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The Brad Bell Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Courtesy/CBS

What is the mark of a great executive producer and head writer?  The ability to roll with the punches when the unexpected happens!   And that is exactly what The Bold and the Beautiful’s Brad Bell has been doing after the stunning announcements that series stars, Ronn Moss (Ridge) and Susan Flannery (Stephanie) made decisions to leave the CBS soap after 25 years.

While Moss’ last episode has aired, Flannery will be around till December and as Brad teases below, the series plans an appropriate send-off for Susan and her alter-ego Stephanie.  But what does this mean for the beloved Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke)?  On-Air On-Soaps sat down with the head honcho of all things bold and beautiful in his office, to get this thoughts on future plans for Brooke, how Ronn Moss’ final scenes played out behind-the-scenes during Brooke and Ridge’s latest wedding, how he is dealing with all the upheaval, and a preview into the fall for the other characters on his canvas, and who will be stepping into the forefront!

And if the two big departures of Moss and Flannery weren’t bad enough, Bell prior to that found out he had to put the brakes on the show’s highly anticipated first same-sex storyline featuring fan favorites, Joanna Johnson (Karen) and Crystal Chappell (Dani).  In our conversation, he informs us what the future holds for this important story that he has clearly wanted to tell.

There are some things that can be said of Brad Bell: He is forthright, smart, and incredibly successful in this genre.  Many feel he has the right formula and prescription to keep making the soap genre vital and viable in the changing television landscape, and you will read what he thinks about that, too. Here’s our chat with Brad!

MICHAEL:

There have been a lot of significant changes that you have to deal with … the fallout from the departure of Ronn Moss, and soon, Susan Flannery.  How has this caused you to shuffle the deck story-wise?  Will the departures ultimately alter the course of what you had planned for the fall for viewers of B&B?

BRAD:

Courtesy/CBS

At first, it’s like being in a car and running 50 miles an hour into a brick wall.  Then, you have that moment of crashing, and then you realize you have to pick up the pieces and turn left or turn right, and continue on.  There is that initial impact of: this is all you have known for 25 years, and then it’s gone, and that causes you to look in new directions.  It’s exciting what I am seeing.  I am grateful to Ronn and Susan for so much talent and their dedication, but I am also excited about these new paths and avenues the show will take.

MICHAEL:

As the show’s head writer and executive producer, when all the shocking changes came about what went down?   Did you have an emergency meeting with your writing team?

BRAD:

It was interesting.  I met with Katherine Kelly Lang, and the writers and producers, and we all just threw out ideas. The path seemed pretty clear very quickly, and it’s always about playing to your strengths and recognizing what your strengths are in terms of cast, and story, and how we are going to use some of these key characters.  It also opened up new avenues for characters that had been back-burnered, or on the sidelines, who I have had great respect for, but we have just not had the chance to give them the amount of airtime that they need and deserve.  So in that respect, it’s very exciting.

MICHAEL:

You are speaking for instance of Jacob Young (Rick)?  You have said in previously published interviews that he would come front and center as he vies to take over Ridge’s seat at Forrester Creations, and as well as his manipulations for the love of Caroline.

BRAD:

Yes.  Jacob, Linsey Godfrey (Caroline), Hunter Tylo (Taylor), and basically the rest of the core cast.  We know that Ronn, Katherine, Susan, and John McCook (Eric) have been front and center for 25 years.  We have great actors and actresses here, such as Alley Mills (Pam)!  We have so many people who will be able to step up, plus the younger group, so I am excited to put words in their mouths!

MICHAEL:

Was there a moment when you were concerned that Katherine Kelly Lang would not re-sign with the series?

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

BRAD:

You never know!  Life throws you curveballs.  So before we went on hiatus, I had not heard from a few of the cast members.  I wrote a wedding, and it was written the way it was because I knew anything could happen.  It rarely does, but sometimes it does.  So I was so happy that Katherine and I are continuing on.  She is fantastic!  She is unbelievable, and that we care about her 25 years into the character, and everything she has been through!  How Katherine makes us still love Brooke, and care about her, and makes us want to throw things at her at the same time … is amazing.   I don’t know how Katherine does it.

MICHAEL:

How was the taping of the wedding of Brooke and Ridge?   Ronn and Katherine both told me separately, it was the hardest day they have ever had to get through during the 25 years they have spent together at B&B.   How was it for you?

BRAD:

It was surreal.  It was so unexpected.  But then, we knew it was the last scenes Katherine and Ronn would be doing together … maybe forever, or maybe for quite some time.  But it had a very real feel to it.  When Ridge and Brooke were stating that they love each other, Katherine and Ronn really do love each other.   So, it was incredibly intense, and when the viewers saw it on air, they saw not as much acting, but more reality.

MICHAEL:

Then, they went off on their honeymoon, and Brooke returns sans Ridge.

BRAD:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Yes, and then Brooke comes back and resumes her life.

MICHAEL:

And goes on to another man?  You have teased in recent interviews that there will be a new man in Brooke’s life.  Do you know who that man is?

BRAD:

Yes, there will be a new man in Brooke’s life, and I do know who that man is.

MICHAEL:

Many of us are hoping … it’s Dr Meade!  We think Jon Hensley (Dr. Meade, Ex-Holden, ATWT) and Katherine would be quite sexy together on-screen!

