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Bonnie (England): Even though it wasn’t planned to film that scene in the snow, I think it just made it all the more romantic. It was great to see Natalia really showing some emotion and just blurting out her feelings like Olivia had done earlier on, as it just proved that they both needed to be really emotionally charged, and even provoked by the other, for those confessions to bubble to the surface and eventually come out. The smile Olivia gave Natalia afterwards – when she says “You never said anything” – is my absolute favorite part of that scene. You can see how blissfully happy she is to hear those words, despite what comes afterwards. She just can’t suppress those little moments of glee.
Rita (Ireland): Well Tiffany, I’m glad that you left this one until last, because I’m having a terrible time trying to concentrate with the mere mention of Crystal in that hat and walking in the snow! As I said, the minute that I saw Crystal walk across the graveyard in the snow, it was like looking at Julie Christie in Dr. Zhivago and what a love story that was! I know it was freezing for Crystal and Jessica having to work during the snow blizzard, but as a viewer, it made the scene even more romantic. The Gods were definitely on our side, when it came to shooting those scenes that day.
As I mentioned during our chat, no sooner had I seen the clips of Crystal walking in the snow and the Gazebo scene, but I was off sending a personal message to our brilliant banner maker on the Big Purple Dreams board asking for a banner with those clips!.
Turning the Table on Tiffany (Like the alliteration?)
It isn’t very often that during an interview my subjects will turn the table on me and ask me a question either personal or professional but because of the nature of this interview and the fact everyone on the call is from various parts of the world, I thought it was only fair to open up the floor and allow the girls to throw a few questions my way.
Team International: How did you come upon the idea to chat to us Europeans?
Tiffany D’Emidio: Well I noticed on the BPD board that there was a thread referencing the international following for both Otalia and Guiding Light. I was curious just how many people and how many countries were involved. Since there isn’t a way to watch the show, that I know, by live broadcast or online for any international following such as CBS.com or Hulu, etc. I wanted to find out just how all of you were able to watch the show and if you were made up of just a couple folks from maybe Canada and England or if there was a true following. I was more than surprised that there is a true international following. It’s not just a group of American ex pats spread out across Europe. Team International is exactly that, a team of fans spanning the globe dedicated to Guiding Light and the Otalia storyline. It’s impressive and a true testament to the show.
TI: Are you happy with the way the story is being told?
TD: I love the way the story is being told! As I’ve said many times, I grew up watching Guiding Light with my grandma, mom and sisters but fell away from it after high school. It was a fluke thing that got me to watch it one day while home sick from work and it was the “My Two Mommies” episode where Olivia and Natalia kiss. I was floored. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing and of course very skeptical that it was a stunt that wouldn’t lead to anything real, certainly not what it has become today. I started doing some research because I wanted to write an article about it and the deeper I got the bigger this story became and the more I became invested because I realized that it was a year in the making to even get to this point. This was an old fashioned soap opera story, the kind I grew up watching and what I loved about it. I love being told a story that has twists and turns and keeps my attention for more than a minute. I don’t need the instant gratification when it comes to a well written story, especially a love story and to my surprise that’s exactly what this was and still is over a year later.
TI: Do you feel that there are more people for the Otalia storyline than against?
TD: Yes, I truly believe that there are more people championing for this storyline than fighting against it. When you have a fan forum like BPD that has garnered almost four thousand registered members in five months, you have nearly 800 people a day participating in a play-by-play, and people writing countless stories with such positive comments and feedback as what we are seeing…then yes, there is a great deal of love for the Otalia storyline, Crystal Chappell, Jessica Leccia, Jill Lorie Hurst, Ellen Wheeler and Guiding Light. Not many shows head writer and executive producer are as well known by name to the fans as those of Guiding Light. Not many shows head writer and executive producer get flowers and postcards and personal notes of love and appreciation thanking them for showing the fans the respect, dignity and love like those of Guiding Light. It just doesn’t happen. The critics and the folks who spew bigotry and hate will always make some noise at first but it’s just that…noise. The positivity of such a loving, devoted fan base as the one that Guiding Light and Otalia have right now will always rise above to drown out the hate.
Interview by Tiffany N. D’Emidio