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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

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Weighs-In On Daytime’s Wildest Storyline, The Hope Mannequin & What’s Really Going On With Thomas

If you think you’ve seen it all on daytime soap operas, think again! Over the past several weeks viewers of CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful have been witness to fashion designer Thomas Forrester’s (Matthew Atkinson) descent into madness, or is it?

In B&B’s thriller-esque storyline, complete with tight close-ups and tilted angles of Thomas and his co-star, the Hope Mannequin – yup, you read that right, the series is taking the audience on one wild ride, something we have not seen the likes of since back in the hey day of the late head writer, James Reilly, during his tenure on Days of our Lives or Passions.

Photo: JPI

Inspired by, believe it or not, true life events, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell and his creative team have served up a story generated off all of the buzz the show was receiving for using mannequins as scene partners for the actors in intimate moments to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.  B&B was the first American show back in production amid the pandemic.

 

Within this twisted tale, Thomas has the life-like version of Hope Logan Spencer (Annika Noelle) at home with him.  Those who have stumbled upon him with the mannequin, well, he has been able to explain that away by saying that having the doll with him is helping him create some of the best designs of his career.

The problem is the mannequin is talking to Thomas, it’s eyes have often turned devil-red, and on Friday’s episode it walked!  It’s objective is to get Thomas to kill Liam (Scott Clifton) and to get Hope back to be his one and only. Throughout many of the scenes in the storyline, Thomas suffers from what appears to be severe headaches.  All of this leading the audience to believe either … he has a brain tumor … he is being drugged … he is suffering from a severe mental break and disorder, or something else.

Photo: JPI

In a very candid and often humorous conversation with Michael Fairman for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Thomas’ portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, discusses some of the craziest scenes to shoot thus far including Thomas having dinner with the mannequin!  In addition, Atkinson reveals how he and Annika Noelle tape the scenes where she is the voice of the Hope mannequin while adhering to safety protocols,  and how Liam is the only one, apparently, thinking something is off with Thomas, and so much more.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

One thing is for certain, Matthew Atkinson is sinking his teeth into the material and making it must-see daytime drama through his performances while we all wait to see what the possessed mannequin does next.

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

Then let us know, what do you think is happening or wrong with Thomas? Are you getting a kick out of the Hope Mannequin storyline? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

 

 

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Interviews

Eric Nelsen Talks Latest Film, Becoming a Tony-Nominated Producer, ‘The Bay’, and His Elizabeth Gillies & Ariana Grande Connection

You can catch All My Children reboot alum, Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler), just about everywhere this month, and that’s hard to do given that we are all living in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this Daytime Emmy-winning actor has his hands in a myriad of projects of late including: appearing on season six of The Bay (new episodes every Tuesday on Popstar! TV) where he continues to play Daniel’s journey after the character has come to terms with his sexuality and finds love, plus his comedic turn in the film, 1 Night in San Diego, and recently becoming a Tony-nominated producer along with his wife Sainty for the critically-acclaimed, and now 11 times nominated Broadway play, The Inheritance.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Eric to get the lowdown on his busy professional life, and we were in for some surprises along the way including: what the producers of AMC had in mind for the character of AJ that ultimately did not happen, and that Eric starred on Broadway with Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon, Dynasty) and Pop superstar, Ariana Grande – and there’s more to that story below.

 

What makes Nelsen so good at what he does on-screen is that he is a like a chameleon; adept at playing the quirky, to the troubled bad boys, to the emotional heart-tugging anti-hero. So here’s what Eric had to say in this fascinating conversation.

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

Your latest film appearance in 1 Night in San Diego is out this week on multiple streaming on-demand platforms from: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and more. Tell me about the movie and when did you film this?

ERIC:  We filmed it near San Diego, not this past February, but last February, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a female-driven comedy.  The cast is incredible.  Alexandra Daddario, who is just epic, and Jenna Ushkowitz, and Laura Ashley Samuels, they truly bring it in this powerhouse comedy, and it’s just one of those make-you -laugh movies from beginning to end, just silly, stupid stuff happening the whole time.  General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin) is also in the film.  While we don’t work in scenes together, I did get a chance to meet him and he’s a really great guy.  I play this off-the-wall character, named Gordo, who is a real burn-out, think Matthew McConaughey meets space cadet, which was a lot of fun to play.  Gordo is a great role.  I had more fun with this part than I’ve had in a long time.  So, it was cool to throw a comedy into all of the drama I have been playing in my other projects.

