Soap Shrink at Sea: On Deck with One Life to Live’s Kassie DePaiva

Thinking Fans on KDP: Matthew J. Cormier observes, “Kassie has clearly thought a lot about what makes Blair tick and has put her own life into perspective” … OLTL no more scolds, ”When you have an actress dedicated to giving wonderful performances and staying true to her character, she shouldn’t be used as a prop in favor of ’romantic rapes’ and Johnny-come-latelies” … while “Brava!” is heard from a cheering section manned (actually, womaned) by Kathie, Farrah, Cammie, Melody, Janell and Laura … and more. See Comments below.  

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By Damon L. Jacobs

This is the last of the Soap Shrink at Sea series of interviews I enjoyed doing so much on SoapNet’s “Rock the Soap Cruise.”  I hope they were as fun for you to read as they were for me to write.  I learned so much about the passion, devotion, and resilience that goes into acting on a daytime soap.Kassie Depaiva

In this last interview, One Life to Live‘s Kassie DePaiva shares with us her insights into Blair’s behavior, her thoughts about Blair’s father, and the inner secret that goes through her mind in every scene with Todd.

Thank you so much for reading, and for all your support.

D:  I wrote a very popular column about Blair last year.
K:   Yes, It was great. 

D:  Thank you!  The focus of the column was how Blair is one of the few women on daytime who is truly sexually liberated. 
K:  (Laughs) I laugh because my husband would be goin’, “Believe me, she’s just pretending.”  I come from a southern Baptist background, where everything had to be real proper.  I think in my early 20s I could not have even attempted the part of

“Just remember, it’s a soap, y’all!  You’ve got to get through the things you hate to get to the things that  you love.  You’ve got to see the challenges, you’ve got to see the conflict.  If there were no Martys or Teas to put a thorn in Blair’s side, how boring would that be?”

Blair based on that.  I got the part of Blair when I was 32, and by then I had come into my own as a woman, and I felt that I didn’t have anything to apologize for.  I was struggling in a real life marriage that was crumbling.  Life experience had gotten me to say, “What the heck, I’m not going to get any younger.”  What’s great about Blair is that she doesn’t apologize to anybody.  She feels she’s entitled to it, and sex is a way for her to relieve stress and to get the job done if she has to.  She knows who she is. 

D:  You seemed to bring that confidence to her from the moment you started.
K:  When I started, my character was hooked up with Max.  And then Jim (DePaiva) and I got married, so we had definite chemistry.  But I think the most interesting dynamic is what happened with Todd and Blair.  He was sexually challenged after the rape, and she struggled to connect with him sexually when he still pushed her away.  I think you saw that struggle, and whenever Todd Kassie and Todddid something to really hurt Blair, she would put on a red dress and use sex with another man to punish him.  That’s the only thing she knew how to do.  Whether that’s healthy or not, I don’t know. 

D:  Yet up until about a year ago she was in the abusive tug-of-war with Todd. 
K:   I think it’s extremely abusive.  Not so much for her, but for her cubs.  You want Mama Blair, Mama Bear, to watch after her babies.  And Todd has just gone way too far.  Will Todd and Blair ever reconnect?  Maybe.  But there’s going to have to be a lot of healing and apologies on his part.  Why would you go back to a man who lies to you constantly? Even though Blair believes Todd is a good man, that inside there’s something there, his demons are so damaging to the family unit, it’s just exhausting. 

D:  For me the worst thing he did was telling Blair that Jack was dead as a baby.  Why would she go back to him after that? 
K:   He fooled her.  See, Blair might know who she is.  But she is broken.  I think there is a broken sad part of her.  She clings to Todd because he’s the family she never had.  She is all about the fantasy of making that family work.  And Todd represents that whether good or bad.  And she’s fighting to cling on to that. 

D:  Is she clinging to that fantasy because of her own background of being passed around from foster home to foster home?
K:   Yes.  But what is interesting now is the dynamic she shares with John.  She doesn’t have to push so hard.  John is available, he’s present … that is, when he’s not running around after Marty.  But Blair gets him. too.  There are aspects of Blair that make him cringe because she just comes right out and says things.  But the same thing that make him a little bit nervous he loves because he’s not that way.  She just says it like it is. 

