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SOAP BOX with Martha Madison & Michael Caruso and Special Guest Michael Fairman Dish Latest Soap Writing Regime Changes & Tony's Geary's Exit!

Photo Credit: MF Soaps Inc.

Photo Credit: MF Soaps Inc.

On Thursday’s episode of Soap Box on TradioV, host Days of our Lives and Winterthorne star Martha Madison welcomed guest co-host, Winterthorne creator Michael Caruso, and special guest On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman to chat on all the latest happenings in the world of daytime soaps.

During the broadcast, the trio discussed the major writing regime change at General Hospital which saw head writer Ron Carlivati being let-go, and being replaced by Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante as the daytime drama’s new co-head scribes.  Plus, the trio touch on how head writer Chuck Pratt Jr. is  giving Y&R some of their best overall total viewer ratings in recent years, and they tease DAYS 50th anniversary story from new head writers Dena Higley and Josh Griffith set to kick-off on-air later this month.

In addition, in one of the most controversial episodes in recent months, Tony Geary’s (Luke Spencer) final General Hospital airshow was bantered about, and how some fans expected one thing and felt disappointed, while Tony and the series delivered another.

Watch Soap Box with Madison, Caruso and Fairman after the jump.  Then let us know what you think about the writing regime changes, Geary’s exit, and more topics that were discussed on this episode!

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Jenn
Jenn

Great discussion! I feel the same way about Tony’s interview. I know Michael Logan was really proud of the interview but it was so negative and disrespectful to so many people. It ruined his exit story IMO

Kelly
Kelly

I’m just happy that the writers didn’t kill off Luke like Tony Geary wanted them to.

su0000
su0000

I loved the interview!!
Michael, you are the King, indeed!
I feel your heart in your reporting and love for all the soaps!
{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ BIG HUG }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

It was an eyeopener ..

I luv RC and am fearful of the change..
I honestly am not a fan of Jean and Shelly, they are lackluster writers which is obvious from Y&R 2014 ..
Ron just needed a rest and a co-writer to help out with the heavy load ..
(I feel Ron had a hard time with Tony, Tony’s wants and needs, with the writing of Tony’s exit story = stress)

Thanks, Michael!
0oohh and- you gotsa great body! 😉

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

I’m dying of suspense…and I love it! I love how Martha doesn’t spoil thingsl!! I hope Martha has Thaao Penghlis as a guest on Soapbox because he also knows how to leave people salivating for more info pertaining to DAYS!

Winterthorne is almost here…August 27th!

kelly
kelly

Yes!!! I also hope Martha has Thaao Penghlis as a guest.

MC
MC

Great interview, Michael. I thought it was very interesting how the Logan interview had such a different tone than any of the other exit interviews. Gee…Wonder why?

I do think that it is wrong to say that “everyone” knows about Tony & Genie’s relationship offscreen. Unless you are big fan and track down BTS info, you’re just a fan of L&L.

The problem with Tony’s exit is that the network once again made the decision to make it about what Tony wanted and not about what the fans wanted.

If anyone would have said, you know what Tony, we’ll let you walk off into the mist and your final scenes can be with Maurice. But you have to have a final scene with Genie it doesn’t have to be sappy, it can just be “thanks for the memories” , and I’m sorry but we’re going to throw in some flashbacks and a montage. Because we have 30 years of show and it was all part of Luke’s journey. And it’s not only about you, it’s about the fans who have been there right along with you.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I, too, listened to the interview–and still find it hard to believe that Tony Geary wielded that much power–that the network would bow to his wishes rather than to the fans who give the network the coveted ratings. Guess they just short-changed the viewers once again–or were simply “asleep at the wheel.”

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I agree with you; TG should have paid homage to his fans as his fans paid homage to him all the years he was invested in the character of Lucas Lorenzo Spencer that we came to love. (Don’t know the other “Fluke,” or evil character the embittered actor became. Still so hard to believe that TG had, was given, or simply took that much power. Can’t imagine how very hard it must have been on the other (professional) actors working along side him. Talk about stress!

su0000
su0000

Not everybody is a Luke and Laura fan..
The ones who were not watching during the Luke and Laura era, could care less .
So, not all the fans were upset..
A great number didn’t care lol

It is what it is .. look at the good and put the bad behind ..
(its done and over 🙂 A new day tomorrow..

kelly
kelly

MC – If the Powers that be had told Tony they were throw in some flashbacks and a montage he would not have cooperated. Tony might have had Luke say goodbye to friends and family on the phone. He had an incredible amount of power on that show.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

So hard to believe that TPTB gave away so much power–to the detriment of the show and to low ratings which are endangering the show’s very existence, isn’t it?

