Terry Lester originated the role of Jack Abbott on 'The Young and The Restless' in 1984. In 1989, he substituted for Lane Davies as Mason Capwell on 'Santa Barbara'. Terry observed, "When you're the first to play a character, you can pretty much determine how it's going to be done. But when you assume a role someone else has played, you are at something of a disadvantage. Essentially, you're stepping into the 2nd act of a production, and it's up to you to make the audience accept you as if nothing has changed. When another actor comes in, he or she has to make the adjustment as seamless as possible: the relationships (with the cast) have to be shown as if nothing has changed."
Part of soap opera acting was said to be "sustaining the same character through numerous writers' interpretations." Constance Towers played Helena Cassadine on 'General Hospital' since 2000. Back in 1979, she appeared on Broadway in 'The King and I' with Yul Brynner. At the time, Constance confessed, "I wanted to bring a fresh approach to Anna. I'm very reluctant to see anyone else in a role I am going to do. You pick up things subconsciously. I wanted my approach to be my own – unique – not someone else's concept. That's the only way to create."
In 1959, Constance starred in 'The Horse Soldiers' directed by John Ford whom Constance described as "a poet with the camera." However, "he played tricks on actors before emotional scenes. Victor McLaughlin was not supposed to drink. That night before shooting his big confession scene in 'The Informer' (1935), Ford got the prop man to get Victor drinking. The next day, he was sweating and shaking – afraid of losing his job. But it was perfect on film. That's the thing about film, you only have to be perfect once, and for a matter of seconds. On the stage, it's 8 times a week. That's why Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Al Paccino come back to Broadway. They don't have to come back to save their careers. They come back to get in touch with technique."
In 'The Horse Soldiers', there was a mud fight scene. Constance recounted, "Ford went from one to the other, repeating things he said each had said about the other. By the time they were ready to shoot the film, those 2 were ready to kill one another. Then, without telling them, Ford added horse manure to the mud. Between their anger at each other, and at finding themselves fighting in horse manure, Ford got a marvelous effect. In another scene, I was unconscious and William Holden and John Wayne were supposed to throw water in my face to bring me out of it. They found out from Ford where there was an icy well and threw freezing water on my face. I came out sputtering and fuming – just what he wanted."
In 1971, Constance recalled, "I was starting the day at 6:00a.m., getting to Manhattan to rehearse a soap opera on CBS ('Love Is a Many Splendored Thing'). We rehearsed in the morning and shot from 1:00 to 2:00p.m.. I'd catch a 3 o'clock train to Jones Beach on Long Island (where Constance was doing a musical) and be on stage at 8:00. I'd get back home about midnight, in bed at 1:00 and up again at 6:00 in the morning. I take a lot of vitamins but I think the most important thing is to love what you’re doing."
Laura Carrington played Lisa Baron on 'One Life To Live' in 1986. She believed, "Soaps are probably the best place to learn about acting for the camera." In 1979, 'Search For Tomorrow' went on location in the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota, Florida. Two cameramen were taping scenes for the show. After the last scene wrapped, onlookers "burst into applause". Sherry Mathis played Liza Kaslo made the remark at the time, "I think the stigma attached to soap operas is fading...I don't think any actor ever apologized for being in a soap opera. They all know its some of the hardest work that's done in show business. And when we're on location like this (to the Gulf) the pressure is even greater. If we were shooting a movie we could have a couple of days to do a scene like the one we just finished. But we don't have that luxury. So I'm really proud of the level of quality we're able to maintain given our restrictions." Jerry Lanning, who was the son of singer Roberta Sherwood played Nick D'Antoni. He made the comment, "The part of a villain in 'Search' has been great for me, because I'd been typecast before this...This role has allowed me to stretch myself, to broaden myself as an actor. I've found this a real challenge. You know, it would be easy to play the role of Nick as a one-dimensional bad guy, but I've tried to inject some humor, some compassion into the role. That way, it makes the character much more sinister when he does do something evil."
Jeff Trachta was Thorne No. 2 on 'The Bold And The Beautiful'. By the time Jeff joined 'The Bold And The Beautiful' in 1990, the show was already the No. 4 most popular daytime drama on television. By 1995, 'The Bold And The Beautiful' was ranked the No. 2 syndicated program in the world. Jeff contributed its success to, "I think it is the glamor of the show that attracts the European fans. The allure of the fashion industry, the rich Forresters and Ronn Moss' cheekbones are what attract them."
Victoria Wyndham had said, "...When you're taking over for somebody else and I took over an established part (on 'Another World'), you never know if it will work with the audience and whether you can co-op the audience to start rooting for you, or whether they're always going to pine for the original actress who did the role. So in show business everyone's expendable and nothing's for sure." Of the part of Rachel, Victoria voiced, "I looked at what (Robin Strasser) was doing to see what they wanted me to change. I was brought on to definitely take this character into a different direction, so that was my mandate. So I certainly had to watch to see what Robbie had done, so that I knew where the character was at the time and where I could go with her, without trying to imitate. You don't watch somebody else and then imitate them...So you go through a period of adjustments that I'd say lasted about a year."
Of viewers' reaction to his role, Jeff stated, "I can see both sides of the coin. Thorne is like his mother Stephanie. If you take Stephanie at face value, she's a villainess. But if you look at where Stephanie is coming from, her actions make sense. The same applies to Thorne. He's the raw nerve so necessary in a good story."