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B&B’s Scott Clifton & Annika Noelle Chat On Liam and Hope’s Long and Winding Road To Their Reunion With Baby Beth

Photo: JPI

“The wait is over” were four of the happiest words for fans of CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful when they learned, and then watched, after agonizing months, how beleaguered parents, Liam (Scott Clifton) and Hope (Annika Noelle) finally were reunited with the baby girl they believed had died at birth, when they were victims of a heinous baby switch plot.  To make their journey all the more agonizing, Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) had ‘adopted’ baby Beth along the way and was also duped in the process.

In this story arc, several characters learned of the secret, but for one reason or the other chose to keep mum about it, thus not letting long-suffering Hope and Liam know the truth! Chief among them was now bad boy, Thomas (Matthew Atkinson), who is still legally-married to Hope and in wanting her all to himself, blackmailed others along the way to keep quiet, and even ran poor Emma (Nia Sioux) off the road because of what she might spill!

However, Liam, with a major assist from little Douglas, was able to figure out how he and Hope had been lied to and manipulated this whole time.  To think, this string of events all started on that fateful night in Catalina when Hope delivered Beth into the corrupt hands of Dr. Buckingham (Wayne Brady), who needed cash to pay off a gambling debt.

Fast-forward to just a few weeks ago, and viewers witnessed the emotional reunion between Liam and Beth, and then Hope and Beth, in a sweeping epic soap opera tale that delivered in so many ways.  But is there more trouble ahead?  From the looks of it, and with Thomas going over a cliff, we would say so! For now, B&B set a ratings record for the show during the big reveal, while Scott Clifton and Annika Noelle delivered gut-wrenching performances that will be remembered for some time to come.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Scott and Annika, who were at the epicenter of this exhausting, twisted, frustrating tale to get their thoughts on: playing out the key scenes, how they got through it month after month, what they think might happen next, and some behind- the-scenes insight on how several of those major moments came to life on-screen.

Photo: JPI

When you both went into play the scenes where Liam puts two and two together and is reunited with his daughter, and then Hope finding out that Beth was alive, did you feel added pressure that you had to get the performance, and the payoff just right, because the audience had been waiting so long for this?

SCOTT:  Annika had a bigger job to do there than I did.  I have been doing this long enough to know that to get in my head about it having to be just right, it’s not going to be, and so, I was pretty good about that.  It turned out pretty well, but I think Annika had a lot of pressure on her as well.

ANNIKA: I think the payoff was even bigger with Scott, because Liam was the one who figured it out and had that revelation.  It unfolds a little more slowly in regard to Hope finding out the news.  When she initially finds out she is not with the baby.  I was more nervous about the baby in the key scenes. They are not actors, and they’re teething right now, and they’ve been working so much lately, that sometimes by the end of it, they are kind of cranky.  The main thing I was concerned about in my head was, “I hope the baby really likes me today, so we can have that magical moment.”

Photo: JPI

The Bold and the Beautiful  is known for delivering the culmination of an emotional storyline on a large scale, but not before having plot point after plot point where none of the characters are quite figuring out what transpired, and thus the story drags out for a time, and thus can frustrate the audience.  For you as actors where you like, “When will this end?” or “Please end this! Now!” (Laughs)

SCOTT:  Oh, pretty early on. (Laughs)  It takes about a week of crying before any actor is like, “Let’s move on,” and I think Annika was crying for – what was it?  7 months?  8 months?

ANNIKA:  I think it might have been 8 total.  (Laughs)

SCOTT:  That is a sort of interesting kind of philosophical question you posed that I have been asking myself lately.  We have gotten so much pain and grief from fans on the story – not personally at us.  They understand and are very complimentary of our acting, but I get people coming up to me in grocery stores going, “When is this going to end?  My God, I can’t take it.  It’s just been months of this.  It’s the same thing over and over again.”  For a long time, we had no answer for them, and it was just, “Yeah, I know.  I hear you, but it’s going to pay off.  Trust me.  Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) knows what he is doing,” and he did know what he was doing, and he did pay it off.  It makes me wonder if we hadn’t made our fans suffer right along with the character for 8 months, would the exact same payoff that we got had been as profound?  I don’t know.  I wonder if… it needed to be that long.  It needed to drag, I think, for this moment, and here we are with the highest ratings we’ve had in forever!

Photo: JPI

Yes, and that is a fantastic news!  In fact, looking at the ratings on the strength of the ‘Phoebe is Beth’ reveal, B&B finished #1 of all daytime shows (that includes soaps, talk and game shows) in the 25-49 womens demo for the week of August 5-9, which was a first in the 32-year history of the series.  In addition, B&B finished #1 in the key womens 18-49 demo (ahead of all the other network soaps) for the weeks of July 29-August 2nd, and August 12-16th.  A big “congrats” to everybody at B&B, and of course, the two of you, who were instrumental in playing out the story on-air. That’s pretty amazing. 

ANNIKA: It is wonderful and amazing.   When fans would ask me, “When will the truth come out?”  I’d answer, “Trust me!  Nobody wants that more than me.”  They would tell me, “Oh, my God!  I’m going crazy, and I’m just so depressed watching this happen,” and I’m like, “I’ve had to live it.”  (Laughs)  I agree with Scott, though.  I do wonder, as well, if the reaction would have been as strong if it the reveal had been sooner.

I don’t think so, because I remember watching it, and I wrote about this.  It was such a heart-tugging moment when Liam realizes that Phoebe is Beth, and they have that first moment together as biological father and daughter. The payoff was so big with the slow motion of the scene, accompanied by the music underscore.  I think, you had to have the story drag out to get to that moment where it was so emotional and touching.

SCOTT:  I think that is probably true.

Photo: JPI

When you saw the scripts that contained within them that the truth was going to come out … did you call each other up, and go, “OMG! I think this is finally coming to a conclusion!?”

SCOTT:  It was kind of a slow burn.  There wasn’t any particular announcement or memo to the cast or anything like that, and it is not like it all comes out in one script, either.  At first, there were kind of whispers.  There were kind of rumors like:  “Sounds like Brad might be wrapping it up soon.”, “Really?  You think Brad might be wrapping it up?  Is this the light at the end of the tunnel?”  “I don’t know.  Maybe it is.  Maybe, it isn’t.”  Then at the wedding, when Liam overhears Flo and Thomas kind of arguing about it, to me, that was when I started to think, “This might actually be close to the end now.”  It still could have easily not been the end, but that was a qualitative change in tone and pace for the story that kind of tipped me off, but even then, it was still another month before the actual truth came out.  It just had to start somewhere.

Photo Credit: JPI

Annika, were you just done crying? (Laughs) I can’t recall such a long stretch for a character, or an actress, having to cry month after month, scene after scene!  And to top it off, you have this epic moment on the rooftop where Hope and Liam connect, and in a way, celebrate that Beth is alive against all odds.

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ANNIKA: The cinematography of that episode on the roof was beautiful, and I was so happy we got a drone up there to capture it, and the timing of when we got up to the roof … the sun was setting … and it was just a beautiful moment.  To get all of those shots, Scott and I had to do that scene – I don’t even know how many times, and there was lots of crying there!

SCOTT:  It was probably like twenty times that we had to do that wide shot with the drone, and we are used to doing one.  So, it took a lot out of us, but it was so worth it!

Photo: JPI

It was worth it, because it was that kind of spectacular, sweeping moment that The Bold and the Beautiful executes so well when they get to a climactic point their storytelling.  So, let’s talk about Matthew Atkinson who comes in and plays Thomas, and his character becomes unglued, and obsessed.  What has it been like working with Matthew in this story, and how Thomas’ character flipped from when the character was previously on the canvas?

