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THE BRANDON BEEMER INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

beemermain1.jpgBy Michael Fairman

TV SOAP:

I was speaking with your girlfriend, Nada Bjorlin (Chloe, “DAYS”) recently. She was saying she currently liked the character you play on “B&B”, Owen Knight, as opposed to your last role, Shawn Brady,
on “DAYS”.  Nadia commented that on “DAYS” your character became watered down, but at “B&B” you get to be sexy, mysterious and have more colors.

BRANDON:

I think Owen Knight is a lot of fun, and Shawn was fun, too. I never got to play a character like Owen before, but at the end of the day they are different characters. Shawn was fun when I started, but with Owen, it’s so much fun because there is no telling. He is such a blank slate, and there is no history on him as to how he was brought up. So, I can make it up off the top of my head and create things the way I would like to create them. You can’t say now, “Owen would never say that.” Whereas, before it would be, “Shawn would never do that!” Shawn would never hook up with a prostitute. That’s so out of character, and now I am not being compared to anyone.

TV SOAPS:

Owen and Donna, played by Jennifer Gareis, have shared a kiss! How does your character truly feel about her?

BRANDON:

I think Owen is interested in her and cares deeply for her, and he wants more at the end of the day. He is very driven and he wants what he wants, and he won’t take no for an answer. So therefore, that is what he is acting on; the feeling that she has for him. Donna does not want to be with him, totally. But, Owen thinks he still has a chance.

brandonJennifer.jpgTV SOAP:

How is working with Jennifer?

BRANDON:

She is great and a lot of fun! She has different sides to her. I get to experience these different sides of her every week. She is a lot of fun, and we work well together. She works hard, and is always open to suggestions, and she makes me laugh.

TV SOAPS:

Do the writers and producers lay out for you, what’s going to happen to Owen in the future? I think some soap fans are under the impression the actors know what’s going to happen to their characters.

BRANDON:

I think that certain actors find out because they like to know. They don’t mind going upstairs to Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, “B&B”) and finding out the information. I am happy to have a job, and I understand in this industry its ebb and flow, and comes in waves. You work all the time and then sometimes you don’t. Maybe I should just accept it and go upstairs and ask, and have something to look forward to!

TV SOAP:

You have had some heavy-duty moments with “B&B” stalwart Susan Flannery, (Stephanie) in the jail scenes. How was working with Susan?

BRANDON:

Working with Susan is interesting, because I had heard stories. I did not know what to expect and had no idea. The first day we are working, I was told, “Susan wants to run lines with you.” She was standing there waiting for me. She is so accommodating and gave me great suggestions, because she knows what she’s doing… and she does it so well that her suggestions just fit well.

SusanBrandon.jpgTV SOAP:

Does she tell you how to play a scene?

BRANDON:

She doesn’t say, “Do this!” She just suggests it. She won’t change something of hers’ without discussing it with you and seeing how you feel. I was happy with the material we did together.

TV SOAP:

How have you played Owen’s back-story? What motivates this guy?

BRANDON:

I just look at what motivates every human being. You look at something and go after it and get it. He’s not related to anyone, but there are a lot of things he likes.

I look at it as a man who sees no boundaries, who is smart and can figure out a way to get what he wants. I don’t necessarily think he would do anything to hurt anyone. At the end of the day, he is living his life like everyone else, and wants to do what he wants to do.

TV SOAP:

How did Marcus and Owen meet up?

BRANDON:

They did not even know each other, really. My story is that Marcus lived in Texas and Owen lived in San Diego, and Marcus found Owen through the Internet. Marcus was looking up people who were good at finding people. Marcus had run up against dead ends looking for his mother. With Owen, he likes the challenge and knows he could do it, so he did it and found her. I think Marcus looked up Owen on a website for people who work at locating people.

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TV SOAP:

What is Owen supposed to do, career wise?

BRANDON:

I think he is a jack-of –all-trades. He is a paralegal.

TV SOAP:

…..And a paramedic? (Laughs)

BRANDON:

…. And a cook (He laughs)…. I think Owen is just curious about life. He is educated and wants to be a lawyer. He is a paralegal, and he was in training to become a lawyer. That’s what I made up as his background!

TV SOAP:

Things looked pretty bad for Owen, as all the evidence mounted up that he was the bad boy that poisoned Eric Forrester. Did you have to play guilty, even though you were not?

BRANDON:

I didn’t have to play it. I was purposely left trying to be vague in certain areas about how Owen felt about things, and the way he came into the show trying to make the $200,000 dollars by trying to break up Eric and Donna’s marriage. That put him in the bad guy category right away. Eric was like, “It’s the new guy, and he is the bad guy!”

TV SOAP:

Are there some actresses on the show you think would be fun to work with, or for Owen to be paired with?

BRANDON:

There are a couple people. I have not worked much with Lesli Kay (Felicia) or Ashley Jones (Bridget). Owen can go any route. It’s not that hard to pick here. There are a lot of beautiful women here. Lesli and Ashley would be good candidates for Owen.