D:  John is so different from the kind of men Blair has been attracted to before. 
K:   And I think that’s why it’s interesting.  We’re both sexual characters.  Michael EastonMichael Easton I find very sexy in his own quiet smoky way.  But I also think Blair loosens him up.  He can laugh at himself, she busts on his black clothes.  He enjoys Blair, and that’s something you haven’t seen him do with other women.

D:  The Thinking Fans who read my column about Blair pointed out that she never had a father figure in her life.  Do you have an idea of who Blair’s father is, or if we’re ever going to find out?
K:   I don’t know if they can tell that story because the previous Blair was Asian-American.  What I was always told was that Addie was raped in a mental institution. So there was a rape involved, and that’s never been dealt with either.  I always had thought it would be interesting if Stuart from All My Children had had sex with Addie in the institution and he was actually my dad.  But they don’t really do the crossover stuff anymore. 

D:  Did you get a lot of flack for being the recast for a woman of color?
K:   No.  What was interesting was that I was living in Los Angeles at the time, I had been off Guiding Light for two years, and I hadn’t watched One Life To Live.  I grew up watching it, but I hadn’t watched it in a while.  So, I had no idea I was even replacing somebody.  And then I had no idea it was an American-Asian woman.  So I went into the casting director’s office.  The script was very sexual, it was with Max.  And I thought, “Here I am the girl next door being all sexy and stuff. I don’t have a shot at this,” so I just had fun with it.  And then all of a sudden I get a callback and I said, “Really?”

D:  Your scenes with Robin Strasser from the very beginning are some of my favorite in daytime.  You two have always had such chemistry.  How did that come about?
K:   I adore Robin Strasser.  I think the feeling is completely mutual.  We’re always fighting for the cause, that is, the cause to keep daytime on the air.  She works twice as hard as anybody on that show making sure she presents, and represents, Dorian Lord.  Whether it’s telling the prop guys they’ve done it all wrong,  or going to wardrobe, she is in control of Dorian.  I’ve learned a great deal from working with her.  But our personal friendship has always been strong.  Even when we were just starting out, it was good then. 

D:  I remember some of your first scenes as Blair, just sitting in a living room talking things over with Dorian.  There was a powerful connection. 
K):   Well, it was interesting because she is bigger than life.  Dorian is a bigger than life character.  And being a nervous actress working with her … it was like Dorian might flip out and get mad and I thought, “Oh my God, is she acting or is she really mad?”  It took me a while to get into the groove and say, alright, I’ve got to stand toe to toe with this woman or I’m not going to be here very long.  And I think when that started to happen there was a lot of mutual respect. 

D:  It seems to me this past year Blair has grown up a lot. 
K:   I think they have definitely matured her.  She’s trying to break the patterns of the past. 

D:  Which patterns?
K:   She’s trying to break the pattern of going back to Todd.  She’s trying to break the pattern of going out for revenge, because she was all about revenge.  I think she’s putting her family first for the first time.  (pause)  I was really shocked about how they wrote Blair in the Starr story line and her giving up the baby.  Because of Blair’s past I would have thought she would have been the last person to let Starr give up that baby, even more than Todd.  But they chose to write that way, so I played it that way.  I loved it because you finally got to see Starr appreciate her mother for the first time.  But then it’s interesting, because she appreciates Blair, but the minute Todd comes back into her life … he knows how to manipulate her, and she keeps secrets from Blair.  It’s just this awful viscous circle of a major dysfunction. 

D:  It was so different to see her offer unconditional support to her daughter about this.
K:   And I’m so glad they did that for the public service announcements.  Because there are teen pregnancies and most of them feel so scared they can’t talk to their parents about it.  I think One LIfe did a very good job of showing there are options and there are human struggles with a teenage pregnancy.  

D:  Now let’s talk Live Week.  I’ve been watching my soaps my entire life.  But your breakdown during Live Week, when Blair learned of Todd’s betrayal, was one of the most amazing scenes I’ve ever seen.  How did you prepare for that? 
K:   I was so scared for Live Week.  When Gary Tomlin said we were going to go live, I said, “You know what, don’t write me in. “  I did not want to do it because I knew I was carrying the “A” story at that point.  I worked four out of the five days of Live Week, at the peak of a story line.  That was extremely emotional.  You just had to be right there and tap into it and make it happen.  I haven’t viewed that tape in forever.  I should go back and look at it just to see it. 

