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Tamara Braun Plays Same-Sex 'House' in Pine Valley

Tamara Braun Plays Same-Sex 'House' in Pine Valley

She’s played the daughter of a teen prostitute on General Hospital and a drugged captive on Days of Our Lives. Now, soap star Tamara Braun is settling into a relationship on All My Children with resident lesbian, Eden Riegel's Bianca.


She’s played Carly, daughter of Bobbie, a former teen prostitute on General Hospital, and Ava, Days of Our Lives’ phsycotropic-ally disadvantaged captive at the mercy of her father. Now, Emmy-nominated soap star Tamara Braun is settling into a happy, committed relationship in All My Children’s Pine Valley, with the show’s lovable, ever-returning resident lesbian Bianca.

Since 2001, Eden Riegel’s Bianca Montgomery has dated, dabbled and even kissed a few of Pine Valley’s Sapphic-leaning ladies, but Braun’s smart, sexy architect Reese Williams has finally won Bianca’s heart. When Braun turns up as Reese on Oct. 30, the smitten couple will have already indulged in a whirlwind Parisian romance for the better part of a year.

And Braun and Riegel are slated to make daytime television history as a happy, devoted, lesbian couple raising, not only Bianca’s daughter Miranda, but also, a new baby together. And if soap opera art imitates life and election-day politics, there could even same-sex wedding bells ringing near Pine Valley soon.

A seasoned soap star, 37-year-old Braun has also appeared in CSI, The Ghost Whisperer, Cold Case and House, as well as the feature film Little Chenier and the upcoming Limbo Lounge. But has all that experience prepped Braun to do emotional battle with the residents of Pine Valley, including possibly, Bianca’s diva mom, Susan Lucci’s Erica Kane?

And while Braun’s Reese arrives on AMC, content, settled and relatively normal by soap standards, anything can happen. Braun chatted with about landing the coveted role of Bianca’s love interest, the lesbian fans who will inevitably fall for her, the possibility of tangling with Lucci, her insta-chemistry with Riegel, and their characters' "very" affectionate relationship.

Tracy E. Gilchrist: Hi Tamara, thanks for talking with SheWired.  I must confess. I’m not a soap opera aficionado. I have followed Bianca’s storyline tangentially but, you and I are good to go because my gay male co-worker, an All My Children devotee, coached me.

Tamara Braun: (Laughs) Really?

TG: Yes.  Even to the point of placing his Erica Kane doll on the wall between us.

TB: No. So are you looking at Erica Kane right now?

TG: He took her back. I think he’s afraid of exposing her too much. Oh. He’s putting her back now.

TB: Okay. Good. It’ll make the interview better now.


TG: Absolutely! So now we can get down to business.

TB: Well let’s do it.

TG: You recently moved to New York right?

TB: I did. I just moved a week ago Wednesday.

TG: From where?

TB: From Los Angeles.

TG: Ooh, That's a big one. I should get on to the issue at hand and why all the lesbians in the country are going to be absolutely crazy for you in a few weeks. But first, let’s talk about some of your soap background. You played Carly on General Hospital who is the daughter of a teen prostitute… is that correct?

TB: Alright. She was but she wasn’t…Well, yes, that is true. Yes…yes she was a hooker. She was just tying to get by.

TG: (Laughs) a hooker with a heart of gold.

TB: Absolutely a hooker with a heart of gold. She gave Carly up for adoption. When Carly actually met her mother, Bobbie was no longer a hooker. She was a nurse. She had made a wonderful life for herself.

TG: And yet, Carly still came back to wreak havoc on her mother’s life.

TB: Yeah.

TG: …and then on Days, you kidnapped your ex-lover?

TB: Yeah. Um… are you just bringing up bad things that I’ve done?

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TG: (Laughs) No… I’m actually going somewhere.

TB: Okay. Yes. I kidnapped my ex lover but with good reason. His wife… I was ill informed. Actually I was not ill informed. I didn’t listen to the people who had the right information because I had decided that his wife was a woman who was not his wife, but in my head she was his wife.

TG: If you're trying to lose me you haven't yet.

TB: So, I kidnapped her and then I got him and then his wife came looking for him. I had a whole bunch of people at gunpoint. It was fabulous.

TG: Oh my. Alright. As I said, I am going somewhere. So, would you say that Reese is one of the more down to earth, more normal characters that you’ve played?

TB: Ahhh. Isn’t that interesting? Yeah. Reese is pretty down to earth and normal. You know, in whatever sense you can say normal is. We all have our quirks.

TG: Going back to some of your former plotlines, what is one of your favorite, most outrageous plots that a character you’ve played has been involved with?

TB: Oh my gosh… the most outrageous. I've got to say. Most recently on Days, it was pretty outrageous because the character Ava…. I had been held captive in my room for years and my father was paying my psychiatrist to give me the wrong medication, which was making me crazy. And the reason was that he didn’t want me to remember that I saw him kill my mother. So, I was going crazy because of the medication he was giving me. That’s pretty outrageous.

TG: That works for me. Thank you.

TB: You’re welcome.

TG: Regarding AMC... were you approached for the role?

TB: I was.

TG: Had you followed the story? I mean, there’s much to keep up with regarding soap plots. I imagine while you’re on one it must be difficult to keep up with another one. But were you familiar with the storyline?

TB: I was not very familiar with the storyline. I knew that Eden Riegel played a character, Bianca, and that she was a lesbian. And that she was the first lesbian on daytime TV. I had not followed it. When I was approached by Chuck [Charles Pratt, Jr.], the head writer on AMC, he explained to me about the character and I was immediately intrigued.

TG: You and Eden get into some pretty fresh territory for daytime.

