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THE ANDREA EVANS INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

Evans- mainshot.jpgMICHAEL:

You’re finally back at your old stomping ground at One Life to Live. We are thrilled your back!

ANDREA:

I am thrilled, too!

MICHAEL:

You are such a kick to watch! I find myself laughing out loud during some of your scenes. I think this is the best Tina you have been. What’s fun about playing her?

ANDREA:

Everything. She is such a fun character. She is kind of a bigger than life character. She is driven, a little flaky but also a little smart. She is fun and sexy. She is a little bit of everything, and I think that’s what people can relate to. Tina is always the underdog in a way, because she is always trying to better her life, but always does it the wrong way.

MICHAEL:

You recently ended your run as Rebecca Hotchkiss on “Passions”. So why did you decide to come to “OLTL” at this point in time?

ANDREA:

I think it was always in the back of my mind that I would probably go back. I did not know for how long, though. I knew my audience wanted me to, and you guys are important to me. I had been in talks with ABC, in what seemed like forever. Executive Producer, Frank Valentini at “OLTL” had been in discussions with me, and we both agreed we wanted “Passions” to have its shot and stay there, and give it all I got while it was on the air. I loved that show. Once “Passions” went down, it really freed us up to work something out. Frank, and head writer, Ron Carlivati were kind of enough to work around my schedule and allow me to do this.

MICHAEL:

It seems like a great arrangement. You live in LA and fly to New York to tape episodes of the show. How does that work?

Frank Valentini.jpgANDREA:

I do many shows in a few days. I think I have done 18 shows in three and half days. That’s how I do it. I spend the majority of my time here in Los Angeles. I have a daughter and family which is the most important thing to me. I need to make sure her routine is disturbed as little as possible.

MICHAEL:

Is it harder to shoot all your scenes in one swoop because of the continuity, or does it seem a bit disjointed to you as an actress?

ANDREA:

It’s fine. It’s kind of like doing a mini-film before I go. Having done film, it’s like an odd cross for me between a soap and a film.

MICHAEL:

OK we need to discuss the new addition to Tina’s family, her dog, “David Vickers!” The best soap dog ever and he is Tina’s new sidekick.

ANDREA:

Who is just the sweetest thing!

MICHAEL:

What is “David Vickers” real life name? You seem to get along swimmingly.

ANDREA:

“David Vickers” name is Tallulah. I have never met a dog I didn’t get along with. I am a true animal lover and that’s one of the ways Frank tried to entice me back by saying, “I am going to give you a dog.”

tallulah.jpegMICHAEL:

I thought it was brilliant plot device.

ANDREA:

It’s brilliant and I am thrilled. When I am in New York it helps me ease the pain of being away from my own two dogs.

MICHAEL:

Why is Tallulah so terrific on screen?

ANDREA:

She is the perfect concept dog. On “Passions”, I worked with some dogs, but Tallulah is the best animal I have ever seen on set. She does not bark between scenes. You don’t have to remove her from the set after a scene is done. She puts her belly on the cold floor and she loves it.

MICHAEL:

Tina seems to have a bit more humanity to her this time around. She used to be very mean to her sister, Viki.

ANDREA:

She always did love Viki in an odd way. Tina gets things twisted up, and she gets convinced to do things. Remember when she came back, and was so mean to Viki, it was that she was being convinced to do that because of Mitch Laurence. Tina gets misguided easily by men. But how many women do we know like that? That’s a common problem. I think those are the things that make Tina wonderful. She also has done some nice wonderful things for Viki, and tried to save her on many occasions and loved her and her family. Tina gets…. side-tracked, shall we say?

MICHAEL:

When you returned for the 40th anniversary episodes you only had short scene with Viki at the airport. Many die-hard fans felt perhaps short changed. But I hear there are more Tina and Viki moments on the way!

ANDREA:

There will be more Tina/Viki absolutely. I think Ron Carlivati tried to bring in a scene with us before Erika Slezak (Viki) left for her vacation. Between our two schedules… to get me their before the 40th anniversary, and her leaving on her vacation was challenging. He really struggled to find the opportunity for us to have any scenes at all under those circumstances. I promise you there will be a lot more to come.

MICHAEL:

Tina is part of the first family of Llanview, The Lord’s. How is working with Erika Slezak?

Erika Slezak.jpgANDREA:

I love working with Erika. Erika has a very special place in my heart, because if there is another actress in this business who I have worked with for so long, and learned so much from it would be Erika. I have known her longer than my husband. She knew me before my first marriage, and through my first marriage. She knew me when I was a teenager. It’s a very long lasting relationship, and one I treasure.

MICHAEL:

You have a new Todd Manning to work with. Your last go round, Roger Howarth was playing the role, now we have Trevor St. John. How has that been?

ANDREA:

I am just getting to know him. I am enjoying working with him very much.

