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EXCLUSIVE: Behind The Scenes Of VIRAL Starring Melissa Archer & Jessica Morris With Sean Carrigan, Rob Scott Wilson, Eric Nelsen and Brandon Goins!

Photo Credit: Steel Penny Productions

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

What happens when five very creative people get together, some very familiar to daytime soap audiences, and come up with a genesis of an idea that touches upon the social media, and pop culture one-minute-of-fame phenomenon we all live in?  The answer lies within a new concept for a comedy series entitled Viral, which is set to have its online debut next Monday, August 10th on the show’s website: www.viraltheseries.com

Viral reunites former One Life to Live castmates: Melissa Archer and Jessica Morris, and Emmy-Award winner producer/director Sonia Blangiardo, with her writing and producing partner Brandon Goins, and former OLTL associate producer and editor Teresa Cicala as the creative five EP’s who have formed Steel Penny Productions.  Their first project out of the gate is a funny, irreverent romp that features Archer, and Morris in a comedic turn with plenty of heart, along with other soap notables including: The Young and the Restless Sean Carrigan (Stitch), Days of our Lives Rob Scott Wilson (Ben), and former All My Children and The Bay’s Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler).

On-Air On-Soaps went behind-the-scenes, and on location for a very exclusive first look at Viral while it was kept under wraps as a top-secret production in Los Angeles.  We chatted with Melissa and the gang to get the details on how Viral came about, which features a moment in time captured on video that no woman would ever want to have happen to her!  Fans who follow Melissa and Jessica on social media, may have noticed that over the last few weeks a short viral video that was a teaser to the show was circulated.  We caught up with many of the participants in and around their filming to get some answers to what viewers can expect when the three-part installment of Viral bows, and how the producers created the hilarious “Sophisticated Ladies” auto-tuned viral video that is part of the show, and so much more!

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

Melissa Archer explains her character and the backdrop of the story: “I am playing Kat.  She is a bit of a wild one, and eager for any attention that she can get.  She’s the one that becomes a little violent when she drinks; basically she is the shit-stirrer! (Laughs). Kat gets into a bar fight and gets kicked out of the place, apparently it’s her third fight there in a month!  And she and Jackie are trying to convince Dave (Sean Carrigan, Y&R) to let them back in.  But once they figure out that is not going to happen, Kat comes up with a better plan, and then all hell breaks loose!  Kat has a huge crush on Dave, and he has a crush on her.  He is that person in her life that would call her on her stuff, as well as her bff Jackie.  However Jackie, who was kind of like the partier as well at some point, has now gotten involved with this preppy dude, Teddy (Brandon Goins) and has become a little more of a snooze-fest.  The show is really about what happens when a private moment turns into a very un-private moment?  What is funny about it is Kat is excited by it when it actually all takes place, and she finds out that this video actually did go viral.  She sees she is becoming famous, and is totally getting into it, while Jackie on the other hand, not so much. (Laughs)”

Courtesy/Steel Penny Productions

Jessica Morris added: “It’s interesting to see how different people handle that – some people like the fame, which Melissa’s character does, and my character is having problems with her relationship with her boyfriend Teddy.  His family is very conservative, and Jackie is a little more conservative, too.  So this video going viral is not a good thing for her, and it’s ruining the whole image she has going for herself.  She’s just trying to gain respect with her business, and his family, and they are engaged.  Jackie does not want to ruin that by coming off as a ‘dirty slut’. (Laughs)  In the story, Jackie and Kat have been going to this bar for years, and they’ve gotten into a lot of trouble there.  But we are going to have a girl’s night out, because it’s Kat’s birthday, and Jackie decides she is going to let loose, because Jackie does not go out that much anymore.  However, she has no idea what’s in store for her!”

