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Kassie DePaiva Dishes On: CASTLE's One Life to Live Reunion Episode, Nathan Fillion and Tuc Watkins, Her Daytime Emmy Pre-Nom & Saying Goodbye To DAYS!

Courtesy/NBC

“Cause we only have One Life to Live … but it’s on Castle!”  Sing it!  Daytime soap fans, and those in particular of the beloved citizens of Llanview, are having a reunion of sorts, on a very special Valentine’s Day episode (airing Sunday night, February 14th 10PMET/PT) of the ABC procedural crime drama Castle!  The upcoming episode entitled “Witness for the Prosecution” will feature special guest stars: Kassie DePaiva (Ex-Blair), Tuc Watkins (Ex-David) and Darlene Vogel (Ex-Melanie), who are all involved in the latest murder mystery on the hit series starring Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle (Ex-Joey, OLTL).

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with former One Life to Live favorite, Kassie DePaiva, to get all the scuttlebutt on how it all came together for good friends, Tuc, Nathan, and Kassie to work together again in such a fun capacity … and Kassie teases what to look for from her character of Joanna Mathis, who has some sort of celebrity crush on Castle, that kicks off the reunion episode.

Meanwhile, as Days of our Lives fans know, Tuesday was Kassie’s final episode as Eve Donovan on the NBC daytime drama series.  The actress took to Twitter and shared: “Well… That’s all folks! I had fun! Thanks fans… you made it all worth while.”  Six-months ago, Kassie found out the powers-that-be decision to write-out her character.  But while her time in Salem turned out to be much shorter than she originally anticipated, DePaiva did garner herself a Daytime Emmy Pre-Nomination last month in the Outstanding Lead Actress category for her heavy emotional scenes surrounding Paige’s (True O’Brien) murder.  During our chat, Kassie shares what it meant to her to still be in the running going into the blue-ribbon round of judging, especially since she is no longer with the show, plus she leaves soap fans a very special message.  So, here’s what Kassie had to say about a little slice of Llanview coming to Castle, missing OLTL, and her DAYS finale.

How did this all come to pass that you ended up on this special Valentine’s Day episode of Castle, which reunites you with Tuc Watkins, and Nathan Fillion on-screen?

Courtesy/ABC

KASSIE:  Tuc, and Nathan, and I had dinner the night before I found this out, but my agent had already submitted me for a role on Castle!  Then the next day when I was talking to my agent he said, “I submitted you for a role on Castle.”  I said, “Well that’s funny.  I just had dinner last night with Nathan Fillion, and he’s a very good friend.”  My agent said, “Maybe you should text Nathan and tell him you’re agent submitted you for the role.”  So that is what I did.  Then I did not hear anything from Nathan, but then three days later my agent said I had gotten the role.  I texted Nathan and I said, “I got the role!” And then Nathan said, “And you’re going to be surprised about who your husband is!”  That’s when I found out it was Tuc.  I went, “Oh, my God. That’s great.”  Then I found out about Darlene Vogel, but that was just an amazing random thing that she was also in the episode.  It was wonderful to see her; she is just as beautiful as ever.  It was fun.

So, you and Tuc play a couple?  Ah, if only David Vickers, and Blair Cramer were there! (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

KASSIE:  Yes, Tuc is my husband.  I play a fan of Richard Castle named Joanna Mathis, so I am not really acting at all! (Laughs)  It’s me sort of fawning over Nathan’s character, so it’s funny.

How long have you known Nathan?  You all were on One Life together.

KASSIE:  We were trying to figure that out: I think it has been 22 years since we had worked together.  I started first on One Life, then Tuc, and then Nathan, but it was all within a year of each other.  I started in November of 1993.  I think those guys started in 1994.

Do you think that the episode contains four former stars of One Life was just so random?  At some point somebody realized they had a way to pull in more daytime viewers to this episode!

KASSIE:  I don’t think it was a planned One Life to Live casting stunt.  I think the stars kind of aligned.  I think Nathan had a say in Tuc and my casting.  I’m not sure with Darlene, because I had never worked with her before.

Courtesy/ABC

It’s very impressive that given that others in Hollywood have shied away from their soap roots, Nathan Fillion has embraced them.  He’s appreciated and respected the medium that gave him his start.  Through the years he has spoken highly, and of how much he learned from: Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki), Robin Strasser (Ex-Dorian), and Bob Woods (Ex-Bo).

