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THE ANDREA EVANS INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

Evans- mainshot.jpgMICHAEL:

You’re finally back at your old stomping ground at One Life to Live. We are thrilled your back!

ANDREA:

I am thrilled, too!

MICHAEL:

You are such a kick to watch! I find myself laughing out loud during some of your scenes. I think this is the best Tina you have been. What’s fun about playing her?

ANDREA:

Everything. She is such a fun character. She is kind of a bigger than life character. She is driven, a little flaky but also a little smart. She is fun and sexy. She is a little bit of everything, and I think that’s what people can relate to. Tina is always the underdog in a way, because she is always trying to better her life, but always does it the wrong way.

MICHAEL:

You recently ended your run as Rebecca Hotchkiss on “Passions”. So why did you decide to come to “OLTL” at this point in time?

ANDREA:

I think it was always in the back of my mind that I would probably go back. I did not know for how long, though. I knew my audience wanted me to, and you guys are important to me. I had been in talks with ABC, in what seemed like forever. Executive Producer, Frank Valentini at “OLTL” had been in discussions with me, and we both agreed we wanted “Passions” to have its shot and stay there, and give it all I got while it was on the air. I loved that show. Once “Passions” went down, it really freed us up to work something out. Frank, and head writer, Ron Carlivati were kind of enough to work around my schedule and allow me to do this.

MICHAEL:

It seems like a great arrangement. You live in LA and fly to New York to tape episodes of the show. How does that work?

Frank Valentini.jpgANDREA:

I do many shows in a few days. I think I have done 18 shows in three and half days. That’s how I do it. I spend the majority of my time here in Los Angeles. I have a daughter and family which is the most important thing to me. I need to make sure her routine is disturbed as little as possible.

MICHAEL:

Is it harder to shoot all your scenes in one swoop because of the continuity, or does it seem a bit disjointed to you as an actress?

ANDREA:

It’s fine. It’s kind of like doing a mini-film before I go. Having done film, it’s like an odd cross for me between a soap and a film.

MICHAEL:

OK we need to discuss the new addition to Tina’s family, her dog, “David Vickers!” The best soap dog ever and he is Tina’s new sidekick.

ANDREA:

Who is just the sweetest thing!

MICHAEL:

What is “David Vickers” real life name? You seem to get along swimmingly.

ANDREA:

“David Vickers” name is Tallulah. I have never met a dog I didn’t get along with. I am a true animal lover and that’s one of the ways Frank tried to entice me back by saying, “I am going to give you a dog.”

tallulah.jpegMICHAEL:

I thought it was brilliant plot device.

ANDREA:

It’s brilliant and I am thrilled. When I am in New York it helps me ease the pain of being away from my own two dogs.

MICHAEL:

Why is Tallulah so terrific on screen?

ANDREA:

She is the perfect concept dog. On “Passions”, I worked with some dogs, but Tallulah is the best animal I have ever seen on set. She does not bark between scenes. You don’t have to remove her from the set after a scene is done. She puts her belly on the cold floor and she loves it.

MICHAEL:

Tina seems to have a bit more humanity to her this time around. She used to be very mean to her sister, Viki.

ANDREA:

She always did love Viki in an odd way. Tina gets things twisted up, and she gets convinced to do things. Remember when she came back, and was so mean to Viki, it was that she was being convinced to do that because of Mitch Laurence. Tina gets misguided easily by men. But how many women do we know like that? That’s a common problem. I think those are the things that make Tina wonderful. She also has done some nice wonderful things for Viki, and tried to save her on many occasions and loved her and her family. Tina gets…. side-tracked, shall we say?

MICHAEL:

When you returned for the 40th anniversary episodes you only had short scene with Viki at the airport. Many die-hard fans felt perhaps short changed. But I hear there are more Tina and Viki moments on the way!

ANDREA:

There will be more Tina/Viki absolutely. I think Ron Carlivati tried to bring in a scene with us before Erika Slezak (Viki) left for her vacation. Between our two schedules… to get me their before the 40th anniversary, and her leaving on her vacation was challenging. He really struggled to find the opportunity for us to have any scenes at all under those circumstances. I promise you there will be a lot more to come.

MICHAEL:

Tina is part of the first family of Llanview, The Lord’s. How is working with Erika Slezak?

