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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!!!!!!

Interviews

Executive Producer Michael Levitt Previews The Adorable 2019 ‘American Rescue Dog Show’

Dog lovers everywhere get ready! Coming your way on Sunday, February 17th and Monday, February 18th, the good folks at the Hallmark Channel will air a two-night special event (8pmET/7pmCT) that puts a spin on the traditional competitive elite dog shows, while at the same time championing an important cause for man’s best friend.

The 2019 American Rescue Dog Show honors some of the cutest rescue dogs from around the country going paw-to-paw in categories that will tickle-your-funny-bone, bring a smile to your face, or, potentially shed a tear.  This marks the second year for this oh-so-heartwarming show, where in its first year, it beat the Westminster Dog Show in the ratings; much to the delight of rescue dogs and their families, who take these wonderful animals into their homes.

The brainchild behind the concept is the executive producer of the event. Michael Levitt (Skin Wars, Daytime Emmys, TV Land Awards), who spoke with Michael Fairman TV to give us all the inside dish and insight into why this dog show is so personally important to him, and how its goal is to create awareness about the plight of millions of abandoned dogs in shelters each year, and to inspire viewers to think about rescuing one of these loveable pups.

Levitt has a collection of notable hosts and judges along for the ride who bring this one-of-a-kind doggy competition to life from the world of TV, film, and animal advocacy.  So, for the lowdown on the competition and more, here’s what Michael shared.

Photo: Crown Media

For those who want to check out the two-night event, is the American Rescue Dog Show in the same vein as the Westminster Dog Show, where the dogs are competing? 

MICHAEL: The format of the show is similar to a fancy dog show, such as Westminster, however, on the American Rescue Dog Show, we aren’t “judging” the dog.  In our show, they all have to be rescue dogs that are spayed or neutered in order to compete, and we are not judging them based on their bloodlines, we are celebrating their cuteness in such categories as, “Best in Wiggle Butt,” “Best in Couch Potato,” “Best in Snoring,” “Best in Special Needs,” and  “Best in Senior Dog” – those are obviously some of the most important.   We have the fancy arena floor with the judges and the tuxedos.  We filmed it at the Pomona Fairplex, which is the same place that they film the Beverly Hills Dog Show.

And you have a bevy of dog-loving celebrity judges along for the ride, too!

MICHAEL: Yes, and this year we are lucky to have the support of celebrity animal advocates that include: Lisa Vanderpump, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, host of CBS’s Lucky Dog, Bill Berloni, who is the dog trainer to a lot of the dogs on Broadway, and Dirty Job’s Mike Rowe.  Our prerequisites for them to be a judge were: they all needed to be rescue-friendly.  So, they either needed to have a rescue dog of their own or support rescue in some way.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are the hosts this year, along with Ross Matthews and Home & Family’s Larissa Wall, who served as co-hosts and cover all of the action ringside.

Photo: Crown Media

So, did the judges get along?  Did they differ on their top picks?

MICHAEL: The judges absolutely got along famously, but as a producer of the show, I was a fly on the wall listening to them when they were deliberating as they were picking a winner.  That was quite entertaining, because each of them had a strong point of view on the dog, or dogs that they thought should win the competition. We found ourselves throughout the filming just turning to each other and saying, “I don’t know how the judges are going to pick just one, because they are all just so incredibly special.”

How was Lisa Vanderpump? 

MICHAEL:  Lisa was wonderful!  When she was being interviewed by Rebecca and Jerry O’Connell, they asked her what she would say to a potential family that is about to buy a dog from a breeder, and it was such a profound moment, because as someone who comes from her socioeconomic level, from her privilege, to see that she has embraced rescue might be incredibly meaningful to someone who might think that rescue dogs are second-hand animals.  Lisa Vanderpump disproves that just by being there, and being a part of it.

Photo: Crown Media

How did you decide on Rebecca and Jerry as your hosts with the most?

MICHAE:  I have a long history with Rebecca from producing my show, Skin Wars, which she hosts.  I knew that she and Jerry had four rescue dogs of their own, and that she is incredibly passionate about rescue and shedding light and creating awareness about the plight of animals that are sheltered.  They were not only organic and authentic to the cause, but they were a lot of fun and clearly had a lot of natural chemistry.  They also brought their own rescue dogs to the show, as did Lisa Vanderpump.  So that was fun.

You have two wonderful dogs of your own.  So, this is your passion project!

