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THE ALLEY MILLS INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

AlleyMillis.jpg
By Michael Fairman

Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:
Were you surprised to find out that Pam was returning to “B&B” this time as a whack-job?

ALLEY:
I was somewhat surprised.  I did not know at first, it started with Stephanie being shot.  I was just coming back and thought maybe I was just still in love with Eric.  I did not realize I was quite nuts until I read the scripts.  Nobody really told me.

TV SOAP:
So, you figured out that Pam must have been on some sort of medication for a mental illness?

ALLEY:
Of course, not many people sit by somebody’s bedside and squeeze it like a pillow like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, with foam practically dripping from their mouth.  Then I       went, “Oh, she is taking a turn!”  Then I read ahead.  Ann, Betty White’s character says, “Have you taken your medication?”  Then I went, “Oh, I love it.”  So, that is when I realized I was on medication the whole time and somewhat normal.

TV SOAP:
So the meds are the great Pam “neutralizer”?

ALLEY:
It’s so much more fun to be off your medication and in life.
(She laughs)

TV SOAP:
The last time we saw you and your alter ego, Pam, was during the shooting of Stephanie storyline.

ALLEY:
After the shooting of Stephanie, I stayed on the show quite awhile as a suspect.  Then my mom, Ann, says, “You better come home darling.  What have you been doing?”  I was sitting there with my dog, which was eating my sandwich.

TV SOAP:
Pam has quite a dog as her sidekick.  How is working with the dog?

ALLEY:
“Tiny”, is the dog.  I love working with the dogs.  There are actually two dogs.  There is one that growls and grits its teeth, but he is the sweetest thing and his name is Hudson. Then, there is another dog playing Tiny, who leaps at the suspect.  Jennifer Gareis, who plays Donna, is actually terrified of dogs!  And in recent episodes that aired in the States, this time Stephanie and Eric are on the outs and Eric is with Donna.  Theoretically, I think I am helping Stephanie by saving Eric from Donna.  But of course, in Pam’s deranged mind she likes Eric too, and she hates Donna.  In the scenes I shot with Jennifer I had to use this wonderful man named OJ, who is this 60-year-old African American wrangler, because the dog would leap and Jenn could not be in the scenes.

TV SOAP:
What kind of dog is “Tiny”?

ALLEY:
He is a Doberman Pincher.  I am not afraid of dogs, but at the end of the scenes where I leap at Donna and leap at her again, I’m holding the dog by the leash, and OJ goes, “Good boy!”  Then, he takes this fake arm that “Tiny” has been holding onto the whole scene.  The dogs have really huge jaws, so it was quite scary.

TV SOAP:
So, how on earth, did you tape the scenes between Donna and Pam and “Tiny”?

ALLEY:
During the entire dialog, it’s a close-up of me.  OJ would be in Jenn’s spot, and I would be talking and the dog would leap at OJ.  Then, what we did was tape the whole thing without the dog.  I pretended to lurch forward with an empty leash going backwards and forward.  It is really hard though, because you have to remember what people did and where they were positioned.

TV SOAP:
How crazy is Pam going to get?

ALLEY:
It’s pretty deranged, but I put a tea bag in my mouth.  My husband, Orson Bean, who is a comic said, “Make sure to make the string hang in your mouth as long as possible.”  My husband helps me with the comic side of being crazy.  The crazy part I have already explained to Donna, is how I get obsessed and how I am borderline psyzophrenic.  I have told this to her to freak her out.  I am mostly keeping normal around other characters.  It’s mostly around Donna that I am freaking out.

TV SOAP:
Does Stephanie know what is wrong with Pam?

ALLEY:
Stephanie does not know what I am doing, and she does not know about the fact that I am off my meds.

TV SOAP:
How far will her insanity go?

ALLEY:
I don’t know.  Who knows?  Brad Bell (creator and head writer, “B&B”) knows. Everyday you pick up a script and go, “Oh thank you Brad.”  You just don’t know.  I know I am just going to mess with Donna with her exterior.  Pam is trying to get Eric uninterested in her.  Pam basically thinks all that Donna has going for her is her sex appeal, and wants Eric to just notice that. Her main motivation is to get Eric turned off.

TV SOAP:
Is Pam adversarial with Sister Stephanie, at this point?