MICHAEL:

Tina is being blackmailed by Tess, Jessica’s alter. One recent episode had Bo and John making Tina squirm when they kept intimating there is something not quite right with Jessica. Tina was hilarious. How is working with Bree Williamson (Jess/Tess)?

ANDREA:

I had not worked with Bree before, but with Erin Torpey as Jessica, when she was a little girl. I think Bree is very talented!

Andrea- leopard print.jpgMICHAEL:

What can Tina Lord Roberts’s fans look forward to in the coming months?

ANDREA:

I think more vintage Tina and more what the fans want to see. I think the fans were very happy to have Tina come back for the 40th anniversary. We did the Medorra storyline, which is very 80’s Tina. Totally 80’s Tina….. and gave the audience what they want. I think now, they want to see her blend in to her roots with the family, and involved in more of the storylines that are in Llanview.

MICHAEL:

Will she have a love interest?

ANDREA:

Yes, I know she will.

MICHAEL:

Is it anybody currently on the canvas?

ANDREA:

I can’t tell you more than that.

MICHAEL:

How did you feel when “Passions” run ended? Rebecca was such an ‘over-the-top’ character, such as you are famous for in your career for playing.

ANDREA:

I think that is a good way to put it. I was sad. It was a bittersweet thing. I was there eight years, and you grow to love the situation. It’s the breaking up of a family, and it’s hard and a big adjustment. I knew long before “Passions” finally ended, that it would be sad to go. For many people it meant the end of working for awhile, which is hard and devastating in this economy we are in. Nobody wants to be in that situation. So it was very difficult.

Liza and Andrea.jpgMICHAEL:

Do you stay in touch with your former on-screen daughter, Liza Huber (Ex-Gwen)?

ANDREA:

Liza and I are close, and Kim Ulrich (Ex-Ivy) and I are close. Those are pretty much the actors that I have really stayed close with and of course, the crew. I am quite the crew chick! I love the cameramen. We share a love of sports. We text each other quite frequently.

MICHAEL:

What is your favorite sport?

ANDREA:

I love Baseball; I am a big Chicago Cubs fan.

MICHAEL:

So you must be happy?

ANDREA:

I am happy.

MICHAEL:

Well, I am from Milwaukee!

ANDREA:

Are you a cheesehead?

MICHAEL:

Yes. And I am not happy with what is going on right now. The Brewers are sinking fast out of the playoff race while the Cubs clinched the Division title.

ANDREA:

You know someone from Chicago, is the only person going to say that to you!

MICHAEL:

Milwaukee always bombs in the end. It’s a tradition!

ANDREA:

Yeah, but Milwaukee had done better than the Cubs in the last hundred years or something.

MICHAEL:

Will you go to a Cubs game if they make it into the World Series?

ANDREA:

I would love to. I have to admit, I have not been able to follow it as much, since I have been commuting. Also, with my daughter, I am not as up on things as I should be. My daughter is now four and half so that also keeps me very busy.

Andrea and Kylie.jpgMICHAEL:

Your daughter is named Kylie, which is very cute. What is the best thing about motherhood?

ANDREA:

All of it! It’s what I expected and that much more. The best part of it is the stuff it brings out in you. I desperately wanted a child, and all women don’t feel that way contrary to popular belief. I certainly did. I was driven during my “Passions” years. It was a good time for me to achieve that goal. I knew I wanted it, and I knew I had to have it. However, my thoughts about it paled in the reality of it, and it’s so life-changing, view-changing, and awe-inspiring. I just love it.

MICHAEL:

Are there some moments from your time on “OLTL” where you thought you: “hit it out of the ballpark” and felt great about the work you did that day?

ANDREA:

It’s been so many years. I always tried to leave the set feeling good. The thing I hate, are the days when you leave thinking, “Ooh… I could have done that better.” I love my job. I love the industry. I love daytime, and I always like to leave it feeling I did my absolute best. The days I feel not as good about it are hard.

MICHAEL:

Because on daytime soaps, things move so fast, you can’t re-tape an episode?

ANDREA:

….Or sometimes something occurs to you later and you are like, “Oh. I should’ve done that!” A couple weeks ago on a plane back to LA I was trying to sleep, and I woke up going, “Oh. I should have done that!”

MICHAEL:

What makes Andrea Evans and her portrayal of Tina so iconic that everyone said, “The bitch is back!”? What do you think makes Tina so captivating to the audience?

ANDREA:

I think there are a few soap roles like that. I am very fortunate to have embodied one of them. I think there are a handful of them that have reached the audience in a special way. I think it’s just the marrying of the character and the actor. I think actors become known for a role, for a reason. It’s because that role really suited them in the moment in time they are playing it. It may be a big melding of the two. I am fortunate to be included in that group. That’s why it was important to me to bring Tina back in a way that did the fans justice and in the right way.

