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THE CHRISTIAN LEBLANC INTERVIEW – DAYTIME EMMY NOMINEE

On The Young and the Restless, Christian LeBlanc may be the most respected actor from the A-class acting troupe, who day in and day out, brings us the lives of the characters in Genoa City.

Last week, Christian received another Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, something many were certain he was a lock for. Now he looks to be one of the front-runner’s for the prize. Winning is no stranger to Christian, having walked off with the top prize at the Daytime Emmys both in 2005 and 2007. Will the man who plays the complex Michael Baldwin take home his third when the ceremonies are held in Los Angeles on August 30th? I chatted with Christian to get his thoughts.

christianMain.jpgMICHAEL:

So, here we are again, Mr. Emmy Nominee! My guess is that you submitted the Christmas episode where Michael does his take on “It’s a Wonderful Life” story. Am I correct?

CHRISTIAN:

Yes, I did. I had to be talked into it, because of the length. I loved it, but since the competition went to submitting only one show, it was going to stick out as being long. Then I talked to Thaao Penghlis (Ex-Tony, “DAYS”) and he said he submitted a 27-minute show. I said, “Thaao, I am not so shy anymore.” It was a perfect show. Everyone in it is amazing and they made me look good. It was hard to put together, and not just for me, but everybody who worked so hard on it.

MICHAEL:

I loved that on CBS.com, they had an online special with you commenting and doing the narrative as the scenes unfolded, giving the user and the fans an inside look at the making of this amazing episode, and your take on the performances.

wonderfulLife.jpgCHRISTIAN:

I never heard my narrative, and they told me it came out really good. But truly, that was the first time I had seen the episode back. It was fascinating!

MICHAEL:

Why did you choose this show for competition? Did you know that this was the one?

CHRISTIAN:

I was convinced I put up my best work. That is the only thing you can be sure of in yourself. I looked and looked, and I did put the work in. If you are going to play the game, do your homework! I put my actor reel together as I go, because it helps me look back. I put things on it that I like. I tried not to put the Christmas episode in, but it just came back to being the best thing.

MICHAEL:

It was a true ‘tour de force’… a clear, stand-alone performance! Was that written as your Emmy show?

CHRISTIAN:

That doesn’t happen on our show. You will hear that a lot on set, “Emmy time”. Sometime some shows lend themselves to submitting something, and granted I had Ted Shackleford (Jeffrey) in my Emmy reel last year, and it was the whole show of me ranting at Ted in a wheelchair! I think people, as a compliment, say things like, “There is your Emmy reel!” I don’t know if the writers go about that or say, “Let’s give him his moment in the sun,” kind of thing. I think when you have the special combination of wonderful writing, and that I loved the original movie “It’s a wonderful Life”, it worked well. I think it was a happy medium.

MICHAEL:

It was your show, but there were some pretty incredible moments from your cast mates, as well.

CHRISTIAN:

I thought it was an amazing show, but I thought the writing was seamless and they should have put it up for Best Show. I thought everyone was on their best behavior because the actors really got to do a lot of character work, and they were excited. I looked good because everybody else was good, and the writing was amazing! I’ve got to tell you that when you walk in on those characters, those were done in one take. Not many people could have pulled that off, except daytime people.

door.jpgMICHAEL:

You had discussed this in previous interviews, and if I recall, the scenes were shot out of order and done in one day.

CHRISTIAN:

Yes. For instance, I had to open the front door to the Lauren scenes and had to do the scene outside the door where the magic happens, then wait to get through the door several scenes later. So, you had to recapture the moment of finding Lauren and seeing that she was there after she has slammed the door in my face at the very end. That’s like film work every day. I got the benefit from it, and it got me the nomination.

MICHAEL:

Were you shocked, as so many were that perennial powerhouse “Y&R” did not get Emmy nominations in Show, Writing or Directing?