ANNIKA: I was saying that we needed it, because he was a catalyst for all of the actions to unfold and all of these domino pieces to start toppling.  It’s been nice having a bad guy on the show again.  I’m just kind of curious now about what is going to happen to Thomas.  I’m also curious, and we will have to wait and see how this is going to unfold with Thomas, because Hope is still married to him, technically.

Scott, you had to have that fight scene with Matthew, as Liam was trying to tell Hope that Beth was alive!  How was that to pull off?

SCOTT:  That was really, really fun.  I think Matthew and I both really enjoyed that.  The show was really nice in giving us a lot of creative input in that.  I went into it having this idea that I really, really didn’t want it to be glamorous.  I really wanted it to be raw, and kind of dirty, and asymmetrical.  I wanted them to be on the ground, and tired, and sluggish; I didn’t want them to be Kungfu fighters.  I didn’t want it to look like a beautiful dance, like a lot of fight choreography does look.  We are not martial artists.  We are two guys, who don’t really know how to fight, just beating the shit out of each other, and that was my pitch.  I got a little bit of pushback on that.  They were like, “Well, it’s still a soap opera, Scott.  It has to look kind of sexy, you know.”  I was like, “Aw, man,” but Matthew and I got to kind of choreograph it along with our stunt doubles, who helped us and were amazing!

Photo: JPI

Scott, weren’t you glad that they didn’t make Liam a doofus and that he was the one that did put everything together and figure out the baby switch?  Sometimes, the guys on soaps are made to be not-the-brightest-bulbs in order to facilitate story for the female characters. 

SCOTT:  Well, (laughs)… I think a person in real life would have figured that out sooner.  I’m really glad Liam figured it out.  There were a couple of episodes where Liam was doing detective work and shining flashlights on old documents, and making phone calls, and asking questions.  All of that was really, really fun.  There was a period before that happened where, just the way the pieces were falling together, when I thought, “What if Wyatt (Darin Brooks) figures it out?  Wouldn’t that be cool?  Oh, my God! Maybe Wyatt is going to figure it out.”  I thought this because Wyatt and Thomas really hate each other.  Wyatt stole Ivy from Thomas.  So, I just thought that would have been kind of interesting.  Kind of the analogue to that is Arya killing the Night King instead of Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.  You’re like of like, “Woah, I didn’t think she’d be the one.”   But I get it though, it had to be Liam.

ANNIKA:  In a way though, it was Douglas (Henry Joseph Simiri), which I love that they did from the mouth of the baby.

SCOTT:  Well one of our writers, Michael Minnis, said he really wanted it to be out of the mouth of the babes.

Photo: JPI

I got blasted on Twitter because I said, “Liam figured it out! He is the hero!” Fans pushed back and said, “No, he didn’t!  It was Douglas who figured it out!  You are wrong!”  I get it.  Douglas was key.  I was just trying to publicly give props to Scott for his outstanding work in those scenes.  (Laughs)

ANNIKA: Henry has been doing such a good job.  I loved the scenes, Scott, with you and him together when Liam was figuring it out.

SCOTT:  You know, I still haven’t watched those scenes. There is no self-consciousness or anything like that.  That’s never been an issue for me.  When we lost the baby, or when we thought we lost the baby in the delivery room, I never watched those scenes, and then I realized, I didn’t want to.  I don’t know if this is that situation where I will just never go back and watch it.  I don’t know what it is.

Courtesy: CBS

You should watch it, and I would certainly suggest that if you do submit yourself for the Daytime Emmys next year, that this is a great scene for you to choose for your reel.

SCOTT:  Thank you!

ANNIKA:  It’s hard.  I did watch it, though.  I remember watching the baby episode, I had to mentally prepare myself for it, and watching it, I was almost reliving it again.  I was crying right along with the episode because I had forgotten.  That episode came together beautifully as well.  There was something cinematic about it.  It almost felt like film, the way that they shot it.  I have to give credit to Cindy Popp, who directed that episode.  I get it.  It’s the same thing, watching yourself.  I’m my biggest critic.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  I learn from it, but at the same time, I can’t stand watching myself.

Photo: JPI

What’s interesting now is that we are seeing Hope taking control of the situation after learning of everyone’s part in the cover-up of baby Beth.  Last week, she even bitch-slapped Flo (Katrina Bowden).  Is Hope going to want payback and retribution on everyone who wronged her?  What is she thinking at this point? 

ANNIKA: I think the main thing was that she had to be so lost in her grief that she was making these decisions that were completely illogical and had to be in a place, where she felt so out of control in her life that this is now the moment where she is seizing that control back.  Hope has the strength to do that, and she has the renewed confidence to make the choices she needs to make.  So, it’s kind of like the phoenix rising from the ashes.  I really do hope this is a true moment of growth for her and she isn’t as naïve anymore; that she isn’t as prone to being gas lighted in a way.

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SCOTT:  Now, she will just be completely distrustful of everybody.

ANNIKA:  No babysitters.  Nobody is babysitting my kid!

SCOTT:  Never again.  “Can I hold your baby?”  “Nope.  No, you can’t.  Nope.  Sorry.” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What can you say about working with your ‘Best Supporting Actresses’, who play baby Beth?  They are pretty cute, and the timing and the facial expressions they make works in the scenes so well!  

ANNIKA: I was saying that we have set baby goals.  We have set child actor goals.  What we have been getting, and the fact that we have captured them (because there are two of them, there is Madeline Valdez, and then, there is River Davidson) saying “Mama”, saying “Dada”, or clapping, and crawling over to my wedding dress, or pulling on my wedding dress, what we have gotten is so lucky for us.  I know for me, the scene where I was watching Scott as Liam finding out for the first time it really hit home, because Scott was crying, and she says “Dada” when he comes into the room.  Then, Scott is like bawling holding her, and she just reached up and touched his face at one point.  I have to give the parents credit, and the babies, who don’t even know that they are acting.

SCOTT:  Those kids are amazing.  The one you see the most is Madeline.  She was the one in the scene with me and in the scene where Hope is reunited with her as well, but we also have River, who is a little sweetheart too.  She also does some very interesting things.  They both just do something interesting in every single scene, and it’s an actor’s dream because it forces us to be present.  You know, we have to react in real time to whatever it is they are doing, and we were just very, very lucky to find them.

Photo: JPI

What do you think all of these revelations means for the future of Liam and Hope, and Liam and Steffy? 

SCOTT:  I don’t know.  I think we have got to be back-burnered at some point.  People have got to be getting sick of us (laughs) because it’s been Hope and Liam, and baby Beth all the time.    Brad knows that, so I’m guessing that there has got to be some break for Liam and Hope.  After that, there is no way they are going to live happily ever after.  We don’t want that.  We want more drama.  We want something to go wrong.  I don’t know what it could be, but if I value my soap career, I want something else to go wrong for Liam.

Annika, how were those scenes to tape with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood where Hope has to tell Steffy that Phoebe is Beth … and that she is taking her biological child and leaving with her, knowing how that would affect Steffy?

ANNIKA: Getting to play scenes with Jacqui is always such fun.  There is a beautiful give and take that happens, and in that moment, Hope is still very empathetic.  She understands what it is like to lose a child, but at the same time, there is no way that she is walking out of there without her daughter.  Also, it’s just a moment where you have to step back and go, “Aww,” and just watch Jacqui do some amazing work, and to let her have her moment to shine, because she did such a beautiful job.  Those were pretty stressful days because the babies were in every single scene, which means we have a certain amount of time to get those takes.  So, those were actually really difficult scene to shoot.  We had a lot of pressure to get them done, and also, having to hold a baby who is now, I think almost 20 pounds.  My arms just started going and I am thinking, “Wow! I need to go to the gym to work on my upper arm strength.”  At one point, I literally was like, “I can’t hold this baby right now.”  They wanted me holding her so that Steffy sees another woman holding “her” child.  You’re about to see Steffy go on a bit of a vengeance with all of this soon.  I hope they tie-up the loose ends before they move on with everyone’s story.

