I realize that is a bold statement to make and an even bolder headline to lead off with but when it’s the most accurate way to describe one of the finest actresses in television today I say go big or go home. But maybe that’s just me.
If you’ve been following the current Guiding Light storyline with Crystal Chappell (Olivia Spencer) and Jessica Leccia (Natalia Rivera) as Otalia, then you are well aware that yesterday’s episode and what transpired. It was the beginning of the heartbreaking admission of love, from Olivia actually TO Natalia; we have all been waiting so patiently for. Natalia and Frank have hastily moved the wedding up because Rafe was released early for good behavior but only for a week before he heads to a halfway house to finish out his time. So Olivia steps in and within a few hours throws together a wedding and begins to move out of the farmhouse (aka the Farmhouse of Love).
It’s not until towards the end of the episode that things begin to really heat up and where my bold yet accurate headline comes into play. We cut to Olivia (Chappell) at the cemetery near the church placing long stem red roses at the base of Gus’s headstone. She’s trying to tell him about how his gift of a heart was actually a gift of life, a family and a great love…Natalia’s love. She blames him for giving her this great love because now she doesn’t know what to do with it. She’s going to stand next to Natalia and watch her marry someone else, losing her forever. Olivia comes to the realization that she has learned to truly love someone unselfishly. While confessing her feelings to Gus, Natalia shows up to make peace with Gus so she can move on and start a new life. She see’s Olivia and after a few minutes of the two of them discussing how it is the right thing to move on and how each of them are about to embark on a new life, Olivia begins to break down. She can no longer contain her overwhelming emotions. Her love for Natalia over comes her and she begins to passionately cry devastating tears. Natalia pushes Olivia to tell her why she is so upset and though Olivia tries desperately to move past her feelings, her raw emotions finally over take her and she screams out in frustration “I’m in love with you!”
It’s only in the last few months that I have made a return to watching Guiding Light after a fifteen year hiatus and this remarkable actress is one of if not the reason why. This scene, this moment, the emotion, the talent is why Crystal Chappell is without a doubt a Goddess! I’ve watched and re-watched this clip so many times I have lost count. This story has been beautifully crafted over the last year and has taken this show and everyone involved with it to new heights. In my humble opinion, Ms. Chappell is at the top of her game. She brings such raw emotion and has the skill to speak volumes without actually saying a word. When an actress is able to convey to an audience a full range of emotions the way that Crystal masterfully brings to a scene with a look or a stare…it’s the sign of a professional, a true talent. So yes, Desti…Crystal Chappell truly IS a Goddess!
If after watching yesterday’s show, which I’ve provided clips of, you don’t feel the same…if you don’t break down and cry – no weep from Olivia’s gut-wrenching torment, then I don’t think you are a real soap fan or a human being for that matter! Seriously, are you made of stone people? She tears the heart right out of your chest and tosses it in a wood chipper and you thank her for it. Trust me, you’ll tune in again today and tomorrow and the day after that only to experience more of the same!
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Final Grade: A+