Did you know that Brandon Buddy was 13 when his younger brother was born and he was in the room with his mother for the birth?
Well, he was.
And he told Kara and me about it during our interview with him and co-star Kristen Alderson (Starr) at Super Soap Weekend 2008.
He calls the experience “the biggest rush ever.”
Brandon said he drew on those emotions as Cole, during his One Life To Live scenes, when Cole was told that the baby he fathered with Starr (Kristen Alderson) had died.
“I just tried to put myself in the situation,” Brandon said. “God forbid if that had ever happened to my little brother, I just couldn’t imagine….I’m kind of a softie, you know.
“When something that tragic happens, you hear so many incidents in real life, when a married couple loses a baby in real life, unfortunately many times they end up divorcing over it because they try to blame one another,” Brandon said.
Kristen told us that Trevor St. John improvises a lot. In their upcoming scenes this week, when Starr finds out that Todd was going to steal her baby, there were a lot times they deviated from the written lines, she said.
“Trevor St. John is so great,” she said. “He’s big into doing things in the moment. You always just have to be ready to ad lib and to react to whatever he does and that’s really exciting for me. A lot of people don’t like that, but I love it. Starr and Todd have a lot of scenes coming up where Starr confronts him about everything. We went back and forth and sometimes we said lines that were in the script and sometimes we said lines that weren’t in the script. We sometimes we do things really spur of the moment and I think it’s great.”
It struck me that Kristen, only 17, had the poise, manners and aplomb of someone far beyond her years. I was beyond impressed with the maturity with which she answered questions that would have challenged someone much older.
Kristen has been on the show since she was 6 1/2 after all. She grew up on the show with Kassie DePaiva as her mother Blair Cramer Manning, Robin Strasser as her aunt Dorian Cramer Lord and Erika Slezak as her aunt Victoria Lord Davidson.
So when Kristen was called upon for the teen pregnancy storyline, she was up for the challenge. But she only found out a week before taping the birth scenes that the baby would die – or at least Starr and her family thinks the baby died after Jess/Tess/Bess switched her dead baby with Starr’s live one.
“If I knew [at the outset] that I was going to have scenes that Starr was going to have scenes where she lost the baby, I don’t know how I would have reacted…I would have been ‘I don’t think I can do that.’ But ever since we started with the storyline, I feel like I have just grown with my character and really went through the experience with her. When I found out a week before taping the baby was going to die – or at least Starr thought that – I got emotional about it. We taped the delivery scenes a day before we found out that the baby’s dead. Just being in the bed about to give birth, it was so emotional and I had everyone that’s known me since I was 6 ½ years old around. Just the whole experience was so emotional than I ever thought it would be, so it was kind of easy to do those scenes because there was a lot of emotional build up.
“The good thing about soap operas is that you get to grow with your character if you’re on long enough,” Kristen said. “To grow with Kassie and Trevor and Erika and Robin, it just makes the scenes easier because you’re drawing upon other moments that you’ve had with each other in the past. In a movie, you don’t get to do that. You just have to make up the background.”
Brandon said he was a bit intimidated when he heard Susan Haskell was coming back to the show as his mom, Marty Saybrook, the role she originated and made a soap opera legend so many years ago. He had never acted with Haskell in the role of Marty, because when the character allegedly died in the car crash that Cole witnessed, Christina Chambers was playing Marty.
“She’s so good,” Brandon said of Haskell. “She continues to impress me every day. The first day we worked together, we had 65 pages of us two back and forth. I was so nervous, but the time just flew by. She’s such a great lady.”
On Cole trying to smother Todd with a pillow, Brandon said, “When we were doing the scenes I was like – a pillow? Really? Can I carry a bat in or something?”

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