ALLEY:
No.  Stephanie and I are having fun.  I tell her that I am responsible for everything that I do to Donna.  So this is what I do: I turn her hair green, I keep her in a tanning booth for 15 minutes or so… so she turns black, and her teeth gets stained.  So she loses her confidence.  Stephanie thinks it’s really fun, but she does not know I am mentally unbalanced, but I think she might know.  She knows that Pam has had a really rough childhood.  So, my excuse for me being mean and crazy is what happened to Pam as a child.

TV SOAP:
For those who don’t know, please recap the childhood abuse that caused the problem for the Douglas sisters.

ALLEY:
Even though Stephanie was the one that got abused by our father, Ann, our mother, would make me play piano in the next room while Stephanie’s beatings were going on. Even though it’s just soap, the show got so many calls from South American countries from people who had been abused.  They had an abuse hot line, which was used a lot.  I think Brad was freaked out by it, and it turned into a very serious thing.  I don’t think people talk about that in their lives, especially in other countries.  So, when I first came on the show, the whole thing was very serious.  The childhood was very bad.  As bad as it was for Stephanie that our father was creepy and hit her, it was left vague what he really did to her.  But Pam heard her screaming and saw the blood on her back.  I am six years younger than her and was always left out of what really happened.  Pam has lived with her mother her whole life, which is pathetic.  I think Pam has probably been on medication her whole life, and Ann has repressed everything.  She let her little girl get hurt in the next room.

TV SOAP:
My theory is obvious, that Ann has been medicating and drugging Pam her whole life! What are your thoughts on that?

ALLEY:
It has not been said that Ann was drugging Pam to keep her in check.  She just said, “Pammy have you been taking your pills?  You know what happens when you don’t take your pills!”  You get the feeling that Ann is the regulator.

TV SOAP:
But, you have made the whole crazy scenario a little like Lucille Ball from “I Love Lucy.”  Is that on the money?

ALLEY:
Yes.  It’s really interesting, because Brad had kind of made it comic like a Lucille Ball, trying to get Donna.  I love that!  It’s really fun and it’s fun to be funny.  If it were too cruel and too mean, it would not be the same thing with Donna.  Everyone likes to get the bimbo!  It’s fun!  The truth is, in real life I have a friend who is a lot like my character. But the truth is, the manic factor of this disease is actually quite fun.  When you are around people who are really manic, it’s fun.  The other side of it is not fun.  It’s really, really dark.  Brad has it in the writing that, “If Pammy does not take her pills; she goes to a really dark place, Donna.  I am going to take you with me, if you don’t back off!”  My threatening to murder her was pretty nasty. You just never know where this is going to go.

TV SOAP:
How long will you be back on the show this time?

ALLEY:
It’s been six weeks since I have been doing this story with Donna.  Then, you never really know till Brad wakes up in the middle of the night!  He gets these ideas and then the next thing you know… Pam is off her medication!  Last time, I was after Eric, so he changed that.

TV SOAP:
How is working with John McCook (Eric)?

ALLEY:
John is a doll, great to work with, and hysterically funny!

TV SOAP:
How is it working with Susan Flannery (Stephanie)?

ALLEY:
When I started working on the show, she was so powerful in the child abuse storyline.
Susan is an amazing actress.  I like her as a person and to hang out with her in her dressing room, running lines.

TV SOAP:
Do you run lines with her and go through a certain rehearsal process?

ALLEY:
She does that everyday, which is fantastic.  When you arrive at the studio, the first thing you do is blocking, even before make-up and hair.  Susan wants every one of the actors in her scenes to get together, whether it’s one or four people.  In this case, Susan had the four of us, John, Betty, her and me, and we would run every scene three times.  Then we would talk to each other about anything that we didn’t think felt real. Then, Susan will change lines to make it real if she has too.  She says, “Be free.”  You know if you run the scenes three times, then it’s not a free-for-all in front of the camera.

To hear this audio snippet, click back to The Global sections,
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TV SOAP:
How do you feel about working with you new on-screen rival, Jennifer Gareis (Donna)?

ALLEY:
I think she is great!  She will let me make fun of her without hurting her feelings.  That is the thing that gets kind of tricky, when you get into something.  I, as Pam, don’t like Donna, and Jenn is a very vulnerable girl.  She is young.  I keep forgetting at times that she is.  But, I want to make sure she doesn’t think I hate her.  I want to be free to feel it when we are taping.  So, I try to have lunch with Jenn and stuff so she knows that I like her as a person, and then I can be really nasty to her on stage.  Jenn is getting her MBA at Pepperdine, so she is not an airhead.

