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ABC SUPER SOAP WEEKEND – STAR INTERVIEWS PART TWO

cameron.jpgCAMERON MATHISON
ALL MY CHILDREN

As Ryan Lavery, Cameron has been a staple at “AMC” and “Super Soap” and now one of the most recognizable daytime stars anywhere in the industry. Catching up with Cameron is always fun. Read about his take on what could be next for Pine Valley’s resident hero.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

Cameron, do you have a better side for the camera or a bad side?

CAMERON:

All my sides are bad. This is just a façade.

MICHAEL:

“All My Sides”!

CAMERON:

I have several sides. They do ask in make-up which is my bad side?

MICHAEL:

They do not!

CAMERON:

Yes, and its put on over a mask every morning and every thing is fake. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

When we last checked in with each other at the Daytime Emmys this past June, Ryan had amnesia and had kind of lost his way, and you told me there would be a clearing up of that. I mean, he did get his brain back. However, now after sort of getting back with Greenlee, Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) is exiting the show. How do you feel about that?

CAMERON:

Selfishly, I am not happy about it. I am excited for my friend, and she is taking a chance and going after her dream and I respect that. But selfishly, I am really pissed. I would say that if she were standing right there.

MICHAEL:

What then is going to happen to our Ryan?

CAMERON:

We don’t know. I think it’s interesting that Annie has done all those horrible things. She kidnapped his child, pretended Emma was in a grave, and made him dig up her grave. Now, I think Ryan has some compassion because he is like, “My God. Did I drive this woman to the brink?” Even though his heart is not here, he is not in love with her, but he wants to make sure she gets the help she needs. It is almost like a purification thing for him, and going through it with a lot of compassion for her. That will be one beat, and I think there will be stuff coming up with Kendall and Zach that people will dig

MICHAEL:

And I think, some with Kendall and you?

CAMERON:

You think so because of the whole Reese thing, and back door with Ryan, so to speak? I like that. And, I would like to see Ryan and Zach have these two camps and go head to head and sort of build up this long on-going rivalry. I think one of the things in soaps that is so successful over the years are rivalries. I remember back on “AMC”, when Dimitri and Edmund had this rivalry and other shows had them, too. So, I think it would be good for us.

JP-car1.jpgJOHN-PAUL LAVOISIER
ONE LIFE TO LIVE

As Rex Balsom, John- Paul has turned in out-of-the-box performances of wit, humor, passion and drama. At “Super Soap” he hosted The Triple Play Game Show and showed off his emcee abilities. We caught up with JP to ask him some quick questions about Sexy Rexy.

MICHAEL:

As Rex, on “One Life”, you are so entertaining and interesting to watch. What is the most fun thing for you to do on the show, in terms of performances?

JP:

The most fun is they let me try anything I want. They let me be quirky, or goofy, or funny, or try to do physical comedy whether it be jumping over a desk or trying to hug Bo, and they let me fly with it. The only note I get is, “JP, you need to pull back.” I never get the note, “Do more.” I always get the note to do less.

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MICHAEL:

The 40th anniversary “Time Travel” storyline was heralded by critics and fans, and then later and at times slammed. Personally, I loved it. I thought it was so much fun to watch. In the end, what were your thoughts looking back on it?

JP:

I think the point of the storyline was what had happened in the end with Rex and Gigi connecting, and Bo finding out about his father, Asa. So, Bo and Rex came together, which was fun. It got mixed-up in everyone thinking Bo was Asa, and Rex was Bo. Eventually we separated a little bit and we went back to the future, separately. What “OLTL” head writer, Ron Carlivati, wanted to get across, I think happened. Personally, it was the best storyline I had been involved in. I had so much fun. Some fans hated it and some loved it. I could have done this storyline all year. I got to ride a real horse, and get electrocuted by a cell phone, and with the pyrotechnics, it was so much fun. I can understand some people would think, “No, they can’t be in 1968.” They may think it’s silly, but it’s just entertainment for two months, so enjoy the ride!

MICHAEL:

You and Farah Fath, (Gigi) are dating in real-life and play each other’s romantic interest on the show. How is seeing someone you work with all the time outside the show?

JP:

We bowl every Tuesday. We have a blast! Somebody said the other day that “Wait, you guys work together and you are never apart!” We are only apart when I go to the gym and go golfing. But, winter is coming so we will be together more because I won’ be golfing.

MICHAEL:

What are the fans saying to you, when you are out doing autograph sessions?

JP:

In general, they are saying, “Can I have a kiss?”

