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The David Gregory, Nicolas Robuck & Lenny Platt Interview – One Life to Live

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How do you bring in three hot guys to a soap when they are unrelated to anyone else on the canvas, and make it work?  First, make sure the eldest one takes his shirt off in various scenarios, and sleeps around while professing his love for one of the town’s good girls, and stealing her from her beloved boyfriend.  Next, while trying to get your car out of a parking garage, another beloved female character stumbles into a hostage situation with another young strapping, good-looking guy, who later turns out to be misunderstood.  And then, take another guy who is already part of the core younger set on the show, and dating the daughter of one of the most identifiable characters on the soap, and add him into the mix as the other guy’s brother!  So did it work?  The answer is, now it does, with a resounding, “yes”!

One Life to Live’s David Gregory (Ford), Nicolas Robuck (James), and Lenny Platt (Nate) are the brothers’ wunderkind, whose looks put everyone else to shame!  And, as a soap opera band of brothers, they are also well on their way to melting some viewers hearts, or making them mad as hell!  Then, throw in a great soapy twist; that they all come from an abusive (unseen and un-cast) father, and from a runaway mom!  And, when that runaway mom turns out to be actress Jessica Leccia (Inez) and she shows up in Llanview, the story possibilities and complexities become endless.

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with the three on-screen amigos, Gregory, Robuck, and Platt, to find out about brotherly love or dissidence, shirtless scenes, playing opposite their leading ladies, working with the fantastic Leccia, and if they feel there are real similarities in their looks and with each other’s personalities.  And, we get a preview of their on-screen feuds with Brody, Cole, and Matthew, which heat up next week.  So watch out, as we end the summer and head into fall. You still may need to find a room to cool off in after watching these guys on screen.  Here are the Ford Boys!

MICHAEL:

David, let’s start with the eldest Ford brother.  Robert, better known as “Ford”, had become quite the scoundrel, and to say he was a womanizer would be putting it mildly.  But now it seems the show is making efforts to redeem the character.  Were you surprised by that?  It makes sense, because how could they keep him around?  

DAVID:

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First, I was glad.  Not that I wanted to be a squeaky clean guy, but they are adding elements that make him why the way he is.  A lot of directors I have worked with since have told me, “We don’t want him to lose his fire, because that is what kind of makes him interesting.”  So that is not going away, but once he brought in family members, it allowed us to see, not that he is justified in the way he is, but that it makes more sense.  So I don’t know if it’s as much that Ford is being redeemed, as much as it is explaining to people why he is the way he is.  I like he is still in a grey area.

MICHAEL:

Did you know when you came back to the show earlier this year, that you would then have a brother, James, added into the mix?

DAVID:

Not at all.  We were actually shooting scenes in the episode that featured the band Lifehouse. They performed on our show.  And that was the day that our EP Frank Valentini, came up to me and said, “You are going to get a brother.”  I was really excited about that.  Then, once Ford ended up in the hospital, Frank says, “Oh yeah, you might have another one, too.”   And I went, “What?”  I knew they were bringing somebody in to play James, but I did not know that Lenny’s role was going to get tied in to this at all.  That was a surprise, because he was already on the show.

MICHAEL:

Nicolas, did you screen test with Kristen Alderson (Starr) or David when you landed the role of James?

NICOLAS:

I originally tested for a role that was not for Ford’s brother, James.  I was screen testing just to be a love interest for Kristen Alderson, and when they hired me they said, “They really look alike.  Why don’t we bring him on as Ford’s brother?”  And that is how that magic happened! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

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When you look at David now, do you see how you two guys could be brothers?

NICOLAS:

Yeah, sometimes.  When I am on set and watching the show, I will go, “Oh that’s me, and then I go, never mind!” (Laughs)  Sometimes at a quick glance I think it’s me, or if I see a picture of David in a magazine.  People get us confused quite a bit and actually last week, I was called, “Nic Gregory”. (Laughs)

LENNY:

Two weeks ago, I was walking down the studio hallway and Brittany Underwood (Langston) called me David.  She went, “Hi, David.”  And, I turned around and went, “What are you talking about?”  (Laughs)

DAVID:

Brittany and I have gotten pretty close on the show, so if she mistakes me for Lenny, then I don’t know what to think!  (Laughs)

LENNY:

I think the first time I was getting a hint of it was when Renata, who is one of our make-up artists, looked at the screen and Nic was doing a scene with the character of Cristian and she said, “You guys look alike.”  And I thought, “Yeah, we do.”  Then when I found out that I was going to be David’s brother…well, I have a close friend from home who watches the show and thought David was me in a scene!  So, I think Julie Madison (OLTL Casting Director) did a great job of casting, because it works.