MICHAEL:

You are so involved with City of Hope and charitable efforts. Tell us all about it?

andrea in black.jpgANDREA:

I am the Celebrity Ambassador for City of Hope’s, Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer. I have been for 8 years. I became involved because my mother was an 18 year breast cancer survivor, and years ago, I started doing the walks as a celebrity. I saw several celebrities show up and then leave in a limo. Personally, I think that’s wrong. If I am going to do that walk… I do it. I want to make myself available for the people to come up and talk to me. When City of Hope approached me, I thought it was an opportunity to make a difference. My fans have helped raised over 25 million dollars. It is a phenomenal amount and that keeps me going. I have known women everywhere who struggle with this disease or family members who have lost their battle, or family members who have just started their battle. I have had women show me their mastectomy scars. I am touched that they want to share this with me. I am happy to be there, and to walk and to honor those who are fighting their battle, and who have lost their battle, and to honor the survivors like my mother, who are continuing to win that battle. To raise money for better research, it’s a fabulous thing. I take it very much to heart.

MICHAEL:

You are set to do several Walk for Hope’s around the country.

ANDREA:

I am doing a walk in Chicago on October 12th and a walk in Los Angeles on November 9th. For more information you can go to www.walk4hope.org.

MICHAEL:

And now you have launched a very special line of soaps for the consumer and your fans, ”Soap for Hope”.  Tell us about how this came about?

ANDREA:

I have teamed up with a company called, “LATHER” for this special project. It’s called Sandalwood Rose Soap. www.lather.com I have been a fan of their products forever, and I have sensitive skin. They use no dyes, their soaps are all natural and olive oil based. One of the struggles with the soap, is we wanted it to be pink, because we don’t use any dye. So, what we used were rose petals which gives it a slightly pink appearance without dyes. They do no animal testing and their products are very pure. Some of their products are unscented. So people should definitely give it a whirl!

MICHAEL:

And there is a big launch party here in Southern California this weekend….

ANDREA:

This Saturday, September 27th, we are having our launch party in Pasadena, where we are bringing out our, “Soaps for Hope”. The product came out great and you can buy them individually or in a boxed-set, and all the proceeds go to City of Hope Breast Cancer Treatment. So it’s a wonderful cause. I know the fan response has been so good, that they have actually been up on the website before the launch because of the fan demand of the soaps. I am going to be at the, “Lather” store from 2-4PM on Colorado Blvd this coming weekend, and October 1, I will be in the Phoenix store in Scottsdale. If you go to www.andreaevans.com you can also find this great product.

MICHAEL:

You also recently helped launch City of Hope’s very own satellite radio music channel…The Pink Channel.

ANDREA:

Yes. I hosted a week on the Pink Channel and I loved it and had so much fun. It’s a music channel on XM Satellite Radio. I did all the host wrap-arounds and introduced people and did salutes to people. I love doing radio, so that was so much fun. The channel is about cancer awareness and City of Hope. It was a fabulous thing to do. It’s a cause near to my heart and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

MICHAEL:

When you get emails from fans to your website, what are they talking about…Tina?

ANDREA:

I have a Web mistress who helps me with everything. A lot of it is about television obviously, and even when I was on other shows, it was always about Tina.

MICHAEL:

Doesn’t anyone remember you were Patty Williams on “Y&R”?

ANDREA:

That’s the one that gets forgotten for some reason. It was a good girl. I guess I was born to be bad, because the audience response is that they like me much more in the bad girl role, which is fine, or as they call me in my favorite magazine from Australia, “The Super-Bitch”.

MICHAEL:

Do you ever miss the day-to-day of living and working in New York?

ANDREA:

In a way, I have the best of worlds and so I can’t complain. My oldest and dearest girlfriends are in New York. So I get a lot of girlfriend time there which I don’t here in LA. One of my friends is Renata the makeup woman at “OLTL”. She is like the sister I never had. To have time with her like that again is fabulous.

MICHAEL:

How is working with “OLTL” head writer, Ron Carlivati?

OLTL cast.jpgANDREA:

He is wonderful. I just love him. I think he and Frank Valentini have restored a vision to “OLTL” that wasn’t there.

MICHAEL:

It kind of lost its way in the past, but it’s been back on track over the last year or so. Wouldn’t you agree?

ANDREA:

I think so, and that is one of the reasons I wanted to come back. I felt really safe in their hands to do this. It’s really good.

General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Chats On Mia St. John’s Powerful Interview on ‘State of Mind’, Winning the Daytime Emmy & Sonny’s Future If Carly & Jason Get Hitched

Since the launch of Maurice Benard’s You Tube series, State of Mind, he has welcomed numerous guests who have opened up and shared their struggles with different aspects of mental health.  But this Sunday, July 11th, Maurice will share for the first time his powerful and emotional sit-down interview with Mia St. John; one that he reveals was one of the most moving of his series thus far.