MICHAEL:

Do you give them kisses?

JP:

Sometimes. It depends on where they want the kiss.

farahfath1.jpgFARAH FATH
ONE LIFE TO LIVE

As Gigi Morasco, Farah burst on to the Llanview canvas in a role tailor made for her. She tells “On-Air On-Soaps” how she nabbed the role, and how she fell into a real-life romance with her co-star.

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MICHAEL:

This role as Gigi Morasco really took off from the start. Now that you have been playing her for a while, how would you compare it to your former role as Mimi on “DAYS”?

FARAH:

Gigi is a more grown-up role for me. I started off with Erika Slezak (Viki) in the Paris, Texas storyline at the diner. So, the start of my time on the show was pretty awesome. Then, I was slowly but surely pushed into the drama we call soap opera. Now, it’s all about my son, Shane. It’s kind of hard for me to play a mom to an eleven-year-old.

MICHAEL:

Why is it hard?

FARAH:

It’s hard for me to relate to, it really is. Sometimes I read my scenes, and I go, “Shut up.” I have to always remember to tell myself I have to be sensitive to him, and I don’t know if I am playing being a mom right. I miss playing Mimi on “DAYS”, and miss my “DAYS” family, but I have my hands full on “One Life”.

MICHAEL:

So, JP was telling me you guys bowl. Who wins?

FARAH:

We bowl every Tuesday, and it’s neck and neck. The last game we played I beat him by a landslide, but he usually beats me. Anyway, he has a lot of hobbies, and I realize I did not have a lot of hobbies. So, I thought bowling would be fun because I use to do it as a kid. So, we got our own bowling balls, and mine is leopard. I started playing poker with him, too. These are my two new vices.

farahjp.jpgMICHAEL:

What about Poker?

FARAH:

Now we have things to do on our down time. We are kind on the back burner right now on “OLTL”. So, we can go bowling, and I am super good at Poker. I would love to do a celebrity poker tournament. We have played in tournaments that have lasted seventh hours. JP and I played in an 80-man tournament, and I beat him in the second tournament. He was 30th and I was 11th.

MICHAEL:

How did your romance with JP start, on and off screen?

FARAH:

JP and I just hit it off right away. We had similar personalities and we laughed a lot. I was hired solely to play opposite of him. President of ABC Daytime/SOAPnet, Brian Frons, and “OLTL” executive producer, Frank Valentini, they originally screen tested me for the role of Sarah when they hired me for the show. I think they knew they did not want me for Sarah. I think they just wanted to see me on camera. They had already written the part and had the story idea for Rex and Gigi. Brian knew of my personality from “DAYS”, and JP’s personality, and thought we would work well together. I knew of him, but I thought he is much more striking in person. I don’t think the camera does him justice at all. Every time someone meets him in person, they go, “Oh, he’s so hot,” and I go, “Yeah, I know.” At work, I was like, “Oh, wow!” Then I was like, “Don’t have a crush on him. You are not supposed to have one with people you work with. That’s trouble!”

bradford1.jpgBRADFORD ANDERSON
GENERAL HOSPITAL

As Spinelli, Bradford has captured the hearts of soap viewers young and old with a quirky, offbeat portrayal of Port Charles’s lovable computer geek. But geekhood has suited him well. He is one of the most beloved actors on ABC Daytime, as proven by the reactions of his fans at “Super Soap”.

MICHAEL:

You were so great on stage performing at “Street Jam”. Have you sung in the past?

BRADFORD:

I used to sing a lot. Since I don’t sing as much as I used to, I am not always in the best singing shape. The more you sing, the stronger the voice is.

MICHAEL:

What songs did you perform?

BRADFORD:

The first song was “No One Like You” by the Scorpions, and the second one was “Happy Together” by The Turtles.

MICHAEL:

“Happy Together” you proclaimed on stage was, “More like you”.

BRADFORD:

Yeah. I would never envision myself being a rock star. So, to sing an 80’s hair band song was not really something I would have assumed I would do. It would be more like happy, lovey sixties vibe that seemed to be more my style. But, I had so much fun doing the Scorpions song. It’s such a great song, the lyrics of “No One Like You” and speaking to the “Super Soap” audience. It was very truthful, “There is No One Like Them”.

MICHAEL:

And, there is no one like you because I went to all the fan events, and the young girls had tons of Spinelli T- Shirts with all of Spinelli’s catch phrases on them.

bradfordwfan.jpgBRADFORD:

I know. There was this one girl who had everything I ever said on her shirt, and that is a lot!

