September 16, 2011 12:47pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'All My Children's' Alicia Minshew Describes the Soap's Last Days (Exclusive)
Alicia Minshew may have told The Hollywood Reporter exclusively that she’s ready to move on from her role as Kendall Hart on ABC’s All My Children, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t miss calling Pine Valley her home away from home.
“Obviously, I would miss the people that I worked with,” Minshew tells THR exclusively. “All of these people have become my best friends. They have become very close to me. They are like my second family.”
“In terms of playing the character, Kendall,” she continues. “If you are going to be on a soap, she was a great character to play, because she had sort of a bad, bitchy side, and then she also was a mother and she was a business woman, and she could laugh, she could cry. I got to kind of play every emotion with her. She is a very well-rounded woman.”
We spoke to Minshew about the final day of shooting on the daytime show, Prospect Park’s plans to move the series online, and what fans can expect on the show’s last week.
The Hollywood Reporter: What was the last day of shooting like on the show?
Alicia Minshew: Well, it was surreal. The whole cast was in it, and it is always fun when the whole cast was around. It is almost like we are just getting ready to go to a big party… So we were all in a great mood, having fun, we were all together. And then as it got closer and closer to the final scene, when they said, ‘Item last,’ we all kind of looked at each other… I think maybe that’s when it sunk in, like wow. And I looked over at Susan Lucci, she looked sad. I mean, she was very quiet and I looked over at her and that’s when it kind of hit me. I thought, ‘This is really happening,’ and I was trying to figure how Susan was feeling in that moment, being that she had been on the show for, you know, 40 years. I thought, ‘If I'm feeling sad, I cannot even imagine how she is feeling.’
So, we did the scene and I had a moment or two with my friend, Rebecca [Budig], and cried a little bit. And then Agnes Nixon, the creator of the show came out and brought us this beautiful cake and we did a champagne toast, and the whole cast and crew were there. There were hundreds of us. And I think that is when everybody realized this is a big deal. This is the end of an era. So, then it became emotional, I mean even some of the guys were crying. We just said see you later, because we all feel like we are always going to be friends. We are always going to be connected.
THR: What are your thoughts on Prospect Park taking the show online?
Minshew: I'm excited that somebody else bought the show. And I think it is great for the fans, because these fans are devastated that this show is over. So, if this is a way to keep it going, then good for them. I think it is great.
THR: You are open to joining the Prospect Park production in a recurring role, but not fulltime. What’s the feeling you’re getting from your cast mates on their plans?
Minshew: I think I'm getting mixed. I know some people, and I'm not obviously saying names. I know some people that are dying to do the online thing. They need the work, they love the people. Some people just started on the show and they are not ready to leave. There are others who are a little bit older and who want to do the online thing. Then, there are others like myself that have had a good run and are ready to move on.
THR: What should fans expect from the Prospect Park project?
Minshew: Well, from what we've been told… they have the ability to use the same people, they want to shoot it the same way. They have already bought the sets from us. They basically want to pick up where we left off… If they're completely capable of doing that, I don’t know. I mean, they seem like really smart guys, because we've met them. But, they've told us they're hoping to be on the air by January. They hope to be starting to tape by late November, and they will contact people on an individual basis and let them know what they wanted from them. And that is kind of where they sort of left us. So, again, this is what we've been told and it is kind of up in the air at this point.
I don't know if they are going to do a small group or a large group, if they are going to kill some people off. Honestly, we haven't been told much. So, that’s why we are just sort of waiting to see what happens. And that's why in my mind, I'm looking ahead. And, again, even if they do come to me, we'll see what can be worked out. But I'm still looking ahead to do other things.
THR: What can fans expect for your character and the show as it heads to its last broadcast episode on Sept. 23?
Minshew: Well, I think first of all, they are going to see a lot of familiar, familiar faces. We're just going to make them very happy because of people from the past, people that have been gone. I think they are going to be happy seeing some faces that they have not been seeing in a while. And they are going to see some closure on different story lines. My character and her husband, Zach [Thorsten Kaye], are going to have some nice moments. It is the kind of moments that the fans have always wanted. They want Zach and Kendall to have sort of things be good.
They want Adam [David Canary] and Dixie [Cady McClain] to have things be good, so you will see some story lines wrapping up in a very lovely way. Like, a lot of these couples will come to live happily every after. Of course, there's a cliffhanger, and of course, I can't tell you what that is. But, even though the show is going off the air, they had to leave you with something. They had to leave you with something where you are going, ‘Hmm, I wonder what that means.’ But it does not just end happily ever after for everybody, maybe for some people it does.
THR: What would you like to say to the fans?
Minshew: Oh, that's a good one. That one can make me cry a little bit. I've been touched by the fans for these past nine-and-a-half years in such a deep way. Stories that people have told me are just unbelievable and I think that our fans, especially the daytime fans are the most loyal fans I have ever seen. And I really just want to thank them for just supporting me and being so kind to me, and my husband, and my child, and gifts and letters, and I'm so grateful that they've watched me and I've been a part of their family over all of these years. It really has changed my life, so I really just want to thank them for sticking with me and just for supporting me. They've been unbelievable to me. In ways that I can't even tell you. Just unbelievable. Everyday I meet some, and they're warm and loving to me, and that means that I did my job, you know, that I did my job the right way.
Minshew is represented by Newman-Thomas Management. All My Children’s final episode on ABC airs Friday, Sept. 23 at 1 pm PT/ Noon ET.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro