A New 'World', One on One with Lynn Herring

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A New 'World', One on One with Lynn Herring

Lynn Herring talks her new role on ‘As the World Turns’ and adjusting to life in the Big Apple!

Award winning actress Lynn Herring was very pleased to accept the role of Audrey Coleman on CBS’ As The World Turns. Prior to her joining the CBS soap, she was away from Daytime for 6 years after the cancellation of ABC’s Port Charles. Lynn portrayed Lucy Coe on ABC’s General Hospital and its spin off Port Charles for a combined performance of 17 years. As luck would have it, when Lynn joined the ranks at ATWT, she reunited with a few of her former PC costars, including Jon Lindstrom, Julie Pinson, Marie Wilson, and now Stuart Damon.

Last Thursday, TVSource Magazine spoke with the fabulous actress to learn a little more about her role on ‘ATWT’ and how she is adapting to life in the Big Apple!

{tab=Biography}Name: Sheryl Lynn Herring
Birthday: September 22
Currently Resides: Northern California; Commutes to Manhattan
Alma Matter: Louisiana State University
Daytime Career: 1986 – 2003; 2009
Acclaim: 2 Daytime Emmy Nominations for Oustanding Supporting Actress; Named “Outstanding Villainess” by Soap Opera Digest in 1989, 1991 and 1992.
{tab=Did You Know…?}[*] Lynn has been married to fellow soap star Wayne Northrop (ex-Roman Brady & Alex North, Days of Our Lives) since 1981. The couple have two children, Hank & Grady.
[*] Lynn was a runner up in the 1978 Miss USA Pagent.
[*] Lynn & Wayne purchased the oldest house in Raymond, California and turned it into a museum
[*] Lynn has been a member of the D.C. based Defenders of Wildlife, an organization working to protect wildlife and their habitats. Lynn filmed several public service appeals with Betty White and Ed Asner on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife.
{tab=The Soap Connection}Several of Lynn’s former co-stars on ‘General Hospital’ & ‘Port Charles’ have made their way to ‘ATWT’.

[*] Sarah Brown (Claudia, ex-Carly, GH) played Julia Morrissey Larrabee from 2004-2005.
[*] Kin Shriner (Scotty, GH/PC) played Keith Morrissey, brother of Julia from 2005-2006.
[*] Marie Wilson (Karen, PC) took over the role of Meg Snyder in 2005.
[*] Julie Pinson (Eve, PC) joined the cast in 2008 as Janet Ciccone
[*] Jon Lindstrom (Kevin, GH/PC; Ryan, GH) joined in December 2008, taking over the role of Craig Montgomery.
{/tabs}


TVSource Magazine: You have been away from acting for some time, what was it that convinced you to return to Daytime?

Lynn Herring: I’ve missed it. I miss the interaction with people, and telling stories. The last couple years, I could just feel the itch to come back. It’s been part of my life for 20 years, and I missed it. It was a natural evolution to come back to what I love so much.

TVS: How did this role on ATWT come about?

LH: Part of it is putting yourself out there and that I would love to come back to Daytime. I knew Jess Walton was thinking of leaving Y&R and I had talked to CBS about maybe Y&R. Luckily she decided to come back, and I think Chris Goutman and Barbara Bloom who run CBS Daytime thought of me when they were looking to cast Audrey, Henry’s mom. It’s turned out to be such a blessing. It’s so much fun. And, Chris being so intuitive thought I would make a good fit as Audrey.

TVS: What (if any) were your expectations going into the role on ATWT?

LH: I had heard from Shriner (Kin), who has been one of my best friends for years, that it was a great place to work and Trent is so much fun. So my expectations were “Oh this is going to be scary” because I hadn’t been doing this for 6 years, but what a great group to fall into. It’s a big deal because Trent’s been on for 10 years and to suddenly interject his mom she better be an interesting character, because Trent is so interesting. I have had such the best time.

TVS: Were you given any kind of background on the character once you accepted the role?

LH: Chris called me into his office with a big smile on his face and told me Audrey had 8 children [laughs], he enjoyed telling me that. [laughs] Lucy couldn’t have any children and now “I” have 8! [laughs]. It was very cute. He explained about Trent and the flamboyant hijinx and his comedic timing that he has. It got me thinking and he mentioned they weren’t sure what Audrey would be up to. Of course for an actress, is she good or bad, it’s such a fun thing to play. I was hooked from the first meeting. I think it was so lucky Audrey isn’t for stunt casting where you bring someone in from another show that doesn’t fit. It feels like a character has an automatic fit with the whole show because Trent’s character has been on so long. That was very fortunate too.

TVS:Can you tell us about your character of Audrey? What is she like? What do you like about her?

LH: It’s challenging because she’s very broad, it’s a big character in the sense of doing the comedy with Trent. You want to be over the top in the entertainment value but you still want to make her real and that’s the best part, you want to make her real so you buy into her believability. She’s a bigger than life character, so you have to be very careful not to go wacky with her and keep her human side.

TVS: Audrey’s daughter Maddie, played by Alexandra Chando will be returning for a short stint. Do you know how she will be involved with Audrey’s story?

LH: I just met her yesterday. She is just a doll, she’s adorable. Alexandra, Trent and I look like we could be related, so it’s kinda cool. Chris told me Maddie is really unhappy with her mom. She knows her mom is a con woman, and that I do take advantage of things, so she’s not very happy with me. It’s very clear, she abandoned Henry very early on, she was around for some of the older girls, but Maddie’s the youngest, so Henry was the one who basically raised her. So, she did leave them to go on to have her fun seeking life, so there is a lot of resentment and distrust.

