Why “evil” is fun for actors
Time and time again we soap lovers have to watch one of our beloved characters take a turn for the nasty and we can’t help but to hate them for a while. And lately, that character on General Hospital
has been none other than the lovely Sam McCall. Gladly, Kelly Monaco, her wonderful portrayer, recently re-signed her contract so it looks like we’ll get to see more of her downward spiral into the dark world of evil. Our message board has been bantering about this sudden change in her character and some of us have wondered whether Kelly Monaco actually enjoys the change in Sam’s demeanor.
Well, wonder no more! TV Guide Network did a program about the very subject of evil characters and shed some interesting light for us.
• Shawn Pyfrom, Bree's twisted son on "Desperate Housewives", told TV Guide that he likes being the bad guy at work because he can yell and act badly, then come home and be stress free.
• Larry Hagman, the delightfully bad J.R. Ewing from "Dallas", said that after a while, he started to see his J.R. as more of a cartoon character that we would step into before shooting his scenes.
• The Young and the Restless 's Christian LaBlanc (somewhat reformed bad boy lawyer Michael Baldwin) says that "actors think evil characters are delightful."
• Fashion House's Morgan Fairchild said that evil characters have to have a great focus of energy because "…they have to get so low that nobody can tip them over." She shares that as a woman who always looked somewhat like a cheerleader, she used to be surprised when she was cast as the bad girl. She laughs, "You can find a beauty queen anywhere, but a good witch is hard to find!"
TV Guide also used examples from reality TV who weren't afraid to let their claws out as part of their strategy. Remember Omarosa from "Apprentice" and naked Richard Hatch from season one of "Survivor"? Sure you do, because evil is much more memorable than nice.
The program pointed to various methods that actors use to help develop their "evilness". Some look to the villains of Shakespeare for motivation, and others rely on wardrobe to make a big difference. For example, J.R. Ewing was his most devilish when sporting his cowboy hat and Vanessa Williams' Wilhelmina in "Ugly Betty" uses designer shoes and botox as her weapon! Other evil characters on TV have "wardrobe" tricks such as bald heads and even horn-rimmed glasses to help them slip into their bad sides. Hmmm, wonder what Sam McCall uses? (Rhetorical question here, we want to keep this article clean!)
In any case, the consensus is that bad behavior makes great TV. So let's keep that in mind as we watch Sam McCall evolve from Jason's loving girlfriend to someone even her staunchest supporters are having difficulty defending.