Connect with us

Interviews

27

The Darius McCrary Interview- The Young and the Restless

Darius Main1

©JPI Studios

Next week on December 29th on The Young and the Restless, all eyes of long-time fans will be watching the debut of the new Malcolm Winters, played by Darius McCrary. It’s the role made famous by Criminal Minds star and former soap heartthrob, Shemar Moore. Moore won a Daytime Emmy and was uber-popular in the role of the wayward Winters brother. When Moore decided not to return to Y&R (this time) the show put out an extensive casting call for Neil’s younger brother, who is also the biological father of the cancer-stricken Lily. Yes, a short refresher course: One night when the late Drucilla had taken a double dose of her cold medication, (which left her somewhat groggy), Malcolm stopped by to check on her, and well, the duo ended up in bed together! And after their “romp,” Malcolm realized he had made a terrible mistake, and that mistake would change and alter the Winters family for years to come. Recently, Malcolm’s whereabouts have been unknown, and in this On-Air On-Soaps first look interview with Darius, he tells us all will eventually be revealed.

While this is McCrary’s first soap, he has quite an extensive resume. Darius is best known for his role as Eddie Winslow on the hit television series Family Matters. It was there that he met and worked with another member of the current Winters clan, Bryton James (Devon). He has also starred in many motion pictures and television specials.

Journalists, message boards and discussion threads have not been most kind to Darius’s arrival because they are saying; “He looks nothing like Shemar Moore!” But, who does? Recently, Y&R execs told On-Air On-Soaps that the show really wants to delve back into the origins of the original concept for the character – edgy, and street savvy. Can Darius McCrary change people’s minds? Will Y&R viewers give a new actor in a prestigious role an opportunity to make it his own? McCrary says he is definitely up for the task!

Listen to the audio:

The Darius McCrary Interview – The Young and the Restless

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

The time has arrived and shortly we will first see you as Malcolm Winters. I remember coming up to the offices here one day and seeing a slew of young actors vying for the role. How did this come about for you? You auditioned like everyone else, right?

DARIUS:

I did. I was not in here with a whole lot of people, but the day that I was brought in, it was not really crowded and there was a short list after the audition. I was just happy to be there.

Malcolm Arrives

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

You knew this was a choice primo role that Shemar Moore had played and won a Daytime Emmy for his portrayal. So where were you when you found out you got the gig?

DARIUS:

I was traveling and going to visit family and take care of some business, and my manager called and gave me the news and I was ecstatic. I keep telling everybody that signing on this show to me is just as big as me signing on to a film with Julia Roberts or Brad Pitt. I say that because this is a coveted role, number one, and also it’s a great show. I had no idea Y&R was as popular as it is!

MICHAEL:

Did you know that it was thee top soap on daytime?

DARIUS:

I had no idea. I have always wanted to do daytime television, but past handlers and agents had steered me away from it because they would say to me, “Darius, you have already passed that mark in your career. You have done prime time and feature films and continue to go upward,” and I go, “Are you kidding me? Do you know who Erica Kane is? Do you know who Luke and Laura are?” (Laughs) Growing up, my mom was an All My Children and One Life to Live fan. Then I got into General Hospital as a kid because of Luke and Laura. I never really watched Y&R, but my Aunt Cathy does. So my Aunt was ecstatic when she found out! And one of the things that is beautiful to me as an actor and entertainer is that relationship you develop with a fan, when they follow your career, and they follow you to where they feel like they know you, and television enhances that when you have a long-term gig or a long-term role. I learned that on Family Matters and they call me, “Eddie”. Last night I ran into some fans and it was funny. They go, “Oh, my man! Hey, my dude! Wassup, Eddie Winslow?” And I am like, “Hey, wassup guys?” I say, “ Hey, guys, I don’t care what you call me, but can you spread the word that I am now Malcolm Winters? Malcolm is my name.” And they go, “That’s cool dude. But Eddie is my man!” (Laughs) Soon I will be Eddie Winters! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

You have the task of overcoming the mark that Shemar Moore left in this role. There are skeptics that say you look nothing like him. And, “How can Y&R recast this role?” Do you feel you are up for the task? And, does that pressure play with your mind?