MICHAEL:

Nicolas, we have gotten to see over the past several weeks a gamut of emotions from you.  Not only is James this cocky guy, but there is some depth to him, too.  Is it easier for you to play the tough guy, or the more sensitive side of your alter-ego?

NICOLAS:

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What is kind of hard for me is to play the tough guy jerk that does not care sometimes, because I do tend to be more emotional, and that is easier for me.  I have to go someplace and pull from something to be who James really is, which is somebody with a bad past, and who is tough on the inside and out.  That can be a bit of stretch for me, but I do what I can to make it work.

MICHAEL:

OK, let’s get to this big question that has been on everyone’s mind. (Laughs)  What did you think when they told you that your pet name for Starr was going to be “Twinkle”?

NICOLAS:

I laughed and I said, “You have got to be kidding me!”  I was like, “I don’t know if I can say this seriously and mean it.”  But I got use to it.  At first, Kristen laughed at it, too, but she got used to it.  Now, we call each other pet names.

MICHAEL:

Each of you has stolen the hearts of three young ladies in Llanview, or shall we say, well on your way to do doing so.   Let’s start with the relationship between Ford and Langston.  David, do you think now these two have a fighting chance at a real relationship?  But more importantly, does Ford truly love her?

DAVID:

Love is a weird word for Ford, because his mother was never around.  Love from a female, in general, Ford only knows how to get it one way, or at least his version of it.  So, I think whatever the closest thing to love that he can feel for a female, he is associating with her and is pretty genuine.  I can tell you playing scenes now with Brittany are different in a good way, because when I first came on the show and I was doing so many different sex scenes with so many different women, it just started to feel like I did not know what I was doing.  I was new enough to the show at that point, that I was just trying to figure out how to play a scene.  Since I have gotten a family, and the scenes are darker and have more substance to it, going back now to love scenes, things make more sense as to how to play that.   Brittany and I are now playing more layers to the scenes. The stuff we shot recently had been pretty interesting to play, and I am pretty happy with it so far.

MICHAEL:

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And next week, Brody is going to come out swinging when he finally learns from Jessica that she had a one-night stand with Ford while she was in teen mode.  Looks like Ford is headed for some more bumps and bruises!

DAVID:

There is a big confrontation, and because Brody is an ex-navy seal, it may not be pretty and may not be good, because Ford is a self-proclaimed lover, not a fighter.  He also knows whatever he gets from Brody he deserves, which also shows that Ford is kind of coming around.  I guess it takes a man to take a punch like that, because he knows there is no other action that could be taken.

MICHAEL:

Your head must be very durable!  First, you get smashed in the head with a foreign object, and now another beating is on the way!  And, you still look perfect.  How is that possible?  (Laughs)

DAVID:

I can take so much and my brain is still intact.

LENNY:

He did mess up his hair a little bit.

MICHAEL:

Lenny, your love interest on the show is Kelly Missal (Dani). How has it been being paired with her?  And, I also heard you were somewhat trepidatious singing and dancing in the musical event: Starr X’d Lovers. How did you get through that?

LENNY:

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First of all, working with Kelly is fantastic!  She is incredibly talented and it was easy to hit the ground running with her.  As far as the musical goes, I had no real musical theatre training, and never sing out loud unless I am at a karaoke bar. (Laughs)  So it was a little intimidating.  But it was exciting to step out of my comfort zone, and if you had asked me six months ago would I be up for it, the whole thing would scare me to death.  I was amazed how it was done, with the choreography and the direction, and it was surprising.  I was proud of how it turned out.  And then to go on The View, which is surreal, and perform a number, was a lot of fun.  I am glad I did the musical.  I learned a lot about myself, and I grew as an actor to do be able to do something I am not comfortable with.

