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The Billy Miller and Amelia Heinle Interview – The Young and the Restless

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

One of the most entertaining and dynamic couples on The Young and the Restless these days is Billy Abbott and Victoria Newman. The young duo certainly have gone through wild and kooky romantic adventures, in-fighting between two of Genoa City’s most prolific families, a 50’s retro-style wedding where the bride got arrested, corporate intrigue and publication trash talk… but nothing of the enormity of what is to come once the truth comes out about their little baby girl, Lucy!

The story goes something like this: Evil and twisted Daisy abandoned her new daughter at a church, where a man who was down on his luck found the baby.  He sold the little bundle of joy for $5,000.00 to Primrose DeVille, niece of infamous baby broker, Rose Deville!  Billy Abbott bought the baby girl from Primrose to the tune of two million dollars, because his wife Victoria had been told she couldn’t conceive another child, and had fallen into a deep depression. So Billy, feeling that his wife’s happiness lies in his hands, came up with a plan to give her a baby. But Daniel, the biological father of Lucy, is starting to figure out what might have gone down!

On-Air On-Soaps visited actors Billy Miller (Billy) and Amelia Heinle (Victoria) at the set of Y&R to talk about their on-screen baby drama, but also to see if their fun and crazy interplay on television transcends to how they are with each other in real life.  And, after reading the following feature, I think you will feel as we do that these two are a perfect match and perfect acting sparing partners! With sizzling sex appeal, snarky and witty banter, and a ‘take-no-prisoners’ style of performing, that is what makes Billy and Amelia two of the best young actors on daytime soaps, and made this interview one of our favorites!

MICHAEL:

When you heard the whole storyline with baby Lucy and how Billy got the baby, was it “Oh, great!”  Or, was it another baby “switch-y deal-y” thing?  (Laughs)

BILLY:

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It is not a baby “steal-y switch-y” thing.  Let see, what went through my mind?

AMELIA:

You are giving him way too much credit. (Laughs)

BILLY:

I thought it was great working with Ellen Greene (Pru) from Little Shop of Horrors.  She was a very nice lady and I was excited to work with her.  Our babies are cute, and what can I say?  At least, Amelia, you did not have to walk around with a foam belly for months!

MICHAEL:

But this proves Billy would do anything for Victoria!  He bought a baby to ease her pain from losing their child.

BILLY:

You know, have you ever lived with a woman?  When they are pissed off, life sucks.  So I will steal a baby if that will shut her the hell up! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Amelia, when they said to you that Victoria would first lose the baby she was carrying, and then she would end up with this child who is really Daniel’s and Daisy’s, what did you think?

AMELIA:

I was thinking, just let’s wait and see how this plays out, as you never know the direction they might choose to go.  You just don’t know.  I just didn’t know if it would be like a Rosemary’s Baby, something very cool or something very typical, or it could be something really bad that you don’t enjoy playing.  But so far, I have enjoyed it.

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MICHAEL:

But you are a mom in real life, so you can image how difficult this would be for a mom to lose a child she wanted to have with her hubby, and then become attached to another child that is not her own.

AMELIA:

Well, I can relate to it, but Billy can’t.  He does not have any kids in real life, but he does have a dog!

BILLY:

Just like every girl I ever dated…manipulative and needy and costs a lot of money.  I am trying not to attract psycho babes.  I need a good veterinarian.  That is what I need. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

When the powers-that-be told you they were going to pair Billy and Victoria together, what were your thoughts on the pairing concept?

BILLY:

Billy was out of women!  Victoria was like number eight!

AMELIA:

I was delivering my third baby when I found out I was going to be working with Billy. And so, I did not really care about anything at that time. (Laughs)  I was like, “Oh great; just let me have this baby.  I am going to go back to work and look like crap anyway!” (Laughs)

BILLY:

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She is the only woman I know that delivers a baby and still has a six-pack!  I was excited.  I thought it would be fun.  Plus, Amelia had worked on All My Children. And you know, as I was playing the drunken whore, (laughs) you keep wondering who they are going to pair you with next.  And I am eying people going, “Is it going to be Rafe? Jeanne Cooper? (Laughs) Esther?” (Laughs) This is an easy fit for Amelia and me. We are both goofy.

MICHAEL:

Do you think they saw at the studio every day, or noticed that as real life people and actors, you are both fun and wacky and that inspired them to write to that?

AMELIA:

I think I was the last girl he hadn’t been with, so that was it! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

It had to be that you were a Newman and he was an Abbott, too!  It would provide the show with great family conflict within its core families.

BILLY:

Yeah, that was a good idea.

AMELIA:

It worked, and so they liked it and it spun off from there.  So now we are stealing babies together!

MICHAEL:

When Victoria finds out the truth about baby Lucy and what Billy has done, do you think she will be so desperate that she would go on the run with her child and Billy?

