Melissa Archer and Josh Kelly
One Life To Live launched it’s show’s premiere and the Internet was a buzz. Many people watched at it’s first air time 5:00am ETS . The new OLTL started off with the new sets, great music, some new faces as well as some familiar ones. And of course a surprise ending. Melissa Archer and Josh Kelly were gracious enough to take a moment out of their busy schedule to do a conference interview. A big thanks goes out to FERENCOMM coordinating the interview.
Here are the transcripts from that interview
Coordinator: Our first question is from Kambra Clifford with the Soap Opera Network.
Kambra Clifford: Hello guys and Happy Birthday Josh.
Josh Kelly: Hi. Thank you.
Melissa Archer: Hey.
Kambra Clifford: Hello. So I’ve been hearing that there’s been a little bit of flirtation between your two characters which I think is really cool. I think you guys are like super cute together and I’m very excited about that. So I’m wondering whether or not you guys think that it could just go any further? If you think that Cutter and Natalie would work well as an official couple? And if so like what do you think their dynamic would be like?
Melissa Archer: Josh, do you want to start?
Josh Kelly: Mrs. Archer? Oh I guess not. See we obviously work well together.
Melissa Archer: You know, I feel that – I think that it’s a very fun exploration and I think that I’d love to see, you know, what they are planning to do and where they want to take it. I think we’ve had fun so far and I definitely think it’s exciting and it – I think we have good chemistry.
Josh Kelly: I agree. I think it’d be a fun exploration. I don’t know where it would go. I don’t know where or what we would – how we would find a balance, but it’s definitely fun working with Melissa and the characters do seem to have some like fun. Because I know Natalie – Natalie’s got some edge to her and so – so does Cutter. So I don’t know, it’d be fun. It’d be fun to see.
Melissa Archer: Absolutely.
Kambra Clifford: I think it spells trouble.
Josh Kelly: Oh yes?
Melissa Archer: What’s that?
Josh Kelly: It spells trouble.
Kambra Clifford: That it spells trouble.
Melissa Archer: Oh yes. Definitely.
Kambra Clifford: Great. Thank you guys.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Beth Wasko with Soap Opera Digest.
Beth Wasko: Hi Melissa, Josh. Thanks for talking to us today. Melissa, my question is for you. My colleagues were at the premiere and they said the show’s a little racier in tone and now a little bit more skin these days. Was that intimidating for you? Were you comfortable with it?
Melissa Archer: Actually I was very comfortable with it. It doesn’t bother me. Of course, you know, we all I guess would be somewhat self-conscious and like, “Oh gosh, does it look okay? Does it look good?” But it was, you know, it was easy.It was simple and I always have fun.
Beth Wasko: Fantastic. And that dance was hot. Was that – how was that to shoot? Did you guys have to do any preparations for the dancing or?
Melissa Archer: Well it was funny. Actually we came in really early that morning to do like a blocking with it which, because they have specific shots that they wanted to get with it. But it was fun. I had fun.
Josh Kelly: Yes we did. We came in and we had specific choreography and then we kind of just worked on it a little bit throughout the day. And Melissa turned on some music in the room and had a little dance party. Everyone loosened up beforehand. It was fun – it was funny. And I think it turned out really well.
Beth Wasko: That’s awesome. Thanks guys.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Kristen Day with the Paos Revolution.
Kristen Day: Hi guys; how are you?
Melissa Archer: Hey (Kristen).
Kristen Day: My question is before the shows ended on network you guys would tape multiple shows in a day, but you would do full shows. And now that you guys are taping in blocks how is that different for how you prepare? And do you feel that you’re less connected with story lines that you’re not a part of now or is that about the same?
Melissa Archer: Well in all truthfulness with One Life we were taping in blocks before. We did quite a bit of segmenting. So it’s actually not that much different in my experience with it.
Kristen Day: Okay great. Now do – so do you follow along with your lines that you’re not a part of or do you pretty much just stay in your zone on things that you’re filming?
Melissa Archer: I know for me I’ve been very fortunate because we get the scripts in our drop box so we can keep up with things.
