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THE DANIEL GODDARD INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

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By Michael Fairman

Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:

How do you feel about the whole Cane/ Lily, and Chloe pregnancy story angle?

DANIEL:

I am kind of curious to see what happens. I was wondering which way they were going to go with it. I have to say at this point, I am extraordinarily impressed with the storylines that are coming out. There is a very solid morale on the set at the moment, because all the storylines are intersecting now. Everyone has this new vigor!

TV SOAP:

So, do you attribute the changes to the new writing regime at “Y&R”?

DANIEL:

Definitely! When I found out where it was going I was so impressed. I went and phoned Maria Arena Bell, our co-head writer, and said, “I think its genius, because generally with anything to do with paternity suits or babies, and love triangles, it’s kind of been done. I was so impressed to make it new and fresh and to have a pay off, and I am excited to play it.” I have fear in my heart at work though, that all good things must come to an end as far as Cane and Lily, but at the same time I hope they will prevail.

TV SOAP:

How is working with Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) on “Y&R”?

DANIEL:

She is awesome! What I love about Liz is we have a very solid rapport with what we want to do in scenes. Chloe is such an interesting character. You thought she was this put-together stylist. Then, she took a dive off the deep end. To not let her be a complete nut-bag, I think Liz is working the character so well. Honestly, you don’t think she’s crazy. If you put yourself in Chloe’s shoes, she is not crazy.

dan-ChristelTV SOAP:

What do you have to say about the whole older man, Cane, and younger woman, Lily storyline point?

DANIEL:

I never thought of it that way.

TV SOAP:

Well, I do!

DANIEL:

Well, some people do, but I never thought about it that way for the dynamics of the relationship. It’s always going to be a point in storyline. It was a point in storyline to break us up when I knew how old she was. Cane then decided he can’t be without her, so he tells her we will make this work. Because of the age difference between Christel Khalil (Lily) and myself, I think it allows Cane to play a sweet and tender side to his character. I think if Lily were the same age as Cane, it would be a different dynamic. And even if she were the same person, it would have to be different.

TV SOAP:

But, Cane has another new story coming down the pike, correct?

DANIEL:

Now Cane is going to have a business storyline, because he just got promoted as the CEO of Jabot, to everybody’s chagrin, due to his lack of experience.

TV SOAP:

How do you justify Cane’s suspending belief that he could have gotten Chloe pregnant when he doesn’t remember a thing?

DANIEL:

It’s difficult. When you have a moment of blackout, and even knowing he couldn’t get an erection, all things being equal, assuming he is this super potent guy from the outback…. He woke up and didn’t know what happened. It is tearing him apart at the moment. It plagues him to know it, but at the same time, I try to play it like the baby’s not mine. But Cane certainly must have his doubts.

TV SOAP:

I hate when they dummy-down leading men on soaps!

DANIEL:

I remember when Cane was with Amber. I looked back on it and it was pretty obvious something was going on. You find yourself having to make a choice. When Amber was entered in the “Face of Jabot” contest, I played it from day one that Cane knew it was Amber. I always try to justify things, if they do things that make the character look like not the sharpest tool in the shed. You have to be very careful. You are walking a fine line. If you’re not careful, you will make your character look like a manipulator, unless they are going to do a Nick and Phyllis type of story where they start off hating each other, but Cane comes to realize that he really likes Chloe.

Dan Goddard profileTV SOAP:

But do you really think they would really break up Cane and Lily?

DANIEL:

We are so popular at the moment. We are up to number 2 in “Soaps in Depth” magazine as actors and as a couple. Would they run it? That’s the question I don’t know the answer to!

TV SOAP:

So, what do you think the chances are that the baby is ultimately going to turn out to be Cane’s?

DANIEL:

The DNA test comes back. Chloe has not manipulated the DNA test. It comes back that Cane could be a possible match for the baby. So what ends up happening is Lily tells Cane to marry Chloe.

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TV SOAP:

There were so many reports online about the shock over the letting go of Raya Meddine (Ex-Sabrina) while the new writers were coming in. Were your cast mates afraid for their own jobs, as well? Were people truly shocked by her exit?

