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Denyse Tontz and Lincoln Younes Preview Forbidden Romance & Intrigue As ‘Grand Hotel’ Premieres

Photos: ABC

When Grand Hotel opens its doors to its audience tonight on ABC (10PMET/PT), it will have a very familiar feel to soap fans for several of its series regulars and its executive producer all come from the world of daytime or serialized storytelling.

Executive Producer, Eva Longoria (Ex-Y&R, Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, Telenovela) brought to the screens a provocative drama with Miami Beach as its backdrop of the last family-owned hotel (by the Mendozas) with a contemporary take of an upstairs/downstairs story of 2019.

Former General Hospital’s Bryan Craig plays Javi, who is joined by two other soap notables; former All My Children reboot star, Denyse Tontz (Ex-Miranda Montgomery) and Australian-born actor, Lincoln Younes (Ex-Casey, Home and Away) who’s characters are interlocked in some very sexy and mysterious ways.

Tontz, plays Alicia Mendoza the strong-willed daughter of the Mendoza clan, who is fresh out of business school… and who will make a huge discovery about her dad, but is also set to embark on a romance with a new staff hire!  And that staff hire is Danny played by Younes, whose character Danny is not who he says he is at all … and he has one goal in my mind which brought him to the hotel … but things get complicated for him when he feels a massive attraction to the hotel owner’s daughter … Alicia!

Michael Fairman TV took part in a press roundtable discussion with Tontz and Younes to get some teasers of what’s to come when Grand Hotel premieres.  Here’s what they shared in some questions posed by us and others below.

Photo: ABC

Danny and Alicia definitely have an instant attraction in the season premiere. Where can you tease that it might go?

LINCOLN:  Well, it can go in a number of directions, but hopefully towards a positive one.  They each have their own motivations for why they’re at the hotel.

DENYSE:  Alicia’s main goal, or at least from the beginning, is to prove herself, just having graduated business school and sort of step into her mother’s shoes a little bit. She’s had a lot of pressure on her for most of her life to sort of fill that role and keep the family together.  I think it’s really tough to have to juggle that and the desire to explore this potential romance with this person who is so intriguing to her.

LINCOLN:  I think with Danny, his reasons are kind of unknown as to why he’s at the hotel.  He comes in as a new employee, but there is something off about him.  It is complicated by the arrival of Alicia and the chemistry the kind of ensues between them.  I think that’s kind of the interesting thing to watch is them navigating their priorities and their initial motivations with the inevitable chemistry and dynamic that has appeared.

Photo: ABC

The main family in Grand Hotel is Hispanic.  And what is intriguing about the premise is that their ethnicity is not the backdrop of the story, it’s just who they are.  Would you agree?

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LINCOLN:  Eva is kind of a trailblazer in that way because this is about the story of a family, and a hotel, and the guests, and the employees, and the employers, and all of the different things these people go through.  It’s not so much the color of their skin and their background.  I think as soon as you take away the magnifying glass of how a person appears and really look at what is going on inside, that’s a step in the right direction.

DENYSE:  I think that even though we are really a diverse cast and crew, that really has nothing to do with the actual premise of the show, and I think that’s really cool even to just see that.  To just play a character who happens to be Hispanic, and that’s not the central theme of this character, I think there really are no stereotypes that are perpetuated in any way.

LINCOLN:  It’s the perfect melting pot of culture, and the fact that it is set in a hotel where anyone from any part of the world can come into, it creates this show that I don’t see anything like this on TV, and that’s very exciting.

Do you see Danny and Alicia as a duo to root for with their dysfunction and all throughout the series?

DENYSE:  I think there is this sort of allure to the forbidden romance aspect of it all.

LINCOLN:  They have these obstacles in front of them.

DENYSE:  But you want it to happen. (Laughs)

LINCOLN:  You want it to happen, and it’s just against all odds.  That complicates things.

Photo: ABC

You have such a great cast to work with; chief among them Demián Bichir, Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids)!

DENYSE:  Oh man, working with Demián and Roselyn and Eva Longoria was a dream.  They’re each so special in their own way.

LINCOLN:  Three powerhouses.

DENYSE:  Yeah, three powerhouses and very different.  They each have their own way of approaching a scene.  Demián is mostly a movie actor, and it really shows in the way he approaches scenes, and the way he is not glued to the lines, and it’s kind of cool to watch him and learn from him in that way.  He’s so funny too.  He makes it a really comfortable environment, and you feel safe to try stuff.   Eva … same thing.  She has a clear vision for what she wants.  She can direct in such a way that I think a lot of directors can’t, because she has been on the other side of the camera, and she has got a really good perspective.  I think she’s really great at articulating what she wants you to do.

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LINCOLN:  Yeah, she’s very meticulous.  I think the thing about all of the people who you’ve just mentioned is that they all have levity.  They are all very specific, but they are all very authentic.  That carries through in both their acting and how they carry themselves off set.  That was really great to kind of learn from them.

