Exclusive: General Hospital's Nancy Lee Grahn Dishes Her Daytime Emmy Gig
Nancy Lee Grahn
What the hell happened to the Mad Tweeter? General Hospital star Nancy Lee Grahn — she of the whopping 117,000-plus Twitter followers — has barely let out a Tweet in the last couple of weeks, and she's got a damn good reason why: She's writing and producing a series of star-studded comedy bits for the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards telecast (airing Sunday, at 8/7c on HLN)! TV Guide Magazine got the scoop from the super-swamped diva.
TV Guide Magazine: You sound beyond crazed with this project. Are you sorry you did this?
Grahn: Yes! [Laughs] No! I love it but it's been absolutely insane because I am way overly ambitious with my ideas and, as always, there's not enough money to work with. I've got my friends all working for free. Gillian Sonnier from E! is my line producer and Kaore Bonnel is helping me with the writing. Noel Maxam and Bill Ludel, one of our directors at GH, directed some of the spots. I owe these people everything! We're putting what little production budget we have into paying for the camera guy, the lighting, the audio and the editing. Oh, and some horse tranquilizer-size Prozac for me.
TV Guide Magazine: You did Tweet at one point that you were shooting down on Hollywood Boulevard. Taking your life in your hands for your art?
Grahn: We were shooting there guerilla-style with these pop lock dancers who were doing all this very bizarre, body-contorting s--t that you just can't believe. One guy held an Emmy and turned his arm 360 degrees — the kind of stuff that makes the judges squirm on So You Think You Can Dance. We also shot me going down Hollywood Boulevard with a red wagon full of Emmys trying to give them away. I'm, like, "I've taken the liberty of stealing Emmys from those who have so many to give to those who have none. Who wants Alex Trebek's?" We shot so much that a lot won't make it into the show.
TV Guide Magazine: Will you put the rest on YouTube?
Grahn: I will! That's a good idea. Of course, I will look like hell. I'm so nuts trying to produce this stuff that I didn't put on any makeup for the spots I did. I'm just wiping the sweat off my face. I looked at the footage and thought, "Oh, my God, I'm f--king old!" [Laughs] But I don't have time to worry about what I look like because I'm a producer now. Cecil B. DeGrahn.
TV Guide Magazine: You're moving into a whole new career where looks don't matter!
Grahn: [Laughs] Where I can run my ass off doing things for no money looking old. Can't wait. It really has been brutal. Poor Gillian had to dash around getting, like, a hundred people on Hollywood Boulevard to sign releases. We're dragging equipment everywhere, futzing with this, futzing with that. So many details. My poor daughter, Kate, is going, "Mom, I'm hungry!" I'm, like, "Shut up! Eat a cracker!" There is so much that goes into making Brad F--king Pitt look good. And, by the way, this is not going to be anything like a Brad Pitt movie. It's more like one step up from community theater. But it's my first attempt and I would like as much mercy as possible. This stuff isn't supposed to be fall-off-your-chair funny. It's more like a little levity, a little wink.
TV Guide Magazine: Would you do it again next year?
Grahn: Yes, if I'm not in the Witness Protection Program.
TV Guide Magazine: Cough up the dish! Were any of the stars you worked with real jerks? Any regrets?
Grahn: Nothing that a bottle of Tanqueray didn't fix. It was so hard coordinating all the stars — the phone calls, the emails, the publicists! Let me tell ya, the ones who cooperated and made it easy-peasy — Katie Couric, Dr. Drew, Wayne Brady, Steve Harvey, Alex Trebek, the ladies from The Talk — were the real champs. But, damn, it was hard. Now I really understand what producers go through.
TV Guide Magazine: Does this mean you're going to be less impossible on the set of GH?
Grahn: [Laughs] Oh, hell, no.
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