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35TH ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY NOMINEE ROUND-UP

By Michael Fairman

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Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:
What was your initial thought when you heard you were nominated?

YOUNGER ACTRESS NOMINEE
EMILY O’BRIEN (Jana, “Y&R”):
I had so many thoughts, but I remember saying audibly, “No way, no way no way.”  I was stunned and so excited!

SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE
TRACEY E. BREGMAN (Lauren, “Y&R”):
I was watching the east coast feed of “The View” and they announced four people in my category and stopped.  When they stopped at four, I went, “Oh my God!  Are there only four nominees this year?”  And then Ali Sweeney (Sami,”DAYS”) announced there was another one, and then Bryan Dattilo (Lucas, “DAYS”) misread my name.  So, what I did when I called Peter Bergman to congratulate him, I said, “I am now so excited to be part of the Bergman family!”  He was so hysterical, and when he called me back he went, “Tracey Bergman, this is Peter Bregman calling!”  So, we had this whole thing going all day long on Emmy day.

YOUNGER ACTRESS NOMINEE
RACHEL MELVIN (Chelsea, “DAYS”):
My reaction to it was when my mom called me.  We had relatives on the east coast who had seen the east coast feed of “The View”.   It was my grandmother’s birthday and they had called to wish her happy birthday.  And they said, “Tell Rachel congratulations.”  Then they called to tell me while I was on my way to work, and I was shocked.  I reacted in a very unpredictable manner, which was that I was very shocked and in awe of it all.  Now it’s sitting with me and it’s weird, in a great way.

YOUNGER ACTRESS NOMINEE
VAIL BLOOM (Heather, “Y&R”):
I went, “Holy Moly!”  I was surprised and thankful, and it’s really lovely to be recognized by your peers.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE:
JUDI EVANS (EX-Bonnie and Adrienne, “DAYS”):
I thought someone was mistaken.  I thought it must be somebody else’s name that was called.  I was in denial and shocked!  I never thought I would hear my name again!
(She laughs)

YOUNGER ACTOR NOMINEE:
DARIN BROOKS (Max, “DAYS”):
It was actually interesting when I first found out I was nominated.  I was totally out of it because it was so early in the morning in LA when they were announced.  I was like, “What time is it?”  My initial reaction was confused and still being half asleep.  It was really cool because I was hanging out all day with Tracey Bregman from “Y&R”.  She and I are in the same acting class.  That day we were going to rehearse in the midst of my having to be at “DAYS”, so we were hanging out and text each other all morning.  We spent the day together hearing, “Congratulations!” from people.  I called Rachel Melvin when I found out.  I called her and all we wanted was a nomination.  For us to be recognized for our work is just fantastic for us.

LEAD ACTRESS NOMINEE:
MICHELLE STAFFORD (Phyllis, “Y&R):
I was on my computer and Stephanie Sloane, from Soap Opera Digest, sent me an email, “Congrats.”  Then I went downstairs to my phone and got a message from Carolyn Hinsey of Soap Opera Weekly that said, “Michelle Stafford, congratulations, you got nominated!”   I am just honored.   It’s really great.  That’s really the win, because you have been chosen out of this huge group of people.

LEAD ACTOR NOMINEE:
THAAO PENGHLIS (Tony, “DAYS”):
I was thrilled, pleasantly surprised, honored, and excited to be among the other actors in the category.  I am the Emmy rookie nominee in my group!  They have all won Emmys before.  I guess I am the dark horse.  The fact that I got in means, people are being objective about the work, which gives me some hope.  I certainly don’t feel I am out of my league.

TV SOAP:
What episodes/scenes did you choose to submit in your acting category, and why?

EMILY O’BRIEN:
I submitted two very different episodes.  The first was the episode with Colleen and Kevin held at gunpoint by my character in the freezer.  And, the second episode was a very vulnerable, yet endearing, side of Jana in the hospital with Kevin.

TRACEY E. BREGMAN:
Where Lauren sees Sheila for the first time, played by Michelle Stafford, in the exact replica of Fen’s nursery.  She basically says to Sheila, “You deserve to die.”  And, there is a very heartfelt scene where she thanks Paul for being the most unbelievable friend, ever.  Then, she goes home and sees the baby, and starts to melt down.  As she starts to melt down, she tears down the entire nursery and then flips out.  The second show I submitted was, when I find out Gloria contaminated the crème.  I confront her and find out that Michael has known all along and lied to me.  Then, I confront him about what kind of marriage and relationship we have.  There were a lot of scenes where I go from strong to vulnerable and crazy, and I thought it would show range.  I am the worst judge of my own work.  So, either Christian, Michelle, Greg or Kristoff, have picked almost everything I have ever submitted.  Michelle Stafford’s vote was the one I went with, because there was a little discrepancy of which tape was going first and which was going second.  That was a whole psychology, as well.  But, Michelle yelled the loudest.