Shemar Moore2

©JPI Studios

DARIUS:

No. I have been doing this long enough to know a few things. Look, Shemar is a great guy and a great actor, and a beautiful human being, but he is Shemar and I am Darius. I have been doing this since I was nine years old. So whatever the role is, I am going to do the best I can do. The only thing I am concerned with is stepping on the stage in front of that camera and giving the best performance I know I can give, day in and day out as an actor. The way I look at it is, it’s just like if I was playing football, and if there was a running back before me who put up some numbers and he gets traded and I come in and I get to run that backfield. Believe me, I am going to step on some heads to get the numbers and the yards that I have to. Also, it makes it easy to do when you are working with a group of consummate professionals who are extremely gifted. This is an unselfish group of actors here at Y&R, who are completely thorough.

MICHAEL:

Did Kristoff St. John (Neil) and Christel Khalil (Lily) give you any Malcolm pointers, or bring up Shemar to you on set?

DARIUS:

Nobody brought up Shemar and it’s cool. It has not been a thing of “Oh, Shemar did this.” Everybody is giving me the love and respect to allow me to do what I do as an actor, and that was one of the beautiful things about this from the beginning. When I went in I did not know what to expect. I have never read for a soap before. I am all about breaking barriers and challenging myself, that is why everything I have done on my resume is different. I have never played a cop again, and I have never played a boxer again since I played Muhammad Ali. That was a challenge, being darker than him, and the film won Best Television Movie and I was a part of that. I was in Mississippi Burning, which won an Oscar.

MICHAEL:

You were in the original Mississippi Burning?

Neil and Malcolm

©JPI Studios

DARIUS:

Yeah! I was nine years old, but I look at the journey. Everybody trips off the destination, but you have to enjoy the journey. This is a part of the journey I am enjoying. And as I was saying, when I went into the audition Maria Arena Bell (co exec prod and head writer, Y&R) and Paul Rauch (co-exec prod, Y&R) were wonderful. They knew what they wanted, but they allowed me to do what I am capable of as an actor, and that is the best gift a producer or writer can give an actor when you are reading for something. “This is what we want. We know what we want. Do what you do.” And when you meet in the middle, it’s magic. Every time I read the lines for this role, I feel it. I feel like I know this guy.

MICHAEL:

What can we expect from Malcolm’s return to Genoa City?

DARIUS:

All I am going to tell you is, there is a whole lot of tension, and let’s just say there is a ‘family matter’. (Laughs) There are family issues going on. He comes back to make things right with the family.

MICHAEL:

Is his brother, Neil glad to see him? Or, will he punch him?

Malcolm and Cane

©JPI Studios

DARIUS:

Let me tell you something… Neil is a piece of work, man! Kristoff is great. It’s so cool that I get a chance to work with him. I have known his work for a long time. He is so solid as an actor.

MICHAEL:

Are we going to like this version of Malcolm? Is he a good guy who, shall we say, will be extremely flawed?

DARIUS

We are all flawed in life, but some characters in soaps are more flawed. I have been doing my homework going, “What’s wrong with these people?” (Laughs) I think we will feel and care for Malcolm.

MICHAEL:

It’s great that Y&R is bringing in another black character to once again expand the Winters family. How do you feel about what it represents to have you here in this role?

DARIUS:

I think it’s a wonderful thing to have African-American characters. Look at life. It’s not a white world or a black world; there are all kind of people in it. It’s showing growth, and in today’s world there are so many outlets. I don’t believe there are any more blockbusters films. Back in the day with music, people would wait up all night for the music store to open to get their favorite CD, and if it were sold out they would come back again. The thing I love about soaps, and from what I know about this is its run in a very old school way, which I like, since I have been doing this entertainment thing for a long time. But I see that there are some new barriers that they can break. I feel that by being part of Y&R, I am hoping that new viewers who haven’t watched soaps before will tune-in.

