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Susan Lucci & Co – The Hollywood Christmas Parade Interviews

Susan Lucci

© JPI Studios

It’s that annual tradition in Hollywood where Santa is the real star of the show, and celebrities from film, music, and primetime and daytime television ride in cars and floats to ring in the official start to the holiday season at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. And this year, All My Children’s Susan Lucci was selected as the Parade’s Grand Marshal. The actress attended with her husband Helmut Huber and many notable daytime stars also took part including: Y&R’s Jeanne Cooper, Judith Chapman, Vanessa Marano, Hayley Erin, and Sean Kanan. From B&B: Heather Tom, Jennifer Gareis, John McCook and Lesley Anne-Down. GH brought us Dominic Zamprogna, Julie Berman and John Ingle. In addition, Brothers & Sisters and Dancing with the Stars, Gilles Marini stopped by to speak with On-Air On-Soaps as did Antonio Sabato Jr. A good time was had by all. Associated Television International produced the telecast that will air nationally for the first time on December 10th and again on Christmas Eve on MyNetworkTV!

Listen to the audio:

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SUSAN LUCCI

Susan Lucci

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Susan, Jim Romanovich at ATI asked me what I thought of Susan Lucci being the Grand Marshal for the Hollywood Christmas Parade because AMC is heading west. I said, “I thought it was a terrific idea.” How does it feel to be the star attraction along with Santa Claus tonight? Will you be hanging with Mr. Claus?

SUSAN:

I will be with Santa Claus tonight, and I tell you I am so very flattered to the City of Los Angeles for asking me, a New York girl to be the Grand Marshal. It was a big gesture and a big welcome to All My Children who is coming out here January 4th.

MICHAEL:

The cast who is heading to Los Angeles to continue with the soap is going to have to say goodbye to cast members & long-time crew members in the coming days before it heads to its new digs. Is it going to be sad for you to say goodbye? You have been with the soap since the beginning, so you have forged many friendships.

SUSAN:

It’s very hard. There is sadness in the studio that has been there. We all said this to each other coming back from Thanksgiving, which is tomorrow, “We are going to feel it more so. It is drawing to a close and the reality does set in.” I love this crew and it really is an ensemble from top to bottom at All My Children. Not to sound corny or cliché, but we are a family and part of us can’t come out here and that is sad. The goodbyes are sad.

MICHAEL:

Your decision to continue with the show meant you were going to be bi-coastal and fly back and forth to tape.

SUSAN:

Yes, I am going to go back and forth, Dancing with the Stars prepared me for that.

MICHAEL:

You worked your butt of on that show!

SUSAN:

Thank you, I did, but I am glad I did. I had the best time and I know now I can do this and handle going back and forth.

MICHAEL:

Ryan, Greenlee and Erica will possibly have a triangle in the New Year. Are you looking forward to that story?

SUSAN:

I have no doubts about that. The Ryan/Erica thing is very new and we have had some fun stuff to play just before Thanksgiving, and certainly Greenlee coming back into the picture will complicate things. I think it might also mean that Jackson may be back, so we can have a lot of complications all the way around

MICHAEL

So, have you seen where you new dressing room might be?

SUSAN:

We have not moved into the studio. I just know where they are. I know it’s under construction and it will be brand new when we get there. I mean, I drove by it and took a glance.

MICHAEL:

We have heard so much about the 40th anniversary show of AMC that is airing in early January. Was it fun having Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos back (Hayley and Mateo)?

SUSAN:

It was so good to have Kelly and Mark back, and Julia Barr (Brooke) came back and Taylor Miller (Nina) came back, and so we had our own little reunion. But the show itself is a very fun format and really good show, and it was lot of fun with us.

JULIE BERMAN AND DOMINIC ZAMPROGNA

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

I have not spoken to you since your win at the Daytime Emmys. Where did you put the Emmy?

JULIE:

My Emmy is on a table next to my couch because I don’t have a mantle. I look at it and go, “Wow”. I am still insanely proud and surprised and thrilled.

MICHAEL:

So Dominic, what is going on with Dante and Franco? There is some connection.

DOMINIC:

Yes, it has not aired yet. It is something from my past when he was a rookie cop. I stared at all that “Franco” artwork at the gallery opening a lot. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

How was having James Franco on the show? Did you get to work with him?

DOMINIC:

I was in a scene with him, but not with him, we are in the same area at the same time.

JULIE:

Dominic borrowed his clothes after James was done with them. (Laughs) No. No. I did work with him and it was good. He was pretty normal and he was overworked to an extent, but he was a nice guy.

MICHAEL:

But you have been overworked, too!

JULIE:

No, not like that…not five episodes in a day where I am literally holding the entire day’s worth of material. It was above and beyond what he did.

