DC EXCLUSIVE: Guiding Light’s Original “Mindy” Krista Tesreau Talks Four Muskeeters 25 Years Later

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 ConfidentialWhat 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

13 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Carol2

    Thank you for the interview. I’m happy to see her again. I wish she were staying for a longer visit. Reading the Twitter they set up for Mindy only reminded me again of what a great character she is, and she still has ties to so many people in town. She’d even be a good girlfriend for Frank, again.

  2. Profile photo of blake3b

    Thank you for the interview, I love Krista and really love that Mindy is back and its great that they redid the Four Muskateers!
    I really hope the show brings her back more, at least recurring, there is so much there for her to play off of!

  3. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Your welcome you guys! I know I’ve been hard on GL since joining DC, but it’s been out of frustration, never hatred for the show. If anything I loved GL much more than I do GH or OLTL, because I have been watching it longer, which of course means my memories of when it was amazing are more personal, so I expect more from it. If that makes sense. Now that I see they are fighting to treat their fans right, I will do what I can to promote them yet still offering my brand of um, "constructive criticism".

  4. Profile photo of jefhamlin

    Though I started watching GL during Marland’s short reign, it was really with the arrival of Michael O’Leary (my first gay soap crush!) and the Musketeers that I became a GL fanatic. I was in high school at the time and they were my Dawson’s Creek/OC/One Tree Hill.

    I’ll be watching Mindy’s episodes, but if they don’t give respect to Rick and make him a leading man, not the doormat he has been for far too long, I won’t stick around.

  5. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

     but if they don’t give respect to Rick and make him a leading man, not the doormat he has been for far too long, I won’t stick around.
    The soap is reportedly in the process of rebuilding the Bauers as a core family. Rick’s daughter Leah is returning to the show, possibly to be paired with Phillip and Beth’s son James, his younger sister Michelle is also headed back to Springfield, so I’m sure you will see more of your fave character.

  6. Profile photo of shale

    Jamey please allow me to beg you pardon. I am so very passionate about GL and sometimes I take your comments so personal because I love GL so much. I have forgotten that I am not the only one that loves the show, and I believe I allowed my history with the show to shut out the fact that it is not just bada at times it can be horrible.

    I had to do some “looking” over myself, and realized that I was wrong in my assesment of you, that you care.

    I still want storylines disscussed on the podcast, but you are a good journalist, even when I do not agree with all your staements. Sad part is I at times feel the same way about GL, ATWT, and Days when they are bad.

    Thanks Jamey for keeping the faith and calling out when things are bad and when things are good in your view.

  7. Profile photo of blake3b

    Yeah thanks Jamey, trust me I would not be praising the show myself if it was not worth it (which it was not since after Phillip was shot), and I love to see a show praised when it is doing so well, like OLTL in late 2007 when the new regime took over.

  8. Profile photo of zurge

    “The soap is reportedly in the process of rebuilding the Bauers as a core family.”


    Thank you for that info, Jamey – it’s about f’n time!!! The Bauers, love ‘em or not, have been the core family on this show since *1949*. I’m glad the powers-that-be are bringing more of them back. And yes – please give Michael O’Leary his much-deserved leading man status.

    Thank you, too, for the interview with Krista. I’m hoping she’ll be back again soon…!

  9. Profile photo of Revafan001

    Thanks Jamey, wasn’t it said in a interview from EW that scene’s can be shot out of order and put them in order later? If so, why not give Krista a s/l and tape her scecens a month or two ahead, so she doesn’t have to compute as much! Again, thanks Jamey!

  10. Profile photo of Doobiekat

    Thanks so much Jamey!!! I really love the respectful insight you just gave my favorite show…I can’t blame you for being hard on a show that once out shined all others in comparison…I too have been critical with the mess they have laid on us the past couple of years,but it has vastly improved as of late… You should have been watching back in the 80’s my friend..now that was some kick ass stuff they wrote back then…plus the acting was always stellar…well their are a few exceptions and we know the two or three you love to talk about. Anyway as A huge Gl fan I really appriciate your criticisim of all the shows – good or bad you are at least honest about what you are saying and not just blowing smoke up somebodys ass to please them… Love ya and keep up the great work!!!!

  11. Profile photo of Shame218

    Having Krista back as Mindy was wonderful, but such a wasted opportunity, hell her twitter account listed detailed scenes that hardcore Tesreau/Mindy fans would have loved, especially with Marj Dusay as Alexandra! I also would have loved to see her with her doppleganger Lizzie! And I were in charge, I’d put her with Cyrus, NOT FRANK! This would link her to Alex, Lizzie, etc. And Cyrus has that international flair that would perfectly suit Mindy. Tesreau & Bartlett would be amazing together AND this could be a way to salvage/save a doomed Cyrus & his portrayer from leaving the canvas! I will always say Tesreau is the quintessential Mindy, bring her back recurring, Beth needs a friend! Another post so brilliantly noted, she doesnt want a contract, so P&G should jump at the opportunity while Tesreau is interested. She is loyal to GL, her fans are loyal to her and this could be one factor that saves GL! Also, i had previously posted when Tesreau’s return was announced on DC some of my ideas to save GL! One was hiring Robin Mattson to return as Hope Bauer, something I now see as a main article. What i had forgo to mention was her amazing chemistry with former SB costar Justin Deas, these two together could also save GL! Just a thought! Again, sorry 4 the typos.

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