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Erika Slezak Interview – One Life to Live Farewell

In her final video interview with On-Air On-Soaps as a cast member of One Life to Live (taped at the series final press junket) six-time Daytime Emmy winner and the star of the series, Erika Slezak chats with Michael Fairman in a heart-tugging and emotional interview as Erika prepared to say goodbye to her 40 year run as Viki. In addition, Erika explains why she had decided to lend her name to the Prospect Park online project that ultimately fizzled, and what she will miss the most from her time in Llanview.

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Webbie
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Webbie

ES is a class act, all the way. I guess this interview was done before PP pulled the plug on their plans. I hope that she finds another place (soon!) that will appreciate and utilize her incredible talent. She’ll be missed.

jcs1956
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jcs1956

I saw the interview and got all excited when i heard ES say we will be going on the internet! I thought we all had our Christmas wish 🙁

Lori
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Lori

She also mentioned “cable”????? Ok.. so P.P fell through… could we be looking at the surprise from The View to be cable… PRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barb
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Barb

Yes, we are still waiting for our Christmas Wish to come true! ES is a class act as well as all those who have entertained us on this Soap! OLTL is on fire and has been for a long time – I just can’t believe it is over! We can still fight for this genre! They just have to give it back to us. It can’t be over! 🙁

Susan M.
Guest
Susan M.

Erka Slezak is talking about going on the internet in your interview with her.. And that she agreed to do it.. I’m confused??????????? I read that wasn’t going to happen now…………. Am I WRONG????? Did something change????? Should I get my hopes up or not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Please let me know……I Love you Erika Slezak (Viki) & everyone else.. I am heart broken & so upset!!! Im recording the last five episodes nt. wk. Please answer my QUESTIONS!!! I need to know !!!! Also is Michael Easton going on GH & any others of OLTL???? I’m Curiou about what Ms. Slezak was talking… Read more »

Susan M.
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Susan M.

Michael Fairman answer comments for SUSAN M. Shes waiting for the answers to all her questions….

Susan M.
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Susan M.

Can’t get past that special code to send you a message,,, To contact you on your site.. This is the only way I could do it… Question if Michael Easton (John) is going on GH…What about Melanie Archer (Natlie) & baby Liam, will they be joining him as well? They are a family now… Please answer my question.. Waiting for your reply.. This is very important to me!!!! Thank you so much Mr. Fairman

Jeanette Viti
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Jeanette Viti

See, for a second I thought there was hope but now I see there isn’t. I just hope theres something, “We the fans” can do to help. I just can’t understand how there wasn’t enough ratings, ” as they claim.” I just don’t believe that. I have read somewhere that Brian Fronz yanked the show because he had a personal problem with soaps and he felt that the fans can be “retrained” to like new shows, such as The Chew and The Revolution. Now I read this online, around the time I first heard ABC was pulling All My Children… Read more »

teresaseckel
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teresaseckel

im sorry that oltl is going off the air as long as it is on the internet then thats fine and i love erika she is such an awsome person i was just wondering if she is a religous person if i could get that information then that will be good please send me an email on that if it is possible thanks to u viki for the wonderful entertainment u hv given me ilv u and may god bless u

WOWZEM
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WOWZEM

I will not View, I will not Chew, my soaps are gone, what will I do? It’s unbelievable, inconceivable, ratings will be irretrievable. I hear Oprah wants to grow, easily done, just pick up our show!!

Jim
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Jim

ES is grace and class. She better be writing a book about her time on the show. If Lucci can do it, darn it, so can she.

david
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david

Fine interview, but so depressing the show is not continuing, which Erika didn’t know at the time. Hard to watch, at times, knowing her hopes for the future of OLTL didn’t materialize.

Cindy
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Cindy

yes, it was hard to watch, and wondering what she would have been saying had she known this was truly the end. So sad.

david
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david

She probably would have said what she said in a recent TV Guide interview: “This is pure fantasy and the audience loves it. They know it’s outrageous. They know it’s not real. It’s just fun. What really annoyed me about our cancellation was the reason we were given. We were told the daytime audience doesn’t want entertainment anymore and that they just want information. Well, that’s the biggest load of bulls–t. People always want entertainment! I’ve had so many emails from people who are really upset that soaps are being replaced with reality shows. They don’t want to watch food… Read more »

david
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david

Cindy – Or Erika would have said what she said in another recent interview with Smashing Interviews where she rightly criticizes ABC and The Chew: “I’m not too pleased with ABC. ABC has let so many people down by cancelling these two shows. It’s all about money. I understand that. But, how much money are they going to make with The Chew and The Revolution? I don’t know if anybody is watching The Chew. The problem is they’re all trying to be television personalities. They scream and laugh and they talk over each other, and it makes it impossible to… Read more »

Petra
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Petra

Erika is one Beautiful Graceful Lady .. God Bless

leanne
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leanne

very upset that i lost all my children but to loose oltl too is a shame.i have been watching this since i was a child with my mom .its a shame that abc is doing this to fans

natt t
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natt t

i was so sad today.i have been watching one life to live since i was eight.and you watch them for so long that they become part of your daily rutine.the show is great and so are the actors.i wish they would of changed there minds and at least let the show continue online.all i can say is so many people do not want to watch the shows that are going in place of one life to live.best of luck and and hope some day they bring the show back. sincerly one of your biggest fans.

Jessica
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Jessica

This is heartbreaking to watch. Seeing her excitement of Prospect Park and then knowing that it’s going to be shattered. I wish there was something to be done especially putting it on cable.

iluvssw
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iluvssw

I am with you Jessica, this really breaks my heart. I feel the absolute love in her words. Thank you Michael, wow!

Heather
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Heather

Thank you for all the memories Vicki. Hope to see you again in the future in your own primetime sitcom Erika “Vicki” Slezak .

RIP OLTL (1968-2012)

MEG
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MEG

MY HEART IS BROKEN

Susan M.
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Susan M.

so is mine!!!!!!!!!!

