Soap Opera Digest: You had to sing as part of your audition for Blaze. What song did you perform?
Jacqueline Grace Lopez: I sang “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele and I felt really good about it. I remember I was, like, hitting my leg and it was so cute because all the producers were tapping along. I love sing- ing and it was just really fun; I didn’t get nervous about it and it was just a really cool experience. I’ve had experiences where I’ve been in rooms of people and it can be a really cold room. This was the opposite, where I was getting such good energy. Everybody is so lovely on the producing side at GH.
Digest: Blaze was introduced as Linc’s protégé and a possible duet partner for Chase. Tell me about working with Josh Swickard (Chase).
Lopez: Josh is so much fun! He’s absolutely hysterical and really giving and present and he’s a freaking beast — I’m in awe, genuinely in awe, of everybody, all of the actors on this set, but particularly the people I’m working opposite. The fact that Josh picks up lines so quickly is just mind- blowing to me. Working opposite him has been so great and we joke a lot. He’s just a delight! I’m the luckiest girl to be working opposite him.
Digest: And what about Amanda Setton (Brook Lynn)?
Lopez: Amanda is so sweet and a lot of fun, as well. I’ve only had passing moments with her in scenes but what I really love about her is how she owns the character. I really admire that. We shot a scene at the diner where we were splitting coverage; Josh and I were at the table, and she was at the counter with Dan [Buran, Linc]. When we finished our stuff and they said, “Cut, moving on,” I could hear Amanda in the background going, “That was so good!” Like, she’s such a cheerleader and so encouraging and I really hope I get to do more one-on-one scenes with her because I think it would be such a great education.
Digest: What is Dan like as a scene partner?
Lopez: Dan is hilarious and the sweetest guy. He is the most conscientious — like, if he has to grope me in a scene, he’s basically his own intimacy coordinator! He’s like, “Is this okay? Is that okay?” I’m like, “Oh, yeah, that’s fine, that’s cool.” He’s so sweet and laid-back and he goes with the flow, so when he puts on the Linc persona, it’s so different. People are like, “Linc, what a creeper!” but Dan is the biggest teddy bear. He’s also really good at ad-libbing and improv. One time we were in the background of a scene, the mic wasn’t on us; however, we were supposed to look like we were angry with each other, and we almost ruined the take because we were joking around about turning IKEA furniture into outfits. We looked like we were having the worst fight in the world, but really, we were just talking about IKEA [laughs]. He is such a chameleon! He’s just the most easygoing guy and for him to turn it on and be this character who is so vile, I really commend him. I love my whole group. We all like to show up to the set early and before we rehearse, we just talk and get to know each other as the people behind the characters. I’ve just felt very welcomed. It’s just been a dream come true, working with this cast, and they’ve made it really fun for me to explore Blaze in these moments that I have with them.
Digest: In those scenes at Kelly’s where Chase and Blaze each talked about their background as singers, I thought you and Josh had such a lovely chemistry.
Lopez: Hearing you say that is so heart-warming. First of all, I think Josh just oozes charisma. I think he could talk to a vending machine and we’d be like, “What’s going on there? Is something happening with the Doritos?!” But I would love to explore that more because the way they’re crafting these characters, it feels [like their connection is] organic. I know on my end, it’s not a conscious effort, there is literally just something about the way these scenes are written where Blaze just feels this comfort with him, like she can let her hair down around Chase and he’s so genuine. What I’ve gleaned about her off these past few episodes is that there’s really no safe space for her in the music industry. She just hadn’t had that safety, that soft place to land, and potentially have someone be a kindred spirit. I think that would be interesting TV! And I also think from an acting perspective, it would be really cool to see how that would influence her and shape her and maybe give her the strength she needs to get away from Linc.
Digest: So, you’re open to sticking around for a longer run as Blaze?
Lopez: Oh, absolutely. It’s been so fun exploring her and every time I get the phone call saying, “Hey, you’re wanted for another episode,” it’s a delight. I’m always like, “Yay, another day to play!” The bittersweet situation with guest-star [roles] in general is that we get such precious time with these characters and then we have to let go of them, or at least put them on the shelf. This show has given me a character with layers and levels and depth, and if I’m given more opportunity to flesh out this character? Absolutely, sign me up!