Erika Slezak.jpgANDREA:

I love working with Erika. Erika has a very special place in my heart, because if there is another actress in this business who I have worked with for so long, and learned so much from it would be Erika. I have known her longer than my husband. She knew me before my first marriage, and through my first marriage. She knew me when I was a teenager. It’s a very long lasting relationship, and one I treasure.

MICHAEL:

You have a new Todd Manning to work with. Your last go round, Roger Howarth was playing the role, now we have Trevor St. John. How has that been?

ANDREA:

I am just getting to know him. I am enjoying working with him very much.

MICHAEL:

Tina is being blackmailed by Tess, Jessica’s alter. One recent episode had Bo and John making Tina squirm when they kept intimating there is something not quite right with Jessica. Tina was hilarious. How is working with Bree Williamson (Jess/Tess)?

ANDREA:

I had not worked with Bree before, but with Erin Torpey as Jessica, when she was a little girl. I think Bree is very talented!

Andrea- leopard print.jpgMICHAEL:

What can Tina Lord Roberts’s fans look forward to in the coming months?

ANDREA:

I think more vintage Tina and more what the fans want to see. I think the fans were very happy to have Tina come back for the 40th anniversary. We did the Medorra storyline, which is very 80’s Tina. Totally 80’s Tina….. and gave the audience what they want. I think now, they want to see her blend in to her roots with the family, and involved in more of the storylines that are in Llanview.

MICHAEL:

Will she have a love interest?

ANDREA:

Yes, I know she will.

MICHAEL:

Is it anybody currently on the canvas?

ANDREA:

I can’t tell you more than that.

MICHAEL:

How did you feel when “Passions” run ended? Rebecca was such an ‘over-the-top’ character, such as you are famous for in your career for playing.

ANDREA:

I think that is a good way to put it. I was sad. It was a bittersweet thing. I was there eight years, and you grow to love the situation. It’s the breaking up of a family, and it’s hard and a big adjustment. I knew long before “Passions” finally ended, that it would be sad to go. For many people it meant the end of working for awhile, which is hard and devastating in this economy we are in. Nobody wants to be in that situation. So it was very difficult.

Liza and Andrea.jpgMICHAEL:

Do you stay in touch with your former on-screen daughter, Liza Huber (Ex-Gwen)?

ANDREA:

Liza and I are close, and Kim Ulrich (Ex-Ivy) and I are close. Those are pretty much the actors that I have really stayed close with and of course, the crew. I am quite the crew chick! I love the cameramen. We share a love of sports. We text each other quite frequently.

MICHAEL:

What is your favorite sport?

ANDREA:

I love Baseball; I am a big Chicago Cubs fan.

MICHAEL:

So you must be happy?

ANDREA:

I am happy.

MICHAEL:

Well, I am from Milwaukee!

ANDREA:

Are you a cheesehead?

MICHAEL:

Yes. And I am not happy with what is going on right now. The Brewers are sinking fast out of the playoff race while the Cubs clinched the Division title.

ANDREA:

You know someone from Chicago, is the only person going to say that to you!

MICHAEL:

Milwaukee always bombs in the end. It’s a tradition!

ANDREA:

Yeah, but Milwaukee had done better than the Cubs in the last hundred years or something.

MICHAEL:

Will you go to a Cubs game if they make it into the World Series?

ANDREA:

I would love to. I have to admit, I have not been able to follow it as much, since I have been commuting. Also, with my daughter, I am not as up on things as I should be. My daughter is now four and half so that also keeps me very busy.

Andrea and Kylie.jpgMICHAEL:

Your daughter is named Kylie, which is very cute. What is the best thing about motherhood?

ANDREA:

All of it! It’s what I expected and that much more. The best part of it is the stuff it brings out in you. I desperately wanted a child, and all women don’t feel that way contrary to popular belief. I certainly did. I was driven during my “Passions” years. It was a good time for me to achieve that goal. I knew I wanted it, and I knew I had to have it. However, my thoughts about it paled in the reality of it, and it’s so life-changing, view-changing, and awe-inspiring. I just love it.

MICHAEL:

Are there some moments from your time on “OLTL” where you thought you: “hit it out of the ballpark” and felt great about the work you did that day?