CHRISTIAN:

I am surprised we are not up for Best Show, but so much is relied upon what you submitted. It’s so subjective, and I am under no illusion that I am the overall best leading actor, EVER! Damn it! (He laughs) Look, it’s an honor, but it’s an honor we give to daytime in general because the Emmys are a business proposition. We want to get people to watch by showing them what our best could possibly be.

tracyChristian.jpgMICHAEL:

Where were you when you found out you were nominated?

CHRISTIAN:

I was at my computer, and a friend of mine called from New Orleans going, “Aren’t they today?” I truly did not know this was the day, because it had become so confusing when it was going to be.
So, I was at my computer, and Tracey Bregman (Lauren) called me. Tracy is always the one who knows. She has her finger on the pulse of everything, and it’s always good when your hot TV wife calls you first.

MICHAEL:

Are you familiar with the other actor’s work in your category?

CHRISTIAN:

Those are really great people. Thorsten Kaye (Zach, “AMC”) I respect. Every time you say “Thorsten Kaye” to anyone, especially the girls, they go and repeat, “Thorsten Kaye.” It’s so upsetting! Tony Geary (Luke, “GH”)… I always know he is going to have phenomenonal work, and Peter Reckell I don’t know. I have never met him. Bo and Hope are legendary and iconic for “DAYS”… and Daniel Cosgrove (Bill, “GL”) is excellent, too. I haven’t handicapped it yet, but Tracey would know!

MICHAEL:

So, it looks like you have a great shot at the prize!

CHRISTIAN:

You want to be the one, even if you lose where they go, “You were robbed. Why didn’t you win?”

dressUp.jpgMICHAEL:

I thought it was an interesting twist to use the Christmas episode dream, or ‘time out of time’ shows to refer back to when Kevin was in a straightjacket for his latest dilemma. He was in a straight-jacket in the same room with a padded cell in Michael’s dream. Did you think they were going to use that, moving forward for story?

CHRISTIAN:

I didn’t think so. I was not told. I had no idea they would reference the dream. I did not even know I would comment on having it. I started referencing it, which I like, and I liked they used it later on. I thought it was brilliant. There was no indication that they were going to renew Kevin’s father issues in such a big way, with the Marge kidnapping. That was a
pleasant surprise, and what Maria has been
doing is tying in old storylines and making
it relevant to what is going on the show now,
and it’s terrific.

MICHAEL:

Are you going to pick out something to wear for the big event on August 30th?

CHRISTIAN:

From the floor you mean? (He laughs) Joseph Abboud measured me himself for my tux, and I am not giving that one up that easy. It’s a recession, my friend. Maybe I will be on the red carpet with my lunchbox and bring it to the banquet!

MICHAEL:

What did you think about the Emmy broadcast finally landing a home on the CW?

christianNaked.jpgCHRISTIAN:

We can’t afford to be lazy or run lax. I think at NATAS and ATAS no one can afford to feud. Maybe the CW is where we need to be. We need to entertain the people and we need the ratings up. I don’t think that is an impossibility. The audiences are shrinking, and that happens because they don’t see what they want to see. I don’t think it’s about dummying things down. I think it’s about stepping up and being more intelligent and not less. Despite what some may think, the audience does not want to be talked down to. There is a place for daytime. What there is not a place for here are people sitting on their laurels or being complacent. It’s a business, baby! We have to find a way to fill the seats and we will find the answer. And, it’s about a good story!

Interviews

Y&R’s Sharon Case, Mark Grossman & Jordi Vilasuso Talk Love and Betrayal in the Rey/Sharon/Adam Triangle

This week on The Young and the Restless, Sharon (Sharon Case) and Adam’s (Mark Grossman) kiss took centerstage and went viral when a photo of the passionate moment was seen by Sharon’s husband, Rey (Jordi Vilasuso), and fiancée Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan), and many more citizens of Genoa City!

That moment looks to be a game-changer.  Now what will Rey do? Will he continue to try to salvage his marriage to Sharon? Will wheelchair bound Chelsea, hatch a plan to payback Adam and Sharon? Will Adam and Sharon meet up for some dangerous liaisons? There’s so much to this story left to play out.

