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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

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

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
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
Guest
gloria

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

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

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

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.

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

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

Beverly Salhany
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

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

Tom655
Guest
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

Assist in Sending soap bar’s to ABC studio’s. Pass it on……Help me post it here and on abc.com blog

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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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 »

Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Weighs-In On Daytime’s Wildest Storyline, The Hope Mannequin & What’s Really Going On With Thomas

If you think you’ve seen it all on daytime soap operas, think again! Over the past several weeks viewers of CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful have been witness to fashion designer Thomas Forrester’s (Matthew Atkinson) descent into madness, or is it?

In B&B’s thriller-esque storyline, complete with tight close-ups and tilted angles of Thomas and his co-star, the Hope Mannequin – yup, you read that right, the series is taking the audience on one wild ride, something we have not seen the likes of since back in the hey day of the late head writer, James Reilly, during his tenure on Days of our Lives or Passions.

Photo: JPI

Inspired by, believe it or not, true life events, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell and his creative team have served up a story generated off all of the buzz the show was receiving for using mannequins as scene partners for the actors in intimate moments to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.  B&B was the first American show back in production amid the pandemic.

 

Within this twisted tale, Thomas has the life-like version of Hope Logan Spencer (Annika Noelle) at home with him.  Those who have stumbled upon him with the mannequin, well, he has been able to explain that away by saying that having the doll with him is helping him create some of the best designs of his career.

The problem is the mannequin is talking to Thomas, it’s eyes have often turned devil-red, and on Friday’s episode it walked!  It’s objective is to get Thomas to kill Liam (Scott Clifton) and to get Hope back to be his one and only. Throughout many of the scenes in the storyline, Thomas suffers from what appears to be severe headaches.  All of this leading the audience to believe either … he has a brain tumor … he is being drugged … he is suffering from a severe mental break and disorder, or something else.

Photo: JPI

In a very candid and often humorous conversation with Michael Fairman for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Thomas’ portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, discusses some of the craziest scenes to shoot thus far including Thomas having dinner with the mannequin!  In addition, Atkinson reveals how he and Annika Noelle tape the scenes where she is the voice of the Hope mannequin while adhering to safety protocols,  and how Liam is the only one, apparently, thinking something is off with Thomas, and so much more.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

One thing is for certain, Matthew Atkinson is sinking his teeth into the material and making it must-see daytime drama through his performances while we all wait to see what the possessed mannequin does next.

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

Then let us know, what do you think is happening or wrong with Thomas? Are you getting a kick out of the Hope Mannequin storyline? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

 

 

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Interviews

Eric Nelsen Talks Latest Film, Becoming a Tony-Nominated Producer, ‘The Bay’, and His Elizabeth Gillies & Ariana Grande Connection

You can catch All My Children reboot alum, Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler), just about everywhere this month, and that’s hard to do given that we are all living in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this Daytime Emmy-winning actor has his hands in a myriad of projects of late including: appearing on season six of The Bay (new episodes every Tuesday on Popstar! TV) where he continues to play Daniel’s journey after the character has come to terms with his sexuality and finds love, plus his comedic turn in the film, 1 Night in San Diego, and recently becoming a Tony-nominated producer along with his wife Sainty for the critically-acclaimed, and now 11 times nominated Broadway play, The Inheritance.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Eric to get the lowdown on his busy professional life, and we were in for some surprises along the way including: what the producers of AMC had in mind for the character of AJ that ultimately did not happen, and that Eric starred on Broadway with Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon, Dynasty) and Pop superstar, Ariana Grande – and there’s more to that story below.

 

What makes Nelsen so good at what he does on-screen is that he is a like a chameleon; adept at playing the quirky, to the troubled bad boys, to the emotional heart-tugging anti-hero. So here’s what Eric had to say in this fascinating conversation.

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

Your latest film appearance in 1 Night in San Diego is out this week on multiple streaming on-demand platforms from: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and more. Tell me about the movie and when did you film this?

