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40th Emmy Wrap

Interviews

Y&R’s Michelle Stafford Talks on Her Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Nomination, Allison Lanier, and ‘Pacific Palisades’ with Finola Hughes

It has been 20-years since daytime dynamo, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) of The Young and the Restless, has captured the Daytime Emmy for her continued outstanding performances. She previously won Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1997 and Outstanding Lead Actress in 2004, and along the way has amassed 12 nominations for her work.

Now, Stafford finds herself in a crowded field of women going for gold at the upcoming 51st annual Daytime Emmys to be handed out on Friday, June 7th on CBS. Nominated along with Michelle in this year’s Lead Actress race are: Finola Hughes (Anna, GH), Annika Noelle (Hope, B&B), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B), Cynthia Watros (Nina, GH) and Tamara Braun (Ava, DAYS).

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Michelle about her nominated scenes, her on-screen daughter, Allison Lanier being recognized for the first time in her career for her work as Summer, and her enduring friendship with Finola Hughes; which dates all the way back to when they were co-stars on the 1997 primetime soap opera, Pacific Palisades. 

Photo: JPI

Michelle participated in the Michael Fairman Channel’s 10th annual Daytime Emmy Nomination Special last Friday, where she chatted with us and the fans live to celebrate her nomination along with several other actors. Here’s what Michelle shared on these key topics below.

Photo: JPI

What scenes did you submit, and what about those scenes did you think showcased you as an actress for the Lead Actress competition?

MICHELLE:
I went from the beginning of Phyllis’ spin out, to her pleading to be exonerated. The thing that I liked is it showed what I do love about the character of Phyllis, and that is that she is dark. She can be very dark and really fierce, but then very broken. I liked that it showed all of that. I had some scenes with Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael) that I started with that weren’t really meant to be as intense as they were, but they ended up being very intense. Basically, Phyllis is talking to her friends and no one believes her about this woman, Diane (Susan Walters). No one believes her and she has no friends and no one wants to know her. She’s become the villain, and it showed her just complete frustration. Then, there is this scene. It was so funny because Phyllis is like in Diane’s face going, “You’re afraid of me.” And then, I got up in her face and Phyllis goes, “and you should be afraid of me.” I’m watching it going, “Bitch, I’m afraid of you!” And then, at the end of my reel, she is just so broken talking to the judge.

Photo: JPI

Your on-screen daughter, Allison Lanier, scored her first Daytime Emmy nomination and in the highly-competitive Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama series category. What are your thoughts on Allison?

MICHELLE: Allison worked so hard last year. She works hard all the time. She’s so great. I’m so happy for her because she’s just a very focused, hardworking actress. I think, she really has a great look and she’s just fantastic. I feel just so rich in that Hunter King played my daughter for so many years, and now I have Allison.  You know, Allison came into the story when my character was really jacked up and very adversarial and fighting with Summer all the time. I think it was a little daunting for Allison, but she got it. This is daytime, and you have to get on the express train. It’s moving. You either jump on or you don’t get on. Not every actor can do it. It’s a special technique and I think that’s what we all love about it, because that’s the challenge to actually put out something somewhat decent. I never want to say good, because I don’t know if it’s good but somewhat decent, in the limited time we have. I saw what Allison submitted which was fantastic. It’s really impressive. I always say anyone who could be good in daytime is phenomenal out there.

Photo Fox

You and Finola Hughes are nominated together, and are good friends dating all the way back to when you were both on Pacific Palisades together. You had played the character of Joanna, and Finola was the character of Kate. What do you recall about your time on the show?

MICHELLE: The characters we played were best friends on Pacific Palisaides, and I created a great friendship with Finola. Looking back at my time on that show, I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have. Of course, I was younger and I thought, “This is my first show. I’ll get many more.” You don’t appreciate things like you do when you’re older. Not that I didn’t appreciate it. I mean, I knew I was really fortunate. I knew I was lucky. I grew up in this business. I knew how lucky I was, but it was just a very different kind of character for me to play. I think it was a little challenging because I had gone from playing Phyllis, to playing like this wholesome Midwestern girl off the farm. So, that was a bit challenging for me, but I had a good time.

