Soapside: 's Guide to Daytime



Venice and Guiding Light fans all breathed a collective sigh of relief last week when Crystal Chappell nabbed her highly anticipated Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Olivia Spencer, the formerly "straight," onetime Springfield bad girl who falls in love with another woman.

Actors and shows are allowed to submit only one episode of their work to be judged against the other pre-nominees in their categories by a blue-ribbon panel for Emmy contention. Chappell submitted her most powerful and memorable moment as Olivia — when she professed her love for Natalia at Gus’s graveside. So, is Chappell a lock to bring home the gold in Las Vegas on June 27? Well, if the LGBT audience has something to say about it, she should.

I caught up with Crystal on nomination day and asked if she were to win, would she take the time to recognize the gay community in her acceptance speech, a la Sean Penn’s Oscar speech for Milk? “Well, of course,” Crystal exclaimed. “That is what the whole nomination and the whole thing is about. It’s these two women who fall in love and the obstacles they had to overcome. So absolutely, I would definitely speak to that.”

So did Chappell know the graveyard scene and her declaration of love to Natalia was a soap classic from the get-go? “You know whether something is cooking or not and if you are fully in a moment. But what was important to me was in the writing of the scenes. As soon as I read it, I went, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to do these.’ I thought it was just so honest. At the end of my performance of it, I knew those scenes went really well.”

Crystal and company are hard at work on season 2 of Venice, expected later this summer. In the meantime, for your Venice fix, make sure to check out the revamped and spectacular new look of its website.

And speaking of getting your Venice fix — hurry and get your bids in for an autographed script from the cast and do a good thing for man’s best friend at the same time. Writer and producer Kim Turrisi is offering up for bids a 74-page script of season 1, with its title page signed by the cast: Crystal Chappell (Gina), Harrison White (Jamie), Jordan Clarke (John), Michelle N. Carter (Michele), Galen Gering (Owen), Hillary B. Smith (Guya), Lesli Kay (Tracy), Nadia Bjorlin (Lara), Gina Tognoni (Sami), Jessica Leccia (Ani), and Michael Sabatino (Alan). To bid on this piece of soon-to-be soap history, go to the Willie-Coppee Fund website.

The fund was created by Venice and One Life to Live star Hillary B. Smith and her best friend, Lindsay Harrison. It serves to discreetly assist pet owners who may be struggling with overwhelming veterinary bills at the Sherman Oaks Veterinary Group in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The group offers funds to assist pet owners challenged in today’s economy, as countless individuals are unable to provide routine care and medically necessary services for their pets.

Tags: television