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43rd Daytime Emmys: Watch Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series Nominated Performances!

Five women are vying in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category at this year’s 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be handed out on May 1st.  Nominated are: Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) The Young and the Restless,  Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) Days of our Lives, Kassie DePaiva (Ex-Eve) Days of our Lives, Finola Hughes (Anna) General Hospital, and Maura West (Ava/Denise) General Hospital.

In this category, three women have previously taken home the gold:  Tracey E. Bregman in the then Young Ingenue category in 1985 (which eventually turned into the Younger Actress in a Drama Series award), Finola Hughes who has won once as Lead Actress in 1990, and Maura West who has won three times, and was last year’s winner in this category.  West won twice for her role as Carly on ATWT in 2007, and 2010, and once for her role as Ava on GH in 2015.

So this year will it be: Bregman’s Lauren, who when her husband Michael tells her he wants a divorce is overcome with emotion?  DePaiva’s Eve, who grieves the loss of her daughter, Paige?  Evans’ Kayla, who has the daunting task of telling her beloved brother Bo that he is dying?  Hughes’ Anna, who tries to deal with the loss of  the love of her life Duke Lavery in a mob hit, and then emotionally struggles to come to terms with shooting his believed assailant, Carlos?  Or, West’s Ava Jerome and Denise DeMuccio, after Ava begs Silas to let her die from her cancer, she ends up surviving returns to Port Charles posing as Denice to keep from being sent to prison?

Watch the nominated performances after the jump.  Then let us know of the five nominees who you think deserves the Lead Actress Emmy?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Finola Hughes, hands down!

Shay
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Shay

Amen to that! Finola is in a class by herself!

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

AND Mary Beth Evans–a tie (it’s happened before at award shows). I would like to see them both win.–lol!

CeeCee
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CeeCee

All of these ladies brought it home, as far as I’m concerned, nancy…..except for Tracey Bregman. What did she do to blow anybody away?

su0000
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su0000

WHOOOA !!
I was very surprised to see that Tracey Bregman was even nominated- for what?
Her performance, to me, was everyday day normal nothing special.

CeeCee
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CeeCee

@su0000.
I just can’t imagine how Tracey could even come close to these Prima Donnas of Daytime. Kassie and Ava rocked it……I cannot compare Kassie’s heart-wrenching performance when Paige died to anyone I have ever seen on soaps; except for Maura West.

Nanci
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Nanci

Yeah, include me in those confused by Tracey’s inclusion!
At first I thought it must be a mistake. Dont recall any of Lauren’s
scenes warranting a nomination.

James R. Poissant
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James R. Poissant

I always thought Tracey Bregman was the most beautiful lady on soaps next to Kimberlin Brown. That’s what made me love the Lauren/Sheila rivalry so much for years!!! If Tracey is nominated then I am all for it.

CeeCee
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CeeCee

@Nanci.
Hi, Nanci.
I agree. I am not saying Tracey is not a good actress, she is….nor am I disputing her physical attributes. But, she was not given a “blow-my-mind” storyline. I have not been wowed by her for a few years.
I think Melody T Scott deserved a nomination more than she.
Nikkin is acting her role to the hilt. Yes, her drunken stupor is recycled….has been for years, but, she kills it each and every time.
I am not a fan of Nikki’s, but I know what I see….. I love Melody and she is doing the best job ever!!

Soaphound
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Soaphound

This is a tough one for me. Unlike a couple of other categories, this one is an across-the-board winner. Maura West is always fantastic, and Finola has done some of the best work of her extraordinary GH career this year. And I’ve adored Ms. Evans since she played Sierra on ATWT. But when I saw Tracy Bregman sitting at that table letting Michael have it, I knew this would be the performance of the year for me. Whether or not it belongs in the Leading category doesn’t even bother me. This was a stunning, surprising piece of work and gets… Read more »

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Kassie-Mary Beth-Finola???….these are my top winners…i always liked Tracy-Maura is good too…you couldnt make the choices any more difficult!!!

Patrick
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Patrick

yeah…. this one’s going to bite… no matter how you look at it as a DAYS fan…it’s the worst argh! heart pull… in two directions OK… I only watched 3 of the REELS Kassie DePaiva – Mary Beth Evans – Finola Hughes all three of these FAN’tastic Ladies all three of them… in the worst pain imaginable ??? DAYS’ Eve : the murder of her daughter, Paige DAYS’ Kayla; the death of her brother BO… with a tumor GH Anna: the murder of her “Lover” Duke argh! these three “actress” slay me… day in and day out…..I LOVE THEM !… Read more »

