Soapside: Advocate's Guide to Daytime
BY Michael Fairman
August 14 2009 12:00 AM ET
So, ultimately, is Vivian really Auntie Mame gone nuts? Sorel tells me that that is an interesting analogy.
“Well, I think Auntie Mame is already nuts. I don’t mind that comparison. That’s fine with me. I did not get to throw parties like Mame and don’t have a band like her ... but give me a band and I will march [laughs]. I have never thought of her as Mame, because Mame was more of a social butterfly and certainly wasn’t doing the things Vivian did. Mame is very likable, and Vivian is on a different path, but there is a certainly an over-the-top theatricality about her. I am glad the LGBT fans enjoy her as much as I do.”
Morgan Fairchild … the Lipstick Lesbian, and Her Friends
This week on The Bold and the Beautiful, some special guests made the in-soap smackdown between dueling fashion houses, The Fashion Challenge, extra special.
Morgan Fairchild, one of daytime and prime-time soaps' most familiar faces, popped up as Dottie, a socialite friend of Stephanie Forrester's who wants to execute this fashion face-off to raise money for her favorite charity. I was on the set the day of the tapings, and after the long shoot, Morgan and I caught up, and I addressed a few topics of interest. One of which is, Why does she always get cast as the bitch?
Personally, I always thought it was her nose, and I was correct! She answered, “I always thought it was my nose. I have a pointy nose, and it makes everybody think you are a bitch. They don’t even give you a chance. I honestly thought I was going to play ingenues my whole life. Suddenly I get to New York and get on the soaps and it's instant bitchdom. It’s more fun to play the bad guy because you are always the catalyst. I take a lot of one-dimensional bad-girl parts and make them fun and kind of jump. Larry Hagman [J.R.] did it on Dallas, and Joan Collins [Alexis] did it on Dynasty. The thing was, none of us were supposed to be the stars of the show, but we are wise-asses, and we would throw it out there, and those are the characters that jump off the screen.”
But for LGBT fans, Morgan made a very special appearance on the hit comedy sitcom Roseanne back in the early '90s that, to this day, is a milestone. Morgan recounts, “They called me up in 1992 and they called and offered me this part. I jumped at it. My agent said, 'Are you sure you want to do this?' I knew it was groundbreaking, because I was the first lipstick lesbian on a sitcom, playing Sandra Bernhard’s girlfriend. I thought it was going to be a hoot. Sandra talks about her new girlfriend through the whole show, and the last person anybody was going to expect to walk through that door was Morgan Fairchild. It was fun, and you like to do things that catch people off-guard. I have this theory that to stay in this business you have to reintroduce yourself to a new audience every five years. So, when they offered me the Old Navy gig, I thought that was great. I told my friends, 'You know the target demographic for the clothes is 13-year-old boys. You know what? The network demographic is 13-year-old boys.' I have little kids in airports doing the Old Navy dance and they don’t know a thing about me from Flamingo Road or Falcon Crest. They know me as the ‘Old Navy lady.’”
So what does Morgan think of the cougar story line featuring B&B's Brandon Beemer (Owen) and her BFF, Lesley-Anne Down (Jackie)? “I think older woman-younger guy is great. I think the term 'cougar' is demeaning. No offense to this show. Just as a woman, I find it demeaning. What is the reciprocal one for a guy -- letch? [Laughs] I think the whole concept of women not being limited to someone older than they are is great. The way it was before, a woman used to be married to someone at least five years older than she was. I think that’s great that those sets of norms have become passé. On the other hand, you look at some of these women and wonder, What do you talk to him about? He does not look that bright! It’s sort of the same thing you think when you see older guys and dim blonds. What do they talk about?”