AS THE WORLD TURNS Interview
Who Is Sarah Brown?
— By Jennifer Lenhart
If you're a GENERAL HOSPITAL fan, that probably sounds like a silly question, but AS THE WORLD TURNS fans, who are just getting to know Sarah Brown as Julia, may wonder why she's such a big deal. Here's the quick rundown: Hired as GH's Carly in 1996, Brown quickly became an overnight sensation, appearing on 19 covers of Soap Opera Digest, winning three Emmys (out of four nominations, for Outstanding Younger Actress, 1997, 1998, and Outstanding Supporting Actress, 2000) and two Digest Awards (out of three nominations, for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress, 1998, and Favorite Actress, 2000), while also helping launch the Sonny/Carly romance that still has enormous rooting value today. That's a pretty big deal. For the record, this California native has always dreamed of directing and has a 6-year-old daughter, Jordan. Find out more about Brown on her official Web site, www.sarahbrown.net, but in the meantime, here's what she had to say about starting from scratch at a new soap on a new coast.
Soap Opera Digest: Had you seen ATWT before?
Sarah Brown: I had seen glimpses. Sometimes when you're on daytime, you're at the studio a lot during the daytime with some down time, if that makes any sense [laughs]. I would peruse the other soaps once in a while if I had a chance, but I never got to watch much. But I definitely had seen Maura [West, Carly] enough so that I was very familiar with her work and very impressed and certainly watching her whenever I could, because I think she's a tremendous actress. But before I came on, I was sent a couple of tapes so I could get familiar with Jack and Carly's story and also see some of the things that the other Julia had done to Jack. [Annie Parisse, ex-Julia] is a tremendous actress.
Digest: How does working at ATWT compare with working at GH?
Brown: They're polar opposites. It's not the same thing at all for me. It's been very, very different —: two weeks of shock therapy. They operate totally differently. There's nothing that I could say was similar other than the fact that it's a soap opera and there's a certain amount of pages per show and you have to remember them every day — just the basic things. But in terms of how the place actually functions day-to-day, they function completely differently. Everything technical — how they work out rehearsals and taping and shooting — it has been the opposite of the way they did it at GENERAL HOSPITAL. So, it's been a lot of learning and trying to catch up and running to and fro for me, trying to find my way around and figure out what studio is studio two. I was really wandering about the halls, "Where am I? What's my name?" It was 2 o'clock in the morning for me, L.A. time, when I was waking up, so I was taping at 4 a.m. my time. So, I was out of it anyway, and I wasn't used to it. But it's very efficient at the same time. So, I can see the benefits of both ways.
Digest: How did you get along with Michael Park (Jack)?
Brown: Michael Park is my saving grace. Because again, I was so lost the first two weeks, and he was my North, my anchor, my lighthouse. He was right there with me from day one, excited to have me working with him, excited about the story that we were about to do, and couldn't be funnier and nicer and more charming. I couldn't ask for anything more. I got really lucky with Michael. He's just a wonderful human being and a tremendous actor. So, we developed a really wonderful rapport very quickly. He did everything he could to show me which way to go. He was great to me. I adore Michael, and I think the chemistry is good between us. He makes it really fun to go to work. He makes me laugh all day.
Digest: What about Maura — have you worked with her yet?
Brown: I had a tiny little interaction with her on-camera. I never thought I would ever get a chance to work with Maura in daytime. When she was Carly and I was Carly, I would see her work and think, "God, I'd love to get this Carly with that Carly." But she was CBS and I was ABC, and I didn't see how it was ever going to happen. I can't wait for it to kick in and we can go head-to-head. That will be fun.