Susan Lucci and Wendie Malick
Worlds collide — and so do soap divas — when Hot in Cleveland and All My Children engage in crossover craziness. First, Susan Lucci is seen as herself on Cleveland (Wednesdays, February 16 and 23, at 10/9c, on TV Land) feuding with Wendie Malick's character, faded suds star Victoria Chase. Then Victoria appears on AMC (Thursday, February 24 at 1/noon c on ABC) playing Erica Kane's maid! TV Guide Magazine sat down with the ladies on the AMC set to get all the hot scoop.
TV Guide Magazine: In the Cleveland season finale last summer, Victoria finally won a Daytime Emmy but couldn't get to the ceremony due to a tornado, and Susan accepted the award for her. Where does this delicious rivalry go from here?
Malick: Well, now that Victoria has her Emmy there's a little heat around her so she's invited to go on All My Children as a guest, and she's just thrilled. She's already imagining a second Emmy because, even though it's just a one-day role, they've given her this fabulously juicy speech and a great death scene — and you always win for death scenes! Alas, it's a complete disaster. She's totally sabotaged by that damn Susan Lucci!
TV Guide Magazine: Susan, you are royally spoofed on Cleveland as a jealous pain-in-the-ass. Any concern viewers will think this is the real you?
Lucci: [Laughs] Well, it's more like I'm playing Susan Lucci-ish. It's like Susan Lucci with a really evil, naughty inside voice. But I'm fine with it because the writing is so funny and fantastic. I thought, oh, why the heck not? I was on a plane reading the scripts and couldn't stop laughing. People were like, "What the heck is wrong with her?"
Malick: At least Susan got to be a glamour puss. Once she's done messing with my character, she's stolen my Emmy-winning speech and I end up mute and covered in bandages! It's so horrible that Jane Leeves' character, Joy, has to blackmail AMC into having Victoria back in a proper role — it's shockingly revealed that Joy once had a fling with Michael E. Knight, who plays Tad, and it went very badly. This all happens on Cleveland. Then, when I go on AMC we see that Victoria has been re-cast as Erica's housekeeper, Gertie. And she fires me! Twice!
TV Guide Magazine: Why are soaps such great fodder for spoofing?
Malick: I specifically asked to have Victoria be a daytime soap actress because there's something so intriguing about the idea of spending your entire adult life playing one character. I think there's a very interesting and funny alter ego thing that can develop. And having Susan be Victoria's arch nemesis is just genius, because Susan is the all-time queen of daytime and poor delusional Victoria...well...isn't. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: Susan, you run hot and cold on soap spoofs. You famously hated the movie Soap Dish yet you appeared in the suds takeoff episode Kelly Ripa did on Hope & Faith and now this. What's the difference?
Lucci: I only like these takeoffs when they ring true, and Soap Dish didn't. I love Sally Field but something about that movie just didn't work for me.
TV Guide Magazine: As I recall, they made Sally Field kind of the reverse Lucci — they dressed and coiffed her to look just like you only instead of losing the Emmy every year she'd always win.
Lucci: [Laughs] And maybe that's why I didn't like it. I just think a spoof needs to be true to be funny. But I love what Kelly did on Hope & Faith, and I love what Hot in Cleveland has done. I was very touched that the Cleveland writers titled their two-parter "I Love Lucci."
Malick: That's a great homage!
Lucci: Though after you see the episodes...not so much. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: Wendie's career started with a bit part on AMC. How was it to go back?
Malick: Fabulous, but I could never survive there now. They move so fast it's insane. AMC shoots 100 pages a day. There's no time for rehearsal. You just jump off the cliff. On Cleveland we do 30 pages a week. When I go back I'm telling Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli and Betty White that they are lucky, lucky bastards! These soap people have to be on their game all the time, all day long, and they work like dogs yet they seem to be so happy. It's like a party in the hair and makeup rooms.
Lucci: What's hilarious is that when Hot in Cleveland recreated the AMC set they acted like we have this massive craft service table in this giant room as big as all outdoors. They think we have all this great food when, in reality, the AMC craft service table consists of one coffee pot. And four bagels. To be split among the entire company. [Laughs] I'm not kidding!
Malick: It's true! Susan was so grateful to come to our set just to have some bits of cheese and a few of our berries.
Lucci: This is also funny: The Cleveland writers seem to think that Susan Lucci just snaps her fingers and things happen — and that's so not true!
Malick: I know! I came over to the AMC set looking for her minions. I couldn't find any!
TV Guide Magazine: Will this Lucci-Chase rivalry continue with more crossovers?
Lucci: Oh, I would love it! I hope so.
Malick: I really do, too. Because it can't stop here. [Laughs] Next time I'm taking that broad down!
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