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The John-Paul Lavoisier Interview – Beacon Hill

Courtesy/ABC

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

It’s been awhile since soap fans have seen John-Paul Lavoisier!  The former One Life to Live favorite where he played Rex Balsom, is now co-starring in the political soap opera Beacon Hill, which will have its online debut on March 5th.  In it JP plays Eric Preston, the son of Crystal Chappell’s Claire Preston, and brother to Alicia Minshew’s Sara Preston, and who’s Grandfather Senator Preston is played by Ron Raines!  How’s that for a family tree for starters?  Beacon Hill also reunites John-Paul with his One Life to Live sister Melissa Archer, and former on-screen love interest Jessica Morris!

As for John-Paul’s personal story, it was no secret that he, as well as many others in the cast, were devastated at the cancellation of One Life to Live by ABC.  Once the series was canned, he and then girlfriend Farah Fath (Ex-Gigi) moved out to Los Angeles, where JP began to pursue other acting career opportunities.  But many have asked: what happened to his relationship with Farah?  According to John-Paul, when he came out to Los Angles he had a hard time dealing with the change from the east coast.  He admits he was in a dark place, and he says that Farah could not deal with it.  Apparently he relates, she had a five month limit on how much she could take a depressed JP, and left him in June of 2012.  Since that time John-Paul has been single.

There had been other rumors circulating as well for over a year concerning JP.  One of which was that the popular actor was next in line to take over the role of Dillon Quartermaine on General Hospital, and another being about why he chose not to become part of Prospect Park’s online version of One Life to Live.   Well, in this candid interview with On-Air On-Soaps, John-Paul fills us in on if the rumors were true, and if anything would have brought him back to One Life to Live for a reprise of his beloved role as “Sexy Rexy”!   Plus, we learn what the heck is, “The Full Dolores” that he and best friend and former OLTL cast mate, Tuc Watkins (David) have cooked up!

One thing is for certain, John-Paul holds a very special place in the hearts of One Life to Live fans for all-time. And with that, he hopes to make new memories with his upcoming role in Crystal Chappell and company’s, Beacon Hill.  Here now, the one and only JP!

MICHAEL:

So many soap fans have missed seeing you every day!  How did you become involved in Beacon Hill?  What made you decide to be part of this project, since this is your first soap role since One Life to Live?

JOHN-PAUL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

It fell into my lap.  I randomly got an email from Hillary B. Smith saying, “I have this project I am working on with Crystal Chappell, and there is a part for you that you would be perfect for.  And can I email you the script and the material?  We would love to have you.”   So, she emailed me the script and I thought, “Well, I can do this.  I want to work with you, and I miss you.”  So, it was a chance to work and to see Hillary again and to fly back east.  I had never met Crystal before, so it was a chance to meet her for the first time.  I knew Ricky Paull Goldin was involved, and I love Ricky.  He is one of the easiest guys to talk to, and one of the funniest guys to talk to.  Then, when I found out I was going to play Alicia Minshew’s brother, I was very excited.  I grew up watching All My Children, and I have grown up knowing Alicia’s work forever.  I was sort of a fan, and I would see her at soap events.  It was a chance to reconnect and sort of get to know her better, as well.  I am glad I did Beacon Hill.  It felt so good to be in cold weather in Massachusetts bundled up, and I just felt at home, because I also was with Melissa Archer.  Even though I never worked with Alicia and Crystal, it was kind of like Abbott and Costello not working together for 20 years, and then someone calling them up and saying, “Hey, can you do this part?”  It was kind of like us all falling back into the old routine.  We knew we could trust each other.  We knew it was going to be fun, and we had the same sort of work ethic.  We all came from the same place, sort of.  I knew it was going to be fun, and we were going to get it done without problems.  Everyone was so professional.  It was neat to see Hillary in producer mode, because I am used to seeing Hillary in “Hillary mode” mostly (Laughs).  Your producer Hillary!  You have your headset on and you are watching the monitor. So there was that element that was new.

MICHAEL:

Did being a part of Beacon Hill, make you miss OLTL?

JOHN-PAUL:

Oh, c’mon.  (Sighs)  I would sign a 30 year contract to be on One Life to Live if it was in front of me, right now.  It’s a no brainer.   I miss everything about it.   Everything!  I never had any complaints that whole time when I was on ABC.  I hope Beacon Hill continues, because it brought me back.   It’s sort of like we all have come together to do the same magic trick.  We know the gimmicks.  We all have this well-oiled machine.  We know how to hit our marks.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

When I interviewed Crystal Chappell (Claire Preston) about what she thought of you, she says what I have always said about you, that you are so interesting to watch and you never know what is going to happen.  I have often said that you have your own unique, very non-soap acting style, the way you delivered your material as Rex on OLTL.  So, I totally get what she is saying. 

