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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Matthew Ashford Interview: Jack's coming back to Salem & what comes next will be unpredictable!

Courtesy/NBC

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack is back! Finally, one of the most beloved characters in the history of Days of our Lives is coming home to Salem! And that means, the fabulous Matthew Ashford will be back on screen full-time when the NBC soap opera does it’s highly anticipated reset of the show on the September 26th episode.

On-Air On-Soaps spoke to Matt this morning to get his thoughts on his return, what we can look forward to, how are they going to explain why Jack has been away from his loved ones for so long, and how is Jack going to deal with the fact that his beloved Jennifer (played by Melissa Reeves) has fallen head over heels for Dr. Daniel Jonas (played by Shawn Christian)?  Here’s our “quickie” chat with Matt!

What happened that finally brought you back to DAYS? Did someone say, “Now with the reboot…. let’s bring him back?”

MATT: I guess so. I am not a party to conversations of what is going on in the bigger picture. But, I got a call one day asking what would be my interest level in coming back to Days of our Lives and if I was available to come back. I figured if they asked there was something substantial for me there. And they told me, “Yes, we have some ideas and some story,” and that is obviously good news for an actor to hear that.  So that is what I heard and I then said I was interested.  We began this odyssey, and very soon the viewers will see the first results and fruits from it.

What we saw in the fall promo released by NBC was Jack falling into a cake and there was Jennifer and Dr. Daniel in an embrace of some sort!

MATT: Yeah, this guy and this girl! (Laughs) It just kind of starts from there and it does not stop. It was an intense and crazy first week of work for me, as it was for everybody.  The character of Jack is suddenly there and then things go nuts!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Well there is a big misunderstanding, right? Jennifer believes he left her, but he was kidnapped… or something?

MATT: I had been hearing things for quite some time – that he was in some ashram in India and then I heard he was running around the Outback. But I believe the Outback of Australia is where they send many soap opera characters! So I think they must all be running around together there! (Laughs) My character has been out there a number of times!

Whenever you left the show or they wrote Jack off the canvas, the writers had to construct some reason behind it.  Much of that upset the audience. Why else would this wonderful guy who loves Jennifer so much, disappear on her time and time again?

MATT: Yeah, I think in the last go round that was part of the Jim Reilly (DAYS ex- head writer) years. I never quite understood it. Now you get into conversations with people who will ask me, “Is your character dead or alive?” And I realize to even have this conversation is in itself a tremendous challenge. I had to go back and say, “No. The character of Jack has never been really dead, but he has been written right off the page a number of times! (Laughs) I think we are dealing now in story with the reality of him not being there in Salem for quite some time, and that is what he has to now overcome.

I would think he would have to deal with Jennifer’s and Abigail’s trust issues with him. That is what I would assume. He will have these big hurdles to overcome to get back in the good graces of his family. And on top of that, Jennifer has moved on with another man in Dr. Daniel! And… Oh. My. God. Jack! Now what is he going to do?

MATT: That is what I wonder! And that is the $64,000, or whatever your percentages are, question of, “What is he going to do now?”

Courtesy/MattAshford.com

Are you having fun being back at DAYS?

MATT: Oh yes. But it is a lot of work. The pace at which we work at now is that you have got to know your material and kind of just go with it. But it is also very challenging, because our new creative team is asking for more. They are asking, let’s just not just have a funny moment or strange or goofy moment, but they are asking, what is this all about? And they are asking a lot more of us as actors. That has not been asked of us for awhile. So now the creative team is asking things like: “What makes this person tick?” and, “Why are they doing that?” So we are getting a chance to dig into that, and that is exciting. And like I said, those first airdates are just the beginning of peeling back these layers of all these characters.

I think Jack is in for a real shock, because Dr. Daniel is a real threat to his relationship with Jennifer! I think Jenn really loves Daniel.

MATT: Yes very much. I think Daniel is a real guy.  I am not saying the other guys in Jennifer’s life were fly-by-night, but Daniel wants to be happy and happy with Jennifer! So it will be a real challenge for Jack.

Do you think Jack would resort to some of his infamous “Jack machinations” to try to win her back?

MATT: Um, he could. There is always the risk then of being set up as the “machinator”. It is tempting, but I think even that in itself is a story. When your first tendency is to try and figure away around this, that might get you something in the short term, but in the long term it is not so good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I am feeling Jack and Jennifer are going to have to get together and solve some mystery like they were doing back at the old newspaper days! I predict that they will end up in close proximity and maybe, just maybe, mend some fences.

MATT: I think there is a whole new generation of people watching. They can look at things and see who this character is and what he has done, and what Jack and Jennifer over the years have meant to each other. I am more than open to everyone’s interest on different levels.

What do you think fans should look forward to with Jack falling in to the cake (laughs) and then the aftermath, and the future of his story?

MATT: A lot of turnarounds and quick changes, because that is what I experienced. I thought it was going this one way, and then quickly it changes and turned into something else. I think it is to the credit of the creative team: the writers, producer and directors. They wanted to dig in. I thought, “Wow. I sort of came in her hoping for some good times,” and they wanted to dig in!”  But it’s been very challenging and exciting.

I am worried Jack may have been tortured or abused while on assignment, or something like that while he was away! Something had to have happened.  How else can he have any credibility in the storyline?