DANIEL:

When I thought about it my jaw-dropped! I was in shock; it did come out of left field. But, when you look at it logically, it makes sense. Victor and Nikki will always be together. I think the problem is when you put yourself in a position where you’re going to be Victor’s new wife; you are basically a storyline waiting to happen. But if the audience totally falls head over heels in love with you and they break up Nikki and Victor, they will put you with someone else. I feel within the confines of logic, if you have characters that work very well, and storylines with other characters that work well, and when you introduce an unknown factor and a new character, people will always come and go as a service of storytelling.

TV SOAP:

How is working with Christel?

DANIEL:

I love it. I love everything about her.

TV SOAP:

Your road to “Y&R” and the role of Cane came after numerous younger leading man role auditions for the soaps, right?

DANIEL:

I tested for Austin Peck’s role on “As the World Turns”. I tested for the Nash Brennan role on “One Life to Live”, and ironically, I recall I met the producers of “General Hospital” for Jason Thompson’s role of Patrick. It’s one of the things I forgot about it. I saw Brandon Beemer (Owen, “B&B”) today, and we talked about how he left “DAYS” and ended up on “B&B”. I said, “See, everything works out. You are on a bigger show that has fewer people in your demographic and you have people to work with, plus Susan Flannery (Stephanie) and John McCook (Eric)! It’s crazy how things work out. I think I was meant to end up on”Y&R”. I did not want to relocate to New York. It worked out perfectly and it could not be any better.

TV SOAP:

How are your parents enjoying your success, back home in Australia?

Dan Goddard and wifeDANIEL:

They are great parents, and they enjoy my success and following the journey of my career. I probably won’t go back to Australia till next year because I am heavy in story, and my wife Rachel and I have another baby on the way! She is four months pregnant, and we will find out the sex in a week. I am excited! I already have Ford, my two and half year old son. I am excited to have this new baby, with what I learned from my first time experience with raising Ford.

TV SOAP:

What do you miss most about Australia?

DANIEL:

I miss everything about it. There is a sensibility about Australians. When I first moved to America, I had to reprocess how I interpreted what I heard, because it was different than the speed and tempos of Australia.

TV SOAP:

Many have said, that the hiring of Australians, Daniel Goddard and Tammin Sursok (Colleen) to “Y&R” was a direct attempt to raise the ratings of the show in the Australian market. Do you think that was the partly the reason you both were hired?

DANIEL:

I was told when I tested for “Y&R”…”Oh, you’re Australian?” I walked in with an American accent, and they said, “So, where are you from?” The concept of Cane was that he was given away at birth. So he could have been from Mongolia. It just worked out luckily for me that I was the right person for the job. As far as Tammin, I think it’s just the way it worked out.

TV SOAP:

Do you and Tammin hang-out as “Aussies” on the set?

DANIEL:

What I like about Tammin is that we have a flow of conversation that’s at a different level than anyone else, because there is a nicety that doesn’t have to be there. We speak so fast together, and chop our sentences down so much, that people look at us and go, “We can’t understand a single word you are saying!” I enjoy that because I don’t have another single Australian out here other than my family. The problem is after I speak to Tammin so much, I go on set and they go, “Daniel we don’t understand what you are saying! Slow it down and annunciate!”

TV SOAP:

What do you make of all the success of Australian actors on the soaps? First there was Ingo Rademacher (Jax) on “GH”, and currently we have you, and Murray Bartlett (Cyrus) from “GL”!

DANIEL:

I think when Ingo came out here, I am sure it was very difficult for him to get a job. No one wanted to hire anybody with an Australian accent. You could be English, Irish, Scottish, or Canadian, but no Australians. I truly think that Mel Gibson pioneered for every Australian in the industry to come over to the States to get a job.

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Dan-JeanneTV SOAP:

How did you feel about your on-screen grandmother, Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) winning the Emmy?

DANIEL:

Oh, I was so excited! I was jumping up and down. When I found it was the first time she won, it dumbed me down to the point where I didn’t know what to say. I think she would have had five or six or seven in the bag already. I am so proud to be part of a storyline that Jeanne is in and to be part of that family. I am proud to say that Jeanne Cooper and Peter Bergman are my mentors on that show. There is nothing I cannot go to them about. I can talk to Jeanne about life, and she will say, “Sweetheart, what is happening with the baby, and how do you feel?”

TV SOAP:

We wish for more storyline for your incredible on-screen mom, Jill, played by the amazing Jess Walton!