Josh Kelly: I personally I don’t follow other story lines if they don’t affect me and my character. For two reasons it’s - one, it takes a long time to read everyone else’s and I don’t really want to know anything that my character wouldn’t know; and, two, I really enjoy watching the show and so I watch it I like to be surprised.
Kristen Day: Do you both watch the show? I know some actors tend to like to watch; some don’t. Do you both watch?
Melissa Archer: I do. Yes.
Josh Kelly: I do. I think it’s necessary to – in order to learn from my mistakes if you will.
Melissa Archer: Agreed. Agreed. I like to learn from Josh’s mistakes. No I’m kidding, my own.
Josh Kelly: We’re getting used to all this.
Kristen Day: We’re so glad that you’re both back for the relaunch.
Melissa Archer: Thank you.
Josh Kelly: Thank you very much. I’m glad too.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Vel Lee with Buzz Radio.
Vel Lee: Hey you guys. How are you?
Melissa Archer: Good. How are you?
Josh Kelly: Good.
Vel Lee: Josh, Happy Birthday.
Josh Kelly: Gracias.
Vel Lee: Yes and welcome to apparently the Twitter front. Oh my goodness.
Josh Kelly: Oh yes.
Melissa Archer: I tweeted Josh this morning, “Happy Birthday.”
Josh Kelly: There’s another Josh Kelly I believe, right?
Melissa Archer: Yes and I totally – no it’s not even an existing Josh Kelly. 5:00 in the morning; I was tired.
Vel Lee: All right, that’s excusable. We won’t make fun of you for that for right now. But maybe later down the line.
Melissa Archer: Maybe later.
Vel Lee: My question is for Josh. I must admit I might have been asleep. So please forgive me. But is it going to be explained or was it explained before I went off the air; I thought your character was in prison somewhere?
Josh Kelly: I was.
Vel Lee: And how did he get out? And now co-owns a club/bar with Blair. I just – I might have missed it somewhere, but you know.
Josh Kelly: Well it hasn’t been explained yet and I don’t know when it’ll be explained. But I think it’s going to come out because right now Cutter is kind of playing a – not a catch-up, but he’s trying to stay a step ahead of his past I think. And so I think it lends itself to maybe the past catching up with him. So I think personally it will be explained, but I don’t know when.
Vel Lee: Okay. Okay that kind of makes me feel better that I didn’t miss anything. So that’s good.
Josh Kelly: No. No, no, no.
Vel Lee: I feel better about myself actually. And the other question too — actually it’s for both of you — is what was your initial reaction when the news kind of came out that Prospect Park was actually finally relaunching again? I know it was announced one time before, but now it officially came out. You got everything; you’re on set. You saw everything. What was going through both of your minds at the fact that you’re now back to work with everybody that you love again?
Melissa Archer: I was really excited. I really believe in what Jeff and Rich want to do right now. I think that this is a very good step forward for television. You know, I don’t even want to say the future; I think it’s the here and now. And I love the transition; I think it’s a very, very smart move. I was very happy that our show was going to be a part of that and that I got to be a part of that. I was very excited and it was wonderful to see all the familiar faces and all the new faces as well.
Josh Kelly: Yes I was so excited. I think you and I were – we were hanging out together at Bree’s. We were playing cards when I found out that you were going to do it and I told you that I was going to do it.
Melissa Archer: Oh that’s right.
Josh Kelly: And yes. And it was funny; it was exciting. Because I wasn’t excited about any of the new shows that are coming out and I really don’t like One Life to Live ever since I got involved with it. And I was just thrilled that it was actually going to happen. I love Prospect Park; I think they’re cutting-edge company and they have really good ideas and they work really hard. And so that combined with an already great show really excited me. And I’m just glad that they asked me to be a part of it.
Coordinator: And our next question is from Curtis Harding with Soaps In Depth Magazine.
Curtis Harding: Hi guys; thanks for talking.
Melissa Archer: Hey.
Josh Kelly: No problem.