RACHEL MELVIN:
I chose the one where I found out that Nick and Billie slept together.  There was one scene in there where I felt it was the best scene I had done all year.  It was good to me because I felt I was really in it, in the moment.  I poured my heart and soul into it.  I knew if I submitted that and I didn’t get nominated, I had submitted my best work.  On the second tape I was not crying at all.  It was when the sorority girls set up Ford.  I chose that one, which showed a different side of Chelsea.

VAIL BLOOM:
The two shows I submitted complemented each other, because they both involved the storyline with my father, Paul.  The first one was the episode where Paul confesses he is my father and I think he is going to confess a crime.  I picked that because it had a range of emotions and had a dramatic circumstance.  I thought that it was unusual for a younger actress to have that meaty material.   When I first started working, I don’t think anyone realized I was only 24.  I did not tell them when I auditioned, because I knew I was playing a young lawyer and I sort of tried to deepen my voice a little.  It did make me a bit nervous playing a bit older, but it worked out well.

JUDI EVANS:
I submitted a show with Bonnie and a show of Adrienne.  The show with Bonnie was when she and Conner snuck into the morgue to steal Bonnie’s husband’s bones.  They were well-written scenes and really funny.  As Adrienne, I picked the episode where Adrienne goes under cover in the mental institution to help Steve get his memory back and rescue him.   I am hoping that shows a range.

DARIN BROOKS:
I submitted the episode in “The Cheatin’ Heart” for the Save the World Campaign.  That’s when Ford Decker comes in, and I pick a fight with him, and it’s intense.  The other episode I submitted is when Stephanie and Max are cleaning up, “The Cheatin’ Heart” and we have the slow dance.  It showed some fun comedy stuff.

MICHELLE STAFFORD:
I chose the scenes when Sheila escapes, and it’s kind of a creepy, yet humorous show. The second one is when Nick had amnesia, and Phyllis had to go sell herself.  I loved that one.  It was so heartbreaking.  I loved it because it was painful to watch.  I liked evoking that emotion in others.  The reason I chose the Sheila tape was because Christian LeBlanc and Kristoff St. John were like, “Michelle, why aren’t you picking that Sheila scene?”  I go, “I think it’s a little too… watch me, because I am playing a dual role.”  But they said, “Yeah, but it’s really good.”  The other tape options were more of a bum out.  The Nick in the hospital episode I knew there was no question.   I listen to actor’s opinions, no one else.  Actors know, and those who have done this game were hands-down and overwhelming positive about the tape combination.  So basically, if I lose, it’s their fault!
(She laughs)

THAAO PENGHLIS:
I submitted the show when Andre was dressed up as the clown with Sami in the hospital.  It just was so interesting because clowns can be really sad people inside, which is why I had them put a tear on the clown make-up.  But, Andre was a bit of a menacing clown, as well.  And the other episode had scenes with Andre and Kate, and also scenes with Tony at his father’s grave.

TV SOAP:
Who was the first person YOU called to tell them you were nominated?

EMILY O’BRIEN:
I honestly don’t remember.  I know I called my mom, my sister, and a few of my theater professors from school.

TRACEY E. BREGMAN:
I will tell you that Christian called me as they were reading my name, because I had text he and Michelle.  I go, “Hey guys, People magazine said you guys would be nominated.” Christian was on the phone talking to me and I go, “Stop talking, I think they just said my name and if you stay on the phone with me, I will tell you if you were nominated.”  So, he stayed on the phone with me.  He was calling me from his car somewhere and, of course, I text everything to Michelle.  Then Michelle, Christian, my husband and I, all went out for dinner that night to celebrate.

RACHEL MELVIN:
I did not call one person, because they all called me.  That was really ‘rad’.  I was at work all day, and it felt like my birthday because so many people were calling me.  Darin Brooks did call me, and we said congratulations to each other.  We both are still in shock and disbelief.  I like to think we are humble about it, because we can’t believe it ourselves.

VAIL BLOOM:
I think I called a few friends, more like five of my friends.  All my family called me first, because a lot of them are on the east coast and heard about it on “The View”.

JUDI EVANS:
I called my husband Michael.  He was over the moon with joy.  He is my biggest cheerleader, along with my friend Debby O’Conner.  My son happened to be home from school that day, so he was screaming and running through the house when he heard about it.

DARIN BROOKS:
First person I called was my Dad in Hawaii.  I don’t think my mom even knows.  She went to China last Monday with my Aunt, to see the sites there.

MICHELLE STAFFORD:
I called my parents…. always.  My mom is always so excited and wonderful.

THAAO PENGHLIS:
My brother was actually visiting me from Australia, so I got to share it with him, and then we called my sister and my other relatives back in Sydney

TVSOAPS:
What is the best and worst part of being an Emmy nominee for the next two months?

EMILY O’BRIEN:
There is no worst part!  I just wish I could get a ticket for all of my friends and family. From now on, I will just enjoy the ride until the big night!

TRACEY E. BREGMAN
It’s interesting that normally at this juncture we are scrambling; going through and looking at more episodes for the second round of voting.  But, since they have changed the voting process, there is calmness in me, because it’s decided already and they know the winner. The fun part is congratulating everybody, and picking the dress.