MICHAEL:

So when you came on to One Life to Live, was it just for the musical, and then they extended your stay?  Or, was there always a plan to keep you?

LENNY:

I don’t know, but they kept me around.  At first, it was just for the musical, as far as I knew.  Then I started entering into other storylines, and then this rivalry with Eddie Alderson’s character (Matthew) developed.  I have been very fortunate.

MICHAEL:

Next week Matthew and Nate are also going to get into it!  There is some bad blood there, too.   After all, Nate stole Matthew’s girl, Dani!  The face-off happens on a basketball court!

LENNY:

Yes, it’s great.  Matthew is accessing his genetic ability that is inside of him, which is fun to see.  I tell you what… Eddie is one of the best people to work with.  He is a great guy and super-talented.  You can see him portraying Matthew now, and relishing this other side to his character, and it sort of comes out ten fold on camera.  He plays it with such gusto and it is a pleasure to work alongside him. These basketball scenes are pretty fun, because some elbows and shoves were thrown and it is interesting to see where Eddie takes the character.

MICHAEL:

Nicolas, how is working with Kristen Alderson?  You have the added complexity of coming in between one of the most beloved couples on the show, which fans have rooted for and invested in for many years, Starr and Cole.  And I might add, how about those “in-your-face” scenes during Dorian’s failed wedding to David, where an arrogant James continually irked Cole on with text messages!

NICOLAS:

Kristen, really showed me the ropes early on, and she really made me feel part of the family when I started.  She gave me pointers and tips on how to feel comfortable, and was very supportive.  I like our scenes together, and because we are friends off-set, I think we have a lot of chemistry on-set.  As for being the “thorn” in Cole Thornhart’s side (laughs), it’s fun, but it’s separating an iconic pair.  I was kind of hesitant as to what the feedback would be, because people root for Cole and Starr, but happy couples only last so long on soap operas.  So getting in between them and in the mix has been a lot of fun.  I like how James handles the situation a lot.  

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MICHAEL:

I love how he just inserts himself into situations involving Starr, and tries to get her riled up, which I think is really refreshing. And, he seems also very confident that deep down Starr shares the same feelings he has for her.

NICOLAS:

Confident is the perfect word, and typically in my own life I tend to avoid confrontation, and James is right in the face of it.  So I really like playing that, and I like to bring a different side of myself to the set, which I like.

MICHAEL:

Will we continue to see more and more sexual tension between Starr and James?

NICOLAS:

Yes, you can say that.

MICHAEL:

Soap fan favorite, Jessica Leccia, has come on to One Life to Live as your mother, Inez.  The pivotal episode where each of the brothers learned that they were related, and that she finally divulged the gut-wrenching truth, were key to the future success of this on-screen family.   In it, Inez admits that Nate is Robert and James’ brother, and that she ran way while pregnant with him from their abusive father, Eddie Ford.   Inez also left Robert and James behind with their father!  Did you feel a heightened sense and awareness that these scenes had to be good? And, what did each of you feel about them and how your character reacted?

NICOLAS:

Yeah, it really was a key moment, because it was coming to terms with something we did not know of, or we thought was a lie to begin with, and from the get-go. Then to find out the truth that we had another brother, drove something between all of us as a whole.  James, being the middle brother, was a little more level headed and a little more emotional about the whole thing.  He was left out of what the truth really was, and Ford being the older brother, did really know more of his mother than James did.   I think we really got to see that in that episode.  I was really pleased on how that turned out.

LENNY:

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It was a great scene. There was a lot of pressure, obviously, because it was really solidifying all these relationships and bringing them together.  I thought what was interesting for me as an actor, was that Nate was the one who was taken away while he was still in his mother’s womb.  He never saw his father and never knew about that aspect of their lives.  I thought it would be totally fascinating that the one brother who had the least contact with his father, would be the most like him.  So I wanted to portray the son, with whom all these lies built up, and instead of making Nate cry, it brought all this rage out in him that I thought would be interesting to access.  Inez wanted to take Nate away from this violent upbringing, yet he still has a piece of that inside of him.  So I thought it would be interesting to take Nate to that place.  Jessica was great, and I learned a lot from those scenes and was extremely happy with how they came out.