Photo Credit: Steel Penny Productions

As for how, the idea came about to have two drunk women caught peeing that would be the jumping off point for the story of Viral, that was Brandon Goins brainchild!  Sonia Blangiardo revealed: “Brandon kept saying,  ‘The characters need to do something outrageous that can go viral.’ That was all him.  I would not have come up with two girls peeing and throwing up!” (Laughs)  Brandon chimed in: “I did not actually think they would do it.  I said, ‘You know what would be funny?   If they got caught doing something outrageous on video like peeing, but it can’t be just peeing, because that’s not funny, so one of them has to throw up on the other one.  And then they say a bunch of embarrassing stuff.’  I said to Sonia, ‘They will never do that, will they?’ And Sonia, says, ‘I think they will!’ (Laughs)  We all had lunch a couple of days later to discuss it.   Melissa and Jessica went, ‘Yes! That sounds hilarious. We’re in!’  I said, ‘Really?’  I guess, I know nothing about women apparently!” (Laughs)  Sonia added: “It also showcases what people want to do with their ten minutes of fame.  And, if you ask a ten-year old child, what they want to do when they grow up?  They often say, ‘I want to be famous.’  That is sad, but that is the world we live in, and so we definitely wanted to show the negative side.  Now, if you are famous because you are following a passion then that’s great, but if you want to be famous just for the sake of being famous, that’s a little sad.”  Brandon followed with the message of Viral: “We are hoping to illustrate to people, ‘Be careful for what you wish for.’  It could be the glitz and the glamour, but it could also ruin your life and embarrass the hell out of you, so much so that you never want to show your face anywhere again.”

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

And to think, all of this started from a moment in time from Melissa Archer: “One day I woke up and said, ‘I want to start a production company.’  I had all of these ideas.  I didn’t want to do it all by myself, but I wanted to do it as a collaborative effort.  I wanted people who had different aspects to bring to it.  I actually cast it based on how we would look all walking into an office to pitch it to programming executives.  I totally did! (Laughs)  Meanwhile, Sonia called me, and I swear to God, within a day or two of that thing happening with me, and she said, ‘We need to talk. Let’s go have lunch.’  So we got together for lunch and she is like, ‘Listen, I have an idea.’  Basically we had similar ideas, but we melded the ideas together!  I was like, ‘Let’s do this.’  We brought in Jessica Morris, and Brandon, and Teresa Cicala.  It was like ‘Boom’ here we go, and we were doing it!  This happened back in March of this year.  That day we were coming up with ideas to be funny, and Jessica and I were half-acting them, and doing a bunch of silly stuff, while we were all sitting around at this table.  Two days later, we basically got a script with almost everything we said that day in it, and it was awesome!”  Jessica Morris concurs: “Little did we know Sonia and Brandon had a script up their sleeves, and like two days later there is this script from them, and it was perfect! They said in the script I had an ‘arresting bitch face’!” (Laughs) As to if the actresses had any hesitation about being seen as super trashy and squatting in the show, Morris joked: I am pretty much up for anything with some limitations (Laughs). When it says that Jackie had to pee I was like, ‘Great!  Whatever you need me to do … I will go for it.’ (Laughs)  I feel like the funny moments in life are the real ones, anyway.  There is a lot of humor in life, if you can look at it that way.”

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

Rob Scott Wilson and Eric Nelsen play the two dudes that create havoc in the lives of Kat and Jackie, to which Rob weighed-in on his “type” casting: “It was too easy for me to play, and for Sonia to think of me as a douche-bag! (Laughs)  I just did my duty and I just showed up! (Laughs)  It was great; everyone was so awesome to work with.”  Eric added: “I ended up in this, because when I heard I got to play a douche next to Rob Wilson, I thought it would be easy money … like old times back on the set of All My Children. (Laughs) Just kidding! (Laughs).  I was glad to have the chance to work with Sonia again.  And when you have a couple of best friends getting to hang out on set together – and its been over a year and half since we got to do that – it’s cool.” Jessica thought the two soap gents were perfectly cast: Oh, they were great.  They were so perfect in their roles, as they were pissing me off! (Laughs)  They were just really going at it and mocking us, and laughing at us, and it made me so furious.”

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Wilson also added. “This is a little passion project of Sonia, and Melissa, and their team, and it’s just so great to be a part of it, and work with people we care about.  It’s Saturday at 1AM in the morning, but we are all here.” Sean Carrigan echoed Rob’s sentiments: “It was so much fun to work with Melissa, Jessica, and Sonia.  They put a lot of energy into this project, while also creating a very fun and collaborative atmosphere.  I can’t wait to shoot more stuff with them.”

