Friday, December 16, 2011

Interview (Days): Deidre Hall Knows Beauty

We all know Deidre Hall as the brilliant and gorgeous Dr. Marlena Evans on “Days of Our Lives,” who she’s played for the better part of 35 years (with a few years off here and there to work on different projects). And in those 35 years, plus the time she spent as a model before that, you can bet she’s learned a trick or two about beauty. So she and longtime friend Lynne Parmiter Bowman have written all their beauty nuggets down for the masses in the book “How Does She Do It? A Beauty Book.” (Available at Or you can go to for details on how you can order an autographed and/or personalized copy.)

Daytime Dial: What made you decide that now was the time to write a beauty book?

Deidre Hall: Lynne and I wrote “Kitchen Closeup,” and that was fun. But what I know is beauty. It seemed a little bit daunting at the time, writing up a beauty book, but then it just all really came together, and that was it. I figured, I’ve done 35 years in front of a camera, so, if I haven’t learned a thing or two about beauty, then I should just pack up my tent.

DD: You collaborated with Lynne to write this book — how did your partnership in writing come about?

DH: It doesn’t feel like working with her, and that’s the truth. We talked earlier about having spent so much time together [while working on “Kitchen Closeup”] sitting around the kitchen table and her stirring and me writing, or her writing and me stirring. We’ve shared these kinds of health issues and food issues for so long that it was natural to write that book.

And then it was natural to write the beauty book, because we also spent that amount of time in front of a mirror. “Oh, what’s that color? Where did you get that? I want one of those!” It’s what women do. Women share the wealth. And we’ve spent a lifetime doing that. And finally we thought, “You know what, we seem to know a lot about things that people don’t seem to really know about.” And so that’s what it was. It was fun, fun to put it down on paper, and it was a labor of love.

DD: One of the things I like about the book is that the advice and tips you give are good for twentysomethings, thirtysomethings, fortysomethings and beyond. Was that a goal of yours, to reach out to many age groups, or did you have a specific group in mind when you set out to write this book?

DH: Part of our conversation in writing the book was saying there’s nothing for women over 50 out there! They care! We all care! Why are there not beauty secrets for women who have sagging skin and lined skin and dry skin and that sort of thing? We wanted to make sure that that was also included in what we wrote.

DD: I know some people, myself not included, are critical of plastic surgery, saying that it’s “cheating” in some way. What are your thoughts on plastic surgery?

DH: I love it! I love that we have an option of changing the way we look if it makes us feel better. And it’s just as simple as that. There’s no judgment on it. There is no criticism of it. It’s a wonderful option for people who want to take it. The No. 1 surgery in this country is breast augmentation. Women spend more on that than any other surgery combined.

DD: While this is a beauty book, it’s also a good self-esteem booster for women, kind of empowering. Was that one of your intentions when you were writing it?

DH: We didn’t set out to change women. We just set out to sit down with them and say: “Honey, come here. I want to share something with you.” Wow, that’s a complicated question. We know that women at their very core like to share the neat stuff. So, that’s what we meant to do. Just share with women everywhere the things we’ve learned over many years.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Interview: Catching up with Claire Coffee

Claire Coffee, photo by Whit Anderson
Daytime fans will remember Claire Coffee for her two-year stint on “General Hospital” as Nadine Crowell, the nice sister of crazy nurse Jolene. Now she is pulling double lawyer duty: as a demon lawyer on NBC’s “Grimm” and a regular lawyer on TNT’s “Franklin & Bash.” I spoke with her recently about her roles, and the vast difference between the two.

Daytime Dial: “Grimm,” which is a modern-day retelling of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” is very inventive and super scary. What about the show caught your attention and made you really want the part of reaper/assassin/lawyer Adalind Schade?

Claire Coffee: I think the look of the show is so neat. They combined a lot of elements that people are familiar with, but it’s also kind of police procedural with fairy-tale elements. I just really like the whole idea of the show. I like the genre of television in terms of what I want to watch myself. As for my character, I really wanted this one because I’ve never gotten to play any sort of supernatural character before. I’ve played lawyers before, and she’s a lawyer, but I’ve never played an evil witch who has fight scenes and kills people. I got to put some new special skills on my resume through this job.

DD: What’s good about this concept is you have so many Grimm’s tales to choose from — conceivably, the show could go on for decades!

CC: That’s what’s so great. I’ve been reading a lot of the “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” and I think the ones that we are all familiar with are certainly the best of the bunch, but there are hundreds. They are all very moralistic tales. In the morals of the stories, the characters die or get killed or eaten constantly. It’s not for the Disney Channel — that’s for sure.

DD: Can you give me some clues as to what is coming up later in the season?

CC: The show’s going to be exploring this new world that Nick (Burkhardt, played by David Giuntoli) is coming to and the politics of this magical realm — who’s good and who’s bad — and the unpredictability of not knowing where people stand.

DD: Now, what about “Franklin & Bash”? I know you recently started shooting for the second season.

CC: I do know a little bit about what’s going to happen. Fun times ahead; that’s all I can say.

DD: You play lawyer Janie Ross in “F&B,” but I’d say she’s a different kind of lawyer altogether from your “Grimm” character.

CC: Oh yeah — I wear similar suits, but the bad guys are VERY different.

DD: It must be fun for you to get to play two completely different characters like this, at the same time.

CC: It’s really fun. It’s fun to have two jobs, first and foremost. I’m very grateful for that. I feel very lucky that both sets are so pleasant to work on, with people who are really cooperative and have a great sense of humor. That’s a plus.

DD: You are living the dream of almost every girl who grew up in the ’90s by starring with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and James Van Der Beek.

CC: Including myself! It’s too bad I didn’t get a job like this when I first came to town — or maybe it’s a good thing, because I probably would have lost my mind. Mark-Paul and James are similar in that they’re total pros. They know how to work, but they also know that it’s all about the team, and they are very good at being helpful. It’s funny, they get mistaken for each other a lot. We did a joke about that on one of the episodes.

DD: What are some funny moments on the set?

CC: There was one scene where my character and James’ character, who plays my boyfriend, get in a fight, and I run off and the camera holds on James. He says: “Can we please just not hold on this tight angle of me watching a girl walk away?” Because all of “Dawson’s Creek” you could make a montage of Dawson looking, weeping, watching a girl walk away. That was pretty funny.