Recently I had the chance to ask Guiding Light vet Beth Chamberlin (Beth Raines) a few questions about her role on the show. She told me her thoughts about Grant returning as Phillip, we discussed past plots, future ones and she enlightened me about other aspects of her life. Please enjoy this interview with one of Springfield’s most intriguing characters.

Soaps.com:
Everyone’s been thrilled with the news that Grant Aleksander is returning to the cast as Phillip. How have you been taking the return? Has it felt like old times or are we in store for something new? What might this mean for your character?

Beth:
Certainly Phillip’s return means a lot of emotional upheaval for Beth. Beth has never gotten over Phillip, but his being back would complicate her life, as it stands now. Of course, that is what makes good story and, from what little I know of the story, it’s terrific.

Soaps.com:
Beth has tended to be unlucky in love, usually ending up with men who go mad or end up dead; is her luck really that bad, or is there more to it?

Beth: I certainly think she is unlucky in love. She is also drawn to dangerous men. But Beth Chamberlin certainly hopes no one else goes mad or dies.

Soaps.com:
It wasn’t that long ago that Beth was Lorelei Hills. If Beth could develop another alternative personality, what would it be like?

Beth: I’m not sure. I think that when she became Lorelei it was in response to her need to escape her reality at that time, as well as a need to invent someone uniquely able to handle the people and problems that she was dealing with then. Any future alternative personality would probably develop out of the same need and would be tailored to that time.

Soaps.com: Beth and her daughter have traded men (Coop and Bill) and this has caused surprisingly little friction. Can you explain this startling fact?

Beth:
Keep watching. It is smooth no longer.

Soaps.com:
Beth used to be more of a villainess, you were even nominated by Soap Opera Digest as Best Villainess in 1999; can we expect to see more of the merciless and manipulative Beth in the future?

Beth:
I was thinking ‘stable’ Beth was probably the appropriate place for Beth to be now. However, at the fan event, people kept asking when Beth would be bad again. I guess people like her dark side.

Soaps.com: Beth has had some radically different storylines over the years. What have been your favorites and why? Any anecdotes about working on them?

Beth: Lorelei and the “Who Killed Carl Story”. When we were doing the Lorelei story, Grant Aleksander and David MacDonald and I would go to work and laugh everyday. It was great.

Soaps.com:
If Beth had a theme song, what would it be?

Beth:
Hmmm. I need to think about this.

Soaps.com:
You’ve been involved with Autism Speaks and other charities. Would you care to tell us a bit about your charity work and any upcoming events you are taking part in?

Beth:
Right at the moment I am collecting toys for Stockings with Care. They get wishes from children who would not be getting anything for Christmas, get ‘secret Santas’ to fulfill those wishes and get the gifts to the parents to give as their own. Not only does SWC try to fulfill children’s wishes but tries to preserve the dignity of the families while doing so. I invite people to go to the Stockings with Care website and donate money, time or presents. If not for this year, keep it in mind in future years. Unfortunately, there are a lot of children out there for whom there will be no presents on Christmas morning.

Soaps.com: You used to do ballet, what made you switch to acting?

Beth: I wanted to try acting for years before I made the switch but was too frightened. It seemed beyond me. Then one day I just decided that I wouldn’t regret failing as much as I would regret never having tried. I started the transition with one class and then just kept putting one foot in front of the other moving toward my dream.

Soaps.com: If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

Beth:
An owner of a “Punch” kettlebell gym.

Soaps.com: You’ve just released your second exercise training DVD for Beacon fitness. Would you like to tell us more about your fitness regimen and the kettlebell method?

Beth: I believe that kettlebell training is the holy grail in fitness. My body literally changed in 6 weeks. It is both cardiovascular and strength training at the same time, which means it is a real time saver. I only do kettlebell training for exercise. I workout 3 times a week, 40 minutes at a time and have the best body of my life. Kettlebell training has changed my life. I feel strong and confident in a way I have never felt before.

Soaps.com: You once wrote a book as Lorelei; any plans of writing a book as yourself, filled with details about what it’s been like to be part of soap opera history?

Beth: I did start another book, which I am really proud of, but since the birth of my son, I haven’t been able to continue. I imagine that when he starts school I will have time to write again. Right now, my priority is to be with my son when I am not at work.

At the end of the interview, Beth told me that she hopes that everyone gives the Coop and Beth story a fair shake. It will be crossing into exciting territory for both characters and John Driscoll has been giving this story his all. In the few brief scenes I saw filmed while I was visiting the studio, I can safely say that it will fans of both characters plenty to relish and, perhaps, even gain them some new ones.

Soaps.com sends our sincere thanks to Beth for taking the time out of her hectic schedule for this interview, and to Tracey Smeltzer who helped to set this up. We hope that everyone enjoyed it.

Matt Purvis