DAVID:

I struggled with those scenes.  At that point, there was a scene that aired in July where Inez and Ford talk in James’ hospital room when James was out having tests run. Ford is trying to put everything together, and going after his mother, but as much as he does by the end of the scene, he is completely worn down and turns away from her and is upset.  So, by the time this all goes down with the rest of the brothers and mom (and she shows up) I think Ford knows exactly what is going to go on, and it is something he has been trying to put off.  I think at that point he is numb.  What I struggled with in playing those scenes, was playing numb actively.  He is not going to be as emotional as James, and he is not going to fly off the handle as much as Nate, but he has definitely dealt with this all.  Ford has had a lot longer to digest this than the other boys have.  I think what upsets him in his mind is he was trying to do the right thing and it backfired on him.  Now, Nate is upset and pounding on a table and it reminds him of his dad. Then, seeing how much it hurt James to not even know, and again him being the middle one and being sensitive, and struggling with not being able to be around mom, that is something Ford has dealt with, but Ford manifested it in other ways.  Like you said earlier, we each have a different dynamic to play which made those scenes interesting.  And at the same time, it was difficult to make sure it was done correctly.  We had to repeat the actions, but Jill Mitwell who directed the scenes, was very adamant about that if we felt we needed to do it again, then we could go back.  We spent a lot of time on those scenes, which in the soap opera world is very rare. You do one take and you are finished. We were given a lot of rehearsal and a lot of time to run it and talk about it.  Jill was excited to direct the scenes, and she told us she had been anticipating this for about six weeks.  I felt like she was on our side before we did  it.  I feel like it really fleshed out all the boys individually, and for such a new family on the show, Frank has been talking to us that we have to make the audience care.  I think the show has done a really good job of giving us material to work with to allow us to do that, and to flesh things out for the audience.

MICHAEL:

There must be some Jessica jokes on the set.  I mean, she is this beautiful woman with three strapping young men as her sons, and she is not that old herself!  In fact, Jessica in real life just had a baby girl last year!  (Laughs)

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LENNY:

I think my real mom is very jealous that I have this very attractive, very young mother.  (Laughs)  Jessica is fantastic and she has a rabid fan base!  I was surprised.  I am on Twitter, and I mentioned I was really happy to be working with her and I must have got like 30 messages, saying, “We are so happy you are working with her, but you better be a good boy to Jessica.”  It’s been a blast!

NICOLAS:

I had scenes with Jessica recently, and she really brings some kind of maternal element to the set.  She is very comfortable and poised and that makes you feel that relationship between the two.  Off- set, we joke that mother is always watching our backs! 

DAVID:

We are closer in age to her, and so she is able to switch gears so fast.  So, I will be having a conversation with her and before we start shooting, and when they countdown “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” something switches in her and you can see it.  All of a sudden she is our mom, other than that she is one of the kids.

MICHAEL:

Should fans expect more mother/son scenes between Ford and Inez since these two have to try to deal with the fallout the most?

DAVID:

There are a lot of unresolved issues that Ford needs to deal with her on. I know James is interested to explore, “Oh, I have a mom now,” and Lenny’s character of Nate has always been around her, so I would say, “yes” there will be more.

MICHAEL:

Who from film, primetime or daytime, could you see cast as the Ford brother’s abusive father, and why?

NICOLAS:

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I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan would make a believable dad for the Ford brothers.  He looks like and portrays well a rough and tough guy who could land some good punches! He also looks like he’s paid his dues in a chop shop or two.  Not to mention he resembles us all in some way, shape or form.  I would really like to have Matt Damon play our dad. I think the three of us would be a good mix between Matt Damon and Jessica Leccia. He’s a phenomenal actor, one of my favorites, and I believe he could pull off the brutal and abusive father seamlessly.