BRAD:

Dr, Meade is cool!  But you know Brooke.  There won’t just be one man! (Laughs)  As far as Jon Hensley, we are excited to have him back.  He will be in more often and he has a storyline that is developing.  I went to Jon and said, “I don’t have much here, but it’s a role of a doctor.  And, we all know doctors and their history on soap operas.”

MICHAEL:

Yes. They sleep with all their patients! (Laughs)

BRAD:

Photo Credit: Art Streiber

That’s right! (Laughs)   But Jon was very trusting in me and now it’s starting to grow.  I can say that with what little Jon has had; he has done so much with it.

MICHAEL:

Do you watch how actors click on-screen to dictate story?  Or, if there is a flick of chemistry … or, if it’s just watching paint dry between them?  I would think it’s key in your position.

BRAD:

That is the really smart way to write a soap.  You can beat your head against a wall writing wonderful scenes, or scenes that could potentially be wonderful.  But, if the chemistry is not there, you are fighting a losing battle.  If there is chemistry there, and you have actors and actresses who know how to define their character, and know how to be provocative, and make something out of nothing, then they are going to make you look good.

MICHAEL:

You’re not too far ahead of yourself in taping vs. storytelling, which is good!  Days of our Lives is three months ahead, and when things aren’t working there, it’s very hard for them to go back.  There is re-editing that would have to be done and scraping of story.  Here at B&B, you have the ability to change something faster, if it’s not resonating with your audience.

BRAD:

Courtesy/CBS

Fortunately, CBS has trusted me, and in order to write a long term story and stick to the long term, it would seem to make sense, but it doesn’t.  The writing denies the writer the writing process.  The writing process isn’t coming up with something and sticking with it. The writing process is about coming up with something and refining and refining it, sometimes up until the scene tapes, or even after it.  That is what screen writers and sitcoms writers do, but in soaps, we don’t have that luxury.  However, it’s essential that the process is allowed to take place, because it usually gets better results.

MICHAEL:

Having steered the ship at B&B for 25 years, how often now do you listen to your viewers and what they want, as opposed to staying on course with what you want to write, or projected story-wise with your team?

BRAD:

I have always enjoyed the viewer’s comments.  They are interesting and great.  My dad, Bill Bell was into Daytime TV Magazine, when they had a poll in it.  He would look at that and have the magazine open on his desk and he would refer to it.  And, why not?  We are foolish not to pay attention to these people who are specialists and analysts.  So I enjoy reading the feedback all the time.  I don’t tell story according to it, but if I say it doesn’t have an impact, that is not true either.  It does.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Fans have been quite critical that the Steffy/Liam/Hope triangle is way overplayed.  Is it overplayed to you?

BRAD:

The fans are saying that this triangle is overplayed right now, and they are absolutely right.  I feel that too when I watch the show right now.  We are just about to take a break from that, as they have been front and center for a long time.  And they have proven themselves and defined themselves as Brooke/Ridge/Taylor were overplayed in the 80’s and the 90’s.  We are going to take a break and see more families in the fall.  I was ready to take a break from them, but then I heard Ronn’s decision to leave and there were so many things up in the air.  So there were a lot of behind-the-scenes shake-ups.  Part of the reason of this extended version of Steffy/Liam/Hope was that I was not sure who I had on the canvas.  I knew I could count on Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy), Scott Clifton (Liam) and Kim Matula (Hope).  They were delivering.  So now we are gearing up for a new chapter, but all three of them were so fantastic.  We are up in the ratings from last year due to them. They have all grown so much as actors.  I could not be more pleased.  They have all been a hit for us.

MICHAEL:

When Susan Flannery announced her departure to you, how were you with that?  Was it emotional for you?  You two have been so paramount to the success of this show.  

BRAD:

Susan had talked about leaving for quite some time.  She basically came into my office and said, “I’m leaving.”  She did not beat around the bush.  And I said, “I can tell you mean it.”  And we hugged, and she said she would be here with me to bring a conclusion to the story and the character.  We have a great mutual respect for one another.  We have enjoyed locking horns once in awhile.  I can be difficult, and she can be difficult, but that is all part of this, and what we really love and how we learn from each other.  I will miss her.  Susan had made her impact on this show, obviously.  She is our matriarch forever.

MICHAEL:

You also have teased that you have a big story for Susan to set up her exit from the series.  Will that be front and center this fall?

BRAD:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

We have not written Susan’s exit yet, but I can say it will be a great send-off and a tribute to a woman and a character that has been so much a part of our lives.  I would really like to do justice to her, and show the highlights of her career on this show.  I think the audience is going to love it.

MICHAEL:

Many executive producers and head writers in daytime use a major star and character’s exit to propel future story.  Do you see that with Stephanie’s exit, or will you try to have closure for the character and satisfy the audience in a dramatic fashion?

BRAD:

Well, both!  We won’t be using Susan’s send-off as a vehicle.  I think she deserves better than that.  So it’s going to be all about Stephanie, and all about Susan.  Hopefully, it will be one of the great tributes on daytime, ever!

MICHAEL:

In regards to Ridge, would you recast the role?

BRAD:

The role of Ridge Forrester is so integral to The Bold and the Beautiful that I don’t like to think of anyone else playing the role other than Ronn Moss.  But, I have gone on record as saying, I will recast if the time comes, and I feel we need the character.  Then, I will bring back the character.  Ronn will always be my first choice.  I hope he does return to the show.  But if he is not up for that, then I will recast it.

