Susan Haskell - Click to enlarge

Forward March!

Soap Opera Weekly


By Jeffrey S. Pearlstein

Though life in One Life to Live's Llanview keeps her busy, Susan Haskell (Marty) is piling more onto her already full plate.  She recently completed production for the upcoming feature Mrs. Winterbourne; on Sept. 18 she can be seen in Danielle Steel's Zoya, and on Sept. 21 she co-starts in the ABC Afterschool Speical Fast Forward.

Fast Forward focuses on Alex (Geoffrey Scott Brown) a teenager who gets the opportunity to see the role alcohol plays in his future.  Haskell portrays Pamela, a pivotal fixture in Alex's future.  "My character starts off as a big drinker - that's what brings them together - but she ends up giving that up," says Haskell, whom ABC approached for the role.  The storyline jumps ahead in time to tell what happens to Alex.  "It's supposed to be a message for y oung kids not to drink, or at least be careful with what they do when they drink."

According to Haskell, the characters are fleshed out but the story "is really about how drinking affects one's life," she says.  "It's wonderful to be a part of something that has such a good message.  I think it's a good way of showing people that what you do now has an effect on what happens later, and that you should really think about what you're doing."

Later this year, Haskell jumps to prime time in the NBC miniseries Danielle Steel's Zoya, based on the best seller.  "We shot that in New York and Montreal, and it was great fun," she says.  "The main character is played by Melissa Gilbert - who ages from childhood well into her 70s - and I play Elizabeth, her son's wife."  However, it's not a very happy ending for Elizabeth and husband.  "Even though she is a strong woman and really loves this man, ultimately they have one big difference that drives them apart."

Despite the character's tough exterior, Haskell enjoyed the challenges Elizabeth presented.  "It was a small aprt, but I had some good scenes in it with my co-star and I enjoyed the material."

Another reason Haskell enjoyed playing the character was because of the story's time frame.  "It takes place in the '40's, and it was kind of neat to be in a different time period.  The clothing was classic '40's, and it was fun to have my hair done differently.  When you have such a change like that in hair, makeup and clothing, it helps to set the character in your head and really puts you into that place."

Next, Haskell moves to the big screen, opposite Brendan Fraser, Ricki Lake and Shirley MacLaine in Mrs. Winterbourne.  "I don't want to give too much of the plot away because it would ruin it, but it's a great love story/comedy.  I'm Mrs. Winterbourne, and I'm married to Brendan Fraser's character," she explains.

Having the opportunity to do outside projects while staying with OLTL is important to Haskell.  "This is early in my career," she admits, "and I think it's necessary that I experience other things.  It's been a good several months, and I take these things as they come.  I have no idea what the future is going to hold, but I feel very lucky to have been involved in all of them, and I'm thankful to OLTL for working it out for me."