Getting Intimate with
Santa Barbara's A Martinez and Marcy Walker
A Very Special Interview with a Very
by Rosemary Ross, Photography by Jonathan Exley
Soap Opera Update, 7/16/90
He's a ruggedly handsome, one-woman man.
She's a strong-willed true-hearted beauty. Together, they have become daytime television's
most romantic couple. They're hot. They always have been, in soapland, where yesterday's
loving duo is today's court case, Santa Barbara's Eden and Cruz Castillo are not only
survivors, they're role models.
During a normal weekday lunch hour, Marcy
Walker and A Martinez would be running their lines, making sure every scene to be shot
that day would be flawless. That's like hearing Michelle Pfeiffer say she needs beauty
sleep. Today, this special daytime couple spent some time with Soap Opera Update.
What is it about Eden and Cruz that
appeals to so many people?
A Martinez: I think people like to see a
couple and a marriage that works. There are an awful lot of examples of relationships that
are constantly in trouble and hold true to the adage that you need conflict all the time
to keep the couple interesting. It seems like we are a departure from that rule, and
people like that about us. It might explain why our having been broken up recently did not
go over particularly well with a large segment of the audience.
Marcy Walker: I really agree a lot with A.
People have a tremendous need to know that things can work in this day and age. They need
to know that through the good times, the bad times, the times when you can really
communicate or not, that you can still love each other and show it. You can still have fun
and enjoy each other and respect each other. That's what these two people have represented
-- something that works through anything. People want to have faith in that.
Looking at photos of you together, you
kind of look like a Barbie doll and a GI Joe. (Marcy and A had a hard time containing the
MW: We are very different. (Laughs) If you
think back to five-and-a-half, six years ago when we first started on the show, they had
no idea of putting the two of us together. It wasn't in their long-range plans.
How did it all come about then?
MW: We sort of did it without them
thinking about it. Whenever we got a scene or something, we'd turn it into something a
little special. They didn't really notice it right away.
AM: We worked really hard at trying to go
beyond what was written on the page. That has always been our credo -- if it doesn't work,
fix it. Don't just complain and do it anyway. We were given a lot of encouragement by
(executive producer) Jill Phelps to take chances and try to make things better. We really
did take some risks early on that paid off. We worked hard and got lucky at the same time.
What is your fondest memory of Santa
AM: God, we've really had a lot of good
times. We've had more fun than anybody I've ever heard of.
MW: I can remember the first time that I
realized I was really happy. It was the day we had a new director come on the set. We had
this scene to do that was really boring. I remember looking at it the night before,
thinking, "This could be funny if it were like cat and mouse -- where she'd try to
get away and he wouldn't let her." I told A in the morning and we said, "Yeah,
yeah." We got the idea together and met the director. It was his first day. He was
looking at us with this frightened blank face. He said, "Okay. You do it and we'll
cover it." He shot it and it was a great scene. I remember thinking how unbelievably
happy I was that not only did we come up with an idea that was different, but that they
used it. They believed in us and it actually worked.
What was the most difficult storyline for
you two to pull off?
MW: Well giving birth in that cave wasn't
too much fun.
AM: The most difficult storyline to make
work was chasing that international assassin called "The Fox" into the bowels of
Mexico. That was a sort of non-event. We never found a way to make that pay off.
MW: I think the hardest thing for me was
the whole Robert Barr storyline. I read all my mail and there was such a tremendous outcry
of people who were dangerously angry that the writers and me and A could have let this
happen; could have let Eden actually admit that she loved somebody else. I didn't much
agree with it either because it wasn't like they were making this guy up. A new love, yet
an old love. It was just reincarnated into this guilt or something. The way it was
interpreted, I think, made us all look a little stupid. I knew in my heart that it didn't
feel right. Everyday it was like a stumbling block to still make everybody look respectful
and legitimate and to not look like any of us were being duped. All three of us had to
come out with our characteristic egos intact. It was really hard to act it on a daily
basis and still make it look right.
AM: I think the work that Marcy did in
that particular storyline, where she and Roscoe (Born) had to play themselves ten years
younger, came off wonderfully. To me, that was among the more impressive pieces of
character work that she has done since she's been here. It was right after she won the
Emmy last year -- she embarked on this storyline where she had to play herself at two
different ages where her personality was completely different. She was pulling it off with
such grace. I remember having the thought that we were really watching work that was
befitting a brand new Emmy-winning actress.
MW: Oh stop it, A. (She seems almost
embarrassed by his praise.)
AM: Some people looked at the work from
the previous year, which was obviously extremely compelling (the rape storyline), and I
think, justifiably, that was award-winning stuff. But I wouldn't think that the work she
did this year would have to take a back seat to it on any level.
Would you like to respond to that with
some mutual admiration, Marcy?
AM: Now, now, now! (Laughs) It's getting a
little weird in here!
MW: You know what's funny? When that whole
storyline was going on, and Roscoe is so sweet and you know how I feel about A, here I was
working with these two great guys. When I'd have scenes one-on-one with each of them, A
would tell me, "Roscoe is doing such an incredible job. He's just doing wonderfully.
I just love his story." Then I'd work with Roscoe, who'd say, "A is just
great!" I said to Roscoe, "You want to be Cruz." And I'd say to A,
"You want to be Robert."
AM: It was driving me crazy because I
always wanted to root for Cruz and Eden, and I'd think, "These two (Eden and Robert)
are so in love. And it's such a tragedy that he suffered all these years. He should at
least have a chance to hold hands with her for a while."
MW: (Laughing) It was so funny. Each was
rooting for the other.
AM: I hated it!
