Friday, October 17, 2008

Interview: ATWT — It's Nell Mooney's Turn to Shine

Seen exclusively on, “InTurn” is an online reality show where actors compete with one another to earn a 13-week contract on “As the World Turns,” with the winner being decided via online voting by “ATWT” and “InTurn” viewers. Having recently completed its third season, a winner has emerged — Nell Mooney. She plays Spencer McKay, a new reporter at WOAK who will become involved in the lives of Brad and Katie.

Nell is very humble when it comes to her snagging this juicy role. She explains: “It’s really awesome. I doubted the fact that I was going to make it at all. So I was quite surprised. I kind of felt like with the demographic and everything, and the way things played out, I thought, ‘No way.’”

Living, working and being with her fellow actors during the extent of the “InTurn” shoot was good preparation for life in the soap-opera world. “It was like going to soap camp, which is why I originally did it,” Nell says.

She adds: “We were shooting for such long hours, and we all sort of really enjoyed each other. We really did have a good time in the house. It was like being at acting conservatory again. I’ve been out of school long enough that I am nostalgic for it. I love that setting. You audition for so long, and you never get feedback. Your work goes into a black hole for so long, you have no idea. It was a chance for me to get some feedback on what the heck I was doing.”

But Nell proved she had the acting chops to handle her new assignment. “There is no equal to how fast the pace is on a soap. You only get one chance to do it. It’s incredibly terrifying, but also incredibly freeing. It’s like, the train is leaving and you're on it or you’re not, and you’d better be on it.”

Nell made her soap-opera debut earlier this month, and she couldn’t be more excited. “Spencer McKay is a woman with a lot of secrets, all of which I actually haven’t even learned yet. They don’t tell you anything week to week as you’re acting it.”

So, is there any truth to the rumors that she might somehow come between Brad and Katie? “It’s a bit of an onion there, layers upon layers. But you and I may have to find out together, because I actually don’t know the end result of what happens with my character. But she’s going to cause a stir, that much is for sure. I’m a little bit of a troublemaker.”

Nell is more than ready to jump head first into her new role. “They gave me an incredible role, which I am so grateful for. They gave me something really great and really juicy, and it’s just been an incredible opportunity to sort of stretch myself in ways. And working with Kathy Hays (‘Kim’) — you can’t get better than that. And there’s Terri Colombino (‘Katie’), who I am totally in love with.”

While it seems that the residents of Oakdale might not appreciate Spencer’s appearance, Nell already feels like a part of the “ATWT” family: “Everybody in the cast has been so incredibly friendly. It’s very laid-back, and everybody really respects the workplace. Everybody is like a family, and they sort of operate like one. It’s really quite nice to go to work here.”