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

ERIC:  One of the girls knew him back in the day, so they were in town looking to reconnect, and she’s like, “Oh, we want to party and let’s hit up Gordo,” and they do.  He has just gone completely off the rails, off the deep end with spirituality and kind of in his own world. They find themselves in quite a predicament when they come visit what they didn’t know was a commune, basically.  Gordo creates this hippie commune for a bunch of outcast musicians, (laughs) and I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of interesting stuff happens there.

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

In addition, you are now a Tony-nominated producer for the play The Inheritance!

ERIC: That was crazy, because it’s always been a dream of mine to produce for Broadway.  That was how I got into the world of film and TV acting, which was through the theatre.  That’s where I started.  I was lucky enough to star on Broadway when I was 16 and 17, in a musical called, 13.  I started with Ariana Grande! It was so fun.

Wait, what?

ERIC:  Yeah, that was her first big show, and Elizabeth Gillies’.

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

ERIC:  Oh yeah, and you know she and I dated for two and a half years during the whole run of the show 13.  Elizabeth is very talented.   She is amazing.  The funny part of it is, we were dating forever, and kind of had a bad breakup, and then Sainty, my wife, gets cast in her show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in the pilot to play Liz’s best friend on the series.  So, all of the sudden, I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, out of all the shows, all of the things, this is who you have to get cast as best friends with?” and so they actually became really, really, close friends.  So, I’d actually come home from work or filming, and Liz would be on my couch sitting there giggling with Sainty.  I’m like, “This is just becoming too much.  This is a full-circle moment here.  I can’t deal.” (Laughs)

Now, you and Elizabeth are broken up at this point?

ERIC:  Yes.  We had been broken up at this point.  Sainty and I were actually together.  I started dating Sainty in New York and the pilot she was shooting was in New York, and she gets cast as Liz’s best friend, and I was like, “Oh, of course.”

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

ERIC:  Yes, so dying.  Dying.   You know, it’s just one of those things that in a million years, you would never expect this to happen, and of course, Sainty and her had to become best friends in real life because they’re both great girls, and naturally, they would be friends, but now, I’m like this guy stuck in the middle who can’t believe what’s happening, and thought that was one chapter, and this is a different chapter, and now the chapters are combining.  It’s kind of a comedy act.

Photo: JPI

Since Ariana Grande was on Broadway with you and Liz, what was she like back then before her meteoric rise to fame?

ERIC:  Ariana was literally the sweetest, most innocent, and cutest – like my little sister.   To me, it was like, Liz and I were dating, and Ari was kind of like the little sister.  All of a sudden the show ended. Ariana got a Nickelodeon show, and after that, she became the most famous person in the world and was like this sex icon, and I couldn’t get over it.   She’s always had that talent with her voice and in 13 she was an ensemble member.  She wasn’t even one of the leads, but her voice was so incredible, even then as a young teenager.  I thought she was going to go on to have this great Broadway career as an actress and do musicals her whole life just because of her voice.  Then, all of the sudden, right after the musical, we all auditioned for the same Nickelodeon show.  I ended up going to the finals for the boyfriend role, Liz got the girlfriend role, and Ari got the funny friend on the show role.  That kind of catapulted them into the TV world, and Ari got a spinoff because of her character on that show for another Nickelodeon show, called Sam and Cat, and then after Sam and Cat, she went from this innocent, sweet, little Nickelodeon girl that I knew to being the biggest star.  It was unbelievable to me.

Photo: Broadway World

So, you started on Broadway as a teenager, and you found you always wanted to produce for the Great White Way? 

