Soap opera fans in the United States will remember Miranda Cheryl-Ann Wilson from her roles as “Megan Hathaway” on Days of our Lives, “Sandra Mills” on Santa Barbara and “Kate Wells” on Capitol. After raising her family while living in both France and England, she has returned to acting career, having moved back to Los Angeles. Miranda shares with OutTakes Interviews what she is currently working on as well as memories of highlights from her years in soap opera.
What projects are you currently working on that you can tell us about?
An American Attorney in London is the third film I’ve done, in the last 3 years, that has started winning awards at film festivals. In 2015, Beneath Water won 4 awards, including a Best Actress award for me, at the Queen’s World Film Festival. Incidentally, this award came 30 years after my award for ‘Best Villainess on Daytime TV’ for my role as Megan Hathaway DiMera on Days of our Lives!
In 2016, Second Skin (starring Lauren McCrostie of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children) won 6 awards on the festival circuit. I had a small but very important role as her mother in this film. Both of these two films were written, directed, and shot by an amazing young filmmaker named Charlie Manton.
More recently, in June this year I filmed a TV show for UK TV called Wallis. It’s about Wallis Simpson, whom the King of England fell in love with and abdicated the throne when the government said he was not allowed to marry a twice-divorced woman, let alone an American!!! I played Aunt Bessie, Wallis’ aunt and confidant.
An American Attorney in London has been shown at several film festivals and will be screening at the Orlando Film Festival on October 23rd. How was the experience of working on this film?
The filming went very smoothly for me. The director had various set backs,. Locations weren’t available or were far too expensive. The cinematographer had a last minute family emergency so filming had to be pushed back by several weeks. One of the crew members did not do as the director asked and then didn’t show up on the day of filming so we lost many much needed filming hours. But I loved all the cast and crew and had a fantastic day myself!
[An American Attorney in London will be screening at the Orlando Film Festival on Monday, October 23rd. Find details at https://orlandofilmfest.com/movies/an-american-attorney-in-london/]
Do you have a preferred genre you like to work in (indie film, theater, television)?
I love acting! And each style has it’s own perks! I love working on camera. And I also really enjoy stage. I did 3 stage plays in the recent couple of years in London. I love the period of rehearsals and having the chance to go deep with a character, explore options with the director and cast members, and create a energetic feedback with the audience that inevitably influences the show, each night. I’m currently associate producer on a play that opens next year on the West End. And I’ve just finished writing the 2nd draft of a stage play with a co-writer in London.
How did you come to live in London?
My ex-husband is half French, half English. When my boys were very young, I used to daydream with a group of like-minded friends about starting a school for kids that allowed each individual to learn to the best possible level. This would require attention to brain pattern learning styles and to emotional intelligence. At a certain point, we decided that we needed to be the ones to create this opportunity. So we moved to England where most of these friends were; and I became project manager and co-founder of The Lewes New School in Lewes East Sussex.
How has the experience been of being involved with the Lewes New School? What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
Many soap opera fans fondly recall your work on Days of our Lives and Santa Barbara. First of all, what did you enjoy about playing the character of “Megan Hathaway” on DAYS? Did you have a favorite storyline?
Megan was my first professional acting job. So, I was terrified!!! And Shelly Curtis was instrumental in helping me get through the initial weeks of taping. Peter Reckell was also a gem to work with and a big help in my calming down and getting the work in. And, of course, Joe Mascolo was really like a father to me. Once I started working with Joe, it all became second nature. I think the storylines were all just fantastic. And you can’t beat the fight scene with “Larry Welch” followed by electrocution for a stand out death!
How was the experience of attending the DAYS OF OUR LIVES 50th Anniversary Gala?
I was thrilled to be invited. I was so very touched by all of the fans and by the warm reception from my fellow cast members of yore. It was precious seeing Joe again, and I’m so glad I had that chance before he passed.
Speaking of Joe Mascolo (Stefano, Days of our Lives), so many of the DAYS audience still miss him. Any stories of working with him you would like to share?
He was so easy going about everything. He used to say to me, just relax, just be yourself, that’s all they really want to see. The writing will do the rest.
And on SANTA BARBARA as “Sandra Mills”?
Santa Barbara was my favorite of the three soaps I did, although I really enjoyed all of them for different reasons. By the time I started playing Sandra, I was on my own path of exploration about spirituality, healing, meditation, etc. So I loved the fact that I was able to speak with a real psychic who actually helped the police on criminal cases. And then translate that to the screen. Plus, working with A Martinez is still one of my all time best working memories. I learned everyday working with him.
I was far more mature as an actress and more grounded as a person, so it was just a lot more fun! Plus, as a psychic, we were always looking for interesting ways to portray the action of ‘seeing a vision’, which was occurring in my head. And the directors were often very creative with how they filmed it. I remember one day when Sandra saw a very frightening and emotional vision, the director said to me just before we started filming, “I’m just going to have all three camera’s following you through that whole part, and you just take it where ever you need to. I’ll catch you.” That was a brilliant collaboration! I’m completely on board with psychic, extrasensory, cross time/space barrier communication. I totally buy into the quantum physics concept of everything being connected and we’re more space than we are stuff, etc. So it was a blast!
Would you consider returning to soap opera should the opportunity arise?
What advice would you give aspiring actors?
Believe in yourself. Learn who you are. Always keep your goal in mind regardless of how bumpy, bendy, curvy the journey becomes in order for you to reach it.
Love! Light! Laughter!
Hug your friends and family, everyday, if possible!
Watch Miranda Cheryl-Ann Wilson’s 2017 showreel here!
Miranda’s IMDB Page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0933173/
Miranda’s website: http://www.mirandawilson.com/acting
Miranda on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaCAWilson
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