Aria
Aria

Mc, you are right on about how the network should of handle TG exit, it’s hard to swallow the crap they gave us as an ending. Let’s hope they’ve learned from this, although I doubt it.

su0000
su0000

Not one of you know for a fact how much writing power Tony had or how much input he had with his exit..
Of course they listen and agree or disagree with him and of course they give leeway after all Tony gave half his life to GH and is a GH legend..

Tony’s exit story has given him his 8th emmy..
I do believe for the black n with 52nd, he will receive his 9th emmy..

hopefully people will someday will also see the good of his exit 🙂
there were many great moments..
Tony and JJ were phenomenal as were bobby and Luke, there were many great heartfelt moments, we felt them and cried…

Harry
Harry

I have spoken at great length about this subject and no one needs to hear me blabber on anymore.
However, I do have to completely concur with Nancy. Ultimately the producer and head writer hold the power over the actor–or they should. Even if Tony said he did not want a goodbye scene with Laura which paid fidelity to their history while achieving some kind of soapy closure, they should have listened to the fans and given us what we wanted. I did not want Luke and Laura to run off into the sunset together but I did want a graceful bow of farewell.

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

I enjoyed the “behind the scenes” insights about soaps as Michael discussed with Martha and her guest host. I also appreciate Michael’s comments about being careful about making comments on social media and sites such as this one, taking into consideration the feelings of the actors. That is definitely something to keep in mind.

Having said that, I would also like to offer a little food for thought from the perspective of someone “beyond the fourth wall”. I agree that actors are human and have feelings. They are people who do their jobs and feed their families, etc. as others do in other professions and walks of life. I also am aware that the actors are rarely the ones who write and produce tv shows, including soaps. So the point is well taken that we should be careful when making comments on social media regarding actors. I agree.

However, the writers and producers of tv shows (and network execs) are the ones responsible for putting out the CONTENT of shows. They often do so without regard for the people behind the fourth wall. Before the coming of social media, it was difficult to near impossible for viewers to send timely feedback to the powers the be behind tv shows. Social media has changed all of that.

A year or two ago, one of my followers on Twitter criticized me for making comments that he did not like regarding a plot on my favorite soap opera. (I was not criticizing the acting, just the plot.) I told him my comments were a mild version of what went on in beauty salons I went to as a child. The ladies in the salon had a field day voicing their negative reactions to soap plots. By comparison, their criticism would make mine seem VERY mild. My point is, that the criticism of tv shows that is being expressed now days via social media has always been. Television execs just did not have access to it. So it seems shocking and new….But “there is nothing new under the sun”.

People do not always enjoy what television executives want to put on the air. After being subjected to objectionable material for so long, viewers are taking advantage of the “new voice” that they have through social media. This may be a rude awakening for some in the entertainment industry, especially if they are used to receiving “adoration” from fans. It must be quite sobering and even quite painful to learn that viewers do not think what they do is “all that”. Nevertheless, welcome to the reality that has always existed beyond the fourth wall!

jeremy
jeremy

Thank goodness, Tony is no longer with GH.. His exit was boring and Ff throughhis scenes. Good Riddance!!!

kelly
kelly

Tony will come back for a few weeks now that the hated Ron Carlivati has been fired.

jeremy
jeremy

when that happes, im tuning out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

su0000
su0000

Ron was not ”hated”
I luved Ron, Michael liked Ron, my friends etc..
Tony does not hate Ron..
Why you saying people hate Ron.. he has more fans than not.
hate is very strong word, a destructive dark emotion..

