JOAN VAN ARK LIVE ON THE WEB
The talented Joan van Ark joined us at Ultimate Dallas and Knots Landing Net to take questions LIVE from fans on the net.
Joan: Hi everyone
Joan: First question please
Question From: Pammy.... "Why do you think Knots was so successful for so long?"
Joan: Because all the characters were so highly relatable like your best friends. Dallas was over the top, Knots was like all of us.
Question From: Karen.... "Do you think that the character of Lucy Ewing should have made more appearances?"
Joan: Karen: No lol, a 1000 times no. Having baby twins for most of Knots was just fine with this diva. I love Charlene and it was totally right we were together on Dallas. But Knots became more of stand-alone show, aside from the vanity I think it was right.
Question From: Guest870.... "Are you still in contact with any of the other cast members?"
Joan: All the time Guest,I saw Donna two weeks ago, Michele about a month ago in New York at her show, the day after tomorrow, Ted and I will share a box if you will, on Hollywood Squares.
Question From: Lkc1.... "Which Knots storylines did you think were the best and the worst?"
Joan: Ok the best is easy. The only time Knots was number one for the TV week here in the USA was when Val got the twins back, she found the twins she had been looking all year long for. The cliffhanger that season was Val finding the twins. That was number one for that week, it was a big deal being number one. The worse to me was all that Lotus Point, business deal, the running of something technical, too business, no fun storylines. It had nothing to do with Bill Devane, and he’s the best. What did you all think was the best and the worse storylines?
(Users reply with their best and worse stories)
Joan: Donna and Tanya were great in the drugs story.
Question From: Takapa...."Which era of storylines did you like best (Val and Gary, Val and Lilimae, Val and other hubbies)?"
Joan: Well I will tell you all of them in a way, in different ways, because the evolution of Gary/Val love stories I think was wonderful. It was like life. Couples go through different phases of love. Lilimae is a very special part of Valene's heart, Julie Harris is my spiritual mother.
A storyline I adored was in the Reunion where she wrote a story and she was with a younger guy. He was a co writer on a screenplay, I loved that story, it gave Valene a chance to be more glamorous and more her own woman in the work place. I think she’s totally capable. Previously they had always had Karen and Abby in the workplace, Val was home with the twins ... boo hoo
Question From: Mark333.... "How did you make it in Hollywood?"
Joan: I had been doing plays in New York and on a whim we packed up and moved West, I started doing commercials and plays and guest star spots on TV and one thing led to another and I got Knots Landing. I think it’s about a continuum of work. Your feeding the commodity so you can grow and do different things.
Question From: gary2ewing2001.... "Did any actors pull pranks while you were filming KL?"
Joan: Patrick Duffy and Larry were the worse on Dallas! Doug Sheehan and I used to goof around together on stuff, but on Dallas when an actor is off camera like Larry he would get a mouthful of peanut butter and squeeze it through his teeth! Can you imagine trying to work seeing that? That sticks out mostly to me.
Question From: Diarchal.... “What was it like working opposite Ted Shackleford? Were you great friends off the set or was he just like a normal working colleague like most other people you have worked with?”
Joan: No definitely not like everybody else, not at all. Ted is a soul mate and partner, he’s an acting partner, he’s very special for me and too me and I feel he feels the same way, he has shared that with me. We did a play called Love Letters together out here in Los Angeles.
I think we have a short hand between us as actor-to-actor and person-to-person.
Question From: LaceyJo.... “I would like to know if it bothered you how they always seemed to make you a victim?”
Joan: That’s a very good question. It’s a mixed answer. The victim aspect gave me some great storylines, on a show like Knots the more problems the better. The more difficulty in solving them the better.
Characters in trouble make better storylines but it did seem Karen always triumphed and Val did not. That could be why I liked the Reunion story where she was out there achieving.
Question From: Moe.... “Do you still keep in touch with Julie Harris who played Val's mum Lilimae and Joseph Cousins and Emily Ann Lloyd who played the kids? What are they doing now?”
