Actress Alicia Minshew has the best of both worlds. On-screen, her All My Children character Kendall is about to find out that the love of her life - her presumed-dead husband Zach - is indeed alive, and off-screen, she has "the most amazing husband" in the world, restaurant owner Richie Herschenfeld. What's even better is that her on-screen and real-life spouses are good friends. "Thorsten introduced me to my husband, he's 'Uncle Toastie' to my daughter. He's family," says Alicia of co-star Thorsten Kaye, who returns to All My Children today, much to the delight of fans.
But how will Kendall deal with the shocking news that Zach is alive? And where does her new love interest Griffin fit in to all of this? Alicia answers those questions and much more.
Beth Cochran: So what's it like having Thorsten back?
Alicia Minshew: It's surreal. We were doing scenes a few days ago and he looked up at me and said, 'I've missed working with you.' I said, 'I feel the same way.' We picked up like no time had passed - the same dynamic and chemistry like he never left. I'm very close with him. He's staying at my house. He's friends with my husband. He's family.
BC: How will Zach change the Kendall-Griffin relationship?AM: They're [the writers] keeping the dynamic with Griff and Kendall. She's beyond thrilled that her husband is back. She obviously stops the relationship with Griff and he's understands that her husband is back and that she is going to be with him. But she can't deny that she still cares about Griff and she has an attraction to him. She's trying to keep that at bay and focus on that her husband is back. It's a lot for her to take in.
We've actually had scenes, the three of us - me, Thorsten and Jordi [Vilasuso; Griffin] because Griffin takes care of Zach. It was interesting. Griffin is being a good man and letting Kendall be with her husband. Right now, I think it's nice for Kendall and Zack to just be together.
BC: How do you feel about who Kendall is with - Zach vs. Griffin?
AM: If they didn't bring back Zach, I think it would have been very interesting to see Kendall with Griffin. It's lovely and awesome and I'm thrilled that Zach is back. I took a while to warm up to the Griff and Kendall pairing, but they wrote it really well. I love our characters so much together. I have to say, I love them both for different reasons. I think it would have been interesting to see her with someone like Griff because he's so different from Zach. What's interesting is that the love of her life is back and there is still this pull toward this other man.
BC: What have been your favorite storylines over the years?
AM: There have been so many favorite storylines and moments over the years but there are some that stick out in my head.
I love the friendship formed with Greenlee. They started out hating each other. We had all these great cat fights, we would throw things at each other - lotions, flowers. We had the best cat fights the two of us. And that is what started my real friendship with Rebecca Budig and today she is one of my very best friends.
I loved that very first fight with Greenlee when Kendall and Greenlee didn't have Fusion yet and they were looking for bridal dresses. Kendall was going to marry Ryan and Greenlee was going to marry Leo. Kendall and Greenlee hated each other so much. We had a fight over the bridal dress - we were wearing the same one. That was almost nine years ago. We had so much fun doing that fight. That is literally the day that my real-life friendship with Rebecca started.
I saw a picture of us from back then and I said to Rebecca, "Look at us. We're look so young here. But what was up with our hair and makeup!?"
BC: And there was the time when they ended up in the pool when Kendall was supposed to marry Ryan but he ended up marrying Greenlee instead.
AM: That's right! They went into the pool! Kendall locked Greenlee in a tower and went to profess her love to Ryan. As she's about to marry him, Greenlee comes in and tells Ryan what she did. I forgot about that!
My relationship with Cameron [Mathison; Ryan] is also something that has become so special to me. I loved the love triangle between Kendall, Ryan and Greenlee. I had the most fun working with both of them, fighting in the pool, doing remotes together. Over the years the three of us jut laugh when we're together. It's a case of your onscreen relationships and your real-life relationships overlapping.
What I've really loved is that they focused on the deep friendship between these two women because you don't always see that on soaps. You see women fighting and being against each other. I love what this friendship between Kendall and Greenlee turned out to be, how they would do anything for each other now. That friendship has been a huge part of me being on the show.