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Donna Svennevik/ABC

On Wednesday, Soap Opera Network reported that actress Laura Harrier had been cast in the contract role of Destiny Evans on the reboot of “One Life to Live.” Now the characters originator, Shenell Edmonds, has taken to Facebook to make clear that she had been in talks with Prospect Park about a possibility of returning to the soap, but the company was unable to come to an agreement with her that would have accommodated her school schedule.

Edmonds had originally signed on to continue portraying Destiny back in 2011, when Prospect Park first announced plans to reboot “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Since the plans fell through, the actress put her education on the forefront.

Edmonds’ Message to Fans

A huge shout out to all the One life to live fans!

I have been enjoying life to the fullest and slowly easing into college life since you last saw me on OLTL.

During the past year, you might have seen me in a few commercials and most recently out & about as a nominee for the 44th NAACP Image Awards held in Los Angeles on February 1st.

I had a chance to visit with Frank Valentini, ex-OLTL and current GH Executive producer and Paul Glass, ex- OLTL and current GH Musical Director. It was so nice seeing them again.

Many of you have asked me about the Prospect Park reboot of OLTL online so here goes.
I am very excited about the return of OLTL as many of you are. Obviously I can’t give specifics but I will tell you that I was invited to join the cast. Unfortunately, they were unable to accommodate my school schedule therefore, I had to politely decline.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you for rooting for my return and your continuous support.

OLTL will always be dear to my heart and hey, you never know, soaps may return into my life at another time.

Lots of love, Shenell

Topics Discussed
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Comment Below...
  • Sally

    They still could have went with an actor the same type as Edmonds and not a model type.I bet Matthew will come back looking like Brad Pitt.

    • cindercity12

      But I don’t think you’re looking for someone who is exactly like the previous actor when you’re recasting a role. Especially when you’re taking the role in a different direction.

      You don’t want an actor who reminds the audience of the other actor. You don’t want someone who is mimicking the other actor. You want someone who is going to make the role their own. Someone who’s going to do their own thing and put their stamp on it.

      If someone nails an audition, should they be passed over because they’re not the same “type” as the previous actress? I’m inclined to say no.

    • Xan

      My guess is that they recasted the role of Destiny based on the story that they’ve got planned for the character, not on SE’s caricature. It’s not as if Destiny is a Viki or Erica Kane type. She wasn’t that revered or seminal to anything for them to try and preserve any and every aspect of her previous persona. And whose to say that this “model type” won’t be as good, if not better, of an actress as SE?

      I get sick of how every time some frumpy, dowdy or plain jane actress is cast, certain viewers act as though it’s such a “breath of fresh air” to have them there and try to paint them as underdogs to cheer for against the big, bad, shallow powers that be. Destiny Evans, nor Shenell Edmonds, was not some kind of sacred cow. In her previous incarnation, she was very green and always felt expendable. Therefore it wasn’t necessary to try and offer SE the moon to come back…or to search for a clone to replace her with. Nor is it necessary for them to try and clone Eddie Alderson in recasting Matthew. If they wanna bring on some tall, blond 20-something jock looking actor to take over the role, then so be it. The only thing that matters is that they can act, not how much they can impersonate the previous portrayer.

      Soap fans kill me being uber-sentimental when it comes to actors. This is about story, first and foremost. I’m not watching the show for actors, I’m watching for characters and story. And if a “model-type” can do a good job in the role, then there’s no problem.

      • Zeakyarteest

        All right. Here’s an explanation from the opposing side :-)

        To many, it’s not about having a carbon copy of Shenell. It’s about having realistic phenotypes to observe on television. It’s about a wider acceptance of different body images and under represented racial features on screen. Whether we wish to accept it or not, the media is powerful enough influence public perception. What message does hiring cookie cut-out after cookie-out send? Especially if the acting is subpar?

        Too many people don’t understand the significance of accurate representations in the limelight. Too many don’t see Marcie McBain, the Patels, or even Tea speaking Spanish as important. Too many still don’t understand why changing Blair’s race was problematic. Sadly, these seem to be the standards of the Soapdom. I believe this views aren’t at all inclusive, and are slightly egotistic.

        Personally, I’m all for fresh faces. With this in mind, I also know that there is no law saying someone who is thick, dark skinned with braids (for example) cannot bring new layers to the character of Destiny Evans. A size zero, blue-eyed brunette can bring new sides to Destiny we have never seen before. However, how much sense would that make? How much sense does it make to have VASTLY diverse actors to represent one character? I don’t believe there is that big of a deficit of actors and actresses on the East Coast. Because those who look like those mentioned above are just as capable of having chemistry and talent as the “model types” we are so used to seeing. To state otherwise, I believe, is lazy.

        So yes, the best of the best should be given high regard. But I think appearance should also play a part in the casting process. It shouldn’t be for fan-service, but for the wider social aspects that come into play. That’s how shows get taken seriously. That, and strong performances fuelled by creative writing.

        Through everything, I hope Miss Harrier rocks the spot she’s got :-D

  • Jen

    Xan, I agree

  • Why

    These two actors in question never were a good mesh for me anyhow. Destiny’s character did not seem like an interracial dating type girl and Matthew’s character never seemed to be either. This new girl they have recast her with is lighter in skin tone and more european looking with wavy hair instead of the braids. and this new Destiny will be more in line with the new Matthew, Robert Gorrie. I liked the original Destiny but never really cared for that particular Matthew. Man I had forgotten that the original Blair was Asian, Thanks Zeakyarteest for the reminder.

    • Tish K.

      What is and ‘interracial dating type of girl’? I know black girls of all skin tones and sizes and shapes dating all types of white guys. Hell, I am 5’9″, dark brown and shenell aka destiny’s size and i have had all types of white talk to me and date me. My first bf was in 9th grade in the late 1980s and he had sandy blonde hair, hazel eyes, really cute and average weight he was an inch taller than me and I was 5,8″ then…we had two classes together..and my son’s father is blonde hair, blue eyes from west virigina and looks like a surfer guy from california. So, your comments was very ignorant. Just because the new girl is lighter and thinner doesn’t mean anything.