D:  I could not believe you didn’t even get nominated for an Emmy for that.  I really can’t stand the Emmys to begin with, but …
K:   … well, me neither.   And that’s sweet.  But if you look at those Emmy reels everybody does such good work.  And I think it’s ridiculous to say that One Life to Live is a better show  than Young and the Restless, than General Hospital, than Guiding Light.   We’re all trying to cram 10 pounds of manure into a 5 pound bag.  It’s a lot of work to take on, and everybody deserves an Emmy just for getting through the day!  I want to celebrate the genre, but for you to say that my acting was better than Erika Slezak, it’s apples and oranges.  Let’s just celebrate the whole thing.  We all have to work together … I think an actor is only as good as her scene partner.  An actor is only as good as the writing they’re given.  They’re only as good as the support they’re getting within the company of actors they’re working in.  I just feel so blessed I’ve been able to ride this pony for as long as I have.  I just  turned 48 yesterday, and I’ve been doing this job now for 16 years.  I keep thinking, “They’re going to fire my any minute now, they’re going to figure out I’m a fake.” 

D:  Are you going to submit something for the Emmys this year?
K:   You know I just hate watching myself.  This year I worked a lot, but I was pretty much a supporting actress, for John’s story, for Starr’s story, for Todd’s story, for Marty’s story, that’s fine.  But it’s hard to pick an episode, because I’m in the Leading Lady category.  Based on my amount of work I should be there.  But I’m there as Blair yelling at the doctor about Starr’s Blair and Starrbaby being dead, and all of a sudden they’re panning to Marcie, they’re panning to Starr, so I can’t use those.  The show that I did pick was one of my first dates with John.  We get together on the roof and share the beer and she yells, “I’m Blair Manning and I’m gonna kick some ass and take some names.”  I actually look like a leading lady in those.  Also, I think Michael grounds me as an actress, so I feel like I’m playing a different character when I’m working with John.  With Todd she always has to be on the defensive.  With John, it’s just, she can breathe.  She breathes, and you get to see a lighter side to both of them.  There’s a trust involved. 

D:  Was that hard for you to go from a lead actress on the show to a supporting actress?
K:   It’s not hard (pause) but … I get written beautifully, but I haven’t really had a story.  It hasn’t been about Blair.  I mean, she’s in it.  It’s all in the writing.  So as long they use me, that’s all I care about. 

D:  What would you like to see happen for Blair?
K:   I would love to get to sing more.  I would love to have John and Blair develop more.  John marries Blair this month, but he doesn’t marry her out of love, he marries her because Todd is trying to take the kids.  So he’s her ultimate hero.  He’s her knight in shining armor.  And he actually makes her smile, and that’s important. 

D:  Have you ever thought it might be wise for Blair to try be single and not have a man in her life?
K:   I told Frank Valentini, I said, “Listen.  After Spencer, after Todd’s stuff, you can’t throw these characters ([John and Blair) too quickly into the fire.  You've got to give us some time to develop some stuff."  I think it would be good for her to find herself again.  I think it would be good for her to take back the newspaper, and work as a powerful woman.  But I just feel like I'm along for the ride.  I told Frank the other day, "I don't even think of myself as an actor."   And he said (in a masculine voice), "Well you should."  And I said, "Well I don't!" 

D:  What do you think of yourself as?
K:   I think of myself as an entertainer.  I think of myself as being very lucky.  And I know how to do soap operas, I've conquered that challenge.  And I love it, and I don't want to be anywhere else.  But I'm just really not the actor type. 

D:   What is the actor type?  What's the difference?
K:   Acting is not my life.  There's the difference.  Acting is not my life, but it's a very big part of it.    Music is not my life.  Kassie singingWhat my life is is being around people like my family and friends who I love and enjoy and helping them to be better.  And allowing them to love me so I can do good things. 

D:  That leads me then to ask, how do you handle disappointment or frustration when things on the show are not going the way you would prefer?
K:   You know, it's really obvious on the paper when it's not good.  Or for Blair when I read it and say, "Come on, really?" 

