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George De Sota/jpistudios.com

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Ilene Kristen didn’t debut as Roxy Balsom on ABC’s “One Life to Live” until November 2001, but the actress did learn she had the job on September 10 of that year and began filming on September 27. Ten years later the actress reflects on the days after learning she had gotten the job, and what she is looking forward to when the soap transitions to Prospect Park in the coming months.

“It is ten years this week and it’s been a phenomenal ten years,” says Kristen in our exclusive interview. “It means a lot to me. I was actually told I had the job September 10 and it was very profound. I didn’t really talk to anybody or tell anybody on September 10. I didn’t tell them I had the job until September 20 because of everything that happened,” referring to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “Acting at that moment seemed insignificant, but September 27 came around [getting teared up], it felt like such a furor to get out to entertain the troops. It was so sad,” she said as she wiped her tears away. “I’ve been on a mission for the last ten years, which is to truly entertain people. I really feel that it is an important thing. I see it as a healing for people and I particularly feel it was a healing for that period of time.”

At the time our interview with Kristen took place, the actress admitted she didn’t watch the series finale of “All My Children,” but she did tape it. “I taped it because I couldn’t bare watching it,” says the actress. “I saw some of it. I was actually at the [‘One Life to Live’] studio and they had their cliffhanger, which was a little anti-climatic, but it was good,” the actress revealed. As for ABC’s decision to cancel the soap along with her show, Kristen says “It’s a sad thing. It’s a very sad thing. I think that ABC is making a huge mistake! I think they are going to live to regret it too, I really do. I think the network is perishing, their daytime is completely perishing. I mean who needs to watch news at 4 o’clock,” Kristen questions referring to New York’s WABC airing news at 4:00 PM after 25 years of airing “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the timeslot. Even so, “It’s a new time and a new day. We’re moving on.”

“One Life to Live” is executive produced by Frank Valentini, a man that is credited for positioning the soap to the top of the ratings heap on ABC Daytime since before the announcement of the soaps cancellation by the network in April of this year. “Frank Valentini has such a deep love of the show, he’s deeply talented and he’s our fearless leader and I think we’re in really good hands,” said Kristen of Valentini. Upon hearing that Valentini would be joining Prospect Park as it takes over production of “One Life” as not just the soaps executive producer, but also taking on the role as Vice President, Serial Dramas, for the production company, the actress said “Well he should! I don’t know how he’s going to do everything, but if there is anybody who is really capable of handling things it’s him. He’s got very good taste and he’s got cutting edge ideas. He’s a modern person and I think they’re really lucky to have him. I just hope he has time for us!”

Unlike Sean Ringgold, who confirmed to Soap Opera Network exclusively that he would be joining Prospect Park when “One Life to Live” joins the web, Kristen has yet to receive an offer from the company. If you would like to see more Roxy on your favorite soap, let Prospect Park know via snail mail to Valentini at:

Frank Valentini
Executive Producer, One Life to Live
ABC Daytime
320 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023

Or you can also email Prospect Park at soapsalive@prospectpk.com

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Comment Below...
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z23M2JZL33JQK4PZX2MCI3VACY Andrea

    Ilene Kristen is an asset to “OLTL”. I hope she stays with the show at least ten more years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1723295013 Manou Boussu

    She brought life to the storyline of Kish.
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