The good news is that given how far ahead the show tapes Carly could remain on-screen for quite some time. Another casting shocker quickly occurred when Louise Sorel (Vivian) told TV Guide that she, too, was on her way out.
Chappell and Sorel will be deeply missed. Carly is the one true viable threat to super-duo Bo and Hope. Vivian entertains viewers with comedy one moment and turns calculatingly evil the next. (Was there ever anything more chilling in soaps than Vivian taunting Carly via walkie talkie after she buried her alive back in 1993?)
Read on to hear Chappell's thoughts on leaving Salem a second time and what her plans are for the future.
How are fans reacting to your news about leaving 'Days'?
They're being lovely and supportive. I'm basically retiring. That's my news.
You are not.
I am. I'm going to focus on my family and focus on the Web. (Chappell executive produces and stars in the popular Internet series 'Venice.') If something comes along that's short term, I have no problem with that. This has been a wonderful career -- I'm writing a book about my experiences in daytime. Without sounding too crass, I've gotten around. (In addition to two 'Days' stints Chappell also appeared on 'Santa Barbara,' 'One Life to Live' and 'Guiding Light,' where she won an Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2002.) I have a lot that I want to say and this is a time in my life where I want to do the things that I want to do and create the vision that I want to create and go from there.
We're in a time of great change with soap operas being canceled and new ones starting on the Web like 'Venice.' People are looking to you because you've made a success of it.
I feel like I've learned a lot in the last two years. That's all it's been, a learning experience. I feel we're in a place where we understand how to make this work. It's taken a lot of people, a lot of great minds, but yeah, I feel good about what we've done and where we are headed.
How would you like to see Carly leave Salem?
I always used to say to [head writer] Jill Lorie Hurst on 'GL' that it would be great for [my character] Olivia to get hit by a bus filled with student clowns going to a clown convention. There's something about Carly stepping off the curb and getting rid of her by a bus [that's oddly appealing]. I have loved playing this character. I had another job offer [after 'GL'], but the reason I went back [in 2009] to 'Days' is that I had created such bad energy when I was there before. I was a young, messed up person. I really wanted to go back and give this crew and these people good energy, laughs and entertainment. I know it sounds weird -- I'm an actor out of work -- but I feel I accomplished that. I walk away feeling so proud of what I did. I've had a long career. My family and I are in a very lovely place and I get to do these wonderfully creative things with great people [with my Web series].
I'll always be a part of the daytime community because I'm going to [take] these lovely faces and this talent and put them to work in something that allows them the freedom to do really anything they want to do. That's where my heart is. That's what my goal is.
Have you read 'I'm Just Sayin,' your former 'GL' co-star Kim Zimmer's upcoming memoir?
I've read some excerpts. I haven't seen my name yet, so I'm a little bit put off by that. [Laughs] My sweet Zimmer and I were texting today. She said, "Now what role are you writing for me in your [next Web series] 'The Grove?'" And I have!
'The Grove' isn't based on the outdoor shopping mall in Los Angeles' Fairfax area, is it?
No. It's not. It's more about a small community, actual groves, lemon groves, orange groves. It's based on my Irish Catholic upbringing and it's about two Irish Catholic families. It's working class versus the nouveau-riche. They're connected through history.
Will you miss Carly on 'Days'? Sound off in the comments.