KASSIE:  The day we all worked together on set, Nathan said, “I wouldn’t be here today, if I hadn’t worked with these great guys, and learned so much doing daytime”.  I’m glad that he feels that way, and proud enough to say that, and humble enough to say that.  In daytime, you can learn a lot.  It instills a discipline in you that you can’t find anywhere else. Nathan has a lot of responsibility being a lead in a nighttime series.  I am sure everything that he learned doing a soap has only given him the tools to be as successful as he is now.  It’s nice that he accredits his placement in his success where his roots were.  I think it’s great.

Did you think when you first knew a young Nathan on OLTL, he would go on to such great mainstream success?

Photo: KDePaivaTwitter

KASSIE:  You never know that kind of thing, but Nathan opted to leave One Life, and he left at a really great time.  I think Bob Woods (Ex-Bo, OLTL) even told Nathan that this was his time to go, and soaps will always be there.  Nathan is unbelievably quick-witted, and a very, very intelligent guy.  He is really quick on his feet, and he is very special.  Not only is he very handsome, but he can be charming, and he can be the hero, which is nice.  He and Tuc, for as long as I have known them, they are both two of the funniest guys I know.  I just adore being around them.

The three of you must have laughed yourselves silly then while taping this Valentine’s Day episode of Castle!

KASSIE:  Oh yes!  When you see the episode it is funny!  There were takes we were laughing so hard, that we couldn’t get through it.  Nathan sets the tone of the set, and everyone adores him.  He makes everyone feel comfortable.  It was just a really nice, pleasant set to work on.

With the disappointment of being let go from Days of our Lives, it seemed like getting this Castle gig was a nice gem at the right time.

Courtesy/ABC

KASSIE:  You know, if I would have still been on DAYS I wouldn’t be able to shoot Castle.  But, after being over at the DAYS studio the other day, I still would love to still be working on a soap.  I love soap operas.  I wish there were five soap operas in New York that I could audition for, but there are not.  So I’m out in L.A., and since I’m out here I am going to try to land roles on television.  But to answer your question, it was nice to immediately get something after leaving DAYS.

So many soap actors at pilot season, or even when roles that come up that they are right for in motion picture or television, still find themselves at the receiving end of the ‘poor stepchild of entertainment’ stigma attached to being on a soap opera with casting directors, or producers.  Would you agree in your experience?

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

KASSIE:  Of course, there is.  The general meetings I’m having with casting people, they have been very complimentary to daytime actors.  But for whatever reason, there is a hump you have to get over.  I do think it’s a matter of them wanting to see what you did last, so as long as you’re working it doesn’t matter.  It’s hard to tell a casting person when it shows up on paper that I have been working almost every single day for the last 25 years!  You know, what I mean? (Laughs).  It’s kind of hard for someone to wrap their head around it.  They will go, “Oh …oh, OK.”   I probably did somewhere between 3500 episodes of One Life to Live.  You think about that, and you realize that is the kind of stuff that is crazy!

The Revolution, Katie and FAB Life have all been cancelled by ABC, or Disney/ABC syndication, or distribution wings of the network.  Nothing that has replaced One Life to Live in its previous time slot has been a success, but instead a mitigated disaster.  In your opinion, and having been a longtime cast member of One Life, do you think anyone looks at it from a network perspective, and says they made a mistake by canning the soap?

Courtesy/ABC

KASSIE:  I have said this to you before: “It blows my mind that within that year ABC Daytime, which was the strongest daytime line-up of all three networks at that time, wiped out so much, and lost so much.”  They lost Oprah, because she decided to end her run, One Life to Live, All My Children were cancelled, and Live with Regis and Kelly changed, because Regis Philbin retired.  So, all of that just changed the face of the day for the network.  The problem with that, from my point of view, is that the loyal fan base was so angry that they boycotted ABC, and they have not come back.  I have gotten letters which have said, “I have not watched anything ABC has put on, but I will watch Castle since you’re on it.”  Those are the kinds of messages I think a network needs to pay attention to.  Maybe it doesn’t matter to them.  They have to have acknowledged that what they have put into place of One Life to Live has failed.  It probably cost more money to put all those failed attempts on than the show they rolled off the network.

So what else can you tease for us to look forward to during your Castle episode, entitled, “Witness for the Prosecution”?