RACHEL MELVIN:
The worst part is the anticipation of it all.  I don’t think there is a bad part, because the right people already know who the winners are.  There is only one judging panel, and what’s done is done.  To be nominated is what I wanted anyway.  I have been fortunate enough to attend and watch the Daytime Emmy show for the last two years and to have fun.

VAIL BLOOM:
The best part is that everyone here at “Y&R” is supportive, and there is such camaraderie.  Tammin Sursok is one of my closest friends, and I was really excited to see her on the ballot.  She is away from “Y&R” right now doing a film in Vancouver.  We texted each other when we both found out.  It was exciting!  And I just love Emily O’Brien’s work.   I have been enamored with her work.  She is really unassuming and a hard worker.  It’s great being one of the three girls from “Y&R” getting nominated in the younger category.

JUDI EVANS:
I can’t think of a worst part, just the anticipation.  I know it’s going to sound really corny but to be honored by your peers and that other people in this industry took notice, is really humbling and wonderful, actually.

DARIN BROOKS:
The best thing is that I hope it will open up another door for other things, as well as the recognition.  The worst part about it is just waiting and waiting till June 20th to find out who won.  But I am really excited, and I can’t wait!

MICHELLE STAFFORD:
The best is being a nominee, and most people in daytime did not get a nomination and a minority did.  It’s a complete honor! It’s a game. It’s not like in sports, where truly the best teams win.  I mean we don’t’ have an act-off! (She laughs)  Its not really the best actor wins, it’s the people who are fortunate enough to have two good shows, and what did they do in them and with them.

TV SOAP:
Michelle, what do you think about your competition for the Outstanding Lead Actress prize?

Audio

MICHELLE STAFFORD:
I talked to Nicole Forrester and was familiar with her work, and I think she is great. I am familiar with her from before too. Crystal Chappell is always great, and I think she had a great year this year. Didn’t her character get raped? She may take the Chachki.  Those are big Chachki moments exactly.

TV SOAP:
And Maura West got it last year, so that may be that?

MICHELLE STAFFORD:
Didn’t Maura have cancer this year? Well there you go, she may get the Chachki.  She may take it.

TV SOAP:
Jeanne was in the “Y&R” Out-of-the-Ashes storyline…

MICHELLE STAFFORD:
Oh, I thought she was really good in those, Oh she may take it!

TV SOAP:
Then it could be you?

MICHELLE STAFFORD:
Who knows? There it is.

THAAO PENGHLIS:
I don’t think there is anything bad.  The trouble is, the only time you get what it is all about, is at the end of it.  You forget, you haven’t taken the time to enjoy the process.  For me its like, I have taken this long journey and then finally seeing what I went through.  Certainly being nominated by my peers, and acknowledgement from my producers and the fans, helps the ride along.  I am quite sure the night of the Emmys will be nerve-wracking, even if you go up on stage and win.

TVSOAPS:
Now you have to find something to wear for the big night.  Have you thought about that yet?

VAIL BLOOM:
Everyone was telling me I have to get a dress.  I hadn’t gotten so far as to know when the Emmys were, and everyone kept asking me what day.  The dress thing boggles my mind.  I don’t have designer, designer dresses.  I don’t know what vibe to go for.  It will be fun, but a bit overwhelming!

TRACEY E. BREGMAN:
I have already picked mine.  This is the same designer that dressed me, Mark Zunino.  He has worked for Nolan Miller.  He designed my dress a couple of years ago.  Personally, I had never seen a better dress in my life, and this year it’s really cool and classic.

JUDI EVANS:
I have actually thought more about my son’s tuxedo than my dress. (She laughs) I met up with somebody yesterday at a photo shoot who is going to help me with my dress.  If it were up to me I would pick up something from Target.  I have about that much fashion sense!

DARIN BROOKS:
Of course not!  I don’t know what to do about that yet.  I might go out and buy a suit.  I kind of like pin-stripped suits, and last year I went black shirt and black tie.

MICHELLE STAFFORD:
It’s early to think about a dress.  Sometimes, I don’t decide till a week before.  I am kind of ‘last minute girl’ in my life.  I kind of like the game of putting it all together.  I try not to get too serious.  Then, the whole thing becomes too heavy and then it’s not very fun.  I think I work best under pressure

TV SOAP:
Thaao, what do you think the best and worst part is of being a Daytime Emmy nominee for the next two months?

Interviews

Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Kim Waltrip Talk Plans & Launch Campaign To Make ‘Dial Emme For Murder’ into a Series

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner, and soap opera favorite Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R and Ex-Kristen/Susan, Days) is bringing one of her soap opera mystery novels to life with a proposed six-part series for the soapy and hilarious mystery, Dial Emme For Murder.

Joining Eileen in the cast will be none other than Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R) , Knots Landing favorite, Donna Mills (Ex-Abby), and primetime TV and film actress, Nancy Valen.  More cast members will be announced in the future.

