Articles, Interviews and Otherworldly Adventures

Articles, Interviews and Otherworldly Adventures

Another Universe Interview TV Guide Article (10/10/98)
CBS Online Interview TVGuide Online Interview
SOD Article (3/9/99) Star Trek Monthly Article (2/98)
SID Article (2/23/99) TVGEN Sci-Fi News
SOD Online Article (10/98) SOD Best of 1993

Pick an Above Topic
Or One From the Box Below


***Another Universe Interview***

A Beauty Queen With Forehead Ridges
by Michelle Erica Green

Mary Kay Adams has played European royalty, an ambassador's aide, and the head of a noble household, but you'd have only recognized her as the first. That's because she played Babylon 5's Na'Toth and Deep Space Nine's Grilka in full prosthetic makeup. Not that she wasn't a babe even with forehead ridges. Hey, both Quark and Worf lusted after her.

Surprisingly, the long-time star of Guiding Light felt very comfortable in Grilka's Klingon skin. "So many times in Hollywood, or in show business in general, women are not really allowed to be strong," she observed in a recent interview from New York, where the daytime drama films. "We are tempered. Our power is taken away. Playing the Klingon woman was such a joy because throughout my entire career I have had directors say to me, 'OK, Mary Kay, just pull back a little bit.' This was the first time I was ever told, 'OK, we need you to be stronger!' It was Christmas!"

The Ferengi bartender met Grilka in "The House of Quark" when he accidentally killed her husband in a drunken brawl, then learned that under Klingon law, he was obligated to marry her. In the end, he rescued her family's finances, for which Grilka was so grateful that she later let him court her.

Grilka's most memorable line was probably, "I'm grateful to you, Quark, for helping me. That is why I am going to let you take your hand off my thigh instead of shattering every bone in your body." After the pair became lovers, they ended up in Deep Space Nine's infirmary to be treated for the consequences of unbridled Klingon passion.

"It was such a gift to be able to take it to the hilt and not be self-conscious like you can be in other roles," recalled Adams. "You're worrying, 'Uh-oh, they're going to be afraid of me now!' If you are a strong woman, you're labeled a bitch, or threatening, or difficult, or temperamental, or a whole lot of other things."

Looking For Par'Mach

A fan of science fiction from her childhood, when her father read genre novels, Adams grew up wanting to be a character on the original Star Trek series. "When I was a little girl, my brother and sister and I would play in the backyard, and I was Captain Kirk, and he was Bones, and she was Spock," the actress laughed. "We had some of the original Star Trek toys, like the little phaser that shot the plastic disks out, and we had little communicators."

Her statuesque looks made Adams a natural to play beauty queens, which she did on several soap operas. Her resume includes One Life To Live and As the World Turns. But after changing agents in Los Angeles in 1994, she auditioned for Deep Space Nine. "I read the script, and I laughed out loud, and I remember thinking, 'I have to do this role.' God was with me, and I did!"

The actress thought the character was "fantastic," with all the strength of her Klingon attributes, "but then she also has a sense of humor. I just thought she was the bee's knees." Asked whether Grilka had a real crush on Quark or whether she was just grateful to him for saving her finances, Adams said enthusiastically, "Oh, absolutely it was real! We slept together!"

In the follow-up episode, "Looking For Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places," Worf becomes smitten with Grilka as well, but because he has been dishonored among the Klingons, he cannot court her. "Losing to a Ferengi was the cherry on top of it all!" laughed Adams. "They had said to us when we had gotten the script, play it very Cyrano de Bergerac." So Worf wooed and won Grilka for Quark, then found Dax waiting for him to realize she was a much better match for him.

Then the costumers would paste the facemask on to match. "They cut the mask right up underneath the eye, and popped those contacts in. We couldn't see or hear. It was like being submerged. The only thing that was ours were our lips. Typically, normal calls were around 5 in the morning and you'd go as late as 7:30 at night." It was a grueling schedule, and the character disappeared from the series for a long stretch during Adams' tenure, presumably killed in a terrorist attack.

After moving back to New York following five years of bi-coastal living, Adams has been working primarily on daytime, where she has played the role of India von Halkein on Guiding Light on and off since 1984. The genres of science fiction and soaps both have passionate followings, and Adams feels blessed to have been welcomed by both.

"You hear the same thing. If I had a nickel for every time someone said condescendingly, 'Oh, I don't watch soaps,' and it's the same thing I hear with, 'Oh, I don't watch science fiction." So what? Watch what you want to watch!" In both instances she describes the audiences as "a very knowledgeable, very supportive, very loyal group of fans who take it very seriously, and they care. That's one of the greatest gifts that an actor can have. They care about you personally. They care about the characters. They care about the integrity of the show."

The Woman You Love To Hate

Writer Pam Long created India Von Halkein in 1984. "Originally I was going to be sort of a Midwestern tart, but they changed it to be this baroness from Andorra," smiled the regal Adams. "I was very manipulative, always broke but coming across as being very wealthy because I came from a lot of money. I embezzled, I blackmailed, I twisted the knife in as many people as I could. It was done with a real flair, always with a sense of delight, of really loving what she was doing."

Over the years, India was given a complex backstory that made her character understandable for the audience. "As much as you loved to hate me, you really loved me too, because you understood I was doing it all for my father," the actress sighed dramatically. She was on the show until 1987, left to appear on Roseanne and in the film See No Evil, Hear No Evil, then returned in 1990 for a brief stint. A year ago October, she moved back to New York and returned to the series once more.

"God bless them, I could have stayed on Guiding Light from the time I came on," she admitted. "The character was really well embraced by the audience, and I probably could have stayed there forever. It was my decision then not to, because I wanted to try other things. Every time I went back, they wanted me to stay a long time."

Now the industry has changed a great deal. "Soaps aren't what they were back in the '80s; the audience is down, the storylines are very different," noted the New Jersey native. "If you work with a really great head writer, or someone who knows what you do and takes advantage of it, it can be a great experience. On the flip side, it has its challenges when somebody doesn't quite get you, or wants to go in a different direction and expects an entire cast to go along with it even though a lot of us have been here longer than the writers. That's very tough. It's like, 'Excuse me, we know the show! Ask us questions!'

The actress believes that the five-day-a-week format of soaps makes for intense fan followings. "There's more of soap operas to have a reaction to; there's something new every day. What happens sometimes affects the long term much more than one episode of a Star Trek. I don't know what ten years from now brings - I really don't know what happens next year frankly! I don't know what the industry's going to be like in ten years."

"Actors I am close to who have done these shows all agree that Star Trek is fabulous because it's the closest thing to playing classical theater," she noted. "It's very archetypal, it's very Shakespearean in its scope. All the aliens are of heroic proportions. Plus you're given direction to be bigger, to be stronger, to fill the makeup. The makeup does a lot of the work for you, but you have to find the balance of matching it somehow."

Though she is now familiar with the work Barbara March and Gwynyth Walsh did as the Duras Sisters on The Next Generation, Adams did not watch previous Klingon episodes for homework. "I based Grilka on what was given to me in the script, working with the director of my episode," she said. "The stake involved for me was controlling my own house, but I'm not well-versed in the evolution of Klingon history."

