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Paul Raven

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This is a retroactive conspiracy theory, based only on conjecture, with zero basis in realty, but, what if the short term nature of Joan Collins on GL was all a publicity stunt from the start?

Obviously, she was cast for publicity, as well as her talent.  However, there was never talk of a lawsuit for breach of contract.  She has a reputation for professionalism.  And she stayed with other projects like Footballers Wives and The Royals for longer.  So, it seems odd that she would leave so quickly.  Unless, GL was trying to get in the press both for her coming and for her going.

Also, according to Soap Central, Joan announced she was leaving November 24, 2002, two months after her first airdate (and a week before the end of sweeps month), and GL announced Marj Dusay returning to the role the next day.  Joan last aired on December 23rd, and Marj was playing Alex the following week.  Which all seems very convenient in hindsight.

 

Edited by j swift
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1 hour ago, j swift said:

This is a retroactive conspiracy theory, based only on conjecture, with zero basis in realty, but, what if the short term nature of Joan Collins on GL was all a publicity stunt from the start?

Obviously, she was cast for publicity, as well as her talent.  However, there was never talk of a lawsuit for breach of contract.  She has a reputation for professionalism.  And she stayed with other projects like Footballers Wives and The Royals for longer.  

 

I am ambivalent about what I believe.
I do not believe for a second she intended to stay in the role long-term. Of course it was stunt casting - and I am the first one to admit I was surprised that it worked.
However it is also pretty clear what was intended to be, say maybe, an already short six-month stint ended up shortened further due to circumstances, rather than a intended-all-along plot.
And it was shortened - and not only is it extremely plausible but we have heard it from enough directions - because she was taken aback by the amount of work and the speed of soap work. 
It is well-known many actors coming to soaps from other backgrounds are surprised by how much work it is and how fast they need to work. And I can't imagine what someone of JC's stature would have to gain from sticking to a role if she is not enjoying the work conditions that are nothing like primetime soaps like Footballers Wives.
My theory is that it was intended to be a six-month stint as stunt casting while waiting for Marj's stint as Vanessa on AMC to be over - Vanessa had been written in enough of a corner that it didn't take a genius to know she'd be released soon. Turns out MD was free earlier than expected so when it turned out JC wasn't happy, it worked in everyone's favor.
GL had gotten its publicity out of it and was saving money by switching to Dusaj early and JC got out of a job she wasn't enjoying that much. 

Btw my personal take on JC as Alex was that she was certainly closer to the energy Bev McK had initially brought to the character and she was a great fun watch. But I still couldn't help seeing "Joan Collins" everytime she was on-screen so I am not nearly as enthusiastic about it as an "Alexandra" in hindsight. Fun? Yes. Interesting performance? Definitely. 
But like Marj was not playing the same character as Bev, I don't think Joan Collins was either. She was playing "Joan Collins as Alexandra" if that makes sense.

Edited by FrenchBug82
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45 minutes ago, FrenchBug82 said:

She was playing "Joan Collins as Alexandra" if that makes sense.

Totally agree.

As Alexis,Joan had a signature role that embedded her in the television annals after years of movie and TV work and she was savvy enough to know that it was as much Alexis as it was Joan the public loved.

So every role thereafter  had a little (or a lot) of Alexis in it .

She wasn't going to take over the role of Bea Reardon...

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On 9/22/2021 at 9:05 AM, FrenchBug82 said:

Let me ask something I have always wondered as delicately as I can: was Larkin M. considered attractive at the height of his popularity? 

I believe some fans considered Malloy "swoon-worthy" on Edge of Night as Schuyler Whitney.  He was sort of a mysterious scoundrel, he had a patrician air of sophistication, he was secretive, and he had great chemistry with his co-star (Sharon Gabet).  It was probably a case of the perfect actor having been cast in the perfect role -- much like Jonathan Frid as Barnabas on Dark Shadows, Jeanne Cooper as Kay on Y&R,  Chris Bernau as Alan on Guiding Light, or Anthony Geary as Luke on General Hospital.  I'm not sure how successful Larkin Malloy was in his later roles, but he definitely had something that made him appealing when he first burst onto the scene in what was likely his most memorable role.    

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1 hour ago, Broderick said:

I believe some fans considered Malloy "swoon-worthy" on Edge of Night as Schuyler Whitney.  He was sort of a mysterious scoundrel, he had a patrician air of sophistication, he was secretive, and he had great chemistry with his co-star (Sharon Gabet).  It was probably a case of the perfect actor having been cast in the perfect role -- much like Jonathan Frid as Barnabas on Dark Shadows, Jeanne Cooper as Kay on Y&R,  Chris Bernau as Alan on Guiding Light, or Anthony Geary as Luke on General Hospital.  I'm not sure how successful Larkin Malloy was in his later roles, but he definitely had something that made him appealing when he first burst onto the scene in what was likely his most memorable role.    

He had a successful run as Travis Montgomery on AMC, but not so much on Loving as Clay Alden. You're right that Sky/EDGE is most likely his most memorable body of work.

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10 hours ago, vetsoapfan said:

Personally, I thought Collins was a lot of fun in the role; significantly better than Marj Dusay, whom I always found to be breathy and hammy.

Joan always seemed to be having fun...(I know that behind the scenes, while she found the work exhausting, she had a lot of like and respect for not only the other actors, but soap actors in general seeing how hard they worked...the book thing was an excuse..it was too much for her and MADD was happy to go cheaper with Marj..) and gave Alex a bit of sometimes malicious whimsy we hadn't seen since BevAlex pre obsessing over Nick/Mindy. As soon as Marj came back she went to overreacting...(there is a scene where she is at the hospital and confronts Olivia about being preggers and Marj practically chews her face off where Joan would have been more quietly disdainful of Olivia's obvious lack of intelligence about birth control.)

