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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 Michelle Stafford Talks on Her Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Nomination, Allison Lanier, and ‘Pacific Palisades’ with Finola Hughes

It has been 20-years since daytime dynamo, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) of The Young and the Restless, has captured the Daytime Emmy for her continued outstanding performances. She previously won Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1997 and Outstanding Lead Actress in 2004, and along the way has amassed 12 nominations for her work.

Now, Stafford finds herself in a crowded field of women going for gold at the upcoming 51st annual Daytime Emmys to be handed out on Friday, June 7th on CBS. Nominated along with Michelle in this year’s Lead Actress race are: Finola Hughes (Anna, GH), Annika Noelle (Hope, B&B), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B), Cynthia Watros (Nina, GH) and Tamara Braun (Ava, DAYS).

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Michelle about her nominated scenes, her on-screen daughter, Allison Lanier being recognized for the first time in her career for her work as Summer, and her enduring friendship with Finola Hughes; which dates all the way back to when they were co-stars on the 1997 primetime soap opera, Pacific Palisades. 

Photo: JPI

Michelle participated in the Michael Fairman Channel’s 10th annual Daytime Emmy Nomination Special last Friday, where she chatted with us and the fans live to celebrate her nomination along with several other actors. Here’s what Michelle shared on these key topics below.

Photo: JPI

What scenes did you submit, and what about those scenes did you think showcased you as an actress for the Lead Actress competition?

MICHELLE:
I went from the beginning of Phyllis’ spin out, to her pleading to be exonerated. The thing that I liked is it showed what I do love about the character of Phyllis, and that is that she is dark. She can be very dark and really fierce, but then very broken. I liked that it showed all of that. I had some scenes with Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael) that I started with that weren’t really meant to be as intense as they were, but they ended up being very intense. Basically, Phyllis is talking to her friends and no one believes her about this woman, Diane (Susan Walters). No one believes her and she has no friends and no one wants to know her. She’s become the villain, and it showed her just complete frustration. Then, there is this scene. It was so funny because Phyllis is like in Diane’s face going, “You’re afraid of me.” And then, I got up in her face and Phyllis goes, “and you should be afraid of me.” I’m watching it going, “Bitch, I’m afraid of you!” And then, at the end of my reel, she is just so broken talking to the judge.

Photo: JPI

Your on-screen daughter, Allison Lanier, scored her first Daytime Emmy nomination and in the highly-competitive Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama series category. What are your thoughts on Allison?

MICHELLE: Allison worked so hard last year. She works hard all the time. She’s so great. I’m so happy for her because she’s just a very focused, hardworking actress. I think, she really has a great look and she’s just fantastic. I feel just so rich in that Hunter King played my daughter for so many years, and now I have Allison.  You know, Allison came into the story when my character was really jacked up and very adversarial and fighting with Summer all the time. I think it was a little daunting for Allison, but she got it. This is daytime, and you have to get on the express train. It’s moving. You either jump on or you don’t get on. Not every actor can do it. It’s a special technique and I think that’s what we all love about it, because that’s the challenge to actually put out something somewhat decent. I never want to say good, because I don’t know if it’s good but somewhat decent, in the limited time we have. I saw what Allison submitted which was fantastic. It’s really impressive. I always say anyone who could be good in daytime is phenomenal out there.

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You and Finola Hughes are nominated together, and are good friends dating all the way back to when you were both on Pacific Palisades together. You had played the character of Joanna, and Finola was the character of Kate. What do you recall about your time on the show?

MICHELLE: The characters we played were best friends on Pacific Palisaides, and I created a great friendship with Finola. Looking back at my time on that show, I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have. Of course, I was younger and I thought, “This is my first show. I’ll get many more.” You don’t appreciate things like you do when you’re older. Not that I didn’t appreciate it. I mean, I knew I was really fortunate. I knew I was lucky. I grew up in this business. I knew how lucky I was, but it was just a very different kind of character for me to play. I think it was a little challenging because I had gone from playing Phyllis, to playing like this wholesome Midwestern girl off the farm. So, that was a bit challenging for me, but I had a good time.

So, what do you think of the scenes submitted by Michelle for this year’s Emmy competition? Will you be rooting for her to win her first Emmy in over 20 years? What do you remember about Finola and Michelle in ‘Pacific Palisades’? And, what do you think about the on-screen dynamic between on-screen mother and daughter as played by Michelle and Allison Lanier? Weigh-in via the comment section. And in case you missed it, you can catch the ’10th annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special’ below featuring live conversations with 10 of this year’s acting nominees.

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General Hospital

GH’s Finola Hughes Chats on Her Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Nomination, New Directions for Characters in Port Charles, and Anna’s Love Life

In four out of the last five years, General Hospital favorite, Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), has almost become a perennial nominee having once again scored a Daytime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress for the upcoming 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Hard to believe, but Hughes won her one and only Daytime Emmy back in 1991, and has amassed a total of 11 Emmy nominations during her enduring daytime drama career. As those who have watched GH know, throughout any calendar year, you can find numerous stellar performances by Finola that could be tops on any Emmy reel.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Finola during the 10th annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special to get her reaction to landing in the field of six fantastic women vying for gold, what scenes went on her now Emmy-nominated reel, what she thinks of how GH is shaking things up under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte, and the future of Anna’s love life. Here’s what she shared below.