So, what do you think of the scenes submitted by Michelle for this year’s Emmy competition? Will you be rooting for her to win her first Emmy in over 20 years? What do you remember about Finola and Michelle in ‘Pacific Palisades’? And, what do you think about the on-screen dynamic between on-screen mother and daughter as played by Michelle and Allison Lanier? Weigh-in via the comment section. And in case you missed it, you can catch the ’10th annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special’ below featuring live conversations with 10 of this year’s acting nominees.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Nina Confronts Ava for Sabotaging Her Relationship With Sonny and Signs the Divorce Papers

Looks like Nina (Cynthia Watros) and Ava (Maura West) are back to be each other’s sworn enemy number one. By the end of the Monday, April 22nd episode of General Hospital, the women know where they stand with each other after Nina goes in on Ava accusing her of wanting Sonny (Maurice Benard) all to herself, while her marriage has been on the rocks.

In story, at Nina’s office, Ava shows up to see Nina and says she is sorry about what happened with Sonny and that he reacted the way he did, acknowledging that is was over the top, even for Sonny. Ava says she’ll smooth things over, but Nina says she now understands how manipulative and transparent Ava really is.

Given their horrible history, Nina goes in on Ava and how she should never have trusted her. Nina wants to know how long has Ava had this agenda dating all the way back to telling Nina to turn Carly (Laura Wright) and Drew (Cameron Mathison) into the SEC. Ava says she never told her do to that, but Nina wants to know how long Ava has been playing her for a fool.

Courtesy/ABC

Ava says she moved in with Sonny to keep Avery safe and she wants to be on good terms with Avery’s father, Sonny. Nina thinks she likes being in Sonny’s inner circle. Ava tells Nina if she goes to him about her advising Nina to call the SEC on Carly and Drew, it won’t work.  Sonny still considers Nina a traitor and he will think she’s lying because she’s so desperate to win him back. Ava says if Nina would stop blaming everyone else that maybe Sonny would respect her.  Nina says “like he does you?” Ava says Sonny not only respects her, but he also counts on her.

From there, Ava launches into why she and Sonny understand each other, after all, Sonny is a powerful, turbulent, and sometimes violent man. She goes so far to say if Nina wanted someone to just sit by the fire with and play with their grandchildren, she’s got the wrong guy.  Ava then talks about Mike from Nixon Falls (Sonny with amnesia) and how Sonny hid the darkest parts of himself from Nina back then, whereas with Ava they are the same similar creatures, so he doesn’t have to hide anything.

Courtesy/ABC

Nina wants to know just what Ava wants with Sonny? What is her end game? Ava responds that they understand each other, in ways she can’t with Sonny. Nina tells Ava she can go ahead and have it all and signs Sonny’s divorce papers. Ava walks out with the documents, while Nina in tears at her desk, takes off her wedding rings and has her assistant come in so she can messenger the rings back to Sonny’s address.

The episode and these scenes featured great performances by Cynthia Watros and Maura West. You can check some of the scenes below.

Now, let us know, what is Ava’s next move? Is she going to become Mrs. Sonny Corinthos? Do you like Ava and Nina as enemies? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Kim Kardashian, Emma Roberts and Marlene King Land ‘Calabasas’, a Soap in the Vein of the ‘O.C’ and ‘Beverly Hills 90210’, at Netflix

There has been lot of soapy projects coming to life and in the works of late, and now comes word that Kim Kardashian is executive producing a new series in development for Netflix called Calabasas.

After a bidding war last week, it looks like Netflix cemented the development deal from Kim, and her producing partners American Horror Story co-star Emma Roberts (pictured below) and Pretty Little Liars creators Marlene King and Alexandra Milchan.

The concept of Calabasas is based on the book If You Lived Here You’d Be Famous By Now by Via Bleidner.  King set to write the adaptation and will serve as the series showrunner.

Photo: JPI

According to Deadline, Calabasas is said to be in the vein of primetime young teen and young adult soaps the O.C. and Beverly Hills 90210. The story follows “Via, a 16-year-old sheltered Midwestern Catholic school girl whose world is turned upside down when her family moves and she’s forced to transfer to the fast world of Calabasas High where nothing is as it appears and where everyone is trying to be someone else. It’s a place where dreams come true … but not without complications and sometimes unforeseen consequences.”

Photo: Hulu

As fans of the Kardashians know, Kim and her family made the town of Calabasas a household and worldwide name. Kim being attached to this project helped make its sale. This marks her fourth project to sell since the writers and actors strikes concluded at the end of last summer.

So, would you be interested to see a teen soap called ‘Calabasas’ on Netflix from Kim and company? Comment below.

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