Courtesy/ABC

KASSIE:  I play kind of a socialite, and murder takes place at my home.  I just drove by the home we shot it in over in Hancock Park, and I showed my husband Jimmy (James DePaiva, Ex-Max, OLTL) it.  I shot all my scenes on location, and not on the set.  I said to Jimmy, ‘That’s my house!  It’s a big ole honking mansion!” (Laughs)  It was great.  The episodes of Castle are an hour long, but very cleverly written.  In the first scene you are looking at the murder, but you don’t know who the murderer is.  Everyone is a suspect:  You think it could be me, or Tuc, or this person, or that person.  As the episode develops, Richard Castle figures it out.  The set up is: My character buys Richard Castle at a charity auction to come to do a reading in my home, and while we are there a murder takes place.  Tuc’s character is a cameraman, and Darlene plays a news anchor/reporter.  Everyone is a suspect in the very first scene.

It must have been heartwarming to see the OLTL fans reactions when you posted on social media that you were filming this Castle episode that reunited with you and Tuc, Nathan, and also that featured Darlene Vogel.  They were very excited!

KASSIE:  I know!  I thought it was just really special, and what blows me away is why can’t we just go back and do One Life to Live again?  Why can’t we just do it?  I know we can’t have all those characters because of legal issues, but hey, Ron Carlivati (former head writer, OLTL and GH) is available.

So on Tuesday, DAYS fans saw your final scenes as Eve!

Courtesy/NBC

KASSIE:  Yes.  Eve wants to take Claire (Olivia Keegan) to New York for the Julliard audition, but Belle (Martha Madison) is not happy about.  I got to share some final scenes with A Martinez (Eduardo) too, and then that’s the last I’m seen.

Have you kept in touch with the cast from DAYS since your departure six months ago?  You received a Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Pre-Nomination for your performance during your time there.  What are you submitting for the final blue-ribbon round of voting?

KASSIE:   First, I have kept in touch with Wally Kurth (Justin), and had lunch the other day with Mary Beth Evans (Kayla).  I also recently had lunch with Kate Mansi (Ex-Abigail) and Missy Reeves (Jennifer).  I met such wonderful people there.  So, it’s all good.  Everyone sent congratulatory Pre-Noms wishes, which was nice.  For the blue-ribbon round I am going with the scenes with A Martinez (Eduardo) after Paige dies, and scenes surrounding Paige’s funeral.

Do you feel that getting a Daytime Emmy Pre-Nom is in any way vindication for you being let go by DAYS?

Courtesy/KassieDePaiva.com

KASSIE:   I have no real bitterness about DAYS.  What’s great is that I felt it was a gift to play that part.  I got to finally play the grief-stricken mom, and just go to the dark place, and am lucky I had some really strong material.  It’s now up to somebody’s taste, and what they think is good, and what they prefer, and consider quality acting.  I did the best I could with what I have, but after 30 years of throwing your name in the hat … does it mean something?  Yeah, it means something.  But will it change anything?  No, it won’t.  I mean, if I get a nomination, I was still let go.

Did you participate in the Pre-Nom voting process?  If so, what did you think of the overall performances of your peers that submitted their work in competition this year?

KASSIE:  I did vote in the acting categories, and there were some wonderful performances this year.  I knew about 70 % of the people I was voting on, and some people I was not familiar with their work.  I judged on what I though was the best as far as I was concerned, and when watching some of my friends, I thought to me that wasn’t the best work that I knew they could do, and then there were people that I didn’t know that I would go, “I like that! I thought that was honest, and beautiful work.  I’m going to vote for you.”  I think that is the way people should look at these tapes.

Courtesy/NBC

In closing, what would you want to say to those DAYS fans who loved your performances as Eve, and to those who have supported you throughout your daytime career, and all the twists and turns along the way?

KASSIE:  My “thank you” and my gratitude goes to the overall soap opera fan, and after being on four of these soap operas. (Laughs)  It’s nice to have fans that follow you from soap to soap, and nice to bring new viewers to new soaps that follow you. Then it’s nice just to meet new people along the way.  I think I had an opportunity with doing the two Day of DAYS events, and a couple of other events in Washington D.C. where I had a couple nice one on ones with some really wonderful fans.  I love soap opera fans, and they love storytelling.  I am just glad to be a part of the bigger picture.

