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SCOTT, TOM, STAFFORD INTERVIEWS -IN LA MAGAZINE, SOAPS IN THE CITY

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By Michael Fairman

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JAMES SCOTT

DAYS OF OUR LIVES

Days of our Lives’ James Scott raises temperatures daily on TV screens playing sexy, charming, bad boy EJ Wells. Scott has just been named this year’s, “Soap Adonis 2008,” voted on by the readers of Soaphunks.net. This is his second year voted as, “the hottest male actor on daytime.” Scott hails from Newcastle, England. A world traveler, he had made stops in under-privileged nations for humanitarian efforts. The sexy Brit took time out of his acting schedule to pose for our latest cover and answer some of our most burning questions.

MICHAEL:

Why did you decide to participate in the “IN LA” cover shoot for “Soaps in the City”?

JAMES:

I did not think I went through a process of making a decision. I knew you had asked me and it was a great opportunity to do a cover. I don’t get asked to do covers very often. I felt quite flattered.

MICHAEL:

Since we are doing this benefit, “Soaps in the City” for AIDS Walk Los Angeles to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles, what are your thoughts about the current AIDS crisis? Do you feel that in the United States it has been pushed under the table more now than in recent years, and less at the forefront?

scott91508_805011.jpgJAMES:

I am not going to pretend to be an expert. However, when I was living and working in New York for example, I did some work with an AIDS hospice with kids who were HIV+, whose parents had died. Some of the children had been put in care facilities when their parents could not deal with them anymore. That was because children born with HIV have a lot of problems, and they all seemed to fall in the same socio-economic demographic. They were the people who had no voice. If it was a disease that affected the most affluent one percent of society, you can be pretty sure it would have been a major election and political issue. I think you will find that it falls to the smaller social groups be it: race, economic, social, or sexual statuses, who tend to have less of a voice in this country. The problem is in America; there is this idea where you can live with AIDS now. Now, if you go into other parts of the world, such as in Africa, you can’t. They are not living with AIDS. They are dying with AIDS.

MICHAEL:

You are quite the accomplished world traveler, so perhaps you have seen more of this pandemic than other soap stars?

JAMES:

I have more experience than someone who has not left his or her armchair, and you see what you see, and it lends you to have somewhat of an opinion, while not a mission, but you have a little more information to base your perspective on.

MICHAEL:

In the latest Nielsen ratings that just came out 22% of the audience were males ages 18-49 while women were 26% 18-49, not much of a difference. Men are watching the soaps but it seemingly goes unnoticed. Why do you think that is?

scott91508_804991.jpgJAMES:

People do not notice that men watch daytime. It has a smaller male following. It is paid less attention to, because if you want to get into the business behind the soaps, the advertisers who are looking to sell into the show are looking for women 18-49, that’s their market. So, they don’t cater the show for men in that way, and they are not well represented. But, I am really happy to hear that we have a large number of men watching “Days of our Lives”. I don’t care who you are; it’s an addictive thing. You start watching, and it’s hard to switch off. It’s frustrating! I was talking to our new executive producer, Gary Tomlin the other day, and he said, “When they get to the end of my show, I want the viewers to be so angry at me,
and angry at the fact that that they have to tune in the next day. It’s that reaction which is built into the ways soap operas work. I don’t care if you are a man or a woman, you are left with a piece of information you have to know and crave.

MICHAEL:

What do you think fans of your character, EJ Wells, can expect in the coming months, now that there is a new executive producer at “DAYS”?

JAMES:

I don’t know what that means for EJ. They are making changes with the writing since Gary Tomlin came on board, and I think it’s a good thing. I hope the audience will like it and it will be more compelling to them, and in turn they will invest in it. I think Gary has a good vision for the show, and the support of the writers in his vision, which is very important. There is some stuff coming up with EJ that will keep him on the canvas… in the long term, I don’t know.

MICHAEL:

Being very attractive and one of the hottest men on daytime screens, are photo shoots like this easy for you?

JAMES:

I hate photo shoots. I hate it. I am incredibly self-conscious. I have never felt comfortable in them. Now people will take photos of me when I don’t know they are taking them and they come out very nicely. One thing is when people come up behind me and want me to smile at fan events, then I can’t smile! It’s tough. I am probably not the easiest subject to photograph.