Brian Greene
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Brian Greene

Thanks So Much Erika–We Love You!! 😀 😀

Susan M.
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Susan M.

Miss you ERIKA ALREADY!!!!!

patti j jackson
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patti j jackson

i love u (Vicki) and all the rest of OLTL TEAM. Im still in shock that after 43 wounderful yrs Abc is taking it off the air.if it wasnt 4 the soaps i wouldnt even have local channels. when i got dish network i told them i had to b able to watch my soaps or i didnt want satellite at the time i got dish charged me $5 extra.id be willin 2 pay extra now 2 watch them.If the soaps cost 2 much 2 air why in the world didnt abc ask us if we where willin 2 pay… Read more »

Jacob
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Jacob

I have been watching OLTL since summer 2010 (i am 15 yrs old) and i can really say i will miss it. There is not character on that i did not like (yes at some points i didnt like what they were doing but liked them). I love all the Buchanans, Balsoms, Cramers, and Lords love them all. Erika next to Jeanne Cooper you are my favorite show matriarch and you will be missed. I hope one day you will continue on the internet if they change their minds and do it or you get picked up by another station… Read more »

liz
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liz

Thank you Michael for the wonderful interviews. Words cannot express the sadness I feel. I have watched both OLTL & AMC since the beginning. It feels like a whole branch of my family got on a bus that is going to crash and kill them all. The worst part is that I know in advance that they are going to die and I’ve know for months but can’t do anything to stop it. I am very thankful for the great storylines that will take us to the end but sometimes the sadness is just too much to bear. I have… Read more »

gloria
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gloria

WOW-I could not have said it better although I have said practically the very same words in many other posts since Nov. 23. I DREAD this Friday-I just keep thinking this is a nightmare & I will wake up from it. You are so right about the shows being a constant in our lives-no matter what else-good or bad is going on. We could count on one thing in this life, if nothing else-our beloved shows. I almost wish I just turned on the tv Jan. 16 & it was not there instead of knowing since April 14, then the… Read more »

sandy e
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sandy e

Oh this is just GREAT.Another stupid food show or a bunch of Doctors telling us our liver is turning green. Leave alone and let the soaps begin.

anastasia
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anastasia

I don’t understand. I was under the impression that OLTL and AMC were not going to go on as an interent series, yet these interviews were just done this week, and they seem to imply that they are?

Heather
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Heather

They were done before November 23

Mariah
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Mariah

Im soooo upset my mom watched this growing up I have watched this growing up & it’s just sad 2 c such a great show b canceled 4 another food show…isn’t. That y they have food network?!?!?! I mean really…

Kathi Butler
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Kathi Butler

This is the saddest cancellation of ANY show in the history of television! Erika and ALL the rest of the cast of OLTL are going to be missed EVERY day. I can’t even imagine my life without OLTL in it!! I have been watching OLTL for over 40 years…I used to pretend I was sick so I could stay home from school to watch it. I, to this day, have many VCR tapes with old episodes on them…and I will probably be watching those alot in the future. I can only HOPE & PRAY that a cable network will see… Read more »

DIANE AND CAROL IN DC
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DIANE AND CAROL IN DC

WE ARE SO SAD ABOUT THE SHOW ENDING, IT IS LIKE WE ARE ABOUT TO LOSE FAMILY. WE HAVE WATCHED EVERY SHOW SINCE IT STARTED. WE TAPE THE SHOW EVERYDAY IN CASE WE ARE NOT HOME.

OUR PRAYERS WITH EVERYONE OF YOU.

I HOPE SOMEHOW YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RETURN.

Vicki
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Vicki

I started watching OLTL in 1968 when I was 15 because the character’s name was Viki(spelled differently) and I had never seen a TV show with the star having my name. I got hooked immediately. While Gillian Spencer(orifginal actress) was very good, when Erika Slezak came on no one else could be Viki in my mind. Not only was she beautiful, but she had chemistry with everyone. She and Lee Paterson were amazing together, and when Joe died, I didn’t think Viki could capture that chemistry again, but Erika and Clint Richie were golden. Jerry ver Dorn also has chemistry… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

Nicely stated. As for Jerry ver Dorn, one day (years ago) I had the show on, and wasn’t QUITE watching BUT was listening…. I heard a voice that sounded like Clint Richie’s. I thought, GEE…..has Clint come back, I thought he was retiring for good this time (I loved him dearly). Anyway, I look up and it’s Jerry ver Dorn. I though, this guy is going to FIT into this ROLE just fine with the viewer’s BC he sounds like Clint and he can act. He is believable. Strange bc he actually favors Asa in the face, and maks a… Read more »

Doe
Guest
Doe

Michael, how fortunate for you that you could interview Erica. There is no better actress on soaps and never will be. She has electrified us with her amazing performances, especially her many alters. She is always consistent and in control. She is the consummate actor. Just thinking of all the years that she has given us. I am sad that she as well as her fellow actors wil be gone . I do believe she will probably do Broadway. She is perfect for the stage. Also, maybe a mini-series. I will hope. Michael, you were so caring in your interview.… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Ok…… Susan, Michael Fairman, Tonja Walker OR anyone else with inquiry as I. After Prospect Park pulled out (somewhere around the 24th) after the Nov 18th, finale taping. it was a long…. fallout on the internet, and various soap sites, abc.com and the like. Everyday, I would seach all over the internet looking for an update from Prospect Park, THEN…………on December 7th , Prospect Park CAME BACK and annouced that they were still looking for investor’s…..(Keep in mind THIS was Dec 7, AFTER their announcement NOT to move forward). Also, I read the December 7th statement from PROSPECT PARK on… Read more »

Heather
Guest
Heather

Keep in mind that Prospect Park never confirmed this news coming from Variety Magazine. It may all be a rumor. And even if this is true, the actors will never accept to work in an non-union environment (the story suggests that PP is trying to bypass the unions). Finally, virtually all the actors from OLTL have moved on to other projects after the annoucement on November 23. So it’s fair to say that OLTL will not come back. To be honest with you, I got over the cancellation of OLTL (although Friday’s episode will be emotional). But I do encourage… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Thanks Heather.
Well, I dont know about that news coming from Variety Magazine BC I read it on this site under the title Buzz, or interviews, listed on Dec 7th. Read it here only.