Photo Credit: Steel Penny Productions

On seeing his script with Sonia come to life, Brandon Goins revealed that all the actors, “Exceeded my expectations, and they took it a whole other level.  I thought Rob and Eric would be kind of douche bags, but they played it brilliantly, because you also kind of like them!  Sean Carrigan came in, and he was fantastic as Dave the bartender.  As a writer it’s fun to see, because you think people are going to play your jokes one way, and they take it another way, and you go, ‘Oh, that’s brilliant!’  It’s great that these talented actors have gotten do to something they don’t get to do that much being on a daytime soap. This show really showcases that they are all very funny in their own rights.”

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As far as the hope and future of Viral, Blangiardo says there is more in store if the group can generate enough buzz and interest:  “We have great twists that we are planting, and great characters.  I come from a world that if you’re not character driven you lose the audience, and you lose everybody’s interest.   So what’s great about this is Kat and Jackie have such distinct characters, and are very, very different from each other.  They have very different lives, and yet something bonds them together.  They each have a unique point of view – one sees what happened as a blessing, and the other sees it as curse – and that’s where I think the story has its comedy.”

Courtesy/Steel Penny Productions

The viral video from the show (the auto-tuned “Sophisticated Ladies”) hit the Internet over the last few weeks as a teaser for the show wanting to rev up social media, Melissa explains what happened: “We decided as a group we were going to go off the theme about what the show was about, and take the viral video that was in the episode, and post it online and just see if anyone might grab it and think that it’s real.  We knew that it was kind of a long shot, because it was sort of polished, and it could have easily looked stage, but with a little help from us, we were hoping it might go in that direction, and maybe people would talk about it, which people did. (Laughs) Unfortunately, it wasn’t the media; it was the fans, which was super awesome.  In fact, it was pretty cool.  They were very protective of us.  So, I think it actually helped calm the video down from spreading, instead of it going more viral! (Laughs)  The fans were so amazing!”  Morris agreed, “It’s good to know if someone did try to shoot us without us knowing about it, that people out there have our backs!”  Melissa added: It’s really ironic!  You would have expected people to exploit it, but it just goes to show you, our fans are some of the most loyal out there.  So, thank you guys!”

The viral video emulated the style of The Gregory Brothers who have gotten quite the name in the creation of these ditties mocking pop culture.  Archer commented: “It’s a really interesting style if you go on their You Tube channel.  They have so many hilarious songs.  There is one of President Obama speaking in congress, and it’s basically him rapping but they auto-tune him.  The concept we did was very cool, but I don’t know that people caught on to that aspect of what we were doing, either.” (Laughs)  Jessica related, “I didn’t know who The Gregory Brothers were, but Brandon was familiar with their work.  So that was the inspiration they had for editing the video of us peeing, along with funny images, and a whole song that went along with it.”

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc

To show the continued spirit and collaboration of those that have worked, and continue to work in the daytime soap medium, Blangiardo stated it best: “All of our actors volunteered their time.  It’s a sweet legacy to my world, that when you make connections in the soap genre you kind of stay together, because you are sort of a family, and it’s not just a cliché.  When you call someone literally 24 hours before a shoot, because someone had to bow out, (which is what happened in the case of one of our actors) they show up.  They show up because they want to, and they also are willing to be here, and to really give it their all.  That’s why we are doing this – we just want to work with people we love again.  Teresa flew out from New York to be here in LA to do this.  I can’t get ever get her out of her apartment on a Friday night to grab a drink with me back in New York … and she lives 20 blocks from me there! (Laughs)  She won’t come out, but she flew here to do this, and that says a lot!  This has been a labor of love.”

Check out the sizzle reel for Viral, and the “Sophisticated Ladies” music video below, and make sure to follow the show on Twitter @viraltheseries.  Then let us know, what do you think about the show concept?  What do you think of the cast? Looking forward to checking it out next week?  Comment below!

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Brittaney P
Brittaney P

I was one of many fans that was say being protective of Melissa & Jessica but then when us fans found out it was a new project well it is nothing less than awesome. I have been a fan of Melissa’s since the start of her career and to see how far she’s come is amazing. I was happy to see it wasn’t real because when I thought it was I was fumed lol, but glad to see what Melissa is doing can be humored into something like this project. I can’t wait to see the episodes on Monday! I run the Melissa Archer Fan Site and we’ve been talking about it there some and I hope to be able to kind of help open the fans minds to this idea and show that what this project offers is humor crazy funny events that can happen but look at what the humor could be from the experience. All my well wishes to the whole cast but specially Melissa & Jessica. You both rock and I look forward to the show.

blake
blake

I loved Melissa and Jessica when they were on OLTL, it was really great when they were on together. I watched both clips, they both were very funny.

dani
dani

This looks so funny…can’t wait…MA is so funny..this is right up her alley.

