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B&B's Crystal Chappell & Joanna Johnson Talk About Pride, Self-Acceptance & Their New Storyline!

Photo Credits: L Bohm & K. Hutchins

Photo Credits: L Bohm & K. Hutchins

In a brand new feature interview out today from On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman for FrontiersLa.com, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Joanna Johnson (Karen) and Crystal Chappell (Danielle) talk candidly about Joanna’s thoughts post-coming out publicly a few weeks ago, working together as the soaps first ever same-sex on-screen couple, and the difficult journey it can be for one to find self-acceptance in a world that is often still filled with prejudice. The piece entitled: The Bold and the Beautiful Lives of Joanna Johnson and Crystal Chappell also appears in the current L.A Pride issue of Frontiers LA on newsstands now in the Southern California area.   Here are some interesting and compelling excerpts below!

Joanna on how she turned her thinking around after feeling she could never have the kind of life she was portraying on TV when she first was on B&B:  “For me, once I quit acting, that was really freeing. I became more out with everybody that knew me. And as a writer/producer, I talked about my wife and my family all the time. There have been times where I have felt, “If they know I am gay, will they think I can’t write straight?”  Certainly, I have had those thoughts, but mostly, I think I project my fears onto other people.  I put what I think they are thinking into their heads. Growing up, I have learned that most people really are not giving me much thought. [Laughs] In their own lives they are not sitting around and thinking, “Hmm. That Joanna Johnson is gay,” when in fact they are not thinking about me at all. I felt that less so as an actress in the business, and it probably contributed to why I stopped acting, because it was very hard for me to hide out.  In those days, I didn’t feel like I could come out and it wouldn’t hurt my career, and possibly embarrass the Bell family, although they have always been incredibly supportive. I did not want to hurt the show in any way. But, I often felt the pressure when I would go to Europe. The American soap press does not ask a lot about your home life. They are pretty respectful. It’s more of a friendly relationship. But when I would go overseas and be asked, “Who is your boyfriend?,” I felt like I was not being authentic and lying. I would be thinking, “If they knew I was gay, they would stone me in the streets.” I think that pressure, besides the other pressures that come along with acting, which are to be beautiful and sexy as a woman, and the object of desire when you are an ingénue or a younger actress, was a lot of pressure for me. That was because of my own self-loathing. It was my own doubts and prejudice of myself that got in my way. It was hard for me to have that as a mirror out there in the world.”

Crystal on any trepidation taking on another gay role on a daytime soap, after her last run as Guiding Light’s Olivia was filled with forehead touching and knuckle play with her love interest, Natalia (Jessica Leccia) : “I have perfected the art of forehead butting and knuckle touching, by the way. [Laughs] A role is a role, to be honest, as an actor. So I don’t have an issue with playing another gay character. Obviously, the story is important. I have talked about being an ambassador for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and that is an organization close to my heart. I want these young people to grow up represented and see themselves on TV. So when the opportunity was presented to me, there was no trepidation at all.  In terms of my previous experience with playing Olivia on Guiding Light, it’s a different time and a different company. I know what I was told and I feel very good about the story. It’s about a loving family. They have their issues and they have a child together. I am just happy to be a part of it. Just for the record, I am very proud of Joanna. It is a brave thing to do. During my time in the Otalia storyline, I got so many letters from people sharing their stories with me and Jessica Leccia [Ex-Natalia, GL]. These were stories they had never shared with their own families. There was this self-loathing and trying to come to terms, and being afraid to lose the people they love for being who they are, and so I admire Joanna for being so brave.”

Joanna and Crystal on if they feel they are clicking on-screen as a couple yet:  Joanna: “Crystal is fine and fantastic, and I am the nervous, giddy, silly one. We had to take these pictures together and have them on the mantel in our scenes. We had to have our arms around each other and pretend we are at the Grand Canyon. I was all nervous and at one point Crystal goes, “I can feel you pulling away.” [Laughs] And I go, “Oh, I am so sorry. It’s bringing up a lot of my issues.” [LaughsCrystal:  “Joanna is a great actress. I was honestly relieved. [Laughs] Yes, she is a beautiful woman, but I was like, “Oh, she is really good.” It’s a joy. I feel like I am sitting back watching this thing unfold. I don’t know where it’s going, but it’s exciting.”

