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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!!

Interviews

B&B’s Katherine Kelly Lang on That ‘Brill’ Kiss, 33 Years as Brooke, Her Co-Stars & International Success

Just when you think Brooke will finally score a moral victory in her vendetta with Thomas Forrester, (who’s manipulations almost destroyed her marriage to his father, Ridge), then she finds herself once again in hot water, and with a secret that in the wrong hands could cause a seismic shift to several relationships – that would he hers and her sister Katie’s – thanks to that ill-timed smooch with Bill!

But what else is new for Brooke? For 33 years, the character has captivated audiences with bold moves, questionable choices, enduring romances and plenty of gusto, all in the more than capable hands of her portrayer, the one and only Katherine Kelly Lang.

This week marks Katherine’s 33rd-year in the role of Brooke Logan Forrester, who along with John McCook (Eric Forrester), are the two original cast members since the very inception of the CBS daytime drama; which debuted back on March 23, 1987.  Now over three decades later, Lang is an international favorite. First, due to the success and broad appeal of B&B in foreign countries, but second, from her own entrepreneurship and hustle.  Always with multiple projects going on at once, Lang and her beau, Dom Zoida recently opened the American version of the Italian clothing and leather store in Beverly Hills, California, Benheart USA.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Katherine to get the lowdown on: Brooke’s line-up of nemesis’ which seems to be growing! (Yes, you can put Thomas, Quinn and Shauna on that list, for sure.) Plus, what she feels this B&B anniversary is truly about, how she and others in the cast are coping with the ‘stay at home’ orders in California during the coronavirus pandemic, the recent loss of B&B co-creator, Lee Phillip Bell, and those all-time classic Stephanie and Brooke scenes opposite Susan Flannery and more.  Here’s what this BOLD original had to share with all of you.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Brooke’s whole relationship with Thomas (Matthew Atkinson) and the tit-for-tat between them?  Brooke really stood up to him and his manipulations, and held her ground. Meanwhile, he was going to do everything he could do ruin her and cause so much trouble for Brooke’s marriage to Ridge (Thorsten Kaye).

KATHERINE: This is my feeling: she was so adamant and so trying to convince people about Thomas and that he was so out for himself;  and out for Brooke’s daughter, Hope (Annika Noelle), and very manipulative, and nobody would listen really.  Only a few people like Liam (Scott Clifton) did and her daughter finally agreed with her.  Then at the wedding of Thomas and Zoe (Kiara Barnes), it proved that Brooke was right all along.  I still don’t feel like Brooke got her due as far as what everybody was saying.

No, she didn’t!  No one really said to her in a grand way, “Oh, my God, Brooke!  You were right about Thomas all along.”

KATHERINE:  I know!  Ridge did say, “You were right,” and that’s great.  However, more people should have apologized and acknowledged her, and said, “Oh, we understand now where you were coming from,” and, “Hey!  Good intuition!”

Photo: JPI

That was must have been so frustrating to Brooke!  She knew the truth, and everybody was treating her so badly and painting her to be the bitch.

KATHERINE:  Yup!  They dubbed herthat crazy one” and the bitch.

Was all of this enjoyable to play?

KATHERINE:  It was enjoyable that it finally came out that Thomas is the manipulative person that he is, even though he is so good at it that he almost makes you feel sorry for him.  But he’s like a good sociopathThat’s why they’re so good at what they do.  They’re good at bringing real emotion into every situation and yet being very manipulative.  Kudos go to Matthew Atkinson for playing Thomas, really well.  He’s been great, and he brings something really different on to our show.

Photo: JPI

Brooke and Ridge’s relationship has been severely tested; almost tearing them apart over Ridge previously standing up for his son.  Now Brooke’s recent kiss with Bill (Don Diamont) threatens it, as that kiss was caught on tape, and landed in the wrong hands.  Is Brooke in freak-out mode yet?

KATHERINE:  I definitely think she is, and she wanted to take that kiss back from the second that it happened.  She allowed it to happen.  It’s a little bit of old Brooke resurfacing there.  Right away she was like, “What are we doing?   This is ridiculous.  You’re with Katie, and I’m with Ridge, and we’re both happy.”  Brooke has had underlying feelings for Bill, and she probably always will (and he for Brooke), but we know that’s not where we want things to be.  So, in Brooke’s mind, it’s “let’s forget about that and carry on, and don’t tell anybody.”  Of course, it comes out to some people, and it’s so embarrassing for Brooke.  Like, how does she explain herself?  I mean, at that point she can’t explain what happened … or why she did that.  She has to kind of succumb to it.

Right! And of course, Shauna (Denise Richards) and Quinn (Rena Sofer) want to take her down with this ammo.

KATHERINE:  Of course!  That’s what they live for. (Laughs)

Photo” JPI

Recently, Quinn spiked Brooke’s drink with some booze after they had quite the argument. Fans were on the edge of their seats that Brooke might start drinking again.  What did you think of the plot point?

KATHERINE:  I think it could have been interesting.  I have no idea if they will bring it up again.  That happens sometimes.  They’ll put in a little teaser and not run with it.  However, you never know if it’s going to resurface down the line, especially when Brooke is really down in the dumps for some reason.

