Actress Crystal Chappell–– Compelling Poetry.

She fully appreciates a good Costco bargain, can easily install some blow-in insulation; enjoys Grey Goose on the rocks now and then and openly admits to being a fully-fledged Chelsea Lately addict. She perpetuates the impression of a playful teenager cracking suggestive yarns on the back of the bus. She’s the kind of gal who “has your back” no matter what; she’ll probably even provide you with a good alibi if you’ll provide the vodka and the sunglasses. If not, once you’ve been hauled in on those trumped up charges, you’ll make that one phone call to her. But when all has been said and done… “Compelling Poetry with a Wicked Sense of Humor” is the best possible way to describe actress Crystal Chappell. She is very rich in contradictions and filled with a luminescent spirit that’s very difficult to resist. She’s also a stunning looker who doesn’t care, a confident and wildly talented actress who is deeply sincere; an enigma who is articulate and acutely logical, and a consummate professional who knows the score and yet somehow remains fatally idealistic. Chappell is accessible and generous, and always (just ask anyone she knows and then read the first part of this again) a supportive and compassionate friend. It really isn’t hard to understand why most people simply love her. If every great actor embodies an essential paradox, Chappell’s is that she is both tigress-direct and fawn-subtle, quite often at precisely the same time–– the climatic cross section of haiku and a sonnet (the irony here is that she has actually written several volumes of original poetry).

You will literally find yourself watching and listening in wonder to unravel the quiet mystery in each of her words. But Chappell, like all great actors, understands the simple truths that bodies and words can tell. Discerning viewers have come to truly appreciate her innate gift for understatement; sweet-natured character interpretations followed by risqué, uncompromising, perplexing and emotionally charged performances in her Emmy Award-winning role… a role she will perhaps be synonymous with for the rest of her career… Olivia Spencer of Guiding Light.

Chappell has become nothing short of a huge cult phenomenon on the web. No one in the expensive suits upstairs EVER expected the cross-over appeal of her work, but here at UPBEAT, we’ve always known that this gutsy gal could stand toe to toe with the best, be it daytime or prime-time or film. And at the center of the entire daytime Internet universe, and Guiding Light (which will cease to exist as of September), is the unabashedly shameless Olivia Spencer–– sometimes cruel, irresponsible and yet completely irresistible. Played to sheer flawlessness by Chappell, Olivia is a sassy full-lipped beauty and feline, predatory in her own sexuality. When she’s on the television screen, you can’t look at anyone else. Olivia could easily have been a stereotypical daytime slut bomb. But Chappell doesn’t overplay Olivia’s shamelessly seductive antics or her moodiness; she gives an exquisitely nuanced and inherently layered performance that makes you glimpse Olivia’s better nature as well as her deepest insecurities. Olivia is a master of the come-on and the disposable desire. When she’s on the make, she drops her studied aloofness and gazes at her prey as if he or she is the most fascinating person in the world. Olivia represents tantalizing sexual freedom; she does exactly as she pleases and, up until the past year, has gotten away with it. The graveyard profession of Olivia’s undying, unconditional love for Natalia is one of the most mournfully perspicuous things ever put on daytime television to date. Chappell’s vulnerability courses through the scene like a profoundly audible heartbeat, even when, or especially when, she’s trying to treat Natalia indifferently. In her work, Chappell shows not only her playful sense of humor, but more importantly her ability to truly understand the feelings of others and to portray them both respectfully and sympathetically.

Chappell, unlike a number of television “it” girls, is exactly who she is–– down-to-earth, empathetic, loyal and sincere. Much like the legendary Audrey Hepburn, she has an exquisite sophistication about her. She is elegant, sexy, intelligent and charming, all of which contribute to her enduring style. It’s obvious however, once you speak with her at length that her style isn’t merely superficial. It is a true reflection of her character. Unlike a number of stylish people, she really does have depth. Chappell consistently maintains a touching sense of openness which she subtly infuses into her work. She possesses a raw sensuality, with a mere glance she conveys that smoldering “I want you” look–– even if she happens to be totally unaware of it.

I had what I now consider to be the privilege of engaging in a rather unexpected conversation with Crystal Chappell. I’m rarely that impressed or surprised by actors… or anyone else for that matter. But I do have to confess, I was pleasantly thrown off balance by what inevitably became a significant conversation for me… Much like the actress herself it was fun, clever, fun, witty, insightful… and did I mention fun?

UPBEAT Do you realize that your fans are now calling you the Goddess of Daytime and… are there any temples currently being built in your honor?
Crystal Chappell
“Yes, there’s certainly a temple being built. My nine year old has a very large, very tall temple he’s building out of Legos. It’s the Goddess Temple of Legos.”

UPBEAT I’m sure he doesn’t call you Goddess.
Crystal Chappell
(laughs) “I’m still working on him. I was going for queen.”

Read the rest of this interview at the following link:


~ by upbeatmag on June 19, 2009.

2 Responses to “Actress Crystal Chappell–– Compelling Poetry.”

  1. The best interview I’ve read in really long time. Now people know why people have become CC fans the first day she came on DOOL.

  2. A great interview Bridget. A shoutout from Etta

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