MICHAEL:

Love is blossoming between Dante and Lulu. Lulu gets a man by her side and inevitably screws it up!

JULIE:

Yeah, I know, but sometimes relationships don’t last in the soap world and sometimes it’s not her fault. Maybe the guy is bad, and maybe she won’t screw it up, but he will.

MICHAEL:

When will we see the reveal to Sonny that Dante is his biological son?

DOMINIC:

I have not filmed that yet, and I know nothing. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What did you think when you found out you would be playing Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) son on GH?

DOMINIC:

It was a really cool thing. I met him and he was a great guy. He is obviously a legend on this show. He is great to work with.

HAYLEY ERIN AND VANESSA MARANO

Hayley Erin

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MICHAEL:

Are the two of you looking forward to doing the parade wave with your hands?

HAYLEY:

We are super excited. I think our hands are going to hurt pretty badly!

VANESSA:

Actually, it was requested by my sister on her birthday that I due the pageant wave. I was perfecting it a little while ago.

MICHAEL:

Hayley, you are playing the daughter of one of soaps most iconic characters, Victor Newman. Did you know anything about Y&R before you started?

HAYLEY:

Vanessa Marano

© JPI Studios

I started watching the show since I started the audition process for it. Since then, it’s been crazy seeing the giant community that it is. All the actors are incredible, and it’s an honor to be playing Victor Newman’s daughter, but meeting Eric Braeden at first can be intimidating, but he is such a nice guy. You would never know with that stern look on his face. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Was soap veteran Eileen Davidson, who plays your mom Ashley, helpful to you?

HAYLEY:

She was so helpful, and she introduced me to everyone and was my little mentor.

VANESSA:

I have the best group. I am just going to say it, Christian, Greg, Judith. Tracey and Ted, all of them are amazing. It’s a loving group of people who are hysterical. I never expected this to be such a remarkable experience.

MICHAEL:

And you, Vanessa, kiss Kevin Schmidt (Noah) all day long on the show, and poor Abby has no love interest!

HAYLEY:

I have a horse. (Laughs)

VANESSA:

I have kissed Kevin a lot. Whenever I have a scene with Kevin, I don’t have to worry about memorizing lines because we are not doing anything but kissing each other.

CAROLYN HENNESY

Carolyn Hennesy, Asher Book

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Carolyn, are you going to do the pageant wave from your car/float in the parade?

CAROLYN:

I have my gloves on and am going to do my Queen Elizabeth the second wave, absolutely.

MICHAEL:

I watched GH on Thanksgiving and I almost fell off my chair! That was funny, and I am talking about the scenes with Max and Diane.

CAROLYN:

I was going to say, that might be my Emmy episode.

MICHAEL:

Your hair was messed at the end after having sex on the floor with Max. Do you add all those little nuances to Diane?

CAROLYN:

Yes. I messed my hair and I said, “Can I bring the glove and the plunger in with me? Can I scream off camera and go, “Bring it”… these type of things. I think so wacky and they will reign me in, but if the producers and the directors think it’s a funny bit, they will be the first to jump on board.

ANTONIO SABATO JR.

Antonio Sabato Jr, Family

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MICHAEL:

So your reality show My Antonio ended, and then what happened next for Antonio?

ANTONIO:

My Antonio was over last April and it was good and I had a great time doing it. But after it was over I was single again, and then I met Cheryl and we have been an amazing couple. We have been working through some stuff, but it’s working out.

MICHAEL:

Is he a good guy?

CHERYL:

He is amazing. Good person and good father.

MICHAEL:

Would you back to the soaps?

ANTONIO:

Yes, if they would call me! Put in a good word for me at GH and tell them to call me. They are probably the only ones. I am ready to come back.

JUDITH CHAPMAN

Judith Chapman

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

We have not seen a lot of Gloria lately on Y&R. Where the hell is she?

JUDITH:

Gloria has been so on the back burner, but I think the New Year will bring good things for Gloria, because she always wants her money in the pie, and so I am planning and thinking and hoping and praying. That is what I want for Christmas, not my two front teeth. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do you ever go to the writing team or the producing team and make suggestions for Gloria in terms of story?

JUDITH:

Once in awhile I do, but I pretty much leave it to the powers-that-be. But I enjoy the time off when I can.

MICHAEL:

You just did another theatre presentation with your all-star soap actor group, The Troubadours of Daytime?

JUDITH:

We just did Night of the Iguana. It was quite the slugfest, and I am actually thinking of doing another show in the spring with a much larger cast in Palm Springs. This one we had Orson Bean, Alley Mills and John McCook, so we are getting more and more names and actors participating.

GILLES MARINI

Gilles Marini, Daughter, Son

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

How was dancing with Daytime Emmy host, Vanessa Williams, during the Emmy broadcast?

