Jamey Giddens getting his start on the Daytime Confidential blog and podcast should afford the DC gang a few perks. Right?
We caught up with the Ambitions creator to get him to answer our burning questions ahead of tonight's midseason premiere on OWN. See what he had to say below.
Carly Silver: If you could cast any daytime or primetime soap opera actress, past or present, in Ambitions, whom would you choose and why? And in what role would you cast her?
Jamey Giddens: Will Packer and I joke about how great it would be to bring on Susan Lucci as the Purifoy matriarch. I'd also love to stunt cast Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams as Titus's (Kendrick Cross) parents. Additionally, I'm a big fan of Lamon Archey, Mishael Morgan, Karla Mosley and Maura West. I'd love to steal them all!
CS: What would the landscape of Atlanta look like in an alternate universe in which Stephanie and Titus had stayed together?
JG: Stephanie (Robin Givens) would have grown bored with Titus by the second year tops; all those pesky virtues and the morality he espouses! She's more in love with the idea of Titus than the man himself. Titus never would have stood for how the Carlisles conduct business. He would have tried to make Stephanie choose between her lust for power and love for him. They definitely would have been long divorced by now.
CS: Any chance of crossovers with other Will Packer and/or OWN series?
JG: I doubt we'd be able to do a crossover, but I am obsessed with Bigger, a dramedy Will produces for BET+. It's a really smart serialized rom-com featuring sexy, black 30-somethings trying to figure out life, love and career. I definitely wouldn't mind some of that show's cast popping up on Ambitions. Angell Conwell, who played Leslie on The Young and the Restless, is a contract player. Love her!
Joshua Baldwin Is blood thicker than business? I'm worried about what will happen when Rondell (Brely Evans) learns her brother Mayor Evan Lancaster (Brian J White) was actively working with Stephanie to undermine Rondell's efforts to save The Banks and Thelma's Place.
JG: Rondell was born at night but not last night. She knows her brother well enough to realize he hasn't been as invested in the fight to save their neighborhood as she. That being said, Evan is invested in Rondell. He wants to save Thelma's Place because he knows what it means to his big sister. You're going to see more of a united front from the Lancaster siblings in the wake of their father's death.
JB: I wonder if Stephanie knew the entire time that Damian (Alexander Mulzac) dipped his toes in multiple lakes and might use that to her advantage at some point?
JG: Stephanie is very much aware that Damian framed a man for a crime the man didn't commit back in Birmingham. That's how she blackmailed Damian into coming to Atlanta to break up Amara (Essence Atkins) and Titus. What Stephanie didn't realize, is just how unstable Damian really is. She thought she was dealing with a harmless Garter snake. Damian, however, is a poisonous cobra. Stephanie just might have met her match.
JB: I like Luelene (Sherry Richards) and her church-going hats! Will she play in the story in the future?
JG: I love Luelene too! She will definitely be back during this next batch of episodes. Senior (Tony Vaughn) was on his way to propose to his "sugah-woogah" when tragedy struck. We address that in a meaningful way between Rondell and Lu.
JB: Did you have a specific rivalry in mind when you created Stephanie vs. Amara?
JG: You know how much I love formidable female rivals! There's a bit of Abby (Donna Mills) vs. Val (Joan Van Ark) from Knots Landing, though I'd like to think Amara is less fragile than Val. There's definitely some Amanda (Heather Locklear) vs. Alison (Courtney Thorne-Smith) from Melrose Place, and some Season 1 Serena (Blake Lively) vs Blair (Leighton Meester) from Gossip Girl, in that my two central rivals were once friends torn apart by betrayal. Here's something I don't think I've revealed in an interview: a big inspiration was the friendship between Whitley Gilbert (Jasmine Guy) and Kim (Charnele Brown) in It's A Different World. What would have happened if Dwayne Wayne (Kadeem Harrison) ended up with Kim after a bad break-up with Whitley? In my head, Whitley would have become a borderline sociopath.
Jillian Bowe: Will we see more of Titus and Amara's daughter?
JG: Yes! Deja, played by Acacia Leigh, is back with her wild hair and teen angst.
JB: Will we get more of a look inside the Carlisle marriage?
JG: Stephanie's desire to succeed her father atop the Carlisle-Perkins law firm will strain Stephen (Steven Williams) and Irene's (Donna Biscoe) marriage. The audience will definitely get more of a glimpse into how this power couple came to be and the sacrifices both had to make to secure the bag, not to mention the Big House in Buckhead.
JB: Is Stephanie going to have a friend to confide in?
JG: Yes, and he will be played by a very familiar face to daytime soap fans.
Luke Kerr: When will we see Lucinda Kerr (the character Jamey named after Luke) again?
JG: You would ask this! Lucinda, the animated boil on Stephanie Carlisle's backside, won't return this season. Sorry, Luke.
Ambitions returns tonight at 10/9c on OWN.