General Hospital's Maurice Benard and Sarah Brown by Ron Tom/ABC
Part 1 of our exclusive first sit-down
, the three-time Daytime Emmy winner revealed what led her back to
and the concerns she had about doing so. Here in the conclusion of our Q&A, Sarah previews Claudia Zacchara's first encounter with Sonny, the inevitable face-off between "two Carlys" and the length of her new Port Charles visit. Be sure to take in every bit here, as the "lead" (that is, the truly juicy stuff) sort of got buried at the end. But oh, is it worth it. -
TVGuide.com: Of course, Laura Wright is now playing Carly, so you are creating a new role....
I'm going to be playing Claudia Zacchara. She is the eldest daughter of Anthony Zacchara.
TVGuide.com: Played by Bruce Weitz....
Woohoo, I can't wait to work with him!
TVGuide.com: Is Claudia totally a tough cookie or does she have a soft spot somewhere?
Oh, she has a soft spot, because she's being played by me. [
] I can't fathom playing a one-dimensional tough cookie on a daytime show. I don't think that works, whereas it might in other mediums, like prime time. So let me tell you about Claudia....
TVGuide.com: Is she a sexual woman?
Very. She's a very, very sexual woman. That's what I'm gathering. There are some really wonderful reasons for that. Like any tough cookie she's tough because she's really fragile, and she's really fragile because she has an Achille's heel. She has a couple of them, and they will develop over this first year. But one in particular she comes to town with, and it's a really good one.
TVGuide.com: What's the dynamic between Claudia and Brandon Barash's Johnny?
It's going to be complicated. Johnny was little, apparently, when I left, so Brandon is playing pretty young, I guess. Johnny was young when I was banished and sent away to live with my mother, who had been banished earlier. But I grew up with my father until I was 16 and Johnny was about 8. I was very protective and loving of my "baby brother," so it's parallel to
Into the Wild
, though there's a little more scab-picking to be done between the two of us. The brother and sister in that movie are close because they're growing up in a loony bin of a household. There was yelling going on [at the Zaccharas'], a manic-depressive bipolar father.... I haven't spoken to him since I was banished.
TVGuide.com: So it's not "happy to see me" when her father sees her in Port Charles?
Oh god, no. It's really not "happy to see me." I'm not coming there for that; I'm coming to set some things straight. Trevor calls me up and brings me out for one agenda, thinking I am the scared, lost little wallflower that got sent away, but I come back having been raised by my uncle and mother and having been taught the business from the ground up. My uncle is big where he's from, and he's taught me how to read men and control men. I don't think Claudia controls men in the way of like, "I have a bigger... than you!" That doesn't work, generally, so I'm not going to go there. She's doesn't need to do that.
TVGuide.com: So who is your first scene with?
I work with
] first, as a nice little wink to the audience. We
to do those things. They've got to put us together because there is all this history coming into it. I'm glad my first scenes were with Maurice.
TVGuide.com: Are there other "winks" in the dialogue, like, "You remind me of someone I know" or...?
] There was a line, but it doesn't end up on the show. It was very similar to what you said, like Sonny says, "This feels familiar," and I say, "Familiarity breeds contempt."
TVGuide.com: Is Sonny necessarily going to be her first major love interest, or might GH go a different way at first?
I don't know.... They're going to have to explore everything that's already going on for him, and see how my character can fit into that. A lot of it will have to do with what works best for their stories. You know how it is on soaps - I'm definitely not ruling it out!
TVGuide.com: What other sort of "reunions" should we be on the lookout for? Are there any scenes with Robin, or the current Carly?
There are certainly going to be scenes between me and Laura right away, so that will be fun for people. We meet at Metro Court by happenstance and begin to chat about this and that and Kate Howard.... Carly tells me I look familiar; I tell her I get that a lot,
. We then get into talking about fashion - and powerful men - and we have a really good time together.
TVGuide.com: You know Laura from your circle of Procter & Gamble soap friends.
I do, I do, and I love and respect her. I knew her even before I got involved with
As the World Turns
. Laura, I always thought was very good. When she did
, Laura Wright was one of my favorite actresses from New York. I thought she was top-notch, so when Laura was recast as Carly, I was like, "Yeah, that makes sense!" She's a pro and she knows what she's bringing.
TVGuide.com: Now this is a silly question, but I wonder it myself: Is it at all tricky going through a GH script now and not mistaking the "Carly" lines for your own?
It is. But I went through that at
, and we had a "Carly" there. But now, having played so many characters, it's not so big a thing. It's not going to
happen that I'll accidentally highlight Carly's lines. [In fact just days after this interview, Sarah admitted to me, "Last night I was highlighting my lines and I actually highlighted all of Laura [Wright]'s lines before I realized what I was doing. I was trying to multitask and I guess I'm not ready to do that with
TVGuide.com: During your absence from GH, they brought on Reese, aka the "real" Carly Roberts, the one whose life Caroline Benson stole. Did GH try to get you for that role?
I wasn't aware of that, but that may have been the idea of "Carly's evil twin sister" morphing into Reese [ultimately played by
]. That's really possible. That sounds right.
TVGuide.com: How long do GH fans have you for?
Currently, I have a one-year contract, but you never really know. They could fire me if they wanted to, after 26 weeks, but [
] I don't think that's going to happen. I work really hard, so hopefully people will be happy with it and I'll stay around.
TVGuide.com: How is your daughter, Jordan?
She is wonderful, thank you for asking.
TVGuide.com: What is she into these days?
She loves horseback riding. She has horses at the equestrian center where Leslie Charleson (Monica) has her horses, so it's always nice to catch up with Leslie. Jordan has taken gymnastics for a few years, which I was into when I was younger.... She's actually taking an acting class and recently got her SAG card - through no fault of my own! Her father was producing a movie and he brought Jordan and Michael Chiklis' daughter onto the movie, at ages 8 and 9. So that's really sweet.
TVGuide.com: I remember you showed me a Halloween picture, and she is a gorgeous little girl.
Oh, thank you so much. She's a sweet, wonderful little girl. She's very kind and loving and deeply connected to animals.
TVGuide.com: In that same picture, "Mom" wasn't looking too bad as a mermaid.
Oh, thank you! You're so sweet....
TVGuide.com: OK, one last tease about what's ahead on GH.
I'm going to control the world. [
] I don't know what I can tease. I have some bullet points here I can talk about.... Oh, I guess I can tell you that Sonny and I have a one-night stand, because he's reeling from a blowup with Kate, because she declines his wedding proposal. I go into a bar, see Sonny, pick him up, take him back to his hotel room, and we have a wild, crazy, passionate night, and then walk away without telling each other our names. And then we bump into each other at a mob meeting that I've organized. He's sitting across the table from me, and of course I may have left something in his room, so that's where we're going to go. It's going to be really super. I
I'd give you some juicy fun stuff!
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