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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:

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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:

© JPI Studios

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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Terry Richard
Guest
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
Guest
kay killgore

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

Kathy
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

mmc
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Lisamaria

ICAM!!!!

Lisamaria
Guest
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… Read more »

mmc
Guest
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.
Guest
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… Read more »

lls
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Michael Jenkins

She is a terrific actress,

jaybird369
Guest
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

GH’s Finola Hughes, Marcus Coloma & Josh Swickard Talk On 15,000th Episode Milestone

The juggernaut that is ABC’s General Hospital, is marking yet another accomplishment in its storied 59-year-history.  The iconic soap opera is set to air on Wednesday, June 22nd (unless preempted), its 15,000th episode.

As part of the celebration, General Hospital’s Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), Marcus Coloma (Nikolas Cassadine) and Josh Swickard (Chase), who all appear in the standalone episode, chat with Michael Fairman to mark the occasion.

During the conversation now on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Finola and Marcus, and later Josh, who logged on later while at Disneyland, discuss: their beginnings on GH from landing their respective roles, who in the cast perhaps most intimated them, at first, and what it has meant to be part of the legacy of General Hospital.  In addition, Finola, Marcus, and Josh reveal some of their more challenging storylines, and more.

Photo: ABC

Later, the trio each gives us a tease of what’s to come now that Nikolas has slept with Esme (Avery Pohl), what lies ahead for Anna and her love-interest Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and Josh talks on working with his on-screen love-interest, Amanda Setton (Brook Lynn Quartermaine).

Watch for a special appearance by GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) within the interview, as we do a deep-dive of being part of the ensemble cast.

We also take a moment to send out our condolences to Kristina (Felicia) and Jack Wagner (Ex-Frisco) on the passing of their son, Harrison, and how you can donate to the scholarship fund in his honor.

Check out our GH 15K interview with Finola, Marcus, and Josh below, and make sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Michael Fairman Channel for more upcoming features, interviews, and upcoming Daytime Emmy red carpet coverage.

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Interviews

Sean Kanan Talks On The New Season of His Streaming Series ‘Studio City’ and The Life and Times of B&B’s Deacon Sharpe

The second season of the Emmy-Award winning, digital streaming series, Studio City is now available on Amazon Prime. The six latest episodes bring us back into the series of an aging actor, Sam Stevens, played by soap vet, Sean Kanan, who is one of the stars of the soap opera, Hearts on Fire, in the role of Dr. Pierce Hartley.

Throughout Studio City, viewers go on the journey of Sam’s foibles through life off-camera juxtaposed with his life on-screen. A sundry of delicious characters enhances the premise of the series portrayed by the likes of: Carolyn Hennesy, Anna Maria Horsford, Justin Torkildsen, Lilly Melgar, Tristan Rogers and more, all names familiar to soap fans.

While Sean is busy promoting the latest season of Studio City, and his book Way of the Cobra, he is also continuing to appear on The Bold and the Beautiful as bad boy – trying to straighten out his life after years in prison – Deacon Sharpe.  Since his return last year, Sean has been mixing it up in stories with the likes of Kimberlin Brown (Sheila) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke).

 

In this chat with Michael Fairman TV, Sean weighs-in on: what could be next for B&B’s Deacon, the struggles and the joys of continuing his streaming series, and the homage Studio City is to the soap genre and much more. Check out what he had to share below.

Courtesy/StudioCity

How challenging was it to shoot this season of Studio City?

SEAN:  When we do this thing on a shoestring, everything needs to fall into place in order for it to happen properly.  We know that everybody involved with the show was going to potentially get other projects, or do other things   One of the biggest issues we have, is that a lot of times, we didn’t know what locations we had because Studio City is the real world, and then it’s the show within a show (Hearts on Fire).  So, with the show within a show, those actors aren’t in the ‘real world’. For instance, Tristan Rogers (Doc), is only in the ‘real word’, so, if we have a location that isn’t for the ‘real world’, we can’t shoot Tristan because he doesn’t exist there.  We would have to literally decide what we were writing (sometimes the night before) based on the locations we could get.  It was just an enormous challenge.

Sarah Brown (Laurie) was not a part of the newest six episodes as well as some others cast members. Will she and others be back at some point?

SEAN:  Sarah was directing a podcast, and we kind of had to look at who was available to us, and what stories we needed to tie-up, and hopefully we are going to wind up doing another five episodes to finish up this season.  Then, hopefully we are able to get the actors who weren’t able to do the first six to come back and do the second five.

