Articles about Terri Conn
Catching Up With... Real-life Duo Austin Peck and Terri Conn (Soap Opera Digest - July 11, 2016)
Soap Opera Digest: You recently shot a short film, Jack & Diane, with former ONE LIFE TO LIVE Executive Producer Jennifer Pepperman. How did that come about?
Austin Peck: She approached us a while ago about an idea that she had that was related to long-
lost love rediscovered. She shared the inspiration that came for it and about two songs, John
Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane" and Dan Fogelberg's "Old Lang Syne." We really liked the
idea. We shot it at a bar in Brooklyn and it was good to see that Terri and I still have chemistry [laughs]! Because they say after you get married, you can lose your chemistry, but we still have that and it's wonderful. It was good to be a part of it and do something creative in an environment where we're a little bit more free, outside of certain constraints.
Terri Conn: It was great. I felt a little rusty [laughs] in the beginning but once we got going, I think we only did two takes each. It was really fun. I actually wish it lasted longer but we're hoping to continue with the momentum.
Digest: The short premiered at the Hoboken International Film Festival last month. How was it?
Peck: It was good. They had some really good stuff there. It was actually in Middletown, NY, because the theater in Hoboken had been affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Conn: It was so cool! It was in the Paramount Theatre, which has an old Hollywood feel to it, so that made it feel real. Danny Aiello got a lifetime achievement in film award and I got to introduce him for that, which was really fun. I had to write it, and I was a little nervous, but I ended up coming up with a really nice piece for him. And then he talked about his son [Danny Aiello III], who has since passed away, and worked on ONE LIFE TO LIVE as stunt coordinator for years. It was interesting because I think that soap connection made Danny think about his son. After I introduced the clips, he got up and said,"I wasn't planning on talking about this, but you, Terri, went on ONE LIFE TO LIVE and I don't know if any of you know this, but he was the stunt coordinator and he was my stunt double in almost every film that we watched in those clips." He got a little emotional about that, which you can imagine.
Digest: On a lighter note, what was it like to get dressed up again?
Conn: It was fun to get dressed up again. I didn't even have anything; I borrowed that dress from a friend. I forgot that I had it in my closet. She had given it to me for something else and I never wore it. Life's a little more crazy than back when I was single on AS THE WORLD TURNS and I would go out and buy a whole new outfit for all the events we used to have. When I first started on that show, there were events all the time.
Digest: Are you both actively pursuing roles?
Peck: We're trying to get more on the creative side in terms of creating content. I'm working with some young filmmakers in a production company called Found Generation Films. We're collaborating on some projects. We're working on a horror movie, and Terri and I are working
on another film that we're co-producing and Terri is starring in and I'm co-starring in. We're also collaborating with Jennifer Pepperman on this great thing she wrote, a high school drama. We're working with a man named Paul Zimmerman, who wrote a great screenplay. It's
a thriller/conspiracy piece that we'll be shooting. And I'm writing, as well. It's really about hooking up with people who have the same goal, which is to tell stories. The most fantastic
thing about right now is that with technology, you're not limited. If you use your creativity,
use your ingenuity, you can make things happen. We are not waiting for the phone to ring.
Conn: A couple of the last auditions I've had, I passed on because the projects were just gross.
Peck: I have turned down some things that I didn't even want to go in on because I read the first line, and the first line was something totally crass. I am an actor and I do believe I play a part, but I can't help but be aware that I have five children, and my kids can see certain things with the Internet the way it is. I realize that I have standards for myself and I set standards for my children.
Digest: Speaking of, how are your kids?
Conn: They're all good! Well, as good as a toddler and an 11-month-old can be, and going into the tween years with the other one. We're all over the map. So, we're not bored!
Peck: They're good. Aidan just graduated from eighth grade, and Roman graduated from fifth grade.
Digest: You recently celebrated your fifth anniversary.
Conn: It really has flown by.
Peck: We've known each other for 10 years.
Conn: That blows my mind.
Peck: And we've been married for half of it, which is really wild.
Digest: What is your secret to a happy marriage?
Peck: God. Love.
Conn: And willingness to be open...
Peck: Not to cut you off, but ...
Conn: Not interrupting [laughs].
Peck: It's cliché but to be honest, it's love, as a verb, an action. Learning how to apologize, take responsibility for one's self. Having grace for each other's frailties. Like, I love her, so what do I need to do? I need to be gracious. I love her, so what do I do? I need to be kinder. I love her, so what do I do? I need to apologize and make amends. I love her, so what do I need to do? I need to cook dinner.
Conn: And he's a good cook, too!
Peck: I think if you have two people who are willing, then that really helps.
Conn: And trying to have fun. Even at the grocery store, doing the mundane things. Trying to make them fun.
Digest: Do you do all those things together?
Conn: We do everything together. We're together all the time!
Peck: We're together all the time. We act together, we write together, we parent together. And we don't get tired of each other's company, which is great. Terri's a lot less irritable
than I am. I can be irritable.