DANIEL:

She is getting a great storyline at the moment and so is everyone else. Cane and Jill have a very different relationship than most men who are 31 and women who are in their 50’s. Whenever I see I have scenes with Jess, I am so excited.

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TV SOAP:

So what is the best part of being a leading man, and the worst part?

DANIEL:

The best part has to be you get to do what you love. I love to act.

Dan WorkoutTV SOAP:

But you know what I mean; to be the guy that gets the girl that everyone lusts after.

DANIEL:

It’s funny. “TV Guide” just ran “The Soaps Sexiest…

http://www.tvguide.com/

TV SOAP:

… And weren’t you number one? Congratulations Daniel! How do you feel about that? It’s cool!

DANIEL:

It’s a testament to the fans…

TV SOAP:

…. But you keep yourself in shape. Right?

DANIEL:

Well yeah, but if it wasn’t for the fans… I am extraordinarily flattered! What I love is when I get a smart piece of dialog that allows me to show something that has cutting-edge intellect or mother/son, Cane/Lily. I try to play everything in a different way, so the character becomes complex. I know a lot of people who say to me, “I don’t trust Cane” because there is something going on. That’s great for me, and it shows me that they are seeing that he is different with everybody, which allows me to become a more complicated person.

TV SOAP:

But being a good–looking guy or woman, when somebody compliments you on your looks, how do you handle that? Do you say “thank you” or do you get shy about it?

DANIEL:

I get shy about it… always. At the end of the day, when you get cast in a role that’s based upon your physicality…. and I use to play against my type all the time. I would try to audition for roles where I wasn’t the leading man. I was going nowhere. I was banging my head against the wall. My wife said to me once, “Daniel, when are you going to understand they are not going to cast you as the serial killer or the evil guy, because against him is the guy who is the leading man… and when you look at him, he looks like you!” I finally embraced it. Ironically, after that I booked this. It has become the greatest acting experience, and one of the most wonderful periods of my life. Looking back, in “Beastmaster” I ran around for three years in a loincloth and looked ripped, with hair blowing in the wind and saying, “I want to do these other types of roles.” My wife, said, “I am telling you that you’re going to get really frustrated by it!” So, I decided to try and go the other way and not try to fight against type and see what becomes of it. Now I am glad I made that choice.

TV SOAP:

What can we tease our fans to look forward to in the coming months?

Dan and JessDANIEL:

I think you are going to see an emotional unraveling of someone that had the ability to put everything they have neatly packaged in a box, because that is what they have done for so long. You’ve seen a person who drops his guard after it was up for so long, and now all of a sudden, he is put in a position where he asks himself: should he put it back up? That, plus Cane is going to become a corporate powerhouse who puts all his angst into something he can control. He knows he can control the business side of things.

TV SOAP:

But will he lose his integrity?

DANIEL:

No. I would not allow him to lose his integrity. Eric Braeden is notorious for not allowing Victor to do non ‘Victoresque’ things. I am a firm believer that you are who you are at the core, and your morale compass dictates this is the direction you should head.

TV SOAP:

Should Cane and Lily fans be very worried?

DANIEL:

I think they will always root for the couple, but I don’t think they will always enjoy the ride. I think it’s hard, when you are a fan of a character or a couple, to sit back and watch everything fall apart. Especially, when you know that guy didn’t do what he is accused of doing, because the fans are on the inside.

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TV SOAP:

As an actor, what did you think about the recent Christian Bale incident involving some form of abuse to his mother and sister?

DANIEL:

I don’t know what happened, but to be honest with you, nothing surprises me. Here is the thing: I remember watching a documentary called “Spielberg on Spielberg,” and he was talking about doing “Empire of the Sun” with Christian when he was 8. Christian had an orange on the table and he was asked a question from the press, and he did not know how to answer it, so he picked up a pencil and stabbed the orange and got up and walked away. I was like, “If you are 8 years old, and that is your reaction to something, there is something going on.” You look at the films, “The Machinist” and “American Psycho,” which I have to say, is one of the top five roles I would want to play. That being said, I am not surprised when you have an innate ability to play such a dark character, within you something must be lurking. I can’t judge whether or not, it’s the mother and the sister trying to cash in. I can’t judge, but I am not surprised by anything.