What I liked about the new six episodes is that I thought you built-in some really solid scenes for the actors.  How did you feel about the outcome?

SEAN:  We make the best show that we can make with the resources and time that we have.  I was glad that we got to develop the story a little more with Delilah (Juliet Vega), Sam’s would-be-daughter.  We always try to do something that’s socially responsive, and diversity is certainly and important issue in Hollywood, without a doubt, but I also think that you need to see the comedic side of everything.  I thought there was some really funny stuff about that with Sam doing the podcast and the scene with Anna Maria Horsford (Jolene) and Will Roberts (Dennis), where she comes in, and she’s like, “The production is too white.”  I thought that was some funny stuff there.  I loved the monologue my wife, Michele, wrote for Carolyn Hennesy (Gloria) about the soaps – that thing about how all of the soaps are dead, and Carolyn just railed in support of the soaps, about the soaps being this dependable thing.  For a lot of people, soaps are their point of emotional contact.

Photo: StudioCity

I talk to fans all of the time and for many times soaps are their lifeline.  Your character, Sam, lands a part in action-adventure film and screws that all up while on set. Where did that plot point come from?

SEAN: It came from a couple different places.  I think that there is not a male actor alive, who some part of him doesn’t harken back to when he was a little boy and doesn’t want to be an action star.  I think the funny thing about it is, of course, Sam is right on the precipice of being over the hill for it, and he’s not going to let that stop him.  Natalie Burn (Shelby Brock) is a legit action star.  She’s a terrific martial artist.  Our director, Timothy Woodward Jr. has done some action movies.  So, we sort of said, “Okay, we’ve set this thing up where Sam wants to get this film.  Let’s give him the film and have him struggle abysmally.”  Marching orders for Studio City are always to keep as much mishigas on Sam’s shoulders as we can.  You never want to see the lead of your show succeeding wildly because that diffuses all of the conflict.  I do think I’ve had some really great dramatic stuff.  I really liked the scenes that I had with Delilah in the sixth episode, and I loved the stuff with Tristan, and I loved the stuff with Lilly Melgar (Becky).  I thought it was really funny.  Lilly killed it and so did Justin Torkildsen (Jacob).  I thought Justin was great.

Courtesy/StudioCity

I thought when you utilized on-camera testimonials from the cast and the EP, that was really a hilarious piece to add to the story.

SEAN:  That was great.  I’d love to take credit for that, but it was Tim’s idea, and it was a really great idea from a production standpoint, because you can do one of two things.  You can either do a whole show where you’re using those, or you can chop them up and use them throughout different shows. From a production standpoint, we had to build some things into the show to insert those when we needed.

Courtesy/StudioCity

You also cast celebrity publicist, Anthony Turk, as a network executive in the series.

SEAN:  Yes. Way back when I created Studio City, there was a part for a publicist, and I had talked to Anthony about doing it.  We had eliminated the publicist part until Lilly became the publicist; which ended up in a completely different plot point.  I always knew I wanted to put Anthony in the series, because I think he’s a good actor. I was like, “You know, I didn’t write this part for you, but I think you can do it,” and I was really happy with how he did it.

 

Courtesy/StudioCity

I also liked the scene with Anna Maria Horsford’s Jolene where she tells Sam to keep his mouth shut while he is working on set. 

SEAN:  She is so fabulous.  I love that woman.  She is such a talent, and I was so happy when she got nominated for a Daytime Emmy last year.  I have such an affection for everybody on our show, because they really put their heart and soul in it, and it just means so much that they show up, and they support, and they do great work.

What I noticed is that the way Timothy Woodward Jr. captures you as an actor.  There is so much going on in the reaction in your eyes of what is happening to Sam.  He realizes the, “Oh, my God,” of each situation as he realizes what he just stepped into, or he finds the humor in it, or when he lets out his frustration, as he did with his daughter in the sixth episode.

SEAN:  That was one of my favorite scenes.  I wrote that one.   It was great because it’s my real-life stepdaughter, and I thought she really stepped up, and I was so proud of her.

For the first time in the realignment by the television academies, Studio City will now be competing at the Primetime Emmys instead of the Daytime Emmys, if the series receives nominations.  How do you feel about that?