Harry
Harry

Suoo, I think Kelly was being tongue in cheek.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Loved it also that the actress from Days said she thought TG could have put aside his differences with Genie and should have given the fans what they wanted. She knows the power of fans! Good for her!

susan
susan

What were TG’s differences with Genie? I thought the two of them got along and were friends.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I don’t know–but the speculation on the radio show was that TG did not want a parting scene with Genie nor did he want any “retrospective” scenes to be shown when he left as they often do with other actors’ leaving. I guess that’s why Lulu handed a letter to Genie addressed “Angel” on the day TG left. That must have really hurt Genie. Still, in her video “goodbye” she thanked TG and said, “I love you.” That’s class–and it seemed heartfelt.
And remember the interview where Genie said (when they asked her to return for a “last adventure” before Geary’s departure, she asked, “Are you sure Tony wants me there?” That indicates some sort of “bad blood” between the two. And TG said in a later interview (as did Genie when also asked) that there are bound to be disagreements (he likened it to other pairings like Fred Estaire and Gingers) when a couple works together for 37 years. But, to Genie’s credit, she came on and did her work as a professional, as she has always done, though TG would hardly look at her, touch her, or even give her anything to work off dramatically in their scenes together. It was certainly a marked diffference and coldness as opposed to the way they communicated in earlier years–and evoked so much chemistry. Don’t know what happened–but TG has been very vocal in excluding her from any conversations he has had about his work. Instead, he talks about Jane Elliot being “his great acting partner.” (SAY WHAT??!!) There is also a somewhat conciliatory later interview where TG said of Genie: “Those blue eyes! That porcelain skin! She gave me love. She made me feel like I was someone worthy. I gave her danger. Those were the gifts we gave to each other.” What to make of it, I don’t know. Tony Geary has been all over the place in these so called “exit” interviews (Michael Fairman commented on the contradictions). And one day after saying he was gone for good, TG gave the interview where he said he might come back for “six-week” stints if the story was good enough or had a twist. Geary comes off as angry, petulant, and unprofessional in a lot of his comments–and, as I said, downright hurtful remarks directed at Genie specifically. Maybe he does need a lot of rest and a lot of introspection.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I found it very interesting indeed that Michael Fairman was also disappointed in TG’s last day. And I could sense the personal hurt that Michael felt especially since he had been a supporter and champion of TG all these years.

su0000
su0000

hi Nancy..
Just because one didn’t like Tony’s last day doesn’t mean all the great accomplishments of Tony is put aside..
Tony is a legend, and him having a not so good last day, eh that’s just show business LOL ..
It is said by a great many that the 52nd black & white episode is indeed iconic.. and noted by reporters as one of the greatest episodes of all time…

It was not all perfect but a good deal of the last 3 weeks were notably phenomenal and awesome 🙂 ..

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

And, suOOO, I say NOT! to the idea that the 52nd anniversary epi being “one of the greatest episodes of all time.” That, in my opinion–and I’m entitled to it because I have been watching since the inception and development of the character of Lucas Lorenzo Spencer–was the one episode that did the most damage to the show. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that episode totally violated the character of Luke Spencer and made him and the whole Spencer family VICTOMS. I’ll say again: no one wants to watch a VICTIM–and, I should think, no one wants to play a VICTIM. There’s no percentage in it for either the actor nor the viewer. One does not want to BE a victim nor does one want to identify vicariously with a victim. For many years this viewer watched a person (LUKE) rise above his past and his insecurities and become a victor over them, all the while gaining love and insight into himself–all this with humor and grace and the most fun a character ever had. Then the 52nd anniv. show–and all that went down the tube (literally) in one fell swoop.
Tony may be a legend to some; to this viewer he is a very tarnished one.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

And the word is VICTIM (sorry for the typo) always and forever, thanks to TG and RC and TPTB. And did you notice, suOOO, as many commentators have also noted, that the steam just went out of TG and out of the character of Luke Spencer after that so-called “greatest” epi? He never recovered and the joie de vivre went out of the character and that’s what I always loved about TG’s depiction of Lucas Lorenzo Spencer (the name ever reflects that!) Too bad, Tony; such a miscalculation on your part. So you went out, in the words of the poet, not with a “bang” but with a “whimper.” That is not the Luke Spencer I loved!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

PS Say what??!! I just viewed the letter on line that Lulu gave to Laura from Luke. Looking closely (and I did) it looks like “Angel” is spelled “Angle.” Take a look for yourself–it’s posted on Genie Francis’ twitter account by GH fan or some such.
Is this someone’s sick joke–or just an honest mistake????
You decide!

Timmm
Timmm

Yes, other than L&L’s wedding, black and white #52 was Luke’s finest work EVER!

