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THE A MARTINEZ INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

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Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

This week A Martinez returns to daytime! What prompted your decision to come back to daytime and to “OLTL”?

A:

It’s really an interesting show, and so many of the actors on there are actors that I have loved. When I was doing “GH”, I had met most of those actors around ABC functions and the Daytime Emmys. I got to go to a party once for Erika Slezak (Viki), who I think is the most remarkable actress. I have had such a high regard for her and the show. I had met Frank Valentini (executive producer, “OLTL) back in the day, and when you are in daytime, it’s really a small community. Even the people I worked with going way back to, “Santa Barbara” they are still working, and you feel like a connection to them even though months and often years go by, without any real conversations. It’s an interesting feeling to walk back into it. Going back to the set of a daytime soap felt so immediately comfortable. It was actually quite surprising.

MICHAEL:

How long can fans expect your stay in Llanview to be?

A:

I signed a five-week deal and I just finished my last tape day. I think the stories and the scenes will play out over 8 weeks.

MICHAEL:

Was the shows intention with your character, Ray Montez always supposed to be for a short stint?

A:

The character had various incarnations; I think he was originally thought of as someone who would be around for awhile, and then someone who was somewhat disposable quickly. I think, but you never know, but he may survive. I won’t say more than that. I think there is possibly a future for him. I hope so, because he is a lot of fun to play.

MICHAEL:

Is there a down side to only being able to explore this new character for such a short time?

A:

There is no down side. It’s a really fun character and the actors are wonderful to work with. At this point in time, it’s greatly pleasurable to spend time in New York City. We would have to think long and hard as a family if we make a decision to move here.

MICHAEL:

Vince Irizarry (ex-David) who recently left “Y&R” told me he was flying back and forth every week from his home on the east coast to continue taping his role on the west coast. Would you consider a set-up like that?

A:

The thing is, you can’t quite tell how you are going to respond to it until you try it. So far what has happened is, I came and when back to LA once, and did that again, and then my family came and visited me and we had our wonderful little August summer vacation. It’s been a great five weeks, I have to say.

MICHAEL:

What were the circumstances that led you to Llanview?

A:

My agent called me and said, “There is this thing, and would you consider doing it?”, and it was a little much to consider. It was sign on the dotted line and move to New York for two years, and that was a little too much to imagine. But then the showed changed the way they thought about it, and I looked at what was on the table and thought it would be great.

MICHAEL:

You are one of the most beloved and cherished actors the soap genre had ever had. Why do you think you work so well in this medium?

A:

I have always loved working in daytime, it’s certainly where I feel the most free of anything. Once you establish that in your mind, it’s hard to let go of it. Even though I am getting better,  and ‘god knows’ I should after all these years, I think I am getting better in film than I used to be. There is just nothing like it, the soaps….the freedom of being and performing live with live cameras. I love to play with good actors and it literally is fun.

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MICHAEL:

Why do you think some actors and characters transcend in this genre, while some do not?

A:

When I did, “Santa Barbara” I played Cruz for more than 1600 times. He took on weight in my emotional life that was shocking when he was gone. I had no idea for what it would feel like to say, “Goodbye” to that guy.

MICHAEL:

The fans weren’t either.  It was so hard to say goodbye to “Santa Barbara” and to Cruz Castillo. It’s such a testament to you and the character, and how you portrayed him. It is legendary!

A:

He is a great guy, and at the end of the day, it’s about the writing, and he was the best guy I got. There is just no getting around it. He was my teacher and he was my brother, and when he went away, he demanded he be mourned in my own personal architecture. All that being said, it was a nice day when I could finally let go of it.

MICHAEL:

From Cruz on “SB”, we next saw you return to daytime on “GH” as Roy Deluca. This week you come back to daytime as Ray Montez. What can you tell us about him?

A-look.jpgA:

He’s tortured and misunderstood. He’s not well-mannered, but he is capable of being charming. He defaults more often to certain rudeness. He is real different.

MICHAEL:

Is he a criminal?

A:

He is perceived to be a criminal, and legally he has been imprisoned, but it remains to be seen what goes on with his heart. The thing that is so great about him is he is really tortured. He is not a guy that has got the world on a string. He is struggling, and it’s so much fun to play. It’s hard not to root for somebody, if you have empathy for anyone who is struggling unless they are utterly irredeemable!

MICHAEL:

So he is not irredeemable and not a villain?

A:

No. I would not say he is a villain, but people do talk a lot of trash about him.

MICHAEL:

Who have you worked with at “OLTL”?

A:

First, I got to work with Jerry ver Dorn (Clint) immediately. Clint brought Ray to Llanview and Jared went and did the deed. So, then I met Brittany Underwood’s character Langston, and then that turned into the Clint/ Dorian feud. Then I got to do some fairly operatic stuff with Robin Strasser (Dorian).

A-jared.jpgMICHAEL:

Tell me about working with the amazing Robin Strasser?

A:

She is amazing, fearless, and brilliant and that is the heart of it. You go, “OK, this is a person who inserts her fangs and goes to work and attacks the work and has such high standards and a willingness
to take risks.”

MICHAEL:

She knew you were thee A Martinez? Right?