So, are you excited to see the One Life to Live reunion on the Valentine’s Day episode of Castle? What did you think about Kassie’s sentiments on Nathan Fillion and Tuc Watkins, and missing Llanview?  Are you rooting for Kassie to land a final spot in the Lead Actress category for the Daytime Emmys, when the nominations are revealed on March 24th? What did you think about her final DAYS scenes as Eve, and her love of the soap medium and its fans?  Post your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Jimh(leave it to beaver)
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)

I miss so many soaps…when i was growing up there were so many to watch…i miss just having three networks who always had good quality shows including several soaps in the 60s and 70s and it was all free!…I just wish there was a new drama channel filled with old soaps and new ones…id keep it on all day.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

Amen!

Erick
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Erick

Boy oh boy… In the late ’80s you had airing new episodes at one time (big breath): All My Children, Another World, As the World Turns, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, Guiding Light, Loving, One Life to Life, Ryan’s Hope, Santa Barbara, Search for Tomorrow, The Young and the Restless. Count ’em, 13! And that doesn’t include prime-timers Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and Knots Landing.

mollie
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mollie

I would love that. I think that would be a smart business decision for a company.

vinman
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vinman

Miss the days of soap from 11:30am-4:00pm….my line-up…
Love of Life
Where the Heart Is
Search for Tomorrow
WorldTurns..GL..EON…SecretStorm…OMG…the good ol’days!!

Maureen Stephan Hoeler
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Maureen Stephan Hoeler

love the reunion, but it would have been better if Erika (Vicki) and Bob (Bo) were in it also maybe as Castle’s Aunt and Uncle.

CeeCee
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CeeCee

So, so sweet, my Kassie. I could listen to her forever. I love her almost as much as Michelle Stafford, LOL. Her smile simply opens my heart. Now, all CASTLE needs is another episode starring Roger, Kassie and kristen. My soap world would be almost perfect. Break a leg, you guys!!

Dinah
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Dinah

Kassie is the best, great interview Michael

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Great interview, as usual, Michael. And I bow to Nathan Fillion for not being ashamed of having worked on soaps–and for sincerely thanking fellow soap actors from which he learned a lot. And Kassie makes some very salient remarks about working on soaps–and is complimentary of the loyal fans. Good for you, Kassie!

Penny
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Penny

Very, Very Excited!

blake
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blake

She is such a class act and beautiful spirit, top that off with great acting and it’s no wonder she’s been so successful as an actor for about 30 years. So nice to see her not upset about Days. I hope that she can land another soap or something else.

And it’s great that she got the role on Castle and the pre-nom for Days. I really hope she gets the final nomination, better yet win!!!

Ricardo
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Ricardo

Kassie is a classy. sassy lady. I hope she wins the daytime emmy. Kassie will be back in Daytime, sooner than later. GH needs to hire Kassie, in a new role.

mollie
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mollie

Agree, she is classy and smart. I wish there were more daytime options for her than GH though!

brian
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brian

Gees… I hope someone at ABC reads this. As Kassie states ” and what blows me away is why can’t we just go back and do One Life to Live again? Why can’t we just do it?”

Bravo !

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Thank you for this interview. I can’t wait to see this episode of Castle. I miss our beloved One Life to Live every second of everyday!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dara M
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Dara M

Thanks for the lovely interview. Kassie is a class act and an incredible talent. She certainly deserves an Emmy for her masterful turn as Eve during Paige’s death. I’m happy to hear she submitted her work with A. Martinez. Their scenes together were hard to watch because they were so honest in their grief. Just brilliant.

I’ll be watching her on Castle and look forward to her next project. She is way too talented to be sitting on the sidelines.

Iakovos
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Iakovos

Love Kassie and need here back on screens in a regular role this year!

mollie
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mollie

She did some great work on Day’s after Paige’s murder. Really emotional and real. I would love to see her win the Emmy.

Anna
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Anna

DOOL should be ashamed of themselves on how they ended Kassie’s /Eve’s time on the show! That was a HORRIBLE send off for such a wonderful, gifted actress. I’m ashamed to be a fan of the show after today’s episode. Thank you Kassie. You were incredible on the show and it’s sad that it wasn’t noticed.

Dan
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Dan

Amen to you Anna, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. DAYS ARE PATHETIC, IN FIRING KASSIE. ANNA KASSIE WILL BE BACK SOON, ON ANOTHER SOAP.