MICHAEL:

I think you’re the rock star out there!

BRADFORD:

Well, thank you, I just try to bring it. When I come here I want to make sure I am in great physical and emotional shape, and to get some sleep. Every experience I have when I come here, I try to give all I can.

MICHAEL:

Kirsten Storms and you have made such an interesting pairing on “GH”. Do you think that will last? Or do you think they will try to break Maxie and Spinelli up?

BRADFORD:

I think we are very lucky that Maxie/Spinelli, established a friendship first, before the romance. It’s hard to break up a friendship because there are so many ways you can have bitterness in romance. But with the deep abiding friendship that they have, it’s harder to make sense of tearing that apart. Then of course, as soon as it turns to romance, there are always those possibilities. The show is enjoying what we are doing, and we are enjoying what we are doing. It will be fun to watch.

MICHAEL:

When you were meeting the fans at “Super Soap”, what did they say?

BRADFORD:

Same question from day one… How do you memorize all those lines? How do you talk like that? I understand that, it’s a good question. I sometimes don’t know how I do it.

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MICHAEL:

You and Steve Burton (Jason) are working constantly together. Jason and Spinelli are their own super couple!

BRADFORD:

Oh, that makes me so happy to hear you say that. (He laughs) He is the reason I am still here. I was supposed to be on the show for a couple of months, and he taught me a lot as an actor and as a person. I am forever grateful. Thankfully, he liked me at the beginning, and he said, “OK, We can keep this kid.” It’s the people upstairs prerogative, but I think having Steve like you is not a bad thing.

brandon.jpgBRANDON BARASH
GENERAL HOSPITAL

As Johnny on “GH”, Brandon tows the line between bad boy gone good… or good boy gone bad…which ever way you look it. Brandon chatted about what’s next for his alter ego in Port Charles.

MICHAEL:

You wowed the crowd at the “Street Jam”, you little rocker you! What did you perform?

BRANDON:

I performed a little bit of Rolling Stones “Jumping Jack Flash”, and a little “School Daze”, by Chuck Berry. I busted out the harmonica there, and had a lot of fun.

MICHAEL:

Would you do more singing concerts if given the opportunity?

BRANDON:

I guess so. I do it when I have the chance and it’s so much fun. I would do more singing, absolutely. I could do a concert. I would sell that house and rock that!

MICHAEL:

What’s ahead for your character, Johnny Zacchara, on “GH”?

BRANDON:

Johnny is going to struggle to be or not to be. Do I become this infamous man like my father? Or, do I take ‘The Road Less Traveled’ by Robert Frost, and take the more difficult, less traveled road and go against his destiny. He is really going to take some initiative, and have a lot of inner conflict.

MICHAEL:

What do the fans say to you the most, when they meet you in person at, “Super Soap”?

BRANDON:

It’s a lot of, “Oh, you’re better looking in person!” And, I really don’t know how to take that. Do I look bad on TV? Maybe the camera adds 50 lbs to me! (He laughs) I don’t know!

jason-cook.jpgJASON COOK
GENERAL HOSPITAL

As Dr. Matt Hunter, Jason Cook has begun to be integrated more into the Port Charles canvas. “On-Air On-Soaps” caught up with Jason and reminisced about his time at “DAYS” and developing his new character on “GH”.


MICHAEL:

How has “Super Soap” been for you? What are the fans asking you, for the most part?

JASON:

“Super Soap” has been great. A lot of it’s been, “Who are you going to get with on the show? Why aren’t you on DAYS? Why is Matt so much meaner than your old character of Shawn on DAYS?” Matt is kind of a jerk. They wanted him to be the biggest jerk he can possibly be.

MICHAEL:

Is that easy? (He laughs)

JASON:

No, but it’s funny. I got a lot of ‘shtick’ from my family and I really felt bad. I did not audition, because if I had to audition for the role of Matt I would never have had a job. They said be arrogant, angry and pissed off. But, you can’t be overt, or the yelling at people kind of jerk… but be a kind of jerk who throws out barbs and stuff to people without cussing. (He laughs)

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MICHAEL:

How are they developing the relationship between Matt and his brother, Patrick, played by Jason Thompson? Will they continue to be adversarial?

JASON:

They are going to develop it more. Patrick’s character is more of a straight guy who walks the straight and narrow more than Matt. He is like the brilliant neurosurgeon who is kind of like: he is getting married and has a baby, and he is starting to care about the real things in life. Matt is like, “Whatever, I don’t care.” That kind of dynamic is good, and as brothers they can razz each other, which will be great on screen and cause conflict.