ERIC:  We filmed it near San Diego, not this past February, but last February, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a female-driven comedy.  The cast is incredible.  Alexandra Daddario, who is just epic, and Jenna Ushkowitz, and Laura Ashley Samuels, they truly bring it in this powerhouse comedy, and it’s just one of those make-you -laugh movies from beginning to end, just silly, stupid stuff happening the whole time.  General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin) is also in the film.  While we don’t work in scenes together, I did get a chance to meet him and he’s a really great guy.  I play this off-the-wall character, named Gordo, who is a real burn-out, think Matthew McConaughey meets space cadet, which was a lot of fun to play.  Gordo is a great role.  I had more fun with this part than I’ve had in a long time.  So, it was cool to throw a comedy into all of the drama I have been playing in my other projects.

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

ERIC:  One of the girls knew him back in the day, so they were in town looking to reconnect, and she’s like, “Oh, we want to party and let’s hit up Gordo,” and they do.  He has just gone completely off the rails, off the deep end with spirituality and kind of in his own world. They find themselves in quite a predicament when they come visit what they didn’t know was a commune, basically.  Gordo creates this hippie commune for a bunch of outcast musicians, (laughs) and I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of interesting stuff happens there.

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

In addition, you are now a Tony-nominated producer for the play The Inheritance!

ERIC: That was crazy, because it’s always been a dream of mine to produce for Broadway.  That was how I got into the world of film and TV acting, which was through the theatre.  That’s where I started.  I was lucky enough to star on Broadway when I was 16 and 17, in a musical called, 13.  I started with Ariana Grande! It was so fun.

Wait, what?

ERIC:  Yeah, that was her first big show, and Elizabeth Gillies’.

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

ERIC:  Oh yeah, and you know she and I dated for two and a half years during the whole run of the show 13.  Elizabeth is very talented.   She is amazing.  The funny part of it is, we were dating forever, and kind of had a bad breakup, and then Sainty, my wife, gets cast in her show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in the pilot to play Liz’s best friend on the series.  So, all of the sudden, I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, out of all the shows, all of the things, this is who you have to get cast as best friends with?” and so they actually became really, really, close friends.  So, I’d actually come home from work or filming, and Liz would be on my couch sitting there giggling with Sainty.  I’m like, “This is just becoming too much.  This is a full-circle moment here.  I can’t deal.” (Laughs)

Now, you and Elizabeth are broken up at this point?

ERIC:  Yes.  We had been broken up at this point.  Sainty and I were actually together.  I started dating Sainty in New York and the pilot she was shooting was in New York, and she gets cast as Liz’s best friend, and I was like, “Oh, of course.”

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

ERIC:  Yes, so dying.  Dying.   You know, it’s just one of those things that in a million years, you would never expect this to happen, and of course, Sainty and her had to become best friends in real life because they’re both great girls, and naturally, they would be friends, but now, I’m like this guy stuck in the middle who can’t believe what’s happening, and thought that was one chapter, and this is a different chapter, and now the chapters are combining.  It’s kind of a comedy act.

Photo: JPI

Since Ariana Grande was on Broadway with you and Liz, what was she like back then before her meteoric rise to fame?

ERIC:  Ariana was literally the sweetest, most innocent, and cutest – like my little sister.   To me, it was like, Liz and I were dating, and Ari was kind of like the little sister.  All of a sudden the show ended. Ariana got a Nickelodeon show, and after that, she became the most famous person in the world and was like this sex icon, and I couldn’t get over it.   She’s always had that talent with her voice and in 13 she was an ensemble member.  She wasn’t even one of the leads, but her voice was so incredible, even then as a young teenager.  I thought she was going to go on to have this great Broadway career as an actress and do musicals her whole life just because of her voice.  Then, all of the sudden, right after the musical, we all auditioned for the same Nickelodeon show.  I ended up going to the finals for the boyfriend role, Liz got the girlfriend role, and Ari got the funny friend on the show role.  That kind of catapulted them into the TV world, and Ari got a spinoff because of her character on that show for another Nickelodeon show, called Sam and Cat, and then after Sam and Cat, she went from this innocent, sweet, little Nickelodeon girl that I knew to being the biggest star.  It was unbelievable to me.

Photo: Broadway World

So, you started on Broadway as a teenager, and you found you always wanted to produce for the Great White Way? 

