Friday, February 13, 2009

Interview GH: Sarah Brown Creates a More-Appealing Claudia

It was almost 13 years ago that Sarah Brown created the popular character of Carly Corinthos on General Hospital. She left after five years, and the character went through a few more actresses before Laura Wright settled into the role.

Sarah came back in December 2007, but not in the capacity that fans expected to see her. A new role was created for her: that of mob boss Claudia Zacchara. Sarah explains her return: “We had discussed years before about my coming back to play Carly, but that wasn’t of interest to me to play the same character. But I DID find it interesting to play another character.”

But things weren’t smooth sailing for Sarah’s return to Port Charles. “When I first came on, it was really tough for people to identify with her and grab onto the character. She was so unlikable; there were no redeeming qualities at the time. I mean, they started off right away with, let’s throw her in bed, make her a slut, have her shoot a little boy that I had actually given birth to (as Carly years before). It was a hard sell for me.”

Sarah worked on turning the character around, for herself and for her fans. “I just started having more and more fun with the character, and brought in things that I thought would help ease some of the other stuff that had developed between Claudia and the audience.”

What is strange for some fans is watching her former character, Carly, interact with her current character of Claudia. But not for Sarah: “It’s not as weird for me as people might think. It just doesn’t occur to me. I mean, the name is the same, but Laura and I could not be more polar opposites. We are completely different in every way on every level as people. It’s not to say that we don’t like each other, because opposites attract. We’re just not the same.”

She adds with a laugh: “Once in a while I smile to myself and think it’s so strange when I hear Laura saying monologues to other characters about stuff that I actually filmed.”

Sarah gets to test Claudia’s mettle with the current disaster that is happening at the hospital: A deadly toxin has been released, people are being quarantined, there is a fire, and Kate is about to expose Claudia’s involvement in Michael’s shooting.

“It’s a very stressful time for Claudia, that’s for sure. She didn’t know Kate had a copy of Jerry’s DVD exposing Claudia. It’s panic time trying to get the DVD back in the midst of all that is going on at the hospital. It is a bit of a disaster over there, to say the least. It’s like, how much can one person take?

“But she is one tough cookie, and you get to see that throughout this whole disaster. You get to see how resourceful she is and see how tough her mind is.”

Once things settle down a bit — and as we no doubt gear up for the next catastrophe to hit Port Charles — what would Sarah like for Claudia and her future?

“I would love to see her fall in love. I think it is an interesting story to see someone who is tough on the outside, and people have preconceived notions about her, and to see that person fall in love and to be vulnerable and to see her completely open up in that way. It would be so completely confusing for her. She’s going to do all the wrong things, say all the wrong things. It would be fun to see what happens.”


Anonymous said...

I don't see what's so different about Claudia now than when the character originally aired. She's still a conniving slut, much like Brown's Carly was, and basically a waste of air time. We didn't need two Carlys on this show, and the Claudia character is basically ruining Sonny for me. I can't stand her, and I am sick of seeing him paired with tramps that have no redeeming qualities.

If Brown really relishes playing this type of character, I wish she'd do it somewhere other than GH. I am sick and tired of seeing her in every other scene when there are more worthy storylines on the show that are put on the back burner to cater to her and her fan base.

Maybe she should try getting into directing school again, providing she's capable of writing her own admission script.

δεσποινα said...

That is too offensive. A good actor proves his talent especially when it comes to play really well the bad role. Humiliation, disrespect from others toward Claudia drove me not to judge her, but to feel sorry for her and estimate the complexity of her character. That's why I really loved her. Complexity lives in everybody's real life heart. Good and evil together and not a distinctive line between them. So every character no matter how good heart or bad is, the experiences and circumstances reform their status, opinions and attitudes. Soap opera can be a paragigm for real life...