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The Daniel Goddard Interview – The Young and the Restless

Photo Credit: Kathie Huchins

Photo Credit: Russell Bear

Happy Valentine’s Day from On-Air On-Soaps!  And who better to celebrate this romantic of all holidays with then The Young and the Restless resident heartthrob, Daniel Goddard!  Today his alter-ego, Genoa City’s Cane Ashby, gets set to walk down the aisle in what the number one daytime drama is promising to be a beautiful heartfelt and stirring ceremony to his beloved Lily, played by Christel Khalil.

After so many twists and turns including: Cane being shot “dead” in front of the church steps, an evil twin, Lily thinking she is going bonkers, Cane’s bizarre family background being revealed, constant familial interference, a possible Danny Romalotti and Lily romantic re-teaming, (and that’s just for starters), the invincible couple known lovingly to its fans as LANE will finally have their special day.

To preview the wedding drama and what’s next for Cane, we had the opportunity to speak to one of our favorite gents in the business, Mr. Daniel Goddard.  So, what makes Cane and Lily the couple to root for?  How did Daniel feel about the road it took for these two lovers to find there way back to each other?  How does he feel about Cane’s relationship now with Genevieve and working with the legendary Genie Francis?  And how should men treat their wives on Valentine’s Day?  Find out when you read our very special interview with Daniel on this double occasion, Valentine’s Day, and the second wedding of Cane and Lily!

MICHAEL:

Are you excited about the pay-off for long time LANE fans?  Finally, they get to see their favorite duo get hitched … again!

DANIEL:

Photo Credit: Kathie Huchins

I am really excited about the whole wedding.  I am excited about the storyline and that it is a two episode arc.  Viewers found out on yesterday’s episode about the gift from Katherine that Cane and Lily will be heading off to France for their nuptials, and today’s air show is the first episode of the two-part wedding.  Today is actually a big day in general!  I am also doing The Price is Right for Valentine’s Day, and then Christel Khalil and I are doing The Talk live!

MICHAEL:

Cane and Lily have had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them over the course of the last few years.  Do you like how the story has played out?  Do you think their relationship has finally come full-circle?

DANIEL:

I think it’s come full circle and I think this is being done well.  Certainly, Cane and Lily have had a lot of ups and downs.  I think through all of that, the fans have stayed true and they have expressed their desire for what they want to see.  I think a wedding of this caliber will make the fans very, very happy and that is what this is about.

MICHAEL:

Where did you film the wedding episodes?  I know you did not go to France!

DANIEL:

We shot the wedding at Greystone which is in Los Angeles. It’s a huge estate and mansion which was chosen to look like France.  And to be honest with you, it’s such a wonderful location that you would never know it isn’t France!  The full crew was there so we had a great lavish look to it and it was a great production.  It’s going to be wonderful.

MICHAEL:

So when you and Christel say the wedding vows as Cane and Lily, are they different this time out in their feeling and delivery?  Fans love great heartfelt wedding vows between two long suffering star-crossed lovers, you know?

DANIEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Yes.  The vows this time are different because the last wedding had more of the, “I will always love you” type of vows.  This one is our second wedding and so the vows are more about having fun and understanding where they have been and understanding what they have gone through.  Basically it has the sentiment of, “Let’s make sure we never have to go through that again, and let’s have fun.”  It has a great light-hearted feel to the whole thing.

MICHAEL:

Daniel, you had the beginnings of such meaty story when Cane’s mother, Genevieve was added to the mix. Then it seemed like all of a sudden that whole story got wiped out pretty quickly.  Will we finally see Cane and Genevieve dealing with their feelings for each other as mother and son?

DANIEL:

I think it’s come full circle between Cane and Genevieve now.  Genevieve coming to town and using Cane in sort of a puppet master kind of way to have her desires to get back at Colin fulfilled is over with,  and where does that leave Cane and Genevieve’s relationship?  The next stage is about to be delved into.  Cane has gotten this job offer from Ashley and Jabot, and of course, we will end up seeing the trials and tribulations on how that affects his relationship with his mother, while she works at “Beauty of Nature.”  So it’s good stuff.  It has some legs.

MICHAEL:

How has it been working with soap icon Genie Francis (Genevieve)?