Marie
Guest
Marie

Maybe I wasn’t paying attention and missed something. Was the character of Eve packing up and moving somewhere? I watched today thinking she was going to be ushered off or kidnapped or hit by a car or something since it was her last episode. I assumed the organization she started in Paige’s honor was going to be in Salem? Was I mistaken? Was it explained that she would be moving somewhere else? It just felt like any other day. Maybe I’m so focused on Chad and Abby and Rafe and Hope that I don’t pay as close attention to some… Read more »

CeeCee
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CeeCee

It doesn’t take long for Hope’s infantile shenanigans to put holes in every storyline and confuse the heck out ot of the viewer, Marie. She has me at a choke-hold, too. What is the purpose of her and Rafe? I am so bored, I just FF through their scenes. Settle this woman down, PTB… And I don’t mean with Rafe or any man. I mean, calm her down….she has been doing the same thing for 30 years. Some guy always ends up stuck to her to continue her half-arsed escapades. Sorry you started watching amidst another of Hope’s dramas, Marie.

Anna
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Anna

No Marie sadly you didn’t miss anything. I guess that was their “send off” for one of Daytime’s best actresses! I’m so upset right now about that episode and how Kassie/Eve was handled that I may stop watching completely. And you can bet I let the powers that be at DOOL know but they obviously don’t care what fans think anyway. Very unfortunate.

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Very well said.

carol
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carol

I agree I love Kassie she got a raw deal she was suppose to have had a big role in distroying Jennifer but that never came about,she was going to drive her crazy however I think the new writers put a stop to that.It stinks,Kassie you are a great person and we all love you. and the best to you.Hey maybe she can come back as someone else no such luck.I don’t get why they let one of the best actresses on tv go,what could they have been thinking ?Then again they weren’t thinking.I missed her last show.This is unfair… Read more »

Rj
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Rj

I wish Kassie alł the best. She is very talented, and seems so nice and down to earth. In addition to Castle, I hope we see her regularly on other shows!

Patricia Nolan-Hall (Caftan Woman)
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Patricia Nolan-Hall (Caftan Woman)

I haven’t watched “Castle” this season, but will make a point of catching that episode.

I’m very disappointed that Kassie and Eve will no longer be a part of DOOL. I am hoping that some wonderful opportunities are coming her way.

PS: There’s a place in my heart where Kassie is still Chelsea. My, how time flies.

Phil
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Phil

Days, please bring her back like GH just did with Michael Easton.

Mike
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Mike

So, these brilliant new writers are so good that they decide the best way to write off Eve is to … not actually write her off. While she isn’t in the middle of some hot story, she is playing a role IN a story and the writers can’t be bothered to bring it to a conclusion? That’s just all kinds of disrespectful to viewers and the actress – and incredibly lazy on the part of the writers.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

” I am Bitter ”

the quality and intelligence of Kassie DePaiva… will always be Emmy Worthy

I want this to be an in your face, Ken Corday ! an emmy win for Eve character.

you let go the best of the best… she is so professional… so captivating… so endeared by fellow actors and has a huge fan following

tim S
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tim S

mmm that was it today??? shame on days.. she deserved a better send off..

Evan
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Evan

Kassie is the best actress in Daytime, I will miss seeing her in my screen. Days made a huge mistake in firing her. I hope she wins the Daytime emmy. General hospital need to hire Kassie right away.

Rose
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Rose

So looking forward to this episode of Castle with Kassie and Tuck. Wish they could have found a way to have Dorian and Erika on as well. Castle has been one show I break my boycott with ABC to watch because of Nathan and the other roles he’s played since Joey…Mal/Firefly and The Preacher/Buffy. Wonder what happened to Brian Frons and other ABC hachet execs who axed OLTL and AMC? I’m sure the is a rule at ABC to never admit to their mistake in cancelling them. Also what takes so long in cleaning up the Prospect Park thing and… Read more »

Kyle
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Kyle

Kassie is one of if not the best actress in daytime tv. The only reason I started watching #DAYS, is because of Kassie. She was absolutely fantastic on #OLTL. My hope is #GH snaps her back up, for either a new character or a recast of a favorite. I cannot wait for this episode of #Castle. Thank You Kassie for everything you have done for the fans. #KentuckyNative #BBN..

Mo
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Mo

That was her last ep, but it didn’t resolve her story. Disappointed in that respect.

OLTL4EVER
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OLTL4EVER

Can’t wait to see my OLTL friends together again on Castle. Wish we could see more of the Llanview gang…Kassie absolutely deserves that award for her outstanding acting. Good luck & bring home that Emmy!!!

