Sunday, July 19, 2009

Liz Keifer: Blake Thorpe Marler Speaks Out

Liz Keifer, who has played the role of Blake Thorpe Marler on Guiding Light since 1992, was kind enough to grant me an interview. We chatted about how she'd been a GL fan long before she ever got the role, what it was like working opposite such powerhouses as Maureen Garrett and the late, great Michael Zaslow, how Blake fits into the whole Otalia saga - and a bunch of other stuff, including one of my favorite recent GL happenings: Olivia and Blake's shopping spree for and frank discussion about sex toys. 

Liz is a lot of fun, and an easy person to talk to. Check out the interview at my Red Room blog spot.

Just a taste of some of Keifer's earliest work on GL...


Rikita said...

I'm so glad that Blake/LK has gotten a more prominent role in the last days of GL. LK, like all of the GL cast, seems like good people. Best of luck to her post-GL.

bl said...

Cool interview Lana. Just a couple of thoughts and brevity is not a strong suit when it comes to discussing Blake related stuff from the past.

I can't believe I'm typing this, but Liz's comment about how the slap was the first stuff she taped with Zas surprised me as Roger finding out about Blake and Ross were not the first ones that aired. The youtube channel you linked (that isn't mine), has scenes with Roger and Blake prior to the slap, that I recall clearly like how Roger was with Blake at the Country Club the night Blake ended up in the pool and her hair was suddenly curly (which I see in preview here on your blogger account). SIGH just reading about the taping made me weepy, but if GL cuts Blake and Holly talking about Roger, I'm going to get so upset.

Regarding the sex toy comment--well I think "wink wink, nudge nudge" came across to at least some of us in the viewing audience regarding these kinds of things. We used to have discussions on-line about Bloss sexual creativity, so the fact Liz joked about that on set is very amusing. I remember once being asked later by two Roger/Holly fans in another chat, if those of us into Bloss only liked them because of their sex life, which was kind of ironic, but I still feel like it was just an extension and an expansion of the characters.

On camera (just mentioning things that happened in the Liz's first six months at GL otherwise this would be a novella), they would have sex in public places (too many to name) or private though seemingly public places (Bauer Kitchen), role play (Blake in kimono), reference Ross cross dressing (Liz's first week...Mallet finds Blake's undergarment, Ross makes a flippant remark about the press writing that he looks good in a teddy), Blake asking Ross how she compares in bed to her mother, Blake patting his butt in public (how Vanessa figured out they were together), Ross mentioning them dancing naked in public and Blake loving that idea. The Ross election day episode showed that Ross's squeaky image (if his subconscious was to be believed) was a fallacy. Dreaming things such as a naked Alan-Michael, Michelle/Blake dancing in matching bikinis (Lolita anyone), Roger (thought there was an odd overtone to Roger's behavior and use of beautiful couple) Nadine and Vanessa together in the pool naked etc. They weren't exactly celibate or just doing vanilla things.

We just never knew what was going to come out of Blake's mouth and where they would be intimate next, which was truly part of the fun. Characters who are well-developed and have internal conflict while being relatively content seems to be impossible to write for according to some in the business. Like Liz, I don't believe a happy couple is a boring couple. One of my favorite episodes ever was one from 1995 (that I don't have a copy of with them doing voiceovers). Blake and Ross took that cliche head on as it starts with them in bed talking about how boring they are and gossip about everyone in Springfield.

Ironically, being happy didn't seem to make people lose interest in Bloss, conflict stories in which the characters lost their intelligence did along with the show ignoring them. You aren't going to grow a fan base and it is harder to keep the one you have if you aren't on screen.

Snapper said...

bl - I remember well the episode with Blake and Ross dishing dirt on everyone in Springfield.

As for the slap episode - keep in mind that Liz refers to it as the first scene she *filmed* with Zaslow. It's not unusual to film out of sequence. This scene was clearly filmed before the party scene - her hair is frizzed up and curly from the pool scene (which aired first.)

I seriously doubt they would cut out the scenes with Holly - it was a big deal to get her for the just one day that she shot. I know I'd have to go to NYC and hunt someone down if we were denied some Holly/Blake closure. And, really Roger Thorpe is legendary, in the grand scheme of all things soap-related. We absolutely need some talk about him before this show wraps. I don't mind confessing that, when Liz told me that story, about her Michael Zaslow moment, I got all choked up.

bl said...

I was surprised in regards to the first stuff Liz and Michael taped, not because they taped out of sequence, though it happened less often back then, but because I can't recall reading this story in the past, so kudos. Watching those scenes, most would never guess that they were the first they ever did together due to the quality. Thanks again.

Snapper said...

I know! Isn't it just a testament to how good Liz Keifer is that she was able to waltz right in and just BRING IT like that? I'd have been so intimidated by the idea of working opposite Zaslow or Garrett for the the first time, but she was so up for the challenge. I love her.