D:  Can you share an example of that?
K:   I'm trying to think ... I think the last thing that really bothered me was when it was written that John and Blair sleep together, and while she s asleep Marty appears to him in a dream, and Marty says, "Come on John, Blair?  Can't you do any better than that?"  Do you remember those scenes?  And we did that on a Friday, I got in my car afterwards, and I felt just dirty.  And it's that kind of stuff.  I mean, that's awful to have a man dream of another woman while he's ... you know.  I mean it makes for good soap opera.  But that's something where I just went "Really?  Did it have to be me?"  But everything is heightened, everything is fantasy, I try to keep a good perspective on it. 

D:  One of my favorite Blair scenes was around 1995 when she's screaming her head off at Marty, grabs a scissors, and chops off her own hair. 
K:   That was my idea.  Because I always felt that Todd never truly loved Blair.  He only loved Blair because she kind of looked like Marty.  That was always my inner secret as an actor. 

D:  What is the biggest difference for you working with Trevor St. John vs. Roger Howarth?
K:   They are very different in their approaches to Todd.  It's hard for me to say.  Trevor has definitely chosen to be more sexual than Roger chose.  But Roger was out of the bag with that rape story, so he did have to carry a lot more on his back with that stuff.  Trevor walked in and didn't have that.  He didn't know what that felt like, so he had to manufacture that in his own heart and in his own mind.  They're both extremely creative, and both comedic actors, I think, and they both can be moody and broody. 

D:  Do you miss having Jim (DePaiva) on the set?
K:   I do. I miss Jimmy not being on One Life To Live, I miss Max.  I think with Phil Carey]s passing they need a good mean guy.  Not to take anything from Bob Woods or Jerry Ver Dorn.  But those two characters are too soft.  We don’t have an asshole on the show.  Let Max come back and say, “This is how it’s done now.”  Have him be the mean cowboy.  Jimmy is charming and sexy and still looks really good.  I would love that, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Damon et al.

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At sea, from left: Van Hansis, Melissa Claire Egan, Kassie DePaiva and our Soap Shrink, Damon L. Jacobs

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D:  I can only imagine what it’s been like to have two coworkers pass away in such a short period of time (Phil Carey and Clint Richie). How are you doing with that? 
K:   I was actually on a leave of absence when Kathy Alderson (Kristin’s mother) called and said that Clint Richie had passed away, and that Phil had taken a turn for the worse.  Both of them are what I grew up watching.  To me they were real cowboys, and they were unbelievable actors.  I thought Clint Richie was just … he reminded me of Robert Duvall.  Everything he said was real to me.  I loved Viki and Clint.  And with Phil … I think Asa hated Blair more than any other character on One Life To Live.  He hated her.  So it was fun, it was fun to work opposite him, and I enjoyed him immensely.  He is missed.

D:  I once saw an interview with you in which you said you had to wash Blair off your face at the end of the day.  Can you tell me more what that meant?
K:   Blair exhausts me.  Everything with her is heightened and big and dramatic.  There’s a lot of angst in her life.  When I have to put that in my body I’m tired.  Your body doesn’t know the difference.  She wears me out. 

D:  Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give Kassie starting One Life to Live 16 years ago?
K:   To breathe.  Know that you are at the right place, you are doing the right thing.  And don’t second guess your heart. 

D:  Anything you want to say to Thinking Fans reading this who love you and love One Life to Live, but are feeling discouraged and frustrated by what they’re seeing on screen?
K:   Just remember, it’s a soap, y’all!  You’ve got to get through the things you hate to get to the things that  you love.  You’ve got to see the challenges, you’ve got to see the conflict.  If there were no Martys or Teas to put a thorn in Blair’s side, how boring would that be?  Blair always ends up with the short end of the stick, but eventually she knocks somebody in the head with it.

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bookDamon L. Jacobs is a family and relationship therapist practicing in New York City, and the author of  Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve.  He blogs regularly at www.shouldless.com.

Comments

  1. Matthew J. Cormier says:

    Wow, that was a very, very insightful interview, Damon. Kassie has clearly thought a lot about what makes Blair tick and has put her own life into perspective. It sounds like she is very frustrated with the way that the industry is being run and the way they are writing Blair. I like what she said about how Blair needs to be on her own for awhile and find herself. I’ve always thought that what Blair really needed was a few years to herself and a really cool female friend to hang out with and discover who she is. Maybe if she had a female friend who wasn’t related to her that she would discover a new part of herself. Which would make her more self-confidant and more powerful.