Photo: JPI

In Dial Emme for Murder, Davidson plays actress Emmanuelle “Emme” Peterson, a successful soap star who finds herself smack dab in the middle of a  whodunit.

Now, in conjunction with the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television (PSWIFT), and its president and director/producer, Kim Waltrip, Davidson is launching a fundraising campaign to get the series made.

Photo: EDavidson

In an exclusive interview on the Michael Fairman Channel, Eileen, Judith and Kim exclusive reveal key Intel on the project, campaign and working together.  The proposed series has also launched its official website here.

About PSWIFT:  PSWIFT (Palm Springs Women in Film & Television) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2001 dedicated to promoting our members, both men and women in the Entertainment, New Media Creative arts community. In 2020 Palm Springs Women in Film & Television created and launched a Filmmakers’ Lab to teach members how to make a film, by making a film, hands-on.

PSWIFT is currently seeking donations through their non-profit – which are 100% tax-deductible – to fund the Filmmakers’ Lab’s next venture Dial Emme for Murder.  You can find out more on the different perks and packages if you donate to the project here.

Watch the interview with Michael, Eileen, Judith, and Kim below.

Then let us know, if you think Dial Emme for Murder featuring powerhouse actress, Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Donna Mills, will be a must-see for you via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Chats On Mia St. John’s Powerful Interview on ‘State of Mind’, Winning the Daytime Emmy & Sonny’s Future If Carly & Jason Get Hitched

Since the launch of Maurice Benard’s You Tube series, State of Mind, he has welcomed numerous guests who have opened up and shared their struggles with different aspects of mental health.  But this Sunday, July 11th, Maurice will share for the first time his powerful and emotional sit-down interview with Mia St. John; one that he reveals was one of the most moving of his series thus far.

With Maurice being a huge boxing enthusiast throughout his life, having St. John, who is a boxer, herself, on as a guest was, of course, special. However, as soap fans know, Mia is also the former wife of the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters, Y&R) and they shared a son, Julian.  Both men died, tragically. Julian, suffered from a long-history of mental illness, and his death was ruled a suicide, and Kristoff was consumed with grief following his son’s death which ultimately set him on a downward spiral.  Kristoff’s death was ruled accidental caused by hypertrophic heart disease; which was exacerbated by alcohol use.  In the conversation with Benard, Mia opens about her own personal struggle with addiction and how she coped with these two devastating losses. (See an exclusive preview clip below within this interview)

It’s also been a whirlwind year for Maurice. He just took home his third Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series during the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards for his moving portrayal as GH’s Sonny Corinthos, as he goes through all the stages of a child watching his father, Mike Corbin (played by Emmy-winner Max Gail) slip away due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Since the Emmy broadcast was pre-taped due to Covid restrictions, except for revealing who the winners actually were, Benard shares what went down when his name was called watching the show from home with his family.

 

And … things are heating up on General Hospital!  For months, Benard has been playing an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” who has become taken with deceitful Nina (Cynthia Watros), who knows he is alive and well and living in Nixon Falls, but fails to tell her nemesis Carly (Laura Wright), or anyone else in Port Charles.  With everyone believing Sonny is dead after his showdown with Julian Jerome, Carly and Jason (Steve Burton) find themselves having to save Sonny’s territory and go up against the five families.  So, what are the besties deciding to do? Get married! And as viewers saw, Carly recently removed her wedding rings to Sonny.  So, now the question on GH fans inquiry minds is; will Sonny get his memory back in time, and stop Jason and Carly from tying the knot?

Benard weighs-in on what the future may hold for Sonny, the difficulties he faced during the Covid-19 lockdown with his mental health, his conversation with Mia, and much more.  Here’s what Maurice shared.

Courtesy/StateofMind

Having Mia St. John on as your guest on the upcoming episode of State of Mind was quite emotional for you. What can you preview? 

MAURICE:  I can say that during last ten minutes, there’s a lot of spiritual stuff going on.  I felt it.  She’s very tough.  You can tell that she doesn’t want to hurt anymore, and with me, I don’t know for sure, but I think she felt safe and protected.  We got into Julian and Kristoff and what happened.  I’m pretty sure I asked her and said, “I’d like to get into something.  You could say ‘no’ to me.  It’s fine,” and she told me the whole story.  Michael, I know you were friends with Kristoff, you’re going to really be moved because I was extremely moved.  It really, really hit me hard, because of what I’ve just been through during the pandemic. I just felt the need to be there for her.  I mean, I have that in me anyway, but with her, I did because it seemed like a lot for someone to go through.  I didn’t know Kristoff.  I met him once, and we talked for a bit.  He seemed like a great guy.  I knew he was a great actor because I watched his work.  I do know that everybody seemed to love him, but through State of Mind, it seemed like I got to know him a little better through Mia.  I was looking in her eyes, and taking it all in, and she was telling me everything.

Throughout your series, you seemed to have become more comfortable in the role of the interviewer.  It’s quite the switch isn’t it from always being on the other end as the interviewee.

