The name Orlagh Cassidy is a hard one to forget. You may recognize the name because of its unique Gaelic beauty but you’re not quite sure where you recognize it from. Well if you are a fan of Guiding Light you will recognize the name Doris Wolfe, Springfield’s feisty and oh so politically driven Mayor. The character of Doris Wolfe is played by the beautiful and enormously talented Orlagh Cassidy. Orlagh came onto the scene in 1998 as Doris Wolfe, the hard hitting District Attorney in Springfield. She eventually worked her way up the ladder not just politically but socially when she married tycoon and town Wackadoodle, Alan Spaulding. Now as Mayor of Springfield, Doris is responsible for stirring up the pot and unleashing the firestorm, the phenomenon, the love story that is Otalia. It’s because of Doris’ political drive and ambition that the “My Two Mommies” presentation of one Emma Spencer was broadcast across the Springfield airways setting the stage for the domino effect of events that have taken place over the few months. Doris unwittingly pulled the wool out from under Olivia and Natalia and forced them to take a long hard look at their relationship, redefining who they are as friends, a couple…a family.
Doris Wolfe is the character you love to hate. The woman walks around with bodyguards, drops bombs on an unsuspecting, painfully clueless police chief (“Man up Frank…Your ex-fiancé has the hots for Olivia”) and is a closeted lesbian wearin’ a hat at ladies night! Some may say bitch…I say kindred spirit. This woman is a rock star!
I recently had the pleasure to chat briefly with the one and only Orlagh Cassidy. She was kind enough to take some time out of her very busy schedule to answer a few questions about her character Doris Wolfe and Doris’ role in the Otalia storyline. Orlagh also indulged me a little with a few silly random questions just to let us take a peek into her personality outside of Doris and Guiding Light. Thank you Orlagh!
EclipseMagazine: Doris seems to be a character with many layers. Were you surprised at all when this storyline was brought you; that the writers were taking her in this direction? How did they broach the subject?
Orlagh Cassidy: The executive producer saw me in the hallway and told me and I thought it was awesome! First of all, they always give Doris great things to say and do so I am never disappointed and second of all, it made perfect sense that Doris would have this huge secret in her life! Great idea writers!
EM: Did you have any reservations when they came to you and told you the direction they wanted to go with Doris as a character?
OC: I had no reservations, like I said, it’s a great idea to have her have led a double life and have so much going on.
EM: Do you watch the episodes once they’ve been taped? I know some actors have a hard time watching their own performances.
OC: I watch sometimes, and yes it’s hard to watch. I often get disappointed I am no longer 20 and look my age! But sometimes its fun and I learn a little bit when I watch. I usually learn I’ve gotta be more relaxed and take my time. I tend to rush everything.
EM: Do you read any of the online blogs or boards? I know they can be pretty snarky and down right hateful when a show tries to step outside of the box a little.
OC: I do not read the blogs anymore because I don’t have time more than anything else, but I am pleased to hear the story is getting so much attention.
EM: What type of viewer response have you received since Doris’ outing?
OC: I have gotten fan letters thanking me for how I play Doris and for helping everyone to see that ‘love is love, no matter who you are’ – which I think is great. People seem to get a kick out of Doris; the letters are all very nice.
EM: Doris is a very bold character; she goes after what she wants. It seems that right now she really wants Olivia to get the girl. This week she drops a bomb in Frank Coopers lap when she reveals that Natalia has the “hots” for Olivia. Why is she so invested in weather or not Olivia and Natalia get together? Does she see a kindred spirit in Olivia or is it just too much fun messing with Frank?
OC: I think she is invested in Olivia getting to be with her love because perhaps she never could be so bold, so ‘out there’ with her passion. And perhaps she lost a love or two along the way because she couldn’t follow her feelings the way she is urging Olivia to do.
EM: Doris is a little preoccupied these days being mayor and helping her new bff Olivia snag Natalia away from Frank but once the dust settles from Otalia, who would you like to see paired up with Doris? She’s busy running Springfield but she deserves a love interest too!
OC: I would love to see Doris and Alan back together running Springfield. That would be fun!
EM: In a recent chat with Crystal Chappell over on the Big Purple Dreams website, she was asked about Doris’ role in the Otalia storyline and what it will become as Olivia and Natalia move forward in the new arc of their story. Crystal responded that Doris represents a different kind of energy in the story as a mentor to Olivia and that no other character would have worked. What do you think it is about Doris that makes her so uniquely suited to play this role in the Otalia storyline?
OC: I think Doris offers a cool head and a warm heart and maybe some pain that can help these two women do what she couldn’t – follow her heart.