Heather
Guest
Heather

It was from Variety Magazine on December 7, 2011. Michael Fairman only reported the story from Variety.

The story has never been mentionned in any mainstream media (other than Variety).

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Hey Heather thanks again. Anyway, I just read from seeing it posted here, “NYC Soap Bubble Busted”, so I went on line and read it. Then I went to the store and read the NYC Post, to make sure I didn’t miss anything. which I didn’t other than the pictures posted with the article. Didn’t see the pictures on line published with the article. This has become a BIG DEAL, and very sad. I mean this site is NONE STOP ABOUT T HIS ORDEAL, along with abc.com. I can’t even clean my house and get myself ready for tomorrow. I… Read more »

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

I read this in variety to ,and have heard nothing since ,Ive searched everywhere for some glimmer of hope,but nothing.I think that prospect park should say something ,more than they did when they said the soaps were not going to the net.because it has kept me hoping that one life to live will go on ,but how can it ,everyone is leaving ,doing other projects .What hurts is we didnt loose the soaps once we lost them twice.and p.p. should, come out ,come out where ever you are ,and say it ,one life to live is over .I just wish… Read more »

Heather
Guest
Heather

Well, I wouldn’t said that OLTL was canceled twice because the show didn’t aired elsewhere than on ABC. Passions has been canceled twice, but not OLTL.

I don’t know if you guys read the interview Erika Slezak conducted on January 3, It’s worth reading. Do a google search by typing ” smashing interviews” and “Erika Slezak” and you’ll find the page. It’s a very interesting interview.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

yes they did,we were told by prospect park there putting them on the net , they were saving the soaps. for a couple of months we kept hearing this cast member signed ,there moving or keeping the abc studio even signed for music rights,for months we were made to believe in january after one life to live ends it will continue the following week along with all my children .so we did loose them twice,Once by abc then by pp,I dont know about you but I cant in words tell you how happy I was that prospect park was going… Read more »

Heather
Guest
Heather

I agree with 1loveabcsoaps that most of the backlash comes from the cancellation of OLTL rather than AMC. For every AMC fan who is angry that their show is canceled, they are two OLTL fans that fell the same that their show is being canceled. But I will give AMC and Susan Lucci their due. All My Children is probably the most popular soap opera outside the soap opera community. If you ask someone who doesn’t watch soap operas if he knows about One Life to Live or The Young and the Restless, chances are the answer will be “no”.… Read more »

ethel
Guest
ethel

i ahve been an oltl viewer since viki was married to joe riley & yes eriika slezak is the heart & soul of oltl – she is an awesome actress & she has 6 emmy’s to prove it!

Colleen Kaleta
Guest
Colleen Kaleta

I realy hope something good happens and this great cast and show will be up and running again in good hands instead of the hand at ABC,,They have a good thing and dont even appreciate how good it is.. I will miss OLTL along with My mother who is 72 my son who is 27 we have watched it for years,,and now more family members have started to watch..it breaks our hearts..

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

I’m heartbroken that OLTL will not contiune. These final episodes have been fabulous. I have enjoyed every second and can’t wait to see what else they have for us. ABC why oh why… I would send in money today if I thought it could help!

Brian Del Piano
Guest
Brian Del Piano

I AM NOT LOSING HOPE. I have NO CLUE why a cable network will not PICK UP OLTL. The cost to run the show, and pay the actors…..CHARGE A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE TO THE “SOAP OPERA NETWORK” and YOU WILL HAVE THE MONEY, THE SPONSORSHIP…..Apparently the AUDIENCE is ALIVE AND WELL. GIVE THE MILLIONS of OLTL FANS THEIR SHOW!! GIVE US OUR DAILY SLEZAK FIX!!

Susan M.
Guest
Susan M.

Dear Michael I watched the last episode of ONE LIFE TO LIVE today….. I was Not happy with the ending at all!!!!!!!!! It was an abrupt ending…Some stories in part were kind of resolved….What happen with Natlie & John??? They just got back together and what else? ABRUPT with this story line!! And Victor is ALIVE!!! and todd is going to jail for a crime he didn’t COMMIT!! Another ABRUPT ENDING!!! Clint just proposed to Viki…And Matthew & Destiny are parents to a baby boy!!!! ANOTHER ABRUPT ENDING!!!! The writers left you HANGING!!!! It’s not a ending , but a… Read more »

Susan M.
Guest
Susan M.

Michael PLEASE REPLY To above comments about OLTL last episode (1/13/12 )Please answer my e-mail above!!!!! I’m very upset!!!!! I will be waiting for your response about all the comments I made.. PLEASE REPLY!!!! OLTL FAN FOREVER!!!!!

Carol
Guest
Carol

I have been watching OLTL and AMC since the beginning…these people became part of my family…I love them so much I don’t know what I am going to do without them…ABC really screwed us big time….how can they replace such class acts with these two stupid shows and how could they say that the ratings went down…OLTL I will miss each and everyone of you terribly but I wish you all the best of luck as you continue your careers elsewhere…Your fan for 43 years…

Robin
Guest
Robin

I just finished reading everyones posts from above and agree with it all! My grandma watches ABC soaps and my mom watched all 3 when I was younger but as far as I know just watched OLTL and GH in recent years. I am 35 and grew up watching ABC soaps from childhood (grew up with “Robin Scorpio), though I really only ever watched OLTL and GH. I too, like someone mentioned above, would play sick throughout the school year to catch up with what was happening, since it was before VCRs and DVRs, then would watch to my heart’s… Read more »

linda otey
Guest
linda otey

It is 6:26am on Saturday 1-15-12 and I am just now listening to these interviews ,and it is so much sadder to me (and I have been sad enough all week) but, now to know the cast wanted so much to continue the story online. I hope something changes and they can still do this. I am sick about it. I have loved the show for so long but have never gotten to know the actors from any other venue, and now after these interviews I know I was right when I thought they were special. Thank you ,Michael for… Read more »