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve gotten better.  You know what it is with me, and somebody said it, I’ve got a curiosity that I love to hear people’s stories, and I have a way to make people comfortable.

Photo: KSJIG

Does it help you in listening to what other people have gone through in dealing with your own struggles with mental illness?

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve said it before.  It’s like therapy for me.  After Mia, I was drained, but in a good way.  In the beginning of doing “State of Mind’, I was just learning.  I wish I was more well-rounded in my intelligence.  I barely graduated out of high school, but as far as what it is with me, if I know something like acting or mental health, I really completely know it.  I’m into it.

How did the interview with Mia come about?  Did you ask her to come on State of Mind?

MAURICE:  I know who is involved with mental health.  I know who would be interesting to interview, and then I reach out, and I have people coming who are not in the soap world.  I have a WWE person; I have a TV critic, etc.  So, I asked her, and Mia said ‘yes’, and then we did the interview.  I’m a huge boxing fan.  So, to be able to talk to her about boxing and things that happened to her right before her fights, I was just really fascinated.

That is right in your wheelhouse!

MAURICE:  Way up my alley!  If I could have more boxers on, I would love that.  I love sports, but boxing is my one sport, so I was like a kid in a candy store talking to Mia.

How do you feel Mia is doing as she has been very open about her battle with alcoholism?

MAURICE: Any time you’ve been through that much, I think it’s a daily struggle for anyone. In addition, there is a really great organization she works with that I hope people will check out as she is trying to help others.

In terms of all of your State of Mind’s, did this one impact you in a different way?

MAURICE:  The good thing for me about State of Mind is that I learn from each person about things that I didn’t know.  For instance, coming up I have: Linsey Godfrey (Ex-Sarah, DAYS) who got hit by a car.  I mean, you could read about it, but when you’re talking to someone, things come out.  That’s what I love about doing this show.  Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) didn’t know anything about mental illness, personally, but he talked about mental illness more than anyone!  I said to him on the episode, “For somebody who doesn’t know anything about mental illness or didn’t have someone with it, you talk more about it,” because he had a curiosity on the subject.  Mia’s was a little more because of the boxing and how deep we went with her talking about death.  In an upcoming episode with Ken Shriner (Scott, GH), he teaches me a lot about death.  When your parents die at 16, I don’t know how you could keep going.  He taught me how.  It was beautiful.

Photo: NATAS/CBS

Let’s go back to a few weeks ago on June 25th and you win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  How did you find out you took home the gold?

MAURICE:  I was at my place in LA with my son, Joshua and my wife, Paula and we were watching the show.  When they called my name, I was very moved to watch my wife and my son get so excited, it really was sweet.  I liked my speech even though people had a problem with it, which is fine.  It’s always great if Max Gail wins or I get a win, because it’s the Alzheimer’s storyline that gets the attention.  And as I told you already, my dad has Alzheimer’s so it makes it even more personal.

And as you know, my mom had Alzheimer’s and died.  That’s why what you and Max did together on-screen together felt so real and raw and touched so many people – especially those who have a loved one going through this now, or that has passed.

MAURICE:  Yeah, it’s tough. I truly believe with this Emmy win, that it is the Alzheimer’s that really pushed it over the edge because it was a real story, greatly written, everybody deals with it, including you, including me, and you just can’t help but have a feeling about it.  You know, if I have a reel that shows me as Sonny yelling at people, beating people up, it’s not going to give you the impact.

Photo: NATAS

Was it weird coming to the stage and doing a pre-taped Emmy acceptance speech knowing that everybody else that was nominated had to do one too?

MAURICE:  Well, thank, God I didn’t have to do it in front of actors; I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.  It’s weird, right?  I knew I had to adjust.  When I’ve won before, it’s in front of a lot of people, or semi-in front in a lot of people.  So, with this year, your energy is different.  So, you can’t act in a speech like that, because then it would seem kind of over the top, maybe.  So, I just made a speech that I thought would work for what I was doing; which is kind of acting because I didn’t want to come out and say, “Oh, my God!  I can’t believe it!”  So, I said, “Okay, I’ll thank the actors, I’ll thank Frank, and I’ll make it about Alzheimer’s.”

Photo: GFrancisTwitter

I know some fans on social media jumped on the comment you made within the speech about ‘being the star of the show’ and you did tweet out that you went to Genie Francis (Laura, GH) to make sure there were no ruffled feathers there.

MAURICE:  I went to Genie because I thought, I don’t want her to take what I said personally, and she’s like, “What are you talking about?”  Sometimes I respond to a negative comment on Twitter with an emoji which can incite people.  So, I decided, “I’m not going to do that anymore. No more responding.”  Like I always say, you want to be loved and you want to be hated.  You just want to be loved a little more. So, I stopped with the child’s play.  I’m cool with it.

It seemed that things got twisted up, because you had related in the speech, that Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) came over to you and said you have to do the storyline, because you are the star of the show, when you were overcome in the screen-test with Max Gail. 

MAURICE:  Sometimes people love to change the narrative.  If you watch everything … they say what I said, but they don’t say that I also said ‘Alzheimer’s’ was the star, but I’ll take the hit.

