It all started with hair. Which is how almost everything in my life starts with these days. I was chatting with HairBoutique.com's world famous new publicist - David Granoff about his recent attendance at the Sex And The City premiere party.
David was chatting with me about Sarah Jessica Parker's use of, what else, hair accessories in the upcoming SATC episodes. He also dropped the tidbit that he used to work with actor Jason Lewis, Samantha's hot new love interest on the show.
And of course, I had to ask him about Eileen's hair. David explained that Eileen was "letting her hair grow" past her ears, down towards her shoulders, for two new parts in two hot independent films.
As we cycled through the current color of Eileen's hair (blonde) to the length (medium) David decided he would just hook me up with Eileen directly so that Eileen and I could dish the strand dirt directly.
Within a few dials there I was instantly talking with the lovely and charming Eileen in person. I tried not to gush as we talked about some of my favorite Lisa (Miller Hughes Eldridge Shea Colman McColl Mitchell) Grimaldi storylines on ATWT over the years. (Image courtesy of CBS Worldwide - all rights reserved).
Not only is this born and bred Southern lady warm and welcoming, she has a great sense of humor and is so much fun to chat with.
I asked Eileen of all her ATWT marriages, which one did she like best? She laughed and replied "Eduardo (Nick Costa) because John Dixon shot him on their wedding night and she didn't have to put up with him or grow to hate him, like all the other husbands."
Of course she also "loved the Lisa Miller Hughes plotline where she married Bob Hughes and had to tangle with the likes of his protective momma, Nancy Hughes".
When I asked Eileen about her current hair length and style she confirmed "that she is letting it grow out a bit longer for her new roles". She confided that "her hair is fine and baby soft" so she uses a variety of products to help give it body.
We discussed several volume enhancing, body building hair care products. I mentioned that Phyto Mousse Volume and PhytoVolume shampoo work well for many with fine hair. I also commented that I think that Matrix Amplify is very good.
Eileen has used Amplify and agreed "it is great", although she is currently experimenting with different hair care products. She gives a thumbs up to Wella's Liquid Hair and likes Tresemme's hairspray because it isn't too heavy for her hair.
Sticky hair is a no-no for Eileen, especially when she is onstage performing in her fabulous cabaret act. She likes to "use a little bit of TIGI's Bedhead for the very tip of the ends around the top of her head" She chuckled and said that "the Bedhead's aroma is so fabulous that it makes her want to stop and have a good drink or wonderful glass of wine."
She explained that she is always on the lookout for products that will survive the stage heat and prevent her hair from falling. Right now her routine includes washing her hair every other day and blow drying it to help give it body and lift.
Eileen "loves to play with her own hair and makeup" but adores her longtime colorist, Robbie, who performs Eileen's hue happenings at Federico on West 55th off 5th Avenue. Eileen told me that "Robbie is amazing at creating a gorgeous color that works and looks very soft and natural". She also gave high kudos to the ATWT stylists. "They do a great job" with her hair and "make her hair look wonderful" when she is on the set.
Like most actresses and celebrity performs Eileen "has an array of different hairpieces that she likes to use for her various performances" and she is "always looking for ways" to enhance her hair.
Lisa On ATWT Is MIA
Speaking of the ATWT set, I told Eileen that I really miss Lisa in the current storylines. I pointed out that she and Bob Hughes have become great friends over the years and I wanted to know why she hasn't been to the hospital to visit him? So what's up with that?
Lisa confided that it seems to her that "they (the writers) don't seem to want to use her or the veteran mature cast members much anymore" on As The World Turns. I was surprised and a little shocked.
When I think of ATWT I think of Lisa and the Hughes family including Bob and Kim and Nancy Hughes. I also think of Lisa because she is part of the Hughes family via her first marriage to Bob Hughes.
I asked Eileen why they don't seem to want to use her or the others. She said that it is her opinion that "Hogan Scheffer, the current head writer for ATWT, is trying to push the veteran cast members off to the side, hoping that the audience will focus more on the new and younger members of the cast".
Eileen believes that it is "great to have a cast that has some great new younger members that add new interest and spice for the viewers" but she believes "the younger cast should have lines that are interwoven with the veteran actors that have built the foundation for making the show what is has become." I agreed and told Eileen that I believe that Lisa could definitely fit into many of the current storylines.
Younger Stud Plotline?
Forget about Lisa and the longtime cast members? No way. Not me. Not any of my friends. Of course I can't speak for the whole world but I suspect many of Eileen's long time fans would agree with me as well.