Patrick
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Patrick

Hi, JimH the power… the pull… the magnetic the pull OUT – ALL – the stop by all the production and the cast, alike I can’t get over… the REEL for Kassie DePaiva… it’s riveting.. it’s heart stopping… it’s SHOW… it’s the worst heartache imaginable and YES… i’ll thwart naysay… this was not done… for gamey… for plug… for garnered ACTOR w/pull Kassie DePaiva.. was given script… and if I recall correctly… it’s the FIRST time.. she had ever had to act.. this out she magnified… she wrung out, left ache… it still is further proof… the ache… that DAYS… Read more »

CeeCee
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CeeCee

Yes, Patrick. Very big mistake letting Kassie; that rare gift go.
The character was not very well-received, I get it. It seemed as if Eve had nowhere to go after her daughter was murdered. But, she could have been redeemed somehow….happens all the time. If Sami was redeemed, along with so many others, so could have Eve.
As I indicated, Finola, Mary Beth and Maura are la creme de la creme, but, in my heart of hearts, Kassie stole the show and ran with it. Incomparable!!

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

If they take home the gold, they can “tie” one on together, Jimmy!

Mateo
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Mateo

Finola Hughes hands down has this in the lock. That lady is class and talent personified. In a race with some great actresses she surpasses them all. I love Maura West, in fact I consider her tantamount to a modern day Beverlee McKinsey (forever the QUEEN) but her story line here was not a high point. She still knocked it out of the park but the story bothered me and doesn’t allow me to consider it deserving even though she was flawless in this role. Tracey Bregman from Y&R was very good but again the story was not a high… Read more »

Dan S
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Dan S

Agree that Finola should win! Also on the Maura/Beverly comparison too!

Brian
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Brian

I can’t hear the Finola one but I remember watching it live. I am rooting for Kassie, Finola, or Mary Beth and I really think they could give it to Mary Beth. Her scenes were so natural and not forced. All of these actresses were outstanding and are well deserved to win. The Mary Beth scene made me realize that Peter Reckell was robbed by not being nominated for best actor!

Jeremy
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Jeremy

I’m rooting for Kassie, too. I believe she will win.

su0000
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su0000

It’s a tie !
Finola Hughes (Anna) General Hospital
Maura West (Ava/Denise) General Hospital

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

It could be a tie, su0000, but the winners should be KDP and MBE from DAYS!!

CeeCee
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CeeCee

Oh, yeah…KDP.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Hasnt there ‘Ben’ enough ‘ties’ with Days-lol

Patrick
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Patrick

@4ever

“thank you”

this is the worst feeling… I will not exaggerate….

It could be a tie, su0000, but the winners should be KDP and MBE from DAYS!!

Jeremy
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Jeremy

I don’t see a tie happening in this particular category; the Emmy will go to Kassie!

Kevin
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Kevin

I love you su0000, I totally agree with you finally lol.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Unfortunately, the Denise scenes didn’t do Maura justice. Maura had an excellent year, for the Emmy she won last year.

Dara M
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Dara M

All very worthy submissions But Kassie Depaiva should own this year’s award. With truly wonderful performances from all of them, this year, her performances were just better.

Jack
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Jack

Yes Dara, Kassie has to win the emmy. She is a sassy, classy lady. the lady is a wonderful actress.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

I agree, Kassie DePaiva will win! After watching all the reels in their entirety; Kassie makes the viewer feel Eve’s pain, her loss, and anger. Her reel was by far the best, and most concise.

Joel
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Joel

All so wonderful. Kassie, Finola & Mary Beth had great story to work with…

Aria
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Aria

Finola Hughes or Maura west !

Ricardo
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Ricardo

I predict a tie, Finola and Kassie win The Daytime emmy.

Mo
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Mo

No ties this year, the academy said. They came up with ways to break ties so there are none.

Nikki
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Nikki

I thought they we’re all good but I think Kassie DePaiva was the winner by far.

blake
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blake

Kassie or Mary Beth, they definitely deserve to win.

I love Tracey Bergman but I don’t know why she was lead, she wasn’t on much. She should have been supporting and Gina Tognoni as lead actress.

Kat
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Kat

I started watching dool when I was 6 sitting on my grandmother’s lap. Now my granddaughters watch. The writing is a big part of the story that makes these actresses all so deserving, but a great actress can make bad writing look good. I believe Mary Beth Evans deserves a win. She’s been playing Kayla for years and gets better and better. Let’s see someone who gets overlooked and has it coming to them. There all great but it’s time to recognize Evans. Hope to see lots of new story lines in your future. Danger and excitement

Jamesj75
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Jamesj75

Great acting from most of the women. The most deserving actress, in my opinion, is Kassie DePaiva. How DOOL let this phenom slip between their fingers is inexplicable. Let DePaiva wrap her fingers around the Emmy trophy…

Ces
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Ces

Finola Hughes is a natural. I give it to her every time! I never consider just crying & screeching as good acting but MBE was very good when Bo died. Hated that whole Ava/Denise story. Not a fan of KDP’s style of acting and Tracey was her usual self. Finola gets my pick!