Courtesy/ABC

I recently posted a clip of my interview with Cynthia Watros from the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys saying how she is so thrilled and honored to work with you.  How is it working with Cynthia?

MAURICE:  Let me tell you about Cynthia, and this is just my experience because I don’t know her that well.  We hadn’t worked together before. First of all, we tend to overlook, because of her character and the story, or whatnot, is that she is a real actress.  Let’s not forget that, I know she did Lost, and I didn’t watch her on another soap.  I know from working with her.  She can act She makes adjustments, and she listens, and I’m really happy to be working with her.  She is just stuck in a circumstance that is not her fault, but you know what, like I said today I think on Twitter to somebody, ‘but wait’.  I’ve been working this last month doing some scenes with her, and when you see that, there’s a little bit of magic in there!  I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing in the world, I’m just saying there’s a little magic!

Photo: ABC

Have you liked being “Mike “and not having Sonny’s memory because it opened up the story?

MAURICE:  I know people think this story is my idea, like I needed a break or something.  It has nothing to do with me needing a break.  They came to me and said they were going to do this story.  I said, “Let’s do this!”  I’ve been enjoying this.  It’s a different energy.  The energy that Sonny has is dark.  It’s like in third gear.  Mike is like in first gear, calm, relaxed, happy.

You’re just realizing that now?

MAURICE:  (Laughs) Well, I guess until you’ve gone somewhere else you really don’t know.  Often times, when I do movies and other projects, it’s often the same kind of energy that Sonny has. I’ve never played a character like “Mike” where it’s a whole other feeling!

Courtesy/ABC

Is it more challenging to play a character like Mike?

MAURICE:  No, easier!  Sonny can be difficult to play.  But guess what?  The audience – at least my fans – they don’t care how happy I am or whatever, they are screaming “Go back to fricken Sonny!”  I like that in a way, but I didn’t know that it was going to be this vocal from people.  It’s not that they hate Mike, they just want Sonny, and Cynthia is put in a tough situation because of her history in that character.

So, now everyone saw last week that Jason and Carly have decided they have to get married for the sake of the business with Sonny believed-to-be-dead.  What did you think when you heard that they were going in that direction with the story?

MAURICE:  Well, I was the last one to know.  I didn’t know they were going to get married until I heard about it in the makeup room.  I think the first thing I thought of was … we are all going to be having some great scenes coming up, like, “Alright.  Let’s rock and roll!  Let’s do it!  I’ll get into this character of Sonny when called upon.”  It might be and dark and the whole thing, but once I’m in there, I’m fine.

Courtesy/ABC

It would seem if Carly and Jason do actually get married, it’s not going to be an easy road to reconciliation for Carly and Sonny down the line.

MAURICE:  No.  I would say not.  The thing about Sonny is that it’s what Sonny does best, or what I do playing him best, is betrayal.  So, for him, this is not a good thing.  I would assume he’s just going to go, “What the…” and all hell is going to break loose.

Sonny’s body washed ashore and he was very much alive, while the search and rescue mission quickly became a recovery.  Once again, law enforcement in Port Charles isn’t very good! (Laughs)

MAURICE:  So, there you go.  It’s going to be a bigger fight.  It’s going to be a great fight when Sonny does return.

Photo: ABC

Fans are predicting that Jason and Carly are going to be at the altar, and Sonny is going to walk in alive and well with his memory back to the nuptials!

MAURICE:  Well, however it goes, I would say, just let them just watch the fireworks as they unfold.

But you’re enjoying this story?

MAURICE:  I’m cool, man.  I will say this, I’m glad that I have been given this last month playing Mike, and the Nixon Falls story.   I don’t know how much more we have ahead.  I just know that what we’ve taped has been really cool, and I’m glad that they gave me that.

Photo: ABC

I know that the coronavirus pandemic and its isolation was rough for you.  What can you share, and how did you find your way out of a downward spiral?

MAURICE:  Yeah, Covid was just one of those things where I was hit with a lot of different things all at once, which was …  GH shutting down production, my book tour not being in New York (although the book ended up probably doing better because of the pandemic, which was interesting) … my mom and dad moved out …  and I thought it was the end of the world.  We all did at some point, and it all hit me with a rush of anxiety that I had never felt before in my entire life, and it was four months of terror … way too long. I was shaking like a leaf, not sleeping, it was tough.  What I tell people is that when you go through these things, it will pass.  I know, for me, four months was too long, but it did pass.  You’re better because of it.  You can take one of either two roads.  You can get worse, and you can say, “I’m a victim, I’m a victim,” or you can take the other road and say, “I’m stronger now.  Look at what I’ve been through,” and then, look at what happens … a year and a half later, look at what my life is.  I have a pond here at home, and I used to run around this pond crying my eyes out, every morning crying, like I couldn’t do it anymore, and a year later, I walk around the pond like it’s the greatest thing in the world, but that’s what this is, this mental health.  You can think you can’t go on, but then it rewards you with a better life.

