(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Kassie DePaiva has spent nearly two decades on “One Life to Live” in the role of Blair Cramer. Earlier this month, the Kentucky native sat down with a local newspaper to talk about the show’s cancellation and the next step in her career.
The Union County, KY native (whose hometown is roughly 130 miles from that of yours truly), told the Evansville (Indiana) Courier Press on June 13 what it was like when he first took over the role of Blair from Asian-American actress Mia Korf back in 1993, commenting that “When I did get the part I was thrilled, but also a little bit shocked because I didn’t think that I looked the part.”
Now, nearly twenty years later, DePaiva admits that she has grown to love the role and working on “One Life to Live,” and that she will be depressed to see it all end later this year when the show finishes production in November, and airs its final episode on January 20, 2012. “It’s a bittersweet goodbye. I’ve been so happy playing the role of Blair and it makes me sad that it’s ending, but I’m so happy to have been blessed with the part.” She goes on to say that she has been forcing herself “to go through the process of grieving the loss of the show,” but at the same time she is “also excited about the next chapter.”
She states that she and her fellow “OLTL” cast mates and crew members first learned their show, along with sister soap “All My Children” had been cancelled when, during a lunchtime rehearsal, they were asked to go to the studio floor of “The View” where Brian Frons, head of daytime programming for the Disney/ABC Television Group, broke the news via satellite feed from Los Angeles.
“I was very shocked because we had heard rumors, but it was more rumors of ‘All My Children’ being cancelled. I had a mixed bag of emotions because, you know, it was my job, it was my friends that I’ve worked with,” DePaiva states, regarding the announcement.
During her time in Llanview, DePaiva met her future husband James DePaiva (ex-Max Holden) and her real-life pregnancy written into the show. Working on “One Life” “afforded me a beautiful lifestyle. I have met unbelievable friends working there … (and) I’ve had an abundant amount of acting material to do, more than most people get to do in a lifetime, and it’s been a wonderful, wonderful ride for me.”
However, don’t expect the actress to take a break when “OLTL” leaves the air. “This has been an unbelievable experience for me, but it won’t be the last thing on my resume, that’s for sure. I’ll continue to audition and then we’ll just see where I land; I don’t know.” In addition to auditioning, DePaiva plans to devote more time to volunteering at the Center for Hearing and Communication, on behalf of her deaf son JQ DePaiva, and to continue her mission to make the public more aware of hearing loss and cochlear implants. And she plans to spend more time visiting her parents, Quentin and Hildegarde Wesley, at their Morganfield, KY home.
Recalling her Kentucky roots, DePaiva remembers competing alongside her three siblings in 4-H and Farm Bureau talent shows, singing in her church choir, and taking dance classes. “I think the best thing that happened to me growing up in Union County was there was a high school drama coach named Judy Woodring who really made a beautiful foundation for me to really get my feet wet with acting,” she says.
DePaiva’s father claims that fame hasn’t changed his daughter much. “parents are only as happy as their saddest child, so we have celebrated Kassie’s ups and downs over the years. … She’s the same little old girl she was when she left home.”
Her mother, meanwhile, admits that she has watched most of her daughter’s “One Life” episodes, and that still has “boxes and boxes” of videotapes of the shows. She also notes that “”The fans are really devoted and nice people. They’re going to miss these shows, I tell you.” As for what’s next for her daughter, she states that “When a door closes, a window opens, or something like that.”
Click here to read the full interview.