I could see her being down in the dumps if she finally had no man in her life! (Laughs)

KATHERINE: (Laughs) That’s probably what she needs … not having a man in her life!

How is working with Rena Sofer and Denise Richards; especially when they are antagonists in scenes with Brooke?  Do you ever have a good laugh while trying to tape those scenes, as well?

KATHERINE: I think there’s a good chemistry between the three of us, and we have that rivalry going on.  So, I think it’s been working, and it’s been entertaining and interesting.  They’re fun to bounce off of.  Usually we are pretty serious when we do those scenes, especially if they’re more verbally combative.  So, we’ll just be really serious and stay in it.  Of course, sometimes things happen, and you laugh, but we sometimes don’t have the luxury to take the time to laugh and enjoy the moment, because we have to try to get the scene done in one take and move on.

Photo: JPI

There were a few months there that Brooke was slapping everybody! There were plenty of bitch-slaps that needed to go around. What did you think of those scenes?

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KATHERINE: I loved it, but then I felt like it was also maybe getting out of hand because it’s not really PC.  Nobody is supposed to hit people or slap people in anyway.  So, it worked more years and years ago in our genre, as times have changed in our world and culture.

Viewers saw this week that Donna (Jennifer Gareis) knows Brooke kissed Bill and that they have to make sure Katie (Heather Tom) does not find out, while others are out to expose Brooke!

KATHERINE:  I would imagine that everybody would want to see how Brooke unravels.  So, just keep watching!

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome another go round at a Brooke and Bill romance?

KATHERINE: Not when Bill’s with Katie and with everything that Katie’s gone through.  I couldn’t see that.  I don’t think it would be right.  That would mean that Brooke is completely selfish, you know?  There are so many other men.  Why does she have to go for her sister’s man?

Photo: JPI

In recent months, we have witnessed scenes where Brooke has been more confrontational and fighting back and not putting up with the shenanigans of others!  We have seen this in particular with Thomas, Shauna, and Quinn.  Did it seem like they ramped that up for Brooke?

KATHERINE:  Yes, because at some point it’s frustrating because nobody was listening to her.  It all started with the whole Thomas thing, and once she started fighting back, she wanted to fight back on everything.  She’s been lied to about a lot of things.  It’s not been fair.

Does Brooke still think Hope is too vulnerable to make wise decisions for herself; even after she stood up for herself at the wedding of Thomas and Zoe?

KATHERINE: Now. I think she feels much better, because there are moments where Hope is very vulnerable, but then she kicks herself in the butt, and stands up for herself and everybody else.  So, Brooke knows that Hope’s strong, but she also knows that she can be vulnerable.  At this moment, she is proving that she can handle things.

Photo: JPI

B&B turned 33-years-old this week as the show continues to remain so popular in the United States, and of course, is the most watched soap in the world. What can you say about still being with the series since its inception, and all that has happened to you in your life and career, because of playing Brooke, plus a nod to the fans?

KATHERINE: It’s been an amazing opportunity for me.  It’s been my life basically! 33 years on The Bold and the Beautiful, and the show has always kicked butt.  I mean, the show has been going strong ever since it started, and it still is going strong.  It’s just been an honor to be on the show, and remain on the show for so long as one of the original characters.  My heart really goes out to the fans, because honestly, so many of them tell me they’ve watched from day one.  We have a history with them raising their families.  Younger people come up and say, “I’ve been watching the show ever since I was little with my mom.”  So, there’s a wide range of different people who watch the show, and I appreciate them so much.  We all appreciate them so much because really, without them, there would be no show.  I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all of the fans.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Photo: JPI

Brooke is one of the most notable characters of all-time in soap operas and you are the actress playing her. That has to be a very good-feeling for you.

KATHERINE: I think there have been a lot of notable characters on soap operas, who have even been on the air a lot longer than me.  Look at Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) who just celebrated his 40th, and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R) who also reached a milestone recently.  What I have learned from all of this is; what matters is when you come on a show that your heart is in it 100%, and you come to your job and you try your hardest.  That to me is what matters and makes you an honorable person.  I’m very flattered that I’ve been on The Bold and the Beautiful for as long as I have.

Photo” JPI

When you look back at 33 years of your time on The Bold and the Beautiful, are your scenes with Susan Flannery and those epic moments between Stephanie and Brooke, the ones that still standout to you the most?

KATHERINE: Those scenes with Susan informed and formed the show and the characters for years.  I had a lot of memorable scenes with Susan.  I’m so lucky to have worked so closely with her.  She’s an amazing actress.  I learned so much from her, and just watching her.  I would hang on her every word – how she would talk about the business, how she would talk about acting, directing (because she loved to direct), and producing.  Susan was very knowledgeable, and she was very tough, but very fair, I thought.  I just loved her work ethic.

You and Thorsten Kaye have created your version of Brooke and Ridge. What do you think about working with Thorsten?  Is it fun? Challenging? How would you define it?