GILLES:

You know I worked with Vanessa Williams on Ugly Betty and that was the chance of my life to work with her. The next thing you know, I get this call from Dancing with the Stars and I am telling you my life got so much better. I wish everyone understands that Vanessa is like 23 years old. You dance with her and you feel her body…I mean this is unreal. I dance with 20 year olds and they are nowhere near the shape she is in. Vanessa is professional and she sings, dances and acts. She has got it all. If you ask me who in the entertainment is a complete performer? Vanessa Williams is complete.

MICHAEL:

You have had so much success before and now so much more after Dancing with the Stars? How are you managing it all?

GILLES:

The truth is I never really think about what comes next. In this business, it’s come and go. I want to keep my family and friends. Next to me is my photographer who I met when I was 18 years old. I keep the people with me I trust together with my family. The business is the business, and I work to do my best and I like to make people dream. If they like what I do, then I will be in this business for a long time.

MICHAEL:

What project are you looking most forward to?

GILLES:

I so cannot wait to go back on the set of Brothers & Sisters. I mean Sally Field…I mean who else on TV has this powerful a cast? They have a gay relationship on the show that people did not go, “Ooh”. They made it happen in a way that it is accepted.

HEATHER TOM

Heather Tom

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

What do you feel thankful for and how do you feel going into the New Year about our country, and the state of the soap genre? I know I am throwing a lot into this question. (Laughs)

HEATHER:

There is still a lot to be thankful for. I wake up everyday and am thankful I have a job to go to and that this genre still exists. I am grateful to our fans and the people that support us. I think our country is slowly turning around and hopefully we can get some health care legislation passed and hopefully that will be something to be grateful for, or at least 35 million people will be thankful for.

MICHAEL:

On B&B into the New Year, will we continue to see Bill and Katie as a couple? Or will that be short term, as many B&B couplings tend to be?

HEATHER:

I hope so, and I think Don is on the same page with me. I want to keep them going regardless of whatever wrenches get thrown into the mix. I always think it’s more interesting to see a couple work through their bad times. I want to see them work things out as a couple.

MICHAEL:

But, Bill was hiding the truth of this kiss planted on him by Steffy. How is Katie going to react when the truth comes out and she confronts Steffy? Is she going to throw things?

HEATHER:

Those were fun scenes, and I did not throw things at all. I think she believes Bill when he tells her nothing happened between them, but I think the way she deals with Steffy is a completely different issue.

MICHAEL:

Last week’s Malibu remote, where Ann Douglas played by Betty White dies, were some very special B&B episodes! What did you think of those?

HEATHER:

I thought they were so pretty and everything worked really well, and it shows what you can really do on daytime, if you want to. I think even though they were remotes, we did 60 pages that day. I think you can still do great work.

xmas-3

© JPI Studios

Interviews

Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Kim Waltrip Talk Plans & Launch Campaign To Make ‘Dial Emme For Murder’ into a Series

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner, and soap opera favorite Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R and Ex-Kristen/Susan, Days) is bringing one of her soap opera mystery novels to life with a proposed six-part series for the soapy and hilarious mystery, Dial Emme For Murder.

Joining Eileen in the cast will be none other than Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R) , Knots Landing favorite, Donna Mills (Ex-Abby), and primetime TV and film actress, Nancy Valen.  More cast members will be announced in the future.

Photo: JPI

In Dial Emme for Murder, Davidson plays actress Emmanuelle “Emme” Peterson, a successful soap star who finds herself smack dab in the middle of a  whodunit.

Now, in conjunction with the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television (PSWIFT), and its president and director/producer, Kim Waltrip, Davidson is launching a fundraising campaign to get the series made.

Photo: EDavidson

In an exclusive interview on the Michael Fairman Channel, Eileen, Judith and Kim exclusive reveal key Intel on the project, campaign and working together.  The proposed series has also launched its official website here.

About PSWIFT:  PSWIFT (Palm Springs Women in Film & Television) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2001 dedicated to promoting our members, both men and women in the Entertainment, New Media Creative arts community. In 2020 Palm Springs Women in Film & Television created and launched a Filmmakers’ Lab to teach members how to make a film, by making a film, hands-on.

PSWIFT is currently seeking donations through their non-profit – which are 100% tax-deductible – to fund the Filmmakers’ Lab’s next venture Dial Emme for Murder.  You can find out more on the different perks and packages if you donate to the project here.

Watch the interview with Michael, Eileen, Judith, and Kim below.