Jim Preston
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Jim Preston

Well, if it is any consolation, in my opinion Days of Our Lives lately is kind of lacking. This storyline between Phillip and Belle is uninteresting and not at all compelling. When Eve (as played by Kassie) was involved with JJ and Paige found out, those scenes were bone chilling. When Paige died, Kassie as Eve did a great job crying over her, it was totally believable. Now, I don’t know, the show is just draggy. I don’t care about Cierra getting upset over her stepbrother, I don’t care for the younger set on the show. As for One Life… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

Jim I agree that Days is lacking. They’ve brought on all these new actors (and still hiring new ones) instead of keeping a wonderful character like Eve portrayed by one of the best actresses to ever be on daytime. I could care less about Phillip, Belle, Shaun D, Ciera or her friends, etc. I’m not sure what they will be able to do to turn it around. Even characters like Kayla and Patch have been uninteresting and Jennifer is such a bore (but she’s always been). Not sure why they keep Jennifer and especially Melissa Reeves around. Melissa is one… Read more »

Tim Welles
Guest
Tim Welles

I guess every storyline doesn’t appeal to every viewer, that I think is a reasonable assumption. HOWEVER right now the show really IS lacking – I love Abigail, but the actress playing her currently is leaving so I don’t know what the dynamic will be with Chad now – and there really isn’t anything “happening” on the show to me personally that I find that enthralling. Crazy Ben with Abby and Chad – that was fine, but that’s over. Kassie as Eve, well that was fine but that’s over – I admit I originally watched the show for Will and… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

DAYS; Ken Corday; needs to take a lesson and cue from GH

right a wrong; rehire back Kassie DePaiva… and / or, if it’s a whole new character

just like GH has done with Michael Easton

very doable

as Kasse DePaiva is the mot relatable talent out their…

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

I understand how you feel, Patrick, but Corday and DAYS has their hands full with all the returns, including Freddie Smith and the possible return if Chandler Massey.

The previous writing regime hurt Kassie/Eve, but the newest writers managed to give her something worthy, but then Dena Higley gained more writing control before being banished. So, now with Beth Milstein in her place, she and Josh Griffith might bring Kassie/Eve back.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

*of

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Didn’t know that Dena Higley had been “banished”–interesting. Beth Milstein, you say? Hope she keeps up the innovative work that is happening at Days.

mike
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mike

She would be perfect in a Y&R triangle with Jack and Phyllis.

Ghlover
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Ghlover

Go to Gh as the Jenny Eckert and go against Paul! And Tracy!! Ohh my! Incan’t be the only one who would love that?!! GH brought back OlTL actors in different roles, they can do it for Kassie. Jenny would fit her to a T! Fingers crossed!

LeRoy Davidson
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LeRoy Davidson

Can’t wait to see the “Castle” episode. I have followed Kassie since “Guiding Light” and besides being such a fine actress, I think she has the sweetest singing voice since Karen Carpenter and Ella Fitzgerald.

boes
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boes

Love her, always did always will. I’ll watch anything she does.

Cassie Hicks
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Cassie Hicks

While I am thrilled that Kassie DePaiva had gotten herself a Daytime Emmy pre-nomination this year, and may not care when she’s gotten the part on the primetime sudser, “Castle”, but her compliments for her former “One Live To Live” castmates had been very spot-on, I wish that Eve had gotten a chance to tell Justin that she’s really leaving Salem, by saying good-bye to him, before she took Claire to Julliard to follow her dreams. Also, I appreciate Mrs. DePaiva’s deference to the soap opera industry, because it has been nothing but kind to her, and I hope she… Read more »

Kristen Howe
Guest
Kristen Howe

I think Kassie has gotten it right. It’s been a long uphill battle to save our soaps and we’re not going to give up. I watched Kassie as Eve from start to finish and loved her scenes. I’m so glad she got than pre-nom for a Dayitme Emmy. It’s well deserved. I wish ABCD will get the big picture, solve the court room battle with Prospect Park, and bring our soaps back. Good news that DOOL got renewed for another year!

Ellen Wycuff
Guest
Ellen Wycuff

I agree with Kassie. ABC did make a huge mistake by canceling AMC and OLTL. I am still boycotting their network after all this time. I wish they would bring them back to correct their mistakes

Carol b
Guest
Carol b

I am a long time fan of OLTL, and I am one of the fans Kassie was discussing when she said we have not come back to ABC. There are only three shows I will watch, GH, Castle and Jeopardy. They have lost a huge number of watchers with their stupidity, and they won’t get them back. I’ve also been boycotting anything Disney from the day they killed my favorite show.

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DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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