Deanna
Guest
Deanna

Thanks for the interviews with Viki Lord Riley Buchanan and her daughters. Man, if all the people who claim they will not watch ABC after this Sept., actually follow through as promised. We might make the powers that be wish they had never hired that jackass egomaniac, Fronz. But I think it is a little late to save anything at this point. GH, just like the two valient shows before it, will be toast and, if we are not careful, so will the genre. I was thinking, while watching, that it was a shame that all the soap mags, interview… Read more »

Judi
Guest
Judi

Viki, I still miss OLTL! I have to watch these taped interviews with Michael and it hurts ….. I tried so hard to keep OLTL on air so did millions of viewers! I tweeted, fb, emailed, sent letters, to ABC to please not cancel OLTL to no avail… Shame on the CEO”S OF ABC!!! becasue they didn’t and still don’t listen or seem to care about the viewers and fans. The people that make them money!!!!! One soap left!! GH!! hard to believe as I said to others here, I have watched OLTL for years and years.. I am in… Read more »

General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright Talks on Mob Boss Carly and Her 30-Year Evolution in Daytime

She’s a fierce, force to be reckoned with, one who delivers raw and emotional performances time and time again, while never forgetting from where she came, and always willing to pass on to her newer co-stars’ the wisdom she gained from the grind of performing in front of the camera in the toughest acting genre there is … daytime drama.

General Hospital’s Laura Wright’s (Carly) real-life soap journey actually has a very humble beginning when in 1991 – fresh off a job at a gas station – she landed in Corinth and the role of Ally Rescott on ABC’s Loving.  Up next, a jaunt to its re-imagined version, The City, until the series ultimate demise in 1997. But that was just an appetizer for soap fans of Wright’s burgeoning talent, when next she ventured to Springfield and CBS’ Guiding Light to take on the role of a stripper with a heart-of-gold who ultimately would be crowned a princess, Cassie Layne. Then, after a popular 8-year-run, she would head to General Hospital, and one of the most coveted roles in soaps, that of Port Charles’ Carly Corinthos following in the footsteps of powerhouse actresses, Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun. In her 20th year in daytime, Laura took home the gold for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series back in 2011, and that brings us to now.  Next week on June 7th, marks Laura’s 30th year in daytime filled with memorable on and off-screen moments that she has cherished.

Meanwhile, currently on GH, Laura is getting to play Carly in a whole new set of circumstances as she enters her three-decade soap anniversary. In story, we find Carly stepping up to run the mob, now that she and everyone else believes her husband, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is dead, and while her best friend and mob enforcer, Jason (Steve Burton) had to go on the run. And from the looks of it, Carly is adjusting to the mob boss role quite well … but is she really?

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Laura to get the lowdown on Carly’s life without Sonny, which has pushed her front and center into managing crimes and misdemeanors, mafia-style, all to protect the ones she loves, and to reflect on her amazing ride in daytime; which has made her one of the all-time leading ladies of the soaps.  Here’s what Laura shared about it all.

Photo: ABC

When you first found out what the structure of this storyline was going to be, where Sonny was going to “die” along with Julian (William deVry), and then he turns up alive and has amnesia, what was your initial thought?  Did you know how far they were going to take this for Carly, as far as her now running  the mob in Sonny’s place?

LAURA:  I had no idea about the mob part of it until about two months ago. As far as Sonny having amnesia and having another life now, I love those kinds of stories.  It also gives you as an actor something to play, and what else are you going to do with Sonny and Carly?  You can’t really break them up.  You’re talking to the person who is game for almost anything, so I loved it.  What does Carly’s life look like now as everybody believes that Sonny has died? How does she even take care of herself?  For me, it gave me great material to play because of how it all started to crumble.  Ava (Maura West) takes Avery, Cyrus (Jeff Kober) starts taking over the territory and the town, and Carly starts losing all of this security in her life as she knew it in trying to protect her family, and it was scary for her.

Photo: ABC

Of course, viewers could see where this storyline was heading once Carly lit in to Nina (Cynthia Watros), when Nina was in Nixon Falls and saw that Sonny was very much alive! You could see that Nina was going to seek revenge on Carly and not tell her about Sonny, aka “Mike”, all the while getting closer to him.  What do you think Carly would do if she found out that Nina was with Sonny and kept it from her?

LAURA:  You know, Carly before taking over the mob would have been awful, but now… and I was thinking about this the other day …  I’m like, “Carly would go after her with a gun!”

For years, I’ve always loved this idea of, “What if Carly became a mob boss?”

LAURA:  If they did have Carly go after Nina, then Jason and Sonny would be like, “You cannot do this.”  I think there is this blind rage, at least for a moment.  It can’t just be standing there and yelling at her, do you know what I mean?  Carly would probably take action and then Nina would disappear, or it’s like ‘get me away from her because I am going to kill her’ for what this woman did.  So, you have to have at least an episode of that before you come to your senses and realize that you have children and responsibilities, and you’re going to have to do this the right way, but you have to have the moment of losing it.  It’s stealing their life.  It’s great stuff.  My other thoughts are, “Poor Cynthia,” (laughs) because she’s got to be the nicest human being on the planet, and she is so fun to work with, and so great and committed, so we are going to have some interesting times getting through whatever they write.  I have no idea what they’re writing by the way, and I have no idea when it’s going to happen, but I am sure it will be great.

Photo: ABC

With the way GH shoots their taping schedule, I am assuming now you barely see Maurice, because you are basically in two different parts of this interconnecting story?

LAURA:  We shoot by set.  So, if Maurice is working in the morning, and I am scheduled at let’s say at noon, by the time I get there, he’ll be gone.  So, it’s fascinating. It’s kind of running parallel of what is happening on and off screen because I don’t see him at work, either.