ALLEY:
Most actors I know would not be able to go and learn lines this fast.  “B&B” tapes four days a week now.  So, we tape one and half episodes per day right now.  There is a luxury in that you get a long weekend.  If you are in a heavy storyline, it’s a lot of lines, and if it’s emotional scenes where you want to be there, then you have to get them under your belt before then.  I am doing a play by J.M. Barrie who wrote “Peter Pan.”  It is called “Alice Sit By the Fire”, and every Thursday through Sunday I am in that, too.  So, it’s been a challenge to do both things, but I am alive! (She laughs)

TV SOAP:
Have you been to Australia yet?

ALLEY:
I have never been to Australia.  My husband lived there and the kids went to school in Melbourne.  I want to go really badly, and he has promised me he would take me.  We have really good friends that live there in an Arts Colony where a lot of people from the television business live.  It’s called Daylesford and it’s in Victoria.

TV SOAP:
In closing, by your best guestimate, what do you think is coming down the pike for Pam?

ALLEY:
My guess is maybe we are going to get another facet of Pam; the inside of her… of what this whack job is really going through.  I never know till I pick up a script.  It all depends upon the pill jar.  Do you know what I mean? (She laughs)

TV SOAP:
Now that you have spent time on a daytime soap, how is it stacking up against your other primetime work, such as “The Wonder Years”?

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Love the dress you wore to Ridge’s and Taylor’s wedding (July, 2011). Wondered if you can reveal the label? Enjoy your part very much.

Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Weighs-In On Daytime’s Wildest Storyline, The Hope Mannequin & What’s Really Going On With Thomas

If you think you’ve seen it all on daytime soap operas, think again! Over the past several weeks viewers of CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful have been witness to fashion designer Thomas Forrester’s (Matthew Atkinson) descent into madness, or is it?

In B&B’s thriller-esque storyline, complete with tight close-ups and tilted angles of Thomas and his co-star, the Hope Mannequin – yup, you read that right, the series is taking the audience on one wild ride, something we have not seen the likes of since back in the hey day of the late head writer, James Reilly, during his tenure on Days of our Lives or Passions.

Photo: JPI

Inspired by, believe it or not, true life events, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell and his creative team have served up a story generated off all of the buzz the show was receiving for using mannequins as scene partners for the actors in intimate moments to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.  B&B was the first American show back in production amid the pandemic.

 

Within this twisted tale, Thomas has the life-like version of Hope Logan Spencer (Annika Noelle) at home with him.  Those who have stumbled upon him with the mannequin, well, he has been able to explain that away by saying that having the doll with him is helping him create some of the best designs of his career.

The problem is the mannequin is talking to Thomas, it’s eyes have often turned devil-red, and on Friday’s episode it walked!  It’s objective is to get Thomas to kill Liam (Scott Clifton) and to get Hope back to be his one and only. Throughout many of the scenes in the storyline, Thomas suffers from what appears to be severe headaches.  All of this leading the audience to believe either … he has a brain tumor … he is being drugged … he is suffering from a severe mental break and disorder, or something else.

Photo: JPI

In a very candid and often humorous conversation with Michael Fairman for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Thomas’ portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, discusses some of the craziest scenes to shoot thus far including Thomas having dinner with the mannequin!  In addition, Atkinson reveals how he and Annika Noelle tape the scenes where she is the voice of the Hope mannequin while adhering to safety protocols,  and how Liam is the only one, apparently, thinking something is off with Thomas, and so much more.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

One thing is for certain, Matthew Atkinson is sinking his teeth into the material and making it must-see daytime drama through his performances while we all wait to see what the possessed mannequin does next.

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

Then let us know, what do you think is happening or wrong with Thomas? Are you getting a kick out of the Hope Mannequin storyline? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

 

 

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Interviews

Eric Nelsen Talks Latest Film, Becoming a Tony-Nominated Producer, ‘The Bay’, and His Elizabeth Gillies & Ariana Grande Connection

You can catch All My Children reboot alum, Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler), just about everywhere this month, and that’s hard to do given that we are all living in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this Daytime Emmy-winning actor has his hands in a myriad of projects of late including: appearing on season six of The Bay (new episodes every Tuesday on Popstar! TV) where he continues to play Daniel’s journey after the character has come to terms with his sexuality and finds love, plus his comedic turn in the film, 1 Night in San Diego, and recently becoming a Tony-nominated producer along with his wife Sainty for the critically-acclaimed, and now 11 times nominated Broadway play, The Inheritance.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Eric to get the lowdown on his busy professional life, and we were in for some surprises along the way including: what the producers of AMC had in mind for the character of AJ that ultimately did not happen, and that Eric starred on Broadway with Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon, Dynasty) and Pop superstar, Ariana Grande – and there’s more to that story below.