JOHN-PAUL:

I had one scene with her, and she is really fun.  Her character is not of sound mind when my character has this interaction with her.  We had this close moment; she affected me.  I was happy and excited that Hillary threw me this bone, but when I found out I was playing Crystal’s son, I thought, “I don’t think she is old enough to do this! I hope that it’s believable and they buy I am her son, because I would sleep with her!” (Laughs)  Crystal is very good at turning on and off … I am the actress now … I am the hang out co-worker … and I am also the producer and boss … and I have to give people orders and tell them what to do, and flip that switch, just as Hillary was.

MICHAEL:

So what is the deal with the Eric Preston character you play in Beacon Hill?

JOHN-PAUL:

I have not read anything for season two, but in the first season he is basically playing this runner, wet nurse, for his grandfather.  He wants to keep the family working, and he only wants what’s best for the family.  He is probably the future heir to the family, and right now he is just the “yes” man to the grandfather.  You see him getting him tea, or answering the door, or carrying people’s luggage.  He is sort if like the family slave, and the caregiver right now. He is making sure the dust is off the counter.  I heard that he has his own plans for taking over certain things, but that is not happening yet.

MICHAEL:

So, you therefore share scenes with the amazing Ron Raines (Senator Preston)?

JOHN-PAUL:

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

Everything you see Eric doing is for Ron Raines’ character.  You sadly never see him with Ron Raines!  We are never face to face.  Although I am face to face with his lover, my old sister on OLTL, Melissa Archer, which was neat.

MICHAEL:

I was thinking Eric and Evelyn (Melissa Archer) would end up having a fling!

JOHN-PAUL:

We have been told that since they are closer in age, and this being a soap, that there is a sexual spark that they have to deal with soon.

MICHAEL:

So is Eric Preston a good guy?

JOHN-PAUL:

In the first season, I played him as a good guy.  I wasn’t playing that he had nefarious activities.  I was basically being truthful and honest with everything I did, except I know there was a moment where I have this moment with Crystal.  I was beat down from her, and when my grandfather yells something from the bedroom.  I give a look like, “Not again.”  I think Eric was tired of all this crap, and that he is running all the time, but he just sucks it up and does it, because he thinks, “I am family, and family comes first.   And being the political figures that they are, I have to keep everyone’s face pretty for the world.”  I am excited to see how much more of the brother and sister relationship they build between Sara and Eric.  I feel a cool bond with Alicia.  I hope that I can pull though as an actor, if they do push and something evolves between Evelyn and Eric, because it’s incredibly weird.  I have known Melissa Archer for 12 years.  I see her almost every day.  We hang out in L.A. all the time, and she is like my sister.  And the thing with me is, the less I know about you sometimes, the better I can act with you, depending on our character.  With Bob Woods (Bo) on OLTL, it was easy to work with him.  He was kind of like my dad.  With Erika Slezak (Viki), I respected her, so it was easy to respect Viki on the show.  With Melissa it was easy.  She was like my sister, and she played my sister on the show.  But if all of sudden we are bedfellows, this will definitely be the biggest challenge of my acting career; playing that I want to sleep with Melissa Archer.  I love Melissa, she is very sexy, but she is John-Paul’s sister. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

It takes me back to the final scene between Natalie and Rex on OLTL, and she runs into the Buchanan’s as Rex is leaving for London to say goodbye!  I must have watched that episode back countless times and it is a five-hankie episode.

JOHN-PAUL:

Courtesy/ABC

It was heartbreaking.  If anyone can go back and watch the same scene, I also say goodbye to Bo. And we did it in one take, and I actually flubbed one of my words because I couldn’t get it out, because I was so upset about the whole moment.  Yes, in that moment when I had to say goodbye to Natalie, I remember the line that they wrote for her was, “What am I going to do without you?”  And I think I said, “What am I going to do without you?”  Those lines made perfect sense, because at the time everyone thought that Prospect Park was continuing OLTL, and at that time I was not going to go to Prospect Park, I was leaving, and so it was her saying, “I’m staying in Llanview, what am I going to do without you?”  And John-Paul is going to stay on the west coast and Melissa is staying on the east coast.  And what are we going to do without each other?  And it was very real.  The music was great.  Sadly, it was a good episode.

