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THE BREE WILLIAMSON INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

breemain.jpgIf you have had the chance over the last five months to watch Bree Williamson navigate between Jessica and her two alters, Tess and Bess, you have been watching heavy dramatic story almost day in and day out, played by one singular actress.

In this “On-Air On-Soaps” feature interview, we go back in time over the harrowing and compelling plot points that all One Life to Live fans have been witness to. From Tess locking her sister Natalie and beau Jared in a basement room with a bomb ready to explode, to her losing her baby after giving birth alone in a cabin. Then, Bess popping out and switching Jessica’s baby for Starr’s and being admitted to St. Ann’s for some deep psychological evaluation and attempts at integration. Coming home and seeing the new animosity between her and her sister Natalie, and the reveal that Jessica did want Natalie dead. Then, connecting with a new man also in deep emotional trouble and learning to love again after the death of her husband, Nash. You could say it’s been quite an emotional roller coaster!

I chatted with Bree and we discuss the complexities, joy, and sadness of playing this intricate storyline.

MICHAEL:

It has been so amazing to watch your performances playing three personalities, Jess, Tess and Bess. Has there ever been a time during the storyline that it was confusing for you?

jess_chloe.jpgBREE:

No. The writers write them really well. The way that each one is written, you don’t have to put the name on each line because you kind of know who said what. That makes them a lot easier for me, and they are all three different. Posture helps a lot, and just changing the way your body is for each character helps me a lot.

MICHAEL:

Those amazing scenes awhile back where she is jailed in her own mind… Is it difficult to play the different parts in that scenario?

BREE:

There was one episode where we did all of them in one day. It was just me at the studio, which was kind of lonely, but it was a lot of work. Even memorizing the scenes where I say all the lines was difficult. You just have to get through it and do the best you can. The writing is great, and it’s exciting story.

MICHAEL:

Agnes Nixon created the multiple personality disorder storyline originally for Viki. It has played magnificently by six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak, over the years. Now you are the second generation taking over that storyline, which is fascinating. When you were handed this and knew what was going to happen, did you think, “Great” or were you fearful at all?

breenash.jpgBREE:

When I first found out I was so scared. It was very intimating. The first time I got to play Tess was when the whole Nash storyline happened. Even before Nash, I was having such a great time. I don’t even remember what my life was like on the show before I had these alters. It was so exciting to create Tess, because someone else played Jessica before I got there. Erin Torpey played her. So, I had strict guidelines in which I had to play Jessica. But with Tess, I got to do whatever I wanted with her, because she was so much fun, and free, and awesome. Recently with Bess, it’s been a great acting exercise and I learn so much when I go to work now. It’s so challenging, and I am very lucky.

MICHAEL:

We learned awhile back, the awful truth that Jessica did want harm to come to her sister Natalie, and that was not just Tess wanting that. Did you know that it was going to be written that way? Jessica just stood back and let all of the awful torture that Tess did to Natalie and Jared happen!

BREE:

I knew that was coming, and it’s only half the story. It’s awful! I love what they are doing with the sisters, with them fighting and having this whole sibling rivalry. Down deep it’s convoluted and confusing with different personalities. On the surface, it’s very normal, with both of them wanting the love and affection of their mother. I saw a recent air show where Natalie was asking her mother to take her side, and I think that’s true to life with siblings. Usually, they are always trying to vie for their parent’s attention. It’s great to play and a great story.

jessnataliefight.jpgMICHAEL:

The big secret, of course, is the “Baby Switch”. Chloe is really Starr’s baby. This all took place last November with brilliant writing from Ron Carlivati, with all the stories intersecting. It was so riveting for the audience to witness. Probably one of the best all time sweeps story delivered by “One Life to Live”, and they have had some of the best!

BREE:

It’s still continuing. Some stories have this great inter-connection and they fizzle out. But this one keeps going and the stamina it has is amazing. There’s going to be story forever and ever, and ever. That’s what soaps are all about!

MICHAEL:

Jessica is not going to know what Tess and Bess did for quite awhile. Is that safe to say? Although she has been having more memories of things here and there.

BREE:

You are right. I have not read the script on that yet, so it could go on for a while. And Kristen Alderson as Starr is just the sweetest. It’s so great to work with her, and I am really excited for when those scenes come out and I get to play with Kristen.