Photo: Noah Harmon

I was going to say, that’s pretty profound.  When you were going through the four months, did you think you were going to come out of it okay?

MAURICE:  No,   I’m going to be honest.  I finally got on Lexapro after three months.  If Lexapro didn’t work, I can’t say positively what would have happened.  It gradually made me feel better.  Like I have said, if GH had called me a month before, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the storyline.  It would have been the end.  I wouldn’t have been able to go back to work, because I was in that state of mind.  So, they called at the right time.  I went back to work and I was on Lexapro.  The thing about Lexapro is – and we always tell people to get professional help. There are a lot of people like me, and I’ve got to say, first you get professional help because you’re on the brink of whatever.  So the first five days of taking Lexapro, you feel worse than you did just before you started taking it, and that is scary because you’re like, “I can’t take this.  This is horrible,” and then I stayed on it.  It got gradually better, and just a month and a half ago or so, I weaned myself off.

How are you feeling now?

MAURICE:  Oh, let me tell you, the day that I weaned off, was a Thursday, and I wasn’t going to take it, and I was on my bed, and I felt the greatest I felt maybe, ever.  Now, I’m not saying people should go off it, whatever, because I was on it for like 8 months or something, but it saved my life like lithium for my bipolar disorder, and that’s an amazing thing that these pills could do.  What happened with me with the pandemic is that I had never really taken anything for anxiety.  I had only taken lithium, and I’d been on lithium for 30 years, but for anxiety, I never wanted to take anything, but if you’re bad, if you’re like (you know those gears I’ve been talking about) in 4th and I was like in 5th gear, you’d better get some help, man, because you can’t get off it on your own.

Photo: State of Mind

I want to conclude checking in on your dad, Humberto.  When did you learn he had Alzheimer’s, and how is he doing now?  

MAURICE: It’s been a while since I found out.  I didn’t really want to talk about it, and then I did something in People magazine with the book, and I asked him if I could talk about it, and he said “yeah”.  So, it gave me the green light, and that was maybe 10 months ago.  He’s actually doing good.  It’s slowly kind of happening but that is how the disease works.  This has been a really great conversation, man!

So, what do you think will happen with Sonny aka “Mike”? Will he return to Port Charles before Carly and Jason tie the knot?  Have you been watching Maurice’s State of Mind series, and has it helped you with any of your mental health issues or concerns? Were you happy that Maurice took home the gold this year for his portrayal in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Shares Her Emotions & Reactions On Her Second Daytime Emmy Win for Lead Actress

Last Friday night on CBS broadcast of the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) took home the gold in the hotly contested Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.  This marks Jacqui’s second win.

MacInnes Wood’s performance in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline, that aired in 2020, was the ticket to victory for the talented young actress and new mom to her second son, Lenix.

As viewers saw, the Emmy telecast was pre-recorded including all the nominees taping acceptances speeches ahead of air; with the winner being revealed for the very first time on the broadcast.

 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqui post-Emmys, to find out how she felt about her speech, her emotions at having her name called for the second time in her career, and how she felt Steffy’s addiction storyline resonated with so many people at home, and obviously, the Emmy voters.  Here’s what she had to say …

Photo: NATAS/CBS

What was it like for you to do have to pre-tape your acceptance speech?  Yours, actually came off very in-the-moment, because you kind of stumbled over a word, but it seemed like you were very excited.

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  I was very excited.  Of course, it is strange to do it that way.  I am very grateful that I was up to my nose in The Bold and the Beautiful scenes and dialogues in the week and the days before, that whole week.  I wasn’t sitting around going, “I’m going to rehearse this in the mirror.”  I just wanted it to be very heartfelt and real.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t like last time – I truly was not expecting it the first time I won.  I think that this time I wanted to be mindful of who to thank and talk about the story, which was so important to bring up opioid addiction, and I really wanted to thank Brad Bell (executive producer and executive producer, B&B) for giving me this story, and allowing me to tell it, because it was such an important message to tell.  Even though this year’s Daytime Emmys were shot differently, I was still nervous. I was so excited to get on a stage. Last year, we were on a Zoom, so it was nice to be able to do this on a stage again.

So where were you on Emmy night?  Were you watching the broadcast at home?  

JACQUELINE:  I was at home, and I was with my friends and my family.  To be honest, it was such a fun way to do it.  Even though it was so wild the way that we shot it – they do this on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Sometimes they’ll do it live, but everyone has their acceptance speech.  I was just happy during the Emmy taping day to be dressed up, wearing high heels, and to be with my cast, Then, I got to celebrate watching it with my friends and family.  It was so cool to find out in that moment, then afterwards we ended up going out.  We went to Ronn Moss’ (Ex-Ridge, B&B) house for a party, where Ronn was performing, and it was great to be with some of the cast and have everybody together.  So, we danced the night away, and it was so much fun.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Of course, if we had been able to be at the Daytime Emmys that way would have been great, but it was nice to be able to go, “Okay, I can celebrate in my casual clothes, and dance, and not be uncomfortable.”