MATT: There could be some sadder moments, I really don’t know. You know some people like that stuff, you never know. (Laughs)  It is going to be different. Our new writers are very interested at looking at the story that has been created and looking back at what happened 10, 15, or 20 years ago, and they are looking at a very interesting situation. Greg Meng (DAYS co-executive producer) told me that they are really going to be listening to the audience, and being flexible and seeing how things go.

Courtesy/NBC

How is working with Kate Mansi as your daughter, Abigail?

MATT: She is wonderful. Kate is Italian, and actually Melissa’s family is Italian, too. She is from the Jersey shore.  I have these powerful woman and actresses with me. Kate brings a lot of focus and passion to her role and what we are doing. I am very excited to be working with her, and Missy and Shawn Christian, who is really fun to work with as well, and he is not giving an inch either!

It is so great that Jack is back! Now we will have to sit back and see where it all goes.

MATT: Absolutely! I ask that people come along for the ride, because it only gets better!

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AlistairCrane
Guest
AlistairCrane

So excited to have Jack back for Jennifer! Jennifer’s return has been a total bust because she hasn’t had her soulmate Jack by her side. Very happy that Days is rectifying this mistake.

222Sally
Guest
222Sally

Exactly, no amount whitewashing negates the fact Dan is sleazy, not this great guy. Glad that Darrell/Marlene/Greg are fixing Jack after the silly in absentia destruction. Though I want Jack to move on for a while, get his paper back, investigate hot stories, have his snark back, been cynical and more like 89-91 Jack, date — the poor guy has been loyal for years despite Jennifer always moving on. Then if things work out have Jennifer chase Jack.

AlistairCrane
Guest
AlistairCrane

It would be smart and savvy of Days to have Jack run an online version of the Spectator given the state of the newspaper/publishing industry.

A
Guest
A

Yay!

teresa
Guest
teresa

yay i so cannot wait until i see jack i rally hope jen leaves daniel i cannot stand them togather….jack and jenn please get back please her story line has been so borning with daniel at least jack and jenn had a awsome story line BRING IT BACK DAYS JACK AND JENN 4 EVER

Brian Greene
Guest
Brian Greene

Go Matt Go! 🙂

KESM
Guest
KESM

I’m very excited to have Mathew Ashford back as Jack. I’m hoping the new writers will do right by Jack and Jennifer and get their essence.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I really want Jack to move on with someone else for awhile and if Jennifer is bedding the sleaze while Jack is there then I do not want Jack winning her back at all it should be her. I am tired of Jennifer playing the saint all the time. We all know she has issues of abandonment they need to be issues. she needs stop blaming everything on Jack.

Anita
Guest
Anita

One thing to remember even though Jennifer is Horton and she legacy character does not make her most interesting character without Jack she is not interesting. Jack is more than just about Jennifer he had life before her and I hope the writers give him storyline does not involve chasing Jennifer or winning her back if she continues to throw Daniel in his face then I want new love for Jack I seriously. I mean what about Jack’s happiness I want someone for him and if Jennifer is going stay with Daniel let Jack move on for awhile. There are… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

I wonder how Jennifer would feel if the shoe was on other foot and she was away and Jack assumed that she abandon the family and he met beautiful women and divorce Jennifer without consent and slept with that women so many times and did not bother to find her and she comes back finding her husband with another women I wonder how Jennifer would feel losing everyone that she love. Jennifer did not even bother to even find Jack and assume the worst in him and jump bed with next sleaze Dr that comes along. Jennifer is disgusting and… Read more »

LUMI
Guest
LUMI

I like Jenn with a real man,not saying Dan is that man,but come on Jack is so silly

Anita
Guest
Anita

I would like Jack with real women because the way Jennifer has been throwing herself at Daniel she acts like teenager instead of adult. She did not never bother to investigate those emails either whatif Jack was really hurt or kidnapped she did not care at all she just wanted to hit sack with this man who has history of sleeping with his patients. Jennifer has real mental problem she has abandon issues. What kind of role model is she setting for Abby? Why she was dull and boring when she is with Jack she never makes herself look sexy… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

Also I want mention I hope writers let Jack have new women for him I do not want him to waste his time begging for Jennifer to come back she is no prize at all. Jennifer is pathetic she calls herself reporter. I hope Jack gets his paper back and hires Nicole to be his assistant let see how green Jennifer becomes while dating Daniel test her love for him if she is really over Jack then she should not mind if Jack sleeps with Nicole I hope he does serves Jennifer right. I cannot stand her character anymore.

