General Hospital star Laura Wright (Carly) has teamed up with Days of Our Lives’ Arianne Zucker (Nicole) and Shawn Christian (ex-Daniel) and some other fine folks to put together Daytime Cares: A Live Event, set to feature a host of your favorite daytime stars that will spotlight non-profit organizations offering COVID-19 support and resources. The variety show — set to run two hours this weekend — will be streamed lived on YouTube and Facebook.
TV Insider chatted with Wright on how this all come together and the not one, but two powerful stories she’s currently involved in on GH. Carly is supporting her husband Sonny (Maurice Benard) as his father Mike’s (Max Gail) Alzheimer’s condition deteriorates. Additionally, Carly continues to square off against nemesis Nelle (Chloe Lanier), who is trying to win custody of Wiley (Eric and Theodore Olson), the son she shares with Carly’s son, Michael (Chad Duell). Read on for the scoop!
What gave you the idea to gather so many talented daytime stars together for this online variety show?
Laura Wright: I was watching TV and seeing all people from other mediums doing something. I saw Alan Locher (former Guiding Light/As the World Turns publicist and host of The Locher Room) doing the reunions on YouTube and the reunions with White Collar and Parks and Rec so, I thought Daytime should have an event, too. It’s quickly gone from a little event to a big one. It may go to 2 hours and 45 minutes.
I had no idea that Ari and Shawn had started a site called Daytime Cares that has so many of the resources we want for this event. I wanted to produce with the show with Alan, Ari, and Shawn…it was all a perfect marriage. It all came together. We’ve been having Zoom meetings, coming up with schedules and talking to people. It’s exploded into this reality.
We know from GH’s Nurses Ball and other events that Daytime TV has plenty of talented folks. Who did you reach out to and what did you ask what they could do?
It wasn’t so much asking what they could do, but asking what they wanted to do. We actually have six singers. We have someone wanting to do comedy. Bradford [Anderson, Spinelli] and Steve [Burton, Jason] will jump in with [their characters] ‘Stone Cold and the Jackal.’ Nothing was unwelcome. What anyone wanted to do was great with us. The actors are showing up to say thank you to the fans.
I sent a group text to actors whom I do events with and we started from there. Cynthia [Watros, Nina] is a yoga teacher and she does meditation so, she’ll do a breathing exercise people can learn. We know these are scary times for people. We’ll also interview a representative from Feeding America.
Also, Jordi [Vilasuso, Rey, Young and the Restless] is coming on and he’ll talk about having had coronavirus and he’ll share his experience. I reached out to Wally [Kurth, Ned; Justin, DAYS] and [GL stars] Kim [Zimmer, ex-Reva] and Robert [Newman, ex-Josh]. They’ll both be singing. Kyle Lowder (Rex, DAYS) is coming and Wes [Ramsey, Peter; Wright’s boyfriend] is going to read some of his poetry.
Will this show be similar to others we’ve seen – like Saturday Night Live’s recent shows?
This won’t be a polished TV show. It’s going to be us in our homes. We keep hearing ‘we’re all in this together,’ which, to an extent, we are. Some people’s houses are different. Some people have different ‘stay at home’ orders. So, things will look different [with each participant]. No one is going to go and get their hair and makeup done like they would if this were being done at a studio. We want our fans to know that we’re approachable and to let them know they’re loved.
You’ll be hosting the show; is that a role you enjoy?
Yes, I do. I find it natural. There are some actors I don’t know well so, I plan on boning up on them. The focus of the night is to also have fans share stories. We have some mothers coming on. They’re people who are trying to work from home and also teach their children from home. Linsey Godfrey (Sarah, DAYS) has a little one at home and she’ll share some funny stories. She’s so funny. We just want to people to know that we’re feeling similar pains; we’re feeling similar struggles and to blow a big kiss to them from our home to theirs.
The Alzheimer’s storyline with Mike has had many heartfelt moments. Now, it’s going to another level as Mike’s condition is getting worse. People are saying it’s painful, but that’s the point. What are your thoughts on the story going this far?
It’s a story you can’t tell unless you do this part. This is not a subject you can just touch on and walk away. I think that the show is going to take this as far as they can in order to honor the people who are living this reality and the actors who are playing it.
When I was doing fan events across the country, this story is the No. 1comment I would get no matter where I’d go. People would say we are telling their story. It’s so heart-breaking. This is one of the most difficult things a family can go through. I just want to honor the whole story.
Your other big story is the ongoing battle with Nelle (Chloe Lanier). Recently, there was a scene in Nina’s office in which Nelle told Carly that she wanted what she (Carly) had – forgiveness after doing all these horrible things. Carly was not unaffected by this.
Yes. It affected Carly. It only matters if [a moment like that] affects us. If we don’t let that happen, we have nothing to play. First, Chloe really knocked it out of the park. The material was so well-written. We showed up and threw down. Chloe brought Nelle to such a vulnerable place. Carly had to be affected. When Nelle said, ‘You left me,’ that affected Carly. I said to Frank [Valentini, executive producer] later, ‘This changes everything with Carly and Nelle.’ It’s not like Carly is going to forgive Nelle for all the things she’s done, but this does take it to a deeper level. Nelle let her wall down and she may now come back fighting even harder. That’s what can happen when we show our vulnerability and we don’t get the result that we want.
Daytime Cares: A Live Event, The Locher Room on YouTube, Saturday, May 9, 8/7c
General Hospital, Weekdays, ABC
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