HEATHER TOM
tom91508_80409.jpg

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

A political activist and accomplished actress, the outspoken Heather Tom plays Katie Logan on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. Tom has received two Daytime Emmy awards, and has become the only actress under the age 35 to receive a record 12 nominations. Fans may also recognize her for her work on The Young and the Restless and One Life to Live. The IN Los Angeles cover girl has always been a good friend to the LGBT community in supporting its fight for equality. She sat down and with me and chatted about her work for the Barack Obama campaign, the current state of HIV/AIDS and what’s next for Ms. Logan!

MICHAEL:

Heather, you have been so politically active and socially conscious for so many years, and currently, I know you are out on the campaign trail on the weekends!

HEATHER:

I am working for Obama right now, and we are working hard to bring change to America. The other issue is for the proposition 8 issues for people living in California. I think it’s important they have to vote “No”. A lot of people are confused as to what this is, and basically it means they want to strip rights away that have been granted by the Supreme Court of California. We have to make sure they fail in their efforts, and that they are exposed for the hate-mongers they are.


MICHAEL:

What is your feeling on the state of the domestic awareness of HIV and AIDS?
tom91508_804153.jpgHEATHER:

Unfortunately, for the last 8 years the focus has shifted from domestic AIDS issues to international AIDS issues, because it suited the Bush administration. Then, they could get away with telling other countries what to do, and not have to talk about contraception here in the States…. which is one of the main ways of combating the spread of HIV. Also, they have shied away from domestically talking about HIV. It’s still an issue! It’s a killer, and people are dying from it! Luckily, we have had major medical advances where people are living longer, but it’s not cured, and it’s not chronic. It’s not holding steady. The numbers are going up. It’s definitely an issue we need to focus on here domestically. I think HIV is also so much more prevalent in the African American and Latino communities, that I think Obama will be a presence who will focus on domestic issues regarding HIV.

MICHAEL:

What’s coming up next for your character, Katie Logan, on “B&B”?

HEATHER:

It’s so funny. They don’t tell me anything. I get these scripts, and I go, “Oh, that’s good to know!”


MICHELLE STAFFORD

horizontal4shot1.jpgYOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

As the sexy, brash, unpredictable schemer Phyllis Summers Newman on the top-rated daytime soap, CBS’s The Young and the Restless, Michelle Stafford is one of the most critically heralded and lauded actresses of the soap genre. The two-time Daytime Emmy winner and IN Los Angeles cover girl sat down and discussed the cover shoot, soap fans and her philanthropic efforts.

MICHAEL:

Do you like doing photo shoots? You seemed to have a great time with us for the ”IN LA” cover shoot!

MICHELLE:

I liked the “IN LA” cover shoot; because I got to hang out with people I never get to see. It was nice to get to know James. I just met him. I had briefly met Kimberly a few times before this, and to catch up with Heather Tom was great. It was cool! I usually am not a fan of photo shoots, because most of the time it’s the same thing, same pose, and the same look, and they can get boring. This shoot was different and it was fun to be a part of it.

MICHAEL:

You have participated in AIDS Walk Los Angeles before, correct?

MICHELLE:

I have done it three times in a row… of course! I did it a couple of times with my sister and my mom, just the three of us… like normal people… and then one time with my show, “Y&R”. It’s great fun! You are doing something for someone…and for people. Everyone feels good with that going on.

MICHAEL:

What are your thoughts on HIV and AIDS awareness here in our country, with the rise in HIV+ cases this past year? Do you feel some of the focus has been shifted away from this disease because people are now, “living with HIV”?

