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The Adrienne Frantz Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Amber is back stirring the pot for the residents of Los Angeles on The Bold and the Beautiful and no one is safe from her lies!  And that means it gives actress Adrienne Frantz some deliciously devilish dilemmas to play as her soap alter ego.  You see, Amber has decided to lie about her baby’s paternity and go for the gold!  I mean, what else is this ultimate gold-digger supposed to do?  Then enter her mother, Tawny, and sidekick Carl, and we have a slight throwback to the heyday of Amber when she first appeared on the B&B, but with a new twist!

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with one of the series boldest soap stars to talk about her current storyline which has her trying to twist the Spencer boys, Liam, and his dad Bill, around her finger for her own gain.  But, could she actually be falling in love with Liam? And, can she avoid being snuffed-out by his dear old dad?  Adrienne Frantz fills us in on Amber’s latest schemes and how she makes the gal one of the most outrageously fun characters to watch in daytime.

Later in our chat, we get a glimpse into Adrienne’s personal life, and her thoughts as she prepares to walk down the aisle with the love of her life, Scott Bailey, in the fall of this year.

Always refreshing, direct and good fun, and a girl who knows what to do with her God-given acting chops… here’s what Ms. Frantz had to say!

MICHAEL:

Now that we are seeing that Amber is being her opportunistic self… and the Amber you talked about portraying when you returned to B&B… did you know that this was where the story was going to go when Brad Bell (B&B EP and head writer) brought you back to the series?

ADRIENNE:

© JPI Studios

Yeah, I think Amber needed to get back to her roots.  Everybody loves the wild and crazy Amber and her being unpredictable, and that you don’t know what is going to happen with her.  I am very happy playing Amber the ways things are.

MICHAEL:

We have Carl and Tawny back in the mix now, too.  So, do you feel this storyline is in any way an Amber redo of what she had done previously?

ADRIENNE:

No, not at all.  This is like coming back into the picture, and she has her eyes on Liam. Before, it was she and Rick and a little love affair.  She was young and a kid, and even though her mother pushed her into it, she got pregnant from being wild and crazy.  She did not manipulate anyone to get her pregnant.  So I think this is a completely different story, and people will see that more as it unfolds.  I just love what we are doing.  It is a lot of fun.  And, it is a lot of fun to play in scenes with Don Diamont (Bill), and how much Bill hates Amber.  It’s good to have that arch-rivalry kind of deal.

MICHAEL:

That is really cool to see the two soap vets working together, but also the whole gas lighting of the Amber arc of the storyline!  How do you feel about the beach house scenes and the failed attempt on her life?  Do you think Bill will continue to try and scare her to death?

ADRIENNE:

I don’t know, maybe.  I think everyone has been enjoying doing it and shooting it, so we shall see what might happen next.  I think it’s a fun story for everyone and will definitely keep you intrigued, because nothing is going to happen like anyone thinks is going to happen, I can tell you that.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

Give us the Amber back-story on how this was all set in motion.  It all originally started when she liked Oliver, right?

ADRIENNE:

Oliver is her buddy, or her “friend with privileges.”  And they were just having a good time, and then she tries to help him get Hope back, because she felt so bad about what she did.  Amber never does anything maliciously.  It is not something contrived.  She goes more or less, “Oh, God.  I didn’t think about what the consequences would be.”  So she was just helping out Oliver, and they hooked up one night and had some crazy sex, and Amber finds out a little while later she is pregnant.  She knows it’s Oliver’s kid and there is no doubt about that in her mind.  But Oliver is so in love with Hope, and she knows he wants Hope more than anything in the world.

MICHAEL:

And he has no money!

ADRIENNE:

And he has no money, but part of it is that he wants Hope more than anything and he wants that life, and Amber is really desperate for love in some way.  She wants someone to hold her and spend time with her, and have someone that cares about her.  Sometimes when you get a little desperate you do things, and sometimes they wind up another way just by accident.  The whole Liam thing she did not intend on saying, “Oh, this is your baby,” right away.  She was just having a little fun and went over to his house, and he woke up and he is like, “Oh, my Gosh.  We slept together!”   And Amber goes, “No, we didn’t.”  But then she is like, “Wow, that is a good idea.” And she did not know she was pregnant at the time.  So it’s Amber being Amber.  She never flat out admitted it, but she said, “We slept together.”  But then she did not flat out say that they had sex.  Liam thinks they had sex and then Amber ends up pregnant, and she does not know what to do.  First, she wants to tell Oliver.  Then she knows at the same time she can’t tell him, because it will ruin his relationship with Hope.  So she blurts out to Oliver that it is Liam’s kid and don’t worry about it.  So then, she is just weaving herself into a giant trap…as always!  I think people will get a kick out of all the twists and turns.  I am also so happy to be working with Andrea Evans (Tawny) again.  She adds such comedy to the show and she is just fantastic.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

I know, and here comes Tawny and she is at her gold-digging best, and she wants to help Amber get the money!

ADRIENNE:

For Amber, more than anything she just wants to have a secure life for her child.  Since she has lost two children, there is no way she is going to lose this one, or let something happen to this kid.

MICHAEL:

That gives you such great sub-text to play.  Can you see Amber being a good mom?

ADRIENNE:

Oh, definitely.  I see her giving her all and herself to this child.  And that is the big difference.  She is not doing this for herself; she is doing this for her unborn child so the baby can have a good life.  She knows she did not have a father.  And with Liam, he did not have a life like that either.  He was not raised with a father, either.  So there are a lot of similarities, and with Amber, Liam can be himself, in a way.  He does not have to be all prim and proper like he is with Hope.  So it is a different type of relationship that they have.  He kind of does not see Amber as horrible as Hope sees her.

MICHAEL:

Coming up, she wants to dissuade Liam from Hope.

ADRIENNE:

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Well, she wants Liam!  She knows that Liam is her way for her baby to have a good life, and that is what she is trying for the hardest…. to have her baby have a good life.  Liam is her target, Liam is in her eye, and that is it, and that is trouble.  Once Amber has her eye on you, that is trouble. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do you think she has any romantic feelings toward Liam?

ADRIENNE:

I think she sees the way Liam is and how sweet and caring he is, and what a good person he is.  She wants so badly for someone to feel that way about her.  She is jealous of Hope. She wants what Hope has.  She wants somebody to love her like that.  She has feelings for Liam because she wants him to love her.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Amber is still attracted to Oliver?

ADRIENNE:

I think the thing with Oliver was not a “love attraction” thing.  They were just friends who were having sex.  He is her confidante and buddy.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

You and Scott Clifton (Liam) are very interesting actors.  You both are very quirky, and I mean that in the most flattering way, as the performances are so original.  What is Scott like to work with?

ADRIENNE:

Scott and I have a great relationship together. We have a very special chemistry, and he is such a great actor.  It’s easy to work with him.

MICHAEL:

Do you feel you are a “quirky” performer?  How do you see yourself in this medium?

ADRIENNE:

I try to do my own thing. You have to be really confident in your character and really know what you are doing, and as an actress, trust your instincts.  If you can do that, you can create some gold.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Don Diamont?

ADRIENNE:

It is great!  Don’s character of Bill hates Amber, so it makes for fantastic television. Amber looks at him, and he does not intimidate her.  Bill Spencer likes everybody being intimidated by him.  He is in control of everyone and he can’t do that with Amber, and I think it drives him nuts!  She says to him, “Hey, grandpa!”  She does little things to get at him.  I think that is what makes her fun!

MICHAEL:

Is Carl infatuated with Amber?

ADRIENNE:

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I don’t know! (Laughs) I think he is infatuated with Tawny. (Laughs)  I think he wants Tawny. It’s hysterical.

MICHAEL:

Is there one moment with Andrea since she came back to B&B, that you could tell our readers that the two of you had a moment where you cracked up, or went up on lines?

ADRIENNE:

Oh, my gosh, we are laughing 24/7. We have so much fun working together, and it’s almost as if we have never stopped working together.  She is the best mother ever! (Laughs) She just makes me laugh.  She is not afraid to dive into that character, whatsoever.  It’s like an anything goes kind of deal.

MICHAEL:

Amber and Liam made their first decision as parents last week on B&B, when they went for the baby’s first ultrasound.

