The male-dense berg of Elmo gets a much-needed shot of womanhood when TV-serial icon Morgan Fairchild descends upon ABC's Men in Trees (tonight at 10 pm/ET). Playing "Morgan Fairchild," the blonde beauty will seek to secure rights to Marin Frost's life story. TVGuide.com invited (the real) Fairchild to preview her visit to Alaska, tell Morgan apart from "Morgan," and reflect upon '80s fashions.
TVGuide.com: Men in Trees is working off quite a lag time. Hopefully it hasn't been so long since you filmed this episode that you don't remember it at all.
Morgan Fairchild: Oh, I definitely do. I had a great time on the show. They were very, very nice.
TVGuide.com: When, if ever, was the last time you played yourself?
Fairchild: I play myself every once in a while. I played myself in Holy Man with Eddie Murphy, where he blew up my face. But I don't do it very often.
TVGuide.com: How is Men in Trees' "Morgan Fairchild" different from the real Morgan Fairchild?
Fairchild: Well, they made "Morgan Fairchild" sort of a clubber, which I am not! [Laughs] And she's a good singer, too!
TVGuide.com: How did "Morgan" get wind of Marin?
Fairchild: Our paths had crossed in New York when Marin lived and worked there. I knew her as an author so I recognize her when I see her in Elmo. I'm like, "What are you doing here?" "Morgan" is doing some personal appearances and stuff....
TVGuide.com: In Alaska?
Fairchild: It's not that far-fetched! When I was touring with The Graduate a few years ago, we played Anchorage and had a great time. We loved Alaska.
TVGuide.com: Does "Morgan Fairchild" take a shine to any of the men in Elmo?
Fairchild: Oh, no…. I think they're all kind of taken. I would have gotten a black eye from any of the women who'd already claimed them!
TVGuide.com: Did Men in Trees afford you a forum in which to work your comedic chops?
Fairchild: Oh, yeah. I hope it's funny. We thought it was. It really is such a nice group there. You never know what you're getting with a cast that’s been together for a while — there are things going on that you don’t know anything about that you walk into — but there was none of that. They were wonderful.
TVGuide.com: Part of that might come from being holed away together up in Vancouver....
Fairchild: I think so. Everybody seems to be very mellow and laid-back, enjoying the work. It's such a pretty area of the world.
TVGuide.com: Would you be able to tough out months of filming there?
Fairchild: I have before. I've shot TV-movies up there. It's really a nice town. The rain gets to you after a while, though.
TVGuide.com: Back in the day — and by "the day" I mean the '80s — I saw Morgan Brittany as some sort of "Xerox negative" version of Morgan Fairchild....
TVGuide.com: Was there any rivalry between prime time's two Morgans?
Fairchild: No, no, no.... Actually, she and I worked together in '78 or '79 on a Harold Robbins miniseries, The Dream Merchants. We got to be great friends. She's a lovely girl.
TVGuide.com: Who in your travels wrote the juiciest TV dialogue?
Fairchild: Don Roos, when I was doing Paper Dolls. In the pilot, my character didn’t have much to do except be on the phone complaining to people and yelling, and I ad-libbed a lot of it. Don "got" my dark sense of humor when we went to series, so he wrote that way for me. We had a lot of fun.
TVGuide.com: Do you miss shoulder pads?
Fairchild: [Laughs] You know, when you put them on now, you go, "What the hell were we thinking?!" My face was so little that I had to be careful because I looked ridiculous with the big ones.
TVGuide.com: I have to imagine it's just a matter of time before you show up on Dirty Sexy Money.
Fairchild: When I saw the breakdown for that show, I thought I'd be perfect for it. But I haven’t heard from them... yet!
TVGuide.com: I want to run this by you: The soap opera Guiding Light is now taping on location using handheld cameras. Very groundbreaking, isn’t it?
Fairchild: [Laughs] Yeah, we only did that 13 years ago on The City! It was a great idea then, and it's a great idea now, to broaden the scope of daytime shows.
TVGuide.com: What else is going on with you? Any movies in the pipeline?
Fairchild: There's Spring Break, and we did a reality show based around that, too, where we auditioned people to be in it. I did one called The Sno Cone Stand, in Austin, and one called The Steamroom. And I have a skin-care line launching called Fabulous by Morgan Fairchild.
TVGuide.com: Wow. If anyone should do a skin-care line, it's your porcelain-like self!
Fairchild: Thank you. It's due out any moment now. We just shipped our first bubble bath to New York pharmacies. So try the bubble bath!
TVGuide.com: I shall, I shall!
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