Make sure to read the entire interview at Frontiers LA.com and let us know what you think of Joanna and Crystal’s comments on their new story and the struggles one endures when coming out, as well as all Crystal has done as an amazing friend to the LGBT community, and Joanna’s personal touching journey.

 

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I excited to see their story play out, hope to more on CC & JJ on screen in the near future. Too bad the magazine only for SoCal.

Crystal Chappell and Joanna Johnson are both beautiful and talented actresses !!! This is an amazing storyline by amazing actresses by an amazing show … Thank You Brad Bell and TPTB at The Bold and The Beautiful !!!

What a journey this has been for both actresses- both on and off-screen…I look forward to watching the story of Dani and Karen unfold…

Watching the final GL episodes from the soapclassics.com I ordered, it is annoying to see Olivia and Natalia head butting and touching fingers. Thank God the soaps doing it after are more brave and are showing more.

Blake, the only reason that CC and JL did all of those head butting and touching fingers scenes in that final year of GL is because Ellen Wheeler (GL’s Executive Producer during GL’s final year on the air) is a Mormon and does not approve of the LGBT community.

Many daytime fans have screamed bloody murder should any other daytime show hire her or Christopher Goutman (As The World Turns’ last Executive Producer) to help run those shows. These two people have been branded as daytime dramas’ show killers and for good reasons. Which is why I’m glad no other daytime soap ever hired either of them after GL and ATWT went belly up (although there were rumors that Goutman might have gone to Y&R but thankfully Maria Arena Bell laughed that rumor off and said NO WAY!).

I thought Wheeler was all for the couple and CBS didn’t want them going very far. I’m all confused lol.

But I don’t put it past Wheeler, look at the s*** she did to GL in it’s final years. It should have been cancelled before she did the Peapack BS and ruined so many characters, couples, and storylines!

I’m so excited to see Crystal back on my screen and even more so that she’s playing another gay character. I can’t wait to see how the Danika storyline unfolds!

The scenes yesterday with Bill thinking Dani was coming on to him were hilarious!

Their storyline will be short and sweet if they are remotely involved with the characters Ridge & Brooke. Their are too many good actors who have been tossed aside because of these two characters, I could list them for you but it would take two pages.

Where I can get a copy of this magazine?

I think CC and JJ will tell a story of deep love for family and themselves. I thank B&B for allowing a true love story play out and I look forward to spending my afternoon watching these two awesome actress!!

Guiding Light

Matt Bomer Reveals After Exiting ‘Guiding Light’ He Lost the Role of ‘Superman’ Due to His Sexuality

During the June 10th edition of the Hollywood Reporter Awards Chatter Podcast, former Guiding Light star, Matt Bomer (ex-Ben Reade) revealed the role that got away, and how his exit from the CBS soap opera was precipitated to accommodate his burgeoning movie career, only to have his sexuality wind up costing him the part.

Bomer was seemingly set to play the Man of Steel, Superman, in a motion picture version in the early 2000’s, and as he tells it to Scott Feinberg during the podcast, things went awry.

“I went in on a cattle call for Superman, and then it turned into a month-long audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again, and flying out to New York and doing chemistry reads, an flying out to LA doing chemistry reads, flying back to New York, flying back to LA to do a screen-test,” recalled Bomer. “And it looked like I was the director’s choice for the role. This is a very early iteration of Superman, written by JJ Abrams called Superman Flyby and it never came to light.”

Photo: JPI

While Matt was going through the Superman audition process he was still under contract at Guiding Light. Bomer described how he was let go from the soap: “Concurrently on Guiding Light, there was a killer in town, and so I think they needed somebody to pin it all on someone. So, I think the executive producer very kindly wanted to free me up just in case this job came through and said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna be the killer. We’re writing you off the show. Go with my blessing.’ I guess, I basically got fired, but in a generous way.”