Photo: ABC

Carly seems that she is becoming pretty comfortable in this mob role.  There was a scene that recently aired between Diane (Carolyn Hennesy) and Carly, where Carly was discussing her options of what to do with Gladys (Bonnie Burroughs).  Does Carly like the power this brings her?

LAURA:  I think so, but it’s not like she’s sitting around going, “Oh, this is amazing.”  It’s seriously what she has to do.  What she is seeing is that there are so many moving parts that she didn’t realize how difficult it was.  Sonny made it look easy.  There’s not a time to even take a breath.  You’ve got to always be on your toes.  You know, she is doing it in ‘Carly fashion,’ so it’s always entertaining, and trying as a woman to put out all the fires, but there’s 20 fires behind it, because there is just someone constantly trying to take your seat, trying to hurt your family.  There’s just always something to look out for whether it be from the other families or law enforcement.  I think that Carly is surprised that she is good at it and surprised at how making these decisions is becoming easier and easier for her, but I don’t know if she sits back and enjoys it.  At this point, from air to what we are taping, the decisions don’t stop, and the danger doesn’t stop, and more decisions have to be made, and there is no one else to do it.  This is a world that is life or death.  This isn’t like, “Well, if they don’t like me, I’ll just find someone else to do the job.”  There’s nobody else to do that job.  It’s not that world.  You don’t get to walk away, and she is learning that more and more, as she plays in the big world.

Photo: ABC

So, Jason went on the run with Britt (Kelly Thiebaud).  How does Carly feel about that?

LAURA:  Britt saved his life.  She said that on camera.  “She saved your life; she can take you wherever.  I trust her.”  Carly saw how Britt stepped up and helped him.  I don’t think there is anything else that Carly is thinking right now.  Carly doesn’t have the luxury of being old Carly and being snippy, catty, wanting to vet every person in Jason’s life.  It’s just not her reality right now.  That would be a luxury if she could go back and be that person, but that’s not it.  Right now, it’s assessing the situation.  “Is he safe?  Is she taking care of him?  Great.  I don’t care about anything else right now.”  This is the difference between old Carly and mob-boss Carly.  Those days are gone.  She would give anything to go back to those days because she didn’t have to have the world on her shoulders because Jason was safe, and Sonny was alive.  It’s not where she is now.  It’s a different dynamic that she was forced into.

Photo: ABC

When you and Steve Burton are in scenes together, whether it’s just in your eyes, or expressions or emotions, there is so much going on, or at least that’s how it plays to the audience.  Is the relationship between Carly and Jason one of your favorites to play, because it’s so unique and deep rooted into their history? 

LAURA:  Oh, I love the Carly/Jason relationship. It’s the loyalty and that their dedication to each other is unbendable, unbreakable.  It’s so unwavering.  It’s great to play because it’s like being in a really good relationship, even though he’s not her ‘person’, but he kind of is.  It’s being in a great relationship that means that you get to be 100% you and everything that means, and that person loves and accepts you. There’s such incredible love and freedom, and that’s what it’s like to work with Steve because Steve approaches our scenes – and almost every scene when I watch him with other people – that there is no undercutting judgment, only help.  If I’m struggling with a line or I don’t want to do something, he’s either like, “Yeah, I agree. That’s unnecessary; cut it,” or he gives me a really great way of looking at it, where I’m like, “Oh, that is a really interesting thing, thanks!”  So, then you have full freedom to feel and play and do anything, and that’s kind of what you see.  There’s just a confidence, and I think it is also the relationship.  I think it has to be there when I work with Steve because the relationship between Carly and Jason is that way.

Photo: JPI

Carly and Jason accept each other for who they are, all their flaws, and the dangers that come with their lives.  Wouldn’t you say?

LAURA:  She accepts him 100% for who he is.  She wants to manipulate the world around him, so he is safe, and perfect, and always there, but she still accepts him when nobody else does and vice versa.  He knows that Carly is going to destroy things, and mess up, and spiral.  Like, she had that scene where she said, “Even when Jason knows I’m wrong, he supports me.” It’s really that right there that is everything between the two of them, and it’s the hardest thing to find in any relationship, real life, TV, etc.  We always want to change people to make them be who we want them to be so that we feel okay. It’s a great soap opera relationship because it causes conflict in every other relationship that they have, which is great for storytelling in a show because then there is always a challenge, always a hurdle, always a problem built-in if you need drama. It’s because there is so much acceptance and unconditional love and support that they are free to be who they need to be, and I feel that as an actor working Steve as well.  I think that’s what you see when you say there’s ‘a lot going on’.

Carly’s plan for Gladys took quite a turn!

LAURA:  Well, Carly thought the second that Cyrus finds out that Brando (Johnny Wactor) is the father of Sasha’s (Sofia Matteson) baby that Cyrus is going to want to take him out, so she basically said to Gladys, “Look, I’ll set you up.  I’ll give you all the money you want.  Hell, I’ll even buy you a house.  Leave town, but you have to tell everybody that you lied about Jason,” and she doesn’t bite the bait.  So, you then have Carly saying, “Well, we can do this the easy way where I just pay for your life and you go, or we can do it the hard way,” and the hard way is me letting her know that, “You have a grandchild on the way, and your son is going to be murdered if you don’t do this for me,” because it puts Cyrus back in prison because he is on probation, and he has now obstructed justice.  It’s all on Gladys’s testimony.  That was Carly’s plan.  Right now, her biggest threat is Cyrus and obviously as viewers have seen things did not go as planned!

Photo: ABC

June 7th you will be celebrating 30 years on daytime! Do you remember your first day on Loving? What happened?

LAURA:  I do.  Oh, God!  I remember what dress I had on.  I remember how my hair was.

Were you like in “Oz”?

