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THE BILLY MILLER INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

billymain.jpgMICHAEL:

Did you know that you were originally reading for the pivotal role of Billy Abbott on “Y&R” when you auditioned? How do you feel about this new guy you are inhabiting?

BILLY:

It was not quite clear what I was reading for. The jist of the role was definitely someone I know, and definitely a lot of fun. It’s obviously a little less devious than the character I played on “AMC”, Richie. But this guy definitely has got an edge, and he is a bit of a bad boy. It’s fun, but he is a bad boy you might want to take home, but he is not the kind that will slit your throat before you get there. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Billy did show some signs of humanity when his grandmother Katherine had died. He seemed genuinely upset.

BILLY:

It was more than that. It was his grandmother and the one person he can’t BS. Even though he had spent years away from his grandmother, you know he really doesn’t know who he is. He is stuck between two powerful families, and she was really a rock to him and a best friend to his father, and known what he is all about. So it was tough loss for Billy. It was awkward to be in that family home with the family he is about to double cross, and he is conflicted. Which side does he really belong on? With tragedies like ‘Katherine’s’ death, that wakes you up to where you are supposed to be.

MICHAEL:

How has it been working with your new on-screen mom, Jess Walton (Jill)?

jesswalton.jpgBILLY:

She is great. I had researched who I would be working with before I came on the show. Jess is a lot of fun and very helpful. We joke a lot, and Jerry Douglas, who plays my father John, has different sides and different back-stories of who actually was a better parent…Jill or John. He would say in jest, “She did not know anything about you. She is a schemer. I raised you. I loved you,” and it’s a real broken marriage. I love it. It’s great.

MICHAEL:

Elizabeth Hendrickson plays Chloe, and you had both worked on “AMC”. Did you know each other at all from back east?

BILLY:

She had left New York before I got there, and we have become good friends. All my friends that are still there are friends of hers. She is great. Elizabeth is a wonderful actress and she can turn it on and off. She is a lot of fun to hang out with here. Daniel Goddard (Cane) had a quote and I will steal it: “It’s easier to be jerks to each other than acting like that in real life,” otherwise, you don’t know how far you are going to take it. It’s fun, and also, Christel Khalil as Lily, is gorgeous and fun to work with.

MICHAEL:

So, is Billy trying to woo Lily?

elizabeth.jpgBILLY:

Billy not only came back for this Jabot deal, but he is one of those guys when he sees something he is a go-getter. He decides to go chasing and he does. His brother is the object of Billy’s spite. Billy’s last relationship was with his cousin Mackenzie did not work. So he had fun with Chloe, and she is a hot girl! Chloe was a little nutty and Billy is a little nutty, too. He is not a callous guy; he does not kick girls out of bed. He is like, “I am what I am and you are what you are. We pleasantly collided once in awhile with no strings.” But as you get older, those aren’t the rules you can live by.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Billy will soon have a revelation that Chloe is pregnant with his child?

BILLY:

Oh, he will have a revelation and I am not sure which way it will go. There are a lot of problems here. Billy is being pulled in a lot of different directions. He might always not make the best choices. He is in the dark about being the father. It could throw a wrench in all his plans. It certainly would throw a wrench in mine in real life. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Peter Bergman (Jack) and you certainly have some smug scenes together as the conniving Abbott men. How is working with Peter?

bergman.jpgBILLY:

Peter was a big reason I got this job. I tested with him. He called me in New York to make sure I was being taken care of, because he moved from New York and “AMC” to LA. I also screen-tested with Elizabeth Hendrickson. Peter is like an older brother, and it’s interesting because Jack is more of a father figure to Billy than a brother. And since John is gone, and Jack is so much older, and the two of them are so much alike it’s difficult. Billy could be scummy where he could go down the road, but Jack can be really scummy. However, Jack would never do anything to intentionally hurt his family. Billy knows Jack is holding stuff over his head, and he has to help justify it for himself and carry on.

