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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
Guest
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
Guest
Cassondra Brotzman

lovely article

Christina
Guest
Christina

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

mandy
Guest
mandy

Great interview. Enjoyed it. Love Cane & Lily!

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

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

Linda
Guest
Linda

Great Post Loved it

tasneem
Guest
tasneem

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

Peggy
Guest
Peggy

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

Sammie
Guest
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
Guest
Sheryl

Thanks Michael for another great interview.

Jenna
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

DeeDee
Guest
DeeDee

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

Barbara
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Syreeta

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

Maya
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Cady McClain & Rob Scott Wilson Talk Being Recasts, All My Children Reboot, Future of Cin & Jennifer’s Bitch-Slap

Current Days of our Lives and former All My Children reboot stars, Cady McClain (Jennifer, Days, Ex-Dixie, AMC) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben, Days, Ex-Pete AMC) chat with Michael Fairman in an enlightening and exclusive conversation for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

McClain, who recently took over the role of Days of our Lives beloved heroine Jennifer Horton from mainstay Melissa Reeves (who chose to stay with her family in Nashville during Covid-19 thus forcing the series to recast the role for now) talks about stepping into the key part of the Salem canvas, plus the recent Jennifer/Kate fight over Jack (Matthew Ashford), and how the legacy series is coping with production during Covid-19.

Cady is no stranger to be a recast.  She was the second actress to play Dixie on ABC’s All My Children, as well as the second actress to play Rosanna on As the World Turns, and she had previously taken over the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless.

Photo: JPI

Rob, talks about landing the role of Ben and being a recast, and in an emotional moment, reveals how he credits the opportunity to the late producer, Lisa de Cazotte. Wilson also shares his hopes for his Salem alter-ego who is struggling to move on with his life after the supposed death of his wife, Ciara.

The actor also opens up on if DAYS decided to recast the role of Ciara, since Victoria Konefal is not presently with the NBC soap full-time, how he would feel about it and thus the future of Cin.

Photo: JPI

Both Cady and Rob first appeared together in Prospect Park’s online revival of All My Children. In this interview, they discuss how they had high hopes for the continuation of the series, how it ultimately fizzled, and what it was like to be a part of the then, groundbreaking first, for a daytime drama series along with One Life to Live.

Photo: TOLN

In addition, Cady gives the viewer insight on how she runs lines for both DAYS and GH at home with her real-life husband, Jon Lindstrom (Kevin and Ryan, GH), while Rob talks about his recent storyline where Ben was kidnapped and tortured by a vengeful Eve (Kassie DePavia) and much more.

Check out the full chat with Cady and Rob below. Then weigh-in: How would you feel if there was a Ciara recast? What are your hopes for the holidays for Jennifer? What did you think of the stories shared by Cady and Rob in the interview? Comment below, and if you have not done so already make sure to “subscribe” to the Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interviews.

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Interviews

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

 

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: Gilles Toucas

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

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

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

 

 

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

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

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

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

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

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

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

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

Wait, what?

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

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

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

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

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

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: Broadway World

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

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

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

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

Photo: Broadway World

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

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

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

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

Courtesy/ENelsen

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

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

How long was it open on Broadway?

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

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

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

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

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

Photo: Prospect Park

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

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

Photo: LANYEntertainment

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

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

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

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

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

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

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

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

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

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

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

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