The daytime world was ecstatic when primetime star Kim Delaney came back to her soap opera roots last year in the role of General Hospital's Jackie Templeton. With credits like Army Wives and NYPD Blue under her belt, along with prior soap history playing the role of All My Children's Jenny Gardner in the early 1980s, viewers knew she was going to bring magic to Port Charles. And boy, did she!
Delaney's work over the course of 2020 was definitely full of head-turning moments, and her peers recognized her talents by giving her enough votes to earn a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Guest Performer category. Soap Central caught up with the actress to find out how it feels for her to be honored in the genre that started her career and what it's like to work with some of GH's most iconic stars.
Soap Central: Congratulations on your Emmy nomination!
Kim Delaney: Thank you so much! It's very sweet, right?
Soap Central: When you first started at General Hospital, did you have it in your head that you'd maybe work to get a Daytime Emmy so you could give your Primetime statue a friend?!
Delaney: Not at all! [Laughs] I just went to work like everybody else does. And they wrote for me. You have to have it on the page.
Soap Central: For sure. They do a great job at General Hospital, and they gave you a lot of wonderful material.
Delaney: They just brought me into everything, right?! All the different storylines.
Soap Central: Exactly! Because you had so much material, was it difficult for you to narrow down which scenes you wanted in your Emmy submission reel?
Delaney: No. I didn't understand that it had to be stuff that aired before December, but Frank [Valentini, GH executive producer] knew what he liked, and I knew what I liked, and the other producers put it together.
Soap Central: So, what scenes made it to the reel in the end?
Delaney: It was a couple of scenes early on with Michael Easton [Hamilton Finn], when we were in the hotel room and we talk about what happened years ago, and I think the other one was with Tristan Rogers [Robert Scorpio], a scene in a hotel room where I thought it was Tristan coming back but Michael comes back. So, he comes in, and we went through what happened the night before I got married.
Soap Central: You mentioned some big names -- Michael Easton and Tristan Rogers. You've been really lucky to work with GH legends like them -- though I'm sure they'd say the same about you -- and I'm wondering how much scene partners like that influence your own performances?
Delaney: It's a great cast! But I wouldn't use the word influence. I think we all just work together, you know what I mean? It's a very talented cast, and we all just show up and rehearse a tiny bit, and then you just start filming.
Soap Central: The pace of daytime is so intense...
Delaney: So fast!
Soap Central: And I imagine so different than what it was when you were on All My Children all those years ago?
Delaney: Very different!
Soap Central: Speaking of All My Children, you're up against some really great people in your category, one of whom is Cady McClain [ex-Dixie Cooney, AMC; Jennifer Horton, Days of our Lives], which is a dream come true for AMC fans!
Delaney: How sweet. Like I said, again, they're all very talented, and I'm happy for everybody nominated. General Hospital got a ton of nominations, so Frank was happy, everybody was happy.
Soap Central: I spoke with Katelyn MacMullen [Willow Tait], and she said you actually called her to share your congratulations, which I thought was so sweet of you!
Delaney: I did! I always call everyone, everybody! We're all very friendly, but I always say, "I'm not going to let this moment go by." Because it does go by very quickly, and you can't let a moment go by. You just kind of say, "Acknowledged, good luck." [Laughs]
Soap Central: That's really lovely. Did you do anything to celebrate your own nomination?
Delaney: No. I just got my son in town from Philadelphia. He just came into L.A., and no, we didn't celebrate. We just hung out.
Soap Central: Are you the type of person to prepare a speech on the chance that you might win, or do you prefer to wing it?
Delaney: That's a good question -- I haven't even thought that through yet! [Laughs] I'll probably do a little bit of both, I don't know, but I should probably think it through a little more.
Soap Central: And what about for the ceremony -- they haven't announced what they're doing yet in terms of having something in person or just online, but you'll obviously be seen on camera at some point, so have you thought about what you might wear?
Delaney: I don't know yet. I actually just got an email about that, and they're not sure -- we might be doing something on set, or it might be virtual. I don't know yet. So, what will I do? I don't know. Nobody has been dressed for a year, right?!
Soap Central: You'll either be the type who feels so relieved to get out of your pajamas or the type who's like, "Oh, man, do I have to get out of my pajamas?!"
Delaney: So, which one would you go with?
Soap Central: I'd probably get dressed up -- better to be overdressed than underdressed! What about you?
Delaney: I'll get dressed up. I think it's time! We all have to start living life again soon.
Soap Central: Agreed! Is there anything else that you'd like to add about your nomination or anything about playing Jackie that I didn't ask you about?
Delaney: I'm grateful and lucky and humbled to have such a great character to play. I love Josh Swickard, who plays my son [Harrison Chase], all of them -- Michael, Gregory Harrison, who plays my husband [Gregory Chase], they're all great. Everybody across the board is great. Steve Burton [Jason Morgan], everyone. We just have a really good time on set, even with all this COVID stuff, because we're not supposed to be close to each other. [Laughs] So, really, across the board, and Finola [Hughes, Anna Devane] is amazing; I love working with her, as well.
What do you think about Kim Delaney earning a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Guest Performer category? Do you think she'll take home the gold this year? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.