Photo: JPI

In a new interview on The Michael Fairman Channel, Sharon Case, Mark Grossman and Jordi Vilasuso chatted candidly about their on-screen love triangle and more including: what happened when Mark auditioned for the key role of Adam, the character of Sharon’s battle with breast cancer, and who Sharon feels is Sharon Newman’s true love, Nick (Joshua Morrow) or Adam? Plus, the trio share their reactions to the news that their castmate, Sasha Calle (Lola) was tapped as the first Latina ‘Supergirl’ in the upcoming DC Universe film, The Flash.

During the conversation, Vilasuso said Rey was not blindsided by Adam and Sharon’s ongoing attraction: “Rey’s known for a long time, c’mon!  I had somebody on Twitter post all the videos on how long I’ve known about Adam and Sharon. (Laughs)  I had still had a beard on the show back then!  What’s he going to do?  I think this Adam sickness, this addiction, this pathology that he has, I think Rey hopes he can just arrest him and he will just go away for ever.  That’s playing in the back of my mind, like, ‘there’s no way Adam can keep up this behavior for much longer’.  Rey is crazy about Sharon. T here’s also some ego involved here, too of, ‘I got to be the guy here.  I can’t lose to this guy’.  But man, does Rey have a threshold for dealing with this stuff.  Remember, his (ex) wife had sex with his brother, and then she did it again, and now they are having a child together… and Rey was still able to move on.”

Photo: JPI

Case clarified from her previous 25th anniversary interview with Fairman, just who is Sharon Newman’s ultimate love, Nick (Joshua Morrow) or Adam?  Case had stated Adam.  The actress explained:  “When you think about what the character’s have been through, the history of The Young and the Restless, how stories are usually told – and what I mean by all that is Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) and Victor (Eric Braeden) have always been the “It” couple of the history of Y&R and they are very different.  They actually remind me more of Adam and Sharon then Nick and Sharon.  Nick turned out more to be the good son, while Adam was more in the image of his father, and it would be the obvious choice to guess that Nick and Sharon would be endgame.  I think soaps try to not go in the obvious way.  The two men that she has been married to, and were the biggest loves of her life, and both Victor’s kids, choosing between those that is why I said what I said, and why I think that’s true.  Sharon and Adam don’t have all of the pain, that Sharon and Nick have had from multiple cheatings and a loss of a child which is very hard for a couple to ever get past that.   I also think that Sharon and Nick are sort of together now anyways as co-parents and are such good friends.  They have a new relationship – they are not together in a romantic way – but their relationship is really great now and very full for what it is.”

Photo: JPI

Grossman shared that knowing Chelsea has a history of being con-artist, that she could potentially pull some stunts on Adam and Sharon to keep them apart:  “That’s always in the back of his mind.  You know, maybe she will start to con Adam and maybe he might pick up on it, maybe he doesn’t pick up on it, but obviously it’s a really sad situation that Adam is in.  There’s a lot going on in Adam’s life. It’s unfortunate that Connor (his son) is not there as he is off to boarding school, and then Adam wasn’t there because he went to Sharon’s wedding to peek his head in, and Chelsea had her stroke.  So there’s a lot of guilt there.  I think it’s really frustrating to him that he can’t have a conversation with this woman – who is his fiancée – and this is his fault and he caused all this.  But there’s always the underlying pull from Sharon, and after they kiss there are a lot of conflicted feelings there.”

Watch the entire interview with Sharon, Mark and Jordi below.

Now weigh-in: Are you Team Rey or Team Adam? Who do you want Sharon to ultimately wind up with? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section.

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Interviews

Catherine Hickland Talks On ‘ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’, One Life to Live, and the Heartbreaking Deaths of Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds

Former One Life to Live star, Catherine Hickland (Ex-Lindsay Rappaport) along with many of her former co-stars, and actors from All My Children and General Hospital, will be taking part in tonight’s ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway livestream benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which begins at 8 pm EST.  You can watch it here.