    What really struck me was how she was so aware of Blair’s pattern of always taking back Todd. I do wish that was in the past and that Todd was out of her life forever. Maybe Todd and Blair both need to find new ways to fullfill themselves without each other.

    As for who Blair’s father is, my God that would be a very interesting storyline to tell and to watch. It would provide so much insight into why Blair is who she is and so on.

    Damon says: Hi Matthew!!! I too was impressed with how much insight and forethought went into Blair scenes with Todd. I really learned from these interviews how much passion and intelligence these actors put into their scenes every day, especially when the writing is lackluster. Maybe once they figure out who Rex’s father is they’ll get to Blair! Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  2. Vicki says:

    Oh, for the love of soap gods! Kassie really is getting on my nerves. She’s had front-burning stories for a long time now and it’s about time she is backburnered for a change. And her comments about Todd and Blair are self-serving as she is throwing her Todd and Blair devoted fans completely under the bus once again.

    As for her Blair/John pairing, all of her fantasies are just that! Fantasies in her own mind! John grounds her, and she makes him laugh? On what planet? These two are the most boring and incredibly unsuited pairing on this show. It’s so uncharacteristic for Blair to go from yelling at Todd to being the total pussycat around John! Blair does not do a dichotomy of this type of her character! She always holds her men accountable for their actions. For example, Blair should be sooooo mad at John right now for putting himself in this legal trouble when he should have been there for the kids. I mean John is responsible for Todd getting custody of her kids again, and while she was holed up helpless in the hospital no less! He is also chasing after Marty which is another big reason for Blair to be po’d at John. Marty is her archenemy for pete’s sake!

    Sorry to be so blunt but that is the way I feel, and I used to be a HUGE Kassie fan.

    Damon says: Hi Vicki. I guess this is one of those times we can agree to disagree. I happen to be liking this pairing, as this is the first time that I have ever found John somewhat interesting. Plus I like this new layered side to Blair. But we Thinking Fans don’t always see eye-to-eye on these matters.

  3. n69n says:

    Well done, Damon!

    Damon says: Thank you so much, Norn, for the gorgeous rendering of Blair and Starr. Your artwork really adds to the story.

  4. Great work, Damon!

  5. Tonya says:

    I just love this interview. I wish they would write a story for Blair that KDP could really sink her teeth into. She proved Live Week she can handle anything. Great Job Damon!

    Damon says: I couldn’t agree more, Tonya. I think the Live Week performances demonstrated that Kassie has a range and skill that far exceeds others. I too wish her talent would be utilized more frequently.

  6. OLTL no more. says:

    Fantastic interview!

    Kassie comes off as such a sweet and thoughtful person. I have watched OLTL for years but I have since stopped because I feel the writers have little to no respect for women. I wish the writers would give such a talent like Miss DePaiva something more to do than what she has been given the past few years. When you have an actress dedicated to giving wonderful performances and staying true to her character, she should not be used as a prop in favor of “romantic rapes” and Johnny come latelies.

    PS. About Blair’s father: I was totally fooled into thinking that once Addie became sane, , that story was FINALLY going to be told. Thank goodness I wasn’t holding my breath.

    Thank you for doing this interview.

    Damon says: Thank you, OLTL NM. I’m pretty disgusted by the treatment of women on all ABC shows. But this makes me even more impressed at the integrity, hardwork, and depth that Kassie and her co-workers bring to these shows.

  7. Ann says:

    I skimmed to interview to see what was said about Todd and Trevor St. John. Frankly, after working with Trevor for so long, I’m disappointed that this is all KDP had to offer.

    Kassie seems to have nothing but praise for ME. It is clear that she would prefer to never work with TSJ. That is pretty obvivous.

    I agree with the poster who said that Blair/John is dull as a pairing. I always fast forward their scenes! KDP is mistaken if she thinks fans want to see this “couple.”

    Blair should lose full custody of the kids to Todd. She should get her own act together, which as far as I’m concerned, she hasn’t done yet!

    Damon says: Actually Ann, I didn’t get the impression at all that Kassie doesn’t prefer to work with TSJ. She seems to put in an extraordinary amount of energy and devotion into keeping Blair’s scenes with Todd authentic and psychologically grounded in reality. I don’t perceive it as an either/or scenario between Michael and Trevor, it is a soap after all!

