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Hillary B. Smith and Robert S. Woods Interview – One Life to Live Farewell

In an emotional final video interview with On-Air On-Soaps as cast members of One Life to Live (taped at the series final press junket), Hillary B. Smith and Robert S. Woods talk with Michael Fairman about the legacy of Bo and Nora as one of soaps most iconic couples, their love for the fans, and their sentiments on working together, and saying goodbye to the 43-year old soap.

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Doe
Guest
Doe

Loved Bob Woods And Hillary B. Smith interview. Bob Woods is one of the most natural actors on soaps. I will miss him. Hillary is Nora in my book. Their story has been up and down, but they always belonged together.. Thank goodness we will be able to see them ride off into soap stardom for all time… Thanks Michael for another great interview….

Shirley Westerhuis
Guest
Shirley Westerhuis

Bo & Nora are the consummate soap couple. I’m SO gonna miss being able to watch my FAVORITE soap! I can’t believe ABC cancelled AMC & OLTL, in favor of STUPID shows, like The Chew & whatever the new one will be. I won’t be watching either, as I find them boring & ridiculous. ABC SCREWED UP BIG TIME, in my opinion. Nothing more to say, is there!?!?

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

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1loveabcsoaps

Join us in sending soap bars to ABC studio’s, PASS IT ON…this site and abc.com.

Susan
Guest
Susan

I am devastated that OLTL has been canceled. I feel as if part of my family has died. With the exception of TiVoing GH, ABC is now banned in our house. I watched ABC faithfully for 45 years, if my husband would let me I’d sell our Disnet stock and DVC membership, too. I love Llanview like my own town and am not sure what I will do every afternoon for the rest of my life. I wish the entire crew and cast the very best, and I wish ABC a continued decline until it’s demise. Maybe then the CEO… Read more »

Deb
Guest
Deb

I agree with everything you have said
The CEO of ABC has messed with what is and has been the core of ABC the soaps! Is ABC aware of all the complaints or do they just not care about what the people want that pay their salaries???? Is Frons should be fired!!!!!

Joyce A Joblonski
Guest
Joyce A Joblonski

I have been a fan of One Life To Live since 1973. I have been fortunate to meet and greet most of you at fan luncheons, baseball games in Brooklyn, One Life/Many Voices. I also particpated in Daytime Encounter I and II where I had the pleasure of working directly with some of the cast. By having this experience it put a new perspective in watching the show. I just want to thank all of you of being part of my life all these years. I wish you love and peace to all of you and again THANK YOU.

Linda Dowell
Guest
Linda Dowell

Well, damnit, it made me cry…this is so unbelievably sad……

Jim
Guest
Jim

I remember Bob from the Waltons. Hilary was wonderful no matter what implausible storyline they gave her. Well done, you two. Well done.

gloria
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gloria

I remember him from the Waltons too! I loved him even then!

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Tara Karlowicz
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Tara Karlowicz

I loved this interview Hillary made me cry they both made me laugh and brought me down memory lane i have bee watching the show since 1992 and remember every moment of the show since then. I am going to miss the show and Bob and Hillary the most they are my only reason for watching this show. Thank you for all the memories love for both.

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1loveabcsoaps

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Beverly Salhany
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Beverly Salhany

PLEASE COME BACK ON LINE OR ANYWAY YOU CAN OLTL
WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO YOU GUYS HELP US DO IT TELL WHAT WE NEED TO DO

amanda
Guest
amanda

i agree what do we got to do to keep you guys atleast online

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

Beverly: What we have to is:
We are sending soap bars to ABC studio’s, (JOIN US)PASS IT ONTO…this site and abc.com’s blog and post on Facebook, Send soap bars to abc studio’s

Lisa Campbell
Guest
Lisa Campbell

we lost GL and ATWT, now that I have been watching OLTL, its going off the air also. its not fair that the networks are doing this to the fans. its very sad, knowing our shows will no longer be on the air. At least we will have Youtube. I wish all of the actors the best of luck. I will miss you!!

Tahine
Guest
Tahine

I have loved these two from the first time I watched them back in 1997 and thanks to YouTube I got a chance to see all the stuff before 97 . All I can say is the chemistry between these two is electric I loved watching them dance play and love I’m so sad to see them go what a waste of talent . I wish them the best of luck I will love bo and Nora till the day I die!!!!!

