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35TH ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY AWARDS RED CARPET INTERVIEWS

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BLAKE BERRIS

DAY OF OUR LIVES

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

BLAKE:
I’m wearing a Roberto Cavali suit. It’s tolerable in the heat.

MICHAEL:
What’s going to be coming up for Nick?

BLAKE:
Nick needs a story, and I hope there is a new summer romance for me, as Blake. I think Nick is still hankering for Chelsea. I am absolutely rooting for Rachel Melvin (Chelsea) tonight. I think she is an extraordinary actress and it would be great to see her recognized.

SUZANNE ROGERS

DAYS OF OUR LIVES

MICHAEL:

Who are you wearing?

SUZANNE:
Jean-Paul Gautier top, Carolina Herrera skirt and Gucci shoes! I adorn it with something like the flower, and I always do something to wake up the black, not like my red hair doesn’t just do it. (She laughs) This was so gorgeous, and I never really wear black, and I wanted something short to show off my legs.

MICHAEL:
Remember when Maggie could not walk?

SUZANNE:
Here they had her an ex-Rockette on crutches!

JUDITH CHAPMAN

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

JUDITH:
I am in Geisha mode! So, I am in ‘mamma-san’ mode, since all of my sons have been nominated. I only decided two days ago to attend the Daytime Emmys. I had collected antique kimonos for years, and I just pulled one out of the closet from my own wardrobe. My entire TV family was nominated tonight and I wanted to be very comfortable. Thank you, kimono!

LESLI KAY AND WINSOR HARMON

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

LESLI:
I am wearing Lloyd Klein. Sometimes, I just want to wear him and put him around my body. It sounds funny, doesn’t it? Lloyd Klein designed this, and what a smart choice on a 150 degree day. It’s short, strapless, and awesome.

MICHAEL:
And what about yours, Winsor? It’s not short and strapless?

WINSOR:
Well, underneath it is. (He laughs) I am wearing John Richman.

MICHAEL:
You’re rooting for cast mate, Heather Tom (Katie) tonight in the Supporting Actress category, or some of your other former co-horts?

LESLI:
I have way so many friends who are nominated also, from “ATWT”, “GL” and “Y&R”. My favorite for Supporting Actress is Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren, “Y&R”). It’s just that I know her for so long, and she has deserved this for such a long time. When I saw her name on the nomination list, I got chills, even on 150-degree days! But of course, Heather Tom is always amazing!

RICK HEARST

GENERAL HOSPITAL

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MICHAEL:
What is it like attending tonight and not being a nominee? Whom are you wearing?

RICK:
I am a spectator tonight. Trust me, it’s good. I can relax. I can throw in a little splash of color to my wardrobe. I am wearing Hugo Boss, BCBG tie, and Donna Karan shirt.

MICHAEL:
What’s next for Ric Lansing?

RICK:
My character has come out from being the DA, and working now for the other Mob… the Zacchara’s. Ric is trying to find a way to get inside to dismantle his father’s position, and maybe something good will come out of it.

MEGAN WARD

GENERAL HOSPITAL

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MICHAEL:
I am loving this outfit! It’s Kate Howard!

MEGAN:
It’s Kate Howard! I bought it on a sale rack, I am not telling.

MICHAEL:
How can all your fashionista’s learn, if you don’t tell them what you are wearing?

MEGAN:
Well, that’s the point, its’ BCGB runway, and you’re the only one who knows?

MICHAEL:
I am so excited. Now, we all love that your character was so well integrated into the “GH” canvas and with Sonny!

MEGAN:
It’s a very special partnership, and one of the best relationships I have ever had. I really could not do the job if it was not for Maurice. And when we work together, we don’t rehearse, and we like to surprise each other, and it really is creatively the most fulfilling part I have ever played, in part, because of Maurice.

MICHAEL:
But you have gotten to play off of Steve Burton (Jason, “GH”) and others bigwigs there!

MEGAN
They have gotten me around and I don’t like having to meet the doctors because I got shot or bitten by a poisonous snake or shot. I would like to meet them at bar for a drink. No life-threatening illnesses.

MICHAEL:
Who you rooting for tonight?

MEGAN:
I am rooting for “GH” and Anthony Geary (Luke, GH). What was so wonderful about his submission tape was that it was when his character died. It’s such a tribute to all the years he spent on the show, and it’s such a testament, to who he is as an actor and what he has brought to daytime. But, I am the new kid on the block, and I am just lucky to get invited to the party.

MARCY RYLAN

GUIDING LIGHT

MICHAEL:
Were you disappointed that you were not nominated this year along with your other “GL” cast mates for the Tammy’s death storylines?

MARCY:
To be honest with you, I did not feel like this was my year and I don’t know why. I feel like I am in the Supporting Actress category now, and I felt like what I was doing was more of a younger actress storyline. When I would look at some of the women in the Supporting Actress category, and then I would at my tapes, I felt really proud of my work but I felt like, I looked like a child next to my work. I felt this was not my time, and was at peace with it. That is why I agreed to announce the nominations on “The View”. I was excited when they asked me to present, and I love that storyline with Tom.

MICHAEL:
What do you think of your former leading man, Tom Pelphrey’s (Ex-Jonathan “GL”) chances tonight?

MARCY:
I think he is going to win and one of the most talented guys. I had the time of my life doing that storyline.

MICHAEL:
What did you think of the scenes from Tammy’s funeral?

MARCY:
The funeral was amazing, and it was really sad. Lizzie, of course, found a way to make it about herself by crying about her baby.

ADRIENNE FRANTZ

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

ADRIENNE:
I am wearing Dina Burrell. She designed my dress last year, but now it has dirt on the bottom! And my shoes are by Brazilian designer Carmen Stefan, and jewelry by Charlie Lapson.

MICHAEL:
Are you rooting for your Genoa City cast mates tonight?