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

When Ronn made his decision to leave, did you have any idea it would happen so suddenly?

BRAD:

No.  I think everyone was shocked.  So off he went.   Ronn has been such a great gentlemen and such a great leader, and adored around the world.  Ronn is a great man and a great actor.  He just made the character of Ridge Forrester so singular, that he became iconic around the world.

MICHAEL:

Bill and Katie will be big in the fall, I see!  Does he do some more evil stuff?  And, will that mean more Emmy worthy material for Heather Tom (Katie)?

BRAD:

I hope so!  With Heather, she can basically read the phone book and make it good.  But, we have a great women’s issue storyline coming Heather’s way this fall … like a freight train!  We are so excited about this.  It will give Heather a storyline that she has never had before.  Something that affects so many women around the world, and Heather is going to ace it for sure.  It’s exciting to have powerful material heading in the direction of an incredibly powerful actress.  This is a must-see storyline!

MICHAEL:

In another curve ball, here you just started the first same-sex storyline in the history of B&B, and Joanna Johnson notifies you she has to leave right as you were getting into it.  The question on many people’s minds is: what are you going to do with the super popular Crystal Chappell … anything?

BRAD:

Photo Credits: L Bohm & K. Hutchins

This was another curve-ball! (Laughs)  Of the two, Joanna Johnson has a great history with this show, and so I would like to play them as a couple.  I reached out to Joanna the last few weeks, and she is still unavailable.  Joanna is very busy and a multi-talented woman, and I want her to be on the show.  I want to play Crystal.  I am going to go play Crystal, without Joanna, if Joanna cannot shake loose from her commitment.  But Joanna said she will return.  It’s just that our timing has been off.  I am very committed to telling the story of Caroline and her parents.  I think it may be in a lull right now, and I hope Crystal Chappell will hang in there through this.  We can have some very interesting story, because we just barely scratched the surface of it.  So I am blaming Joanna for this one! (Laughs)  No, but she did warn me, and I have to say this.  She said, “I have this thing coming.”   But you know me, I was like, “Oh, it’s show business.”  And now Joanna has another hit with Emily Owens M.D., in which she is the producer.  She is just that good.

MICHAEL:

Many fans also ask: if now that Ridge is gone, will Thorne get involved in the power struggle at Forrester Creations, which would mean more airtime for Winsor Harmon (Thorne)? 

BRAD:

Thorne will be involved in all this, and Taylor, too.  They have a story that is coming up but is slow in the making.  It’s a little bit difficult, because I love Winsor and he makes a great Thorne, but that generation has fractured a bit.  So we are focusing down a generation to the Thomas and Rick side of the canvas.  Thorne is an island currently, but he will be seen, and Hunter has a great story coming up.

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

Is that a story specifically Taylor?

BRAD:

It is a story for Hunter and Taylor.  We will see her very much as a professional and a doctor, and as someone who is really in the middle of a great dilemma.  I am excited that Hunter will be front and center again, because she is so gifted.

MICHAEL:

Y&R’s 10,000th episode will air next week.  Recently, we were all at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills event honoring the milestone.  Your sister-in-law, Maria Arena Bell, was on the panel saying her goodbyes and well-wishes for her time at Y&R, meaning you are the only Bell left as a current EP and/or head writer.  There truly feels like a shift and changing face of daytime.  How do you feel about it?

BRAD:

My sister, Lauralee Bell (Christine), is still acting and doing amazingly well on Y&R.  She always amazes me when I watch her.  So we are around and a driving force in this industry.  B&B is the number one soap opera in the world, and we are totally focused on being around for some time to come.  Y&R has such an incredible group of actors and writers.   Maria came in during the strike, and had an incredibly successful run.  Y&R and B&B are strong. We are the only back-to-back soaps on a daytime lineup now. I think it’s going to be a challenging time for talk shows now.  There are just so many of them.

MICHAEL:

Speaking of talk shows, do you think Katie will eventually have long term success, after all the fanfare heralding to daytime?

BRAD:

I would expect Katie would have had good ratings, but I think the production on that show needs to be fine-tuned a bit.  It’s a bit slow to me, but they are just getting started.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

MICHAEL:

It has been a shock to the system of soap fans and the industry to see Peter Reckell (Bo, DAYS), Steve Burton (Jason, GH) and Ronn Moss (Ridge, B&B) all announce their departures, and all within a relatively short time of one another.  It’s like all the veterans are walking out the front door of the genre.  Being in your position, do you think that now the genre will get more on a steady course after this stream of big name exits?

BRAD:

I feel that we will and are.  People exit, and those are three big names you mention, but there are other people who are eager and hungry, and the writing teams are very committed.  We love this art form.  And, as the bigger names come into talk series, so are the bigger salaries that they demand.  Now we are starting to see comparatively that our costs structure is in the ballpark of some of these talk shows.  So we are trying to streamline, and if we can do that successfully, we are in for a very bright future.