Harry
Harry

I agree, Nancy. What could have been, what should have been and would might have been is very vexing. What a missed opportunity.
I wonder what that letter said?
Dear Angel:
Have you met Nina, Franco, Madeline, Ava, Denise and Morgan? Cause, they’re just AWESOME!

k/kay
k/kay

Nancy got back picked up your book very good and just so you will know my brother in law sits on one of the boards of ABC they are toast unless numbers come way up!

k/kay
k/kay

I am not try to be vengeful but the number crunchers are out! Take care

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Thanks so much, k/kay! Glad you liked it!
Thanks also for sharing the info about your brother-in-law sitting on an ABC board. I am afraid that GH WILL be cancelled. And it’s so frustrating because as I’ve said often, it didn’t have to be that way. TPTB could have remained true to the Luke character and the Luke and Laura story and the numbers would have soared. We longtime fans have held on so very long with so many hopes only to have them dashed.

Rose
Rose

I found this interview with Michael very enlightening. Since I only read MF for my soap news realized concerns and questions about GH, Tony/ Laura, Tony, RC firing/or not to fire, new/not so new writers, how ABC daytime has missed the fan mark in big ways over the years, were shared by a lot of others outside this column’s universe.

Was already looking forward to Winterthorne, but I’ve never watched Days. I really liked Martha Madison and have always liked Cassie. So will have to do a bit of catch-up and tune in.

But my main focus is in preserving the integrity of what is GH as the lives and generations in Port Charles move on in this fairly volatile transition period. So much as changed on the tv and viewing landscape, it’s just hard to envision afternoons without GH. Bad enough without OLTL and AMC.

And like most of us have commented…just continue to have good storytelling. It never ages, even when we are in space looking back at Earth.

And…hope maybe ABC, CBS and NBC will invest in soap-writing apprenticeships so we can always have new writers with a firm knowledge of the legacies they are writing for learning the craft of this type of storytelling. Or in baseball terms a…farm team and bullpen system.

Rose
Rose

Also appreciated Michaels remarks about some opinions. Yes everyone has a right to express their opinions, but sometimes they can get a little nasty and personal towards each other, a character, or actor. Mostly on MF we’re all better than that, with an occasional bad hair day comment. But sometimes when someone rationalizes their remark by saying “it’s about the character, not the actor,” how do you think the actor who is trying to do a professional job with a script given to them feels? And apparently this kind of stuff can show up on other social media like twitter.

There’s enough of it in politics…keep it out of our soaps.

su0000
su0000

hi Rose-
Some people are just everyday nasty and unpleasant..
They usually are the ones who flood the internet with their own unhappiness by raggin on whatever’s with negative hate stuff, it makes them feel better to complain and rant. (perhaps their therapy lol) LOL 🙂

A negative comment is different than a hate everything venting rant 😉

and- it the fans with their bad attitudes dropping their hate for GH on social media that will assuredly help a soap get canceled.. /fact ..

Harry
Harry

No Suoo, negative attention is still attention and will not get our soaps canceled. What helps soaps get canceled aside from the Network suits trying to number crunch is collective viewer apathy which causes them to tune out and which causes ratings to plummet.

Rodd
Rodd

Really interesting show. I enjoyed all the insights and “food for thought” all three provided. I was happy to hear people I respect and with inside the industry knowledge reiterate that Ron (and Frank) saved GH from cancellation. So many comments on this board have tried to discredit them, so it was nice to have people in the know publicly acknowledge Ron’s (and Frank’s) contribution to GH.

I was never a big fan of TG, was happy for him when he won Emmys only because it was a boast for GH, but he never blew me away with his acting ~ most of the time. I will say that the 52 Anniversary episode acting was an exception. That’s just me. Different strokes for different folks. What TG controlled and what others controlled, we may never know. His last day was a let down. Some of the previous days’ good-byes were touching, not all. IMHO, GH won’t suffer without him. I got used to his yearly months-long vacations from the screen and will think of this as just an extended time away.

Martha, Michael F. and Michael C. were spot on on so many of their assessments; I loved it. Thanks for sharing!