MICHAEL: This is a true labor of love for me, because in 2011 when my sister, Jennifer was dying of cancer, my partner and I decided to rescue a dog, and we rescued a pit bull named Trooper, and Trooper rocked our world.  My sister met him four days before she died, and it’s that old adage of “Who rescued who.”  Trooper really was there for me during a really difficult time of my life. I learned first-hand how special not only rescue dogs are, but pit bulls, and that really was the beginning of my animal advocacy.  I ended up taking a year off from producing just to rescue dogs.  I realized at the end of that year, that as a rescuer, I am saving one dog at a time, but as a producer, I could do so much more to bring awareness to the plight of animals in our shelters by creating rescue-themed programming.

Pit bulls seem to always get a bad rap.  Do you feel that way?

MICHAEL:  They absolutely get a bad rap, and after we rescued Trooper, we rescued another pit bull named Nelson, and it was really the two of them who inspired me to get heavily involved in rescue and to be an advocate for pit bulls.  With pit bulls it is such a unique human-animal bond that you don’t find with any other breed.  All they really want to do is please their humans, and it is absolutely true that when you hear these horrific stories about pit bulls on the news, these are rare incidents of pit bulls who have fallen into the hands of bad people who have treated them badly.  It’s really unfair to profile and entire breed of dog, because all dog breeds have some dogs that have behavioral problems.  I have come in contact with thousands of pit bulls, and I have only met one that was human-aggressive, and that dog was severely, severely abused.  Every other pit bull I have come in contact with has been nothing but incredibly sweet.

Photo: Crown Media

So, last year’s American Rescue Dog Show is currently in the running to earn a Daytime Emmy nomination in the ‘Special Class Special’ programming category!

MICHAEL:  Yes, “Special Class Special”. (Laughs)

You obviously know who wins this weekend’s American Rescue Dog Show competition.  Were you happy with the winner? 

MICHAEL:  Yes, but you can imagine how difficult it is for the judges to pick a winner because every single dog in the competition is beyond adorable. It is really the dogs who deliver on the show, and that’s what makes the show so heartwarming.  The real purpose of the show is to inspire the viewers to rescue their next dog from their local shelter, or rescue organization, so that people who are watching turn to the person they are with and say, “Honey, I didn’t know you could get a pure-bred dog at a shelter!  Let’s rescue our next dog!”  We have really powerful segments in the show about the joy of adopting a senior dog, or a special-needs dog.  We do a segment on debunking the myths about pit bulls, and we have messaging on why it is important to spay and neuter your dog.  So, through this wonderfully entertaining program, we are also educating people and hopefully touching their heart and their soul and inspiring them to be a part of the solution by rescuing their next dog; instead of being a part of the problem by purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder.

Photo: Crown Media

When you look at what you have to take on as a producer when you do this type of show; as opposed to any other type of production you have helmed, what are the major differences?

MICHAEL: The biggest distinction is that on this show we are dealing with living animals, so I take that responsibility very seriously.  First and foremost: is the safety and well-being of the dogs that are participating on the show.  We have to consider everything from making sure that the animals are up-to-date with their vaccinations to having veterinarians on hand, having production personal on-hand standing by with treats and pooper-scoopers. This also means that the dogs are being treated like VIPs.  So, we have a VIP room, but that stands for “Very Important Pooch”, and all of the dogs that are participating have their own dressing rooms with a star on it and their name.  There were over 130 dogs that actually participated from all over the country.  In addition, we had a gifting suite like they do on the Oscars and Golden Globes, but on this show, they didn’t get swag bags, they got “Wag Bags”.

Knowing you as I do, it seems a lot this creative from the categories in the competition, to the backstage VIP room, are very YOU!

MICHAEL:  I have an incredible team of producers who I collaborate with.  None of this would be possible without the good people at Hallmark being such incredible animal advocates.  Specifically, Bill Abbott, who is one of the few network executives in the industry who is really walking the walk and doing so much to be supportive of dogs and cats who need homes.  So, this is right up my alley, because creatively I am so passionate about it that it is so easy to come up with fun ideas that hopefully resonate with the viewers.

Photo: Crown Media

Are there any other fun moments that you can tease?

