Otalia in Love on Guiding Light ?

Women in love: Are Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia becoming daytime's new "it" couple?

BY Michael Fairman

March 09 2009 11:00 PM ET

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Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia XSMALL (JOHN PASCAL/JPISTUDIOS) | ADVOCATE.COMHave there been challenges, as an actress, as opposed to
when you are in a heterosexual relationship story line?
Crystal:

No. I have approached this as a basic simple love story. I
think it's really non-gender-specific in my world as an
actress. My character has found she's falling for another
woman. It's still what I have always done in terms of my work
and the approach to it. I did feel, however, that we needed to
take it slowly and not sensationalize it. If you think about
how long we have taken to get to this point; it was intended to
create a long-term bond between these two characters. We take
baby steps at times to create a love story that the audience
can invest in.
Jessica:

It may have been a bit easier because we did not play that we
were in love. Maybe it seemed a bit banal, but we were
literally folding laundry in one scene and moments came out of
that. Our relationship developed slowly and it was sometimes
ugly and sometimes pretty and normal ... which is what
friendships are.

Are you aware of the tremendous groundswell of support you
are receiving from the LGBT audience?
Jessica:

I am starting to, and I am starting to get some feedback via
e-mail.
Crystal:

I have received e-mails, and people are appreciative of being
represented in a positive way. People have ideas of what a gay
lifestyle is like, and yet I think this surprised them. I think
this is being depicted in an everyday, natural way, and it's
born out of love. [Executive producer] Ellen Wheeler and the
writers have not strayed from that -- which is a love
story with soap plots! [
Laughs

]

Olivia's daughter's school essay "My Two Mommies"
stirred quite a controversy in which some of the other moms at
Emma's school just spewed their ignorance at Olivia. How did
you feel about those scenes?
Crystal:

I thought it was a really interesting way to start steering
these characters in a different direction and to a different
part of the story. It was such an innocent effort on the
child's part. She loves these two women who take care of her.
Out of that, Olivia and Natalia end up kissing and crossing
different lines, and it stirred things up. That was the
beginning of a whole new beat of the story for me.

Child custody issues have always been a challenge at times
for the LGBT community, when one parent is a man and the other
a woman who has now made her life with another woman. Emma is
Phillip and Olivia's daughter. Will the show visit these
issues?
Crystal:

I don't know what the future is, but in all honesty, it's a
real and important issue. If Olivia and Natalia were to get
together and decided to become a couple, I don't see it in
Phillip's nature to come and take the child away from her, as
long as the child was happy.
Jessica:

In regard to Emma, I think it's really nice that Emma is the
sanest, accepting person in the entire story line. She is very
aware she has a father. She is not confused where her father's
role lies. She's very aware that these two women love her to
pieces, and she calls them "Her Two Mommies," and she's OK
with that.

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