LAURA:  I looked like Oz. (Laughs) I looked like Dorothy… the dress they had me in, the hair, are you kidding?  I didn’t know what a boom was!  I was really loud.  I had one line: “Grandma!” and that was it, and then they had to note that because I kept saying, “Grandmaw,” and they were like, “It’s not ‘Grandmaw.’  It’s ‘Grandma.’”  Then, I did whatever they said at first, but then the longer I was on the show, I was like, “I say ‘Grandmaw.’ I’m not saying ‘Grandmuh.’ I don’t care. (Laughs) Everyone gets their own personalization of how they say what they say.”  That was my big argument, and now I’ve had a thousand arguments over 30 years, but that was my first big pushback because I would be doing, what in my mind was great work.  I got all of the lines out, my God, and that was before we could do pickups, and when we shot the show in order. Those cameras had wheels. So if you were on set, and they shot the scene before us, you had to be ready to go, and they would fly down the studio on those cameras to set up to start shooting the next scene.  If I got through a scene and they had to do it over again because I said, “Grandmaw,” I would be so angry. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

Who helped you the most on Loving?

LAURA:  Nada Rowand, who played my grandmother, Lisa Peluso, who played my aunt on the show, and Eric Woodall was my best friend and he played Matt Ford.  He and I would get together every Sunday night, and here’s a little bit of trivia for you … Eric lived with Billy Porter! They graduated from Carnegie Mellon together.  So, I would go over to his apartment, and on Sunday night, we would go over all of the scripts together for the whole week because Eric graduated from Carnegie Mellon; I worked at a gas station. (Laughs) We had very different talents that we were bringing to the table for this soap opera job.  Eric helped me a great deal, my gosh, and so did Bernie Barrow (Ex-Louis).

Bernie was an amazing actor and the only Daytime Emmy winner, ever from Loving!

LAURA:  I had scenes with Bernie because he played my grandfather on the show. I had no idea about half the notes that they were giving me. Bernie would pull me aside and explain what they meant and teach it to me in a way where I knew how to incorporate it into my scenes and adjust and take the notes.  He was extremely helpful.  Then, there is the famous Noelle Beck (Ex-Trisha) story, where two weeks after starting the show, Eric and I were invited to go to the Daytime Emmy Awards.  I was dying because I grew up watching daytime television, and I grew up watching the Daytime Emmys.  So, when I was allowed to go, I told my mom to ship me my prom dress from my senior year of high school, which was this poufy, emerald green thing, and it looked like something from Dynasty with jewels all over it.  I got it, and I was so excited, and everyone on the show was like, “Oh, my God, someone has got to tell her … she cannot wear that dress.”  I didn’t know you could go to wardrobe and ask to borrow a dress, because I’d only been on the show for two weeks maybe.  The same day, they came to me and said, “So, if Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica, AMC) doesn’t win, you’re going to be interviewed on Good Morning America the next morning about how the gas station girl got a job.”  So, it was a big deal. I’m getting ready for the Emmys, and to put this emerald-green dress on, and there is this knock on my door, and it’s Noelle Beck.  She has this beautiful, black, strapless dress. She’s like, “Your dress is beautiful, but I don’t know, I think this is really simple, and I think you might really look beautiful in it if you want to try it on.”

Photo: JPI

Her dress?

LAURA: Her dress! It was a dress that was in Noelle’s closet on the show because she went to wardrobe and was like, “Laura cannot wear that emerald green prom dress.  She will be laughed at.”  I would have been mortified because I did not know what people wore.  I had never been to a red carpet! Noelle went to wardrobe, and they all came up with this dress, and so she came to me and said, “Your dress is so pretty, but I think this might go better with Eric’s suit,” or however she sold it! I tried it on, and I just felt so sophisticated, and I was like, “It’s okay if I wear this!?” and she’s just like, “Oh, my God, yeah!”  When I think back to that story, I’m like, ‘thank God for Noelle Beck’.  It was one of the funniest stories ever, and her dressing room was right across the hall from me, and she was from Maryland; I was from Maryland.  She was like a sister.  Noelle was always looking out for me, personally.

Photo: ABC

Over the years, you have become one of the great leading ladies of daytime.  Was there a moment, when you were like, “I’ve got this down now … I really know what I’m doing.”

LAURA:   There have been different moments.  I remember the first time where I felt like ‘an actor.’  It was when they shot and killed Casey (Paul Anthony Stewart) on Loving, and he had to die in my arms.  I embodied something and felt it in a way that was different.  I didn’t know what it was at the time because I was playing my emotions of Paul leaving the show. I was really confused because I was like, “Do I really like this guy?” like in real life, because I didn’t know.  I didn’t have any tools of acting to know how to separate.  I was so in love with the characters’ love story, which was also my feelings at the time because I didn’t know the difference.  I didn’t know where Ally stopped, and Laura started.  I was just kind of playing myself.  I remember they called Paul to the set for a goodbye, and they were giving him a big cake and everything, and I could barely hold it together.  I couldn’t believe he was leaving.  I was like, “You’re going to say, ‘I changed my mind,’ right?” and I really believed that.  I really was like, “There’s just no way he’s going.”  Then, we had to shoot his scene, and I was very emotional and upset.  But, it was the next day where I had to go and play the scenes where he is dead and talk about it to the family, and that was when I just lost it.  I just changed as an actor in those scenes.  I remember having an opinion.  When the writers were telling me the story that they were going to tell, I remember saying, “Well, I think the interesting moment is she is not going to believe it,” and they were like, “What do you mean?”  I say, “When she comes home from the hospital, I think she needs to be like, ‘We have to go back.  Casey is at the hospital, and he needs us,’ and they were like, “That’s such a great thing to play.”  That’s what shifted for me.  I just remember there was a moment where Ally couldn’t lie anymore. She couldn’t convince herself, and then she had to tell her son that Casey wasn’t coming back.  I really understood what it was to get lost to a scene; what it was to not be Laura going, “I’m going to act now and play this scene.”  I learned how to become the character and transform in the moment.

It’s was on-the-job training.