Curtis Harding: I have a question for Melissa actually. In the previous episode that we saw Natalie seems a little lost right now.
Melissa Archer: Yes.
Curtis Harding: How is she officially a single parent? How is she dealing with well everything that’s…?
Melissa Archer: Yes officially she’s a single parent right now. And she is a little lost which actually I kind of dig. You know, I like seeing – the one thing that I’m enjoying so far is I don’t feel – even though Natalie’s heartbroken I don’t feel that she’s a victim. I feel that she’s going through what people do go through in experiencing kind of an overwhelming like, “I’ve lost the love of my life. The father of my child’s not around.” But at the same point and time she wants to do this on her own. She wants to raise (Liam). She wants to continue working. But what I also like is because she’s lost, because she’s confused, it could lead to slightly more risky behavior and Natalie kind of maybe trying to rediscover who she is and/or going backward a little bit to a little more of her bad side. And I think that that’s an interesting quality of Natalie that I’d like to see come out more with still having the balance being a mom and, you know, and having a job and what does that all entail especially with the police department. And if she gets herself into a little bit of trouble while she’s trying to figure everything out.
Curtis Harding: Do you think that might be a part of the draw of Cutter?
Melissa Archer: I think so. Absolutely. You know, it’s almost like, you know, when you’re not wanting to find love or, you know, commitment, you go for the person that seems like it can be easy and fun. And I think that’s what she needs right now is easy and fun and that’s not to say that those other things aren’t possibilities, but it’s what she’s exploring and playing with right now. And I think at first she’s really – and I don’t even know if intimidated’s the right word, but just like, “Hey I haven’t done this in a while,” you know, in putting herself out there. But at the same point and time she wants to force herself into it and I think it’s great.
Curtis Harding: All right, awesome. Great, thank you.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Kambra Clifford with Soap Opera Network.
Kambra Clifford: Well hello again. So we don’t really know what’s going to happen with the character Jessica right now. You know, Bree Williamson hasn’t signed on with the show. So for now Melissa that leaves your lovely Natalie as the prospective future matriarch of the show. Have you thought about that yet, about being kind of the next one to carry that honor?
Melissa Archer: You know, it’s so funny I guess I don’t ever think of things like that. It’s like you just you enjoy each day and whatever it may bring. I always felt so fortunate to be Viki’s daughter to begin with and I’ve always loved the bond that Viki and Natalie have, but I also love that myself and Erica have. And, you know, I’m just fortunate to get to learn from Erica and I think Natalie’s pretty fortunate to get to learn from Viki especially with what she had to grow up with. And, you know, it’s great having Clint as an awesome father as much as he does that. He has such a good heart.
Kambra Clifford: Great. Thank you.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Beth Wasko with Soap Opera Digest.
Beth Wasko: Hey guys; I’m back. Melissa, so Natalie has this nice new apartment. Were you excited to see the set? Is it what you imagined it to be?
Melissa Archer: I don’t even think I could have imagined this; it’s so gorgeous. Our set designer is phenomenal; really honestly phenomenal. I walked into Natalie’s apartment and thought, “My goodness. Can he come home and decorate my house or can I just take the set with me.” It is absolutely stunning. But you know what’s nice too is it’s nice to see Natalie in her own place because we haven’t ever seen that before. She’s always lived either at the mansion with her parents or in the carriage house in the back or at the motel. So it’s actually nice to see that she’s finally decided, “You know what; I’m getting my own place. I’m you know, me and Liam are going to – we’re going to do it up right.” And it’s great.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Kristen Day with Paos Revolution.
Kristen Day: Hello again. Okay. So the actresses that played your mothers are not coming back to the show at this point and I know that they both have come out with very positive about the reboot. Have you spoken with them? Have you spoken with anybody else that isn’t coming back? Kind of what is the feeling for those who haven’t been asked back for you guys to continue on?
Josh Kelly: I’ve just gotten support from Tonja who played Alex Olanov. So she – I mean she – you know, she wished me well and said she was really excited. And she hopes that she’ll be able to be a part of it if possible and – because we had a lot of fun working together.