KATHERINE:  He’s very fun to work with.  Thorsten is very serious, very prepared all of the time, and he’s watching everything.  He’s got eagle eyes.  He’s just so on top of it and working with people like that makes you raise your bar.  It makes you want to try 110% to be there and put in the work.  Thorsten’s also so funny, and easy to work with, and so charming, and such a dear friend.   I love working with him.  I do think Brooke and Ridge have an interesting relationship even though some people say, “Oh, they should be over,” or whatever they want to say.  I do think they have created a good banter between them, and almost an understanding without having to say anything.  Thorsten’s a delight!

Photo: JPI

What is your takeaway when you travel overseas and internationally to places such as Italy, Dubai, Monaco or Australia where B&B is so widely popular and the reaction you receive from the fans?

KATHERINE:  Just seeing the overseas reactions in different countries and how popular or how loved The Bold and the Beautiful is truly special.  The fans really do love from their hearts.  They feel a part of it, and they are, but just their enthusiasm and their passion and their love, and they give their whole heart to you and to the show.  I just found that really interesting, and like I said earlier, we owe the success of B&B to the fans who love the show so much.

Photo: JPI

You recently were in Greece appearing for a multi-episode arc on the soap 8 Lexeis.  How was that experience?  I know Greek soap star, Andreas Georgiou, also came over to the States and appeared on B&B afterwards, too.

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KATHERINE:  It was an incredible opportunity.  I love working in other countries, and seeing how other people work, and how they make different projects and things.  8 Lexeis is their top TV show on their top network in Greece, so it was really exciting to go there and work on that.  I did 15 episodes in 5 days; something crazy like that.  We worked all morning through late at night every day, but it was fun.  It was amazing to see how creative they are and how they just run with it.  Everything was really chill on the set, but they still moved really fast and got everything done, and they were all so talented and so nice.  Then later, Andreas came over and did some shows here.  He was supposed to come to visit, but then the Coronavirus happened, so he had to postpone his trip, but we’ll see him soon.

Photo: JPI

B&B is on a production break due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Have you stayed in touch with your co-stars during this time?

KATHERINE: A lot of us talk on Instagram all of the time, and then a lot of people have been going live on their as well.  So, we jump into each other’s live videos!  Have you seen Katrina Bowden (Flo) and Kelly Kruger (Mackenzie, Y&R) do their little workouts together? You should check those out! Ashley Jones (Bridget) is always on, and Annika Noelle, and then our Supervising Producer, Casey Kasprzyk, started doing Zoom.  He did a Zoom with some of the B&B people.  So, we’ve all been texting and keeping in touch and making sure that everybody is okay.  I know it’s very hard times and it can be scary for all.   Hopefully, if everybody does what they should be doing, it will flatten the curve and the Coronavirus will be a lot easier to deal with.

Photo: JPI

You are one of the busiest people I know! Recently, you went to Australia, you opened your new store Benheart USA in Beverly Hills, and you appear on B&B in a lead role.  Is there ever a moment when you’re like, “I can’t do one more thing?” or do you like the go-go-go of it all of the time?

KATHERINE: I like the go-go-go, but I felt that I was going too fast and too hard, and I’ve recently been thinking of what I can take out of our lives and our schedule, and then in thinking of that, I couldn’t really think of what I can take out.  Then, this all happened with life coming to a screeching halt, which I find very interesting because life is set up to go so fast.  Nobody can really enjoy anything.  We have to get up early, we have to go to work, we have to make money to pay for this, we’ve got to take care of the family, do this, do that, maybe just try to be motivated to be successful, whatever your dreams are, you’re going after them, etc.  It’s such a driven world all around that I think with having to self-quarantine that this is a chance to take a good look at what is going on in your life.  Now, we have a lot of down time.  We have time to think, go inside ourselves.  It gives you time to be kind, slow down, think of others.  What can you do for others?  What can you do for the world?  It’s been frightening for a lot of people; especially the ones who have gotten sick, or the ones who are scared of getting sick because they are immunocompromised.  But, at the same time, we need to try to not let that anxiety get to us and try to appreciate what we have.  Like, “Why is this happening?  What is this moment trying to tell us?”  I’m always trying to find the silver lining; or what is this trying to tell us in life?

Photo” JPI

B&B and Y&R co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away at the end of February, and it was so heartbreaking.  I know you were close with Lee.  What can you share on her passing?

KATHERINE:  It was heartbreaking.  I always think, “Gosh, I wish I saw her one more time before she passed,” but she was around her family, who are so loving, and supportive, and always there for her.  Lee created an amazing life for herself and for her family, and she was a huge part of The Bold and the Beautiful, and of course, I thank her so much because she hired me.  Lee gave me my life, and this time on the show.  She was amazing.  She cared so much about the show and the people on it.  Lee was such a great mom and such a great friend.  It’s been special knowing her and spending all of that time with her that I was able to through the years.  My heart goes out to the Bell family as well.  I know this must be hard for them.

Photo: JPI

Then, it was so sad that Orson Bean died tragically before that.  Have you talked to Alley Mills (Pam)?

KATHERINE: Yes, a bunch of us went over and spent time with Alley and brought her food.  We brought her goodies, and we just hung out.  We just gave her lots of love, spent time, and that was before I had to run off to Australia as well, but she’s really strong.  That was just very tragic.  Two weeks before Orson died, we had seen them both in the play Bad Habits.  It was so, so funny, and they both had all of us who attended laughing so hard, and it was such a pleasure.

