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James Franco on the art of soap acting and more!

Courtesy/NY Festival

Courtesy/NY Festival

I have to say, James Franco is doing a fantastic job bringing attention to soaps right now, not only with his acting, charisma, and performance art connections, but also his writing.  Check out his entry in a new piece out today by the actor entitled, The Limits of Control which is on Lapham’s Quarterly website.  In the piece, he details the control actors have in certain parts of the medium they work in, which adds to their performances or possibly subtracts.  Franco wrote these words below, which to soapers, means he completely “gets” the soap actor’s style and what they have to work with.

Franco, Recently, I performed in the soap opera General Hospital. It is easy to make fun of soaps, with their melodramatic plot lines, constant exposition, unnatural lighting, swelling music, and lack of action. Most of these aspects are due to the extreme speed at which soaps are produced. With five episodes a week, at least sixty pages need to be shot in a day. That’s a feature film’s worth of material shot every two days. This pace allows for very few takes, usually one. Soap acting is generally considered inferior to other acting, with the lack of takes cited as the reason. However, there are many fine film performances that are made up of just a few takes: Clint Eastwood is famous for doing one or two takes when directing; Robert Altman was very loose with his direction, always looking for spontaneity and truth; Gus Van Sant does very few set-ups, and very few takes. Innumerable directors of Oscar-winning films have used such techniques. The reason that soap actors look the way they do is context—how they are filmed, what they are saying, and how they are blocked. There is absolutely no way to act in a soap and pull off a performance like Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, or Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. These incredible performances are supported by the incredible filmmaking that is behind them. They are given the time, dialogue, space, and aesthetic of films made by great directors.

This isn’t to say that soap opera performers are worse than film actors, or that their performances are inferior. The soap opera performance should always be perceived in context: it involves actors working in a tradition that soap audiences have come to expect and love. Soap actors are delivering exactly what they are supposed to—they are in tune with their audience and they are not attempting to transcend it. If Brando had tried to play Terry Malloy in a soap, he wouldn’t have had the time to sculpt the performance into the brooding, tortured, nuanced emotional force that won him an Oscar. The contender wouldn’t have been a somebody, instead he’d just have been another mumbling dope with bad eye makeup.”

So what do you think of Franco’s thoughts on soap acting?

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bottomchef
bottomchef

James franco is so full of it. This whole article is somehow “justifying” his film star self going into soaps. And it’s quite backhanded. Can’t he say “I went to soaps so I could try all kinds of mediums. Period.” and then he could shut up abt it forever. He’s saying that soaps are crappy bec that’s what the audience expects them to be. Certainly majority, if not all of the soaps are in bad, crappy states, and the ratings reflect that. There’s a lot of disatisfaction now bec of the bad writing and worse performances. But most probably nothing (at that time) was more addictive and dramatic and edge of your seat exciting than Bill Bell penning Y&R’s Sheila escaping to B&B. The acting, writing, directing were all engrossing. It was the definition of great soaps, it was gripping and the audience kept coming back for more. Soaps don’t know how to do that now. And what the hell is james franco saying abt characters not beinf fully fleshed out? Soaps have the luxury of creating storylines for the same characters for years, so the character evolves over long periods of time. B&B’s Felicia may not be the best ex., but the character evolved not bec of Brad bell’s neglectful writing, but bec Lesli Kay was able to develop the character bec of her performances. Here’s hoping Nancy Grahn delivers a verbal smackdown thru twitter directed at pretentious james franco again. His movie star presence did not even translate in the ratings.

General Hospital

GH Poll: Who Will Be Ryan’s Next Victim?

On ABC’s General Hospital, Ryan (Kevin Lindstrom) had begun his killing spree murdering Nurse Mary Pat on Halloween.  Now, who could be the next victim of a heinous crime by this serial killer on the loose?

With his long-standing obsession with Felicia (Kristina Wagner), his burgeoning feelings for Ava (Maura West), (although he just gave her some sample drug to take to help her sleep which is troubling), Kiki (Hayley Erin) fueling the ire of Ava and Ryan knows it from their therapy sessions together, his twin brother Kevin locked up in Ferncliff who knows the truth of the switcheroo, it’s possible that any one of these people could be next.

However, maybe no one will get killed, and Ryan will be caught … or, maybe none of the options listed on our poll are the potential victim. or victims.

Vote now in our latest GH Poll below, and let us know who you think will be the killer’s next victim.

