By Bill Lieberman
“Its quite a thrill, an honor, and really wonderful to have a character created especially for me. I m flattered. I m looking forward to the character. I've had some input as well, which is a luxury that you don t get very often.”
How many daytime actors actors in general could you imagine ever uttering those words. Not many! But one actress, currently lighting up the daytime screens as mob kingpin Carlo Hesser's daughter Charlotte on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, can claim those words as her own, Her name is Audrey Landers, best known as Afton Cooper on the nighttime serial DALLAS and earlier stints on SECRET STORM and SOMERSET.
“It kind of feels like coming back home for me in more ways than one,” says Audrey. “I had been really wanting to work in New York as I m based mostly in Los Angeles. I have a home and I have a husband in New York, who I rarely get to see. I've been married for about two years and we've been having a weekend romance. It has been difficult and I really wanted to work in New York.”
As badly as Audrey wanted to come back, when OLTL executive producer Paul Rauch clamored for Audrey to return to New York to recreate the part of Tina Roberts, she was ecstatic but had to turn down his offer of a two-year contract.
“I just felt that at this point I really couldn't commit to that length of time simply because we re (Audrey, sister Judy and mother Ruth) in development on a TV series for a nighttime show,” explains Audrey. It just wouldn't work out. It would conflict in scheduling.”
Audrey settled on a six-month contract as Charlotte Hesser “without a screen test a character she describes as a smart girl, a strong-minded girl, a woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. I think those are characteristics that are attractive in today's woman, and of course then they took those ideas and really went crazy with them, and now she's quite ambitious.”
Despite having a father who many would consider quite a bad man, Audrey doesn't categorize Charlotte as good or bad. “She s very hot-blooded, she s very feisty, but she doesn't hurt people along the way. Simply because she s smart enough not to have to. I think that as far as her father goes, I don t think she s opposed to what he does because after all she's been living a wonderful life of luxury. She enjoys the fruits of his crimes. I think that she doesn't want to get involved in it, but on the other hand it doesn't bother her either.”
What shouldn't bother Audrey is the opportunity to work with such a dynamic cast and eventually “getting involved in a Megan-Jake-Charlotte triangle.” And should she ever tire of the daily routine (though she admits there s always the possibility her stay at OLTL could always surpass the six-month contract), Audrey always has her heralded singing career she has tour platinum albums overseas, all of which she s written and the TV movie “The Ghostwriter” to concentrate on.
“That s actually going to be our pilot for our new series that we're hoping will take off for next year. It s a mystery comedy in which Judy (Landers) plays the ghost and I play the writer, who goes to this beach house that s been in her family for years to find some peace and quiet, and finds that it s haunted by the ghost of this famous movie star, ala Marilyn Monroe, who died mysteriously back in 1962. And the two women meet, and they develop a friendship. It s a buddy story in a certain way; they re women from different eras with different values me being the modern woman of the 90 s and Judy being kind of a sexpot from the 50 s. And we team up together to solve the mystery of her murder” (Check your local listings during the month of June). Meanwhile, you can always catch Audrey on OLTL!