MICHAEL:

Did you know in advance from “AMC” that they were killing off your character, Richie; therefore, you could go after other roles?

BILLY:

Executive Producer Julie Carruthers at “AMC” explained to me in advance that they were killing off the character, but they wanted to keep him around for awhile and weren’t sure for how long. So I went on about auditioning, and put myself on tape when the “Y&R” role came about. I flew out to LA to test and I was still working on “AMC”. Then I found out I got it, and everyone at the set in New York was happy for the good news! So I went back to “AMC” to finish the role. I think I finished work five days before I had to start work out here. So, I had to move everything back to LA, and I got off the plane and came straight to the studio. I am getting used to these quick moves.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Melissa Claire Egan, who is now doing a fabulous job as your former whacked-out sister, Annie, on “AMC”?

melissa.jpgBILLY:

Melissa was great, and that was my freshman year, you know what I mean. We would tease the hell out of each other, as would Alicia Minshew (Kendall), Rebecca Budig

(Greenlee), Thorsten Kaye (Zach), and Cameron Mathison (Ryan).

MICHAEL:

Do you have any favorite “Richie” moments?

BILLY:

There are days when you go to work, and I take everything personally, not only in my work but in everyday life. There are days I am very competitive and more competitive with myself than anybody else. And there are days when I beat myself because that is not what I wanted to do. And there are days when I feel slightly satisfied, and those are the good days. I am not at the caliber that I am trying to get to. I am very lucky to have a job, but it’s also like a scholarship to learn to hang out with Jess Walton, Jeanne Cooper (Kay) and Peter Bergman (Jack). You should bring your notes and put your study hat on to be a better actor. That’s what I did in New York, and that’s what I am doing here. There are some good moments when I am believable, and there are times when I am bad and it’s not worth watching.

MICHAEL:

Looking back on “AMC”, was Richie a tough role-playing that evil?

BILLY:

People who are bad don’t believe they are bad. There is a lot of vulnerability to Richie, too. Richie was messed up. He was locked up for seven years as a kid.

MICHAEL:

Richie also fell for Babe Chandler, originally played by Alexa Havins. How was working with Alexa?

billyblack.jpgBILLY:

She was great! As soon as I got on the scene, she and her husband Justin Bruening (Ex-Jamie) showed me around, and I screen-tested with her, too. I have yet to see them since I have been out here in LA. Justin is so busy working right now, and he is such a nice guy.

MICHAEL:

How would you compare working at “Y&R” to “AMC”? Are they completely different?

BILLY:

I think there is just an overall difference in energy in New York. LA is a more laid back town, and so much traffic, too. In New York, its go, go, go. I don’t know how that translates. Maybe because I was at “AMC” it was kind of rushed. I thrive on that. I like that. When they give me a call time that was suppose to be an hour earlier, that is the fun stuff. I hate sitting around. The storylines and the pace have more of a rhythm here at “Y&R”, and the storylines are simpler here, more family oriented. You don’t have an outlet here with a character like Richie, although, it was fun to play that. I look at it as; I wish I were less worried about how long I was going to be there. I loved playing Richie’s ghost, and then there was the writer’s strike and how that affected things. When it came to a definitive end, and you knew who the guy was, it takes about a year for all that to materialize. It became fun! Richie, the ghost, was more entertaining then Richie. He was scary, and downright evil, and did not try to hide it. Ritchie’s ghost was actually the alter ego of his sister’s character, Annie, because there was no ghost.

MICHAEL:

Now at “Y&R”, what would you love to see happen to Billy?

BILLY:

I don’t know yet. I am enjoying what they are doing. I would like to play more with Chloe, because the actress is great, and it’s a great character. She is good, and it’s an interesting character. I like this Billy with an edge.

jeanne.jpgMICHAEL:

How has it been to work with Jeanne Cooper (Katherine), who just celebrated her 80th birthday?

