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2009 - 25 years of Santa Barbara

Robin Mattson : «Our antics on television never reflected anything in our actual lives.»

 By Nicolas, exclusively for Santa Barbara : le site Francais, September 2009

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On September 10 2009, Robin Mattson agreed to take on her time to answer exclusively to the questions of Santa Barbara : le site Francais. The actress talks about his debuts, the Santa Barbara years as the second interpreter of Gina DeMott Capwell, and at last about her career since the end of the show.

The beginnings before Santa Barbara

At first, I'd like you to tell us a little about you: How old are you today? Where do you live? It seems you're married since 2006...

A gentlemen never asks a lady her age. We currently reside in New York City. Yes, I married my husband, Werner Roth, on June 3, 2006.

To know you better, what did you brought from yourself in the character of Gina ?

Everybody has both good and evil inside them. The character of Gina was often an exaggeration of these characteristics, only funnier.

You started your acting career very young. Was it your choice to become an actress ?

I started acting at the age of six. My first job was appearing in a commercial for Wonder Bread. My parents thought that the residuals would be a wonderful way to pay for my college education. And I've loved acting ever since.


The time of Santa Barbara

How did you start in Santa Barbara ? Did you ever watch the show when Linda Gibboney was still playing Gina ?

I never watched Linda and I didn't try to replicate her performance. The show contacted me when they were looking to replace her.

How did Gina was presented to you at first ?

Take the character of Gina and make her my own, which is what I did.

Unlike Kirk Cranston, Elena Nikolas or Laura Asher, Gina never went until killing somebody. But even if she did very bad things to the so loved Capwells (the worst may have been to have stolen the videotape that could clear Kelly in 1986), how do you explain she always kept the love of the public ?

Gina had the ability to make fun of herself and provided comic relief no matter how dastardly her deeds were.

What were your favorite storylines and the ones you particularly disliked ?

I must say, as outrageous as it seemed, when C.C. Capwell said "take nothing with you" and Gina said "fine" and took off all of her clothes and walked out of the house with no belongings whatsoever. The worst moment I recall is when I heard Justin Deas was leaving the show and Keith and Gina were forced to split up. And then they attempted to replace him and bring in another actor as Keith and it just wasn't the same.

Your pair with Justin Deas was something never seen in daytime soap-operas before: Gina and Keith were always scheming, having fun of the main characters, and they dared all these sexual games ! Did Gina and Keith have been inspired by you and Justin Deas or you and Justin are like that in life when you are put together ?

The characters' storylines don't necessarily coincide with the relationships that actors have in real life. Although we enjoyed working together, our antics on television never reflected anything in our actual lives.

With men, Gina was at her best with men with big personalities, like Keith or C.C.. What do you think of the couples she formed with Alex Nikolas or Scott Clark in 1987 ? What other lover or husband would have seen for Gina in the show ?

Gina was at her best when she was with a man that could hold his own.

After Hayley and shortly Lily in 1986, Gina is suddenly joined by her brother Mack and her mother Phyllis in 1989. How did you appreciate to discover all these characters only years after years ? To play family siblings on a show do create particular relationships between actors ?

There are not necessarily different relationships that you form with actors that play your family members. Sometimes lasting friendships develop and sometimes they don't.

What do you think of the last storylines concerning Gina in 1992 (the birth of Channing III, the wedding with Lionel...) ? Do you think the marriage of Gina and Lionel in 1992 could have last long ?

I guess it remains to be seen if the show had stayed on the air.

What were your favorite male and female acting partners as Gina Capwell ?

Justin Deas (Keith Timmons) and Judith McConnell (Sophia Capwell).

How do you consider the evolutions Santa Barbara knew through the years? What were the reasons of the fall of the ratings in the 90's (Bad storylines ? Departure of strong characters ? Lack of eccentric bad guys like Kirk or Keith ? Lack of humour ?) ? Also, what was for you the Dobson's touch on Santa Barbara ?

The Dobsons held all the magic in their hands.

You were one of the long-time Santa Barbara actresses to know the very last episode of the show. When did you learn that Santa Barbara was definitively coming to an end ? What do you think may have saved it ?

I think the decisions had been made and nothing could save the show. It was very successfully syndicated.

Did you keep in touch with members of the cast or the crew after the end of the show ?

Yes, I did stay in touch with some of the people. And I even worked with Jed Allan on General Hospital when I reprised my role as Heather. I still see Marj Dusay and Louise Sorel socially since we all live in New York.


These last 16 years after Santa Barbara and now

Can you come back on the following years of your career since the end of Santa Barbara ?

I've done several soaps including seven years on All My Children as Janet Green and I reprised my role as Heather Webber on General Hospital. I've continued to perform as an actress on daytime drama as well as hosting my own culinary show on Lifetime Television.

Tell us about your other activities. You seem to be a famous chef for years now !

I'm not a famous chef but I do have a passion for food and professionally trained at the Los Angeles International Culinary School. I pursue my love for food and wine in New York City with great enthusiasm.

What would you like to say to all the Santa Barbara fans all over the world ?

I hope everyone is enjoying watching Gina as much as I had fun portraying her.


Once again all my thanks to Janice, Robin's fan club president , who was a great help in the realization of this interview, and of course to Robin Mattson for her answers. Robin's  fans may also visit Robin Mattson's Official Home Page.