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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.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey Chats On His Bittersweet Daytime Emmy Nomination

He’s won three Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series three years in row in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and now Chandler Massey is going for gold for the second time in his career in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series which in a field where he is competing with two co-stars from Days of our Lives among others.

Massey has long been a stand out performer, giving nuanced and emotional portrayals in the angst-ridden life of Will Horton and the love of his life, Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith).

Back in February of this year, DAYS fans learned that Chandler and Freddie had taped their last episodes, and since the NBC soap tapes more than 6 months ahead of air, that the two will still be on the air into the fall.  That has made this moment of recognition for Massey all the more poignant.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Chandler to get his reaction to the news that he is once again a Daytime Emmy nominee, and here’s what he had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

 

I thought it was great that you received another Emmy nomination.  What do you think?

CHANDLER:  Yeah.  I thought it was pretty great too, actually.   I was surprised.  I wasn’t keeping up on when they were announcing the nominations.   I was thrilled that Wally (Kurth) and Paul (Telfer) also got nominated too in the same category.  So, hopefully, DAYS, has a decent shot to take it home.

What did you end up submitting that ultimately landed you the nomination?

CHANDLER:  I went with some scenes that aired on December 16th of last year (I just looked that up), where Will basically breaks up with Sonny when Sonny comes to visit him in prison.  I liked those because they were sort of subtle.  I just found myself drawn in when I watched it, and it wasn’t big or dramatic, but it felt like two real people sharing their pain.  So, that’s why I chose it.

Photo: JPI

I remember those.  Those were heartbreaking because he had to get Sonny to let him go.

CHANDLER:  Yes.  He said he has a new prison boyfriend, and that he’s doing really well in prison, so he doesn’t want to be tied down. (Laughs)

You’ve had Freddie Smith as your scene partner for so much of your run on DAYS.  What did he give you in those scenes that helped you, or even further enabled the performance that you gave?

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CHANDLER:  Freddie always gives everything.  He is a consummate professional, so he really commits every time.  I think it is more that we are just so comfortable with each other that we are not afraid, and that there is no hesitation between the two of us, so we just are able to do the work.  We usually know we are there to listen to, and support each other. in the scenes.

Photo: NATAS

Was your entire submission from the prison scenes or did you include something else?

CHANDLER:  It was just that.  I know I could have included something else, but I like to keep it sort of short because I feel like as a judge, I know within a few minutes.  It’s not that I get bored, but it really only takes a scene or two, and then, you’re like, “this is something special.”  You can recognize it pretty quickly.

So, you have won three Daytime Emmys. This is your first nomination in a few years, right?

CHANDLER:  Yeah, I didn’t get nominated the year before.  I had a gap year… to my family’s great shame. (Laughs)  They were not pleased with me.

Photo: JPI

This is your second nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series category.

CHANDLER:  Yes. I was nominated in ‘Supporting’ for the first time when I came back to DAYS, and then submitted for “Lead” the next year, didn’t get nominated, and then went back to ‘Supporting’.  I learned my place.  I went back to ‘Supporting’ for this year.  (Laughs)

It’s such a game though, right?  .

CHANDLER:  Yeah, you’ve got to be smart.  I just thought, “What the heck?”  Freddie and I were like, “Maybe there’s a shot that if we pick different categories, we can both get nominated,” but then, after that didn’t work, I said, “Screw that… going back to ‘Supporting”

Now, you’ve been through Emmy night before, and this is obviously going to be a virtual Emmy’s.  Now, if they did a six-shot of all of the nominees, what would you wear?  Would you be dressed up?  Would you be casual?  What would you see yourself doing?

CHANDLER:  That’s a good question. I think maybe… I’ll do a little of both.  I’ll go the middle ground.  I’ll be in my finest bathrobe, a silk bathrobe so it’s casual but also still sort of fancy.

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There you go.  (Laughs)  Is this nomination all the more special for you in that you are no longer working at DAYS? 

CHANDLER:  Oh, totally.  Every year is special, but you know, I’m not on the show anymore, so it’s a nice reminder that the work that I did had an effect on people, and it won’t be forgotten for at least a few more hours.

Photo: JPI

I saw the fan outcry and show of support for you and Freddie, when viewers got wind that you were exiting the series.  It was sad and heartwarming at the same time.  The WilSon fans are so behind you guys.

CHANDLER:  Yeah, if only they knew what horrible people that we were in real life, then they wouldn’t be this way, but thankfully… (Laughs)  Yeah, it’s really nice, but it is sad.  I started in 2009, and that was over 10 years ago, and nothing lasts forever.  I had a really, really great run, and so did Freddie.  I am very satisfied and don’t feel jipped, or like, I was entitled to anything more than I got.

Courtesy/NBC

Obviously, your co-nominees, Wally and Paul you worked with many times.  What can you say about them?

CHANDLER:  I think that both men deserve definitely to get second and third place.  (Laughs)  I have known Wally for a while now.  I love him.  I think his work is phenomenal.  I think he is really, really underrated.  Paul, I don’t know as well, but I think obviously his work speaks for himself.  If only he were physically attractive, I think that would really, really help his career.

Photo: JPI

I know, it’s a shame.

CHANDLER:  Unfortunately, he is kind of schleppy, you know?  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Did Freddie reach out to you after you received the nomination?  

CHANDLER:  Oh yes, he sent a text congratulating me, and we talked about it.  It was nice.  I feel like our stories are so intertwined, the scenes we submit are mostly with each other.  So, it’s really kind of a shared accolade.

So, will you be rooting for Chandler to cap off his career on DAYS with an Emmy win on June 26th during the virtual ceremony on CBS? What did you think of the nominated scenes he submitted? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

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EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

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EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Tracey E. Bregman and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer Talk the Iconic Battles of Lauren & Sheila

As part of “Villains” theme week on The Young and the Restless, Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer (Sheila) reunited for a walk down memory lane of one of the greatest and most twisted knock-out drag-out feuds in the history of daytime drama.

The longtime iconic duo talk about many of their storylines; complete with baby switches, notorious catfights, doppelgangers, treachery and more, with Michael Fairman for a very special virtual conversation on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Tracy and Kimberlin chatted with Michael from their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: CBS

During the interview, Kimberlin revealed how: she was originally cast as Sheila, what happened when she thought she was exiting Y&R for good and her run with Sheila was over; only to find out that Bill Bell (C0-Creator, Y&R and B&B) had plans for her to move over to The Bold and the Beautiful and continue playing the role.

In addition, Tracey shares: how some of those iconic fight scenes between the two were physically demanding and tough to do, plus the actresses give us insight into filming some of their most popular scenes; including yesterday’s classic episode that aired (which can now be found on CBS All-Access and CBS.com under season 42) where Sheila wreaks havoc on Lauren and Michael’s (Christian LeBlanc) honeymoon with an assist from “Terrible” Tom played by the late Roscoe Born.

Photo: JPI

Finally, the women weigh-in on what they think a solid storyline would be in 2020 or 2021; if Sheila was to re-emerge in Genoa City and reignite the feud with Lauren and her loved ones!

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Watch the virtual conversation with Tracey and Kimberlin below.  Then let us know, would you want to see Sheila come back to Y&R and cause Tracey and her family some serious trouble? Comment below.

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It’s “Villains Week” on Y&R an that means some Sheila Carter, David Kimball, and Isabella Brana, Check out the promo from CBS Daytime here.  Leave A Comment

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Airdate: 5-19/20-2020

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