MICHAEL:

I loved when there were scenes between Todd and Tess! It was like Evil and Evilene. How did you like working with Trevor St. John?

BREE:

It was so much fun! I loved going to work everyday to work with Trevor. I loved going to work every day and being his partner in crime.

MICHAEL:

Did Erika Slezak give you pointers, tips or advice regarding the Disssociative Identify Disorder storyline and playing the beats of it?

bree_erika.jpgBREE:

Erika is really great with that. She has this quiet guidance that she gives. I kind of ask for it. I will get stuck and she will just gently guide me a little bit. I never asked her for help, but she quietly guides me and I think it’s so nice. I think that’s the kind of mentor you would want to have, and that she is. She is the best-case scenario. She is an amazing mentor, and the woman to look up to of the cast.

MICHAEL:

How do you like working with your new “hot” love interest, Mark Lawson as Brody Lovett?

BREE:

I am such in a good place at One Life to Live. I mean, look at the people I get to work with! Mark is the sweetest and the best guy, and I adore him. When I heard they were putting us together, I was so happy.

MICHAEL:

I hear Mark is a dedicated actor.

bree_mark.jpgBREE:

He is very committed and has an excellent work ethic. He takes it all very seriously. Jessica and Brody have built this terrific friendship, and there is a kiss coming up. It’s complex. But their relationship will stay complex and heartbreaking for a while.

MICHAEL:

Do you ever watch the air shows or look at your work after it is completed?

BREE:

I do watch it. I think it’s important to have an interest in yourself and your show. So, not only do I watch myself, but I watch most of the shows when I can. It’s a really good show right now! We put on really good TV!

MICHAEL:

Did you do a lot of research in preparing for your multiple personalities on “DID”?

BREE:

I did. I was a psychology major in school. I did some research, and of course, you rent “Sybil”. In order to write “DID” in the way it’s been medically documented is not good for story telling. They try to remain as accurate as they can and keep the momentum going, but it’s not as medically accurate. For instance, there are some cases with people who have really distinct personalities, and most of the time it’s more of a fluid thing between the different people. It just makes it more interesting to tell the story that way, having them so distinctive.

bree_dress.jpgMICHAEL:

And what did you think of Sally Field as “Sybil” when you did your research?

BREE:

She is amazing, and she was incredible in it. I took a lot away from that performance.

MICHAEL:

One of the most gut-wrenching scenes I have ever seen was when Tess was giving birth in the cottage, with the bloody graphics and the way it was shot. It was so intense and well told. And Erika was playing Niki Smith, who helped Tess!

BREE:

It was so sad. I loved working with Erika that day. It was really interesting to see Niki in such a different way. She was so
hard, and then she repented for what she
had done to Jessica, and she was kind!
They were really smart scenes.

MICHAEL:

And then Tess realizes something went terribly wrong!

BREE:

That I didn’t like. She was saying, “Why aren’t you crying?” It was awful and so sad. I hated going to work that day. It was too sad for me.

MICHAEL:

You are one of the best crier’s on daytime right now. Is it easy for you to have the tears flow? I mean, the emotional stakes are always so high if you are performing a scene as any one of the three gals you play.

bree_glamourshot.jpgBREE:

I mean, yeah. I cry easily. It’s sad. It’s sad material, and as long as you allow yourself to feel it and to understand it, and go along with the journey, the tears are the easiest part. That’s how I do it. You have to be available, and Ron (Carlivati) will write you a good story. He has already written it for me, and it’s sad and I just have to feel it.

MICHAEL:

From a character perspective, of all the people on the Llanview canvas, who would you like to have more scenes with?

BREE:

There are tons of people. I would love to work with Tika Sumpter (Layla) more, and I would like a friend on the show. I’m a big jerk, and I lock people in rooms, so who wants to be friends with me?
(She laughs)

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Interviews

Eileen Davidson & Vincent Van Patten Talk ‘7 Days to Vegas’, Their Relationship and Y&R, DAYS & RHOBH

Today’s the day for the highly-anticipated film, 7 Days to Vegas which bows in selected theaters. The motion picture which stars Vincent Van Patten and his real-life wife, two-time Daytime Emmy winning actress Eileen Davidson (Y&R’s Ashley and former Kristen/Susan Banks, Days) is a comedic gambling romp, centering around the character of Duke (Van Patten), an out-of-work actor turned poker player who makes a prop bet that he walk from the San Fernando Valley in California to Sin City, Las Vegas in 7 days.