Photo: JPI

Bomer had good reason to believe he was on his way, and the role of Superman was his after he had signed a three picture deal with Warner Brothers. As to why the part of Superman never came to pass, Bomer believes it was due to his sexuality (Later, Matt would come out publicly in 2012).

During the podcast, Matt explained, “Yeah, that’s my understanding That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you. How and why and who I don’t know. But yeah, that’s my understanding.”

While Matt has not yet played Superman, he has done stellar work in major projects including: Fellow Travelers, Magic Mike, White CollarIn Time, The Normal Heart to name but a few.

What do you think of Guiding Light making Ben that killer in order to free up Bomer to leave the CBS soap to go and become a star in Hollywood and potentially play Superman, only for his sexuality to take the role away from him by the powers-that-be? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Jason George Returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Main Cast for Upcoming Season

Soap opera alum Jason George (ex-Michael Bourne, Sunset Beach) is rejoining Grey’s Anatomy as a series regular for its upcoming 21st season.

According to Deadline, Jason will reprise his signature role of Ben Warren. Previously, the actor played Ben since season 6 of the ABC medical drama. Later, George became a series regular for seasons 12-14 before departing to join the ‘Grey’s’ spinoff, Station 19.

With Station 19 now canceled, it paved the way for George to bring Ben back to Seattle Grey’s Sloan. Over the past seven years, Jason was a mainstay on the firefighter drama and would make appearances and crossover to “Grey’s’.  Both series are produced by Shondaland and ABC signature.

Photo: ABC

In story, the seventh season of Station 19 had Ben tapping leaning into his medical skills while questioning his future as a firefighter in light of his shoulder injury. Then, in the Station 19 series finale, Ben told Captain Herrera that he was going back to finish his surgical residency. The story all fits together because when Ben was a fifth year resident at Grey Sloan, he found a way to pursue his other dream as a firefighter without jeopardizing his chances to return to the hospital and medicine one day.

Photo: NBC

George was featured on NBC’s Sunset Beach from 1997-1999 as lifeguard Michael Bourne and his love interest, Vanessa was played by Sherri Saum (ex-Keri, One Life to Live) who is also the wife of the late Kamar de los Reyes (ex-Antonio, One Life to Live)

In a post on X, following the story of his rejoining Grey’s Anatomy, George posted a video with the music from “Welcome Back Kotter” and the words “Well … it WAS kind of hush-hush. But now it’s official. Where my scrubs at?”

So, glad to hear Jason George is returning as a series regular to Grey’s Anatomy? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Teases ‘Who Could It Be’ in Response to General Hospital’s Returning Mystery Man

Since General Hospital’s executive producer, Frank Valentini dropped a major bombshell of what’s to come on the long-running daytime drama at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, the guessing games have begun of just what former GH actor is returning to the cast this summer.

Speaking with ABC’s On The Red Carpet, as previously reported, Valentini shared, “A former cast member is coming back. And I think that the audience will go crazy for HIM.”

That has led to major online speculation that it could be anyone from: Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky), Greg Vaughn (ex-Lucky), Ted King (ex-Lorenzo Alcazar), Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer), and Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan) among others, that might be the gentlemen being referenced.

Photo: JPI

On Wednesday, responding to a post on the subject from Soap Opera Digest, Bryan Craig commented, “Who could it be ….”  Now, clearly he can just be having some fun with the situation to throw fans off-track, or he might be giving us a tease of what’s to come.

Before exiting GH, the actor won two Daytime Emmys for his performances as Morgan Corinthos in 2016 and 2017.  Craig appeared on GH from 2013-2016 and made a return in 2018. Since departing GH, Bryan has appeared most recently in Freeform’s Good Trouble and ABC’s Grand Hotel, plus several independent films.

The character of Morgan was killed-off the show when Olivia Jerome set a bomb that exploded in the car that Morgan got into, but was meant to kill Olivia’s brother Julian Jerome. Morgan’s death caused a huge split in the relationship of Carly and Sonny.

So, do you think Bryan Craig is just having fun with the audience, or do you think it’s possible he is the big return Frank Valentini is talking about? Comment below.

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