Ahead of the event, Catherine chatted with Michael Fairman exclusively for the Michael Fairman Channel from her home in Las Vegas; where she discussed being part of the live musical benefit that was originally created back in 2005 and lasted till 2011 as a one night only live event called: ABC Daytime: Salutes Broadway Cares.  Now 10 years later, the actors will revisit their performances as their production numbers from the past are part of the 2021 livestream to help those in need that have been hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo: ABC

During the conversation with Fairman, Hickland also talks on her lengthy soap opera career where she not only appeared on OLTL, but Loving/The City, Capitol, and Texas, as well. 

On a highlight, Catherine recalls playing One Life’s Lindsay and her ongoing on-screen feud with Nora Buchanan played by Hillary B. Smith.  She also speaks on her marriage to her former husband, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH) and working in the daytime genre and then at one time getting burnt out.

Hickland, who is now married to Todd Fisher, opened up about the devastating loss of her mother-in-law, Debbie Reynolds, and her sister-in-law, Carrie Fisher, just one day a part back in 2017, and how the couple dealt with this tragedy.  The real-life duo now host, “Cat and Todd Live” on Facebook each week.

Photo: JPI

In addition Catherine will be participating in ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’s Virtual One-on-One Meet and Greets with the stars on Saturday, February 13th.  For info on how to participate click here.

To make a donation to Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS click here.  With a screenshot of your donation, you can enter a chance to win either “Star Wars” or Debbie Reynolds memorabilia as detailed by Catherine in this interview.

Watch Catherine’s conversation below.

Then let us know, if you loved the Lindsay/Nora feud on One Life? If you watched the livestream of ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway? And, what was your favorite part of the interview with Catherine via the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Linda Dano Talks Taking On DAYS Vivian, Heartfelt Memories of Another World & Felicia Gallant, One Life to Live, Winning a Daytime Emmy & More

Currently, daytime fans are getting to see one of the most beloved actress in the history of the soap genre, Linda Dano, on NBC’s Days of our Lives in the role of the villainess Vivian Alamain.

Dano is taking on the part originally made soap-famous by Louise Sorel, and last played by Robin Strasser. Now it’s Dano’s turn to bring her own style to the role as viewers have witnessed that Vivian has kidnapped Eli (Lamon Archey) and Lani’s (Sal Stowers) twins, thanks to Viv’s sidekick, Ivan (Ivan G’Vera), and the story and all the drama continues this week.

Photo: JPI

In a very special conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Linda chats with Michael about the challenges she faced stepping into Vivian’s shoes, and working with the cast and crew at DAYS.

 

Linda also shares her sorrow over the heartbreaking cancellation, and then taping final episode of Another World, where she played her signature soap role of Felicia Gallant for 18 years.  During her run, Dano won the Outstanding Lead Actress Daytime Emmy in 1993 for Felicia’s battle with alcoholism, which as she reveals she is still stopped on the street about to this day.

Photo:NATAS

Soap fans will recall that Dano is the only actress to crossover to all of the ABC daytime dramas when she returned to One Life to Live, (following her time on Another World), in the part of Gretel “Rae” Cummings, and we learned that Rae was the bio-mother of Skye Chandler, played by Robin Christopher.

Photo: NBC

Throughout her career, Dano also appeared on Guiding Light and As the World Turns, hosted the talk show, Attitudes and is known as one of the fashionable people in the business.  Linda formerly helped dress many of your favorite soap stars, wrote a book on having just the right look, and is always on the cutting edge of the fashion world.

As you will see, the conversation was poignant, humorous, and candid, but what else would you expect from the one and only Linda Dano?  You can watch the full chat below.

What have you thought of Linda’s portrayal of DAYS Vivian thus far? Was your favorite soap role of Linda’s … that of AW’s Felicia Gallant? What story that she shared in the conversation did you enjoy hearing about the most?  Let us know via the comment section.

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