ADRIENNE:

There are definitely big steps towards their relationship being made that Amber is really happy about.  She kind of feels she is doing the right thing at this moment…which means it will all backfire, and then be a lot of fun to watch! (Laughs)  No, seriously, I am really enjoying this.  I am glad that I am getting to be Amber the way she is intended to be.  It is a lot more fun than being all sweet and innocent all the time.  Being the wild and crazy gal was the way she was written in the first place, and so it now makes it a lot more fun for me to come back home.

MICHAEL:

Speaking of your CBS home, B&B just celebrated 24 years on the air.   So off the top of your head, what was your favorite B&B Amber moment of all-time?

Coutesy/CBS

ADRIENNE:

I would have to say, and this was years ago, when she was pregnant with Rick’s baby, and her baby died, and so she passed off another baby as her own.  I have to say those were some of my favorite moments.

MICHAEL:

But now she is in a way passing off another baby!

ADRIENNE:

But now, she is more prepared to be a mother, and she is now thinking of somebody else and not just herself.  I think she feels bad about what she is doing, and you never know if she could flip and just tell the truth.  A lot of times I think she just wants to blurt it out, and go, “Hey, I’m sorry.  I am not a bad person.”  I think that is why she and Oliver get along so well. A lot of people look at Amber like she is some evil person, but she is not.  She is misguided, and she never had a strong family to tell her what to do and not to do in her life.

MICHAEL:

I know coming up, Amber is going to use her sexual wiles to try and distract Liam from thinking about Hope.

ADRIENNE:

Maybe!  But when it comes to Amber, I think there is always the possibility of a flirtation and throwing herself out there to somebody.

MICHAEL:

Does she hate Hope at this point?

ADRIENNE:

© JPI Studios

I think she can’t stand everything that Hope represents.  She has been given everything in her life and Amber has had to work so hard.  And Hope just has been given this perfect little life, and so yeah, Amber cannot stand Hope!  She wants to have that life and no one has ever offered that to her.

MICHAEL:

How is Kim Matula (Hope) to work with?

ADRIENNE:

Oh, she is wonderful.  She is a delight to work with, and it’s fun being the character that makes the other girl cry!

MICHAEL:

You bad girl!

ADRIENNE:

Yes, I am a bad, bad girl. But it is more fun, I think, than playing the good girls. But, the good girls get to have their fun, too, but not as much fun as the bad girl.

MICHAEL:

How do you like the new opening sequence to B&B?

ADRIENNE:

I am really weird about change, but I like the new opening.

MICHAEL:

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Are there any other projects on the horizon?  You were working so diligently on your music career and exploring other roles in films a few years back.  What is the status?

ADRIENNE:

Right now, I have a lot on my plate.  I am getting married this year, which is a huge thing!  But right now, I am focusing on Amber and I have good storyline coming up.  I am always up for doing different things, but I am really having fun with Amber right now.

MICHAEL:

So you and former Guiding Light star, Scott Bailey, are engaged and preparing to be wed.  What kind of wedding are you going to have?  Will it be big, or small and intimate?

ADRIENNE:

I think we are going to do a really big wedding.  We are getting married on 11-11-11.  So it’s going to be fun.  I will have all our families there and my B&B family…. all the B&Bers!

MICHAEL:

Since you are always original in fashion, have you found or worked on finding the knockout wedding dress for you?

ADRIENNE:

I have not even tried wedding dresses on yet, but I will do it.  I will do it.  I promise.

MICHAEL:

Why is Scott the guy for you?

ADRIENNE:

© JPI Studios

He is my soul mate and he fills me completely.  I get happy waking up and going to sleep knowing that I have found my soul mate, and that I get to be with my best friend for the rest of my life.  We should have done it earlier.  We were friends for years. You see, you never know.  So I am telling all the people out there, keep your eyes open for your best guy friend, because you never know.  We never kissed for seven years, and once I kissed him I knew he was my soul mate.  Our first response to each other was, “Why didn’t we do this years ago?”  And then three months after that, he is designing a ring for me. And then three months after that, he asked me to be his fiancé.

MICHAEL:

Scott is not too shabby on the eyes, either!

ADRIENNE:

Yeah, I know, right?  I know he is gorgeous.  It just sucks so much! (Laughs)  He is so wonderful, and I adore him.  I got the greatest guy ever, and he loves me so much and it is fantastic.  He loves me for exactly who I am, and that is amazing.

MICHAEL:

I also think it is a compliment to you that you have another special guy in your life, and that is Brad Bell.  The two of you seem to have an amazing and enduring professional collaboration.

ADRIENNE:

We have a great relationship and he is like a buddy.  He knows how to write Amber so well, and he knows how to push me to the limit of what I can do, and then he will write it for me, and push me to the limits.  Whether it is a big dramatic story or comedy, he lets me go with it.

MICHAEL:

Do you ever think Amber and Daniel were a good pairing when you were over at Y&R?

ADRIENNE:

I think so, but I think they could have gone in different directions with it, but they did make a good love story.  And, it is always fun to have a good love story.

MICHAEL:

Where is the little Kid… little D?

ADRIENNE:

It’s actually Deacon’s kid, and so when Deacon was in prison, she was taking him to a boarding school up in Ojai.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

In closing, what would you say to the Amber fans to look forward to from her in April?

ADRIENNE:

I would say in April, to look forward to Amber opening up a whole new can of worms (Laughs) and sinking her teeth into whatever she wants.

MICHAEL:

But wait; will she still be in fear for her life from Bill?

ADRIENNE:

I don’t know. You are just going to have to wait and see.  There is always fear looming, especially when you are carrying around a big lie.

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mmc
mmc

I have been watching B&B since my beloved ATWT is no more.i have to say ….I hate the character of Amber and i cannot stand Steffy either.Two selfish girls who will do anything to get what they want!And Amber and Liam have NO chemistry at all.Liam might be his fathers son, but unfortunately he doesn’t have the sex appeal of a Bill Spencer and the sexy Don Diamont who portrays him!

Skyla
Skyla

I enjoyed this interview but honestly I am not enjoying Amber at all these days. I used to love her when she first stepped into LA on B&B and I loved her with Rick. And yes she was misguided even back then but there was a real vulnerability to Amber back then, and she wasn’t with Rick for money, she truly loved him and when she lost their baby she fell apart and latched onto her cousin’s baby as a sot of redemption, as well as to hang on to Rick. She did bad things but her motivations were purer and I enjoyed watching her grow on B&B, until they regressed her when she stuck Ridge and Bridget in that hole in the snow and I rolled my eyes at that but then thankfully she moved on to Genoa City and I loved Amber all over again. Sure her motivations with Cane weren’t exactly honorable but again I really felt like she truly cared about and loved him, somehow there was still this vulnerability about her that you could forgive because her heart was so open and she was still growing and then came Daniel and I absolutely adored their relationship. It was beautiful and they were so fun to watch and I loved that they could be themselves and unconventional. I hated the way they ended and now it seems ridiculous that she gave up Daniel for a kid she put in boarding school only to manipulate her way into cash by getting pregnant and passing the baby off as Liam’s, which honestly makes no sense because she has cash. Katherine left her money when she “died” and she didn’t take it back which was why her and Daniel didn’t work and decided to focus on their arts but I digress, now she’s saying Amber is jealous of Hope because of the way Oliver loves her but she had that kind of love with Daniel and threw it away. I was really saddened when she left Y&R but had hope hearing she was going back to B&B but just like I rolled my eyes at her stranding Ridge in Bridget in that hole I am rolling my eyes again at this story. For me, having been a fan of Amber throughout her original time at B&B all the way through her time at Y&R I am extremely disappointed in how she is being written. I fell like they’ve regressed her character further back then when she first showed up and have made her unlikable now, there is no sense tome as a viewer that she is misguided anymore or that she is thinking about someone other than herself, frankly she comes off as completely being guided by greed and her own selfishness. I don’t get the sense that she is doing anything for her baby but that she is using her baby to get ahead for HER. All the likable vulnerability of Amber has seemed to disappear from her… Read more »

Terry Richard
Terry Richard

After 15 years I quit watching this train wreck of a soap opera because of this character Franz portrays…this is simply a replotting of material from a decade ago…Let me know when this creature is off the screens so I may go back to watching Stephanie, Brooke, Thomas, Taylor, and Ridge, but as long as this creaton is on I am staying away!

kay killgore
kay killgore

OK! We got rid of Winsor Harmon, Leslie Kay, Sarah Brown the list goes on for this actress!!!!!!

