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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

© JPI Studios

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

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Interviews

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

Photo: CBS

I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Photo: CBS

What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Daytime Emmy Winners: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Scott Clifton & Heather Tom Talk Winning the Gold & Returning to Work at B&B

This week, The Bold and the Beautiful has been airing encore presentation of Daytime Emmy-winning performances from some of the cast over the years as a prelude to tomorrow night’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.

The weeklong Emmy celebration concludes tomorrow with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s (Steffy) Emmy-winning performance from last year which won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize for the first-time in her daytime career.

Michael Fairman chatted with Jacqui, along with five-time Daytime Emmy-winner and a nominee for Lead Actress again this year, Heather Tom (Katie) and three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Scott Clifton (Liam).  As daytime soap fans know, Heather and Scott hold the distinction of being the only actors to win in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead.

In this candid and fun conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Jacqui, Scott and Heather remember the nights the won Emmy gold, their acceptance speeches, things they wish they would have said, and what it was like waiting for their names to be called, plus taking a stroll down memory lane and remembering when they taped their Emmy-winning performances.

Scott reveals why he chose not to submit himself in Lead Actor this year, even though he has some of the finest performances throughout the Baby Beth baby switch storyline,.

Later the trio talk about The Bold and the Beautiful being the first U.S. soap opera and first U.S. broadcast show back in production following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and how B&B is looking to shoot episodes during the times we live.

Watch the full video interview below.

Then let us know, what was your favorite part of the moments shared by Jacqui, Scott, and Heather in the Emmy conversation?  Do you think Heather might tie Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) tomorrow night with her sixth win in the Lead Actress category?  What do you think of B&B’s return to production following the sentiments shared.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Thaao Penghlis Chats on His Daytime Emmy Nomination & How He Makes Tony DiMera One of a Kind

He has been one of the longstanding cast members of Days of our Lives and certainly of Salem’s notorious DiMera Clan; and while Thaao Penghlis may be off our screens for a time and then comes back again; though the years one thing has been true, he delivers top-notch performances in a way that is uniquely ‘Thaao’.

This year at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be broadcast on Friday night, June 26th at 8 p. m. EST, Thaao is vying for the Outstanding Lead Actor prize amongst a formidable group of other daytime favorites.  And this makes it two years in a row that Penghlis has received an Emmy nomination although this time in a different category.

As fans know, Penghlis takes the art of acting seriously, and expects other he works with to bring their A-game, just as he does time and time again; whether it be playing DAYS dashing Tony or the evil Andre or when he portrayed Victor Cassadine on General Hospital.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Thaao to get his thoughts on: receiving the Emmy recognition and what it means to him what he thought about his nominated scenes, plus what he might be doing at home during the ceremony, and where he hopes Tony DiMera’s future is headed.   Here’s what Thaao shared.

Photo: JPI

Tell me about what scenes you submitted that landed you a Lead Actor Emmy nod!

THAAO:  Well, the week I came back to DAYS, I had 11 shows, and this material was from one show of three I did one day!  When you think of other actors doing 150 shows, and I did less than 50 this past year, my choice is kind of limited.  So, when I came across these particular scenes, which were with Eric Martsolf (Brady) and with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), what I liked about it is that usually when you see other peoples’ work, its histrionic, it’s great tears, it’s drama – and what I was able to put together had a through line and an arc from beginning to end.  It makes it very logical when somebody is following your story, and you can show a whole ebb that makes sense.  I had some lines that were really difficult to say, like, “Coming back from the dead is not easy.”  When I get lines like that, I throw it away, and because of that, it becomes humorous.  I have to say I work well with Arianne.  She was great.  I found in the past, when I have worked with some actors, they step on your lines.  I found the best way to stop that is I put my hand up, and I say, “Hey!” and everything goes silent.  They go into shock mode, and I say, “I haven’t finished,” and then I go on.  (Laughs)  So, when Kristen as Nicole starts to talk to Tony the way she does, and she says, “You’d better behave…” I thought, “This is a DiMera you are talking to,” so, I just snapped back at her.  I gave her a, “Hey!”  So, she shut up, froze, and I went on.

Photo: JPI

Would you say your reel was more comedic … or both funny and serious?

