The former ‘All My Children’ star chats about her soap opera days, the joys of motherhood and her passion for healthy living.
Reflecting on her 9-year stint as Kendall Hart Slater on the iconic daytime drama All My Children, Alicia Minshew is decidedly nostalgic. “I miss playing Kendall. She was a big part of me,” the actress says.
Alicia nabbed the coveted lead role of Kendall Hart in 2002, following in the footsteps of actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, who had previously played the character. The stakes were high, but Alicia’s stellar portrayal of the willful, hotheaded Kendall made her an instant fan-favorite, earning her two Daytime Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Awards nominations and helping her win over the hearts of All My Children’s devoted fan following.
Now that All My Children is off the air after its storied 44-year run, Minshew is entering the next chapter of her career with the launch of two highly-anticipated web series, Beacon Hill (premiering March 5) and Tainted Dreams. When she’s not running back and forth between rehearsals and tapings, Alicia is spending time with her young daughter, Willow, and her husband, Richie Herschenfeld. We caught up with the busy-bee actress to reflect on her All My Children days, hear more about her exciting new projects and chat about her passion for healthy living.
When you initially found out that you would be playing the role of the Kendall Hart, what was your reaction? Were you nervous about playing a lead role on All My Children?
Yes. In fact, when I initially auditioned for the show, the casting director, Judy Wilson, called a few girls in for the role. Nobody knew we were auditioning for the role of Susan Lucci’s daughter. Afterward, when I got the part, Judy said, “I want you to know…this is the role that Sarah Michelle Gellar played.” That’s when I got nervous. I knew I had big shoes to fill. At the time, I was in my twenties and I had never done anything this big. I knew that the role of Lucci’s daughter was a huge deal. So I definitely had doubts, but I just thought, “Well, let’s just see what happens.” My first day on the set, everything was so great. That’s when I realized how amazing this experience was going to be.
Kendall was a very complex character, a sort of villain-turned-heroine figure. Did you have anything in common with Kendall? Were you able to relate to her at all?
It’s funny; even though Kendall went from being this sort of trashy mean girl to this strong, head-of-the-company mama bear, I was always able to relate to her in some way. She has this edgy side to her that I may have a little bit of. It sounds strange, but I also think that playing her has actually given me a bit more strength as a woman. I’ve found myself having more strength because of Kendall. But the biggest way I can relate to Kendall is the fierce love that she felt for her family. It was easy for me to play that strong mama, because I felt that each and every time. As the years went on, I got to impart my sense of humor onto Kendall’s character. I would find little ways to lighten her up every now and then and give her some of my personality.
What was it like playing Susan Lucci’s daughter?
I knew who Susan Lucci was and was very intimidated to play her daughter. But the very first day I showed up in set she could not have been kinder or sweeter. She was so welcoming. Over time we started to form a really wonderful friendship. We have done so many intense emotional scenes and really bonded doing those. Now we are good friends who keep in touch from time to time. I really miss working with her. I learned a lot from her over those 10 years. She was such a professional and always treated every single cast and crew member with such respect. I admired her for that.Read More»