Photo: JPI

Hope is this long-suffering heroine, and last Friday, Thomas came to try to talk to her to explain why he did the things he did, and then he went over a cliff!  Is there any happiness ahead for Hope, really?

ANNIKA:  Hopefully, if she gets that annulment!

SCOTT:  When Hope is standing over Dr. Buckingham’s (Wayne Brady) dead body, then she will find her happiness.

ANNIKA: If we could just bring Wayne Brady back just for a scene, please! (Laughs) We can only hope for Hope. (Laughs)  I know Thomas certainly isn’t going to make it easy to get an annulment, and I hope that we solidify that Beth is legally Hope’s, and that the marriage is annulled and never happened.  Maybe she and the baby can get a few moments of happiness and joy, but I’m sure that a wrench will be thrown in.

Photo: JPI

What would you want to say to the viewers who were put through the wringer with this storyline, and yet stayed glued to the story?  What could you tease is yet to come?

SCOTT:  We put our viewers through hell.  We tortured them.  We tortured them for 8 months, and the fact that the ratings are what they are shows that our viewers are the exact gluttons for punishment they we hoped they would be. (Laughs)  They’ve stuck with us, and I hope they feel rewarded.  They certainly tuned in for their reward, but the payoff is not over yet, and we hope to keep making it up to them.

Photo Credit: JPI

Annika, you get the final word.  What would you like to say to the B&B audience?

ANNIKA: Thank you for joining on this emotional rollercoaster ride with me, and thank you for all of the support.  I’ve gotten a lot of very positive feedback, and I think a few new fans from it along the way.  I’m just very grateful that they stuck with us and the story, and echoing what Scott said, hopefully now there will be a lot of beautiful, fun, juicy, awesome moments for the fans to enjoy after the fallout.  With a soap opera, the ride never stops.  Now there is a corkscrew instead of a loop de loop.

SCOTT:  That’s a good metaphor.

ANNIKA:  We’ll see what happens with crazy Thomas, and Flo, and now that Sally is back in town, what is Wyatt going to do, etc,  So there’s lots of fun stuff coming the audiences way, for sure.

So, what were your thoughts on the climatic episodes where Liam and Hope are finally reunited with their daughter, Beth? What did you think of the performances of Annika and Scott?  What do you think will happen next with Thomas, and with Steffy?  Can Hope, Liam and Beth have a respite from all the drama? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Iakovos
Iakovos

Anyone up for a game of tennis? Let’s watch Liam bounce back and forth between Hope and Steffy. Just as Ridge endlessly bounced between Brooke and Taylor. I dolt mind a triangle but the emotional stakes are minimized for viewers when there is no resolution in place long enough to raise the tension or suspense or longing. Look how quickly the outsider in the triangle runs into the arms of another. Hope loved Liam but within weeks was married to Thomas. How long before Steffy goes back to her brother-in-law Wyatt or father-in-law Bill? Sigh.

Lolly
Lolly

Believe Steffy will move on with a new man.

Iakavos
Iakavos

I hope to God so. Am tired of everyone in their mopey stupor. Steffy should be strong, vivacious, and confident.

Sam
Sam

I think it would be a good storyline if Steffy is pregnant with Liam’s baby from the one night stand…. thus getting her a new sibling (prob another girl) for Kelly. Who would Liam pick?

Robin Pinto
Robin Pinto

I believe Steffy will be
pregnant from her one more with liam.

Rettie
Rettie

I thought Steffy was heading to the looney hospital after beth went home with Hope and so did Liam!!!

Lisa Holst
Lisa Holst

Love these actors! My entire family watches this soap every evening after school and work. My husband, my teens and so enjoy it so much!! The family that watches Bold together, stays together!

Ann
Ann

No Thomas can never be redeemed. He drugged some one,killed, blackmailed and last child abuse. He is sick!!!!

Del
Del

It’s obvious that there’s something wrong with him an illness. I hope their marriage last this ordeal.

Violet Lemm2
Violet Lemm2

Del
You are kidding, right? You really think Hope should stay married to Thomas, after everything he’s done to her, Liam, actually the whole family, including his little boy? Just because he’s mentally ill, doesn’t give him the right to have everything he tried to take away from everyone.

Evelyn Jabbia
Evelyn Jabbia

This story touched my heart in so many ways. The day she was holding her deceased baby I cried and I do mean cried my eyes out. I’ve been there and her acting was superb. Like some viewers I got tired of the truth not coming out but it was so worth the wait. When Liam was holding Beth when he knew for sure it was her was amazing. When Hope finally finds out I was screaming “yes, yes, yes” so loud I know the neighbors were wondering what the hell was going on. Then Steffy, I felt so sorry for her. Her acting was also amazing. I think Thomas will survive his fall but he will continue to cause trouble unless the fall knocked some sense into him. You did not ask this question but I believe Ridge and Brooke will have lots of problems and here comes Bill again.

soapqueenforever
soapqueenforever

I agree with you about the hospital scene. I was crying right along with her. When she first stated as Hope, it took me awhile to get used to her and I finally did. But between the hospital scene, the fight with Flo, and standing up for herself with Steffie, I thought to myself this women is no slouch. She played those scenes to the hilt. Not to mention when Steffie collapsed in her fathers arms, I actually felt her pain. Now I am wondering if mama Taylor is going rush back to her baby cub. I am maybe thinking we are going to be revisited by the Taylor, Ridge, Brooke merry-go-round from days gone by. But Bill hit it exactly on the head when he said that Ridge was going to blame Brooke. Especially when Hope said he was trying to apologize and ask for forgiveness Let the games begin.

Kay
Kay

To say people are sick of Liam Hope and Steffy understatement of the year ugh!

brendapower1970@gmail.com
brendapower1970@gmail.com

Please leave hope alone and Liam let them together with out steff and Thomas i really hate Thomas and Steff but Bradley Bell is in love with Steff and Thomas hope and Liam should been together with there daughter Beth like it should been a long time ago thats my opinion i hate that steff and Thomas that’s my opinion period

Margreet
Margreet

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, let Hope and Liam stay toghether with Beth. Don’t ever seperate them anymore! And Steffy a man of her own! And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let Brooke and Ridge stay toghether. Don’t ever seperate them too!!

Antincia foster
Antincia foster

Amen

Jen
Jen

Beyond bored with Lope and hoping something, anything gives us a long break from them. Where in the world is Steffy? So sick of the whole show revolving around Hope all year long. I think Thomas and Hope have way better chemistry than Lope do so I’d much rather see them have a real romance once Thomas is “cured.” And Liam is a million times better with Steffy. I hope (no pun intended) we’re getting anything but months and months more of Lope…

Pat
Pat

has everyone forgotten that
hope slept with Steffy’s husband Liam?? Hope always wanted him and did’nt care how she got him…as for Brooke encouraging her daughter to fight for Liam, she is hardly a role model. Is there anyone she hasn’t slept with or married regardless of who got got hurt. I’m waiting for her to go back to Bill Spencer unless he goes after Steffy. I think Liam should leave town for a time of reflection…and maybe to hook up with Sally

Lolly
Lolly

The show revolved not only around Hope, but Steffy and Liam, before it was Steffy, Liam, Hope, and Wyatt. Steffy had equal amount of blame. She is not a saint.But, yes, they need to desperately end the Saga of the Forester, Logans, and Spencers. It has ran it COURSE

Kathy
Kathy

Great article and of course i am loving the payoff whew

Diane
Diane

Just please let them be happy. We have waited years and years for this.

Antincia foster
Antincia foster

Amen

Nora
Nora

I am so damn sick of Liam and Hope that I stopped watching.

Need I say more?

Sharon Williams
Sharon Williams

Im tired of Liam bouncing between Steffy and Hope, just let him be with boring Hope. I would like for you to find a man that’s exciting and only has eyes for Steffy. Dont like when they bring the same storyline back from the past.

