Que Sierra, Sierra: ATWT’s Mary Beth Evans

Soap Opera Digest Online Interview, August 16, 2001

By Maria Levinsky

Mary Beth Evans (ex-Kayla, Days; ex-Katherine, GH) just finished up another whirlwind trip to New York to play Sierra on As the World Turns.

She checked in with SOD and SOW Online hours before hopping a flight back to her home base of California.

On Becoming a Soap-Hopper:

“I didn’t plan for this to happen! If it had been up to me, I’d probably have stayed on Days this whole time, but that’s not the way life works. And I realized at the Emmys this year that I’ve got friends everywhere now: on both coasts and on all three networks. That was a blast, hanging out at the show with Stephen Nichols [Stefan, GH; ex-Patch, Days] and cheering for ATWT.”

On Her Time in the Big Apple:

“I brought my kids [Daniel, Katie, and Matthew] with me this trip; they went to the Bronx Zoo and to Chelsea Piers, and my 13-year-old tried to convince me to let him go out into the city by himself [Laughs]. But usually I come alone and I have a lot of me time, a lot of shopping time… I just think it’s cool to zip in and out of [this role]; it’s like a vacation in some ways.”

On Her ATWT Alter Ego:

“You know, I’m not 25 anymore. I appreciate playing a woman that’s my own age, that’s a real woman. I’ve never been into the flights of fancy stuff anyway; I’m more into recognizable, real-life drama. I like that Sierra has Craig’s number, and that she has Lucinda’s number. It’s important to me to send out a positive message to the viewers, and I think the women on ATWT are very empowered.”

On the Advantages of a Short Stint:

“On a soap, you tend to have a lot of down time, and sometimes you only work two days a week. I love that when I come in and do three weeks, I work every day and have something really meaty to tackle. I never get bored! So that’s a definite plus.”

On Her First Love Scene with Hunt Block (Craig):

“Hunt’s got a really long commute and they work him a lot, so we haven’t had that much opportunity to get to know each other personally. But he’s always doing something creative and quirky, which makes him a lot of fun to work with. We joked that usually on daytime you get to know a person for six months before you have to be in bed with them. I just tried to play the history, the years of feelings that are there.”

On Executive Producer Christopher Goutman:

“I couldn’t think more highly of Chris. He’s a soft-spoken man, but you can feel his presence everywhere in the building. He’s all over the studio. He’s in hair, he’s in makeup, he’s in the [production] booth. Every time I leave a room, I bump into him! [Laughs] He’s involved in every aspect of the show and he inspires everyone to do their best work.”

On Her Oakdale Colleagues:

“From top to bottom, they couldn’t be a nicer group of people. I speak to some of the actors and they’re just so effervescent that I think they’re brand new to the show, then I find out they’ve been there 10, 15 years! From my experience on daytime, I know that isn’t always the case. The people I work with, like Liz [Hubbard, Lucinda] are a riot. And there are a lot of young moms on the show: Lesli Kay (Molly) had her son, Jackson, with her the other day, and he was adorable and precious and kissable and huggable. My kids are much older than that now, so I just ate him up. And the crew is so warm to me. They’re always like, “It’s great to have you back!” and “I hope we’ll see you soon!”

On Whether She’d Return:

“I would definitely be amenable. When I left, Chris and I were like, “See you next time there’s a trial!” If there’s another opportunity to slot me in, sure.”