The Fur Is Flying On ALL MY CHILDREN Alum Eva La Rue’s Return To TV
Well-remembered by ALL MY CHILDREN fans for her run as Maria Santos Grey, Eva La Rue followed up her time in Pine Valley with a 2005-12 stint on CSI: MIAMI as Natalia Boa Vista. Having conquered daytime and prime-time, the actress is now venturing into morning programming, hosting CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL’S ANIMAL TALES, which airs Saturday mornings on The CW.
The series debuted in January. “I’m really excited about it,” says La Rue. “It came out of the blue. Somebody asked for my tape one day; they were like, ‘She has animals and she’s a mom — this is perfect!’ I had been looking for something to do that was positive, a positive TV gig. Oddly enough, like a month before, I had been flipping around [the TV] on Saturday morning and came across this whole stretch of programming called One Magnificent Morning on The CW. It’s like positive, inspirational, educational television for a block of a couple of hours and I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, where did this come from?’ I saw Brooke Burke, who was hosting a show called HIDDEN HEROES. I thought, ‘See, this is the kind of show that I would actually like to watch!’ And a few weeks later, I get this call: ‘Hey, we’re going to do a spin-off of this show, CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL’S ANIMAL TALES.’ And here we are! I never thought this was something I would be doing, I just thought, ‘This is really cool, this would be really cool to do.’ ”
She’s proud to be affiliated with the show. “It’s inspiring and uplifting,” she notes. “That is just becoming more and more important to me as I get older, and as I see my kid grow; I just want good TV for everybody to watch! Nothing against crime dramas, because I love them and they certainly funded my life for a really long time, but there are so many, and if you turn on cable, there’s more true crime stuff on top of that! This is the kind of show that I would like to watch, something that’s positive.”
Her experience on set lived up to her high hopes. “It was just a super-fun, easygoing group, great producer and director, and everybody’s funny and fun. I’m doing these host wraparounds, I’m not doing any of the out-in-the-field segments, at least for the first season. We shot 18 episodes in three days, which is even better, because I’ll be able to do other things, other shows and projects, throughout the year, and it’s not going to take up my entire schedule.”
That flexibility is important to the actress for reasons both personal and professional. On the work front, “I have been developing a talk show,” she reports. “Right now, I am working with a production company developing this show; I can’t say too much about it but we’re in the works and in talks right now with one of the networks. And I’m excited! I hope that happens in this new year.”
And away from work, she cherishes her quality time with her 17-year-old daughter, Kaya, from her marriage to her former AMC leading man, John Callahan (ex-Edmund), which is frequently spent traveling the world; she counts their trips to Thailand, Africa and Turkey as her favorites. “That has been the best part of the last five years,” she says of playing tourist. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do with her. With the ALL MY CHILDREN schedule, you’re working year-round; you get two weeks off once a year. So, you take your small trips here and there and your one big trip a year. With CSI, we would have a three-month hiatus, which was awesome, but you’re also trying to squeeze in other work during that time. So, it’s something I always wanted to do — travel like crazy and see the world. It was just Kaya and me and she was in middle school at the time and I decided, ‘You know, the two of us are just going to go see as much of the world as we can before she has to go and start her life and college and a job!’ I realized, ‘I’ll never get this time back. This is my opportunity to just really be with Kaya.’
“So,” she continues cheerfully, “for the last five years, I took that time off and we really experienced things together and learned things together and really got close. And boy, did it pay off. It really ended up being the perfect way for us, as she was becoming a teenager, to break down any real barriers of communication. It has been really amazing for us. Not that those are completely gone, it’s always still a struggle to have a teenager, but it really has made it [easier]. She’s just such a great kid and I’m so glad I had this really specific time with her.”
No matter where her career — or travels — take her, AMC remains close to La Rue’s heart. “I always bump into ALL MY CHILDREN fans. In fact, even though CSI: MIAMI was supposed to be the most-watched TV show in the world, I still get more people that remember me from ALL MY CHILDREN! It still feels bizarre to me that it’s not on the air; it makes me sad. I really hope it gets rebooted one day. I would love that!”
JUST THE FACTS
Birthday: December 27
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
A Girl Named Maria: After a 1988 stint on SANTA BARBARA as Margot, La Rue starred on AMC from 1993-97 and 2002-05, with visits in 2010 and 2011.
We Are Family: La Rue and ex-husband John Callahan (ex-Edmund, AMC) share a 17-year-old daughter, Kaya. “Isn’t that crazy, that she’s 17? I don’t know where the time goes! She is just a really funny, fun, outgoing kid and a really good writer. When she was 15, she wrote an article about child marriage in the United States that ran in Teen Vogue. She’s a junior in high school this year, and she’d like to stay in California for college, which I’m super-excited about.”
Pet Set: La Rue has two dogs, schnauzer/poodle mix Bingo and teacup Pomeranian Cholula. “He is the most soulful dog in the world — he would rather die than make anybody upset and if he thinks he’s done something wrong, he goes into a shame spiral. And she is the biggest diva, and so freaking cute. And John [Callahan] just got a puppy, a lab/German shepherd mix named Callie.”
Valley Girl: In addition to Callahan, La Rue is still in touch with several AMC co-stars. “I see Sarah [Michelle Gellar, ex-Kendall]; we were just over at her house a few weeks ago having dinner with the kids. I see Kelly [Ripa, ex-Hayley] when I’m in New York. The rest is on Instagram; Cameron [Mathison, ex-Ryan] and I will comment back and forth on photos, or Lish [Alicia Minshew, ex-Kendall] and I will.”
In 2018, LIVE WITH KELLY AND RYAN’s Halloween show featured an AMC parody with Pine Valley alums Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo), Susan Lucci (ex-Erica), Sarah Michelle Gellar (ex-Kendall) and La Rue. “It was so fun,” La Rue raves. “When they decided to resurrect ALL MY CHILDREN, they called me because Kelly knows I’ll fly out just to see her and shoot the s–t and catch up. So they called to see if I would come do the show and I was like, ‘Yeah!’ Sarah wasn’t there the day I was; Sarah shot her part a few weeks before when she had gone out there to be on Kelly’s show to promote Foodstirs [her line of baking kits]. And Mark wasn’t there, because he had already left to do his show [RIVERDALE]. So, they had pretaped, and it was just me and Susan and Kelly and Ryan [Seacrest] in the studio. It’s always nice to see Susan and gosh, she looks exactly the same! I swear, the woman just does not age at all. Not a speck! She just looks fantastic.”
La Rue enjoyed an extended catch-up with Ripa when taping wrapped. “We were just going to get together for dinner and then at the last minute, Kelly was like, ‘You know what? Just come over to the house, that way we won’t feel like we might get kicked out of our table at dinner, we can stay as long as we want.’ So, at three in the morning, we’re still jibber-jabbering and catching up. I just love her. She’s that friend where, no matter what, even if you haven’t spoken in a year, you pick back up mid-sentence, right where you left off the last time you were talking to her, and there is never a barrier or wall. She is exactly as fun and as real as you see on TV. I miss her. I wish we lived on the same coast.”
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