“All My Children” is back with all new episodes daily on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes. One of the cast members returning for the re-launch of the show is two-time daytime Emmy winning actress Julia Barr as journalist and philanthropist, Brooke English. Having watched Brooke on and off for over 30 years, her being a part of the re-launch is a welcome delight for long time “All My Children” watchers as they get reacquainted with Pine Valley and its residents all over again.
Daytime TV Examiner talked to Barr about life on the new Stamford CT set, they’re movie-like shooting schedule, The Chandler Family dynamic and all that goes with it.
Check out the interview with her below:
Phyllis: I was happy to see both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” come back. What was your reaction when you heard the show was coming back?
Julia Barr: (laughs) Do you mean the first time or the second time?
Phyllis: The actual time, this time…
Julia Barr: The first time around I think we all went ‘oh that’s interesting’ but no one thought it would really happen and it didn’t. The second time around I think people were cautiously getting excited. When it actually…when actors and production people were being called with an actual start date, I was like “Oh My god! This is really going to happen.” It was a little bit of disbelief, you know, but tremendous excitement for sure.
Phyllis: Now that you are actually on set and getting scripts and everything, is it what you imagined it would be?
Julia Barr: Actually it was better than… I didn’t really imagine anything. You know you have ideas over a certain period of time what it’s actually like. But the space is new, it’s very lovely and we are very well taken care of here. It has a lot of familiar feeling even when we first started. We know so many people we’ve worked with before. A lot of our directors are now involved and production people so it was like old home week but in Stamford Connecticut.
Phyllis: What’s your schedule like? You’re 5 weeks on and 5 weeks off, is that correct?
Julia Barr: Yes, exactly. We got a little bit of a head start on “One Life to Live.” We started in February so we actually had 7 weeks of taping all together in the beginning. Its 5 weeks…it’s pretty intense as far as the workload. They’re working on trying to get a lot of material with a small cast so we’re all looking forward to the 5 weeks off, with the exception of the crew. They’re on a very different schedule, [“All My Children” and “One Life To Live”] share the same crew. Some camera men switch in and out but they have more of a full-time schedule as opposed to the actor’s 5 weeks on and 5 weeks off. I’m looking forward to it because my husband and I are actually moving next week so that works out well. We’re moving to another home in the same town.
Phyllis: I was going you ask you how you would be spending your break and it sounds like you’ll be moving and unpacking.
Julia Barr: Yep. Moving and unpacking and making a new nest. We’re really looking forward to it. Not a bad way to spend the break.
Phyllis: When do you start up again?
Julia Barr: June 24th.
Phyllis: I like that there are some core characters there that are ushering these new characters into the story. I’d like to see more of that. Talk a little bit about working with some of the new people in the cast.
Julia Barr: The people who’ve come on, the ones who were made older and new characters, they all…Celia (Jordan Lane Price), Pete Courtlandt (Robert Wilson) and Bianca’s daughter Miranda (Denyse Tontz) and JR’s son AJ (Eric Nelsen), all of the actors are wonderful. They’re professional and sweet. It’s great to have them.
Phyllis: It seems like Miranda is at the Chandler Mansion more than you are.
Julia Barr: Well it’s interesting because I think it’s a nice thing to umbrella- if you umbrella characters and umbrella stories, there’s sort of a regular running energy because there’s a house where things are always going on.
I actually said to Denyse a couple of days ago, “are you living at The Chandler House now” because I thought it was so… and she goes “Yes, temporarily for like a day or so” and I said “but you’ve been here for two weeks” (laughs) anyway, but it’s great. I like the fact that we have all these characters under one roof.
Phyllis: And now Colby’s (Brooke Newton as Colby begins May 16th) coming back. What has Brooke and Colby’s relationship been like since she’s been back? Can you talk about it?
Julia Barr: It’s exactly what I would expect it to be. She’s been traveling. She’s a rich girl who I think has issues in spite of that fact. She’s a handful. My character recognizes that she grew up similar as Colby did. You know, rich, spoiled. It’s nice. It’s a nice complex relationship.
The funny thing is she’s 5’7” and I’m 5’2” and when we’re standing next to each other, it’s kind of funny. I’m really enjoying her. She’s the perfect strong character I think.
Phyllis: I also like that they are rebuilding Brooke as the business woman that she is and incorporating Chandler. Dimitri’s (Michael Nader returns as Dimitri on June 3rd) coming back and Brooke was instrumental in that?
Julia Barr: Yes. Brooke, she’s in charge of Chandler temporarily, of all things Chandler, including the dysfunctional family part (laughs). She felt like she needed somebody to sort of help her out and he’s a comeback surprise and they are working together. They’re building a new division of the company and first up there’s a lot of problems in The Chandler family dynamic. There are already a lot of issues going on. It’s great. There’s a lot of drama coming up. Michael started and he…I think he’s going to be a great addition. I know he’s very…he brings a lot of history for both of us. My character for a long time was involved with the character of Edmund who was Dimitri’s brother. So it’s nice. It really adds to the complexity of everything going on. I’m happy to have it.
Phyllis: And then if Erica returns to town, she would really explode. That would be great.
Julia Barr: Oh, I know. It’s a date. “Rawrr!!” We needs those, those little cat fights.
Phyllis: There’s also a gala coming up where Jason Derulo performs. Is everyone in tuxedos and ball gowns?
Julia Barr: You bet ya, and uncomfortable heels. Whenever we took a break, everyone was wearing fuzzy slippers. One other thing, everybody was beautiful but it was like going out on the town for four days in a row. I think it’s going to be great, really revealing. Everybody looks fantastic.
Phyllis: And lastly, Adam and Brooke’s engagement. Is there going to be a wedding anytime soon?
Julia Barr: I don’t know (laughs) and that’s the truth. They’ve had an engagement for five years. With these two, who knows if they’ll actually ever get married and they just like being engaged. I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen there. You’ll have to stay tuned or go online to find out!
Brand new 30-minute episodes of “All My Children” air Mondays through Thursdays and are available to stream online in HD when available for free via The OnLine Network at TOLN.com, the free Hulu.com service and to subscribers of Hulu Plus, making these venerable dramas available in a new format that suits the viewing habits of the digital generation. The iTunes Store offers both series via iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Mac or PC. In addition, the weekly behind-the-scenes and lifestyle shows “MORE All My Children,” and “MORE One Life To Live” hosted by Leslie Miller, are available each Friday.
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