Kathy
Kathy

Michael – why not admit that Frantz’ storyline is a rehash of the Rick/Raymond SL awhile ago? B&B is just wrecked with bad writing, repetitive SL, certain characters getting more airtime than others, and this trashing of characters to prop up the worst joke of a “super-couple” Brooke & Ridge? You soap writers need to stop begging at Brad Bell’s feet for interviews & have him fix this train-wreck!

lESLEY
lESLEY

The scene when Amber was working on Liam to have sex on the couch, darn near made me throw up. She breathed SO MUCH in his face, said all the things that would stop any guy in his tracks. Her sleeping with him just totally ruined it..I knew then this was acting at its worst.

I hope Carl busts up her game plan and she moves off into the sunset. Sorry…but if you think this is a good actress that one likes to watch longer then a quick on and off…this writer creator is degrading the class level of his viewers.

mmc
mmc

I have never seen a lack of chemistry between two actors.And Scott Chilton does not know how to act sad, heartbroken and sexy.Maybe somebody should give a call to my sweetheart Van Hansis and Eric Sheffer Stevens…..they can show them how true chemistry and good acting looks!

Lisamaria
Lisamaria

I could not agree more! That scene was so disgusting, but what irks me even more is how they are writing Liam. I was literally yelling at my TV telling him to GO HOME! I mean why would he fall for that crap? Amber is so skanky these days. I can’t wait until she gets busted as well!!!

kitty
kitty

I dont care what other feel. I am on with Team Amber! The soap would be completely boring if it werent for Amber or Steffie. Hope is such a yawn! Amber is fun to watch, so her character is different from the Y&R Amber but I dont care. Ive enjoyed watching Adrienne Frantz for years. I cant wait to see how this storyline blows up. I am secretly hoping she has a happy life with Spencer, but that would be boring.

Barbara James
Barbara James

I just can’t stand this Amber story line now. So if there is something better in her role coming up, I sure wish the writers would speed it up before I stop watching all together! She’s (her character) too old for Liam and she has no moral fiber!!

Lisamaria
Lisamaria

ICAM!!!!

Lisamaria
Lisamaria

Glad to see so many feel the way I do! I cannot stand Amber right now (and I used to like her). This whole s/l is making me ILL. And I agree about that seductive scene..it was gagworthy! Amber has about as much sex appeal as a pinky nail, and I do NOT see any chemistry between her and Liam either. No offense to the actress, but she’s nuts if she thinks Amber is never malicious. Um..what do you think LYING to a guy that he is the father of her baby and RUINING his relationship with the girl he loves is??!! If that is not malicious, then I don’t know what is!

mmc
mmc

That seduction scene could have been steamy if the acting was better and there was chemistry between the actors.Even when Oliver looks at Hope you can see something in his eyes that’s so appealing.Somebody made a big mistake by pairing Amber and Liam..Even the kisses are so boring.I’m not being mean , i’m just telling it like I see it!

Tammy H.
Tammy H.

Great interview! B&B is my second favorite soap (right after OLTL), and Amber has always been my favorite B&B character! I’m so glad she is back home. I know a lot of people think her current storyline is just a redo, but I am really enjoying it! I don’t see a lack of chemistry with the actor playing Liam, but I am more of an Oliver & Amber girl. Let Hope have Liam. Amber should be with Oliver. lol But really, this is a fun story! The only thing I miss from the old days is the closeness Amber used to have with Stephanie. Amber could really use a female friend.

lls
lls

dah! Liam is not into Amber. I think his acting is mavelous. I can tell by his actions he is not into her. He portrays his dilema over being forced into an 18 year commitment well. I believe his facial expressions, his body laguage, and the way he kisses Amber shows his didinterest in the slut that i to o,d to be seducing Liam and Oliver. I belive she is in herlate 20′. The s/l requires Liam to be indifferant to Amber. The way he kisses Hope reinforces his feelings twards both women.

Alice
Alice

amber is gross and liam is clearly not into her so why did he sleep with her?????? I didnt get that at all and yes this storyline has been done before with this skanky character lets move on please and bring sarah brown back with a strong storyline shes a gem that was not used to her full potential.

Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

She is a terrific actress,

jaybird369
jaybird369

Lately, on B&B, where has Amber been? I miss Amber and Amber’s portrayer Adrienne Frantz totally R-O-C-K-S!!!!! I wish that Amber would pop back up on-screen…and SOON!!!!! Even though Steffi eventually grew on me, Liam and (especially!!!!!) Hope work my nerves. Yikes. More and more, Liam is acting like a lovesick moron and Hope’s wholesome and puritan-like behavior makes me wanna constantly yell at my TV. Again…yikes. The Bottom Line for me: BRING AMBER BACK…NOW!!!!!!

General Hospital

Dominic Zamprogna Speaks Out On His Decision To Leave GH, His Final Scenes With Emme Rylan & How Dante Exited The Canvas

A few weeks ago, General Hospital fans watched as one of the series beloved stars, Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) exited the show in scenes opposite his longtime on-screen love interest, Emme Rylan (Lulu).  For nine years, Zamprogna brought authenticity, emotion, and heart to the son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) to life.  While Dante’s journey started out with a bang, literally (thanks, Sonny!), over the years it appeared he was taking a backseat in meatier storylines.  All the while, Dante and Lulu remained one of the more popular duos with the viewers.

After much reflection, Zamprogna decided it was time for him to walk away from a place that became his second home.  His desire now shifted to play different characters in different projects, but it was not without taking many things into account with his life-changing decision.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Dominic to glean more insight into: if there was anything GH could have done to make him sign on the dotted line again, what went down to make those final scenes seem so rushed, how it was to say goodbye to his co-workers in front of the camera and behind the scenes, if he would consider a return at some point, and how would he feel if GH now planned on recasting Dante, and much more.

For us; we recall meeting Dominic for the first times just six months into his time at General Hospital for our first interview together.  We were instantly struck by his sincerity, humor, and his eagerness to learn from some of the best in the business.  Now exiting as a “soap vet“, per se, it is a full-circle moment that we had the time to conclude his GH journey with this conversation.  Here’s what Dom had to say about it all.

What were the factors that contributed to your decision to exit GH?  Was there a pivotal moment where you were feeling, and recognizing, that you were underutilized that you felt you needed to make a change? 

DOMINIC:  When you named me the “Most Underutilized Actor of 2017!” (Laughs) Well, my plan was never to stay forever.  But half-way through my second contract,  Emme Rylan (Lulu) and I were approached by our producer on set, who said words to the effect of: you guys have been on the sideline, time to get you into the game.  That led to the Dante cheating storyline, which gave us story for about a year … which was great!  But as that ended, so did any subsequent storylines, it seemed.  In the year that followed, I started entertaining thoughts of leaving.  By the next year, I started talking about it with my wife, Linda, who had started to notice that maybe I wasn’t happy anymore, and I wasn’t.  That’s not a good feeling, especially if you’re bringing that energy home with you.  Then, I made the mistake of going on social media, which is a terrible place to go sometimes.  But fans were saying the same sort of things I was feeling.  Was it all due to story or lack-thereof?  No.  I was starting to crave playing other roles, and that’s hard to do when you’re under contract.

Were discussions even had with Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and the powers-that-be about your feelings of dissatisfaction over not being utilized more in storylines?

DOMINIC:  The discussions happened late.  Not until the negotiation process, actually.  I’m no squeaky wheel I guess, but I also don’t feel it’s in my job description to be one.  I did put out a few ideas here and there, but they didn’t happen.  I know other actors have tried the same and it didn’t lead to anything for them, either.  I was a creation of Bob Guza (former head writer, GH), and maybe I was spoiled by the amount of great writing I received while he was there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There had to be some sadness in walking away from GH.