MICHELLE:

I think, in the beginning, it was so misunderstood this new virus that came out of nowhere. Certainly people were leaving us right and left. I think since we have some medications that gave us a handle on it somewhat, then it’s like, “OK. We’re good. We have a handle on it.” I think it’s just normal for people to do that. Listen, I raise money for many things, and believe me; a lot is going to AIDS research. If you think that people are looking the other way, that ain’t happening, comparatively to other things. There are a lot of different cancers that people don’t donate to. I have noticed that’s where it’s hard to get money from… lung cancer for one. The rise of people who don’t smoke and who get lung cancer is heightening. The reason a lot of people don’t donate to lung cancer, is because there is this perception that: “It’s you. You smoke, and it’s your own fault.” It’s been very difficult to get donations in the past. It’s really since Dana Reeves died from it, and she was not a smoker, nor was Christopher Reeves, that it changed a bit. AIDS is still getting a lot of attention and money. However, I think there was just more attention in the media previously, because so many celebrities passed away from it. That’s just how it is! If somebody in the public eye gets taken by one of these diseases, it gets noticed more.


MICHAEL:

Have you lost people close to you to AIDS?

MICHELLE:

Oh God, of course! We are in the arts and there are so many creative men and women who have been taken by this.

MICHAEL:

You have always been so supportive in your humanitarian efforts for many charities. What compels you to give back ? Have you always felt the need to give back?

MICHELLE:

I feel that people with a lot of things and a lot of money, who buy pretty things, and don’t do things with it, are just the most boring people in the world. They are the most angry, most selfish, and they are stuck to their things. I would rather stick 16,000 needles in my eye than hang out with somebody like that. There is nothing wrong with having things, if you have the money to buy it, but if you are not giving back you are just a very sad individual, to me.

MICHAEL:

I always think, “How can people not support people in need when they have the means to help out?”

MICHELLE:

It’s not about the money, because I do things to raise money for many different causes. You know, 20% of the time, it’s not people who have a lot of money who are donating. It’s mostly the people who do not have the money that donate! It’s phenomenal and it eludes me. That’s amazing! When I did the September 11th fundraiser, I got a huge check from a little child who was on, “GH”. I got $250 from this child, and I also got $250 (from a person who shall remain nameless) who makes a lot more money than this little boy. So, it’s just where you heart and soul is.

michelleblackdress1.jpgMICHAEL:

A recent Nielsen Ratings report came out showing that 6 Million men (22% of the 18-49 yr. old male demographic) of the audience are watching the soaps. So many gay men have spoken to me about loving the soaps, and they are a very big core part of the loyal audience. It’s time we recognize them.

MICHELLE:

And they are all Phyllis fans, girl! (She laughs) I have to say, “I have yet to meet a gay man who is not a ‘Phyllis’ fan.”

MICHAEL:

But I think it’s great that we acknowledge that gay men can “come out of the closet” and admit they watch the soaps, too!

MICHELLE:

Of course! I even hate to say, “Oh, the Gay people. It’s just people.” If we must point out an audience as being gay, then all right, but the soaps are a guilty pleasure and guilty fun. You get to talk with your girlfriends about it, or your co-workers. It’s just fun to do. Soaps are for anybody who likes to have fun.


MICHAEL:

Who is Phyllis Summers Newman? How would you explain the character you portray on “Y&R” to someone who has never watched the show?
darkdress1.jpgMICHELLE:

She is a completely damaged woman, who is always trying to win the prize and never gets it.

MICHAEL:

Have you always enjoyed the different storylines, journeys, and challenges that Phyllis has gotten the chance to take on “Y&R”?

MICHELLE:

I have always enjoyed the challenges. The last couple years, Phyllis has been a little tamer than she once was. Some people on the street go, “I like Phyllis. She is not as mean anymore.” However, reporters say to me, “When are you going to be vindictive and conniving again?” It’s interesting to me. I like the change in Phyllis and it’s something different to play. I have been playing her for 11 years now. You want to have ebbs and flows, and not always play the same thing. So, it’s been nice to be a little bit different over these past few years.

MICHAEL:

But, Phyllis has to remain redeemable no matter what bad deeds she does, right?

MICHELLE:

I think that’s kind of up to me. Even when you play a villain in soap operas, you have to give the audience the reason why you are doing what you are doing. It’s day in and day out. You have to allow the audience to be on the same journey with you and your character, or they will check out, and they will not invest in the story.