She was delighted to be called back after "The House of Quark," which happened after she auditioned to play a Bajoran love interest for Odo in 1995. "I really am a huge fan of Rene Auberjoiois, so I was excited about that. I had gone in for the producers to read for this Bajoran character, but in that session I saw a lot of the guys I had known from my first time on the show, and they were all wonderful and said, 'We were actually thinking about bringing Grilka back.' And sure enough, the next season they brought me back."

The uncomfortable Klingon teeth proved to be an asset to Adams because they change the actors' speaking voices so drastically. "You get to know me and I sound perky, but if I did that with the makeup on, it would sound ridiculous. So it's my job to find the right pitch. The balance is to find how the makeup works with that and works against it - how to find the right channel to make it happen."

Questions about the number of hours she spent in makeup for Grilka and for Na'Toth on Babylon 5 are among the most frequent Adams is asked at conventions. "There's a subtlety that has to switch on when you're used to using your face for expressions," she observed. "It just happens naturally: there's a lot being expressed simply by what your face is doing when you're listening to someone. But the prosthetic covers up a lot of that. So you have to find a different way to get the emotion out."

That Darn Narn Makeup

Adams was actually the third Na'Toth cast on Babylon 5, after several previous actresses left the series because the prosthetics were so uncomfortable. Narn ambassador G'Kar's original assistant, Ko'Dath, was played by Mary Woronov, but she bowed out because of the demands of the makeup. Then Susan Kellerman was cast as new ambassadorial aide Na'Toth, but claustrophobia made it impossible for her to play the role. Julie Caitlin Brown stepped in for five episodes, but she, too, found that the prosthetics were destroying her skin, and with it her ability to play other roles.

So Adams took over at the start of the second season. "Na'Toth's makeup was much more uncomfortable than Grilka's," she admitted, though many actors who have played Klingons have said it was an experience they would not repeat. Na'Toth's costume required a full rubber head coupled with contact lenses that are larger than normal. "It felt like wearing dinner plates. And then having the full hood on...it was very claustrophobic. There was actually an actress who had been hired before Julie who never made it onscreen because the full makeup gave her too much anxiety."

The prosthetic was molded so that the collar came down onto the shoulder. "It covered the collarbone and came down just about to the breastbone, but in order to make it fit for the whole head and neck area, they took a cast from just above the bustline up," Adams recalled. "Wearing this rubber hood, your ears were covered all day - the ears of the prosthetic were not where our ears are. So hearing was muffled."

The process of casting is "very, very ethereal" to Adams, who said she could sometimes go to an audition and change someone's mind about the background of a character as she did with India. "But other times they need you to fit exactly in very small parameters." When an agent suggested a few years ago that he wanted to see her go out for grittier roles like streetwalkers, Adams remembered rolling her eyes.

"I think my reputation is that I'm strong, and I tend to read for wealthier people than not - something about the way I look. I don't necessarily look like a farm mom from the Midwest. I adapt as best I can to suit the character, but there are limitations. There are people who would not be able to walk in and look like a baroness, no matter what they wore or what they did."

She can laugh about the fact that she was cast as a grandmother on Third Watch, and that on the first pilot she did in California, she played the mother of a 16-year-old. "The joke in the pilot was that the romance was actually going to be between him and me," she recalled. "I'm getting hired to play ten years older than I am. As much as it hurts, it's painful to go through it, I have great compassion for these 21-year-old people who are in a panic, but my friends who are 50, 60 have been in this business 30, 40 years and they're being discarded. It's all about young; the evolution of this industry is not as rewarding as it once was."

Adams has done some directing, which she enjoys, and names a Broadway workshop of Leon Uris' Trinity as her favorite role. "It was a two-evening play, six hours of theater, just phenomenally well done." But for fun, she's most likely to be found watching baseball, rooting for the Yankees.

"I've been blessed where I've done a lot of different things," Adams concluded. Now if only she could find a way to play someone as strong as Grilka without going through hours of prosthetic makeup.

Back to Top


***CBS Daytime Interview***

On a rainy day in Manhattan when the subways shut down, our roving reporter and MARY KAY ADAMS met for a late lunch at an Italian bistro. The morning gloom had slowly given way to a slightly gray, cool day. Over gourmet pizzas and mineral water, they discussed India's past and Mary Kay's hopes for her future.

CBS.com: We have gotten tons of mail asking for more airtime for India. Was it difficult waiting for a story to develop for India?
MARY KAY ADAMS: It's had its own challenges. I was quoted in Soap Digest a million years ago, I said, "When God was handing out patience, I was out to lunch." [Laughs] By nature, I've always been a bit of an impatient person. And it's been so different, because every other time I've been on the show, I was always in the thick of it all, working almost every day and involved with a whole lot of different people. It's been, at times, challenging to make adjustments. But it's also my understanding that I need to be patient and hope for something that's going to pay off.

CBS.com: The story with you and Alan seemed to develop very naturally.
MARY KAY ADAMS: It did. The characters have such great history that goes back 13 years. Ron Raines as an actor and I get along incredibly well. And the nature of what we bring to the work seems to compliment one another. So, it made a lot of sense and I was really pleased to see it. It also brings India back more into the core of the Spaulding clan instead of satellite it. Every other time that I've been right in the middle of it, I was always blackmailing or manipulating somebody in the family. [Laughs] So, this sort of brings me in without that manipulation factor.

CBS.com: Your scenes with Alan in the hospital were great. What was it like filming those?
MARY KAY ADAMS: It was such a mixed, wonderful opportunity because it reunited all of us that had a great deal of history together. For me personally, just the hospital setting, and being in that critical situation brought up a lot of things that I experienced in my personal life. [Editor's Note: Mary Kay's mother was ill with cancer last year. She is, thankfully, cancer free now.] It was like, oh my gosh, there's so much emotion, so easy to tap into. But then to step back and watch some people I truly care about - you know, I love Grant Aleksander [Phillip], I love Mikey O'Leary [Rick], I love these people that I've known a long time, Beth Chamberlin [Beth], people that I go way back with. I see us all then and I see us all now and we're all adults. Grant Aleksander has just grown up so beautifully and other people have just evolved. But there's something really, really wonderful about it. We all know each other very well. It was really kind of nice. And then I thought everybody in the storyline, Michael O'Leary, Grant, Ron, everybody pulled together, everybody gave out 200% effort, and I think it showed.

CBS.com: Weren't India and Alan romantically involved in the past?
MARY KAY ADAMS: We flirted a lot. There was only one kiss. We never went to bed. We had gone back to Andora, to my father's castle, and I put out this big picnic in the middle of one of the castle rooms because it was raining outside, and it got romantic. The decision was that we worked together as allies, and if we were to become romantically involved, it might be too much conflict, and then our shared goal would be lost.

CBS.com: Do you see the pair coming together romantically now?
MARY KAY ADAMS: I think it's a great possibility. Just for Alan's sake, it would be a wonderful way of putting Annie to rest and kind of getting to the next step after that kind of havoc. And for India, yes, because it gives her a strong man that she can partner with. I think they could be a really powerful couple. There's certainly enough physical attraction that it would be feasible that they could be romantically involved.