MICHAEL:  We are celebrating the perfectly imperfect.  So, we love when a dog decides to roll on his back in the middle of the arena and decide he wants to get a belly rub in the middle of the competition.  We had a dog decide that he had to go potty on the middle of a flower arrangement on the arena floor.  Those are the moments that give the show its heart and feel-good sensibility.  We had a couple of dogs in the “Best Wiggle Butt” category where one of their forever parent brings them out initially, and their other forever parent was on the other side of the area, and we removed their leash so that they can run from one parent to the other so that we can really see their butts moving, but … we had a few dogs get so excited that they ran right out of the arena! (Laughs)  They ran right through the tunnel off stage and come running back in, and the whole audience erupted into laughter.  It’s just magical.

How did you find these dogs to compete? 

MICHAEL:  We put out a call-to-action on social media, and we got thousands of responses. People submitted their rescue dogs in as many categories as they qualified for, and they submitted photos and videos. Then, we have a team of producers and rescue experts who go through all of the submissions, ultimately picking the top semi-finalists in each category who come to Los Angeles to compete.  We had a wonderful partnership with Pedigree Foundation in which they provided $100,000 in grant money for the dogs that win for the rescue that saved him or her.  So, in the ten semi-final categories, each winning dog received a $5,000 grant for the rescue that saved him or her, and then the ultimate winner of the competition, which is crowned the title, “Best in Rescue,” received an additional $30,000 for the rescue that saved him or her, again, courtesy of Pedigree Foundation.  We also had a partnership with adoptapet.com, which is the largest online resource for people to find rescue dogs in their own communities. Throughout the show, we have a call-to-action for people to go to hallmark.com/bestinrescue and look for the adopt a pet icon … they click it… then enter their zip code … and they are instantly linked to thousands of available dogs in their own community who are patiently waiting for a loving home.

Photo: Crown Media

The dog handlers are the owners of these pets?

MICHAEL:  Yes.  We call it a member of their “forever family”.  Several of the dogs on the show are service dogs now, or companion animals, working in senior homes or working with military service people suffering from PTSD.  We celebrate each and every one of them.

Is your hope to do a third annual show, and keep the dog rescue competition going?

MICHAEL:  Yes!  My hope is that this show continues to be on for many years to come and be a platform for the 8 million animals that enter our shelters each year and are patiently waiting for their forever home, and that we can continue to be a voice for these dogs that don’t have voices of their own.  Of all of the shows that I have produced over the years, this one is going to be the most meaningful to me, and is going to be my legacy, because it is such a beautiful thing that I can bring my work and my passion together to hopefully make a difference in the lives of all of these animals.  As a result of this show, we heard from numerous shelters across the country that there was a definite uptick in adoptions.  That warms my heart beyond compare.

In closing, you know what they say:  it’s easier to work with animals than humans! Thoughts? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Every show has its challenges, but I would much rather deal with a diva Chihuahua than a diva celebrity.  So, on that level, this show is pure joy to make.

So, will you be watching this heartwarming, creative two-night rescue dog event?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below, but first, check out this behind-the-scenes video of how the American Rescue Dog Show is put together with co-host, Ross Matthews.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Jason Thompson Talks On: The Self-Destructive Billy Abbott, Victoria, Phyllis, And Katie’s Disappearance

As February sweeps kicks in to high gear on The Young and the Restless, Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson) and his ex-wife, Victoria Newman (Amelia Heinle) are once again in each other’s orbit.  First, Billy was not too happy to learn that his nemesis, Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard) shared some passionate kisses with her.  In fact, he went running to Cane’s imprisoned wife. Lily (Christel Khalil), to give her the lowdown.  Next, their child, Katie has gone MIA, but as viewers saw on Friday’s cliffhanger she is somehow heard singing through the walls at the Newman Ranch. Previously, Katie said she was playing with an imaginary friend, but someone is lurking around and watching the Newmans every move!

And let’s not forget, Summer (Hunter King) is back in Genoa City!  The last time she hit town she all but destroyed Billy – his gambling addiction returned, she tried to seduce him, and he slept with her as revenge against Phyllis for her having sex with Nick (Joshua Morrow), and we could go on!  After all the hurt, and the dissolution of their relationship, Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Billy are not seeing eye to eye on much, but saying they will try to work together.  Can they?

To fill us in on all the drama, Jason Thompson chatted with Michael Fairman TV and weighed-in on: the future for Villy, Philly, what he has learned from working on two major soaps; General Hospital, where he played the popular Dr. Patrick Drake, and Y&R, his thoughts on his recent Daytime Emmy Pre-Nomination in the Lead Actor category in what was a banner year of storyline for him in 2018, and much more.

