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THE BRANDON BEEMER INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

beemermain1.jpgBy Michael Fairman

TV SOAP:

I was speaking with your girlfriend, Nada Bjorlin (Chloe, “DAYS”) recently. She was saying she currently liked the character you play on “B&B”, Owen Knight, as opposed to your last role, Shawn Brady,
on “DAYS”.  Nadia commented that on “DAYS” your character became watered down, but at “B&B” you get to be sexy, mysterious and have more colors.

BRANDON:

I think Owen Knight is a lot of fun, and Shawn was fun, too. I never got to play a character like Owen before, but at the end of the day they are different characters. Shawn was fun when I started, but with Owen, it’s so much fun because there is no telling. He is such a blank slate, and there is no history on him as to how he was brought up. So, I can make it up off the top of my head and create things the way I would like to create them. You can’t say now, “Owen would never say that.” Whereas, before it would be, “Shawn would never do that!” Shawn would never hook up with a prostitute. That’s so out of character, and now I am not being compared to anyone.

TV SOAPS:

Owen and Donna, played by Jennifer Gareis, have shared a kiss! How does your character truly feel about her?

BRANDON:

I think Owen is interested in her and cares deeply for her, and he wants more at the end of the day. He is very driven and he wants what he wants, and he won’t take no for an answer. So therefore, that is what he is acting on; the feeling that she has for him. Donna does not want to be with him, totally. But, Owen thinks he still has a chance.

brandonJennifer.jpgTV SOAP:

How is working with Jennifer?

BRANDON:

She is great and a lot of fun! She has different sides to her. I get to experience these different sides of her every week. She is a lot of fun, and we work well together. She works hard, and is always open to suggestions, and she makes me laugh.

TV SOAPS:

Do the writers and producers lay out for you, what’s going to happen to Owen in the future? I think some soap fans are under the impression the actors know what’s going to happen to their characters.

BRANDON:

I think that certain actors find out because they like to know. They don’t mind going upstairs to Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, “B&B”) and finding out the information. I am happy to have a job, and I understand in this industry its ebb and flow, and comes in waves. You work all the time and then sometimes you don’t. Maybe I should just accept it and go upstairs and ask, and have something to look forward to!

TV SOAP:

You have had some heavy-duty moments with “B&B” stalwart Susan Flannery, (Stephanie) in the jail scenes. How was working with Susan?

BRANDON:

Working with Susan is interesting, because I had heard stories. I did not know what to expect and had no idea. The first day we are working, I was told, “Susan wants to run lines with you.” She was standing there waiting for me. She is so accommodating and gave me great suggestions, because she knows what she’s doing… and she does it so well that her suggestions just fit well.

SusanBrandon.jpgTV SOAP:

Does she tell you how to play a scene?

BRANDON:

She doesn’t say, “Do this!” She just suggests it. She won’t change something of hers’ without discussing it with you and seeing how you feel. I was happy with the material we did together.

TV SOAP:

How have you played Owen’s back-story? What motivates this guy?

BRANDON:

I just look at what motivates every human being. You look at something and go after it and get it. He’s not related to anyone, but there are a lot of things he likes.

I look at it as a man who sees no boundaries, who is smart and can figure out a way to get what he wants. I don’t necessarily think he would do anything to hurt anyone. At the end of the day, he is living his life like everyone else, and wants to do what he wants to do.

TV SOAP:

How did Marcus and Owen meet up?

BRANDON:

They did not even know each other, really. My story is that Marcus lived in Texas and Owen lived in San Diego, and Marcus found Owen through the Internet. Marcus was looking up people who were good at finding people. Marcus had run up against dead ends looking for his mother. With Owen, he likes the challenge and knows he could do it, so he did it and found her. I think Marcus looked up Owen on a website for people who work at locating people.

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TV SOAP:

What is Owen supposed to do, career wise?

BRANDON:

I think he is a jack-of –all-trades. He is a paralegal.

TV SOAP:

…..And a paramedic? (Laughs)

BRANDON:

…. And a cook (He laughs)…. I think Owen is just curious about life. He is educated and wants to be a lawyer. He is a paralegal, and he was in training to become a lawyer. That’s what I made up as his background!

TV SOAP:

Things looked pretty bad for Owen, as all the evidence mounted up that he was the bad boy that poisoned Eric Forrester. Did you have to play guilty, even though you were not?

BRANDON:

I didn’t have to play it. I was purposely left trying to be vague in certain areas about how Owen felt about things, and the way he came into the show trying to make the $200,000 dollars by trying to break up Eric and Donna’s marriage. That put him in the bad guy category right away. Eric was like, “It’s the new guy, and he is the bad guy!”

TV SOAP:

Are there some actresses on the show you think would be fun to work with, or for Owen to be paired with?

BRANDON:

There are a couple people. I have not worked much with Lesli Kay (Felicia) or Ashley Jones (Bridget). Owen can go any route. It’s not that hard to pick here. There are a lot of beautiful women here. Lesli and Ashley would be good candidates for Owen.