McKane
McKane

Get rid of Thomas!

McKane
McKane

Dump Thomas!

Lolly
Lolly

Ridge have double standards, Thomas is his son, but he and Bill have tried to kill one another, Ridge blackmail a judge, and now he is accusing Brook of intentionally trying to kill Thomas. She saved him from jail twice. This show is Bold and the Beautiful aka Saints and Sinners. Nearly all the adults have committed some type of crime. The story will lose it ratings again, because they are going to drag it another year. This time it will be Liam, Hope, Thomas Saga. Thomas either will pretend to be paralyze so Hope can have pitty and stay, or blackmail her, giving her a choice, stay or say Brook intentionally pushed him. Bill tried this with Steffy over Taylor. There are no surprises. The hype of the story is over, when Douglas and Liam brought out the truth. Douglas is the Hero, and he deserves an Emmy, and for standing up to his PSYCHO dad.Thomas isn’t going to change. Bell turn the tables, and surprise us one more time. Let Liam and Hope have their Happy ending, not next year, but now. Let Thomas get the shock of his life. Brook is innocent. She couldn’t have known the conversation at the mountain top.

Juanita M. Jaramillo
Juanita M. Jaramillo

It’s about time that we had the big reveal! It was dragging on too long. What happened to Steffys mom? There should be something on the show about her and the Dr. Shes suppose to be so smart and she bought a baby from this man.

Dianne
Dianne

I will stop watching for good if something drags out like that again.Tired of the split ups

Marge
Marge

The baby should be with steffy. Hope is annoying. She should be written out of the story.

Momo
Momo

I didn’t mind the length of time it took for the reveal. It could have gone on for longer. The scene where Hope confronted Flo-Annika was amazing. That was a great scene.

Kay
Kay

The fact that Brad Bell did not involve Hunter Tylo in the end of this crap fest is exactly why I am disgusted ! Taylor sacrificed her life to have the twins then Brooke kept Ridge from knowing Thomas was his son ! He has crapped all over his dads soap he makes me vomit I read about it and I just shake my head then we have the Logan girls and Bill and Liam and everybody on the canvas that have done horrible things also to recast Thomas with that awful wormy actor ! Disgusting

SLO48
SLO48

Liam will leave Hope for Steff again.

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So, just how did The Young and the Restless lure back one of the series most powerhouse actresses to take on a brand-new role? Mishael Morgan, who earlier this year was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her gut-wrenching final performances as Hilary Curtis, reveals in a new interview with Michael Fairman TV, what went down to bring her back to the CBS Daytime drama.

As fans know thus far, after appearing as ‘Ghost Hilary” through the late spring and summer, Y&R’s creatives worked behind the scenes to get Morgan back on screen without tainting Hilary’s ultimate demise.  That is when they came up with the role of the sexy yet tough lawyer, Amanda Sinclair.

So, enter Mishael in a new wig and style that defines Amanda as her own character.  Question is, since Amanda is a dead-ringer for the late Hilary, are they related? And, what will ultimately be proven to be in her DNA?  In story, Amanda entered the scene as the often-mentioned Chance Chancellor’s attorney.  She shows up in Genoa City to contest the legitimacy of the late great Katherine Chancellor’s will and the fortune she left to Devon (Bryton James).  With Devon directly in Amanda’s line of fire it sets the stage for potential fireworks down the line.

We sat down with Mishael backstage at Y&R for this informative and entertaining chat as we officially welcome back this truly kick-ass performer.  Here’s what Mishael shared below.

Photo: JPI

What transpired behind the scenes to make it possible for you to come back to Y&R?

MISHAEL:  Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) kind of gave me a little bit of a heads up.  They called me back to come in and do the ghost episodes as Hilary, and it happened really quickly.  It was like, “Hey, Mishael, do you think you can do this?  Yeah?  Okay.  We’ll work it out with your team.  Alright.  We’ll see you tomorrow.” (Laughs) It was really, really fast.  I was hesitant for a second about the whole Hilary ‘ghost thing’, because I felt good about how we wrapped up Hilary’s storyline.  I’d only left for a couple of months, and I still felt funny about it, but I was like, “I’ll do it.  She’s a ghost … so she hasn’t returned from the dead.  So, it’s fine.”

Originally, I was concerned that they were going to have you as Hilary keep popping up as a ghost to Devon for an indefinite amount of time; when the show has already done that with Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and his father, John (Jerry Douglas).  Because of your previous performances, and Emmy-nominated performance for the final arc of Hilary’s story, I thought, in the end, it might detract from that.

MISHAEL:  Yes, and I think that’s how I felt too, but I agreed to do it because they said that it was going to be a max of seven episodes.  So, while I was doing that, Tony was on set watching the scenes.  Next, he just called me up and said, “Well, how do you feel about coming back?”  I was like, “Coming back?  Hilary is dead.  Like, Hilary is dead-dead.  Is this going to be an alternate universe?” (Laughs) He said, “Well, no.  You’d be coming back as a different character.”  That was really intriguing to me, because one of the reasons why I left was because I felt like creatively I’d played a character from beginning to end, and it felt like it would just be nice to go off and play somebody new.  I never in a million years thought that I could come back to Y&R and actually play someone new!  That was weird to wrap my head around when they said, “You’d play a new character,” but then when they said she was going to me a lawyer, my ears really perked up! I’ve always wanted to play a lawyer, because I have the background where I wanted to be a lawyer in real life.  So, then I’m like, “OK. Now I get to play a lawyer on TV.”  They really got their hooks in to me with that … and just hooked me in from there.  Then, I got open to the idea and the story that Josh Griffith (head writer, Y&R) wanted to tell.

Photo: JPI

Once you learned the idea of the story from Josh, it seemed that things happened very quickly!  We all found out about your return via a social media post where you got to tell the fans yourself that you were coming back … but as a new character.

MISHAEL:  It happened relatively quickly in terms of me tentatively coming back, but then they still had to write the story.  So, everything wasn’t really confirmed until a couple of weeks before I started taping again.  We were in talks for about two months, and we worked it all out.  I said, “I’d do it,” and then it was 100% confirmed around August of this year, and I was airing in September.  It was kept was very, very quiet.

Are you still figuring out what Amanda’s back-story is?

MISHAEL:  I am.  I feel like every writer is a little different, and I feel like Josh likes to keep things very close and tight to his chest so that you kind of don’t know what’s happening.  Josh gives you enough information to play a little bit of something that is coming down the pike, but he doesn’t really disclose everything.   I’ve gotten little hints, and I kind of know where we are going, but I still don’t know the whole back-story of Amanda.  I’m still trying to figure her out.  If she’d been the polar opposite of Hilary, I think it might have been easier, but if you read her description, she’s very much like Hilary: A-type, strong, driven, all of those things.  Hilary had this very malicious, unscrupulous side to her, but I don’t know if Amanda has that.  In terms of the general description of the character, they’re very similar, which I was happy about just because I like playing strong women on TV.  If they had said, “We’re bringing on this character, and she is homeless” … or somebody who was super quiet… that would pose a different set of things for me as an actress.  I think seeing strong women of all different colors, shapes, and sizes is so important right now on TV, and it is very relevant.  I am happy to be a part of that.

Photo: JPI

What was it like playing all of these entrance scenes as Amanda where your former and current scene partners had to suspend belief? There’s Bryton James, Christel Khalil, Daniel Goddard, Jess Walton, and you, and Amanda walks in like, “Hey there!” (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  We just laughed about it.  It’s one of those things that is so funny, and it can only happen in the world of soaps.  A lot of the fans said, “This is weird,” in the beginning, but the fans love the show, and they accept it, and they do suspend their disbelief, and then it becomes normal.   We just had fun with it.