CBS.com: I liked the way your romance with Ross ended. So many times on soaps we see women chasing men they know don't love them, and yet India showed the maturity to walk away.
MARY KAY ADAMS: I thought so, too. I thought that was a great, great intelligent, adult woman way of handling it. I tried to play that there was disappointment, that for all my talk of "oh, this was just [casual]," I cared for him on certain levels. But it was also a really tremendous gift to be able then to go to Blake and say, "He's yours. Wake up, take advantage, he's yours." So that I wasn't going to be constantly catty with her and competitive with her. I liked that. That was great. I just read a great quote last night which is attributed to Alice James: "The success or failure of a life... seems to lie in the more or less luck of seizing the right moment of escape." The wisdom to know when to walk away.

CBS.com: Did you like working with Jerry ver Dorn?
MARY KAY ADAMS: Jerry ver Dorn is one of my favorite people. Everything you've heard about him is true. He's one of the kindest, funniest, nicest, handsomest actors there are. Everything about him is genuine; there's no rough edge. He's just wonderful, and he's a great actor. He's a lot of fun to work with. And I've loved Liz Keifer [Blake] for years. We didn't get to do too much but it was fun. Some of the stuff they had her do was not easy. You know, the ping-pong between brothers. I admired her for pulling it off.

CBS.com: India has a cushy, probably well-paying job now. Do you know yet what exactly that Ambassador of Spaulding is supposed to do?
MARY KAY ADAMS: I really don't. I really have no clue. Except that if I'm gone for a long time off camera, the explanation is that I'm at some summit on the other side of the world.

CBS.com: It must be nice not to be broke anymore!
MARY KAY ADAMS: But that's India's perpetual problem. Yeah, at least I'll be set up.

CBS.com: Do you think we'll see India's daughter return to town?
MARY KAY ADAMS: As much as they've talked about Dorie, I have heard nothing along those serious lines of bringing her into the picture. I'm in contact with Kim Parks who played her, who still is a terrific actress and would be willing to come back. I don't know how serious they are or if I whether talking about her to establish the history to some of the newer audience that started watching after I left the show, to kind of paint the picture of who I am.

CBS.com: What are your hopes for India's storyline?
MARY KAY ADAMS: I would be thrilled if India could put a few roots down into some storyline instead of just [being] this quite charming, carefree woman who just drifts into this storyline and that storyline. To have some sort through line of purpose. And I know from speaking to some fans, [they'd like] to have a bit of her drive back. India was not ever a passive person. She was making things happen. So, I would love to see that side of her be developed more. To make things happen.

CBS.com: Who would you like to work with on the cast?
MARY KAY ADAMS: I love the people I work with. I love the whole Spaulding side. I meant what I said when I kind of stepped back in the hospital scenes going, "Wow. These are great people." I've known them a long time. [With] Jerry, we never had too much to do [in the past], so that was great. I don't see it being possible structurally from writing the show, but I've never had any real scenes with [Kim] Zimmer [Reva]. And that would just be [so much fun]. But other than that, no, I like my little Spaulding clan. When I first joined the show and they told me that was the family I was going to, I was very happy.

CBS.com: They're a fun dysfunctional family.
MARY KAY ADAMS: And all those great clothes!

CBS.com: [Laughs] What do you do in your spare time when you're not working?
MARY KAY ADAMS: I do plays, I do other work if it doesn't conflict. I love the computer, and I'm on the internet all the time, keeping up correspondence, doing research. It amazes me most for the amount of minute details of certain subjects if I need to get the information that I can find it. That to me just is stunning. I love to read. I do a lot of yoga. When I was in California, I played a lot of golf. I like to live. I like to do things.

CBS.com: What are you reading right now?
MARY KAY ADAMS: Right now, a book my mom gave me, Something More - Excavating Your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach. She saw the author on Oprah and she bought the book and then she gave it to me.

CBS.com: Do you go to the movies often?
MARY KAY ADAMS: I go through spurts. No, I wouldn't say often. I go through little spurts where I'll see a whole clumps and then it'll be weeks and weeks on end where I don't go to the movies. I just went through a little spurt. I try to see theater pretty regularly. I love it - especially in New York - there's so much great stuff to go see. But I saw Blair Witch - it scared me witless. I scare easy, but I wanted to throw up during it. And Thomas Crown Affair, which I absolutely loved. I was talking about this today - the fact that they hired a woman in her 40s to be sexy leading lady is such a thing to celebrate. He's not with a twenty-year-old, which we've gotten so used to. And it makes the movie ultra sexy, the fact that they are on equal par, you know, with age and smartness and sexiness. It is so sexy. [Renee Russo] is absolutely gorgeous.

CBS.com: Thank you for your time. It was lovely talking to you!
MARY KAY ADAMS: Thank you!

Back to Top


******Jonathan Reiner's TVGuide Online Interview*****

"We only part to meet again." So said Guiding Light's India von Halkein to Springfield society back in late 1990 as her portrayer, Mary Kay Adams, was wrapping up a six-month run on the show. The actress lived up to her character's eloquent words by returning to the show late last year. Between her GL stints, Adams split her time between Los Angeles (where she worked on series like Everybody Loves Raymond and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and New York (doing theater and a run on ATWT as Lucinda's half-sister Neal Alcott, a role specially created for Adams by the late Douglas Marland).

After an all-too-brief romance with Ross, India was ultimately placed back where she belongs: in the midst of the Spaulding shenanigans. Recently, Adams took time out of her busy schedule to chat with TV Guide Online about being back on the show, living in the Big Apple, surfing the Net and those legendary India/Alex confrontations. — Michael J. Maloney

Were you surprised to see so many of the same people still on the show, like Jerry Ver Dorn, Grant Aleksander and Michael O'Leary (Ross, Phillip and Rick)?

Well, I wasn't going in blind because I'd turned the show on many times over the years. Once I thought about going back I watched to see who was still there and what the storylines were so no, I wasn't surprised. I was delighted to see so many people there that I had relationships with. It made going back so much easier.

I've never had the pleasure of interviewing Jerry, but I hear nothing but great things about him.

As soon as you started to say, "Jerry" I broke into a grin. I think most people do, too. I'm a sucker for him. It's so corny, but he's one of the finest nicest people I've ever met. And as an actor, he's so exceptionally good.

And even though the pairing didn't last, it was nice to see India take the high road and go to Blake and help reunite her and Ross.

I thought it was a nice gift, too. My understanding is that [the writers] never intended the romance to be a long-term thing. India was meant to be a diversion for Ross, but I did like the way they put closure to it. Going to Blake and giving it to her was fun.

The scenes between Blake and India were a throwback of sorts to the classic Alex/India scenes that viewers loved so much in the mid-'80s.

Thank you. There was a generosity underneath it all. So we got to spar and have fun. It was two strong women going at it, but underneath it all India was doing something quite nice for Blake.

What was it like when you first joined the show back in 1984 and you found out you'd be working with Beverlee McKinsey (ex-Alexandra), whom many critics feel is the best actress ever on daytime?