Then let us know, if you think Dial Emme for Murder featuring powerhouse actress, Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Donna Mills, will be a must-see for you via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Chats On Mia St. John’s Powerful Interview on ‘State of Mind’, Winning the Daytime Emmy & Sonny’s Future If Carly & Jason Get Hitched

Since the launch of Maurice Benard’s You Tube series, State of Mind, he has welcomed numerous guests who have opened up and shared their struggles with different aspects of mental health.  But this Sunday, July 11th, Maurice will share for the first time his powerful and emotional sit-down interview with Mia St. John; one that he reveals was one of the most moving of his series thus far.

With Maurice being a huge boxing enthusiast throughout his life, having St. John, who is a boxer, herself, on as a guest was, of course, special. However, as soap fans know, Mia is also the former wife of the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters, Y&R) and they shared a son, Julian.  Both men died, tragically. Julian, suffered from a long-history of mental illness, and his death was ruled a suicide, and Kristoff was consumed with grief following his son’s death which ultimately set him on a downward spiral.  Kristoff’s death was ruled accidental caused by hypertrophic heart disease; which was exacerbated by alcohol use.  In the conversation with Benard, Mia opens about her own personal struggle with addiction and how she coped with these two devastating losses. (See an exclusive preview clip below within this interview)

It’s also been a whirlwind year for Maurice. He just took home his third Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series during the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards for his moving portrayal as GH’s Sonny Corinthos, as he goes through all the stages of a child watching his father, Mike Corbin (played by Emmy-winner Max Gail) slip away due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Since the Emmy broadcast was pre-taped due to Covid restrictions, except for revealing who the winners actually were, Benard shares what went down when his name was called watching the show from home with his family.

 

And … things are heating up on General Hospital!  For months, Benard has been playing an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” who has become taken with deceitful Nina (Cynthia Watros), who knows he is alive and well and living in Nixon Falls, but fails to tell her nemesis Carly (Laura Wright), or anyone else in Port Charles.  With everyone believing Sonny is dead after his showdown with Julian Jerome, Carly and Jason (Steve Burton) find themselves having to save Sonny’s territory and go up against the five families.  So, what are the besties deciding to do? Get married! And as viewers saw, Carly recently removed her wedding rings to Sonny.  So, now the question on GH fans inquiry minds is; will Sonny get his memory back in time, and stop Jason and Carly from tying the knot?

Benard weighs-in on what the future may hold for Sonny, the difficulties he faced during the Covid-19 lockdown with his mental health, his conversation with Mia, and much more.  Here’s what Maurice shared.

Courtesy/StateofMind

Having Mia St. John on as your guest on the upcoming episode of State of Mind was quite emotional for you. What can you preview? 

MAURICE:  I can say that during last ten minutes, there’s a lot of spiritual stuff going on.  I felt it.  She’s very tough.  You can tell that she doesn’t want to hurt anymore, and with me, I don’t know for sure, but I think she felt safe and protected.  We got into Julian and Kristoff and what happened.  I’m pretty sure I asked her and said, “I’d like to get into something.  You could say ‘no’ to me.  It’s fine,” and she told me the whole story.  Michael, I know you were friends with Kristoff, you’re going to really be moved because I was extremely moved.  It really, really hit me hard, because of what I’ve just been through during the pandemic. I just felt the need to be there for her.  I mean, I have that in me anyway, but with her, I did because it seemed like a lot for someone to go through.  I didn’t know Kristoff.  I met him once, and we talked for a bit.  He seemed like a great guy.  I knew he was a great actor because I watched his work.  I do know that everybody seemed to love him, but through State of Mind, it seemed like I got to know him a little better through Mia.  I was looking in her eyes, and taking it all in, and she was telling me everything.

Throughout your series, you seemed to have become more comfortable in the role of the interviewer.  It’s quite the switch isn’t it from always being on the other end as the interviewee.

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve gotten better.  You know what it is with me, and somebody said it, I’ve got a curiosity that I love to hear people’s stories, and I have a way to make people comfortable.

Photo: KSJIG

Does it help you in listening to what other people have gone through in dealing with your own struggles with mental illness?

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve said it before.  It’s like therapy for me.  After Mia, I was drained, but in a good way.  In the beginning of doing “State of Mind’, I was just learning.  I wish I was more well-rounded in my intelligence.  I barely graduated out of high school, but as far as what it is with me, if I know something like acting or mental health, I really completely know it.  I’m into it.

How did the interview with Mia come about?  Did you ask her to come on State of Mind?

MAURICE:  I know who is involved with mental health.  I know who would be interesting to interview, and then I reach out, and I have people coming who are not in the soap world.  I have a WWE person; I have a TV critic, etc.  So, I asked her, and Mia said ‘yes’, and then we did the interview.  I’m a huge boxing fan.  So, to be able to talk to her about boxing and things that happened to her right before her fights, I was just really fascinated.

That is right in your wheelhouse!

MAURICE:  Way up my alley!  If I could have more boxers on, I would love that.  I love sports, but boxing is my one sport, so I was like a kid in a candy store talking to Mia.