MONA JOHNSON
Guest
MONA JOHNSON

I LOVE THE INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT S. WOODS AND HILLARY B. SMITH.. THEY ARE MY FAV COUPLE ON 1L2L.. I’M GOING TO MISS THEM ACTING OUT GREAT SCENES 2GETHER… YOU ALL ARE GOING TO BE TRULY MISS… :-)) XXXOOOO

Linda
Guest
Linda

I absolutely LOVE Bo and Nora and the wonderful actors, Bob and Hillary who portray them! I will miss so much seeing them. Thank goodness for youTube! I started watching them right after they divorced, and loved their chemistry even when they were not together. Watched for 10+ years waiting for their reunion. My all time favorite Bo and Nora moment is the dancing in the warehouse during Y2K! That’s when I knew they would always LOVE each other! Will miss, miss them so much!

Bina
Guest
Bina

Thank U So Much Michael for sharing this interview with the Bob & Hillary fans . Hillary brought me to tears during the 1st part of the interview. I am so sadden that OLTL is going to done with in just 2 weeks. It really breaks my heart. I am a huge fan of these 2 beautiful people. I am going to miss them cutting a rug on the dance floors, fishing trpis & just their love story as a whole. After watching the interview amost 50 times already, I went on you-tube and watch the very scene “Ice Cream… Read more »

pamala
Guest
pamala

Frons said he would cancel the two shows and he did, he left after ‘a job’ well done’ IMO. These shows should never have been canceled and the ending for AMC left me embarrassed. It looks like OLTL will be doing the same, the HW and others have had it ready. No one will forget the elephant in the room and OLTL no matter what is said, is leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth and horrible writing which equals only a permanent STAIN to a one time glory day.

gloria
Guest
gloria

Are you kidding? Will we miss them? OMG-I GUESS SO! I remember when the Bukes came riding into Llanview & I have totally adored Robert S. Woods ever since. He is precious! I love Nora too but honestly have loved Bo with every love he’s had on the show & he’s had plenty! I cried all weekend the Friday in January 1986 I think when Bo was “killed” at the end of the episode. My husband asked what the hell has happened? I cried “Bo is dead, they killed Bo!” He knew exactly who I meant & was as shocked… Read more »

Sharon
Guest
Sharon

I LOVED your interview!! Thank you Bob/Bo and Hillary/Nora for the wonderful years that you’ve shared!!!! OLTL would not have been the same without you both!!! I feel like I’m loosing half of my family now. 🙁

carrie lynn porterfield
Guest
carrie lynn porterfield

I no longer will watch abc I loved One life to live there family . Abe doesnt think of us or them the People of One life to live or family thats a big Mistake they are making in deed. very saddened Carrie

Sue
Guest
Sue

I have watched OLTL since it’s beginning. I left only when Roger Howarth left. So glad he came back after 8 years. I will miss OLTL, of course; but I hope I can still see Roger on TV somewhere.

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

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Tom655
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Tom655

After the final episode of OLTL, I will be deleting the ABC station off my cable. I wish all the cast and crew of One Life to Live the very best and thank them for 43 years of memories.

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

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Maya S. Anderson
Guest
Maya S. Anderson

Truly enjoyed this interviewed. Very sad that OLTL has come to an end. Bo and Nora are the super soap couple. I was very happy to see the two back together! Their breakup should have never happened. HBS and RSW chemistry on screen is one that legends are made of! BO and NORA FOREVER! Best to all at OLTL. Happy New Year to all! Moving forward – no looking behind! Only one who should have regrets should be ABC for cancelling OLTL! I am thankful for the years that I was able to be apart of the OLTL family!

Brian Greene
Guest
Brian Greene

Thanks A Million For This Michael.

We OLTL Fans In Evanston, Illinois Love You, Bob, & Hillary A Whole Bunch! 😀 😀

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

Send soap bar’s to ABC studio’s. Pass it on……help me post it here and on abc.com blog

Julie
Guest
Julie

Shame on ABC for cancelling OLTL! What are they thinking! Their are thousands of viewers! and to replace them with some reality crap shows like” The Chew” ! I have fb, tweeted, sent letters, petitions, etc.. no response from ABC.. I have watched this show for years! taped and dvr’d while at work, my family and friends all calling each other after a long day at work to talk about what happened on OLTL who did what, etc.. OLTL is like family. I will not be watching ABC! This is unforgivable and I am a very forgiving person, but ABC… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

Send soaps bar’s to abc.com. Help me pass it on this site and on abc.com blog.

amanda
Guest
amanda

my question is why? why take off the best of the best and leave the worst? I just want to say this stinks that oltl is leaving the air it is by far my favorite show and i am truly disappointed that it is going.

amanda
Guest
amanda

and must say thank you for the interviews, all of you will be missed here and thank you for the years of drama and excitment

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

Send soap bar’s to ABC studio’s. Pass it on……help me post it here and on abc.com blog

esther britstone
Guest
esther britstone

I cannot believe that after 43 years this show will be over. I have been watching One Life To Live for 35 years! There has never been one episode that I have not enjoyed. This show has been a daily routine for me for so long and I cannot believe that the network could not give it a go. I think they will regret their decision and any new show that they replace it with will not compare. Please, I have seeing one episode of “The Chew” and will not see it again! What a loss!