General Hospital

GH’s Brook Kerr and Tabyana Ali Talk On: Trina’s Trial, Spencer and Rory, And Their On-Screen Mother/Daughter Relationship

Currently, General Hospital fans are awaiting the verdict in Trina’s trial and just what lengths her mother will go to in order to secure her freedom! With the story playing out on-air, Michael Farman chatted in a new virtual interview with the two women central to the story; Brook Kerr (Portia) and Tabyana Ali (Trina).

As viewers know, Trina was set-up by Esme Prince (Avery Pohl), to make it appear that she taped her best friends, Cameron (William Lipton) and Josslyn (Eden McCoy) having sex, and then posted the video from her phone, so it went viral.

Photo: ABC

During the conversation for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Tabyana and Brook weigh-in on what’s gone down at the trial including; how Spencer Cassadine came forward with an alibi for Trina, plus how Portia may put her medical career at risk if she brings Esme’s partner in crime, Oz, out of his coma to get the evidence they need to point the finger on Esme.

 

In addition, Tabyana and Brook share their thoughts on the men in Trina’s life: Spencer Cassadine (Nicholas Alexander Chavez) and Rory Cabrera (Michael Blake Kruse), and how the #Sprina has a life of its own on social media.

Courtesy/ABC

Brook also shares dishes on Portia’s romantic relationship with Curtis (Donnell Turner), plus the recent noteworthy scenes between Portia and Stella (Vernee Watson), where GH shed light on a mother’s concern; that racial injustice could factor in to the jury’s decision in Trina’s case.

Photo: ABC

Tabyana also discusses working alongside GH co-stars, Maura West (Ava) and Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), and what it was like taking over the role of Trina from popular fan favorite, Sydney Mikayla.

Photo: ABC

Check out the full chat with Brook and Tabyana below.

Do you want Trina to end up with Spencer or Rory? Will the jury exonerate Trina? What was your favorite part of the conversation with Brook and Tabyana? Let us know in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Steve Burton Talks On: ‘Beyond Salem’, His Co-Stars, Dismissal From ‘General Hospital’ Over Vaccine Mandate, and What’s Next

Two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actor and enduring fan favorite, Steve Burton, chats with Michael Fairman in a brand new interview on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel where he chats on his recent role on the streaming series, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter Two, which is continuing to stream on Peacock.

In ‘Beyond Salem’, Burton reprises his first ever DAYS and soap opera role of Harris Michaels. Burton made his daytime TV debut in the part back in 1988.  Throughout the five episode-streamer, Burton shares pivotal scenes and story with longtime DAYS icon, Kristian Alfonso (Hope).

Photo: JPI

Burton expressed on taping his initial scenes with Alfonso (which were Harris and Hope’s wedding day): “The greatest thing about her (Kristian) was she has amazing eyes as an actress – eyes I can really connect with and it was an highly-emotional day. She helped me stay anchored – just by looking in her eyes.  She’s probably going, “Why is this weirdo starring at me all the time?’ (Laughs). She was great, gracious and awesome, but she really did help me out and I told her that and I said, ‘You made my job so much easier today, thank you.'”

The actor also revealed that in story, the door was left open that Harris’ bad guy moves in the streaming series, could turn out to be more complicated than on the surface given the character’s interrogation room final scene.

Steve weighed-in on if he would welcome more ‘Beyond Salem’ or chance to jump to the DAYS mothership on NBC. He shared: “If there is another one, if there is an open door on DAYS at some point, and I don’t know this, I’m just saying, I think they wanted to make it like, ‘Hey, this guy is really not a bad guy, and he’s redeemable.”

Photo: ABC

In addition, Steve opens up about his decision to not adhere to the ABC/Disney Covid-19 vaccine mandate, which ultimately led to him being fired from his long-running soap opera, and pivotal role on General Hospital as Jason Morgan.

Steve played Jason from 1991 to 2012 and then again from 2017 until the late fall of 2021. When reflecting on if he stands by his decision to not adhere to the ABC/Disney Vaccine Mandate policy, which caused him to be let go, Burton expressed: “I do. There was really no doubt in mind, obviously. It was just something that I believed, and I just could not do it. Look, I always say, you’ve got to follow your gut in life. Anytime I’ve ever gone against my gut instinct or conscious, it’s usually not a good result, and that’s why regret is always a guideline, your conscious is your guideline, and I don’t think I could have really lived with myself if I went against it.”

