Have you and Rosie made up since then?
Yeah. I mean, we talked later that day! Really, had it not been right before Thanksgiving and an incredibly slow news week, I don’t think that story would’ve gotten any traction. But it was one of the most baffling statements to ever come out of somebody’s mouth.

I don’t suppose you’re inviting Clay out to come swim in the Hamptons.
[Laughs] No, but he could come whenever he wants. At the end of the day, I was his fan then and I’m still his fan now. The whole thing was blown out of proportion. Of all of the crazy, socially inappropriate things we do on our show, for that to be a defining moment will forever be a mystery.

On the ABC sitcom Hope & Faith you played Faith Fairfield, a fired soap star who moves in with her homemaker sister, Hope. As if the show wasn’t campy enough already — Pat Field even did the costumes — Faith pretended to be Hope’s lover in order to rent an apartment from a lesbian landlord in a season 2 episode entitled “Queer as Hope.”
That’s actually my favorite episode. Because the show’s creator was Joanna Johnson, who played a sex goddess that men fought over on The Bold and the Beautiful, but in real life she was a young soap star terrified to come out of the closet. This was many years ago, when you were really expected to be the full fantasy package and live like the characters that you played, so she didn’t know what would happen to her career if people knew she was gay. That episode was the most fun for me to play, and it was certainly the most fun for her to write because these were moments that she lived — she’d been there and done that. I think that had she written the sitcom the way it really played out in her mind, maybe Faith Fairfield would’ve been gay. Who knows? Maybe that’s why Faith couldn’t hold down a relationship. I always kept that in the back of my mind.

You shared a kiss with costar Faith Ford in that episode, which probably would’ve been hotter if she hadn’t been playing your sister.

Yeah, it was kind of bizarre. [Laughs] You just have to understand that Faith Fairfield was so in her own head and so about how she had to make it work and live in this happy, affordable lesbian community. So I’m like, “Pucker up, sister.”

You and Mark are executive-producing the upcoming TLC reality series Eat, Drink and Be Married, a show about wedding caterers, and Mom Inc., a show about female inventors that you’ll also host. As a producer, will you try to be conscious of including lesbian moms and gay couples in the mix?
Yeah, absolutely. We’ve actually taken the “mom” out of Mom Inc. and are opening it up to all women because there are brilliant female inventors out there who aren’t moms. If sexual orientation comes up as a point of reference for them and helped inspire them to invent something, it will be a focus.

You briefly returned to Pine Valley as Hayley Vaughan Santos for All My Children’s 40th anniversary in January. If you could go back again and tackle any soapy story line, what would it be?
I would like to marry Erica Kane. Why couldn’t I? Everybody else has, sweetie.

Finally, as a New Jersey native, what do you think about the whole Jersey Shore phenomenon?

I’m fascinated by it. What’s interesting is that so few of them are from New Jersey, but it doesn’t matter because it’s that same type of person I grew up with in South Jersey. It was the same thing back then — it didn’t matter if you were a boy or a girl, you knew you were going to get into a fight if you went to the boardwalk. But it was the ’80s, so our clothes were worse and we had much bigger hair.

Well, thanks again for a fun chat, Kelly.
I hope that you got something you can use, because I know I prattle on. I could talk a leg off a horse.

Tags: People