 

What makes Nelsen so good at what he does on-screen is that he is a like a chameleon; adept at playing the quirky, to the troubled bad boys, to the emotional heart-tugging anti-hero. So here’s what Eric had to say in this fascinating conversation.

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

Your latest film appearance in 1 Night in San Diego is out this week on multiple streaming on-demand platforms from: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and more. Tell me about the movie and when did you film this?

ERIC:  We filmed it near San Diego, not this past February, but last February, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a female-driven comedy.  The cast is incredible.  Alexandra Daddario, who is just epic, and Jenna Ushkowitz, and Laura Ashley Samuels, they truly bring it in this powerhouse comedy, and it’s just one of those make-you -laugh movies from beginning to end, just silly, stupid stuff happening the whole time.  General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin) is also in the film.  While we don’t work in scenes together, I did get a chance to meet him and he’s a really great guy.  I play this off-the-wall character, named Gordo, who is a real burn-out, think Matthew McConaughey meets space cadet, which was a lot of fun to play.  Gordo is a great role.  I had more fun with this part than I’ve had in a long time.  So, it was cool to throw a comedy into all of the drama I have been playing in my other projects.

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

ERIC:  One of the girls knew him back in the day, so they were in town looking to reconnect, and she’s like, “Oh, we want to party and let’s hit up Gordo,” and they do.  He has just gone completely off the rails, off the deep end with spirituality and kind of in his own world. They find themselves in quite a predicament when they come visit what they didn’t know was a commune, basically.  Gordo creates this hippie commune for a bunch of outcast musicians, (laughs) and I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of interesting stuff happens there.

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

In addition, you are now a Tony-nominated producer for the play The Inheritance!

ERIC: That was crazy, because it’s always been a dream of mine to produce for Broadway.  That was how I got into the world of film and TV acting, which was through the theatre.  That’s where I started.  I was lucky enough to star on Broadway when I was 16 and 17, in a musical called, 13.  I started with Ariana Grande! It was so fun.

Wait, what?

ERIC:  Yeah, that was her first big show, and Elizabeth Gillies’.

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

ERIC:  Oh yeah, and you know she and I dated for two and a half years during the whole run of the show 13.  Elizabeth is very talented.   She is amazing.  The funny part of it is, we were dating forever, and kind of had a bad breakup, and then Sainty, my wife, gets cast in her show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in the pilot to play Liz’s best friend on the series.  So, all of the sudden, I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, out of all the shows, all of the things, this is who you have to get cast as best friends with?” and so they actually became really, really, close friends.  So, I’d actually come home from work or filming, and Liz would be on my couch sitting there giggling with Sainty.  I’m like, “This is just becoming too much.  This is a full-circle moment here.  I can’t deal.” (Laughs)

Now, you and Elizabeth are broken up at this point?

ERIC:  Yes.  We had been broken up at this point.  Sainty and I were actually together.  I started dating Sainty in New York and the pilot she was shooting was in New York, and she gets cast as Liz’s best friend, and I was like, “Oh, of course.”

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

ERIC:  Yes, so dying.  Dying.   You know, it’s just one of those things that in a million years, you would never expect this to happen, and of course, Sainty and her had to become best friends in real life because they’re both great girls, and naturally, they would be friends, but now, I’m like this guy stuck in the middle who can’t believe what’s happening, and thought that was one chapter, and this is a different chapter, and now the chapters are combining.  It’s kind of a comedy act.

Photo: JPI

Since Ariana Grande was on Broadway with you and Liz, what was she like back then before her meteoric rise to fame?