I suggested that Lisa's character could really be spiced up with a new marriage to a much younger man aka Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher or Joan Collins and her current hubby.
Eileen agreed that it would be fun to add another husband to her roster. After all, she has only had eight over the past 43 years. In fact, Lisa and Isaac Jenkins would be explosive.
Not only does Isaac play a much younger guy, there would be the interracial angle. Certainly nothing shocking these days, but definitely it would add a twist.
Eileen laughed and agreed that there are many potential storylines that she would love to sink her teeth into including marrying a much younger man and causing a stir. After all, the original Lisa Miller was one hot lady. A few years of life can only make her better. A plot with Lisa Grimaldi romancing a hot young stud would get my immediate attention and would simply sizzle.
Even better, I suggested that Lisa should become an obtrusive grandmother and even kidnap her grandbaby for "the good of the baby" or the plot. Lisa agreed "the possibilities for Lisa's involvement in current plots are endless". Note to Hogan, call me for more x-rated plot angles.
Soaps Aren't Interested In Mature Roles
Eileen commented that she doubts any erotic or sizzling plots will happen for her, at least in the near future. Why? She feels that Hogan and P&G "just aren't interested in focusing on real life relationship issues like in the original day so the ATWT storylines" and are "targeting more on surreal plots that involve storylines that are not relationship or even reality based." Well duh, has the network heard of reality TV?
Viewers can't get enough of the real life experiences of real people. So why not show Lisa Grimaldi in a real life type of plot? After all, viewers deal with their own aging traumas and many would love to view similar plots on their favorite soaps.
Eileen said that the reality is "the writers and the producers don't agree and do not seem interested in writing for the more mature seasoned cast members".
This was not the case in the past and "she loved the days when the show was written by Doug Marland revolved around the relationships between the ATWT characters and how they could do incredibly terrible things to each other by having affairs or other human actions that could be witnessed in real life scenarios". She commented that one of her "favorite storylines was the Jessica Marshall story and she wished it had played out more".
I asked Eileen is she would be willing to take on the commitment of a major plotline that involved some scandalous activities like marrying a much younger man or even some other alternative lifestyle? Of course, she would love it, she told me. In fact, she is "very excited about her upcoming film role where she plays a lesbian". Huh? Did Eileen say lesbian? Yep.
New Roles & Happenings
While the writers at ATWT seem to be myopic about the enduring fan love for Eileen, or the great story line possibilities of Lisa as a more mature sex siren, Lisa will embrace her new film role for an independent film tentatively titled "Sunsetters" which will start filming next month in Costa Rico. Eileen will play a strong cynical lesbian as part of a group of philosophers who have gathered together to find their true inner selves. The film, written by Merynell Malone and produced by Studio Chenailles in San Antonio, Texas will showcase Eileen's phenomenal and award winning acting skills.
Eileen pointed out that while she is "really annoyed that her role on ATWT has dwindled to virtually nothing but a random sigh from time to time", she has "come to terms with what is happening on ATWT". She pointed out that she "came to New York to act and she is going to continue to do so". Lisa is also set to star as a troubled mother of a troubled Viet Nam Veteran in another film tentatively titled "For Whom The Drum Beats".
Of course Eileen will continue to perform in her award winning cabaret show. I asked her if she would like to take the show to Las Vegas. She laughed and said "of course" I love to perform and would be very happy to take the show to Las Vegas if the opportunity arose".
Besides keeping busy with several exciting new films, Eileen is working on a play that she hopes will eventually play off or on Broadway. She is also continuing to write and is going to be adding to her already popular collection of published works.
Back To Hair
After chatting with Eileen for a fabulously enjoyable 45 minutes about her role as Lisa on ATWT, her new films and her nightclub act, I asked her one last question about how she planned to wear her hair in the two new upcoming movie roles. And yes, it was about her hair. Eileen said she had been recently "messing around with her hair to get some ideas of how she might wear it for the films".
She confided that she had "been checking out Kathy Bates in "About Schmid" and decided to adopt a softer version of Kathy's long braided look for her role as the unhappy mom for the film which is set in the late 60s". For the lesbian role, she is going to "wing it" and probably wear it in some fabulous "up" style.
Maybe the powers to be at ATWT have moved Lisa Grimali to the dark wings of the soap but don't count Eileen Fulton out. This talented lady won't be deterred from her first love, which is performing.
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