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Send soap bar’s to ABC studio’s, pass it on……!

Leanne
Guest
Leanne

I have watched One Life to Live for over 30 years. It may sound strange, but the characters on this show became my “dysfunctional” family. I have been alone for most of my life and it made me feel good to know that every evening I would be able to watch Todd, Blair, Vickie, Asa, etc. The show was great and I am sorry that such a wealthy network such as ABC/Disney cannot find the money to budget for this production. All of the cast will be missed. It is almost like a death in the family.

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Leanne: We are sending soap bars to ABC studio’s, JOIN US……..
PASS IT ON…this site and abc.com, and post on Facebook, Send soap bars to abc.com

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

Its not strange at all,I know how you feel,I dont know what Im going to do at 2 oclock weekdays one life to live has been on my tv for 43 years,I watched all my children to ,and miss it ,I try to watch dool.but its just not the same ,abc had the money to keep these shows on ,they choose not to its creed,more money in their pocket s Daytime tv will never be the same,and one life to live is the best soap ,I will miss my dysfunctional family to.

Jan Phipps
Guest
Jan Phipps

Thank you Michael for this lovely gift! It was the best interview with RSW and HBS ever. I so cherish it because I don’t know when I’ll be able to see them again. Thanks for all you coverage of OLTL over the years.

Vicki
Guest
Vicki

Michael, this was a great interview! Bob and Hillary are so natural together and this is what I’ll miss about them the most in their performances. I will also miss them. I met them both a few times and I will never forget what great people they are!

I still cannot believe that ABC has done such a horrible thing to this show and that all these people will no longer be on my soap!

Debbie N
Guest
Debbie N

I’ll miss “One Life To Live” so much!! ‘Bo’, ‘Nora’, ‘Viki’, ‘Blair’, ‘Roxy’, etc., are the best!!! They are such talented people.
ABC made a huge mistake…they say people want “information shows” ?? NO WAY, we like entertainment. It’s helped me get through so many hard times I’ve had.
I was hoping some cable station would pick it up. After OLTL ends, it’s bye-bye ABC. -Crash and burn!

Vicki
Guest
Vicki

Loved the interview with Bob & Hilary. I love them as Bo & Nora. I remember when Bob came on as Bo, I had such a crush on him, and I still do. Nora is Bo’s soulmate, but he has had great chemistry with all of his wives. Next to Nora, my favorite was Didi. Barbara Treutelaar was gorgeous, and she and Bo were my favorite couple at the time. I cried when she died. Hilary is fabulous as Nora. Love how natural she is with Matthew. You can believe she is really his mother. Hilary has chemistry with everyone,… Read more »

W. Harris
Guest
W. Harris

OMG Hillary had me crying. I just Love her and Bob they were my sole reason for tuning into OLTL all these years. I am going to miss them. I have been following fumbling the pieces online with Hillary and, I LOVE it! God bless you Bob and Hillary for just being the best and giving us your best every time You and Bob are amazing!!!! 🙂

Amy
Guest
Amy

I just love Bob and Hillary as Bo and Nora!!! I have watched the show for years and they are by far the BEST. I have been watching some Bo and Nora (the early stuff) on you tube and it was hard to watch them split up, what a great love story!! I am so glad the writers put them back together a few years ago!! The last scene at Asa’s house, and when Bo said, “I love you Red” all choked up, was the when tears started flowing….OMG. How can you not love them!!!!

Judi
Guest
Judi

I still miss OLTL!! and it is not going away… I still won’t give up.. I emial, Twitter, fb, mail to ABC, etc. Even ask other networks. I think some network should breath life back into OLTL and make the viewers and fans happy again! I Love Bo,, and Nora.. what a team… and Vicki, Asa, Clint, Dorian… OLTL was always my favorite soap, the acting, the energy.. I loved to run home from work and watch everyday for years and get on the phone with my family, friends and co-workers and we would talk about the characters and if… 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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