LENNY:

Mickey Rourke.  I know he’s in everything these days and this might be cliché, but I think he’d be ideal.  I always imagined Eddie Ford as a mix between the “Duke” character in the film Pusher II and the Marlboro Man.  I think Rourke would embody this character both physically and emotionally with surgical precision.  Eddie is a violent and imposing man, but he’d have to also have remnants of the “sweet boy” Inez once fell in love with. Rourke would portray this perfectly.  Now whether or not he’d lend his talents to our show is another thing.  But one of the cast members of The Expendables, just made an appearance on Daytime, so why not two…

DAVID:
Lenny, that is one epic answer. Well said.  In keeping with the tradition of OLTL alums returning, I could see Joe Lando (Sully on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman) as Eddie.  Or Mel Gibson – I know it sounds strange but I think it could work.  Both men look like what I’ve always pictured Eddie Ford.  And I think it would be interesting to see.  But Lenny, well played!

MICHAEL:

David, what did you think when you found out that Ford actually slept with Jessica! For months, the show left it very ambiguous and we did not know who was telling the truth, or if she ever had sex with him during her nightmarish evening!

DAVID:

In love scenes on daytime, there are only certain things you can do, so I was not sure how far we had gotten.  They left it purposely vague to surprise the audience, and then they eventually find out.  I had an idea that I was in question, and I liked that, because it also showed a different dynamic of Ford.  I think because he is the oldest brother, I think he has that sense of responsibility that is innate in him.  But “father” in his world is a negative connotation, and the thought now that he might have to be one, brings out a side of him that is full of conflict.  I really like how that is being written.

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MICHAEL:

I was also really floored by Ford’s caring reaction to Jessica when she came to him, when she needed to know his medical history/blood type so she can check for the Rh factor that could potentially harm her unborn baby, and he jumped to it, willing to help.  That being said, how is working with Bree Williamson (Jessica) in this complex baby saga?

DAVID:

Bree is fantastic!  I was intimidated because I knew she was nominated for an Emmy.  I was like, “Oh, my God.  She could win this year.”  I was trying to be calm about it.  But, the best compliment I can give her was when we were doing the scenes where I was seducing her in my room.  She kissed like a sixteen year old girl, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.  I mean that I literally felt she changed her vibe for the scene, and it was cool to work off of her, and still is.

MICHAEL:

David, you clearly have had more shirtless scenes in one year than any soap opera actor… ever!  And from where the fans are standing, that is all good! (Laughs)   So, how do you guys like doing the half-naked scenes?  No problems I assume, being labeled “Soap Hunks”?

DAVID:

I think it’s neat that we are more appreciated as a whole than we are individually.  I was combined kind of, and I think that is neat.  That the idea is we are brothers, like the brothers in The Godfather or Tombstone. They are better as a pack, and it needs to gravitate towards that, like, “Look! They are genetically the same!”

LENNY:

It’s funny, because Nate is seventeen or eighteen and I exercise pretty regularly.  I don’t remember being that large in High School.  It’s TV world and all good.  I am young and it’s fun doing the shirtless stuff, but its tough being shirtless next to David.

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NICOLAS:

Well, I know the fans are taking well to it, but me on the other hand, I feel uncomfortable on set with my clothes off.  I have done quite a few scenes already, and in underwear and towels.  I feel very aware of myself on-set and that is every actor’s enemy.  So, I could do a little more clothes scenes.

DAVID:

I have been appreciative that I can put on a shirt and focus on a scene to what is really going on as opposed to, “Oh, I got to be doing my push-ups!”  And you know, with Mark Lawson (Brody) and David Fumero (Cristian) on set, it’s a lot to keep up with.

MICHAEL:

Of the three of you, which one is the prankster?

LENNY:

None of them are funny.  I hate working with them! (Laughs)

DAVID:

I would say, because we all have birthdays pretty close to each other and we are all Leo’s…. I would say we have similar personalities, and we know when to let the others shine.

NICOLAS:

It depends on the day.

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DAVID:

Nate does a lot of work to prepare for his scenes, like a novel (laughs) which is admirable.

LENNY:

It’s true.

MICHAEL:

Nicolas, what were you surprised to find out about your on-screen brothers, Lenny and David?

NICOLAS:

David was a trained dancer.  And, I did not know Lenny’s favorite band was Nine Inch Nails.

MICHAEL:

David, what did you find out?

