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?”

I am officially depressed.
And extremely agitated and upset.
Things have to be pretty dire because I’m writing my second rant blog in the same week about One Life To Live – my fave soap!
The show has gone downhill even further since the beginning of the week (which I didn’t think was possible) and it was so bad after Wednesday’s show that I don’t feel like watching.
And that is serious!
Click here to read my earlier rant.
Here’s my big thing….I watch soaps as an E-S-C-A-P-E from reality.
I like soapy, fun-type drama. That’s why I watch soaps….
I do not, however, tune in to watch violence, torture, pain and suffering and get depressed afterward.
And that’s what’s happening.
Wednesday’s episode was so dark and so depressing that I couldn’t wait until it ended.
Let’s recap.
First you have poor Natalie (Melissa Archer) being held captive in Llanfair’s basement by her sister’s demented alter personality, Tess (Bree Williamson).
The two actresses are really hitting it out of the ball park with their scenes. Absolutely.
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That’s probably why I’m so distressed by it all.
Their scenes are so believable that it’s all too scary for me.
Williamson is doing such a great job of playing the malevolent, Tess, that it’s so uncomfortable to watch Natalie come to the horrific realization that there’s no way out.
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First of all, this storyline is a rewrite from eons ago when one of Viki’s alters held Dorian captive in the basement.
Just when I thought we were done with all those regurgitated past storylines from the 40th anniversary episodes.
Enough already!
Then there was Tina (Andrea Evans) sniveling and sniffling to Viki’s picture in the living room because she is being blackmailed into silence about Tess holding Natalie captive.
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The wonderfully, talented Andrea Evans and this is the only thing the writers can come up for her to do?
Then there’s Christian (David Fumero) being held on a ship by Carlo (Thom Christopher) – been there, done that too.
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The last time Carlo held Christian captive on a ship, Carlo wiped away Christian’s memory and brainwashed him into killing Tico Santi.
Personally, I thought that was one of the worst and darkest storylines in OLTL history.
So on Thursday’s episode, that s/l went from bad to worse by throwing Christian into a Columbian prison.
Why is it that OLTL writers just love, love, love torturing the Vega family?
I just don’t get it.
Both Vega boys have had more than their share of pain and suffering.
Then there was Jared (John Brotherton) off in the aforementioned Columbian prison (talk about dark and depressing) trying to strike a deal with Langston’s long-lost Uncle Ray Montez (A. Martinez) and break him out to wreak havoc with Langston’s life, per orders of Clint.
I really like Langston and dread the heartache that she’s about to experience.
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Those scenes in the Columbian prison gave me the creeps.
Once again, not something I’m looking for in my soap opera fare.
In between all of this dark drama, you have a few light scenes between Cole (Brandon Buddy) and Matthew (Eddie Alderson) talking about Matthew’s fears about getting beat up in high school. I do like the dynamic between these two young actors and it did offer some light moments in an otherwise dreary hour.
There also were some nice moments with Starr (Kristen Alderson) and Langston (Brittany Underwood).
But, honestly, how uplifting is a seven-month pregnant 16-year-old ready to go back to high school while pregnant?
I like the real friendship that shows through in scenes with Alderson and Underwood. Alderson has done a wonderful job with a tough s/l.
But it’s not exactly a feel-good, happy s/l.
For me, the highlight of Wednesday’s show was when Natalie (I just love how she is so spunky, even in distress) struck out verbally at Tess.
“You’re just an angry bitch with an axe to grind.”
She practically spat those words through the thick, soundproof glass.
Pretty gutsy, eh?

Well it’s about damn time, Blair!
I have been waiting – impatiently I might add – for Blair to take control, stand up to Todd and fight for Starr’s rights on One Life To Live.
I waited while she allowed Todd to beat up teenagers Markko and Cole and terrorize young Langston.
I waited while she sat passively by as Todd made Starr a prisoner in her own home.
And finally, FINALLY, Blair snapped out of it after watching Todd cause Starr to tumble down a flight of stairs.
And Kassie DePaiva as Blair did not disappoint.
DePaiva ran the gamut of emotions beautifully.
From the scenes when she found out 16-year-old Starr (Kristen Alderson) was pregnant, Blair went from tender moments with Starr to fierce and protective in taking a stand for her daughter against Todd (Trevor St. John).
What was most surprising to me was the scene in the hospital when Todd starts roughing up Cole and the police come.
Todd immediately looks at John McBain (Michael Easton) and blames him for calling the police.
But Blair stops Todd in his tracks, telling him it was she who called them.
Check out these scenes.

You gotta love it!