TVS: It has been said that Stuart Damon’s character will be Audrey’s past love. What are your thoughts on that possibility?

LH: That we haven’t revealed and I can’t speak to. I’m not sure about the past part, I know he’s powerful and I need his help. We have crossed paths and it’s about money right now. He’s doing a nice job with Big Ralph. Ralph is just an interesting man who’s pretty mysterious.

TVS: Originally it was reported this role on ‘World Turns’ would be a 7 week stint. It was recently reported you have extended your stay through Fall. Is that true?

LH: We did 4 weeks initially, and now they added 6 to 8 weeks. [Looking at her script] It looks like Audrey will go into October. It is hard to do only 4 weeks of a character; you just get your legs stable underneath you, so the extension was awesome.

TVS: How are you adjusting to the city life of NYC coming from the country life of Northern California? Are you commuting or did you find temporary residence in NYC for the duration of your stay?

LH: It’s crazy, but it’s so neat. Who else can say they wake up with cows and chickens and pull on the cowboy boots and feed the animals, then to the airport to hop on a plane and end up in Manhattan that night and I’m on the set the next day. But I’m on a subway to a job I love and I get to fly home to my ranch, my husband and my boys. I get the best of rural and the big urban life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

TVS: If ‘ATWT’ offered you a contract, would you take it?

LH: I think I would do it. I’m not sure they intended Audrey to stay. I think the dream would be I would go off for a while and just when Henry was happy, here comes his mom again. [laughs] You never know but I think they have a beginning, middle and end, now for her. If they’d ask to come back again, I’d love to. Obviously for my lifestyle a west coast show would fit in so much easier, than commuting, but you go were the work is because you don’t get many opportunities to play such great characters.

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TVS: It seems like a PC reunion over at ATWT, has it been exciting to reunite and work with your former costars from Port Charles & General Hospital?

LH: The characters fit in so well together, and the good thing with Jon Lindstrom — Chris Goutman is a smart man, he knew with stunt casting, the audience is too smart, and we all know we don’t want characters to appear for no reason. So what’s great about Audrey is she fit in to what the story should be, and Jon and his character, Craig, we do cross paths and it’s all in the context of the story with a tiny wink at the audience as we look at each other. So it’s a beautiful thing, it’s not being ignorant to the past, but it’s definitely within the context of the real world of ATWT. So I love that. I’m Audrey and he’s Craig, but it’s great to see us together. But the fun part is it’s the same faces everyone enjoyed before, so hopefully they get the same pleasure.

TVS: Lucy and Kevin were very popular on GH and PC, but like most pairings on soaps, they were broken up. However Lucy and Kevin never got to have any closure.

LH:The sad thing is at the end of Port Charles, I think we were coming back together, and then not to complete that circle. Shriner [Kin] says that too, we never finished up the Lucy/Scotty saga because we had to end it abruptly and that’s a shame because some of the couplings are fun to watch through the years.

TVS: Having played Lucy Coe for 17 years, what fond memories do you have of the time you spent on those soaps?

LH: That’s every day. The memories of the scenes we did, when Kristina [Wagner] and I were nuns, locations shoots stand out, but it’s the little things, like playing ping pong with Maurice Benard in the green room, [laughs] it’s the interaction with the actors in the off set, it’s the familiarity that I miss the most. It’s the connection we all shared that I have fond memories of. When you come to a new show, it’s hard sometimes because they already have that connection. I was really lucky that I had that connection with some on ATWT, so I wasn’t’ coming in cold, so that was a good thing. It’s still the people that make it, so if you don’t have that connection; it’s not that much fun.

TVS: ATWT seems to be utilizing their veteran actors more and more. As a veteran of the industry, do you feel it’s important for soaps to embrace their past, rather than shun it? There is such a movement to gain new fans, it’s the long time fans who don’t seem to matter to the networks.

LH: The feedback I’m getting is we love the people we grew up with; we love the people that made us feel a certain way over the years. And their comments are if they turn on a soap [General Hospital], and they aren’t recognizing anyone in say the first 10 minutes, not anybody, they move on. If you want your ratings, you need to have both, like Y&R and ATWT are doing it very well too. You cannot have a show that no one recognizes anyone from 10 years ago, it’s not well and the ratings speak to that. And not bringing back characters for a week, but for like 6 months. We wanted to grab the young viewers but now I think advertisers now are saying now they do have discretionary income, they are spending money but people 45 and older have a lot more money and will spend it eventually, we better hook them back in. I hope GH can do that. It’s the past and it can be the future, they need to intertwine both generations.

TVS: Many fans were surprised you chose to make your return to daytime on As The World Turns, not General Hospital.

LH: Truthfully if GH had asked first, I would have been there in a heartbeat, and I let them know that too. I think with the mafia and their different stories, the older characters that I interacted with aren’t there anymore, with Jon going away, Kin not being there, Tony [Geary], and Jane [Elliot]. Jane and I talk all the time too, and she’s one, Tracy and Lucy passed a little bit, and they would be hilarious together, Jane would sometimes call and say you should really think about coming back. If they would have asked, I would have been there. So it’s not my fault. [laughs]

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