SEAN: We are really excited to be competing with the big dogs now at the Primetime Emmys, and rather than being intimidated by it, we are saying, “This is the universe opening up and saying, ‘this is what you need to do,’ and so let’s embrace it.”  It’s going to be exciting.  In my 35 years in the business, I’ve never been to the Primetime Emmys.  So, we shall see.

Photo: StudioCity

Justin Torkildsen’s role greatly expanded this season.  In story, do you see Jacob attempting to thwart his Aunt Gloria and take control of Hearts on Fire as the EP? 

SEAN:  I don’t know if the goal is for him to take over for Gloria.  It certainly was a lot of fun to see what happened when he got just a little taste of power.  He’s got his own agenda, and I also love that he wants the love from his Aunt Gloria.  He’s not just a young guy trying to ascend the power ladder of the show.  He really does want his aunt to be proud of him and to love him, and she’s a tough nut to crack.

There was scene after the network executive tells Gloria, “You’re out, if you don’t fix the show.”  Doesn’t Jacob gloat in it for a minute?  Doesn’t he want payback for how she treats him?

SEAN:  I don’t know if he does.  I think he certainly does like to see when Gloria gets her little comeuppances, but when push comes to shove, I think he’s really got her back, I do.  Justin is so naturally funny.  He’s a great guy to have on set.  He’s got a great attitude, and he’s a very good actor.  I was really struck by a moment in season one where he’s coming up the stairs, and he had this abject fear of interrupting Gloria, and Justin didn’t have any lines.  He just played it beautifully with no dialogue.  I was like, “We’ve got to give Justin more to do,” and for me, it was nostalgic to work with him again because the very first scene I had on The Bold and the Beautiful was with Justin.

Photo: JPI

What can you say about Carolyn Hennesy; who often is the quintessential scene-stealer in Studio City when she appears on-screen?  Does she go with the script or ad-lib parts of the dialog?

SEAN:  She’s a gorgeous, red-haired, flaming beast.  She definitely did some wonderful ad-libbing to elevate what was on the page, and she made it her own, and that’s one of the things that I love the most about her.  I love that I can write a 20-page scene and give it to, for example, Tristan Rogers, 20 minutes before and know that he’s going to nail it.  That’s one of the things that I love about working with Daytime actors.   Say what you want, but when the chips are down, and your back is against the wall, a Daytime actor is going to be the one who can take the dialogue, digest it quickly, and give you a good performance.  With the way that we are run and gun in our style of shooting, you have to move really quickly.  I’ve worked on a lot of films, and with people who are recognizable in the business, and sometimes they get overwhelmed when they have more than a couple of pages in a day … and you know what we do in Daytime.

Courtesy/StudioCity

When you were writing the new season with Michele and Tim, was it laid out pretty definitively, or did it evolve?

SEAN:  We laid out some large arcs.  We knew the storyline that we wanted to do with Natalie and with Will.  Natalie, actually joined us as a co-executive producer.  She is Ukrainian and has family there.  So, she had a lot going on.  I just feel like she really stepped up.  She really helped the production both as an actress and as a Co-EP, and we were very fortunate to have her, and have her at a time when it would be completely understandable when her ability to even act would have been compromised, yet alone have the facility to Co-EP.  In addition, we knew we wanted to deepen the relationship between Sam and Delilah.  We had a different idea with what we wanted to do with Doc, and we wound up doing something another way than what we had originally discussed.  Sometimes, you have to make these decisions that are sort of production-based and you have to alter storyline.  Of course, we knew we wanted to continue to create the storyline that like a lot of soaps, Hearts on Fire was potentially on the chopping block.  At the same time, we really wanted to illustrate that the soaps are full of people who are talented, gifted actors, who love what they do, they work really hard, and they don’t always get the respect that they deserve.

Courtesy/StudioCity

It looks like Doc might be having a change of heart?  Will he begin chemo to save his life?

SEAN:  That’s what we are thinking, and we are hoping to bring Patrika Darbo back in, and finding out where she’s been and having some really nice scenes between, she and Doc.  I think things are going to develop between Dennis, who is the producer, and my character, Sam, and we are going to learn that all has not been revealed of who Dennis really is.

Courtesy/StudioCity

What did you think when you saw your performances in the latest six of Studio City?