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AMELIA:

I would hope so.  I would hope I would not become a “goody-two shoes” in this circumstance.  One would become crazy about their kid.

BILLY:

We can become Bonnie and Clyde with the car and the gun…. and go on the run!

MICHAEL:

When your real-life husband, Thad Luckinbill (Ex-J.T.) left Y&R, do you think that because you are a real-life couple, and were also an on-screen romantic duo, it was part of the issue of his departure?  Often, soaps don’t write real-life couples well. What do you think happened to the pairing of J .T. and Victoria?

AMELIA:

I honestly think there is an element to that, but honestly, I think they weren’t inspired to write anything for Victoria and J.T. from the very beginning.  But sometimes they need to see a spark.  Maybe the spark was not there because we are married in real-life.  Who knows?  We have to be at home together and working together, and have kids together, and I don’t know if that played into it or not.

MICHAEL:

Was it challenging at times, because you spend so much time together?

AMELIA:

Some days it was challenging, but I had fun with Thad, and I miss having him here.

MICHAEL:

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Billy, was that odd for you having to kiss Amelia on set, with Thad looming around?

AMELIA:

Thad did not care, they are friends.  But Thad did tell me to stay really far away from him, though. (Laughs)

BILLY:

If you have been in this business and you do a screen kiss, immediately after you break you go, “So, what is for lunch?” (Laughs)  I hang with Thad’s twin brother now more than Thad, because he is single and has no kids and no wife. (Laughs)  So we can go out and get wild. And then we make fun of Thad. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Amelia, what did you think of the big and dramatic Newman vs. Newman arbitration scenes, and the outcome of the story?

AMELIA:

I thought it was interesting, but went on for a long time.  I still don’t think it’s resolved.  I mean, I know the kids won the arbitration, but I think there is more coming with “Booty of Nature” (Laughs)

BILLY:

“Booty of Nature”!

MICHAEL:

I just don’t understand why Beauty of Nature is the company to have! (Laughs) Victoria won the arbitration and then put on a bunny suit!

AMELIA:

Oh God!  That outfit has been burned.

MICHAEL:

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Does she feel bad about what she did to her father, Victor?  She certainly had her daddy issues with the titan!

AMELIA:

Oh yeah, and that is not resolved either.  I prefer it if they keep us more estranged.  They usually have us make up and Victoria kisses his butt, and says, “Oh, I am sorry.”  And then everything is OK.  I like that we are fighting. We have been fighting for awhile now.  We have not resolved that, and I do not know what the big deal is about, “Booty of Nature,” either. (Laughs)

BILLY:

What is the big deal about it?  Nothing for Billy, but for Victoria, it was her big accomplishment.

AMELIA:

And Adam tried to change the name and Victoria goes, “No. It’s going to be, “Booty of Nature.” (Laughs)

BILLY:

“Don’t you be messing with my Booty?” (Laughs) Victoria is a bit obsessive.

MICHAEL:

Billy, what did you think of the career move to make Billy Abbott the Restless Style guru, after he was just going from job to job and kind of messing up in the corporate world?

BILLY:

He was a rich kid living in a trailer, so it has been fun. It’s kind of interesting that it is a “rag” now, and it goes from smut and sensationalism to hard core news! (Laughs)  What are you on TMZ or CNN?  Figure it out.  Billy puts his face in now with a lot of different people, which has been great.

MICHAEL:

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Let’s talk some of the quirky and kooky classic Billy and Victoria Scenes, ala the Jamaica drunken wedding, and other moments.  What would you say is your favorite of those?

AMELIA:

I kind of like the doorknob stuff and being stuck in the bathroom, and the shower was kind of fun.

BILLY:

(Laughs) And the fireman who decided to ax the door down!  He is staring at me, and I think he has forgot his line or something, but he looks at me and I’m thinking, “What does he want?  Does he want to join in?”

MICHAEL:

You both got pre-nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Supporting Actress and Actor categories.  Amelia, your castmates Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) and Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) both told me that you deserve 100% to be nominated!

AMELIA:

They have to say that!

MICHAEL:

How was the process of picking your reels?  Was it impossible or easy?

AMELIA:

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I did not have a lot to choose from, and there is very specific stuff apparently, you need to do.  I did this only once before and I picked some really short scene, and I only submitted that one scene! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Well, that was your first problem! (Laughs)

BILLY:

There is Victoria in the background. Wow, what an amazing acting stretch that girl has! (Laughs)

AMELIA:

I asked my husband for help with my Emmy selection this year.

MICHAEL:

Did you ask Billy?

AMELIA:

No, but you know he had that cool episode last year that was all to do with him, and I don’t have that! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What do you eventually choose as your Emmy reel?