Melissa Archer: Yes and I’ve seen Ilene; she’s wonderfully supportive and I think she’d obviously love to be a part of it as well. I mean she is a great – I can’t think of the word that I’m – comedic relief. And I’ve always loved that about Roxie’s character because, you know, she can cause all these issues, but it’s so funny to watch her. So I – you know, of course I miss her, but I’ve definitely seen her and she’s wished me well and wishes the show well. And it’s I think she’s excited as much as everyone else.
Josh Kelly: I think a lot of people that haven’t come back know that it’s not – nothing personal. It’s normally it’s just a storyline thing and getting the show on the way.
Melissa Archer: Up and going.
Josh Kelly: Yes they have to – they couldn’t have everyone right away.
Kristen Day: Correct and it’s great to see everybody out in social media being so supportive. I was just curious if you had actually heard, you know, from them.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Kambra Clifford with Soap Opera Network.
Kambra Clifford: This is great. I love that I keep getting you guys. You both have had a ton of attention from fans and also the media surrounding the show’s relaunch; like everyone is just going crazy for the shows. So what does this like positive madness feel from your side of things?
Josh Kelly: Okay. I guess I’ll go. It’s wonderful. It’s really, really wonderful. It’s exciting. I don’t really know how to put it; it’s just really neat – it’s fun. I’m just having a blast.
Melissa Archer: Yes it is; it’s very, very exciting. And I love that the fans are so enthusiastic and that they want to take this ride with us. And especially because some of this is new territory for a group of our fans. You know, watching television on the Internet is not what they’re used to and I think that they’re going to find how much they love it because I know I do. But it’s great to see all the enthusiasm and it just inspires us to do an even better job knowing that we’ve got an audience who’s ready to see it, you know?
Josh Kelly: That’s something that excites me too, I’m excited – I love doing new things and I love being a part of new projects. And this is something that I think will actually have a positive impact on a lot of people’s lives when people realize, you know, it’ll give them the motivation to use these new forms of entertainment. And it’s going to open their world up in ways that I don’t think they can even imagine. And, you know, my parents have been putting off using Hulu on their TV and they could have it because they have it through their Blu-ray player. And now they’re going to use it because they watch the show. So and then they’re going to see how easy it is to use and it’s going to be neat. I think it’s going to help their lives in other ways.
Kambra Clifford: Right. Right. And what do you guys think about the show’s brand new opening sequence?
Melissa Archer: Oh it was so much fun to shoot.
Josh Kelly: It was fun. It was fun to shoot and I think it’s cute. It came out well.
Melissa Archer: Yes it did. It did. I love the music.
Josh Kelly: I think everyone was nervous. They were like, “What? We’re doing a what?” And then I was like, “Yes we’ll see. We’ll see if we end up” – me and (Jerry) were like, “How is this going to work?” Then they did a great job and everyone it’s fun to see how talented everyone on the show is like when it came time it was – everyone did a great job.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Linda Marshall-Smith with Soapdom.com.
Linda Marshall-Smith: Hi guys. Hi Melissa; Hi Josh. Happy Birthday to you Josh. So my question has to do with the writing. You guys when the show went off the air One Life to Live was experiencing, you know, an uptick in ratings; the story lines were really compelling. And then the head writer and executive producer got booted over to General Hospital after One Life to Live went off the air. So now you guys are kind of a new team there or were primarily a new team. How would you compare, you know, the writing with what you left and what you’re getting now? I mean do you see – are you excited about it? Are you excited about the storytelling, just the difference in the quality of the writing and all? Or what are – you know, what is pushing your buttons now about the writing of the story?
Melissa Archer: Well I’m enjoying everything that they’ve been doing. I think that what’s interesting is because they have to write in a bit of a different format then what has been going on for so long just based off of the format in which it’s going to be watched. And I like it this story is – it moves slightly quicker. I think that it’s – you know, we’ve been able to be edgier and a little racier and do things that were not prohibited by a network to do. And I think that we’ve got a lot of feel from what the show was so that you’re not watching an entirely new show. But I think that you’re getting a new aspect to it that’s make it even better; like that, who knew we could even do that. And I’m definitely enjoying it.