Anita
Guest
Anita

One thing for sure Jack has never love anyone but Jennifer and I feel Jennifer never love Jack or else she would have try to find him maybe he is hurt or kidnapped it has happen and she does not ever care what happen to her son either. I really hope that when Jack comes back he does not make things easy for her I am sick and tired Ms Goody Shoes getting free pass all the time. If I was Jack I would not even bother to let her choose and if she wants Daniel let her have him… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

Its about time that we let Jack get his own storyline and not even worry about Jennifer anymore she did not care what happen to him or anything since she did the deed with Daniel she should stay with Daniel and let Jack get his new love for him even though he will always be devoted to that slut Jennifer I feel it is time Jack gets new love and Abby should not tell her father to fight for Jennifer she did not even bother to find her husband at all she does not deserve Jack at all for that… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

IF Jennifer going keep leading men on and not admit her mistakes I do not want see Jack wait for her anymore I hope he just tells her to stay with daniel and moves on let her realize what mistake she making with him. Jennifer I really lost respect for her charater she not same sweet innocent fiesty girl that Jack fell in love with she is more acting like sex kitten from 1994 with Peter. I really think it is time that Jack finally moves on and find happiness with women who love him back because he takes love… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

I hope this time Jennifer is one who has to admit her mistakes I am sick tired of her blaming Jack for everything and she did not bother to find Jack or anything she wanted excuse to have sex with next loser that comes along. Well I hope that Jack is hurt and angry at Miss Slutty Horton when he returns because he was not aware what happen to her and he was held hostage. Jennifer needs to realize that if she keeps to doing this to Jack she is going end up lose everything. Jennifer has serious abandonment issue… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

The writers should let Jack move on away from Jennifer for awhile and let her be one to win his heart back for once. I want see Jack have new love for him that would drive Jennifer crazy and involve with Abby and the paper and let Jennifer suffer with Daniel they both deserve each other.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I want Jack to discover she slept with Daniel as soon as she filed for divorce and did not bother to find him either I hope Jack decides to leave her with Daniel and move on with his life with someone else leaving Jennifer to think about her mistakes that she made seek therapy for her problem of abandonment. I want jack to file custody lawsuit against Jennifer because she did not care what happen to their son instead she was busy with Carly and hitting sack with that Dr Sleaze Daniel. Jennifer deserve to get what coming to her.

Anita
Guest
Anita

Why are they even having love triangle with Jack and Jennifer and Daniel I mean if she loves Daniel and Jack is returning I do not want him to fight for her again with this loser I say let her stay with him and have Daniel’s child and let Jack finally move on away from her and get his paper back and new love maybe Greta or Billie or new girl Madison. I think writers want to end Jack and Jennifer for good. I do not want see Jack leave the show just because Jennifer chose to be Daniel. I… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

I am tired everyone bashing Jack whatabout Miss Perfect Jennifer thinks she has done nothing wrong just because she had heart removed does not mean anything I am tired of sympathizing with her. Jennifer knew what she was getting herself into when she marry Jack. She does not care about her son or Jack she only cares about jumping into the sack with Dr loser well new flash I hope that when Jack returns he does not even bother to win her back if she choses to be with Daniel then I hope he hooks with Nicole. I am sick… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

I just want to see the devious Jack back and I want him to be angry and hurt that Jennfier moved on and divorce him without consenting with him and without knowing the truth about his missing. I want Jack to really tell her off and if she wants Daniel then he will not chase her anymore and he moving on with his life. Jennifer is real nut case she deserves that loser Daniel.

gato
Guest
gato

I love the actor, but I am not excited about Jack returning. Sorry but this couple is BORING and the last 2 times he came back were epic fails. I am still hoping for the best tho!

Anita
Guest
Anita

I can care less about Jennifer and her loser boyfriend Jennifer I really want see devious Jack back and not go after Jennifer if she is with that Daniel guy then do not let Jack be goofy or silly anymore give him edge and let him move on with his life and paper. I love Jack I cannot stand Jennifer she never admits her faults and she has abandonment issues that she needs to resolve on her own instead of jumping into bed with next loser that comes along. The writing has not been good for Jack or Jennifer due… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

Well I hope that Jack is mad and hurt that she moved on without him and did not bother to even find him either and she calls herself reporter. Also I hope he finds out she jumped into bed with that loser and divorce him same time. I really want see Jack move on without Jennifer meaning let her realize what mistake she made and let her stay with Daniel and let Jack move on with maybe Nicole or new girl Madison because he struggle enough with her loser of year

Anita
Guest
Anita

I hope Jack gets hair cut I do not like his long hair at all. Also if Jennifer is going sleep with Daniel after Jack comes back then I want see Jack move on away from her and let her suffer with Daniel.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I just pray that no more buffoon Jack or silly Jack I just want devious Jack back with edge I hope he does not let Jennifer off the hook I am sick and tired of her saint games and if she continues to sleep or have sex with Daniel while Jack is there then I do not want jack to bother to win her back let him free from that Horton slut and let him move on.

Anita
Guest
Anita

One more thing I hope they do not reunite jack and Jennifer right away I hope there is some sexual tension between the two but also I want Jack to be mad and hurt that she moved on quickly with Daniel and divorce I do not want Jennifer get away this time either, Also I hope they give Jack nice haircut and snarky and devious attitude no more goofy or buffoon Jack either and give new love maybe Nicole or new girl Madison and let Jennifer stay with Daniel realize her mistake she made.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I do not want Jack to be Jennifer’s lap dog anymore I want more for Jack than just being counterpart for Jennifer. I hope he gets interact with other characters. I do not want him to live with Jennifer either let her stay with Daniel while Jack explore other option. I do not want quick reunion either between Jack and Jennifer either.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I do not want see Jack look bad I rather Jennifer look bad I cannot stand anymore. I do not want see Jack grovel to her anymore.