DOMINIC:  Oh yeah… it was sad.  I built that character, and now here I was walking away from it, and essentially my second family.  That’s been the hardest part.  Lifelong friendships were made, and memories.  However, it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve been at GH and I feel happy.  I’ve been up in Canada shooting Tin Star, which has been a great experience.  I’ve stayed in touch with everybody and I miss everybody, in fact, I just spoke to Mo (Maurice Benard) yesterday, and I’m in class with Emme (she won’t leave me alone).  But, I feel like I made the right choice for me at this moment.

To clarify; were you actually trying to work out a deal to stay put, but both sides just could not hammer things out to a satisfactory conclusion?

DOMINIC:  We did try to work out a deal.  After more talks and conversations, I felt maybe we were going to get things done.  I was being told things would change and maybe shift things in the direction we wanted to go.  But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be in writing.  I feel like I’d been told similar things in the past which hadn’t come to fruition.  I was also reminded that it was me who needed to sign my name on that dotted line and live with that decision, and I chose not to do so.

If someone would have said to you: “We have an “A” story for you, and you are going to be driving it,” would you have been more apt to stay?   

DOMINIC:  There was talk about us sitting down and talking about storylines, but that didn’t end up happening, not sure why.  And even if it did, I don’t know that it would’ve changed my mind about leaving, anyway.   But just to be clear: I have no anger towards anybody.  It’s all a business at the end of the day.  Both sides did what they felt was right.  For me, I just felt this chapter had come to an end.

Photo: ABC

When, and how did you tell on-screen scene partner, Emme Rylan that you were leaving?  Was she happy for you and your decision?

DOMINIC:  Emme knew really early on.  Once January rolled around I was like: “I have been thinking for the last six to nine months that I am going to go.”   I wanted her to know, because we have been a couple for five years on the show.  Emme was very happy for me.  I went, “Wait a minute!  Don’t be this happy.  I’m leaving.” (Laughing)  

What happened when you told your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero ?

DOMINIC:  She was sad, but she is also said, “You’re in your prime, go see what’s out there!”   I wouldn’t have done this move if I did not get support at home.  My wife is the rock and the one that makes this household go.  Some things outside the show were starting to happen; I had a nice screen-test for a pilot, and then I booked these four episodes of Tin Star.  When you have choices in life; you have power and control over your future.  I think Emme and Lisa as actors realized that.  That’s what made them happy for me … for the future.  The last nine years were exciting.  However, when you can have a little bit more say in what you are doing on a day to day basis, that is empowering.  So, in saying, “no” to something, and saying, “Thank you, but that’s not what I am looking for right now,” that can feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a shame that through all the regimes that they rarely wrote any scenes between Dante and his father, Sonny.  What was Maurice Benard’s reaction when you told him you were leaving?

DOMINIC:  It has been pretty publicized that he and I were dissatisfied at the lack of  storyline, or scenes together.  Maurice asked the powers-that-be, “Why aren’t we working together more?”  We never had a clear answer as to why.  He didn’t know from one day to the next what was happening with my contract talks.  Mo saw me smiling one day and asked, “So does that smile mean you’re staying?”  And I said, “No, that smile is because I’m leaving.” (Laughs)  I said that more to mess with him, and make him sad.  He said, “As long as you are good financially, then I am all for anybody getting out of here and seeing what else is out there.” Really, Mo talks people into leaving so he can get more screen-time. (Laughs)

Let’s talk about the final airshow, and the story that came out of left field to facilitate your exit.  Was that written quickly to accommodate a shooting schedule or contract completion?  It felt rushed to the viewing audience.

DOMINIC:  Left field is right!  I still had a week and a half left of work when they found out I wasn’t going to re-sign, and within twelve hours I had six exit scenes written.  So, it wasn’t done to facilitate anything but a set (Lante’s house), I think.  My final tape date was May 18th, and Emme and I had scenes on the Wednesday or Thursday before that.  I guess they wanted my last scenes that aired to be with Emme, and that might have been the only scheduling day that worked for the set and the actors, and maybe that’s also why it felt so rushed.  All I could assume is that they didn’t think I was really going to leave so they didn’t plan for it, or they chose to protect themselves in this way, by not making a big deal about it.  I had another week of scenes in the PCPD with Chase (Josh Swickard) and Michael (Chad Duell) that was shot afterward.  But they had nothing to do with Dante’s “secret mission!”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought, “Wait!  Is that it?  Is this Dominic’s final show?  Dante doesn’t say goodbye to his mother… his father … or his son, Rocco?

DOMINIC:  Yeah, that was tough for me.  After 9 years you think you’re going to get a little bit better of a send off.   You also, hope they’re going to honor the character.  Dante wouldn’t leave to go to the 7-eleven without saying goodbye to his mother and kids.   Maurice and I talked about that.  He said, “I guess, they don’t want people to feel really sad.  You and me doing some goodbye scenes, people are going to be devastated.”   I agree with that.  However, I also think it’s a soap and that’s what fans want … good, ole drama.  I would have loved to have had scenes with Sonny, Olivia, and Dante’s kids, but when you make a decision like this, how you leave on-air is not up to you.  Both parties are going to handle it how it’s best for them.   I was very grateful they gave Emme and I something to seek our teeth into. 

They were very sad scenes.  You are one of those actors that can take the material and connect with it while delivering it in a very subtle and heartfelt way.  How was Emme after your final scenes?

DOMINIC:  She was kind of crying the whole time, going “Damn you! Damn you.”   I was having fun with it, because I love making Emme cry.  It’s not a very difficult thing to do.  (Laughs).  We were both pretty teary-eyed, actually.  Then, when we finished the scenes and I looked over and I saw how upset the crew was, that’s what really got me.  Barbara, one of the camera operators actually jokingly apologized; suggesting that if my last shot was blurry it was my fault!  As an actor, when you make the crew feel something it kind of gives you some extra good feels. That was always the best feeling, talking to Craig (our stage manager), or Donna (head of makeup department) after a scene to get the honest truth on how you did.  I’ll miss them.

Courtesy/ABC

Viewers, watching Dante have this flashback about the guy who was responsible for Lulu going overboard the Haunted Star a few years ago, probably needed a moment to connect the dots.  Some viewers were going, “What?  Dante is going after the guy that tried to drown Lulu from two years ago?”

DOMINIC:  When I read that in the script even I went, “What?” Who’s that?”  I had no idea, either. (Laughs)

Then there was this:  Dante was so hard on Lulu for her pursuing her dream as a journalist and how it inadvertently got Nathan killed.  Then all of a sudden in your final scenes, Dante has a line to Lulu in which he says something to the effect of: I understand now – you got to do, what you got to do.  In story, prior to these scenes it was leaning more towards Dante and Lulu were going to break-up over what had recently transpired.

DOMINIC:  Which, who knows?  If Dante had stayed in Port Charles it could have been the direction they were going in.  It certainly looked like they were building toward conflict, conflict, conflict, but with me leaving it was much sweeter to leave on the note that we left on, instead of Dante leaving, because he can’t deal with being around Lulu. This all leads me to believe that they didn’t want to do anything too permanent to give them time to make the proper decisions.

Courtesy/ABC

What was the last day of shooting like for you?  Was it hard to get through?

DOMINIC:  It felt like a regular day, and my final scenes were up towards the end of the tape day. They had a cake afterwards.  Frank briefly spoke and introduced Maurice; who said a bunch of sweet words.  That meant a lot to me.  I said “goodbye” to everybody and took some photos, and that was it.  I already had my room packed up.  Once you’re ready to go, you’re ready to go.  Afterwards, I went out with Ryan Paevey (Ex-Nathan) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Ex-Carlos) for some beers and wings at the bar down the street.  It wasn’t until everybody came back after a two-week break that it felt real, because then I was receiving text messages from people saying, “We’re back.  Why the hell aren’t you here?”

The door has been left open for Dante to return.  Would you ever come back?