BILLY:

She is brilliant, man! Jeanne comes from an era where she had to be really theatrically trained. You see a lot of actors who cut corners in their training. She is so funny and she has earned the right to say whatever comes out of her mouth. Whenever there is a cracked joke, it breaks the ice. She is brilliant, and she knows what she is doing. Jeanne knows what she wants from somebody else. It’s good to have support, not that fluff, going, “That’s great kid.” Jeanne will say much more than that, which is so wonderful.

MICHAEL:

Would you venture off to do primetime, or is daytime a comfortable home for you right now?

BILLY:

The money is always better in primetime. Sometimes you want to build a career, because you never know when it’s going to end. But, there is something about daytime work that is immediate. You get to work everyday. You have a lot of dialog to say, and sometimes in a way other people wouldn’t say it. There is a rhythm and a challenge in soaps, and you don’t get that anywhere else. On primetime sets, you sit around for a few weeks and say a couple of pages. I like daytime because you work all the time. I am a workaholic, and I need to be doing something. If “Y&R” wants to work me everyday, I am here. I have nothing else I would be doing. I am learning everyday.

MICHAEL:

You are taking on the role as a recast of a once popular character on “Y&R”. At least now, enough time has past since David Tom made his mark in the role of Billy Abbott. Does this type of situation cause any hurdles for you as an actor?

BILLY:

This role is a big role. It’s not something to sneeze at! It’s tied into major families and major characters and it’s difficult. I am filling the shoes of several people, including David Tom, who was a fan favorite as Billy. At times, fans can be difficult, but you can understand why. They don’t want to let go of something they had back in the old days. I saw it with Sabine Singh as Greenlee on “AMC”, trying to replace Rebecca Budig. I have been lucky with the feedback. The fans have been nice, so we will see. They are entitled to their opinion. They have watched the show for thirty some years and over 9,000 episodes. So come on, they get to pick what they like, and it’s your job to try and deliver.

billyhand.jpgMICHAEL:

Did you study or watch the other Billy’s work?

BILLY:

I watched it on You Tube because I needed to research the role for the job. I saw David Tom, who did a great job and is a great actor. I just thought being cast off out of your home and being exiled, does put an edge to a person. I wanted Billy’s return to be a more formidable guy, not somebody who would be afraid of Cane.

MICHAEL:

What are your holiday plans?

BILLY:

I am going back to Texas for a bit to see my family. I am staying in LA for Christmas, and get reacquainted with the city, and finish unpacking. I have a dog, Jones, who I will spend time with. My dog is a mix of English American Bulldog and Bull Mastiff… my type of dog. I love big dogs, being from Texas.

MICHAEL:

What do your parents say about your soap opera success?

BILLY:

They are very happy, and it’s paying off, and it’s fun. I am very lucky, and persistence can pay off. My dad is a huge 260 lbs Texas guy. He has “Soap Opera Digest” in his briefcase for work and he goes, “Looky here! This is my son. He is on TV, kissing all those pretty girls!”

Leave a comment | 3 Comments
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3 Comments

  1. natalie

    January 24, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    does billy have a girlfriend!!?? LOL

  2. bmfan

    May 19, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I think he said before that he was dating somebody, but I could be wrong. He is so hot.

  3. Julie

    July 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Oh man Billy you are HOT HOT HOT and SEXY SEXY SEXY

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Interviews

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

Photo: CBS

I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Photo: CBS

What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Daytime Emmy Winners: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Scott Clifton & Heather Tom Talk Winning the Gold & Returning to Work at B&B

This week, The Bold and the Beautiful has been airing encore presentation of Daytime Emmy-winning performances from some of the cast over the years as a prelude to tomorrow night’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.

The weeklong Emmy celebration concludes tomorrow with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s (Steffy) Emmy-winning performance from last year which won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize for the first-time in her daytime career.

Michael Fairman chatted with Jacqui, along with five-time Daytime Emmy-winner and a nominee for Lead Actress again this year, Heather Tom (Katie) and three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Scott Clifton (Liam).  As daytime soap fans know, Heather and Scott hold the distinction of being the only actors to win in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead.