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BETTYEJ
BETTYEJ

There is nothing that I can say, except without Ronn and Susan, there is no show Brad Bell.

ashlee
ashlee

I think the show will be better. Ronn, with all due respect to his stardom and international popularity, is a terrible actor. Scenes where he is required to emote dramatically always cause me to snicker…which is opppsite to the intention of the scenes. A recast Ridge…with an actor who can ACT…like say Grant Aleksander…that would be awesome!! Grant could bring fire and passion and life and depth to the character that Ronn never did or could. As for momma Steph…she should die of cancer…and then pop in as a ghost every now and again to torment Brooke or.comfort her children. Presumed deaths have zero emotional impact because they have literally been…pun intended…done to death on soaps. These shows.only have a few years left in them….so be bold…take chances risks…shake things up.

BETTYEJ
BETTYEJ

And you think that KKL can act? Whenever Ronn is with any of the Logan’s he looks good. If Brad Bell want to be Bold, he would stop picking up od scripts from the past and stop using them over and over again.

ashlee
ashlee

Don’t get ahead of yourself. LOL. I never said KKL was any great thespian. Her vocal inflections sound the same whether she is saying “Hi”, or “Stephanie, get that telephone cord off my neck!”. I was just mentioning RM and SF because they are leaving. Come to think of it, Grant Aleksander and Beth Chamberlin would be an AWESOMELY recast Ridge and Brooke! Never happen, just wishful thinking.

Egolf
Egolf

Please Crystal’s character could be used as Momma bear for Rick/Caroline story. Blah Blah Blah, put up or shut Brad as CC. I’ve already stopped watching the Lame show.

Marc
Marc

Great interview! Sad to see Susan Flannery leave the show. Stephanie will always be one of daytime’s greatest divas.

Stephanie
Stephanie

The difference between Brooke/Ridge/Taylor in the 90s is that it was stable and it was balanced by other storylines. Ridge and Taylor had a happy and supportive marriage for a number of YEARS. Years, not weeks. And instead we got to watch Thorne destory his realtionship with Macy for the upteenth time for Brooke (I LOVED Thorne and Macy). I actually cared about Ridge and Taylor making it in the 90s. I don’t care about Liam anymore and any girl he ends up with is unlucky enough to have him.

joyce
joyce

I hope B&B will start showing Danielle more even if Karen is out of town as they said.Have Danielle be there for Caroline she needs to talk to her mother about Thomas issues.

SonnyBgirl
SonnyBgirl

I’m happy to read viewers will get a break from the triangle, but I want more Steffy minus the triangle. Great interview!

anothercc
anothercc

Crystal Chappell brought me to B&B. I am thrilled that Mr. Bell plans to continue “Caroline’s Two Mommies” story. BUT, Chappell fans would REALLY LOVE to see Dani on their screen in the meantime. It’s like Dani has crawled under a rock since Karen is “out of town on business”. Caroline really needs her OTHER MOM to be active in her life.

Thanks Michael for a great interview as always !

Brinard
Brinard

Interesting interview, Michael. It seems like his favorite line is “We have a great storyline for _____ coming up!” But we never actually see these come to fruition in the caliber to which he exclaims. I’ve seen this in previous interviews as well.

And in that last question, pretty much what he was saying is that these big name stars, when they want bigger salaries, and seeing how that could put the show’s budget in jeopardy and when the network looks at it compared to a talk show, they would slash the soap over it all because the show was over-budget because of this big name star wanting a certain salary. So in his opinion it’s better to let that person walk and keep the infrastructure of the show alive on the air.

dionne
dionne

Why don’t they expand B&B to an hour so that more characters can have some attention?

VERA CAMPBELL
VERA CAMPBELL

PLEASE MAKE IT A HOUR BILL BELL I THINK YOU DOING A GOOD JOB ON THE SHOW IF PEOPLE DONT LIKE THE SHOW TELL THEM TO TURN THE CHANNEL I BEEN WATCHING SHOW EVERY SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL SO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

nadia
nadia

End this triangle now and don’t let steffy win that girl needs to be raked over the coals as does Bill why have you let them get away with so much for so long why can’t you give them both what they deserve and that’s to lose everything and be humiliated in the eyes of all. I speak for 99% of your viewers who say enough is enough why haven’t you ever let a couple be happy and last. wow not everything has to be so hard and what you’ve done to Liam and Hope is the cruelest of all I could go on but haven’t got a year to tell you all the rotten things you’ve put those two through why haven’t you made Steffy suffer as much she’s the one that deserves a miserable life not Hope

citygirl
citygirl

Nadia… I could not agree with you more… I am sure the writers/ Bell are fully aware of it… I believe Liam and Hope deserve to know all the ill Steffy , Bill and Rick has done to complicate their relationship…. so they can be happy together .

sherry
sherry

Sorry but you do not speak for 99% of the viewers. I think there are WAY more Steffy fans out here than you realize.

nadia
nadia

I wasn’t referring to how many Steffy fans there are I was stating that this triangle has gone on long enough and that all the shenanigans that Bill and Steffy have pulled should be exposed and some punishment dealt

nadia
nadia

Thanks Citygirl

Veronica
Veronica

Why put everything on Steffy, If you are going to be mad at someone, Then be mad at LIAM, He Started this by KISSING Steffy first, Hope got mad, and left. So that’s on her. It wouldn’t been a Triangle, If Hope would of made up her mind, one day she love him, The next day she don’t. So it’s not Steffy, IT’S HOPELESS…And Bill & Brooke made Love and a baby, Now get mad at Brooke. Bill & Brooke have pulled should be exposed and some punishment dealt. Not Steffy, But since Brooke help write the story line, Taylor & Steffy better watch out, Because it’s the LOGANS SHOW, Not B&B…..

