Rebecca Budig Bids 'Farewell' to All My Children: 'I Will Forever Be Grateful'

With her involvement in All My Children‘s online venture still up in the air, Rebecca Budig — who has played Pine Valley’s reformed badgirl, Greenlee Smythe du Pres Lavery, for the better part of a decade — is approaching Friday’s broadcast finale with mixed emotions.

“Some of my last scenes were…really emotional,” she tells TVLine candidly. “But then there were days where I was ready for the change and to move forward.”

In the following Q&A, Budig teases AMC‘s cliffhanger sendoff, discuses Prospect Park’s “smart” plans to move the sudser to the web, and reflects on an experience that gave her “some of the best friendships of my life.”

TVLINE | Thanks for chatting today!
Of course! I’m actually in New York for our shoot on The View (airing Friday at 11/10c). It’s a really emotional hour. It’s going to be really fun for people to see these cast members, so it’s definitely worth watching.

TVLINE | Now about that finale… What can you tease?
All I can say is that it’s a cliffhanger. It’s not wrapped up in a bow as was originally [planned].

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TVLINE | I’ve heard several of your cast members say that recently. Can you talk at all about how it was going to end before the Prospect Park save?
I have to say I don’t really know the particulars, I just know that they were going to tie loose ends up. That was the original intention, but when the show was bought by Prospect Park, they decided to go in a completely different direction.

TVLINE | What’s strange is that each of the final episodes this week have seemed to tie things up within each family. But does the finale sort of undo all of that?
Yeah, I think everyone is left on a cliffhanger, including people like Debbi Morgan (Angie) who will no longer be with the show after Friday’s finale.

TVLINE | OK, so you have to be tight-lipped, but the fans are dying to know if we’ll see Josh Duhamel back in the finale. ABC released a promo photo of Leo in a suit, so the assumption is…yes?
Oh, you know, they shot something with Josh when he was here in August and I think they were going to use that in the finale before All My Children was purchased by Prospect. Now don’t hold me to it, but I do believe that was the intention when the show was going to end one way. But it’s been changed now.

TVLINE | Is there anyone else you would have liked to see back on the show before the finale?
My ultimate prize was Josh returning, but I do love Anna Stuart, who played Greenlee’s mom. I wish I would have gotten to do something with her because we always had fun.

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TVLINE | It’s been announced that Cameron Mathison is sticking with the show when it moves online. Did the two of you have any conversations about his decision prior to that reveal, given that your two characters are so central to the series?
Oh yeah, we definitely talked. We’re very close friends who are a big part of each others lives on and off the show. But his decision was a little easier because he’s in California — I have a life back in New York. I will say that I think that Prospect Park is going to turn the show around and make it great. I believe they’re going to make it a success. I’m actually very excited to see what they do with it. They’re really smart, dedicated, and passionate about it, and not to say that ABC wasn’t, but Prospect Park is going to breathe new energy into the show. That’s exciting for All My Children and the fans.

TVLINE | Any update on your future with the show?
I have met with Prospect Park and we are still talking.

TVLINE | How were those last days on set for you? 
Some of my last scenes were with Alicia [Minshew], and those were just really emotional. I loved the way they were written and it really had a good mix of everything. When I read them, I called Alicia and I was very teary about it. But then there were days where I was ready for the change and to move forward. On the last show, Michael Knight gave a speech of course and I looked at Alicia and we started to cry like idiots. [Laughs] So, my emotions have run the gamut. You don’t really know how to grieve a show that is leaving the air but is still going to go on. It’s hard to be sad when there’s hope.

TVLINE | As a fan, I have to say that I’ve had a similar feeling watching the show this week.
You just don’t know what’s going to happen and who’s going to end up staying, but the show as it is right now is ultimately going to change. It will. So, I think that is a sad thing and you have to grieve the show as is it right now.

TVLINE | If you had to pinpoint any one thing you’re going to miss, what would it be?
Oh gosh, more than one! [Laughs] I’ve missed our crew in New York and now I’m missing our crew in L.A. Seeing Alicia and Cameron every day, you really get used to that, and those people are like family to me. I will really miss them a lot.

TVLINE | Let’s end with one of those fun, introspective questions: What does All My Children mean to you, be it career or otherwise?
I will forever be grateful for All My Children. It really started this path for me. This experience has been about growth as an actor, as a friend, and as a professional. I mean, you are loaded down with so many things on a soap and I’ve really learned a lot along the way. Also, I’ve developed some of the best friendships of my life.

How are you feeling about All My Children‘s broadcast finale? Hit the comments with your goodbyes to the show!