DANIEL:

It’s great.  What is interesting about Y&R is that everybody has different relationships with each other on the show, and I think that comes across on camera.  So, my relationship with Jess Walton (Jill) is very different than my relationship with Genie.  And what is wonderful about that is that we all have a great working relationship and a great off-set working relationship, but because the dynamics are so different, you see it play out on screen.  I have a lot of respect for Genie Francis.  I love working with her.  It’s interesting that we have an opportunity to build this relationship on-screen, and that we don’t have the history off-screen.  Cane and Genevieve have this back-story.  I have always tried to maintain a certain level of ambiguity with my relationship with Genie Francis, because I know that carries over into the ambiguity and the history of Cane and Genevieve.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

From having spoken to you and many of your cast mates over the years, I know you have a very thoughtful process to your acting approach.  So I am wondering, what does Cane really think of this woman, Genevieve?  I know she is his mother, but she has done some horrendous things for god sakes!

DANIEL:

Exactly!  But I think at the same time Cane does genuinely feels like he wishes that his mother could step up, and be the mother she should be to him.  I think he is at that stage of his life where he will always give her the benefit of the doubt.  But when it becomes emotionally exhausting, he has to then step away for his sanity and his family’s sanity.

MICHAEL:

There is also such sweetness and pure love in scenes between Cane and Katherine played by Jeanne Cooper.  Katherine always seems to be there for Cane, no matter what he has done to her family in the past!  How is it having Jeanne back on the set after her medical leave?

DANIEL:

I love having Jeanne back.  She is doing great.  Jeanne Cooper is the glue that holds this show together.  I think that when she was not here, she was greatly missed, and you could feel that throughout the set.

MICHAEL:

There is a surprise visitor at the nuptials!  Will that cause a wedding day ripple? Or, is it a little blip in the road?

DANIEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

I think it sets up the impending drama that we understand that Genevieve truly does love Cane even though she is incapable of taking herself out of the equation.  She will still do things for her own purpose and cause, but by her showing up at the wedding, the audience knows her heart is in the right place. Now it’s about seeing if they can overcome their history and their inability to make it work.  It allows the show the ability to rectify things between them down the road.

MICHAEL:

Will Cane’s sister Samantha get brought up again?  It was dropped all of a sudden, too!

DANIEL:

I don’t know, but that would be interesting.  Who knows what they will do with that? She is a keystone part of the relationship between Cane and Genevieve.  I think her death led to the unfolding of everybody’s relationship…. Colin and Cane…Caleb and Cane …. Genevieve and Caleb and vice versa … and so I think Sam is very integral to their dysfunctional relationship.

MICHAEL:

I thought your scenes with Tristan Rogers (Ex-Colin, Y&R, now Robert, GH) were interesting.  Was it hard to see Tristan all of a sudden leaving the canvas?

DANIEL:

Whenever somebody leaves a show that you love working with, and you have a great rapport with, it’s always hard.

MICHAEL:

Christel and you are so beloved by the fans and the Y&R audience.  What is it about Christel that you enjoy working with, and why do you think it translates on screen for LANE?

DANIEL:

Photo Credit: Kathie Huchins

I think Christel and I have a frivolous sense of humor when it comes to things that most people take seriously.  We will be doing scenes where we know we have to say certain dialog, and while we run the words we want to change them, but we don’t.  So in the middle of a scene, when we get to that place, you will notice every now and then that we will stop and kind of smile and have a laugh and keep going.  That is because we bring the frivolity with regards to the way we perceive things through our scenes.  We have a very tongue and cheek way with certain things we find funny.  We have a very bawdy sense of humor about it.  Our sense of humor is very similar.  Christel is just great to work with.  I really enjoy the spontaneity of it!

MICHAEL:

It is Valentines Day, and you are married in real life.  So do you think Valentine’s Day is an important day for a couple or a big excuse for a commercial holiday?

DANIEL:

My feelings on Valentine’s Day are that you have to see if for what it is. It is a Hallmark sort of holiday created for that reason.  But, I am a big believer that everyday should be Valentine’s Day.  I don’t think you should cruise through the year and then say, “Oh, it’s February 14th.  I have to buy some flowers and be nice to my wife.” You know what I mean?

MICHAEL:

Of course I know what you mean.  But here is the million dollar question … will you be buying flowers and being nice to your wife today on Valentine’s Day? (Laughs)

DANIEL:

(Laughs)  The other thing I have learned is that every now and then when you have that inside voice saying, “You should buy your wife some flowers”…  buy the flowers.  If you are in the supermarket and you see the flowers … buy the flowers.  I am a detail guy.   So for me it’s all about the little things.  I always look for the details and how can we fix this or that.  I think you can have a great foundation and a great exterior, but when you do a photo shoot in a house and you don’t have the flowers on the table, and the little bits and pieces that make it looked lived in, it looks like a home that no one lives in.  Men, always buy the flowers when you think you should get them, not just on Valentine’s Day!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: PR Photo

Do you ever look back at all of Cane’s “power jobs” and go, “How the hell could this happen?”  I say that in light of Cane’s true and sometimes questionable background! (Laughs)