MICHAEL:

How was your last day of filming One Life to Live?  Eventful … or uneventful?

JOHN-PAUL:

My last work day was November 17th, and unfortunately it is, what it is.  Things were shot out of order.  In my last scene, I was working with Terri Conn (Ex-Aubrey).  I was walking into Asa’s mansion and I was talking about Gigi (Farah Fath).  It was my last scene ever, and it was like five lines and not a big deal.  I did not get to have “And ‘Cut,’ that’s a wrap on JP!”  It was like “Cut’ moving on” (Laughs).  As soon as they yelled cut, I looked down on Asa’s desk and decided to take something with me, and it was a prop of a picture of me and Shane (Austin Williams).  And that was it.  I did not have a fond farewell.

MICHAEL:

Did you watch the new OLTL from Prospect Park?

JOHN-PAUL:

Courtesy/TOLN

I watched the first couple episodes of the new OLTL.  I will say I enjoyed the AMC intro. I don’t think I got the OLTL intro.  The dancing was weird.  

MICHAEL:

Were you hoping that if the online version of One Life to Live had taken off, and if you felt it was a successful platform, you would have eventually signed on and joined the show?

JOHN-PAUL:

I was in a wait and see mode.  There were so many unanswered questions.  They did ask me to be in the show, twice.  Because of it being the Internet, I did not know what they could put on the Internet.  I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but I still questioned things like, “Well, are we going to be doing full frontal nudity?”  Is it going to be True Blood meets daytime?  Who is Rex going to be on Prospect Park’s version?”  There were too many unanswered questions, and no answered questions.  But because Melissa Archer, and Bob Woods, and Tuc Watkins were all going with the production, I wanted too.  But at that point as soon as they announced the ABC cancellation of OLTL, I immediately made plans to pack up and move to L.A.  I could not deal with all the uncertainties of Prospect Park, and closing up and moving from New York, and to starting in L.A. and giving it a try.  I had to make a decision.   So I said, I am going to close this door. This got cancelled.  I am just going to go see what other opportunities are out there.  If right now everything worked out and they put OLTL on Showtime and offered me a contract for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t think twice about it.  It was an awesome show.  Until that day, however ….  The other thing is, and this is just being a selfish actor, and sometimes you have to be, a lot of it was going to take place during pilot season and at the time being a 31-year-old new to L.A, I kind of needed to make myself available for other opportunities.  The ten weeks they would have needed me was a crucial time for an actor to get his face known in L.A.  The timing did not work out for me to try and do other things.

MICHAEL:

Would you have done the OLTL “Brand New Start” dance sequence, if they had you in the cast?

JOHN-PAUL:

What am I dancing for?  What is my motivation?  I would dance with Shenaz (Treasury)!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

There had been so much speculation that you were going to actually come to General Hospital and be the recast Dillon Quartermaine following Scott Clifton.  Did you ever receive a call about this?

JOHN-PAUL:

I have never gotten a call from ABC.  There is no truth to this rumor.  General Hospital never called me.  I have never been out to their studio lot except for a pilot.  I have not even seen Frank Valentini since the cancellation of One Life to Live.  I honestly can’t tell you what I would say if my phone were to ring.  It’s been two years now, and I can’t imagine it ringing.

MICHAEL:

Did you meet three-time Daytime Emmy winner Sarah Brown on the shooting of Beacon Hill?  Word has it that this was her first acting experience where she had to kiss another woman!

JOHN-PAUL:

Well, apparently she did a fine job! (Laughs) Without saying too much, and I have not seen any of the footage, but the first day I arrived in Massachusetts there was girl on girl action … and where was I?  I was just sitting in the hotel with my latte!  I am kind of in the wrong place! (Laughs)  So I was at the hotel and everyone was on their way back, Sarah, Rebecca Mozo, and Ricky, and they all come flying in the door and everybody was on high.  I was like, “What is going on?” And Sarah was like, “I had a love scene and we were throwing each other around, and we were kissing, and it was fine.  It was fine.  We had a great day.”  I said, “Hi, Sarah. I’m JP.  Nice to meet you!  You did what? With who? (Laughs)”   Sarah is a dynamo.   I just sit there and listen to her, and occasionally ask a follow-up question! (Laughs) Apparently, they had a great shoot and the lesbian action was flawless … and hot!

MICHAEL:

John-Paul, you are one of the most innately funny people I know.  Would you like to do a comedy series?  

