Hillary B. Smith Reflects on As the World Turns, Speculates on One Life to Live 3.0

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Hillary B. Smith

Multi-soap veteran Hillary B. Smith (ex-Nora, One Life to Live; ex-Margo, As the World Turns) recently sat down with Soap Opera Digest to reflect on her storied career in daytime. 

As it turns out, Smith's own happily-ever-after had a big part to play in her taking the role on ATWT after she appeared on The Doctors. She shared:

My now-husband and I got engaged, I had done a movie. I mean, everything was kind of going and everyone was trying to push me to Los Angeles. My husband lived in Boston. We were kind of at that point where it was like, 'Well, I guess we kind of need to make a decision. I’m going to go to Los Angeles.' And that’s when he popped the question so we had to rethink things. 

I said, 'Well, I’ll come back to daytime. I did it before. I can commute between New York and Boston.' My agent put the memo out and this part came up…. I screen-tested with Justin Deas [ex-Tom et al]. And Margaret [Deas’s real-life wife] would be pleased to know he was not really happy about having a new Margo. I think it was whoever could kind of hold their own and not lose their cool on him got the part, so I got the part! We actually became really good buds. I mean, he was one of the most fabulous actors I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.

Eventually, Smith moved to OLTL. She shared some favorite moments as legal eagle Nora:

There were so many wonderful ones. I think one of the funny things was when she ends up staying the night for the first time and there’s just underwear and bras hanging from chandeliers, literally, underwear hanging from chandeliers, and we’re under a throw on his couch in his suite at the hotel, ’cause I think he was still staying there, and Asa comes in and knocks on the door and he just keeps calling me filly. 'Hey, little filly.' And I keep saying, 'Nora.'

That dynamic was really great. It was always fun to have that dynamic happening…. We were allowed to dance, we were allowed to do a lot of things that we wanted to do. We had one scene where [Director] Jill Mitwell just kept the cameras rolling and we just danced around the empty house. We just moved into a new house, so we danced. It was fun. 

What does she think of talk of a possible OLTL reboot...or heading to another soap? Smith hedged her bets, saying:

There aren’t that many shows for me to try another stint on! I don’t know. I have no idea. You know what? I learned it back when I was commuting, but it’s really been reinforced now. I don’t look too far in the future. I just kind of stay in the moment and enjoy the moment. If something came up, I would have to look at it then, but right now I’m with my family.