In 1984, a soap opera story about four unique-yet-intertwined high schoolers captured the nation's imagination, and helped Guiding Light skyrocket to the top of the Nielsens. They were the Four Muskeeters: Phillip, a rich kid with identity issues; Rick, a loveable goofball who never got the girl, or if he did, Phillip stole her from him; Beth, a tragic young woman dealing with an abusive stepfather and Mindy, a spoiled, oil heiress from Oklahoma, who put the enemy in frenemy.
Starting today, March 6, those Four Muskeeters—Phillip (Grant Aleksander), Rick (Michael O'Leary), Beth (Beth Chamberlin) and Mindy (Krista Tesreau), will all reunite for their 25th high school reunion. Daytime Confidential.com caught up with one of GL's fab four, the ageless Krista Tesreau, who recently left her toddlers, Michael, 3 and 1/2 years-old and Julia, 1 and 1/2, in the care of her husband Glen Strauss, to fly from LA to New York to reprise her signature role for the auspicious occasion.
Tesreau, who portrayed Mindy from 1983-1989, and has returned for numerous guest appearances over the years—in between squeezing in memorable turns on One Life to Live (she was Tina Lord #6, the one who actually married David Vickers!) and Santa Barbara— shared with us what it was like to reunite with O'Leary and Aleksander. She also revealed how even though she hasn't worked much with Chamberlin (Judi Evans played the role of Beth during the original Four Musketeers storyline, leaving the show in 1986. Chamberlain assumed the role 1989) over the years, the two actresses share the same easy chemistry that made the original foursome so iconic. Who says you can't go home again?
Daytime Confidential: What brings Mindy back to Springfield?
Krista Tesreau: Springfield High's Class of 1984 is celebrating their 25th high school reunion.
DC: There is no way The Four Muskeeters are old enough to have been out of high school 25 years! I saw the video promos and you still look like a teenager!
KT: Aww, thank you, thank you!
DC: Now of course I know Beth Chamberlin's secret is her Kettlebell, but how do you keep Krista Tesreau and Mindy Lewis still looking like the same Belle from Tulsa who descended on Springfield in 1983?
KT: You know, I do a little bit of everything! I do a little cross-training, but first, I should point out the obvious, I'm running around taking care of my 1 and 1/2 year-old Julia Renee and my 3 and 1/2 year-old Michael, we call him Mikey. Then at least twice-a-week I'll go to the gym and lift weights and do a gym work out, only one hour, and I try to go running twice-a-week to get my cardio in. I also have a stationary bike at home and try to fit in yoga once or twice-a-week.
DC: Well it pays off! What was it like being reunited with The Four Musketeers?
KT: Oh wow, I can't even describe it! It was so wonderful! In some respect, nothing has changed. Michael is still the same sweet, funny guy and I can say the same thing about Grant. I'd like to say Beth Chamberlin was the same, but I actually haven't worked with Beth that many years, but you know, it feels like I have.
DC: The original Four Musketeers storyline was one of the most popular in the history of soaps. In your opinion what made it so special?
KT: Well, it's never just one thing that makes a story work. It was a combination of Pam Long and her team's writing and vision; Betty Rea's casting, boy I miss her, and I guess the chemistry between the four of us. You know, it's either there or it isn't. It's that "it factor" you always hear about. You can't manufacture it. It was pretty much there from day one.
DC: When you see other high school quartets in daytime or primetime, like on Dawson's Creek or The O.C., do you feel a sense of pride?
KT: You know, I do, yeah, a little bit, and again I can't take the credit, but we were a first, especially for daytime, and then to see primetime do it. We were real friends. As much as Mindy and Beth could get kinda catty with each other, there was an underlying friendship always there. In fact, we decided, Beth Chamberlin and I, that because Mindy and Beth have gone through so much over the years, even though we haven't seen Mindy on camera in awhile, the two of them have grown closer than ever and that's how we played it. You will see that connection on screen. There are some touching little moments between Beth and Mindy, because other than the reunion, that's what brings Mindy back to town, her dear friend has been going through some tough times.
DC: That she has! Her lover Coop just died, Phillip has returned to town after going crazy four years ago. She also had a loveless relationship with Alan, and broke up Rick's marriage. How does Mindy react to everything that's gone on in the lives of her friends since she's been gone?
KT: You know, we really didn't address a lot of that. She of course knew Phillip was back in Springfield because she'd heard about it off screen, but there wasn't a lot of time for them to address a lot of things in the scripts.
DC: Does Mindy share any scenes with her daddy while she's home?
KT: I did have a fun scene with Jordan Clarke, where Billy is saying to Mindy, "Melinda Sue, why don't you come home to see your daddy more often?" and I say, "Well daddy, it works both ways, I offered to fly you to Paris. Why don't you come to see me?" and he says something to the effect of, "the food portions are too small!"[laughs]
DC: What about Mindy's step mom Vanessa (Maeve Kinkead) or her arch nemesis Alex (Marj Dusay)?
KT: Nope, the only people I had scenes with were Billy, Rick, Phillip and Beth. I am friends with Kim Zimmer and Maeve Kinkead, so we tried to get together, but it was just such short notice and everyone heads out of town on the weekends.
DC: You came back for three episodes, could this lead to a more lengthy engagement?
KT: It could, you never know! They left it wide open. I could definitely come back more frequently. I wouldn't want to do a contract, because I have little ones and my life is California. When I was there, I would call home and the 3 and 1/2 year-old would get on the phone and say "Mommy when are you coming home?"
DC: Aw, didn't that just break your heart?
KT: Yeah, they're so tender at that age! Then he said, "Mommy, I gotta go, I gotta pee pee!" [laughs], but yeah I would definitely come back more often and for lengthier visits.
DC: This was your first time appearing on Guiding Light since the show adopted its new production model. What did you think of it?
KT: Woo Wee! Well, it's interesting. It's very fast! I think the reality look is very enticing to younger audiences. From an actor's point of view, I'm not sure why, but there are no more dry rehearsals or dress rehearsals, so it made it all very exciting, that's how I felt, just excited to be a part of it. I wonder though, if I would have felt the same way if I had worked with actors I didn't know? See, I felt so comfortable with Michael O'Leary and Grant and Beth that it was literally like riding a bike. Michael still ad libs and you just have to be ready. You'll see, we just had a ball!
DC: I can't wait to see it!
Don't miss Krista Tesreau's return to Guiding Light today on CBS. Check your local listings. For more on Krista Tesreau, go to www.kristatesreau.com. Photo provided by TeleNext. Credit: JPI