ERIC:  Yes, I did the Broadway thing, and then I got into film and TV, and then I got into film and TV producing.  As an actor, there are a lot of ups, a lot of downs.  So, in between the ups, I wanted to fill my time, so I got into producing, and I loved it.  I loved creating.  As an actor, we just show up, and everything is already done.  All we have to do is say our lines.  We get pampered, and we go home, but I wanted to know how it got to that point, like what happens before that.  So, I started producing film and found some success doing that, and it was so much fun for me.  Sainty’s and my first love, and what feels like home, is theatre.  So, I wanted to take it full circle and produce a Broadway show.  I just thought that would be such an incredible moment, and so that’s what I did.  I started emailing all of the Broadway producers who I had worked with as an actor, letting them know what I had been doing, kind of the success I had gotten from producing The Bay and some of these other things. Different shows came across my desk that I didn’t quite bite the bullet on, a couple of which I wish I would have, Dear Evan Hansen being one of them.  I would have been so rich by now!  (Laughs)

I just want to clarify for people who might not know, the word “producer” can mean different things.  There are “producers” who are putting money in … they’re backing projects or shows.  There are other people who are “producers” on the creative side of projects.  So, when you’re talking about producing a Broadway show, it is as an investor?

ERIC:  So for theatre, unless you’re the head producer who kind of gets creative control, every other producer listed in the credits is basically helping raise finances and is also very heavily involved in the process of everything else along the way, which is also what makes it special.  So finally, The Inheritance came across our desk, and it checked every single box.  It was just an epic play.  It’s a two-part play, and it’s just hours and hours and hours long.  You see it in multiple days or in multiple shows.  I remember reading the script and not stopping until I finished.  I was like, “This is amazing,” and it had just come off of a huge commercial successful run in London.  It won the Olivier Award for “Best New Play” and just about every other award you could win, and so I was like, “This is the one.  This is incredible.  I love the piece, love the message, and pulled the trigger,” and I would have done it all over again if we could.

Photo: Broadway World

The Inheritance is a generational piece centering on gay men during the AIDS crisis.  What can you say about it to those who don’t know about it, or have not seen it yet?

ERIC:  It takes place in the past, and then it fasts forward to the future.  You see two generations of gay men in New York City, and it’s all about the AIDS crisis, and so you’re bawling crying, and then you’re laughing throughout it.  It’s just one of those epic plays that pulls at every single emotion and you feel like you’re watching a movie.

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s definitely its own thing.  It’s actually an adaptation of Howard’s End, the novel by Forster, definitely different from Angels in America, but the two-part show is kind of what I was meaning by that.  People have said it is kind of our generation’s Angel’s in America in tone and subject matter.  It was just a dream come true, and like all other theatre that was open during our season, it had to close because of the pandemic, and it will have life after Broadway.  We are already slated for the Geffen Playhouse in LA, so I’m very excited for all of my LA friends and the public to get to see it.

Courtesy/ENelsen

And you get nominated in the year that the coronavirus pandemic shut down live theatre! But it is my understanding we still do not have a date for handing out this year’s Tony Awards.

ERIC:  No, we do not.  They finally announced that they were going to announce nominations, and for a while we didn’t even know that they were going to do that.  We received 11 nominations, which is incredible.  We were so excited.  I truly thought the American Theatre Wing and the Tony committee were not going to do the Tonys at all, and so we were just like, “I can’t believe the one year we pull the trigger on the show, this isn’t going to happen for us,” but then thank God, they came to their senses.  There were plenty of shows that opened and needed to be recognized.

How long was it open on Broadway?

ERIC:  We were open from September 2019 through February or March.  So, as long as your submission was open on Broadway before Covid-19 and had at least all of its previews and an opening night before Covid-19 hit, then you could qualify, and then in the play category, there were like 10 plays that had opened last year that were contenders.  So, that was definitely the hardest category.   It will be interesting to see what happens after all of this.  The only good thing I know that is going to come from this is the amount of creatives who have had so much time sitting at home to create and write, that there will be so many new scripts and plays and musicals that are going to come from this.  I think it’s’ going to be the biggest boom that we’ve probably ever seen in theatre, just because there’s been so much time to develop stuff.  At the same time, it’s piggybacking on the darkest time that theatre has ever seen.