I was fresh in the city, right out of school. I hadn't grown up on soap operas and I wasn't familiar with them. I started watching the show after I'd been hired. I had a meeting with [then-executive producer] Gail Kobe. She asked me who I was drawn to as a viewer. I said, "That woman who plays Alex is just amazing." I also thought Kim Zimmer (Reva) was great, too. Her famous fountain scene had just recently aired. Gail told me I was going to play Alex's step-daughter. And I thought, "Great." I think I was too young to be intimidated. Beverlee was very kind and generous and easy to work with. I'd just watch her and learn. We ended up liking each other, which made our working relationship all the more wonderful.

The writers have kept the off-camera relationship between India and her adoptive daughter, Dorrie, very much alive.

They certainly bring her up a lot. I know that the fans are very curious about it. I've been in touch with Kim Parks (Dorrie). She's still a terrific actress and in the business. I don't have any idea if they're serious about introducing [Dorie] back into the storyline. It'd be nice if they did.

I think everyone was pleased to see India brought back to the Spaulding fold after the story with Ross wrapped up.

In my opinion, it's what most makes sense for India. I was so absolutely delighted to start getting scripts that had me being brought back to that family. To have scenes with Grant Aleksander again and to rekindle the relationship with Alan (now played by Ron Raines) was great. The characters all have a lot of history together. I said to Jerry on one of our last days together that I'm really going to miss working with you so directly, but if I could have any sort of gift after you, it would be working with Ron and Grant, who's always been one of my favorite actors. I know [Grant] enjoys working with me, so, "Yeah! This is who India is." I'm down on my knees praying that it keeps developing.

I hear that you surf the Net a lot. When did you first venture into cyberspace?

I was introduced to the Internet via CompuServe in 1993 when I worked with Terry Lester [ex-Royce, ATWT; ex-Jack, Y&R], who is one of the very brightest, most brilliant computer geeks I've ever known. I bought his old Macintosh and he turned me on to the wonders of the Internet. I've used [the Internet] as a resource and I just love it. My parents came out to visit me in Los Angeles and I showed them my computer and the information I could find on it. My mom got her own computer hookup and we became e-mail buddies. I call her "web gal" now. It was even better when we were living on different coasts. It saved a lot in long-distance phone calls.

You worked a great deal of episodic television in L.A., including on the short-lived series Traps with George C. Scott and on Everybody Loves Raymond. Do you have any favorite appearances where you said, "I've got to put this one on my reel."

Both of those actually are on my reel. But by far the most fun I ever had in Hollywood was working on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Grilka. I worked with Armin Shimerman [who played Quark] primarily. Working within that enterprise - no pun intended - was the most fun. I had a great time on a bunch of other shows, as well. There were some close calls... I heard a lot of "Oh, if this goes... you'll be back." And then, the show would be canceled.

These days, if a show's not an overnight hit, it gets canceled. Has being back in New York offered you any theater opportunities?

I just finished a short theater piece. It was a workshop, but, yes, there's a lot of potential. I started in the theater and so any opportunity I get to work in the theater is welcome. Also, New York set a record last year for films being produced in the city thanks to Mayor Giuliani. I don't have a lot of experience in that medium, but it's certainly worth a try. There's a significant amount of work to be done here, but frankly and honestly — and I've made this very clear — I would like to be on Guiding Light [more].

So would your many, many fans! With a character so steeped in history, I can't see India not being expanded.

Hopefully it's going to work out that way.

Are you in touch with your former GL co-star Warren Burton (ex-Warren)?

He's one of my all-time dearest best friends. He's in L.A. and I miss him on a daily basis. He's so good and I'd love to see him back on daytime.

Well, Warren went to jail for killing Paul Valere back in 1987. In some cities, he'd already be out of jail.

[Laughs] Exactly. In Soapland, he's ready for parole, at least. As an actor, Warren brings so much to the table. I'd dance a jig if he could come back to Springfield.

You sound happy to be back in New York.

Yes. Recently, I had met a friend for coffee and we were crossing Broadway during a beautiful afternoon and I said, "God, I love living here." My friend thought I was being funny, but I wasn't. I really love this city. I can enjoy just looking at a building and seeing the sunlight glint off it. L.A.'s a wonderful city with a lot of pluses, but it never made me feel the kind of excitement I feel when I'm in New York.

Back to Top


******Adam Kelly's 3/9/99 SOD article A PASSAGE TO INDIA*****

“I don’t think there‘s any benefit in looking back and trying to figure out what would have happened if I had taken one road instead of the another,” says Mary Kay Adams, contemplating her long journey from –and – back – to her signature role, India on GUIDING LIGHT. “It’s a moot point. It doesn’t matter. Life truly is exactly the way it’s supposed to be, and what’s important is the path you took in the past to get to where you are in the present.”

Her own path started at the top of a very high hill: Graduation Day at Emerson college in Massachusetts in 1983, where Adams received the prestigious Carol Burnett Award, given to the student most likely to excel in the performing arts. “It was one of the best days of my life,” the actress recalls. “I hoped I would get it, but did not expect to. It’s a very great honor.” From there, life got even better. The New Jersey native relocated to New York city and found work almost instantly –in theater, in The Muppets Take Manhattan (“but it was a tiny role”) and at GL.

“I was 21 when I got the job,” recalls Adams, who joined the show at a magical time, just after it briefly hit No. 1 in the Nielsens on the strength of the Four Musketeers (Phillip, Beth, Rich and Mindy) and a Tulsa tumbleweed named Reva (“There was this one scene when Kim Zimmer stripped down to a teddy in a fountain...”). Oh, there were the down sides to playing India __ “The guys on teh crew used to call me ‘Zimbabwe’ “ – but there were far more positives, particularly since India, who was originally supposed to be Beth’s trashy cousin, was upgraded to royalty. “That gave me a lot of scenes with Beverlee McKinsey [ex-Alex],” says Adams, “who was incredible.”

But somewhere between her 1984 arrival and her 1987 departure, Adams hit a slippery downhill slope. She left GL partly for the same reason everyone leaves, which is to go to Hollywood, and partly for a rather uncommon reason, which was that her life was falling apart due to a complicated personal crisis. “If we’re being honest, everybody would say, ‘Well, heavens, Mary Kay, you gained a little weight during that first go-around,’ “ she admits. “I was not happy about it. It’s not like I woke up one day and said, ‘Gee, I think I’m gonna gain a whole bunch of weight just to see what it feels like.’ “ Complicating matters, she was also drinking too much alcohol. “It was the result of a great deal of personal trauma that I was going through that had to do with the show and did not have to do with the show. I was very young, I coped the best that I could at the time and had to pay a certain price for some of it.”

Once unemployed, she went into professional exile and regrouped. “I needed to get my bearings back and remember who I was.” She lost weight and stopped drinking cold turkey. “I’ve looked the I look now for nine years,” Adams reports. “I’m sober 11 ½ years, and I’m very proud of that, but I also very much honor the fact that I had to go through all that in order to be who I am today.”

With her life again in order, the actress plunged into the L.A. audition circuit, nabbing guest spots on ROSEANNE, (It was James “Brolin’s first episode, so Barbara was in the booth”), EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND and DIAGNOSIS MURDER, among others, plus work in films like Born Yesterday (“But don’t mention those parts, because they are so tiny”). She returned to New York every now and then –most obviously, to reprise India for a few months in 1990, and then in 1992 to play Neal, the AS THE WORLD TURNS character that late Head Writer Douglas Marland created upon meeting Adams at a party.