Digest: What do you think about when you look back on your soap days?
Conn: Oh, I miss it so much. It was such a great job. And I would love to do it again.
Peck: Working on a soap opera is one of the best jobs ever. That is the truth.
Conn: I knew it at the time, but I really know it now!
Peck: As far as challenging and creating, a soap is the best job.
Digest: Would you sign on if a soap from the West Coast came calling?
Conn: Absolutely. It would be a bit of juggling schedules and going back and forth, but we
would figure it out. We would have to. There aren't any left here!
50 And Fabulous: The stars headed west in November 2015 to celebrate DAYS's 50th anniversary. "It was a great party!" enthuses Conn. Notes Peck, "I didn't go to my high school reunion and I didn't go to
college, so it was like both of those crammed into one. It was fun for me. I got on the show around the time I would have graduated from college, and then I was on the show for some very formative years, most of my 20s, some of my 30s, so it was just amazing to see those people from that time. Seeing Thyme Lewis [ex-Jonah) was a trip. He looks the same! It was cool to see how good everybody still looked. We always have the image of not seeing people for
a long time and they'll be fat and bald or something, like, 'What happened to them?' But everyone's an actor, so everyone is taking care or themselves and being very healthy. Everyone looked amazing."
Just The Facts
Alumni Report: Peck played Austin on DAYS (1995-2002, 2005-06), Brad on AS THE
WORLD TURNS (2007-09) and Rick on ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2011-12). Conn played Katie on ATWT (1998-2010) and Aubrey on OLTL (2010-11).
We Are Family: The duo tied the knot on July 1, 2011. Their blended family includes: Aidan, 14, and Roman, 11, from Peck's first marriage; Julia, 12, from Conn's first marriage; and Keira, born on November 6, 2012, and Morgan, who will turn 1 on July 18.
Puppy Love: "We have a new dog," shares Peck "He's 8 months old and he's not listening. He ate our leather ottoman. He's an Australian Cattle and Labrador mix. His name is Forrest as in Gump. We didn't change it because it really suits him." Adds Conn, "So everyone always says, 'Run, Forrest, run!"
Caption - Oakdale High: The couple ran into ATWT alum Colleen Zenk (ex-Barbara) at the Hoboken International Film Festival. "It was so fun to see her," enthuses Conn. "It was a really nice reunion."
ATWT Alums In New Short Film (Soap Opera Digest online - June 2, 2016) Austin Peck (ex-Brad, ATWT et al) and wife, Terri Conn (ex-Katie, ATWT et al) have teamed up with former ONE LIFE TO LIVE Executive Producer Jennifer Pepperman for an award-winning short film, Jack & Diane, which briefly reunites a duo who had been involved years earlier.
"In the age of social media, where you're reconnecting with people from their past, I had an idea of, ‘What if you met that one that got away 20 years later in a bar? Would you still have all these same feelings? Would it be the same?'" explains Pepperman. "I just started writing and I sent it to Austin and Terri and they both loved it and said, ‘We gotta do this.'" Pepperman assembled a team to film on location in Brooklyn, NY. "We shot it at a great bar on 3rd Avenue called Canal Bar and we only had the bar for a handful of hours and it was actually sort of a mad dash. It's a good thing we're soap opera people and know how to work really quickly! We actually shot the whole thing in only about four hours."
Of reconnecting with Peck and Conn, Pepperman raves, "I'm a fan of both of them, they're both amazing, very talented, really giving actors and great to work with as a director. I needed the guy to be stunningly handsome and I needed the woman character to also be very beautiful but have an inner weight to her. I think one of the things that's amazing about Terri is that she's so pretty, but she has such a high degree of sensitivity and depth. She can do comedy, she can be funny, but she also has an inner soul that just gives a gravity to what she does. I also needed the two characters to have a lot of history together, which Austin and Terri clearly have."
The response to the film has been "really great," enthuses Pepperman. "I've been surprised by how much people have really liked it, so that's fun, as well." Jack & Diane recently won an Award of Excellence in the IndieFEST. "It's a really fantastic festival and we're very excited about that," says Pepperman. "We're also playing in the Hoboken International Film Festival on June 4 at 4p.m. Austin and Terri will be there, so it would be a good opportunity for any fans of theirs who want to meet them and talk to them."
Old Friends, New Lives - It Takes Two (ABC Soaps In Depth - February 15, 2016) Former ONE LIFE TO LIVE stars Austin Peck (Rick) and Terri Conn (Aubrey) are making it all work
Following the conclusion of AS THE WORLD TURNS, where they'd fallen in love while playing Brad and Katie, Austin Peck and Terri Conn were thrilled to land on ONE LIFE TO LIVE as Rick and Aubrey. "The long-term story was going to somehow hook up our characters - that was the goal," Peck reveals. "But they never got to that because of [the soap's cancelation]." While sad to again be saying good-bye to friends, the couple, who wed in 2011, went on to share much more.
