AMC fan fave and multiple soap vet Cady McClain shared some fascinating thoughts on all she’s learned in her long entertainment career and making her new documentary on women directors.
A Mother’s Message
McClain’s mother was diagnosed with cancer when she was 17. This changed her life in more ways than one. Her budding interest in directing stopped short then, McClain said in an interview with entertainment news website Suzee Behind the Scenes.
McClain told her ailing mother she’d support her financially. Her mother, knowing that women directors got short shrift in Hollywood, asked her to do something besides directing. McClain pursued another passion, acting, which, of course, took off. She didn’t think about directing again for decades.
“When she told me ‘please don’t direct,’–which she did, unfortunately–she was saying that from the point of view of a woman who was afraid both for herself and her daughter,” McClain said.
McClain’s documentary Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct recently won Best Documentary, Short Film Honorable Mention at the Newport Beach Festival. It’s set to compete at the upcoming Soho Film Festival as well, according to Suzee Behind the Scenes. She is, of course, the director of the film.
Sexism, Soaps, and Setting ‘Em Straight
McClain began acting in 1982, and she’s has been on the receiving end of some startling instances of sexism in the entertainment industry.
Once, a well-respected soap actor made a comment to a groups of costars about her breasts in front of her, the actress and director told Suzee.
“It seemed he felt my breasts were fair game for comment, although I wasn’t wearing a particularly revealing dress. I think he was trying to be funny, but he came off as sexist, inconsiderate, narcissistic, and wildly out of date,” McClain said.
McClain said nothing and regretted it.
What does McClain recommend to women starting out in the entertainment industry?
“I would tell them that there is no emulating another person’s path. You can be inspired by another woman’s courage, or learn from how she handled a situation, but you cannot take or copy another’s path. I would tell them to learn and remember what they like, everything from ice cream to art, and not let anyone discourage you from your choice,” the actress offered.
She said that she has always strived to see that men and women work together in the arts and for everyone’s gift and contributions to be honored.
Stand By Your Wo-Man
As many daytime fans know, McClain and Jon Lindstrom (Kevin Collins, General Hospital) are in a committed relationship.
When creative frustration set in as she worked on Seeing Is Believing, Lindstrom offered a helping hand.
“Sometimes he knows the answer to something, sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes I take his note, sometimes I don’t,” she told Suzee.
A Daytime Dazzler
McClain’s career in daytime has spanned three soaps and soap roles that all resonated deeply with fans. This includes roles on As the World Turns (Rosanna Cabot) and The Young and the Restless (Kelly Andrews) in addition to her unforgettable portrayal of Dixie Cooney on All My Children. She began that last role in 1988 and last took it on in 2013. She also won two Daytime Emmys for it, one for Outstanding Younger Actress In a Daytime Series and another for Outstanding Supporting Actress In a Drama Series.
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