Temple of Vanessa
Outstanding Performer for week of May 25, 1998
Sonny and Brenda's remarkable reunion and farewell on GH worked for many reasons -- among them the timing, the shift in the balance of power between the two characters, and a scenario as restrained and understated as the protagonists are passionate and mercurial. Vanessa Marcil's performance, however, was the showstopper.
Since the start of their volatile relationship, defined more by the extremes of two damaged souls than by the etiquette of romance, Vanessa's Brenda always took her cue from Maurice Benard's Sonny. To keep pace -- and with such remarkable aplomb -- was hardly a cakewalk, because Maurice's stock in trade as an actor extends well beyond predictable. This time, it was Vanessa who set the tone, confirming by the confidence of her posture and the unflinching truth in her eyes and voice that Brenda's claims of self-healing and growth are more than just wishful thinking or bravado.
Vanessa's loyalty to Brenda's mission -- to learn the truth behind Sonny's abandonment and to kiss the past goodbye -- was crucial, and despite the still obvious on-screen connection she shares with Maurice, neither actress nor character faltered. The acid test -- Brenda gently moving out of Sonny's kiss -- was accomplished with maturity and grace, and with tears that rightly stopped just short of overflowing.
Vanessa's work was not over. Brenda still had to face Jax, and to convince him -- and viewers -- that he is the man with whom she wants to spend her life. By virtue of the actress's talent and equally engaging chemistry with Ingo Rademacher's Jax, Brenda managed to segue impressively from truelove past to truelove present without doing an injustice to Sonny or Jax or to her own character.
Soap Opera Update - June 9, 1998
After only six years on GH, Vanessa has more clout in Hollywood than most daytime veterans with decades more experience. Vanessa has long been poised to make a break from the rigors of daytime television to try primetime and film projects. (She co-starred with Nicolas Cage in the feature film "The Rock" and has even appeared in a Prince music video.) But ABC has always managed to convince Vanessa to stay put at her GH home. If she re-signs with her show when her contract expires in a few months, insiders predict that she may well become the next Susan Lucci.
12 Young Rising Stars
TV Guide - June 13, 98
She is an imcomparable actress with a flawless face and a bod to die for - so why is Vanessa Marcil still on a soap? Her refusal to quit the role of Brenda Barrett on ABC's General Hospital, which has made her daytime's most popular female star, has the industry shaking its head. It's not that Vanessa doesnt dabble: She played Nicolas Cage's ladylove in the 1996 hit "The Rock," and she'll shoot two more films this summer. Still, "I'm not big on fame, and I'm scared of big change," the 28-year-old insists. "After five years, I still get excited about what I do on GH, and to me, that is success."
Real Life Couples - Vanessa Marcil and Tyler Christopher
"At least now I have time to save up to buy a wedding present," joked Steve Burton (Jason) when his co-star Vanessa Marcil confirmed that her wedding to Tyler Christopher had been postponed. While Steve was only kidding about needing more time, that was exactly the reason the star-crossed co-stars cited when announcing the delay in their plans. The two had intended on tying the knot in a small, private ceremony in December. But when Vanessa landed the lead role in a Disney movie called "A Matter Of Trust", she decided her schedule would be too hectic to stick to the original plan. "I'll probably be out of town in December shooting the film," she explains. "We dont want to rush anything. We may get married in May. But we're young. There's no big rush." While he seemed disappointed, Tyler agreed. "It's just all too much," he says. "Vanessa's got a lot going on right now with the movie and all, and we dont want to have to rush the wedding."
Playing House Soaps in Depth - June 9, 98
They're not married yet, but it looks like Vanessa Marcil and Tyler Christopher are already doing that nesting thing. The engaged couple just bought their first house. "It's a cute, three-story, turn-of-the-century home with fireplaces and hardwood floors," reveals Vanessa, who admits that its going to be a while before the place has any furniture. "We put our life savings into the house - every single penny we could muster up. So its pretty empty." Luckily, the two are used to living sparingly. "Before this, I lived with three other girls and Tyler lived with four other guys in bachelor and bachelorette pads. So between the two of us, we own nothing. No silverware. No dishes. We didnt even have beds!" she says. But they're not in a hurry to buy a lot of stuff. "We'd rather save up and buy beautiful things," she says, "than live with the fast-food cups from our old apartments."
"We dont mind that our house is empty," Vanessa reveals. "It feels like a fraternity, with all our friends being in and out and sleeping on the floor."
GH's Vanessa Marcil: Movie Madness! SOD June 30, 98
If you dont see General Hospital's Brenda Barrett onscreen much this summer, here's why: Her portrayer, Vanessa Marcil, is filming not one but two independent films. "Right now, she's in Kentucky filming Nice Guys Sleep Alone," explains Vanessa's manager, Linda Reitman. "It's based on a book written by Bruce Feirstein - he also wrote Real Men Dont Eat Quiche . Its a satirical romance." After that, Vanessa heads to San Francisco in late June to film This Space Between Us. "Its a black comedy," says Reitman. "She's starring opposite Jeremy Sisto, who was in Suicide Kings and Clueless." Both films are set for release in spring, 1999. All this outside film work begs the question of whether Vanessa will stay with GH when her contract expires in August. Vanessa had no comment on that at press time. But Reitman points out that GH has been great about Vanessa's time off. "The scheduling with GH worked out really nice," she says, "because Vanessa was scheduled to take a vacation during one of these weeks anyway." The only down side? "She never got her vacation!"
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