ERIC:  Ariana was literally the sweetest, most innocent, and cutest – like my little sister.   To me, it was like, Liz and I were dating, and Ari was kind of like the little sister.  All of a sudden the show ended. Ariana got a Nickelodeon show, and after that, she became the most famous person in the world and was like this sex icon, and I couldn’t get over it.   She’s always had that talent with her voice and in 13 she was an ensemble member.  She wasn’t even one of the leads, but her voice was so incredible, even then as a young teenager.  I thought she was going to go on to have this great Broadway career as an actress and do musicals her whole life just because of her voice.  Then, all of the sudden, right after the musical, we all auditioned for the same Nickelodeon show.  I ended up going to the finals for the boyfriend role, Liz got the girlfriend role, and Ari got the funny friend on the show role.  That kind of catapulted them into the TV world, and Ari got a spinoff because of her character on that show for another Nickelodeon show, called Sam and Cat, and then after Sam and Cat, she went from this innocent, sweet, little Nickelodeon girl that I knew to being the biggest star.  It was unbelievable to me.

Photo: Broadway World

So, you started on Broadway as a teenager, and you found you always wanted to produce for the Great White Way? 

ERIC:  Yes, I did the Broadway thing, and then I got into film and TV, and then I got into film and TV producing.  As an actor, there are a lot of ups, a lot of downs.  So, in between the ups, I wanted to fill my time, so I got into producing, and I loved it.  I loved creating.  As an actor, we just show up, and everything is already done.  All we have to do is say our lines.  We get pampered, and we go home, but I wanted to know how it got to that point, like what happens before that.  So, I started producing film and found some success doing that, and it was so much fun for me.  Sainty’s and my first love, and what feels like home, is theatre.  So, I wanted to take it full circle and produce a Broadway show.  I just thought that would be such an incredible moment, and so that’s what I did.  I started emailing all of the Broadway producers who I had worked with as an actor, letting them know what I had been doing, kind of the success I had gotten from producing The Bay and some of these other things. Different shows came across my desk that I didn’t quite bite the bullet on, a couple of which I wish I would have, Dear Evan Hansen being one of them.  I would have been so rich by now!  (Laughs)

I just want to clarify for people who might not know, the word “producer” can mean different things.  There are “producers” who are putting money in … they’re backing projects or shows.  There are other people who are “producers” on the creative side of projects.  So, when you’re talking about producing a Broadway show, it is as an investor?

ERIC:  So for theatre, unless you’re the head producer who kind of gets creative control, every other producer listed in the credits is basically helping raise finances and is also very heavily involved in the process of everything else along the way, which is also what makes it special.  So finally, The Inheritance came across our desk, and it checked every single box.  It was just an epic play.  It’s a two-part play, and it’s just hours and hours and hours long.  You see it in multiple days or in multiple shows.  I remember reading the script and not stopping until I finished.  I was like, “This is amazing,” and it had just come off of a huge commercial successful run in London.  It won the Olivier Award for “Best New Play” and just about every other award you could win, and so I was like, “This is the one.  This is incredible.  I love the piece, love the message, and pulled the trigger,” and I would have done it all over again if we could.

Photo: Broadway World

The Inheritance is a generational piece centering on gay men during the AIDS crisis.  What can you say about it to those who don’t know about it, or have not seen it yet?

ERIC:  It takes place in the past, and then it fasts forward to the future.  You see two generations of gay men in New York City, and it’s all about the AIDS crisis, and so you’re bawling crying, and then you’re laughing throughout it.  It’s just one of those epic plays that pulls at every single emotion and you feel like you’re watching a movie.

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s definitely its own thing.  It’s actually an adaptation of Howard’s End, the novel by Forster, definitely different from Angels in America, but the two-part show is kind of what I was meaning by that.  People have said it is kind of our generation’s Angel’s in America in tone and subject matter.  It was just a dream come true, and like all other theatre that was open during our season, it had to close because of the pandemic, and it will have life after Broadway.  We are already slated for the Geffen Playhouse in LA, so I’m very excited for all of my LA friends and the public to get to see it.

Courtesy/ENelsen

And you get nominated in the year that the coronavirus pandemic shut down live theatre! But it is my understanding we still do not have a date for handing out this year’s Tony Awards.

ERIC:  No, we do not.  They finally announced that they were going to announce nominations, and for a while we didn’t even know that they were going to do that.  We received 11 nominations, which is incredible.  We were so excited.  I truly thought the American Theatre Wing and the Tony committee were not going to do the Tonys at all, and so we were just like, “I can’t believe the one year we pull the trigger on the show, this isn’t going to happen for us,” but then thank God, they came to their senses.  There were plenty of shows that opened and needed to be recognized.

How long was it open on Broadway?

