Against All Odds

Republished from “The Rustle of the Sheets”

Republisher’s Note: This is the full text of the article as it appeared on the website. I have not yet double checked the text. I did bold the names for Joie Lenz (now credited as Bethany Joy Lenz) and Paul Anthony Stewart where they appear and they weren’t on the website. I added italics to the questions to make them more obvious. The website credits it to the August 3, 1999 issue of Soap Opera Update.

Manny in Surf 2

“Against All Odds” — 8/3/99

Miraculously, between surviving near death experiences, as well as the slings and arrows hurled at them from their disapproving families, Guiding light’s Danny and Michelle have found fun and romance in the San Cristobel sun. After witnessing the camaraderie and good-natured banter between their portrayers, Paul Anthony Stewart and Joie Lenz, it’s easy to understand why Danny and Michelle are one of the most dynamic couples in daytime!

Soap Opera Update: Why are Danny and Michelle so popular, since she was once part of a well-liked couple?

Joie Lenz: It’s not the usual storyline. I haven’t seen the Mafia on too many soaps before.

Paul Anthony Stewart: I think it’s her fantasy and I think it’s just really …

Lenz: … it’s exciting. It’s action/adventure-y.

Stewart: It’s pure escapism for the viewers. It’s romantic, dangerous.

SOU: Is it more difficult for Danny to adapt to her world or for Michelle to adapt to his?

Stewart: What’s great is they’re showing it’s equally tough for both. It’s not easy for either to walk away from the lives they were brought up in.

Lenz: Michelle is attracted to the dangerous side of Danny, but I don’t think she realized that it was serious.

Stewart: There’s a reality to Danny’s life that’s causing a lot of problems with Michelle’s family. He feels a great responsibility being the only man left to protect his family and what they have built and created.

SOU: If not for the mob, what other problems would they face?

Lenz: (laughing) Besides his mother?

Stewart: One thing is Danny’s a bit old-fashioned and conservative in his views about woman and marriage. Michelle is pretty forward-thinking, independent. That definitely plays underneath all our scenes — learning how to communicate with each other. There are times when he really wants her to just do what he says, and she won’t.

Lenz: We’re both stubborn.

Stewart: Danny’s having to learn that Michelle is her own person and he must let her be on equal ground with him. That’s an area where they have room to negotiate. Like the shower scene, Danny gets a little caveman-like. He just plops Michelle into the shower. That’s why people love him so much, because he’s just doing what everyone really wants him to do.

Lenz: She knows all the right buttons to push on him. It’s like she knows what he’s going to do when she pushes his buttons, but she does it anyway.

Stewart: That’s what creates the chemistry that people find so interesting. He’s very convicted in his own beliefs, even when they don’t jibe with hers, which makes for good arguments and good making up – like the thing with Drew. Danny’s a guy. He’s young and hotheaded. I could say the same about Michelle. I mean, you did turn me into the FBI.

Lenz: I told you I was sorry, all right!

Stewart: And then you got really uppity about it – that I had the nerve to sleep with Drew after you turned me into the FBI.

Lenz: Yeah, but it doesn’t quite have the same emotional attachment.

Stewart: This is why they fight, because they don’t see eye-to-eye.

Lenz: You know what it is? When it’s just the two of them, there’s no conflict. It’s the people they become when faced with outside circumstances that creates a problem.

Stewart: That’s true. When they’re just left alone …

Lenz: … they’re great!

Stewart: Even when they’re fighting, they’re clicking in a certain way. You know they’re meant for each other.

SOU: What would you like to see happen that hasn’t already?

Stewart: What a trick if Danny was really just purely evil, and this whole time it was just a set-up to make her fall in love with him to get revenge for killing Mick!

Lenz: Ooh, that would be really good.

Stewart: I was also hoping that the Santos clan turned out to be a family of vampires.

Lenz: Right. Now we’re getting into Sunset Beach.

Stewart: Then we could have a sort of Dark Shadows thing. There have been some pretty outrageous situations we’ve been in.

Lenz: That’s true.

Stewart: Most people would have buckled under the pressure.

Lenz: Yeah.

Stewart: But not Danny and Michelle!

Lenz: No. Never!

Stewart: They’ll weather the storm! They will not give up. It’s really fun to play all these extraordinary circumstances. You can’t really get mad at Danny for wanting to protect his family. I hope they keep Danny involved with the family and the family doesn’t go legitimate. That way, they’d have to address how Michelle would live as a Mafia bride. Then maybe one day, Danny actually has to go through with a hit. How will that affect their relationship?

SOU: Michelle could be the doctor who takes care of the person he tried to kill.

Stewart: Exactly. And there’s got to be a way to be in the family and remain an upstanding citizen, because Carmen doesn’t have any intention of letting him go.

Lenz: Oh no. She’s evil.

Stewart: I think people love that.

Lenz: Oh yeah.

Stewart: They love to see the evil mother-in-law. It’s fun to see how controlled he is by his mother and how that affects the relationship. We’re just trying to make our story the most interesting and exciting that it can be – and we have a great time doing it. We get along. Sorry to say, there’s no backstage drama. It’s a mysterious thing: You never know when two characters are going to click, and we are fortunate ours do.

 

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