DAVID:

We share a love for movies.  I came in one day to get a script, and Lenny was here to shoot something.  We talked about an hour and half about movies, and I thought it was only 20 minutes. But we talked about these old movies we liked and style and directors.  We have all gone to see movies together and these are guys you can talk shop with, but not that I am surprised about that, but to carry on an intelligent conversation for a period of time on style or something, I think its very impressive.  It’s not, “Oh, I want to be here because I want to be on TV.”  They want to do good work and they are serious. They know when and how to have fun at the same time, and you can’t really always expect that with someone you have to work closely with.  You just hope that it comes out that way, but with both of them, I know I am two for two!

MICHAEL:

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And finally Lenny, any tidbits you can share with the viewers as we wrap up our visit?

LENNY:

I do want to add that I think I am fortunate to work with two other guys that I have so much chemistry with.  We are playing brothers, and so it’s important for us to get along. It’s important for us to work well on camera, but we hang out outside of work, too. Since we get along well, that can only enhance our performance and that will show on camera, and that bond will be stronger.  I think what is also important to point out is that I have met some wacky actors in my day, and to meet two guys where we see eye to eye professionally and socially, is great!   So I would say; we are just able to really communicate on many levels.

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Mariah Leigh-Anne Hart
Mariah Leigh-Anne Hart

When is Nicholas Robuck’s birday and I really think he is sexy if u think he’s hot check out my youtube Pg username-MariahHart16 and the name of my channel is starjam if u cant find my channel look up the 1999 backstreet boys disney concert 1999 quit playing games with my heart click on my name and u’ll find my channel which it has Nick Robuck and its sexy

kara anderson
kara anderson

I will check it out on your site

Mariah Leigh-Anne Hart
Mariah Leigh-Anne Hart

oh cool thanks

michele walker
michele walker

OLTL has been so much more fun to watch with these 3 guys. I am a stay at home mom. I have tuned in to OLTL since a younging at home with my Mom. I stopped watching for a while. Right now I am hooked big time. I dvr it. Blair has been ageless and fantastic since forever. Always loved her. I like all of the cast. Star is fantastic. My main fav’s our the characters of Bobby and James. Yes , they are very good looking. Besides that, they bring their characters to life and make you feel they are real. The acting is truly fantastic. I am 39, and watching their story is as exciting as I was a teen again. The attractions between the boys and Star and Lanx. Just fantastic! Please have them on a really long term. They are gems! I am a happily married almost 40 yr. old stay at home Mom. I can’t get enough of their story line. They are fun and the whole damn package. I have not seen such good acting with young people since G. H.’s teen group: Lucky and Liz and the gang! Great work finding these boys OLTL! James amazes me. I loved Bobby from the start and felt the same of James. They hooked me the first day they were on. That’s not easy to do. I hope to see them in Movies. The fact is their looks alone could land them anything! They are also talented. That is not easy to find today. Whom ever spotted them and signed them, you know talent!

kara anderson
kara anderson

long story

Jennifer
Jennifer

While I always appreciate and enjoy the interviews, I must say it is the over-saturation and exposure of these new and unappealing characters that has prompted this viewer to delete OLTL from my DVR. I may try to catch-up with the true stars of this show online, but no longer can tolerate what passes for OLTL these days.

Shirtless and smarmy are the best descriptions for these characters. This show has confused sexy and sex appeal with merely being undressed. Cary Grant oozed sex appeal in a tux; George Clooney screams sex appeal in a suit; Daniel Craig with a smile; A Martinez with the way he moved. Those three in a sauna in towels? –I am not sure what that was, but it sure as heck was not sexy.

Ford’s actions in regard to every female he has been in contact with on this show is appalling and no amount of mommy left me backstory will change his disgusting behaviors. On prom night this sleaze had sex with the pizza girl, almost had sex with brainless Langston, and then did the deed with a mentally ill young woman. Middle brother comes across as stalkerish and the youngest looks way too old to be with Dani. Bottomline, there is nothing remotely entertaining about these characters for me.

What a sad day for this once entertaining show when Viki, Dorian, Blair, Joey, Kevin, Cassie, Clint, Max and the dozens of characters with substance are brushed aside for such an insipid threesome.

bottomchef
bottomchef

Wow, david gregory’s char is disgusting. W/c means OLTL’s writers must love writing for him: hello Todd!

brian
brian

The Ford brothers are too much fun, and the way they are getting mixed in with all the other characters is great.