There are some catches to this bet that make it even more challenging  … Duke has to wear a suit the entire time in scorching heat.  The events in the movie are loosely based on Van Patten’s Hollywood Poker game nights.  7 Days to Vegas features a fictional gang of betting entertainment industry bigwigs, who are hardcore gamblers and of course, jealousy strikes.  Davidson plays Duke’s wife, KC.

Michael Fairman sat down with Eileen and Vincent at their home, and at their famed poker table for the Michael Fairman Channel, to chat about the making of the movie, their relationship and some intriguing tidbits for fans of Eileen’s work on The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives and her time on Bravo’s hit reality franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

In 7 Days to Vegas, Eileen says that Vincent fashioned her role of KC after their real-life relationship adding, “They are in it together. This is a lifestyle that they both enjoy.  That is what somebody does when there is a home game; you call people up, and make sure who is going to be there.  Van Patten said, “There is a host of the game, and that is her role in the movie.”

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As to the scenes where Duke is walking to Vegas, Van Patten shared, “We shot the film in Santa Clarita, California in the hills and the mountains and all of that, and then we out five days after with a second unit shoot and shot with drones in the desert.  So, I must have walked 10 miles a day, shooting, sweating, but you don’t feel it, because when it’s your baby, it’s a labor of love.”

When asked if she would go back to daytime, Eileen shared she would be back for more Ashley on Y&R: “I am supposed to go back to Y&R in a couple of more weeks. So I am popping in and out at this point.”  Davidson also shared she wishes nothing but the best to Stacy Haiduk who inherited her roles on Days of our Lives as Kristen DiMera and Susan Banks. Eileen said she does not watch the episodes of the show anymore, because it makes her feel sad.  The roles of Kristen and Susan were so close to Davidson’s heart.

In speaking of her time on RHOBH, Van Patten shared, “I think she (Eileen) did a great job. It went by real quick. I think she did like three years on it.  I was in the background carrying her purse, going, ‘Yes, yes, here I come.”  (Laughs)  Davidson expressed: “Listen, reality TV … it’s a crazy, wild, Wild West.”  When Michael asked about the time a drink was thrown in her face, Eileen explained:  “I think Brandi (Granville) felt she needed to be relevant to be on the show, and her role was to be a troublemaker. I understand more of it now.  At the time, I was a deer in the headlights for the first couple of years.”  Vincent shared, “People always ask if this stuff is scripted, and it’s actually not, but you can spice it up”   As to if ‘Housewives’ makes up the drama, Davidson elaborated, “Before the season starts they will ask, ‘What is going on in your life?’, and maybe there is some of that behind-the-scenes stuff.  It didn’t happen with me.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it is a reality show, but it is also entertainment, and if all we did was sit around, how fun would that be?”

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Sharon Case Celebrates 25 Years On The Young and the Restless; Shares With Fans: "Thanks For Going On The Ride With Me"

Watch the full interview below with Eileen and Vincent and make sure to “subscribe” to The Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interview features.

Now let us know, will you be checking out 7 Days to Vegas, which will also be available on iTunes and VOD come September 24th? Do you hope there will be more Ashley on Y&R? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Interviews

Sharon Case Celebrates 25 Years On The Young and the Restless; Shares With Fans: “Thanks For Going On The Ride With Me”

Over the weekend, The Young and the Restless Sharon Case reached her 25-year milestone in Genoa City! For Case, who was the third actress to take on the role of Sharon Collins, and once believed she would only last six months on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, has become an integral part throughout the years to the drama and the romance that happens on the canvas on Y&R.

To mark the occasion, Case sat-down with Michael Fairman on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City where Y&R is taped; to take a stroll down memory lane, and to share her thoughts with her legions of fans on the life and times of Sharon Collins Newman.

Photo: CBS

From her character’s wrong-side-of-the-tracks beginning, to meeting Nick Newman, to many of the memorable storylines and moments that were among her very favorites including: when Nikki, Phyllis, Sharon and Victoria buried J.T., and of course, to her leading men through the years, Sharon reveals some backstage and on-camera Intel.   As viewers know, Sharon Newman had also had her share of catfights through the years in longstanding conflicts with both Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and of course, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), and Sharon discusses those moments too.

