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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Sarah Brown Interview: Her new role as Madison James, updating Daytime & bringing back the audience!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Sarah Brown is heading to Salem in her brand new role of Madison James on the October 4th episode!  And while the announcement a few months back that this acting dynamo was coming to Days of our Lives came as a bit of a shocker, when you speak to Sarah it all makes sense!  Having ventured to General Hospital twice; first as Carly then back again as Claudia Zacharra, a stop at As the World Turns as Julia, and her last daytime role as Aggie on The Bold and the Beautiful which seemed to unexpectedly fizzle out, Brown was ready to be front and center again, while being part of an exceptional canvas of new castmates and beloved characters.

On-Air On-Soaps recently caught up with the talented Ms. Brown to get the skinny on Madison and a preview of her upcoming on-screen love life! But after talking with Brown, not only did we come away with, as per usual, that this gal knows what she is doing, but that there may be a big future for her as a major television programming or development executive, should she ever decide to venture behind-the-scenes! Check out what Sarah had to say about how daytime needs to change, what we can look forward to in Salem, and bringing together generations of soap viewers once again.

When DAYS sold you the role of Madison James and you agreed to sign on, did you know that she you would be paired pretty quickly with Brady Black, played by Eric Martsolf?

SARAH: I did not know anything about Brady, but when Greg Meng (DAYS co-executive producer) sold me the role of Madison it was about the idea that we were going to build this character together from the ground up and that I would have a lot of input and I love that. There are a lot of things I can’t talk about right now, but I will say, I get him. I get our co-executive producer. I look in his eyes and I see he knows what he is doing.  I’m not saying other people don’t know what they are doing, but when you are coming on to a new show you need to consider who is helming it, because otherwise it is not going to do well.  I think Greg and I are on the same page as to what things need to change to move forward in a way that brings in more and more viewers. So 13-year-olds, women my age, and women my mother’s age, will all sit together again and watch the show.

Photo Credit: MF SOAPS inc

One of the things where I believe executive producers and head writers make a wrong turn is assuming that to get the key demo back that has tuned out to daytime soaps – who are now watching reality shows, or watch everything on the Internet – is that the young demo wants to see stories revolving around their same age group. That has more often than not proven to be a bust!

SARAH: Right. The thing that most producers in soaps think is that if they put younger characters on the show that is what the younger generation wants to see.  I can tell you this: my daughter, Jordan is 13-years-old and we finally agree on a few things.  One of them is Josh Duhamel, OK? That is all I have to say! (Laughs) We now understand that same thing. Jordan does not want to watch a 7 year old running around the set. She has no interest in that.  She wants to watch Ryan Gosling take off his shirt, God help her! And so do I want to watch Ryan Gosling take off his shirt and so does my mom, quite frankly! (Laughs) That is what I am saying, because who are most likely watching the soaps? I think a very high percentage of women and gay men.  Look, soaps can be a little bit of soft porn in the daytime for women.  We need to see in soaps opening titles and great music.  Those are part of the things we like to see on our favorite nighttime series that kick the show into high gear.

It seems like after all your travels in daytime that this new gig at DAYS could afford you the opportunity to really make a difference in the overall picture of the presentation of daytime soaps. You seem to have a firm grasp on how to modernize it.

Courtesy/CBS

SARAH: I have some revolutionary ideas for soaps and when I came to DAYS I said, “Look, I am going to tell you what I think. Do with it what you want, and regardless if I take this job or not, I think this will fix daytime.” And Greg, went, “You are absolutely right.” So then I said, “Well then you have got yourself an actress. Let’s do this together.” So yesterday, I had a scene where they said to me, “OK.  You are standing there behind a tree. And you can hear what he is saying all the way over there.” And I had to feel. And what I feel is … if I walk up to the tree and I sit down instead of lurking, I could just sit down on this bench which is right here in front of me. I take out my cell phone and I casually answer texts, while I am listening and watching it. To me, that will feel more like you are watching something on primetime, such as Pretty Little Liars, where they do gossip and spy on each other, but they don’t do it in such an obvious way. This is not the actress, this is the producer coming in and telling us that the audience doesn’t get it. They will tell us that they need to see more, and that they need to see it in your eyes more, and that is not what people want.  I feel I have had to at times in my career, bang my head against the wall while saying, “That is not what people want!”  I feel in the situation now at DAYS that for the first time people realize that and to make the show, (as per example again) more like Pretty Little Liars that my daughter would watch, or a show my mother at 56 would watch, and a show that I would watch again and again.

So what is the key ingredient that you think a daytime soap has got to have to grab the audience and make them stay put?