DANIEL:

I know!  If you do a Fortune 500 search for a lot of college dropouts in Fortune 500 companies, you will find that it’s something like 40%.  At the end of the day, you can go to school and just because you answer the questions right does not mean you have the wherewithal or the capacity to run a business.  I don’t think Cane has the book learning skills side of it, but I think he has the life lessons side of it, based on who he is and where he has come from.  The way he does business with people, he kind of understands who they are as people.  Cane at Jabot is very enthusiastic and cautious about falling into a family business which is an Abbott company.  I think he is sensitive about that.  However, that being said, he has no fears in doing business with anybody because if you can come from a family of gangsters than business people don’t really measure up.

MICHAEL:

So as the wedding of Cane and Lily unfolds, will members of the Winters, Abbotts, and Chancellor clans be supportive of their union? Or, should we expect much bickering and those snarky looks from various wedding guests throughout the ceremony?

DANIEL:

I think you get a very good feeling from the beginning of the wedding that it is going to have a happy ending.  I was talking to our executive producer and head writer, Maria Arena Bell while we were on location at Greystone and she said, “You know, this is really the first wedding we have had in a long long time that doesn’t end in a tragedy!” That is so true because recently Jack got shot at his wedding. Then remember, Victoria got arrested at her wedding, and at Cane and Lily’s first wedding after they leave, Cane looks up to the heavens and says, “Please forgive me for what I have to do.”  Maria said this wedding is something she wants the fans to get behind.  It’s going to be just a beautiful occasion between two very loved characters who have gone through so much, in the form of Cane and Lily, and they deserve to be happy together.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Do you like the opportunity to get to dress up in character, and do the GQ look in tuxedos and suits, etc?

DANIEL:

I am a jeans and t-shirt type of a guy.  However, at the end of a day I enjoy shooting on location because we shoot in doors so much.  So I am a big believer in that any type of change from the norm is fun.

MICHAEL:

You have an amazing fan base that you consistently stay in touch with on your Twitter page.  Often, I find you chatting with them and engaging with them in conversation.  Do you think that is important for an actor to do in 2012 as a key ingredient to their success and staying power with a continuing series like Y&R?

DANIEL:

I think it’s important.  I think if you nurture something I think it grows on its own and then you find a way to allow it to be the best it can be.   Cane and Lily had a grass root fan base.  I remember back in 2007 when we started. The CBS Soaps in Depth polls were there and we were in the polls as couple number five, and we weren’t yet ranking in the individual actor polls.  I remember going to our former EP, Josh Griffith’s office going, “Dude, Dude, Dude, look at this!”  We next went from number five, then to number four, then to number three, and then to the individual actor polls. Then, TV Guide did this feature on the top people in daytime for both men and women.  I think I came in at number one for the men, and Christel came in at one of the top two spots for the women. I think for me I feel an obligation to allow the fans to get what they give to you. I think it’s selfish of an actor if he has a fan base, not to give the fans something really special because you touch so many lives. To bring so much joy and so much happiness to people, I mean, why not?  The fans have been amazing!

MICHAEL:

Can you comment on what you think some of Cane and Lily best and worst moments in story have been through the years?  

DANIEL:

Photo Credit: Kathie Huchins

I love the scenes where you have an honest conversation between Cane and Lily, and you turn to the person and you go, “This is happening. How do I do this? How do I fix this?” The reason I like that is because that is what happens in real life!  I think as long as scenes have a truth to them, they are always well done.  I think that is what Christel and I always look for … that honesty.  You can look back at the history of the scenes we have had together and you can see the ones where there is a genuine love that the characters have for each other.  It does come from the writing, and there have been a lot of scenes like that.

MICHAEL:

Didn’t you think it might have been a tad tricky when viewers didn’t know if it was Cane or Caleb crawling into bed with poor Lily?

DANIEL:

Yeah, it was interesting.  I did not know when Caleb was Caleb and Cane was Cane until a certain point through it.  I had to play it ambiguously.  And for me it was difficult because I did not want it to look like Cane was ever manipulating Lily.  That is the sort of the thing whether you have to fake your death or whatever it is, you would deliberately not want to hurt the person you love in the process.  But it allowed for great drama that the fans could get behind, and then they were led out of that portion of the story to where we are now.  So I think it inadvertently allowed the audience to unify with a common voice which is now being repaid to them.

MICHAEL:

Do you love, hate, or were you on the fence, about playing twins?