A:

We were aware of each other. We met, although briefly, at this party that ABC threw a few years back. We met across this big white table, and we saw each other, and acknowledged each other and expressed our mutual admiration for the work. I always thought she was fabulous. When you get to do a scene with someone who raises your goose bumps that to me is the thing I most feel and crave as an actor, and as a person watching the theatre.


MICHAEL:

The rumors are that Ray will be adversarial with Dorian, but that he could be a potential love interest for Dorian.

A:

Hmm. From the get-go and the way we worked with each other, it was really cool.

MICHAEL:

So there could be some sparks between them ?

A:

Yeah.

MICHAEL:

Many fans and insiders were swirling around in their soap fantasies, that perhaps when you were going to be brought on to “OLTL”, Marcy Walker (Ex-Eden, “SB”, Ex-Liza, “AMC”) would soon follow?

A:

It’s among my dreams. I work love to work with Marcy again, but I have not heard that rumor personally.

MICHAEL:

Have you stayed in touch with Marcy?

A:

I have not talked to her for several years.

MICHAEL:

Why was that such an unbelievable pairing, Eden and Cruz?

A:

A lot of it was dumb luck of having such a similar approach. We are cut from the same clothes as how we see the task. She is really committed and detailed oriented, and the thing I would always say, right? The one thing that stood out over time, depending if one of us had a bad day, is it would never happen two days in a row, it would never recur. And sometimes that’s hard to do after a time. After awhile it’s real, real tempting to mail this one in… and that was not going to happen with us. And that is what set us apart. We were ferocious about how we protected the quality of the work. I say this to my kids all the time, and I am so grateful about this in my life, and that is, “We knew how good it was, and how special the work was while we were doing it. “ It was utterly clear to us that we had something very special, and we ran with it as long as it was there to run.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Ray’s Llanview relative Langston, played by Brittany Underwood?

A:

She is great, and it’s a sweet group of young actors they have on the show. They have a sense of doing the work, and they seem to know how lucky they are to have the gigs and are committed to the work. Brittany is a strong worker.

MICHAEL:

Langston did not know she had an Uncle Ray.

A:

She did not know of Ray. Langston was looking for relatives when her parents perished.

jachendy.jpgMICHAEL:

Ray has wife, Vanessa!

A:

Yeah, Jacqueline Hendy is the actress that
I have done one scene with. She is very nice. Jacqueline plays my wife and somebody is a trouble maker in this group and that’s the big debate. Who is the most trouble in the marriage? We don’t really know.

MICHAEL:

Any other famous “One Lifers” we should look forward to seeing you on-screen with?

A:

I got to do nice stuff with Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio), and briefly got to work with Hillary B. Smith (Nora).

MICHAEL:

Well, I thought perhaps they would put Hillary and A together? The two Daytime Emmy winning dynamos, and that would really screw Clint for bringing Ray to stir up trouble in the first place.

A:

Hillary’s character, Nora just treated Ray terribly. He is apparently an easy guy not to like. I just knew Hillary from back in the day.


MICHAEL:

So how do we get you in a scene with Erika Slezak?

A:

She walked in the door today! Erika was on vacation the whole time I was there. I just got to say, “Hello” to her, and she’s Erika Slezak. I saw her in the hallway!

MICHAEL:

If you were to explain who Ray is, what would you say?

A:

He’s a tortured guy who is trying to crawl out from under a rock.

Double2.jpgMICHAEL:

So, you have completed everything with “OLTL” at this point?

A:

I filled my contract.

MICHAEL:

What do you think needs to happen for everyone at the show and ABC to commit to telling Ray’s story long term?

A:

I am sure that they have to reconvene and figure what they want to do next. It’s like so many aspects of this game. You don’t really know until you put it on its feet, and see how it stands up. They have to look at it on how it plays within the flow of the show, and then see how the viewers respond to it. I think as you mentioned and intimated, it’s sometimes difficult to separate me from Cruz. He is probably one of 150 people I have played and still he is that guy. I think it’s always questionable how people will respond to any actor, when they are expecting a certain thing and what they are getting is something else.

MICHAEL:

My thought was “OLTL” would be stupid if they did not try to keep you on the show, first of all, for your value?

A:

I think a lot depends on how people respond to it. I am very hopeful.

MICHAEL:

Was their one scene that you felt you got to “dig” into?

A:

There was one scene were Dorian got Ray to loose his cool and he become undone. She got him so mad that he started breathing heavy, and then he tried to get out of the room, and before he could get to the door, she jumped him from behind, and tore him up! It filled my eyes and gave me goose bumps.

MICHAEL:

There was a wonderful new Lifetime Television movie you just appeared in, “Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story”. Tell us about it?

pow-wow.jpgA:

It’s a true story and it was a wonderful experience to get it. I was approached by a woman from the Native American Cultural Studies class at Cal State Dominquez Hills. They had used one of my earlier movies called, “Pow Wow Highway” on their syllabus. She called me and asked me, “If I would come meet her class?”, and I had not seen it in a long time, so I thought I would love to go, and I would watch it again. She let me come and see the movie. It was a joy to see it. I had an audition that same day. I am on this wonderful high from seeing the movie, and I am driving to Hollywood. At that point, my manager calls and says: “Well, there is good news and bad news. And bad news first… the interview you are currently driving to, they have decided to go in another direction. So you don’t need to keep driving.” I go, “Well, what is the good news?” He then says, “The good news is that Lifetime called and offered you this movie, “Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story”. It was one of those great days.