SEAN:  I’m always super critical of myself.  I like the stuff with the podcast because I thought it was really organic, and I thought it was funny.  I loved the stuff with Lilly.  I always see things that I could fix and do better, but I also saw stuff that I liked, and I really liked a lot of what was going on with Juliet.  We had another take where Sam really breaks down, and unfortunately, we had a sound problem with that one, and we couldn’t use it.  That was really crushing to me, but again, you make the show that you can make. Michele and I always joke and say, “Making a 50-million-dollar movie is easy.  You want to really produce something?  Produce it when you have no money.”

Photo: JPI

What did your wife, Michele, say about how she thought the latest season of Studio City turned out? 

SEAN:  I do have to say that Michelle really stepped up this season of Studio City.  She ran the show.  She is an executive producer, but she was also the supervising producer, in charge, responsible for crewing up.  She amazes me to no end.  I couldn’t be prouder of her, and I’m so honored that she and I were able to both win out at the Daytime Emmys.  We have very different skillsets, which is great.  There are not a lot of areas where we overlap, but we compliment, and that’s why I love working with her.

Photo: JPI

You are also busy with The Bold and the Beautiful.  How has this most recent return been for you as Deacon Sharpe?

SEAN:  Oh, my God, it’s been fantastic.  The Bold and the Beautiful consistently ranks as one of the best professional experiences that I have ever had.  I love the people I work with.  I love the creative freedom that I have on the show.  I love what they write for me.  It’s just great.  Listen, I’ve done four Daytime shows, and by far and away, this has been the best experience.   It’s a great role.  I’m the only guy who has ever played Deacon, so I’m fiercely protective of the character.  I know I’m coming into a really big storyline right now, which is very exciting.  I can’t say anything about it yet, but I’m going to be working with a character who I haven’t worked with very much before, which is very exciting.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Kimberlin Brown receiving an Outstanding Supporting Actress Daytime Emmy nomination? I believe you are in some of her submitted scenes.

SEAN:  I think it’s incredibly well-deserved. She just brought so much to it, and I’m just honored that I was able to be a part of what she did.

People are saying you’re going to get all wrapped-up in the Li (Naomi Matsuda) Sheila, and Finn (Tanner Novlan) storyline.

SEAN:  Well, I guess I already am to a certain extent.  I like to think that in his infinite wisdom, Brad Bell (head writer and executive producer, B&B) knew that Kimberlin and I would find humor in an eccentric relationship; rather than just being two kinds of ‘baddies’.  Deacon is not nearly as bad as Sheila, but rather than be two people with somewhat aligned wants and needs, I think hopefully Brad was like, “I think they’re going to come up with something interesting,” and I think we did.   The fight that Deacon had with Ridge (Thorsten Kaye), that is not something that you see on Daytime all the time.  That was really exciting and fun.

Photo: JPI

I love that Deacon’s home-away-from-home is the supply closet!

SEAN:  I was teasing Brad.  I said, “If I get a raise, do I get a Swiffer?”  I love it.  In terms of Sheila and Deacon, I didn’t know if we were going to wind up in the sack together or not, and I thought, you know, if that happens, that would be interesting, too.  By my calculations, Deacon has now been out of jail for how long, and he has not gotten any action.  No action for a guy who just got out of prison for 5 years.  So, I don’t know what’s going on in that broom closet. (Laughs)

What was it like working with Katherine Kelly Lang during the whole ‘New Year’s Eve drunken night with Brooke’ story?

SEAN:  You know, Kelly and I really were able to capture lightening in a bottle many years ago, and I think it was wonderful.  I always wondered, what was going to happen all this time later if we worked together again?  Are we going to be able to come up with something great?  I love working with her.  Poor Kelly, just broke her ankle, which is terrible, but she is a champ.

Photo: JPI

Do you think there is still chemistry between Brooke and Deacon?

SEAN:  Yeah, I do.  I try to create chemistry with anyone I work with, men or women, but don’t we do that in life?  We always want to be interesting and sexy with anyone we talk to.  Ultimately, what we are trying to do on some level, is we are always seducing as human beings.  That’s where I come from as an actor.  You’ve got a goal.  You’ve got a series of actions that you use to get the goal.  You usually fail a couple times in the scene, so you change the actions, and you try to overcome the obstacles.

Right, and seduce people …

SEAN: … And seduce.  Deacon is a very adept seducer.  I think a lot of it was from being a conman.  I think now, Deacon is finding that he can be seductive by being authentic.  I think that’s new to him.  I think ultimately, when you’re authentic, that’s a way more powerful brand of seduction than something that is some sort of a manufactured, fabricated, external seduction.