ANDREA:

It’s been so many years. I always tried to leave the set feeling good. The thing I hate, are the days when you leave thinking, “Ooh… I could have done that better.” I love my job. I love the industry. I love daytime, and I always like to leave it feeling I did my absolute best. The days I feel not as good about it are hard.

MICHAEL:

Because on daytime soaps, things move so fast, you can’t re-tape an episode?

ANDREA:

….Or sometimes something occurs to you later and you are like, “Oh. I should’ve done that!” A couple weeks ago on a plane back to LA I was trying to sleep, and I woke up going, “Oh. I should have done that!”

MICHAEL:

What makes Andrea Evans and her portrayal of Tina so iconic that everyone said, “The bitch is back!”? What do you think makes Tina so captivating to the audience?

ANDREA:

I think there are a few soap roles like that. I am very fortunate to have embodied one of them. I think there are a handful of them that have reached the audience in a special way. I think it’s just the marrying of the character and the actor. I think actors become known for a role, for a reason. It’s because that role really suited them in the moment in time they are playing it. It may be a big melding of the two. I am fortunate to be included in that group. That’s why it was important to me to bring Tina back in a way that did the fans justice and in the right way.

MICHAEL:

You are so involved with City of Hope and charitable efforts. Tell us all about it?

andrea in black.jpgANDREA:

I am the Celebrity Ambassador for City of Hope’s, Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer. I have been for 8 years. I became involved because my mother was an 18 year breast cancer survivor, and years ago, I started doing the walks as a celebrity. I saw several celebrities show up and then leave in a limo. Personally, I think that’s wrong. If I am going to do that walk… I do it. I want to make myself available for the people to come up and talk to me. When City of Hope approached me, I thought it was an opportunity to make a difference. My fans have helped raised over 25 million dollars. It is a phenomenal amount and that keeps me going. I have known women everywhere who struggle with this disease or family members who have lost their battle, or family members who have just started their battle. I have had women show me their mastectomy scars. I am touched that they want to share this with me. I am happy to be there, and to walk and to honor those who are fighting their battle, and who have lost their battle, and to honor the survivors like my mother, who are continuing to win that battle. To raise money for better research, it’s a fabulous thing. I take it very much to heart.

MICHAEL:

You are set to do several Walk for Hope’s around the country.

ANDREA:

I am doing a walk in Chicago on October 12th and a walk in Los Angeles on November 9th. For more information you can go to www.walk4hope.org.

MICHAEL:

And now you have launched a very special line of soaps for the consumer and your fans, ”Soap for Hope”.  Tell us about how this came about?

ANDREA:

I have teamed up with a company called, “LATHER” for this special project. It’s called Sandalwood Rose Soap. www.lather.com I have been a fan of their products forever, and I have sensitive skin. They use no dyes, their soaps are all natural and olive oil based. One of the struggles with the soap, is we wanted it to be pink, because we don’t use any dye. So, what we used were rose petals which gives it a slightly pink appearance without dyes. They do no animal testing and their products are very pure. Some of their products are unscented. So people should definitely give it a whirl!

MICHAEL:

And there is a big launch party here in Southern California this weekend….

ANDREA:

This Saturday, September 27th, we are having our launch party in Pasadena, where we are bringing out our, “Soaps for Hope”. The product came out great and you can buy them individually or in a boxed-set, and all the proceeds go to City of Hope Breast Cancer Treatment. So it’s a wonderful cause. I know the fan response has been so good, that they have actually been up on the website before the launch because of the fan demand of the soaps. I am going to be at the, “Lather” store from 2-4PM on Colorado Blvd this coming weekend, and October 1, I will be in the Phoenix store in Scottsdale. If you go to www.andreaevans.com you can also find this great product.

MICHAEL:

You also recently helped launch City of Hope’s very own satellite radio music channel…The Pink Channel.

ANDREA:

Yes. I hosted a week on the Pink Channel and I loved it and had so much fun. It’s a music channel on XM Satellite Radio. I did all the host wrap-arounds and introduced people and did salutes to people. I love doing radio, so that was so much fun. The channel is about cancer awareness and City of Hope. It was a fabulous thing to do. It’s a cause near to my heart and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

MICHAEL:

When you get emails from fans to your website, what are they talking about…Tina?