AMELIA:

When I said goodbye to Reed, because my sister told me people could relate to it, and it pulls at your heartstrings. The acting was not over-the-top so I went with that, and it was simple.

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BILLY:

I don’t have a snowballs chance in hell this year, but I had some folks pick their top three favorite episodes.  I asked Michelle Stafford, and Christian LeBlanc (Michael), and which ever one got the most votes I submitted.  I ended up going with the show after we lost the baby, and I went to Victor’s house and then came back home.  I have been lucky enough to work a lot.  So it’s hard to go through all the shows.  I am sure there is something better.  But, I am not embarrassed by this episode.  Actually, I am going to just have fun at the Emmys, and you can have more fun if you are not nominated.  Last year, I was not nervous because I thought Jonathan Jackson (Lucky, GH) was going to win.  But I was happy last year, and my folks were happy when I won.

MICHAEL:

Do you show your Emmy to the women in your life when they visit your home?  Or, is it away in a box somewhere? Or….?

BILLY:

It was on my mail pile waiting for the plaque to come in so I could send it to my parents, and then my best friend had a custom case made for it. Then since it was too large, I could not send it to my parents.  So it’s very cool and it’s in my office.

MICHAEL:

When you look at the Daytime Emmy now, do you go, “Wow, that was a cool moment?”

BILLY:

It was very cool.  I did not think I had a chance in hell, but something happened when I was walking the red carpet.  It was at that time I thought; maybe I did have a chance when people were yelling my name. Then I thought, “Oh, wait. I might win. And I don’t have anything to say.” You get thirty seconds. You see the little light flashing while you are up there making your acceptance speech.  I am a good b**s artist, so I think to myself, I can talk myself out of anything in two minutes, but thirty seconds is pushing the limit!

MICHAEL:

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I remember you had a very touching and great part of your speech when they announced you as the winner for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series. What was going on in your head at that time?

BILLY:

I was sitting there thinking what if I do win, what am I going to say?  That is when I got nervous.  And I won and I was happy with the speech.  And my best friend who died… we were like brothers, and that night happened to be his birthday.  So it was kind of cool to honor him with that Emmy and mention him.

MICHAEL:

Amelia, what would you say about working with Billy?

AMELIA:

He is socially awkward. (Laughs) But he is a lot of fun, because he does not take this seriously at all, but actually, he does take this very seriously.  Billy has a nice balance of having fun and really good time, and it is contagious. And from that, it is relaxed on set and people are having fun, and then sometimes something really good comes out of it in our work in scenes. I think that is what makes Billy and Victoria such a great couple, because we are having so much fun.

MICHAEL:

Billy, what would you say about working with Amelia?

BILLY:

It is like every morning I have to come to work and put on a clinic!  I have been leading Amelia to the Promised Land, and she finally gets pre-nominated for an Emmy! (Laughs) I am only joking.  Seriously though, she is a lot of fun.  She is also the only performer that can come in with her hair out to here, and her socks don’t match, and baby puke on her shoulder, and then ten minutes later glam up and you go, “Damn!  She looks good”! She knows what she is doing besides her hair having her own dressing room, and that is in her contract.  J-Lo insured her booty, and this one insured her hair! (Laughs)

AMELIA:

Well, everyone always wants to know why my hair is so messy, because it is in my contract for it to be. (Laughs)

BILLY:

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I will tell you the secret; the people here work hours on Amelia’s hair to make it look perfect. Then she is like a little kid.  She undoes it and laughs, and that is why I love her!

AMELIA:

It looks better messy!

MICHAEL:

So we all know big trouble and heartache could be just around the corner for Billy and Victoria.  Oh the lies! So many people’s lives will be affected by the fallout of the realization of who baby Lucy really is, and what Billy did to get her!  What exactly would you preview for April?

AMELIA:

More baby drama, and let me just add that we are in “babyville” for awhile.

BILLY:

We are like a real married couple!  We are like, “C’mon, let’s just get drunk and naked!” That’s all we want to play. (Laughs)  In all honesty, things are percolating.  Billy made some mistakes and they are about to come out.

AMELIA:

This is really going to test their marriage and their relationship.

BILLY:

I mean, who would they replace me with as Victoria’s love interest if she were to dump me?

AMELIA:

Peter Bergman (Jack)!

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MICHAEL:

That’s interesting!

AMELIA:

That is who they originally brought me on the show for!  We even did photo shoots together. What other girls have you not done?

BILLY:

Phyllis!

MICHAEL:

By the way, what did you think of the 50’s wedding of Billy and Victoria, with Elinor Donahue presiding over their Father Knows Best style wedding?

AMELIA:

It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I thought it might be a bad idea, but it turned out to be okay, and pretty cute.

MICHAEL:

Do either of you follow at all what fans say on the message boards about Billy and Victoria, or you as actors?  Or, do you stay away from that type of thing?

