Featured on Brandon's Buzz on 6/25/09.
Terri was very gracious in agreeing to answer questions to be placed on this site. We exchanged correspondence several times and in each one she expressed how sincerely grateful she is to her fans for their support of her career. I found her to be very warm and caring in expressing her condolences for the loss of my mother, which occurred right after we started communicating and began this project.
I'd like to give Adrienne credit for so much of what's on this site and for being instrumental in putting me in touch with Terri. Below are answers she received to her questions and I agree with Terri that they are great ones.
How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a bit of a loner. I enjoy spending long periods of time by myself, and then I'll go on a jag and be very social. I think as I've gotten older I've become more confident and therefore more gregarious and outgoing. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm honest and I'd like to think I'm a very good friend. On the downside, I'm emotional and that's not always a good thing but, that's who I am.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I love to cook, see movies, spend time with my daughter and boyfriend and with my dog Max. He's gorgeous. He's a Maltese/Poodle mix. I love him to death. I'd love to say that I exercise a lot but that's one of those things I just can't seem to make as part of my daily routine. I'd rather sleep. Haha. Who wouldn't?
What were your favorite scenes in North and South? Do you keep in touch with any cast members?
About North and South. It really was a great time. I still stay in touch with Lesley Anne Down. Philip Casnoff and I were part of a Theatre group in Los Angeles so we did play readings together. Kirstie Alley and I lost touch a few years back. But that's about it in terms of who I stay in touch with.
Why weren't you interviewed as part of the North and South DVD special features?
I wasn't interviewed for the DVD because I wasn't asked. I didn't even know that there were interviews. Were they recent or when we were shooting the show? Anyway, if they were back then, I was interviewed but I guess it didn't make the cut.
Why did you decide to leave Dynasty?
I left DYNASTY because I was stupid. One of my big regrets! I didn't know that it would last only one more season. If I'd have known, I probably would have stayed. It just wasn't that much fun to do and I didn't want to be type cast, so I left. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
What kind of music do you listen to? Favorite artists?
I love to listen to music. My Ipod is very eclectic. Ranges from Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland to Counting Crows, David Bowie, Fiona Apple. I just keep it on shuffle so that it randomly picks out different artists. I especially like listening when I'm on the subway.
How did you get interested in real estate?
I got interested in real estate because I love seeing how other people live. I just love it. I love all different kinds of homes and furnishings. I had a great time in real estate while I lived in LA. I tried doing it when I moved back to NYC but really hated it. So, I stopped doing it after a few months and lo and behold I got Iris on ATWT instead.
Is your daughter planning to follow in your footsteps?
My daughter Molly is following in her mother's footsteps. She's a musical theatre major. She is an amazing dancer and singer. I'm happy she's doing it because she loves it. Did I want her to do it? I want her to do whatever makes her happy. However, she does know it's a VERY hard life because she's experienced all the ups and downs with me. She's got a much better head on her shoulders than I ever had. She'll do great.
If the writers bring Iris back(I hope they do), what direction would you like to see the character go in?
I hope the writers bring back Iris also. I had such a fun time playing her. I think they could put her in any situation. I like having the comedic side of a character show through and Iris was just over the top. One either likes that on a soap or not. Luckily for me it seems that Iris was well liked.
Do you have any projects in the works?
As for now, I have no projects in the works. The holidays are always slow but starting in Feb. TV season really picks up so I'm looking forward to that. In the meantime, I keep my fingers crossed for Iris. I would be happy playing her until I'm 80 years old.
What was it like working with Philip Casnoff? With the instant chemistry between Ashton and Bent when they bumped into each other at the party in Richmond, both of you did such a wonderful job conveying that to the viewers and throughout their affair. I've heard Lesley-Anne Down's opinions of working with Patrick Swayze and James Read, but never read any of your comments along those lines.
Philip and I got along very well. I think the first scene we ever filmed together was a bed scene. He had never done a love scene before and was very nervous. It was cute. It was like 'hi there, nice to see you...shall we hop in bed"? Actually, we had it choregraphed and blocked so that we knew exactly how we were going to do everything. That makes it easier. Also, there were about 100 people in the room so it's not very romantic.
Have you read the "North and South Trilogy" books by John Jakes? If not, was it confusing or did the writers explain how suddenly in Book III there was a brother, Cooper, who wasn't in Books I & II? The viewers who didn't read them or still haven't are very mystified by this.
I read book one and two. Because there were characters in the novels that weren't in the show, it was interesting to see the different story lines. I thought they were great books to read. Very engrossing. As for Heaven and Hell, it was just bad all around. Suddenly there was Cooper. Where was Cooper in I and II? We just went with the flow on H & H. It was different, we were older. not as fun as the first and second but still fun.
Did you ever get over your shyness you had as a child and young adult? I think many people find this surprising as the characters you portray are almost always very assertive and/or aggressive women.
I think being an actress helped me because I was able to play outgoing women even though I was shy. I was able to live through those characters. I am still shy to a point. If it's anything to do with my daughter I'm fierce. Molly calls me "mama lion". When it has to do with me, I'm a little more hesitant. But with age, I've become more outgoing, more confident. I'm a Capricorn. I hear that Capricorns come into their own the older they get.
In one of the articles, you said you eloped during or maybe after the shooting of North and South. Where did you get married?
Yes, I eloped with Molly's dad in Natchez. It was really wonderful. Kirstie Alley and Genie Francis and their significant others (Parker and Jonathon) were in attendence. We married at a little Bed and Breakfast place right next to a bar called Natchez Under the Bridge...I think that's what it was called. After the ceremony we all went to the bar. Jonathon played the sax with the band and I sang "My Man" to my husband. It was great.
On As the World Turns, fans really wanted to see Iris and Barbara go at it more than they did in one scene and I wanted to see an affair with Cass. Did you have any input on the direction your character took?