Sammi
Sammi

I CANNOT wait! The whole thing is just hiflippinglarious. MA and JM just shine <3 Congrats to all, this looks like a hit. Thank you MF for another stellar interview!

scott
scott

Just watched the clips….OMG…these girls are hilarious….wish Melissa Archer would have been able to show her comedic side on DAYS…opportunity wasted there…..and Jessica is as equally hilarious…..definitely will watch….

Joey
Joey

I don’t like this, I LOVE THIS!! Hysterical. “The Pee-Pee sisters! Queen of the Yellow Nile!”. “Say Pee….PEE!” I lost it when Melissa’s character joyously said that, LOL, LOL! I saw the video being passed around the net but as Melissa said I was afraid it was real and didn’t want to spread the embarrassment factor, lol. I was laughing when I saw it and thought it was one of the funniest things I had seen but felt sorry for Jessica and Melissa at the same time. Now I know it’s a show, I can crack up and laugh at their expense without any shame. Fabulous and funny concept and Melissa and Jessica are the perfect ones for this. I will be watching when this launches on Monday!!!

Anacarrie
Anacarrie

OMG they are so silly. I am so glad Melissa is keeping busy; can’t wait to tune in.

Steph
Steph

Love it!

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

This is hysterical. I so loved Melissa and Jessica on OLTL. They both do such excellent work. I’m looking forward to this.

Anacarrie
Anacarrie

I just watched the first 3 sneak peek episodes on YouTube; IT WAS HILARIOUS. I didn’t think I would be entertained but I was; if you haven’t already, check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfTJIlCom6A

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Promo: What’s Going To Happen At Jarlena’s Wedding Anniversary Shindig?

Coming up next week on Days of our Lives, prepare for drama, drama, and more drama! From the looks of the latest promo for the NBC soap opera, the action takes place at Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) surprise one-year wedding anniversary soirée, where things could take a deadly turn!

But with the Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) masquerading as “Nicole” plot reaching new heights, Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley) and Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) back in Salem, and the promo telling viewers “For one guest, the party, is over” followed by Sonny (Freddie Smith) yelling, “She’s got a gun!” and Brady’s (Eric Martsolf) ending line, “Oh, my God!” there is plenty to conjecture.

Also seen in the teaser is Kate (Lauren Koslow) trying to rip off the face of Susan Banks (Stacy Haiduk), and Stefan (Brandon Barash) and Gabi (Camila Banus) getting hot and heavy and Eric (Greg Vaughan) yelling, “No!”

So, check out the promo below and then let us know via the comment section below, what you think is about to go down at Jarlena’s party, where last August at their nuptials … things did not go off without a hitch, either!

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Daytime Emmys To Merge Younger Actor & Actress Category Into One As Gender-Inclusive Categories Are On The Rise

The upcoming 47th annual Daytime Emmys are already making some changes to key categories and specifically this one that affects daytime drama performers.  Word from Variety is that NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is going to announce that they are combining the Younger Actor and Actress categories into one gender-neutral category

Not only will the Younger performer category be gender-inclusive, but network soap performances will be combined with digital drama series performances for the category.  Previously, for this past Daytime Emmys, NATAS had changed the Guest Performer in a Drama Series to be gender-inclusive.

This category was initially created in 1985 when it was called the Outstanding Ingenue and then from there tweaked into Outstanding Juvenile Female and Male, and more recently that morphed into the Younger Actor and Actress categories.

Photo: JPI

Former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) and former DAYS star, Kyle Pettis (Ex-Theo) will now be the last female and male to win the two separate categories with this new move for 2020.

Fans of film and TV have noticed that on several award shows on MTV: their Movie and TV Awards and their VMA’s, there are several gender-inclusive categories, as well as the Television Critics Association Awards who for instance doles out Outstanding Individual Achievement in Drama in comedy.

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So, what do you think of the change; that there will now be one Younger performer category at the Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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