But for sheer surrealism, none of those projects comes close to the “Year of the Alien” – her pet name for the period between ’94 and ’95 in which she guest starred on STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE as a fierce Klingon named Grilka and played a Narn for an entire season of BABYLON 5. The former job entailed 150 minutes in the makeup chair while an artist painted her skin (“with real paint”) and applied prosthetics to her forehead, nose and teeth; the latter required her to wear “a full lizard head.” Far from being turned off, every guy she knew (“straight or not, I’ m not exaggerating”) called after her first TREK appearance to tell her how sexy she looked. “I was like, ‘Well, that says a lot about you, because the Klingon is such a dominant creature.’”

“It was such a kick,” Adams laughs, “because I started watching STAR TREK when I was a little girl, and I felt like I was part of this...institution.” Institution, indeed. Within months, “Adams had her own Klingon trading cards and later was Miss November for the 1996 DEEP SPACE NINE calendar. “It’s just bizarre,” she says. “ the fact that I have my own baseball card really tickles me because I have such a passion for the game. I always say that if I had been born a man this time around, I would have been a fielder for the Red Sox.” She’s in high demand at STAR TREK conventions both in America and abroad. “Who wouldda thunk?”

The actress reports that sci-fi fans are as loyal as soap devotees – meaning she’ll likely be signing twice as many autographs since she’s back on GL. Returning to the soap did require changes: She and her gray tabby, Bob, moved cross-country, and Adams, who had bleached her hair for fun, had to revert to her natural brunette color. She’s having a blast at the studio – “Jerry ver Dorn [Ross] makes it worth getting up at 5:30 every morning” – but sadly, there was another reason for returning to New York that cast a shadow over everything else.

“Over the summer, we found out that my Mom had cancer,” Adams reveals, “so it was very important for me to be back here on a full-time basis.” Mom’s prognosis is good, Adams reports, but the traume and fear linger. “There are certainly occasions where I start felling sorry for myself and go, ‘It would be so much easier if I could have a drink,’ you know? It would kind of make it easier to go home, take a bath, have some wine and et blotto for an evening. But, “ she sighs, “life has its challenges.”

Rising to the challenges has again brought Adams to the top of the hill. “Have you read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist?” she asks. “It’s basically a parable about finding your dreams, and sets out the tenet that when you start out on life’s path, everything falls into place, making it very easy for you to get started. But as you get closer to your ultimate goals, the universe starts making things more difficult for you, so you really have to prove to yourself that you were worth it and could do it.” In the book, the hero sets out on his journey, weathers obstacles and winds up back where he originated, where he finds what he was looking for all along.

“That’s very telling, because when I first got to New York, I was very lucky,” Adams says, “I was able to work right away. Then I left, and my life’s path got harder and I had to learn a lot. Now, I have found a great many things simply by returning to the place I started from. I’m back in New York, back on GUIDING LIGHT playing India, just doing what I do.”

Back to Top


****** Michelle Ann Moro's Soaps in Depth 2/23/99 Article******

Hell’s Angel
When Andoran baroness India von Halkein arrived in Springfield in 1984, the self-centered young woman was hell-bent on revenge and determined to weasel her way into Spaulding Enterprises. No one dared stand in the spitfire’s way, and she went after what she wanted with gusto, no matter what the repercussions. Fifteen years later, she still is self-centered, but these days, she’s also a lot wiser. “There’s not that grand passion that she had to get back at people,” observes her portrayer, Mary Kay Adams. “That’s the maturity of the character – and of me. When we’re young, we want to change the world. Then you realize, ‘Well, the world’s not listening to me.’ You have to adapt a little bit.”

“Now," she continues, “India knows a real sense of satisfaction in getting away with a lot; there’s more fun in the risk taking. She knows everything will work out.”

Though India has adopted a more mature approach to her gold digging, she still has her eyes on the prize. “She feels entitled to the Spaulding fortune, and I think she’s going to want to pull as many strings as she can,” Adams hints. “I’d like to see her manipulate to get what she wants.” At the same time, Adams would be delighted if India were played for a fool – as long as she’s a fool for love. “I’d very much like the involvement with Ross to become important to her,” she volunteers. “And for her own good, I’d like some acknowledgment of her past with Phillip, because that is such a primary part of her history.”

Growing Pains
Like her character, Adams herself has matured over the past decade and a half, both personally and professionally. After a short rerun as India in 1990, the actress relocated to Los Angeles. Aside from short turns as Neal Alcott on AS THE WORLD TURNS and Death on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, she found steady work in primetime, appearing in sitcoms and the sci-fi serials STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE and BABYLON 5. But she grew frustrated with Hollywood’s antifeminist backlash. “I am very impatient with it,” she admits. “I might sound like I’m resentful, but I’m not. The fact is, a woman over 35 finds it extremely difficult to continue a career in LA What does that say about the value of a woman past a certain point of physical appeal?”

“As people age, they gain experience and wisdom that make them far more interesting as people,” she points out. “And that Hollywood just denies women the opportunity to express that makes no sense. There were many times that I was asked to fade so I didn’t upstage some actor. And I’d always think, ‘Well, why can’t they just be bigger? Why do I have to hide?’”

Home Front
Ultimately, California was never home for Adams, who maintained residences on both coasts. While she admits to finding some satisfaction in LA, figuratively and literally, it was time for the New Jersey native to come home, to her family and GL. “Coming back was in one word, marvelous. That’s enhanced even more so because it was my request,” she declares. “I felt apprehension, but it was like literally rising a bicycle.” Yet no matter how much of India’s personality Adams is able to adopt as her own, the actress is miles apart from the woman who grew up as European royalty. “I find that out-to-get-what-she-needs-at-any-cost attitude really empowering,” she says. “And in her own way, India is capable of the real emotion, real loyalty and real love. But living on the edge and society fluff...that doesn’t appeal to me.” Case in point: “The clothes that India wears are not from T.J. Maxx!” Adams laughs. “India is not content until she’s wearing the very expensive designer couture. I’m excited when I get corduroy pants at the Gap for 20 bucks!”

Back to Top

 

****Michael Logan's article in the Oct 10-16 issue of TV Guide:****

 

Mary Kay Adams has seen the light. Guiding Light, that is. Next month, she will return to the soap as troublemaking temptress India von Halkein, a role that made her one of the most popular daytime stars of the '80s. India will make a surprise arrival just as her ex-husband Phillip is about to marry Harley. (But don't assume the obvious: Executive producer Paul Rauch plans to romantically team Adams with two-time Emmy winner Jerry verDorn, as Ross.) In rejoining the New York soap, the feisty, formidable actress-a descendant of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams-has made a declaration of independence from Hollywood and prime time, where, she says, "Strong women are still considered a threat no matter how much progress we think has been made. I was always being asked to tone down and soften up my characters. I grew so tired of that routine." Though much sought after as a guest star (Everybody Loves Raymond, Diagnosis Murder, Babylon 5), Adams says her recurring role as the Klingon Grilka on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the only one in which "kicking ass was encouraged. I didn't have to melt into the background so my leading man wouldn't be upstaged. I crave being asked to deliver, which is why I love playing India: I get to be forthright and antagonistic and drive a story, and still be glamorous and funny. I feel like I'm coming home."

