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THE CHRISTIAN LEBLANC INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

By Michael Fairman

Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:

You have great story coming up! It seems it took awhile for this all to come to fruition, wouldn’t you say?

CHRISTIAN:

I have great story, with Lowell being my father. It was yes, no, then yes, no, then yes. When you look at it, it’s kind of interesting how the writers did it

TV SOAP:

So, you are glad that the show picked this point in time to unravel the story?

CHRISTIAN:

I did not want the story to go right away. We had the whole Tom Fisher thing, and a lot of men in Gloria’s life at the time. I liked the timing of this to clear the decks and you then have the right moment. I know they were going to go with it. They kept me busy, and I was lighter in story than I am usually, but I used that to my advantage.


TV SOAP:

There was this recent tease where Michael visited the jail where the “supposed” Lowell was being housed, but it turned out he was an imposter.

CHRISTIAN:

They changed identities, and Lauren, Paul and I have been piecing this together, and it was a red herring moment. I rarely harass the writers, but I called Maria Arena Bell (co-head writer, “Y&R”) and told her that this really pushed me to the edge of my skill level! These were some interesting scenes and the degree of difficulty was high.

TV SOAP:

Like getting an 8.3 from the judges?

CHRISTIAN:

Yeah, and you kill for that kind of thing! But, they are scary and intimating all at the same time. You want to be better, so you find a better tennis player.

TV SOAP:

The caliber of your performances is always top notch. Do you rehearse as much as you would like?

CHRISTIAN:

I actually would like to do many more takes then we are allowed to, because I find new stuff to play. You get used to the system. You have to make a choice and commit to it with very little prep time.

TV SOAP:

To recap for Australian fans, why is Michael so into searching for his real father?

CHRISTIAN:

I think it all started when he had Fen. It keys it off for a lot of fathers. This is a man who went to prison. He went to therapy to change his dark ways. He was a violent man and he claimed he never had a family. Then his family shows up and then you find out why he denied his family for so long. Michael is somebody who denied his brother’s pain, but he feels responsible for it. When you have a child, you are responsible for that child. Michael has Lauren to help him discover these things.

TV SOAP

What does Michael hope to achieve when finding his father?

CHRISTIAN:

I think he wanted to be a whole person and have a point of reference. You have a whole picture, and even if it’s a bad father you get it. It’s thinking this guy will come save us one day. This goes all the way back to when I would write letters to this man thinking Gloria was mailing them, and realizing she never mailed them. She kept them just to keep this fantasy. That’s where the push-pull comes, and as long as you don’t know its fantasy, but it’s very specific things happening. I find it with adopted people. It’s an interesting dynamic. I need to know, genetically. I am a huge genealogy freak in real life. That’s what I love about Michael. He is so complex, and it isn’t any push over to be him. The easy part is just to be myself, and the writers have stayed true to his character. You want to stay true to his dark side and his humanness, and it’s good and evil. You can reform yourself, but you cannot deny your history.


TV SOAPS:

Will the revelation of meeting the real Lowell Baldwin, played by Michael Gross do you think Michael will flip back to his dark side?

CHRISTIAN:

I don’t know if it will be his downfall or not, because Lowell is such an unexpected character, and it certainly pushes all those buttons again….

TV SOAP:

….Will we have sympathy for Lowell? I think so.

CHRISTIAN:

I think so too, and a good actor does that and Michael Gross was wonderful.

TV SOAP:

Do you think they will keep the story going and play this out, and keep Lowell on as part of the Genoa City canvas, after this initial shocker?

CHRISTIAN:

I think so. You don’t get Michael Gross just to toss him out for a day. It’s not worth his time. They will have a lot of work for him, which I am very happy about and he could not have been a nicer man, it’s so easy and that’s his professionalism. It’s a cast of thousands, one take… fast, fast, fast. It can scare anybody, but he was right there with it.

TV SOAP:

Do you think they will keep the story going and keep Lowell on as part of the Genoa City canvas, after this initial shocker?

CHRISTIAN:

I think they will. You don’t get Michael Gross just to toss him out for a day. It’s not worth his time. They will have a lot of work for him, and he could not have been a nicer man.

TV SOAP:

So, is Kevin and Jana’s wedding a huge disaster?

CHRISTIAN:

It is an amazing, amazing. It’s an amazing series of shows.

TV SOAP:

Were you in the audition process when they were casting Michael Gross as your on-screen dad, Lowell?

CHRISTIAN:
No. That poor man just got thrown into the Baldwin’s and this huge cast! We talked a little the first day of taping, but we were thrown into these really intimate scenes, and it kind of worked. He is the consummate professional.

TV SOAP:

Will there be a big showdown between the two characters once they meet?

CHRISTIAN:

Not quite a showdown, just a discovery, and going through the myriad of emotions of when the fantasy dies and the truth stands before you.