Photo: JPI

So, what would say in a tease of what’s coming up for Deacon on B&B?

SEAN:  All I can say is that I’ve been told that I’ll have an exciting story coming up, and I’m looking forward to it.  I always like when I get the ball, and you never know what another actor is going to bring out of you.  Whenever I work with someone who I haven’t worked with, I hope that they are going to allow me to tap into a part of myself that maybe I haven’t demonstrated before.  That’s what I look for, and that’s what keeps me enthused in this job.  We do have to give the same information a lot in Daytime.  That’s just the nature of the beast.  The challenge is, “How do I do this in a way that is not only interesting for the audience but allows me to stay engaged as an actor?”  If you start getting apathetic as an actor, you start doing bad work, and I can’t do that.

Have you checked out the latest six episodes of Studio City? What do you hope happens next for Deacon on The Bold and the Beautiful? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn Chats On Her Daytime Emmy-Nominated Performance and Its Significance

When the nominations were revealed for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital mainstay, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), was recognized for her stunning work in the Alexis-centric standalone episode which honored her 25th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series.

Grahn, is already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner.  She won back in 1989 in a tie for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara along with All My Children’s Debbi Morgan, and again received the honors in that category in 2012 for her work on General Hospital.

Now. she is vying for the gold in 2022 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category against other formidable actresses including: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown, DAYS Stacy Haiduk, Y&R’s Melissa Ordway, and her GH castmate, Kelly Thiebaud.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Nancy to talk about her decision to enter the Emmy race this year, her powerful and moving scenes, why this nomination is significant and important to her, and her take on some very important social issues of our time.

Always candid, insightful, combined with great humor and wit, here’s what Nancy had to share below, and make sure to check out GH this week when sparks fly between Alexis and Gregory (Gregory Harrison). Will he turn out to be the new beau in Alexis’ life? Stay tuned.

Courtesy/ABC

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination.  How do you feel about being in the running again, especially with the material from your 25th anniversary episode?

NANCY:  You know, I don’t submit myself if I don’t think I have something, and I didn’t last year.  This year, I had the one show, and the first reason I submitted myself was I had the episode that was worthy of the competition. These judges have to sit, and watch this stuff, and very often, it’s hard to watch soap opera scenes.  It really is, unless you’re in it.  It’s a different kind of material that most primetime people aren’t used to watching.  So, it’s tricky business.  I don’t want to put them through anything too awful. I don’t want to torture them and I’ve judged before. It can be a bit tedious. So, for me to submit myself, I thought, it has to be something that isn’t going to torture another human being. The second thing is, older women get marginalized the older they get, and they get diminished very often, and every time we get nominated, it means something different to me.  This time, to me, I want it to somehow be symbolic, or a shoutout to women who are still producing, who have been doing their job for a long time and are still doing it good enough, and that it’s still worthy of respect and recognition.

When we were at the GH Convention back in March, I played the scene on-stage for the fans in attendance of when Alexis goes over to the corner of Kevin’s office and heals her younger self.  You saw the reaction just from the fans.  It’s such a beautiful moment within the story.  What did you think about how the standalone episode was crafted?

NANCY:  It was a different experience for me because GH co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, and script writer, Scott Sickles gave it the attention, but even more to that, they allowed me to participate in the creation of it.  They allowed the director, Phideaux Xavier, to participate.  We all sat in a room.  They said, “You know what?  Make it how you’re comfortable with it.”  There were so many people who gave it time and effort, and Phideaux gets a lot of credit because he came up with a lot of ideas.  So, the little girl in the therapy room wasn’t initially a part of it.  That was Phideaux’s idea, and they let us alter things, and they allowed me to write some words that meant something to me with the character.  Our producers, Michelle Henry and M.K Weir, who I both adore, were also a part of this.

Courtesy/ABC

That is great to hear that you were involved in the collaborative process of the creation of the episode.

NANCY:  We read through the whole script, and we worked it like you would on primetime. We went through it like, “Does this moment work?  Does that moment work?  Does this make sense?  Does that make sense?”  We never do that in soaps.  We don’t get to that.  So, it was a gift to me.  It really was. Chris and Dan, and Scott and Phideaux, and the two producers, generosity in gifting me that experience and making sure that it was to everybody’s liking, was really very special to me, and it meant a lot.