Photo: ABC

Many in the cast are from daytime dramas, or soap operas previously, including both of you!  Was that a coincidence in the producers casting choices, you think?

LINCOLN: I think, just knowing Eva so well now, and Brian and Ben, the creators behind it, they searched long and hard for the people they wanted to play the roles.  So, it might just be a happy coincidence.

When the scripts came out, how did the cast handle the twists?

LINCOLN:  There was a lot of speculation going on.  There was a lot of gossiping on set and off set.

DENYSE:  Lots of gossiping, stealing scripts… a lot of bombshells though.  There really is no shortage of plot twists.  A lot of these characters you think are going to start out a certain way, and then you find yourself completely changing your opinion of them halfway through the season. Without giving too much away, nobody is really who they appear to be.

Photo: ABC

How do you both feel about the fact that the wait is over and Grand Hotel is finally premiering?

DENYSE:  It’s super exciting.

LINCOLN:  It’s very surreal.  This is my first American show, so I have no idea what to expect.  I just go to Denyse for advice.  I’m like, “What do I do?”  (Laughs).  It’s all very exciting.  I think when you love a project; there is another element when it is released to the public.  Everyone on the show loves it.  Everyone is so passionate about it.  So, I just hope that the audience feels the same and that we get to keep doing it.

So will you be checking out Denyse, Lincoln, Bryan, Eva and more on Grand Hotel?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below. But first check out this promo for the kick-off tonight!

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su000davlestev1roseLew S.Violet Lemm Recent comment authors
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su000
su000

I’m looking forward to seeing Bryan Craig play Javi!
As for the other two, I never heard of them so eehhh.

I hope the Grand Hotel will be as good as advertised..
Time will tell..

rose
rose

su000…I like the idea of another “good” night time soap. But the new Grand Hotel has a big name to live up to when compared to the Grand Hotel b/w movie with Greta Garbo and a cast of other great actors. Of more current ones I miss are Revenge and Scandal.

su000
su000

hi rose.
I miss them, too!
I liked Revenge and Scandal. missing them both..
I liked Scandal a bit better than Revenge but both were a favorite..
And- both were better than How To Get Away With Murder.. imo

Alberto Guajardo
Alberto Guajardo

Oh, I’ll be watching! I loved Denyse Tontz on the AMC reboot, and Bryan Craig on GH, plus I’m a fan of the shows Eva Longoria has produced. Also, a daytime soap opera connection always gets me interested in watching at least the first episode of a program.

Johnny
Johnny

I will watch this show tonight, hopefully it will be a big hit.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

I think I have a new night time Soap.I really loved the premier show tonight, but I am not sure about Lincoln Younes yet. I surprised myself on how much I enjoyed the “new” Bryan Craig, when not being smothered by Sonny and Carly. The girls are very attractive, as is Roselyn Sanchez, whom I have liked for many years. I only have one thing to say about Damian Bichir, who plays her husband, muy hombre!

Lew S.
Lew S.

Watched last night – It reminds me of the Revenge tv series, which was also on ABC. Grand Hotel is a good soapy drama.

davlestev1
davlestev1

It was cookie cutter. Cut and paste. Cliche filled and quite underwhelming. Sorry but true.

Grand Hotel

‘Grand Hotel’ Canceled By ABC After One Season

Oh no! The soapy Grand Hotel is closing its door.  Word on Tuesday is that ABC has officially canceled the drama after only one season after much hope and speculation that it might return for a second season.

However, the numbers showed that Grand Hotel averaged just under 2.8 million total weekly viewers and a 0.5 demo rating – ninth best against all summer series.

That leaves the cliffhanger episode of September 9th unresolved as its last. We will never know who shot Santiago after learning that Jason was his bio-son, while Danny finally discovered who murdered his sister …. and Javi hooked up with an older woman who turned out to be the boozin’ mama of Ingrid, and let’s not forget that kiss on the ocean between Alicia and Danny.

Grand Hotel starred: Demian Bichir, Roselyn Sanchez, Denyse Tontz, Bryan Craig, Lincoln Younes, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Feliz Ramirez and Demian Bichir, Roselyn Sanchez, Denyse Tontz, Bryan Craig, Lincoln Younes, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Feliz Ramirez, and Anne Winters among others.  The series was executive produced by: Eva Longoria, Brian Tanen, and Ben Spector

Lincoln Younes took to social media to share his thoughts and thank you’s now that that the official word is out:  “Always sad to say goodbye. .. Just got the news our little #GrandHotel familia won’t be reuniting again. But this job has brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined and for that I’ll always be supremely grateful. Thank you to the incredible fans who checked in every night, and invested in our alter-ego’s. Thank you to the wonderful creatives in the various departments who made every day on set a dream. Thank you to my cast mates for letting me bask in their light for a time. And a special thank you to Brian Tanen, Eva Longoria and Ben Spector.”