Photo: JPI

In closing, what are your hopes for Brooke moving forward into the future?

KATHERINE: I’ve been saying that I hope she’ll spend time by herself and be alone for a while and focus on her family.  I’ve said that for so long, but I don’t know what’s going to work for her! (Laughs)  However, I’m just so curious to see what will happen next for her.

So, what do you think of Brooke’s latest predicament after her kiss with Bill? Do you hope that Ridge and Brooke stay together? What have you thought of the more recent version of a feisty Brooke who fought back when no one believed her about Thomas? And finally, share your congrats to Katherine for 33 years as Brooke and let us know some of your favorite all-time scenes via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Eric Braeden Talks On 40 Years Of Life In Soaps As Victor Newman

Back in February, Eric Braeden added another milestone to his illustrious career – that of portraying the one and only Victor Newman for 40 years on the top-rated daytime drama, The Young and the Restless.  And boy was he celebrated!  First, there was a one-of-a-kind on set celebration at CBS Television City which was quite the star-studded affair.  That was followed by special episodes of Y&R, where Newman Enterprises turned 50 with a gala that also proved emotional with speeches and retrospective clips.

When you talk daytime dramas to anyone, you would be hard-pressed for the general public to not know the name “Victor Newman”- and that is because of the powerhouse performances and nuances that Braeden brings to his soap opera alter-ego.  For it was Y&R co-creator Bill Bell and Braeden who really shaped what viewers have come to know, expect, and love, forty years later.

Those who know Eric understand he can be at times outspoken, has a heart of gold, stands up for what he believes, can bring the drama, the suspense, the tension, the romance and the tears in any given scene when it is called upon, and that throughout the years he has earned the respect from his peers for an impressive job well-done.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Eric to take a look back at all that had gone down recently in his honor, and to get his thoughts on some major moments in time through over 40 years in Genoa City, and where things are at now.  Check out our special conversation below.

Photo: JPI

When I attended and saw you at your 40th anniversary on set celebration at Y&R last month, I cannot tell you what a special event that was.  I have never seen that for anybody else!  The amount of people who attended, and the love they showed for you, was so special. When you were sitting in that chair on the soundstage and watching and hearing what was being said about you, what was going on in your mind at that point?

ERIC:  Well, first of all, it was the nicest thing that’s ever happened to me in 40 years on that show, and secondly, in moments like that, you try to stay focused on who is giving the speeches, because if I then look around and see all of the people who I have known for so many years, it’s emotional.  There’s a saying in German, “he’s close to the water,” meaning it’s very moving.  I saw my son and my granddaughter there and obviously everyone else, and my old coach and players, and so many others that have been a part of my life.

Photo: JPI

There were some very special guests and speeches.  I loved that Justin Hartley (Ex-Adam, Y&R and now Kevin, This Is Us) came.  I thought that was sweet and cool, and also that ESPN sports personality, Stephen A. Smith was there calling you one of his good friends.  There were so many moments.  You knew who was going to speak, right?

ERIC:  Yes, I did.  We kept it to just family, and in other words, Y&R family, etc.  I want to thank Matt Kane (Publicist, Y&R), who had a lot to do with putting the event together.  I also wanted to thank Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R). The Y&R art department and David Hoffman (Production Designer) also did a fantastic job with those pictures they had created that was part of a set.  Thinking back on it, again, I would without a doubt say, that the celebration was the most moving moment in 40 years in the business and on that show.

Photo: JPI

A few weeks ago, Y&R and B&B co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away.  Obviously the late Bill Bell (co-creator, Y&R) and she were instrumental for you being at Y&R in the first place, and the creation of Victor Newman.  What can you say about Lee? 

ERIC:  We invited Lee to the event, and she apologized and said she was not in a position to attend, and then, shortly thereafter she passed.  In a sense, I’m glad Lee wasn’t there because when I would see her on some occasions, I just am moved to tears.  I would have not been able to really hold it together for long.  Obviously, she was co-responsible for a lot of stuff that happened on Y&R. co-responsible for that show still being number #1, and my heart goes out to her.  I know what I owe them, and she had a lot of influence on the storylines.  Lee was an incredibly smart and bright lady.  Her son, Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) did speak at the 40th event and I appreciated it enormously.

There were a lot of retro clips shown of you show in celebration of your 4oth anniversary from when you started on the show back in 1980 till now.  Did you remember all of those moments?

ERIC:  First of all, they put that together so beautifully.  That was done so extremely well.  When I see it, it comes right back, or in other words it evokes precise memories, but if I weren’t seeing it, it’s all a blur.

Photo: JPI

Y&R brought Meg Bennett (Ex-Julia) and Robert Parucha (Ex-Matt), for the on-screen episodes celebrating Newman Enterprises 50th anniversary.  Was it nice having them back and seeing them, or is it kind of weird, because it can be such a long time in-between since you have all been together?