ANDREA:

I have a Web mistress who helps me with everything. A lot of it is about television obviously, and even when I was on other shows, it was always about Tina.

MICHAEL:

Doesn’t anyone remember you were Patty Williams on “Y&R”?

ANDREA:

That’s the one that gets forgotten for some reason. It was a good girl. I guess I was born to be bad, because the audience response is that they like me much more in the bad girl role, which is fine, or as they call me in my favorite magazine from Australia, “The Super-Bitch”.

MICHAEL:

Do you ever miss the day-to-day of living and working in New York?

ANDREA:

In a way, I have the best of worlds and so I can’t complain. My oldest and dearest girlfriends are in New York. So I get a lot of girlfriend time there which I don’t here in LA. One of my friends is Renata the makeup woman at “OLTL”. She is like the sister I never had. To have time with her like that again is fabulous.

MICHAEL:

How is working with “OLTL” head writer, Ron Carlivati?

OLTL cast.jpgANDREA:

He is wonderful. I just love him. I think he and Frank Valentini have restored a vision to “OLTL” that wasn’t there.

MICHAEL:

It kind of lost its way in the past, but it’s been back on track over the last year or so. Wouldn’t you agree?

ANDREA:

I think so, and that is one of the reasons I wanted to come back. I felt really safe in their hands to do this. It’s really good.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alum Kevin Spirtas Chats On His Heart-Tugging Series ‘After Forever’ & Love and Life In Your 50s

Filling the void in the digital drama series arena, the eight episodes first season of After Forever (available on Amazon), tackles the journey of a two middle-aged gay men in their 50’s in a deep romantic relationship, and looks at it through its various stages of love, loss, and moving on with one’s life when suddenly your world is turned upside down, when one of them has died.

While the LGBT community has seen other love-centric and dramatic web series, none have really taken a deep dive into the difficulties of starting anew in your 50’s or even older.  Leave it to former Days of our Lives alum and Broadway producer, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley), along with another DAYS alum, writer, Michael Slade, and the two put their shared experiences, and dramatic ideas into this emotional series, that is not limited to anyone who is gay, but touches on the universal themes that anyone may have, or will experience, at one time in their lives.

Spirtas, brought along with him none some notables for his passion project.  First, none other than former Prospect Park One Life to Live EP, Jennifer Pepperman, to bring his vision to life, and some amazing co-stars: Mitchell Anderson (Ex-Party Of Five), MIchael Urie (Ugly Betty), Cady Huffman (Ex-OLTL), Anita Gillette, Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) to  name just a few.

While the series bowed a little over a month ago, if you haven’t taken a look, check out our interview with Spirtas for some juicy insight into the making of and the construct of, After Forever.  Following that, check out the teaser for the series, and the video for the theme song, “My Forever” by Lio Nicol which becomes available tomorrow June 4th on Amazon and iTunes.

What was the genesis of the idea for the series?

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

KEVIN:  Patrika Darbo, came to New York close to 7 years ago. She had called me ahead of time, and said, “I was asked to present at the ISA Awards, and you’re coming with me.”  She was getting very involved in the world of the web series. I looked at this amazing presentation of content that was being shown at the ISA’s.  I was blown away. It was better than half the stuff on TV, theater, or film. At that point, I made a mad rush for a gentleman by the name of Sebastian La Cause.  Sebastian had won several awards that night and his material was so well presented, and beautifully shot, and his acting was very unique.

Sebastian La Cause was the star of the web series Hustling, right?

KEVIN:  Yes, it was Hustling, the first season.  I went up to him and I said, “I’m Kevin Spirtas. I’m an actor, I did a soap …”  He goes, “Kevin, I know who you are.” I was starstruck, and impressed, and inspired, because he is exactly the kind of person I want to work with.  He is talented, and creative and I want to work with those kind of people. I said to him, “If you do a second season, I’d love to be considered for anything you might be doing.”  Wouldn’t you know? He wrote me in. I fell in love with the story. I was very clear to me, that you have to start creating for yourself, because creating your own content in this industry now is king.  The third season of Hustling then crossed me over to appearing in Winterthorne.  That was also the first year that NATAS opened up the judging to the digital world.  I got nominated for an Emmy. It inspired me to start thinking about, ‘What do I know?  What do I have in my life that I feel is worth sharing and putting out there to help heal, or inspire?’  I had been producing in New York City for 3 years at this point.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

It becomes every performer’s concern, as they get older, that they can still be considered for the roles they would like to play.  Sometimes, actors can grow into the types of roles, and sometimes they’ve expired past those types of roles. Was creating After Forever also a way to re-enter being part of the conversation?