DANIEL:

I loved it.  I really enjoyed it because when you play a twin they should not be diametrically opposed to one another. I think a lot of the time in life it should be, “Well, which one is it?” because a lot of twins grew up like that.  I enjoyed getting away from Cane and playing Caleb, and then coming back to Cane.  I love my character and my job.  I am very fortunate.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: PR Photo

Now, after the wedding will Cane will remain a good guy?  I assume he might be tinkering with some things for the greater good for whatever business he is involved with and to protect his family.

DANIEL:

I don’t think at this point you will see Cane being played any other way than how he deals with different obstacles to overcome and having different missions to accomplish.  I think we have established everything he has gone through from faking that he is Phillip Chancellor III …

MICHAEL:

Geez Daniel! You have had so many, “interesting” stories, to say the least!

DANIEL:

Yeah, I know. (Laughs)  Someone the other day said, “So tell me about your character?” And I was like, “Hmmm. Well….”  I think where we go now is giving the fans what they want which is a strong home based relationship and trials and tribulations occurring outside of that.

MICHAEL:

Do you have any problem at this point in your career in providing what you do for the daytime audience, and that is being the strong romantic leading man that can act?

DANIEL:

Well first, thank you.  No, I have no problem with that label.  I went the other route earlier in my career where I wanted to be the character actor.  I wanted to be the Viggo Mortensen and Sean Penn characters.  I have always come across this hurdle which is: if you look like the character, then you get to play the character guy type of roles.  So I think this is a niche that I have arrived at because I think this is where everything has led me towards.

MICHAEL:

You know when a soap couple ties the knot it often times spells disaster for their characters.  They can end up stalled in story, back-burnered, or they become incredibly boring because often times writers can’t seem to figure out what to do with a couple once they are happy.  Have you and Christel had a conversation about that?

DANIEL:

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

No, no, no.  I think she and I could read the phone books together and make them fun.  I am not concerned at all.  But to be honest with you, every single fan I meet – whether at a personal appearance or walking down street – the first thing they say to me is, “God, we love Cane and Lily.   We love Cane and Lily together.  When are they going to be together?”  So, if you are talking about a couple where they don’t have the history and they don’t have the chemistry, then it’s doomed, because then the show has them get married and then they sit there looking at each other and go, “Well, what do we do now?” You could put Christel and me in a scene together about stuffing pillows with polystyrene, and we would find a way to make that funny and interesting because that is where she and I are at with our lives now.

MICHAEL:

Maria Arena Bell once told me that she would never have Michael and Lauren knowingly cheat on each other. (Of course, Lauren’s doppelganger was another story!)  So do you think with Cane and Lily in the future, and to protect the integrity of their characters and their marriage, the problems will come from an outside source?  I hope Cane won’t end up by accident in some women’s bed!

DANIEL:

Well, I did that already with Chloe when I woke up drunk in the car!  I think that you will find that you give the fans what they want, they stay watching the show, and then you give the fans something extra and then they tell new people who then start to watch the show.  That is a true tested historical fact and formula with any television show that has ever been on the air.

MICHAEL:

Daniel, you had some pretty heavy ups and downs with Y&R.  You were off the show at one point then brought back on.  Are there any hard feelings leftover from that whole set of circumstances?

DANIEL:

I have no hard feelings. I am just so happy to be a part of the show.  I love everything about the show, and to be honest with you, every single time I get a script, the first thing I do is read it.  I read the entire script, not just my part.  I am just so honored and pleased to be part of the Y&R family.

MICHAEL:

So, should we bring our hankies when we sit-down to watch the wedding of Cane and Lily today and tomorrow?

DANIEL:

Always bring your hankies … and your hanky-panky and some cake!  And make sure to watch the Price is Right, we are giving away a good trip, and The Talk  because whenever Christel and I do a talk show it is a lot of fun.

Photo Credit: Kathie Huchins

MICHAEL:

Wow!  This is good.  They are pimping you guys out! (Laughs)

DANIEL:

Yeah! But Christel and I on a talk show is fun.  We have a very interesting relationship and I think our dynamic plays well.

MICHAEL:

Finally, what do you think your on-screen partner-in-crime Christel Khalil, would say about you if I asked her what it is like to work with you?

DANIEL:

She would smile and shake her head (laughs) and say we have a great time together.

 

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Enuf!Twit&TwatWriters
Enuf!Twit&TwatWriters

Thanks Michael for another DG interview! We Love Him!

Still waiting for a Christel Adnana interview; been waiting for years! What’s up with that–surely not a bit of sexism is it? LOL!!! Seriously we want to hear from both actors who comprise LANE–Lily and Cane and Christel does have a voice, an outlook to share!