I like how Bo is taking Nate “under his wing” It’s easy to image how Nate and Matthew will become rivals for the years to come!

OLTL is doing great doing great in my books!

DaniAustin
DaniAustin

I think OLTL has reached the last straw it has. They have tried everything to draw viewers so now they are conceding to the lowest common denominator, cheesecake. I think they are hoping that somehow they draw in viewers. Don’t see that happening. Last week’s ratings indicated a 48,000 jump in overall viewers but they are still the lowest rated show and have been for a month now. Next week those 48,000 floaters will abandon the show and their viewership will go down again. Cheesecake ain’t workin’. If some acting ability went with the cheesecake maybe you could draw in viewers but the level of acting in this storyline is minimal at best. I wonder if they will be blamed for the ratings decline like the Kish boys. Hmmm! Once ATWT goes than OLTL’s death watch will begin.

big D
big D

First of all Dani, the word is then with an ‘e’. Not ‘than OLTL’s death watch will begin… Second, the Ford brothers are a great addition to the show. If you don’t think they are hot, you may want to find out where the local softball team meets. And I’d put money on Nic Robuck to become a breakout star in prime time or movies. I don’t think it’s bad acting that plagues OLTL, it’s just poor writing. Drawn out scenes that go nowhere last entire episodes and longer. There is a definite lack of creativity in the writing. But I cannot say the Ford storyline has anything to do with it.

bottomchef
bottomchef

David gregory looks so old in that photo where they’re all wearing white. And they want Mel Gibson or Mickey Rourke to portray their abusive father? hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doe
Doe

I think all these youguns have been put on the show for the summer because they could appeal to the out of school teen agers and young adults. I can’t believe this story has legs. What we don’t need are more characters, especially young ones. Actually, these so-called boys aren’t boys at all….

katina
katina

Well I love Nic Robuck/James he is my favorite of them all. I love James/Starr and I’m rooting for them to get together.

bianca
bianca

Here, here! He’s also won just a touch more admiration from me by admitting he would prefer to keep his clothes on. He’s cute and charming, but he just doesn’t have the same exhibitionistic personality as Ford. I actually get the sense that he would prefer to catch a person with his eyes, rather than his body.

Susan
Susan

I think all the ford brothers are good looking and hot. But I do like James the best out of the three.

andiepandie
andiepandie

Nic is just too hot for words. YAY James and Starr!

dragonfly31
dragonfly31

OMG!! James is so cute and i love how he says he would rather wear a shirt i like it better when guys are not overly confident with there body and it means he is also more willing to work harder to catch your eye instead of just letting his abs do it for him.

Mermer
Mermer

I just started watching OLTL and it’s these boys who have me tuning again. They’re just so fresh and young and good looking of course. And i know it must suck for long time viewers to have newbies become front burners (i experienced that with my other soaps) but I know a lot of people who have started to watch OLTL because of these boys. In the end, we all want OLTL and soap operas in general to continue for many more years so i help people continue to support the soaps. 😀

Kristina
Kristina

why did you not recognize my email?

General Hospital

Bryan Craig Talks Javi In ‘Grand Hotel’, Recasting GH’s Morgan, And His Post-Daytime Career

When Grand Hotel finally makes its highly-anticipated debut this summer (Monday night, June 17th) on ABC, soap opera fans will see some very familiar faces in primo roles as this sudsy drama, based on the Spanish series Gran Hotel, tells the story of a family-owned hotel in Miami, the people who run it, and all of the secrets they keep from one another.

Brought to you by executive producers Eva Longoria and Ben Spector, the show explores the family dynamic of the Mendoza family. Longoria herself will play a mother in four episodes of the show, as well.

General Hospital fans will take note that Daytime Emmy-winner, Bryan Craig (Ex-Morgan Corinthos) is front and center in the cast as Javi Mendoza, the troubled son of the family who has some major obstacles in front of him.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Craig during the recent ABC TCA’s Press Tour for the network to get some insight into his new role, how he would feel if GH would recast the role of Morgan (he recently propped up former DAYS star Billy Flynn as a potential viable candidate) and what it has been like post-daytime in his burgeoning career in film and TV.  Here’s what he had to say about his TV life past and present.