Anita
Guest
Anita

Why should Jack have to fight for Jennifer if anyone it is her that to fight for Jack after she is one who file for divorce so she can hop into bed with next loser that comes along. Jennifer is not love with Daniel she is using him just like other men to cover her feelings for Jack that is her pattern. Jennifer is ruin for me and I wish the writers would give Jack new love interest maybe Greta or Nicole because I am tired of Jack having to win her back over and over she is not worth… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

First I want see Jack have nice hair cut. The best haircut he had was in during the cruise Deception or 1993 haircut after Abby was born without sideburns. I do not like Jack with long hair. I hope they give us devious and edgy Jack and I hope he does not grovel or win Jennifer back either I am tired of her getting her way all the time I want see her be one to grovel to Jack. I do not want him to forgive her either because she has lots nerve not even bother to find him then… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

I want see Jack really move on away from that slutty Jennifer and find happiness with someone else I am sick of Jennifer immature games I hope she will lose Jack and Daniel and learn from her mistakes. Most of the problems is Jennfier abandon issues and she needs to stop playing this Miss Perfect Act because she is not perfect at all but she does deserve that loser Dr sleaze they deserve each other. I want Jack with new love interest and get his paper back and get the children away from Jennifer she is not fit to be… Read more »

Robin86
Guest
Robin86

I’m Dannifer all the way, baby!

Joanie
Guest
Joanie

What is so wrong about Daniel??

I would take him over Jack any day..
Hit the road Jack

Cath
Guest
Cath

Team Jack: 20+ years of supercoupledom and 2 children trumps 3 dates & sex. Not only does Jack have the looks but he also has the bonus wit and the same career choice as Jennifer to blow Daniel out of the water.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I am getting real fed with Jennifer and boy toy of the year I thinks she deserves that loser Daniel after three dates and sex with him and not even bother to find out what really happen with Jack then she is one who does not deserve Jack anymore I am sick and tired of writers painting her as saint all the time I do not really care if she is Horton or not it does not excuse her behavior at all and she is not in love with Daniel either it is rebound relationship and Daniel is not saint… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

I am tired of the writers making Jennifer look like innocent victim all the time she never admits her mistakes and blames everything on Jack. She deserves that loser Daniel I want someone new for Jack maybe Madison to catch Jack’s eye I am sick tired of all the men going after pathetic bitch Jennifer she is not worth it. I want see Jack move on away from her he had enough of her men of the year she can have that loser and be miserable with him. She maybe Horton but she used to be fun and fiesty now… Read more »

Anita Srinivasan
Guest
Anita Srinivasan

I hope that when that snowstorm comes it is Jack and Nicole together in bed and Jennifer comes and sees them together serves her right for hopping into bed with that loser Daniel she needs taste of her own medicine. Matthew Ashford and Ariana Zucker have good chemistry I hope they get together since Jennifer is busy playing house with Dr sleazeball those two deserve each other. Jennifer is so pathetic and she deserves to lose Jack to some other women. I cannot stand Jennifer and her saint act she is acting like teeanger I do not think she is… Read more »

Anita Srinivasan
Guest
Anita Srinivasan

I am hoping that Matthew Ashford/Jack gets more airtime and away from Miss Saint Jennifer too. Jennifer belongs with Daniel now I cannot stand her with Jack anymore I really want Jack with someone new so that way Jack can stay in Salem

Days Of Our Lives

Who is DAYS Gwen Really? What is Her Vendetta Against Abigail All About?

We have a new psycho in Salem, and she is played to perfection by Emily O’Brien who has been bringing her brand of quirky evil to the NBC soap opera as Gwen.  Soap fans, of course, remember her as Jana Hawkes on The Young and the Restless from 2006-2011.

Ron Carlivati and his DAYS writing team certainly have some tricks up their sleeve where Gwen is concerned as viewers recently found out she was behind slipping Abigail (Marci Miller) the drug months ago causing her hallucinations.

Photo: JPI

But Gwen is even much darker than we think, when several key clues and moments were revealed on Friday’s episode of DAYS when she went to visit her conspirator in prison, Dr. Rolf (William Utay).

During the exchange, we learn Gwen has been getting the mind-altering drug from one of Dr. Rolf’s concoctions.  She reveals to him that their plan has hit the proverbial snag.  The drug did not dismantle Abigail as she had hoped.  We also learn while she was in the mental institution – Bayview – that is how she tracked Rolf down by researching the drug he had created.

And it appears, Rolf hates Abigail too, citing he always saw her as  thorn in Stefano’s side.  It is then Gwen says he wants another dose of the drug to “melt Abby’s brain!”  Rolf says without anyone else to take the fall for it, he can’t come up with it.

He suggests to her to alter her plan and to instead destroy Abigail’s life piece by piece … and go for the long game instead of the short term – take everything that is near and dear from her including her husband, children, home, everything.

But, what does come to light is that even Dr. Rolf does not know why Gwen wants to destroy Abigail.  That is when Gwen shares she has very good reason to hate Abigail, and he, along with everyone else, will find out why when the time is right.

So, what are your theories?  Who is Gwen?  Is she a character with plastic surgery?  Could she be a sister no one knew Abigail had?  A former mental patient who Abby knew when she was getting help a few years back? And what is her gripe with Abigail all about?  Comment below!