MICHAEL:

Did you know from the beginning that Matt was going to be Dr. Noah Drake’s son, played by Rick Springfield?

JASON:

I did not know I was going to be Noah’s son. When they brought me on, all I knew was I was going to be involved in a counterfeit drug storyline. I don’t even know if they are writing that anymore.

MICHAEL:

All the rumors were that you were going to be paired with Kirsten Storms (Maxie), who played Belle on “DAYS” when you were Shawn on that show. So far, that has not happened. Is that just around the corner?

JASON:

It’s funny, and everyone assumed it. I get it, and it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to see that. We have worked together for so many years for like a third of our lives, and I am not quite thirty. I have known Kirsten since she was fourteen. So when you know someone for that long it helps the chemistry, and its fun to work with her. I am sure they are going to explore it at some point. Matt needs something. There was one show where Matt hit on three different women! I was like, “Can one of you pay attention to Matt for just one second?” and it did not happen.

darnell.jpgDARNELL WILLIAMS
ALL MY CHILDREN

As Jesse Hubbard, Darnell Williams returned to “AMC” in his much heralded role this year. We asked him about the reunion with Debbi Morgan, Angie Hubbard and the woman no one knew existed, Rebecca!

MICHAEL:

How did you like the ending of the 20 year Angie/Jesse reuniting storyline? I thought it was really good, but did not understand why your characters were dressed in 1890’s outfits on the train tracks.

DARNELL:

I did not even see it. But, we had fun doing it and it looked good. This whole go around, they are really wardrobe oriented. You kind of expect to see it in daytime.

MICHAEL:

When Jesse came back was wearing his leather cap!

DARNELL:

I think that was their little signature piece, to the throwback of Jesse.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Laura Koffman (Rebecca)? Will your storyline with her last for awhile?

DARNELL:

Laura is wonderful, and a very giving actor. I don’t know how quickly our story will wrap up. It’s got a few months at least, and it’s hard to say where it’s going to go.

MICHAEL:

Of course, you and Debbi Morgan (Angie) have such amazing on screen chemistry. How is working with her again after all these years?

DARNELL:

She is one of the most beautiful people in the world. And those dimples! She is one of my closest friends and I love working with her. The way we play off of each other is such a comfort zone for me.

MICHAEL:

Is there an emotion harder to play for you than others on-screen?

DARNELL:

As I have been doing it for a couple of decades now, there are tricks that have come to a different level now. They are a little more organic by nature and become instinctive to your response to anything as an actor.

MICHAEL:

Where are your two Daytime Emmys?

DARNELL:

They are home in New York, and they are in storage for a while. But I am so proud of them, and it’s a pretty statue and kind of nice.

brit-jansoning.jpgBRITTANY UNDERWOOD AND JASON TAM
ONE LIFE TO LIVE

As high school sweethearts Langston and Markko starred in “One Life to Live: High School Musical” episodes, they continued their singing talents right to the stages of “Super Soap”. Their portrayers, Brittany Underwood and Jason Tam told us about all they have experienced.

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MICHAEL:

Brittany, you sang in the “Street Jam”. How was that experience in front of all those fans at “Super Soap”?

BRITTANY:

I was really nervous. I don’t think I have ever been that nervous. I sang Corinne Bailey Rae’s, “Put Your Records On”, and I love that song. I was excited that they told me I could do that song. I guess because we were performing for the fans, and we have such a special relationship with our fans, I was OK. I said to myself, “This is Ok, because we are in front of the fans that know and love us, so it will be OK.”

MICHAEL:

Jason, you’ve done a lot of singing on stage, haven’t you?

JASON:

I started out doing musical theatre and I love singing. It was a blast last night singing in front of those people on that stage, and have all that energy coming back to us, with the lights, and the band. It was a perfect venue.

MICHAEL:

What’s it like working with Robin Strasser (Dorian)?

BRITTANY:

I love her so much and she is so amazing. She looks after everyone, and always has such great ideas. If I know I am working with Robin, I know it’s going to be a good day.

MICHAEL:

Jason, what’s it like working with Brittany as your girlfriend on “OLTL”?