In this candid and fun conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Jacqui, Scott and Heather remember the nights the won Emmy gold, their acceptance speeches, things they wish they would have said, and what it was like waiting for their names to be called, plus taking a stroll down memory lane and remembering when they taped their Emmy-winning performances.

Scott reveals why he chose not to submit himself in Lead Actor this year, even though he has some of the finest performances throughout the Baby Beth baby switch storyline,.

Later the trio talk about The Bold and the Beautiful being the first U.S. soap opera and first U.S. broadcast show back in production following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and how B&B is looking to shoot episodes during the times we live.

Watch the full video interview below.

Then let us know, what was your favorite part of the moments shared by Jacqui, Scott, and Heather in the Emmy conversation?  Do you think Heather might tie Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) tomorrow night with her sixth win in the Lead Actress category?  What do you think of B&B’s return to production following the sentiments shared.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Thaao Penghlis Chats on His Daytime Emmy Nomination & How He Makes Tony DiMera One of a Kind

He has been one of the longstanding cast members of Days of our Lives and certainly of Salem’s notorious DiMera Clan; and while Thaao Penghlis may be off our screens for a time and then comes back again; though the years one thing has been true, he delivers top-notch performances in a way that is uniquely ‘Thaao’.

This year at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be broadcast on Friday night, June 26th at 8 p. m. EST, Thaao is vying for the Outstanding Lead Actor prize amongst a formidable group of other daytime favorites.  And this makes it two years in a row that Penghlis has received an Emmy nomination although this time in a different category.

As fans know, Penghlis takes the art of acting seriously, and expects other he works with to bring their A-game, just as he does time and time again; whether it be playing DAYS dashing Tony or the evil Andre or when he portrayed Victor Cassadine on General Hospital.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Thaao to get his thoughts on: receiving the Emmy recognition and what it means to him what he thought about his nominated scenes, plus what he might be doing at home during the ceremony, and where he hopes Tony DiMera’s future is headed.   Here’s what Thaao shared.

Photo: JPI

Tell me about what scenes you submitted that landed you a Lead Actor Emmy nod!

THAAO:  Well, the week I came back to DAYS, I had 11 shows, and this material was from one show of three I did one day!  When you think of other actors doing 150 shows, and I did less than 50 this past year, my choice is kind of limited.  So, when I came across these particular scenes, which were with Eric Martsolf (Brady) and with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), what I liked about it is that usually when you see other peoples’ work, its histrionic, it’s great tears, it’s drama – and what I was able to put together had a through line and an arc from beginning to end.  It makes it very logical when somebody is following your story, and you can show a whole ebb that makes sense.  I had some lines that were really difficult to say, like, “Coming back from the dead is not easy.”  When I get lines like that, I throw it away, and because of that, it becomes humorous.  I have to say I work well with Arianne.  She was great.  I found in the past, when I have worked with some actors, they step on your lines.  I found the best way to stop that is I put my hand up, and I say, “Hey!” and everything goes silent.  They go into shock mode, and I say, “I haven’t finished,” and then I go on.  (Laughs)  So, when Kristen as Nicole starts to talk to Tony the way she does, and she says, “You’d better behave…” I thought, “This is a DiMera you are talking to,” so, I just snapped back at her.  I gave her a, “Hey!”  So, she shut up, froze, and I went on.

Photo: JPI

Would you say your reel was more comedic … or both funny and serious?

