John-Paul Lavoisier and Farah Fath are two soap stars going the reality TV route in the new series "Dirty Soap."
TooFab sat down with the "One Life to Live" costars and real-life couple John-Paul Lavoisier and Farah Fath to dish on their new careers and new life together, all while being filmed.
TooFab: How did you two meet?
John-Paul: We met in the hallway at "One Life to Live" and my shirt was off. I was apologizing to her that I was walking around the hallway with my shirt off. I have been walking around with my shirt off since.
TooFab: Is it hard dating someone in the same industry or do you think it makes it easier?
Farah: In my opinion it makes it easier. They understand everything you go through on a day to day basis. You would think that we don’t have very much to talk about with each other because we're with each other all day but it is quite the contrary.
TooFab: What's the weirdest soap storyline you've been in.
John-Paul: Right now, Farah plays a character Gigi that died a few months ago. I've been seeing her ghost everywhere, chasing her outside and in cemeteries. If that happened to me in real life I would probably be committed or something!
Farah: My weirdest storyline was when we time traveled, and went back into time to 1968 and got stuck there. They took it a little too far [laughs].
TooFab: What’s happened in each of your lives that would make a great soap opera?
John-Paul: Farah’s Yorkie got stolen in L.A. and was held for ransom.
Farah: I assumed he had been eaten by a coyote. After five days I got a phone call and it was a gardener from the neighborhood who told me he had my dog. I couldn’t believe it. He saw the reward posters and said he would promise to bring him to me. He brought me the dog and I handed him a check for cash. He wasn’t a legal citizen so he couldn’t cash the check, so not only did I get my dog back, but he also couldn’t cash the check
John-Paul: Apparently it was a scam going on in the neighborhood that service people were stealing dogs when the owners were away to collect ransom.
TooFab: How are you similar to your characters?
John-Paul: For me I love Farah and Gigi.
TooFab: My character Gigi, although presumed dead, was very loyal to her man and so am I.
TooFab: How are you different from your characteres
John-Paul: On the show we have a 15-year-old kid and I don’t have kids or ever want kids. My character is hugely into sports so I'm constantly having to talk sports with my son on the show. I hate sports. I know nothing about them. I don't care about anything except golf. Also, my character loves video games which I also hate, so its pure acting when I have to talk about that stuff.
Farah: My character was quite the martyr. She was such a little Suzy homemaker and a goody- two-shoes and Little Miss Perfect. I have never claimed to be perfect; I like myself, I’m sarcastic, witty, and my character was just more straight-laced.
TooFab: What are the differences between being on a reality TV show and a soap opera?
Farah: We have been acting with scripts for the last 12 years. Suddenly we have no security blanket which a script is. It's been very odd to not be stepping into someone else’s shoes and talking as ourselves. I think being in the business you tend to put up a guard as far as your personal life goes, and it’s been a struggle to put that guard down and show your emotions as a human being. I think we are getting used to it, but at first we definitely needed to have a cocktail beforehand. Its not as intrusive as you may think, they are not with us every single day, but it is a lot of time spent with cameras. As long as we're making an interesting entertaining television product I think it will be worth it.
TooFab: What do you think about soaps like "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" ending?
John-Paul: Apparently, they are not ending. They are just going to the internet. Look, most shows go off the air. Except the news, no show last forever. Someday, "Two and Half Men" will go off the air, everyone knows that it just does. For a show ["One Life to Live] that's been on for 40 years and 11,000 episode, it’s a shame. But at the end of the day it’s a money thing ... it's budgets.
Farah: I’ve been reluctant to agree with the consensus that times are just changing. I really think its this new generation of television, which reality television is so much a part. I think its sad that these shows are ending, but at the same time you have to roll with the new generation. I think "Dirty Soap" will only help soap operas. At first we may sound a little hypocritical signing up for a reality show because [reality shows] are putting our costars and camera crew out of work. But this is more like a documentary getting to show behind the scenes, and it’s for our fans as well. I think you have to have the attitude that it is what it is and it’s out of our control, we did what we could to try and keep the soaps on the air, but as Jean Paul said it’s a money thing.
John-Paul: It’s been a fun ride and we are very lucky that everything has been on for as long as it has.
Farah: We got a quarter of that 40 years under out belt.
TooFab: What made you guys decide to do "Dirty Soap"?
John-Paul: They offered us 19 million dollars an episode and I said, "Why not?" [laughs]
Farah: This opportunity came when we thought "One Life to Live" was never going to be anything else; it was before we knew the internet was going to be an option. We weighed the pros and cons of unemployment; this kind of set a plan in motion. I felt like this will give us great exposure at a time when we are going to need it. And then it turns out the One Life isn’t done, but we had already made our plans to move out west and started working on "Dirty Soap."
To be honest, the announcement that "One Life to Live" was canceled came the day before we got the offer for "Dirty Soap," so we took it as a sign. One door closed and one door opened. I’ve always been one of those soap actors that gets a little peeved with the lack of acknowledgment soap actors get in the industry and this will show a little bit of this. There are bad actors on soaps and there are bad actors on primetime, but there are also some good actors on daytime. I think the cast of "Dirty Soap" are really good daytime actors who have been around for over a decade, and think this is a really good time for us to band together from different soap operas and show the world what we got and how we are super hard working and dedicated to daytime television.
TooFab: What can viewers look forward to on "Dirty Soap"?
John-Paul: Well, I think its kind of a big deal that Farah and I are moving across the country closing our New York life and moving to L.A. I have been an East Coaster my whole life; I love this town and its killing me to say goodbye to it, so there will be some drama with that plot. Walking away from New York and going to that unknown territory of L.A. is something I never thought I would do. So you will see us going through that with Farah by my side and finding the perfect home to make us happy.
TooFab: Do you think your going to put a ring on it?
John-Paul: No never, the finale is that we break up [Farah laughs]
"Dirty Soap" premieres debuts Sunday at 10pm on E!