JOHN-PAUL:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Funny, you bring that up.  I have only had a handful of sitcoms auditions since I have been out here, and honestly my feedback has been, “He’s not good enough.”  I am not going to name names, but I did meet with a woman who used to work at the same company as me.  I got to be in the same room with her and my feedback was, “He’s not multi-cam.”  I said, “OK,” and unfortunately there were no cameras in the room, so there was no proof of that.  It was just me sitting on the couch and us running lines and she said I was not multi-cam, and so that’s that.  I said, “Really?  I did multi-cam for ten years.  It just so happened that it did not have a laugh track.” (Laughs)  I am still trucking along.

MICHAEL:

Tuc Watkins (David, OLTL) is your best bud.  I hear you spend much time with the twins!

JOHN-PAUL:

I am at Tuc’s house 20 hours a day.  I house sit, and dog sit for him, when he is out of town, and take care of the twins.  I want a wife and a daughter.  I think I would be a good dad.  Right now, I am on the hunt for a wife, who wants to have a daughter! (Laughs)  Listen, I am very lucky to have Tuc in my life.  I owe my sanity to Tuc.  He is one of my best friends in the world.  There are only a few people in your life you can trust and he is one of them.  I can’t imagine having a better friend.  He is the guy I can call on when the chips are down.  I tell ya, if he did it for me, I would be the luckiest guy in the world.  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What did you think about Tuc coming forward and publicly coming out and revealing he is a gay single dad of newborn twins?

JOHN-PAUL:

He was excited when he was booked on the Marie Osmond talk show, Marie! He said, “I am doing these shows because I want the world to know these things.  It’s now time for me to talk about my life, and tell the world who Tuc is, and what’s going on with Tuc.”  We watched all his talk show appearances together.  He was very proud and happy about it.

MICHAEL:

OK, now you must tell me about “The Full Dolores”.  You and Tuc are actually starting the next exercise fad!  Fill us in!

JOHN-PAUL:

Courtesy/JPLavoisier

Tuc Watkins and I have a new fun thing in our lives that is our bible.  We do a work out routine at Runyon Canyon called “The Full Dolores”.  It’s a 100 minute workout that is basically a 4.4 mile track, and I think we go up to an elevation of 800 feet.  Anyone is welcome to join us. If you do, and complete “The Full Dolores”, you get a t-shirt authenticated in Tuc and my handwriting.  Only four people have thus far completed her.  If you attempt “The Full Dolores” and you skip anything, you have done a “Baby Karen,” and that is not a good thing, and we don’t want to talk about. (Laughs)  If you do not complete “The Full Dolores,” but want a t-shirt, we might give you one.  It just won’t be authenticated.  So we are running and hiking all over the place, going up and down lots of hills.  At moments, you feel like you are going to die, and throw up, and that’s a good thing.  But you won’t throw up; it’s that moment where you realize, “I am OK” …that’s the moment!  We do 14 different stations where we do 26 push-ups, which come to a total of 364 push-ups, one for every day of the year, but you get your birthday off. (Laughs)  We do a 100 pull-ups and a 600 count of planks, and the whole routine ends with it being plank to failure.  The whole routine ends with the last man standing wins for the day.  Tuc always wins.  You cannot out plank Tuc!   He can go for weeks and weeks, and he kills me!  Tuc is much better shape than anyone I know.  He is so jacked, so ripped, and I am so jealous!  He went out of town to Kansas City over the summer for three and half weeks, and I house sat for him.  And during that time he came back 17 lbs heavier, and when he got back we started this “Full Dolores” routine in July and he shed those pounds instantly.  It is ridiculous how in shape he is!  I am OK, but nowhere near the shape he is in.  He owes it all to “Dolores”.  We don’t go to the gym anymore, “Dolores” is free.  We just ask that you come and have fun and talk about it.   It’s a great social thing too.  We have met people at Runyon.  And we have invited people to “Dolores “…. you get one invite.  (Laughs) You know “Dolores” is happening Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  “Dolores” will crush you.  You never really win.  You get a little better each time.  You can sort of eat whatever you want.  I eat chocolate every day, and butter and crackers, and I don’t go to the gym, I just do “Dolores”.  It’s all I need.

MICHAEL:

In closing, with all you went through personally and professionally, is acting still your passion?  Because you are one of the most naturally gifted young actors I have seen.  Los Angeles can be tough and unforgiving, when there are so many talented people vying for roles on shows, and more often than not, its about that lucky break.