LAURA:  Oh, for sure on-the-job training, because I went to one acting class thinking that in New York City I need to know what I’m doing, and I was so terrified to get up and speak in a scene that I literally could not talk.  I couldn’t even function outside of the safety of what I knew on a soap opera set.  I had that happen with my meditation teacher training a few years ago.  I almost left the training because it was terrifying for me to get up and not know what I’m going to do and have the script, no cameras in front of me!  It was very bizarre.

Photo: CBS

And later, Guiding Light came your way!

LAURA: When The City got canceled, I shot a pilot that did not get picked up, and my agents were like, “What do you want to do?” and I was like, “I’m really good at daytime… can we just stick with that?  I don’t really want to do this auditioning thing.” So, then all of the sudden within a week of me saying, “I think I’ll do daytime again,” I had a screen-test for All My Children and Guiding Light at the exact same time.  I was like, “What are the parts?” and I wasn’t going to pit them against each other because my agent was like, “It’s bad taste. We don’t represent that kind of negotiation.” You have to pick because before you go into any screen-test, you already have a pre-negotiated contract, and the deal has been placed.  So, you know going in what your situation will be.  So, it was All My Children, playing a doctor, or a stripper with a heart-of-gold on Guiding Light.  It was the role and that Guiding Light just had a better money offer that pushed me towards that screen-test. Then, I had to go in and meet Paul Rauch (Former EP, GL) before I screen-tested, and then Jim Brown and Barbara Esensten who were now the head writers at GL. They wrote for me on The City.  They were the ones who said, “Let’s get Laura Wright in here and see if she wants to do this.”  It’s interesting, because when they were shooting Annie’s (Cynthia Watros) big trial on Guiding Light, and Kim Zimmer (Reva) had these incredible, long days and tons of dialogue in the courtroom scenes. Then, they throw this screen-test at her with me in the middle of the afternoon! I remember when we were doing the scene. Kim had jumped to another part in it, and of course, I knew the script backwards and forwards because I’ve had it for a week and a half.  Kim had probably looked at it that day because she’s got a thousand other lines that she’s learning for that week of shows.  We were in the middle of the scene, and they’re rolling cameras, it’s very emotional, we’re going at each other, and Kim had jumped to the next page of a line, but I knew exactly where she went, so I went right there. We got back on track and ended the scene, and Kim goes, “She just saved my ass in that screen-test!” and we just started laughing.  It was a great moment.

Photo: LWInstagram

The cast of Guiding Light was so amazing!

LAURA:  So amazing, and that’s where I met my man.

Wes Ramsey (Ex-Sam, GL, now Peter, GH) at the time had a crush on you if I recall the story.

LAURA:  Yes, he had a crush.  I don’t know if he wanted to go out with me because when I first came on, I was pregnant, so that would have been weird! (Laughs) We have a funny story that he told me four years ago when we got together. Wes was going through old photos that he had logged into his computer and was trying to put things in different files, and he’s like, “Oh, my God.”  He had come back a few times on Guiding Light after he’d left, and one of the times was after I’d had my son, and this was when Richard had died, and Cassie had chopped all of her hair off.  So, he was going through these photos and he showed me that he had snuck a picture of me.  (Laughs) Then, he’s like, “See, I told you I had a crush!”  I’m like, “Oh my God, that’s so funny!”

Do you and Wes run lines together at home, even though you are in different storylines on GH?

LAURA:  If he needed me too, I would, but Wes has a totally different way of learning his lines than I do.  His prep work is very different than mine.  His is very professional and probably how you should do it. He is a Juilliard graduate.  So, he was taught well, and I’ve just figured it out.  Mine is just pure survival …’the gas station girl’.

Photo: ABC

What was the impact Guiding Light had on the trajectory of your career?

LAURA:  Guiding Light was 100% an actors show. They told a different kind of story, and the actors across the board were serious and wanted you to take it just as seriously. You were either going to sink or swim on that show, and I had to figure out how to swim. I think I spent the first six months in my dressing room crying when I wasn’t on set, trying to figure it out.  I was really taken care of on Loving.  I was 20-years-old when I got that part, 27 when I left. When I went to Guiding Light, it wasn’t like I wasn’t taken care of and protected, but it was a new energy. No one knew me.  No one knew what I was capable of.  I didn’t even know what I was capable of at the time, and you weren’t going to phone it in there.  I started working with Kim Zimmer and Jordan Clarke (Ex-Billy Lewis).  My God, you’re thrown in with people who make you feel things and play things that are uncomfortable, because that’s what we do as actors.  We make it uncomfortable, and we stretch the boundaries, and we play these emotions that are so raw and real.  One day I was freaking out over a scene with the characters of Edmund and Dinah, and I just said I would never do this.  I was just adamant. The director, said, “We have to do this.  So, you have to give me one reason where you could stay in this room.”  I said, “I guess my daughter could walk in the door, and I don’t want to leave her,” and he goes, “Great!  That’s great,” and I go, “Or…” and it just opened this door of there’s a thousand ways I could play a scene.

Photo: CBS

When you came onto General Hospital and embodied Carly, did you feel like this was it now… and that you were in command of your craft?

LAURA:  No, because it took me a long time to get comfortable.  I’m the fourth Carly, so you want to honor what they’re writing, you want to honor the fans and what they love about the character, and there were three women who played her before me and somebody loved something about all of them. So, you want to bring that, as well as make your own mark.  You’re taking over a leading female role of the show with that much passion and dialogue that comes with the character, so it was a lot of pressure at first, but I was excited for it.  I showed up every day ready to kick ass, but as far as feeling like, “Ha ha, it’s mine; I’ve made it!”, I’ve never felt that.

Photo: ABC

I have spoken to many of your co-stars through the years, and they often share how you helped them within a scene, or with something they were struggling with.  That is where experience can be a great asset for a performer in this medium.