With Maurice being a huge boxing enthusiast throughout his life, having St. John, who is a boxer, herself, on as a guest was, of course, special. However, as soap fans know, Mia is also the former wife of the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters, Y&R) and they shared a son, Julian.  Both men died, tragically. Julian, suffered from a long-history of mental illness, and his death was ruled a suicide, and Kristoff was consumed with grief following his son’s death which ultimately set him on a downward spiral.  Kristoff’s death was ruled accidental caused by hypertrophic heart disease; which was exacerbated by alcohol use.  In the conversation with Benard, Mia opens about her own personal struggle with addiction and how she coped with these two devastating losses. (See an exclusive preview clip below within this interview)

It’s also been a whirlwind year for Maurice. He just took home his third Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series during the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards for his moving portrayal as GH’s Sonny Corinthos, as he goes through all the stages of a child watching his father, Mike Corbin (played by Emmy-winner Max Gail) slip away due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Since the Emmy broadcast was pre-taped due to Covid restrictions, except for revealing who the winners actually were, Benard shares what went down when his name was called watching the show from home with his family.

 

And … things are heating up on General Hospital!  For months, Benard has been playing an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” who has become taken with deceitful Nina (Cynthia Watros), who knows he is alive and well and living in Nixon Falls, but fails to tell her nemesis Carly (Laura Wright), or anyone else in Port Charles.  With everyone believing Sonny is dead after his showdown with Julian Jerome, Carly and Jason (Steve Burton) find themselves having to save Sonny’s territory and go up against the five families.  So, what are the besties deciding to do? Get married! And as viewers saw, Carly recently removed her wedding rings to Sonny.  So, now the question on GH fans inquiry minds is; will Sonny get his memory back in time, and stop Jason and Carly from tying the knot?

Benard weighs-in on what the future may hold for Sonny, the difficulties he faced during the Covid-19 lockdown with his mental health, his conversation with Mia, and much more.  Here’s what Maurice shared.

Courtesy/StateofMind

Having Mia St. John on as your guest on the upcoming episode of State of Mind was quite emotional for you. What can you preview? 

MAURICE:  I can say that during last ten minutes, there’s a lot of spiritual stuff going on.  I felt it.  She’s very tough.  You can tell that she doesn’t want to hurt anymore, and with me, I don’t know for sure, but I think she felt safe and protected.  We got into Julian and Kristoff and what happened.  I’m pretty sure I asked her and said, “I’d like to get into something.  You could say ‘no’ to me.  It’s fine,” and she told me the whole story.  Michael, I know you were friends with Kristoff, you’re going to really be moved because I was extremely moved.  It really, really hit me hard, because of what I’ve just been through during the pandemic. I just felt the need to be there for her.  I mean, I have that in me anyway, but with her, I did because it seemed like a lot for someone to go through.  I didn’t know Kristoff.  I met him once, and we talked for a bit.  He seemed like a great guy.  I knew he was a great actor because I watched his work.  I do know that everybody seemed to love him, but through State of Mind, it seemed like I got to know him a little better through Mia.  I was looking in her eyes, and taking it all in, and she was telling me everything.

Throughout your series, you seemed to have become more comfortable in the role of the interviewer.  It’s quite the switch isn’t it from always being on the other end as the interviewee.

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve gotten better.  You know what it is with me, and somebody said it, I’ve got a curiosity that I love to hear people’s stories, and I have a way to make people comfortable.

Photo: KSJIG

Does it help you in listening to what other people have gone through in dealing with your own struggles with mental illness?

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve said it before.  It’s like therapy for me.  After Mia, I was drained, but in a good way.  In the beginning of doing “State of Mind’, I was just learning.  I wish I was more well-rounded in my intelligence.  I barely graduated out of high school, but as far as what it is with me, if I know something like acting or mental health, I really completely know it.  I’m into it.

How did the interview with Mia come about?  Did you ask her to come on State of Mind?

MAURICE:  I know who is involved with mental health.  I know who would be interesting to interview, and then I reach out, and I have people coming who are not in the soap world.  I have a WWE person; I have a TV critic, etc.  So, I asked her, and Mia said ‘yes’, and then we did the interview.  I’m a huge boxing fan.  So, to be able to talk to her about boxing and things that happened to her right before her fights, I was just really fascinated.

That is right in your wheelhouse!

MAURICE:  Way up my alley!  If I could have more boxers on, I would love that.  I love sports, but boxing is my one sport, so I was like a kid in a candy store talking to Mia.

How do you feel Mia is doing as she has been very open about her battle with alcoholism?

MAURICE: Any time you’ve been through that much, I think it’s a daily struggle for anyone. In addition, there is a really great organization she works with that I hope people will check out as she is trying to help others.

In terms of all of your State of Mind’s, did this one impact you in a different way?

