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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,
“New This Month” area.

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

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This week on The Young and the Restless, Sharon (Sharon Case) and Adam’s (Mark Grossman) kiss took centerstage and went viral when a photo of the passionate moment was seen by Sharon’s husband, Rey (Jordi Vilasuso), and fiancée Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan), and many more citizens of Genoa City!

That moment looks to be a game-changer.  Now what will Rey do? Will he continue to try to salvage his marriage to Sharon? Will wheelchair bound Chelsea, hatch a plan to payback Adam and Sharon? Will Adam and Sharon meet up for some dangerous liaisons? There’s so much to this story left to play out.

Photo: JPI

In a new interview on The Michael Fairman Channel, Sharon Case, Mark Grossman and Jordi Vilasuso chatted candidly about their on-screen love triangle and more including: what happened when Mark auditioned for the key role of Adam, the character of Sharon’s battle with breast cancer, and who Sharon feels is Sharon Newman’s true love, Nick (Joshua Morrow) or Adam? Plus, the trio share their reactions to the news that their castmate, Sasha Calle (Lola) was tapped as the first Latina ‘Supergirl’ in the upcoming DC Universe film, The Flash.

During the conversation, Vilasuso said Rey was not blindsided by Adam and Sharon’s ongoing attraction: “Rey’s known for a long time, c’mon!  I had somebody on Twitter post all the videos on how long I’ve known about Adam and Sharon. (Laughs)  I had still had a beard on the show back then!  What’s he going to do?  I think this Adam sickness, this addiction, this pathology that he has, I think Rey hopes he can just arrest him and he will just go away for ever.  That’s playing in the back of my mind, like, ‘there’s no way Adam can keep up this behavior for much longer’.  Rey is crazy about Sharon. T here’s also some ego involved here, too of, ‘I got to be the guy here.  I can’t lose to this guy’.  But man, does Rey have a threshold for dealing with this stuff.  Remember, his (ex) wife had sex with his brother, and then she did it again, and now they are having a child together… and Rey was still able to move on.”

Photo: JPI

Case clarified from her previous 25th anniversary interview with Fairman, just who is Sharon Newman’s ultimate love, Nick (Joshua Morrow) or Adam?  Case had stated Adam.  The actress explained:  “When you think about what the character’s have been through, the history of The Young and the Restless, how stories are usually told – and what I mean by all that is Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) and Victor (Eric Braeden) have always been the “It” couple of the history of Y&R and they are very different.  They actually remind me more of Adam and Sharon then Nick and Sharon.  Nick turned out more to be the good son, while Adam was more in the image of his father, and it would be the obvious choice to guess that Nick and Sharon would be endgame.  I think soaps try to not go in the obvious way.  The two men that she has been married to, and were the biggest loves of her life, and both Victor’s kids, choosing between those that is why I said what I said, and why I think that’s true.  Sharon and Adam don’t have all of the pain, that Sharon and Nick have had from multiple cheatings and a loss of a child which is very hard for a couple to ever get past that.   I also think that Sharon and Nick are sort of together now anyways as co-parents and are such good friends.  They have a new relationship – they are not together in a romantic way – but their relationship is really great now and very full for what it is.”

Photo: JPI

Grossman shared that knowing Chelsea has a history of being con-artist, that she could potentially pull some stunts on Adam and Sharon to keep them apart:  “That’s always in the back of his mind.  You know, maybe she will start to con Adam and maybe he might pick up on it, maybe he doesn’t pick up on it, but obviously it’s a really sad situation that Adam is in.  There’s a lot going on in Adam’s life. It’s unfortunate that Connor (his son) is not there as he is off to boarding school, and then Adam wasn’t there because he went to Sharon’s wedding to peek his head in, and Chelsea had her stroke.  So there’s a lot of guilt there.  I think it’s really frustrating to him that he can’t have a conversation with this woman – who is his fiancée – and this is his fault and he caused all this.  But there’s always the underlying pull from Sharon, and after they kiss there are a lot of conflicted feelings there.”

Watch the entire interview with Sharon, Mark and Jordi below.

Now weigh-in: Are you Team Rey or Team Adam? Who do you want Sharon to ultimately wind up with? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section.

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Interviews

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Ahead of the event, Catherine chatted with Michael Fairman exclusively for the Michael Fairman Channel from her home in Las Vegas; where she discussed being part of the live musical benefit that was originally created back in 2005 and lasted till 2011 as a one night only live event called: ABC Daytime: Salutes Broadway Cares.  Now 10 years later, the actors will revisit their performances as their production numbers from the past are part of the 2021 livestream to help those in need that have been hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo: ABC

During the conversation with Fairman, Hickland also talks on her lengthy soap opera career where she not only appeared on OLTL, but Loving/The City, Capitol, and Texas, as well. 

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Hickland, who is now married to Todd Fisher, opened up about the devastating loss of her mother-in-law, Debbie Reynolds, and her sister-in-law, Carrie Fisher, just one day a part back in 2017, and how the couple dealt with this tragedy.  The real-life duo now host, “Cat and Todd Live” on Facebook each week.

Photo: JPI

In addition Catherine will be participating in ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’s Virtual One-on-One Meet and Greets with the stars on Saturday, February 13th.  For info on how to participate click here.

To make a donation to Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS click here.  With a screenshot of your donation, you can enter a chance to win either “Star Wars” or Debbie Reynolds memorabilia as detailed by Catherine in this interview.

Watch Catherine’s conversation below.

Then let us know, if you loved the Lindsay/Nora feud on One Life? If you watched the livestream of ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway? And, what was your favorite part of the interview with Catherine via the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Linda Dano Talks Taking On DAYS Vivian, Heartfelt Memories of Another World & Felicia Gallant, One Life to Live, Winning a Daytime Emmy & More

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Photo: JPI

In a very special conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Linda chats with Michael about the challenges she faced stepping into Vivian’s shoes, and working with the cast and crew at DAYS.

 

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Photo:NATAS

Soap fans will recall that Dano is the only actress to crossover to all of the ABC daytime dramas when she returned to One Life to Live, (following her time on Another World), in the part of Gretel “Rae” Cummings, and we learned that Rae was the bio-mother of Skye Chandler, played by Robin Christopher.

Photo: NBC

Throughout her career, Dano also appeared on Guiding Light and As the World Turns, hosted the talk show, Attitudes and is known as one of the fashionable people in the business.  Linda formerly helped dress many of your favorite soap stars, wrote a book on having just the right look, and is always on the cutting edge of the fashion world.

As you will see, the conversation was poignant, humorous, and candid, but what else would you expect from the one and only Linda Dano?  You can watch the full chat below.

What have you thought of Linda’s portrayal of DAYS Vivian thus far? Was your favorite soap role of Linda’s … that of AW’s Felicia Gallant? What story that she shared in the conversation did you enjoy hearing about the most?  Let us know via the comment section.

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