Christel Khalil hug

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Will there be a lady-love for Malcolm?

DARIUS:

Malcolm loves the ladies!

MICHAEL:

A few words about working with Christel Khalil?

DARIUS:

She is bright and extremely great to work with. It was sad to come back and see that Lily had cancer, and it was tough emotionally as an actor, to give what you need in a scene and thinking of the dire situation she is in and absorbing that. It’s a trip!

MICHAEL:

You know the baby mama, Drucilla, took some cold syrup and Malcolm sort of took advantage of her, and that is how Lily came into this world?

DARIUS:

Man, I was like; “This Malcolm is something else!” It’s crazy, because I like this character because he has got some baggage, and it gives you somewhere else to go as an actor and stretch.

Darius and Bryton

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Who else have you enjoyed working with thus far?

DARIUS:

I got to work with Daniel Goddard (Cane). I am very impressed how he retains his lines and that is a trip, and Bryton James (Devon) of course. I used to hold Bryton in my arms. He was my ‘baby boy,’ and I look at him now all grown up and handsome and stuff. It’s so funny; I have to tell this story. I was so out of it. So, in the story Devon has his hearing aid on…

MICHAEL:

…The cochlear implant…

DARIUS:

….Right, the cochlear implant, and so I said to him, “Hey Bryton, I was watching you the other day. What kind of Bluetooth was that, man?” (Laughs) Bryton has been showing me the ropes, which is a trip. You never know the difference you can make in the life of child. I worked with him when he was little Richie on Family Matters, and we picked up right where we left off.

MICHAEL:

Have you met Genoa City and Y&R’s living legend, Jeanne Cooper (Katherine)? You are truly not a member of the cast unless she welcomes you into the fold!

Darius leatherjacket

©JPI Studios

DARIUS:

She is actually wonderful, and she is a joy and funny, and she did welcome me. Jeanne told me, “To get my lines right, because she is ready to get the hell home.” Doug Davidson (Paul) on my first day gave me some great advice. I am not too technical in my acting, and I feel when I get too technical it becomes unbelievable. My thing in this day and age, with reality television and so much other stuff that is going on, is people want to feel the reality. They want to relate. Back in the days with James Cagney movies, they were acting and really ‘givin’ it to ya’, and that was cool, because people wanted to escape. People still want to escape, but today’s escape is different. People now want to know that there are people out there who have more problems and are a train-wreck! This is why I think it’s difficult for sitcoms these days, because people are not going to believe, joke, beat, beat, joke, because there ain’t nothing to laugh about. We are in a recession! Folks are dying overseas! It ain’t funny right now. That is another reason this transition for me into soaps makes sense for me, because I would get to work at my craft every day. I would be able to play this very real character. Doug said, “Even though we are working so fast, don’t rush your lines. Take your time with your moments,” and that stuck with me. Because, what I have been finding is Malcolm has been having a lot of moments with Lily, Cane, and Neil. It’s important stuff and with my character coming back, there is a lot of information that needs to be disclosed. Peter Bergman (Jack), I call, “My man, Jack.” It’s really funny. I always said I would never call people by their character names, but I am finding myself doing it. Eric is “Victor”, and I call Michelle, “Phyllis.” Yup, I am doing it. I have been watching the show and now I am being sucked in, and I believe these people. I am sucked into Genoa City!

MICHAEL:

Will we know what’s happened to him in short order, during the time Malcolm was away?

DARIUS:

No. You are going to have to continue to watch, ‘cause Malcolm will blow your mind!

For more with Darius make sure to listen starting Friday to The Scott and Melissa Reeves Show on syndicated radio, when he appears as the special weekly soap guest.

Leave a comment | 27 Comments
Advertisement

27

avatar
26 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
Andree-trimJoniConnieJoyce Recent comment authors
newest oldest
davd adam nole
Guest
davd adam nole

He ain’t Malcolm and I will never accept him. That is that! Y&R is messed up for this casting messed up!

e-trim
Guest
e-trim

your right about one thing,Y&R is messed up, that is for not letting my gurl Vicki Rowell back on the show and for doin the most stupide dicision of firering my other gurl Davetta Sherwood as Lily for that Valley “sista” Chrystel khalil who’s interpretation of lily is sooooooooo terible. man it’s been almost 4 years she’s been gone and I am still scraching my sculp tryin to figuer out wat spell the was under wen they made that decision.