ERIC:  Yes, I did the Broadway thing, and then I got into film and TV, and then I got into film and TV producing.  As an actor, there are a lot of ups, a lot of downs.  So, in between the ups, I wanted to fill my time, so I got into producing, and I loved it.  I loved creating.  As an actor, we just show up, and everything is already done.  All we have to do is say our lines.  We get pampered, and we go home, but I wanted to know how it got to that point, like what happens before that.  So, I started producing film and found some success doing that, and it was so much fun for me.  Sainty’s and my first love, and what feels like home, is theatre.  So, I wanted to take it full circle and produce a Broadway show.  I just thought that would be such an incredible moment, and so that’s what I did.  I started emailing all of the Broadway producers who I had worked with as an actor, letting them know what I had been doing, kind of the success I had gotten from producing The Bay and some of these other things. Different shows came across my desk that I didn’t quite bite the bullet on, a couple of which I wish I would have, Dear Evan Hansen being one of them.  I would have been so rich by now!  (Laughs)

I just want to clarify for people who might not know, the word “producer” can mean different things.  There are “producers” who are putting money in … they’re backing projects or shows.  There are other people who are “producers” on the creative side of projects.  So, when you’re talking about producing a Broadway show, it is as an investor?

ERIC:  So for theatre, unless you’re the head producer who kind of gets creative control, every other producer listed in the credits is basically helping raise finances and is also very heavily involved in the process of everything else along the way, which is also what makes it special.  So finally, The Inheritance came across our desk, and it checked every single box.  It was just an epic play.  It’s a two-part play, and it’s just hours and hours and hours long.  You see it in multiple days or in multiple shows.  I remember reading the script and not stopping until I finished.  I was like, “This is amazing,” and it had just come off of a huge commercial successful run in London.  It won the Olivier Award for “Best New Play” and just about every other award you could win, and so I was like, “This is the one.  This is incredible.  I love the piece, love the message, and pulled the trigger,” and I would have done it all over again if we could.

Photo: Broadway World

The Inheritance is a generational piece centering on gay men during the AIDS crisis.  What can you say about it to those who don’t know about it, or have not seen it yet?

ERIC:  It takes place in the past, and then it fasts forward to the future.  You see two generations of gay men in New York City, and it’s all about the AIDS crisis, and so you’re bawling crying, and then you’re laughing throughout it.  It’s just one of those epic plays that pulls at every single emotion and you feel like you’re watching a movie.

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s definitely its own thing.  It’s actually an adaptation of Howard’s End, the novel by Forster, definitely different from Angels in America, but the two-part show is kind of what I was meaning by that.  People have said it is kind of our generation’s Angel’s in America in tone and subject matter.  It was just a dream come true, and like all other theatre that was open during our season, it had to close because of the pandemic, and it will have life after Broadway.  We are already slated for the Geffen Playhouse in LA, so I’m very excited for all of my LA friends and the public to get to see it.

Courtesy/ENelsen

And you get nominated in the year that the coronavirus pandemic shut down live theatre! But it is my understanding we still do not have a date for handing out this year’s Tony Awards.

ERIC:  No, we do not.  They finally announced that they were going to announce nominations, and for a while we didn’t even know that they were going to do that.  We received 11 nominations, which is incredible.  We were so excited.  I truly thought the American Theatre Wing and the Tony committee were not going to do the Tonys at all, and so we were just like, “I can’t believe the one year we pull the trigger on the show, this isn’t going to happen for us,” but then thank God, they came to their senses.  There were plenty of shows that opened and needed to be recognized.

How long was it open on Broadway?

ERIC:  We were open from September 2019 through February or March.  So, as long as your submission was open on Broadway before Covid-19 and had at least all of its previews and an opening night before Covid-19 hit, then you could qualify, and then in the play category, there were like 10 plays that had opened last year that were contenders.  So, that was definitely the hardest category.   It will be interesting to see what happens after all of this.  The only good thing I know that is going to come from this is the amount of creatives who have had so much time sitting at home to create and write, that there will be so many new scripts and plays and musicals that are going to come from this.  I think it’s’ going to be the biggest boom that we’ve probably ever seen in theatre, just because there’s been so much time to develop stuff.  At the same time, it’s piggybacking on the darkest time that theatre has ever seen.