TVGEN (tm), TV Guide Entertainment Network (tm) and the related logos are trademarks of TV Guide Financial, Inc. under license to News America Digital Publishing, Inc. Copyright © 1998 News America Digital Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Back to Top

 

****John Walsh's TVGEN Sci-Fi News Article:****

Down to Earth
Who says you can't go home again? Known to sci-fi fans as the Klingon Grilka on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Narn diplomat Na'Toth on Babylon 5, Mary Kay Adams returns to Springfield and the role that launched her TV career on Guiding Light (weekdays, 3 pm/ET, CBS).
"Maybe I'll get a sci-fi storyline," jokes the actress, who plays scheming socialite India Von Halkein on the long-running soap. "India could get abducted by Klingons, and it'll be me in a split screen playing Grilka."
The viewers wouldn't mind: "I received a letter last week from a crossover fan, somebody who's familiar with both shows," Adams says. "This woman was really terrific. She confessed, 'I'm also a Trekkie, and I think Grilka is wonderful. She's so kick-ass!' " So what are you waiting for, GL writers?

TVGEN (tm), TV Guide Entertainment Network (tm) and the related logos are trademarks of TV Guide Financial, Inc. under license to News America Digital Publishing, Inc. Copyright © 1998 News America Digital Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Back to Top



****Meg McCaffrey's Interview on Soap Opera Digest Online:****

 

A PASSAGE FOR INDIA: What Mary Kay has been up to since leaving Springfield.

In November, MARY KAY ADAMS slides back into Springfield as Guiding Light's scheming aristocrat India von Halkein, who'll arrive just in time for her ex-hubby Phillip Spaulding's wedding to Harley Cooper. Curiously, when last seen, India was helping Phillip get back together with Beth. So will India have a problem with Phillip's nuptials to the woman who beat out Beth for the heart of the groom? "[My return] will be coinciding very much with the timing of Phillip and Harley's wedding, though I'm not coming back to interfere with the progress of their nuptials," says Adams in character, adding with a laugh, "But I have returned to Springfield with scheming in mind." Pray tell, who will be the unfortunate target of those schemes? "I will be involving myself with several characters' lives and causing a little trouble for people in Springfield," teases the actress, who originated the role in 1984 and was last seen on GL in 1990 when India moved back to her native Andorra. The buzz is that India will be wrapped up with Ross in some way, and might therefore figure into the storyline involving Beth, Ben and Blake.

Since leaving her last daytime role as Neal Alcott on ATWT, Adams found steady work in Hollywood appearing most notably on Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5. But, after several years in California, the New Jersey native would like to settle back East (GL tapes in N.Y.C.). So is the actress contemplating a more permanent stay on the soap? "That's still to be decided. I'm hoping for and feel positive that it will be long-term."

Interestingly, the popular character is just the latest in a long line of Springfield favorites that the writers have plucked from the past to resurface. India will appear around the same time that her step-mummy and sparring partner Alexandra Spaulding returns, prompting one to assume that the ladies will definitely be locking horns. "My understanding is definitely yes," shares Adams on whether the characters will cross paths.

Whether India will be sporting a new hairdo or Andorra's latest bent on fashion has yet to be ironed out, but one aspect of the character's look has been decided: "We decided to go back to brunette [hair color], because of audience recognition and there are plenty of blondes to begin with on GL," notes the now tow-headed actress. "But mostly because [viewers remember her that way], you know, there's no question -- I'm back, it's me, India's here."

Below, Mary Kay Adams, in character, dishes more with Digest Online about her return to Springfield.


DIGEST ONLINE: When is your first tape date back at GL?

ADAMS: October 29.

DIGEST ONLINE: So we will see you mid-November?

ADAMS: Exactly. I'll return during sweeps.

DIGEST ONLINE: Just how did India depart the soap?

ADAMS: In 1990, I had come back for a few months and found Phillip in Italy. We came back to Springfield, and I had actually helped him get back together with Beth and escape some trouble from the law. At just around Christmas time that year, I simply said my good-byes and headed back to Andorra which is where I'm from and where my father was and where Dorie von Halkein was.

DIGEST ONLINE: How did your return to Guiding Light come about?

ADAMS: I had a meeting with [Executive Producer] Paul Rauch in May of this year. I had actually talked to a couple of other [execs on other soaps], but I was very impressed with Mr. Rauch. I had never met him before, and I had felt that it was a terrific meeting. I liked him a lot. Then let go and let God, he called me in the middle of August and said, "I think we got something for you."

DIGEST ONLINE: Is there a particular character such as Beth that has lured India back or brought India back to Springfield?

ADAMS: To my knowledge, no, it's been my independent decision.

DIGEST ONLINE: What has India been up to since being out of the picture?

ADAMS: I would expect that backstory to be in an evolutionary process. You'll get to know little details just as I will get to know little details of where I've been and what I've been up to; that'll come with time when they get a firmer hold on exactly how it's all going to fit together.

DIGEST ONLINE: What is India's frame of mind: Is she in a happy place or is she coming back with all guns blazing?

ADAMS: I think the best part of India is that she doesn't let you know when things are bad. No matter what is really going on inside of her, she's coming back with confidence and determination and grace and that sort of devil may care, get out of my way attitude that she's always carried herself with.

DIGEST ONLINE: Well, India's a real take-no-prisoners kind of a woman.

ADAMS: Yeah, she's take-no-prisoners, I love that phrase. And she's fun. The thing I loved most about India is that when she had you by the short hairs, she had fun doing it. The other aspect about her is that she always had a reason why she did what she did. It wasn't just to be mean or cause trouble; she always had an understandable motivation whether or not it was her love for Phillip or her need for money for her father or whatever. She has reasons for what she does.

DIGEST ONLINE: What's her reaction to Phillip getting hitched?

ADAMS: I'm not positive. My instinct says that she certainly does care, because she truly cares for him... in her own way. [Laughs] I don't know if she considers Harley a problem... I don't know that yet. No matter what Phillip does, India will always care.

DIGEST ONLINE: It's funny for a while there Phillip was all by his lonesome and then came Harley, Beth and now India. He's got his hands full. And now Alex who adores him is coming back, too?!

ADAMS: He certainly does... the popular boy!

DIGEST ONLINE: India and her step-mother Alex are certainly cut from the same cloth. That's still the case?

ADAMS: Absolutely. It's one of the reasons the characters were so much fun to watch together, because they almost mirrored each other in their determination aspects. It's like, when you get two birds of a feather together, that's when the sparks fly... They will certainly be interacting when both come back to town. I can't say much more.

DIGEST ONLINE: India's not black or white, she's kind of gray, mysterious and hard to peg. So what did you like best about playing her?

ADAMS: You named it, it's for those reasons, you can't classify India as one thing or another. She's a lot of different things. She's a very complete woman, and like anybody, we are complex creatures. We do a lot of different things -- she's strong and determined and she knows how to manipulate. But there are a whole lot of different colors underneath all of that makes her a lot of fun.