  8. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for that interview. Kassie DePaiva is such a wonderful actress and deserves more airtime than she is getting. Mentioning Live Week makes me want to watch it again because to me it is probably the best thing to come out of daytime tv in many many years!!!

  9. Kathie says:

    Thanks, Damon, for a wonderful interview with Kassie. I’ve enjoyed watching her performances year after year, even during the times when the “Blair” material hasn’t been strong. I so admire Kassie’s positive attitude no matter what comes her way, and her devotion to her character, her fans, and the daytime genre overall. Your interview was thoroughly enjoyable.

    Damon says: I’m so glad you picked up on this, Kathie! I think Kassie’s positive spirit has been the one consistent thing about Blair these past 16 years.

  10. Melody says:

    Hi Damon!

    Thanks so much for this interview. Well done. I love the character Blair AND the actress who portrays her. I really do hope that we get to get a “Blair-ccentric” storyline real soon. It seems that Blair has been a supporting character in her own life story for far too long. It is not in this character’s nature to sit on the sidelines and let life just ebb and flow around her. The character is so very much more interesting when she is holding the reins.

    I would love to see her connect with Addie and try to find out what happened the night Addie was raped. (BTW, back in the day two institutionalized patients were not allowed to have a relationship as they were considered not to be well enough to express free will … So Stuart being the dad could actually play out. Who knows!)

    Anyway the character is multidimensional and played by a talented entertainer who won’t duck and run on us just when we get invested! Blair fans have been patient. I do believe it is finally our turn … don’t you?

    Damon says: Excellent comment, Melody! It is absolutely possible that Stuart could be Blair’s father. Much stranger things have happened in soaps. I agree it’s time for a Blair-centered story.

  11. Cammie says:

    I think Kassie one of the best actresses ever in daytime. She can be serious when she has to and really funnythe rest of the time. I think the best pairing she been in in years is the John/Blair pairing. I love how they bring out a lighter side to each other and if TPTB are smart they will keep them together. KASSIE ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Farrah says:

    Thanks you so much for the interview with Kassie. I really think Blair deserves more air time and a story of her own that she dives into and like Kassie said, “Blair always ends up with the short end of the stick.” Like the others said, she proved on “Live Week” that she can do anything that is thrown at her. Kassie/Blair is the main reason I watch the show, so I hope to see more “Blair in the near future.

  13. Wendy says:

    Thanks for doing this interview and sharing it with us! I just think it’s great how forthcoming Kassie is, and I love it that she often feels the same way about Blair that I do. I loved it that she thought Blair would have never wanted Starr to give her baby away and that she thought the whole John-dreams-of-Marty-while-lying-next-to-Blair thing was kind of skeevy, too.

    I hate it that she feels she is only supporting stories and hate it even more that that’s what they are writing for her. I know that some “inconsistency” in storytelling is all part of an ongoing drama, but I’m not sure how many actors and characters could weather what Kassie and Blair have. At her core, Blair is just a character I still care about . I hope there’s lots of good, juicy stuff in her future!

    Damon says: I certainly hope so too, Wendy!

  14. shelia ainsworth says:

    Thank you very much for the interview with Kassie Depaiva. She is so sweet and down to earth. She puts her whole heart into entertaining. She gives 100% plus in her acting and music career. She is the best. Kassie makes OLTL exciting and interesting to watch.You can feel Kassie’s love for people through her acting and music.

  15. Janell says:

    Thank you so much for the interview, what a great one it was. Kassie is such a talented actress and such a beautiful person inside and out. Kassie’s hard work really shows in her scenes, especially Live Week. What a great job, KDP! There’s so much depth that Kassie brings to the show and brightens our days, we applaud you Kassie for your dedication and great work!

    Kassie deserves more airtime than is currently getting and we’re all hoping to see more frontburner storylines coming up for her!

    Damon says: I agree, Janell. From your words to Ron Carlivati’s computer!