MAURICE:  The good thing for me about State of Mind is that I learn from each person about things that I didn’t know.  For instance, coming up I have: Linsey Godfrey (Ex-Sarah, DAYS) who got hit by a car.  I mean, you could read about it, but when you’re talking to someone, things come out.  That’s what I love about doing this show.  Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) didn’t know anything about mental illness, personally, but he talked about mental illness more than anyone!  I said to him on the episode, “For somebody who doesn’t know anything about mental illness or didn’t have someone with it, you talk more about it,” because he had a curiosity on the subject.  Mia’s was a little more because of the boxing and how deep we went with her talking about death.  In an upcoming episode with Ken Shriner (Scott, GH), he teaches me a lot about death.  When your parents die at 16, I don’t know how you could keep going.  He taught me how.  It was beautiful.

Photo: NATAS/CBS

Let’s go back to a few weeks ago on June 25th and you win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  How did you find out you took home the gold?

MAURICE:  I was at my place in LA with my son, Joshua and my wife, Paula and we were watching the show.  When they called my name, I was very moved to watch my wife and my son get so excited, it really was sweet.  I liked my speech even though people had a problem with it, which is fine.  It’s always great if Max Gail wins or I get a win, because it’s the Alzheimer’s storyline that gets the attention.  And as I told you already, my dad has Alzheimer’s so it makes it even more personal.

And as you know, my mom had Alzheimer’s and died.  That’s why what you and Max did together on-screen together felt so real and raw and touched so many people – especially those who have a loved one going through this now, or that has passed.

MAURICE:  Yeah, it’s tough. I truly believe with this Emmy win, that it is the Alzheimer’s that really pushed it over the edge because it was a real story, greatly written, everybody deals with it, including you, including me, and you just can’t help but have a feeling about it.  You know, if I have a reel that shows me as Sonny yelling at people, beating people up, it’s not going to give you the impact.

Photo: NATAS

Was it weird coming to the stage and doing a pre-taped Emmy acceptance speech knowing that everybody else that was nominated had to do one too?

MAURICE:  Well, thank, God I didn’t have to do it in front of actors; I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.  It’s weird, right?  I knew I had to adjust.  When I’ve won before, it’s in front of a lot of people, or semi-in front in a lot of people.  So, with this year, your energy is different.  So, you can’t act in a speech like that, because then it would seem kind of over the top, maybe.  So, I just made a speech that I thought would work for what I was doing; which is kind of acting because I didn’t want to come out and say, “Oh, my God!  I can’t believe it!”  So, I said, “Okay, I’ll thank the actors, I’ll thank Frank, and I’ll make it about Alzheimer’s.”

Photo: GFrancisTwitter

I know some fans on social media jumped on the comment you made within the speech about ‘being the star of the show’ and you did tweet out that you went to Genie Francis (Laura, GH) to make sure there were no ruffled feathers there.

MAURICE:  I went to Genie because I thought, I don’t want her to take what I said personally, and she’s like, “What are you talking about?”  Sometimes I respond to a negative comment on Twitter with an emoji which can incite people.  So, I decided, “I’m not going to do that anymore. No more responding.”  Like I always say, you want to be loved and you want to be hated.  You just want to be loved a little more. So, I stopped with the child’s play.  I’m cool with it.

It seemed that things got twisted up, because you had related in the speech, that Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) came over to you and said you have to do the storyline, because you are the star of the show, when you were overcome in the screen-test with Max Gail. 

MAURICE:  Sometimes people love to change the narrative.  If you watch everything … they say what I said, but they don’t say that I also said ‘Alzheimer’s’ was the star, but I’ll take the hit.

Courtesy/ABC

I recently posted a clip of my interview with Cynthia Watros from the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys saying how she is so thrilled and honored to work with you.  How is it working with Cynthia?

MAURICE:  Let me tell you about Cynthia, and this is just my experience because I don’t know her that well.  We hadn’t worked together before. First of all, we tend to overlook, because of her character and the story, or whatnot, is that she is a real actress.  Let’s not forget that, I know she did Lost, and I didn’t watch her on another soap.  I know from working with her.  She can act She makes adjustments, and she listens, and I’m really happy to be working with her.  She is just stuck in a circumstance that is not her fault, but you know what, like I said today I think on Twitter to somebody, ‘but wait’.  I’ve been working this last month doing some scenes with her, and when you see that, there’s a little bit of magic in there!  I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing in the world, I’m just saying there’s a little magic!

Photo: ABC

Have you liked being “Mike “and not having Sonny’s memory because it opened up the story?

MAURICE:  I know people think this story is my idea, like I needed a break or something.  It has nothing to do with me needing a break.  They came to me and said they were going to do this story.  I said, “Let’s do this!”  I’ve been enjoying this.  It’s a different energy.  The energy that Sonny has is dark.  It’s like in third gear.  Mike is like in first gear, calm, relaxed, happy.

You’re just realizing that now?