ERIC:  It is both.  It is very nice to see old colleagues obviously, and very touching, but look, we are in a weird business.  When I saw Meg, you suddenly realize how the show has evolved in many ways.  So, I’m always very grateful to see those who I started out with on the show and of course, doubly grateful to those who are still there.  I think of Melody and Doug Davidson (Paul) for example.  Doug has been there for longer than I have, and what a great job he did emceeing the 40th anniversary event, and as for Melody, that her and my relationship still endues after all of these years is amazing.

Photo: JPI

Let’s talk about those Newman Children.  I thought Joshua Morrow (Nick) gave a hilarious speech and even Mark Grossman (Adam) spoke so sincerely from the heart to you.  You get a sense that the Newmans are a fun group to work with.

ERIC:  I obviously love working with Joshua.  Same for Amelia Heinle (Victoria), I adore her, and Melissa Ordway (Abby).  They all have a great sense of humor, and Mark Grossman, I think is doing a damned good job.  And there is Peter Bergman (Jack).  Peter has been a great nemesis for all of these years.  Of course, Peter was very funny in his speech, and Joshua was very funny, and Ed Scott’s (Producer, B&B) was very good.  Tony Morina also shared a very funny little antidote!

Photo: JPI

What came across loud and clear is what we already knew.  Everyone knows the name “Victor Newman”.  You know when they go, “Victor Newman … Y&R!”  It’s so synonymous, right?  I don’t know what it must be like for you knowing the public has that reaction to you … and you’re that guy.

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ERIC:  I’ll tell you very honestly, I have an ambivalent relationship to that fact.  I deny it on one hand, don’t want to know about it, don’t really want to know about it, and on the other hand, when I hear about it, I say, “Yeah, very happy to hear about it, but is it true?”  I am sort of strange that way.  I have not had a picture of myself or anyone else in my dressing room for these 40 years.  It’s barren, as you know.  I don’t have any pictures hanging up of me; there’s nothing.  Now, I was talking about taking the one picture that David Hoffman had designed beautifully, and I have it on one wall.  I thought, “I’ll be damned,” because the picture includes Melody and some scenes that went on.  I’ve always been funny that way with praise.  Do I like it?  Of course, but …

There’s an uncomfortableness about it, right?

ERIC:  Yes, but I’ve seen too much in this business.  I’ve seen too many extraordinary stars, where you wonder, “Where are they now”?  I take this business with a grain of salt.  I really do.  It’s so easy to succumb to it.   I’ve known many people, including on our show, who used to say, “Well, without me, this thing would go down the drain,” and I said, “Yeah?  No s**t,” and they’re not there anymore.  You have no idea what happens to some actors when they see themselves on the cover of soap magazine.  They go crazy.  I’ve seen it, and the worst thing you can do is to believe in that, and I’ve always been skeptical of that, very skeptical.  Get back to what counts in this business:  do a good job … do the best you can … and where is the money?  I mean really, let’s call a spade a spade, and that’s it.

Photo: JPI

I was just going to say, the one person I so wished was at your 40th celebration was Jeanne Cooper (Ex-Katherine, Y&R).   I wish she could have been there with us, because she would have loved it.  I know she loved you.

ERIC:  She would have spoken, trust me!  She would have said, “Alright, you son of a bitch.  Alright, macho man let’s see what you’ve got!” and then she would grab me by the balls.  The first scene I ever had with her, Jeanne did that.  Absolutely hilarious!  Jeanne and I could not do a scene without laughing.  I’m serious.  We had to pull ourselves together.  She had such a great sense of humor, and we both looked at this, obviously, with an enormous grain of salt, because we’ve been there.  We’d seen it all.

set

Photo: JPI

Through the years, you obviously have been vocal on social media where you will call out things as you see them and as you truly feel, especially through various regime changes, or if there is a noticeable shift away, or focus, from core characters. What are your thoughts on what ultimately makes Y&R, the iconic soap that it is?

ERIC:  Let me put it very simply: the show is based on the comradery and enmity between the Newmans and the Abbotts, and I’ve included on that a go-between, if you will, a Chancellor … Jeanne Cooper.   That was sort of the plan, but the major triangle was sort of the Montagues and the Capulets in Romeo and Juliet.  That is what legendary stories are based on.  It’s family rivalries, and within those rivalries, we tell all kinds of fantastic stories.  It’s father-son, father-daughter, husband-wife, love affairs, disloyalties, ruthless business competition, and it goes on and on.  The scenes with Peter Bergman and me over the years have been legendary, wonderful, and they’re great scenes.  Now, to suddenly bring in whole new characters that no one knows about, which previously happened on our show, you have to ask, “What are you not getting?  You want to reinvent the wheel?”  Go with what is working.  It doesn’t often happen that you have the right cast and the right story.  That is what makes a show successful.  Imagine taking Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) out of Seinfeld.  You couldn’t.   It wouldn’t work.  In other words, when you have the right actors and the right storyline, you have a hit.  We’d been number #1 for over 30 years because of it

Photo: JPI

When you get a script, have there been those moments in the 40 years where you will say. “My character would never do this.  I’m not playing it!?”

