Guiding Light’s Otalia Fever

Crystal Chappell, Melodie Aikels and Jessica Leccia

During the Guiding Light location shoot in Florida, I had a chance to chat with Frank Dicopolous, Crystal Chappell, and Jessica Leccia about their current storyline featuring Otalia. All three actors were very excited about being apart of such a different story for daytime. They also were very surprised by the fan response to the storyline and didn’t expect it to be so huge. The Otalia line for autographs was almost as long as Josh and Reva’s line. To me, that spoke volumes, so when I saw a group of Otalia fans gathered chatting about their couple, I grabbed one for an interview. Brenda was so kind to tell me all about her Big Purple Fever for Otalia.

Daytime Confidential: What brought you to Otalia? Why do you like them?

Brenda: Well, back in October I heard they were gonna move in together, but then I read where the idea of them being a couple was shot down so then I didn’t watch it. But then I saw them kiss on the CBS website, and I thought, "Well let me give this a chance". So, I went toYou Tube and watched all the clips and saw the slow buildup, the old fashioned storytelling like it used to be. It was like Bo and Hope or Patch and Kayla on Days of Our Lives and other couples, and it was just beautifully written. It was subtle, slow, and just told in a normal light and not sensationalized like All My Children did with Bianca and the wedding, and then they break them up the next day.

DC: "Our lesbians are better than yours"

Brenda: Yeah, GL doesn’t want to label it. They just want it to be beautiful and have gotten alot of straight fans from it. So, that’s great to see and any good press the gay community can get is fabulous. It’s a positive storyline rather than the usual negative, "Oh it’s a pregnancy or oh it’s a shooting" or something like that. It’s just great. You have beautiful storytelling, two great actresses who love the storyline, and we appreciate that too. It’s just wonderful.

DC: Now, did you watch Guiding Light before Olivia and Natalia?

Brenda: No, I never watched it.

DC: Well that’s interesting because I’ve seen many people in your situation.

Brenda: Yeah, alot of people on the board are brand new fans. But I knew Crystal from Days of Our Lives.

DC: Oh so you used to watch that one?

Brenda: Yeah I used to watch that one and All My Children with Bianca but then they ruined that a number of times especially with Lena. Ugh, that one really killed me. I tried to give it another shot with this go around with Reese but once again it was terrible. So I flipped over to Guiding Light with Otalia and all I can say is "Halleujah!"

DC: Now, are you enjoying the other stuff too?

Brenda: Yeah. I love all the other characters now. That’s how I was with All My Children before. I started watching for Bianca and ended up loving all the other characters. But any who , I’m not watching because gay couple it’s for all the characters. I mean Phillip coming back is great. The show is getting tons of new fans by doing thestorylines that people want to see.

DC: What do you want to see from Otalia in the future?

Brenda: I just want to see them together and happy for a while before the writers do something to them. I want to see all the other couples in Springfield supporting them and just you know and being behind them. I like the everyday scenes where their just sitting them around doing nothing like folding the laundry. I just want to see them as a normal couple with of course their gonna throw in some soap opera angst.

DC: There’s the Frank thing coming up.

Brenda: Frank told us the next two weeks are gonna be good and I think he meant for us.

17 Responses

  1. Profile photo of joeyconf

    This storyline is great. Crystal Chappell has a rockin’ hairstyle lately. She’s an actress of great depth. For CBS to bail on this show now is just plain unfair. What scares me is that if they bail on Guiding Light, ATWT is next.

  2. Profile photo of eriklovessoaps

    I’m a straight guy and I love Otalia.

    I really love this couple, whether they become a romantic couple or not. I like that there is no labels being flaunted around on the show to sansationalize them. I don’t know how long that will last, because they are a social issue for many that watch and you know it’s a soap too. I’ll just enjoy them right now in spite of my fear of the fate that comes with it (or any story). I think it is so easy to be afraid of what’s to come with what has been. The present is the key and what I see with Otalia is a loving couple that wants to understand and embrace and that’s the gist of it. If it wasn’t bisexuals invloved, I doubt the lines would be that long. That makes me sad, because this is an old fashion love story. Then again, maybe flocking to something only leads to a greater let down and that’s why old fashion love stories got such high ratings back in the day. They weren’t just about the future and really, they were more about the here and now. Can a social issue for many go with an old fashioned love story? To be honest, I don’t give a damn at this point. I just am enjoying what I got.

    Thanks for sharing the pics and everything.

  3. Profile photo of BBK

    I just wanted to tell you how great it was to meet you Melodie, and talk with you about Otalia. And thanks so much for posting the interview! I had a great time in Orlando meeting Crystal and Jessica! And thanks so much to you and all the other members of the press who were there and who have been giving Otalia such great support!!! Really means a lot!!