ERIC:  We were open from September 2019 through February or March.  So, as long as your submission was open on Broadway before Covid-19 and had at least all of its previews and an opening night before Covid-19 hit, then you could qualify, and then in the play category, there were like 10 plays that had opened last year that were contenders.  So, that was definitely the hardest category.   It will be interesting to see what happens after all of this.  The only good thing I know that is going to come from this is the amount of creatives who have had so much time sitting at home to create and write, that there will be so many new scripts and plays and musicals that are going to come from this.  I think it’s’ going to be the biggest boom that we’ve probably ever seen in theatre, just because there’s been so much time to develop stuff.  At the same time, it’s piggybacking on the darkest time that theatre has ever seen.

Throughout the pandemic, I always stream all of the Broadway Actor’s Fund events.  It’s really sad.  It’s just a difficult time, those in the arts are struggling and especially in the live theatre and also musicians who can’t tour or play gigs in front of an audience. I know they said Broadway is closed through May 31, 2021.

ERIC:  It is really hard.  I’m happy that we are able to find other ways like streaming shows.  I’m actually producing a big benefit for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS that will be airing on World AIDS Day, December 1st.  It’s a show called Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.  The cast we have is everybody from Nathan Lane, to Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons.  It’s insane.  It will be streaming online on the Broadway HD network.  It is a huge list of Broadway stars and a lot of movie and TV stars as well that are participating.  We’ve got people from all over the map.

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

ERIC:  (Laughs)  Ari is not in it, actually!

Photo: Prospect Park

So, in this week’s latest episode of The Bay, your character of Daniel Garrett makes his final choice for love between Caleb (Mike Manning) and Matthew (Randy Wayne).  When you came to the show, did you know that this part was going to wind-up being a gay character?

ERIC:  No, I did not.  I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay.  The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me.  Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison, our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York. They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything.  It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, “100% completely.”  I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, “Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.”  At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ.  So, I was like, “Yes.  I will be all over it.  Absolutely.”  So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show.  Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially.  It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.

Photo: LANYEntertainment

So for those who may not know let’s do a re-set.  Where is the character of Daniel at? It seems like he is at crossroads, and is making some important decisions, or trying to.

ERIC:  So Daniel was a wild party boy in the beginning, just head in the clouds, lives life with thinking there’s no repercussions and just doing what you want to do all of the time, and that got him into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Then, we realize why Daniel has been the way he is, and why he acts out, and why he has been so all over the place, and it’s because he hasn’t been able to come to terms with who he is.  Then, he admits it to himself and for the first time to somebody else – who happens to be his priest in a catholic church, ironically –  that he is gay and this is what he has been battling with.  For the first time (and I don’t know where on television it has depicted it this way), but the catholic priest looks at Daniel, and he’s like, “What’s your sin?  You haven’t sinned.  This is perfectly fine.”  So, I love that Gregori made that the outlet for which Daniel was able to basically come to terms with who he was, because he grew up in the church, and so he was always told that it was wrong.  Obviously, it’s not wrong, or obviously the church needs to change their mindset, but on The Bay, he chose that to be the outlet through which he came out, which I thought was really powerful.  Through that, Daniel experimented with other boys and such to figure out where he wanted to land, and then in this newest season, I can’t say much that gives anything away, but for the first time, we really see Daniel’s growth, and he’s making decisions, and the most mature we’ve ever seen him, and it’s been really cool to see that come full circle.  He’s making commitments to himself.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

ERIC:  Obviously, that’s who it works with,  Caleb is a teacher and a great guy.

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

ERIC:  He is… he’s just not the great guy for him.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

This season of The Bay is heavily steeped with social issues of our time.  Covid-19 has come to Bay City and the Black Lives Matter movement also plays prominently.

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s kind of the beginning of the pandemic in The Bay and within all of the intense drama that Daniel has been having, he is still, for all intent and purposes the comedic relief of the show, and so there is a funny scene where I’m carrying like 28,000 rolls of toilet paper like, “Come on, guys.  We’ve got to stock up!”  We all remember those days, don’t we?

Photo: JPI

How do you feel about this season of the show and your work in it? You’ve previously won a Daytime Emmy for your performances on The Bay.

ERIC:  This season is more cemented in a character that has truly grounded himself.  So, the first Emmy I won was for a storyline of coming out and uncertainty and struggle and pain, whereas this season Daniel knows what he wants and is going for it.  There is much more passion and love in this season for Daniel, as opposed to struggle and heartache.