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Days Of Our Lives

Kassie DePaiva, Nathan Purdee & Taylor Purdee Talk ‘Killian & The Comeback Kids’, One Life to Live & Eve’s Reign of Terror on DAYS

It’s ‘all in the family’ + a dear friend that makes the film Killian and the Comeback Kids something that soap fans will want to see. In it, daytime veterans, Kassie DePaiva (Ex-GL, OLTL, GH and Days) and Nathan Purdee (Ex-Y&R and OLTL) are featured in the new movie directed, written and starring Nathan’s talented son, Taylor.

One Life to Live fans will get a kick out of that Kassie and Nathan play a married couple in the film.  In story, a millennial (Taylor A. Purdee) comes home to live with his parents in a depressed rural town after getting a college degree in the big city. The film illustrates the issues facing many of America’s youth today, which could not be more apropos for the times we are living with many children moving back in with their parents. However, the movie shares an uplifting message filled with original music from Taylor’s folk-rock band, The Cumberland Kids.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Kassie, Nathan and Taylor to get the inside scoop on: collaborating together on this project, revisiting Llanview with some memories and thoughts on the cancellation of the beloved soap, plus Kassie’s last turn on Days of our Lives as an unhinged Eve Donovan – a performance that just may garner attention come Daytime Emmy time next year.

This conversation was filled with candor, humor, and a parent’s love for their child. Killian and the Comeback Kid is playing in selected theatres and dates including tonight Friday, September 25th in Atlanta, and October 2nd in Chicago. For more movie info go to the film’s website here And now here’s what Kassie, Nathan and Taylor shared.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

I was really intrigued by the film. Taylor, how did you lure your dad to be in the movie?

TAYLOR:  Oh my gosh, it was the craziest negation ever.

I bet! (Laughs)

TAYLOR:  When I was a kid, Roberta, my mom, made me promise to always write him roles.  So, it was kind of obligatory.

KASSIE:  That is so funny!

TAYLOR:  It’s true.

Had you met Kassie before, or was this the first time? 

TAYLOR:  I knew Kassie from when my dad and her were doing One Life to Live together.   Five years before I was filming this movie, Nathan texted me, “Hey!  Kassie and Jim (DePaiva) are right by your dorm room.  You should go see them!”  So, catching up as an adult was so nice.  I had a non-parentally controlled grown-up hang-out with her.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

What was the journey this film, Killian and the Comeback Kids, went on as far as from the writing of it, to production, to its completion?

TAYLOR:  Well, the front half was surprisingly quick.  I think writing it through to having it finished was about 18 months, and there were about 6 months of, “how’s it going to come out,” and then, we thought we knew what was going to happen, and we were all getting ready for it to hit in movie theatres in the spring when the world ended, and that’s how we got here three years later.

Nathan, tell me about the role you play; because Kassie and you are husband and wife in the film.

NATHAN: Well, yeah, you kind of covered it! (Laughs)  I play her husband, and she plays my wife, and I appreciated the casting situation.  It’s interesting how Taylor chose Kassie because he did say that he wanted someone who was close to his mom’s personality.  I couldn’t think of anybody else other than Kassie because the only difference is Kassie is taller, but they both are such loving, caring people.  They always want to mother you and make sure you’re fed, and you’re safe, and you’re happy, and neither one of them knows the word, “no,” when it comes to the people who they’re taking care of.  I love Kassie anyway, so good for me.

KASSIE:  Yeah, they cut our love scene, and I don’t know what that’s about. (Laughs)

Kassie, what do you remember from when you first met Nathan?  You were at One Life, right?

KASSIE:  No, when I first met Nathan, we were in San Antonio, and we were doing an appearance.  I met Bobbie Eakes (Ex-Krystal, AMC and Macy, B&B) for the first time then too, but I was on The Guiding Light, and I was singing, and Nathan was there.  Nathan and I sat beside each other.  I honestly felt like I had known Nathan my entire life.  We were drinking margaritas and talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking.

NATHAN:  Yep!

Photo: JPI

KASSIE:  Nathan and my husband, Jim are very good friends.  I have to say, Nathan was so lovely when I was going through my cancer journey.  He came to see me every week, sometimes twice a week when I was in the hospital, and he would come up, and he would hang out with Jim.  I will never, ever forget how lovely he was (it makes me tear up right now) to be there with support for my husband and myself as we went through that.  So, when Nathan asked me to be his wife in the film, I thought, “Well, hey, you practically live with me now, so that sounds good.”

So, Taylor, how did they do on-screen as husband and wife?

TAYLOR:  They’re fantastic.  We’ve only had one test screening, but one of the most consistent things audiences tell me is that they’re not just great together, but they each have such a quiet, brooding depth to them that you can’t help but imagine the back-story that they’re not talking about

KASSIE:  That’ll be the sequel!

TAYLOR:  Killian and the Comeback Kids 2: They Comeback Kids Comeback.

KASSIE:  They’ll come back again!

NATHAN:  Thanks for planting that seed in his head, Kassie.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

TAYLOR:  It was important for me to try to synthesize a mixed-race couple.  So, it was really great to be able to have them, not just be so great together, but there was also the issue of we had to have a little girl who looked like she could not just be my sister, but also both of their daughter.  Creating a family from scratch was great because Nathan and Kassie already had the rapport.