Dan
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Dan

Wow, talk about some heavy emotional scenes across the board. This is a tough category to pick. I’m a GH fan first and foremost, so I’m gonna be pulling for Finola. She brings it every single day, and it’s been 26 years since her last win. She’s long overdue. Maura was also excellent here, as she always is. GH has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to all the phenomenal leading ladies they have. Very impressed by the work of Mary Beth Evans, as well. I don’t watch Days, so the last I saw Mary Beth was when Katherine… Read more »

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Kassie DePaiva is superb!!!!!!!!!!!!! She definitely gets my vote.

GHFan70007
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GHFan70007

Since I only watch GH I wanted to view all the reels before responding, My first thought is what did Laura Wright submit because on a bad day she’s better than some of these clips. Maura is awesome, GH is lucky to have her but she should have left the Denise stuff out even though it told a story. Kassie’s scenes were top notch, I know nothing about the character of Eve but I felt her pain and got a little misty eyed. Got to love Tracey being recognized, I was a big fan of hers 20 or more years… Read more »

Phil
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Phil

I would hate to be the one judging this category…easily the toughest race. Love Maura, love Kassie, love Mary Beth, and Finola is a goddess….all great…if I had to give someone the edge it would have to be Finola!

Jay Trotter
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Jay Trotter

I just watched all the emmy reels. Maura or Finola are going to win for lead actress so GH will take this category. I didn’t think Kassie, Mary Beth, and Tracey were on the same level as Maura and Finola. Mary Beth and Tracey shouldn’t even be in this category to be honest cause they are supporting actress on their shows and Mary Beth was hardly on in the first half of 2015 and Tracy was hardly on in the second half of 2015. I honestly would give a slight edge to Maura over Finola based on the reels even… Read more »

Derrick
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Derrick

I still don’t know how Tracey Bregman got in over Melissa Claire Egan and Gina Tognoni!

I’m rooting for Kassie DePaiva!

jeremy
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jeremy

For sure FInola Hughes 🙂

Kelly
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Kelly

I say Kassie DePaiva or Mary Beth Evans. However, I leaning more towards Kassie.

Mo
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Mo

Kassie or Mary Beth.

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Personally I would like Fiona to win it, but my gut tells me the Academy members will be going with Maura once again– as I said before often the type of story is just as important as the performance and death bed scenes are popular with Academy members– basically any story with an illness in it usually does well at the Emmy award. But all the ladies did a great job this year and this one might be too close to call.

credo
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credo

My vote goes to eith Kassie or Mary Beth – both are extremely talented, very natural actors. In fact, a tie would be nice.

irene
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irene

Kassie DePaiva Watched all the videos and she was the best. Heartbreaking and so real for so many people. Similar events happening everyday for people. There is nothing else she could have done to show pure breakdown over the death of her daughter.

Anthony
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Anthony

Looks like a close one between Maura West and Finola Hughes. I’m starting to think that Maura may be the “Erika Slezak” of her generation. With that said, as a long-time fan of OLTL, I wouldn’t be upset if Kassie won the Emmy – even if it’s for work on DOOL.

missmeka1987
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missmeka1987

KDP needs this Emmy hands down I like TB as Lauren on YR but KA as Hope on Days was robbed She did some of the best acting of her career ugh..

code85
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code85

Finola , Mary Beth or Kassie are there who stood out. Maura west second episode was good not great, this is not her year .

Mo
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Mo

No lead nominee from B&B. I really think Linsey Godfrey should have submitted in lead actress.

Rose
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Rose

To be fair I looked at each submission since I don’t watch Days. My choice is Finola, all the more so because this is a long standing love story, and she’s BFF with Ian in real life. I would think it’s harder to pull up the understated pain and rage compared to lots of tears, etc when you know someone that well. I also like Maura, but not for the hospital/Silas scenes. It’s a personal thing…I just don’t like those kind of scenes. But what I did like was Denise. I know there’s been mixed reviews about including her as… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I watched Finola Hughes REEL

truly I did… and I thought it lost muster

I was surprised by how long… her REEL was… with just her and Andre

it became staid… and lost it’s emotional pull

as IVE posted … oy! all the fans and ACTORS from GH who were so GRAND in just throwing Ron Carliavati under the bus…. not saying Finola Hughes thought as much

BUT… I truly think… J & S (GH writers) are , in fact, giving Finola Hughes that much more… and better material… I said… Finola Hughes should win, next year

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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