TV SOAP:

Have there been any memorable scenes for you with the male side of the cast that you have enjoyed?

BRANDON:

I liked the scenes with Ridge in the jail. Working with Ronn Moss (Ridge) is great! I would like to work with John McCook (Eric) more than just having him at me while he is lying in a hospital bed.

DAYS.jpgTV SOAPS:

You are now a veteran of several soaps: “GH”, “DAYS,” and now “B&B”. Is there a difference being on these different shows?

BRANDON:

I think it’s like anything; it’s like going into different neighborhoods.

TV SOAPS:

Since you and Nadia are both in the soap acting biz, do you give each other acting notes at home when watching your work?

BRANDON:

She will tell me,” I did not believe you there.” Then, Nadia gives me a reason why. I also think because I know her so well, that it’s hard to watch somebody you know so well in a different light, because you see right though it. We don’t tell each other what to do or how to act; we just call each other out on it. It’s not often. I watch her and she watches me, sometimes. Because, if I have to turn it on, I have to watch her making out with Lucas!

TV SOAPS:

What do you think of the pairing of Nadia and Brian Dattilo (Lucas,”DAYS”)?

BRANDON:

She loves Brian, and I love Brian, but it’s an odd pairing. We went to his birthday awhile back, and he is so much fun and down to earth and cool, though.

TV SOAPS:

You are always voted number one on all the soap hunk lists…all the time… Nadia told me, “If he wasn’t number one, I wouldn’t be with him.” Of course, she said that jokingly.

BRANDON:

I was 19th in the TV Guide Soaps Sexiest Men list! So, I am not always at the top. You know what? I am just flattered that I was considered.

TV SOAPS:

When the two of you go out together, does it stop traffic?

BRANDON:

When we go out and have dinner, it’s pretty rare you run into the die-hard daytime fans that literally start going crazy. But, it does happen. We ran into people recently at a Blockbuster Video store, and they yelled loudly through the whole store and they said, “It’s Chloe and Shawn from Days! My mom’s in the car and she is a huge fan, would you like to meet her?” It was a Friday night and the whole store was packed. We could not get out of the front door without saying, “Hello.” Most times people are really cool and discreet about it, and you don’t even know they are a fan of the show. One time, we were on a plane and the stewardess was doing her job, and right at the tail end of the flight she kneels down and says, “I am a huge fan of the show. My kids would love a picture.” We go, “Who, Us?” It’s flattering. I like putting smiles on the fans faces.

Brandonnadia.jpgTV SOAPS:

You and Nadia were recently on the cover of “Fixation” magazine. How did that come about?

BRANDON:

A friend of mine came to me and said, “Would you be interested in meeting with them?” I said I would, and we had lunch with one of the owners who said they wanted to put me on the cover, but they wanted to find a girl. We have to find a girl, or maybe we could hire a model. And I go, “Well, you could always put Nadia Bjorlin on the cover?” It turned out perfectly, because they knew who she was and then it was hers. I was very happy.

TV SOAPS:

What would you love to see Owen go through storyline-wise, in the future?

BRANDON:

Honestly, I try to live in the moment and not get too caught up, and then later be disappointed. It’s unlikely that Owen would be able to do some of the things I would want to do.

TV SOAPS:

Since you are the good- looking guy, the pretty boy, and the hunk, does it sometimes limit you from getting meatier acting roles?

BRANDON:

It does at the end of the day. I think you have to force yourself to find the opportunity in daytime or outside of daytime. You have to force it sometimes, to show you can do other roles, and a place where people can see you in a whole different light. Then, in the future, they will be open to giving you an opportunity. Look at how Brad Pitt started.

TV SOAPS:

But sometimes, the hunks can play sinister on primetime episodes.

BRANDON:

It is tough! If they think of me as a hunk. and they want me to be the hunk, then I will do my best to think of myself as the hunk they want.

gymbody.jpgTV SOAPS:

How often do you go to the gym? All of your fans want to know how you keep in shape?

BRANDON:

I don’t go to the gym very often. What you have to be is the leading man and the hero as much as possible, and hope that you are written
well to pull off these types of roles.

TV SOAPS:

Many people may not be aware of your very cool, ‘sense of humor’!

BRANDON:

I think that people who know me know I have a sense of humor. But, because of what is written for me work-wise, I don’t get too much humor written for me. It’s either brooding or the romantic guy. I think certain fans that know me, know I am completely different than the characters I play.

TV SOAPS:

On “B&B” the schedule is different than other soaps. You have long stretches of time where you may be on hiatus. When you have a small cast, sometimes, actors don’t always work as much. Do you prefer being busy all the time or the more laid back approach to acting?

BRANDON:

I like working. I am a workaholic. I like to work and have the weekends off. Some people like lots of time off, and if I am home a week, I go crazy.