How do you feel Mia is doing as she has been very open about her battle with alcoholism?

MAURICE: Any time you’ve been through that much, I think it’s a daily struggle for anyone. In addition, there is a really great organization she works with that I hope people will check out as she is trying to help others.

In terms of all of your State of Mind’s, did this one impact you in a different way?

MAURICE:  The good thing for me about State of Mind is that I learn from each person about things that I didn’t know.  For instance, coming up I have: Linsey Godfrey (Ex-Sarah, DAYS) who got hit by a car.  I mean, you could read about it, but when you’re talking to someone, things come out.  That’s what I love about doing this show.  Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) didn’t know anything about mental illness, personally, but he talked about mental illness more than anyone!  I said to him on the episode, “For somebody who doesn’t know anything about mental illness or didn’t have someone with it, you talk more about it,” because he had a curiosity on the subject.  Mia’s was a little more because of the boxing and how deep we went with her talking about death.  In an upcoming episode with Ken Shriner (Scott, GH), he teaches me a lot about death.  When your parents die at 16, I don’t know how you could keep going.  He taught me how.  It was beautiful.

Photo: NATAS/CBS

Let’s go back to a few weeks ago on June 25th and you win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  How did you find out you took home the gold?

MAURICE:  I was at my place in LA with my son, Joshua and my wife, Paula and we were watching the show.  When they called my name, I was very moved to watch my wife and my son get so excited, it really was sweet.  I liked my speech even though people had a problem with it, which is fine.  It’s always great if Max Gail wins or I get a win, because it’s the Alzheimer’s storyline that gets the attention.  And as I told you already, my dad has Alzheimer’s so it makes it even more personal.

And as you know, my mom had Alzheimer’s and died.  That’s why what you and Max did together on-screen together felt so real and raw and touched so many people – especially those who have a loved one going through this now, or that has passed.

MAURICE:  Yeah, it’s tough. I truly believe with this Emmy win, that it is the Alzheimer’s that really pushed it over the edge because it was a real story, greatly written, everybody deals with it, including you, including me, and you just can’t help but have a feeling about it.  You know, if I have a reel that shows me as Sonny yelling at people, beating people up, it’s not going to give you the impact.

Photo: NATAS

Was it weird coming to the stage and doing a pre-taped Emmy acceptance speech knowing that everybody else that was nominated had to do one too?

MAURICE:  Well, thank, God I didn’t have to do it in front of actors; I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.  It’s weird, right?  I knew I had to adjust.  When I’ve won before, it’s in front of a lot of people, or semi-in front in a lot of people.  So, with this year, your energy is different.  So, you can’t act in a speech like that, because then it would seem kind of over the top, maybe.  So, I just made a speech that I thought would work for what I was doing; which is kind of acting because I didn’t want to come out and say, “Oh, my God!  I can’t believe it!”  So, I said, “Okay, I’ll thank the actors, I’ll thank Frank, and I’ll make it about Alzheimer’s.”

Photo: GFrancisTwitter

I know some fans on social media jumped on the comment you made within the speech about ‘being the star of the show’ and you did tweet out that you went to Genie Francis (Laura, GH) to make sure there were no ruffled feathers there.

MAURICE:  I went to Genie because I thought, I don’t want her to take what I said personally, and she’s like, “What are you talking about?”  Sometimes I respond to a negative comment on Twitter with an emoji which can incite people.  So, I decided, “I’m not going to do that anymore. No more responding.”  Like I always say, you want to be loved and you want to be hated.  You just want to be loved a little more. So, I stopped with the child’s play.  I’m cool with it.

It seemed that things got twisted up, because you had related in the speech, that Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) came over to you and said you have to do the storyline, because you are the star of the show, when you were overcome in the screen-test with Max Gail. 

MAURICE:  Sometimes people love to change the narrative.  If you watch everything … they say what I said, but they don’t say that I also said ‘Alzheimer’s’ was the star, but I’ll take the hit.

Courtesy/ABC

I recently posted a clip of my interview with Cynthia Watros from the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys saying how she is so thrilled and honored to work with you.  How is it working with Cynthia?

MAURICE:  Let me tell you about Cynthia, and this is just my experience because I don’t know her that well.  We hadn’t worked together before. First of all, we tend to overlook, because of her character and the story, or whatnot, is that she is a real actress.  Let’s not forget that, I know she did Lost, and I didn’t watch her on another soap.  I know from working with her.  She can act She makes adjustments, and she listens, and I’m really happy to be working with her.  She is just stuck in a circumstance that is not her fault, but you know what, like I said today I think on Twitter to somebody, ‘but wait’.  I’ve been working this last month doing some scenes with her, and when you see that, there’s a little bit of magic in there!  I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing in the world, I’m just saying there’s a little magic!