Doe
Guest
Doe

I enjoyed this insight into Darius’s mind and how he appoaches acting. He seems very intelligent and soft spoken. He has a very good background that should carry him far.I believe fans should stop thinking of Shemar Moore and this man will probably knock it out of the park. I look forward to his debut as Malcom. We need some excitement on the show and hopefully he will bring it!

waldo doe
Guest
waldo doe

wow! i can’t wait to sere this!

bessie
Guest
bessie

I think he will be a great replacement for Malcom…He is a great actor..before you know it every body will forget that Shelmar ever played Malcom…I am looking forward to seeing him…

Adrienne
Guest
Adrienne

HA! Nothing personal against Darius, but he ain’t Y&R material, and he certainly ain’t an appropriate replacement for Shemar. I suspect they’ll get enough emails at CBS to at least rethink this choice for sure!

Lacey
Guest
Lacey

I can’t wait to see Darius as Malcolm….I think he’s going to be great as Malcolm. I’m just wondering who his love interest will be….I think Y&R did a great job casting the new Malcolm. Way to go guys!

renae
Guest
renae

I think they got him dirt cheap sorry we all know these day’s it’s about the bottom line i see a recast just like tucker or they will try to make us care but in the end like Eva he will go away

demita hemphill
Guest
demita hemphill

yesssssssssss!!! can not wait.i called all my home girls.the ones do not watch soaps will be watch when darius arrive!!!!!!!!!

CJK
Guest
CJK

I AM GLUED TO THE TV RT NOW!!!!! Me & all my girlfriends (about 10 of them) are all taping and watching!!! We haven’t watched soaps in ages!!! But now, it’s on! WE LOVE YOU, DARIUS! I hope he does some kind of Y&R event where we can meet him!!!! <3

Tamekia
Guest
Tamekia

I love Darius I know you will make a great Malcolm because I have watch your acting skills in family matter and you were great. I wish you much success in your new role.

Richelle
Guest
Richelle

Not a good replacement. He doesn’t look old enough to be Lily’s father.

samamma
Guest
samamma

oh my gosh! im way too excited for darius as the new malcolm! i think hes got the talent in hand and he sounds genuinely excited to be part of Y&R. ive been watching Y&R for about 15 years now, and they change actors all the time. I think with darius on board we’re gonna get to see more of malclom for lengthier periods of time, which is great because I really missed the character. now, to get dru back!

akmeiners
Guest
akmeiners

POOR, POOR CHOICE FOR MALCOLM!!

juanita
Guest
juanita

I think we all should give Mr. McCrary a chance jus like the Y&R.
It’s tough to step into someone else role when that person ( Mr. Moore)
is still being seen around and about. Mr. McCrary is a professional. Let him do his best to entertain you. Remember, this is a soap opera.

Scotty
Guest
Scotty

This was a bad replacement. He looks nothing like Shemar Moore. Furthermore he is too young. I think they should have gotten Charles Divins( Passions) or Terrrence Howard ( Hustle &Flow).

Marissa
Guest
Marissa

I think Darius is a good replacement – he is a good actor and good-looking…I look forward to him being on the show, but people need to understand that it’s just a TV show — if Shemar Moore doesn’t want to come back, then he’s not going to – get over it. There have been many recasts that have been great: Billy Miller, Amelia Heinle, etc…

Linda
Guest
Linda

I think this is a bad replacement. Shemar Moore made an indelible mark on the role of Malcolm Winters. I loved seeing him. Darius was great on Family Ties but doesn’t fit in the role that Shemar vacated. Sorry, but he doesn’t. I think I see a recast as well. Please, oh please, bring back Victoria Rowell. Dru is sorely missed. Please don’t recast her role. I will quit watching Y&R for sure then.