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TV SOAPS:

Have you been home to Oregon? Is your family following you on “B&B”?

BRANDON:

I went home for a wedding. My dad is out of town. I got him a Tivo so he could catch up. Next month, I am going to Portland, Oregon for a personal appearance. My mom, dad, and sister are going to come to the event.

TV SOAPS:

What comments does mom say when she is watching?

BRANDON:

She is always like, “Oh, you are so cute. Oh, I really liked it when you did this.”

TV SOAPS:

What about when you are making out with a girl on television. What does mom or dad say then?

BRANDON:

They enjoy watching this character because they don’t know what to expect. My dad wad fooled. He would say, “You gotta be the guy who drugged Eric. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know if it’s you. But, it can’t be you, because they wouldn’t do that to your character. Don’t tell me!” My grandma is the same way. They get really excited and into it, and they want to know what’s going on. My step-mom is just the opposite. She is like, “Give me a little tidbit? Just give me one.” I go, “No.”

TV SOAPS:

Do you and Nadia run lines together?

BRANDON:

We work lines together every once in awhile, and it’s very interesting. I am a very patient person, and I will read lines with her until the cow’s come home. When I ask her to read lines with me, she has a short attention span, and she will go, “You don’t have those whole 48 pages already? I only have to read through it once or twice. Well, I can’t believe you don’t have the lines.” Nadia gets impatient with me, because she is extremely smart and she soaks up the information much quicker than I do. With me, she will ask me to read lines with her, but it takes a little bit longer for me.

TV SOAPS:

I was speaking to James Scott, (EJ, “DAYS) that as an actor, he can remember 50 pages of dialog, but he can’t remember where he put his car keys!

BRANDON:

You will forget things like that, and it’s funny James said that. James and I were supposed to play tennis yesterday and I said, “Let’s play it by ear, and I will talk to you on Thursday,” and then I forgot. I will say I can memorize the entire dialog. However, I cannot remember names. Nadia has a memory like you would not believe. Names like you would not believe. I think it’s because English is not her first language, so mentally, she is more in-tune with soaking things up. If I see something, and I know I will not remember, I tell it to Nadia and she will remember it. I look at her and go, “How the hell did you remember that?”

TV SOAPS:

Your website is finally up and running!

BRANDON:

http://brandonbeemer.com is finally up! I got so busy that I never got around to updating it, and finally it’s up and running. It was a long work in process. But, it’s going now and it’s nice to have something for people to see, because I had so many complaints and scathing emails, saying, “That is no excuse. It’s been a year and half! You need to have something up… and you’re crazy.”

TV SOAPS:

Do you answer all your own emails/messages or letters from fans?

BRANDON:

I answer all my messages on the message boards and my Myspace page. I have it all. I think the website looks good and it’s working well, and I hope the fans like it. We put in tidbits, and even things I never knew existed! The site has lots of photos and other fun things, too

kyleAri.jpgTV SOAPS:

You and Kyle Lowder (Rick, “B&B”) and his real life wife Ariane Zuker, (Nicole, “DAYS”) along with Nadia, are very close
in real life!

BRANDON:

We had dinner last night. It was burrito night. It is a lot of fun because we all have something to say, now that we are the guys on one soap and the girls are on another. The shows are similar but different. “B&B” is quieter. We don’t have any of the upper management changes at “DAYS”. It was even changing when I was there, in respect to the changes in writers and executive producers. It’s nice to be at a place that is quiet and stable.

TV SOAPS:

So last night, I am happy to announce that you, Nadia, Kyle and Ariane, ate “Half-Baked Flavor” Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! Tell us about it?

BRANDON:

Kyle and Ariane brought over 6 pints of ice cream for dessert last night. I am still recovering from it because last night it was burrito and taco night, and Ben and Jerry’s afterward. They brought ice cream and fresh fruit and I don’t think the fresh fruit even came out of the refrigerator.

TV SOAPS:

We love to know that daytime soap stars actually eat ice cream! That’s so good to know.

BRANDON:

I actually sent Ariane home with a couple pints of ice cream. I did not want to get stuck with 6 of them because I would eat them. I love Oreos and Chocolate Chip cookies, too and my motto is, “If it’s in the house I will eat it.” So, that is why I keep nothing in the house. Nadia is on this discipline trip right now. She never took a bite of it. She is right, you have to just do it. I will not eat Ben and Jerry’s for quite awhile, and I am over Ben and Jerry’s for right now, because I ate tons of it last night.

beemernightbefore.jpgTV SOAPS:

So, what is ice cream night at your house like?

BRANDON:

I have a small house with a small table, so we sat on plastic chairs. Kyle ate the ice cream that he loves, “Cherry-Garcia.” My favorite is, “Cookies and Cream”… that’s my classic favorite. Kyle and Ariane did
not bring that, so “Half-Baked” is the new flavor. It’s sugar in a cup! Not fat but, sugar in a cup.

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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