THAAO:  It is both.  There are subtleties to it.  There is a teacher I know in Australia, and she is very critical.  She said, “I want to see your work.”  I showed it to her, and she wrote back, “Oh my, God.  How did you make those transitions so readily?”  I went, “Oh.  How did I do it?”  I didn’t think of that.  I think it’s an old technique.  It’s called having to do 3 shows in one day, and you had better get your stuff right, and it’s about how do you make a scene work?  There is one director who I did a miniseries with who said to me, “Where did you get your training from?”  I said, “Daytime.”  He said, “My God.  You certainly know how to have a camera follow you,”   Well, the camera has to follow your movement.  So, when I finished a transition, I’d move to another spot, and the camera had to follow me.  So, what happened in the arc of this Emmy-nominated piece is that I took charge and controlled the scene so that it became a scene of lots of transitions. And of course, charm, I did all of what I thought Tony would be.  He is a DiMera.  I have one of those looks. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe it’s as I get older, but I’ve learned how to work the camera where I may slam something first to get your attention, and then the camera comes onto your face, and you’re going, “Oh, what the hell is he thinking?”  So, I can play the dark side quite readily, and yet in my real life, I’m not so bad. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

You have Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Steve Burton (Jason, GH) also in your category, and these guys who are obviously been soap veterans like yourself.  What do you think about the group you have been nominated with? 

THAAO:  I never worked with Steve Burton, but hear good things.  I know Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH).  He’s a lovely actor.  I have worked with Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R).  He’s a lovely actor.  He is well-trained.  So, it is nice to see that the nominees are all vets.

Right, they are all vets.  It seems like a good group to be with. 

THAAO:  I agree, and I love that the Daytime Emmys are coming back to television.  I think it is an upswing when they think of daytime dying.  I think whoever made this happen is taking on the responsibility of taking daytime back.  It is why people love novellas.  People love the story, they love to follow the characters, and we’ve got fantastic fans.  I mean, what would we do without them?  You can’t sustain the show without them, and you pay a price, you have to know how to entertain them because once they know who you are and what you’re about, they get bored.  So, you have to be ahead of your audience all of the time.  That’s what I have always tried to do with both characters that I’ve played on DAYS

Photo: JPI

They’re doing a virtual ceremony this year.  How do you think you would dress while watching the ceremony?

THAAO:  You don’t wear a tux in your house, do you? So, I’ve invited some people for a celebratory time.  Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS) and her husband Nick Schillace (head of make-up, DAYS) and Leann Hunley (Anna, DAYS) are some of my great friends who have been very supportive of me through some tough times this year, and I’ve got a friend who has got  a wonderful restaurant, and he is going to cater it.  Probably it will be a group of 10.  You know, could you imagine being here on your own, in a tuxedo, with a glass of champagne? (Laughs)

I know, kind of awkward! (Laughs)  You’ll put something nice on for the big night, right?

THAAO:  Yes, you know me.  I’m always dressed.  What would you suggest?  Sweatpants on the bottom and a tuxedo jacket!  How about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Now, you have been previously nominated for Daytime Emmys, too!

THAAO:  Yes, and last year I was nominated as well for Outstanding Guest Performer.  So, it’s kind of nice to be back-to-back, and in 2008, I was nominated for Lead Actor when I played the clown in the Tony and Andre storyline.  Thank God, DAYS recently DAYS had James Reynolds (Abe) wining in the Lead Actor category.  I thought, “Wow.”  That was for years and years of good work that he’s done, and also, Greg Vaughan (Eric) wining for Supporting Actor was very nice, but we haven’t had that many wins in the acting categories over the years.

Photo: JPI

DAYS tapes so far ahead of air; that what was once a seemingly major concern has paid off swimmingly during the coronavirus pandemic.  The soap is the only show to have enough episodes in the bank for months ahead when production shut down and enough even when other shows go back into production.  Who would have thought?

THAAO:  We used to think it was ridiculous that DAYS taped eight months ahead, but look at us now! Who would have thought is right?

What would you love to see happen with Tony when DAYS does resume filming new episodes again? 

THAAO:  I’d like to go back and play the head of the DiMera family.  I’ve never been granted that, and I think, at this stage, with the way I worked with Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) it would be nice to see the transition just like Michael Corleone did in Godfather.

So will you be rooting for Thaao to take home the gold as Lead Actor in a Drama Series come Emmy night?  Do you hope DAYS writes Tony into upcoming story, and if so, how would you like to see him on the canvas? Comment below.

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