Not only did marriage mean blending their two existing families, but also, Conn and Peck have since had two more children together. Now taking up seats in their minivan are two boys and three girls, the youngest of which was born last July. "She's like the family room. Everyone just gathers around her," Peck laughs of the way in which Morgan, the clan's seventh member, has bonded them.
As one can imagine, just figuring out schedules and visitation dates with their children's other parents is a neat trick, but the couple are taking the challenges day by day. "It's continually moving and having to adapt to a new situation," acknowledges Conn, who says that she and her hubby are currently writing a sitcom based on the experience. "From our own children to their friends, everybody loves Austin, because he's a big kid. But he's also very good at disciplining."
The Real Deal
With the remaining soaps all being in California, Conn and Peck decided to find a new means of support closer to home. They've now become real estate agents in affluent Bergen County, NJ. "We didn't want to completely give up acting," Conn explains. "But real estate was a career that we could share and that one of us could continue if the other booked a film or something."
When not closing escrows, the duo have been taking turns teaching an acting class. They've also recently teamed up with a former ATWT/OLTL director/producer to create Jack And Diane, a short ﬁlm in which former lovers reconnect. "We've moved right back into working together seamlessly," says Conn, "but there was just more of a richness to it."
Caption: "What was supposed to be three to six episodes turned into nine months of work," Peck recalls of his OLTL experience. "It was fun to play such a dastardly person, while at the same time not making him unlikeable."
Caption: "I've watched Terri's work - she always has chemistry with the people she works with," says Peck.
Caption: The challenges of a blended family "can be really funny," says Conn, "when you're just really honest about them."
Old Friends, New Lives - Better Together (CBS Soaps In Depth - February 8, 2016) Former AS THE WORLD TURNS stars Austin Peck (Brad) and Terri Conn (Katie) are making it all work
The playful romance shared by AS THE WORLD TURNS' Brad and Katie is one of the many fond memories that fans still smile about when reflecting on Oakdale. For their portrayers, Austin Peck and Terri Conn, who also fell in love, saying good-bye to the soap was bittersweet, because in real life, they rode off into the sunset together. "I think we had it right off the bat," Conn confides of their connection. "It was one of those things that you can't really create or put your finger on — sometimes it just happens."
Married in 2011, the couple embarked on what would become a wild adventure. Not only did they blend their two existing families. but they've since had two more children together. Now taking up seats in the Pecks' minivan are two boys and three girls, the youngest of which (Morgan) is just six months old. "She's like the family room. Everyone just gathers around her," Peck laughs of the way in which the seventh member of the clan has bonded them. "She's just a really chill baby."
As one can imagine, just coordinating their calendars and figuring out schedules and visitation dates with their children's other parents is a neat trick, but the actors are taking the challenges day by day. "It's continually moving and having to adapt to a new situation and relationships," acknowledges Conn, who says that she and her hubby are currently writing a sitcom based on the experience. "From our own children to their friends, everybody loves Austin, because he's the big kid that chases them and throws them around. But then he's also very good at saying, ‘Okay, I'm going to be the parent now' and then disciplining."
The Real Deal
After the conclusion of ONE LIFE TO LIVE, where both actors had gone on to work after ATWT, it seemed prudent to explore an alternate means of supporting themselves. Following Conn's mother, Cathy, into real estate, they've now become successful agents working with Keller Williams Realty in affluent Bergen County, NJ (visit PeckPropertiesNJ.com). "Terri has a really strong aptitude for it," Peck observes of his dedicated wife. "I‘ve learned a lot from her."
When not closing escrows, the couple have been taking turns teaching an acting class in New York. They've also recently teamed up with director/producer Jennifer Pepperman (from ATWT and
OLTL) to create Jack And Diane, a short ﬁlm about former lovers who reconnect. "We've both grown so much as people and can take that into [our performance]. We're different now," Conn suggests. "We've moved right back into working together seamlessly, but there was more of a richness to it."
Caption: "She is just the sweetest, calmest little joy," Conn says of baby Morgan. "It's almost like the chaos is just all around her, and she just sits there smiling."
Caption: "Brad's death and the aftermath of that and when he came back as a ghost was incredibly difficult to shoot," Conn recalls. "I was exhausted emotionally, but I was so happy to have done it."
Caption: "Our favorite storyline was when Brad was actively pursuing Katie and she was rejecting him," Peck recalls. "I was riding a bike that fell apart, and I went into the lake!"
On The Town (CBS Soaps In Depth - January 11, 2016) "This is my favorite event of the year," Terri Conn (Katie, AS THE WORLD TURNS), here with Tom Degnan (Adam, ATWT), shared of the annual celebrity bartending event for Stockings With Care. "It's a fantastic way to kick off the season - by sharing."
On The Town (ABC Soaps In Depth - January 4, 2016) OLTL's Terri Conn (Aubrey) and hubby Austin Peck (Rick) helped out at Stockings With Care's annual celebrity bartending night. "Knowing that we have a small part in keeping the magic of Christmas alive feels incredibly purposeful," she shared.