JOHN-PAUL:

Courtesy/ABC

I will say working on the soap was a huge blessing, and one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.  I was thinking about this a couple of months ago.  Everybody in my life that is important, I have met all of them because of ABC and One Life to Live. Everyone I know is an extension of someone I met at ABC or One Life to Live.  I know so many people through Tuc.  The Fumeros I see all the time.  I have reconnected with John Brotherton, and I see Billy Warlock and Julie Pinson all the time.  Plus, I got to act and do this character, and I had a great Manhattan life because of it.  I will say on the record, it was a huge curse working on One Life and on a soap.   I am having a difficult time doing non-soap work at a non-soap speed.  Everything else is slower.  I am in play rehearsal right now, and as happy as I am being in the play, the rehearsals are so slow, and it just is, what it is.  With primetime stuff, there is more money involved, so it allows you to have more time.  But with soaps, time is money. We had to do 250 shows a year.  So this is the way, I put it: “Going from soaps to anything else, is like a NASCAR driver having to drive a city bus.”  That’s the best way I can put it.  Beacon Hill was pretty close, because we did anywhere between 1 to 3 takes per scene, but again the process was still slower.  Beacon Hill is really the perfect balance between film and soap.  They want the film quality, but they did take a lot of time for set-ups, and it was very professional.  But when it came time to do the acting, we can get in one take, because we can.  Now we go into soap mode, because we are soap actors.  We are going to save you time and money now, so you can take that time and put it towards the production, or setting up for the next shot.  I still will never understand why a large percentage of this business looks down on soaps, when in fact it should be the opposite.

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Monica
Monica

At least he put it out there as honestly as he could. I wish him well and look forward to Beacon Hill.

robin fletcher
robin fletcher

Oh, how I miss this man. He was just incredible. I hope he gets a sitcom. No question he can multi-cam.

Joshua
Joshua

As long as he stays off of the four daytime soaps, I am happy.

He was THE BIGGEST PROBLEM with “One Life to Live” during it’s final four years.

Esther Sue
Esther Sue

Says you, girlfriend. I adored him and miss him still.

egolf
egolf

Great interview. Beacon Hill will be awesome

Perla
Perla

Great interview and great actor, I can’t wait to see his character on Beacon Hill.

Cheryl
Cheryl

Great interview, thanks!

Margie
Margie

Love him. Miss Rex so much, and all of the Llanviewers. Damn ABC. He did a great job on The Mentalist. I hope he gets more prime time work.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I think that is one of the most honest, down-to-earth interviews I’ve ever read. It’s always nice to actually LIKE the actor whose work you admire. I loved him as Rex…he was both cute and sexy…a “bad boy” who grew up into a great guy…great friend, brother, father, boyfriend…loved his relationship with Bo…just really, really connected with his character.

Now, after reading this, he just seems as genuinely endearing as he did onscreen. (Much more so than his ex Farah…after reading a few of her tweets I’m not such a fan…think “Gigi” was a better woman for him than Farah!)

Best to you John-Paul. I’m sure you’ll be great on whatever project you take on…I look forward to falling in love with you all over again! 😉

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hahaha…after rereading my post it might look to some like he had a relationship with Bo! I just segued into that thought…just mean great father/son-type rappost
that emanated off the screen.

rebecca1
rebecca1

now again in English! LOL…meant… great rapport!

SiteAdvocate61
SiteAdvocate61

Rebecca,don’t sweat it. I totally agree with your comments. JP has always been one of my favorite actors since I began watching OLTL in mid 2006. I enjoyed how Frank and Ron made a responsible loving dad out of a smarmy playboy. Rex was more than Shane’s father,he was his best friend and you rarely see that. This show was known for displaying that side. I enjoyed JP’s down to earth interview with Michael very much.

KatieK
KatieK

JPL is the best! I really hope he finds something. I could easily see him pulling off Adam Newman on Y&R or bringing him on as Dylan on GH. But, Ill watch this new show, it has so many of my favs.

Potato hip
Potato hip

Loved this interview, disappointed to hear they don’t want him for Dillon Q., but maybe they will call him!

rebecca1
rebecca1

He would make an excellent Dillon! Could totally see him in that role.

Harry
Harry

And OF COURSE Frank Valentini never called him. Why am I not surprised to hear this?

Bennie
Bennie

I have been searching and searching to see when you would start acting again. I am very happy and you can count on me, I will be watching everything you do! Break a leg John Paul!

louisa
louisa

I loved this interview too! And I adore him. Always have, but after reading this really revealing interview, I love him even more. I miss OLTL and Rex so much!