The cast and crew of The Bay all went away and quarantined at this ranch this past summer to get the new season completed.  What was that like?

ERIC:  We were actually in Santa Barbara, and filmed on this epic ranch up there.  It’s like this 500-acre ranch that we all quarantined on.  We had to do the testing, and temperatures three times a day, and the whole thing.  So, it was really structured, tough to pull off, but we were all so grateful that we were able to do this.  Luckily, we had this incredible kind of bubble of a ranch to live and work on while we were shooting.  They were really good about block shooting it all, so we’d kind of shoot one person’s character, then the next, so we wouldn’t have to ever be leaving the ranch before we were done.

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

ERIC:  Oh, it’s amazing.  I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying by because of it.  We just had Molly’s first birthday on October 1st, and I feel like yesterday she was born.  I sound like my parents when I say this, but it’s like the time keeps getting faster, but it’s so true.  She’s awesome.  We play Broadway musical soundtracks to her all day, and she sings.  She sits at the piano with me when I play, and she kind of plunks notes out next to me.  She loves music, and we’ve introduced it to her from day one.  We always joke that she won’t be able to watch any of daddy’s stuff until she’s 18 probably, but Sainty is a voice-over actress.  She has done parts for animated films and TV shows such as Trolls, and Barbie, and Boss Baby, so everything from the first part of my daughter’s life is all going to be Mommy’s stuff, and then, in the later part of life she can start watching Daddy’s stuff.

Right, she can’t watch anything that you do!  (Laughs) So, basically forget that!

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

Check out the trailer for 1 Night in San Diego below.  Then share your thoughts on Eric’s current role on The Bay, if you hope he wins a Tony to go with his Daytime Emmy, the six degrees of separation between him, Elizabeth Gillies and his wife, and that the All My Children reboot considered making the character of AJ Chandler gay via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Peter Reckell Reflects On His Time As DAYS Iconic Bo Brady, Life In New Zealand & Christmas Music Project

Last week, Days of our Lives  turned 55-years young, and the historic long-running NBC daytime drama series has been home to some of the most memorable stars and characters of the soap opera genre, perhaps none more so than anti-hero Bo Brady played by Peter Reckell.

Reckell who appeared on the show for several runs that lasted over four decades, premiered as Bo back in 1983.  He then stayed through 1987, came back from 1990 to 1992, again from 1995 to 2012, and back again in 2015 during DAYS 50th anniversary and to wrap his run as Bo, when the character was killed-off, after Reckell made it clear that he wanted to give the audience closure for the character.  He later made another return in 2016 to help the character of Hope (Kristian Alfonso) move on with her life.  Hard to believe for all of those heart-tugging performances, Peter was nominated only once for a Daytime Emmy.

Photo: JPI

In this candid, deeply personal and enlightening new interview for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Reckell opens up as to: what led to many of the decisions he made throughout his time as Bo, how he helped craft the role from the start, the accident that almost took his life, how he handled all the fame that came his way as part of the Bo and Hope supercouple pairing, and how two women in the cast; the late Frances Reid (Alice) and Peggy McCay (Caroline) made lasting impressions on him that he will carrying with him for the rest of his life.

Photo: JPI

What would Peter say if somehow DAYS wanted him back and Bo was actually alive and well?  Find out as Peter weighs-in and wishes his former show a happy anniversary  In addition, he even shares how he felt when Robert Kelker-Kelly took over the role of Bo when he decided to leave the show at one point, and his time playing Johnny on primetime’s Knots Landing.

Photo: JPI

Reckell has moved his family to New Zealand, and this conversation was conducted from his home.  Peter is married to singer/songwriter/producer Kelly Moneymaker and the couple have a daughter, Loden.   It was not wanting to miss the moments of his daughter’s life growing up that has been much of the impetus for some of Peter’s career choices.

Photo: BlueAeris

With Christmastime approaching, Kelly and Peter are part of a brand new Christmas LP entitled Joy.  The album is now available for download on Spotify, Apple Music and major music streaming platforms.

In an exclusive during the interview, we give fans a sneak peek of Peter’s new music video for “Under the Mistletoe”, the song he sings that appears on Joy, which was written by his wife.  For more on the album project visit BlueAegis.com

Photo: BlueAegis

Now, check out the interview with Peter direct from New Zealand below! Then share your thoughts on Peter, Bo, and more via the comment section.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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