ERIC:  Of course.  Not that I’m not playing it, but I will make certain adjustments here and there.  I always have, by the way, from the very beginning.  Bill Bell agreed with most of it.  I know my character, and I have and instinctive feel for what is emotionally touching and what is not.  Look, I have always said that I admire writers.  I don’t envy their job.  I really don’t.  I think it is the hardest job in the business, and writing for soaps is even harder.  So, I have great respect.  So therefore, I don’t even want to know who wrote what.  I don’t ever want to be in the position of insulting a writer because I know how difficult it is.  As in everything in this business, it is a cooperative business.  There are very few writer/directors who have earned the right (I’m talking about Martin Scorsese, I’m talking about Ingmar Bergman, I’m taking about a handful) to write and direct their own stuff.  Even they rely on the cooperation of their lead actors.  That’s what is so wonderful about this business in that it’s this precisely cooperative thing.  However, when there are some people who simply don’t listen to those of us who have been around for a while and we know, we really know, then, they’re being foolish.

Photo: JPI

Y&R taped the Newman Enterprises 50th anniversary gala, which was in essence, your on-screen 40th anniversary episodes.  That was another amazing part of this.  I love that they would go to a clip, and one of the characters would say something in speech, and then, they’d go back to a shot of you reacting.  Were you, you, or Victor at that point, because it seemed so genuine and emotional?

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ERIC:  You know, look, one thing sort of blends into the other.  I loved that show by the way.  It was brilliantly done, and they could have easily screwed that up, but they didn’t.  I thought Josh Griffith (head writer, and Co-EP, Y&R) did a hell of a job, and Tony Morina did a wonderful job, they really did.  So, I really can’t say enough about that.

Photo: CBS

When you look back on the enormity of scenes you have performed as Victor Newman; the ones that and you and I always come back to are the scenes between you and Dorothy McGuire as Victor’s mother; and the scenes with you and George Kennedy as Victor’s father.  Do you still consider those your all-time favorites?

ERIC:  I always think about them.  They are my top favorites, plus one other.   No question about it; because the scene with Dorothy McGuire laid the groundwork of what Victor Newman is all about.  That summarized all of his subsequent moments of anger, and upset, and mistrust, and etc.  It was the seminal scene for Victor Newman … period.  One other scene that one of my favorites was the one with Melody, on Christmas Eve where Nikki keeps on bugging Victor to tell her about his past, and he finally does.  It was about that orphanage experience, etc.  Actually, those two scenes early on were responsible for my really wanting to stay and realizing that now I had a chance to play some real emotions, some real feelings, some real conflict.   I remember after Victor told Nikki that story, a moment when I went to my dressing room, I called home, and I said, “Now, I’m going to stay.”  No two ways about that.  I called my wife, and I said, “I’m staying,” because I wasn’t sure if I was going to.  It happened because I had talked to Bill Bell and I said, “Bill, I’m so tired of playing bad guys.  I’ve done it for too many years.  I’m empty.  I’m burnt out.  It’s too dehumanizing.  Let’s imbue this character with a background,” and he did, brilliantly, and that’s the reason I stayed, and that’s the reason I’m here 40 years later, truly.

So, when you were feeding rats to Nick Benedict as Michael Scott, were you ready to leave? (Laughs)

ERIC:  Well, that was a little different story, but I looked at that, and I said, “Are you kidding me?” (Laughs)  Back then, I knew little about what works on soaps … and people still talk about it!  They loved it.

Photo: JPI

The scenes opposite George Kennedy were so emotional … and heavy-duty, too.  It was so sad watching Victor’s father reject him.

ERIC:  It was sad.  It was really, really sad, and George played it wonderfully.  I cannot say enough about that because here is an actor who comes from the outside of our genre.  George lived in Boise. Idaho and he traveled all the way by car to LA with his grandson to do the scenes He wouldn’t take a plane.  George was so damn prepared that we did those scenes in one take!  It’s stunning!  I can’t talk enough about him.  I just so admired and respected him.  George passed away about a year ago, but that’s why I had him in my film, The Man Who Came Back.

Photo: JPI

As a leading man, Victor has had many women in and out of his romantic life for years and of course, his constant, Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott).   You’ve been fortunate to work with so many wonderful actresses such as Eileen Davidson as Ashley.  Which standout to you? 

ERIC:  I have to say obviously Melody, but I have to also say the scenes with Eileen – they meant a lot to me.  I regret that she and I did not have more storylines together.

Photo: CBS

So, the coronavirus is shutting down the world, life in America, and has shut down production on the soaps.  How is everybody dealing with it at the show, and how do you feel it’s being handled?

ERIC:  Well, originally I wanted to continue working, but I said only if everyone was fully supplied with the proper wipes and antiseptics all of the time.  In other words, from the makeup department, from the props department, to someone wiping down all of the handles and all of that, but I completely understand now from a company point of view, they had to shut down because what if you work and someone gets sick because of it… and it goes on and on.  It’s a terrible thing, but I was willing to continue working.  Yes, perhaps stupidly so.  It’s going to be tough when we come back because a lot of work has to be made up, but I understand why we stopped.

What would you say to the fans who have stayed so invested in Victor Newman, and you, even 40 years after your Y&R debut? 