TV SOAP:

Have there been any memorable scenes for you with the male side of the cast that you have enjoyed?

BRANDON:

I liked the scenes with Ridge in the jail. Working with Ronn Moss (Ridge) is great! I would like to work with John McCook (Eric) more than just having him at me while he is lying in a hospital bed.

DAYS.jpgTV SOAPS:

You are now a veteran of several soaps: “GH”, “DAYS,” and now “B&B”. Is there a difference being on these different shows?

BRANDON:

I think it’s like anything; it’s like going into different neighborhoods.

TV SOAPS:

Since you and Nadia are both in the soap acting biz, do you give each other acting notes at home when watching your work?

BRANDON:

She will tell me,” I did not believe you there.” Then, Nadia gives me a reason why. I also think because I know her so well, that it’s hard to watch somebody you know so well in a different light, because you see right though it. We don’t tell each other what to do or how to act; we just call each other out on it. It’s not often. I watch her and she watches me, sometimes. Because, if I have to turn it on, I have to watch her making out with Lucas!

TV SOAPS:

What do you think of the pairing of Nadia and Brian Dattilo (Lucas,”DAYS”)?

BRANDON:

She loves Brian, and I love Brian, but it’s an odd pairing. We went to his birthday awhile back, and he is so much fun and down to earth and cool, though.

TV SOAPS:

You are always voted number one on all the soap hunk lists…all the time… Nadia told me, “If he wasn’t number one, I wouldn’t be with him.” Of course, she said that jokingly.

BRANDON:

I was 19th in the TV Guide Soaps Sexiest Men list! So, I am not always at the top. You know what? I am just flattered that I was considered.

TV SOAPS:

When the two of you go out together, does it stop traffic?

BRANDON:

When we go out and have dinner, it’s pretty rare you run into the die-hard daytime fans that literally start going crazy. But, it does happen. We ran into people recently at a Blockbuster Video store, and they yelled loudly through the whole store and they said, “It’s Chloe and Shawn from Days! My mom’s in the car and she is a huge fan, would you like to meet her?” It was a Friday night and the whole store was packed. We could not get out of the front door without saying, “Hello.” Most times people are really cool and discreet about it, and you don’t even know they are a fan of the show. One time, we were on a plane and the stewardess was doing her job, and right at the tail end of the flight she kneels down and says, “I am a huge fan of the show. My kids would love a picture.” We go, “Who, Us?” It’s flattering. I like putting smiles on the fans faces.

Brandonnadia.jpgTV SOAPS:

You and Nadia were recently on the cover of “Fixation” magazine. How did that come about?

BRANDON:

A friend of mine came to me and said, “Would you be interested in meeting with them?” I said I would, and we had lunch with one of the owners who said they wanted to put me on the cover, but they wanted to find a girl. We have to find a girl, or maybe we could hire a model. And I go, “Well, you could always put Nadia Bjorlin on the cover?” It turned out perfectly, because they knew who she was and then it was hers. I was very happy.

TV SOAPS:

What would you love to see Owen go through storyline-wise, in the future?

BRANDON:

Honestly, I try to live in the moment and not get too caught up, and then later be disappointed. It’s unlikely that Owen would be able to do some of the things I would want to do.

TV SOAPS:

Since you are the good- looking guy, the pretty boy, and the hunk, does it sometimes limit you from getting meatier acting roles?

BRANDON:

It does at the end of the day. I think you have to force yourself to find the opportunity in daytime or outside of daytime. You have to force it sometimes, to show you can do other roles, and a place where people can see you in a whole different light. Then, in the future, they will be open to giving you an opportunity. Look at how Brad Pitt started.

TV SOAPS:

But sometimes, the hunks can play sinister on primetime episodes.

BRANDON:

It is tough! If they think of me as a hunk. and they want me to be the hunk, then I will do my best to think of myself as the hunk they want.

gymbody.jpgTV SOAPS:

How often do you go to the gym? All of your fans want to know how you keep in shape?

BRANDON:

I don’t go to the gym very often. What you have to be is the leading man and the hero as much as possible, and hope that you are written
well to pull off these types of roles.

TV SOAPS:

Many people may not be aware of your very cool, ‘sense of humor’!

BRANDON:

I think that people who know me know I have a sense of humor. But, because of what is written for me work-wise, I don’t get too much humor written for me. It’s either brooding or the romantic guy. I think certain fans that know me, know I am completely different than the characters I play.

TV SOAPS:

On “B&B” the schedule is different than other soaps. You have long stretches of time where you may be on hiatus. When you have a small cast, sometimes, actors don’t always work as much. Do you prefer being busy all the time or the more laid back approach to acting?

BRANDON:

I like working. I am a workaholic. I like to work and have the weekends off. Some people like lots of time off, and if I am home a week, I go crazy.