You’re like, “Hi, do you like my new hair?” (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  That was the thing too.  (Laughs) I don’t even think Christel even saw my hair until she came to set, and she was like, “Oh wow! I like your new hair.”

Photo: JPI

What happened when you and Christel taped the scenes where Lily sees Amanda for the first time, after the former contentious relationship of Lily and Hilary that ultimately changed the course of both their lives?

MISHAEL:  For me, it was super fun and easy because I don’t know any of the Hilary/Lily back-story.  I just play very oblivious like,“Hi, I’m just here.” (Laughs)  So, it’s very easy for me, but I almost envy a lot of the other characters who have to play all of these layers because Lily does have that back-story because she was charged for Hilary’s death, and the guilt associated with doing something like that, and also the hate that she had for Hilary.  Then overcoming that hate, and then going on that entire beautiful journey that they had together as women.  But now having that as a layer, and adding on top of it this woman who looks exactly like Hilary, but is a completely different person, is really interesting. Even for Bryton, I feel like he has a golden opportunity as well, because to have that love of your life, and then a new love of your life there in Elena, and then see a woman who looks just like your ex-wife is, I’m sure, really difficult.  Your mind would just be exploding!

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How did Bryton find out that you were coming back, and what was his reaction to the news?

MISHAEL:   Well, I came in for the ghost episodes, and I just couldn’t hold it in any longer.  I told him before we finalized this new deal.  He’s a friend of mine.  I wanted to get his opinion, and he was like, “You should do it!”  I was like, “Really?  It feels so weird because I just left a year ago, and I was so happy and content with leaving, so it feels weird to come back.”  He was like, “No, it will be fine.”  He’s like, “The fans will love you either way.  They’ll want you back.”   I was worried about how the fans would feel because it is such a quick return.

Photo: JPI

What is the feedback you’re getting from the fans thus far on your transformation from Hilary to now Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I feel like it’s pretty positive for the most part.  There are always going to be a couple of fans who are skeptical … or who don’t like the storyline … and even if they don’t like it they say, “This is kind of weird to bring her back as a different character.  We miss Hilary, but we love that Mishael Morgan is back, so, that kind of makes it all OK.”

The story that brings Amanda to Genoa City revolves around the legitimacy of Katherine Chancellor’s (the late Jeanne Cooper) will, and she comes in and says there was a counterfeit will etc.  She’s the messenger at this point and her client is Chance, correct?

MISHAEL:  Yes, Amanda’s client is Chance.

Isn’t she starting to question the legitimacy of her client?

MISHAEL:  Yes, but I think she still believes that it was Chance.  She’s kind of wondering now … because she even accuses Jill (Jess Walton).  She’s like, “It’s your grandson.  He’s all out to lunch.  He’s not getting back to anybody.”  Jill is very much in the headspace where she is like, “Well, this is probably not my grandson.”  Amanda is like, “I’m pretty sure it is.”  So, I think Amanda still thinks that it is Chance, even if he is a criminal, and even if he is doing something tricky.

Photo: JPI

How did Amanda get contacted by Chance in the first place to take this case?

MISHAEL:  It was an email, and then Amanda spoke to him on the phone …  or at least to who she believed was Chance.  He signed the papers, he scanned them over, and he forwarded Amanda the retainer. She had no reason not to believe that it was him.

So, when Amanda came to see Devon and company, she had no idea that there was this lookalike of her that was intertwined with this family?

MISHAEL:  No, but then after Devon tells Amanda about all of this, she sees pictures of Hilary online, but this is all done off-camera.

Does Amanda now suspect that she could be a twin? 

MISHAEL:  I think so.  I’m kind of playing that or keeping that there.  I’m kind of playing that as part of the reason why I want to stay in town because Amanda is intrigued by this other person who looks like her.  This could possibly be family.  I think it adds an extra layer as to why she wants to stay on Genoa City.  It is not just because she likes this person, or that person.  I think it is because she wants to figure out her connection to this person who looks just like her.

Photo JPI

We’ve seen Amanda be a little shifty.

MISHAEL:  Maybe a little bit. (Laughs)

What do you think we, as the audience, should be feeling at this point about Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I think we just have to wait and see.  Hilary had a lot going on before I left, and this is a new character who is slowly building.

I think that one of the things that daytime shows often have done wrong is that when they bring in a new character, they shove them down the audience’s throats too fast that they get sick of them.  I don’t know if that’s the tactic for the emergence of Amanda, more of a slow burn?

MISHAEL:  I feel like they are definitely doing a good job of building her character slowly and adding layers.  It’s not all coming out right away.  I feel like people should be feeling excited to try and figure out who this woman is because that is what it is eventually going to be leading to.  Right now, we are all just together in trying to figure out who she is.  I feel like everybody is really excited (and I am too) to get going, but even when Hilary came to Genoa City, it took about a year for her to catch her stride.  I think it’s going to take a while to really understand the meat of this character and how she fits into everyone’s lives.

Photo: JPI

Do you think Amanda feels badly about what is going on with Cane and Devon with the will, and how it would change both their lives forever?

MISHAEL:  Yes.  I definitely think that she feels badly about that.  In the beginning, it was very much her job.  I think when Devon is contemplating giving over his fortune, it makes Amanda see him in a different light, and her empathy for him starts to increase because she sees that he is a good guy, and that there wasn’t anything that he did that was malicious.

I think there is an attraction brewing here between Devon and Amanda.

MISHAEL:  Possibly.  I mean … Devon was attracted to someone who looked like Amanda.

Photo: JPI

Will she like him if he has no money, though?

MISHAEL:  I don’t know… I mean, Hilary definitely wouldn’t. (Laughs)

What do you think about working with Brytni Sarpy (Elena)? I see a triangle or quadrangle brewing and I see catfights in your future!

MISHAEL:  I love Brytni.  I definitely see that because Elena is definitely in the state of mind where she can’t stand this Amanda character.  The second she walked through the door, she couldn’t stand her.  I’m sure there are going to be some catfights coming.  I’m sure that it is going to be very entertaining for everybody! We’ll see.

Because you were considering being a lawyer … wait until you get into the courtroom set for some scenes!

MISHAEL:  I know, I’m excited for that!

Christian LeBlanc (Michael) always loves the courtroom monologues because he says it’s like doing a stage play.  Will you be up for that?

MISHAEL:  I think it’ll be ready for it.  I had a little one already to kind of warm up.  I won’t tell you what it was about.  I was like, “I can do this,” and I think it would have been even more fulfilling if there were an actual jury there where it feels like you’re performing.

Photo: JPI

What kind of lawyer is Amanda?  Does anyone know? (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  Well, right now she specializes in estates and trusts, but the one thing that I do know about attorneys is that technically with your license you can kind of do anything.  It is just that your experience will be in a specific area.  So, certain people may not want you to defend them, because you’ve never defended people in these cases.  I feel like it is not the same as a surgeon.  A surgeon specializes in the heart, and they don’t really do anything else, but as an attorney, you can kind of do anything.  You can defend anyone if the price is right and you feel confident.

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When you were thinking of being a lawyer, did you think of the kind of lawyer you wanted to be?

MISHAEL:  Well, when I wanted to be a lawyer, I wanted to be an international human rights lawyer.  So, something very different.  I wanted to save the world.

You know what they should do?  Maybe Amanda could have a courtroom show.  Instead of Judge Judy, it could be called Judge “Mandy”!

MISHAEL:  Put people in their places.

That’s if Amanda doesn’t get a talk show gig on the side, like Hilary did with GC Buzz! (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  With the courtroom cases, and the talk show, that would be a lot.

Photo: JPI

We talked about Hilary and taking her through everything she had gone through, and it really was the perfect ending when she passed.   Do you look back on that time and that work which we all loved so much?