  16. SabrinaD says:

    Thank you for the interview. KDP revealed so many aspects of Blair that I always interpreted from her portrayal and I’m glad they were confirmed. It wasn’t a secret to me that KDP always played Blair as insecure of Todd’s because of Marty even though Todd I believed,adored Blair. Both, frankly, contributed to the misconception, Blair because of her foster life has a hidden insecurity complex of being second best and Todd because of his fear to express love due to his own trust issues. And that’s why I detest, hate, Todd’s “I love Marty” storyline because it confirms Blair’s deepest fear. As a former TnB I will never accept them together again unless Todd rejects his love for Marty as some psychotic break and rejects it to Marty, Blair and all of Llanview. RC can not sweep this under the rug and expect to have fans accept TnB.

    Having said that, I loved JoBlair and saw the same potential for this pairing as KDP and have been frustrated and angry at the writers’ pursuit of Jarty instead. Specially, when Jarty has no chemistry.

    I am so glad KDP mentioned that awful dream sequence with Marty as Blair slept naked in bed with John. It was not on par with the direction theire relationship was following at the time. John was beginning to look at Blair with quite a lot of awesomeness, specially after she sang for him. If they wanted to portray John thinking of Marty, it should have been in a less demeaning manner to Blair. I hated it as well.

    I truly feel the writers missed the boat on writing for this relationship. KDP and ME sparkled and John was Blair’s only non Todd relationship that actually made sense. I realize that soaps need the angst so therefore Marty is a foil for Blair but it seems like Marty always wins and lately this Marty really hasn’t deserved it. Through it all Blair despite her feelings for Marty has protected Cole yet she’s portrayed as selfish? I want Blair to finally win one over Marty. Also KDP is underrated, her performances are heartwrenching in their simplicity, the break up scene with John in Wes’s room, the retelling of the JoBlair’s wedding for Addie, sweet, vulnerable, heartbreaking, because she wanted more. KDP deserves an Emmy.

    Damon says: You’re so welcome! I’m so glad you saw that too regarding Todd’s love for Marty confirming Blair’s deepest fear. In a way, I think it has set her free emotionally to be with John. I just wish TPTB gave these issues as much thought as we do!!

  17. Matthew J. Cormier says:

    I do agree that it’s a shame that KDP has yet to win an Emmy Award (but that’s a whole other conversation really) and even more disappointed that she’s already been relegated to the supporting category by her show, in terms of airtime. She is an extrodrinarly gifted actress who should be leading her own story. Blair has enough facets to her that she should be driving a story on her own. What it would be like to see Blair as a boss is something I’d pay to see! They almost went there when Blair bought Antonio’s night club and when Blair co-owned CRAZE magazine, but they never developed those storylines.

    One thing I’d like to see is for them to do a story where after years of abuse and trauma Blair just looes herself and has a total breakdown. I think in reality it’s something that would have happened a long time ago if someone went through as much as Blair has. In this story we could see Blair lose it all and struggle to come back from it –i t could be a very empowering story to watch her rebuild herself. And given her family history it would not be a big stretch to imagine this would happen to her.

    Damon says: I could be wrong in my history, but I think Blair did have a mini-breakdown in ’97 after miscarrying a child. It seems like Blair really tries to model herself after Dorian in terms of desperately trying to keep her sanity while everyone is losing it. Still, if it happened to Kelly — it could happen to Blair, too.

  18. Melanie says:

    Terrific interview!! Thanks!

  19. OLTL no more. says:

    Ann, you skimmed through the whole entire interview to see what was said about Trevor and Todd. This might come as a complete and utter shock but the world doesn’t revolve around Trevor and Todd.

    KDP plays the role of Blair and she does a fantastic job of it.

  20. Edie says:

    This was a great interview to coincide with the much anticipated return of Blair. Kassie brings a special brand of excitement to the role of Blair; she has since the day she began. I tuned in one day because I heard that Dorian was going on trial for Victor’s murder; I saw Blair pilfering from Dorian’s safe, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    Thank you for asking questions that give us insight into the actress and her character.

    Damon says: Edie, you are so welcome. I ask questions that are of interest to me as a fan and a therapist. It touches me deeply that they are interesting to you and others as well.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the great interview. She is a wonderful actress. I think she shines best in her Cramer family stories.

    I have loved Blair’s relationship with Dorian from the beginning. I feel Blair is more Dorian’s daughter than Cassie or Adrianna. I would love to see the show explore the dynamic between Blair/Addie/Dorian and how Addie is really only her biology mom. And that Blair’s biological mom was Dorians abuser would be interesting to explore. In addition, I think this “sane” Addie nonsense needs to end. Watching Addie regress and how it impacts Blair and the Cramers is the type of story where Miss DePaiva would shine.

