BY Michael Fairman
November 06 2009 1:00 PM ET
OK, Crystal, but what the gals want to know is, will there be some real girl-on-girl action?
“She will be kissing and touching a woman, and we shot that at sunset. You get a beautiful sunset and sailboat going by, and there is some good hot stuff there ... might be a push up against a wall ... did I just slip that in? [Laughs] But then there is real romance. Gina wants love but she does not know how to commit to it.”
Crystal, who in real life is married to actor Michael Sabatino, says her hubby is unfazed by her stepping inside the sexuality of a lesbian. “My impression of a lesbian world is that there are all kinds of women. So you can’t really pigeonhole anyone. I did ask about it, and I did take notes. I am a student of life. I have visited a gay bar, and I have kissed a woman! My husband is in Venice too. He plays a guy who is married and has got kids, and he decides he needs to stop and go find his dream besides this crap business stuff. So he decides to build that dream, starting with a lovely pair of boots. [Laughs] That’s all I am going to say!”
Jessica Leccia (Chapell’s former love interest on GL) told me the character she plays in Venice, Ani, is far removed from her days in Springfield on the canceled CBS soap.
“Everything is pretty much different with Ani. They are night and day. Ani is way more with it than Natalia. She has a career and is goal-oriented and is on the pulse of everything. She is really busy and human and in love ... and all the things that come with that. She is way savvier than Natalia. Ani is going to be a force to be reckoned with and is more of a go-getter to get what she wants. Gina may be what she wants, and that is her big dilemma in this whole thing ... loving somebody and not having it the way she would like it to be.”
Leccia admits the groundswell from Otalia and the gay audience’s allegiance to her and Crystal is still hard to comprehend. “The support in general blew us away. I guess I could not wrap my head around how much it would mean to people to have their story represented and up there on the TV screens as well. But Crystal always has her wheels turning and is five steps ahead of everyone else and what types of stories should be done. She is a good storyteller as an actor and in writing. And I trust her. So I know that she has made this what it is and she has a great team of people with her, and I am glad to be part of it.”
For Venice writer-producer Kim Turrisi, seeing her hard work and dedication to this labor of love come to life was quite the moment. “The first day I watched the characters come to life, I honestly did cry. Crystal was magnificent, and everyone has been amazing, and I have shed a tear every day. When you have been a writer for so long and have gotten so close and now the day is here and it is with someone that I love and have been friends with for so long, it’s magic.”
Turrisi says Venice does have a message to share with its online audience and community. “I think primarily I want people to realize gay people are like straight people. I never say, ‘This is Crystal Chappell, my straight friend,’ and she never defines me either as her gay friend. I just hope that people out there realize there are gay people everywhere and we are just like everybody else. We have the same feelings, joys, tears, laughter, and we sort of want it to be all-inclusive as one world. ... which is how I was brought up all my life. I would sort of like for people to see it like that. It’s one world.”