BILLY:

No, that would drive me crazy.

AMELIA:

People will say mean things and it can be really hurtful.

BILLY:

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I don’t care about that.

AMELIA:

Yeah, well you would care if people said, “That Victoria!  She is really ugly!”

BILLY:

I think we are doing a really good job, because I am receiving a bottle of scotch from a fan every month.  God bless you!  I don’t know who it is.  But I would like to say this to the fans, “Hi. My name is Billy Miller.  I enjoy fine whiskey and scotch.  I am also a wine and cigar connoisseur, as well. Thank you.” (Laughs)

AMELIA:

You are putting out there what you want?  Well, I want… Louie Vuitton bags…Prada shoes, and I am a size 8 in my shoe. (Laughs)

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Doe
Doe

Michael, I loved this interview. It was smart and funny and I love how Billy and Amelia play off each other. They do have a good time. I think that’s why their acting seems so effortless. I’m not looking forward to when the truth comes out about the baby. It will be a disaster or it will prove how much Billy and Victoria love each other. I’m afraid to guess! But, I do love how they interact and hope that doesn’t end………

ILoveBillyandVictoria
ILoveBillyandVictoria

OMGoodness! I am a total fangirl when it comes to Billy Miller and Amelia Heinle! Gosh, I love them so much! Billy and Victoria has become my all time favorite soap couple! I hope when Lucy’s secret comes out, they will do like Billy said and go on the run like Bonnie and Clyde… Hehehe, so cute! It seems like they have lots of fun together and it conveys on screen! I haven’t seen chemistry like this in forever! Who ever decided to put these two together was pure genius!!!!! Thanks so much Micheal, you made my night! xoxo

helen
helen

I just love Billy & Victoria together. I hope that they are married and in love for a very long time. I hope that they are a couple a long time just like Michael & Lauren.

Elanor
Elanor

Thank you SO much for this interview! I LOVE these two together!

J
J

Michael, what can I say other than this was an absolutely wonderful interview. They truely enjoy working with each other and their connection shines right through in this interview. It’s their humor and not taking things so seriously that makes them work so well together and I for one love every minute of it! They always have me laughing out loud and who doesn’t love to laugh? Just one of the many, many reasons I love these actors and I love their pairing. Thank you so much! I can tell why this interview would definitley be one of your favorites because it is mine. <3

Molly
Molly

Michael, this interview was absolutely amazing! I love them and the Billy and Victoria pairing! This was definitely my favorite interview. Thank you so much!

Izzaub10
Izzaub10

I Love VILLY!!! They are the only reason I watch Y&R.

Nally
Nally

This was such an amasing interview, from the introduction to the actual interview. They have become no doubt one of daytime’s most dynamic pairing and your interview shows us exactly why. Their joy in working together is evident, in reading that interview I felt so engaged, as if I were in the actual room. Billy and Amelia just shine on so many different levels with each other. I am certainly humbled to call myself their fan and I can’t wait to see where things go with Lucy, wherever it does go, Billy and Vicky love each other and I’m sure that is what will shine through at the end and Billy and Amelia will do an excellent job at sucking us into this s/l with them!

Thank you so much for a wonderful read!

Maureen
Maureen

What a fantastic interview with Billy & Amelia! There was never any question in my mind that these two love working together, but just to hear them say it, warms my heart! They are by far my favorite all time soap couple! Everything is just perfect about their pairing! Perfect couple and wonderful people they are!

Courtney
Courtney

Thank you so much for this interview!!! I love Billy & Amelia so much and after reading this interview, I love them even more! It’s so great to see how they have so much fun on screen and off screen. This is definitely my favourite interview!

Jen
Jen

Thank you so much for this amazing interview! I’m sitting here with a huge grin on my face after reading this thanks to Amelia and Billy’s playfulness and how fun loving they are just like their characters. The best thing Y&R has dine in years was pair these two. They have so much chemistry on and judging by this interview off screen too. I just love them!

ILoveVictoriaNewman
ILoveVictoriaNewman

Believe me Amelia, #TEAMVILLY talks back to the haters, so we got your back! 🙂
Amazing interview. So Hilarious. LOVE THEM!!!!

Amazing
Amazing

OMG! These two are amazing! Thanks Micheal for this interveiw, really enjoyed reading this! I think Billy and Amelia have some of the best on screen chemistry I have seen in a long time. I never would have thought this pairing would work, but it does! I have liked almost all of Billy’s pairing, but his pairing with Amelia is the absolute best and it’s the same for Amelia. I like her with Thad and Don Diamont but I adore her with Billy. Billy and Victoria have just stolen my heart and I am so in love with them.