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TV SOAPS:

Have you been home to Oregon? Is your family following you on “B&B”?

BRANDON:

I went home for a wedding. My dad is out of town. I got him a Tivo so he could catch up. Next month, I am going to Portland, Oregon for a personal appearance. My mom, dad, and sister are going to come to the event.

TV SOAPS:

What comments does mom say when she is watching?

BRANDON:

She is always like, “Oh, you are so cute. Oh, I really liked it when you did this.”

TV SOAPS:

What about when you are making out with a girl on television. What does mom or dad say then?

BRANDON:

They enjoy watching this character because they don’t know what to expect. My dad wad fooled. He would say, “You gotta be the guy who drugged Eric. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know if it’s you. But, it can’t be you, because they wouldn’t do that to your character. Don’t tell me!” My grandma is the same way. They get really excited and into it, and they want to know what’s going on. My step-mom is just the opposite. She is like, “Give me a little tidbit? Just give me one.” I go, “No.”

TV SOAPS:

Do you and Nadia run lines together?

BRANDON:

We work lines together every once in awhile, and it’s very interesting. I am a very patient person, and I will read lines with her until the cow’s come home. When I ask her to read lines with me, she has a short attention span, and she will go, “You don’t have those whole 48 pages already? I only have to read through it once or twice. Well, I can’t believe you don’t have the lines.” Nadia gets impatient with me, because she is extremely smart and she soaks up the information much quicker than I do. With me, she will ask me to read lines with her, but it takes a little bit longer for me.

TV SOAPS:

I was speaking to James Scott, (EJ, “DAYS) that as an actor, he can remember 50 pages of dialog, but he can’t remember where he put his car keys!

BRANDON:

You will forget things like that, and it’s funny James said that. James and I were supposed to play tennis yesterday and I said, “Let’s play it by ear, and I will talk to you on Thursday,” and then I forgot. I will say I can memorize the entire dialog. However, I cannot remember names. Nadia has a memory like you would not believe. Names like you would not believe. I think it’s because English is not her first language, so mentally, she is more in-tune with soaking things up. If I see something, and I know I will not remember, I tell it to Nadia and she will remember it. I look at her and go, “How the hell did you remember that?”

TV SOAPS:

Your website is finally up and running!

BRANDON:

http://brandonbeemer.com is finally up! I got so busy that I never got around to updating it, and finally it’s up and running. It was a long work in process. But, it’s going now and it’s nice to have something for people to see, because I had so many complaints and scathing emails, saying, “That is no excuse. It’s been a year and half! You need to have something up… and you’re crazy.”

TV SOAPS:

Do you answer all your own emails/messages or letters from fans?

BRANDON:

I answer all my messages on the message boards and my Myspace page. I have it all. I think the website looks good and it’s working well, and I hope the fans like it. We put in tidbits, and even things I never knew existed! The site has lots of photos and other fun things, too

kyleAri.jpgTV SOAPS:

You and Kyle Lowder (Rick, “B&B”) and his real life wife Ariane Zuker, (Nicole, “DAYS”) along with Nadia, are very close
in real life!

BRANDON:

We had dinner last night. It was burrito night. It is a lot of fun because we all have something to say, now that we are the guys on one soap and the girls are on another. The shows are similar but different. “B&B” is quieter. We don’t have any of the upper management changes at “DAYS”. It was even changing when I was there, in respect to the changes in writers and executive producers. It’s nice to be at a place that is quiet and stable.

TV SOAPS:

So last night, I am happy to announce that you, Nadia, Kyle and Ariane, ate “Half-Baked Flavor” Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! Tell us about it?

BRANDON:

Kyle and Ariane brought over 6 pints of ice cream for dessert last night. I am still recovering from it because last night it was burrito and taco night, and Ben and Jerry’s afterward. They brought ice cream and fresh fruit and I don’t think the fresh fruit even came out of the refrigerator.

TV SOAPS:

We love to know that daytime soap stars actually eat ice cream! That’s so good to know.

BRANDON:

I actually sent Ariane home with a couple pints of ice cream. I did not want to get stuck with 6 of them because I would eat them. I love Oreos and Chocolate Chip cookies, too and my motto is, “If it’s in the house I will eat it.” So, that is why I keep nothing in the house. Nadia is on this discipline trip right now. She never took a bite of it. She is right, you have to just do it. I will not eat Ben and Jerry’s for quite awhile, and I am over Ben and Jerry’s for right now, because I ate tons of it last night.

beemernightbefore.jpgTV SOAPS:

So, what is ice cream night at your house like?

BRANDON:

I have a small house with a small table, so we sat on plastic chairs. Kyle ate the ice cream that he loves, “Cherry-Garcia.” My favorite is, “Cookies and Cream”… that’s my classic favorite. Kyle and Ariane did
not bring that, so “Half-Baked” is the new flavor. It’s sugar in a cup! Not fat but, sugar in a cup.

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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