JASON:

Amazing! Brittany is so giving, and she is so emotionally full. She will just cry at the drop of a hat, feather, and dime.

brandon-kristen.jpgBRANDON BUDDY AND KRISTEN ALDERSON
ONE LIFE TO LIVE

As Cole and Starr, emotional storylines and tough social topics are nothing Brandon and Kristen can’t pull off. Way beyond their years in acting ability, we caught up with them and found out how they felt about recent storyline developments.

MICHAEL:

You were one of the biggest hits of the “Street Jam”! Everyone loves Kristen and Starr! What did you sing?

KRISTEN:

I sang, “Journey to the Past” from Anastasia, and then “Mother’s Prayer” with Kassie DePaiva (Blair). Then I sang, “Lean on Me” with Jason Tam (Markko) and Brittany Underwood (Langston).

MICHAEL:

And Brandon, you and I were on the sidelines and you mentioned you were not singing, but making a special appearance in the song with your three co-stars. What happened? It seemed like there was a mic malfunction?

BRANDON:

I was supposed to come out on the stage and the microphone didn’t come on. The song is “Lean on Me”, so I was supposed to come out there and go, “Oh, I lost my girlfriend. My life is a mess!” and I am out there and the microphone did not work. So Kristen walked over to me with the microphone and saved it.

MICHAEL:

The scenes that have just aired where Cole sees his mom, Marty, again were so moving! Hankies!

BRANDON:

It was intense stuff. To see that your mom is not dead after a year and a half, and then to see her alive, is very intense. Cole has been through a lot.

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MICHAEL:

And Kristen, the whole dramatic turn of Starr giving birth and then believing her baby was dead was so hard to watch. Were you drained from those scenes?

KRISTEN:

I actually got physically sick! The first day we taped the delivery scenes, and the next day I had to tape a whole bunch of scenes where I found out that the baby is dead. Then, I had to tell Cole the baby is dead. The night before I was getting so sad. Taping the delivery scenes were emotional in a happy way. But then, to know I had to go there and mourn the loss of my child the next day… I was really sad just thinking about it. But, I had to hold it all in. The next day I came into work drained and not feeling well.

eden-minnie1.jpgEDEN RIEGEL
ALL MY CHILDREN

As Bianca, Eden came back to “AMC” during the tornado sequences with a shocking new storyline twist and new lover. One of soaps most beloved characters is back, and Eden professes, “There’s more to the story!”

MICHAEL:

So, you blew into town in the tornado shows! Did you like how Bianca ended up coming into the disaster, pregnant and trapped?

EDEN:

The tornado was incredible, and I loved the special effects. It was fun to be a part of it and it was like the show was saying, “Here you are. Welcome back. You’re in the rumble, you are a part of this, and you are nine months pregnant!” And they threw me right in there, in the drama of it all.

MICHAEL:

I was very concerned about this new storyline, where Bianca got pregnant with Zach’s child and the cover-up. How do you really feel about this plot device?

EDEN:

Very concerned. It is similar to what Babe did to Bianca, but not as bad. This is very out of character for Bianca. It’s hard, but it’s a fun challenge for me, especially in trying to figure out the circumstances in which Bianca would do this to her sister. I have come up with some really good justifications for it! Bianca and Reese were in this bubble of love in Paris. Everything was working out OK, and then here is Zach. I had a feeling Miranda said to Bianca, “Where is my Dad?” Zach is a wonderful male presence. I could see Bianca wanting that, and Kendall saying “No”, and Bianca listening to Zach saying, “It will be alright, I will tell her. Do it! Kendall does not need to know.” Then when it dawned on her, when she became pregnant, she thought, “What did I just do?” It became harder and harder for her to tell Kendall, and she knows Kendall is not going to be cool with it. But Bianca has always been a good person. I think it will be interesting, as an actress, to play what she goes through when she realizes she made a mistake.

MICHAEL:

What is going to happen next to you and your on-screen lady love Reese, played by the incredible Tamara Braun?

EDEN:

It’s Pine Valley! Paris was perfect and beautiful. But, back home there are stresses of the family, your sister is in a coma, there are the kids and work, and a million different things. By the way, there are more secrets coming! As couples go through conflict, when they come out the other end they are stronger because of it.

ricky-paul1.jpgRICKY PAULL GOLDIN
ALL MY CHILDREN

As Jake Martin, Ricky Paull and the “AMC” audience have kept a close eye on one of “GL’s” all-time favorite leading men. Ricky Paull explains how things are going with the adjustment to his new role and fan expectations.

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MICHAEL:

You performed in the “Street Jam”, and the crowd seemed to eat it up!