DOMINIC:  Of course, at some point.  But it might not be my choice, they might recast.  They told me they won’t, but who knows what’ll be done.  Do I think you can just recast a role?  No, I think it’s always a tough sell, but they’ve done it with bigger names/characters than mine.  I would be a little surprised, only because there hasn’t been much story for Dante in the last three years.  For me, as of now, I’ve moved on, and I’m very happy with my decision and my life.  It’s sad in other respects, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve read things that people have said on Twitter, and I want everyone to know I’ve seen it all and it means a lot to me.  People have been beautiful to me.  I’m truly overwhelmed by the love.  I thought there would be more of, “Who cares?” when fans found out I left.   I must have done something right during the years I was at GH.

Did you think when you made the decision to leave they would kill-off Dante? 

DOMINIC:  No, not at all.  I don’t think killing off Dante would be a good idea, especially after they killed Nathan, and also because of the climate we live in with police involved shootings and violence, in general.  In a perfect world as an actor, you crave the opportunity to have one last moment with the other characters that have been important to your character over the years.  That’s all I would have wanted for myself, and Dante.  I’ll take what I got though.  It was extremely meaningful because of what Emme and I had and built.  I feel we got to the heart and soul of those two characters in a pretty short amount of time in our scenes.

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking of Nathan, I think thus far those funeral scenes, which you were wonderful in, and the story arc revolving around his death, are GH’s best bet for an Emmy in the Drama Series category next year. 

DOMINIC:  I agree.  It was so well-done.  We’d all would like to go out like that!  Tragic, but it made for great TV and great soap.  It was phenomenally well-acted across the board.  Lots of Emmy reel stuff for Michelle Stafford (Nina) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie), and Kathleen Gati (Liesl), and hopefully for our directors and crew, also.  They did an amazing job bringing that to life.

This now leaves Josh Swickard as the lone cop now by default on GH.   he PCPD is notorious for being the worst cop shop in the history of soaps! (Laughs) They can’t ever solve a crime.

DOMINIC: (Laughs) I know!  What is Josh is going to do?   Maybe between Chase and Jordan (Vienssa Antoine) they will solve crimes.  Maybe, they’ll bring on a new cop.  Josh is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him.  At the beginning, we had that contentious relationship between the two guys.  That would’ve been fun if it lasted longer, where they had this continual real dislike for one another.  Who knows?  With Dante gone, maybe they will start solving some crimes! (Laughs) Maybe now the PCPD will be the greatest police unit in the USA.

Courtesy/ABC

Over your nine years at GH, would you still consider that your best storyline was coming on to the show and then having Sonny shoot Dante, only for it to turn out that he just shot his own son?

DOMINIC:  Yes, I think you have to.  That was my intro.  They had this story planned eight months before they even cast the role.  To get to that moment, was a classic soap cliffhanger.  I grew up watching soap operas with my grandparents, and if they had been alive for that scene they would have lost it, because it was something that ‘old school’ soap fans would really dig.  For me, doing that story felt so special.  ABC also pumped it with the promotion, and the promos, and the TV spots, and amped it up.  I didn’t feel it disappointed.  It was actually the audition scene that I had to perform to get the part!  Then six months later you get to say these lines that got you the part, and you hope you don’t whiff on the softball.

While putting together and producing the GH 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys, I included that moment between Sonny and Dante.  I remember watching the complete scene before editing it and the dialog was so good.  It still holds up to this day.

DOMINIC:  My manager was at the Emmys that night, and said what a great moment that was.  I meant to thank you for that, because I really appreciated it being in there.

Courtesy/ABC

Are there any other scenes that come to mind that you are most proud of?

DOMINIC:  I also really loved the scenes with Max Gail (Mike). He is a special guy.  There was so much in our scenes; where Dante finds him with Avery in the stables.  Those moments are going to stick with me for a long time.

On June 28th, the airdate of your last episode, you posted a tweet to the fans that read: “The love you guys have given me over the years and continue to give is overwhelming.  It is I that must thank YOU!”  I thought that was extremely touching and very appreciated by the fans.

DOMINIC:  I was thinking, “Man, I have to thank you, because I would not legitimately be here if you hadn’t liked this guy, Dante.”  It was bringing tears to my eyes reading what people were saying, and seeing how much love I was receiving.

Tell me about your role in the British-Canadian production of Tin Star?

DOMINIC:  It’s a recurring role,  I’ve been working on it since March.  It’s something very different from what I’ve been doing the last 9 years.  Can’t give much away, but I play a hired gun type of guy.  There are some great scenes and moments, and I was lucky enough to work with Christina Hendricks, John Lynch, and the legend, Tim Roth.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel now that you have had some time away now from GH, and have been playing another role, that the thought of playing Dante for you at this point is like: “Been there. Done that?”

DOMINIC:  I would never say Dante is done forever.  Right now for me, he is.  They left it open, hopefully they left it open for me, but every actor hopes that.  We want our cake and to eat it too!  I want to leave right now, but I want you to want me to come back some day.  No one wants their role to be recast.  But it’s an important character, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Who knows what the future holds.  I left on good terms.  Just so everyone knows; I didn’t spring something on GH on the last day of my contract.  It’s important that I let people know that I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “See ya”.  This also wasn’t about money.  Sure, we want to be paid what we believe we’re worth.  But this in no way was about me asking for the moon, or I was going to leave.  It was a very, very difficult decision.

So, what do you think about how GH wrapped up Dante’s story for Dominic’s exit? Would you like him to return to GH sooner than later?  Do you think the role of Dante was problematic to write for?  What were your favorite scenes of Dom’s during his time at GH? Let us know via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Jonathan Jackson Talks Avery’s Love Quandary, Saying Goodbye To ‘Nashville’ & If He Would Return To General Hospital

With just three weeks before the series finale of CMT’s Nashville, Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) finds himself in a major conundrum.  The woman he has loved and had a child with, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panetierre) has returned home after escaping a cult compound, just as Avery has opened himself up to the start of a new relationship with Alannah (Rainee Blake).  After not hearing from Juliette, added to the many times he felt she abandoned him and their child, will a betrayed and hurt Avery want to find a way to patch up their relationship … or try to keep Alannah by his side?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with five-time Daytime Emmy winner, Jonathan Jackson to get the lowdown on what transpired over the last few episodes and how it may end for Avery, as we inch closer and closer to having to say farewell to the Music City drama.

Since Nashville wrapped its sixth and final season a few months back, General Hospital fans have been wondering and hoping, if now is the time that Jackson would return to his role as the beloved Lucky Spencer, the son of Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis). Jackson originated the role in 1993 and stayed with the series till 1999.  He next returned in 2009 for a few years, then left again, and was cast on Nashville.  Jonathan made a special return in 2015 to appear in a storyline that reunited him on-screen with Geary one final time, before the soap icon retired from the show.  In this interview, Jackson addresses a return, some of his favorite moments of all-time on GH, what he learned from Tony and Genie, and more.

Those that follow Jackson are aware that his talent knows no bounds.  He is also focused on his music career, and his band Enation, which has been building on its success, playing recent sold out shows in Europe, while Jackson also had been on the final Nashville tour performing with the cast.  So, buckle up!  The next step in Jackson’s career will be one to watch.  Now, check out our insightful and heartfelt conversation below.

Avery is caught in a compromising position by Juliette, when she walks in while Avery is making out with Alannah, who has just has taken her top off.   What goes on in Avery’s mind at that point?  Is it, “Oh, no! I’m busted!” (Laughs)

JONATHAN:  It’s all sorts of things.  There is the visceral reaction, and then in his mind trying to figure what to do.  It’s sort of awkward, because they are in her house and her photos are everywhere (Laughs).  However clumsily and strange it is, he is trying to move on and get a life together with someone, and yet deep down he still has feeling for Juliette, which is mixed with anger and all of that.  He is having all different confusing conflicting emotions, all at the same time, and for Alannah as well.  It’s kind of a mess!

Courtesy/CMT

By the end of this week’s episode, viewers saw Avery and Juliette start to talk, with Avery letting her know just how he feels about her leaving him, and that he has decided to move out.  All Juliette is asking is that he keeps talking to her.  As Nashville moves toward its conclusion, the big question for the character of Avery will be … who is he going to end up with, if anyone?  I would assume many longtime fans would be rooting for Avery and Juliette, because they have gone through so much together.

JONATHAN:  Yes.  However, I have been receiving messages from fans, and talking to fans on tour, and they are slightly conflicted, too.  There is a lot of love for Avery and Juliette, but there is also frustration around the whole thing, and that they want Avery to move on and be happy. 

