MY INTERVIEW WITH LIZ VASSEY
It's such a pleasure to have you here! Thank you and welcome to The Soap Spiel.
LV: Absolutely. Thanks for inviting me.
What can you tell us about your time on AMC?
LV: Wow. How many pages do I get for this thing? I’ll try to keep it to a paragraph or two. It was, hands down, one of the best times of my life. I was 16 when I got the job, and I moved to New York with my mother and grandmother. We’d been living in Tampa, FL so it was a hell of an adjustment -- but from the second I stepped into Manhattan it felt like home. This many years later and it still does.
As far as my actual time on the soap, I think it was unparalleled training for being on TV. I had only done theater for the most part before I booked AMC, so getting used to having a camera inches from my face was a skill I had to learn. I also got to watch the best actors and, quite frankly, try to copy what they did. I’d love to say I’m lying. I’m not. David Canary, Cady McClain (who is still a dear friend), Michael E. Knight -- I mean…come on. It was a terrific class in not only how to act, but how to act like a decent human being on set.
And I met some wonderful friends during that time. I can't overstate how much fun Kelly Ripa and I had being young and ridiculous in NY. We shared a dressing room in the studio and hung out a lot outside of work. Bill Timoney and I weren't on AMC at the same time, but we met through castmates and ended up doing a cabaret act together at a bar downtown. He's now like family to me. Honestly, I can’t say enough about my time on that show. It was magic for me.
We lost the creator of AMC, Agnes Nixon last month. What was your experience like with her?
LV: Honestly, I didn’t know her well at all. I was very sorry to hear she’d passed because by all accounts she was a lovely woman. I am in awe of the sheer amount of television she created. She was prolific and inspiring beyond words.
I met you in NY while you were on AMC. I was 19 and a friend of mine and I went to see you sing. Do you still sing?
LV: I do! I’d like to sing more, but I have done some charity events like “What A Pair” in which I got to get up and do songs with other TV actresses. Marg Helgenberger and I did it together one year and it was huge fun.
What is your favorite storyline as Emily Ann Sago?
LV: Basically anything involving Candice Earley and Vasili Bogazianos (Donna and Benny). I loved them dearly as people and had so much fun anytime the three of us were together.
What is your guilty pleasure?
LV: That’s a great question! Hmm. I’m not a guilty person by nature, so that’s tough. I love single malt scotch, but I love it proudly. Oh! I know. “Grease 2”. I’m not lying. I LOVE that damn movie. My friend and I quote it far more frequently than you’d ever believe. I feel that “Let’s bowl, let’s bowl, let’s rock-n-roll” should go down as one of the all time great song lyrics. And YES, I’m kidding. But that movie does make me smile. Each and every time I’ve watched it. Which has been a LOT. I mean, baby- Michelle-Pfeiffer singing “Cool Rider”? That’s gold!
What projects are you working on now?
LV: I have switched my focus from acting to writing for the time being. I wrote an episode of CSI in my last season and absolutely fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve sold four TV pilots and I’m waiting to hear if a TV movie I sold is going to be made. At the moment, I’m adapting a book series into a TV show, I’m working up a pitch with producers for another show, and in January I’m going to start a crowdfunding campaign for a documentary about long distance runners between the ages of 50-100. The athletes I’ve met have been incredibly inspirational. One of the reasons I wanted to make this was because I am an avid runner myself and a huge fan of not only the physical benefits, but the mental ones. The other reason was this: the entertainment industry is without a doubt ridiculously ageist and I want to show people of this demographic in the badass light they deserve.
Here’s a link to the Facebook page:
Who would you like to work with that you haven't already?
LV: Another good question. I would LOVE to work with the director of “La La Land” and “Whiplash” – Damien Chazelle. Speaking of “La La Land”, I think Emma Stone is just about the most talented actress out there at the moment, so let’s throw her in the mix. I love pretty much everything Danny Boyle has directed. I think Dan Fogelman is an incredible writer. And I would do anything in any “Star Wars” movie ever.
Such a pleasure! Thank you again for being here. Love and all the best to you!
LV: Thanks again!!