KEVIN:  Well, I was hoping to write something for myself … because I just didn’t see the roles coming toward me anymore.  My name wasn’t on them as I imagined them or had seen them in the past. I was worried about that. I thought, “If I have a chance to keep working, I’ve got to keep current.”

And somehow, you and Michael Slade ran into each other, and thus, a collaboration began that would eventually turn into After Forever?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Then, I ran into Michael Slade at a gym… I had never met him before, he was a writer on Days as I was leaving the show.  And I remember saying to myself, “wouldn’t it be great to work with somebody, and see what kind of story we could come up with?”  Unbeknownst to me, Michael, at that particular time in his life, was working on the very same type of story and idea about what it’s like to be who he is, at his age, where he’s at, and what he knows.  I pitched him this idea: “I think there’s some really funny ideas I could express to the world about my experience as a single gay man at this point.” He said, “Call me.” In short, he was living life as a single gay man, and I was living life as a single gay man, and that’s how After Forever was born.  Michael had the experience of losing his long-time partner of 25 years.  There’s a part in the story where Brian and Jason are going along and they have everything in their life that they could possibly want, and then they don’t, because Jason is diagnosed with cancer and it takes him away.

Do we see Jason die in this?

KEVIN:  You just might! … It’s how we incorporated him in the story…

Courtesy/AfterForever

After Forever bounces back and forth in time, obviously, that was part of the unique structure of the storytelling?

KEVIN:  It does do that.  It tells the story through a lot of present, and a lot of flashbacks.  There is also the present with Brian, and his memory of Jason. As Brian is going through the next chapter of his life as a single man, he has to look at his life and learn how to continue to love even though the person’s not there.  When someone dies, the love doesn’t die, the relationship doesn’t die, it keeps growing on a certain level. So, if he turns around, and he sees him, is it real? Is it him working it out in his own mind? It’s a tool to tell more story …

Tell me about casting Mitchell Anderson?  He had retired and moved to Atlanta, and he ends up playing the love of Brian’s life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  When Michael and I were writing, we threw out, “Who do you think would play this part?”  One day, I just dropped the name “Mitchell Anderson” I said, “I just see him as Jason.” Michael said to me, “Kevin, he’s retired.”  I just knew Mitchell and I had great history in the business. We started off as actors together in class. He went one direction, I went another, then he left the business, but I just felt there was something about his persona – not to mention his talent – his unique humor, his sensibility, and style, so I said, “I think we should ask him.”  We did. Mitchell said, “Okay, Kevin. Let me read the script.” He called back immediately after receiving it, and said, “I would love to do this!” I have not stopped thanking him every day. He’s so good in it.

The main character of Brian goes on this journey: he meets other guys, some appear younger than others! (Laughs)

KEVIN:  It’s a year after Jason is gone, Brian is trying to settle into his new life, but he’s guilty that his partner has died.  He has sadness, grief, and so much love for Jason that he’s having trouble moving forward, and everyone is trying to push him forward.  Brian is not necessarily ready, but sometimes his body is ready, while emotionally, he’s not. It’s how we deal with all that navigation of seeing good-looking guys.  He meets a guy in the middle of the series, and it starts to open up the doors. That’s the beauty of what happens when he starts to let himself open up to the possibilities.  There are some great rollercoaster moments that you’ll see.

Would you do another season of After Forever?

KEVIN:  Oh, my God!  Michael and I have already started to script out seasons 2 and 3.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Middle-aged gay men do have it rough in the relationship department, if they’re not already partnered up by this point in their life.  Younger guys think they’re over the hill, older guys aren’t necessarily interested either, and unfortunately, the LGBTQ community is unforgiving to community if you’re not young and pretty, and not in your 20s or 30s. There aren’t a lot of LGBT-oriented shows out there like this.  On that level, I think the concept of the show is an important story to tell.