Alicia Gritz
Alicia Gritz

LOVED this interview… Scared of what will happen as the baby drama unfolds. My hope are the following things: 1. Victoria and Billy remains together (Divorce is not answer to all problems) 2. Daniel will get to be a part of Lucys life, even as “Uncle Danny” ..knowing Lucy is in great hands. Love Billyand Victoria…KEEP THEM TOGETHER PLEASE!!!

Kristin
Kristin

Michael thank you SO much for this interview. Billy & Amelia are just wonderful & funny. Their on screen chemistry reminds me of the old school Hollywood couples from the movies like Fred & Ginger… just so sparkly & fresh. They just have a way of drawing you in & keeping you there. Best couple by far! Looking forward to many more Billy & Victoria adventures/stories.

Lakesha
Lakesha

Love Billy and Victoria! Amelia and Billy had me laughing during the whole interview. Villy<333

Tanya
Tanya

I Love this interview, u ask the right questions Michael. These 2 never stop to entertain me whether on or off screen lol love them & the “Booty of Nature” joke. Any time they are on I can’t help but wonder what they are going to do next, wonder what new Adventures they have plan for us. I too wonder what would happen when they reveal Lucy’s secret, it could either break them or make them stronger as a Couple and of course I prefer the latter. I kinda like the idea of them keeping the Baby while Daniel get to be a part of her life as well, look at Neil, Malcolm & Lilly. I also hope the writers take their sweet little time to reveal the secret just keep building on the Story slowly cause there are too many rushed Stories nowadays and I think they should do this one justice considering they rushed the 1st part of the Story, just milk this one. Again thank u for the interview Michael hope to see u do another one from them in the future, I hope they didn’t make u laugh too hard LOL.

Tierney
Tierney

Thank you so much for the great interview Michael! The pairing of Billy and Victoria is what restored my faith in soaps. They’ve brought humor, hotness – and my interest – back to Y&R. Plus, their portrayers Amelia and Billy seem like genuinely nice and funny people. Thanks again!

Alli
Alli

Thank you, thank you! I love Billy and Amelia! Villy is the main reason I watch Y&R. They seem so comfortable and fun together and it totally translates on screen.
Loved this interview!

Mel
Mel

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this terrific interview! Best interview ever!!! I love and adore the pairing of Billy and Victoria as well as the amazing Billy and Amelia. They singlehandedly brought me back to watching Y&R and restored my faith in soap supercouples. Billy and Amelia have so much chemistry and I’m glad to see how great they get along and are so funny together offscreen too. I LOVED the interview and my only regret is that it had to end!

AMANDA
AMANDA

I loved this interview. Billy and Victoria are the very best couple on Y&R.

Michael, thanks for this wonderful interview!

Theresa
Theresa

That was a fun read, thank you!

Now I understand more about why Victoria and Billy seem to reach out through the TV screen and demand my attention, no matter what their scenes involve. The actors do seem to be perfect foils for each other, and that obviously translates to their characters’ relationship. I hope Billy and Victoria’s marriage will weather the upcoming storms in one piece, but whatever happens, I know the actors will make it fantastically entertaining.

Skyla
Skyla

Great interview… I love Billy and Victoria together and Amelia and Billy seem to play really well off of eachother. You can tell they are friends in real life and I think people who are good friends outside of work usually make the best soap couples. I so hope they both win emmys, the work they’ve done has really been the bright star in the show these days. Fantastic interview.

Laurie
Laurie

I really enjoyed that – love how they seem very level-headed about their pairing’s popularity , but I hope they realize how special the couple comes across onscreen. The writers gave them a great build for sure, and they continue to get lovely writing, but I don’t believe it would have worked nearly so well without these two portraying it. I admire the fact that they both resist all the online stuff; maybe that’s part of the reason why they’re able to remain so lighthearted and fun together. Thanks for the interview.

John
John

What a beautiful interview! These two really are the perfect pairing and I just can’t get enough of them or their humor. Also these two blue eyed beings have the hottest chemistry I’ve ever seen in a soap couple. I need them on my screen daily and I truely hope they are an end game couple. I wouldn’t be watching without them. Thank you for such an amazing read Michael! I look forward to your next interview with them.

Stephanie
Stephanie

So Billy bought the baby to shut Victoria up. Be still my heart!! At least Billy is realitic and knows that this storyline is going to end with heartbreak. Can’t stand what Billy has become since being paired with Victoria.

But interesting reading at least.

Lori
Lori

What I find amazing is there is no hint of him even having the possible leaving after this summer .Near the time for his contract comes up for renewl I just find this hard to believe that SOD is nowing reporting that today he may not renew his contract after this summer.Does anybody read this in between the lines here just what not even two weeks after this interview that now he is talking of NOT RENEWING HIS CONTRACT AFTER THE SUMMER!!!