  22. Matthew J. Cormier says:

    You might be right Blair did have a mini melt-down after her baby Breaden died. But I don’t think it was a full blown melt-down, just some general depression. I would really love to see Blair totally lose it to the point she has to be put in a institution and have to work her way back to sanity … perhaps it would require her to really decide what she wants out of life and to make some big changes.

  23. Eileen says:

    Damon,

    I am sorry to see your Soap Shrink at Sea series come to an end. These interviews have been amazing because the interjection of the stars feelings and opinions about the characters they play has been so personal and revealing, an approach I don’t think I’ve ever seen done before. Your knowledge of each character on these shows is astonishing…don’t know how you do it so well.

    Thank you for the great reads. You are a fantastic interviewer and writer.

    Damon says: Thank You, Eileen! I am sad to see it come to an end, too. I am so glad you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed doing them.

  24. Stacey says:

    Okay … so Blair/KDP can feel awful about John thinking of Marty, but … hey, “revenge sex” with Cris regarding Evangeline was all sort of justified?

  25. Michelle says:

    Ann, the world does not revolve around Trevor Saint John who not only threw the T&Bers under the bus, but backed over us a few times with his “acting” choices of tanking every T&B scene and conveying his public disdain for them in every interview he can. I have no use for this man and no need to read KDP lavishing praise he does not deserve.

    THAT said, I cannot share Kassie’s enthusiasm for her paring with ME. I find the actor seedy looking and physically repulsive, his “acting” choices remind me of certain coworkers on “active retirement” and his character is a) too low-status for someone as ambitious as Blair used to be; b) too self-involved,non-giving, fickle and non-committal for someone whose childhood was as insecure as Blair’s; and c) too low energy – he’s a damned slug! for someone as high-powered as Blair. YUCK! Send him to Marty forthwith!

    To me, John is yet another rancid throbbie (Patrick, Max, Sam, Max, Sam, Kevin, Spencer) the show has inflicted on Blair and her fans to set up a rivalry with Todd, give Todd angst and pave the way for a more “deserving” woman to be crowned as Todd’s Nu True Babe. Give me a break. Blair has been reduced to a fallback for Todd whenever the viewers turn up their noses at the latest Mary Sue they’ve set up for Todd.

    Now back to what is important; Blair. I do not share the constraints of needing to be on the good side of TIIC for a steady paycheck that KDP has. The only thing that has kept Blair viable is KDP’s talent and incredible ability to mine a lot of bad writing that uses Blair as a SPD to prop substandard acting and actors who do not interest the viewers to find anything true to Blair.

    Blair has the potential to be a pivotal, powerhouse character in her own right. Moreover KDP and Blair have their fans. Why don’t TIIC get that and move her out of the Vortex of Suckitude that is being Todd’s appendage and give her a storyline of her own? Leave Todd with Tea, please! Break out the TnTot and keep Blair’s interactions with TnT simply dynastic rather than romantic.

    I have several suggestions for Blair-centric storylines: Blair finally accepting that her relationship with Todd is dead and buried? Blair finding out that Tea has her own living child by Todd? Stuart Chandler being Blair’s father is an excellent idea. Blair watching Addie regress after they start a real mother-daughter relationship would be great (Flowers for Algernon). Blair realizing that Dorian is her real “mother” would be awesome. Blair getting her own place and resurrecting Melador (what happened to that firecracker that blew into town). How about Blair being involved in a custody battle over Hope with Marty?

  26. Moni says:

    Kassie Depaiva’s LIVE WEEK scenes were one of the best in soap history. She delivered in each and every scene the entire week, outshining what other actors do after several takes. Kassie’s talent is her supreme naturalness. She’s 100% authentic and believable. I never “see” her acting as I do with so many others. Even great actors have scenes that are not great, e.g. Roger Howarth. I adore Roger and think he created an unforgettable Todd, but some of his scenes were/are off and insincere. With Kassie, never. She’s a natural. Besides, no one has a better body in daytime than Ms. Depaiva! She’s gorgeous, talented and can sing…. someone give her a primetime or film role. Now that OLTL is cancelled, I hope her career can really take off!

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