It's official: Hell froze over! After 20 years as one of the soap world's most acclaimed stars, General Hospital's Laura Wright — who plays bitch-on-wheels Carly Jacks — has at long last been nominated for a Daytime Emmy. (The awards air June 19 on CBS.) TV Guide Magazine spoke with the four-soap vet to find out what finally went Wright.
TV Guide Magazine: Well, this is a day I never thought we'd see!
Wright: Me neither!
TV Guide Magazine: How do you account for this two-decade snub?
Wright: [Laughs] I guess I was submitting the wrong episodes! When I didn't get nominated the year Carly's son Michael was shot, I thought, "God, I don't know what else to do. I will never be nominated!" I don't know why it happened this year. I'm kind of in shock. But so, so grateful. I received a congratulations message on Facebook from Maura West which had me in tears, because I just love her so much. Everybody's been so nice. I can't get over all the wonderful well wishes.
TV Guide Magazine: What episode did you submit this time?
Wright: The one where Carly says goodbye to Michael when he went to prison. I was really nervous about it and second-guessing myself because Carly was so vulnerable in those scenes. I didn't want to be the weeping, blubbering actress looking for an Emmy. Plus, Chad Duell had just taken over the role of Michael. It was his first or second day. I was saying goodbye to a kid I'd just met.
TV Guide Magazine: So what's it gonna be like sitting in Vegas as a nominee?
Wright: Bizarre! I promised my kids that if I ever got nominated they could go with me. So now my daughter, who is 12, is all, like, "I can't wait to see what I'm gonna wear!" My son wants to wear skinny jeans with his tuxedo jacket instead of dress pants. They're only concerned about the wardrobe! One year, when I was on Guiding Light, I was so pregnant I couldn't stay through the ceremony, but Shawn Reeves, our costume designer, had this beautiful dress made for me, so I just had to walk the red carpet. I showed up and walked into Radio City, and right out again. Bradley Cole called me a cab, and I was back home in pajamas with my husband by the time Rosie O'Donnell started the ceremony! I went to my first Emmys 20 years ago, just two weeks after I started Loving. Before that I was pumping gas. They put me and my costar Eric Woodall way in the very last row and Eric was all worried that the cameras would swoop the audience and catch him in his broken glasses. It was hilarious! When I got there, Good Morning America said, "We want you on the show tomorrow morning to talk with Joan Lunden about going from gas-station attendant to soap-opera star. But we're going to bump you if Susan Lucci wins." [Laughs] My history with the Emmys has always been weird.
TV Guide Magazine: Yet, despite no previous Emmy love, you always show up.
Wright: Hey, we should all be there supporting our industry. How can you not go and cheer on your pals? When I was on Loving, the only nomination we ever got was for Bernie Barrow but we always went. We got our hair and makeup done, and got all dressed up and had our pictures taken. It was like going to the prom. We would never have not gone!
TV Guide Magazine: A lot of soap stars wouldn't bother showing up unless they're nominated or presenting. And a lot don't want to put in the time to be Daytime Emmy judges.
Wright: It's so selfish not to go! And, as far as judging, I'm one of those people who think you should not allow your name to be put on the ballot if you're not going to be part of the process and volunteer to be a judge. And everyone knows I feel that way. I scream and yell about this in the GH hair and makeup room a lot. "Don't complain about the Daytime Emmys if you're not going to show up to vote!" It's a bummer and a shame when people don't care. If you're going to walk up on that stage and accept your Emmy, then you should put in the time like the rest of us. One year I even got Maurice Benard [Sonny] to vote! That was back when we still had to show up at a hotel and vote in groups, before they started sending out the DVDs so you can watch at home. It was my first year at GH and I said, "What do you mean you don't vote? Then how dare you put your name in the hat?" [Laughs] He goes "Oh, my God...okay, okay, I'll do it, I'll do it." But afterwards he said, "I cannot believe you made me do that!" I'm, like, "Heck yeah, Maurice! It's your duty!"
TV Guide Magazine: Hey, don't ever screw with Carly!
Wright: [Laughs] That's right, baby!
TV Guide Magazine: On that topic, your character recently went out of her way to help reunite Brenda [Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo] with her real child, a damn decent thing to do considering she hates Brenda's guts. Does this mean there'll be a détente between these battling broads?
Wright: Oh, I don't think so. Brenda thanked Carly for what she did, and Carly just sort of blew it off. Then Carly is going to ask for Brenda's help, and Brenda doesn't want to give it. So much for making nice! Actually, it's worse. When Carly ran off to find Brenda's kid, Jax took their daughter, Josslyn, and won't give her back, so there has been a huge repercussion in helping Brenda. [Laughs] Carly did a good deed and it smacked her right in the face! So no more of that!
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