JR
JR

Very nice. They are portraying one of my favourite soap couples ever, and that’s over way too many years of soap-watching. They seem fun, and well-paired. Trouble is ahead for the characters for sure, but as long as these two continue to share scenes, I’ll watch whatever the writers put them through.

My daughter showed me this interview – I pretty much left the online soap world a year ago, so I was interested in their responses to your question about message boards. I know I grew disheartened by the negativity and downright cruelty some of them breed, and I’m glad these actors stay away.

May there be lots of scotch and Prada shoes in the future for these two. They’ve brought a lot of sparkle to the show.

Amanda
Amanda

I just read this as well & loved it. I was going to write the same things you did…brilliant minds…ha!

jenna paige
jenna paige

I love this pairing of Villy but hate that their relationship is coming to an end. Why can’t they work things out – even if they do lose Lucy.

Gwen
Gwen

I would like to see them back together. The best couple I every seen in the show

~Lori
~Lori

What a brilliant move for Y&R! I think this story line has been one of my fav’s and I have been watching this soap since I was 17 year old. Billy is like the “Ying” to Victoria’s “Yang” oops a quote from a TV reality star can you guess? I really hate to see Billy leave his role as Billy Abbott. I can see him in a evening drama series or a box office hit not only a great actor but one SeXy guy on daytime drama and must I say he surpasses my first looker Antonio Sabato Jr. I only have one suggestion if he does decide to leave I hope we will know what Victor is holding over him. I loved today’s episode when Nick drove Victoria home after getting drunk at the Halloween party and Billy rescued her, He loves her so much and was heartbroken when he picked up and saw she signed the divorce papers. I’m hoping he finishes the divorce papers that have went through many interruptions she has had trying to sign them, and Billy Abbott rips them up and they make wild passionate love one more time. She might be a little drunk but she did say ” Billy is that you”?? ♥♥

Jess
Jess

“Victoria” is NOT ugly.

Christine (formerly known as Jenna)
Christine (formerly known as Jenna)

That’s for sure. Amelia is stunning!

Mia
Mia

i agree..she looks hot with messy hair…

Amanda
Amanda

Great interview, Michael. I think viewers like their characters because they are (appear to be) just precious in real-life. Amelia, if I’m buying anyone LV or Prada, it’ll be me…sorry…ha! Billy, on the other hand, I’m sure it’s Mcallan scotch, but what kind of cigars?

Aleisha
Aleisha

I hope they read my fan mail! Love them!!!

Marilyn
Marilyn

You two make the show alot more interesting to watch . Thank you

carolyn
carolyn

I am so disappointed that Billy Miller has been let go. Victoria and Billy and Victoria make a great couple…so sad!! I don’t understand why he is being let go. Makes no sense. Everyone loves Billy.

Global
Global

Please note Billy Miller was not let go. Billy Miller left on his own accord so he could do more things.

He will indeed be greatly missed. Billy Miller is an amazing actor and has done a phenemonal job playing the role of Billy Abbott. He also has great chemistry with is onscreen wife Victoria played by Amelia Heinle. What a great soap couple!

vivian luchene
vivian luchene

My favorite character has been Billy Abbott since he first showed up and I have commented before how much talent he has. He makes every situation real no matter how crazy it is. Thanks Billy and I hope I continue to see you as Victorias husband. I started watching from day 1 when I was in nursing school.

Katie
Katie

I can’t believe what I just read……messy hair is in her contract because it looks better that way?!? Can someone please show that girl a mirror!!

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Rebecca Herbst Chats On ‘Friz’, Her On-Screen Sons & How Liz Has Grown-Up

Last week, Rebecca Herbst celebrated her 22nd year playing fan favorite Elizabeth Webber (now Baldwin) on General Hospital.  She made her on-screen debut on August 1, 1997.  And in those two decades plus in Port Charles, Liz has gone through many a rocky relationship, plenty of drama, and carried out some misdeeds of her own.  But one thing is for sure, Becky is loved by the fans of the long-running ABC daytime drama series who always want the best for her, and for Nurse Elizabeth.

Recently, ‘Friz’ fans got a moment they had long been waiting for when Franco (Roger Howarth) and Liz, and their friends and family (and some enemies) shared in their wedding reception.  But can their happiness last?  According to two psychics, Sibley Gamble (Veronica Cartwright) and Chelsea Lambas (Jen Ray) that Franco has run into in recent weeks, he better be careful.  That has made Franco concerned, while Liz is trying to get her family all on the same page, and it looks like her boys are coming around to loving and accepting Franco, too, despite what Liz’s ex Jason (Steve Burton) may have to say about it.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Rebecca  at the GH Fan Club Weekend, where she made a welcome appearance, to talk about: how she sees Elizabeth’s relationship with Franco, her talented on-screen sons, and how Liz has grown-up since she started on the series, and more.  Here’s what Becky shared with us below.