MAURICE:  (Laughs) Well, I guess until you’ve gone somewhere else you really don’t know.  Often times, when I do movies and other projects, it’s often the same kind of energy that Sonny has. I’ve never played a character like “Mike” where it’s a whole other feeling!

Courtesy/ABC

Is it more challenging to play a character like Mike?

MAURICE:  No, easier!  Sonny can be difficult to play.  But guess what?  The audience – at least my fans – they don’t care how happy I am or whatever, they are screaming “Go back to fricken Sonny!”  I like that in a way, but I didn’t know that it was going to be this vocal from people.  It’s not that they hate Mike, they just want Sonny, and Cynthia is put in a tough situation because of her history in that character.

So, now everyone saw last week that Jason and Carly have decided they have to get married for the sake of the business with Sonny believed-to-be-dead.  What did you think when you heard that they were going in that direction with the story?

MAURICE:  Well, I was the last one to know.  I didn’t know they were going to get married until I heard about it in the makeup room.  I think the first thing I thought of was … we are all going to be having some great scenes coming up, like, “Alright.  Let’s rock and roll!  Let’s do it!  I’ll get into this character of Sonny when called upon.”  It might be and dark and the whole thing, but once I’m in there, I’m fine.

Courtesy/ABC

It would seem if Carly and Jason do actually get married, it’s not going to be an easy road to reconciliation for Carly and Sonny down the line.

MAURICE:  No.  I would say not.  The thing about Sonny is that it’s what Sonny does best, or what I do playing him best, is betrayal.  So, for him, this is not a good thing.  I would assume he’s just going to go, “What the…” and all hell is going to break loose.

Sonny’s body washed ashore and he was very much alive, while the search and rescue mission quickly became a recovery.  Once again, law enforcement in Port Charles isn’t very good! (Laughs)

MAURICE:  So, there you go.  It’s going to be a bigger fight.  It’s going to be a great fight when Sonny does return.

Photo: ABC

Fans are predicting that Jason and Carly are going to be at the altar, and Sonny is going to walk in alive and well with his memory back to the nuptials!

MAURICE:  Well, however it goes, I would say, just let them just watch the fireworks as they unfold.

But you’re enjoying this story?

MAURICE:  I’m cool, man.  I will say this, I’m glad that I have been given this last month playing Mike, and the Nixon Falls story.   I don’t know how much more we have ahead.  I just know that what we’ve taped has been really cool, and I’m glad that they gave me that.

Photo: ABC

I know that the coronavirus pandemic and its isolation was rough for you.  What can you share, and how did you find your way out of a downward spiral?

MAURICE:  Yeah, Covid was just one of those things where I was hit with a lot of different things all at once, which was …  GH shutting down production, my book tour not being in New York (although the book ended up probably doing better because of the pandemic, which was interesting) … my mom and dad moved out …  and I thought it was the end of the world.  We all did at some point, and it all hit me with a rush of anxiety that I had never felt before in my entire life, and it was four months of terror … way too long. I was shaking like a leaf, not sleeping, it was tough.  What I tell people is that when you go through these things, it will pass.  I know, for me, four months was too long, but it did pass.  You’re better because of it.  You can take one of either two roads.  You can get worse, and you can say, “I’m a victim, I’m a victim,” or you can take the other road and say, “I’m stronger now.  Look at what I’ve been through,” and then, look at what happens … a year and a half later, look at what my life is.  I have a pond here at home, and I used to run around this pond crying my eyes out, every morning crying, like I couldn’t do it anymore, and a year later, I walk around the pond like it’s the greatest thing in the world, but that’s what this is, this mental health.  You can think you can’t go on, but then it rewards you with a better life.

Photo: Noah Harmon

I was going to say, that’s pretty profound.  When you were going through the four months, did you think you were going to come out of it okay?

MAURICE:  No,   I’m going to be honest.  I finally got on Lexapro after three months.  If Lexapro didn’t work, I can’t say positively what would have happened.  It gradually made me feel better.  Like I have said, if GH had called me a month before, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the storyline.  It would have been the end.  I wouldn’t have been able to go back to work, because I was in that state of mind.  So, they called at the right time.  I went back to work and I was on Lexapro.  The thing about Lexapro is – and we always tell people to get professional help. There are a lot of people like me, and I’ve got to say, first you get professional help because you’re on the brink of whatever.  So the first five days of taking Lexapro, you feel worse than you did just before you started taking it, and that is scary because you’re like, “I can’t take this.  This is horrible,” and then I stayed on it.  It got gradually better, and just a month and a half ago or so, I weaned myself off.

How are you feeling now?

MAURICE:  Oh, let me tell you, the day that I weaned off, was a Thursday, and I wasn’t going to take it, and I was on my bed, and I felt the greatest I felt maybe, ever.  Now, I’m not saying people should go off it, whatever, because I was on it for like 8 months or something, but it saved my life like lithium for my bipolar disorder, and that’s an amazing thing that these pills could do.  What happened with me with the pandemic is that I had never really taken anything for anxiety.  I had only taken lithium, and I’d been on lithium for 30 years, but for anxiety, I never wanted to take anything, but if you’re bad, if you’re like (you know those gears I’ve been talking about) in 4th and I was like in 5th gear, you’d better get some help, man, because you can’t get off it on your own.

