Soaps.com Talks to Ex-General Hospital Star America Olivo!
America Olivo (MySpace)
In 2008 America Olivo played the first incarnation of Ric’s love interest Marianna on GH. Even though the actress was let go from the role after just a few episodes, she has kept busy with several new projects, one of which was nabbing the cover of Playboy for the June issue!
Soaps.com recently had the chance to talk with America and learned just how busy she has been since leaving GH and that her brief stop in Port Charles isn’t her only soap connection.
Soaps.com: Congratulations on your Playboy cover and photo spread! How did that come about?
America Olivo: Thank you! It’s such an honor to have been given the cover. I’m blown away with what Terry Richardson and Playboy put together! It’s so colorful and fun and vibrant and fresh! I feel lucky to have been invited to contribute to their creative vision.
How did this come about…Hmm, well…I did a February one pager for Playboy shot by Brie Childers in their Becoming Attractions lucky page number 13 helping to promote the new “Friday the 13th” and because “F-13” was such a success and with my new movie “Bitch Slap” coming out, we talked about then doing a little spread. Jokingly I said, “How about you give me the cover.” While there are no guarantees of the cover when you are shooting your spread, you’d be silly not to shoot for the cover. Terry Richardson nailed the look and vibe Playboy was going for and voila! Ask and you shall receive.
Soaps.com: Is posing for Playboy something you’ve always wanted to do?
America: “Always” is a strange way to put it. I don’t think there are many little girls out there who are reading Playboy and dreaming about posing naked, ha ha. However, when I was little, my father’s big claim to fame growing up was that he’d shot a one page coat add that was placed in a Playboy issue. He used to brag about having modeled in Playboy. I think it may have been my father’s dream before it was mine.
I had battled with being reserved, modest, and shy about a lot of things, including my body, for so many years. Once I got over that, started appreciating my body for what I have rather than what I thought I was missing. I finally feel proud and free of inhibitions. I dreamt of having the opportunity to share in my newfound freedom with feeling comfortable in my own skin, literally. I didn’t think I dreamt it would on quite this large of a scale!
Soaps.com: You played Marianna on GH for a few episodes and then the character was recast. What was your experience like on the soap and what were your thoughts on that decision?
America: I had a blast on General Hospital. I worked right before and right after Christmas break, however, and I didn’t have the chance to meet a lot of the GH family. I grew up with my bro-in-law, Jason Brooks (ex-Peter), being on Days of Our Lives, so I’d always heard such wonderful things about the soap experience. I’d never been on a soap and was delighted to have had the experience, even if short lived. Though GH decided to take Marianna in another direction, I was so pleased to have lived her, if only for a few episodes. Everything happens for a reason, and if I had still been on GH, I wouldn’t have been able to do “Bitch Slap” with co-stars Minae Noji (Kelly) and Ron Melendez (ex-Andy), also from GH, and I wouldn’t have been in “Friday the 13th,” nor promoting “Bitch Slap” on the cover of Playboy. A perfect example of when a door closes a window opens! Minae, Ron, and I missed on the set of GH, but are now fabulous “Bitch Slap” friends. So, it’s all in the family!
Soaps.com: Would you consider doing another soap?
America: Of course! It's funny because I always aimed my career at TV, when most people aim at films, and I've been fortunate to be offered many films, but not much TV! Go figure! I love it all, but I do love working with multiple cameras such as in sitcoms and soaps as it feels a lot like being on stage. My next role is a real-life one. I become a first time bride and subsequently a wife to my fiancé, Christian Campbell (ex-Bobby, All My Children, since we're talking Soaps).
Soaps.com: You also have several movies coming out this year. One of which, "Circle," stars fellow GHer Jason Thompson (Patrick). Did you know him when you worked on the soap? Do you share scenes with him in the movie?
America: Yes, "Circle!" I met Jason Thompson for the first time during “Circle.” It was during "Circle" when I was offered Marianna. Such a small world! Since I was only at GH a short time, I only ran into him once on set there. He's as fabulous off camera as he is on camera. I can't wait for you guys to see him in “Circle.” It's such a different role. I think GH fans will love it!
Soaps.com: Is there one project you're more excited about over the others?
America: Goodness! I'm excited about everything for different reasons! I'm excited about “Bitch Slap” because it's such a pet project for everyone involved. We all put so much into it to make it happen and we're so proud. “The Bitch Slap” cast and crew are like family much how soap actors become like family. We all feel so proud to be a part of it and appreciative of the work each and every person has put into it! So many people are anticipating its release, I can't wait for it to explode! “Friday the 13th” was such a brilliant success! It was so fun to please the fans with the re-imagination of such a legendary franchise. We had a lot of expectation to live up to and a lot of naysayers to win over, and boy did we! “Circle” and “Last Resort” with Marissa Tait (ex-Becky, The Bold and the Beautiful), Sita Young (ex-Hailey, Days of Our Lives), and Arianne Zucker (Nicole, Days) will be coming out soon, so that will be fun to look out for. The latest movie I filmed is called “Neighbor” staring me and my fiancé. It is not for the weak stomached as it is seriously the most horrific and gory thing I have ever seen, let alone done. Wow! To horror and gore fans out there, I challenge you to sit through it and not lose your lunch. Seriously... Wow... it's insane.
Soaps.com: You will also be seen in the blockbuster "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." What can you tell us about your character?
America: My character? Ha ha, I have a cameo in that film. I appreciate all the hype out there that I'm "in" the new Transformers film, but it was just a little afterthought Michael Bay had to throw me in. Just after wrapping “Friday the 13th,” which Michael Bay produced, I was passing through Philadelphia on my way to New York and had dinner with a few people from the set of “Transformers,” including Michael Bay. Since I was there and they were shooting, Bay thought it would be fun to have me play one of the roles in a scene with Shia (LaBeouf). One never knows if these small cameos even make the final edit, so there isn't much to talk about character-wise, ha ha. He was right, it was VERY fun! I'm looking forward to seeing the film. From what I saw on set, it should be AMAZING!
Soaps.com: Are there any other projects you involved in that you'd like people to know about?
America: Yes, I wrote and performed a music single going to dance radio and clubs in a week, called, Déjà vu. You can check it out on MySpace or at Perfect Beat in a week and iTunes in a few weeks. Also, check out “Bitch Slap” at the website. And “Friday the 13th”'s DVD comes out June 14th and since SO much of my death scene was cut out of the final edit, due to it's graphic nature, there will be some amazing deleted scenes on that DVD! Also, stay posted for a new show I'm producing about a celebrity chef and event coordinator, Amanda Marr. Amanda Marr is a young, hip, fabulous talent who works closely organizing the events and menus for the stars. Our first episode features Arianne Zucker from DOOL. So that's been a ton of fun!
Kisses to all and thank you for your support!!!
- Lori Wilson