How refreshing is it to see primetime stars like Eva La Rue and Sarah Michelle Gellar stand up and proudly proclaim their stints on daytime television? The real-life pals, who met when they shared a dressing room on ABC Daytime's All My Children for a time during the 90's, returned to the series on Wednesday, La Rue reprising the popular role of Dr. Maria Santos and Gellar doing a cameo as an unamed mental patient, who swore she was both Erica Kane's daughter and was in an epic battle with vampires, paying homage to both of Gellar's signature roles. You know, as the original Kendall Hart on AMC and later a certain slayer named Buffy.
All one has to do is spend some time on any number of message boards, Twitter, Facebook, or the comments section on this blog this morning, to see what a treat their visit to Pine Valley was for fans. I caught up with the striking La Rue, who is busy with another season of the hit CBS procedural CSI: Miami, to talk about what AMC leaving the network airwaves means to her.
The busy actress and spokesperson (in addition to her primetime gig, she has an endorsement deal with Crest and is active in supporting the Beckstrand Cancer Foundation), took time out to speak with Daytime Confidential about her thoughts on the so-called "soap stigma" and how her stint in Pine Valley helped her hone her craft.
Now that AMC is moving online, have we seen the last of Dr. Maria Santos? Keep reading to find out.
Daytime Confidential: You've been very vocal about your emotions concerning the end of All My Children on ABC and even reprised your iconic role of Dr. Maria Santos twice for the network finale. What do you say to those in Hollywood who love to harp on the so-called "soap stigma"?
Eva La Rue: I am so sad that the show is ending. It breaks my heart. AMC was like a family to me. I think some people will always look at daytime actors with the "soap stigma," but the truth is that so many daytime actors have made the big leap into primetime and feature films. I think the rest of the industry has realized that daytime actors are talented and well-trained, and that is why people like Josh Duhamel, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eva Longoria and so many people before them have been so successful. Daytime is a tough medium. It you can make it on daytime, you can make it in the rest of the business.
DC: All My Children seems to have more superstar alumni than any other sudser. Do you think that speaks to the training the series provided?
ELR: I don't know if AMC has anymore alumni power than any other show, but I know that my time at AMC was special and I learned so much about my craft. I am so proud of all the wonderful people from AMC who have managed to keep going in the business. It just speaks volumes about what a great and special show AMC is to work on!
DC: What was it like to work with your pal Sarah Michelle Gellar again after all those years?
ELR: Sarah and I never really worked together back then. We did share a dressing room for about two years and that started a close friendship that exists today. Working with her recently was really fun and it sort of put a special ending on a long journey.
DC: Any chance you could do a guest spot on her new primetime sudser Ringer?
ELR: I am really excited for Sarah and her new show. I have no idea what the future may bring. I just want her show to do well for her. I work so many long hours at CSI:Miami, on my new Crest Campaign and with Beckstrand Cancer Foundation, that I don't know if I would even have time if they asked me, but I would sure try. I would work with Sarah anytime if the circumstances were right.
DC: What's in store for Detective Natalia Boa Vista this season on CSI: Miami?
ELR: We have a great season lined up. I can't tell you what happens because I don't want to ruin anything for the CSI: Miami fans. You will all just have to watch!
DC: You're very active with the Beckstrand Cancer Foundation. How long have you been involved with the charity? How do you balance your busy schedule with your career, charitable activities and motherhood?
ELR: Yes, I am very involved with Beckstrand Cancer Foundation and I have worked with them for about a year now. Fortunately, my husband and daughter are as passionate about Beckstrand as I am and they like to get involved whenever possible. My stepdaughter, Cassie who is a brilliant publicist, is now working with Beckstrand too so it is becoming a real family affair. This work is so important that we just find a way to balance it with my shooting schedule and make it all work. I encourage everyone to visit our website at www.Beckstrand.org and try to donate. All the money donated goes directly to cancer patients and their families to help with everyday living expenses and we have scholarship opportunities too! In a tough economy, charity is the hardest hit so it is important now to give more than ever.
DC: With AMC going online and possibly to cable, have we seen the last of Dr. Maria Santos?
ELR: I don't really know. I would never say "never," but right now it looks like "this" Dr. Maria Santos has probably said a final goodbye to Pine Valley...but who really knows?
CSI: Miami airs Sunday nights at 10/9c on CBS.
Photo courtesy of Eva La Rue
Eva La Rue and Sarah Michelle Gellar photo credit: ABC