INTERVIEW: OLTL alum Jessica Morris on competition, nasty habits and Ladies of the Lake
Posted Monday, April 17, 2017 3:26:49 PM
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One Life to Live's Jessica Morris (ex-Jennifer Rappaport) opens up about competing with DAYS' Ari Zucker for her Ladies of the Lake role, which of her personal habits had to be hidden for the series, and how she plans to "cause a ruckus" after the show's premiere.

Ever since the first promo teaser for the upcoming show Ladies of the Lake dropped earlier this month, buzz about the devilishly soapy miniseries has reached extreme heights. The glitzy project, co-produced by Kyle Lowder (ex-Brady Black, Days of our Lives) and Emmy-winning producer Michael Caruso, and based on the book of the same name written by DAYS' executive producer, Ken Corday, looks as if it's a daytime soap mixed with the magic of Hollywood. And star Jessica Morris (ex-Jennifer Rappaport, One Life to Live) can't wait for the world to see its Amazon debut on Monday, May 15.

"I'm just so thrilled that it is finally being released!" she tells soapcentral.com. "I've been excited about the project ever since I read the script, and during the shoot, I knew we had something special. The waiting time during post-production is torturous for me sometimes."

And this time, it has been for good reason. The storyline itself is enough to intrigue even the most critical of fans (four betrayed women killing their husbands? Yes, please!), but the elaborate look of Ladies of the Lake is also something Morris is ecstatic to have been a part of.

"I absolutely adored all of my wardrobe! And every time one of the other actresses would come out of the dressing room in a new costume, it would take everyone's breath away. The styling was stunning on this show," she shares. "I have been dying to wear one of the beautiful dresses but promised not to until the show was released. I have this floral Ted Baker number that fits me like a glove and I need to rock a red carpet in this thing. Or wear it to a wedding and cause a ruckus."

The Perfect Fit: Casting, Costars, and Fake Nails

So maybe some future bride has to worry about Morris possibly causing a wedding day commotion, but that's the only trouble brought about by the actress' participation in Ladies of the Lake -- even when DAYS' Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker) was chosen to play the role originally meant for her.

"I got the offer, and the idea for the show was presented to me. I was considered first for the part of Clara, played by Ari Zucker, but we all agreed that Crystal was the right fit for me," she says of the eventual casting swap. "Once I connected with that character, I had to say yes."

And Morris shares that she couldn't have lucked out with a better group of costars, including Zucker and the other three wives highlighted in the series: Lilly Melgar (ex-Lily Corinthos, General Hospital), Marie Wilson (ex-Summer/Bree, DAYS; ex-Meg Snyder, As the World Turns), and Martha Madison (ex-Belle Black, DAYS).

"They are all such pros but also manage to keep things light and fun," she says of her cast mates. "Many of them have worked together before and were already friends. I felt honored to work alongside them and get to know them."

As for what fans can expect from Crystal, Morris says, "She is sweet and fragile, but at the same time, she would go to the ends of the earth to protect her friends and fight for them. Her downfall is that she keeps way too many secrets and is extremely passive aggressive, which can be frustrating, especially to the men in her life."

She continues: "My mannerisms had to become slightly more refined and dainty. And Crystal is never abrasive, so I made sure to keep my voice soft. She gives off the image of the ultimate lady, which was such a treat to portray. I bite my nails, unfortunately, so in real life, my nails are pretty short. So I had to wear long fake nails for the role, and every time I would run my hands through my hair, one would get caught!"

Those types of snags (no pun intended) are typical in the entertainment world, but Morris knows she's pretty darn lucky to have a few fake nails be her biggest problem. In fact, she feels quite lucky all around, especially because Ladies of the Lake is just one of the many exciting projects she's been working on recently.

"The day after Ladies is out, I have a wonderful film called The Hollywouldn't that will be released on iTunes [on Tuesday, May 16]," she shares. "I play the lead, Peach Allure, a struggling actress in Hollywood who is thinking about giving up until she meets a group of like-minded people who inspire her to keep going. Minus the singing and dancing, it has a very La La Land feel to it actually."

But that's not all fans can expect from Morris. "Next month, I go into production on a thriller called The Doomed. I play Captain Strickland, an astronaut who has just come back from a mission and is dealing with a bit of a meltdown. She is tough, smart, and great with handling guns," she teases, adding, "This role is very opposite from [Ladies of the Lake's] Crystal, so I'm highly anticipating this new adventure."

For more Ladies of the Lake fun, be sure check out the series' Amazon debut on Monday, May 15.

How much are you looking forward to the premiere of Ladies of the Lake? What do you think about Morris being cast as Crystal? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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