Insightful, driven, and talented, Jason is one of the standouts in our genre.  Check out what he had to share below.

What did you think about the plot point that had Billy going to visit Lily in prison, and once there, he informs her that her husband, Cane has been kissing on Victoria!?

JASON:  What I think about it is somewhat irrelevant.  It wasn’t hard for me to rationalize it.  In the moment, Billy was hurt and pissed off.  He is irrational sometimes.  Once he got to the prison, I think he second-guessed himself.  Lily did a pretty good job of convincing him that she needs to know what is going on in order to just live in a certain amount of truth in this situation.  Billy felt that it would be worse for her wondering what was going on on the outside without knowing the truth.  I think that in that moment, he was convinced that telling her the truth was the right thing.  There was a part of him that wanted to get back at Cane, and when Billy gets hurt, he seems to lash out a bit and then sometimes he kind of recoils.  Could he have let it go?  Probably.  I think it’s an interesting thing for Lily and Billy’s relationship; to be honest.  Billy has always respected Lily.  I think that he’s always looked at Lily as someone who does the right thing, and was a good wife, and a good mother, and all of those things.  He thinks that she is in a rough place and wanted to offer her a little bit of support, and that’s the way that he did it.

Photo: JPI Studios

Where do you think the show can go now with his relationship with Cane?  They have been contentious all this time, anyway, and now this has happened.   How do you think this will resolve, or would it ever resolve?

JASON:  I think it’s one of the most interesting relationships Billy hasI don’t know that it will ever resolve.  I don’t know that Billy thinks too much about Cane either way, but in saying that,  there is still no one that can get under his skin and quickly!  In an instant, Cane can be Billy’s enemy and I think that’s great.  I always think there is story for Billy and Cane.  In our working relationship as well, I think we both get a different energy out of each other that inevitably ends up in the characters.  That’s always fun.

Photo:” JPI

How does Billy feel about Victoria now?  She’s been struggling since her relationship with J.T., making out with Cane, etc. 

JASON:  Billy does have feelings for VictoriaI think it’s a number of things that contributes to this.  I think it’s where he finds himself in his life.  He has been kind of hurt by the woman he loved (Phyllis).  He had everything for a moment that he wanted … he had the job, he had the girl, and if he had just done the right thing and had a little bit more self-control, he probably would have been in the best place of his life.  So, when all of those things get pulled away, the one constant is just when he goes to see his kids and they smile, and they don’t know what’s going on in the outside world.  I think the only people who don’t judge him are probably the kids.  There’s something really comfortable about that situation.  No matter what happens, there’s always going to be a little something with Victoria.  She’s always very supportive (not that she hasn’t been very, very upset with him, at times), but there is always something about their relationship that will keep him wondering if they should be together.  I think it will probably be like that for the rest of their lives.

Billy is still unaware that Victoria, Nikki, Phyllis and Sharon are all part of a cover-up in J.T.’s murder.  How aware is Billy in the depths of the abuse Victoria suffered at the hands of J.T.?

JASON:  There was never really a big realization about how dramatic, hurtful, and volatile the whole situation was.  It was a shock to hear all of that obviously, but he has no idea about the depths of it all.

Photo: CBS

If he found out, how do you think he would react knowing what Victoria had gone through?

JASON:  I think he would probably want to kick him again and then re-bury him. Billy has got a lot of flaws, but there is one thing that he will do, and that is always stand up for his family, and that includes Victoria.

Currently, it is just devastating for Billy when Katie goes missing.   He’s like, “I can’t go through this again after what happened with Delia,” and I know you didn’t play the Delia material, because you weren’t on the show at that time.  However, this does give you the opportunity to tap into all of that.

JASON:  Yes!  I mean, that is his biggest fear … going through all of that again.  I think that he would rather not be on the planet than go through all of that again.  What happened to Delia is never going to ever leave him.  I can’t imagine that something like that ever really does.  You just deal with it on a daily basis probably, and things come up, and you feel it all over again, and this is one of those moments.

Courtesy/CBS

I think that you being a father of two children now in your own life; really gives you a perspective when you play these things types of emotions and scenes out.

