Few people would guess that Laura Wright, the soap opera veteran and mob queen of Port Charles, came into acting with zero experience or expectations. But as the General Hospital (GH) star recently explained to Soap Opera Digest, she nearly passed up on her whole career — because she had a date!
“I had, like, four jobs and then I would do local modelling things on the side,” Wright reflects. “This woman who had a talent agency in Washington, D.C., asked me to be put on videotape with like 20 other girls to audition for this role on a soap opera.”
“And I was really busy; I think I had a date that night,” she admits. “I was like, ‘I don’t have time for this!’ And she really talked me into it and I auditioned on videotape. A week later, they called me in for a screen test. I had no idea what that was.”
Keep in mind, this was 30 years ago, and the role Wright was competing for — Ally Rescott on Loving — would launch her daytime career. Not that the audition was Wright’s main focus, though!
“I carried around a disposable camera taking pictures with everyone,” Wright remembers. “Even Susan Lucci [ex-Erica, All My Children], I stalked her down the hallways because I was a fan! I watched Loving every day. I think the audition itself was, like, second on my list because I was so excited to meet Lisa Peluso, you know, watching Ava every day.”
Despite her inexperience in the world of acting, Wright had an undeniable feeling on the train home from New York City to Maryland that she’d landed the job.
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“I had a girlfriend go with me. I told her on the ride home, ‘I really think I’m gonna get this part,’” Wright remembers. “And she looked at me like, ‘Are you crazy? You’ve never done anything like this in your life!’ And I said, “No, I really think those people are going to be my friends!”
“So I get home; I think that was a Tuesday, and Thursday, they called me,” Wright continues. “I was working at the gas station. I was, like, I don’t know, sweeping the floor or stocking something.”
“They called and when I answered the phone, they asked to speak to Ally Rescott, and that was the name of the character,” Wright explains. “And I was like, ‘What?!’ And she was like, ‘Pack your bags right now! You start tomorrow morning.”
With that life-altering phone call, Wright’s formidable acting career began. She would follow up her time on Loving and All My Children by taking the roles of Cassie on Guiding Light and, of course, Carly on GH.
Still, the shocking overnight transition from gas station to glamour did a number on the newbie actress.
“When I look back now, it was some rough times. I sat alone a lot in my apartment and was sad a lot because I left this life that I knew,” Wright recalls. “Even though life is amazing and it changed, I had no idea how to act!”
Clearly fifteen years on daytime television had honed Wright’s acting chops, because by the time Wright joined GH as a recast, she didn’t even have first-day jitters.
“I had so much — not arrogance, but excitement and confidence,” Wright says. “I felt like I couldn’t wait to play Carly, like all the characters I had before were there because I was going to play Carly.”
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