ADRIENNE:
I can’t wait for everyone to win. I have a good feeling of “Y&R” winning Best Show, especially with the Clear Springs Project storyline we had this year.

CAMERON MATHISON AND WIFE, VANESSA

ALL MY CHILDREN- CO-HOST OF DAYTIME EMMYS

MICHAEL:
Did your wife Vanessa, give you any pointers tonight on hosting the Emmys?

CAMERON:
Her pointer with me is that I always try too hard. I always listen to what she has to say, because she knows me better than anybody. Sometimes she says, “just be yourself,” and as a host, that is the best advice anyone can give you. You want to be grounded and relaxed, so everyone at home can be relaxed. It’s not about you tonight; it’s about the people who are nominated.

MICHAEL:

Seems like the hosting aspect of your career has really taken off?

CAMERON:
It sure seems to be where my career is blossoming. I love my job at “AMC”, and one of the reasons I love my job there is, it allows me to do other jobs like host the Emmys and other shows.

MICHAEL:
What is going on with your character of Ryan? He is all over the place!

CAMERON:
This has been the most un-liked Ryan has ever been with the fans, since I have been on the show. I get it, it’s a bit of a challenging time for the character, but I think “AMC” has a lot of potential right now and we are in a really good place and I am really excited about it and where we are going.

SHERRY SHEPHERD

THE VIEW – CO HOST OF DAYTIME EMMYS

MICHAEL:
How come you are not sweating in all this heat?

SHERRY:
I’ve got a girdle holding up all the sweat. I’ve got to buy stock in the girdle industry!

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

SHERRY:
This is by Angela Dean of DeanZine. I got a bodyguard with all this jewelry on, and he is gorgeous, by the way. He won’t smile, though. He looks so mean.

MICHAEL:
Are you nervous about hosting the show tonight?

SHERRY:
I have jitters. I mean, this is the first time I have ever hosted anything. I hosted my grandmother’s bingo night at my church, and we had a big turn out like this. So, I am going to have it turn out the same way…. B-52, “Young and the Restless”, C-15 “Guiding Light”… Susan Lucci… Bingo!

VAN HANSIS AND JAKE SILBERMAN

AS THE WORLD TURNS

MICHAEL:
So, this is the outfit you must have gone shopping for after our interview?

VAN:
Yes, I am wearing an orange shirt and black suit.

MICHAEL:
How are you feeling right now, as you are about to go inside the Kodak Theatre?

VAN:
I am excited.

JAKE:
I am more excited for him.

VAN:
I am going to get nervous when they announce me as a nominee, but it’s good and I kind of feel no pressure.

MICHAEL:
You guys are presenting tonight. What category?

VAN:
We are presenting Talk Show Host.

JAKE:
We got em’ all down… Behar…

VAN:
…Joy Behar!

ROBIN RIKER

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

MICHAEL:
How do you like portraying Momma Logan?

ROBIN:
I am love being the new Logan, and I’m enjoying it very much.

MICHAEL:
Will Beth Logan have a “hot” new love interest?

ROBIN:
I don’t know, but I did inquire about that, and they said, “We will see.” I am not related to any men on the show, so it’s open season for Beth Logan.

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

ROBIN:
I am wearing Birgit Muller, who is the costume designer at “B&B”. She made it for me, and I am so delighted.

DARCY ROSE BYRNES

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing tonight?

DARCY:
I am not sure, my mom and dad picked it out, and so it’s pretty much their decision.

MICHAEL:
Who are you rooting for tonight?

DARCY:
Jeanne Cooper (Katherine, “Y&R”), because she is on the show I am on.

DOUG DAVIDSON

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL:
Are you rooting for your “Y&R” cast mates tonight?

DOUG:
I am rooting for the “Best Person”. (He laughs) While I don’t know how you do this, and there are so many good performances that cover 170 episodes throughout the year, it’s really hard to measure. And, there are tons of good actors out here.

EMILY O’BRIEN

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

EMILY:
I am wearing Roberto Cavali.

MICHAEL:
How are you feeling, before the big night is about to start?

EMILY:
I am just here tonight with no expectations. I am looking at this as a celebration of all the nominees. I am here with my family and friends, and I could not be happier. I am not nervous. I’m calm, and I’m having a wonderful time, besides the heat.

MICHAEL:
But when they announce your name…

EMILY:
…I will be nervous when they announce the category, but I am rooting for everyone from our show. We had 17 nominations.

MICHAEL:
Your choice for tapes for the competition was amazing. How did you determine to juxtapose the sensitive Jana with the crazy Jana?

EMILY:
I switched it last minute and last second, before we sent them out. I wanted to start with Jana’s vulnerable side. I thought it was catchy, and then chose to show this devious, outrageous side of her. I think I made a good choice.

RACHEL MELVIN

DAYS OF OUR LIVES

MICHAEL:
Great dress, whom are you wearing?

RACHEL:
This is my friend Laura Agualo and I! We made it from scratch, and it’s our little baby. Laura is an up and coming fashion designer. So, I told her to please make me a dress for the Emmys, and it’s beautiful.

KATE LINDER

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL
Who are you wearing?

KATE:
The dress is Lloyd Klein… the bag and the jewels are by Charlie Lapson.

MICHAEL:
What if Jeanne Cooper wins tonight?

KATE:
I will be so happy. Are you kidding me? I will be the first one up screaming. She so deserves it.

JUDGE MARIAN MILIAN

THE PEOPLES COURT

MICHAEL:
Are you going to judge us all “Judge”?

JUDGE MILIAN
Every last one of you, and painfully too! You know it becomes second nature. I was a prosecutor for a very long time before that, so I have been in court for 20 some years….

MICHAEL:
So it can just roll off your tongue…

JUDGE MILIAN:
Yeah, it’s pretty frightening, but yeah.

MICHAEL:
What was the strangest or weirdest case you have ever tried?