Courtesy/CMT

Where is Avery at with his relationship with Alannah?  He was getting close to her, and now she is attempting to put distance between them since Juliette resurfaced.

JONATHAN:  It’s difficult to pinpoint where Avery is at right at this moment.  There is a lot going on, and a lot of it is rooted in the fact that he went to Bolivia to try and bring Juliette home, and when she refused him that was so devastating for him.  The Alannah relationship snuck up on him. In some sense his heart is still attached to Juliette, but his mind is telling him it’s over, and that she is gone.  Avery and Alannah are connected to each other on a certain level.  It surprised both of them.  I think he has genuine feelings for her, but it’s also him pushing himself to move on from Juliette, which is something he has not been able to do.

Without Alannah, the band flounders with Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Avery, and then there is the health situation with Will (Chris Carmack).  Alannah’s presence really put a kink in Gunnar and Avery’s friendship.  She stared out with one guy, and was on her way to being with another.

JONATHAN:  Gunnar and Avery are really good friends and care about each other a lot, and it is certainly an awkward moment in their friendship.   In terms of the band, they lose Will who has been through this health crisis, and then Alannah.  The music components are kind of imploding and they are just trying to hold on to their friendship, and not have that implode along with the band.

Courtesy/CMT

Brad (Jeff Nordling) is making advances towards Alannah, and she originally tells Avery about it.  What does he think of the situation?  Now, she may do whatever Jeff wants her to do to get ahead in the music biz, since Juliette came back into Avery’s life.

JONATHAN:  I think Avery is trying to be supportive of Alannah.  It was a little bit of a blow for her to leave the band, but he generally wants to support her.  Avery has this instinct to be protective, as well.  He kind of has to hold himself back a little bit and not complain too much. He knows Alannah is an independent person, and may not want his help.  With the situation with Brad, Avery is aware of it, but she is walking into that in her own way.  It’s a moment for Avery to sort of step back and trust her that this is how she wants to go about her career.

Did you know Rainee Blake was going to be your potential love interest this season? Did you screen-test with her?

JONATHAN:  We did not screen-test together.  I think relatively earlier on I heard that this might happen, but it is one of those things were you never really know.  Often times, the writers and the producers bide their time and see how things develop as a couple, and how the audience responds to the on-screen chemistry.  You never really know if it’s going to materialize.  I actually did like how Avery and Alannah started to connect on the tour bus several episodes ago. The audience got a tease of a different side of Alannah, and Avery kind of brought that out.  Rainee was great to work with.

Courtesy/CMT

You have gotten the opportunity as Avery to tug on the heartstrings, as a dad raising his little girl, Cadence, all by himself, with a the runaway mother who never shows up.  How was the journey working with Hayden Panetierre?  You two had to battle, bicker, fight, and had to play all these ups and downs together to make the story work over many seasons of Nashville.

JONATHAN:   It was really amazing, and for me that is one of the things I will miss most about working on the show, and that is working with Hayden.  It’s such an interesting thing when you work with people for so many years, and all of the emotional ups and downs that the characters go through.  Often times, we would be doing a lot of intense and emotional scenes, but for whatever reason, we would find a way to have a lot of fun and find the humor when we are doing those.  I have a lot of love and respect for Hayden.  I think she is incredibly talented. We both started off in soap operas (Hayden was Lizzie on Guiding Light) and thus had a certain approach to our work, and our work ethic.  For me, it’s always a highlight in my career when I get to work with somebody that the scene is already great, because of the person you are working with.  We would constantly share ideas back and forth between us.  The thing about working on Nashville was the friendships we developed in the cast, especially going on tour with the cast and to experience all of that with everybody else.

Courtesy/CMT

What happened when you found out that this sixth and final season of Nashville would be its last?  Did you have any idea that this was coming down the pike when you wrapped season 5? 

JONATHAN:  No.  I don’t think anybody knew when we wrapped season 5.  We did not know till right before everybody else that this was going to be the last season.  We were in production maybe halfway through season 6.  I think that it helped having that time to adjust, and it gave us some time for reflection.  It really did help in a sense, because you know other shows they might wrap a month, or two later, and it’s over.  You don’t get to say goodbye, but we really did.  We got to say our goodbyes.

Courtesy/CMT

I can imagine that was heartbreaking.  When you think of the rollercoaster ride you and the cast had been through together which included: the cancellation by ABC, then the show coming back on CMT, only for it to be cancelled again, it’s quite a lot to deal with and not knowing if there is job security.  Do you recall your last day on the set?

JONATHAN:  I do remember it very well.  There were a lot of beautiful moments with people, and having so much love for the crew and so many amazing people that worked on the show.  We wrapped on April 10th and then we flew to the U.K. on the 12th   It was two days later that the tour started.  Even though filming was over, we were on a plane and then on a bus together, which was really good for all of us.  I know it was for me to have another ending.  In some ways, the end of the tour was even more emotional, because that really felt it was the end.

Photo Credit: CMT

Do you think there were more stories to tell on Nashville … or, do you think the series is going off the air when it should, as the stories can tend to get repetitive on any long-running series? Do you think this was the right time for Nashville to say goodbye?

JONATHAN:  I don’t know how other people’s perspectives are about it, but I know from my perspective, I think we told the story that was there to be told for these characters.  That is sort of the bittersweet reality of it.  It’s painful to say goodbye to a lot of people that I had become very close to, but at the same time, there was a sense of peace about it.  It really did feel like the right time.

What can you say tease about how Nashville concludes? The series finale airs on July 26.

JONATHAN:  One of the hardest things about being in a long form series; whether it be in the primetime format, or the daytime format, is often times the lack of resolution that takes place. You are pertually in Act 2 and in all the drama.  So, knowing that the show was over, allowed the writers to approach everything from the perspective of the end, and Act 3.  Certain storylines have resolution, and others are left open-ended.  There is a good overall balance from the writers of what the audience is going to experience with the end of the show.

Courtesy/ABC

I produced the General Hospital 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys.  I remember looking at some of your storylines and touching performances all over again that still hold up to this day.  One in particular was Lucky pulling tough love on Luke (Tony Geary) during his father’s intervention.  Lucky is such a valuable character on the canvas.  Would you consider going back to GH? 

JONATHAN:  My perspective on that is; I don’t really put that off the table.  I really don’t have plans to do that, because after coming off six years on a series, that is a lot.  I am definitely looking for other projects that have an Act 1, 2, and 3, that happen a little sooner than Nashville did.  I always have going back to GH on the table, because it’s like a family for me.  I have always said that that even when I left in the 90’s; that GH would be something I would come back to.  But, I am very committed and excited about what is happening with Enation, and excited about some other projects that are out there on the acting front. I don’t see going back to GH in the near future, but I never write it off.

When you last returned you did come back to be part of Tony Geary’s exit.

JONATHAN: Yes, yes, which I was really happy to be a part of.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Still years later, when you think of all the stories you portrayed as Lucky, is there one, or two that stand out to you among the rest?

JONATHAN:   There are many.  There were a lot of stories, and the writers wrote so much material, and that is a double-edged sword.  It’s great to have, but it was so much that I really couldn’t continue. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: ABC

I remember saying to you years ago, “You cry so well on camera. They are going to keep expecting you to cry, and they will be throwing scripts like that to you every day!”

JONATHAN:  And that is exactly what happened!   But for me, it’s the moments with the co-stars that I will always carry with me.  There are endless ones in my memory with Tony Geary. “The intervention” was certainly one of those moments.  I had those moments as well with Tyler Christopher (Ex-Nikolas, now Stefan, DAYS), and Becky Herbst (Elizabeth).  I remember having these scenes with Maurice Benard (Sonny) when scenes on the soaps were much longer.  And of course, earlier on, with Genie Francis (Laura) as well.  I feel like as an artist, I was really formed by Tony and Genie’s presence and observing them and watching how they worked.  I asked so many questions to them as I really wanted to learn.  They really protected me in so many ways, and yet gave me the freedom to try to find my own way through a whole process as well.  Those are the things that really jump out at me, as well as working through the scenes prior to filming, especially with Tony.  He and I would go pretty deep with what we were trying to figure out; what the scenes were, and what they were about, and how to approach it.  That part of the process was really memorable to me.  The unique thing I think in this industry for me was that I started at 11-years-old and got to come back to the show in my mid-20’s, and got to have that connection with another actor, and explore this father and son relationship.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I don’t think, and I really mean this, that there has been a father/son relationship on television like Luke and Lucky’s.   It was so multi-faceted.   Have you stayed in touch with Tony?