Cassondra Brotzman
Cassondra Brotzman

lovely article

Christina
Christina

Awesome interview! I am so happy I was part of the campaign to keep Daniel Goddard on YR.

mandy
mandy

Great interview. Enjoyed it. Love Cane & Lily!

Michelle
Michelle

Thanks Michael for another AWESOME Daniel Goddard Interview! I enjoyed reading every minute of it!!

Linda
Linda

Great Post Loved it

tasneem
tasneem

Thanx Michael I love ur Daniel. Interviews. Can u plz interview Christel next

Peggy
Peggy

Another great interview with Daniel Goddard! Loved reading every bit of it! Thanks. Maybe at some point you could interview Christel Khalil.

Sammie
Sammie

That was an awesome interview Michael! Can you please interview Christel next? We want to hear from the whole LANE, not just half of LANE! LOL!

Sheryl
Sheryl

Thanks Michael for another great interview.

Jenna
Jenna

That was great, Michael. Thank you for posting this interview.

I like Daniel Goddard and have lurked on his Twitter before. He usually posts a shirtless photo of himself and makes me scratch my head as to why, but this interview put him in a different light. He sounded very down-to-Earth. I enjoyed it.

I do, however, still feel bad that they had to make Tristan Rogers’ character so evil to make Cane look good. It was such a waste of another amazing actor. I guess it is General Hospital’s gain … for a little while.

Barbara
Barbara

Based on the comments, it sounds like I may be in the minority. But I don’t like Cane. The character has done nothing but repeatedly lie the entire time that he has been on Y&R yet everyone, especially Kay and Jill, are dazzled by him. While I like Lily slightly more (which is not saying much), the character’s romantic partner is boring. I struggle to remain interested in scenes between these two. There is no way that I could root for them as “THE” couple on Y&R.

I feel like the writers keep pushing Cane and Lily on us, trying to get us to like them. It sounds like most of you do like them. Personally, I feel like the show is constantly shoving them down my throat in an effort to make them popular.

DeeDee
DeeDee

The writers made him lie silly girl! Bravo to TPTB for finally getting it RIGHT!
Lane Rocks Y&R!!!

Barbara
Barbara

Thanks for your well reasoned and very intellectually response. After fully considering your view, I’ll stick with my original opinion:

Both Cane and Lily blow. The show should immediately dump the actor playing Cane (hopefully, in a plot in which the character lies again and is killed as a result) and send Lily into the land of recurring character seen only at holidays.

kay killgore
kay killgore

When MAB took over the helm she was going to undo everything LML did the character of Cane was originated by LML this character should have just been left alone as is . MAB just kept changing his story I really liked Cane and I still like the actor I just think their were so many holes in the storyline fans were just frustrated.

Carolyn
Carolyn

Thanks for the article Michael! I enjoyed reading the interview with Daniel! Cane and Lily are my favorite couple on the show! I want them to stay and work together against any angst or problems that they encounter! I also helped in the campaign to keep Daniel on the show! Want to see more Cane and Lily!

Syreeta
Syreeta

Thanks. Great interview! I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for my favorite daytime couple , Cane and Lily.

Maya
Maya

Loved reading the interview on Daniel . Now please interview Christel.
Love Cane and Lily there are the BEST couple Y&R has ever had.

Angela Coleman
Angela Coleman

Loved this interview. A year later. A Great read in the face of the ridiculous writing that is occurring for Lane right now where married Lily is pursuing another man. Utterly unbelievable and out of character. I have stopped watching Y&R as a result. Ms, phelps, new executive producer, arrogantly said recently that viewers don’t know what they want to see. Maybe. But we definitely know what we don’t want to see. Destroying the integrity of the Lane love story tops the list. It is only a matter of time before this new leadership regime fails. Mark my words as a longtime viewer. The show is on a destructive path.

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Photo: CBS

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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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GH's Michael Easton Talks On Finn's Hayden-Less Story, Finola Hughes & Favorite Soap Roles

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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General Hospital

GH’s Michael Easton Talks On Finn’s Hayden-Less Story, Finola Hughes & Favorite Soap Roles

It was a pretty wonky summer for General Hospital’s Dr. Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton), especially concerning the women in his life.  After proposing to Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) she exits to go deal with her twin sister, Alex, thus facilitating Hughes’ summer break from the series.

Meanwhile, another great love of Finn’s life, Hayden (Rebecca Budig) re-emerges on the canvas during Liz (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco’s (Roger Howarth) wedding reception, and is now clearly involved in some story with Jasper Jacks (Ingo Rademacher).  But what about the unresolved feelings and story with Hayden and Finn? After all, she left him and Port Charles and had his child (who is apparently alive) but is not letting her ex know that little fact.