Throughout the pandemic, I always stream all of the Broadway Actor’s Fund events.  It’s really sad.  It’s just a difficult time, those in the arts are struggling and especially in the live theatre and also musicians who can’t tour or play gigs in front of an audience. I know they said Broadway is closed through May 31, 2021.

ERIC:  It is really hard.  I’m happy that we are able to find other ways like streaming shows.  I’m actually producing a big benefit for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS that will be airing on World AIDS Day, December 1st.  It’s a show called Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.  The cast we have is everybody from Nathan Lane, to Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons.  It’s insane.  It will be streaming online on the Broadway HD network.  It is a huge list of Broadway stars and a lot of movie and TV stars as well that are participating.  We’ve got people from all over the map.

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

ERIC:  (Laughs)  Ari is not in it, actually!

Photo: Prospect Park

So, in this week’s latest episode of The Bay, your character of Daniel Garrett makes his final choice for love between Caleb (Mike Manning) and Matthew (Randy Wayne).  When you came to the show, did you know that this part was going to wind-up being a gay character?

ERIC:  No, I did not.  I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay.  The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me.  Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison, our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York. They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything.  It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, “100% completely.”  I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, “Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.”  At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ.  So, I was like, “Yes.  I will be all over it.  Absolutely.”  So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show.  Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially.  It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.

Photo: LANYEntertainment

So for those who may not know let’s do a re-set.  Where is the character of Daniel at? It seems like he is at crossroads, and is making some important decisions, or trying to.

ERIC:  So Daniel was a wild party boy in the beginning, just head in the clouds, lives life with thinking there’s no repercussions and just doing what you want to do all of the time, and that got him into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Then, we realize why Daniel has been the way he is, and why he acts out, and why he has been so all over the place, and it’s because he hasn’t been able to come to terms with who he is.  Then, he admits it to himself and for the first time to somebody else – who happens to be his priest in a catholic church, ironically –  that he is gay and this is what he has been battling with.  For the first time (and I don’t know where on television it has depicted it this way), but the catholic priest looks at Daniel, and he’s like, “What’s your sin?  You haven’t sinned.  This is perfectly fine.”  So, I love that Gregori made that the outlet for which Daniel was able to basically come to terms with who he was, because he grew up in the church, and so he was always told that it was wrong.  Obviously, it’s not wrong, or obviously the church needs to change their mindset, but on The Bay, he chose that to be the outlet through which he came out, which I thought was really powerful.  Through that, Daniel experimented with other boys and such to figure out where he wanted to land, and then in this newest season, I can’t say much that gives anything away, but for the first time, we really see Daniel’s growth, and he’s making decisions, and the most mature we’ve ever seen him, and it’s been really cool to see that come full circle.  He’s making commitments to himself.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

ERIC:  Obviously, that’s who it works with,  Caleb is a teacher and a great guy.

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

ERIC:  He is… he’s just not the great guy for him.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

This season of The Bay is heavily steeped with social issues of our time.  Covid-19 has come to Bay City and the Black Lives Matter movement also plays prominently.

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s kind of the beginning of the pandemic in The Bay and within all of the intense drama that Daniel has been having, he is still, for all intent and purposes the comedic relief of the show, and so there is a funny scene where I’m carrying like 28,000 rolls of toilet paper like, “Come on, guys.  We’ve got to stock up!”  We all remember those days, don’t we?

Photo: JPI

How do you feel about this season of the show and your work in it? You’ve previously won a Daytime Emmy for your performances on The Bay.

ERIC:  This season is more cemented in a character that has truly grounded himself.  So, the first Emmy I won was for a storyline of coming out and uncertainty and struggle and pain, whereas this season Daniel knows what he wants and is going for it.  There is much more passion and love in this season for Daniel, as opposed to struggle and heartache.

The cast and crew of The Bay all went away and quarantined at this ranch this past summer to get the new season completed.  What was that like?