MICHAEL:

The story is so moving. Did you know when you got your part in the film that this was going to be an incredible and powerful experience?

A:

Judy Reyes (Nurse Carla, “Scrubs) played this woman, Luz Cuevas. She busted us down at the table read, and when I saw that, I knew this was going to be something special. Usually, at the table read hopefully there will be hope for optimism on a project. She just killed. She turned to me at one point in time, and this woman thinks she has lost her baby, and thinks her baby is alive, and everyone including her father, and husband and the police are telling her she’s crazy, and she need to get a grip and get on with her life. Well, she finally comes to my character, who in the real-life true story, is the person she turned to, and in the table read she turned to me and said, “Do you believe me?” When Judy said that line to me… her face was pale, her eyes were wet, her lip was moving, and I was thinking, “Holy Moly! This is going to kill, and it did.” We went to the premiere in Hollywood at the Director’s Guild, and it tore the room up. Then the executive at Lifetime addressed the room and said, “I want you to know the real Delimar Vera is here with her momma. Here they are!” We all stood up and turned to her. The baby and she are now together. That is the baby that was supposedly dead in the film, and the entire room gave her in a standing ovation. They just bathed her with respect and it melted her.

little-girl.jpgMICHAEL:

Tell us about your role in the film?

A:

I play this guy named Angel Cruz, who is a representative in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who is out of Philadelphia’s 180th district. I think he may be the first Hispanic legislator to come out of Philly. I think he is in his fourth term now and made it possible for this woman to have her life turned back around, because when she came to him, he promoted himself as the friend of the common persona. When she came to him, he did not brush her off. He went out of is way to get her access to DNA tests which she could not afford under her own auspices and functioned as an angel in her life. So it’s really cool to say the least.

To read a write up and review from the Philadelphia Daily News about the background of this horrific yet triumphant story on Delimar Vera, click here!

MICHAEL:

Have you stayed in touch with Jill Farren Phelps (executive producer, “GH”)? I know she is one of your closest friends from way back to your collaboration with her, when she was executive producer of “Santa Barbara”.

A:

Yeah I have. She is as good of friend as anyone, and helps me with so many things in terms of a career. As a person, she is one of the wisest people I have ever known. Our family owes so much to her family, and the things they do instinctually is just wonderful.

MICHAEL:

When Roy Deluca wondered out of Port Charles and you left “GH”, did you and Jill feel the character had it’s closure?

A:

Basically, they sent him to Miami.

MICHAEL:

I got confused. I think he kind of felt shuffled off the canvas.

A:

There was a thing where he was trying to undo Sonny and then Alcazar came in. Then Roy went into ca-hoots with Sonny and went to Miami to cover some of Sonny’s operations. At that time, I got offered this Lifetime Series, “For the People”. That was a real sweet gig. I was hoping it would turn into something, and then in true show biz fashion, you walk away with another gig.


MICHAEL:

How was it working with heavy hitters… Maurice Benard (Sonny) Steve Burton (Jason)?

A:

They are wonderful, and the best thing for me is that I got to work with Tony Geary (Luke), because Roy and Luke were thick as thieves. It goes back to the very beginning of the show that relationship, and obviously it’s Tony Geary! It’s a wonderful group of actors. I got to do things with lots of people on the show, but most of the stuff, I got to do with the men was with Tony. There really is no one quite like him. You don’t know how much I respect him.

MICHAEL:

What is it about him that makes him so unique and special as a performer?

A:

Tony steps up on a daily basis. He explores these colors, and the palette he is using is just so huge. It’s so hard to pin that character of Luke down. There are things we have come to understand about him. The day by day exploration and wanting to try new things made it such a joy to work with that guy.

MICHAEL:

How was it getting to work with Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) when you were back in the fold with her? So many loved her, as Julia Capwell on “Santa Barbara”.

A:

We’re down. She’s awesome!

MICHAEL:

Also, I know there was a moment in time you thought was very special for Maurice Benard.

A:

When Maurice won his Emmy… it was long overdue. What a night that was!

MICHAEL:

We thought your Daytime Emmy was long overdue by the way!

A:

Oh bless your heart….

MICHAEL:

….I remember. I was there.

A:

The thing I will never forget about it was that afterwards, my wife, Leslie and I stood off one of those big ballrooms, because the show was inside the main Marriot Marquis ballroom in New York City. We stood there together shoulder to shoulder for three hours or so. We fielded a river of people coming to express their best wishes and their pleasure that I had been recognized. That’s a moment where you feel your whole sense of the world tilt a little bit. I mean… it was beyond. It was so genuinely generous from so many directions and gave us certain value to the work.

A-tux.jpgMICHAEL:

Where is the Emmy?

A:

It’s my living room. I will tell you what though, whenever we evacuate because of the latest fires or what not in LA, you grab your Emmy! At the end of the day one thing you can say about it is, “that they are very pretty items.”

MICHAEL:

I wanted to just go back to your “Santa Barbara” days with you. Give me a few words about some of your former female co-stars…Kim Zimmer (Ex-Jodie, “SB”, now Reva, “GL”)?

A:

She was profoundly energetic and fun.

MICHAEL:

Sydney Penny (Ex-BJ, “SB”)?

A:

Soulful.