Photo: State of Mind

I want to conclude checking in on your dad, Humberto.  When did you learn he had Alzheimer’s, and how is he doing now?  

MAURICE: It’s been a while since I found out.  I didn’t really want to talk about it, and then I did something in People magazine with the book, and I asked him if I could talk about it, and he said “yeah”.  So, it gave me the green light, and that was maybe 10 months ago.  He’s actually doing good.  It’s slowly kind of happening but that is how the disease works.  This has been a really great conversation, man!

So, what do you think will happen with Sonny aka “Mike”? Will he return to Port Charles before Carly and Jason tie the knot?  Have you been watching Maurice’s State of Mind series, and has it helped you with any of your mental health issues or concerns? Were you happy that Maurice took home the gold this year for his portrayal in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Shares Her Emotions & Reactions On Her Second Daytime Emmy Win for Lead Actress

Last Friday night on CBS broadcast of the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) took home the gold in the hotly contested Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.  This marks Jacqui’s second win.

MacInnes Wood’s performance in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline, that aired in 2020, was the ticket to victory for the talented young actress and new mom to her second son, Lenix.

As viewers saw, the Emmy telecast was pre-recorded including all the nominees taping acceptances speeches ahead of air; with the winner being revealed for the very first time on the broadcast.

 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqui post-Emmys, to find out how she felt about her speech, her emotions at having her name called for the second time in her career, and how she felt Steffy’s addiction storyline resonated with so many people at home, and obviously, the Emmy voters.  Here’s what she had to say …

Photo: NATAS/CBS

What was it like for you to do have to pre-tape your acceptance speech?  Yours, actually came off very in-the-moment, because you kind of stumbled over a word, but it seemed like you were very excited.

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  I was very excited.  Of course, it is strange to do it that way.  I am very grateful that I was up to my nose in The Bold and the Beautiful scenes and dialogues in the week and the days before, that whole week.  I wasn’t sitting around going, “I’m going to rehearse this in the mirror.”  I just wanted it to be very heartfelt and real.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t like last time – I truly was not expecting it the first time I won.  I think that this time I wanted to be mindful of who to thank and talk about the story, which was so important to bring up opioid addiction, and I really wanted to thank Brad Bell (executive producer and executive producer, B&B) for giving me this story, and allowing me to tell it, because it was such an important message to tell.  Even though this year’s Daytime Emmys were shot differently, I was still nervous. I was so excited to get on a stage. Last year, we were on a Zoom, so it was nice to be able to do this on a stage again.

So where were you on Emmy night?  Were you watching the broadcast at home?  

JACQUELINE:  I was at home, and I was with my friends and my family.  To be honest, it was such a fun way to do it.  Even though it was so wild the way that we shot it – they do this on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Sometimes they’ll do it live, but everyone has their acceptance speech.  I was just happy during the Emmy taping day to be dressed up, wearing high heels, and to be with my cast, Then, I got to celebrate watching it with my friends and family.  It was so cool to find out in that moment, then afterwards we ended up going out.  We went to Ronn Moss’ (Ex-Ridge, B&B) house for a party, where Ronn was performing, and it was great to be with some of the cast and have everybody together.  So, we danced the night away, and it was so much fun.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Of course, if we had been able to be at the Daytime Emmys that way would have been great, but it was nice to be able to go, “Okay, I can celebrate in my casual clothes, and dance, and not be uncomfortable.”

Photo: JMW Instagram

Were your children, Rise and newborn Lenix, with you watching when their mom won her second Daytime Emmy?

JACQUELINE:  My children were with me, and we celebrated together, and of course they don’t really understand what is going on, but they just saw all of us jumping around.  I probably scared my 4-month-old.  My mom ended up watching them.  Then, we all went out.  So, it was a good night.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have an inkling that you were a frontrunner to take home the gold as Lead Actress for your work in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline?

JACQUELINE:  Were there times when I thought I could win?  I wasn’t sure, but I knew what we did was very special.  The first time I won, I was very proud of myself knowing I had to do all of these long scenes, but I was not expecting to win.  This time, I thought there was a possibility, and I wouldn’t say that it’s all because of me.  I know it’s cliché, but honestly those days when we were filming, you could just feel the energy.  Everyone brought it.  We do film so quickly, and some performances are great, and some of them aren’t, whether it’s because you don’t sleep that night, you don’t know your dialogue that well, you don’t understand why your character is doing a certain thing, but you’re trying to figure it out.  When we were filming these scenes, I thought it was just such an important story to tell, and I felt like everyone gave it 110%.  I looked at everyone, and I knew we were all connected, and even though it was such a heavy storyline, there was something so magical those days and those weeks of filming.  I was so proud of everyone, and it wasn’t something that was like, “Here I am forcing myself to cry,” I was like, “I am just going to be in this scene and really tell this story that millions of people have gone through.” When I watched back those scenes after they initially aired, it was not only about the cast, but it was just how the audio had been added, how the directing was done (since we had to be six feet away from each other because of Covid-19 protocols) which made it all come to life.