ERIC:  We were actually in Santa Barbara, and filmed on this epic ranch up there.  It’s like this 500-acre ranch that we all quarantined on.  We had to do the testing, and temperatures three times a day, and the whole thing.  So, it was really structured, tough to pull off, but we were all so grateful that we were able to do this.  Luckily, we had this incredible kind of bubble of a ranch to live and work on while we were shooting.  They were really good about block shooting it all, so we’d kind of shoot one person’s character, then the next, so we wouldn’t have to ever be leaving the ranch before we were done.

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

ERIC:  Oh, it’s amazing.  I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying by because of it.  We just had Molly’s first birthday on October 1st, and I feel like yesterday she was born.  I sound like my parents when I say this, but it’s like the time keeps getting faster, but it’s so true.  She’s awesome.  We play Broadway musical soundtracks to her all day, and she sings.  She sits at the piano with me when I play, and she kind of plunks notes out next to me.  She loves music, and we’ve introduced it to her from day one.  We always joke that she won’t be able to watch any of daddy’s stuff until she’s 18 probably, but Sainty is a voice-over actress.  She has done parts for animated films and TV shows such as Trolls, and Barbie, and Boss Baby, so everything from the first part of my daughter’s life is all going to be Mommy’s stuff, and then, in the later part of life she can start watching Daddy’s stuff.

Right, she can’t watch anything that you do!  (Laughs) So, basically forget that!

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

Check out the trailer for 1 Night in San Diego below.  Then share your thoughts on Eric’s current role on The Bay, if you hope he wins a Tony to go with his Daytime Emmy, the six degrees of separation between him, Elizabeth Gillies and his wife, and that the All My Children reboot considered making the character of AJ Chandler gay via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Peter Reckell Reflects On His Time As DAYS Iconic Bo Brady, Life In New Zealand & Christmas Music Project

Last week, Days of our Lives  turned 55-years young, and the historic long-running NBC daytime drama series has been home to some of the most memorable stars and characters of the soap opera genre, perhaps none more so than anti-hero Bo Brady played by Peter Reckell.

Reckell who appeared on the show for several runs that lasted over four decades, premiered as Bo back in 1983.  He then stayed through 1987, came back from 1990 to 1992, again from 1995 to 2012, and back again in 2015 during DAYS 50th anniversary and to wrap his run as Bo, when the character was killed-off, after Reckell made it clear that he wanted to give the audience closure for the character.  He later made another return in 2016 to help the character of Hope (Kristian Alfonso) move on with her life.  Hard to believe for all of those heart-tugging performances, Peter was nominated only once for a Daytime Emmy.

Photo: JPI

In this candid, deeply personal and enlightening new interview for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Reckell opens up as to: what led to many of the decisions he made throughout his time as Bo, how he helped craft the role from the start, the accident that almost took his life, how he handled all the fame that came his way as part of the Bo and Hope supercouple pairing, and how two women in the cast; the late Frances Reid (Alice) and Peggy McCay (Caroline) made lasting impressions on him that he will carrying with him for the rest of his life.

Photo: JPI

What would Peter say if somehow DAYS wanted him back and Bo was actually alive and well?  Find out as Peter weighs-in and wishes his former show a happy anniversary  In addition, he even shares how he felt when Robert Kelker-Kelly took over the role of Bo when he decided to leave the show at one point, and his time playing Johnny on primetime’s Knots Landing.

Photo: JPI

Reckell has moved his family to New Zealand, and this conversation was conducted from his home.  Peter is married to singer/songwriter/producer Kelly Moneymaker and the couple have a daughter, Loden.   It was not wanting to miss the moments of his daughter’s life growing up that has been much of the impetus for some of Peter’s career choices.

Photo: BlueAeris

With Christmastime approaching, Kelly and Peter are part of a brand new Christmas LP entitled Joy.  The album is now available for download on Spotify, Apple Music and major music streaming platforms.

In an exclusive during the interview, we give fans a sneak peek of Peter’s new music video for “Under the Mistletoe”, the song he sings that appears on Joy, which was written by his wife.  For more on the album project visit BlueAegis.com

Photo: BlueAegis

Now, check out the interview with Peter direct from New Zealand below! Then share your thoughts on Peter, Bo, and more via the comment section.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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