MICHAEL:

Eileen Davidson (Ex-Kelly, “SB”, now Ashley, “Y&R”)?

A:

Beautiful and passionate.


A-Chains.jpgMICHAEL:

In closing, as you premiere on “OLTL” this week, what can we tell fans to look forward to?

A:

The fans can look forward to that he is a real interesting guy. He got to do a bunch of real interesting things with a bunch of the characters. If people enjoy watching it half as much as I enjoyed doing it, then they will remember him fondly.

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Hi, am Nelly, from Africa (Kenya) I have read this whole interview but with only one interest, Cruz and Eden..how is it possible that A has not talked to Marcy for several years? this is simply heartbeaking… I think. Their incredible perfomance on SB left many of us all over the world marvel at what real love should be, it was sort of a yardstich for which all love should be measured. The least they could have done for their fans, especially hopeless romantics like me, is to stay friends.. atleast… what happened? so heartbeaking. Yes we respect that they… Read more »

Interviews

Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Kim Waltrip Talk Plans & Launch Campaign To Make ‘Dial Emme For Murder’ into a Series

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner, and soap opera favorite Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R and Ex-Kristen/Susan, Days) is bringing one of her soap opera mystery novels to life with a proposed six-part series for the soapy and hilarious mystery, Dial Emme For Murder.

Joining Eileen in the cast will be none other than Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R) , Knots Landing favorite, Donna Mills (Ex-Abby), and primetime TV and film actress, Nancy Valen.  More cast members will be announced in the future.

Photo: JPI

In Dial Emme for Murder, Davidson plays actress Emmanuelle “Emme” Peterson, a successful soap star who finds herself smack dab in the middle of a  whodunit.

Now, in conjunction with the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television (PSWIFT), and its president and director/producer, Kim Waltrip, Davidson is launching a fundraising campaign to get the series made.

Photo: EDavidson

In an exclusive interview on the Michael Fairman Channel, Eileen, Judith and Kim exclusive reveal key Intel on the project, campaign and working together.  The proposed series has also launched its official website here.

About PSWIFT:  PSWIFT (Palm Springs Women in Film & Television) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2001 dedicated to promoting our members, both men and women in the Entertainment, New Media Creative arts community. In 2020 Palm Springs Women in Film & Television created and launched a Filmmakers’ Lab to teach members how to make a film, by making a film, hands-on.

PSWIFT is currently seeking donations through their non-profit – which are 100% tax-deductible – to fund the Filmmakers’ Lab’s next venture Dial Emme for Murder.  You can find out more on the different perks and packages if you donate to the project here.

Watch the interview with Michael, Eileen, Judith, and Kim below.

Then let us know, if you think Dial Emme for Murder featuring powerhouse actress, Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Donna Mills, will be a must-see for you via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Chats On Mia St. John’s Powerful Interview on ‘State of Mind’, Winning the Daytime Emmy & Sonny’s Future If Carly & Jason Get Hitched

Since the launch of Maurice Benard’s You Tube series, State of Mind, he has welcomed numerous guests who have opened up and shared their struggles with different aspects of mental health.  But this Sunday, July 11th, Maurice will share for the first time his powerful and emotional sit-down interview with Mia St. John; one that he reveals was one of the most moving of his series thus far.

With Maurice being a huge boxing enthusiast throughout his life, having St. John, who is a boxer, herself, on as a guest was, of course, special. However, as soap fans know, Mia is also the former wife of the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters, Y&R) and they shared a son, Julian.  Both men died, tragically. Julian, suffered from a long-history of mental illness, and his death was ruled a suicide, and Kristoff was consumed with grief following his son’s death which ultimately set him on a downward spiral.  Kristoff’s death was ruled accidental caused by hypertrophic heart disease; which was exacerbated by alcohol use.  In the conversation with Benard, Mia opens about her own personal struggle with addiction and how she coped with these two devastating losses. (See an exclusive preview clip below within this interview)

It’s also been a whirlwind year for Maurice. He just took home his third Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series during the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards for his moving portrayal as GH’s Sonny Corinthos, as he goes through all the stages of a child watching his father, Mike Corbin (played by Emmy-winner Max Gail) slip away due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Since the Emmy broadcast was pre-taped due to Covid restrictions, except for revealing who the winners actually were, Benard shares what went down when his name was called watching the show from home with his family.

 

And … things are heating up on General Hospital!  For months, Benard has been playing an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” who has become taken with deceitful Nina (Cynthia Watros), who knows he is alive and well and living in Nixon Falls, but fails to tell her nemesis Carly (Laura Wright), or anyone else in Port Charles.  With everyone believing Sonny is dead after his showdown with Julian Jerome, Carly and Jason (Steve Burton) find themselves having to save Sonny’s territory and go up against the five families.  So, what are the besties deciding to do? Get married! And as viewers saw, Carly recently removed her wedding rings to Sonny.  So, now the question on GH fans inquiry minds is; will Sonny get his memory back in time, and stop Jason and Carly from tying the knot?

Benard weighs-in on what the future may hold for Sonny, the difficulties he faced during the Covid-19 lockdown with his mental health, his conversation with Mia, and much more.  Here’s what Maurice shared.

Courtesy/StateofMind

Having Mia St. John on as your guest on the upcoming episode of State of Mind was quite emotional for you. What can you preview? 