KEVIN:  We were absolutely committed to writing not just another gay story.  We’ve seen those. I think the beauty of After Forever is that it’s not just a gay story- even though it’s told through two gay men… but, it’s a story about love … it’s a story about loss.  Everyone is going to have to deal with this in their life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Dealing with loss is part of the circle of life, whether it’s a parent, a child, a lover, a friend, or your longtime partner. Many in the LGBT community succumbed to AIDS in the ‘80s and ‘90s, which was a pivotal moment in the gay movement.

KEVIN:  We lost half of our community.  We lost half of our brothers. To jump back to that history with Mitchell, he and I had so many mutual friends who aren’t here anymore.  We would look at the scene that was at hand, take a breath, look at each other, and they’d say “action” and we’d step into these people. Yes, it’s gay themed, because it’s told by two leading male characters who are gay.  But, I have heard more people in the last two months since this has come out, who have not only stopped and said, “Thank you for writing such a wonderful story about love and loss, and new beginnings, but also, what it’s like to have to confront that loss.” They also went on to say, “For so many years, gay people have had to watch the heterosexual world. People are trying to fit themselves into our world now, into our story, and how they would feel navigating it.”

Michael Urie is in it too? And you have some pretty accomplished people in your cast.  

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Yes, there’s Michael Urie, Cady Huffman who sings in one of the episodes.  Tere is a scene in episode 3 that it still floors me, I can’t watch it without losing it.  Then, there’s Anita Gillette, Lenny Wolpe, David Dean Bottrell. Everyone is perfect, and everyone was able to show up, and everyone delivered a million percent.

What’s the response you’ve been getting from people who have watched After Forever?  You mentioned it’s been very positive.  

KEVIN:  Everyone has been touched.  The majority who have seen this, are just moved to tears and full of excitement.

I saw that Jennifer Pepperman, ex-executive producer of One Life to Live, directed your series.  What was it like working with Jen?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  We had a lot of people who we could have pulled from.  Jennifer came up in conversation, because she had sent Michael an invitation to go see her new short film that she had done with Austin Peck (Ex-Austin, Days) and his wife, Teri Conn (Ex-Katie, ATWT).  I said, “Maybe if I go see the show and I like it, I can introduced myself to Jennifer.”  I called him right after and I said, “If we don’t get her, we’re crazy!” She’s so good. What she did is perfection.  We shot the whole thing like a movie. It was shot in 12 days. She knew everything she wanted to do and it shows in the edit.  And, this extraordinarily, talented girl named Colleen Kwok, who was the director of photography. She’s the real thing. She got it.  She got the style we were going for immediately.

So, we want to tell people to binge watch the series on Amazon.

KEVIN:  Binge it, or make it last for 15 days…

How many hankies will I need for this? 10? 5?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  I say Kleenex is not included … Anybody who has ever loved, anybody who has ever lost, must see this show, because it unifies all of us, it shows us that we are the same.  It shows us that we still have love in our lives, regardless of if that person is gone, the relationship never ends, it never dies. That’s what people are getting from this.  That’s what people are taking away from it. You and I were raised with the symbols of a straight world and how we had to fit into that certain way of life. That’s changed now.  We have Will & Grace … we have RuPaul … all these great things that are illustrating our diversity.  Now, people are going, “it’s just a story being told.”

What was Mitchell’s reaction when he saw the final product?

KEVIN:  We saw it together…We just sat there and cried.  It’s hard. Especially, the first two episodes and the last two episodes.  We served it up, Michael, we served it up!

Courtesy/AfterForever

I think you spoke to a greater issue, as you move through this career, you have to remain relevant as things change.  So, you’ve dipped yourself into this pool and now you can do more.

KEVIN:  I hope so.  You and I talked about this along time ago, when I first started on Days Of Our Lives, it was still a different world.

It was so different back then.  Actors couldn’t be out. There was still that stigma that if the audience at home knew they were gay, they wouldn’t buy into what they were portraying.

KEVIN:  That’s where I kind of worked it out, because I didn’t pretend not to be me, I just wasn’t very open about everything in my life.  Not that I still am. There’s certain things that I don’t talk about, because it’s not relevant, or it’s no one’s business.

So, do you get the obligatory question, “What’s a guy like you doing being single”? (Laughs)

KEVIN:  Michael said to me one day, “How come a guy like you is single?”  I made a joke out of it and said, “Have you seen me eat? Come on!”