The longtime daytime star also weighed-in on if he had been concerned that he would not work on another daytime show, given his stance on the vaccine mandate. Steve said, “No, things are changing daily with things all the time. I didn’t really worry about it.  I felt if things change at GH, sure, I could probably go back.  I was on The Young and the Restless, there could be a door open there. I never really thought about DAYS too much, but I do visualization every day and I thought about all four shows. I would go, ‘Hey, if there’s a job there, awesome, bring it.” I’m open to it.  It’s daytime … it’s my home … but t I didn’t think it would be this way (with Beyond Salem) – I had no idea it would work out this way.”

Photo: SBurtonIG

During the conversation, Burton shares his sentiments on his former GH co-stars including: Kelly Thiebaud (Britt), who just won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Laura Wright (Carly) and reiterates, how again, Maurice Benard (Sonny) was instrumental in his development as an actor and shares behind-the-scenes details from his younger days as Jason.

Steve, who has been in the news of late after filing for divorce from with his wife of over two decades, Sheree Gustin, reveals during the conversation how he has faced a challenging year personally and professionally, and the lessons he has learned to get him get through the hard times.

Currently, Burton continues to travel the country with his former GH co-star, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) as their comedy show, Stone Cold and the Jackal plays multiple venues and details during the interview, why their creative and business partnership works, plus previews his new Steve Burton fitness app and workout venture and more.

Check out the full interview with Steve below.

Then let us know, do you hope to see Steve land on Days of our Lives and continuing the story of Harris Michaels? Did you enjoy him with Kristian Alfonso on ‘Beyond Salem Chapter 2″? What did you think about the sentiments he shared for his former GH co-stars, Kelly Thiebaud, Laura Wright and Maurice Benard in this interview? Do you hope someday that Jason will return to GH in the form of Burton? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Head Writer Ron Carlivati Talks ‘Beyond Salem Chapter 2’, Summer in Salem, Daytime Emmys & OLTL Favorite Moments

If you ever wondered about the thought-process of a head writer of a daytime drama, who also has the task of a creating a limited-streaming series in the same vein, then look no further then Michael Fairman’s latest interview now on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel with DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati.

Coming off his third Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, Carlivati not only shares the high points of his Emmy night, but how the win was made extra-special and emotional because of the passing of DAYS writing team member, Elizabeth Snyder, who was key to the writing of one of the winning episodes.

Photo: Courtesy/CBS

Starting on Monday July 11th, Carlivati and team’s latest creation, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter Two will drop on Peacock with a new episode each day through Friday, July 15th.  During this interview, Ron details how Peter Reckell (Bo), Kristian Alfonso (Hope) and Steve Burton (Harris) all signed on to the project, and how he approached the story for each of their characters, and how at its core this second edition of ‘Beyond Salem’ will be a must-see for any longtime Bope fan.

Photo: Peacock

Ron also talks on the on-screen debut of Abigail Klein as the new Stephanie Johnson in ‘Beyond Salem” and how she will land on NBC DAYS, and more. He also addresses the recent on-screen exodus on the mothership at Days of our Lives of Marci Miller (Abigail), Lamon Archey (Eli) and Sal Stowers (Lani) and Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben).  Though as has been reported and speculated, Wilson will be returning to the soap opera.

Photo: Peacock

In a DAYS summer preview, Carlivati shares that Abigail’s murder mystery will take many twists and turns, how Sami (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) nuptials could all blow up if Sami were to find out the man she is marrying was her kidnapper, plus what will Sami do when she realizes her sister, Belle (Marths Madison) has gotten oh-so-close with her man, EJ (Dan Feuerriegel)?

Photo: Peacock

The head scribe also teases that another major character will die in the coming months .. .but who will it be?

We wrap up the conversation with some rapid-fire questions for Ron on his favorite soap characters, storylines, etc, which if you are One Life to Live or Knots Landing fan, you will want to find out his answers.

Check out the full interview with Ron below.

Now, let us know, are you looking forward to ‘Beyond Salem: Chapter Two’? What do you think will go down this summer on Days of our Lives? Share your thoughts on this and more from our conversation in the comment section.

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