After more than three decades — and ten weddings! — as Erica Kane on All My Children, Susan Lucci segued to Devious Maids as Genevieve Delatour, a multi-married Beverly Hills matron who was saved from remarrying her murderous ex by an unfortunate "accident" in last season's finale.
In last night's season two premiere — directed by Eva Longoria — she's emerging from mourning and back in the thick of the juicy plot that includes engagements (real and fake), a home invasion robbery, and a new jealous, possibly homicidal housekeeper.
Unlike her perpetual bride characters, Lucci has been married for 44 years to businessman Helmut Huber, and the 60-year-old legend has two children and four grandchildren. Here, she weighs in on Genevieve, her time on Dancing With the Stars, and her marriage success secrets.
YourTango: How is it playing your second iconic diva role?
Susan Lucci: Fantastic! I thank God every day. When I did the audition, I thought to myself, "Even if I don't get the part, even if this is all it is, this is fantastic, to work with this material." There's so much to love about her. I love that she's very romantic and she's vulnerable and very hopeful. I'm sure that there are things I don't know about her yet, too, and will discover those things.
YourTango: It's ironic that you're cast as these women who marry many times.
Susan Lucci: I don't know why, but I'm very glad because certainly these are characters I can sink my teeth into!
YourTango: You competed in the seventh season of Dancing With the Stars, finishing sixth. Memories?
Susan Lucci: The challenge is more than I ever imagined. I have such respect for those dancers. I had the best time, terrifying as it was.
YourTango: You and Helmut have been married a long time. What's the secret?
Susan Lucci: I married a man who's very smart, very sure of himself, and very funny. For me, the dynamic just worked. I got lucky.
YourTango: Was it love at first sight when you met?
Susan Lucci: He says it was for him, it was not for me. But he was very decisive and very persuasive and he made me laugh.
YourTango: What little things do you do to show your love for each other?
Susan Lucci: I've been giving him massages on his hip. He was on the golf course and stepped the wrong way and got a muscle twinge and a knot. So I've been putting hot compresses on him with a heating pad and arnica. I went into nurse mode! He's so great to me all the time. He speaks to me in that very charming Austrian accent and I do love it.
YourTango: What would you tell your younger self that you've learned about life, love and relationships?
Susan Lucci: To be not so shy and not to worry so much. To remember the reason you fell in love in the first place. Not every day is easy, but remember it and communicate it every day.