MAURICE:  I can say that during last ten minutes, there’s a lot of spiritual stuff going on.  I felt it.  She’s very tough.  You can tell that she doesn’t want to hurt anymore, and with me, I don’t know for sure, but I think she felt safe and protected.  We got into Julian and Kristoff and what happened.  I’m pretty sure I asked her and said, “I’d like to get into something.  You could say ‘no’ to me.  It’s fine,” and she told me the whole story.  Michael, I know you were friends with Kristoff, you’re going to really be moved because I was extremely moved.  It really, really hit me hard, because of what I’ve just been through during the pandemic. I just felt the need to be there for her.  I mean, I have that in me anyway, but with her, I did because it seemed like a lot for someone to go through.  I didn’t know Kristoff.  I met him once, and we talked for a bit.  He seemed like a great guy.  I knew he was a great actor because I watched his work.  I do know that everybody seemed to love him, but through State of Mind, it seemed like I got to know him a little better through Mia.  I was looking in her eyes, and taking it all in, and she was telling me everything.

Throughout your series, you seemed to have become more comfortable in the role of the interviewer.  It’s quite the switch isn’t it from always being on the other end as the interviewee.

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve gotten better.  You know what it is with me, and somebody said it, I’ve got a curiosity that I love to hear people’s stories, and I have a way to make people comfortable.

Photo: KSJIG

Does it help you in listening to what other people have gone through in dealing with your own struggles with mental illness?

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve said it before.  It’s like therapy for me.  After Mia, I was drained, but in a good way.  In the beginning of doing “State of Mind’, I was just learning.  I wish I was more well-rounded in my intelligence.  I barely graduated out of high school, but as far as what it is with me, if I know something like acting or mental health, I really completely know it.  I’m into it.

How did the interview with Mia come about?  Did you ask her to come on State of Mind?

MAURICE:  I know who is involved with mental health.  I know who would be interesting to interview, and then I reach out, and I have people coming who are not in the soap world.  I have a WWE person; I have a TV critic, etc.  So, I asked her, and Mia said ‘yes’, and then we did the interview.  I’m a huge boxing fan.  So, to be able to talk to her about boxing and things that happened to her right before her fights, I was just really fascinated.

That is right in your wheelhouse!

MAURICE:  Way up my alley!  If I could have more boxers on, I would love that.  I love sports, but boxing is my one sport, so I was like a kid in a candy store talking to Mia.

How do you feel Mia is doing as she has been very open about her battle with alcoholism?

MAURICE: Any time you’ve been through that much, I think it’s a daily struggle for anyone. In addition, there is a really great organization she works with that I hope people will check out as she is trying to help others.

In terms of all of your State of Mind’s, did this one impact you in a different way?

MAURICE:  The good thing for me about State of Mind is that I learn from each person about things that I didn’t know.  For instance, coming up I have: Linsey Godfrey (Ex-Sarah, DAYS) who got hit by a car.  I mean, you could read about it, but when you’re talking to someone, things come out.  That’s what I love about doing this show.  Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) didn’t know anything about mental illness, personally, but he talked about mental illness more than anyone!  I said to him on the episode, “For somebody who doesn’t know anything about mental illness or didn’t have someone with it, you talk more about it,” because he had a curiosity on the subject.  Mia’s was a little more because of the boxing and how deep we went with her talking about death.  In an upcoming episode with Ken Shriner (Scott, GH), he teaches me a lot about death.  When your parents die at 16, I don’t know how you could keep going.  He taught me how.  It was beautiful.

Photo: NATAS/CBS

Let’s go back to a few weeks ago on June 25th and you win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  How did you find out you took home the gold?

MAURICE:  I was at my place in LA with my son, Joshua and my wife, Paula and we were watching the show.  When they called my name, I was very moved to watch my wife and my son get so excited, it really was sweet.  I liked my speech even though people had a problem with it, which is fine.  It’s always great if Max Gail wins or I get a win, because it’s the Alzheimer’s storyline that gets the attention.  And as I told you already, my dad has Alzheimer’s so it makes it even more personal.

And as you know, my mom had Alzheimer’s and died.  That’s why what you and Max did together on-screen together felt so real and raw and touched so many people – especially those who have a loved one going through this now, or that has passed.

MAURICE:  Yeah, it’s tough. I truly believe with this Emmy win, that it is the Alzheimer’s that really pushed it over the edge because it was a real story, greatly written, everybody deals with it, including you, including me, and you just can’t help but have a feeling about it.  You know, if I have a reel that shows me as Sonny yelling at people, beating people up, it’s not going to give you the impact.

Photo: NATAS

Was it weird coming to the stage and doing a pre-taped Emmy acceptance speech knowing that everybody else that was nominated had to do one too?

MAURICE:  Well, thank, God I didn’t have to do it in front of actors; I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.  It’s weird, right?  I knew I had to adjust.  When I’ve won before, it’s in front of a lot of people, or semi-in front in a lot of people.  So, with this year, your energy is different.  So, you can’t act in a speech like that, because then it would seem kind of over the top, maybe.  So, I just made a speech that I thought would work for what I was doing; which is kind of acting because I didn’t want to come out and say, “Oh, my God!  I can’t believe it!”  So, I said, “Okay, I’ll thank the actors, I’ll thank Frank, and I’ll make it about Alzheimer’s.”

