Crystal Chappell Says Goodbye to Otalia

Crystal Chappell heads back to Days of our Lives , leaving gay soap fans saddened that it's Light s out for daytime's same-sex super couple Otalia.

BY Michael Fairman

June 18 2009 11:00 PM ET

CRYSTAL CHAPPELL 02 20090619 X390 (PUB) | ADVOCATE.COM

You told Jessica you were going to go back to Days . How did that go? I did tell Jessica, and she texted me back and said, Yay! Employment. You know, that is what we all wish for each other. It was funny. I had this wonderful news breaking last Friday. I am so lucky as an actor to have a job these days, but I really thought it hit me hard. I am the first one to announce: Hey, I'm going over here , and you could kind of see that people were so happy for me, but there was a weight that fell on the group. I kind of felt it all weekend. I am vacillating between extreme relief and joy and excitement about going back and trying something old and making it new again. At the same time I was feeling devastated. So, it was this weird emotional breakup at some level.

Perhaps Days could capitalize on the popularity of Otalia and have Jessica come over to join you. Why not?

To the gay audiences who have fallen in love with the character of Olivia, how much has it meant to you? I wish I could adequately put into words how honored I have felt to be a part of the story. Even during my trip to L.A. and my phone call with Procter and Gamble, I was grateful to them that they approved the story. I went back to the very beginning of it, because it was important to thank everyone who said yes along the way. I thought it was very brave. To have this opportunity to represent a group of people I have come to love and appreciate was amazing. The character may be finished, as far as I know, and the coupling, but I am still a big advocate and a big supporter and I will continue to represent the gay community in a positive light. It's important to me and it's something dear to my heart, and it's because of the journey I have taken with this character.

Otalia's journey is ending. Will it be a happy ending? As far as I know, yes. There is a kind of closure to the whole show. I think people will be OK with how things end.

In your dreams of dreams, if Guiding Light was going to stay on, would you have stayed and not jumped to another show? Absolutely! That was the idea certainly all along. I told Ellen Wheeler, if she can get the show moved I will be there, and the people at Procter and Gamble. I spoke to Jessica and we said we would be willing to move, and we want to be Web stars, and is there any way we can move the show there? I tried to think of everything I could, not just for the Otalia story line, but also for the show. You know this is their show and their business and they are doing what's best for them.

It must be very frustrating. I am the actor. I am the one who comes in and says the lines. If anything, it's taught me to continue the story on some level. There is a story to be told, and as it's being written now to take it to the Web would be a great idea. To me, it's something that is very important to me. There is not much to say beyond that. I have been floored and wowed by how people have been supportive, and I am very grateful.

In all online reports, it says that you put out feelers to The Young & the Restless too. I had meetings with everybody in the soap business. Y&R 's Paul Rauch [co-executive producer] and I go way back from his days at Guiding Light . I know B&B 's exec Brad Bell… I know everybody. When you have been around long enough, you know people. I talked with everybody to touch base. But, I was so intrigued about going back to Days , and it was also a timing thing and giving that another shot. I think it's become an interesting show with Gary running it.

Tags: television

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