Linda Marshall-Smith: How about you Josh?
Josh Kelly: Yes I really like it. And I – we have a great team of writers and I know I think they did their research if you will; like they – my character – it felt like my character – you know, it didn’t feel like they were writing it different. It feels like the writing that was around – it felt similar to what it was before. And it’s very exciting like Melissa said to – and I personally after seeing the first episode, the pilot – or I guess pilot? That’s funny. But after seeing the first episode I feel really comfortable with how it came – I was so impressed.
Melissa Archer: Yes me too.
Josh Kelly: And this – I mean it was compelling. You wanted to watch it. It felt like it was way shorter than half an hour because it was so – I was watching the whole time.
Melissa Archer: Yes you were awake a lot. It was like it got you going versus being like, “Oh yes this is good.” It was really good.
Linda Marshall-Smith: From some of the previous things I’ve seen you guys are getting out on location a little bit. I mean is that going to be a trend for the show? Are you going to be – is it all going to be bottled on the stage or are you going to be out on location a bit more?
Melissa Archer: I know that so far for my character in the story I’ve been doing a lot of – I mean everything that I’ve done has been on set. I’m not sure about the rest, but I think there’s always that potential Location shoots are fun.
Josh Kelly: I don’t know if we’re going to be doing a lot of that or what, but I do know that they are using – they’re using more camera angles than they used to and they’re using moving cameras like Steadicam and jib shots that really enhance the look and the feel of the show without changing it. Because I think we only used a jib once in the year that I was there and it was during I think your – Natalie’s failed wedding. And now they use it almost every day and it really makes – without changing the feel and the look of the show it adds another level.
Melissa Archer: It adds another dimension to it.
Josh Kelly: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. I don’t know if they’re going to use more location shots, but you said they’re fun. So hopefully.
Linda Marshall-Smith: Josh, just for the uninitiated fan, could you explain a little bit what the difference is between a jib and a stationary?
Josh Kelly: Oh yes; I’m sorry.
Melissa Archer: A jib is basically on a – it’s like on a long pole and the camera is at the very end of that pole. And so the cameraman’s basically on one end kind of driving that pole, has the camera at the end and then being able to come in at a higher angle in various different angles. And then a Steadicam is – am I correct in saying this Josh? A Steadicam is the one that they’re wearing?
Josh Kelly: Yes a Steadicam uses a harness and it can be moved through and around things. And a jib is kind of – like you were saying it’s on a big pole, so it’s kind of like a crane. It’s like a crane shot that it makes. And the bottom line is they’re normally more – they are more expensive to use. So and it looks more expensive. You know, it adds that element of expense to the shot.
Linda Marshall-Smith: I can’t wait to see it next week. And one last question from me; have you guys noticed in addition to shooting more in a block style instead of, you know, continuity of a full episode, have you noticed any big difference in the way Prospect Park is producing this as opposed to the way ABC produces?
Melissa Archer: You know, the one thing I’ve noticed is that, you know, we’re – we are taking longer to shoot things, but I feel as though it makes sense. Like we’re doing it and we’re making sure that it’s right. You know, if it’s a technical issue we’re making sure the technical issue’s fixed; if it’s a performance issue we’re making sure the performance issues are fixed. You know, and also sometimes to get different versions so that, you know, in the edit they can mix and match and do what they’d like to so that it fits the feel of how they want the tone to go. And I really like that a lot; it actually reminds me a lot of, you know, like a film set.
Josh Kelly: Yes I would agree. I think they’re taking more time to make sure it’s done right which is a really good thing and a comforting thing as a performer; like having confidence that they are making sure it’s right because then you feel better about your performance…
Linda Marshall-Smith: Well can’t wait to see it next week. Congratulations guys; thanks for talking.
Coordinator: . And our next question is from Curtis Harding with Soap In Depth magazine.