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Sharon and Michael also relive when Cassie’s death, was first aired on the show, and the impact that story has had for decades on everyone who worked on and has watched Y&R over the years.  In addition, Sharon discusses how she felt the night she won the Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series back in 1999.

At the end of the interview Sharon relates this message to the fans of Y&R: “I have always felt like these 25 years wasn’t just working here and playing Sharon … or working here with all the wonderful people … it’s just as much about going through it with all of you, especially because of social media, but even when we didn’t have it, we always knew that you were there and we were partners with you … because it really is sort of a partnership.  I really have felt like we have been in this together the whole time.  We don’t have a studio audience, but we know you’re there, and we love hearing from you.  It really was just as much about you – this journey I have gone on, than it was anything else, so ‘thank you’ for being there and watching the show, and being faithful to the show, and thanks for going on the ride with me.”

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Now below, watch Sharon’s 25th anniversary from the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  For more feature interviews on the channel make sure to “subscribe”.

Then, let us know what has been your favorite storyline of Sharon’s through the years?  Comment below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Elizabeth Hendrickson and Greg Rikaart Talk On The Return of Chloe and Kevin

Fans of The Young and the Restless were overjoyed to learn a few months ago that Kevin and Chloe played to perfection by Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson were headed back to the CBS Daytime drama following the regime change at the top.

Rikaart had previously with the series for 14 years before he was taken off-contract, and then journeyed to Days of our Lives to take on the role of Leo, while Hendrickson went to General Hospital to take on the role of Margaux Dawson, only to eventually head back to Genoa City.

Michael Fairman sat down with the popular on-screen duo recently on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City for a special conversation via The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

When discussing what happened behind the scenes that led them back to Genoa City, Liz expressed: “It was definitely a surprise to get the call. I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere because I saw Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) was coming back and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) was coming back, and it looked like they were getting the gang back together.  I wasn’t sure if I was next on the list, but when I did get the call, I was really excited, and so I chimed in with my better half (Greg) and he was too, so then I was like, ‘Well, let’s do it.”  Greg related: “I had a conversation with Josh Griffith (head writer, Y&R) and expressed that it was nice being back in the building. and a little bit later, I got a phone call inviting me back.”

Photo: JPI

If viewers have followed recent developments on Y&R, Chloe and Kevin kidnapped Billy for is own protection (Jason Thompson) to a cabin, after he tried to kill Adam.  In the ensuing scenes, Kevin injects Billy with a syringe filled with a drug to knock him out.  Rikaart shared, “Doesn’t it make sense, that if anyone had something on them to knock someone out it would be Kevin .. on the ready!?”

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Liz said of Billy’s deteriorating mental health state and working with Jason Thompson (and Billy’s revenge against Adam): “Chloe also knows that Delia would not want her father to take revenge.”  As far as working with Jason Thompson, Hendrickson shared: “Jason is really, really wonderful.  I have known him personally outside of the soap world from mutual friends.  And in getting to work with him, Jason is just great. He is a really solid guy, as well.

Photo: MFTV Inc

Later, Liz and Greg weigh-in on their favorite all-time scene together.  Greg admitted, “The first one to come to mind is our New Year’s scene, because that is when we first got together. and the build-up to that was a really long time coming. I thought it was so beautifully played where Kevin had finally given up on the idea of them being together, and he is out with spray tan girl and it’s New Year’s Eve and all he is doing the entire time is complaining about Chloe. Meanwhile, Chloe is home in her pajamas eating ice cream with Esther – it was very much a throwback to a John Hughes 1980’s rom-com.”

On their return to Y&R, Greg concluded:  “I think the fans are excited that we are back, and I think that fuels my excitement too, because when I was gone I really missed this place and knowing people missed having me here, I realized I wasn’t crazy …. this was something special.”

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So are you happy to see Liz and Greg back on Y&R? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. But first check out their video interview!

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Video du Jour

Y&&’s Eileen Davidson and her husband Vincent Van Patten chat with Michael Fairman about their new film “7 Days to Vegas”, her time on Y&R, DAYS, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their relationship. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

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