Photo: GFrancisTwitter

I know some fans on social media jumped on the comment you made within the speech about ‘being the star of the show’ and you did tweet out that you went to Genie Francis (Laura, GH) to make sure there were no ruffled feathers there.

MAURICE:  I went to Genie because I thought, I don’t want her to take what I said personally, and she’s like, “What are you talking about?”  Sometimes I respond to a negative comment on Twitter with an emoji which can incite people.  So, I decided, “I’m not going to do that anymore. No more responding.”  Like I always say, you want to be loved and you want to be hated.  You just want to be loved a little more. So, I stopped with the child’s play.  I’m cool with it.

It seemed that things got twisted up, because you had related in the speech, that Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) came over to you and said you have to do the storyline, because you are the star of the show, when you were overcome in the screen-test with Max Gail. 

MAURICE:  Sometimes people love to change the narrative.  If you watch everything … they say what I said, but they don’t say that I also said ‘Alzheimer’s’ was the star, but I’ll take the hit.

Courtesy/ABC

I recently posted a clip of my interview with Cynthia Watros from the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys saying how she is so thrilled and honored to work with you.  How is it working with Cynthia?

MAURICE:  Let me tell you about Cynthia, and this is just my experience because I don’t know her that well.  We hadn’t worked together before. First of all, we tend to overlook, because of her character and the story, or whatnot, is that she is a real actress.  Let’s not forget that, I know she did Lost, and I didn’t watch her on another soap.  I know from working with her.  She can act She makes adjustments, and she listens, and I’m really happy to be working with her.  She is just stuck in a circumstance that is not her fault, but you know what, like I said today I think on Twitter to somebody, ‘but wait’.  I’ve been working this last month doing some scenes with her, and when you see that, there’s a little bit of magic in there!  I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing in the world, I’m just saying there’s a little magic!

Photo: ABC

Have you liked being “Mike “and not having Sonny’s memory because it opened up the story?

MAURICE:  I know people think this story is my idea, like I needed a break or something.  It has nothing to do with me needing a break.  They came to me and said they were going to do this story.  I said, “Let’s do this!”  I’ve been enjoying this.  It’s a different energy.  The energy that Sonny has is dark.  It’s like in third gear.  Mike is like in first gear, calm, relaxed, happy.

You’re just realizing that now?

MAURICE:  (Laughs) Well, I guess until you’ve gone somewhere else you really don’t know.  Often times, when I do movies and other projects, it’s often the same kind of energy that Sonny has. I’ve never played a character like “Mike” where it’s a whole other feeling!

Courtesy/ABC

Is it more challenging to play a character like Mike?

MAURICE:  No, easier!  Sonny can be difficult to play.  But guess what?  The audience – at least my fans – they don’t care how happy I am or whatever, they are screaming “Go back to fricken Sonny!”  I like that in a way, but I didn’t know that it was going to be this vocal from people.  It’s not that they hate Mike, they just want Sonny, and Cynthia is put in a tough situation because of her history in that character.

So, now everyone saw last week that Jason and Carly have decided they have to get married for the sake of the business with Sonny believed-to-be-dead.  What did you think when you heard that they were going in that direction with the story?

MAURICE:  Well, I was the last one to know.  I didn’t know they were going to get married until I heard about it in the makeup room.  I think the first thing I thought of was … we are all going to be having some great scenes coming up, like, “Alright.  Let’s rock and roll!  Let’s do it!  I’ll get into this character of Sonny when called upon.”  It might be and dark and the whole thing, but once I’m in there, I’m fine.

Courtesy/ABC

It would seem if Carly and Jason do actually get married, it’s not going to be an easy road to reconciliation for Carly and Sonny down the line.

MAURICE:  No.  I would say not.  The thing about Sonny is that it’s what Sonny does best, or what I do playing him best, is betrayal.  So, for him, this is not a good thing.  I would assume he’s just going to go, “What the…” and all hell is going to break loose.

Sonny’s body washed ashore and he was very much alive, while the search and rescue mission quickly became a recovery.  Once again, law enforcement in Port Charles isn’t very good! (Laughs)

MAURICE:  So, there you go.  It’s going to be a bigger fight.  It’s going to be a great fight when Sonny does return.

Photo: ABC

Fans are predicting that Jason and Carly are going to be at the altar, and Sonny is going to walk in alive and well with his memory back to the nuptials!

MAURICE:  Well, however it goes, I would say, just let them just watch the fireworks as they unfold.

But you’re enjoying this story?

MAURICE:  I’m cool, man.  I will say this, I’m glad that I have been given this last month playing Mike, and the Nixon Falls story.   I don’t know how much more we have ahead.  I just know that what we’ve taped has been really cool, and I’m glad that they gave me that.

Photo: ABC

I know that the coronavirus pandemic and its isolation was rough for you.  What can you share, and how did you find your way out of a downward spiral?