Interviews

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

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I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

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What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Daytime Emmy Winners: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Scott Clifton & Heather Tom Talk Winning the Gold & Returning to Work at B&B

This week, The Bold and the Beautiful has been airing encore presentation of Daytime Emmy-winning performances from some of the cast over the years as a prelude to tomorrow night’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.

The weeklong Emmy celebration concludes tomorrow with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s (Steffy) Emmy-winning performance from last year which won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize for the first-time in her daytime career.

Michael Fairman chatted with Jacqui, along with five-time Daytime Emmy-winner and a nominee for Lead Actress again this year, Heather Tom (Katie) and three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Scott Clifton (Liam).  As daytime soap fans know, Heather and Scott hold the distinction of being the only actors to win in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead.

In this candid and fun conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Jacqui, Scott and Heather remember the nights the won Emmy gold, their acceptance speeches, things they wish they would have said, and what it was like waiting for their names to be called, plus taking a stroll down memory lane and remembering when they taped their Emmy-winning performances.

Scott reveals why he chose not to submit himself in Lead Actor this year, even though he has some of the finest performances throughout the Baby Beth baby switch storyline,.

Later the trio talk about The Bold and the Beautiful being the first U.S. soap opera and first U.S. broadcast show back in production following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and how B&B is looking to shoot episodes during the times we live.

Watch the full video interview below.

Then let us know, what was your favorite part of the moments shared by Jacqui, Scott, and Heather in the Emmy conversation?  Do you think Heather might tie Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) tomorrow night with her sixth win in the Lead Actress category?  What do you think of B&B’s return to production following the sentiments shared.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Thaao Penghlis Chats on His Daytime Emmy Nomination & How He Makes Tony DiMera One of a Kind

He has been one of the longstanding cast members of Days of our Lives and certainly of Salem’s notorious DiMera Clan; and while Thaao Penghlis may be off our screens for a time and then comes back again; though the years one thing has been true, he delivers top-notch performances in a way that is uniquely ‘Thaao’.

This year at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be broadcast on Friday night, June 26th at 8 p. m. EST, Thaao is vying for the Outstanding Lead Actor prize amongst a formidable group of other daytime favorites.  And this makes it two years in a row that Penghlis has received an Emmy nomination although this time in a different category.

As fans know, Penghlis takes the art of acting seriously, and expects other he works with to bring their A-game, just as he does time and time again; whether it be playing DAYS dashing Tony or the evil Andre or when he portrayed Victor Cassadine on General Hospital.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Thaao to get his thoughts on: receiving the Emmy recognition and what it means to him what he thought about his nominated scenes, plus what he might be doing at home during the ceremony, and where he hopes Tony DiMera’s future is headed.   Here’s what Thaao shared.

Photo: JPI

Tell me about what scenes you submitted that landed you a Lead Actor Emmy nod!

THAAO:  Well, the week I came back to DAYS, I had 11 shows, and this material was from one show of three I did one day!  When you think of other actors doing 150 shows, and I did less than 50 this past year, my choice is kind of limited.  So, when I came across these particular scenes, which were with Eric Martsolf (Brady) and with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), what I liked about it is that usually when you see other peoples’ work, its histrionic, it’s great tears, it’s drama – and what I was able to put together had a through line and an arc from beginning to end.  It makes it very logical when somebody is following your story, and you can show a whole ebb that makes sense.  I had some lines that were really difficult to say, like, “Coming back from the dead is not easy.”  When I get lines like that, I throw it away, and because of that, it becomes humorous.  I have to say I work well with Arianne.  She was great.  I found in the past, when I have worked with some actors, they step on your lines.  I found the best way to stop that is I put my hand up, and I say, “Hey!” and everything goes silent.  They go into shock mode, and I say, “I haven’t finished,” and then I go on.  (Laughs)  So, when Kristen as Nicole starts to talk to Tony the way she does, and she says, “You’d better behave…” I thought, “This is a DiMera you are talking to,” so, I just snapped back at her.  I gave her a, “Hey!”  So, she shut up, froze, and I went on.

Photo: JPI

Would you say your reel was more comedic … or both funny and serious?