JUDGE MILIAN:
The strangest case we ever did was a Whoppi Goldberg look-a-like who was suing her talent agent and Whoopi’s star witness was a Roseanne Barr look-a-like and the talent agent star witness was a Joe Pesci look-a-like. I mean, it was amazing.

MICHAEL:
Did you all follow that? (He laughs)

KASSIE DEPAIVA

ONE LIFE TO LIVE

MICHAEL:
The episode’s that are nominated for “OLTL” feature some wonderful moments with you being so upset over Asa’s death. Was that special for you?

KASSIE:
First off, hopefully our show will win. I got to work with my husband Jim which made it special, and was so nice.

MICHAEL:
This is such a beautiful dress who are you wearing?

KASSIE:
I am wearing Donna Karan. It was an easy decision. I did not know it was going to be 106 degrees on the walk of shame! I like this dress and it covers the body, so it’s good.

DARIN BROOKS

DAYS OF OUR LIVES

MICHAEL:
What did you end up wearing? Cool watch!

DARIN:
I am wearing a Canali suit with Paul Smith stuff, and Charlie Lapson watch.

MICHAEL:
What are you looking forward to, tonight?

DARIN:
I’m looking forward to going inside and getting a drink. A nice cold beer sounds good about now!

BOBBIE EAKES

ALL MY CHILDREN (EX-B&B)

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

BOBBIE:
I am wearing Mary Elle Couture, and this is a Phillip Klein bag. This is funny. I wore this briefly on “AMC” in an episode where we shop for Greenlee’s wedding dresses, and Rebecca Budig (Greenlee, “AMC”) said, “You have to wear it at the Emmys.” I thought I would, and recycle!

MICHAEL:
Your performances were so amazing on David Canary’s (Adam, “AMC”) reel, it was flawless.

BOBBIE:
I felt I had a really great year, and they wrote some terrific stuff for me this past year, so thank you.

RAYA MEDDINE

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

RAYA:
Eduardo Lucero! At first, I did not want black, because black is somewhat conservative, and it will be too safe. I said, “I will do black, only if it’s sheer and revealing.” So, when I found the dress, I fell in love with it, and it was not even finished yet.

MICHAEL:
How is working with Eric Braeden (Victor)?

RAYA:
What’s not to like about working with Eric Braeden? Sabrina knows what she wants, and the storyline is wonderful. Working with Eric is a joy! We talk about literature and politics, and it’s great!

MICHAEL:
Did they incorporate your very cultured background into the part of Sabrina? You seem like the perfect “fit” for the role!

RAYA:
Sabrina is well versed, and she is an art consultant. The producers and the writers were very smart. They started asking me questions while I was auditioning with Eric. I told them about my European background, and that my dad was a diplomat. They used it for Sabrina’s character. So in essence, they used my real life background and worked it into the character.

TRENT DAWSON AND JESSE LEE SOFFER

AS THE WORLD TURNS

MICHAEL:
Was it hard to decide what to submit for your nominations this year?

TRENT:
It always is because it’s a years worth of work. It’s always challenging to figure it out for yourself. So I get bunch of it together, and call people to help me make a decision, because I can’t watch myself to tell people if I am good or bad.
MICHAEL:
How about you Jesse?

JESSE:
I am really judgmental of myself, so I just ask a couple of people to pick one for me, and that is what I end up submitting.

MICHAEL:
You have been off “ATWT” for bit now, how is it going?

JESSE:
I have been off for a couple months. I traveled a little bit, took a vacation, and it’s been a lot of fun.

TRENT:
I envy this guy.

MICHAEL:
Will, there be more story for Henry coming up?

TRENT:
I hear more is in store with Vienna I hope, it good to be the king! That’s all I can say.

VAIL BLOOM

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

VAIL:
I am wearing Marcasa tonight.

MICHAEL:
How are you feeling about the nomination and being here at the “Big Dance”?

VAIL:
I am feeling great. Everyone keeps asking me if I am nervous, and I am not nervous. I am excited. The red carpet is so great, and to be in front of the Kodak Theatre is such an honor.

TAMARA BRAUN

DAYS OF OUR LIVES

MICHAEL:
Who are you wearing?

TAMARA:
It so hot out here! I am wearing Lloyd Klein.

MICHAEL:
Is it true you are leaving “DAYS”?

TAMARA:
I am going to enjoy my summer and leave it open, and we will be talking.
KRISTOFF ST. JOHN

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

MICHAEL:
Who got you to this point on the red carpet this year?

KRISTOFF:
My little daughter Lola drove me here (He laughs), and my other daughter here dressed me… and I am wearing Hugo Boss. But, I am all wet in this heat!

MICHAEL:
I told everyone on my website that it was Supporting Actor Greg Rikaart (Kevin, “Y&R”) Vs. The Drunk Tank in your category. Isn’t it?

KRISTOFF:
Did someone else play drunk this year? (He says jokingly referring to his character of Neil Winters)

CHRISTIAN LEBLANC

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

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MICHAEL:
Your tapes were so amazing! You and Ted Shackleford (Ex- William, now Jeffrey, “Y&R) in the two-man episode were riveting!

CHRISTIAN:
Ted was brilliant! It was a two-man scene and we worked on it beforehand, like a theatre act. It was such a joy to do, and it was in one take. It was just amazing, and how connected Ted was. And, you always have a scene with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, “Y&R”) and that always helps. So, I had two amazing actors making me look really good.

MICHAEL:
This would be your third Lead Actor trip to the podium. How do you think you will feel if your name is called?

CHRISTIAN:
You think you’re cool after winning before, but it’s always exciting!

ALISON SWEENEY

DAYS OF OUR LIVES

MICHAEL:
Wow! What a dress. Who are you wearing?

ALISON:
I am wearing Eduardo Lucero. This was not an easy choice. He gave me five different dresses, and I tried them on, and loved them all. It was so hard to choose one.