MAURICE:  Yeah, Covid was just one of those things where I was hit with a lot of different things all at once, which was …  GH shutting down production, my book tour not being in New York (although the book ended up probably doing better because of the pandemic, which was interesting) … my mom and dad moved out …  and I thought it was the end of the world.  We all did at some point, and it all hit me with a rush of anxiety that I had never felt before in my entire life, and it was four months of terror … way too long. I was shaking like a leaf, not sleeping, it was tough.  What I tell people is that when you go through these things, it will pass.  I know, for me, four months was too long, but it did pass.  You’re better because of it.  You can take one of either two roads.  You can get worse, and you can say, “I’m a victim, I’m a victim,” or you can take the other road and say, “I’m stronger now.  Look at what I’ve been through,” and then, look at what happens … a year and a half later, look at what my life is.  I have a pond here at home, and I used to run around this pond crying my eyes out, every morning crying, like I couldn’t do it anymore, and a year later, I walk around the pond like it’s the greatest thing in the world, but that’s what this is, this mental health.  You can think you can’t go on, but then it rewards you with a better life.

Photo: Noah Harmon

I was going to say, that’s pretty profound.  When you were going through the four months, did you think you were going to come out of it okay?

MAURICE:  No,   I’m going to be honest.  I finally got on Lexapro after three months.  If Lexapro didn’t work, I can’t say positively what would have happened.  It gradually made me feel better.  Like I have said, if GH had called me a month before, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the storyline.  It would have been the end.  I wouldn’t have been able to go back to work, because I was in that state of mind.  So, they called at the right time.  I went back to work and I was on Lexapro.  The thing about Lexapro is – and we always tell people to get professional help. There are a lot of people like me, and I’ve got to say, first you get professional help because you’re on the brink of whatever.  So the first five days of taking Lexapro, you feel worse than you did just before you started taking it, and that is scary because you’re like, “I can’t take this.  This is horrible,” and then I stayed on it.  It got gradually better, and just a month and a half ago or so, I weaned myself off.

How are you feeling now?

MAURICE:  Oh, let me tell you, the day that I weaned off, was a Thursday, and I wasn’t going to take it, and I was on my bed, and I felt the greatest I felt maybe, ever.  Now, I’m not saying people should go off it, whatever, because I was on it for like 8 months or something, but it saved my life like lithium for my bipolar disorder, and that’s an amazing thing that these pills could do.  What happened with me with the pandemic is that I had never really taken anything for anxiety.  I had only taken lithium, and I’d been on lithium for 30 years, but for anxiety, I never wanted to take anything, but if you’re bad, if you’re like (you know those gears I’ve been talking about) in 4th and I was like in 5th gear, you’d better get some help, man, because you can’t get off it on your own.

Photo: State of Mind

I want to conclude checking in on your dad, Humberto.  When did you learn he had Alzheimer’s, and how is he doing now?  

MAURICE: It’s been a while since I found out.  I didn’t really want to talk about it, and then I did something in People magazine with the book, and I asked him if I could talk about it, and he said “yeah”.  So, it gave me the green light, and that was maybe 10 months ago.  He’s actually doing good.  It’s slowly kind of happening but that is how the disease works.  This has been a really great conversation, man!

So, what do you think will happen with Sonny aka “Mike”? Will he return to Port Charles before Carly and Jason tie the knot?  Have you been watching Maurice’s State of Mind series, and has it helped you with any of your mental health issues or concerns? Were you happy that Maurice took home the gold this year for his portrayal in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Shares Her Emotions & Reactions On Her Second Daytime Emmy Win for Lead Actress

Last Friday night on CBS broadcast of the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) took home the gold in the hotly contested Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.  This marks Jacqui’s second win.

MacInnes Wood’s performance in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline, that aired in 2020, was the ticket to victory for the talented young actress and new mom to her second son, Lenix.

As viewers saw, the Emmy telecast was pre-recorded including all the nominees taping acceptances speeches ahead of air; with the winner being revealed for the very first time on the broadcast.

 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqui post-Emmys, to find out how she felt about her speech, her emotions at having her name called for the second time in her career, and how she felt Steffy’s addiction storyline resonated with so many people at home, and obviously, the Emmy voters.  Here’s what she had to say …

Photo: NATAS/CBS

What was it like for you to do have to pre-tape your acceptance speech?  Yours, actually came off very in-the-moment, because you kind of stumbled over a word, but it seemed like you were very excited.

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  I was very excited.  Of course, it is strange to do it that way.  I am very grateful that I was up to my nose in The Bold and the Beautiful scenes and dialogues in the week and the days before, that whole week.  I wasn’t sitting around going, “I’m going to rehearse this in the mirror.”  I just wanted it to be very heartfelt and real.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t like last time – I truly was not expecting it the first time I won.  I think that this time I wanted to be mindful of who to thank and talk about the story, which was so important to bring up opioid addiction, and I really wanted to thank Brad Bell (executive producer and executive producer, B&B) for giving me this story, and allowing me to tell it, because it was such an important message to tell.  Even though this year’s Daytime Emmys were shot differently, I was still nervous. I was so excited to get on a stage. Last year, we were on a Zoom, so it was nice to be able to do this on a stage again.

So where were you on Emmy night?  Were you watching the broadcast at home?  

JACQUELINE:  I was at home, and I was with my friends and my family.  To be honest, it was such a fun way to do it.  Even though it was so wild the way that we shot it – they do this on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Sometimes they’ll do it live, but everyone has their acceptance speech.  I was just happy during the Emmy taping day to be dressed up, wearing high heels, and to be with my cast, Then, I got to celebrate watching it with my friends and family.  It was so cool to find out in that moment, then afterwards we ended up going out.  We went to Ronn Moss’ (Ex-Ridge, B&B) house for a party, where Ronn was performing, and it was great to be with some of the cast and have everybody together.  So, we danced the night away, and it was so much fun.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Of course, if we had been able to be at the Daytime Emmys that way would have been great, but it was nice to be able to go, “Okay, I can celebrate in my casual clothes, and dance, and not be uncomfortable.”

