Powered by i.TV
October 21, 2014

Carolyn Hennesy of 'Cougar Town' and 'General Hospital' Is On The Prowl

by Michael Maloney, posted Mar 3rd 2010 2:00PM
Carolyn HennesyWhat do the breakout characters of sexy real estate agent Barb on 'Cougar Town' and savvy lawyer Diane on 'General Hospital' have in common? Both are played with deft timing and comedic perfection by actress Carolyn Hennesy.

By day, Diane is one of the few (if not only) people in Port Charles who gets to tell mobster Sonny Corinthos what to do. By night, Barb is Gulf Haven's woman on the prowl. In tonight's episode of 'Cougar Town' (9PM ET, ABC), Barb places an ad in a newspaper (ask you grandparents, kids) for an errand boy and it's answered by none other than Courteney Cox's TV son Dan Byrd (Travis).

AOL TV recently caught up with Hennesy, who gave a preview of the episode and shared how 'Cougar Town' and 'GH' work together to keep her one of ABC's busiest -- and funniest -- stars.Carolyn HennesyWhat do the breakout characters of sexy real estate agent Barb on 'Cougar Town' and savvy lawyer Diane on 'General Hospital' have in common? Both are played with deft timing and comedic perfection by actress Carolyn Hennesy.

By day, Diane is one of the few (if not only) people in Port Charles who gets to tell mobster Sonny Corinthos what to do. By night, Barb is Gulf Haven's woman on the prowl. In tonight's episode of 'Cougar Town' (9PM ET, ABC), Barb places an ad in a newspaper (ask you grandparents, kids) for an errand boy and it's answered by none other than Courteney Cox's TV son Dan Byrd (Travis).

AOL TV recently caught up with Hennesy, who gave a preview of the episode and shared how 'Cougar Town' and 'GH' work together to keep her one of ABC's busiest -- and funniest -- stars.

We hear Barb has a plastic surgery mishap?
Well, it's a very severe chemical peel. Very severe.

Ouch. How does Barb handle this?
Barb would never consider herself a martyr, but she's going to do it with grace, dignity -- and a turban. She can't go out of the house, so she decides to hire an errand boy and who shows up at her door but Travis? Barb, tending to the dramatic -- never martyrdom -- is constantly in the shadows. It's very Norma Desmond.

How much fun is a script like this?
A script like this is why I went into acting. It's not the craft services or the residuals. It's the turban and the peels. The dialogue they've given me with this boy is fabulous. He's simply nonplussed by Barb.



How would you describe the collaborative process with 'Cougar Town' creator Bill Lawrence?
He writes it. I do it as written. Then, he lets me play. Michael McDonald from 'MADtv' is Bill's right hand man. He comes up with funny zingers. It's very much a collaborative process. We have everyone on the same comic page and that's fantastic.

Watching characters on TV sitting at computers can be boring, so it's nice that Barb actually puts an ad in a newspaper.
Barb's extremely liberated, but in many ways she's an old-fashioned gal. I don't even know if Barb knows how to work a computer. She's like Carolyn in that way!

Carolyn Hennesy on General HospitalYour day job on 'GH' has your lawyer character Diane trying to keep Sonny out of jail. She actually told a mobster how to dress for a recent court appearance.
Diane gets to do what nobody else does. Again, the writers and the actor have collaborated. They've carved out this niche. Diane is the only one who gets to tell Sonny what to do. Carly doesn't even get to tell Sonny what to do because there's so much sexual tension between them. That isn't the case with Diane .. .[wryly] as much as Sonny would like there to be. She gets to be the Greek chorus, the voice of reason.

It used to be where actors were pigeon-holed into doing one genre -- daytime, nighttime, film -- now, it seems that there are no rules.
Yes. You used to not matriculate from one to another. You're on a soap? You're a soap actor. Film does not do TV. TV actors do not do commercials. All those rules have been bent to the point of breaking.

'GH' has new opening credits. They look great, but there's someone .... missing.
Oh, honey! I think they have all the contract players on, but I'm still not a contract player. I think if I were I can almost guarantee I'd be in the opening credits.

Carolyn Hennesy on Cougar TownSo you're ready to pose, turn and shoot a 'Diane' look right into the camera?
[Laughs] In a heartbeat! Although not being on contract affords me the liberty to [more easily] go off and play other roles like Barb. I also have a book tour. I'm really trying to work with the Burbank school system.

What's your children's book -- 'Pandora Gets Heart' -- about?
The primary lesson is that you have to take personal responsibilities for your actions. You're going to make mistakes. That's the only way, unfortunately, that you get out of the ordinary. So many people I'm seeing these days are not taking responsibility. The whole notion of passing the buck has been elevated to an art form.

Who's the target audience for your book?
I would say eight years old and up. I've also had 80-year-olds read it.

A book tour and two TV roles. How does it work scheduling-wise?
Both shows are on ABC, so it works out great. There's a hotline from the 'Cougar Town' production office to the one at 'GH.' Everyone's on the Bat-phone. And everyone is playing nice.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Follow Us

From Our Partners