Otalia in Love on Guiding Light ?
BY Michael Fairman
March 10 2009 12:00 AM ET
First there was
Brangelina, and now comes Otalia. The blossoming romance of
Olivia and Natalia on the CBS's long-running daytime drama
has been the buzz of the soap world for weeks. The groundswell
of support for the couple has given birth to the now-famous
acronym. Daytime fans and the LGBT audience have been curious
and compelled to watch the daily drama unfold -- two women who
have never before been in a same-sex relationship are
finding their way toward love with each other.
struggles of these two mainstay characters to identify and come
to terms with what and how they feel for each other has even
mainstream press keeping tabs on the show. Last week Otalia
made the Must List from the editors of
But is there a
long-term commitment to the characters and the story? Is there
another man on the way to put a stop to the train that's left
the station? Advocate.com spoke exclusively with Daytime Emmy
Award-winning actress Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia just
as Otalia's world is about to be rocked this week on
Advocate.com:What was your reaction when you were told that they were
going to be pairing Olivia with Natalia?Jessica Leccia:
For me personally, that I would be working with Crystal was
exciting, and it was overwhelmingly positive.
This story has been in the works since January of 2008 and it
was told to us then. I am open to whatever story they want to
tell, and it's certainly something I have never done before. It
was just a matter of being patient and seeing how and when it
was going to happen.
It's been interesting to see how the romance is developing.
These are two women who were originally enemies, moved in
together out of necessity, and became friends. Is there a
moment in Olivia's journey when she realized she had deeper
feelings for Natalia?Crystal:
I think she is confused. She is surprised how she is even able
to coexist with another female and not be competitive with her.
Natalia has given her a sense of home and "being" that she
has never felt before. I think she is just feeling differently
than she has ever experienced. After the "My Two Mommies"
essay came out and her daughter opened up that perspective to
her, she started to look at things a little differently.
Are both women in a state of denial?Crystal:
I think Olivia is sensing she wants to say something. She just
doesn't know what to say and she does not want to let this
person go, because she is sensing she is more than just a
friend. Beyond that, I think she is terrified.
Natalia has been in visible denial. I think she did acknowledge
to herself that is she was OK with letting things lie for a
while. Then she could cling onto the happiness she had with
Olivia without complicating it.