Photo: ABC

What scenes did you wind up submitting that landed you in the running for the Daytime Emmy in this year’s Lead Actress category?

FINOLA: The whole Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez) shooting and the accident and that whole thing. Then, talking about that with Sonny (Maurice Benard), and then a bit of the breakup with Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and then finding out that Valentin had lied.

Who helped you put the reel together?

FINOLA: One of our producers at GH, Michelle Henry. We have these amazing producers. They’re sort of the unsung heroes. They’re in the booth all day when we’re shooting. They do this wonderful thing where they earmark something, if they think that it’s been a good performance. So, they just have this sort of little list (that helps come Emmy time). So, that’s how that worked with Michelle.

Photo: ABC

Now you’ve had a string of recent Daytime Emmy nominations. Do you think GH is  writing more for your strengths in the last several years?

FINOLA:  Yes, and I think it’s become stronger recently. I think writers really take the lead sometimes from an actress or an actor who’s going through something or moving through something in their life. Maybe, that’s they were just seeing, you know, different layers and colors and so they started to write to that.  I’m not sure. It certainly felt like I’ve had some things (material) that resonated with me.

What I have loved about Anna is that she is very complex. She often wrestles with herself over her past as a double agent, or certain guilt that she carries around. It’s interesting when the lines are blurred for her and things get messy.

FINOLA:  I do well with complex and I like messy.

So, what do you think about the nominees in the Lead Actress category with you?

FINOLA:  They are great. I don’t know Annika Noelle (Hope, B&B) very well, but I hear she did wonderful work and she sent me a lovely message. Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B) I obviously reached out to, Tamara Braun (Ava, DAYS) reached out to me, and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) and I just got on the phone last night and congratulated each other on our nominations, and of course, Cynthia (Watros) is here with me at GH.

Photo: JPI

You do like do like the fashion of it all for Emmy night, correct?

FINOLA: God, I I live for it. I’m as shallow as that. I might play some complex on television, but I’m that shallow in real life.

So, do you go by the trends of what to pick out to wear for a red carpet, or you just kind of go off what you think looks good on you?

FINOLA: I do like the trends. I really like the fact that the sleeve is having a big moment right now since the film Poor Things. It sent it into the stratosphere.

It’s been 33 years since you won your last Emmy. Do you think you’re a better actress now than when you were even 10 years ago?

FINOLA: I have no idea. It feels like a game of golf always for me, because get on set, like today, I was doing some work this morning and I just doubt myself.  I’m like, “Did I really bring it?” I do think I’m harder on myself now than I was when I was younger, because I really didn’t know what I was doing at all.  It’s a very hard question to answer. I feel like it’s different, but I’m constantly in battle with myself as to whether something works or not.

Photo: ABC


What are your thoughts then on being Emmy-nominated, at times, for more than three decades?

FINOLA: At this point in my life, I just find the whole thing encouraging and extraordinarily sort of affirming, and sweet and lovely. It’s extraordinary to even be acknowledged. That’s the truth.

Currently, on-air, Anna is taking a harder line with Sonny. There’s been a shift.

FINOLA:  Yes. That’s been really interesting. I was talking about this with Steve Burton (Jason), and we actually were working together today. We found like this level between the two of us when it comes to Sonny. It was just really like another whole level as to what I’m doing. I think what’s happened is people’s roles in Port Charles are becoming delineated, you know, where there’s less gray. It’s like we’re sort of moving into areas, right? All of us. That’s kind of great because then you’ve got the hospital, you’ve got the police station, you’ve got the mob, you’ve got the Quartermaines you’ve got Curtis’ nightclub, and so there’s these different areas. Then, your character becomes very specific.  I had those scenes with Genie Francis (Laura) that aired the other day, and it makes sense that we are sort of waking up because unfortunately Sonny’s going through something which we don’t know about, but he’s not behaving well. So, therefore we are like, “If he would do that, then we need to wake up to that Sonny has always been like that.” But, it’s not true. Sonny hasn’t always been like that. We still deal in the gray, because we are searching for the gray in ourselves, which is interesting. And then we have to make a decision, such as, “Where do you stand? Who are you actually?” I think posing those questions to the actual characters is kind of interesting.

Photo: ABC

Now, who’s going to be the man in Anna’s life?

FINOLA:  Well, I want to do some more stuff with James. Obviously, James and I text all the time about how we’re not working together. We all know what Valentin’s up to. However,  Anna doesn’t quite know.

I was originally thinking they might put John “Jagger” Cates (Adam Harrington) in a romance with Anna?

FINOLA: Oh, I know. I love Adam. He’s so wonderful, and so is Charles Mesure (Brennan). Obviously, Laura Wright (Carly) has been working with the two of them as well. They’re both looking like they are in love with Carly, so what can I do? I’ll just take the leftovers. However, I’m hoping that I get to play Valentin. The thing that’s interesting is that he’s a Cassadine. His father has now passed on, so he’s now at the front of the wagon of the Cassadines. It’s in his blood. So, I don’t know what they’ll do.