JASON:  Definitely.  Peter Bergman (Jack) and I were having a conversation about how much life and living, and trying to live a full life, really helps you with your acting.  I work really hard on my craft, but the most important thing that I can do for my work and my career is live a full life.  With the kids and everything else in my personal life, that to me is something that I can always draw upon.  It’s hard to even let myself go there sometimes, because of how scary it would be.  But yeah, I think Billy is not far off from that.  That character has a lot of life and is tied to this volcano and it’s just waiting to erupt, and that eruption is good and full of liveliness fear, and anger.  Some of that comes from hurt, and some of that comes from pain, and some of that comes from a good time, and some of that comes from addiction, and it makes it fun for me because there’s always something to play.  When I talk about what I think of a particular story line, I don’t think of it as, “Oh, I would never do this,” or “I would never do that.  That doesn’t make any sense.”  I try and make sense of everything.  That’s my job.  I just try to find a reason why Billy would be in that situation; instead of trying to find a reason why he wouldn’t be.

Photo: JPI Studios

Would you say that the situation with Katie will draw Victoria and Billy closer together?  At the end of Friday’s episode, they hear Katie’s voice in the wall, so they know she is alive.

JASON:  I think so.  One step up is often two steps back with them, but they are always connected in that way.  The kids do that, and what they’ve been through in the past, and like you said, I wasn’t necessarily there for a lot of that, but it’s in this character.  I would never say never with Victoria.

Photo: CBS

So, where is Billy at with Phyllis?  You and Gina Tognoni played that coupling to the hilt and the show separated them.  Major romances are never really ‘done, done’ on soaps.

JASON:  I mean, it only gets worse with Phyllis.  I’ll say that.  They’re not in a good place.   We have gone through some changes behind the scenes.  So, I have no idea what is happening as far as storyline.  I think there is always going to be something unresolved with Phyllis, but that’s the good thing about this kind of stuff.  You can put these two people together when you have two actors who kind of embrace it, and work at it, and have a natural chemistry, which in turn helps the characters have chemistry.  When Gina and I talk about what we did and accomplished with our characters, to be honest, it’s a little bit of a bummer that they are kind of apart right now, because we had a lot of fun.  We really enjoyed working with each other.  We felt like there was a lot more there to continue to explore, but like you said, it’s never over.  As far as the way that he sees Phyllis … it’s interesting.  I think as an outsider, he kind of looks at her as a selfish person who is going to get and grab whatever she wants, but I feel like he does understand her differently than other people do.  I think he’s looking at Nick and Phyllis and shaking his head like, “You can’t be serious.” (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI

You have had quite a gold mine of leading ladies in your daytime career from: Kimberly McCullough (Robin) to Kelly Monaco (Sam) while you portrayed Dr, Patrick Drake on General Hospital, to Gina and Amelia at Y&R.  I have to say that of all of the leading men on daytime, I think you’ve had consistently some major romantic kickass scene partners.  What are your thoughts on that?

JASON:  Yeah, I have been very fortunate.  I can go back thirteen years now and talk about how much Kimberly helped me out in the beginning, and how patient, and impatient (laughs) she was in a lot of ways.  Kimberly taught me a lot about how the business is, and to hold onto your values, and that it is very important to collaborate with your directors, and your writers, and your producers, and with other people that you work with.  You then see new things.  I’m constantly seeing things in other characters where I’m like, “That would be really interesting to shine a light on.”   I think there’s something really interesting about Sharon (Sharon Case) and Billy.  I think Billy could bring something out in Sharon that somebody else can’t.  That’s what is exciting for me as an actor – trying to find something different and trying to bring life that is not necessarily there yet.  I have had a lot of trust from writers, from producers, and from networks.  I have been very fortunate in that way.

Hunter King has returned to Y&R as Summer.  She played havoc in Billy’s life her last go-round.  I know now she is currently after Kyle (Michael Mealor) and not after Billy, but does Billy blame her at all for his spiral back into his gambling addiction?

JASON:  Realistically, if  Billy were really being dead honest about it and trying to really work soberly in his life, he would say there’s nobody to blame but himself.  There’s definitely that conversation that could be had between them about the situation that they found themselves in.  They both hurt each other pretty badly, and the people surrounding them.  I think there is probably a little bit of blame that can go around on both of them, but I don’t think he really sits back and blames her for falling back into addiction.  She might have been one of the triggers, but I think that he was really responsible for that.

Congratulations on your Daytime Emmy Pre-Nom in the Lead Actor category!  It’s quite a talented group of ten actors that made it through to the final round of competition. You certainly had a stellar year of material!