Kristen
Kristen

B & B is my addiction Brad Bell : )

Imane assi
Imane assi

I can’t wait to see more of Taylor.I hope there will be a new man for Steffy,Sick and tired of seeing her wasted on boring Lope,.She deserves better.

cr
cr

I think she belongs with somebody just has sneaky and slutty has she is, and i think thomas belongs with hope, not horn dog liam, he is just as bad as the women.

Imane Assi
Imane Assi

Steffy is not slutty or sneaky.She’s very upfront and hinebst about wahts he wants.Both Lima and Hope know exactly what they’re dealing with when it comes to Steffy.Steffy went after Oliver,Bill and Liam for a purpose:Revenge on the Logans.In the process she developed real feeling for Bill and Liam,Hope is a hypocrite who pretends to be someone she’s not, who makes a show of her sex life.Steffy is smart,sexy,strong…she will be herself again once they stop using her to prop boring Lope.She should be with an equaly smart,strong and sexy MAN.She”s too much of a woman for Liam.Liam is a boy,not a man.He should stick with Hope who’s a spiled little brat.They’re perfect together.

Smartperson
Smartperson

Steffy is a snake. Anyone who sets out to only hurt others because your daddy left your mommy when you were a grown up has some serious mental issues. She needs therapy for her “abandonment” issues. Hope is beautiful and much more “reel” than slutbag Steffy will ever be. Just because Steffy says she is going after unavailable men while she is doing it does not make her behavior acceptable. And she is definitely sneaky. If she is so honest and forthright, why did she lie to her whole family about going to Italy in the first place? If there was nothing wrong with what she was doing, and if she really didn’t think Bill was up to something, why not just tell the truth on that jet? Simple – she KNEW what she was doing was wrong, and she KNEW that Bill was up to something. She covered by LYING. That is perfectly clear. That is sneaky.

Veronica
Veronica

Thomas is Steffy Brother,

Mitchell
Mitchell

I wish there was a little more seperation on the age groups. Let Liam/Hope/Steffy/Thomas/Caroline etc, hang out in the kiddie pool, with their own story lines. And let the adults Bill/Katie/Brooke/Taylor etc. have their own story lines.

Tina
Tina

Liam/Steffy and Hope are backburner and I LOVE IT

Tina
Tina

Brooke’s major SL is coming up.Can’t wait

Deb
Deb

The only reason B&B is gaining viewership this past year is because all the other soaps died and it has Y&R in front of it! It is NOT due to the Liam/Hope/Steffy triangle! I agree with comment above…in the 80s and 90s, the Brooke/Ridge/Taylor triange was a Hell of a lot more interesting, and broken up by other cast memebrs storylines. This BS we have now is just that. No woman watching today would have ANYTHING to do with Liam. And i saw somewhere else BB thinks Liam is the new “Front and center man in daytime…” HA! How stupid he is! Taylor deserves to be front and center for years and Brooke cn move to a back burner for awhile. Now we don’t like her and hate her, we are tired of her! Hope they do right by Susan and give her a great BELEIVABLE exit. Making up with Brooke was ridiculous and insincere….and an insult to the fans!

Damien
Damien

I agree with you 100% Deb

kay/kay
kay/kay

Deb have not watched in 6 months my sister just called she still watches she tells me they have taken Taylor’s home away Bill & katie bought it that just confirms what I know about BB Hunter Tylo will still be used as a prop makes me sick Don Diamont looks like a pimp no professional business man dresses like that. No wonder Susan Flannery wanted to retire.

Larkin
Larkin

AMEN!!!!

Danielle
Danielle

It will be sad to SF go –but as for RM – glad he is gone and hopes he never comes back. Bell previously said he felt “obligated” to keep Bridge together and happy and that really came through on the show. You always knew that Bridge would survive no matter what — there was no reason to watch the story – you already knew how it would end.
I think having to have Bridge happy together was bad for the show (unless you were a bridge fan) – for everyone else — it sucked. It seemed like the whole show catered to this “obligation” of keeping Bridge together and every other character on the show suffered because of it. Now that RM and the obligation is gone, maybe we can go back to the kinds of stories that got us hooked on B&B to begin with.

Hopefully with RM gone, Bridge will be too and now we can move onto to NEW stories with all the characters and not know ending before the story starts to unfold.

Bridge won all the time — that became very boring very quickly.

I hope RM stays gone — I wish him luck with his other endeavors — just don’t want hm back on B&B.

maryanne
maryanne

I, for one, loved Bridge. Ridge and Brooke really meshed well together and as time went on, it was nice to see this couple grow into a mature married couple who still wanted each other both inside and outside the bedroom.

I truly hope that RM changes his mind and decides to re-join the cast and bring Ridge back. I will miss him.

Prunhild
Prunhild

100% agree! Bridge winning all over was the show killer number one! Nr two was the LOganwoman win ever again and again…

Smartperson
Smartperson

B&B is the number one soap in the world!! Obviously, they are doing something right. Brooke and Ridge were a very popular couple, much more so than Tridge could ever be. They were meant to be from the very beginning of the show. Bridge wasn’t a show killer. Bell was catering to what worked world-wide, as he should.

kay/kay
kay/kay

He has been promising Hunter Tylo a story forever and Winsor Harmon Thorne is the true heir. They should be front and center another man for the mattress Brooke I am so thrilled.