Did you think when you came into this medium that you wind up being a two-time Daytime Emmy-winner?  Was it something that you aspired to have?

JACQUELINE:  I think yes and no.  I can’t sit there and say, “No, I didn’t.”  I have goals for myself, and you want to manifest some things, so I wanted to visualize that one day.  I’m in this industry, and I want to do the work, and I eventually wanted to have the Emmy one day, absolutely.  I’d be lying if I said, “I just want to go with the flow, and if I get an award, great.”  No.  I definitely thought about it and said, “Okay, this is something that I do want one day. I didn’t think I’d have two!  I just wanted an award, one day.  So, I think that’s amazing in itself, but I am very honored.

Courtesy/CBS

So, during the Lead Actress nominee package during the Daytime Emmy broadcast, they showed the gut-wrenching clips of yours, where Steffy admits in front of Ridge, Liam and Finn, “I’m addicted.  I’m addicted.  I have a problem.”  Do you remember performing those scenes?

JACQUELINE:  You know, you remember it sometimes as if you’re out of your body. In that moment, I remember being so in my body, but in a good way.  To say those words, to finally realize how heavy – even in talking to you right now – my body feels heavy.  I felt the weight of what Steffy was finally admitting. It broke Steffy, and it broke me.  I’ve never been in that position, but I did my research, and I looked up people who have suffered from addiction and the families, and to look over at Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) and see the heartbreak in his eyes, in Ridge’s eyes, to see what Steffy was doing to other people – she realizes in that moment, “Oh, my God. I am addicted.”  Looking back at those scenes, there is just so much truth in them, and for so many people who have been there.  It just breaks my heart that people have to go through this every day.  People sent me messages from all over the place, it was amazing.  I couldn’t believe the number of direct messages they sent me on my Instagram.  It was pretty incredible.

Courtesy/CBS

Your performance just felt so raw and real, which is why I think it registered with people who have been in that situation, and for the peer vote for the Emmy.  Whenever I talk to other actors about what they look for in judging other performers work, they always say they look for the truth. They don’t want to see a false note delivered in a performance.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  For sure.  That’s why I’m so proud of everyone in the scenes because they all gave that.  It wasn’t like you look over at a cast member and went, “Oh, what’s my line?”  We were there.  It just gave me goosebumps.  It isn’t just my award.  It was everybody’s award.  When you get to really feel like you’re really alive in these scenes, living in those scenes, it’s such an incredible feeling. After this win, I am just riding the wave right now and really just enjoying it.

Photo: MFTV Inc.

Well, I’ll finish on this last question: How do you rate our Emmy photo together this year? (Laughs) We have well-documented our issues taking a decent photo together; usually because we break up laughing trying to take one.

JACQUELINE: (Laughs) I mean, okay … I am happy that we had those LED bars of light.  We have to have LED lighting around us 24/7.  So, I’ll give it a 9.5 rating   Moving forward, we need indoor, 3-4 LED lights, and we’ll be good.  Now that I have two Emmys, I’m going to be asking for that lighting moving forward … now that I’ve turned into a diva. (Laughs)

Share your congratulations to Jacqui via the comment section below … and let us know your thoughts on her winning her second Daytime Emmy – this time for Steffy’s powerful opioid addiction storyline.  But first, check out our red carpet interview with more with the eventual Lead Actress Emmy winner.

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Days Of Our Lives

WATCH: 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Lead Actor Nominee Red Carpet Interviews

Tonight on the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards five talented actors will vie for the gold in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category during the Emmy broadcast, which airs on CBS and streams on Paramount + beginning at 8 p.m. EST.

During the Daytime Emmy Red Carpet event featuring nominees and presenters, four of the five nominated actors were able to make the festivities, missing was daytime favorite, Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) of The Bold and the Beautiful.

Michael Fairman chatted with GH nominees: Maurice Benard (Sonny), Steve Burton (Jason) and Dominic Zamprogna, plus Days of our Lives nominee and also a GH cast member, Wally Kurth (Justin, Days and Ned, GH) to get their thoughts on what this nomination for their work means to them, what performances they submitted for Emmy judging, and what it has been like to be a part of the collective daytime community.,

Check out our red carpet Lead Actor nominee interviews below, and make sure to check out more nominee and presenter conversations on the Michael Fairman Channel.

Now, let us know, which actor you are rooting for in the Outstanding Lead Actor category? Let us know your pick in the comment section.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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