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Vanessa Marcil's Articles

Complete Woman Feb 2004

Vanessa Marcil: Las Vegas's IT girl.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas--unless of course you are Vanessa Marcil. Everybody knows the beautiful brunette actress, one of the hot stars of the hip NBC television show Las Vegas and a favorite with daytime drama fans. Compete woman editor Lora Wintz, spoke one of one with Vanessa to find out what really goes on in sin city and in the life of the actress....

Complete Woman: Tell us about Las Vegas....

Vanessa: It's like a dream come true for me. I went back to work after I had my son when he was about 3 months old and I realized quickly the working schedule was just not going to work for me as a mom. So I decided to stop working and I told my agents I would only do another television show if it was an ensemble cast. We turned down the lead in another show, and a lot of different stuff. Then Las Vegas came up. I read it and I fell in love with it. It's such a huge cast, which for me is really perfect. I'll have some weeks where it's really crazy and I'm working a lot, and I'll have some weeks where I'm only working one or two days. Cassius, my son, comes with me to the set. It's a lot of fun. I keep waiting for something not to be great about it, but it's just all great so far.

CW: Do you ever get nervous working with other actors like James Caan?

Vanessa: I get nervous working with everybody! I get nervous whenever I have to do a scene, but I use my nerves to give me energy. I'm used to being nervous. And Jimmy puts you at ease right away. He's really warm and friendly, and even though he's talented, he's still really accessible. And he's got a million stories, like you'd expect him to, of all the amazing things he's worked on.

CW: When you film in Las Vegas, what's it like?

Vanessa: There is always an energy going on in Vegas that's undeniable. People say that New York is the city that never sleeps? Vegas IS really the city that never sleeps; it's constantly going. I love Vegas-- it's like going to Disneyland.

CW: Tell us about your character Samantha Jane.

Vanessa: I feel like she's a lot different from other characters I've played; I've never played anyone that was quite as driven. She's also much more serious, and she's not looking for love. All my other characters have been really big romantics, very vulnerable, and I think I'm known for playing vulnerable characters. Sam is one of those girls that if you saw her cry, you'd be shocked. She's just not that type of girl. She's more like a dude.

CW: Do you think you're personally like Sam in any way?

Vanessa: She's very ambitious; I'm not that ambitious. I mean, it's amazing that I even continue to work! I'm much more focused on my family, and my jobs revolve around whether or not I'll be able to spend time with them. I'd probably be even further in my career if I was ambitious like Sam!

CW: You won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama for you work as Brenda on General Hospital. What was it like?

Vanessa: It was amazing! I've been nominated a few times before, so it was kind of fun to be invited to the same party over and over and finally getting a piece of the cake. It was great. It really meant a lot to me because it was also the first year that Maurice Benard has ever won, and we kind of climbed the latter together. It was really special for me to win with him.

CW: Do you think you would ever return to daytime dramas?

Vanessa: Always, yes. I don't think of daytime as a stepping stone, or the beginning of something more important. Daytime is my home, so I'd always go back. Brenda was an amazing character and I'd always play her again if I got the chance.

CW: That's good, because you've got a lot of fans. In fact, when you returned to GH after having Cassius, the ratings for the show sky-rocketed.

Vanessa: That's just bizarre to me! Completely unexpected. I thought I could kind of sneak in and do 6 months and stay under the radar. I had no idea I was going to cause such a big splash. It's really been fun for me, and I'm just so grateful to know that people are still interested in Brenda. She's always been a part of me.

CW: You've been voted People magazine's "Most Beautiful," and you've won a Soap Opera Digest Award for "hottest female star." What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

Vanessa: I think what makes a woman beautiful is her loyalty to her friendships with other women and her honesty with men. And I think women are really beautiful who are very fun, and who don't take themselves too seriously.

CW: How do you manage to juggle all your roles: mom, friend, actress, ect?

Vanessa: Not very well, actually. I have to admit I'm not all that great at juggling; I put too much on my plate. It's tough, and it's a struggle. I'm constantly re-evaluating all the time. Since I've had Cassius, I understand that there is no more important job on earth than to raise a human being who's going to go out into the world and affect a lot of people.

CW: When you get a break from your busy schedule, what do you do for yourself to relax?

Vanessa: I have to get massages. If I don't get massages, then I'm just useless. The greatest thing I do for myself though, is therapy. Just to be able to go in every week and vent all my frustrations so I don't take them out on other people I think is the best think I do for myself.

CW: What is your idea of the perfect date?

Vanessa: The perfect date to me definitely involves eating--eating and great conversation.

CW: No flowers and candy?

Vanessa: I'm not really big on gifts, unless they are something personal, like a poem or a letter, or photos. I love photos. The flowers and candy are a waste of money--the flowers die and I don't like chocolate.

CW: What's the one quality a man can have that you absolutely won't tolerate in a relationship?

Vanessa: Jealousy. A little bit of jealously is fine as long as he talks about it, but irrational, over-the-top jealousy he acts on, no.

CW: What do you think is the key to a successful relationship?

Vanessa: Who knows? I have no idea! I think maybe the key to an ongoing relationship is communication. But you know, I'm definitely not the person to ask; I'm definitely not a relationship expert.

CW: They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Is there anything you'd prefer to leave in Vegas?

Vanessa: Sure, there's tons of stuff! There's tons of stuff I've done is cities all over the world that I'd like to stay in those cities. Hopefully, they will.