AE’s dishy interview with soap star and producer Crystal Chappell

AE: Music plays a really big role in Venice. It’s beautifully underscored. I love that theme song, which is by the terrific Jen Foster. Anytime I hear those opening chords, I’m like “aaaaahhh” and it gets me right into Venice. I saw that you had a call for submissions for music. How do you go about selecting the music for the show.

CC: Jen was an amazing find. Kim Turrisi was the music supervisor at the time and discovered Jen. Jen’s a tremendous artist and that was the perfect song for the show. She was kind of my introduction to independent music and indie artists. Hearing all this wonderful music that came through. We continue to do it because we want to support that community. It’s amazing, just all the wonderful artists out there that I had never heard of before. We invite people to send in their submissions. We also work with different music publishing houses that represent independent artists. It is very important.  I think the music is another character in the show. It’s just a really wonderful added flavor. It’s exciting. The fans love the music. They go out and support the artists wherever they are playing around the country. It helps gel the community even stronger.

AE: I think it’s a beautiful thing, artists supporting other artists. I think that’s a really precious thing about Venice, and I appreciate that as a fan and as an artist myself.

CC: Well, thank you.

AE: The finale of Venice Season 3 was a hell of a ride.  You gave us quite a few cliffhangers. We had a violent act, a surprise proposal and a brand new and sure to be pivotal character. I know you don’t want to divulge too much, but can you give AfterEllen readers, maybe a hint of what we can expect in Season 4?

CC: Oh boy. (laughs) A lot. It’s very funny because I always say to myself when I start the next season, I kind of want to scale if back because it’s a really big production, and I always end up going bigger. So there you go. You know what, there’ a lot of love in it. Just a lot of change. The entire family dynamic changes this season. It’s pretty pivotal. Ani, Lara, Gina, there is a lot of push and pull that will go on there. Ani’s brother Jake is heavily involved in that. Gina’s not happy that Sara is there, so there is a contentious relationship growing. There are some surprises with Sara as well. Golly, you know what? It’s a really, emotionally charged season. It’s big, but a lot of beautiful things happen.


AE: Lastly, I want to talk to you about your new and very exciting project, Beacon Hill. Your production company Open Book, is collaborating with Bella Books to bring us a brand new, lesbian geared webseries. Tell me what you can about it. 

CC: It’s a political drama. It’s about two political families in the Beacon Hill area. Kate and Sara were ex partners, ex lovers, and have gone their separate ways for a while and gotten on with their lives. Circumstances throw them back into each other’s world. It’s a lot of push-pull, and politics obviously. Ambition, greed, sex.

AE: All of our favorite things!

CC: (laughs) Revenge. It’s a good, soapy thing and it’s fun, it’s really fun. I’m very excited about it. The ladies at Bella Books are just fantastic to work with.

AE: Obviously you are going to be involved behind the scenes, but is there a chance you will be involved in front as well?

CC: There is a chance.*

*It’s since been announced that Crystal will be playing the character of Claire Preston on Beacon Hill.

AE: Uh! There’s a chance. (laughs)

CC: (laughs) There’s a chance. I’m really excited about it. I have such respect for Jessica and Linda (of Bella Books) that it’s going to be fun.  My head is swimming because I’m actually in the process of casting it. We have some wonderful soap names- daytime actresses that are interested- so I’m excited to make that announcement when it’s time.

AE: Timeline wise, when can viewers expect to see it?

CC: I’m guessing, first thing 2014.

AE: Something soapy and wonderful to look forward to in the new year.

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