LAURA:  As a female lead on the show, I do think it’s important to lift other women up to become their own female leads, and I do mean that.  If I’m working with someone, and I see them get a note that they don’t understand, or it’s a technical note, but gosh, it’s an important scene for them emotionally, anything I can do to help them in that moment, whether it has anything to do with me or not, I am there for.  There was a bathroom scene that I think aired a week or so ago with Carly and Sasha.  In the scene, Sasha (Sofia Mattsson) has all of her makeup in front of her, and the shot they need to get is through the mirror.  Sasha has a full conversation with Carly, who is standing upstage. It’s very difficult to do that when you don’t have rehearsal time to figure it out. They gave her the note that they needed her to say her line into the mirror, or they can’t get her face, right? I’m like, “Hey, do you have any idea how you’re going to do that?” because it’s so hard! I wanted to help. Having 30 years’ experience in something feels great, and it’s shocking because where did those 30 years go? What incredible memories I have, but what it’s gifted me the most is being able to help people through my experience, and through what I have learned along the way.  The whole show shines when we all shine, not just when one person does.

Photo: LWrightInstagram

What do you think your late parents would say about your 30 years in daytime?

LAURA:  Oh, they would be so proud… so happy.  It’s just so crazy that it’s been 30 years, and 2020 being the longest year with what we all experienced with Covid-19.  Looking back on my daytime career, I don’t know why, the shows didn’t let me go. I think it really was work ethic.  I can really say my work ethic is a huge part of me sticking around because I never got lazy.  I was never not going to figure it out.  I was never one to show up not knowing her lines, or being a problem, or not caring. I think that’s what kept me going, and then listening, watching, feeling, and I’m just so grateful.  I’m like, “Wow, what a ride!”

Photo: ABC

… And what can you say about what your time as Carly has meant to you within your now illustrious daytime career?

LAURA:  I love every second of it.  It’s my choice how I show up on that soundstage.  After 30 years, I am not bored.  I have had my moments of trying to find the fun in it and caring about Carly’s storyline at the time. That’s my own choice though, right?  It’s a choice – how I choose to show up every day there – and what I choose to find interesting and challenging, and I do.  No matter what storyline they’ve given me, I can choose for it to be, “Okay, I’m here.  I’ve been doing this for so long, I could do it in my sleep,” or I could choose to show up and go, “Where am I going to kickass today?  Where is the moment?”  Now, I don’t love the amount of time it takes for my hair to get blown out; I’ll be honest (Laughs). I’m an antsy person.  But when I get on set, it’s my choice to find the love and the fun of it, whatever that is for me.  I choose to open up every script I get, the second I get it, and am always excited to see what I’m doing.

Photo: ABC

Finally, what would you say, as a tease of what we should look forward to in the coming weeks involving Carly?

LAURA:  All I can say is there is amazing stuff coming, amazing performances, amazing excitement, amazing heartbreak, amazing surprises.  It’s all coming.

So, are you into Carly running the mob? What do you think will happen when and if Carly finds out Nina has been with Sonny aka Mike for months?  What has been your favorite moment of Laura’s on the soaps throughout her 3 decades in daytime? Share your thoughts and congrats to Laura in the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Telma Hopkins and Bryton James Talk on their ‘Family Matters’ Connection, Amanda Sinclair’s Past, and the songs of Tony Orlando and Dawn

This week, kicks-off a very special guest appearance by Telma Hopkins on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.  Hopkins plays Denise Tolliver, a private eye with some very important intel for Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan), about her past, her father, and her biological family drama.

Photo:CBD

Telma’s guest stint on Y&R reunites her with her dear friend and former on-screen son, Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) after they appeared together on the late 80’s and 90’s sitcom Family Matters.  Fans of the comedy series remember a very young Bryton as Richie Crawford and Telma as his mother, Rachel.  Year laters, they now have the opportunity to work together in Genoa City.

Photo: CBS

In a new interview out today on the Michael Fairman Channel, Telma and Bryton chat virtually with Michael, and we learn that Telma is a longtime fan of Y&R, a huge fan of Mishael Morgan’s, and just how Denise Tolliver’s arrival in Genoa City will set the stage for fireworks to come.

And while Telma and Bryton reminisce about first their first impressions of each other on the Family Matters set, we also delve into another key part of Hopkins career as part of the iconic singing trio Tony Orlando and Dawn, whose hit singles included: “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole’ Oak Tree”, “Candida”, “She Don’t Love You” and more.

Photo: CBS

So, excited to see Telma and Bryton together again? What were your first impressions of Telma as Denise Tolliver on today’s Y&R? What is your favorite Tony Orlando and Dawn tune? Did you watch “Family Matters” with Telma and Bryton years ago? Share your thoughts in the comment section.  But first check out their full interview below.

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Days Of Our Lives

WATCH: Daytime Emmy Nominations Special 2021 Replay

Last night, during the Daytime Emmy Nominations Special Livestream on the Michael Fairman Channel, 15 nominated performers who will be going for gold on the upcoming 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, shared their reactions and their excitement at learning they were in the running in the major Daytime Drama performer categories as chosen by their peers.

Throughout the livestream, the actors also shared what scenes they chose for their reels in the competition that landed them in the top spots in their respective categories.

Photos: ABC, CBS, JPI, NBC

During the broadcast, Michael welcomed: The Bold and the Beautiful’s Darin Brooks and Courtney Hope, General Hospital’s, Maurice Benard, Finola Hughes, Max Gail, Briana Lane and Dominic Zamprogna, The Young and the Restless’ Bryton James, Melissa Claire Egan and Alyvia Alyn Lind, and Days of our Lives nominees: Victoria Konefal, Cady McClain, Wally Kurth, George DelHoyo, and Tamara Braun.

In addition, NATAS President and CEO Adam Sharp shared insight into this year’s nomination process, the year in daytime, and teased what to look for on the upcoming Daytime Emmy Telecast on June 25th on CBS, where the award show recently got a two-year pick-up.

In case you missed it, enjoy this kick-off to Emmy season and watch the Daytime Emmy Nominations Replay below.  Then let us know what moments you enjoyed the most during our show, and who you are rooting for to take home Emmy gold in the comment section.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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