Adrienne Barbeau - General Hospital Q&A From The TV MegaSite
 

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The General Hospital Q & A Pages

General Hospital Interviews!

13 Questions with Adrienne Barbeau (Suzanne)
By Suzanne 
1/27/11

Adrienne Barbeau

1. What's been the most interesting part of being on General Hospital? 

Iím fascinated with how it all works, especially how the head writer threads all those characters together for such an incredibly long period of time on into the future. And also fascinated with the fansí passionate expressions of their opinions, on the internet and in print, about everything on the show from the wardrobe to the performances to the individual stories, and even specific lines of dialogue. Itís amazing how much they care and how vocal they are about what they like and donít like.

2. A lot of soap opera characters have secrets. Do you think that Suzanne has a big secret?

Well, I know she has some known only to me. Part of my process as an actor is to make choices about the characterís past that brought her to this point in her life and give credence to her behavior. Itís not something I ever mention to anyone else. Those choices would change the minute anything ever appeared in the script to contradict them, but until that happens; theyíre Suzanneís and my secret.

3. Do you think itís possible that Suzanne will settle down and stay in Port Charles?

This is a soap opera. Anythingís possible, isnít it?

4. What has it been like, joining such a large cast? Were they very welcoming and friendly?

Everyone has been lovely. There are still quite a few of the actors I havenít had scenes with yet and so I look forward to those days when I meet more and more of the denizens of PC. But everyone, from the production staff to the crew to the cast, has been welcoming. Itís a nice place to work!

4. You have written a lot about vampires. Did you ever watch ďPort CharlesĒ (the GH spin-off that had vampires in it)?

I just learned about 'Port Charles' when I joined 'General Hospital' and discovered only last week that it had a paranormal story line. Now Iím really interested and wish it were still on the air.

5. Were you ever a soap fan before joining the show (did you watch GH)?

We filmed our first season of Maude, in 1972, at CBS Television City and The Young and The Restless was in the studio next door, so I became friends with several of the cast members and tried to catch the show to see their work when I could. Then in 1985 I spent some time with one of the stars of GH and tuned in for his performances. This may sound strange, but when I was growing up, watching television during the day just wasnít done in our family. I still find it hard to go to a matinee at the movies. Daytime is for working or going to school or being out in the elements. You can read if youíre outside, but youíre not supposed to spend daylight hours in a dark movie theatre or sitting in front of the TV. Yes, it does sound strange, doesnít it? But thatís the reason I never watch daytime television. Even now that Iím doing the show, I Tivo it and catch up at night, but if Iím home during the day, I donít turn it on.

6. What is the most challenging thing about playing Suzanne?

Playing Suzanne is easy. Arranging to get my sons to school on the mornings when I have a 6:45 a.m. call time and my husband is out of town (heís doing an hysterically funny play called Youíve Got Hate Mail at the Triad Theatre in NYC) - thatís the challenging part.

Love Bites (Vampyres of Hollywood) book cover7. I enjoyed reading your latest book. Was it difficult to learn to write, and were you nervous about going solo on this one?

I was a bit anxious about going solo on 'Love Bites', yes. Iíd written 'There Are Worse Things I Could Do' by myself and that was great fun and pretty easy to do, but it was my life story so I sort of knew the plot. 'Love Bites' was my first solo novel. I knew the characters really well and I knew their history and the setting and I knew what I wanted to explore with them. I had a beginning and an end, but I had to figure out the middle as I went along.

8. Do you think the books will be made into a series or movies?

I have a feeling the television market is glutted with vampires these days, but I can envision Love Bites as a quirky, independent comedy on the big screen. Tommy Atkins can play himself!

9. I also enjoyed the Hollywood insider stuff. It was fun that you included the Sportsmanís Lodge, for instance (a lot of soap opera fan events are held there every year). Do you ever get friends wondering if a character in your book is based on them?

Well, after Iíd written the scenes with Tom Atkins (who is a longtime friend, even from before The Fog), I sent them to him to make sure he was okay with what Iíd written. SuzieQ sounds a lot like a dear friend of mine from the South, but her snake dancing career I stole from Ruthie, the character I played in Carnivale. I guess the only person I stole the most from is me Ė Ovsanna and I have a lot in common.

10. Do you type your books on the computer, or do you have some other way of doing it (like reading it aloud into a recorder or writing longhand etc.)? How many hours per day do you devote to writing it?

I couldnít have written anything without my computers Ė especially my MacBook Air, because I wrote 'Love Bites' in hotel rooms, on car rides, in the parking lot of the soccer field while my boys were at practice, even during those three hour sessions I sat with straightening chemicals on my curly hair in the beauty salon. And I never would have done the research I needed for my movie star vampires without Google. The only time I wrote long hand on any scrap of paper I could find was when I woke up in the middle of the night and had sentences in my head that I didnít want to lose before I fell back to sleep.

11. You were quite a great role model in the 70ís. I liked that your character was not silly, stupid, or really screwed up, like so many young sitcom women, and she was also a good liberal feminist. That is, unfortunately, still very rare on TV. Who was your role model growing up?

I guess it was my mom. My parents divorced in 1957, a time when divorce was pretty rare, and she had to work full time to take care of us. She also was the only one of her brothers and sisters who left home (a 20 acre grape farm in Selma, California) to live away from the family. And married a man who wasnít Armenian, which really was rebellious for a young Armenian girl of her generation.

12. What would you advise an aspiring writer or actress today?

Iím not very comfortable giving advice, but I guess the first thing that comes to mind is do whatever you need to do to learn your craft. And be sure the reason you want to act or write is because you have an undeniable need to create; not simply because you want to be famous or rich. Being able to earn a living doing what you love is a fantastic thing, but itís really hard to accomplish if youíre in it for the wrong reasons.

13. What TV shows do you enjoy watching in your spare time?

Rubicon, Rescue Me, Law & Order U.K., House, Castle, Bones, Fringe and The Closer. I love a lot of the British series: M-I 5, Torchwood, Inspector Morse, Inspector Lynley, Luther, Rebus. Canít stand most of the reality show, although Iíd love to be on The Amazing Race, and I never watch sit-coms...go figure.

Read my review of her book!

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Page updated 7/23/12

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