TB: What’s mostly groundbreaking about this is that they are together and they are having a family. They have a baby together. And that is huge. Bianca already has a little girl, so these are two women are in a committed relationship and that’s the most relevant thing. They’re not just dating. They’re in a relationship and having a family together. And taking on that challenge in an authentic way.

TG: Is there any back story you can reveal about Reese or is it all under cover?

TB: Hmm. Reese is an architect and she and Bianca met in Paris, where Bianca’s been living for the last year. For Reese, it was an immediate draw and attraction and pull. It was one of those loves that just takes you by surprise and there’s nothing you can really do about it. They have a really loving relationship. Reese and Miranda, who is Bianca’s daughter, who’s five. They hit it off right away and they’re very close. They’ve created their version of a family out there. Now that Bianca has had the baby. Oh, everyone knows they have the baby.

TG: Right. So that’s no big plot revelation but it would make me very popular if you would spill some secrets. Although it wouldn’t be good for you.

TB: It would. It would. I may get in trouble but you’d be doing well.

TG: Have you already started shooting?

TB: I did. I just finished my first week of shooting.

TG: How was it?

TB: It was great. Everybody is fantastic, really nice and very welcoming to me. And Eden and I have a great chemistry. It seems like we’ve known each other forever and we just met. To work with someone you just feel that connection with immediately, it makes the job so easy. It’s a great sisterhood already.

TG: Have you worked with Susan Lucci yet?

TB: I did. Today was the first day. And I love her. It was so fun. She was a complete professional.

TG: Did she do any high kicks for you now that she’s on Dancing with the Stars?

TB: She didn’t. But Tony [Dovolani], her dance partner just showed up and as soon as we were done, they were off to rehearsal. She told me her schedule… Oh my goodness! What these people do on DWTS, my hat is off to them. I applaud them.

TG: I’m sure you can’t spill about any plot lines, but can you let on if Reese goes toe to toe with Erica Kane at all? I know it’s supposed to be a very loving, happy situation out of the gate but I’m just wondering if there’s any sort of…

TB: Head butting? As of now, things are good but you never know what might come in the future.

TG: Would that be fun for you to throw down with Bianca’s mom?

TB: What’s fun for me as an actress is to have scenes that are really well written, where whether you're throwing down, as you say, or go head to head with another actress or actor on the show, that it’s based in something that’s true, which creates visceral reactions. I love that stuff. I like passionate, intense moments. So, I’d love to have that with any and everyone in the cast. There should be opportunity for that. I hope so.

TG: Well, my gay co-worker, the one with the Erica Kane doll, he said, “Alright, Bianca and Reese are all in love and happy with the baby but really, how long before the baby’s kidnapped or one of you heads off to the hospital and ends up with the wrong baby,” or something along those lines.

TB: (Gasps) tell him to bite his tongue. And I’ll be watching for him at the hospital if my baby ever has to check in.

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TG: Without giving it away, there must be some crazy stuff down the road.

TB: You know, I just started, so I’m not certain what’s in store for this couple in terms of crazy stuff that’s happening but hopefully it will be based in truth in what is going on. This issue, in life right now is so socially relevant and I’m so proud of ABC and AMC for wanting to tell this story.

TG: It's absolutely a prescient story. Can you give me any indication as to whether the hot topic of marriage will be broached?

TB: I believe that topic will be broached. I believe it will be and should be and YES. Absolutely.

TG: You’ve been on a few soaps already and I imagine you’ve amassed a couple of demographics of fans already, including gay men or soap queens, like I refer to my friend across the way here.

TB: What is your friend across the way’s name?

TG: Oh, he's Ross, Editor of

TB: Hi Ross.

TG: He says hi and that he’ll see you you on the show in a few weeks. So, playing Reese, you will undoubtedly garner a following of devoted lesbian fans. Are you prepared for screaming women when you walk down the street or at certain events?

TB: Oh I’m prepared for anybody that’s shouting good things. I’m prepared for it.

TG: Has Eden talked to you at all about having played Bianca and what it’s meant to her, and the fan base she’s developed over the years?

TB: We talked a little bit about it. She’s been open with me about what it means and how important it’s been to her to have played this role and what it taught her. She’s proud of playing this role. She’s been open with me on how important it’s been to the gay and lesbian community and how much they embraced her. I’m so excited to get to play with her in this.

TG: It’s going to be great. There are so many devoted fans.

TB: Yes. Very devoted. And they seem so thankful for the opportunity to be represented on daytime TV. To me it’s crazy that it’s a big issue, right now, in the 21st century. But one of the very interesting things Eden told me, because, just right off the bat, we’re very affectionate with each other. She was saying that years ago, initially, whenever she’d have a kiss, a big deal was made of it. And, now that doesn’t exist in the same way. Me personally, I wouldn’t have been able to play that role very well, because this character is affectionate. This character is warm and open, and for me to play a woman who’s in love, it’s important for me to be able to express that. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons they wanted me to play this. I don’t know. I’m glad that now it doesn’t need to be in the closet. It was almost as if the censors were even making the characters stay in the closet.

TG: They absolutely were. We are just beginning to make progress.

TB: It’s nice to have the freedom to play it honestly and openly.

TG: Well, that said… can you throw a bone to the fans? Are there any romantic scenes we might look forward to?

TB: I sure hope so.

TG: (Laughs) You’re good!

TB: I sure hope so.

TG: Is there anything else you’d like to say about the role?

TB: I’m just really thrilled to have the opportunity and I hope that all of us including the writers, producers and Eden and myself, that we can represent people who are really going through this accurately and we make them proud of what we’re doing.

Find out more about upcoming episodes, AMC characters and more at

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.