So, sad to know that there will be no more Grand Hotel? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Grand Hotel

GRAND HOTEL Finale: How Sky Died, Paternity Game-Changer, And Another Mystery Begins

ABC’s Grand Hotel ended its season with several plot twists that kept the hour soapy drama in a fast and furious pace to give viewers the answers they had been waiting for, and if the show was picked-up, a cliffhanger with multiple suspects who could be responsible for this new crime.

If you have not watched the finale and intend to, do not read any further, spoilers contained herein:

Danny is finally revealed to Santiago and Gigi to be the brother of the deceased Sky.  Alicia decides to help Danny figure out what happened to his sister on the night she died in the hurricane.  Through flashbacks, we learn that Sky discovered the suicide note that Beatriz had written inside a closet full of jewelry while on a date with Yoli.  Sky used the Intel in it to blackmail Gigi, but Gigi says she does not have access to that kind of cash.   The letter contains the damaging proof that Mrs P and Santiago had a child together, Jason.  Santiago did not know.  To make matters even worse in current time, Santiago just made Gigi’s daughters: Carolina and Yoli part of his new will.

It seems that Mrs. P and Gigi kept the secret of Jason’s paternity and did not want to come out.  Helen put the hotel on lockdown, leaving Sky trapped and having to go through the only available exit to get out of the hotel, which led her into the night and the hurricane.  There, Gigi confronts her at gunpoint. However, there is a scuffle, and lo and behold, Mrs. P husband’s, Malcolm steps out of the shadows after overhearing that his wife had an fling and child with Santiago and clubbed Sky in the back causing her death.

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After Gigi admitted to Santiago, while he was trying to push Danny over the hotel balcony, that she did not kill Sky, Gigi eventually reveals who it was, leading Danny and Alicia to later head to the hospital where Malcolm is dying.  Alicia confronts Mrs. P about her lies and how she hid Jason’s paternity from him and Santiago.  Meanwhile, Danny decides not to tell Malcolm’s family that he killed his sister, because as Danny says, “the universe had already found another way to punish him” – and with that – a few moments later, Malcolm dies.

Photo: ABC

Now that Santiago had learned that he is the bio-dad of Jason, he won’t forgive Gigi, who clearly does not want Jason getting more of the pie than her daughters if Santiago were to have the opportunity to adjust his will.  Meanwhile, Santiago has finally blackmailed Mateo out of his job at the hotel, but Mateo does not want the evidence on the flash drive Santiago has in his possession to come out of the deed that he has done.  Mrs P. also gets into a very intense phone conversation with Santiago and they agree to meet downstairs at the hotel.

However, as Santiago walks through the dark halls, out of the shadows gun shots are fired, and he is left bleeding out on the floor.  Did Gigi, Mateo, Helen or even someone else shoot him?  Maybe Carolina and Yoli’s father is the culprit, who is said to be returning home after finding out his daughters are now in Santiago’s will and who has no love lost for the guy!

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In other stories, Javi was seduced by an older woman who turned out to be an alcoholic and Ingrid’s mother, a pissed Ingrid then hooks up with Mateo.  And  finally, as Danny goes to the ocean to say goodbye to his sister Sky by throwing her lighter into the sea, Alicia asks, what he is going to do next?  He says, he will return home to Chicago, but at that point the two of them share a passionate kiss.

Throughout the episode, the emotional heart of it was played to perfection by Lincoln Younes as Danny, who as the brother trying to avenge his sister’s death, played all the beats of his story arc.

So, what did you think of the Grand Hotel finale? What did you think of who was revealed to have killed Sky? Who do you think shot Santiago? Comment below.

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Grand Hotel

TONIGHT: The Season Finale of ‘Grand Hotel’: What Will Happen When ‘The Perfect Storm’ Hits?

Danny’s true identity is revealed. Santiago struggles with life-changing news from Mrs. P, and we finally learn what happened to Sky, that is what is on tap when ABC’s Grand Hotel (10PMET/9PMCT) concludes its season tonight on ABC.

And this comes following last week’s bombshells where viewers learned that Jason is the bi0-son of Santiago, and that piece of intel comes as Mrs P and Jason are trying to cope with the declining health of the dad Jason has ever known, Malcolm.

In addition, Javi and Alicia confronted Gigi and Santiago about their mother’s death and learned that their mother struggled with bipolar disorder before she died, and she was not an addict, as previously believed.

Make sure to catch soap opera favorites: Bryan Craig, Lincoln Younes, Denyse Tontz, and Roselyn Sanchez, executive produced by Eva Longoria, in the episode entitled “A Perfect Storm” and see who is revealed to have murdered Sky and more!

But first check out the promo for tonight’s finale below.

Now let us know, have you been watching Grand Hotel? Who do you think murdered Sky? Comment below.

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