ERIC:  I’ve said it before, and I will happily say it again:  I am deeply grateful to the fans everywhere.  Without them, you and I would not be talking.  That’s really the long and the short of it.  The fans have really everything to do with it.  I’m glad that I am on social media because I am engaged with quite a few people very gladly, and I hear some interesting stories, and some very touching stories.  Y&R has taught me to really not look at that as a sort of nebulous audience.  I put faces behind it because I’ve seen them.  I’ve seen them in the last 30-odd years in public appearances.  I don’t forget them.  I don’t forget what it means to me.  It’s deeply touching.  I’m not at all anesthetized to it, no.  It touches me deeply, and whenever I do a PA, and receive the people’s reactions, I say, “Whoa,” and now I know why I’m in the business.

Courtesy/CBS

In closing, fans have been watching what looks to be another showdown brewing between Victor vs. Adam for control of Newman Enterprises.  Do you think still after all these years; Victor has it in him to out maneuver his black sheep son, as he has done in the past?

ERIC:  Hell, yes.  What do you think?  Bring him on, man.  Bring him on.  Victor’s still full of piss and vinegar.  Okay?  What people don’t know is that I’m a feisty son of a bitch.  I don’t give up.  I fight to the last.  I mean it.

So, what has been your favorite all-time Y&R scenes featuring Eric Braeden? What do you hope happens next for Victor and the Newman clan? What do you think about the sentiments shared throughout our conversation on Eric’s 40th anniversary celebration? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Johnny Wactor Talks ‘Being Brando Corbin’

This week on General Hospital, viewers saw that Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) has set Port Charles newcomer Brando Corbin (Johnny Wactor) up with a mechanics garage for a place of business, that has left Brando concerned, but also thankful.

Brando came onto the scene when he saved Carly (Laura Wright) from gunfire. The once believed-to-be-dead son of Gladys Corbin (Bonnie Burroughs), has a checkered past, but has been trying to remain on the straight and narrow.  Sonny had previously put into motion protection for teenaged Dev (Ashton Arbab), that he will continue to be passed off as the biological son of Brando to keep him safe.  That, along with a back-story that includes: the Iraqi War, prison time, drug use, PTSD, familial issues, mob wars, and more, has loaded the deck for actor Johnny Wactor to show his acting chops and more within the daytime drama arena.

Since making his debut in the recurring role of Brando back in January of this year, in a short amount of time, Wactor has already displayed that he has solid leading man, and soap anti-hero potential, something that always serves one well amidst the romance, intrigue, and suspense of the genre’s storytelling.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Johnny to get his thoughts on becoming part of the iconic GH and where he hopes Brando’s journey goes from here.  Check out what he had to say below.

Photo: ABC

What do you think about your character’s name being “Brando”? Did GH tell you where the idea for the name came from?

JOHNNY:  Oh, I love it.   No, they didn’t tell me why, but I assume it was in some relation to Marlon Brando; when back in the day he was in a leather jacket … because I come onto the scene wearing a leather jacket as a badass!

What’s your experience been like coming onto a show like GH?  Previously, I know you’ve done a lot of primetime roles and series.  Were you shocked at the pace of shooting a daytime drama?

JOHNNY:  Oh, yeah.  I was made aware of the pace beforehand by my manager, as well as my buddy, Mark Grossman (Adam Newman) who works on The Young and the Restless.  He’s kicking ass over there.  In this genre, you get one rehearsal and one take pretty much, and then, they move on.  It’s definitely been a learning curve, and I’m still getting used to that at times where I’m just like, “Ah, I want one more take!”  I can get a bit obsessive and I’m a perfectionist.  It definitely has been challenging, but I enjoy it.  It’s fun to work at a fast pace.  It’s a lot like working in the theatre.

In story, Johnny is pretending to be Dev’s father.  Did you know that would be part of Brando’s story when you took on this gig?

JOHNNY:  I did not.   I didn’t know that until I read the first script that they sent me.  I’m like, “I also have a son?”   It was a lot to take in, but that’s where the imagination comes in.

What’s great for you, I would think, is that you’re getting to play in scenes with Maurice Benard and Laura Wright and major players who are a part of that core group.  What’s it been like working with them?

JOHNNY:  It’s been a Godsend, really.  Being my first time on a daytime show, for one, anytime you come onto a new project and one that’s been going on for some time, and you’re a newcomer, there’s always that concern like, “What will this set be like?  Is it like a familial atmosphere?  Am I going to be welcomed?”  They’ve made it super easy.  I’m just so lucky that I have people who have so much experience on this show and just daytime shows in general, where they’ve kind of taken me under their wings and are super helpful.  Anytime I have questions, they’re patient.  I’m sure I annoy them sometimes, but they don’t let on to it.   I’m grateful that they’ve sort of “teamed” me up with them to kind of ease me onto the show.

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The fans are seeing a spark between Brando and Carly.  Is Brando into Carly?