SARAH: Soaps have got to have romance, romance, and romance.  Romance leads to drama and all the other stuff is background. You know that, and I know that. It’s something you should be able to go in the next day to work and have that water cooler moment, and go, “Oh my God. Did you see that guy taking his shirt off? And then he did …” People get excited about that. Jordan and I went to see Steve Carell’s movie, Crazy Stupid Love with again, Ryan Gosling. (Laughs) And as we were walking out, I thought, “Wow. We are finally at that point when they are 13; they want romance in their lives, too!” Yes in real life women have kids and we want to relate to those characters on soap operas, but at the same time we want something better than our own lives. That is why people watch television, to escape reality not to relive it.  And this holds true especially during the day.  We want to have fun and escape. And when we watch talk shows like Ellen, people like her because she gets crazy. She dances in the daytime. And that is not to say heavy drama does not have its place in daytime, it’s just there needs to be some real romance between all the heavy drama. I can tell you what Greg Meng gets is that chemistry between actors is gold.  You don’t force a plot if the actors don’t have chemistry.  Nobody wants to watch it and the actors hate doing it. Yes, it’s called “acting” but you also need chemistry. And the people who are great in this business recognize that and go for it. You have seen bad movies with a great writer and great actors, and it does not matter because the actors hate each other, and I can tell! And it’s not that they are then bad actors, there is just no spark between them, there just isn’t.

Speaking of having that spark, do you feel that you and Eric Martsolf have that chemistry that will ignite the small screen?

Photo Credit: © WireImage.com

SARAH: We absolutely have the chemistry. He is gorgeous and nice man. I love Eric. He is such a fun actor to work with he cracks me up! He is funny and sweet and so talented. I can’t wait to see what happens when they finally give us some drama.  I am having a blast right now! I do not feel my guard go up when I am with him. And that is part of having good chemistry. If you have a strong woman paired with a strong man as well, but there is a delicate balance, well that is all I want to say. (Laughs) It’s beautiful with Eric and I. You are going to love it!

With Madison, since you had a major influence in constructing the role, did you come in with the idea of making her a CEO of a cosmetic company… Mad World Cosmetics?

SARAH: I did have input on Madison from the ground up, but not with the idea of her company.  With her company, she is the CEO and I came in and that was that.  It was, “Here is this woman, and here is her name. And she is going to be the CEO of a cosmetic company. Do you like that?” And I said, “Yes, I like that.” And then I was told, “This is what we know about her.” But from then on it was all very open.  She does have a past with Sami Brady. They were best friends as kids. So, I can relate to that because I have a best friend from when I was a little kid. It will be interesting to see where that relationship goes.

So many times viewers read interviews with all the hype from the actors and the producers, who all talk a great PR game to get viewers to tune-in to something new or revised.  What do you think it will take in the long run, after the first promotional push, to keep things moving in a forward direction for DAYS and in soaps in general?

SARAH: We don’t have more money and we don’t have more time in soaps anymore. So we have to do better. Everyone needs to be more conscience. We need people on the set who are making decisions who are very keenly watching and are very highly creative. People who see all the primetime shows, and the plays and the movies, and they watch everything that is out there, so they actually have their finger on the pulse of what is working in America.

Viewers have loved watching you in roles where you have been deliciously evil and bad, and tormented and complex. In Madison, can viewers expect to see Sarah Brown good? Or, Sarah Brown bad?

Courtesy/MFSoapsInc

SARAH: Both! (Laughs) There is no Sarah Brown only good or bad. There is only Sarah Brown (Laughs).  Will she have teeth? Yes! But I can tell you from the get-go this is the kind of woman who likes you, until you give her reason not to. Whereas on GH, Claudia did not like anyone, until you gave her a reason to like them. Claudia did not trust anyone and Madison trusts. She is much more open and trusting, and she is softer, but that does in no way mean she is softer when it comes to what she wants. We have even seen a little hint of that when something ticked her off. That is where you will see her go, “Do not mess with me!”

In closing, what would you say is the overall goal for yourself in coming to DAYS, and what you want your legions of fans to watch for?

SARAH: I want to bring joy to my audience. I am having fun.  And if its drama and it’s good and well-written, and people who are writing it are watching what is going on out there, this could be amazing. I know what kind of show in the daytime would get my daughter, my mother, and me all running to the TV set.  So I am really exciting about this and I think Greg Meng knows that too.

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heidi
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heidi

Great interview Michael as usuual! Missing the podcasts by the way… Sarah is so talented and I really miss her on GH. I started watching BB when she went there and will check Days out when she is there. They are very lucky to get her!

