It’s not even a real romantic triangle yet, but impassioned GH fans are already casting their votes loud and clear: Sonny/Carly vs Sonny/Alexis. The message boards have become veritable war zones, as fans devastated by the breakup of supercouple-in-the-making Sonny and Carly go at it over Sonny’s new alliance with his attorney, Alexis. The growing ranks of “Sexis” supporters are equally thrilled by just the tease of this unlikely pairing.
The vibe between the vastly different women vying for Sonny’s attention couldn’t be chillier. But their portrayers, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and Tamara Braun (Carly), are having a blast working together, heating up GH and giving viewers something to talk about.
Joanne Gallo: Are you surprised by viewer reaction to this triangle?
Tamara Braun: Well, I’m new to the soap fans, and I think it’s fabulous how devoted they are to each character, Alexis and Carly. But yes, it is surprising.
Nancy Lee Grahn: I think it’s good news, because they care about the people involved. They’re loyal, and it makes me happy that they’re engaged. I like audience participation; that’s good.
Tamara Braun: When they don’t have anything to say you know they’re not watching and they don’t care. And now they do, which is exciting.
Joanne Gallo: Nancy, what do you think Sexis fans like so much about Sonny and Alexis?
Nancy Lee Grahn: This was not a planned storyline, that’s a fact. They did an about face after Sept. 11, which I thought was admirable of the show and the writers, and they started revamping and changing some storyline. They said, “Let’s put Nancy and Maurice together and let them do something.” So they gave us a canvas, and we just had fun. And then they said, “Oh, that was kind of fun to watch. Let’s give ’em a little more and a little more,” and he audience was responding to it.
Joanne Gallo: Were you surprised that Carly fans got upset about your quote in our magazine that they were “going to beat you up”?
Nancy Lee Grahn: Yeah, because I was joking. To me it was so cheeky, and there’s very little mystery about me. I’ve been in daytime for 13 years, so I think people know that I like them. I have a great appreciation for fans, and I’m a big believer that it’s OK to have good reviews and bad reviews. I would certainly never want to hurt anybody’s feelings, but I was joking. They’re very loyal and strong and feisty and those are good qualities.
Joanne Gallo: Tamara, why do you think your character has such a devoted following?
Tamara Braun: Well, Sarah Brown made Carly what she is with such a strong, devoted fan base. And I think Carly embodies the fullness of what a real person does. She’s not one-dimensional, she’s three-dimensional. She’s got good qualities, bad qualities, and she let’s it all show. The people enjoy seeing all sides of her.
Nancy Lee Grahn: And Tamara’s being modest in that she had really big shoes to fill, and she’s done a tremendous job doing that. The viewers have acknowledged that.
Joanne Gallo: Tamara, are you pleased that the fans transferred their loyalty from Sarah to you?
Tamara Braun: Oh, completely. I’m completely honored by that loyalty, because it’s hard to let go of someone whom you’ve grown to love and allow someone to step into their shoes and accept them with open arms. I know it took some time, but they’ve really come around, and I feel blessed and grateful.
Joanne Gallo: Well, ladies, let’s get down to it: Who’s the right woman for Sonny?
Tamara Braun: A cross between the Madonna, not the one who sings Like a Virgin, and Madonna – the one who sings Like A Virgin (laughs).
Nancy Lee Grahn: You know, being a lawyer, I refuse to answer that. And you know what, I am not competing…
Tamara Braun: You know what? You’re not a lawyer, you’re an actress.
Nancy Lee Grahn: But I play a lawyer and I’ve played one for so long that I think I could actually be a lawyer. No, absolutely, I will not compete over a man. I’m way too much of a women’s rights advocate. I refuse to get engaged in that. But I’m digging that the fans are having a good time with this.
Tamara Braun: These are two characters who are fighting over Sonny. Alexis may not want to admit she’s fighting – calm down, Nancy – but she certainly wouldn’t mind a relationship with him from what I’ve seen.
Nancy Lee Grahn: Well, you are all so sure that I’m in love with him, but I’m not so sure Alexis is aware of anything.
Tamara Braun: I just want to point out that the characters are fighting over him, not the actresses. I just want everyone to know that we completely get along. I wish personally that we had a friendship in the show because I really enjoy Nancy.
Joanne Gallo: Is Sonny worth all of this trouble?
Tamara Braun and Nancy Lee Grahn: No man is!
Joanne Gallo: Well, what is it about him?
Tamara Braun: Carly knows what it is; Alexis wants to find out.
Nancy Lee Grahn: Alexis is resisting. She thinks he’s not the right person for her, so this is…
Tamara Braun: Alexis is afraid to find the right person.
Nancy Lee Grahn: Carly likes danger, and Alexis runs from it.
Joanne Gallo: So what does Carly see in Sonny?
Tamara Braun: She sees an equal, a loyal man. She didn’t have a father – well, he left when she was very young – and to have loyalty from a man, even though he’s not being really loyal right now, that’s what she’s attracted to in him. And he’s powerful and sexy, and Carly likes that kind of man. But she sees the true him – he opens up to her in ways he doesn’t open up to anyone else – and I think that any woman feels very privileged to know a man in a way that no one else does. It makes them feel special.
Joanne Gallo: But given his track record with women, wouldn’t it be wiser to steer clear of him?
Tamara Braun: Yeah, but when has Carly ever made the wisest choice? We all want to make a change in somebody. Any women that I know, when they meet the guy, they think he’s the perfect guy. Then they get into a relationship with him, and all of a sudden there’s things you want to change, whether it’s how he dresses or his hairstyle or the way he responds. We always want to change a little something. It’s not the best thing, but it’s human nature.
Joanne Gallo: Is there somebody better out there for both of them?
Nancy Lee Grahn: I plead the Fifth.
Tamara Braun: I plead the Fifth, too. Alexis has become my lawyer; I’m taking her advice on this.
Nancy Lee Grahn: Yes, of course, he would be completely wrong for Alexis, which makes it interesting, and vice versa.
Joanne Gallo: Are there any thoughts about Ned still lingering?
Nancy Lee Grahn: He’s sleeping with my sister or he’s about to; that kind of sums it up. That’s a line-crosser. I mean running out of a wedding is one thing, but sleeping with my sister is a line-crosser.
Joanne Gallo: Anything else you’d like to say to the fans?
Nancy Lee Grahn: You know what the bottom line is? We love that they like us. We love that they are having so much fun. So, everybody, let’s be friends and sing KumbayA.