Did you watch them on One Life to Live together? 

TAYLOR:  Yeah!  I was in school most of the time, but I would go to set, and over the last 10 years, friends would send me YouTube clips from the show because for some reason none of the soaps are streaming.  There’s not like a soap Netflix!  It kind of needs to happen!  Soaps, they’re epic; there are decades worth of episodes and shows.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

In this film, music is the backdrop.  It’s your music and your band that is featured?

TAYLOR:  Yeah, my best friend growing up and I were staring to write folk music around the time when I was deciding what script I wanted to make into a film.  We wrote the soundtrack, all the music that people sing, and the underscore, which was surprisingly the most fun part of it all.

Kassie what did you think of Taylor’s music?

 ASSIE:  I think it’s wonderful.   I love music. It’s totally in the heart of me, and I just think that this movie is so timely. Kids these days are having to deal with not knowing what their future is going to be.  In the film, my son comes home, and he is trying to find himself, and he throws himself into his art and his music.  I just think there are a lot of people right now who are going through that.  I think it is extremely relatable, even more so than when you wrote it, Taylor.  I think people are looking for some type of connection, and I think this little movie is a good start.  It’s about people pulling together, and it’s got a strong rooting factor, and you want people to succeed, and it is great.  It takes you on a really nice journey.

You have some dates coming up where the film will play in a movie theatre- one is on September 25th in Atlanta and then another one on October 2nd in Chicago.  Taylor, how do you feel about making appearances for the film during the pandemic? You’re going with masks on? 

TAYLOR:  Oh yeah.  We will be in a bubble; we are just getting into a car and sticking together.  I and John Donchak, who plays opposite me through the whole film, are going to all of those dates, and my co-songwriter, who also appears in the film, will be in Atlanta, if not at both premieres.

NATHAN:  And let me add, please, they’re going against my wishes as a parent, but he is 28- years-old, so all I can say is that we are hoping for the best because we want him to be safe.  He is very determined and passionate about it, so he’s got our support.

Photo: KarmicReleseLTD

Taylor, in your story, why does Killian come home and live with his parents? 

TAYLOR: His plan at the time is that he has just graduated from a pricey university, and he is supposed to go off with his bandmate on a modest music tour.  He comes home to get his stuff and see his parents after graduating, but his bandmate drops out, and so the plan falls apart, and that’s how he gets stuck in this town and everything is just kind of falling apart. The plan that he had for his life after college gets pulled out right out from under him.

Photo: Getty

Nathan, when Kassie and you were on One Life for years, you weren’t there when it ended, as you had already left the show.  How did you feel upon learning it had been canceled by ABC?

NATHAN:  I was so disconnected by that time.  I just knew it was ending, and it wasn’t the first soap to go.  I saw it happening when the other shows started being canceled due to, I could be wrong about this, but I put the blame on reality TV.  By that point I had moved on in my personal and private life.  I was doing a lot of theatre then, traveling back and forth from North Carolina, really trying to keep busy, and fighting off the depression of not working full-time.  I missed Jim and Kassie the most, but I was thrilled that I could bump into them at any time and visit with them.  I kept in touch with Hillary B. Smith (Ex-Nora) and Bob Woods (Ex-Bo) and also, Timothy Stickney (Ex-RJ); in fact, Timothy Stickney’s wife did Taylor’s hair for the film.

Photo: JPI

Kassie, how do you feel years later about the cancellation of One Life to Live?

KASSIE:  I still miss it.  I loved it. The hard part about this show in particular being canceled is –one – that there wasn’t closure on it.  It kind of happened randomly, and there was still a lot more story to tell.  They kept it going on General Hospital, where they’ll bring some characters there.  So, it’s still in peoples’ minds. The second part is the friendships and the family connections that you’ve made over the many years that you’re there. Nothing lasts forever, that’s for sure, but as you were saying, there’s no streaming of these shows, but if you catch an episode on YouTube, One Life to Live, truly stands alone.  It just has great stories, great characters, and there is connection there that is very real.

Kassie, your last go-around at DAYS was just epic.  Did you guys see it?

TAYLOR:  I did see pieces of some of it.  I caught some of the “super villain”!

Photo: JPI

Eve went in guns blazing, evil as all get out, but so heartbreaking at the same time while she was torturing Ben (Rob Scott Wilson).  What did you think about all of that, Kassie?

KASSIE:  I was really hesitant to watch it because I remembered how “super villain” I was.  I remember getting on the plane, and Jimmy said, “How was it?” and I said, “I’ll probably never work again a day in my life. I’m like this (evil laughs) muah-ha-ha, muah-ha-ha kind of character.”  I mean, you hated what Eve was doing, and you were supposed to, but I think that they did a great job with production values, and it was reasonable what she was doing because she was going off the edge. It’s great to be able to sink your teeth into something that is so out-there and completely different from your own life.  I mean, it was exhausting.  Every day, I would come home and just be like, “Oh my God, give me a cocktail.” Eve had justification for her revenge, even as wrong as it was, and she needed to be heard, and she needed closure, and she made a bunch of wrong moves, and did a bunch of bad, bad, bad things, and now, she is probably in a mental institution somewhere, so…

You and I were on set of DAYS and I was going to interview you.  If I recall, at that point, you did not even know what the story arc was.