Anita
Guest
Anita

I was hoping that Madison and Jack would hook up that would let Jennifer think about how she might lose Jack to someone else and I think he would chemistry with Sarah Brown than Brady he has enough in his plate with Nicole and Chloe. I really would love to see Jack and Madison I do not want Jack to be just about Jennifer all the time if she going to be with Daniel because he is safe and all then I want see Jack move on for change let him have some fun for once. I think that Madison… Read more »

AlistairCrane
Guest
AlistairCrane

No way!! I am tuning back in to Days for the supercouples and I want to see Jack and Jennifer back together and reunited, none of this Jack and Madison or Jennifer and Daniel nonsense.

LUMI
Guest
LUMI

I was hopeing her and Rafe would get together so Sami and Lucas be a family again.

Amy
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Amy

Sami belongs with Ej. Period.

JSFan
Guest
JSFan

I don’t know if I can believe anything any actor or producer say anymore, especially with respect to the actors having chemistry together. The producers of DOOL have/had a gold mine with the chemistry that Alison Sweeney and James Scott have/had together, along with the chemistry that Ari Zucker and Eric Martolf have/had together, yet they chose to ignore chemistry and have suck the pleasure right out of watching their show. We’ve had three years of having to endure the passionless relationship of Sami and Rafe. These two actors have absolutely no chemistry together whatsoever. The character of Nicole has… Read more »

JSFan
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JSFan

Sorry meant to say Nicole has more chemistry with the character of Brady, yet they won’t allow that relationship to grow.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Totally agree, and they are surprised they are LAST in ratings, morons they are…NBC is too good to them, this soap should be cancelled instead of OLTL who has better ratings and better stories.

Oliveria
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Oliveria

I love SB since she was on GH the first time. I also loved Claudia, she was a wonderfull Mob princess.

Glad she is coming to Days. I show i been watching forever.

SB has chemisty with everybody. She is a wonderfull actress and i am exciting about her new role

Anita
Guest
Anita

I have feeling Nicole will hook with Jack for awhile not romantic way but as friends and Jennfier is with Daniel doing god know what with him because she is angry at Jack for not telling her the truth where he was. Jennifer deserves to have Daniel. I hope Madison and Jack interact as well anything to drive Jennfier nuts.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Jack was friend with SAMI he totally despises Nicole and guess what ? He is right, she is PATHETIC

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Sarah’s interview, by far, is the most intelligent interview I’ve seen a soap actor give in a long time. It’s intelligent, sincere, and the truth. I like how she sees the business side of demographics of the soap, but also recognizes that different generations of women and gay men want to see storylines with people of all different ages. Also, I like that there is a modern day women coming to the show. By the way, a lot of soap fans I see on the Internet just bitch and complain about their couple, but not the overall state of the… Read more »

David
Guest
David

I agree.

JSFan
Guest
JSFan

Firstly, I was only commenting on the part where she talks about chemistry. I love the character of Nicole and would have loved her to click with EJ. I was also happy to see a new character being brought in for EJ after how vile both Nicole and Sami were. Unfortunately, Nicole just doesn’t have enough chemistry with EJ, and Taylor, well we all know what happened there. My comment really wasn’t about EJAMI at all. It was about chemistry between actors/characters and how DOOL has done everything to make sure they don’t pair up couples with chemistry, ie. EJAMI,… Read more »

JSFan
Guest
JSFan

Sorry, ran out of time. Secondly, I wasn’t opposed to Sami and Rafe either. I gave them a chance. Dialogue for this couple tells us how much in love they are, but I have yet to see it. They’re awkward together, passionless, contrived. I have seen Rafe have chemistry with other characters. Why won’t the producers acknowledge that and move on? The show absolutely needs more compelling stories, characters written true to form and more consistency. However, not even the best writing can manufacture chemistry between actors/characters. I question why the PTB have not and or choose not to pair… Read more »

the truth
Guest
the truth

James Scott is WASTED with the Nicole character, simple as that…with AS/ Sami his scenes become captivating, if they want people to watch it is Ej/Sami interactions they need, people can move on sure but as ‘moving on’ they move on from this soap..they stop watching..simple as that.

aria
Guest
aria

I wish she would of return to GH, as Claudia she was so complex and fun to watch, she was never boring like she was on BB . DOOL is very lucky, they’re the closes soap to what GH is, so hopefully she will be a hit there, but i’m keeping my fingers crossed that Claudia is in a coma somewhere ready to wake up an cause some trouble, not necessarily with Sonny, or michael but instead get revenge on her crazy dad. plus i think she rocks as a brunnete more then as a blond.