So, intrigued to check out After Forever? What do you think about its central theme looking at what happens when one loses their partner at middle-age and more?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright and Wes Ramsey Talk Their Love Connection & The Demands Of Daytime

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After presenting for the first time together, at the 45th Annual Daytime Emmys since they’ve been a couple, Laura Wright (Carly) and Wes Ramsey (Peter aka Henrik) of General Hospital have certainly been in the throes of a romantic, fun, and cherished relationship. The two former stars of Guiding Light reconnected last year at Emmy time. Now, sharing their over one year anniversary, Michael Fairman TV caught up with Laura and Wes to get some insight into what makes their relationship work amidst the hustle and bustle, and pace of both being on a network television daytime drama series, and with the pressures of Hollywood where often relationships between two actors seem to start hot and heavy but then fizzle out.

If you caught this week’s GH, you witnessed that the town of Port Charles has found out that Peter is the notorious Cesar Faison’s son, and the ramifications that will be felt for weeks and months and potentially years to come. Meanwhile, Carly is in all sorts of trouble, thanks to naughty Nelle (Chloe Lanier). Nelle is making Carly look awfully unstable and what happens next could change Carly’s life forever.

So, what do these two lovebirds have to say about their relationship and their passion for working on the soaps? Check out what they had to share below. 

Wes, you had met Laura originally years ago on Guiding Light.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Yes, 15 years ago in New York.

And what did you think of her then?

Wes: Well, I was smitten, but I had to keep it to myself.

You had to keep it under wraps, huh?

Wes: Yep!

Laura: I was married then.

Wes: She was pregnant with her second child.

Laura: And he’s a good Kentucky boy.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Uh-huh! But we would run lines in the green room and I would try very hard to make sure she didn’t catch me staring at her… too often. But we laughed, and had great conversation.

Laura: I would always say, “Wes, will you run lines with me?,” because I would want to run my lines.

Wes: We never had story together, but she always knew I was game to hang out with her for a moment.

It’s good when you’re in a relationship with someone and you can laugh with them. You seem to be able to do that a lot!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: Oh, gosh. I think that’s all we do.

Wes: Yes, yes, yes, yes…

Laura: Like, we belly laugh. It gets to the point where people would think we were ridiculous. We’ll say things and just think it’s the funniest thing ever and people would be like, “You guys have a problem …” and we’re like, “Yeah.” (Laughs)

Laura, and then he comes back into your life years later…

Wes: That’s right, it was Emmy weekend 2017.

Laura: I totally was not expecting it at all. Even when I gave him my number I walked away going “huh…”

You mean you thought he wouldn’t call?

Laura: No, I didn’t feel that… because he hit on me hard. He’ll tell you that.

Wes: I still am hitting on her.

Laura: I remember I walked away quick after he got my number. I was like, “Oh, my God … I gotta go.”

Courtesy/Instagram

Wes: There was an assertiveness on my part that was for sure 15 years in the making. I did not expect to run into her. I also did not expect for her to tell me that she was recently single. In that split second, it was one of those, “stop the presses!” moments. Like, you need to give me your number, I’m taking you to dinner.

Laura: I go, “Oh, be quiet! Are you like, 32, because I can’t do that.” (Laughs)

Wes: And I said, “Far from it.”

Laura: He’s like, “I’m getting ready to be 40.” And I’m like, “I can do that!”

Then, on top of all of this, Wes, you land a primo role on General Hospital. That of Henrik aka Peter, Cesar Faison’s son.

Photo Credit: Courtesy/ABC

Wes: Yes, a dream come true.

Laura: I’m going to jump in and say it’s a role that he worked all on his own for. He had to screen test against 8 plus guys, 3 different auditions, 2 different days.

Wes: That’s true.

Laura: I can’t say strong enough that the best actor got the role. Meaning, Wesley is so talented and has the ability to give this character the depth, and emotion, and layers that it needs to tell the story that needs to be told. I just think he’s incredible.

So, did you know from the get-go who you were going to be playing?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: I did not.

Laura: I did! (Laughs)

Wes: I’m thrilled that the writers have been giving me such incredible material to dive into.   Each month that goes by, it becomes more and more complex, and more and more layered and intense. I love the depth… I love the conflicts… I love the humanity… I love the desperation… I love the psychology behind it. It’s a very interesting story and a great journey to tell.

