Fate is smiling on Lindsay Hartley.
‘Days of Our Lives’ viewers just watched her character, Arianna, die in a tragic car accident. Hartley had barely finished cleaning out her dressing room when she booked a guest-starring role on her husband Justin’s series, ‘Smallville‘ (airing this Friday at 8/7c on The CW). Then, she landed a plum contract role on ABC’s ‘All My Children.’ Here, Hartley reveals why her ‘Smallville’ character will be big trouble for Clark Kent and how her new ‘AMC’ character will shake up Pine Valley, and shares her secrets for making a long-distance relationship work.
Tell me about the character you are playing on ‘Smallville.’
Mad Harriet is her name. She is powered by kryptonite and has a metal, braided claw that is her secret weapon. She will do and say whatever Granny Goodness (played by Christine Willes, ‘Dead Like Me’) tells her to do. Clark Kent, on the other hand, walks into the wrong room – let’s just put it that way. She’s got the kryptonite, so she can kick his butt.
How did working with Tom Welling compare to all the hot men on daytime TV?
He’s pretty cute, I must say. His eyes are just stunning. He’s gorgeous. I’m sure everyone in the world would say that. I always say ‘Smallville’s’ got the two best looking guys in the world on TV. If you’re into the brunette thing, you’ve got Tom. If you’re into the dirty blonde, you’ve got my husband [Justin Hartley, who plays Oliver/Green Arrow]. I love Tom – he’s sweet, loving. We get along so well.
Though you did not have scenes together, you got to work with your husband Justin. You also worked together on ‘Passions.’ What was it like being in the same “office” again?
It was awesome. My husband is such a giver, such a supporter. I was so happy to experience what he experiences. It’s a little, tiny taste of what he goes through. I’ve been up there [in Vancouver] so many times with [our daughter] Bella to watch him work, to be the wife, be the mother. It was really cool to be an actor as well, and to go through what he goes through.
Oftentimes when co-stars become romantically involved, the relationship does not last once they stop working together. What has been your secret?
Communication. Effort and communication, absolutely. We both love each other and we want it to work. There’s no gray area there. It’s pretty simple. We talk about everything and you are on the same page and on the same team. I think sometimes people forget that they’re partners. We’re just having a blast, too. We’re really lucky. Life has been so great for us. We have an amazing child, we’re both working in this difficult business…. When I left ‘Days of Our Lives,’ I was like, “I don’t know if I’m ever working again. I’m going to do the best I can. If it happens, great. If not, well… it sucks for me.”
How do you and Justin manage to spend time together with you working in L.A. and him in Vancouver?
We have a “two week rule.” We never go more than two weeks without seeing each other. We make the effort. Someone’s got to fly, and it’s usually him because it’s easier for him to commute than to have me come up with Bella, plus I have to board the dog because I’m leaving the house. He’s coming home Saturday and leaving Monday, so it’s going to be a quick trip this weekend. The beginning of the year we were really lucky because he had a lot of time in L.A.
You ended up getting a great role right away on ‘All My Children,’ as Jake’s ex-wife Cara. What can you tell me about your storyline?
I love Ricky [Paull Goldin] – that’s what I can say. We’re having a ball over there. Apparently Tara is trying is trying to recruit her ex-husband to go back with her where they met and fell in love, in Doctors Without Borders. So I go [to Pine Valley] with these intentions, but then I find out he’s married with a little boy, so her world gets flip-flopped. It’s really fun and really good stuff. This character is so different from the rest of the characters I’ve been playing. No. 1, she’s a doctor. She’s gone through a lot. She’s got tons of secrets that the audience won’t know about for a very long time, though some things unfold in the first few weeks. Then there’s going to be another thing that comes out. I don’t even know when yet, and I know pretty far in advance. I’m having a ball. I love Chrishell [Stause, “Amanda”] and the rest of the gang. Michael Knight (“Tad”) is hysterical. I get to see Susan [Lucci] and talk about [her daughter] Liza [Huber], who I worked with for nine years [on ‘Passions’]. It’s a great group over there.
Is Cara a good girl or a bad girl? You’re making life difficult for one the show’s most popular couples, so the fans will be wary.
As of right now, she’s a good girl. She’s taking the higher path. She comes in, gets blindsided, spills her guts and closes this chapter. Something else happens and she’s going to take the higher path.
How does working on ‘AMC’ differ from the two NBC soaps you’ve done?
‘Passions‘ was full time, 52 weeks out of 54 weeks when it started. By Year 9 we had some time off. ‘Days’ had a bunch of weeks off, pretty much one to two a month. On ‘All My Children‘, you work four days [a week] and then you have nine weeks off a year. So every week I have at least one day off. It’s really cool. At least I know that those nine weeks plus one day a week are with my daughter full time. I’m very happy about that.
Who has the most obsessive fans: ‘Smallville’ or soap operas? Both groups make a lot of noise on the Internet.
So do country [music] fans. If you’ve got comic book fans and soap fans and country fans, I think you’ve hit the whole world. What else is there? Thank God for them. We thank them for all the support. We hope they keep watching and that they’re happy and we’re making them proud.