She was a huge fan fave as All My Children hell-raiser Greenlee Smythe. Now Rebecca Budig is creating a little slice of heaven on The Better Show, the syndicated spinoff of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, now in its sixth season. TV Guide Magazine spoke with Budig about life away from AMC plus lots more, including that diss from Prospect Park, her various husbands and the Emmy-winning soap star who keeps stealing from her!
TV Guide Magazine: Look at you being Martha Stewart! How'd this happen?
Budig: Better was looking for a new co-host and I went and did two audition shows with [co-host] JD Roberto and really liked him. We clicked. I've always juggled hosting jobs with my acting career, and this fits into my life perfectly. They're really flexible. I have great outs in my contract to do other stuff. And it's a great show. I love improving people's lives. [Laughs] Especially my own!
TV Guide Magazine: You've even had your ex-husband Bob Guiney (The Bachelor) on the show. Discuss.
Budig: He's just the sweetest guy! Bob and I couldn't stay married but we love each other enough to stay friends, and I like showing that's possible. I'm very proud of that!
TV Guide Magazine: And now you're wed to Michael Benson. So is your life, well, better?
Budig: I was so sick of the dating scene in L.A. The boys are so aloof and think they're supercool. They say, "Meet me at the restaurant." And I'm, like, "No! Pick my ass up! Treat me like a lady!" My agent set me up on a blind date with Mike and that was it for both of us. We knew right away.
TV Guide Magazine: What's he do for a living?
Budig: Oh, he does a lot of different things.
TV Guide Magazine: That's usually code for "unemployed."
Budig: No! He's in marketing.
TV Guide Magazine: That's usually code for "the mob."
Budig: He's not in the mob! He's worked at Time Warner. He spent 13 years at ABC. He's got a job on the east coast now so we have a place in Connecticut. First we tried living in New York City but one day we were on the subway and he and I were both going, "F—k this!" and "F—k that!" The city was just too much for us, so we moved to be near nature. It's a great place for dogs. It's perfect.
TV Guide Magazine: You just played Tom Cavanaugh's wife on Blue Bloods. More episodes coming?
Budig: I don't know. It's tricky because his character, Mickey, is in the witness protection program. [Laughs] But, hey, I'm ready to leave him and go after Tom Selleck!
TV Guide Magazine: Now that's the Greenlee we remember! Why didn't we see you on the AMC reboot? Were you asked?
Budig: Yes, and I expressed interest and then they never came back to me! [Laughs] I wasn't insulted at all but I was a little disappointed. I really, really miss Greenlee. But, then, none of my men were there. They didn't have Cameron Mathison. They were never going to get Josh Duhamel. What they should have done was bring back Danny Cosgrove, who is amazing. Love that guy! Michael B. Jordan was my brother on AMC and now he's a big movie star. So what were they gonna do with me? I'd be all alone!
TV Guide Magazine: Did you watch it at all?
Budig: I did, and I wasn't crazy about it. But I really wanted it to do well, because I love the show and I love the soap world. I still keep in touch with people. I just had lunch with Alicia Minshew. I'm still close with Linda Dano. Mark Consuelos was a guest on Better to plug his Alpha House series and he looks so fantastic. I was, like, "What is he drinking?" I want some of that!
TV Guide Magazine: Are you keeping up on the surviving soaps?
Budig: I do! I check in on General Hospital to see Finola Hughes, who is kicking ass! And I really enjoy watching Ian Buchanan and Jason Thompson. I haven't seen The Bold and the Beautiful since Susan Flannery left. I love my Flannery! But I do watch The Young and the Restless to see Liz Hendrickson and Melissa Claire Egan. Oh, and Greg Rikaart, of course!
TV Guide Magazine: Weren't you and he next-door neighbors in California?
Budig: We still are. I kept my place in L.A., so we're still harassing each other. I love him but he steals s--t from my house all the time, okay? I have this really cool vintage ice-cream sign that he's always swiping to decorate his parties. He comes over when I'm gone and steals pots and pans, he steals benches, he steals everything! Whatever he needs, he just lets himself in! He has a key, he knows my alarm code, what am I gonna do?
TV Guide Magazine: Get even?
Budig: How? He's so horrible! Well, every once in a while I do steal lemons off his tree. Oh, they're sooo beautiful. And sooo big. The best in the neighborhood. [Naughty laugh] That boy has some nice lemons.
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