Emma Samms: The bitch is back!
PUBLISHED: 12:13 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:13 08 January 2018
Copyright (c) 1981 Rex Features. No use without permission.
'If you're not going to get a nasty comment when talking about a new version of Dynasty then when will you? But it won't be from me'
There’s a new television series that has just started showing in the US and here in the UK which has prompted a lot of people to ask me a lot of questions. It’s the Dynasty reboot. Not a sequel, continuing on from where we left off all those years ago, but a re-do of the same stories with the same characters. Updated, of course, but essentially the same glorious and utterly outrageous characters and storylines of the 80’s.
When people ask me about the new series they adopt a sympathetic expression, as if they were talking to someone who just found out that their spouse was cheating on them. The people asking the questions feel the need to affirm their love of the original Dynasty, recalling how they’d arrange their schedules around it or get special permission to stay up late and watch it with their mums. And then comes the question, the one they’ve been leading up to: “What do you think about it?”
I haven’t seen it yet so it would be churlish to deliver any kind of review sight unseen but my answer is always “I really wish them well. I hope it does for them all the wonderful things it did for me”. This response is obviously disappointing. If you’re not going to get a bitchy comment when talking about a new version of Dynasty then when will you? After all, Dynasty had Alexis and she was one of the best bitches of all time. And Dynasty had cat fights, the famous cat fights when women would pull each other’s hair, slap and punch each other whilst splashing around in lily ponds or muddy corrals. Would I really dishonour that legacy at a time like this and have nothing mean to say?
Journalists, in particular, are expecting me to be at the very least dismissive, possibly snide and ideally withering. It would make such a better story if I were to sound resentful, just as it used to make a better story that the cast of Dynasty were all at each other’s throats, that there was constant infighting or that some of us were romantically interested in the same men. Sadly, (for the tabloid press) none of this was true. We actually all got on rather well and the Dynasty set was a really fun place to work.
Not that it stopped them writing those stories anyway and we’d roll our eyes and have a good laugh about the absurd and inaccurate headlines.
“But there’s an actress playing your part!” the people with the questions say, “Doing the same stories that you did! Doesn’t that bother you even a little bit?”
I point out that it would be extraordinarily disingenuous of me to complain that another actress is playing my character ‘Fallon’ now, considering I was already the second ‘Fallon’ myself. I replaced Pamela Sue Martin in the role when she departed voluntarily after the first few seasons and I was always very grateful that the audience was as accepting as they were. A leading role in such a highly popular show brought me a level of international fame that afforded me all sorts of wonderful things not the least of which was the platform to start my own charity: The Starlight Children’s Foundation.
My other point is that what bigger compliment can you receive than people spending a lot of money (and they surely are) to try to recreate the magic of something that you once played a part in? To me, this reboot cements our position as an iconic part of television history.
I realise that my current situation here in the gorgeous Cotswolds promotes a more magnanimous spirit. If I didn’t have two wonderful children, a loving family, loyal friends and a life filled with a huge range of creative endeavours then that might not be the case. If I were still on the acting treadmill in Los Angeles, battling for ever-diminishing roles then I’d probably have a better chance of being spiteful.
I suppose, at a push, I’d say that I hope that the actors and actresses of the new Dynasty are wildly successful but I hope that they use that success wisely. And on this topic, that’s as bitchy as I’m going to get. Alexis would be furious.