Meanwhile as a doctor, Finn has had to deal with numerous medical infectious disease crisis’, with the latest being what happened to Sasha (Sofia Matteson) at the hands of the evil Cassandra Pierce (Jessica Tuck), who Finn would love to put behind bars for all of her nefarious drug-related crimes and for what she previously perpetrated on him.

Michael Fairman TV recently caught up with one of our favorite gents in daytime, Michael Easton, to get his thoughts on the on-screen developments in Port Charles, what he hopes is ahead this fall, a look back at some of his favorite soap roles (from One Life’s John McBain to Port Charles’ Caleb Morley), why One Life to Live was such a gem of a soap and a special time for him and his enduring soap career, and much more.  So, here’s what Michael shared in our irreverent entertaining, and candid chat.

Photo: ABC

Hayden has been back.  But you and Rebecca Budig have not thus far shared many scenes together.  Do you think we will eventually circle back to their story?

MICHAEL:  First of all, it is amazing having Rebecca back.  I’d like to say that I had forgotten how beautiful and talented she is, but I didn’t.  She stays with you, and her performances resonate.  So, coming back to work with her is like falling back into it.  For selfish reasons, I am somewhat disappointed that I thought when Hayden came back; she would completely turn Finn’s life upside down.  So, to be honest with you, I don’t know much more than what you are seeing is going on.

I don’t understand why the show is keeping that apart.  That’s what people wanted to see when Hayden came back, because many fans loved them together.

MICHAEL:  I’ve taken a hit anytime I’ve run into fans because I think (any fans that follow that couple), when they left, are a little disappointed in what they are seeing in that the girl who left is not the girl who has come back.  I think that has been the difficult thing for Finn.  It’s almost like she has reverted back to a character she was a few years prior to that.  In terms of having his life upturned, it hasn’t been upturned because she has been rather cold to him.  So, it probably isn’t the way I would have told the story, but maybe they have some great stuff up their sleeve.  I think the stuff that we have had together has shown promise.  Hopefully there will be more, because I enjoy working with her so much.

So, there’s a baby.  Does Finn ever think the baby Hayden said died, could be alive?

MICHAEL:  I don’t think he does.  I think he (just from Finn’s nature) would believe that she would never to that to him.  I imagine his thought would be, “What did I ever do to you?  You would do this to me,” because he was clearly in love with her, and she broke his heart.  I don’t think he ever sees that coming.  I know it’s hard because the audience all knows that, and it’s hard to play the person who is not in the loop when everybody else knows the truth, but you have to play that.  You have to play that you don’t watch the show.  I think Finn has to come from that place that she would never do that, and I think that will probably take it to a place (if that is the case) that will just make the fall that much grander, but again it is incredible having Rebecca back.

Photo: ABV

Has Rebecca said anything to you like, “What’s going on?  I’m barely talking to you on the show?” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Yes.  I don’t want to speak for her, but I think she probably thought it was going to be more the character that left who was coming back.  I think we’ve all been a little surprised, but maybe the writers have some great surprises up their sleeves, and this will play out.  It’s just different than I thought it would play out.

Finola Hughes had gone off on her summer vacation for awhile which put a pause in what’s next for the Anna and Finn romance, as well.

MICHAEL:  Well, you work with me long enough, and then you need some time off, right?  It’s like PTSD, right?  You need a three-month treatment plan to make it back.  So, I don’t blame her for taking some time off. (Laughs)

Finn proposed to Anna with this impromptu-at-her feet-moment at the Nurses’ Ball.  Did you like the proposal?

MICHAEL:  The only thing that I would have done differently is that I originally thought she said no, just because I love playing uncomfortable, embarrassing moments.  I would have had a lot of fun with that because being embarrassed in front of groups of people is something that I would like to play.  I do that quite often in my own life. (Laughs)  I didn’t watch it back, but in the moment, it felt really nice.  She’s lovely.  Who wouldn’t propose to her?  So, there wasn’t a great deal of difficulty in doing that.

Photo: ABC

Do you sense the on-screen magic between Finn and Anna?  

MICHAEL:  I hope we both bring each other out of our comfort zones a little bit.   I think Finola embraces that, and I embrace that.  I think we both sort of pull each other a little bit.  When the writers write it that way, especially early on, there was a lot of great dialogue and banter, it was like a very adult-type of movie for a while, and I really enjoy that.  It is like Sullivan’s Travels or something like that.  That’s a really dated reference.  Who else do you know that is going to pull out a reference to Preston Sturges movies?  (Laughs) How about Moonlighting?  Even that might be dated now, but it’s closer.  (Laughs)  I think that’s it.  She’ll go with it.  Sometimes just in the flow of it, stuff comes out, and nothing goes by Finola.  There is no ad-lib or gesture that you can make where she won’t go with you on it.  She’s such a pro, and she is so good at that.

