Genie Francis is happy to be returning to a role she’s played before – and no, it’s not Laura Spencer on GENERAL HOSPITAL. Francis, who continues in her regular run on CBS’s THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, is back as Peyton in the third NOTES movie from Hallmark Channel, entitled NOTES FROM THE HEART HEALER, which has just been released on DVD. The actress talks about the series of telefilms at a party thrown by Hallmark in honor of its stars at the Tournament House inPasadena.

ASSIGNMENT X: Collectively, what are the NOTES films?

GENIE FRANCIS: It’s a franchise of movies. This is the third one. My character Peyton is a woman who gave up her baby for adoption and she’s never really been able to make peace with that. And in the third edition of the movie, there’s a young woman who had to give her baby up for adoption and leaves her baby on Peyton’s doorstep. I think it’s the best one yet.

AX: So is Peyton keeping the baby, or is she trying to find a home for the baby, or that decision the crux of the drama?

FRANCIS: Well, she gets stuck taking care of the baby against her will. She doesn’t want to, because she knows she’s going to fall in love with the baby, which in fact happens, and then she has to part with the baby, which is hard, but it’s the right thing to do. But it actually has a happy ending, I think, because this woman starts to realize that she can be a mother and she forgives herself, which I think is the theme of the movie.

AX: Is your character Peyton changing at all from movie to movie to movie?

FRANCIS: She’s evolving. The first one, she fell in love, then she gets married. The third one, she addresses her need to be a mother. So she keeps evolving.

AX: How is it playing opposite an infant?

FRANCIS: Great. Well, it was really difficult for me, because I found that I could either be acting or I could be caring for a baby. And the baby is just more important, so in those scenes, I’m just caring for a baby.

AX: Obviously, you’ve played one character – Laura – for a long period of time, stopped, came back, at a soap production pace and here you’re playing a character, stopping, returning to the character, stopping, returning again – is there any comparison between those experiences or are they completely different?

FRANCIS: It gets easier each time to play the part. Because when you first start with new people, of course you’re nervous, and getting to know everyone and getting to know the character you’re playing and all that. But by the third time, it’s just old home week and it’s easy [laughs].

AX: Do you feel happy to be anchoring a franchise?

FRANCIS: Oh, yeah. Definitely, absolutely.

AX: Do you have any other projects coming up that we should know about?

FRANCIS: No, I’m just doing Y&R right now, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and enjoying that very much. They let me out to do this movie, because I had this job [on NOTES] before I had that job. I’m continuing on Y&R – as far as I know I am. They could let me go, I suppose. I would be sad, because I love the job, I love the people I work with – Peter Bergman [who plays Jack Abbott/John Abbott] is one of the nicest, kindest, wonderful leading men. So talented. I would be sad if I had to leave.

AX: Anything else you want to say about NOTES FROM THE HEART HEALER?

FRANCIS: Just that I’m extremely proud to be part of such a well-made film.


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Article: Exclusive Interview with NOTES FROM THE HEART HEALER star Genie Francis


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