Call Redialed: Jennifer Bassey: "All My Children", "General Hospital", "Anacostia", Cabaret
Jennifer BasseyIt's so great to catch up with All My Children's Jennifer Bassey, whom I first got to interview in 2012. Well, Jennifer has been keeping busy over these past five years and we are finally getting a chance to talk about it all.
We first reminisce a bit more about her days on ABC's All My Children. Then we get into Jennifer's return to the world of soaps! This time around, Jennifer's in Port Charles on ABC's General Hospital in the recurring role of "Quinn." It was so great hearing about the differences between the way soap operas used to be filmed compared to how they are done today! The changes are music to Jennifer's ears!
Speaking of music, Jennifer is hard at work on her cabaret show. Most of the details are under lock & key, but I was able to pry some of the news out of her for an exclusive reveal!
Finally, Jennifer will be guest starring on the Emmy Award winning web series Anacostia in the role of "Beverly." Her episodes air December 30 & 31st, just in time to wrap this year up.
Jennifer Bassey & David Canary on ABC's "All My Children", Photo Credit: Ann Limongello/ABC via Getty Images1. It's so great getting to catch up with you after our last interview in 2012! We have so much to talk about, so let's get to it. Before I get to your new stuff, I have to start with an All My Children question. Who do you still keep in touch with from the show? Francesca James, Alicia Minshew, Rebecca Budig, Carrie Genzel and Wisner Washum the original head writer of All My Children.
2. In our last interview, we talked about your most cherished memory of the show, but what I'd love to know is, what was the most ridiculous story line you felt "Marian" had? One of the most ridiculous things I had to do playing "Marian Colby" was making a pass at a very handsome doctor over the coffin of my dead husband. Even "Marian" had better taste than that.
Jennifer Bassey, Ryan Paevey, and Risa Dorken on "General Hospital"3. Now you are back in the world of soaps once again, this time, delighting the fans of General Hospital as "Quinn." What is one characteristic of hers you are glad you yourself don't possess? I'm loving playing "Quinn" on GH and the cast is fabulous. "Quinn" is very manipulative and I'm thrilled to say I'm not.
4. What is the biggest difference between Port Charles & Pine Valley? There seems to be a lot more people in Port Charles which makes it a lot of fun.
5. What changes have you noticed in the way soaps are filmed today? Of these changes, which ones are you like, "Oh this makes the work so much better!" In the old days we shot everything in sequence which meant you were at the studio all day. Now we shoot all the scenes that you're in one right after another so you are in and out pretty quick, which is great.
6. You have joined the cast of the Emmy award-winning digital series Anacostia. You're character in this show, "Beverly" plays a huge part in the twists & turns that will mark the end of this season. What is the biggest twist & turn to happen in your career that you felt has lead to you where you are? The fabulous Robin Strasser told Anacostia's producer, Ben Bryant, that I would be perfect for the part of "Beverly." He in turn contacted me on my website and the rest is history. I'm so grateful to Robin who may also be appearing on the show in the future.
Jennifer Bassey as "Beverly" on "Anacostia"7. "Beverly" also reveals a lot of secrets people didn't know. What is one secret you've held onto that you are ready to let out? I can't reveal that to you because its still a secret until the show airs on the 30th and 31st.
8. You are also in rehearsals for your upcoming cabaret show which will open Off-Broadway in 2018. What can you tell us about this project? When do you anticipate it to premiere? Probably going to do it in October 2018. Haven't set a date yet. The fabulous Marilyn Maye is directing it and we are having a terrific time. I'm really looking forward to it.
9. What do you still want to accomplish that you haven't? An Academy Award would be nice, ha ha.
10. I have a new segment to my interviews I call "I Can See Clearly Now" where I try to clear-up misconceptions. What do you feel is the biggest misconception about yourself out there that you would like to clear the air about? I would like to make it clear that I am not a nymphomanic even though I played one for 30 years, on and off. People really thought I was sex crazed because "Marian" was a sexual predator.
11. I also have a segment on my website called "One Percent Better" (inspired by my interview with All My Children's Terri Ivens) where, through my own fitness regime, I try to inspire people to improve their lives by 1% better everyday. What is something in your life you would like to improve by 1% better everyday? My prayer and meditation.
Jennifer BasseyMore on Jennifer:
Emmy Award nominated Jennifer Bassey was born in Chicago. Her first job in entertainment was as a singing Playboy bunny in the very first Playboy Club. Looking back at her two year stint at the House of Hefner, she recalls, "I was the meanest bunny in the hutch, but I made a fortune, darlings!"
She left her bunny ears behind and was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where she got the lowest entrance marks in the history of the academy. Three years later she graduated from the RADA with honors finishing just below classmate and future Academy Award winner Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Jennifer went on to the Big Apple, where she appeared in several Broadway and Off Broadway productions, including Neil Simon's California Suite; Not Now Darling, directed by George Abbott, In Praise of Love with Rex Harrison and The Homecoming (The Original Royal Shakespeare Production).
Off-Broadway credits include Moliere's Tartuffe and Wendy Wasserstein's Isn't It Romantic, both staged at the Tribeca Playhouse. Other off-Broadway appearances include playing "Katherine" in The Taming of the Shrew at the Roundabout Theatre, "Lady Macbeth" in Macbeth at the Stratford Theatre and Love Letters in which she co-starred with Ken Kercheval.
The Cast of "All My Children" (1990s)In 1983, Jennifer won the role of "Marian Colby" on ABC TV's All My Children, initially signing for a five-month stint. Due to the incredible popularity of the character, Bassey played "Marian Colby" for over 30 years. She became a contract player on All My Children in the summer of 1998, after having portrayed borderline nymphomaniac "Marian Colby" since the early eighties.
Beyond her other dramatic successes, she has enjoyed a flourishing film career. Jennifer has played characters in feature films such as Waxwork, Twogether (which also featured both the performing and directing talents of Nick Cassavetes) and Dunston Checks In, where in a scene-stealing, skin revealing moment, she received an orgasmic massage from an orangutan! Jennifer has achieved prime-time success as a guest star on Law & Order, Body of Proof and Grey's Anatomy. Other notable appearances include LA Law, Falcon Crest, Murphy Brown, Silk Stalkings, Matlock and Coach. Most recently Jennifer has been guest starring on ABC's General Hospital.
Jennifer BasseyIn addition to her Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress, Jennifer also received two Soap Opera Digest Awards, the second of which was shared with her costar David Canary for Favorite Couple.
Jennifer shared her life for 30 years with famous playwright and screenwriter Luther Davis until his death in 2008. Today, she is engaged to George Bamford, a Law & Order alum and fellow actor. Each are working on their theater projects: a play Bamford wrote and a nightclub act for Bassey she’s planning for Feinstein’s 54 Below.