with Martsolf and Gering on Passions]. And then, I met a bunch of new people there: [DAYS co-executive producer] Gary Tomlin, who I love, and Nadia [Bjorlin, Chloe] — she’s become one of my greatest girlfriends.

Weekly: Not to mention that you were a working actress.

Hartley: And I was working on a soap, and I loved that! So I was bummed. And I had a six-week notice. I left the meeting, got in my car, called my manager and said, “Look, this is the information I just got; they’re letting me go. I would like to contact all the local soap operas and see if anyone is interested in adding a brown-eyed, brown-haired girl that could swing Latina or whatever. Are they looking for any girls that are my type?”

Weekly: And ALL MY CHILDREN came knocking?

Hartley: Yeah! I got lucky. I was blessed by God, because ALL MY CHILDREN was interested! The show called me for a meeting the following week. I was with them for quite a while; we talked about everything. I just told them about being on a soap opera, that I really loved it, and that I’m someone who enjoys working. And they gave me their view…how they run things on AMC.

Weekly: What happened after the initial interview?

Hartley: Part two, the following week, they asked me to do a test with Ricky [Paull Goldin, Jake]. They gave me a scene, I learned it and I came down to see what we looked like together — to see if we had any spark. And God bless Ricky — he’s just the funniest man in the world, and he was so great during my audition. He kept making sure I was okay, like, “You know, we’re a team,” and was cool about that.

Weekly: When did you get the job?

Hartley: I got the job the next day! I was blessed; it was the right timing and right everything. It didn’t look too good when I got fired — that’s the bottom line! I was like, “No!” Because you don’t know [what will happen]. It’s a tough business. But when it’s good, it’s great!

Weekly: And how welcoming was the cast and crew at AMC?

Hartley: When I say, “We’re a team,” the reason why I point that out is because at ALL MY CHILDREN, that’s the mindset. They’re a team. And I’ve said this to other people: They’re like a united front. I don’t know if it’s the way it’s always been, because I haven’t been a part of the show [for too long], but they’re amazing. They really want to do the best as a team. And that’s so cool, to be part of a show that’s like that.