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Crystal Carson Recalls Onscreen Sister Vanessa Marcil’s GH Audition

Crystal Carson and Vanessa MarcilCrystal Carson and Vanessa Marcil

Actress Crystal Carson (ex-Julia Barrett) spoke with Soap Hub for a “Catching Up” story that’s still to come, but one of the memories she shared was of the day she met Vanessa Marcil, who would go on to play her younger sister Brenda Barrett on General Hospital.

“It was a really long day and they asked me to come over my lunch hour and read with three girls who were going to audition to be my younger sister,” she recalled. “I don’t remember the other two anymore, but I remember thinking, ‘Oh, she has my hair color or hey, this one has my eyes,’ — and then I saw Vanessa and went, ‘What now?!’ she laughs. “I was like, ‘That’s….interesting.’

“She was so cute though. The other two were very put together, very professional, and I remember Vanessa being very vulnerable, very insecure, and very open to the fact that she was nervous. Vanessa came up to me and said, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know what I’m doing,’ or something like that – but something really cute, and vulnerable, and sweet. I just went, ‘I have to help this little darling girl, I have to be there for her.’ I don’t remember what I said, but I gave her a couple of things to think about. I really put my attention on her so that she would put her attention on me as the characters.

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“When you put your attention on the other character, you can’t worry about yourself, and she just freed up so beautifully and we had such a great connection because of it. When we got done, she was so adorable and hugged me. She was like, ‘Thank you. That’s what I knew I could do but didn’t know if I could do it.’ Right then I was like, ‘I don’t care who looks like me, I want to fight for this girl.’ But I could immediately tell by the camera crew and [then Executive Producer] Wendy Riche coming down from the booth that I wasn’t going to have to say anything. Everybody else got the same electricity that I did, and that was really fun. I became her older sister in that moment, because she was so beautifully vulnerable and honest and little sisterly to me.”

Carson will share what she has been up to since leaving General Hospital in 1998, which GH actors she keeps in touch with, as well as what it was like working with Tony Geary (ex-Luke, ex-Bill Eckert). Look out for that story soon.

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