What did you think of the long-awaited wedding reception of Franco and Liz?  The show finally gave them this joyous moment; after their jailhouse nuptials. Did you feel like the way the wedding actually went down it felt like it cheated the relationship, or did you like it?

REBECCA:  I felt the jailhouse wedding was a bit of a cheat, because they had tried two different times to have a really glorious wedding, so to do it in a jail cell was not the most desirable place. (Laughs)  However, the fact that the characters did actually get married and nothing came in between was a plus, and so, hey, they’ll take that.  Later, when I read in the scripts that there was going to be the reception, I was shocked, because I really didn’t think it was ever going to happen.

Photo: ABC

Do you think the fans were getting to the point where they thought this was never going to happen, also?

REBECCA:  For sure.  We all thought they Franco and Liz were never going to have their moment, or their honeymoon or any of that. I was really pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they write it, but it was beautiful!  It was also visually beautiful.  They put a lot of effort and thought into the show itself, and nobody died, and nobody fell through the roof.  Well, it was kind of funny that Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) got pushed off the ‘Haunted Star’, but according to Elizabeth, that’s just fine that Obrecht got pushed off the boat. (Laughs)  She didn’t die, so everything is good, but all in all, it was a really wonderful party.

What did you think when they had all of Elizabeth’s sons performing a song for the happy couple.  It was so cute, and touching.

REBECCA:  Oh, my goodness.  Those were real tears I shed.  That was so sweet.  So very, very sweet of them.

Photo: ABC

The show is growing the boys, so now you, as Elizabeth, have some young actors to play off of in your scenes.  How do you feel about that?

REBECCA:  Oh, I love it!  For so long, Elizabeth would only talk about her kids, “My boys, my boys, my boys, my boys in the attic.” (Laughs) Now, she has relationships, and very different relationships with each one of them.

I think that echoes real-life too.  A mother has distinct relationships with each of her children.  That’s what I like about Liz with her sons.  And as a mom in real-life as well, I am sure you can relate to this.

REBECCA:  Yes, my relationship with all of my kids is completely different, and I really love that it’s true for Elizabeth’s kids.  I attribute a lot of that to the writers, because they definitely write our relationships differently.  Aiden (Jason David) is still this baby who Elizabeth coddles and protects.  Cameron (William Lipton) is expected to be the man of the house and take care of things, and sometimes Elizabeth feels like she puts too much responsibility on him, but he is going to protect his mom no matter what.  Hudson (Jake) is so wonderful, too.  The fact that I have been blessed with three beautifully smart little actors is just a win for me.

Courtesy/ABC

Let’s talk about Aiden, who had been bullied at school by the other kids.  Do you think that story will be fleshed out?  It seems it may have been put on pause, because it would be an important story to tell for parents with LGBTQ children, if that is how GH ultimately chose to tell the story.

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REBECCA:  It is an important story.  I would love to tell the story.  There is a great message.  I don’t think we touched on it enough.   I think, for now, the best way to put a button on it is to send the message that we should accept our children with all of their wonderful attributes and personalities and whatever their interests, and let’s not label children, and listen to them and support them.   We should just all be kind.   I was sad when I would read some of the tweets about the story.  It saddened me to read people’s harsh opinions towards Elizabeth’s acceptance of her child.  Some people said that we should not be doing a story like this, and then there was the other half who said, “Just because he is a baker, doesn’t make him gay,” which is 100% true.

True!  TV viewers have certainly seen a lot of straight chefs on foodie or cooking shows, for example.

REBECCA:  Absolutely!  All three of my children in real-life love to cook.  There is nothing wrong with that.   I think we need to just continue to love Aiden no matter what, and he is not different than any of the other kids.

Photo: ABC

William Lipton has been amazing as Cameron, right?

REBECCA:  Amazing.  I know!  He is not only a great little actor, singer, and performer, but he has this beautiful little face, and he is such a grounded young man.  He’s a really sweet person.  You can tell he’s been raised in a really great house, and he has an amazing mom.

Because you are such a “mom’s-mom” in real life, do you think that helps you in how Elizabeth reacts to her children?

REBECCA:  I think so.  I always ask permission from my on-camera kids before a scene: “Is it okay if I kiss your little head?  Is it okay if I put you on my lap here?  Is it okay if I put my hands on your face?”  I’m not their mother, but when I think about what I would do with my real-life kids,  they’re always getting kissed and hugged and held by me, so I want to make it look as real as possible.  I have to think, “What would I do if this were Emerson?”  He’d be on my lap, and I’d be kissing his little neck.  So, then I have to ask Jason, who plays Aiden, “Is it okay that I kiss your neck, and if I kind of just like snuggle you?”  All three of my on-screen kids are so great, because they’re like, “Yeah, sure.  We don’t care!” and not all stage kids are like that.  They all are receptive of my love, and they just let me do it.  I think that is what is so sweet.