JOHNNY:  I’d like to say that he rescued her because she was a beautiful blonde, but that’s not what that was and why he did it … even though I’m not denying that she’s a beautiful blonde.  I think there’s something there, but how far Brando pursues that, I don’t know!  Sonny sets Brando up with the garage and a pretty sweet deal at that.  So, does Brando want to screw this up?  However, not everyone makes logical, levelheaded decisions.  We’ll see.  I’m not ruling it out as something that could possibly happen.

How are you playing Brando right now? Is he a good guy … or, are there secret ulterior motives going down that the audience may not know about, yet?

JOHNNY:  In my opinion, he is a guy who has got a good heart.  I don’t think he is infallible.  I think he is someone who is determined to be on the mend and make up for his decisions and his past, because he is someone who has made poor decisions.  I don’t think you can rule him as a good person who will never make a mistake, or won’t get into trouble, or won’t make some bad decisions.  “Does he have ulterior motives?”  Maybe, but I think that if he does, they might be a little unconscious.  I think he is a genuine good guy.

Photo: ABC

Are the fans swooning over you on social media now that you’ve made your GH debut?  When you get the, “Oh, he’s hot,” do you take those compliments well, or, is it uncomfortable for you, and you deflect that?

JOHNNY:  It’s always flattering to get those compliments.  I think when I was younger, like 22, first getting into this business; I was definitely pining for those compliments and put more weight into it.  I will say; it’s always good to have someone say something positive about you.  I will take, “Hey, he’s good-looking.”  I love the comments.  It’s great.

So, what would you love to see happen with Brando?  Is there anything that you’re seeing with your character that you wish you could do …or get to have the opportunity to be able to drive the direction in which he goes in?

JOHNNY:  That’s a great question.  I love when the writers put Brando on the scene and planted some seeds early on when he was revealing a little of his background to Carly.  He reveals he has PTSD and spent time in prison.  Brando also has got issues with drug addiction.  I would love for those to kind of resurface somehow.  Maybe Brando has a relapse and gets back on the sauce, or drugs, or maybe has some kind of other issues with PTSD, because those are the real things in the world that people deal.

Photo: ABC

What’s great about it is that they kind of loaded you up with a back-story that they can fill in, so that as a viewer, you ultimately root for the guy

JOHNNY:  Absolutely.  Yeah, nobody wants to root for the guy who has everything and just has the perfect life.  We’ve all made mistakes.  So, alright, he’s trying to get back on the horse and make a good life for himself.

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Did you get any pointers from GH vet Steve Burton (Jason), who you have also shared several scenes with since coming to GH?

JOHNNY:  The most pointers I’ve gotten from Steve are about preparation for the scenes.  Every time we have scenes together, he’s just always willing to work with you, and make sure that you’re prepared, and he’s prepared, and the scene is going to be the best that it can be.  Also, he’s been really invaluable with giving me more of a crash course on the background of these characters.  This show has been on for decades and it’s tough to get caught up in the short amount of time between when you find out you have the job, and you start filming, to really know who everybody is.  So, he explained to me who Jason is on the show and who the Corinthos family is and what they represent … these are dangerous guys!

Photo: ABC

Take me through what happened when you learned you got the part of Brando, and were joining the cast of General Hospital?

JOHNNY:  I was at my apartment.  I think it was probably two days after I went in for the producer’s session.  They brought in 4 or 5 guys to read in front of the producers, (at least that I saw) and I felt strong about my reading.  Then, I just kind of tried to forget about it after I left so I wouldn’t get all into my head about whether I got the part, or not.  Then the next day, I didn’t get a phone call.  So, I’m like, “Man, really?  I thought that might have been it.”   But the next day, I was with my girlfriend at the time and my agency was calling.  My manager was on the phone as well, and they shared with me that I got the part, and it was exciting.  It was a relief and an affirmation.  It’s always exciting when you book a job and then to book a major recurring role on a show with a character whose name is “Brando Corbin”, needless to say, was really cool.

Photo: ABC

I think it’s very apparent that you have the “It” factor.  You already have a shown a strong presence on the show and have a very bright future ahead of you.   I have seen a lot of actors come and go, and who launch their careers on daytime over the years, and I think you are going to be one to watch for quite some time to come.

JOHNNY:  First of all, thank you so much for saying that.  That’s really kind of you.  It’s really high praise.  Coming from someone who knows that show and who is a fan of it that means I passed the test!  Thank you, Michael!  I really appreciate that affirmation.  It’s good to get validation from someone whose opinion really matters.

Photo; ABC

Could you see a love interest for Brando coming up in the future?

JOHNNY:  I could definitely see a love interest for him coming up.  Maybe multiple love interests!  Who knows?

I think there are a lot of single ladies in Port Charles.

JOHNNY:  Yeah!  But, why do they have to be single?

Right! Or, they could be married!

JOHNNY:  It’s Port Charles!

Photo: ABC

So, have you been enjoying Johnny’s performances as Brando Corbin thus far?  Who do you hope he becomes involved with romantically on GH? Do you want to know more about his back-story and see what happens next now that Sonny has set him up with a garage? Comment below.

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Knots Landing favorites: Joan Van Ark (Valene), Michele Lee (Karen) and Donna Mills (Abby)  chat with Michael Fairman in honor of Knots Landing’s 40th anniversary. Leave A Comment

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