Erma Berry
Guest
Erma Berry

Kudos to Darius for accepting this role. Bah, Bah to Y & R’s directors for offering the role. Too bad Darius wasn’t hired for a new character. He is a consummate, charismatic actor. Shemar was not a good actor when he got the part. He was mediocre at best. He was visually striking, pleasing to the eye, to say the least. That’s all. But that’s what made the role acceptable and exceptional. Hopefully Darius can get another more suitable acting job in movies. Or maybe a full role, not replacement, on another Soap.

Jen
Guest
Jen

nothing against Darius, But not casting Shemar Moore is the worst mistake CBS could ever make!!!

Pat Smith
Guest
Pat Smith

Glad to see Young and the Restless finally get a handsome dark skinned brother. Never really cared for Shemar Moore. Darius is a great actor and has a beautiful singing voice.

tt
Guest
tt

They did a horrible job of casting Malcolm. Darius can not act. And he is not sexy.

Casey
Guest
Casey

Y&R I cant believe how you murdered Malcolms role 🙁 Darius is a poor actor.

Joyce
Guest
Joyce

I think that Darius McCrary is a wonderful addition to The Young & The Restless cast. Thank you Darius for taking over this role and putting your own spin to it. You are an exceptionally talented actor, and very handsome & sexy as well. I think you are doing a wonderful job in this role. Make it your own, as you are already doing and I love it!!

Connie
Guest
Connie

he is not a good actor Y&R needs to recast this man bad sure does not fit the part

Joni
Guest
Joni

LET THE MAN DO HIS JOB….GIVE HIM A CHANCE.

Andre
Guest
Andre

I think from the comments stated, that some of the people do not simply want to accept Darius Mcrary due to the fact he is not light skinned, which I believe is the biggest issue. I mean really who says when you recast an actor that they have to look just like the one who vacated the job. I think Darius has and will continue to add more dimensions to the character. The fact that he is also a great singer is something they could not do with Shemar. I think Darius will hold his own for many years.

Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Continue Reading

Interviews

Y&R’s Newman Kids Talk 48th Anniversary, Storylines, Camaraderie, and Take the Trivia Challenge

On Friday, to celebrate the 48th anniversary of The Young and the Restless (which premiered back on March 26th,1973) Michael Fairman chatted virtually with the actors who comprise the adult Newman family children; Joshua Morrow (Nick), Amelia Heinle (Victoria), Mark Grossman (Adam), Hunter King (Summer) and Melissa Ordway (Abby).

During the conversation, on You Tube’s the Michael Fairman Channel, the actors discussed what it was like coming into the iconic Newman clan when they first debuted, behind-the-scenes moments and laughs they share working with each other, and what it has been like for them to share scenes with their iconic TV father, Eric Braeden (Victor) and for some of the kids, their on-screen mother, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki).

In addition, each touch upon their current Y&R storyline where:Nick is involved with Phyllis again, Adam is on to Chelsea, Victoria is trying to be in the woman in charge of the company and she finds herself boyfriend-less, Summer has her hands full with the arrival of Tara Locke and Sally Spectra who may all destroy her relationship with Kyle, and Abby wanting to have a baby via surrogacy with the sperm donor being Devon.

Later, Michael plays a round of “Stump the Newman” trivia where the actors are put to the test to see just who knows the history of the Newman clan best. Watch what happens when the mention of the notorious and ill-fated reliquary storyline is brought up!

Joshua, Amelia, Mark, Hunter, and Melissa also express what it has meant to them to be a part of the legacy of The Young and the Restless, and still later Joshua’s daughter, Charlie, even makes a special guest appearance.

Now watch the conversation in full with the Newman kids below. 

Then let us know, what was your favorite moment of the interview? How do you hope their current storylines resolve? What was your favorite and least favorite storyline of all-time for Nick, Victoria, Adam, Abby, and Summer? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Nancy Lee Grahn as Alexis

General Hospital

Airdates: 4-8-2021

Advertisement

Popular