MICHAEL:
“DAYS” got a handful of acting nominations this year, how is that?

ALISON:
I am super excited for my co-stars. They are super talented, and I think they earned it. I am thrilled they are being recognized.

MICHAEL:
You carried so much of the show this past year, and did not get a Lead Actress nomination. Were you disappointed?

ALISON:
I honestly believe I have been working really hard. The feeling I am getting from my co-stars, and producer and the fans, is so important to me. I don’t mean that to sound cliché, but I feel that’s what I work hard for, not a trophy.

MICHAEL:
What can we look forward to from Sami this summer?

ALISON:
Oh please! It’s such a dramatic summer, with Lucas and EJ, and Chloe and Nicole. It’s all a big mess, and I will be very busy.

ARIANE ZUKER – DAYS OF OUR LIVES
KYLE LOWDER- THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

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MICHAEL:
This is a knockout! Who are you wearing?

ARIANE:
I am wearing Ella Zahlan, an Italian Couture.

KYLE:
I am wearing Hugo Boss. The shirt is Yves St. Laurent. My shirt is going to be soaked.

ARIANE:
I was going to do two dresses, but I ran out of time. (She laughs)

KYLE:
The pavement and the carpet have to be 105 degrees right now.

MICHAEL:
What’s it like being on two different soaps now, and being a real-life couple?

ARIANE:
It’s nice being on different shows. I feel like a power team. One of us is on one soap, and one is on the other. It’s good. We always have something to talk about, because we know the same people, but we are on different shows. It’s great!

KYLE:
A lot more to talk about that way…

ARIANE:
Shut up… what are you saying?

KYLE:
A lot more gossip.

BRANDON BEEMER – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

NADIA BJORLIN – DAYS OF OUR LIVES

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MICHAEL:
You are looking dapper!

BRANDON:
I am all in black.

MICHAEL:
How is the new grind at “B&B?

BRANDON:
I have been to work all week, and have shot six episodes now. Lesli Kay (Felicia, “B&B”) has become my friend and my pal, and if I want full-fledged honesty, she will tell me, and it is awesome.

MICHAEL:
Brandon, were you and girlfriend Nadia getting dressed at the same time?

NADIA:
We were getting dressed at the same time.

MICHAEL:
But then you came down from the hotel…

BRANDON:
Ten minutes ago. I was walking around the Renaissance Hotel shirtless, and then I came down here to do the red carpet, and now I am boiling.

MICHAEL:
Nadia, who are you wearing?

NADIA:
Ella Zahlan, and it weighs about 30 or 40 pounds…

BRANDON:
…. And it’s beautiful!

MICHAEL:
And you’re not hot?

NADIA:
Oh, not at all! (She laughs) No, I am thinking cool.

MICHAEL:
What’s it like to have Brandon on “B&B” and not with you on “DAYS”, anymore?

NADIA:
I like him on the show. It’s fun to talk about our days at work, which now doesn’t only consist of “DAYS”. (ba-rumb-bump)

Grand Hotel

Denyse Tontz and Lincoln Younes Preview Forbidden Romance & Intrigue As ‘Grand Hotel’ Premieres

When Grand Hotel opens its doors to its audience tonight on ABC (10PMET/PT), it will have a very familiar feel to soap fans for several of its series regulars and its executive producer all come from the world of daytime or serialized storytelling.

Executive Producer, Eva Longoria (Ex-Y&R, Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, Telenovela) brought to the screens a provocative drama with Miami Beach as its backdrop of the last family-owned hotel (by the Mendozas) with a contemporary take of an upstairs/downstairs story of 2019.

Former General Hospital’s Bryan Craig plays Javi, who is joined by two other soap notables; former All My Children reboot star, Denyse Tontz (Ex-Miranda Montgomery) and Australian-born actor, Lincoln Younes (Ex-Casey, Home and Away) who’s characters are interlocked in some very sexy and mysterious ways.

Tontz, plays Alicia Mendoza the strong-willed daughter of the Mendoza clan, who is fresh out of business school… and who will make a huge discovery about her dad, but is also set to embark on a romance with a new staff hire!  And that staff hire is Danny played by Younes, whose character Danny is not who he says he is at all … and he has one goal in my mind which brought him to the hotel … but things get complicated for him when he feels a massive attraction to the hotel owner’s daughter … Alicia!

Michael Fairman TV took part in a press roundtable discussion with Tontz and Younes to get some teasers of what’s to come when Grand Hotel premieres.  Here’s what they shared in some questions posed by us and others below.

Photo: ABC

Danny and Alicia definitely have an instant attraction in the season premiere. Where can you tease that it might go?

LINCOLN:  Well, it can go in a number of directions, but hopefully towards a positive one.  They each have their own motivations for why they’re at the hotel.

DENYSE:  Alicia’s main goal, or at least from the beginning, is to prove herself, just having graduated business school and sort of step into her mother’s shoes a little bit. She’s had a lot of pressure on her for most of her life to sort of fill that role and keep the family together.  I think it’s really tough to have to juggle that and the desire to explore this potential romance with this person who is so intriguing to her.

LINCOLN:  I think with Danny, his reasons are kind of unknown as to why he’s at the hotel.  He comes in as a new employee, but there is something off about him.  It is complicated by the arrival of Alicia and the chemistry the kind of ensues between them.  I think that’s kind of the interesting thing to watch is them navigating their priorities and their initial motivations with the inevitable chemistry and dynamic that has appeared.

Photo: ABC

The main family in Grand Hotel is Hispanic.  And what is intriguing about the premise is that their ethnicity is not the backdrop of the story, it’s just who they are.  Would you agree?

LINCOLN:  Eva is kind of a trailblazer in that way because this is about the story of a family, and a hotel, and the guests, and the employees, and the employers, and all of the different things these people go through.  It’s not so much the color of their skin and their background.  I think as soon as you take away the magnifying glass of how a person appears and really look at what is going on inside, that’s a step in the right direction.