JONATHAN:  We definitely stay in touch.  Again, when I left General Hospital, I did not know if anything like that would happen again in my career where I would form sort of long-lasting friendships with people.  Most of the time you do a film and you get to know some people, and you go your separate ways, and that’s just how it is.  So I was really grateful for Nashville, because I feel like we were able to have those long-lasting relationships. I can’t really put into words my relationship with Tony.  It’s just a lot of love and gratitude, and respect that I have for him.

Courtesy/JJacksonInstagram

Meanwhile, your music career is very exciting of late.  Last month, you played the Royal Albert Hall in London with your band, Enation.  How was that experience?

JONATHAN:  It was amazing.  I went overseas with the Nashville tour and then Enation did a couple of shows, and then we opened for Echo & the Bunnymen.  The last gig on that tour was at Royal Albert Hall.  I have loved Echo & the Bunnymen for such a long time, and so this was wonderful for us.

Will Enation be touring more coming up?  

JONATHAN:  We are looking to go back to Europe later this year, or the spring of next year, and are working out those details.  We are going to be touring in the United States later on this year.

Photo: JJacksonInstagram

Did your wife Lisa (Ex-Hannah, GH) meet up with you on this recent European tour?

JONATHAN: The Nashville tour ended in Ireland, and then my wife and kids came over for the last two shows there. Then, got to go around Ireland for a couple of weeks and drive around, and it was fun.

Did you notice a difference between the European music fans of Nashville as opposed to those in the U.S.?

JONATHAN:  Yes, and no.  One of the things I have noticed playing over there is that the distinction in musical genres isn’t quite as a sharp as it is in the U.S.  Over there, the radio seems to play a lot different kinds of music.  So, it was a pretty seamless transition for a lot of the people that came to the Nashville show.   We see a slight difference in the music fan base, and it mainly has to do with that they may go to a country show one week, and a couple of weeks later go to a rock concert, and not think twice about the genre.  It’s just they are looking for good music.

Courtesy/JJacksonInstagramm

Hard to believe we are turning the page on another great character played by Jonathan Jackson as Nashville heads towards its finale.  What would you like to say to the fans, the #Nashies, who have loved, and have stuck with show every step of the way?

JONATHAN:  Just a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all the support, especially when the show was cancelled.  CMT saw the enthusiasm and support from the fans here and internationally, and that was a huge part for us to be able to get the last few seasons.  It has really meant a lot to us creatively to write that 3rd act, sort of speak, and have that sense of closure. I also would just say to the fans that have come out to the Nashville concerts as well, that it has meant so much.  We feel like we have had some beautiful moments with everybody, and so I am very grateful for that.

So, what do you think will happen to Avery at the end of Nashville?  Do you want him to end up with Juliette, Alannah, or by himself? Should GH try to lure Jonathan back to the his role as Lucky Spencer? Comment below!

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Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On: Jack Finding His True Biological Father, His Co-Stars, And If He Would Like A New Love Interest

On The Young and the Restless turns out Ashley (Eileen Davidson) is not the only child raised as an Abbott; whose father is not John.  As viewers learned back at the end of March, Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) is not the biological son of the Abbott patriarch, either!  This has sent Jack on a pursuit to find out who he truly is, and who he truly belongs to, because being John Abbott’s (Jerry Douglas) son meant everything to him.

Once again, this story has given multi-Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman an opportunity to play the complex layers of one of daytime’s best characters.  Recently, Jack had gone through his mother Dina’s (Marla Adams) old diary, where there was a key page missing out of it.  He then located a photo, which led him to believe that none other than late Phillip Chancellor II (played by the late Donnelly Rhodes) is his real father.  Is Jack a Chancellor?

Hell-bent on exhuming the body for DNA proof, Jack is getting massive pushback from just about everyone on Genoa City.  It is not helping the situation that Dina is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and her recollections of what transpired years ago when she had an affair, may not be accurate.  Now this week, Jack has a plan that may backfire and ends up involving his son, Kyle (Michael Mealor) in the process.  Will these two work together to get the proof of the truth?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with the actor’s actor, Peter Bergman to get his take on: the surprise story twist he never saw coming, if Jack has the purest of intentions, or if he is just chomping at the bit get his hands on Chancellor Industries, if he would like to see Jack have a new love interest, and more.  It’s always a treat to speak with Peter.  Here is what he had to say about Jack’s latest inner-turmoil.

Jack is not John’s Abbott’s son.  He is searching for the answer of who is his biological father.  Now, Jack believes he has found the answer in the photo he found that included Phillip Chancellor II, and then went to Dina to confirm the answer, even knowing his mother is battling Alzheimer’s disease.  Don’t you think he jumped on this notion of Phillip being his dad all too son?

PETER:  Jack has stumbled upon evidence that this is for real with the photo he found.  He went to Dina on what was a very lucid day for her, and she was pretty damn clear.  So, therefore it wasn’t just the ramblings of a lost woman.  Jack is very eager for an answer.  Could it be argued that he jumped on this as a possibility? Yes, and for a number of reasons.  First, he feels somewhat utter-less and needs to be connected to something, but he also knows his family, and the history of this family, and “Oh, my God” could that be a way out of this untethered feeling that he had.  So he is really grabbing on to this pretty quickly.  Second, it is not lost on Jack that part of inheriting all of Phillip’s traits might also bring him part of the Chancellor estate, which would belong to Jack and perhaps he could pick-up at the corporate level where he left off.  So that is exciting, but certainly not central to his thinking.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Everyone thinks from Cane (Daniel Goddard) to Jill (Jess Walton), to Billy (Jason Thompson) , that all Jack truly wants is to stake claim as an heir and to try to take control of Chancellor Industries.  Are they that far off from the truth?

PETER:  How honest is Jack being with himself?  We will find out!  He would want to stake his claim … and maybe a little bit more!

What was your reaction when you learned that Jack would be revealed to be the son of Phillip Chancellor II, when for decades you have been playing so much of what drives your character that he is the son of John Abbott?  Were you like, “What!??” (Laughs)

PETER:  I have been doing this much too long, to go “Why?”  I, quite frankly ask, “Where do you want to go with this?  Where do you want to take me?” The things that I have done in the past that I have fought the most have usually been the things that really led me somewhere.  I tell the story all the time of John Abbott dying.  They decided to bring him back as Jack’s conscious, and he would appear in scenes with Jack and talk to him.  I thought “C’mon. This is The Young and the Restless, and I am doing a ‘ghost’ storyline?”  I fought it and I didn’t like it, and I was wrong.  It was fantastic, and it worked great, and the audience liked it.  I learned from it.   I don’t go, “Whaaat?” that much anymore.  There have been a few of those including: the whole doppelganger story, while it confused me at times, and I thought this had gone a few steps too far, but it led us to Billy/Phyllis/Jack story. It was a direct line to that, and one of the most dynamic storylines I have ever been in.  So, I see this current story, and I go, “That is an interesting turn.”  Then, as an actor, I dig into it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack wants to exhume Phillip’s body and everybody from Jill to Cane is objecting.  Esther (Kate Linder) is worried Mrs. C. will roll over in her grave if he does this move.  As we will see, Jack does not take “no” for answer.

PETER:  Jack eventually all but gives up, but then a door opens slightly for him to look at this a different way   Jack reluctantly walks through that door.

Do you think Jack has ever thought of the possibility of: “What if I am the son of someone from the circus … or the former pool boy at the country club?”

PETER:  I have thought it’s amusing when I have met people who have explored their past lives. They have always been a prince or a princess. They were never menial laborers.  I think he looks back and is kind of curious.  I think Jill points it out to him that he is not at all suspicious that he is the pool boy, or the golf pro’s offspring?  He knows the tryst happened at the country club, and so the first person you think of is one of the elite of the country club. 