Photo: ABC

Have you liked being “Mike “and not having Sonny’s memory because it opened up the story?

MAURICE:  I know people think this story is my idea, like I needed a break or something.  It has nothing to do with me needing a break.  They came to me and said they were going to do this story.  I said, “Let’s do this!”  I’ve been enjoying this.  It’s a different energy.  The energy that Sonny has is dark.  It’s like in third gear.  Mike is like in first gear, calm, relaxed, happy.

You’re just realizing that now?

MAURICE:  (Laughs) Well, I guess until you’ve gone somewhere else you really don’t know.  Often times, when I do movies and other projects, it’s often the same kind of energy that Sonny has. I’ve never played a character like “Mike” where it’s a whole other feeling!

Courtesy/ABC

Is it more challenging to play a character like Mike?

MAURICE:  No, easier!  Sonny can be difficult to play.  But guess what?  The audience – at least my fans – they don’t care how happy I am or whatever, they are screaming “Go back to fricken Sonny!”  I like that in a way, but I didn’t know that it was going to be this vocal from people.  It’s not that they hate Mike, they just want Sonny, and Cynthia is put in a tough situation because of her history in that character.

So, now everyone saw last week that Jason and Carly have decided they have to get married for the sake of the business with Sonny believed-to-be-dead.  What did you think when you heard that they were going in that direction with the story?

MAURICE:  Well, I was the last one to know.  I didn’t know they were going to get married until I heard about it in the makeup room.  I think the first thing I thought of was … we are all going to be having some great scenes coming up, like, “Alright.  Let’s rock and roll!  Let’s do it!  I’ll get into this character of Sonny when called upon.”  It might be and dark and the whole thing, but once I’m in there, I’m fine.

Courtesy/ABC

It would seem if Carly and Jason do actually get married, it’s not going to be an easy road to reconciliation for Carly and Sonny down the line.

MAURICE:  No.  I would say not.  The thing about Sonny is that it’s what Sonny does best, or what I do playing him best, is betrayal.  So, for him, this is not a good thing.  I would assume he’s just going to go, “What the…” and all hell is going to break loose.

Sonny’s body washed ashore and he was very much alive, while the search and rescue mission quickly became a recovery.  Once again, law enforcement in Port Charles isn’t very good! (Laughs)

MAURICE:  So, there you go.  It’s going to be a bigger fight.  It’s going to be a great fight when Sonny does return.

Photo: ABC

Fans are predicting that Jason and Carly are going to be at the altar, and Sonny is going to walk in alive and well with his memory back to the nuptials!

MAURICE:  Well, however it goes, I would say, just let them just watch the fireworks as they unfold.

But you’re enjoying this story?

MAURICE:  I’m cool, man.  I will say this, I’m glad that I have been given this last month playing Mike, and the Nixon Falls story.   I don’t know how much more we have ahead.  I just know that what we’ve taped has been really cool, and I’m glad that they gave me that.

Photo: ABC

I know that the coronavirus pandemic and its isolation was rough for you.  What can you share, and how did you find your way out of a downward spiral?

MAURICE:  Yeah, Covid was just one of those things where I was hit with a lot of different things all at once, which was …  GH shutting down production, my book tour not being in New York (although the book ended up probably doing better because of the pandemic, which was interesting) … my mom and dad moved out …  and I thought it was the end of the world.  We all did at some point, and it all hit me with a rush of anxiety that I had never felt before in my entire life, and it was four months of terror … way too long. I was shaking like a leaf, not sleeping, it was tough.  What I tell people is that when you go through these things, it will pass.  I know, for me, four months was too long, but it did pass.  You’re better because of it.  You can take one of either two roads.  You can get worse, and you can say, “I’m a victim, I’m a victim,” or you can take the other road and say, “I’m stronger now.  Look at what I’ve been through,” and then, look at what happens … a year and a half later, look at what my life is.  I have a pond here at home, and I used to run around this pond crying my eyes out, every morning crying, like I couldn’t do it anymore, and a year later, I walk around the pond like it’s the greatest thing in the world, but that’s what this is, this mental health.  You can think you can’t go on, but then it rewards you with a better life.

Photo: Noah Harmon

I was going to say, that’s pretty profound.  When you were going through the four months, did you think you were going to come out of it okay?