Then in the comment section below, let us know why you voted that way and why.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Casts ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Alum Janet Hubert As Mike’s New Love Interest

Intriguing casting news out of Port Charles on Sunday. The ABC daytime drama series has tapped former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Janet Hubert to play the character of  Yvonne,who is said to be a love interest for Mike (Max Gail) at the nursing home he is now in.

According to EW.com, Yvonne will end up having a connection to someone or someones on the canvas.

Hubert’s first episode is slated to air on December 7th.   Sitcom fans remember Janet from “Fresh Prince’ in scenes with Will Smith in the series in the role of Vivian Banks.

GH is not Janet’s first soap, either.  She appeared on One Life to Live as Evangeline Williamson’s (Renee Elise Goldsberry) and Layla Williamsom’s (Tika Sumpter) mother, Lisa.  The actress also appeared on All My Children as Alice Dawson.

In another twist, Hubert will reunite with Vernee Watson (Stella)om GH.  The two appeared together on “Fresh Prince”, where Watson played Will’s mother.

So does this mean that Yvonne and Stella are both going to be romantically interested in Mike Corbin?

What do you think of the casting news?  Interested to see this next leg of Mike’s story as he declines from Alzheimer’s, but may find love?  Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

LISTEN TO THE REPLAY: Soap Nation Live! with Jon Lindstrom, Beth Maitland, Freddie Smith, Linda Dano & Maura West

Photo: ABC/CBS/JPI Studios

Listen to “Soap Nation Live November 2018 Episode” on Spreaker.

If you missed Thursday’s night’s Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman, you can hear the replay of the broadcast right here in the audio player above.

The November episode of the monthly podcast featured special guests: Soap icon, Linda Dano (Ex-Felicia, AW, Gretel, (OLTL, GH, Port Charles, AMC), and Cynthia, ATWT), General Hospital’s Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan), The Young and the Restless’ Beth Maitland (Traci), Days of our Lives Freddie Smith (Sonny), and listeners were in for a surprise when GH’s Maura West (Ava Jerome) called-in as well during the show.

During this fun night of chat, Linda Dano kicked-off the show as she and Michael reminisced about the night she won the Daytime Emmy in 1993 for her role as Felicia Gallant on Another World.  Then, the duo talked about: her soap career as Gretel “Rae” Cummings on the ABC Daytime line-up, her incomparable fashion sense, and how fans can see her first acting project in 12 years when The Chronicle Mysteries debuts with Alison Sweeney (Sami, DAYS) in March of 2019 on the Hallmark Channel.

Next, General Hospital’s Jon Lindstrom discussed taking on and revisiting playing the dual roles of Kevin Collins, and his serial killer twin brother, Ryan Chamberlain.  In addition, Jon talked about his leading ladies, Genie Francis and the #KevLaur hash tag, and Ryan’s interest in Ava Jerome.  Then, after answering some questions from listeners, Maura West surprised her scene partner and called-in to chat with him.

Beth Maitland came on to Soap Nation Live! next, and she discussed finally having the opportunity after 36 years to explore Traci’s relationship with her siblings, Jack and Ashley, that came about in Eileen Davidson’s exit storyline.  The Daytime Emmy-winning actress also revealed her favorite Y&R storyline over the years. Maitland has received critical-acclaim for her recent work on the CBS Daytime drama series.

The final guest of the night was Freddie Smith.  The popular DAYS star talked on the latest developments of Sonny and Will, where now the two can be together since Paul and Will broke up, but will their happiness last long?  Freddie gives the listeners a preview of what’s to come.  Then, a listener calls in revealing how through watching Days of our Lives and the Sonny and Will story and romance, how it helped him come out and to have a family.

Last, during our Game Show segment, a lucky caller eventually wins the Sonny Kiriakis-centric trivia game and will receive a Days of our Lives swag/goodie bag and an autographed personalized photo of Freddie Smith.

To hear archived and past episodes of Soap Nation Live, you can go to the official show page on Spreaker.com here.

Now, listen to the broadcast with Linda, Jon, Beth, Freddie and Maura, and then let us know via the comment section below what was your favorite moment in the broadcast.

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Video du Jour

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

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

  • Terri: “Maybe Ava??
  • Celia: “Hey, Shaybelle, Thank you for the synopsis.....very enlightening. So sorry......at the risk of sounding rude ( lunch break at…
  • AVP: “Seriously? Another new face? This show is in the toilet!
  • elm1951: “sorry as much as i love janet hubert mike does not need a love interest in his condition
  • Joe: “Uummm, why? Seems completely pointless to bring on all these irrelevant new characters. Not in the slightest bit interested.
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Power Performance

Beth Maitland as Traci

The Young and the Restless

Airdates: 10-24-26-2018

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