TV SOAP:

How does Michael feel then?

CHRISTIAN:

I think he is disappointed. This would be something that was not his expectation. It’s been chipping away at his fantasy, and at the end of the day it’s the worst-case scenario.

TV SOAP:

When is all this going to play out on the air?

CHRISTIAN:

It all happens at Kevin and Jana’s wedding. I think all of Michael’s fears come together in his one meeting on this one amazing day, which is so riveting. Everyone was on that day. It kicks off on Friday, August 15, here in the States.

TV SOAP:

So, does everyone at the wedding see him at the same time Michael does? Isn’t he the priest?

CHRISTIAN:

Just think, everybody sees him at the same time, and I talk to him!

TV SOAP:

Do you think they will keep the story going and keep Lowell on as part of the Genoa City canvas, after this initial shocker?

CHRISTIAN:

I think they will. You don’t get Michael Gross just to toss him out for a day. It’s not worth his time. They will have a lot of work for him, and he could not have been a nicer man.

TV SOAP:

What about working with Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren)?

CHRISTIAN:

We are like an old married couple. There is a physical comfortness, and she makes me look good. Wait till you see her in these scenes!

TV SOAP:

But don’t you think there has got to be some major troubles coming up for Lauren and Michael? I mean, on the soaps wedded bliss can only happen so long.

CHRISTIAN:

I don’t know. I hope we have complications. I want it to be like a real marriage. I mean, we don’t have to be broken up, but certainly, there are things that a married couple disagrees about. I would like to see us have conflict.

TV SOAP:

Do you think Michael might have an affair?

CHRISTIAN:

It’s soaps and in real life, given the right circumstances for my character, anything is possible. Nobody likes ‘happily- ever- after’ forever.


TV SOAP:

How was your night at the recent Daytime Emmys? It was so hot outside! You did not walk away with the prize for Lead Actor, unfortunately. Tony Geary, Luke from “GH” won that night.

CHRISTIAN:

It was so hot! I had a ball, and I was there with Nia Peeples (Karen). It’s always a fun night out. It was so exciting. Tony Geary hugged me before the show and said, “It’s going to be you this time! I got all sorts of compliments. It’s Tony Geary, a legend, saying this! That was such an honor coming from him.

TV SOAP:

Where are your two Emmys?

CHRISTIAN:

I have got two on my piano, to instill the need in me to practice. (He laughs) I am hoping for cross-discipline. I had myself my own Emmy for everything. (He laughs).

TV SOAP:

What’s left to do and accomplish with your acting career?

CHRISTIAN:

I want to do it all. I would like to do a feature. You want to be tested. I think I have something here and I have been given a gift. It’s my job to develop it to its utmost. It has never bored me here at “Y&R”. I just worked scenes with Chris Engen (Victor Jr.) today. When it’s somebody new, I get flop sweat!

TV SOAP:

How is working with Chris?

CHRISTIAN:

He is lovely and amazing, and so is Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe). They keep bringing new ones in! We have a great core group here, and Chris is intelligent. It’s a plumb part and he is just getting up to speed.

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TV SOAP;

Many fans think you ad lib a lot of Michael’s material on screen. Is that true?

CHRISTIAN:

I never ad-lib… never in my life! (He laughs) And that being said, so many of those are written more than people think. I actually think it’s a great compliment. I get a lot of humor and a lot of great lines. They give me the freedom to tweak a line. But I don’t do it as frequently as people think I do. It’s just me and my timing and delivery, or even better, it’s the other actor’s reactions.

TV SOAP:

So, what do you think we can tell the fans to look forward to in the coming months for Michael?

CHRISTIAN:

I have NO idea. With the writer’s building the momentum for this storyline for quite awhile, I can’t see them not taking advantage of this front and center stage. Especially, with Michael Gross being on the show.

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TV SOAP:

There has been such turnaround with the writing teams recently at “Y&R”. Are you noticing any difference in the scripts?

CHRISTIAN:

I think you do see changes slowly, but surely. All the writers have been good to me, and I have a scene to get nominated on every year, and that’s hard to find. I like working and they keep me in the picture. I do see it evolving in the scripts. I see a mixing of all the characters again. I like to see the integration of that. I think being given the amount of time when you are new to the show that’s the hardest thing in the world. It was the late Bill Bell’s gift, and a singular gift (creator and ex-head writer, “Y&R”). He never called me by my character name. He knew who I was. But in the end, he always had these stories and they were intermixing, and there was a spider-web that existed in his head, and that does not happen easily. Not everyone is gifted that way. But still you need to have time to get your people in place. I think we are still recovering from missing Bill Bell; it was never going to be easy. It’s nice to be hopeful, but you had a singular show with a single vision and it will take time. We need people to have patience. We had a lot of passionate people contributing to the process, and its takes a lot of siphoning through till you get the formula that you want.

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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