Photo: JPI

You’re both smart actors, in a way.  

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MICHAEL:  She’s smart.  She’s really smart.   She’s extra smart, and I’m a little bit under, (laughs) and she balances us out.

Do you think Finn will finally help apprehend Cassandra?  How is it when you get to work with Jessica Tuck?

MICHAEL:  Yeah.  I would imagine.  I love Jessica.  I think she is fantastic, and I always like when the “bad guy” doesn’t know they’re the bad guy.  I know when I played Caleb on Port Charles; one of the things I liked about him was that he never thought he was the bad guy.  I think that is always the right way to play a bad guy, and Jessica certainly doesn’t play it that way.  She plays it like she is just really devious.  She is lovely. I sort of look at it like a team, and anytime you lose good players, your team is not as good.  So, anytime someone says something about someone coming back who is a really good actor, it’s great when they come back.

Photo: JPI

How does Finn feel now about his brother, Chase (Josh Swickard)?  He just can’t seem to get himself to show his affection towards his younger brother.

MICHAEL:  He does love him, and that’s right.  That’s the conflict, but it’s hard to be mad at Josh because he is the sweetest kid.  He looks at you with those big brown eyes, and you go, “Why am I being such a jerk to this guy?  He’s just too nice, but it’s good.  I think we’ve slowly developed a rapport, and it’s just one of those things that I think every so often, daytime gets right where you can almost tell something in real time.  It wasn’t rushed.  It’s taken a year, and they are sort of coming around to one another, but there are still a lot of secrets.  That’s coming up.

Photo: ABC

Where would you rate Finn in the scope of your characters?  I mean, for me, McBain will always be #1.

MICHAEL:  Is McBain 1?  (Laughs)  You and Steve Burton (Jason, GH).  I’ve never sat and ranked them. Obviously, I played McBain the longest, and it was probably the character who was the most like me I did ride-alongs with cops in New York City for like a month.  So, I was able to ground him in some reality for myself, and I was able to stick to that.  We had a great adviser on the show for over a year who was a former New York City detective, gold shield guy.  Someone once asked why the police department was so good at One Life, and that was it.  They really embraced it.  We didn’t have people sneaking out of the jail-cell with a bobby pin picking the lock. (Laughs)

It was a bit grittier on One Life.

MICHAEL:  I enjoyed that.  McBain not saying “I love you” for 10 years, being on daytime and being able to do that – now that is quite the accomplishment!

Photo: JPI

I remember when McBain FINALLY told Natalie (Melissa Archer) “I love you.” I lost it, but then again, I am sucker for soapy goodness like that. It was a big moment.

MICHAEL:  It was.  Then, he had to kind of retract it and said, “I was drugged.”

Yeah right, he had that “What did I do?” moment.

MICHAEL:  “What did I do?”  That’s right.  So, that was a challenge, and that was really interesting.  Port Charles’ Caleb was probably the most fun to play because that was just an incredible amount of freedom.  There was no grounding it in anything.  It was the biggest sandbox I’d ever played in.  If you wanted to walk over to the couch, you walked over to the couch.  You did whatever you wanted to, and obviously, getting to work with the lovely Kelly Monaco (Ex-Livvie, Port Charles, now Sam, GH) every day… it was just nice.  Caleb only had one intention.  He was in love with this girl, and he just wanted to be with her, and anytime you get one specific need as an actor, it makes it so easy. You’ll stop at nothing to be with this girl, and that’s so fun to play.

Photo: ABC

Right, and Kelly Monaco and you have amazing chemistry when you have been paired romantically together in story.

MICHAEL:  Yeah, I think those things exist in a special place, and they probably belong in that special place.  Although, I thought it was an interesting dynamic for a period of time, it would have been interesting to see where that would have gone on GH with McBain, and Jason, and Sam, because there was something there that they could have built on very slowly.  I don’t know what would have happened, but I think that dynamic was the only dynamic that could have worked for a period of time.   I don’t think Fin would work, but that one dynamic would have been interesting when you have the cop, the outlaw, and the girl who comes between them.

Photo: ABC

One Life to Live recently would have celebrated its 51st anniversary if it was still on the air.  Back in July, I posted these photos of major characters through the years.  I received so many “likes” and so many comments on social media such as, “I miss it so much. Bring it back!”  What can you say about those enduring One Life fans and being part of that one-of-a-kind show?