Damien
Damien

I agree Kay…but I think thorne’s character needs to be pepped up or something…he just don’t do anything for me especially with Taylor…they’ve always been a mismatch to me…she should be with somebody like Bill…Thorne would be a better fit for Katie or Donna…she’s a core character and needs to be with somebody more powerful…they should’ve kept her with Nick or even Whip.

kay/kay
kay/kay

I know the fact she ran over Darla did not help! Also the baby Jack had to turn out to be Brooke’s another stupid plot and by the way where is RJ not even at the 27th wedding of Brooke & Ridge. Personally I was hoping KKL would leave when Ronn Moss did. Brad Bell tell’s lousy stories when Dad was alive he kept him in check people just disappear with no explanation drives me crazy.

Tina
Tina

I want not a SL for Taylor.She is boring.More Brooke please and kill Taylor off

Anne
Anne

GA

citygirl
citygirl

Tina…. I agree with you comment… except for kill Taylor off…. on Friday’s B&B Taylor conveniently went over to Liam’s office to do what really psyco bable Liam into going back to her daughter (Steffy)…. well is that the new improve professional therapist Bell is talking about ….. Liam could have gone to see a talk show host and get better advise…. Taylor! what you should have told Liam is take some time out to heal …. jump into another relationship… well if it is your daughter then that’s fine ….. but forbit if it is anyone else …. let say Hope… then Liam would be giving another advise… like… lets say take some time out …. and figure out if Hope is really the one you need.. after all the divided feeling…. Oh please what a Joke…. Taylor the therapy is a joke and I mean that nicely!

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

No way, kill off the whore Brooke..Brooke is a total waste and can’t act her way out of a paper bag, she and Ronn should have left at the same time. What a waste of time with those two bores…. At lest Taylor could act and she was beautiful to look at,. Brooke was nothing to look at. Barf.

Sven
Sven

ITA TINA.Can’t stand Taylor..I’M sick of her.Brooke is back with a major SL.I love it..No more Steffy and Taylor please.

nadia
nadia

I,m with you I can’t stand the sight of Taylor she’s just a wasted part of the show.What is she good at besides moping over Ridge.

gloria
gloria

Oh I LOVE Brooke. I cannot believe anyone would want her “killed off” Forget about it. She is gorgeous & I think very sweet & I just have always loved her. Not to mention she is the mother of so many important characters! Could she get back w/Eric when Stephanie leaves? Would we want her to? I don’t know but I hope something great comes her way. Nothing against Taylor but they each need a good storyline that does NOT involve the same DAMN MAN!

Tina
Tina

Taylor is the Logan and Forrester mattress lol

kay/kay
kay/kay

Trust me I did not like the storyline of Taylor involved with Rick hated it. But at least the actor was kyle Lowder in the part sorry I know this is the original Rick back in the part but he is just creepy. and the love fest at the 27th wedding for Brooke and Ridge I tuned in it made me throw up. A tribute to Brooke who took Stephanie’s husband had a baby by her daughters husband carried on at a party with her other daughter’s boyfriend a bit much. But during all this she was thinking of her destiny Ridge. Whew! Keep repeating it is only a soap opera.

kay/kay
kay/kay

Oh I forgot they had Taylor sleep with Stephen Logan when she had became a drunk after drinking too much wine for 2 days.

nadia
nadia

Not just Stephen Logan there are many more to add to the list. This entire stoyline is ridiculous it’s time to move onto more interesting sl’s like Bill getting his just deserts and more Deacon.Enough with the kindergarden stuff we need more drama and fashion on the show.

Derrick
Derrick

Hunter & Windsor needs a storyline BADDDDDDDD!!!!!

cr
cr

Yep they do

Damien
Damien

I’m so glad we will be seeing more of Taylor…it’s about time for her to be front and center again where she belongs…not interested in brooke at all…she is tired and played out…I wish they would kill her off for a change…I’m sad to see Stephanie go though…I will definitely miss her…it should be Eric or Brooke going instead never cared for there characters.

yvonne
yvonne

I’m so happy to hear Taylor/Hunter will be front and center again. But Bell has promised fans that Taylor will have a sl several times before and it never happened so I will be in a wait and see mode. Will not tune back in until I hear or read that Hunter Tylo is front and center. If that happens thank you, thank you Bradley Bell!!

TF101
TF101

Promises, promises! Promises of storylines for Taylor, Thorne, Stephanie…never seem to pan out. Will this time be any different? Time will tell and do so quickly. Recently Hunter Tylo did scenes with Scott Clifton that were some of the best material I have seen on this show all year ! I think TPTB need to find an effective way to use the younger set WITH the veterans in order to support the writing, foster better acting, help them to grow in their craft AND entertain all fan bases. This show can’t afford to disregard any group of fans, whether it be due to age, or character preference. The show needs ALL HANDS ON DECK, IMO.

kim
kim

the reason that the hope liam and steffy triangle is overplayed is because liam is going back and forth every day or other day , in the beginning when hope was with liam it was a great love story then steffy got added and a lot of people think the only reason steffy wants liam is to win over a logan , steffy was hotter when she was with bill when she got with liam it just made her look sad and weak , and now we seem to see the same thing day after day and we all still think the same thing that steffy belongs with bill , and liam by himself as well as hope because if liam cant get himself figured out and listen to his own heart he should not be with anyone , there is a thing between good dram and a overkill of drama and the triangle was a over kill

koji bobis
koji bobis

well good thing bell realize that hoe liam and ssteffy love triangle are overplayed yes but we want the end with hope and liam thats all because we inspired their love story to us. hope character are awesome as a women and dignity but liam character last 2 months was messed up because they want to try pleased steffy character which is not good enough to watch. were hoping hope and liam have happy ending till the end.