MAURICE:  No,   I’m going to be honest.  I finally got on Lexapro after three months.  If Lexapro didn’t work, I can’t say positively what would have happened.  It gradually made me feel better.  Like I have said, if GH had called me a month before, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the storyline.  It would have been the end.  I wouldn’t have been able to go back to work, because I was in that state of mind.  So, they called at the right time.  I went back to work and I was on Lexapro.  The thing about Lexapro is – and we always tell people to get professional help. There are a lot of people like me, and I’ve got to say, first you get professional help because you’re on the brink of whatever.  So the first five days of taking Lexapro, you feel worse than you did just before you started taking it, and that is scary because you’re like, “I can’t take this.  This is horrible,” and then I stayed on it.  It got gradually better, and just a month and a half ago or so, I weaned myself off.

How are you feeling now?

MAURICE:  Oh, let me tell you, the day that I weaned off, was a Thursday, and I wasn’t going to take it, and I was on my bed, and I felt the greatest I felt maybe, ever.  Now, I’m not saying people should go off it, whatever, because I was on it for like 8 months or something, but it saved my life like lithium for my bipolar disorder, and that’s an amazing thing that these pills could do.  What happened with me with the pandemic is that I had never really taken anything for anxiety.  I had only taken lithium, and I’d been on lithium for 30 years, but for anxiety, I never wanted to take anything, but if you’re bad, if you’re like (you know those gears I’ve been talking about) in 4th and I was like in 5th gear, you’d better get some help, man, because you can’t get off it on your own.

Photo: State of Mind

I want to conclude checking in on your dad, Humberto.  When did you learn he had Alzheimer’s, and how is he doing now?  

MAURICE: It’s been a while since I found out.  I didn’t really want to talk about it, and then I did something in People magazine with the book, and I asked him if I could talk about it, and he said “yeah”.  So, it gave me the green light, and that was maybe 10 months ago.  He’s actually doing good.  It’s slowly kind of happening but that is how the disease works.  This has been a really great conversation, man!

So, what do you think will happen with Sonny aka “Mike”? Will he return to Port Charles before Carly and Jason tie the knot?  Have you been watching Maurice’s State of Mind series, and has it helped you with any of your mental health issues or concerns? Were you happy that Maurice took home the gold this year for his portrayal in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Shares Her Emotions & Reactions On Her Second Daytime Emmy Win for Lead Actress

Last Friday night on CBS broadcast of the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) took home the gold in the hotly contested Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.  This marks Jacqui’s second win.

MacInnes Wood’s performance in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline, that aired in 2020, was the ticket to victory for the talented young actress and new mom to her second son, Lenix.

As viewers saw, the Emmy telecast was pre-recorded including all the nominees taping acceptances speeches ahead of air; with the winner being revealed for the very first time on the broadcast.

 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqui post-Emmys, to find out how she felt about her speech, her emotions at having her name called for the second time in her career, and how she felt Steffy’s addiction storyline resonated with so many people at home, and obviously, the Emmy voters.  Here’s what she had to say …

Photo: NATAS/CBS

What was it like for you to do have to pre-tape your acceptance speech?  Yours, actually came off very in-the-moment, because you kind of stumbled over a word, but it seemed like you were very excited.

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  I was very excited.  Of course, it is strange to do it that way.  I am very grateful that I was up to my nose in The Bold and the Beautiful scenes and dialogues in the week and the days before, that whole week.  I wasn’t sitting around going, “I’m going to rehearse this in the mirror.”  I just wanted it to be very heartfelt and real.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t like last time – I truly was not expecting it the first time I won.  I think that this time I wanted to be mindful of who to thank and talk about the story, which was so important to bring up opioid addiction, and I really wanted to thank Brad Bell (executive producer and executive producer, B&B) for giving me this story, and allowing me to tell it, because it was such an important message to tell.  Even though this year’s Daytime Emmys were shot differently, I was still nervous. I was so excited to get on a stage. Last year, we were on a Zoom, so it was nice to be able to do this on a stage again.

So where were you on Emmy night?  Were you watching the broadcast at home?  

JACQUELINE:  I was at home, and I was with my friends and my family.  To be honest, it was such a fun way to do it.  Even though it was so wild the way that we shot it – they do this on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Sometimes they’ll do it live, but everyone has their acceptance speech.  I was just happy during the Emmy taping day to be dressed up, wearing high heels, and to be with my cast, Then, I got to celebrate watching it with my friends and family.  It was so cool to find out in that moment, then afterwards we ended up going out.  We went to Ronn Moss’ (Ex-Ridge, B&B) house for a party, where Ronn was performing, and it was great to be with some of the cast and have everybody together.  So, we danced the night away, and it was so much fun.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Of course, if we had been able to be at the Daytime Emmys that way would have been great, but it was nice to be able to go, “Okay, I can celebrate in my casual clothes, and dance, and not be uncomfortable.”

Photo: JMW Instagram

Were your children, Rise and newborn Lenix, with you watching when their mom won her second Daytime Emmy?