Did you come up with the key lines which summarized Alexis as a person and her journey: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a fighter, and an idealist and an advocate?”

NANCY:  No. They designed it, but we were allowed to enhance and contribute creatively to it, and, we don’t normally have the time to do that.  They don’t have the time to – and you can’t allow people to do that with every episode, to be creatively participating, because it would turn into madness with everybody.

Then, when it came down to choosing the scenes from your anniversary episode to include for your Emmy submission, was that a challenging process of which moments to go with?

NANCY:  I just told a little story with it with the time that I had, and so, I edited it with a friend of mine.  I did a sort of pre-edit on it, I’m good at that, and handed the timeline to our editor, who nicely put it together. It took very little effort.

In my humble opinion, I think that episode featured one of your all-time best performances.

NANCY: Thank you. There was a nice effort from everybody, from the lighting to everybody else, and all the effort Phideaux put into it.  He worked so hard on that!  It was fun for us.  It was like the old days where you really got to work something out.

Photo: ABC

It truly harkened back to everything we knew up to that point about Alexis and her past as well, and included a montage of scenes over the years.

NANCY:  I think it was M.K. who put that together, but when you’re working at the pace we’re working now, to have to sit and put together a montage of twenty-five years, that’s not an easy feat.  Nobody has time for that anymore, but they did it, and like I said, it was really, really appreciated.  My only thought with it is that I wanted it to be relatable to other people.  I didn’t want it to just be some, you know, self-indulgent Alexis episode. I knew that by bringing in the little girl and talking about people being hurt in their childhood and how that makes somebody feel that it was probably relatable to many people, and so it became meaningful to other people and not just me.

Do you think you’ll attend the Daytime Emmys? I know the last time you won you were not present.

NANCY:  Yeah, I’m planning on it.  I mean, barring anything happening! (Laughs)

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

NANCY:  Of course, it does.  It always does, and way too often, women who are still producing well in their jobs, don’t get the respect and the acknowledgment for it.  So, that’s why I’m saying, this is no small thing, and that I want other women to know that I know that, and that I wish for them the same thing.

What was the reaction of your daughter, Kate and your fiancé, Richard, when you told them you were Emmy-nominated?

NANCY:  Richie goes, “What is this?  Your 18th nomination?” (Laughs). You know what I mean?  It was just kind of like, “Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t you be?” It wasn’t like, “Oh, my God!”  It was like they kind of expected that.  That was nice!  I’m glad they feel that way.  I’m glad they weren’t surprised.  They were like, “Sure!  Of course, you would be.  Why wouldn’t you be?”  I said, “You know, it doesn’t always work like that!”

Photo: JPI

Now comes the part of having to find a dress and all that goes with it for the red carpet.  Do you enjoy that part?

NANCY:  No, I hate that part.  That is my… oh ‘boohoo’, you know?  I mean, I have to find something to wear.  Also, the older you get, that becomes so much less important, and the more makeup, and the more hair, and the more foofy, the more ridiculous I look. I start looking like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  You’ve just got to keep it simple.

You were talking about women and ageism.  Do you not feel that also exists for men?

NANCY:  It exists for men, but it’s not at all on the same par as women.  I mean, men still get paid more than women, and men still are valued more than women.  I mean, there are exceptions, but if you look in any place of employment, even the soaps, you will typically find the men making more money than the women, and the older the women get, the less they get.  Life’s not fair right now.  It’s fairer than it was, but still the equality game is not won yet.

Photo: JPI

I know how much all of this means to you in terms of equality for women, and people being run out of their jobs because of their age.

NANCY:  It’s just a reality.  It’s not something that I’m hopeless about, but I have a story to tell.  I’ll tell it when the time is right.  It’s life!  It happens in every field everywhere.  When my mom was 70, she was still producing the exact same way she was producing when she was 30, and she got run out, and was replaced by a man who was 40 or something, and there was no particular reason for it.  It was just, “You’re done.  We decided you’re done,” but like I said, it happens everywhere, in every line of work, and that’s why I just wanted to give a shout-out, when you still, after 36 years, can be recognized or shown respect or acknowledgment for what your do.  It’s a very big deal that I am appreciative of and grateful for.

So, rooting for Nancy to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress prize? Happy she was nominated for her work in the the milestone episode devoted to Alexis? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and to tune-in to the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 24th.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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