Courtesy/CBS

It would be such a huge devastating fall for Jack if something like that turned out to be true!  Jack so wants to belong to a family that has wealth and prestige that goes along with their name.  I wonder what it would be like if he had to say, “Yes. It’s true.  I am the pool boy’s son!” (Laughs)

PETER:  I don’t know how that would fit Jack.

How is working with the latest Kyle, you’re on-screen son, played by Michael Mealor? The part had been recast multiple times and the actor didn’t stick.

PETER:  I cannot say enough good things about Michael.  This is an extremely disciplined, very talented, and very professional guy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.  I think he is doing a great job.  Michael gets looser every show.  He likes to take big chances and try a lot of things.  We have had a lot of young actors on the show and what they do is try to project that they are cool.  They don’t go outside of the, “I’m going to be cool, and honest, and real.”  They say, “I am going to be solid, and make simple choices.”  Michael takes big chances doing large stuff, and going overboard  That’s scary do to as an actor, but I watch him in scenes with Hunter King (Summer) where he is trying to appear cool, but just her physical prescience gets to him.  You can see it in his performances and it’s wonderful to watch.   It’s lovely to see in a 26-year-old and it’s fantastic.  I have high hopes for Michael.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

This version of Kyle seems to be a bit of a chip-off-the-old-block.  He can play dirty just like his dad!

PETER:  As far as where Kyle is at … he is like Jack Abbott.  He is not a good guy, nor a bad guy.  Kyle is a bit of an opportunist with a heart, who wants to feel a part of things, but he also takes advantage of the situation, in a way that sometimes works against that. 

We saw Jack stumble and drink again as he fights his addiction when learning the news that John is not is biological father.  Do you see him stumbling again, and going back to popping pills and booze, if Phillip Chancellor II were not to wind up being his dad?

PETER:  I don’t know if he will see him spiraling, but it is worth saying for someone who is a constant and has a had guiding light of  ‘what’s right, and what’s wrong” and that now has been taken away from him essentially when John Abbot goes “Jack!”, that is a game-changer.  What we can expect from Jack now may change.  Jack isn’t as bound by “what would dad do” as he once was.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, we may be surprised with a turn in attitude from Jack?

PETER:  You may be surprised.  So much of his life, and certainly so much of what I play is that Jack has spent his whole life trying to be like John Abbott, because John Abbott is his father.   Now that is not so. So, how much effort should Jack be putting in to being like John Abbott?

Good point!

PETER:  It will be interesting to see where that goes!

We have seen many actors in the soaps portray drug and alcohol addiction. When Jack’s played itself out originally, it was one of the most harrowing to watch.

PETER:  He got to a dark place very fast.  It was out of control.  It was an important part of the Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Jack story, because he honestly did not have the strength to do it by himself, and he had somebody to help him through it   As it turned out, it was a formative experience for Jack and for Phyllis; one that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. They know things about each other that the rest of the world does not know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Billy recently read Jack the riot act, when Jack told his brother about being Phillip Chancellor’s son.  Having had it with Jack, Billy threw him out of his office.  Where do you think the relationship stands between the brothers at this point?

PETER:  It’s really hard for Jack.  He is still on the board at Jabot.  He has family ties there, and he still gets the checks, but it feels so weird for him, it really does.  He is trying to be a bigger man and let Billy do what Billy is going to do.  Deep down inside Jack has known Billy for a really long time, and when Billy sort of combusts, boy, does he go! Jack hates that Billy is holding the reins of Jabot, if things fall apart for Billy.

Viewers are seeing Billy turning to gambling again.  What would Jack do if he finds out what is happening to his brother?

PETER:  I don’t know what he could do.  I am not sure what he could do to stop the CEO of the company as things currently stand.  It’s hard for Jack to relax around Billy. It’s not a promising situation.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the Jack and Bill will ultimately be there for each other when the chips are down moving forward?

PETER:  Jack has a soft place in his heart for addicts for reasons we both know, and a soft spot for family.  It will be interesting to see how well Jack’s patience holds up, if Billy should go down that particular rabbit hole.

Do you think Jack might visit Chancellor Park and have a chat with the late Katherine about the revelation about Phillip and Dina?

PETER:  I think Jack is really trying to be realistic about all of this.  It could clearly be proven, but he is impatient.  He could wait for Chance and Phillip III to come back from their Himalayan trip, but he does not want to wait.  It’s just so easy if everyone would be practical about this, and get some fragment of Phillip’s remains, and there would be a DNA test.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack’s nemesis, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) is having a lot of issues, too.  This includes his mysterious health diagnosis …

PETER:  Oh, damn! (Laughs)

How does Jack feel about Victor these days and the plight that he is in?

PETER:  Jack has such contempt for Victor.  However, Jack can occasionally see that Victor is important to some people, but Victor to Jack is everything that is wrong in the world.  As to the fact that he is struggling right now, does Jack wish bad physical health on him, or anybody?  No. However, if things didn’t go easily for Victor, Jack would not lose any sleep over it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Don’t you think it’s time for Jack to have a real, honest-to-goodness, love interest?

PETER:  Jack should have a new love interest.  I think the writers and the producers of The Young and the Restless are paying me a lot for half of what I do.

Jack should find true love.  Someone who will be with him and whom he loves with all his heart, and someone who loves him back, flaws and all.  A romance where he is not manipulating her, or she is not manipulating him, for financial or corporate gain.   Do you think at this point that is even possible?

PETER:  I think that would be a swell thing, but that would be a daytime show investing in an actress that is over 40-years-old.  They have done it, but it’s a rare thing.  But yes, I do feel like we are seeing two-thirds of Jack.  There is another third of him that is completely unexplored and that’s a shame.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

We saw those heartbreaking scenes that aired last year where Jack had to admit to Ashley that his mother has Alzheimer’s.  How is he going to continue in his relationship with Dina knowing she has had multiple affairs throughout her life, and when married to John?

PETER:  This is a real difficult place for Jack.  Obviously, he has his mother back in his life in one sense, but his mother has been responsible for pretty much everything that has gone wrong in his life over the last two years.  It’s just one thing after another.  Had his mother been faithful to John, Jack would not be in this situation.  Had his mother not returned, we could have gone on with life as it was, and now all this mess is in part Dina’s doing.  Now, Jack has moved out of the house and so his mother is slipping away by the minute, and Jack is not around for it.  He keeps visiting, and he keeps stopping by, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s enough.  Jack struggles with that a lot.  He should be more in Dina’s life and be around for that, but being around for that means being in the Abbott house.  Everywhere he looks are reminders that he is not who he told himself he is for his entire life.

One of the more endearing moments came at this year’s Daytime Emmys, after Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) took to the stage to accept her award for Outstanding Lead Actress.  She thanked you while you were in the audience.

PETER:  This is in keeping with my new plan for the Emmys each year,  What I do is: I try to get a nomination so that I can sit in the audience after I have lost and hear the winner for Lead Actress thank me personally. (Laughs)  I am two for two in the last two years! (Laughs) Gina Tognoni had won that category the year prior.  Eileen Davidson is the greatest, and she has been for all intent and purposes my leading lady on Y&R.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Now, Eileen Davidson has announced, and made the decision to leave her role as Ashley.

PETER:   I can’t say enough things about her.  I adore her … I adored working with her. She is every bit as good as everybody thinks she is.  She comes to work prepared   She never needs hand- holding or spoon-feeding.  Eileen is the real deal; had she been one of Jack’s lovers that would have been over a long time ago.  The fact that she is his sister is fantastic.  Now with her exiting the show, I will miss her terribly.

In closing, viewers should watch for Jack’s next move?

PETER:  Jack is not leaving any stone unturned.  He has to figure out who he is, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

So, do you think Phillip Chancellor II is truly Jack’s biological father?  If not, who do you think is?  What have you thought of Peter Bergman’s performance in the storyline? Would you like to see Jack have a new love interest?  If so, who would you like to see the series bring onto the show to play opposite him? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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This week, a shocking move leaves Victor stunned! What will happen when the mystery around J.T. is revealed, and the fallout from it begins? Check out this explosive promo from Y&R. Leave A Comment

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