Monday, May 16, 2011

Interview (YR): Sharon Case, Full-Fledged Leading Lady

In the almost 17 years that Sharon Case has portrayed Sharon Newman on “The Young and the Restless,” her character has seen it all. From numerous romances, catfights, a death (and another supposed death) of a child, almost plummeting to her death from a cliff, and her attempt to save Skye, who eventually fell into a volcano, Sharon Case has finally made the ultimate “leading lady rite of passage”: On the run and falsely accused of murder, Sharon Newman is now presumed dead.

Daytime Dial: As you know, Sharon has been through the wringer, but now you have withstood the test of the true measure of soap-opera leading-lady standing: You are truly a leading lady when you’ve been wrongly presumed dead at least once!

Sharon Case: You’re right! You know you have to come back from the dead at least once. I think there is something to that. Most of the leading ladies have done that. I’m a full-fledged leading lady — now I’ve done it all!

DD: In true soap-opera fashion, it seems that every time we talk, many monumental events have happened to Sharon in the meantime. You must have the most fun job in the world.

SC: I shoot so many fun scenes, but what I’m shooting now is really different and fun. The volcano was different and fun. I’ve always got some really different, cool, fun story line. And we have these great sets: The hurricane set was amazing. And New Orleans was amazing and a great story line. I’ve had so many fun ones that it’s hard to pick which was my favorite. I think that all the story lines are terrific. They just seem to get better and better all the time. I used to say my favorite scene was with Nikki when we were in the sewer with the rats. I loved working with Melody (Thomas Scott), and it still is one of my favorite scenes, but I shot that scene not too long ago last year with Michelle Stafford where Sharon and Phyllis get in a chocolate fountain fight, and that is just like my favorite scene of all time now. It’s not every day you get to do something like that. I always have something exciting to do.

DD: Now that Sharon is presumed dead, she has time to prove her innocence, but what is she going through emotionally?

SC: She’s had to change her whole life. She abandoned her family, but she’s really in a place where she feels she also has no choice. Going back to Genoa City means being in prison for the rest of her life, and she’s not going to be with her children if she’s in prison the rest of her life. She felt that this is what’s best. Being out of prison, she can do a lot of things: find evidence, and at least she’s not locked behind bars. I can’t say what she’s going to do because you have to wait and see, but she has a lot of options now and decisions to make now that she has this new freedom.

DD: Veteran feature-film actor Sean Patrick Flanery has joined the cast as Sam Gibson, a veterinarian in New Mexico who takes Sharon in, not knowing who she really is. What can you tell me about Sam and about working with Sean Patrick?

SC: Sean is an amazing professional. He just jumped right into this role. Most people who haven’t worked on a soap can be a little bit disoriented their first day or their first week, because there’s a lot to learn. He did about 40 pages his first day, something like 17 scenes, and he did it perfectly. He did a great job. He’s amazing. His character, Sam, is somebody who Sharon meets along the way since her escape. But I really can’t tell you anything else other than he’s here and he’s doing a fantastic job.

DD: What was your response, and that of your fellow actors, when you heard the news of the cancellation of “AMC” and “OLTL”?

SC: I got a lot of emails from my friends and co-stars, and even actors from other daytime shows. Everybody was just reeling from the news. I guess when the Proctor & Gamble shows (“Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns”) went off the air, it kind of just looked like, well, P&G just doesn’t want to have a production company anymore and own a soap opera, which makes sense. But these shows, these were really a shock. It just seems like it is something that should not happen. “All My Children” should not be off the air. And that is my opinion. That’s a lot of people’s opinion. I was watching “The View” the other day — they had Mrs. Michelle Obama on — and they were saying the same thing, that this was just wrong. I hope it doesn’t continue. It hurts all of the other remaining shows, because it makes the genre smaller.

DD: It’s also scary because the shows they are replacing them with aren’t other dramas, but talk shows and reality shows.

SC: Right. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that networks were creating more soaps and putting them on the air. I remember they created “Port Charles” and then “Passions,” and the genre was growing. A lot of people have been saying this for a long time, that networks are putting on a little bit too much reality TV, talk-show TV, cooking shows, dance shows — it just becomes all that, all the time.

There is not a single person who I’ve ever met who is happy with that, as far as the audience goes. So, it’s bizarre to me that you could ask literally anyone you walk by on the street if they are happy with the programming of all those shows, and they will tell you: “God, no. I hate the talk shows,” or something like that. You like to have one talk show, but you don’t want them to all be talk shows. And you might want to watch one reality show, but most people have been saying for the past five or six years that they are tired of reality shows. They want TV to go back to their dramas and sitcoms. What happened to the days of real dramas and real sitcoms?

DD: On to a happier topic: Your line of jewelry, Pomp, has been kicking butt and taking names over at Any plans for a new line?

SC: Yeah, it’s so exciting. We are pretty much sold out. We got all five stars on pretty much everything. Those are kind of unheard of statistics. We did really well. Now we have to decide what we’re going to do and what the future line will look like, but we haven’t actually made a decision exactly where we are going to sell the line. We’re putting our heads together on that. It was really a fun experience to do the show on QVC, and they were wonderful to work with. Doing live television was exhilarating. We are definitely going to keep it going, but we haven’t decided on the details yet. There have been a lot of retailers interested in our line, and our line sold out. Suddenly we’ve been presented with a lot of options. It’s a really good problem to have.