Laura: I was getting ready to say, where you mentally have to go to be the son of Faison and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes)! To blend that together is amazing. It’s incredible to watch.

You used to run lines together on Guiding Light. Do you run lines together now on GH? It’s like a full circle moment.

Laura: We do, and we carpool.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Something we were trying to manifest together. We thought it would be a lot of fun to work together one day.

Laura: The last week we worked, we didn’t. He worked all afternoon. I worked all morning. I was like, “Are they doing this on purpose?” I was so mad! I was like, “Why are you in the afternoon everyday?” (Laughs)

Wes: She lost her chauffeur. (Laughs)

Laura: I did! He always drives us to work. I also love when we both have afternoon calls, because we love having mornings together. So, I didn’t get my morning, nor did I have my chauffeur!

So, two actors can have a good relationship? You see so many Hollywood relationships with actors and they go bust. But that’s not always the case …

Wes: Oh, my God, yes.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: I’m going to say this; I think I can see it being more difficult for daytime actors, because the work we do is so intense. I know the weeks he’s getting ready to go into, and I’m getting ready to go into. Where we go emotionally and psychologically to tell these stories, on the level that we tell them, as quick as we tell them, you kind of have to become really in a headspace. The fact that we can …

Wes: … the long hours …

Laura: Yes, and exhaustion! You really have to go, “Wow! It’s not about me right now. It’s about us individually as actors.” Thank God, we know the workload. I know what he’s getting ready to go through.

Wes: I have always had so much respect for Laura’s work. On Guiding Light, I’ve always been in awe of what she’s capable of doing. So, the level of respect is obviously there. But also, the understanding whatever it is that you need from a personal assistant in one moment… or a life partner in another moment … or a best friend in moment … or whatever it is in order to get through the day-to-day and the week-to-week, so we can do what we love to do. We know we’re very lucky to have the opportunity to do what we love.

Courtesy/welcometolaurasworld Instagram

Laura was such a great co-host on my Soap Nation Live! Daytime Emmy Nomination Specials, in particular when she talks about acting. It’s so rewarding to hear the other actors who are guests on the show listening to what Laura has to say about her craft and respecting the hell out of her.

Wes: Without a doubt. You can’t watch her work and not be in awe. It speaks for itself.

Laura: I just love the journey of going to the places that we go; to bleed for it.

Wes: Leave it all out on the floor.

Laura: I know that process. So, when I see another actor that’s bleeding, I just bow to them, because I know what it takes to go there. I know the work that Wesley does. When I see that he’s spent at the end of the day, I’m like, “Babe, I so get it.” So, I can see where it could be really difficult for people that haven’t been there, because it’s a lot of work and you’re spent. It’s hard! For us, that works.

What do you think of Laura and Wes’ love connection? What do you think of the latest developments for GH’s Carly and Henrik? Comment below.

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Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: 45th Annual Daytime Emmys Winners & Backstage Video Interviews!

Photo : MF Soaps Inc

The 45th Annual Daytime Emmys are in the record books.  And as previously reported, it was a big night for NBC’s Days of our Lives taking Outstanding Drama Series, Writing and Directing in a Drama Series Awards, plus top acting nods to James Reynolds (Abe) and Greg Vaughan (Eric).

Behind the scenes while the ceremony continued on-stage, and as the night’s big winners and several presenters were whisked away backstage following their victory, they took to the Winner’s Walk and chatted with Michael Fairman who got their reactions to winning the gold, or presenting important moments of the night during the live-stream broadcast.

From DAYS Deidre Hall (Marlena), Dr. Oz, The Ladies of The Talk, and GH’Chris Van Etten to DAYS head scribe Ron Carlivati, to Y&R’s actress winners: Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and Camryn Grimes (Mariah), and GH’s Chloe Lanier (Nelle, Vernee Watson (Stella) and more now you can watch the complete backstage series of conversations on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Make sure to “subscribe” for these and more celebrity interviews.

After the jump, check out some of the winners and backstage interviews with Michael.  You can also go directly to the video you are looking to view, by clicking on the blue hyperlink on the interviewees name. (more…)

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Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

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