DENYSE:  I think that even though we are really a diverse cast and crew, that really has nothing to do with the actual premise of the show, and I think that’s really cool even to just see that.  To just play a character who happens to be Hispanic, and that’s not the central theme of this character, I think there really are no stereotypes that are perpetuated in any way.

LINCOLN:  It’s the perfect melting pot of culture, and the fact that it is set in a hotel where anyone from any part of the world can come into, it creates this show that I don’t see anything like this on TV, and that’s very exciting.

Do you see Danny and Alicia as a duo to root for with their dysfunction and all throughout the series?

DENYSE:  I think there is this sort of allure to the forbidden romance aspect of it all.

LINCOLN:  They have these obstacles in front of them.

DENYSE:  But you want it to happen. (Laughs)

LINCOLN:  You want it to happen, and it’s just against all odds.  That complicates things.

Photo: ABC

You have such a great cast to work with; chief among them Demián Bichir, Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids)!

DENYSE:  Oh man, working with Demián and Roselyn and Eva Longoria was a dream.  They’re each so special in their own way.

LINCOLN:  Three powerhouses.

DENYSE:  Yeah, three powerhouses and very different.  They each have their own way of approaching a scene.  Demián is mostly a movie actor, and it really shows in the way he approaches scenes, and the way he is not glued to the lines, and it’s kind of cool to watch him and learn from him in that way.  He’s so funny too.  He makes it a really comfortable environment, and you feel safe to try stuff.   Eva … same thing.  She has a clear vision for what she wants.  She can direct in such a way that I think a lot of directors can’t, because she has been on the other side of the camera, and she has got a really good perspective.  I think she’s really great at articulating what she wants you to do.

LINCOLN:  Yeah, she’s very meticulous.  I think the thing about all of the people who you’ve just mentioned is that they all have levity.  They are all very specific, but they are all very authentic.  That carries through in both their acting and how they carry themselves off set.  That was really great to kind of learn from them.

Photo: ABC

Many in the cast are from daytime dramas, or soap operas previously, including both of you!  Was that a coincidence in the producers casting choices, you think?

LINCOLN: I think, just knowing Eva so well now, and Brian and Ben, the creators behind it, they searched long and hard for the people they wanted to play the roles.  So, it might just be a happy coincidence.

When the scripts came out, how did the cast handle the twists?

LINCOLN:  There was a lot of speculation going on.  There was a lot of gossiping on set and off set.

DENYSE:  Lots of gossiping, stealing scripts… a lot of bombshells though.  There really is no shortage of plot twists.  A lot of these characters you think are going to start out a certain way, and then you find yourself completely changing your opinion of them halfway through the season. Without giving too much away, nobody is really who they appear to be.

Photo: ABC

How do you both feel about the fact that the wait is over and Grand Hotel is finally premiering?

DENYSE:  It’s super exciting.

LINCOLN:  It’s very surreal.  This is my first American show, so I have no idea what to expect.  I just go to Denyse for advice.  I’m like, “What do I do?”  (Laughs).  It’s all very exciting.  I think when you love a project; there is another element when it is released to the public.  Everyone on the show loves it.  Everyone is so passionate about it.  So, I just hope that the audience feels the same and that we get to keep doing it.

So will you be checking out Denyse, Lincoln, Bryan, Eva and more on Grand Hotel?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below. But first check out this promo for the kick-off tonight!

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General Hospital

GH’s Cynthia Watros Talks On Taking Over The Role Of Nina & Ingo Rademacher Dishes Jax’s New Love Interest

Today on June 3rd, Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros is set to begin taping all-new episodes of General Hospital as she steps into the role of Nina Cassadine, last played by Michelle Stafford, who has left the ABC daytime drama series and headed back to The Young and the Restless to reprise her signature role of Phyllis Summers.

Watros, best-known for her delicious portrayal of Annie Dutton on Guiding Light, and who was last seen on daytime on Y&R, is back to the grind of the soaps taking on the complex Nina.  Add to that, it is clear that GH is setting up a potential love triangle, or new love interest for her, now that Jasper Jacks is back in Port Charles with GH fan favorite Ingo Rademacher returning to the show.

Last month on the recent GH Nurses’ Ball episodes, we saw Nina (then Stafford) lock eyes with Jax, and the two demonstrated an instant attraction to each other.  Add to that in story; Jax was revealed to be the new 50 percent owner of Aurora Media, which Nina’s Crimson Magazine falls under, putting them in each other’s path in more ways than one.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Cynthia and Ingo along with other members of the media at last week’s ABC Summer Press Roundtable junket, and here were some intriguing and insightful moments from the conversations below.

When we asked if Cynthia had a conversation with Michelle Stafford on taking over the role of Nina, Watros responded: “I did.  We had lunch together, and I have to say, Michelle is an amazing, lovely, giving woman.  Just to be able to sit across from her and talk about Nina and to talk about the show, I was just in awe of her generosity.  I will always be a fan of Michelle’s.  She actually reached out to me and said, ‘If you ever want to call or text…’ and I said, ‘Let’s have lunch!’  So, we found and afternoon and spent like three hours just talking about it.”

Photo Credit: ABC

Since Watros has brought the cray-cray to her best known role of Annie on GL and is so adept as an actress to go from that to playing grave reality, Cynthia weighed in on how she sees Nina and the challenges of being a recast in a soap role: “Nina has all of this stuff that I can’t wait to play.  She’s got stuff that she hasn’t explored for a long time because her life is going pretty well right now.  What happens though when your life doesn’t go really well?  You start exploring those things that you thought were sleeping a little bit, you know, that weren’t necessarily bubbling up to the surface.  So, I like it all: when a character’s life is going well and when a character’s life is not going well. Because I’m playing Nina now, it’s going to be different.  It’s going to be challenging.  It’s the first time I’ve ever taken over a role that someone else has played.  I don’t want to totally go off, so people go, “Wow.  Nina’s totally different,” but of course, I want to make it my own.  Again, I’m an actor who likes to use all of the tools.  I like it all … the funny, the not so funny, the playful, and the crazy.”