JACQUELINE:  My children were with me, and we celebrated together, and of course they don’t really understand what is going on, but they just saw all of us jumping around.  I probably scared my 4-month-old.  My mom ended up watching them.  Then, we all went out.  So, it was a good night.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have an inkling that you were a frontrunner to take home the gold as Lead Actress for your work in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline?

JACQUELINE:  Were there times when I thought I could win?  I wasn’t sure, but I knew what we did was very special.  The first time I won, I was very proud of myself knowing I had to do all of these long scenes, but I was not expecting to win.  This time, I thought there was a possibility, and I wouldn’t say that it’s all because of me.  I know it’s cliché, but honestly those days when we were filming, you could just feel the energy.  Everyone brought it.  We do film so quickly, and some performances are great, and some of them aren’t, whether it’s because you don’t sleep that night, you don’t know your dialogue that well, you don’t understand why your character is doing a certain thing, but you’re trying to figure it out.  When we were filming these scenes, I thought it was just such an important story to tell, and I felt like everyone gave it 110%.  I looked at everyone, and I knew we were all connected, and even though it was such a heavy storyline, there was something so magical those days and those weeks of filming.  I was so proud of everyone, and it wasn’t something that was like, “Here I am forcing myself to cry,” I was like, “I am just going to be in this scene and really tell this story that millions of people have gone through.” When I watched back those scenes after they initially aired, it was not only about the cast, but it was just how the audio had been added, how the directing was done (since we had to be six feet away from each other because of Covid-19 protocols) which made it all come to life.

Did you think when you came into this medium that you wind up being a two-time Daytime Emmy-winner?  Was it something that you aspired to have?

JACQUELINE:  I think yes and no.  I can’t sit there and say, “No, I didn’t.”  I have goals for myself, and you want to manifest some things, so I wanted to visualize that one day.  I’m in this industry, and I want to do the work, and I eventually wanted to have the Emmy one day, absolutely.  I’d be lying if I said, “I just want to go with the flow, and if I get an award, great.”  No.  I definitely thought about it and said, “Okay, this is something that I do want one day. I didn’t think I’d have two!  I just wanted an award, one day.  So, I think that’s amazing in itself, but I am very honored.

Courtesy/CBS

So, during the Lead Actress nominee package during the Daytime Emmy broadcast, they showed the gut-wrenching clips of yours, where Steffy admits in front of Ridge, Liam and Finn, “I’m addicted.  I’m addicted.  I have a problem.”  Do you remember performing those scenes?

JACQUELINE:  You know, you remember it sometimes as if you’re out of your body. In that moment, I remember being so in my body, but in a good way.  To say those words, to finally realize how heavy – even in talking to you right now – my body feels heavy.  I felt the weight of what Steffy was finally admitting. It broke Steffy, and it broke me.  I’ve never been in that position, but I did my research, and I looked up people who have suffered from addiction and the families, and to look over at Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) and see the heartbreak in his eyes, in Ridge’s eyes, to see what Steffy was doing to other people – she realizes in that moment, “Oh, my God. I am addicted.”  Looking back at those scenes, there is just so much truth in them, and for so many people who have been there.  It just breaks my heart that people have to go through this every day.  People sent me messages from all over the place, it was amazing.  I couldn’t believe the number of direct messages they sent me on my Instagram.  It was pretty incredible.

Courtesy/CBS

Your performance just felt so raw and real, which is why I think it registered with people who have been in that situation, and for the peer vote for the Emmy.  Whenever I talk to other actors about what they look for in judging other performers work, they always say they look for the truth. They don’t want to see a false note delivered in a performance.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  For sure.  That’s why I’m so proud of everyone in the scenes because they all gave that.  It wasn’t like you look over at a cast member and went, “Oh, what’s my line?”  We were there.  It just gave me goosebumps.  It isn’t just my award.  It was everybody’s award.  When you get to really feel like you’re really alive in these scenes, living in those scenes, it’s such an incredible feeling. After this win, I am just riding the wave right now and really just enjoying it.

Photo: MFTV Inc.

Well, I’ll finish on this last question: How do you rate our Emmy photo together this year? (Laughs) We have well-documented our issues taking a decent photo together; usually because we break up laughing trying to take one.

JACQUELINE: (Laughs) I mean, okay … I am happy that we had those LED bars of light.  We have to have LED lighting around us 24/7.  So, I’ll give it a 9.5 rating   Moving forward, we need indoor, 3-4 LED lights, and we’ll be good.  Now that I have two Emmys, I’m going to be asking for that lighting moving forward … now that I’ve turned into a diva. (Laughs)

Share your congratulations to Jacqui via the comment section below … and let us know your thoughts on her winning her second Daytime Emmy – this time for Steffy’s powerful opioid addiction storyline.  But first, check out our red carpet interview with more with the eventual Lead Actress Emmy winner.

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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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