THAAO:  It is both.  There are subtleties to it.  There is a teacher I know in Australia, and she is very critical.  She said, “I want to see your work.”  I showed it to her, and she wrote back, “Oh my, God.  How did you make those transitions so readily?”  I went, “Oh.  How did I do it?”  I didn’t think of that.  I think it’s an old technique.  It’s called having to do 3 shows in one day, and you had better get your stuff right, and it’s about how do you make a scene work?  There is one director who I did a miniseries with who said to me, “Where did you get your training from?”  I said, “Daytime.”  He said, “My God.  You certainly know how to have a camera follow you,”   Well, the camera has to follow your movement.  So, when I finished a transition, I’d move to another spot, and the camera had to follow me.  So, what happened in the arc of this Emmy-nominated piece is that I took charge and controlled the scene so that it became a scene of lots of transitions. And of course, charm, I did all of what I thought Tony would be.  He is a DiMera.  I have one of those looks. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe it’s as I get older, but I’ve learned how to work the camera where I may slam something first to get your attention, and then the camera comes onto your face, and you’re going, “Oh, what the hell is he thinking?”  So, I can play the dark side quite readily, and yet in my real life, I’m not so bad. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

You have Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Steve Burton (Jason, GH) also in your category, and these guys who are obviously been soap veterans like yourself.  What do you think about the group you have been nominated with? 

THAAO:  I never worked with Steve Burton, but hear good things.  I know Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH).  He’s a lovely actor.  I have worked with Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R).  He’s a lovely actor.  He is well-trained.  So, it is nice to see that the nominees are all vets.

Right, they are all vets.  It seems like a good group to be with. 

THAAO:  I agree, and I love that the Daytime Emmys are coming back to television.  I think it is an upswing when they think of daytime dying.  I think whoever made this happen is taking on the responsibility of taking daytime back.  It is why people love novellas.  People love the story, they love to follow the characters, and we’ve got fantastic fans.  I mean, what would we do without them?  You can’t sustain the show without them, and you pay a price, you have to know how to entertain them because once they know who you are and what you’re about, they get bored.  So, you have to be ahead of your audience all of the time.  That’s what I have always tried to do with both characters that I’ve played on DAYS

Photo: JPI

They’re doing a virtual ceremony this year.  How do you think you would dress while watching the ceremony?

THAAO:  You don’t wear a tux in your house, do you? So, I’ve invited some people for a celebratory time.  Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS) and her husband Nick Schillace (head of make-up, DAYS) and Leann Hunley (Anna, DAYS) are some of my great friends who have been very supportive of me through some tough times this year, and I’ve got a friend who has got  a wonderful restaurant, and he is going to cater it.  Probably it will be a group of 10.  You know, could you imagine being here on your own, in a tuxedo, with a glass of champagne? (Laughs)

I know, kind of awkward! (Laughs)  You’ll put something nice on for the big night, right?

THAAO:  Yes, you know me.  I’m always dressed.  What would you suggest?  Sweatpants on the bottom and a tuxedo jacket!  How about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Now, you have been previously nominated for Daytime Emmys, too!

THAAO:  Yes, and last year I was nominated as well for Outstanding Guest Performer.  So, it’s kind of nice to be back-to-back, and in 2008, I was nominated for Lead Actor when I played the clown in the Tony and Andre storyline.  Thank God, DAYS recently DAYS had James Reynolds (Abe) wining in the Lead Actor category.  I thought, “Wow.”  That was for years and years of good work that he’s done, and also, Greg Vaughan (Eric) wining for Supporting Actor was very nice, but we haven’t had that many wins in the acting categories over the years.

Photo: JPI

DAYS tapes so far ahead of air; that what was once a seemingly major concern has paid off swimmingly during the coronavirus pandemic.  The soap is the only show to have enough episodes in the bank for months ahead when production shut down and enough even when other shows go back into production.  Who would have thought?

THAAO:  We used to think it was ridiculous that DAYS taped eight months ahead, but look at us now! Who would have thought is right?

What would you love to see happen with Tony when DAYS does resume filming new episodes again? 

THAAO:  I’d like to go back and play the head of the DiMera family.  I’ve never been granted that, and I think, at this stage, with the way I worked with Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) it would be nice to see the transition just like Michael Corleone did in Godfather.

So will you be rooting for Thaao to take home the gold as Lead Actor in a Drama Series come Emmy night?  Do you hope DAYS writes Tony into upcoming story, and if so, how would you like to see him on the canvas? Comment below.

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