Brenda
Guest
Brenda

I would like to see Nicole and Brady together. Rafe needs some tarnish. The combination of a boring actor and a squeaky clean character has not paid off. Put Rafe in a triangle with Madison and Sami. Maybe Sami will come to her senses and dump him.

Deborah
Guest
Deborah

Excellent interview with Sarah Brown. I really liked her as Carly on GH and look forward to watch her develop the charactor of Madison on DOOL. The name MAD Cosmetics…wouldn’t happen to be her initials would it? Then what could the “D” stand for I wonder…hmmm…..

AlistairCrane
Guest
AlistairCrane

I haven’t liked Sarah Brown since she was on VR Troopers, so I am not looking forward to Madison on Days. I plan to DVR the show, watch the characters I love (Carrie/Austin, Marlena/John, Jack/Jennifer) and FF through the stuff I don’t like…a.k.a. Brady, Madison, Nicole, EJ, Sami, Rafe, etc….

Mo
Guest
Mo

Sounds good. Let’s hope she and the show deliver.

Anita
Guest
Anita

If Jennifer continues sleep with Daniel while she is with Jack then yes I want Jack to find new women for himself I am sick of Jennifer behavior.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I do not another storyline where Jack has to be bad person again I rather Jennifer be one to look bad and if she continues to sleep with Daniel while angry at Jack then I want see Jack move on. I really think the writer’s need to bring Greta back for Jack because I am sick of Jennifer attitude she never had to even have her abandonment issues address. As far I know Daniel can have that Horton slut I really want see Jack move away from her and have better storyline with other castmembers and get his paper back… Read more »

Liza
Guest
Liza

Great interview Michael! Thanks once again for asking the questions I want answers to! I think I am going to love her….as long as she stays away from EJ 😉

tvcat1
Guest
tvcat1

Days can use new blood. I can’t wait to see what the new writing team does with a new character. Compare with the Taylor character. But I hope they go with the flow and see who she has chemistry with. I’m a little surprised the powers that be already say she pairs up with Brady. Hoping it’s not a Taylor/EJ repeat.

I’m really rooting for the new character and all the established characters to turn things around for Days. Hope the new writers can deliver.

Waverly
Guest
Waverly

Outstanding interview. I think Sarah made some excellent points. The audience is intelligent and the show needs to reflect that in how they stage scenes. It needs to feel real. Romance should be huge in daytime – it’s all about escapism and fantasy. Yes! Show off the guys gorgeous bods – they work hard for them and we want to appreciate their efforts! I also agree that music can help enhance the show and capture younger audience attention, but even more than that and something not touched on in the interview is fashion. I think fashion is a huge factor… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

I really want see Jack interact with Madison that would drive Jennifer crazy and also since she thinks she in love with Daniel then I do not want see Jack win her back anymore either it is no use I cannot stand Jennifer anymore I think her character is real slut and the actress is real bitch as well so I want someone better for Jack so why not hook Jack with Madison. Jennifer can suffer with Dr sleaze.

Anita
Guest
Anita

Jennfier deserves to lose Jack the way she been acting lately I do not care if she is angry at Jack for not be honest where he has been but I do not blame Jack either because Jennifer is not being honest herself she never bother to go find out what really happen to him instead she acted like selfish bitch and went on slept with Daniel after three dates. She calls herself a reporter she deserves to lose Jack to another women serves her right. I cannot stand Jennifer anymore I hope Jack finally moves on away from that… Read more »

Anita
Guest
Anita

I am all for Jack and Madison or Jack and Nicole or Jack and Billie romance I want him to move away from Jennfier let her suffer with Dr Daniel who she thinks is hero and saint and shining armor she deserves to be miserable for the rest of her life. I hate Jennifer I want Jack to be happy without her for awhile even if he had couple dates with each ot these women or so he needs explore his options before he chooses to go back with that Horton slut. Jennifer is one who needs prove her love… Read more »

Casey
Guest
Casey

WOW! Negative, abusive, offensive language and attitude much? This is a SHOW! Get a grip and stop with attacking Melissa Reeves personally! Oh, that’s the actress who plays Jennifer since you probably don’t even know the actors’ real names. She has always seemed very sweet, honest and devoted to her family. Super actress. This interview was about Sarah Brown! Not your immature and vulgar Jennifer rant. What an intelligent, professional, forthcoming visionary Sarah is! The soap genre is in jeopardy. No show or its actors needs these vicious attacks right now. True fans NEVER behave and speak like you! Mean,… Read more »

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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