Interview: Ex-All My Children’s Darnell Williams
Williams & Morgan (Judy Eddy/WENN.com)
“I think it was a good chance to get out and say farewell to the fans.”
Darnell Williams (ex-Jesse) recently took some time to talk to Soaps.com about the second Tribute to Pine Valley event happening this weekend. Of course, we also discussed the end of “All My Children” and the many familiar faces he’ll encounter in his new role on The Young and the Restless.
Williams attended the first Tribute to Pine Valley last year, along with fellow returnees Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan), Vincent Irizarry (ex-David), Walt Willey (ex-Jack) and Jacob Young (ex-JR; Rick, “The Bold and the Beautiful”), over a weekend in October in the New York area. The second event will see Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall) joining her former co-stars January 13 – 15 in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Chicago.
Recalling the first Tribute, Williams said, “We had a really great time last time and [the fans] can expect a really great time coming up.” Describing the event as like a talk show format, he wanted to return for the second outing because, “I think it was a good chance to get out and say farewell to the fans and give a great big warm thank you for the support over the years.”
The former cast of “All My Children” will no doubt discover at the event that the fans are still longing for Pine Valley, which will not migrate online as originally hoped. Williams was not surprised by the announcement that Prospect Park was suspending the move, but unlike some, who believe there is still hope the cancelled ABC soaps could continue, such as One Life to Live’s Jerry verDorn, he believes it’s “dead in the water.”
While there may or may not be a future for the cancelled soaps, Williams is happy with how things ended for Jesse and the Hubbard family on “All My Children.”
"I think pretty much everybody was satisfied with the way the Hubbards were able to wrap up," he said. "They seem to think the Hubbards were the only ones who had some kind of closure to their stories."
When asked what he would say to the fans, who won't be at the Tribute to Pine Valley events, but are still missing their favorite soap, Williams responded, "I'm not really sure what to say, other than I can only apologize to them for Prospect Park. You know, for this big, huge…what's the word? This travesty. I mean, getting people all psyched for the continuation of the story and then all of a sudden yanking the plug. It was a pretty low blow. You know, this is show biz. You never know which way the wind is going to blow on any given day."
For those looking to fill the void left by "All My Children," "The Young and the Restless" might be a good substitute considering so many former "All My Children" actors have joined the CBS soap. Melissa Claire Egan (ex-Annie, "All My Children;" Chelsea, "The Young and the Restless") is the most recent former Pine Valleyite to start airing on the show, but it was recently announced that Williams has also joined the cast.
While Williams, who was under the weather when we spoke, couldn't discuss the particulars of his character, the fact that he'll be working with so many of his former co-stars was brought up. "It's interesting. As I'm recuperating - I'm sort of laid up - all I have is me and the TV right now," he said. "I was able to sort of get a sneak, because I don't watch soaps, but I was able to sort of sneak peek at 'The Young and the Restless' yesterday. I saw Debbi [Morgan, ex-Angie, 'All My Children;' Harmony, 'The Young and the Restless'] on there and I was like, oh my God. It's like an 'All My Children' reunion over there, starting with Peter Bergman [ex-Cliff, 'All My Children;' Jack, 'The Young and the Restless'], even though he's been there for decades. We've got Jeff [Branson, ex-Jonathan, 'All My Children;' Ronan, 'The Young and the Restless'] over there. We've got Billy [Miller, ex-Richie, 'All My Children;' Billy, 'The Young and the Restless'] over there and Amelia Heinle [ex-Mia, 'All My Children;' Victoria, 'The Young and the Restless']…but you know, that's the nature of the business. It's a revolving door. The whole industry, Daytime industry, it seems to be."
Join us on Twitter @soapoperafan, and Facebook. Come tweet and Facebook with us about "All My Children," all the other soap operas, "Dirty Soap," "Glee," "Grey’s Anatomy," "Vampire Diaries" and "Venice the Series!"
- Lori Wilson