MISHAEL:  Yes, I do.  I still look back on it, and I feel so blessed to have gone through that journey with her and to have created such a great character.  There are times when I’m like, “Yeah, coming back as Hilary would have been a lot of fun,” because I read the lines, and I know how Hilary would say everything, and now I have to figure out how Amanda says it – and it never feels the same, because I got so used to this being Hilary’s home.  I feel like Amanda is a little more like me, so there is a little less playfulness happening.

You want more of that which is reminiscent of Hilary, or not as much with Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I feel like naturally there is not as much now with Amanda, but I do want more of the playfulness to happen. It’s fun to play that on camera.  I feel that’s the fun of acting and pretending in that you get to be less of yourself, and more like a character.  Hilary was so different from me that it was just so fun to play her.  I feel like I’ve got to find those things in Amanda that make her unique and different that I can indulge in.

Photo: MMorganInstagram

In real-life you’re now a mom of two.  When you leave your kids to come to work, is it hard for you?

MISHAEL:  It is, but it’s okay because my husband stays at home with them.  We bounce back and forth.  He doesn’t work when I am working, and the days when I am not working, I am at home, and I get to enjoy time with them.  Then, when I am working, he stays home, and he gets to enjoy time with them.  It sucks to leave them, but at the same time it’s great to know that they are getting to spend time with their father, and I’m getting some ‘me time’.  I think that is necessary, because being a stay at home mom was a lot harder than I thought.  It is exhausting, and you are always on call.  You feel like you’re a surgeon.  It is just too much at times.

You always have the best Instagram photos with your kids and their outfits.  Are you going to have them dressed for Halloween?

MISHAEL:  Oh, yes.  They are going to dress up.   My son is going to be a firefighter, and I am going to be the fire, and my husband is going to be the fire hydrant, and my daughter is going to be the fire dog, the little Dalmatian!

Were you thrilled that you had a daughter this time, after previously having a son?

MISHAEL:  Yes.  At the time, I was okay with whatever the gender turned out to be.  I know everybody says it, but as long as they’re healthy, that is the most important thing.  I even thought about if I did have another boy, there would be that brother bond.  I grew up with sisters so to give him a brother would have been great, too.  Everybody always wants to have one of each because you want to be able to see what a boy would look like, and what a girl would look like, and their temperaments and all of that.  So, it’s nice that we got one of each.  We are happy.  We are good.  No more kids in my future.  (Laughs)  I shouldn’t say that too much because what if I do get pregnant, and my kid is like, “I was definitely an accident, Mom?” (Laughs)

We don’t know who Amanda has ties to at this point, but would you like to see her in another romantic relationship with some guy who is not Devon?

MISHAEL:  I would like to see that just because it would be something that kind of defines her as her own kind of person with her own journey and her own likes and her own dislikes.  I even feel that if she just ends up with Devon, it would be kind of weird.  We don’t know if Hilary and Amanda are related, but if they are related somehow, you would not have the same experiences, you would not have the same connections as this person.  As far as who I would want to work with, I don’t know.  I don’t know how to judge.  Well, Sean Dominic (Nate) has been awesome.  It would be kind of cool to be with Sean character-wise, because if Amanda ends up with Nate, that’s a relative of Devon, so Devon would have to see that all of the time … so that’s interesting.

Photo JPI

How is working with Sean?

MISHAEL:  Lots of fun.  He actually has the same birthday as my dad.  He’s a really cool guy, and we get along great.  That is half the battle because every now and again (and you rarely hear about it) you can’t stand the person you’re working with, and every time you get into scene work with another character, you’re always wondering, “Am I going to get along with this person?”  I love Bryton because we definitely have a special connection when we are on camera and when we are working together.  We’ve known each other for so long, and we’ve done so many amazing scenes together, and I think there is a lot of trust there.  It’s easy to just work with him.  That being said, the challenge of working with another character would be great as well.  We’ll just see where the chips fall.  Either way; I’m going to have a blast.

So, Camryn Grimes (Mariah) and you obviously have this great relationship together on-screen.  Mariah was Hilary’s dear friend.  Did you ever see her performance after Hilary died and her heartbreaking monologue on the set of GC Buzz?

MISHAEL:  Yes, I did.  It was amazing.  She’s an amazing actress.  She’s an amazing person.  I was so happy to work with her, and I am so happy to be back, because we are such good friends.  My first day back on set when I walked in, Camryn was the first person I saw.

Photo: JPI

Did Camryn know you were coming back to the show as Amanda?

MISHAEL:  Yes, she knew I was coming back.  We had a big hug and everything like that, and we were laughing about the fact that she’d come back to Y&R too as a whole different character.  So, I was like, “What pointers can you give me?” I would really love to figure out how Amanda and Mariah can work together.

The big question … I wonder if Amanda will have friends in Genoa City? (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  I think she would.  I mean, I know she is a little uptight, but I think she’ll have friends.  I hope so.  I don’t know who though. Guess everyone will have to stay tuned to see.

So, are you happy to see Mishael back at The Young and the Restless? What do you think of the character of Amanda Sinclair thus far? Do you want to see her with Nate, Devon, or someone else on the canvas romantically?  Do you think it will turn out that Hilary and Amanda were twins? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Talks On Thomas’ Vendetta With Brooke & Playing The Manipulative Bad Boy Of The Forrester Clan

Since coming to The Bold and the Beautiful earlier this year, Matthew Atkinson is making his mark in the role of Taylor (Hunter Tylo) and Ridge’s (Thorsten Kaye) son, Thomas Forrester.  But while Matthew was a recast for his predecessor Pierson Fodé, his Thomas is quite different.  The new Thomas is a bad boy capable of horrific manipulations to get what he wants, and a young man who has caused so much suffering already for the Logans, Spencers, and the Forresters  But is there a heart underneath that often volatile exterior?

After all, Thomas went to great lengths to keep Hope (Annika Noelle) in a relationship with him and for her to be a “mother” to his son, following the death of Caroline.  So, what did he do? He covered-up and blackmailed many people to keep their mouths shut to the truth – that his sister Steffy’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) little girl, Phoebe, was actually baby Beth, the child Hope and Liam (Scott Clifton) believed had died at birth!

Following the big reveal, and getting a bit of comeuppance, Thomas landed in the hospital with a questionable push from Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) after a fall.  After promising to change his ways, looks like Thomas is back to scheming and conniving – this time to make sure Brooke gets payback and that her marriage to his father blows up to smithereens.  Meanwhile, Thomas needs to be a better father to his little boy, Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri), but will the Logans and the Spencers come between father and son?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Matthew Atkinson to get his take on: the emotional make-up of his incarnation of Thomas Forrester, what his ultimate takedown of Brooke would be, and how he thinks Thomas can find a way back into the family good graces, and more.  Here’s what Matthew had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

Thomas really has a vendetta with Brooke.  The scene where Brooke slaps him illustrated just how deep-rooted his issues apparently are with her. What did you think about what Thomas said to Brooke that came to a boiling point with the slap, and what was it like performing the material with Katherine Kelly Lang?

MATTHEW:  Katherine rocks every chance I get to be around her.  She is such a sweet human being and so fun to work with and takes her job seriously and puts a lot of work in, and I think it shows.  As far as the scene goes, every chance that I get to work with her is fun.  She’s just a great actress.  Brooke basically had this vendetta against Thomas for a while now, and she was the one who unjustifiably went a little crazy about Thomas before anybody knew Thomas was off the rails.  So, it’s kind of this interesting culmination of having that where she has built herself up to hating Thomas at this point, and she is just scared of him and what he could possibly do.  Then you have Thomas, who has hated Brooke ever since she came in and destroyed his family.  There is so much emotion there and so many levels to it.  It’s just so much fun to play around with, and in those scenes especially, it is kind of like neither one of them really has a filter.  They are both just going at each other.