Curtis Harding: Hey again. So you guys were both at the screening. How was it watching the first episode and on the big screen with all the fans around you cheering and everything?
Melissa Archer: It was so funny; I was so nervous, you know, because I’m always like that for the first time of seeing something. And then watching it I was like, “Oh my God, that was so good.” I mean I was so happy. It really – I mean honestly I just – it was awesome to watch. Like I’m excited because we’re watching it again tonight and I’m like, “Yes,” you know? And it’s the same as that, you know? But it’s – it was very invigorating. I thought that it came out beyond exceptional.
Josh Kelly: Yes I was so excited. I was nervous before because, you know, you want it to – I had a feeling it was going to be good, but you never know and I wanted it to at least be as good as it was before. I felt like it had to be; otherwise obviously what’s the point in doing it and people are going to tear it apart. And it was better. I honestly believe that it was better than it was before.
Melissa Archer: Yes I feel the same.
Josh Kelly: And it was neat watching it with the fans because oh man especially – you know, you’ll see. You guys will see.
Melissa Archer: And it was great because people cheering each time a character came out which was so awesome, you know? It was really fun.
Josh Kelly: It was really cool.
Curtis Harding: Did you guys hear from any individual fans? Like did they come up to you afterwards or anything?
Melissa Archer: Oh yes. Yes. I mean I felt that everybody I spoke to enjoyed it.
Curtis Harding: Awesome. All right thank you.
Coordinator: Our question is from Kristen Day with Paos Revolution.
Kristen Day: One more question for you; there are a lot of you that have come back to the show and then there is a lot of new casts. Is there anybody in particular that you’re looking forward to working with that you were excited to see that was joining the show?
Melissa Archer: I’ve gotten to work with Laura who plays Destiny and she’s great and she’s such a sweet girl. And I think I might have had a few scenes – very short scenes with the character Jeffery (Corbin Bleu) and I adore him; I hope to work with him more. He’s fantastic. I love Rob (Gorrie) that plays Matthew. I mean I guess I love all of them; like I’ll just list them all. But it’s true and I know for me personally I just look forward to working with everyone. It’s been great meeting everyone and I already feel like we’re all a family and we’ve known each other for, you know, a couple of weeks.
Kristen Day: That’s great. Well can’t wait to see all the different interactions and best of luck to you.
Coordinator: Our next question is from Kambra Clifford with Soap Opera Network.
Kambra Clifford: It’s been said that both All My Children and One Life to Live won’t really be competing against soaps per se, but they’ll be competing against like regular prime time shows. Have you guys noticed any elements that support that? Like are the shows feeling maybe a little less soapy and more prime time?
Melissa Archer: I can 100% say that I feel it’s a lot less soapy. I feel like this is like when I watched it my mind went to, “Wow this looks like a CW show.” You know, like it looks like a good, fun program that I would watch if I didn’t like daytime. And if I do like daytime, even better, you know? But I do feel that it’s got an edge to it now that definitely can fall into the category of competing against primetime. And, I think it’s going to be more and more exciting to see how it develops as it goes. But I can definitely say from that first episode I was like, “Wow.”
Josh Kelly: Yes I agree; it definitely is going to be able to compete with other – with more prime time style shows because it’s easier to watch if that’s what you’re used to. I use the term like all the time and I really like it; it’s more palatable for say the audience. You know, it’s more of a bite-sized piece and there’s less drag and less redundancy.
Melissa Archer: Well there’s a lot less – you don’t have to do as much, you know, of the flashback type things. And you don’t have to do as much exposition and explaining, you know? And the very initial – you know, probably the first few I would say episodes – I’m not 100% clear how many, but there’s going to be certain things that you’ll have to explain because it’s a 43-year-old show and we’re going to have new viewers to kind of be like, “Oh hey; yes by the way this is what this means. These are who these people are.” But at the same point and time you’re getting it gets you in so quickly that I feel like – because we don’t need that anymore. Because we don’t have – the way you’re watching it it’s just not necessary to have longer drawn out explanations and such.
Kambra Clifford: Thank you guys.