As to the timing of Watros returning to the soaps at this time in her life … and how it went down that she landed her new gig at GH, she revealed: “It sounds not very dramatic, but I got a phone call.  Just a phone call asking, ‘Would you be interested?’  Guiding Light will always be in my heart because I had such a good time doing Annie, and I was on Young and the Restless and Another World for half of a second.  So, daytime has always been in my life and in my world.  My last show was in Atlanta, and my daughters were in high school in LA, and it’s hard to go back and forth for them, for me, and for my life as a mom.  So, I kind of took my acting and said, ‘Well, I’m going to slow it all down until they graduate high school.’  They graduate high school June 2nd and I start GH June 3rd.  So, it just seemed like it just made sense.”

Photo: ABC

As to what the future holds for Nina as she takes over the role, Watros shared: “I can tease that I get to play with this guy (Ingo) a lot, and Nina is trying to find a stronger role in the magazine where she is really going to step up in making that a success and her love for the magazine , and trying to navigate her relationship with Jax.”

Cynthia will also get to work with Nina’s present love interest, James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), which the actress is also excited about:“I have to say, I have not met him, but I have been watching the show, and he is just phenomenal.  I love his character.  I love how he is this sort of like bad guy, but it seems like the women really dig him.”

Watros says she is excited to work with Maura West (Ava), Laura Wright (Carly), and Billy Miller (Drew) from the cast.  She has previously worked with Laura and Billy in her soap career. As to her nerves for her first week at the ABC studios where GH is taped, Cynthia shared that she is: “Less nervous, more excited. I feel like a 20-year-old back in soaps.  I remember Kim Zimmer (Ex-Reva, Guiding Light) back in the rehearsal room, and I was off script, and she was on the show for a long time before me, and I was new. I was yelling my lines, and she goes, ‘Excuse me! Can you tell this actress not to act so early in the morning?’ (Laughs) I feel like I’m going to do that again.  So, I’ve got to tone it all down.” (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

For Ingo, he certainly has a view as to how Jax fits into the canvas of Port Charles: “Jax is to me, and I’ve only just been able to put it into words now that Captain America came out, but he’s ‘Captain America’.  He’s all about fairness.  If he sees a bully, he will stand up for the person who is being bullied.  So, that’s who he is.  He’s the white knight.  He’s the person who will always do the right thing.”

Now that Jax has big time ownership in Aurora Media and thus Crimson, does he see the sparks flying with Nina? Ingo reveals: “Yeah, basically he walks in, and she goes, ‘What are you doing in my office?’ and he goes, ‘Actually, it’s my office.’  When I heard about him doing that magazine, I was a little surprised because that’s usually much too small for Jax.  He’s more of a Richard Gere in Pretty Woman character, corporate leader, takes corporations apart, sells pieces … this is, I think really for his daughter, Josslyn (Eden McCoy).  He’s thinking about the future.  Also, to keep him busy in an actual job that he might be good at.   I think it’s a big change in lifestyle for him where before it was about businesses which were much more global.”

Photo: CBS

As to what is behind Jax’s attraction to Nina, Ingo summed it up by sharing: I think Jax is attracted to Nina the first time he sees her.  I have a feeling he already knew who she was the first time he sees her at the Nurses’ Ball, because he’s been studying Aurora Media before purchasing it.  He’s done his background work, and to piss off a Cassadine is just a bonus.  Also, I think what is interesting for Nina’s character is the two different guys.  She’s engaged to this more mysterious character, and then, you’ve got this jolly, upfront one going, ‘Hey!  How’s it going?  Everybody having a good day?’ (Laughs)  He’s very confident as well, but in a different way.  I think it’s nice for the story for Nina to be tugged between two completely different men.”

So, excited to see the debut of Cynthia in the role of Nina? Are you up for a triangle between Jax/Nina/Valentin? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first, watch Cynthia’s Emmy-winning moment as Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Guiding Light.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Arianne Zucker, Stacy Haiduk & Paul Telfer Talk On Masks, Villainy & Their Wildest Storyline Yet

Take three great actors, add a prosthetic mask into the equation, and let them have at it! That’s just what NBC’s Days of our Lives is in the midst of serving up to its fans with this latest plot device and twist.  Last week, it was revealed that the nefarious Kristen DiMera (Stacy Haiduk) is alive and well and pretending to be Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) donning a mask, a voice alternating device, and some other body tweaks!  The goal …  to be with Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) and she will do anything to accomplish that!

Enter Xander (Paul Telfer) who has been in the thick of the plot being the only one we know of, so far, who knows that Kristen is parading around as Nicole.  They hatch their next moves inside a room at the Salem Inn.  They even went so far as to set it up to appear that Nicole’s daughter, Holly was killed, so she could blame Eric (Greg Vaughan) and cause a break-up of the long-suffering lovebirds and play it off as she needs to be consoled by Brady!

Michael Fairman TV chatted in an entertaining and wickedly funny interview with Arianne Zucker, Stacy Haiduk, and Paul Telfer to get the lowdown on what happened when they learned they would be wearing or working with a mask, how they pulled off the emotions in the storyline twist, and what to look forward to from here.  Under the clever pen of head writer, Ron Carlivati looks for the hits and twists to keep coming as this storyline continues to rock the world of Salem for some time to come.  Here’s what Arianne, Stacy, and Paul had to say about their latest on-screen predicaments and schemes!

Ari, at what point did you know that you really weren’t Nicole … and that you were Kristen playing Nicole?