Gert
Gert

ExcelIent interview with you guys. Good Job. I love GH and started watching when AMC and OLTL were cancelled, as I followed John, Starr and Todd. It will be heartbreaking if GH is cancelled too. The negative comments are dismaying and this interview may help the naysayer viewers realize the harsh criticism impacts GH’s future. Very unhappy Ron C is gone. Here’s hoping the new writer’s succeed.

me3
me3

Really great interview. Thanks, Michael.

janet
janet

I think ABC wants an excuse to cancel GH. t he ratings are down. Why are they down , because TIIC keep trying to destroy it. Too many cooks spoil the broth. They seem to be getting their wish . I will NOT watch the mob take over again. The interview we know Michael F tried, like Tony didn’t to be politically correct. Say the right things. MM knows where her bread is buttered. Fans make the show. Now I wouldn’t cross the street to give TG a glass of water if he was dieing of thirst. He made himself look like an ass. If fans had come back it was because they were L&L fans first. Dark evil Luke who cares. They even went so far as to have JJ and Luke talk and have Luke say he was happiest when he was raising Lucky with Laura ,sorry didn’t buy it. LAURA wasn’t even in the room. This ending was just as bad as the fluke BS . Tony wanted to destroy L&L he did . would I like to ever see him return ,NO Is it his fault yes. He browbeat tiic into giving them his way, and it blew up in his face Was anyone happy ? off into the mist? Only Tony. Now TIIC are making Laura evil keeping secrets. ? M Logan telling the truth was not anything but the truth. Tony may thing he is Guilguld SP but its all in his deluded mind. He was a soap actor ,now hes not. Its not looked down on by the fans to do soaps .We go to movies watch prime time and support them. .he hurt Genie it was written all over her face .WTH does he think he is ? He is willing to maybe return, don’t bother I know I wouldn’t watch if he did.

Cathy
Cathy

I enjoyed this interview. Thanks Michael. You were humble, respectful, grateful, honest, insightful and fair.

Lellingw
Lellingw

I liked when the commentators said on the show if Tony wanted it all his way then he should have rented a theater, paid out the money, written the script, paid the actors, directed it etc. I Gould this video clip from 1982 in December when Tony did do that. It was a musical revue and he traveled to several parts of the country to perform. I’m posting a link to the clip with interview. http://youtu.be/f7EcgiLRDI8

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Well, after having watched the entire interview, I come away with one overriding thought: I have much more respect and admiration for Michael Fairman. I appreciated his honesty and frankness, mainly with regard to Tony Geary’s comments and attitudes, which many of us as fans found to be deplorable.

Secondly, although I enjoyed the interviewers, the first part of their banter included much profanity. I’m not a fan of profanity. It diminishes a person…

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Promo: What’s Going To Happen At Jarlena’s Wedding Anniversary Shindig?

Coming up next week on Days of our Lives, prepare for drama, drama, and more drama! From the looks of the latest promo for the NBC soap opera, the action takes place at Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) surprise one-year wedding anniversary soirée, where things could take a deadly turn!

But with the Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) masquerading as “Nicole” plot reaching new heights, Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley) and Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) back in Salem, and the promo telling viewers “For one guest, the party, is over” followed by Sonny (Freddie Smith) yelling, “She’s got a gun!” and Brady’s (Eric Martsolf) ending line, “Oh, my God!” there is plenty to conjecture.

Also seen in the teaser is Kate (Lauren Koslow) trying to rip off the face of Susan Banks (Stacy Haiduk), and Stefan (Brandon Barash) and Gabi (Camila Banus) getting hot and heavy and Eric (Greg Vaughan) yelling, “No!”

So, check out the promo below and then let us know via the comment section below, what you think is about to go down at Jarlena’s party, where last August at their nuptials … things did not go off without a hitch, either!

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Daytime Emmys To Merge Younger Actor & Actress Category Into One As Gender-Inclusive Categories Are On The Rise

The upcoming 47th annual Daytime Emmys are already making some changes to key categories and specifically this one that affects daytime drama performers.  Word from Variety is that NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is going to announce that they are combining the Younger Actor and Actress categories into one gender-neutral category

Not only will the Younger performer category be gender-inclusive, but network soap performances will be combined with digital drama series performances for the category.  Previously, for this past Daytime Emmys, NATAS had changed the Guest Performer in a Drama Series to be gender-inclusive.

This category was initially created in 1985 when it was called the Outstanding Ingenue and then from there tweaked into Outstanding Juvenile Female and Male, and more recently that morphed into the Younger Actor and Actress categories.

Photo: JPI

Former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) and former DAYS star, Kyle Pettis (Ex-Theo) will now be the last female and male to win the two separate categories with this new move for 2020.

Fans of film and TV have noticed that on several award shows on MTV: their Movie and TV Awards and their VMA’s, there are several gender-inclusive categories, as well as the Television Critics Association Awards who for instance doles out Outstanding Individual Achievement in Drama in comedy.

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So, what do you think of the change; that there will now be one Younger performer category at the Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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