He is too good for a sitcom. Plus, sitcoms don’t last. I would love to see him on GH as Dillon. I hope he finds a nice wife very soon.

Diane Hunsel
Diane Hunsel

Beacon Hill… please what station, time and day is it going to be on? I hope it will be on tv and not the internet, but I will watch it anyway. There is a lot of great stars from One Life To Live that I have missed.Thanks

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

GH should call him to be Dillon. He’s a shoe-in for the recast. As for the online version of OLTL, I think we all had the question of nudity, etc. Obviously it wouldn’t happen (disappointingly) since the swearing did not kick off well, due to people unwilling to get into a change. I hated Rex, but due into J.P. as an actor and would like to see him back on television.

Joe
Joe

You will see me at Big Bertha!!!! haha
I miss JP on TV. He would be great as Dillion Q! WIsh he would get the role!

heidi
heidi

Another great interview Michael and JPL… thank you!!! Miss JPL and wish he could be Dillion on GH. He could be with Maxie when she comes back… since we don’t have my fave Bradford as Spinelli!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

If he’d like to do both a sitcom and play Dillion, GH would be the perfect place to do both…lol(i know im poking fun at the soap with my sitcom crack but i do like the show regardless of its sitcom silly moments and characters!!!)

ScoobyDum
ScoobyDum

If General Hospital ever wanted to do a long flashback, he could be a young Stefan Cassadine…Are you listening Cartini?

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Thank you for another great interview. I really enjoyed JPL on OLTL (my favorite soap).

Anyway, Beacon Hill looks like it has great potential. Best wishes JPL on all your future projects. We have missed you.

jbj
jbj

Thanks so much for this interview, MF! I missed him on the PP version of OLTL, because I think they let Bo, Nora and Natalie have a lot more fun than on the ABC version, and I would have enjoyed Rex’s running commentary. That said, I totally get his conflict and he has probably grown a lot more from his Hollywood experience.

This interview was also an interesting follow-up to Dirty Soap, which gave some insight into his personality and relationship with Farah Fath. I’m not at all surprised she broke up with him so soon after, because she really seemed to be in denial about his potential for homesickness from leaving his actual and work families. More than once, she out right mocked the things that seemed to make him genuinely happy. Most revealingly, the few times we saw him be really serious on DS were when FF (or one of her advocates) would bring up marriage or kids, which back then he was adamantly against. Part of him, deep down, must have known she wasn’t the one (and I don’t blame him), since he’s now thinking about staring a family.

Terri C.
Terri C.

Hi John Paul, You will always be Rex, but I wish you success and much happiness. With you looks and the person you seem to be , you are in line to find a wife and have a happily everafter with children. Bless you and welcome back to the light!

lenafreed
lenafreed

Loved JPL as Rex – I will be watching Beacon Hill and hoping it is picked up for cable TV!

Omar
Omar

Good interview and wish him all the luck..A bit taken a back with the “wanting a wife and child” comment, you can have a child and still be who you are JPL, have a loving partner and still be a father with a willing female “friend”..I look forward to BEACON HILL!!!

sandy
sandy

I love JP and would like to know where can I watch Beacon Hill

david1964
david1964

Ok, I’m really confused. He wouldn’t join the on-line version of OLTL which was already a well established show on ABC. But he did agree to join “BH” which is online, not knowing how well the show will do. Huh? That makes no sense.

Jim Reasoner
Jim Reasoner

JP, you truly are very gifted. I always looked forward to your scenes with all of your co-workers especially the ones with Robert Woods. It was obvious that you were friends on the show and in real life. Your ad lib moments cracked me up! Especially when you made movie references without caring that it didn’t matter if no one else but you and Bob got it. Not that it matters, I got it! Subtle humor is a sign of intelligence and you are swimming in it. Thanks for all the great scenes on OLTL and I look forward to watching you excell in the industry…………..Jim R.

Joan Brigham
Joan Brigham

I miss Rex (John Paul) most of all. He lit up the screen and he and Gigi (Farah) were magical together. I still won’t watch anything on ABC due to their inhumane treatment of their soap stars. Their viewership tanked after the Boycott began, and has yet to recover. I sincerely hope that John Paul will return to television soon, he makes a show worth watdhing.

Kim B
Kim B

Farah is better off, she’s happy engaged and very obviously in a much better place. I don’t think JP has done anything at all since OLTL.

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

The Young and the Restless

Airdate: 6-14-2018

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