Joan: No I don't keep in contact with thekids but I do with Julie.
Joan: Ok one second everyone….. If anyone wants to drop a line to Lilimae to tell her how great she is, it’s her birthday in December. It’s Julie Harris, PO box 1287, West Chatham, Ma 02669
Question From: Dannas.... “Do you miss not playing Valene anymore? I can imagine after so many years you would have gotten into a routine of going into work and playing her. Do you ever wish that Knots Landing would come back and you could play Valene Ewing all over again?”
Joan: No, we could do another reunion perhaps, but no no no because I feel I am ready and have moved on. I have done different ladies and funny and stronger ladies that challenge me and use different muscles, and I do love her dearly but we move on as actors and people.
Question From: Christine.... “My husband thinks it is pretty strange that there are so many people still interested in KL. What do you think of us true blue fans who continue to be dedicated to KL?"
Joan: I want to talk to your husband Christine. He questions it, he’s not into it. I think it goes back to the first question I answered. Most of the characters became people’s best friends. You would invite us back each day and revisit us. I notice as I watch TV now, the difference between a show that goes and does not go. It has to do with if you would like to meet these people again next week and watch what they will go through. There is a show called the Practice, it’s a perfect example of characters and actors that you would like to have back in your house week after week, you want to see those people again each week. I hope your husband will give Knots a chance.
Question From: Pamela.... "Can you tell me something from Knots Landing that no one else would know?"
Joan: Ok I bought all Nicollette's clothes when she was finished with them, they were all high style and size 2. I have lots of clothes, no one else knows that. :).. of her clothes that would be :)
Question From: Abby_Fairgate.... "Were there storylines that you absolutely did not want to do?"
Joan: Let me think Abby. With scenes, not storylines that I thought were out of character. To Knots credit the writing and staff and producers always allowed our input, which was magnificent. I do remember a meeting that I took with Ted and David Jacobs where basically we talked David into the Abby/Gary/Val triangle. We said it will make a great storyline, lol but little did I know that Abby would take off like a rocket lol. Valene was heading for some dark days but ultimately it was a great choice, it provided conflict and problems for several seasons.
Question From: TMConner.... “How much are you like the character Valene & how different are the two of you?”
Joan: Ok TM for the long time that I worked on Valene I had to peel my skin back as I went through the gate to the studio... when you touch the petals you go brown, she was like that alot. That’s not me.
Question From: Guest 879.... “What do you think of your role in the film "Frogs”?”
Joan: LOL! The great thing about Frogs is that I get to go off into the Sunset with Sam Elliott, I was the only one who did not get eaten by frogs and the great actor Ray Milland who played my grandfather so that was a thrill. Other than that forget it, lol.
Question From: Guest.... “Were you disappointed when they wrote Lilimae off the show? Your on-screen chemistry was so wonderful with Julie Harris.”
Joan: Thank you for the compliment, I agree, yes I was extremely unhappy when that happened. I hope that we will do something together in the future. Julie is amazing. She left with Constance to take the show in another direction, they wanted to keep the show closer to the core. Constance’s exit was the most memorable show we ever did.
We taped sessions at David Jacobs’ house in character for two days, improvised. From that the writers wrote Laura’s death, it was a blockbuster episode wise.
Joan: Now for the last question please.
Question From: Pamela.... "What are your current projects and future plans?"
Joan: I just finished doing, Vagina Monologues in Denver, I am working on a TV special, called "Through my Father eyes". It’s a tribute to a father/daughter relationship. It’s something I am producing and may direct. A show just on here, Son of the Beach, a send up of Bay Watch, I may come back on that, a crazy fun comedy. I did some movies, one with Dennis Hopper yet to be released. I hope to be doing a play this spring. One thing next week, I am doing The Weakest Link. I think Anne Robison does it very well, maybe I wont have the courage :)
Host: Thank you Joan for joining us this evening! Three cheers for Joan!
Joan: Bye bye, take care!
We would like to thank everyone who took part and we would like to give very special thanks to Joan Van Ark for allowing us all this wonderful opportunity.