Throughout the pandemic, I always stream all of the Broadway Actor’s Fund events.  It’s really sad.  It’s just a difficult time, those in the arts are struggling and especially in the live theatre and also musicians who can’t tour or play gigs in front of an audience. I know they said Broadway is closed through May 31, 2021.

ERIC:  It is really hard.  I’m happy that we are able to find other ways like streaming shows.  I’m actually producing a big benefit for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS that will be airing on World AIDS Day, December 1st.  It’s a show called Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.  The cast we have is everybody from Nathan Lane, to Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons.  It’s insane.  It will be streaming online on the Broadway HD network.  It is a huge list of Broadway stars and a lot of movie and TV stars as well that are participating.  We’ve got people from all over the map.

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

ERIC:  (Laughs)  Ari is not in it, actually!

Photo: Prospect Park

So, in this week’s latest episode of The Bay, your character of Daniel Garrett makes his final choice for love between Caleb (Mike Manning) and Matthew (Randy Wayne).  When you came to the show, did you know that this part was going to wind-up being a gay character?

ERIC:  No, I did not.  I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay.  The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me.  Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison, our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York. They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything.  It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, “100% completely.”  I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, “Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.”  At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ.  So, I was like, “Yes.  I will be all over it.  Absolutely.”  So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show.  Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially.  It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.

Photo: LANYEntertainment

So for those who may not know let’s do a re-set.  Where is the character of Daniel at? It seems like he is at crossroads, and is making some important decisions, or trying to.

ERIC:  So Daniel was a wild party boy in the beginning, just head in the clouds, lives life with thinking there’s no repercussions and just doing what you want to do all of the time, and that got him into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Then, we realize why Daniel has been the way he is, and why he acts out, and why he has been so all over the place, and it’s because he hasn’t been able to come to terms with who he is.  Then, he admits it to himself and for the first time to somebody else – who happens to be his priest in a catholic church, ironically –  that he is gay and this is what he has been battling with.  For the first time (and I don’t know where on television it has depicted it this way), but the catholic priest looks at Daniel, and he’s like, “What’s your sin?  You haven’t sinned.  This is perfectly fine.”  So, I love that Gregori made that the outlet for which Daniel was able to basically come to terms with who he was, because he grew up in the church, and so he was always told that it was wrong.  Obviously, it’s not wrong, or obviously the church needs to change their mindset, but on The Bay, he chose that to be the outlet through which he came out, which I thought was really powerful.  Through that, Daniel experimented with other boys and such to figure out where he wanted to land, and then in this newest season, I can’t say much that gives anything away, but for the first time, we really see Daniel’s growth, and he’s making decisions, and the most mature we’ve ever seen him, and it’s been really cool to see that come full circle.  He’s making commitments to himself.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

ERIC:  Obviously, that’s who it works with,  Caleb is a teacher and a great guy.

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

ERIC:  He is… he’s just not the great guy for him.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

This season of The Bay is heavily steeped with social issues of our time.  Covid-19 has come to Bay City and the Black Lives Matter movement also plays prominently.

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s kind of the beginning of the pandemic in The Bay and within all of the intense drama that Daniel has been having, he is still, for all intent and purposes the comedic relief of the show, and so there is a funny scene where I’m carrying like 28,000 rolls of toilet paper like, “Come on, guys.  We’ve got to stock up!”  We all remember those days, don’t we?

Photo: JPI

How do you feel about this season of the show and your work in it? You’ve previously won a Daytime Emmy for your performances on The Bay.

ERIC:  This season is more cemented in a character that has truly grounded himself.  So, the first Emmy I won was for a storyline of coming out and uncertainty and struggle and pain, whereas this season Daniel knows what he wants and is going for it.  There is much more passion and love in this season for Daniel, as opposed to struggle and heartache.

The cast and crew of The Bay all went away and quarantined at this ranch this past summer to get the new season completed.  What was that like?

