The CW will introduce the new neighbors of L.A.’s hippest apartment complex Tuesday when Melrose Place premieres, but among them will be returning stars Laura Leighton (Sydney Andrews) and Thomas Calabro (Michael Mancini).
“It’s kind of odd being back on the show, but odd in a good way,” says Leighton, 41. “Thomas and I have shared that mutual feeling about doing this all those years ago and now coming back and to play these roles again … it’s a little bit surreal but really fun.”
Adds Calabro, 50, “I just feel like I’m the luckiest guy on earth. I was on one hit show for seven years and then that bloody show comes back! And from what I can see, it’s going to be another hit. These kids are so talented and our writers are great. The show is beautiful. They’re bringing back all the best parts of the first time around, but this show is it’s own entity.”
That includes the set of 4616 Melrose Place. “Everyone who stepped onto the courtyard set has had the feeling of stepping back in time,” Leighton says. “This is a completely new set created to look like the old one — but after having gone through a really terrific remodel. … The blue doors are there and they completely bring back memories of shooting there, or scenes that happened there. It is a great feeling.”
Fans will recall that when Melrose Place went off the air in 1999, Sydney Andrews was left for dead after being hit by a car, and Dr. Michael Mancini was last seen helping Peter Burns and Amanda Woodward flee the country. Apparently, a lot can happen in 10 years.
In the premiere, Sydney is now the landlord of Melrose Place, and she’s been messing around with Michael’s estranged son David Breck, played by Shaun Sipos. “Sydney’s always been sort of doomed to be the center of controversy,” Leighton says, “and she’s very much in that position.”
Also returning is Josie Bissett, who played Jane Mancini. But as for the infamous Amanda Woodward, played by Heather Locklear, her comeback is still uncertain, although <a href="http://twatch.people.com/2009/08/21/heather-locklear-in-talks-to-reprise-melrose-place-role/" >Locklear is in talks with producers.
“Not only would it be exciting to have her back on the show, it would be exciting to have all of the old cast members back on the show at some point,” Calabro says. “They all brought their own unique persona and talent.”
In case the show’s writers need any help coming up with an Amanda storyline, Calabro has an idea: “There would be some bloody battle between Amanda and Michael,” he envisions. “What would be really fun is if we were fighting over the same woman! Now that would be interesting and different.” –Cynthia Wang, with reporting by Reagan Alexander and Susan Young
Tell us: Are you excited about Sydney and Michael’s return? What is your storyline for Amanda if she were to resurface?