KASSIE:  No, I didn’t. When I arrived and looked at the script, I’m like, “Well, who blew up that wedding?”  Then, all of the sudden, “Oh, no!  I blew up the wedding.  This is bad!  I probably am not going to be coming back on this show again.”  I look at story and go, “Uh-oh.  There’s a shut door.”  I like open doors and open windows.

Photo: JPI

Taylor, what is your project? Are you continuing to write?  What do you see in the future for yourself?

TAYLOR:  This is my life for me.  The next thing that I think we are releasing is actually something that I made before this because everything is backwards, which is a documentary (very different) about Central American politics, which I’m hoping is out next year.  In terms of new scripts, everybody is a bit torn.  I kind of want to do a biopic of Lee Grant, or I want to do a blues/punk version of something inspired by The Shining.

Well, those are very polar opposite!

TAYLOR:  Yeah, aren’t they?

NATHAN:  Now you see what I’m living with. (Laughs)

Photo: IMDB

Nathan, you must be proud of Taylor, and it must be very cool to see your son have these multi-faceted talents.

NATHAN:  Of course, I’m proud of him and it’s great, but it’s strange because watching Taylor develop into the person he has developed into and continues to, made me realize that I hadn’t had the type of courage he has.  I had my dreams and certain things that I was very courageous about in my life.  I certainly don’t see him doing some things the way I did them, because he has more common sense than I do when it comes to life choices. His courage just blows my mind.  Most of my closest friends are professional musicians, and many of them, if I were to namedrop, you would know who they are, and they’ve had successful careers, and I’ve always looked up to them and admired them, but I was never that guy.  I just wanted to be a musician because I knew them and we were friends, but I didn’t have the discipline to do what they did, and I certainly didn’t have the God-given talent.  I play a little bit of keyboard and a little bit of saxophone myself, but I have to play one song 757 times before I even start to feel comfortable with it, and Taylor can sit down and start strumming on his guitar, and the next thing you know, he’s written a whole song.  It just blows my mind how creative and talented he is.  He has been surrounded by creative and talented people all of his life. He has absorbed a lot from the different people and the different opportunities he’s had, and I look at him sometimes, and I even say it to my wife, “Who is this kid?”  I like to share this story.  We went to see Taylor do Hamlet.  I’m guessing he was 15 or 16-years-old at the time. I’m watching him doing Hamlet, and I’m sitting in the chair, and I’m crying because I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, my God, he is so good!”  I told Taylor, “I would not tackle Hamlet on a football field, yet alone on stage.”  It made me realize that we had a force to be reckoned with.  He’s pretty amazing.  The bad news for him is that I always tell him the truth, and I lied to him once, and he called me out on it, and I promised that I would never lie to him again.  So, be careful what you ask me because I will tell you the truth from this point on.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

KASSIE:  Taylor was also the director of this film, which I mean, “What the hell!”  This guy is doing everything.  He was deciding on the shots, he was deciding on the lighting, he was deciding this and that, he was editing the script, I’m like, “Holy cannoli!”  He’s like, “No, I want her to wear that shirt; I want her to do this.”  You would do the scene, and he’d come over and talk to you a little bit.  I mean, he was just awesome; Taylor brought so much insight to my character because I’m like, “What’s my relationship, and who are all of these kids?  Are we a loving family?”  We did it very quickly, too.  Taylor, look at what you’ve accomplished, and it is such a beautiful piece of art!

TAYLOR:  From a more functional standpoint as a director, one of the really great things about having the two of them was that Kassie came in half-way through filming, and we’d been working with the young actor/musicians a lot.  Some of them, it was their first big job, but pretty much all of them had worked before.  On Kassie’s first day, they didn’t know what they were in for.  She just rolled onto set, and all of the sudden, the stakes and bar of how to be an actor just changed.  From that point on, when Kassie and Nathan started to work with the band, we knew those were going to be fun days because there was going to be acting involved.  Everyone else just had to come up to their level, which was great for me because it gave me so much more to edit with.

Taylor, who are your musical influences?   

TAYLOR:  That’s a really good question.  My musical obsession for the last few years has been this guy, named Josh Ritter, who is kind of a singer/songwriter/folk guy.  My real-life band, The Cumberland Kids, is named after one of his songs.  Also, Weird Al Yankovic, has been a massive inspiration for me and my songwriting partners.

So, your vibe is this folk-rock.

TAYLOR:  Yeah, that’s what I’m writing mostly.  My listening is kind of all over the place, but definitely that is what I’m writing.

Kassie, who do you like listening to?

KASSIE:  It all depends on what cocktail I have in my hand.

Photo: JPI

NATHAN:  Let me chime in on that too! I like jazz, blues, and country music, but imagine what my house was like because I have a lot of instruments here, always with the hope that Taylor would at least become interested in music.  I have congas, bass guitar, keyboards, you name it, and for a while, he wasn’t interested at all, and one day, I woke up and he was playing an acoustic guitar.  Then, the next thing I know, he is writing and singing folk music.  I’m thinking, “Wait a minute!” It was an important lesson for me that just because you want something for your children, doesn’t mean that is what they want for themselves.  We never pushed acting on Taylor.  He chose it on his own.  It’s exciting for me mostly because it was his choice.