Prunhild
Prunhild

NOT O N E word about STILL….. WHY this interviewmakers can not ask the RIGHT questions???? ask about the fans waiting for STEFFY & BILL together again! STILL win POLLs, They are HOT & could rock the show with interesting storylines about power, not only sex….

cr
cr

Steffy and bill are just alike, might be good one another or cut each other throats.

Larkin
Larkin

It is like the mags have a B&B manual Bell gives out before interviews so they know what to ask and what to keep out…One more time robbed with STILL after all the other times with , Tridge Thamber 2004/ Thip/ Naggie all these couples never had a chance.. This show is just beyond ridiculous about the layout!! Like we cannot fell in love with different characters and couples cuz Bell will not approve as only the Logans can get the go ahead.. “eyeroll”

Parker
Parker

I liked the Liam, Steffy, Hope storyline up to a point. (It reminded me of the days of Brooke/Taylor/Ridge storyline.) But it did get to be too much. I like the return of Deacon. I had heard that RM was leaving but didn’t know till now that SF was leaving too. Very sorry to see her go. What is going to happen to Eric’s S/L? I am so glad though that B&B is on along with Y&R…The talk shows are overkill. Although I like the Talk and Ellen and Dr. Phil. They are the only ones I watch these days (when I am in the mood).

sherry
sherry

I hope you mean what you say Mr.Bell and that Taylor/Hunter really does have a storyline coming up. Her fans have missed her terribly. Seeing her only here and there, is not enough for us.
The problem with Hope/Liam/Steffy is that Liam is too indecisive and cannot be taken seriously. Steffy and Hope both need to move on from this loser. And sorry, but Taylor/Ridge/Brooke was millions times better than Steffy/Liam/Hope.

Jd
Jd

I agree with you Sherry I would say that Nadia don’t speak for 99% of the viewers because I in no way want Liam with Hope, The chemistry between Steffy & Liam is so much more exciting to watch. Liam & Hope bore me to death watching them.

nadia
nadia

So you want me to believe that 99% of the viewers are happy about this infernal triangle every comment on all the boards are saying that they want it to end with the exception of Sherry and yourself. As far as the chemistry you say between Steffy and Liam well it comes across as a mother and child Steffy is way to old for Liam and No I don’t want him with Hope either he needs to grow up before he is with anyone.Can you honestly say that you’d be happy for it to continue for the next 25years with the dumbboo going from one to the other didn’t we get subjected enough with BRTall these years

cr
cr

Steffy belongs with nobody, liam needs to grow up, and hope needs to mature more as well and hook up with thomas.

Ms. Pennsylvania 2004 Maria Frisby
Ms. Pennsylvania 2004 Maria Frisby

I met Jeanne Cooper(Mrs. Chancellor) in Arizona. I called her by her screen name. Who do you think will end up with Liam?

LJ
LJ

The show is boring and ridiculous. They should call it The Bold and the Incestual. The old days were much better. Maybe JFP can fix this one too.

cr
cr

You are so right lj. Young players like liam, hope, and steffy are not only characters in the show.

Therese
Therese

“What is the mark of a great executive producer and head writer?” How about the ability to juggle multiple storylines with balance and write characters and stories that viewers want to watch? Whether you liked Brooke or Taylor, both Bridge and Tridge had rooting value among their respective fan bases. Steffy, Liam, and Hope could become sister wives and WE WOULDN’T CARE! That’s the reason why B&B won’t get another contract renewal.

cr
cr

You talk with a lot sense and you right on the spot, when it comes to any soap opera.

cr
cr

Brad bell is good story teller but is not so good when it comes to telling stories for more than 4 characters at a time.

kay/kay
kay/kay

Well i had 30 minutes to kill watched it today and will not do that again ever I felt like i had taken a razor blade to my wrist and I was bleeding out. And know that is not funny it is sad.

cr
cr

I feel your pain and im watch days most of time.

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

Please Bell kill off the town Slut Brooke, I c an’t stand the sight of that ugly witch. What is she good for..Falling on her back with her legs up in the air waiting for her next bang. She will sleep with anyone who is married. BrookeHO is nothing more then the Forrester Mattress.

gloria
gloria

Your comments are unnecessarily ugly. Keep it classy, it is just a tv show.

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

A ugly comment for a ugly Whore Brooke.

cr
cr

Brooke is not ugly and lets not forget it a character your talkin about, you no what how long have you watch bold and beautiful anyway, have watch it for past 8 years and longer that on and off, taylor is been with all men brooke been with.

cr
cr

I agree with gloria, if how see brooke than who must hate steffy, because she is constanly doing that.

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

I don’t see Steffy ever do that. Sex with only two men one she married and the other she was engaged too. Haven’t seen Steffy pop out any illegets to her daughter’s husband the way BrookeHO has. Steffy needs a thousand years to catch up to BrookeHO.

cr
cr

News flash min mucy she slepted with a married man bill spencer jr. , ring a bell and going after liam while he was married.