    Otalia is the end game!

    thanks again!!!


  4. Profile photo of n69n

    it would be extra-heartbreaking to see OTALIA suffer Pratt & Fron’s misogyny.

    another thing that worries me is that Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia are REAL-LIFE sized *BEAUTIFUL* women….i KNOW that Frons & Carruthers are gonna force & shame them into anorexia!!!

  5. Profile photo of naughtytomato

    I too am enjoying the Otalia storyline. As a long time Days fan, I had been enjoying the DC podcast which Days shares with the CBS discussion which of course includes GL. Sometime in Jan we were losing several long time actors on the show and at about the same time the Otalia story started to change. Hearing Crystal was on the show got me nostalgic because it brought back wonderful memories of her as a romantic herione on long ago Days. So I decided to drop in and see what she was doing on GL. It’s like meeting an old friend 16 years later. Still lovely, she has just grown as an artist and is doing beautiful work. I can go with the storyline too-after going with so many out there Days stories, this is nothing! LOL!

  6. Profile photo of south

    Thanks for the article, Melodie! Otalia is so wonderful. Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia are made for these roles and the chemistry they have is off the charts. GL is doing a great job with this story and they deserve a chance to finish what they started. Keep the Light Shining!

  7. Profile photo of dmwolf

    The great thing about Otalia is that they are indeed being presented as a couple engaged in everyday life. They fight, bicker, and banter while loving each other deeply. And they just happen to be a same-sex couple. Though, when they deal with identity issues, it is with such engaging and poignant scenes. There is such depth to this story and at the same time great comedic flair. Guiding Light is giving us quality entertainment and Otalia is the best story on television. Keep the LIGHT on!!

  8. Profile photo of Boobookitty

    I just don’t get it. The Otalia story is one of the best written and performed love stories on television, its obviously catching on with a completely new and fervent audience, and CBS is seriously considering pulling the plug? I mean you can’t buy this kind of fervent fan support, and the new fandom for GL is still only in its nascent stages. A few of us have only been watching one or two months and we feel like we’re now committed to the show forever (or as long as it manages to be on the air). CBS really needs to listen to their interns of something and figure out the future of television isn’t to be tracked by something as outdated as Nielsen ratings. If something has gone viral, you had better keep on doing what you’re doing! If they thought they got a lot of peanuts with Jericho, they’re in for a bit a shock with what Otalia fans may send them. We’re very creative folks.

  9. Profile photo of tandy

    I cannot get enough of this story. The lady who used to do housework for my grandmother used to talk about her “stories,” and I remember getting caught up in the Luke and Laura one — this was a long time ago.

    Now I feel like I have my own. This Otalia thing gets in your BLOOD! I’m amazed by the level of the acting, and even though soaps are notoriously fantastical in their conceits, this story (once you get past Gus’ heart being given by his wife to the woman who tried tyo break them up!) is totally convincing. I’m so impressed by the nuances of the emotional responses these characters have to their situation. Even Frank, as clueless as he is, is portrayed in such a nuanced way, both in the script and by Frank D.

    I am showing up for this ride as long as the ride lasts.

  10. Profile photo of amandaln977

    Great article! I’m also a new viewer to Guiding Light and will follow it wherever it goes (yes, I’m hopeful)! I absolutely love the Otalia story line. Crystal and Jessica are amazing together!

  11. Profile photo of Fly

    Guiding Light has become such a part of my routine that missing a show is akin to skipping a meal. I get cranky, nauseous and then OD on YouTube Otalia clips all evening long.

  12. Profile photo of tamelle

    ‘Otalia’ has been like all of your favorite holidays rolled into one fabulous event! Oh, and the perks? We get Bill and Lizzie, Phillip’s return, Alex back on board harassing Alan, etc. GL is clicking on all cylinders right now, and Springfield (or Peapack) is the place to BE!

  13. Profile photo of witch0000

    I too have been struck by the Otalia train…wow. I’ve been watching soaps since I was a little girl (Dark Shadows!), and Guiding Light has been a favorite, but not for a number of years…channel surfing one day when I was home sick from work, I landed on the “kiss” episode. I got hooked into the whole show within a matter of days. I love Reva (can’t believe she’s not with Josh…those two should just give up…), and I love Dinah and Shayne, but Olivia and Natalia are my favorites. Wonderful acting, beautiful writing–love in the afternoon (or morning in my case) just as it’s supposed to be. Bring on my soaps! And please someone–save the light! There are so many new fans to the show–don’t take it from us now.

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