THAAO:  It is both.  There are subtleties to it.  There is a teacher I know in Australia, and she is very critical.  She said, “I want to see your work.”  I showed it to her, and she wrote back, “Oh my, God.  How did you make those transitions so readily?”  I went, “Oh.  How did I do it?”  I didn’t think of that.  I think it’s an old technique.  It’s called having to do 3 shows in one day, and you had better get your stuff right, and it’s about how do you make a scene work?  There is one director who I did a miniseries with who said to me, “Where did you get your training from?”  I said, “Daytime.”  He said, “My God.  You certainly know how to have a camera follow you,”   Well, the camera has to follow your movement.  So, when I finished a transition, I’d move to another spot, and the camera had to follow me.  So, what happened in the arc of this Emmy-nominated piece is that I took charge and controlled the scene so that it became a scene of lots of transitions. And of course, charm, I did all of what I thought Tony would be.  He is a DiMera.  I have one of those looks. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe it’s as I get older, but I’ve learned how to work the camera where I may slam something first to get your attention, and then the camera comes onto your face, and you’re going, “Oh, what the hell is he thinking?”  So, I can play the dark side quite readily, and yet in my real life, I’m not so bad. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

You have Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Steve Burton (Jason, GH) also in your category, and these guys who are obviously been soap veterans like yourself.  What do you think about the group you have been nominated with? 

THAAO:  I never worked with Steve Burton, but hear good things.  I know Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH).  He’s a lovely actor.  I have worked with Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R).  He’s a lovely actor.  He is well-trained.  So, it is nice to see that the nominees are all vets.

Right, they are all vets.  It seems like a good group to be with. 

THAAO:  I agree, and I love that the Daytime Emmys are coming back to television.  I think it is an upswing when they think of daytime dying.  I think whoever made this happen is taking on the responsibility of taking daytime back.  It is why people love novellas.  People love the story, they love to follow the characters, and we’ve got fantastic fans.  I mean, what would we do without them?  You can’t sustain the show without them, and you pay a price, you have to know how to entertain them because once they know who you are and what you’re about, they get bored.  So, you have to be ahead of your audience all of the time.  That’s what I have always tried to do with both characters that I’ve played on DAYS

Photo: JPI

They’re doing a virtual ceremony this year.  How do you think you would dress while watching the ceremony?

THAAO:  You don’t wear a tux in your house, do you? So, I’ve invited some people for a celebratory time.  Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS) and her husband Nick Schillace (head of make-up, DAYS) and Leann Hunley (Anna, DAYS) are some of my great friends who have been very supportive of me through some tough times this year, and I’ve got a friend who has got  a wonderful restaurant, and he is going to cater it.  Probably it will be a group of 10.  You know, could you imagine being here on your own, in a tuxedo, with a glass of champagne? (Laughs)

I know, kind of awkward! (Laughs)  You’ll put something nice on for the big night, right?

THAAO:  Yes, you know me.  I’m always dressed.  What would you suggest?  Sweatpants on the bottom and a tuxedo jacket!  How about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Now, you have been previously nominated for Daytime Emmys, too!

THAAO:  Yes, and last year I was nominated as well for Outstanding Guest Performer.  So, it’s kind of nice to be back-to-back, and in 2008, I was nominated for Lead Actor when I played the clown in the Tony and Andre storyline.  Thank God, DAYS recently DAYS had James Reynolds (Abe) wining in the Lead Actor category.  I thought, “Wow.”  That was for years and years of good work that he’s done, and also, Greg Vaughan (Eric) wining for Supporting Actor was very nice, but we haven’t had that many wins in the acting categories over the years.

Photo: JPI

DAYS tapes so far ahead of air; that what was once a seemingly major concern has paid off swimmingly during the coronavirus pandemic.  The soap is the only show to have enough episodes in the bank for months ahead when production shut down and enough even when other shows go back into production.  Who would have thought?

THAAO:  We used to think it was ridiculous that DAYS taped eight months ahead, but look at us now! Who would have thought is right?

What would you love to see happen with Tony when DAYS does resume filming new episodes again? 

THAAO:  I’d like to go back and play the head of the DiMera family.  I’ve never been granted that, and I think, at this stage, with the way I worked with Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) it would be nice to see the transition just like Michael Corleone did in Godfather.

So will you be rooting for Thaao to take home the gold as Lead Actor in a Drama Series come Emmy night?  Do you hope DAYS writes Tony into upcoming story, and if so, how would you like to see him on the canvas? Comment below.

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