Nice interview here with Emme ....
General Hospital celebrated the filming of its 13,000 episode on Tuesday, January 28 — and Young and the Restless alum Emme Rylan was on hand to celebrate the milestone episode, which will air on February 24.
In addition to taking part in the cutting of the cake, Rylan, who made the transition from Abby Newman to the ABC soap in the role of Lulu Spencer, replacing Julie Marie Berman, spoke to an intimate group of journalists about how hard the decision to switch soaps was, how she stays in touch with her former Y&R cast members, what it is like working with Tony Geary and Jane Eliott, and the drama of her GH baby storyline.
How does Lulu compare to Abby?
They are incredibly different people. The similarity is that they are the products of iconic daytime characters. Abby was Victor Newman’s daughter and Lulu is Luke and Laura’s daughter. I feel like that is where the connection ends. Abby had a half a billion dollars. She didn’t have to work. Everyone would say she was like the Paris Hilton of the show. She was doing a reality show and trying to get attention. I think she was trying to get her parents’ attention. She was a spoiled, little, rich girl. That is just the opposite of who Lulu is. It hasn’t been that difficult of a change for me to go from Abby to Lulu because the scripts are so incredibly different and the circumstances are so different, so as long as you play the reality of what is happening here, it’s going to be nothing like Abby.
Do you ever tune in to see what Abby is up to?
I wish I could say I do … a little. Working full time with two toddlers, I hardly watch any TV, but it is less about seeing the show as it is about talking to the actors. I stay in contact with everybody from over there. It was a really difficult decision to make [to leave]. I love everybody over there.
You mentioned your toddlers. Can you talk about how being a real-life mom has impacted your playing the baby storyline on General Hospital?
This is the second time that I have lost a baby on daytime television The first time was as Lizzie on Guiding Light. [Back then] I mean, I tried. I dug deep. I cried a lot. I tried to envision what that kind of loss and pain would be like. Now [that I am a mom], I want to go back and re-shoot all that stuff.
Now, in the GH scene when I was with the baby on the bed, and the door opened and it was child protective services, it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I looked up and they were standing there and it was really hard. That whole day I was, “I’m so sorry. I’m not having any creative acting choices. I cannot stop crying.” I was crying on the bed. I was crying on the baby. Then I went home and squeezed the crap out of my children. My best friend in real life works with child and youth services, so when they were at the door, knowing that people go through this and this is real, it was sad.
After work to shake it off, I went to kickboxing. I did everything from working out and screaming Katy Perry songs on my drive home from work to really let it go. I don’t feel like I’ve ever had a hard time letting go before.
What about when Lulu is on the opposite side of a court case and trying to get a child — the whole Ben thing — because the tables are turned?
We’re heading into that. We actually still don’t know what they’re going to do. At the moment, Lulu still has no baby and no idea of anything. I would just like to point out that I was cryogenically frozen, so I don’t have many more eggs left, so I really need that one.
I was really happy that they did that, because I am a Nikolas and Britt fan, so when they’re together… I was like, “Whatever? Make another baby. Look how good they are together.” Even though, obviously, we know what Britt did was wrong, I feel like the audience could maybe be like… maybe Lulu and Dante just make another one and let them be happy, ’cause they’re so awesome together. So as soon as they did that, you have no more eggs left. Yes, just when I think the stakes are high, they push it higher.
What can you tease us about a possible Dante and Lulu reunion? How did you like playing the separation story because it really was a logical outcome from the loss of the baby?
It really made sense to me. As a viewer of the show, when you love a couple, you really want them to be together so their perspective is very different than ours is to play it. They made such a big deal about him on the stand not having my back, we couldn’t just let it go. And this is grief. This is grieving and there are many stages of that. I think it really needed to happen.
Can you talk about working with some of the veterans on the show like Tony Geary? There is so much hype, does it make you nervous?
It does. In my mind before [I met] Tony, I had hyped it up in my head and was petrified. Then [you're] with him for 20 seconds, and he’s just so open and present and supportive, you feel like he wants you to succeed in a scene as much as you do. So it was fear for like a second. Then we have a lot of fun together.
I’m kind of obsessed with Jane Eliott right now. We’re having some really fun stuff and we’re having fun working together. I’m finding myself staying on set to watch her scenes. Actually, she and Tony do some crazy stuff that we actually shot last week that was fun. Pretty much, you just want to learn from them — everyone who has been here for a long time — you want them to give you some history. You’re like, “Please, tell me everything.” There’s only so much watching old episodes. It’s very different watching the experiences a character has had than actually playing them out. I’ve done homework and I can see it. But for the people who were there in it, they can give me a different perspective. They’ve all been really helpful and cheerleaders for what we’ve been doing.
The fans have been really hard on you. Where are you with that?
I thought I knew what it was going to be like, and I had no idea what it was going to be like. This is the first time that I ever worked on a soap with Twitter and hatred at the same time. I came in, “Yeah let’s do this. It’s going to be fun and it’s going to be amazing.” A month later I was like, “Oh, my God. I’m getting hate messages on my phone every morning when I’m waking up.” I got really upset. I got super bummed for a couple of months; it was so different and startling for me. Then somewhere in that the boundaries went up. All of a sudden, I said, “OK. I just have to turn it off.” I turned off the alerts because you can do that so they don’t come to your phone in the morning. I had to just come to work and do what I was doing. Then Dominic [Zamprogna] and I were having so much fun together and it was awesome.
I needed to learn how to do that. My mom was like, “You need to have a thicker skin.” I’m like, “I’m an actor. We can’t have a thick skin. I can’t go to work during the day and be vulnerable and open and then turn that off.”