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The Cleveland Show
Feb 24 2011, 03:23 PM by LoriH65
The queen matriarch of Y&R is known for always
telling it like it is. Jeanne Cooper portrays no-nonsense Katherine
Chancellor who is passionate about those she loves and instills
fear in those she despises. As a major icon of Daytime television,
the audience has watched the grand dame experience the highs and
lows of life for almost 40 years. As one of Genoa City's most
powerful residents, she shows no signs of slowing down.
This veteran actress shows zest for life and an intense love for
her art form. Cooper immerses herself in the lives of Genoa City's
residents and is a key player in major storylines. We chatted with
Cooper about Katherine's love/hate relationship with Jill Fenmore,
the love she has for Billy Miller and her hopes for the future.
For 37 years you've played "The Duchess" on The Young
and The Restless. We've never seen Katherine Chancellor more
content in her life than she is nowadays. What do you think is the
reason for this?
Katherine is 37 years older and she doesn't demand as much as she
did at one time. What she doesn't like, she sets aside. What she
does like, she takes and uses. This makes her very content. One
really does this in life you know? Well at least they should!When Katherine fell in love and remarried again, viewers
were surprised. Were you just as surprised with the turn of
No, I wasn't on-board with the writer's decision to have
Katherine remarry. I was shocked when they had her remarry. She
married out of gratitude. Her whole purpose now is to find a reason
as to why she would truly love him. That is Katherine; at least the
way that I play her. Little by little she is discovering things
about him. Qualities that maybe she should've looked for in men to
begin with a long time ago. That's where she's at now.
Do you share any personality traits with Katherine
Oh yes, yes I do. I think I have learnt to be selective and
learning to say no over the years, which is very difficult.
Being an actor, you're always ready to please and that sort of
thing. As one does get older, they become more selective, because
your focus is even better than before. I think that is what always
happens with Katherine. Now she has reached the point where she
will pick and choose and passionately go at something. This is in
comparison to just doing a job at 90 per cent. She gives 100 per
cent if she chooses to do something or go after something.Did you find it challenging to jump into the doppelganger
Playing two roles is very demanding; it truly is. You really
must divide the character you've created into two parts. As the
actor, you are in control of them. It's very difficult because each
of those characters has a different set of reactions to somebody's
actions. I didn't find it difficult at all to get back into it. I
loved that it happened about 20-25 years later. This was
marvellous, because it made both of them older and it was great to
see how they both had progressed within that time period. It was
great to see how much they understood one another in comparison to
before. After all, Marge did save Katherine's life. Consequently,
she was indebted to Marge for all of those years without ever
seeing her. Creating another character that the audience would like
and root for even though she was a total nutcase was
difficultWho do you feel is the most fun to play? Marge or
Oh gosh! Well Katherine is more of a tailored person to play,
which would be closer to myself and who I am. On the other hand,
the freedom with which Marge has is incredible. I used to have that
freedom and I still do to a certain extent. That certain Joie de
vivre that Marge has is a great deal like me. I am a little more
tailored than Marge I would say. Both are great.
Some of my favourite scenes are when Katherine goes toe-to-toe with
Jill Abbott/Chancellor/Fenmore (Played by Jess Walton). What is the
dynamic like in real-life? Best friends or bitter
Jess Walton and I are very good friends. We laugh a lot when we do
scenes together. I always do something in a scene that I never warn
her about in advance. I think that is what is responsible for some
of those idiotic looks on her face. [Laughs]. She has no idea what
I'm doing. It's always fun. We really have such a grand time doing
scenes together, we really do.I recently chatted with Billy Miller (Plays Billy Abbott)
and he spoke so highly of you and the influence you've had on him.
How do you feel about him as a newer addition to the
Awwwww! Billy Miller is an incredible addition to the show. He
is just an incredibly talented young man. He's very complex and he
makes a very complex situation look easy to do. He doesn't let his
acting show. I think he is really destined for the big screen.
Hopefully that will happen for him. There are a couple of lads on
the show that really need that break or cameo in a big movie,
bringing them to the foreground. They really are the new
Miller is a special type. He falls into that category when you had
your Marlon Brandos and Dennis Hoppers. These lads are taking their
places. Miller just ranks so highly there. You have Graziadei
(Plays Daniel Romalotti) and Rikaart (Plays Kevin Fisher), two of
the other exceptional lads on the show. Miller especially adds some
of that extra spark to the show that we needed so desperately. He's
such a fine artist.Katherine has quite a soft spot for the troubled underdogs
like Kevin Fisher (Played by Greg Rikaart), what does she see in
him that others don't?
She sees a fuzzy, warm little boy, who has a brilliant mind that
is totally wasted on mundane things. [Laughs]Which storyline have you had the most fun
One storyline that was so great was when she was going to commit
suicide. She got deadly drunk, jumped ship and the Cuban rebel
found her in the water and saved her of course. Then off Katherine
went into the jungle. Victor Mohica played Felipe Ramirez. What fun
that was. She had nothing but her jewels, the jungle and him. It
was such fun, because this relationship developed between them.
They began to fall in love. I thought that was who they would
eventually bring back years later. I thought they would make him
some big ambassador. I would've thought they would have him passing
through and make a stop in Genoa City. That would've been a nice
storyline. The storyline with him right from the beginning was just
excellent.What would you like to see happen next for
I always wanted to see Katherine go into a political situation.
Of course they tried that with dear Melody Thomas Scott (plays
Nikki Newman). I love working with her, as well as Eric Braden
(Victor Newman). I think what Katherine has to do is pull everyone
up by their boot straps. A good storyline would be putting Victor
in his place and really coming down hard on him. I'd love to see a
storyline, where he has to surrender this obsessive, in-control,
business man that he is, and transform into a warm and fuzzy
person. Or maybe she could just go ice-fishing with Murphy?
By: Hayley Farb