7 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

She wasn't going to take over the role of Bea Reardon...

Bwhahah..."Oh...Matt dear, isn't your wife a bit..shall we say...past the point of having a baby dear? "

 

8 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

My theory is that it was intended to be a six-month stint as stunt casting while waiting for Marj's stint as Vanessa on AMC to be over - Vanessa had been written in enough of a corner that it didn't take a genius to know she'd be released soon. Turns out MD was free earlier than expected so when it turned out JC wasn't happy, it worked in everyone's favor.

GL had no intention of bringing Marj back as Alex... remember, Rauch and MADD fired her the first time and then brought her back non contract and didn't write for her so she went to AMC.  Joan was in New York and announced that she would be interested in doing a soap while she was there. Rauch had connections with her and they needed the publicity going into the anniversary year and they had the Alexandra role which was an easy fit.  The publicity was mishandled badly and the ratings didn't skyrocket so when Joan was tired of it, as I said MADD was happy to bring in Marj to finish things off. The stint was a  six month arc with an opening to come back for quest appearance (for Joan)with Taggert writing that Gus WAS Alan's son (by Rita not that dumb nun) and AM would come back and they would fight Alan and Phillp for Spaulding. As we know Rauch left and Conboy brought Weston in and they gave Marj a contract, making her Myra Clegg/Vanessa and drugging Alan and being the bad guy in the Gus mess and eventually being a drug dealer.  Originally there was no intention of Alex long term.

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On 9/22/2021 at 10:31 PM, Joseph said:

Does Anyone know if Joan Collins as Alexandra was Any good ironically it's harder to find clips with her than with earlier Beverlee or Marj

She was decent from what I remember and the lack of clips come from her not being on the show that long 

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20 hours ago, Soapsuds said:

 

 

 

You regular miracle worker thank you very much

I wonder why Marj as so luckwarm as Alex if in Capitol she was so good! Of course I didn't get the chance to compare her with the other Myrnas

Edited by Joseph
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I also don't find it a coincidence that Joan got replaced right as the switch from Paul Rauch to John Conboy was also announced. It may have been a mutual exit, but I wouldn't find it surprising if Conboy wanted Marj back in the role once she was done on AMC

 

IIRC Marj debuted on John's first episode as EP. 

Edited by Dan
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3 hours ago, Joseph said:

wonder why Marj as so luckwarm as Alex if in Capitol she was so good! Of course I didn't get the chance to compare her with the others 

The funny thing is..I watched a clip of Marj on Capitol (never watched it) and she was more Alexlike as Myrna then she ever was Alexlike on GL. I think Marj really was more realistic as a business woman then Bev...as in I could see BevAlex pulling the strings behind the scenes and throwing her weight around as majority shareholder, where I could see Marj in the boardroom and making deals.

 

1 hour ago, Dan said:

I also don't find it a coincidence that Joan got replaced right as the switch from Paul Rauch to John Conboy was also announced. It may have been a mutual exit, but I wouldn't find it surprising if Conboy wanted Marj back in the role once she was done on AMC

I don't know for fact, but I think Joan liked Rauch and Rauch knew how to deal with a diva like her and supported her when she was feeling adrift in soaps. I also think that the book thing was an excuse to get out but especially with Rauch gone. MADD was actually acting exec producer for a week or so until Conboy came on and she was the one who bright back Marj to fill out the material and it was Conboy who gave her a contract...(and turned Alex into a monstrosity at the same time.)

 

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8 minutes ago, Mitch said:

The funny thing is..I watched a clip of Marj on Capitol (never watched it) and she was more Alexlike as Myrna then she ever was Alexlike on GL. I think Marj really was more realistic as a business woman then Bev...as in I could see BevAlex pulling the strings behind the scenes and throwing her weight around as majority shareholder, where I could see Marj in the boardroom and making deals.

Her "Capitol" stint is why I will go to my grave blaming the reason it didn't quite work as Alexandra on the writing rather than Marj. At least during her first stint.
The second one, the writing was even more atrocious but she was on "F it" mode and just hamming it up the wazoo.

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42 minutes ago, FrenchBug82 said:

Her "Capitol" stint is why I will go to my grave blaming the reason it didn't quite work as Alexandra on the writing rather than Marj. At least during her first stint.
The second one, the writing was even more atrocious but she was on "F it" mode and just hamming it up the wazoo.

Yea. in her Capitol clips she is very, very strong without being...screechy.  Hey even her recurring days, in the clips I always mention as Marj's strongest point on GL, when she faces off with FauxAnnie in the attic..Marj is great.. as whomever wrote the dialogue that day just got Alex...(and admittedly, Marj makes for an earthier Alex then Bev but that's okay.) I will ALWAYS want to say..."Ya got quite a bark on ya, don'tja honey!" in the way Marj says it. Marj played what was on the page..period. 

 

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I think they knew they couldn't control or intimidate Joan Collins, and that's why they pushed her out/let her walk.

To me Joan looked at ease in the role and like she was having a ball. Yes, she was definitely doing "Joan Collins," but she'd made that image and character an industry unto itself for decades. And frankly, virtually every soap opera grande dame in the modern era has some piece of the Alexis/Joan Collins DNA, Alexandra Spaulding included (and while Beverlee McKinsey's soap fame pre-dates Joan's resurgence in the business on Dynasty, the two women did rise again in the '80s around the same time). So Joan doing "Joan" as Alex wasn't terribly far removed from Alex to begin with. The recast worked. No one could ever outdo Beverlee McKinsey, so the only thing that could match her in stature, however different the energy, was someone like Joan Collins. Marj Dusay, bless her, never could.

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