The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be in show business?
Abby Wathen: When I was little I used to round up the neighborhood kids and make them put on plays with me. We would invite all the parents and put out chairs; you know, the real deal. I remember fighting with my sister during one of our “rehearsals” and she threatened to quit. At that moment, I knew that whatever she wanted me to do I would do for her not to walk away. I needed to do that play. Shortly after that, I convinced my parents to enroll me in an actors camp at the local children’s theater. I was hooked. There has never been a back up plan. It was always performing. Also I watched “The Sandlot” and decided that I should be Mike Vitar’s girlfriend and what better way to do that than become an actress.
PS: I was never Mike Vitar’s girlfriend
TDQ: Who was your favorite actress growing up?
AW: Growing up, Julia Roberts.
TDQ: What was your favorite movie growing up?
AW: “The Music Man.”
TDQ: What was the best advice you ever got?
AW: Always reach for the stars because you’ll never just get a handful of mud. My grandfather always said that to me. He made me believe in magic
TDQ: What was the worst advice you ever got?
AW: Have a back up plan.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
AW: My dad, he has such peace; even in hard times, that man has found inner peace. I strive for that. My grandfather, he believed in the magic of rainbows and nature, he was a storyteller. We used to have Tall Tale contests. I even have a plaque that says, “winner of the best tall tale.” He encouraged me to use my imagination and tell stories! He’s a big reason why I do what I do. Michael Beckwith, he’s a minister and a really beautiful person. Audrey Hepburn not only was she an amazing actress she was a humanitarian. Michelle Obama. And you can’t leave Oprah off the list.TDQ: Tell us about your latest movie, “Besetment.”
AW: “Besetment” is about a woman who is basically out of options job-wise, she’s in a bad situation with her alcoholic mother and is uneducated, so the options are limited until she gets an offer to work at a small hotel in the middle of nowhere Oregon. It’s the perfect situation, until it isn’t! “Besetment” is a twist of “Psycho” meets “Misery.” I had the best time shooting that film. We shot on location in Oregon. It’s gorgeous there. I literally want to do a sequel just to hang with the cast and crew again! We became a family and I hope to work with each and every one of them again!
TDQ: Besides movies and primetime TV shows, you also have appeared on “All My Children” and “The Young and the Restless.” What’s the biggest difference between working on soap operas and other projects?
AW: Working on soaps is very different. It’s fast. Like, really fast. After the hurry and wait, once you get on set you move quickly. It’s a different thing. I do love working on soaps. It works a different muscle. I have the utmost respect for the actors that do it everyday. Working on indie films, which I mostly do, gives you more time to explore the character, you have options and there is more creative freedom in my experience. I love to play with dialog (as Brad Douglas will attest to). In soaps you cannot do that. In fact, in TV you can’t either. But in indie film you often can try things and see what works.
TDQ: What project are you working on next?
AW: I have a few things that I am working on. Brad Douglas and I have teamed up with an incredible writer Michael Kane, he’s old school and so interesting. He wrote a beautiful script about the back side of a horse track and we are working on putting that together. I would play this incredible character, very gritty, she uses her sex appeal to get what she wants, she would be completely out of my wheelhouse, and it’s something that I am very much looking forward too.
TDQ: Where do you see yourself in five years?
AW: Five years hmm that’s always a hard question. I am so open to what this adventure brings, and it usually is something out of left field. Five years I would love to have several more features under my belt. I would love to have a steady gig on a primetime hour show. Also I want to produce and jump into that side of things. My husband and I also want to start a family. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. So I guess the next 5 years are going to be pretty busy!!!