The cast of Guiding Light, didn't spend all of their time in Orlando talking to reporters and shooting around Universal Studios. They also spent time with the fans, chatting and autographing photos and memorabilia. It was following one of the collective Spaulding family appearances that I and several of my colleagues caught up with Ron Raines (Alan Spaulding) and Marj Dusay (Alexandra Spaulding).
Both of the veteran cast members bypassed the casual look favored by most in attendance, opting for simple and elegant attire, happily joining us in the shade to answer a few quick questions. All day, the fans had been wondering where Marj's character has been lately. "I was in deep depression... I have no idea," she joked, but she added that she will start to be on more often and will be, "Doing some fun stuff." She hinted that Alex may be getting fed up with the way the family has been handling things and will be lashing out at them. "I hope she gets her jollies somewhere. Kicking somebody in the rump," she said.
Meanwhile, Ron heard what he usually hears from the fans, that Alan's the man they love to hate. That's something that always seems to make him grin. Taking a quick look over the past few months, he talked about the intense scenes that the cast shot around Coop's death. "It was great soap opera, I thought. So many things coming together... so many things on edge," he commented. There was a great deal of pleasure for him, and the audience, to be had in all of the emotional levels that they were given to play with. Alan was allowed to play with his sardonic side, his brutal side and yet he could still keep protesting that, for once, he was actually innocent. However, he admitted that when he saw the scene of Alan and Buzz fighting and having aheart attack in unison, both he and Justin Deas (Buzz Cooper) sighed and thought it 'looked like a cartoon'. But they talked it over and tried to make it as real as possible. "It was lovely," Marj complimented.
They also promised that there will be plenty more for the audience to look forward to. Near the top of the list will be the latest addition to the cast: Zack Conroy (James Spaulding). Raines said that the new James is, "Terrific. I think the audience is really going to take to him. And it will be great to see Phillip start having the same problems with James as I had with Phillip. It will be interesting." Marj added that he has a different, "Off-beat tempo that makes you sit up and listen." Alex and James already have a long-standing relationship, with her ushering him around Europe to the secret spots of the rich and into various 'dens of iniquity', she explained with a laugh.
Sadly, the time was cut short and they were rushed away but we managed to grab Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding) before he could jump in a cab for the airport. Grant was happy to see that everyone seemed so happy to have the old group back on the show again. "I think everyone is enjoying it. We were amazed to see so many people out here," he said. He enjoyed the reunion of the Four Musketeers, even if it was a little too brief. "There couldn't possibly be enough. We could have had it going on for weeks. Hopefully we have people's appetites whetted for more," he offered with a smile before leaving.
- Matt Purvis