RICKY PAULL:

I sang Steppenwolf’s ‘Magic Carpet Ride”, and played harmonica. It was fun and a blast! We had a built in audience and I probably sucked, and they are still nice to you! You’ve got to love that.

MICHAEL:

How is the story coming along with you and Beth Ehlers (Taylor) now that you have been on-air on “AMC” for a short while? How do you feel its going?

RICKY PAULL:

It takes a while to get these things going. I don’t think the idea is to just grab two people from one show and put them on another, and make them do the same thing now. Beth Ehlers is a great actress, and we love what we do. If I fall in love with her character, and if the fans fall in love, that’s great. It’s like going to your parents and asking their blessing to move forward with the relationship. In this instance, the fans would be our parents, and we would ask them, “Do you approve?” If they did, we would move forward.

MICHAEL:

Ok, then do you ever say to yourself, “What if it did not work this time? What will the show do with us?”

RICKY PAULL:

We are not joined at the hip. I would say Beth would say the same thing, even if she was standing right next to me. We are not the same person. We had a great run on “GL” and a show we dearly love. There are a lot of great guys on “AMC”. She could fall in love with Thorsten‘s character (Zach).

MICHAEL:

Everyone falls in love with Thorsten’s character!

RICKY PAULL:

I am in love with Thorsten’s character! (He laughs) There are a lot of great women on the show for me to play with, too. If I have to steal Taylor away from one of those guys, let me do that. That would be fun to watch. If she wants to get my heart, and I am in love with another woman, that would be great to watch.

MICHAEL:

Every time you and Beth appear on the screen, it takes the scenes to another level.

RICKY PAULL:

It takes a while. You have to chisel away, and as soon as we came on the show they brought in a new head writer. I am more interested right now in the storyline with the Iraqi vet. The fact that we are working with real vets, that are acting, is so interesting.

MICHAEL:

How is working with JR Martinez (Brot)?

RICKY PAULL:

JR Martinez is great. He is 25 years old. I am a lot older them him, and I am learning from him every day on the set.

MICHAEL:

Do you think that story is inspiring?


RICKY PAULL:

Absolutely. The stories are real. We had whole scenes on the show the other day with a circle of real vets and those were not scripted. It’s what they experienced. They just let the cameras roll and roll.

MICHAEL:

Let’s discuss Dr. Jake Martin’s botch job of Kendall’s brain surgery during the tornado. He is in trouble!

RICKY PAULL:

That’s where the drama is. If you mess with anything to do with Zack Slater, well, he is going to crack my skull open… if I don’t fix his wife’s head. Hopefully what will happen is that they will take away my medical license and I will become some bum on skid row. I will do something to lose my license, mostly because I don’t like saying medical terms on the air. I rack my brain in the dressing room trying to make it perfect, like a mini little house doctor.

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Interviews

B&B’s Scott Clifton and Don Diamont Talk on the Plight of Liam & Bill and Their Cover-Up of Vinny’s Death

If you are watching current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful then you know that Scott Clifton (Liam) and his on-screen father, Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) have been spending plenty of time together in scenes in very dramatic and intense fashion.

In story, Liam is guilt-ridden over running down Vinny Carter (Joe LoCicero) by accident when he was driving Bill’s car.  Since the moment that Vinny was killed, Bill leapt into action, destroying any evidence tying the two to the scene of the crime and continually demanding that Liam let this go and move on with his life, or the implications for the both of them could certainly be a long jail sentence, or worse.

Photo: JPI

Now as Liam is finally making headway in a reconciliation with Hope (remember his last secret – sleeping with Steffy – was quite the doozy), this new secret of what he has done, and hiding, could up the stakes even more and take him away from his family for good … or would Hope (Annika Noelle) after finding out what Liam did be the nail in his coffin that ends their relationship once and for all and kicks him to the curb?

Courtesy/CBS

Both, Scott Clifton and Don Diamont chatted virtually with Michael Fairman exclusively for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel to offer up for viewers and fans of The Bold and the Beautiful: an inside look at what goes on when they tape their scenes, how they see their characters motivations, and they serve up a preview of what may lie ahead in this tangled web that Bill and Liam have unfortunately weaved.

Photo: JPI

Check out the humorous, candid, and enlightening conversation with two of the leads and mainstays of this CBS Daytime drama series below.

Then let us know; how do you think Liam and Bill can get out of the mess they find themselves in? Will Liam crumble and spill the beans? Will everyone in town get on to them and figure out the secret they have been keeping? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section after taking a look at the virtual conversation.

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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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General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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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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