Soap opera star Laura Wright in town for wine tasting

spalisin@thesunnews.comAugust 3, 2012 

  • If you go Who | Laura Wright, a Daytime Emmy Award winner from ABC’s “General Hospital” What | Standing Sun Wines and Tapas Pairing, showcasing the Wrights’ winery in California When | 7 p.m. Sunday, with cocktail hour and live entertainment at 6 p.m. Where | Martini’s Restaurant & Piano Bar, 98 U.S. 17 S., North Myrtle Beach How much | $100, by reservation only, if tickets are still available Information | 249-1134, www.martinisfinedining.com and standingsunwines.com Also | Watch “General Hospital” 3-4 p.m. (and as of Sept. 10, 2-3 p.m.) Mondays-Fridays on ABC (WPDE-TV 15, WCIV-TV 4 and WWAY-TV 3)

Laura Wright has fermented her career on more than one front.

Known as Carly Corinthos Jacks on ABC’s “General Hospital,” the 2011 Daytime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series flew this weekend to Myrtle Beach to flash some other flavors from her lifestyle.

Wright, who co-owns Standing Sun Wines in California with husband John Wright, will host a wine tasting Sunday night at Martini’s Restaurant & Piano Bar in North Myrtle Beach. She also will share some insight from her two decades on television, including former daytime serials “Loving,” “The City” and “Guiding Light.”

Calling Thursday on a pause from filming “General Hospital” in Los Angeles, the Washington, D.C., native said she likes to vacation in Myrtle Beach once or twice a year. She said with her parents in a condo in the area of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., her family, including children ages 13 and 11, enjoy dipping into the Atlantic, down the coast from Maryland, where she grew up.

“In Myrtle Beach, the water feels hotter than the air,” Wright said, stressing her stringency on wearing and reapplying sunscreen. “We’ll be there all day long. We might go to a water park. My kids like to do it all.”

Wright said she and her husband, a longtime preservation architect, kind of fell into winemaking, living among vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, in Santa Barbara County, “where the movie ‘Sideways’ was shot.”

“We love grenaches and grenache blancs,” she said. “I love blends. We just kind of played around with that.”

Also a fan of French and Italian wines, Wright said “something about the California wines” pleases their palates. Partnering with Martini’s in North Myrtle Beach for her appearance Sunday, “you get to eat well,” too.

Getting away from her day job, Wright talked about her “General Hospital” acting role since 2005 that lets her diverge from her everyday family oriented self.

“Carly is a super nice lady if she likes you,” she said, savoring the variety of acting. “It’s way more fun. She gets to say the stuff that everybody doesn’t get to. We have edit buttons, and Carly doesn’t have one. I love getting to play the obnoxiousness and the feistiness. It’s not how we live, or how most people live.”

Still ‘great stories’

Reviewing her tenure on camera for two decades, Wright said daytime drama has “changed a great deal,” but “we’re still here telling great stories of family, relationships and love.”

Shifts in production also have affected “how we shoot the show, and we shoot so much more in a day than we used to,” she said.

Her parts for three hourlong episodes were filmed on Monday alone, she said, explaining how “the story moves faster” as well, because “times are different, and storytelling is different,” especially with the Internet and video games stimulating younger generations more intently.

Wright said with a show airing weekday afternoons, rather than once weekly, soaps have kept their longevity through the decades because of “the fans,” who “fall in love with these characters brought to your home five days a week,” dealing with family matters, divorce, the economy and jobs lost.

“They can always count on seeing their stories,” Wright said. “It’s an experience. … They look forward to that hour. We hear fans say, ‘It absolutely got me through my day. I had something to look forward to.’ ”

Asked how soon the episodes taped this week will air on ABC, Wright said the turnaround averages three weeks, sometimes a little sooner, because such serial dramas neither have a certain length of season nor take a hiatus with reruns.

“We don’t go dark on the air,” she said.

Adjusting to West Coast life came easily for Wright, she said, remarking about her sitting outside for this conversation, which can do as comfortably in February.

“Everybody will tell you it’s the weather,” she said, recalling her first Thanksgiving there challenged her. “I was depressed because it wasn’t cold. It was 90 degrees in Santa Monica.”

Wright said having spent 15 years in New York City, her mind and heart by instinct can’t help remaining programmed for more wintry weather feelings “from Thanksgiving through Christmas or New Year’s.”

Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.

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