Part II of the Interview:

In 1984, just 21 and not long out of Boston's Emerson College, MARY KAY ADAMS landed the plum part of feisty troublemaker India von Halkein on Guiding Light. "I suddenly found myself all decked out in sable coats and gowns," recalls the actress with a laugh. While India's extravagant wardrobe might have been a bit foreign to the recent college coed, the character's aristocratic lineage was not exactly a stretch; Adams is a descendent of John Quincy Adams and John Adams.

The mid-1980's was a creative heyday of Guiding Light. And the soap had the number one-ratings to prove it. Adams quickly became one of the most popular actresses on daytime. In 1990, India reunited her ex-hubby Phillip with former love Beth, then fled to her native Andorra. (In real-life, Adams headed west to Los Angeles.) Now, the Springfield scheming diva is set to resurface, just in time for Phillip's wedding to Harley.

Below, Adams talks about her stint in Hollywood, Trekkies and when GL was number one.


DIGEST ONLINE: Can you tell us a little about your background, such as where did you grow up?

ADAMS: I grew up in Monmouth County, New Jersey. I was schooled on the East Coast and had moved to Manhattan right after graduation from college in 1983. By June of 1984, I had gotten the job on Guiding Light. Phew -- what a time in my life!

DIGEST ONLINE: Where did you go to college?

ADAMS: I went to Carnegie-Mellon University my first year, but I graduated from Emerson College in Boston. Boston was the perfect town to grow up in, during those years when you're not quite an adult yet. Emerson was a really magnificent experience for me. I loved the school.

DIGEST ONLINE: So you left Boston and came to New York. Did you land an agent right away?

ADAMS: God is on my side. I had gotten into this Shakespeare company and we were doing A Mid-Summer Night's Dream and I was seen by a wonderful casting director named Stanley Soble. He had been working at the Public Theatre and he introduced me to first manager, while I was still in the Shakespeare company. In just a few months after signing with this manager, I got Guiding Light.

DIGEST ONLINE: Was Pamela Long the head writer of GL at the time?

ADAMS: Yes, she was the creator [of India]. Originally, when I read for the role, it was for India Raines, Beth's cousin from the Midwest. But the show liked me, so the character was altered to make her aristocratic and from a foreign country.

DIGEST ONLINE: Quite flattering to you.

ADAMS: Very! Some of Pam's creations were just brilliant -- Premiering in the rain, how India manipulated people right out of the gate. Here I was 21-years-old, my feet are getting soaked in the rain, thinking, "Mom, I'm on TV!" I was wearing Sable coats. It was baptism by fire. It was great, but some of it was inspired.

DIGEST ONLINE: When you first came on the soap in 1984, Guiding Light was on its way to being number one. What was that time like on the show behind the scenes?

ADAMS: It was very exciting. It was the first time I had done daytime. It was my first big job. I had come to New York to do theater, and I was in a Shakespeare company. When the Guiding Light job was offered, I was like, "Okay, sure, great, okay." I came on board just at the time they hit number one. [Kim] Zimmer [Reva] was doing work that was just astounding, I think it around the time of the first Emmy for her. The whole Phillip, Beth, Rick and Mindy storyline was at its height. They had the whole Bauer storyline, where they had the mystery killer. It was a thrill. It was very life changing very quickly.

DIGEST ONLINE: And you became a big soap star. Yet, you left the soap in 1987 and again in 1990 to go pursue work in L.A. What did you think of Hollywood?

ADAMS: I liked elements of it, absolutely. I grew a great deal as an actor and a woman. I was lucky enough to do the California AIDS Ride in 1995; I rode my bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles. That will always be one of the most magnificent experiences of my life. There were aspects of California and L.A. I liked a lot, but overall it wasn't my home...ever. I was always split between L.A. and New York. I feel at home on the East Coast.

DIGEST ONLINE: What are some of the projects you've done since leaving daytime?

ADAMS: I've been lucky and worked a good amount in Los Angles and New York. I did a whole lot of guest leads, some sitcom work [such as Everybody Loves Raymond], I was on Babylon 5 for a year, and playing the recurring Klingon [Grilka] on [Star Trek:] Deep Space Nine was the most fun I ever had in Hollywood. It led me into the whole science fiction convention circuit. I'm on trading cards and calendars. I'm like on all this merchandise -- cool! It's me!

DIGEST ONLINE: And like daytime fans, I'm sure Star Trek fans are equally devoted.

ADAMS: They're comparable in that they're so knowledgeable about the shows and they take the time to watch. It means something to them, so they invest a good part of themselves into what my work is. They appreciate me and I very much appreciate them.

DIGEST ONLINE: Considering that you wore heavy make-up on the Star Trek shows, this may be a dumb question but who recognizes you more: daytime fans or Trekkies?

ADAMS: Because most of the science fiction work I've done has been in heavy prosthetics and masks, I'm recognized from daytime. One of the most astounding things to me -- and means the world to me when it happens -- is that I'm still recognized as India. I was at a baseball game in California with a friend who is a big friend of Guiding Light. Anyway, we're sitting way up in the nose bleed section, I've got a baseball cap on and I'm blonde, you know. This guy is passing in front of us because he's seated in our row, and he looks at me, "Weren't you India?" I was dumbfounded, "Yeah, I was." He said, "I just thought you were great." I looked at my friend, and this was right before I was to meet with [GL Executive Producer] Paul [Rauch]. I thought that maybe it's a sign from God because it had been so many years since I was on the soap, yet people still remember me from it.

DIGEST ONLINE: Big time! About that klingon get-up, how long did the make-up take to put on?

ADAMS: About 2-and-a-half hours to get on, an hour to get it off... I wore two wigs. The actual prosthetics and make-up kind of worked with me, so it felt like an extension of my face.

DIGEST ONLINE: And your favorite episode?

ADAMS: House of Quark. A really terrific episode and the man who played Quark, Armin Shimerman, who is just a king among men.

DIGEST ONLINE: While out in L.A., did you keep in touch with anyone from Guiding Light over the years?

ADAMS: Yes. I periodically see them at charity events and I'll watch the show once in a while to see what my friends are up to. I exchange Christmas cards with some people and kept up to date with peoples' expanding families. I feel very much like I'm going home. I don't feel like I'm walking into a strange environment and that goes for people in the press, too, that I became friendly with and stayed friends with independent of doing interviews and trying to get publicity. That has been so nice. Now that I'm back, it's not like, "Oh, hi, it's convenient to be your friend again." That's been really kind of wonderful.

DIGEST ONLINE: A soap actor once told me that working in daytime is like living in a small town.

ADAMS: Absolutely. It's more consistent than other aspects of the business, which also can be like a small town where everybody knows one another. But it changes too rapidly or that you have your one shot and people don't work again. In daytime, there's a consistency, there's a constancy to things so it's more reassuring.

DIGEST ONLINE: What is your favorite dastardly deed that India did?