JASON:  I had a ton of great storylines last year, and it just kind of kept going, and kept going One thing I will say that really helped me out is my relationship with Mal Young (Ex- EP and head writer, Y&R).  We got along really well.  He helped me out by letting me know six months ahead of time where we planned on going with the story.  So, I was able to understand and slowly build the depths of hurt, and the gambling, and how it got further along, and the lies.   I was able to understand where we were going and the plateau that we needed to get to, which was very helpful for me. I worked with amazing people constantly; every day was like something different.  The hard part in this next round of voting is trying to find something that represents the whole year.  When I look at that list of pre-nominees, I’m proud of the work that daytime actors do … everybody from a little bit of a younger guy like Billy Flynn (Chad, DAYS) to icons like Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) , and Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH).  What Maurice brought to my life as an actor and still does has been wonderful, and on the other side of that you’ve got Peter Bergman, who is like a real brother to me now, and we’re really close.  It’s a nice comradery between everybody in the category.  It’s a great group of people to be included with, and aside from the competition part of it, that’s the really cool part.

Photo Credit: JPI

So, let’s talk about your on-screen, mom, Jess Walton (Jill).  I’ve heard you say publicly how much you really like working with her, and she with you.  What can you say about when you do get some scenes with Jess, and get to play that mother-son relationship?

JASON:  That’s another one that you can loop in with all of the other women I’ve worked with.  It’s a different kind of relationship, but talk about a soap icon! Jess Walton is right up there.  She’s a pro, and she’s got this little girl inside that is the sweetest thing alive, and her little giggle.  I can say that relationship is just there with her.  I would love for her to be there more.  If there’s one person that can tell Billy to just, you know what, she’s somebody that can give him a little whipping, and he’d be like, “Okay mom, you’re right.” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Finally, you are on this juggernaut of a show that just celebrated yet another milestone, 30 years at #1.  You go from a historic show like GH, to another here at Y&R that keeps celebrating these milestones that nobody will ever overtake.  All of this has to be a ‘pinch yourself’ moment for you?

JASON:  Yeah, I definitely pinch myself.  I think at this moment, all four soaps that are left are having monumental anniversaries and celebrations, because the truth of it is, it’s really incredible what soaps have done in our history.  With playing Patrick on General Hospital, I still look back on that time and that character, and am just so grateful that I was able to bring him to life.  Every once and awhile I wonder what Patrick’s doing.  On the other end of that, to come over to Y&R with a show that is now 30 years at number #1, and the pride that they have, and the support that they have from the network, there’s a real kind of challenge that we have in order to keep that up.  It is not about the slogans, or the glitzy ad campaigns in the magazines that say, “Hey!  We are #1 for 30 years.”  While that’s very important, what’s more important are the people who have gotten us there for the last thirty years.  We have to show them respect by doing the best that we can and continue that. That’s what drives us. You can feel it in the building.  To take on a character like Billy, who has been a part of that for a very long time, there is a pressure that comes with that, but at the same time, there is an excitement of taking on this character and continuing to make him relevant, and a part of this great soap’s history.

So, do you want Billy to end up with Victoria, Phyllis, perhaps Sharon, or someone else? Who do you think has got Katie and is watching the Newmans?  Are you rooting for Jason to receive a Lead Actor nomination for his work on Y&R in 2018?  What do you think about the other sentiments shared by Jason in this interview, and what was your favorite part of our discussion? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey Interview – Day of Days 2018

Days of our Lives stars Freddie Smith (Sonny) and Chandler Massey (Will) chat with Michael Fairman at NBC’s Day of Days 2018 celebrating the 53rd anniversary of the long-running daytime drama series.

During the interview, the duo tease what’s to come for #WilSon with Paul’s (Christopher) departure from the canvas, Will getting his memory back, and the trouble that will soon arise when a certain someone is “back from the dead”.

Freddie and Chandler also talk about being a soap power couple on-screen, and reveal some of their favorite scenes, and chat up the new DOOL app and their fun content within it.

Watch below our latest chat with Freddie and Chandler.  Make sure to check out all the Day of Days 2018 interviews with the cast of DAYS on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube,  Make sure to “subscribe” to view all the features and videos/

Now, let us know what you thought of the conversation with Freddie and Chandler below, and what was your favorite part of it, via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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