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

News Flash cr ..Steffy never slept with Bill Spenser, ring a bell And Steffy never slept with Liam TILL YESTERDAY after Hope the Dope left him…second news flash, ring a bell./.. DUH!!! Taylor slept with the men she married unlike the whore Brooke who sleeps with them while the men are married to someone else. Taylor never has a illeget to her daughter’s husband either. Too bad you don’t know the difference.

Smartperson
Smartperson

Newss flash for you Min – Taylor did all sorts of sleeping with Rick, and never married him!! Also, she has been with Thorne, but never married him. Oh, and Stephen Logan, and never married him. Shall I go on?

lindee
lindee

Just hurry and put the talented Crystal Chappell back on my screen…..

gail
gail

I am so disappointed in what Brad Bell did with such a wonderful love story of Liam and Hope. You were giving young woman a chance to know that they didn’t have to have pre-maritial sex to keep the man you love and then you changed everything. Steffy with Liam what a joke. You have put in the mind of young girls if you act like Hope you will lose your love if you act like Steffy he will fall in love with you, this is truly sad and for this reason I have stopped watching your show. Steffy and Liam never not the way you portrayed his love for Hope. I have never been so disappointed in a soap opera, the reason I watched your soap was because of your great story line for young woman. Its too bad you don’t see your mistake because alot of your message boards are rooting for Liam and Hope they have more chemistry and are equally balanced. True love and now Liam and Steffy they may have chemistry but its just sexual is that what you want to portray to the young women who are watching your show. Really? Because if so that is really sad. Please re think your message.

vfocused
vfocused

RON MOSS TWEETED THAT ONE REASON HE HAS NOT RETURNED TO END STEPHANIES STORY IS THAT HE WAS NOT ASKED! This is so disappointing to the fans that have watched for 25 years. If all is needed is for someone to ask him then, I WILL ASK HIM! GET RON MOSS BACK ON THE SHOW AT LEAST FOR STEPHANIE’S LAST DAY PLEASE. You can surprise us if you want, JUST GET RON BACK FOR THE CONCLUSION TO MAKE EVERYTHING RIGHT WITH ALL CHARACTERS AND THE SHOW. Afterwards if Ron wants to continue on with other opportunities then fine, he will be missed but just ask him to bring a conclusion to the storyline. BRAD BELL IF YOU ARE READING THIS , LEAVE YOUR EGOS AT THE DOOR AND BE BIGGER THAN THAT —-GET RON MOSS BACK BY NOVEMBER 26. I am looking for him every single day now and now I NEED CLOSURE. lol seriously please ask him to return for one more time for all of our sakes your too.

Dee Bickford
Dee Bickford

I want Steffy with Liam only because it is what she wants….. But if another, bit more mature man came along and Steffy had a change of heart… Will not hurt my feelings! I feel Hope just not adult enough for serious relationships. She is silly, giggly, like a teeny bopper. They should re-develop her and Oliver! She can grow and mature with him. And he loved her so much, she just tossed him away! They could work around that Brooke/Oliver joke that happened. Leave Steffy with Liam, send Hope off to college to grow up! Give Taylor the new doctor, Jon Hensley. I don’t like Rick or Caroline… They have no heat! Just leave me cold. Rick and Amber worked and now she’s gone. Oh well… Maybe I will write my own story one day. LOL

Michele
Michele

Does he realize that a lot of fans are so disappointed in the Pro Logan Writing as of late, especially this week, after Steffy loosing her child! And is he prepared for the viewership to start to decline? I am just fed up with the fact that in the same week we lost Steffy and Liam’s child we are about to temporarily loose Jacqueline and Hunter, and my reason’s to watch BB are now gone. I hope he realizes just how much those two actresses have given of themselves. Especially Hunter Tylo who in the wake of her own real life tragedy had to play the death of her on screen daughter. that was when I knew that BB was written for Team Logan. Brooke has never had to face any loss of children like Taylor has. And with this Brooke at near 50ish and Steffy being in her 20s to have that young one looser her child just cut my heart into a billion little pieces. And to all the Steffy Haters, remember Steffy has given Liam so many outs and Hope threw him away. SO please stop calling this karma for what she has done, I think she already paid for that when Hope asked her to Italy. But in the end we all know Liam does love Steffy in ways he could never love Hope! xo sm

Larkin
Larkin

Bell is completely delusional “the writers are completely committed” to who??? Since when… Committed to drag this show in the ground and make all B&B fans mad as hell.. Nobody with a minimum sense of objectivity and decency will agree to how this man is running things.

Lisa Garcia
Lisa Garcia

Are you gonna give Liam and Steffy another chance to have a baby but this time be born and grow..you should let hope be with another man dont let the triangle come back we dont need that..Eric should stay with Taylor..but if Taylor goes to Thorn that would be good also..i think the Logan i mean (Brooke,Katie and Donna)should all suffer…Thomas needs a Latina Girl who is not gonna break his Heart..

BETTYEJ
BETTYEJ

This is old crap. Brad Bell still can not write worth a damn and KKL and KM can’t act.. you’re going to get rid of JMW and HT for the show to become Brookie Nookie broke back play pen open only to brothee in-laws and ex-husband/father-in-law and daughters husbands and boyfriends.

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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Joshua Morrow as Nick

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