By Damon L. Jacobs
Ilene Kristen is an actress famed for a having both enormous acting talent and an idiosyncratic sense of humor which helps her to steal every scene she’s in. But behind the wisecracks is a wise soul with unique understanding of human psychology. She’s used that understanding to create two iconic daytime characters: Delia on Ryan’s Hope and Roxy on One Life to Live. When we spoke at length recently, she described how she reached inside herself to create both Delia and Roxy.
Here Ilene talks about how she made Delia so startlingly real over her many years on Ryan’s Hope, during the show’s 1975-1989 run. In Part 2 tomorrow, she’ll talk about how she made OLTL’s Roxy so entertaining and compassionate.
Part 1: Ryan’s Hope‘s Delia
D: So let’s begin talking about Delia on Ryan’s Hope. The fans who read “Soap Shrink” regularly know the subject of Borderline Personality Disorder comes up frequently. It is a personality disorder, typified by someone who makes frantic efforts to avoid abandonment.
I: That’s Delia in a nutshell.
D: The only thing is BPD didn’t start getting listed as diagnosis until 1980, well after your first run as Delia from 1975-1978. How did you know so much about Delia and these symptoms?
I: Well, second to being an actress I would have been a therapist. I wanted her to be real, so I observed those who were very needy. (RH‘s co-creator, co-headwriter) Claire Labine also wrote a great character description about her mother selling subway tokens, her father being a drunk, only getting love from her brother. You then see how that manifests in the decisions she would make. She had no occupation, she just lived in the shadow of the Ryans. So she was [Read more…]