KASSIE:  He’s a natural.

And speaking of that, Taylor, in the trailer nothing came across forced or pushed.  Obviously, we are all talking you up here, not that you need it.

NATHAN:  I’ll tell you this, Michael.  During the shoot, Taylor insisted on calling me “Nathan”, and I had a problem with it, but he basically told me to get over it because it’s his set, his movie, and while we are shooting, I’m “Nathan”, and he’ll call me dad later.  I’m still struggling with that but he was the boss.

TAYLOR:  It’s hard to walk that line and not make it weird for your crew, you know?

NATHAN:  I get it.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

KASSIE:  It’s weird for me because when he would go, “Robbie is going to do this, and Nathan is going to do that,” I’d go, “Who are Robbie and Nathan?  Aren’t they your mom and dad?”

TAYLOR:  While I was writing the script I called him over, and I said, “Dad, I wrote you a really good role, and I think we are actually going to do this.  I’m giving you a once in a lifetime chance to name your own character.  Do you want to name him after a Greek hero, or one of your siblings?”  He didn’t take his chance.  So, you know what?  It’s “Nathan” now.  It’s easier for everybody.  We don’t have to break the method acting fourth wall.  (Laughs)

Do you think you would work with Nathan and Kassie again? (Laughs)

TAYLOR:  Oh, my God, are you kidding?

NATHAN:  That’s my contract: Kassie has got to be in it.  So, let me say this about Kassie, you had mentioned something about how much she has been working, and I look at Kassie as the James Brown of daytimes soaps.  She is the hardest working woman in daytime television. 

Photo: JPI

She is pretty spectacular. Kassie started on Guiding Light, had a long career on One Life, and then went to General Hospital, then to Days of our Lives.  It’s been amazing that we have been able to see her have a comeback in more ways that one.

KASSIE:  Nathan has jumped from soap to soap as well, and when you’ve done it, you just think it’s over.  It’s not like your regular acting profession jobs when you go out and you know you’re going to audition for twenty-five things and get one role for a short amount of time.  When you go in day in and day out and are creating all of this stuff on a soap opera, and then it ends, you go, “Well, now what am I supposed to do?”  I haven’t been on a set in 6 months, and I feel like I won’t ever work again.  Soaps are just a totally different head trip and so it can be really hard.

Courtesy/ABC

Nathan, do you have a favorite Hank Gannon moment from One Life to Live?

NATHAN:  Oh wow.  Man, there were so many of them.  I can tell you the funniest, to me, maybe not so funny to Hillary B. Smith though.  I think it was during a live show. This was during the time when I had a lot of dialogue.  But this particular day, I had one line, and the line was to Hillary and it was, “How are you feeling?” and her response was, “Well, I’m feeling the way I always feel, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”.  So, during the entire day, I’d see Hillary, and I’d say, “Hey, how you feeling?”  Maybe nineteen times before we started shooting, “Hey, how you feeling?” and she’d had about enough of it.  So, fast forward to “5, 4,3,2,1 action”, and now, I say, “How you doing?”  If you could see the look in her eyes, it is like, “I will kill you.”  So, she says, “You know how I’m doing.  I’m doing what I’m always doing,” so she could get her line out.  So, once again, she saved Nathan’s ass with that.  One stupid line … and I blew it.  I just remember that one because I just know Hilary wanted to strangle me.  She probably still wants to.

And on that note (laughs) I wanted to thank you all so much for this. I hope you find success with this little gem of a film, Taylor.

So what did you think of the comments made by Kassie, Nathan and Taylor on their film?  What did you think of Kassie’s recent performance on DAYS? What’s your favorite Blair or Hank moment from the history of One Life to Live? Share your thoughts and comments below,  But first, check out the trailer to Killian and the Comeback Kids.

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Days Of Our Lives

Greg Vaughan Shares Farewell To DAYS & Scene Partner Arianne Zucker: “Never a Dull Moment, Laughing or Crying, She was the Party, Always with a smile!”

Tuesday’s episode of Days of our Lives had Eric Brady saying a sudden farewell to his loved ones before he departs Salem for Africa to help those in need.  That marks the on-screen departure of Daytime Emmy winner, Greg Vaughan who will last be seen on Wednesday’s episode.

As DAYS fans were aware, Greg wrapped his run months ago on the NBC daytime drama series, but since before the Covid-19 pandemic DAYS taped almost seven months ahead, Eric’s on-screen exit is airing this week.

Over the past two days, Vaughan took to his Instagram to share some sentiments, ‘thanks you’s’ and some photos of some of his favorite memories with his castmates expressing, “Seeing it’s the last week I’m airing on @nbcdays …I wanted to share some great captured memories this week with my incredible fans & castmates.”

The actor also posted a special photo album of pics with his longtime on-screen partner and love interest, Arianne Zucker (Nicole).  In that, he posted this message: “To my Ride or Die partner Ari!! Never a dull moment, laughing or crying, she was the party, always with a smile! Love ya #ERICOLE”

So, will you miss Ericole? Are you sad to see Greg exit Days on-screen? Share your thoughts via the comment section below … AND what were some of your favorite performances of Greg during his time on DAYS.

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood

The Bold and the Beautiful

Airdate: 9-25-2020

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