ERIC:  We were actually in Santa Barbara, and filmed on this epic ranch up there.  It’s like this 500-acre ranch that we all quarantined on.  We had to do the testing, and temperatures three times a day, and the whole thing.  So, it was really structured, tough to pull off, but we were all so grateful that we were able to do this.  Luckily, we had this incredible kind of bubble of a ranch to live and work on while we were shooting.  They were really good about block shooting it all, so we’d kind of shoot one person’s character, then the next, so we wouldn’t have to ever be leaving the ranch before we were done.

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

ERIC:  Oh, it’s amazing.  I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying by because of it.  We just had Molly’s first birthday on October 1st, and I feel like yesterday she was born.  I sound like my parents when I say this, but it’s like the time keeps getting faster, but it’s so true.  She’s awesome.  We play Broadway musical soundtracks to her all day, and she sings.  She sits at the piano with me when I play, and she kind of plunks notes out next to me.  She loves music, and we’ve introduced it to her from day one.  We always joke that she won’t be able to watch any of daddy’s stuff until she’s 18 probably, but Sainty is a voice-over actress.  She has done parts for animated films and TV shows such as Trolls, and Barbie, and Boss Baby, so everything from the first part of my daughter’s life is all going to be Mommy’s stuff, and then, in the later part of life she can start watching Daddy’s stuff.

Right, she can’t watch anything that you do!  (Laughs) So, basically forget that!

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

Check out the trailer for 1 Night in San Diego below.  Then share your thoughts on Eric’s current role on The Bay, if you hope he wins a Tony to go with his Daytime Emmy, the six degrees of separation between him, Elizabeth Gillies and his wife, and that the All My Children reboot considered making the character of AJ Chandler gay via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Peter Reckell Reflects On His Time As DAYS Iconic Bo Brady, Life In New Zealand & Christmas Music Project

Last week, Days of our Lives  turned 55-years young, and the historic long-running NBC daytime drama series has been home to some of the most memorable stars and characters of the soap opera genre, perhaps none more so than anti-hero Bo Brady played by Peter Reckell.

Reckell who appeared on the show for several runs that lasted over four decades, premiered as Bo back in 1983.  He then stayed through 1987, came back from 1990 to 1992, again from 1995 to 2012, and back again in 2015 during DAYS 50th anniversary and to wrap his run as Bo, when the character was killed-off, after Reckell made it clear that he wanted to give the audience closure for the character.  He later made another return in 2016 to help the character of Hope (Kristian Alfonso) move on with her life.  Hard to believe for all of those heart-tugging performances, Peter was nominated only once for a Daytime Emmy.

Photo: JPI

In this candid, deeply personal and enlightening new interview for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Reckell opens up as to: what led to many of the decisions he made throughout his time as Bo, how he helped craft the role from the start, the accident that almost took his life, how he handled all the fame that came his way as part of the Bo and Hope supercouple pairing, and how two women in the cast; the late Frances Reid (Alice) and Peggy McCay (Caroline) made lasting impressions on him that he will carrying with him for the rest of his life.

Photo: JPI

What would Peter say if somehow DAYS wanted him back and Bo was actually alive and well?  Find out as Peter weighs-in and wishes his former show a happy anniversary  In addition, he even shares how he felt when Robert Kelker-Kelly took over the role of Bo when he decided to leave the show at one point, and his time playing Johnny on primetime’s Knots Landing.

Photo: JPI

Reckell has moved his family to New Zealand, and this conversation was conducted from his home.  Peter is married to singer/songwriter/producer Kelly Moneymaker and the couple have a daughter, Loden.   It was not wanting to miss the moments of his daughter’s life growing up that has been much of the impetus for some of Peter’s career choices.

Photo: BlueAeris

With Christmastime approaching, Kelly and Peter are part of a brand new Christmas LP entitled Joy.  The album is now available for download on Spotify, Apple Music and major music streaming platforms.

In an exclusive during the interview, we give fans a sneak peek of Peter’s new music video for “Under the Mistletoe”, the song he sings that appears on Joy, which was written by his wife.  For more on the album project visit BlueAegis.com

Photo: BlueAegis

Now, check out the interview with Peter direct from New Zealand below! Then share your thoughts on Peter, Bo, and more via the comment section.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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