Lindsay Hartley at arrivals for GARLIC AND GUNPOWDER Premiere, TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman''s), Los Angeles, CA July 6, 2017. Photo By: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection
Credit: Dee Cercone/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

The soap-hopper makes her feelings about daytime clear.

Lindsay Hartley isn’t one to sit around idly around waiting for the next opportunity to come her way. As an actress and director, she’s seamlessly moving from working in front of to behind the camera, from temporarily stepping in for Kelly Monaco on General Hospital to tackling her latest thriller, Romeo & Juliet Killers, now streaming on Tubi. But let’s start with why soap audiences are often the same viewers as the ones watching the true-crime dramas on TV, because Hartley has a good answer for us.

Calling it “high drama” and “high-stakes circumstances,” the actress believes the two genres share “the same interest.” She adds, “Is this person going to get with that person? In true crime, is that person going get caught? It’s the same question with a different story point.” Romeo & Juliet Killers keeps that element of suspense going in its ripped-from-the-headlines plot about a rebellious teen daughter and her older boyfriend, whose tumultuous (and lustful) love turns deadly. Their murderous turn is directed at the teen’s single mother, played by another familiar General Hospital face: Kelly Sullivan (ex-Connie/Kate).

Hartley has nothing but praise for the actress, whose path she never crossed in the soap world. “Kelly came on board and just knocked it out of the park,” she says. “I felt the connection just because of the person she was.” She also reveals that Sullivan’s background in soaps is what likely set her up for success in the challenging role. “She was really ready to play along, and that’s what you hope for when you work with actors on set, because these movies go so fast. So having the soaps background I think helps run the film faster. You know that you need to have your lines memorized, you have to be able to adjust quickly — I think all those tools help your performance.”

More: The twist that would return Lindsay Hartley to Port Charles

Those tools have only helped Hartley when she’s filled in for Monaco, but it’s not as easy as she makes it look. She was “scared the first time going in,” she says, because she wasn’t as familiar with the character’s storyline and background as she would have liked to be. That’s the point at which the “nice” cast “quickly downloaded information about the storyline” for Hartley so she was less “confused.”

By the time she came back for a return engagement this year, it was like riding a bike. “Getting asked to do General Hospital was a true honor,” she shares, “I appreciated the positive feedback because it feels very comforting being on a soap because it’s where I was spent so much of my life. I thank all of the fans for being supportive, and I thank Kelly as well.”

And if you’re wondering if Hartley is game to come back to Port Charles — or any other soap, for that matter — executive producers better be listening closely. “Daytime, for me, will always be… I don’t want it to ever go away, and I would do whatever I could to support that genre,” she sums up, “I love it.” Someone better be finding her a more permanent role, stat!

Don’t miss Romeo & Juliet Killers, now available for free on the Tubi platform, and check out the gallery below in which we size up soaps’ best and worst temporary recasts.

Video: YouTube/Tubi