ADAMS: [Laughs] There's so many! Certainly the aphrodisiac to Phillip, the sleeping with Warren [Andrews, played by Warren Burton] and then immediately charging him $15,000, the whole Andy Ferris storyline, really great scenes with Beverlee McKinsey [ex-Alex], and when Warren Andrews tied me up in Christmas lights, and the stage direction in the script said, "India blinks!" [Laughs] Just the way, Burton played it was like the cat who ate the canary. He loved it so much!

DIGEST ONLINE: Hopefully, they'll have you wrapped in lights again by Christmas.

ADAMS: Keep your fingers crossed!

(C)opyright. 1997. PRIMEDIA. All Rights Reserved.

Soap Opera Digest at www.soapdigest.com

Back to Top

 

 

****Article from Star Trek Monthly Newsletter****

Courting Quark

Contrary to what one might expect from her on-screen character, Mary Kay Adams, who played Quark's wife Grilka, in The House of Quark and Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places, is a very sweet and warm woman, as eager and thrilled to talk about her work on the show as we were able to her about it."I've been quoted before," says Adams, "and I maintain this. I think working on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the most fun I have in Hollywood. I say this very honestly. I am particularly very fond of the Paramount lot, for it's history and set-up, and for the community feel. The first time I walked onto the set of ST:DS9, I kept saying 'Pinch me. Pinch me, I'm on Star Trek'. I was very excited, very happy. I really like the entire environment on the show."

Fans will recall the events of The House of Quark, which sees Quark forced to marry the fiery Klingon in order to preserve her house following the accidental death of her husband. During the events of the episode, Quark is able to set events straight regarding the death of Grilka's husband, and as a reward is let out of the marriage and Grilka is allowed to lead her own house - unusual for a Klingon female. In Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places, Grilka returns to the station to seek Quark's help as she is facing financial difficulties. Ironically, the two begin to court, and events culminate in the couple being locked in a passionate embrace.

"I call him a king among men," says Adams of Armin Shimerman. "Now Armin and I laugh because I became so superlative when I speak of him. I love him very much, as an actor and as a friend. Whenever I get a copy of an interview with me that's been published, I send it to him, and he'll send a note back saying 'Thank you for your wonderful comments about Saint Shimerman.' There is no limit to the words I can use to describe Armin."

'Saint Shimerman' quickly won Adams over with his almost legendary on-set hospitality. "The first time that I sat in the chair," Adams recalls, "and they were applying the Klingon make-up, Armin came over to me, before we were even on camera, and he said 'This is going to be a very long day, and as the day goes on, you're going to feel more and more disorientated because of all the stuff they're going to put on you. It happens to everyone. It happens to me. If there's ever a moment where you feel really unsure, or if you don't know what's going on, take me aside and we'll work through it.' I was so touched by his kindness and his honesty. Being a guest star can be kind of hard. A lot of times you walk into the middle of a well-oiled machine, and they don't know you, and they don't really want to know you and are like 'Here. Catch up.' That moment meant the world to me."

Adams was also struck by how much fun she and everyone else seemed to have on set. "Working on the scene in The House of Quark in which I tell Quark to get his hand off my thigh was great fun. The entire crew kept cracking up every time we did the take. I loved working with Joe Ruskin. I'm a huge fan of his and in the episode he's playing my servant, which was a kick. As I got more comfortable in my make-up, I had fun just walking around the set making the leather skirt of my uniform slap.

"At one point," remembers Adams, "we were taking a golf cart from one sound stage to another across the lot, and after a while I forgot I had all this stuff on my face and head. We were just riding around on this golf cart, and people were passing, and I was waving. They were all looking at me strangely, and I wondered what was the matter with them. Suddenly I realized 'Oh, I'm a Klingon. Of course.' Those are the fun moments. After a while it just comes naturally to me. I'm flirting with guys on the set, and not thinking twice about it. Then suddenly I realize that they don't really know what I look like under all the make-up."

Adams' love for Star Trek actually pre-dates her appearances on the show by a rather wide margin, starting when she was a child. "I grew up as a huge fan of the original series. The U.S.S. Enterprise was always really close to my heart. I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation and some ST:DS9. When I was a little kid I was very into all the alien races and the whole structure of the show."

Her enthusiasm for Star Trek springs from a love for her entire genre of science fiction, a love which she attributes to her father's influence. "I'm a fan of science fiction and I suppose one of the reasons that Star Trek was such a big deal with my brother, sister and I was that my dad was such a big science fiction fan. All through my childhood my dad was Mr. Science Fiction. I remember going to see 2001 when I was a little girl. I didn't understand it at the time, as I was too young, but I remember it well. My dad was a big Arthur C. Clarke fan. Every Christmas we'd buy his books, and Harlan Ellison's. I was at a convention last week, and somebody asked if I had read much of Arthur C. Clarke's work. I can't honestly say that I have, but I am a fan of the genre for sure."

For Adams, much of the thrill of science fiction comes from looking at peoples' speculations about the future and seeing how they line up with actual Human progress. "It kicks me in the head, because now, in 1997, the stuff we read about as kids is everyday technology. It knocks me out. Some men in Ohio were telling me about how they have developed a three-dimensional fax. They can fax a three-dimensional object. That's just amazing to me. It's a thrill. When I was a little girl, we didn't even have touch tone phones. Now, I'm connected to thousands of people on the internet. It's just great."

Adams had an extensive career in theatre and television prior to her appearance on Star Trek. "I grew up on the East Coast. I went to Emerson College. I graduated with a BFA and went to New York, immediately going into a Shakespearean repertory company. Within about a year of graduating college I landed my first big role on Guiding Light as a contract player named India von Halkhein. From there, while I was on that show, I did get a great deal of theatre in New York. I've done regional theatre as well. I stayed in New York until 1990, and then I come out here and did a pilot straight away. I've done a great deal of television. I did six months on As the World Turns as Neal Alcott."

This leads us to wonder what Adams has been up to lately. "I just finished a play this summer," says the actress. "Now it's back to the process of auditioning and seeing what's out there. I don't have anything on my plate right now, but I am very busy, wonderfully enough, going out every weekend and doing conventions. I find that the science fiction fans are so generous, and absolutely knowledgeable. On my last convention appearance, I nearly had to have an extra suitcase for all the stuff that people gave me! They'd says 'Here, I got this for you.' I was really moved by their generosity. It can be very intense, and also very enjoyable."

Eric Fredrickson

Taken from Star Trek Monthly February 1998, Vol. 1, No. 36

Back to Top

 

 

***SOD Best and Worst of 1993***

Best Limited Run
Mary Kay Adams, As the World Turns

When Neal Alcott was murdered, ATWT fans wrote to us, imploring the show to bring Neal back to life. It's not unusual for viewers to plead for the return of a popular character--except that in this case, Neal had only been in Oakdale for six months.
It usually takes much longer for an actress to make such an indelible impression, but Mary Kay Adams brought such energy and charm to the role that we were immediately capitivated. She was also handed a dandy storyline and enjoyed instant rapport with co-stars Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda), Terry Lester (Royce) and Joesph Breen (ex-Scott).
We admired Neal's devotion to Royce, were entertained by her quirky friendship with Lucinda, and empathized with her anguish at having to keep her family ties a secret. A powerhouse performer, we'd welcome Adams on any soap, any time.


Back to Top

Back to Main Page

1