ARIANNE:  I actually didn’t find out until a little bit after the van went off the road in the storyline; thinking it was Holly who was killed.  Sometimes, the less I know makes it fresher, and I think if I had known before those scenes, and the scenes with Eric (Greg Vaughan), and when I first came back, I would have had a little too much Kristen on my mind, and I don’t know if I could have been as raw as I felt in those scenes.  So, anyway that’s my long explanation.  I found out after I started back on the show! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Additionally, did you have a conversation with Stacy about certain mannerisms hat Kristen has if you’re “masquerading” as Nicole?

ARIANNE:  Our co-executive producer, Albert Alaar had talked to me about watching Stacy because everything was happening fast.  Stacy and I really hadn’t had a chance to even talk to each other even from the last round of me being thereI remember Stacy was inundated with dialogue up the wazoo when I came back for that twelve-episode arc.  So, because of all of that, Albert said, “Watch Stacy! Watch her mannerisms, watch what she does,” and then I’ll throw a little Ari in it.  I just hope that I do as good of a job as Stacy does.

Paul, you and I talked about this on the NBC ‘Inside Salem’ podcast, when we played back for you (for the first time) the clip of Kristen taking off her Nicole mask.  Xander had the perfect set-up line for the reveal: “The part of Nicole Walker is being played by Kristen DiMera!”  Did you not have a good laugh doing that scene?  How did you get through doing that moment?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PAUL:  Oh, yeah, I was laughing my ass off the whole time.  This is an insane storyline with masks and doppelgängers.  But, it looks great on-screen, and that way it’s edited.  So, I was really happy.

STACY:  There was one moment when Nicole would hold steady to unfold the neck.   So, Ari started that to the point where I’m pulling it off completely.  I think it’s cool.  It’s “Mission Impossible”.  How nice!

PAUL:  That’s what I going to say.  If Tom Cruise can make a hundred million dollars doing this stuff …

STACY:  … then, we can do it!

ARIANNE:  Right?  We can make a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of that.

STACY:  We’ll make it look good!

What is the real deal between Xander and Kristen?  They are conspiring and in cahoots, but there’s this underlying sexual tension between them.  I think Xander respects Kristen in a way, because she can one-up him!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PAUL:  I think every character who Xander has interacted with who isn’t a member of his family, he’s trying to either get something from, or get into bed with, and he can’t really do either with Kristen, because she’s crazier and more dangerous that he is up until this point.  That’s certainly the way that it feels.  The way Stacy plays it, she is not to be messed around with. Honestly, I think that turns him on.

STACY:  Yeah, there you go.  That sounds good. (Laughs)

PAUL:  I mean, it makes sense.  Just like, “Wait a minute.  This is a bit spicier than I’m used to,” so, he’s excited, but at the same time he knows which side his bread is buttered on, and he doesn’t want her to murder him!  (Laughs)

STACY:  Well said.  I like that. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what does Kristen think of Xander at this point?

PAUL:  That, he’s a useful idiot.

STACY:  She actually needs him to go out into the world because she can’t leave.  When she does, she has to leave as Nicole, and then it becomes a whole other storyline.

PAUL:  It’s fun because Kristen is actually the boss, and Xander is convinced that they’re actually partners and that becomes our whole dynamic where she’s treating him as her lackey, but he’s like, “No, we’re partners, because I know your secret.”  Then, it becomes kind of a bargaining chip between the mask and all of that.  It’s so crazy because certain evil characters when they come back, they have to come back in disguise; whereas Xander’s always quite happy to be just jogging through town square with his shirt off after holding someone ransom or kidnapping a baby like, “Ah, whatever.”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Arianne, it’s been awhile since you got to play the villainess side of Nicole, and with this return to DAYS you get to play that side of her as well, even though it’s really Kristen. Do you enjoy playing the bad girl?

ARIANNE:  Stacy and I were just saying today that you have these conversations about the villain character, (and Paul, I’m sure you’ve felt a lot of this too) people hate you or they love to hate you, and you’re like, “Hey, it’s a good thing because I’m doing my job if you hate me,” but in order for the storyline to move, you’ve got to have a villain.  Nicole used to be kind of villain-ish but playing someone like Kristen who is such a valued villain on this show is just … oh, my God!

Stacy and Paul, what do you think is the most heinous thing your characters have done so far?

STACY:  The most heinous?  (Laughs). Wow.  You know what’s funny is that she’s done all of these things, and I don’t think she thinks what she does is bad.

PAUL:  It’s so funny because you totally would expect her to be like, “The other characters are evil.  We’re the good guys!”

STACY:  I mean honestly, so she kidnapped Nicole, and took her baby.  There’s Marlena and the window.  I mean, it’s hard when she’s done all of these crazy, horrible things.  I’ve just really enjoyed playing her because she’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s this brilliant, deviant person who just wants one thing, and there’s one thing on her mind, and everything else gets in her way.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Is the one thing Brady?

STACY:  Brady, Brady, Brady, and I think even Xander has to repeat it over and over again.  We were playing in rehearsal, and I think I had him do that.  I don’t remember the line, but I said something, and he goes, “Brady Black,” and I go, “Say it again,” just because I want to hear him say it again.  That’s her driving force.

What did Greg Vaughan and Eric Martsolf say when they found out about what the twist was?  Did you tell them?  How did they find out?

ARIANNE:  Well, Eric Martsolf always has a great chuckle.  He has a great laugh, and I think Greg Vaughan just stared at me for a minute.  Then, I told him about the mask process … about making the mask …. and how I thought I was going to pass out and die.  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Is putting on the mask an extremely weird experience?  How long does it take to put on? 

STACY:  About an hour?  It’s quick, and I thought we were going to suffocate when we were under that because I’ve never done my whole face before, but I’ve done body things. Make-up department is like, “You’re going to be fine.”  It was heavy too, really heavy.