Photo: ABC

What was our family’s reaction when you told you are an Emmy nominee? 

FINOLA: We had just taped three days of a very big event on the show. I was really tired yesterday and I was sort of laying down pretending to take a nap, as I never can nap in the middle of a day. Then, Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital) called me to say that, Cynthia Watros and myself, had been nominated for Lead Actress. So, I actually got up and I walked outside and my three kids were sort of wandering around doing kid teenage stuff. I sort of told each of them individually. I was like, “I got nominated.”  They actually said, “Congratulations!” So, I think it actually resonated through the haze of online extravaganzas that teens are looking at it.

Make sure to check out the 2024 Daytime Emmy Nominations Special from this past Friday night below, where several of this year’s Daytime Emmy nominees stopped by the Michael Fairman Channel to share their reactions and more on going for gold come June 7th.

Now let us know, are you happy Finola was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama Series? Who do you hope Anna winds up with romantically down the line on GH under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Stephen Schnetzer Talks On His Return to Days of our Lives and Working with Susan Seaforth Hayes In Emotional Episodes

Who says you can’t go home again? In the case of Another World favorite, Stephen Schnetzer (ex-Cass Winthrop), he has proven that it is true, and you can go back to your soap roots and where it all started for you.

Last week on April 11th, Schnetzer, along with several other key returns were on set at Days of our Lives taping all-new episodes of the Peacock streaming soap opera, centering on the funeral of Doug Williams (the late Bill Hayes), and as part of the iconic soap opera’s 15,000th episode.

Stephen is reprising his first daytime role as Steve Olson, the brother of Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes). The last time Schnetzer appeared on a DAYS set was during his one and only run on the show from 1978 to 1980. Clearly, viewers will be in for some very emotional scenes when Steve returns to Salem to be there for his sister, Julie in her time of need. In real-life, Susan has been going through her own grief, having just lost Bill back on January 12th at the age of 98.

Photo: NBC

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Stephen during the 15K episode celebration ceremony, and during a break from taping the gut-wrenching funeral scenes, to get his thoughts on being part of these highly-anticipated moments that will air later this year in December. Here’s what he shared with us below.

What has this been like for you to work with Susan Seaforth Hayes after all of these years?

STEPHEN: She’s a dream and she’s so bright. We ran lines yesterday and we ended up just visiting for about 45 minutes and just catching up and telling tales about each other’s career. She even dropped off the autobiography that she and Bill did. And being back here at DAYS, every time I turn a corner, there’s another familiar face. When I was on the show 40 more years ago, a bunch of the guys, played softball on a team together. This is really a trip down memory lane as I knew it would be.

Photo: JPI

Taping Doug’s funeral must be a hard day for Susan. Are you checking in with her to help hold her up through this?

STEPHEN: I am and I’m checking in with Amy Shaughnessy (Susan’s assistant), and she’s holding her up more than anybody. We’re there for each other.

There will obviously be some major hankie-inducing moments when Steve comes back to Salem to console his sister.

STEPHEN: Oh, wait till you see it in December. It’s going to be great.

Were you surprised you got this call to come back to the show decades later?

STEPHEN: It was out of the blue! I was completely surprised. They should have called me decades ago! That’s what surprised me. When Another World went down, I thought I’d land somewhere else and it never happened. That was more of a surprise.

Photo: JPI

Cass is such an identifiable character for you. As well, you and Linda Dano (ex-Felicia Gallant) are so synonymous together as best friends Cass and Felicia from Another World. When fans heard you were reprising your role as Steve Olson on DAYS, they are now hoping there will be more of you on the show to come.

STEPHEN: Steven Olson is a real “Cassian “character. I cut my teeth on Steve Olson and that’s how Cass was introduced. He was kind of a roguish charmer. And then when the character stuck for Another World, they rehabilitated me, and turned me into one of the shows heroes. And that’s what would’ve happened if I stayed as Steve Olson probably. So, Steve is the ‘pre-Cass’, Cass.

Photo: JPI

As the story goes, you originally decided to leave Days of our Lives?

STEPHEN: I was never on contract. I was doing a day and a half a week and I got a Broadway play directed by Franco Zeffirelli starring Joan Plowright and Frank Finlay. I was able to it as I didn’t have to break a contract or anything. I cut loose and went back to New York for that.

How well did you get to know Bill Hayes during your first time around on DAYS?

STEPHEN: My first episode was with Bill and Susan, as her long lost brother coming into Salem. They were so good to me. They were so kind. I had been doing eight years of classical repertory theater, never been in front of a camera. I tell everybody, it took me longer than any other actor I’ve ever seen to get comfortable in front of a camera. And they were very supportive at that time in my career. Coming back to honor Bill now in 2024, and to be see Susan, I am just so happy to be here.

Looking forward to seeing the scenes between Stephen and Susan Seaforth Hayes come December and Doug’s funeral and surrounding episodes? Do you hope that DAYS might bring the character of Steve Olson back for a longer stay? Comment below.

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