Photo: JMW Instagram

Were your children, Rise and newborn Lenix, with you watching when their mom won her second Daytime Emmy?

JACQUELINE:  My children were with me, and we celebrated together, and of course they don’t really understand what is going on, but they just saw all of us jumping around.  I probably scared my 4-month-old.  My mom ended up watching them.  Then, we all went out.  So, it was a good night.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have an inkling that you were a frontrunner to take home the gold as Lead Actress for your work in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline?

JACQUELINE:  Were there times when I thought I could win?  I wasn’t sure, but I knew what we did was very special.  The first time I won, I was very proud of myself knowing I had to do all of these long scenes, but I was not expecting to win.  This time, I thought there was a possibility, and I wouldn’t say that it’s all because of me.  I know it’s cliché, but honestly those days when we were filming, you could just feel the energy.  Everyone brought it.  We do film so quickly, and some performances are great, and some of them aren’t, whether it’s because you don’t sleep that night, you don’t know your dialogue that well, you don’t understand why your character is doing a certain thing, but you’re trying to figure it out.  When we were filming these scenes, I thought it was just such an important story to tell, and I felt like everyone gave it 110%.  I looked at everyone, and I knew we were all connected, and even though it was such a heavy storyline, there was something so magical those days and those weeks of filming.  I was so proud of everyone, and it wasn’t something that was like, “Here I am forcing myself to cry,” I was like, “I am just going to be in this scene and really tell this story that millions of people have gone through.” When I watched back those scenes after they initially aired, it was not only about the cast, but it was just how the audio had been added, how the directing was done (since we had to be six feet away from each other because of Covid-19 protocols) which made it all come to life.

Did you think when you came into this medium that you wind up being a two-time Daytime Emmy-winner?  Was it something that you aspired to have?

JACQUELINE:  I think yes and no.  I can’t sit there and say, “No, I didn’t.”  I have goals for myself, and you want to manifest some things, so I wanted to visualize that one day.  I’m in this industry, and I want to do the work, and I eventually wanted to have the Emmy one day, absolutely.  I’d be lying if I said, “I just want to go with the flow, and if I get an award, great.”  No.  I definitely thought about it and said, “Okay, this is something that I do want one day. I didn’t think I’d have two!  I just wanted an award, one day.  So, I think that’s amazing in itself, but I am very honored.

Courtesy/CBS

So, during the Lead Actress nominee package during the Daytime Emmy broadcast, they showed the gut-wrenching clips of yours, where Steffy admits in front of Ridge, Liam and Finn, “I’m addicted.  I’m addicted.  I have a problem.”  Do you remember performing those scenes?

JACQUELINE:  You know, you remember it sometimes as if you’re out of your body. In that moment, I remember being so in my body, but in a good way.  To say those words, to finally realize how heavy – even in talking to you right now – my body feels heavy.  I felt the weight of what Steffy was finally admitting. It broke Steffy, and it broke me.  I’ve never been in that position, but I did my research, and I looked up people who have suffered from addiction and the families, and to look over at Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) and see the heartbreak in his eyes, in Ridge’s eyes, to see what Steffy was doing to other people – she realizes in that moment, “Oh, my God. I am addicted.”  Looking back at those scenes, there is just so much truth in them, and for so many people who have been there.  It just breaks my heart that people have to go through this every day.  People sent me messages from all over the place, it was amazing.  I couldn’t believe the number of direct messages they sent me on my Instagram.  It was pretty incredible.

Courtesy/CBS

Your performance just felt so raw and real, which is why I think it registered with people who have been in that situation, and for the peer vote for the Emmy.  Whenever I talk to other actors about what they look for in judging other performers work, they always say they look for the truth. They don’t want to see a false note delivered in a performance.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  For sure.  That’s why I’m so proud of everyone in the scenes because they all gave that.  It wasn’t like you look over at a cast member and went, “Oh, what’s my line?”  We were there.  It just gave me goosebumps.  It isn’t just my award.  It was everybody’s award.  When you get to really feel like you’re really alive in these scenes, living in those scenes, it’s such an incredible feeling. After this win, I am just riding the wave right now and really just enjoying it.

Photo: MFTV Inc.

Well, I’ll finish on this last question: How do you rate our Emmy photo together this year? (Laughs) We have well-documented our issues taking a decent photo together; usually because we break up laughing trying to take one.

JACQUELINE: (Laughs) I mean, okay … I am happy that we had those LED bars of light.  We have to have LED lighting around us 24/7.  So, I’ll give it a 9.5 rating   Moving forward, we need indoor, 3-4 LED lights, and we’ll be good.  Now that I have two Emmys, I’m going to be asking for that lighting moving forward … now that I’ve turned into a diva. (Laughs)

Share your congratulations to Jacqui via the comment section below … and let us know your thoughts on her winning her second Daytime Emmy – this time for Steffy’s powerful opioid addiction storyline.  But first, check out our red carpet interview with more with the eventual Lead Actress Emmy winner.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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