Photo: ABC

What do you think of this whole pairing of Elizabeth and Franco, and that you were paired with Roger Howarth?  Elizabeth has had many relationships on the show, so where does her relationship with Franco fit into her list of romances/relationships?  Do you think Franco is one of her great loves?  Over her life, Liz has had a lot of ups and downs, and at times, has not made the best choices for herself, or the choices she made just haven’t worked out in her favor.  I think we all can relate to somebody whose choices don’t work out the way they envision them to be.

REBECCA:  For sure.  I think each of Elizabeth’s relationships have been so different. Just to talk about a timeline: she was a little girl when she was with Lucky (Jonathan Jackson), and as she’s matured, so have her relationships.  However, I think the relationship she has with Franco is her first real adult relationship; in that she not only does respect him, but she respects herself.  She is not afraid to stand up to anybody for the sake of herself, or her children.  I think that is the difference.  In the past, she has been a little so head-over-heels in love that she would do anything, and now, she knows who number one is, and that’s her children, and she puts herself first now, too.  Before, Elizabeth did not matter to herself.

Photo: ABC

I thought Elizabeth treated herself badly.  Is there a self-loathing?  Did you ever that figure out as an actress where that comes from?  Do you think it was from when she was raped years ago?

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REBECCA:  I think it went deeper than that.  I think it was because her parents left her at such a young age, and although they were doing great work for whatever they were doing, she was left as a child.

So, she felt something was wrong with her if they left her behind?

REBECCA:  Yes.  I think that’s where her lack of self-esteem came from.  She just didn’t have that support at home when she needed it the most, especially when she was a teenager.  You need your parents around you to tell you that things are awkward and weird, and you’re changing, but you’re going to be okay.  She didn’t have that, and so, she kind of had to figure it out on her own.  She did it through her relationships with men, and she didn’t have men in her life who were telling her, “You’re going to be okay,” except for Lucky, but that was a younger relationship in her life.  Now, as more of an adult with Franco, he tells her she is going to be okay.  Franco believes in her as much as she does now.

Photo: ABC

What’s the best part about working with Roger … and what’s the most challenging part?  Is it some curve balls that might come from when you are going live-to-tape?

REBECCA:  For me, I know I can totally work around whatever comes out of his mouth. (Laughs)  I’m good with that. (Laughs)  The most challenging thing about working with him is that he is constantly losing his glasses, so he can’t see his scripts.  It’s always at the end of the scene.  It’s like, “Where are the glasses?” (Laughs)  So, if losing his glasses might be the most challenging thing, then I’m a pretty lucky girl!

Where does Jason (Steve Burton) fit into Liz’s life at this point? 

REBECCA:  We’ve not really established that.

Courtesy/ABC

Since Jason has been back on the canvas, not much has been played between them.

REBECCA: They had a relationship, they have a relationship, and they have a friendship.  It should be played.

What would you love to see happen to Elizabeth story-wise, that perhaps you have not gotten the opportunity to play?

REBECCA:  I would love to see Elizabeth be happy with Franco and just explore whatever that means for her in a long-term, adult sense (because she doesn’t really know how that is yet), an adult happiness, while trying to navigate the kids’ lives, but also having a friendship with Jason.  I think that would be interesting, because she has always held a torch for Jason.

Photo: ABC

Viewers are currently alarmed that Franco has been receiving warnings from two psychics.  On last Friday’s episode, Franco is clearly afraid to take a drive and in Cameron’s new car (the one Oscar gave him) due to the psychic, (Chelsea) telling him: “Don’t take that drive!” Does Elizabeth have something to be worried about? 

REBECCA:  Yes, but she’s going to hang on to Franco, and make sure nothing happens to him … until he doesn’t come home (laughs) …  and then she’ll be calling Jason! (Laughs)

So, what did you think of the sentiments shared by Rebecca?  What did you think of the Friz wedding reception, and Liz and Franco’s relationship?  What do you think of Liz’s relationship with her children?   What are your hopes for Liz moving forward? Comment below.

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

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

  • Not too crazy about the storyline but I’ll keep wa: “Not too crazy about the storyline I think it’s kind of silly. I liked Franco’s character and that he and…
  • Lynda: “Waiting anxiously for storyline unfolding. Have loved Roger's acting since becoming familiar with him on General Hospital.…
  • Tam Taylor: “JI completely agree. Roger is Franco and Drew is Billy Miller. I also truly wish that Billy Miller weren't leaving…
  • Eileen: “I hope the Drew and Franco bit is just temporary although it is fun for a change. I myself I'm…
  • Becky: “I hate it because I’m afraid there will be as many Drew’s as there are Sonny and Carly weddings. And…
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