Monday, December 01, 2008

Interview: Susan Lucci and Tony Donolavi

Soap fans were disappointed earlier this month when everyone’s favorite diva, Susan Lucci, was voted off “Dancing With the Stars.” I had the chance to catch up with Susan, and her dance partner, Tony Dovolani, during their stop in Orlando, Fla., for Super Soap Weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Cindy Elavsky: How did the opportunity come about for you to be on “Dancing With the Stars”? It must have been such an honor to be asked, since everyone wants to be on the show.

Susan Lucci: I was thrilled to be asked to be on the show. To be perfectly candid, they had asked me before to be on the show — actually, twice before — and I didn’t think that I could handle working on “All My Children” and flying across country for “DWTS.” I didn’t think I could do it all. And then I saw Cameron (Mathison) handle it so beautifully, and it made me feel like I was a wimp. Plus, I felt like I had missed the opportunity of a lifetime. So, when they came to me this summer and asked me if I would be interested in doing it, I knew I had to do it.

CE: Who else on “AMC” do you think would be a good candidate to participate on “DWTS”?

SL: I think a number of people honestly would. The cast is fantastic. Whoever does, I would just tell him to know that your time to learn the dances is that much shorter (since “AMC” tapes in New York and “DWTS” is based in LA). You don’t get four days. You can’t dance all day and all night. For me, I felt like I would have liked to have had the option to dance more hours a day. Also, this year was the first year they decided to do a team dance, and score us on it. I was not on the same coast as everyone. And we did the cha-cha, which is a syncopated dance, and you need to be together to practice, and I was not on the same coast. Tony and I were in third place after the pasodoble, after our individual dance, but the scores from the team dance brought us down and that’s why we were voted off.

CE: Are you going to keep dancing after all of this?

SL: Oh, I definitely intend to keep on dancing.

Tony Dovolani: Even after the show is done, Susan and I will continue dancing, because I intend to continue teaching her. She deserves to learn ballroom dancing the right way. Where there is no pressure, and she can just learn the art form the way it is supposed to be. She’s the kind of person who ballroom dancing was made for. She embraces it with her entire body and her entire soul, and she should definitely learn every dance there is.

CE: What was your favorite dance to perform together?

TD: I’ve watched them all and by far it’s between the two of them: the pasodoble and the rumba. (To Susan) I thought your rumba was spectacular.

SL: Thank you. Looking back, I love the rumba too.

TD: You looked incredible — you danced, you moved your hips, you were very relaxed. You were completely embracing the dance. Everybody says that the mark of a good dancer is whether they can do a decent rumba. And you didn’t do a decent, you did a great rumba. Rumba exposes people’s flaws. You can always camouflage things, but if you are not as good a dancer, the rumba will expose that. Remember, it’s the kiss of death.

SL: Thank heavens I didn’t know that before we did the dance!

CE: What is something you would like to see Erica Kane do in the future, something she has never done or tried before?

SL: I think Erica Kane needs to learn how to ballroom dance. We’ve seen Tony as an injured handsome man on the show. We need to see him survive, get well after the tornado, and everyone is like, “Who was that man?” It could be like that wonderful movie, “Shall We Dance,” but in reverse. Erica has a very stressful life, we all know this, and it would be fun for her to learn to dance, with Tony teaching her. And Adam and Jack could get all jealous, and it could be a lot of story line there.


Anonymous said...

Great interview! I thought Susan did a great job. They were my favorite pair in season 7.