Photo: JMW Instagram

Were your children, Rise and newborn Lenix, with you watching when their mom won her second Daytime Emmy?

JACQUELINE:  My children were with me, and we celebrated together, and of course they don’t really understand what is going on, but they just saw all of us jumping around.  I probably scared my 4-month-old.  My mom ended up watching them.  Then, we all went out.  So, it was a good night.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have an inkling that you were a frontrunner to take home the gold as Lead Actress for your work in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline?

JACQUELINE:  Were there times when I thought I could win?  I wasn’t sure, but I knew what we did was very special.  The first time I won, I was very proud of myself knowing I had to do all of these long scenes, but I was not expecting to win.  This time, I thought there was a possibility, and I wouldn’t say that it’s all because of me.  I know it’s cliché, but honestly those days when we were filming, you could just feel the energy.  Everyone brought it.  We do film so quickly, and some performances are great, and some of them aren’t, whether it’s because you don’t sleep that night, you don’t know your dialogue that well, you don’t understand why your character is doing a certain thing, but you’re trying to figure it out.  When we were filming these scenes, I thought it was just such an important story to tell, and I felt like everyone gave it 110%.  I looked at everyone, and I knew we were all connected, and even though it was such a heavy storyline, there was something so magical those days and those weeks of filming.  I was so proud of everyone, and it wasn’t something that was like, “Here I am forcing myself to cry,” I was like, “I am just going to be in this scene and really tell this story that millions of people have gone through.” When I watched back those scenes after they initially aired, it was not only about the cast, but it was just how the audio had been added, how the directing was done (since we had to be six feet away from each other because of Covid-19 protocols) which made it all come to life.

Did you think when you came into this medium that you wind up being a two-time Daytime Emmy-winner?  Was it something that you aspired to have?

JACQUELINE:  I think yes and no.  I can’t sit there and say, “No, I didn’t.”  I have goals for myself, and you want to manifest some things, so I wanted to visualize that one day.  I’m in this industry, and I want to do the work, and I eventually wanted to have the Emmy one day, absolutely.  I’d be lying if I said, “I just want to go with the flow, and if I get an award, great.”  No.  I definitely thought about it and said, “Okay, this is something that I do want one day. I didn’t think I’d have two!  I just wanted an award, one day.  So, I think that’s amazing in itself, but I am very honored.

Courtesy/CBS

So, during the Lead Actress nominee package during the Daytime Emmy broadcast, they showed the gut-wrenching clips of yours, where Steffy admits in front of Ridge, Liam and Finn, “I’m addicted.  I’m addicted.  I have a problem.”  Do you remember performing those scenes?

JACQUELINE:  You know, you remember it sometimes as if you’re out of your body. In that moment, I remember being so in my body, but in a good way.  To say those words, to finally realize how heavy – even in talking to you right now – my body feels heavy.  I felt the weight of what Steffy was finally admitting. It broke Steffy, and it broke me.  I’ve never been in that position, but I did my research, and I looked up people who have suffered from addiction and the families, and to look over at Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) and see the heartbreak in his eyes, in Ridge’s eyes, to see what Steffy was doing to other people – she realizes in that moment, “Oh, my God. I am addicted.”  Looking back at those scenes, there is just so much truth in them, and for so many people who have been there.  It just breaks my heart that people have to go through this every day.  People sent me messages from all over the place, it was amazing.  I couldn’t believe the number of direct messages they sent me on my Instagram.  It was pretty incredible.

Courtesy/CBS

Your performance just felt so raw and real, which is why I think it registered with people who have been in that situation, and for the peer vote for the Emmy.  Whenever I talk to other actors about what they look for in judging other performers work, they always say they look for the truth. They don’t want to see a false note delivered in a performance.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  For sure.  That’s why I’m so proud of everyone in the scenes because they all gave that.  It wasn’t like you look over at a cast member and went, “Oh, what’s my line?”  We were there.  It just gave me goosebumps.  It isn’t just my award.  It was everybody’s award.  When you get to really feel like you’re really alive in these scenes, living in those scenes, it’s such an incredible feeling. After this win, I am just riding the wave right now and really just enjoying it.

Photo: MFTV Inc.

Well, I’ll finish on this last question: How do you rate our Emmy photo together this year? (Laughs) We have well-documented our issues taking a decent photo together; usually because we break up laughing trying to take one.

JACQUELINE: (Laughs) I mean, okay … I am happy that we had those LED bars of light.  We have to have LED lighting around us 24/7.  So, I’ll give it a 9.5 rating   Moving forward, we need indoor, 3-4 LED lights, and we’ll be good.  Now that I have two Emmys, I’m going to be asking for that lighting moving forward … now that I’ve turned into a diva. (Laughs)

Share your congratulations to Jacqui via the comment section below … and let us know your thoughts on her winning her second Daytime Emmy – this time for Steffy’s powerful opioid addiction storyline.  But first, check out our red carpet interview with more with the eventual Lead Actress Emmy winner.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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