He is punctuating his plan by telling Brooke that she may, “Have his father tied around her slutty little finger, but her reign of terror ends with him!”  I was just like, “Uh-oh.” (Laughs)

MATTHEW:  Yeah, and that’s how Thomas sees Brooke.  He sees her as this slutty woman who came in and kind of giggles her way into his dad’s life and flirted with him and destroyed his entire family.  Thomas sees her and all of her sisters as these air-headed women who are kind of just family-destroying kind of people.  They come in, they do whatever they can to get what they want, and he doesn’t care about them at all.  I think he has kind of gotten to this point, especially with Brooke … considering what happened with Hope and that he has this genuine love for Hope.  Brooke won’t even accept that, or think about that as a possibility with how she views him.   It’s that crazy dynamic and those scenes were definitely an emotional peak for both of them.

Photo: JPI

Thomas seems to become obsessed, and laser-focused on people like Hope, and now Brooke.  What has happened to him?  How are you playing this behavior pattern of his that we are seeing established?

MATTHEW:  Some of the most successful people in the world are people who obsess over things.  I think Thomas is like that, but I think that since Caroline’s death, his obsessive nature has been so focused on things other than fashion.  They aren’t his job and what his talents are, which is where he should focus all of that energy, but instead it’s been on his son needing a mother.  So, getting Hope in his life was key to him, and with Brooke, it’s a woman who has destroyed his entire family.  He wants his dad to be better off.  He wants his entire family to be better off.  He honestly feels that they would be better off without Brooke in their lives, and so that is what he is focused on.  I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad attribute to have when it is focused in the right direction, but for Thomas, since the death of Caroline, his focus has been on things that are a little abstract and are not necessarily objectively sound decisions.

Photo: JPI

What was interesting was that I did not know how they were going to be able to save the character of Thomas on the B&B canvas after all that he has perpetrated.  But then, there were scenes in the hospital where he is recovering from his “fall”, and Thomas is having big emotional scenes with Ridge and Steffy.  In those moments as the viewer, you say to yourself: “Oh, they’re going to redeem him,” but then they don’t.  He goes right back to a new vendetta.  What did you think of those plot twists?

MATTHEW:  The interesting thing about this character is that I don’t think this guy is a bad guy.  I think he is a guy who is doing a lot of bad things, but I think a lot of people can relate to him and the struggles that he is dealing with: being a single father and having a rough childhood with his family being broken up.  This is a guy who wants his father to approve of him and respect him and he has never really felt that way.  I think a lot of people out there know what it’s like to have a parent who they just want approval from but can’t get it … couple that with the fact that he let his sister down.  Everybody knows what it is like to think that they are making the right decision and end up making the wrong decision and possibly hurting someone in the process … and the kind of shame that you feel from doing something like that.  I think this makes Thomas an interesting character where viewers could say, “Well, he is doing bad things, and I don’t agree with anything that he is doing, but I can relate to him, and I want him to be better, and I want him to get better and become the good person we all know he can be.”  Yet, Thomas just keeps making all of the wrong decisions.

Photo: JPI

I predict that in short order, Thomas will be in cahoots with Shauna (Denise Richards)!

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MATTHEW:  Okay, we shall see.  (Laughs)  They have aligned interests; especially at the moment, when it comes to removing Brooke from that situation.  I think with Shauna, it’s fun that Denise Richards has come into this role and what she has done with this character.

Denise Richards is doing a great job in the role.

MATTHEW:  She’s amazing, but I think that behind the thought process she has is this woman, Shauna, who is not so dissimilar from Thomas, and is willing to blur the lines of what is acceptable and morally sound to make sure that she gets what she wants.

Photo: JPI

When you were taping those emotional hospital scenes where Thomas admits he has lost his way, and reaching out to his dad to try to find forgiveness, how were playing those scenes with Thorsten Kaye?

MATTHEW:  I respect Thorsten a lot as an actor.  I just love having scenes with him because I feel like we play off of each together so well.  When we enter a scene together, we are both in it.  When you are both in it, something real happens from that, and those real moments are kind of magical in a way, and it makes you feel great about the work that you do.  Thorsten shows up, and he’s prepared, he knows what he is doing, and at the same time, there is this connection between father and son.   I think Thorsten and I have definitely done that as father and son, and Jacqui and I have done that as brother and sister.

Since the show usually has you shirtless or sneering in scenes (laughs), I was so happy that they finally let you have some crying scenes.  It was at the point that the audience was able to see you bring another emotional level and dimension to the character.

MATTHEW:  I think he is not a guy who breaks down and cries very often.  It takes something very serious (especially for him) to get to that point.  For Thomas, the most important thing in the world is family, and he has kind of destroyed his relationship with his own family with what he has done, and I think that from the inside out is what breaks him.

Photo: JPI

Speaking of shirtless scenes; in a short amount of time you have been with the show, I think you may have set a record there.

MATTHEW:  (Laughs) Yep.  It’s all the time because the wardrobe sends me mostly pants – no shirts (Laughs).

Obviously, there is the issue of Thomas’s son, Douglas … and will he lose him because Hope and Liam want to gain custody of him. Brooke wants Thomas out of Douglas’ life for good.   This poses a major obstacle for Thomas moving forward. Agree?

MATTHEW:  Sure.  However, Brooke has no legal right to stand on.  You can’t just take a guy’s son.  There’s no legal way to do that, but they can try their hardest to either sign adoption papers or sign over custody, or something like that, but there’s not a legal way they can go and just take his son.  There are a lot of people who I understandably think Douglas would be better off with being raised by Hope and Liam, but I think Thomas has a point of view too, and just because he is going through a bad part of his life at this time, doesn’t mean that he is unfit to be a father.  I think Thomas will prove that he is fit to be father and all the while, a great force to be reckoned with,

Photo JPI

But, Thomas hasn’t been so great to Douglas, either.  Hasn’t he yelled at his son, manipulated him for his own gain, etc?

MATTHEW: Right, this was kind of right before the truth about Beth came out, and Thomas was on this massive downward swirl where he wasn’t thinking clearly; he wasn’t himself. I  think in reality, you have a person who went off the rails, he wasn’t being himself, he found the person he wasn’t, and I think that the “accident” of Brooke pushing him off a cliff, the slip, kind of clarified his intention in life to be a good, standup person from here on out.  So, I think his priorities are straight now, and I think he is thinking clearly.  I don’t think he is in the same mental state that he was before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be manipulative and that he won’t get what he wants, because he will.  There was a time that he went through a headspace when nothing was really clear for a minute, and he didn’t really have any moral backbone, but I don’t think that moving forward you’re going to see a Thomas Forrester that would hurt his son.  You’re going to see a Thomas Forrester who will stop at nothing to protect his son.

How does Thomas feel about Hope now, especially since Hope wants to raise Douglas? 

MATTHEW:  Well, here is what I will say; I think that Thomas has always had a love for Hope. I think he respects her as a person, I think he has seen her be a mother to his child, and that is undeniable … how much of a connection that she has to Douglas, and she is incredibly important to him.  Thomas can basically discard any Logan except Hope.  Hope is kind of his kryptonite.  So, going forward, I think you’ll maybe see a guy who wants to discard Hope as a person who he cares for (her and the rest of the Logans), but he may not be able to do that, because she has got a place in his heart that he can’t compartmentalize and leave behind.

Photo: JPI

What can you say about working with Annika Noelle, because you as Thomas had been terrorizing Hope for many months?

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MATTHEW:  Well, she’s a sweetheart, but also, secondly, she is a badass.  She could kick my butt any day of the week.  So, I just had to make sure that in between takes I said, “You understand that I wouldn’t do this to you.”  She’s so sweet, and she was actually one of the first people to talk to me about taking over a role on the show, because she had been one of the most recent people to take over a role, and that was something that was really hard for me.  Coming into a character that has already been there for 30 years, you have a lot to live up to.  She was amazing from the beginning just helping me through that process.

On that note, what did you think of the epic fight scene on the rooftop opposite Scott Clifton; right before all the truth came out to Hope that Beth is alive and Thomas was lying to Hope and up to no good?