ARIANNE:  Yeah, and because it’s so heavy, after a while, it starts to pull your skin down a little bit, and you’re like, “No, no!” (Laughs)

Did anybody else go running around with the mask on?

PAUL:  Oh yeah.  Everybody!

I knew it!

ARIANNE:  How could you not?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what is the relationship between the real Nicole and Xander, which we saw play out before her death?

PAUL:  She’s my wife!

So, Xander sees Nicole as his wife?

PAUL:  I’m happy to give Xander’s perspective on Nicole, and then Arianne can feel free to correct it.  (Laughs)

ARIANNE:  Alright, that sounds good.

Photo Credit JPI Studios

PAUL:  The way I’ve tried to handle it over the years in our ins and outs of this failed romance is that they’ve saddled poor Arianne with: this psycho chasing after her, and kidnapping her and her baby, and whisking her off to foreign lands – and also to Nashville.  When Xander first came into town, before they decided to make him a total psychopath, it was all working nicely, and Nicole wasn’t really on the up and up with Xander, and she wasn’t really honest about what her intentions were.  Meanwhile, Xander was involved in all of this chicanery with Serena, so once that metastasized into full-blown evil, and Nicole was aware of this, it shifted from, “I just really wanted to take this girl to the movies,” to, “Well, I guess I have to kill her now.”  (Laughs)  So, I think he’s just been playing that out ever since.  “Well, if I can’t date her, and if she won’t love me, then I guess I just have to torture her for the rest of her days.”  I think now on the other side of her supposed death, I think Xander has probably reconciled that his twisted romantic notions, or torture, or whatever he was doing with Nicole, is probably over, and he’s moving on to greener, more alive pastures like Sarah.  To be fair, I do think they’ve purposely made it confusing.  Not just for the audience, but for us.  There’s a real sense of, “Am I playing this to Nicole as Kristen, or do you want me to play this just to Nicole?”  Very often they just go, “No, just play it to Nicole,” because it’s funnier if for Xander it just occasionally slips his mind because she looks just like Nicole.  I’m kissing her… like he’s just enjoying the fact that he can.  “I never really got to kiss Nicole much, but this is Nicole’s face, so I’m going to.”  (Laughs)

ARIANNE:  That’s hilarious.

Ari, what would you say is their relationship?

ARIANNE:  Well, I’m certainly not as long-winded as that.  (Laughs)

PAUL:  He’s a creep!

ARIANNE:  He is a creep.  What cracks me up coming from Nicole is, “Ew, what a jerk.  He’s so gross.  Yuck, yuck!”  Like, really?  You’re not going to make that one work, huh Nicole?  When you reach that far back to the history of Xander and Nicole, it doesn’t have a lot of depth for the two characters because the next thing you know he’s trying to kill her and Eric.  It’s like that scary online dating when you go on one date and it didn’t work out because that guy is going to kill you.

PAUL:  Xander is like the ultimate bad Tinder date.

ARIANNE:  Totally. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

That is classic.  The bad Tinder date.  That’s basically it.  Xander also apparently feels bad for Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) as she is having her bout with alcoholism.  Is that correct?

PAUL:  Yeah, I’m actually excited to see some of that stuff.  It was great doing it because I love Suzanne to bits.  I was very afraid of ruining Xander by making him too nice, but at the same time when I was first brought on to Days, I wasn’t offered a villain role originally.  Xander morphed into a more severe villain than I’d been led to believe he would be, and it happened quite quickly.  So, I’m actually quite happy to right the ship a little bit back towards he’s bad but he has some occasional glimmers of goodness in him.  So, Maggie really represents that because she’s actually quite nice to him and nurturing in a way that no other character on the show is.  When she has her dalliance with alcohol, he’s one of the few people who doesn’t judge her for it, and we finally get a little bit of Xander’s back story.  I’m actually excited to see those scenes because they felt nice to do, so hopefully they come across well.

Stacy, how did you track this storyline, when Arianne would be playing Kristen as Nicole? 

STACY:  Well if I didn’t get the script, I didn’t know about it.  So, if I wasn’t in the script that time, then I would be looking at Paul going, “What are we talking about?” and then, Ari had obviously already shot those scenes, so they were written for me, so I’m like, “What did I do?  What did I do?” It’s just scenes between Xander and Kristen at the Salem Inn.  Occasionally, you’d get somebody knocking at the door, but then I’d have to quickly put on my mask. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, Ari did you ever have to go to Stacy to get tips about Kristen’s past or anything?

ARIANNE:  It was all about the future moving forward.  I think old, former Nicole had some crazy similarities with current Kristen because it felt kind the same as pulling some things from what she used to do … you know, just a couple of crazy chicks in one crazy character. (Laughs).

The other big part of this is Rolf’s diary that Xander has in his possession.  Is Kristen in cahoots with him on that?  Is she trying to get that from him?

STACY:  I think she is.

PAUL:  Yeah, that’s when she starts to get mad at him; when she realizes that he’s not just being her underling and he’s off scurrying around with his own agenda in the meantime.

ARIANNE:  He’s manipulating and doing his own thing.

PAUL:  I use it to start manipulating Eve (Kassie DePaiva).

So, what would you say to the fans to look forward to?  “You never know who you’re talking to on DAYS?” “Gird your masks?”

ARIANNE:  I definitely think fans know that’s not Nicole the way she is.  And, you never know who is going to give you a shot in the butt and turn you into somebody else.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Well, that’s true.  You never know.  One day they’re going to tell you that you’re playing Julie today! (Laughs)

ARIANNE: “Today the character of Julie will be played by…”

STACY: “… you will never guess by whom!”

PAUL:  This was fun.  This is a fun way to do it.  Let’s all do all of our interviews together moving forward!

So, what have you thought of the plot twist? What do you think of the Nicole mask and the performances and comments made here by Arianne, Stacy, and Paul? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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