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Elizabeth Hendrickson Makes Another Return To Y&R

MICHAEL:  They’re the most beautiful fans.  All of the daytime fans are beautiful, but I think it was a really nice connection with the One Life to Live fans, and we got to know so many of them working in New York on the streets, you came out of the studio, and people were right there.  So, you really got to know them.  You got to engage with people.  I love that show, and I miss it.  Otherwise, I still stay in touch with a lot of them.  I think that speaks to it.  I have lifelong friends who I met on that show, which never happens.  Usually, you walk out of a show on your last day, and you’ll never see anybody again.  You’ll all say, “Yeah, let’s exchange numbers.”  I walk out of there and I go, “Thank you, and I’ll never see you again.”  I don’t even lie to people.  Like, I know I’ll never see you again, and I never have except for that show, and I am still in touch with so many of those people.  So, I think that spoke to how close we were.

Photo: JPI

Were you and Roger Howarth (Franco/Drew) always close on One Life, or are you closer now because you do all of the personal appearance events you do together?

MICHAEL:  Well, Roger and I have known each other; it must be going on… 25-30 years now.  So, it was pre-One Life.  I think at some point we both had long hair, and both had done daytime, so we were pretty interchangeable.  I think one time they called him about a part I did, and one time, they called me about a part when he left.  I actually know Roger because I did a series called 413 Hope St., and Jesse Martin was the lead in it.  It was a Damon Wayans series for Fox.  So, I had known of Roger, but I really got to know him at a New Year’s Eve party in like 1995/96.  Obviously, I’ve become really close to him now because we never did appearances or that sort of thing, but I think we have both sort of gotten over ourselves a little bit now. (Laughs)

Because you weren’t very visible before.  That goes for both of you!

MICHAEL:  No, and that’s by default.  I don’t think we ever discussed it.

Photo: ABC

It wasn’t a conscious decision?

MICHAEL:  No, I just thought (especially when I came back to daytime to do Caleb) it was just more interesting if people didn’t know a lot about me because the character was that.  So, it took me a while to ease into it, and also, I just had to get over myself.  I had a fear of engaging with large groups of people for a while.  In a strange way, Roger and I have kind of gravitated to each other.  I think we are both similar types.  Between the two of us, we make up one real man, you know?  Each of us is like half a man. (Laughs)

Together you can conquer.

MICHAEL:  We are a good crutch for each other!  He picks up my half, I pick up his.  That’s the solution.

So what do you think GH viewers can look forward to coming up with Finn?

MICHAEL:  I’m assuming at some point he is going to get his world turned upside down when he finds out about Hayden and the baby, and how he is going to react to that will probably be interesting.  I hope that’s going to happen.

Photo: ABC

If he became an addict again, how would you feel about that?

MICHAEL:  I think him struggling and getting over that would be interesting.  I would hope that wouldn’t be his reaction, but I guess that always hangs over your head.  Certainly, him falling apart would be interesting.  I think your faith in the universe would be crushed in that moment.  I don’t know how he would react.  I’m just really curious to see how that would shake out and to play that.  I think it would be a challenge.  I think you’re always looking for some way to turn everything … and I invite that.  I always think that sometimes in daytime we play the gimmick, but you should always play to the heart of the story.  What’s going to make you feel something?  If you feel something as the character, as the actor, I think the audience will feel something with you.  I think it is maybe one of the things that we have gotten away from a little bit is that emotional attachment.  When I watch shows that really move me, it’s still that emotional attachment between two people, and at the end of the day it should still be a love story … no matter what it is.   I think that is the heart of what we should be doing.  I think every poem should be a love poem of some sort.  I know they have to weave the other stuff, the science fiction, and the memories, and the missing babies, and the twins, but at the heart of it, it should really be about two people finding themselves in love.

Are you working on graphic novels, movies?

MICHAEL:  I’m always doing something, Michael.  It keeps me balanced, and it keeps me from losing my mind.

Photo: JPI

Will you be producing and directing any new short films?

MICHAEL: Trevor St. John (Ex-Todd/Victor Lord Jr. OLTL) and I are always talking about doing a short film.  Every time we drink too much beer, next thing you know, we are going to be doing a movie.  We have many beers, and then we shoot a film.  Then, we call our friends like Kamar de los Reyes (Ex-Antonio, OLTL), and Sherri Saum (Ex-Keri, OLTL), and Dan Gauthier (Ex-Kevin OLTL), and we go, “Now you guys, drink many beers, and you will join us on this film.”

See, now I get how movies are made!  

So, are you hoping that GH tells more of the story between Finn and Hayden?  Are you hoping that Anna and Finn make it to their “I do’s? What would you like to see happen to Finn? And finally, of all Michael’s soap roles which has been your favorite? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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