MATTHEW:  So much fun.  The shots they got were incredible.  Shooting those fight scenes was so much fun and I love Scott to death.  So, every time we get to work together it’s fun, but just getting outside and literally pretending to beat the crap out of each other is a blast.  We got to go out to Malibu, and I got to fall over a cliff.  What else can you say about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

There is another interesting relationship Thomas has on B&B, and that is with his friend, Vinny.  How has it been creating the on-screen dynamic with Joe LoCicero (Vinny) as these two scheming dudes?

MATTHEW:  I like it, and I love Joe.  This dynamic between these two guys is really funny because you have this shrewd, alpha male, Thomas Forrester, who is extremely driven, and insanely smart, but also very manipulative and he has got a thousand things going on.  On the flipside, you’ve got Vinny, who is just this guy who he has been friends with for a really, really long time, who just kind of lives life.  He is living in his apartment in Venice, he sells some not so legal substances just to his friends, and he’s a decent guy.  It’s just fun when we have these scenes together, because essentially you’ve got him looking at me like I’m an alien creature, and thinking, “I don’t understand this guy.  I don’t know why he is acting this way, but who cares; I’m going to eat my Chinese food.”  (Laughs) I think it kind of grounds some of those scenes especially when you see Thomas going off that rails, and his friend doesn’t even seem to notice. (Laughs)

I know! (Laughs) Thomas has got his own sidekick.

MATTHEW: I think Vinny wants to give sound advice, but he gives all the worst advice.  He’s like, “Well, the way you described it Thomas, it sounds like a good idea, so yeah, go ahead with that,” but maybe doing a little behavioral cognitive therapy and questioning would be good for Vinny.  He just kind of goes, “okay,” (laughs) but I think that’s what makes those scenes so much fun.

Photo: JPI

Having appeared on The Young and the Restless previously you know how soaps go.  There is always this fear of: “Will they kill me off if my character has gone too far?” Did at any point in Thomas’ storyline, and as you got the scripts and read all the terrible things Thomas was doing, that the character might get murdered, kicking off a murder mystery, and you’d have to make an exit?

MATTHEW:  I’d had discussions with Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) and I kind of knew where the character was going, so I kind of knew that he was going down a rabbit hole, but that Thomas wasn’t a lost cause.  I knew that he would at least be present for the upcoming short future that I know of, that Thomas wasn’t going to find his demise, which was very nice of Brad to give me that insight into the character to not only know what was coming up, but also know where his head is at by this point.  It helps me with the character work that I do for each scene and prep for each day; because I know where Thomas’ head is going to be at two weeks from now.

Photo: JPI

Have you had any interactions with fans, or are you checking out on social media what the viewers are saying about Thomas?  Do they love him?  Hate him?  Is there a great debate going on?  What is your take on where Thomas sits with the audience?

MATTHEW:  Oh, yeah.  I definitely pay attention.  The fans are the reason I have the job that I have.  All the feedback that I have seen is positive, and by positive, I mean that it is emotionally effective.  Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are happy with Thomas because most people are not happy with Thomas.  They don’t like what he is doing, and that obviously gets them angry or sad or whatever, but that is kind of the point of the show.  If you’re watching a bunch of characters who are all great people and who all do nice things, then it wouldn’t be that much fun to watch.  You’d be watching 40 Liam’s talk to each other, and it would be like, “Yeah, it’s just another day in Happy World.”  (Laughs)  I think that Thomas especially has been such a driving force in the last couple of months and caused a lot of drama.  I think there are a lot of storylines that people have connected to in the past that are really making people enjoy the drama happening now. You have the people who hated Ridge getting together with Brooke in the beginning that are happy with what Thomas is doing now.  You have the people who are pro – Liam and Steffy.  Thomas has been a big advocate of that since the beginning.  There are some people who just can’t stand Thomas and don’t like him, and he makes them mad, but the reality of it is that there is a thin line between love and hate.  So, as long as they love me or hate me, I’m happy.

So, have you been enjoying Matthew’s portrayal of Thomas? Do you think he will rip Brooke and Ridge apart for good and succeed in his plans? Do you think he should somehow pay for his manipulations? Share your thoughts on the current B&B storyline involving Thomas via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Eileen Davidson & Vincent Van Patten Talk ‘7 Days to Vegas’, Their Relationship and Y&R, DAYS & RHOBH

Today’s the day for the highly-anticipated film, 7 Days to Vegas which bows in selected theaters. The motion picture which stars Vincent Van Patten and his real-life wife, two-time Daytime Emmy winning actress Eileen Davidson (Y&R’s Ashley and former Kristen/Susan Banks, Days) is a comedic gambling romp, centering around the character of Duke (Van Patten), an out-of-work actor turned poker player who makes a prop bet that he walk from the San Fernando Valley in California to Sin City, Las Vegas in 7 days.

There are some catches to this bet that make it even more challenging  … Duke has to wear a suit the entire time in scorching heat.  The events in the movie are loosely based on Van Patten’s Hollywood Poker game nights.  7 Days to Vegas features a fictional gang of betting entertainment industry bigwigs, who are hardcore gamblers and of course, jealousy strikes.  Davidson plays Duke’s wife, KC.

Michael Fairman sat down with Eileen and Vincent at their home, and at their famed poker table for the Michael Fairman Channel, to chat about the making of the movie, their relationship and some intriguing tidbits for fans of Eileen’s work on The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives and her time on Bravo’s hit reality franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

In 7 Days to Vegas, Eileen says that Vincent fashioned her role of KC after their real-life relationship adding, “They are in it together. This is a lifestyle that they both enjoy.  That is what somebody does when there is a home game; you call people up, and make sure who is going to be there.  Van Patten said, “There is a host of the game, and that is her role in the movie.”

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As to the scenes where Duke is walking to Vegas, Van Patten shared, “We shot the film in Santa Clarita, California in the hills and the mountains and all of that, and then we out five days after with a second unit shoot and shot with drones in the desert.  So, I must have walked 10 miles a day, shooting, sweating, but you don’t feel it, because when it’s your baby, it’s a labor of love.”

When asked if she would go back to daytime, Eileen shared she would be back for more Ashley on Y&R: “I am supposed to go back to Y&R in a couple of more weeks. So I am popping in and out at this point.”  Davidson also shared she wishes nothing but the best to Stacy Haiduk who inherited her roles on Days of our Lives as Kristen DiMera and Susan Banks. Eileen said she does not watch the episodes of the show anymore, because it makes her feel sad.  The roles of Kristen and Susan were so close to Davidson’s heart.

In speaking of her time on RHOBH, Van Patten shared, “I think she (Eileen) did a great job. It went by real quick. I think she did like three years on it.  I was in the background carrying her purse, going, ‘Yes, yes, here I come.”  (Laughs)  Davidson expressed: “Listen, reality TV … it’s a crazy, wild, Wild West.”  When Michael asked about the time a drink was thrown in her face, Eileen explained:  “I think Brandi (Granville) felt she needed to be relevant to be on the show, and her role was to be a troublemaker. I understand more of it now.  At the time, I was a deer in the headlights for the first couple of years.”  Vincent shared, “People always ask if this stuff is scripted, and it’s actually not, but you can spice it up”   As to if ‘Housewives’ makes up the drama, Davidson elaborated, “Before the season starts they will ask, ‘What is going on in your life?’, and maybe there is some of that behind-the-scenes stuff.  It didn’t happen with me.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it is a reality show, but it is also entertainment, and if all we did was sit around, how fun would that be?”

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Watch the full interview below with Eileen and Vincent and make sure to “subscribe” to The Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interview features.

Now let us know, will you be checking out 7 Days to Vegas, which will also be available on iTunes and VOD come September 24th? Do you hope there will be more Ashley on Y&R? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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