MW: Roscoe would say, "How could
Robert ever think he could break up Cruz and Eden?" And A would be saying, "Oh,
but Robert and Eden have this passion." Here I was, stuck in the middle of these two,
laughing, "I don't believe this!"
Even though you are so highly identified
with your characters, you both have been incredibly successful at branching out and doing
things aside from Santa Barbara...
AM: Things have unfolded extremely
gracefully for us. There has been a lot of good fortune there.
MW: I've looked at a lot of people who
have been considered to be great couples, and if you kind of really watch them, and this
is something that is special, each person is a very good actor, and whatever else it is
that they bring to their better half is different. So it is what they create together that
is what is the greatest. So I look at A and his work outside of here and I see a
remarkable, wonderful actor. What he brings to Cruz and Eden is totally different and that
stands on its own.
Marcy, rumor has it that the pilot you did
called Bar Girls is wonderful and that it will be picked up by CBS. Can you fill us in a
MW: It's a pilot that was created by Terry
Louise Fisher, who co-created L.A.Law. We are attorneys. I'm kind of unorthodox and don't
listen to anybody. If nobody listens to me, then I'll leave. I've only seen tiny bits of
it when I went and did dubbing, but I've heard a lot of really great things about it.
Are you chewing your nails to see if it is
MW: No, not at all. It was a great
experience going away and doing it. But I have always been real, real happy here. If it
didn't sell, I'd still be happy and still be here on Santa Barbara for a while longer. New
World approached me with a kind of safety net contract so that if things didn't work out
over at CBS with Bargirls, I could continue to stay here. I was very interested in that
because I didn't feel like I wanted to give this up in order to go out there and take a
chance on something. My creative side was screaming to want to take a couple of risks, yet
I didn't want to leave "my family" here. So what I've done is sign on for
another year. If the thing at CBS goes, then I will leave. But if it doesn't, then I'll be
It sounds very exciting, but I bet it's
also very scary.
MW: It's very exciting, but it could also
be, potentially, kind of sad. (Marcy's voice became very soft and full of emotion.) I've
worked with these people a very long time. It's like family. I've worked with them so many
hours for so many days. I can't imagine what it would be like for them not to be there.
It's strange, but you know you have to know when to start reaching out for different
AM: She's ripe.
MW: I want to know if I can work as well
with anybody else as I have with A Martinez. (She smiles.)
AM: I want you to know, Rosemary, that
we're making a big exception for you. Marcy promised she wouldn't talk about this in front
of me. (A seemed obviously saddened at the thought of maybe losing his leading lady.)
MW: Every time someone says, "Hey
Marcy, how's the pilot going?" A goes, "Don't talk about it in front of
AM: I say, "I'll leave the room and
then you can talk about it."
Okay, suppose she does leave?
AM: Oh God. Yeah, you know. (His voice
crackles a little.) I'm torn up. On the one hand, I think she's right -- she should jump
out and take the world by storm. On the other hand, when she went off and did the pilot
and then followed it up with a movie of the week she was gone seven weeks. Boy, I tell ya,
this job isn't much fun when she isn't here. It's not even close. I'd miss her, (laughs)
to say the least.
MW: It's really hard. There are a few
people that I would miss really, really dearly. I was gone seven weeks and I was thinking
about work. I'd think about A, and what he was doing, and I'd watch him a couple of days.
It was weird and it was sad.
AM: We feel really grateful for getting
the opportunity to get together and make whatever sparks we've made. If it hadn't
happened, I really would have missed it. Maybe there is still more in the cards for us. If
there isn't, we sure had a heck of a good time. It's been really gratifying for me --
having been in this game for a while -- to finally get hold of a character who people
respond to so well. I know that my pal here is very much responsible for bringing this
stuff out of me to let that happen...it's been good times.
(Talk about a dramatic pause!)
MW: Oh, I love you, A.
Fans Letters to SOU
Thank you so much for that fabulous
interview with A Martinez and Marcy Walker. It is wonderful to see that the two actors who
portray the most romantic couple in daytime television really care so much about each
other. After reading their interview, it is apparent to me that the love between A and
Marcy is just as strong as Cruz and Eden's. This is probably what makes them such a joy to
watch. E.B., Melville, NY
A Martinez and Marcy Walker are rare
indeed. It's obvious they share a mutual admiration and it comes through on screen, as
they portray Cruz and Eden so beautifully. I will never tire of seeing and reading about
them, and appreciate each and every article and picture you feature. Thank you again. A.L.
I have just finished reading the July 16th
issue of Soap Opera Update, and I had to write and thank you for the fantastic interview
with SB's A Martinez and Marcy Walker. Rosemary Rossi brought out the real emotions and
personalities of these two wonderful people, showing how their love for each other comes
across the television screen through Cruz and Eden. They are special -- no other daytime
couple can touch them. Congratulations to A for his Emmy, and to SB for their third
consecutive Daytime Emmy. Anyone who enjoys a talented cast, fast pace, adventure,
romance, and outrageous humor should give Santa Barbara a try. This is, without a doubt,
the best show daytime has ever seen. M.M.B., Slippery Rock, PA
The stunning cover photograph of A
Martinez and Marcy Walker was the best I have seen of this attractive duo. I really
enjoyed the interview. Eden and Cruz are the most romantic couple on TV. It always amazes
me how genuine their feelings are for each other, which is one of the reasons they are
such a joy to watch. I hope NBC and Santa Barbara plan to hold on to this terrific twosome
for many years to come. M.M., Virginia Beach, VA
Fortunately, A and Marcy each live with
two other exceptional people who love them and understand that they love each other in a
different way. Hooray for three marriages -- A's, Marcy's, and Cruz and Eden's! A.H.,