What has this experience been like for you taping the episodes of Grand Hotel and working with such a stellar cast?

BRYAN:  It’s been incredible   It feels like it went by so fast.  It’s an awesome group of people.  We’ve got a fun show.

How would you say your character of Javi Mendoza stacks up against GH’s Morgan Corinthos?

BRYAN:  I think it’s one of the most layered characters that I’ve ever played.  There’s a lot going on with Javi.  He has a big disability, kind of like Morgan did.  It’s a physical disability, and there are a lot of challenges that come along with that.  He also has a substance problem.  So, some of the same issues and in the same world that Morgan was in.  Javi is a very troubled character, but he is also a lot of fun, and a ladies’ man … and sleeps with a lot of women! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the audience will care for Javi, though?  

BRYAN:  Oh yeah, one hundred percent.  He was written in a very kind-hearted manner.  He’s a great guy, who has had a tough life.

Did they put you through a audition process to nab the role in Grand Hotel?

BRYAN:  They had read hundreds and hundreds of people for this role.  I came in at the tail end of it, and then the process went pretty quickly.  I read once, and the next think I knew, I was in a room with Eva Longoria and director, Ken Olin.  Then two days later, I was testing with Eva, and then I got the call that I had the part.

You’re a part of the core family, the Mendozas, on Grand Hotel, and on GH, you were part of the Corinthos clan.  How do the family dynamics stack-up?

BRYAN:  It’s pretty special.  There are a lot of similarities.  It feels like we have kind of shifted GH into prime-time.  In Grand Hotel, we have Demián Bichir, who plays Santiago Mendoza, and he is my Sonny Corinthos now.   They gave us a very heavy, heavy storyline … just like they gave Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH) and me.   So, I think the fans are really going to buy into it.   ABC, (I think) wanted to marry that bond a little bit, and I feel it was very apparent in the writing.  This network has been very good to me.

Courresy/ABC

Did you know that your co-star Denyse Tontz was in Prospect Park’s All My Children reboot as Miranda Montgomery and had a soap past, as well?

BRYAN:  Yes! I did know that.  Denyse plays my sister on Grand Hotel and we work together a lot on the show.  There were quite a few people on the show who came from soaps.  Even some guest stars who came in were big in soap at points.

So, this kind of all  worked out for you!  You left General Hospital, and landed a major primetime series, plus your other movie roles!

BRYAN:  It was a scary move, but it worked out.  I did a few things; a couple of movies, and I did a show for CW for a while, and then this.  So, it’s been back-to-back.  I’ve been fortunate.

Courtesy/ABC

How would you feel if General Hospital, ultimately, recast the role of Morgan?

BRYAN:  You know, if it was to behoove the show, then so be it.   I feel like it was a pretty nice end for me there, but I can’t sit here and be selfish and be like, “I’m the last person who could play that role!”  Would that be awesome?  I mean, yeah!  But, who knows?  They’ve got to do what’s best for the show.

GH’s Maurice Benard had great story in 2018 with the Alzheimer’s storyline involving Sonny’s dad, Mike Corbin (Max Gail).  Had you been checking it out at all?

BRYAN:  I know!   I do keep up with Maurice a lot.   We are good friends.

To remind those who have not seen the trailer to Grand Hotel check it out below.  Will you be watching Bryan in his exciting new role on Grand Hotel? Will you be OK with a Morgan recast on GH, or hope the show will wait for Bryan to return one day? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Melody Thomas Scott Chats On 40 Years As The Young and the Restless’ Incomparable Nikki: The Men, The Booze, The Drama

Today marks Y&R icon Melody Thomas Scott’s 40th anniversary with the top-rated daytime drama series.  While CBS plans to air a special standalone episode (Nikki is in the slammer for confessing to J.T.’s murder, and she will reflect on her life in an emotional look-back), Michael Fairman sat down with the popular and beloved star for a deep dive into four decades in the life of stripper-turned-socialite, Nikki Newman for The Michael Fairman Channel.

During the interview, Melody first addresses her sadness at the loss of her longtime friend and co-star Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters): “I adored him.  I love him to bits.  I loved working with him; such a wonderful actor.  I don’t even know if he knew how good he was.”

When discussing Nikki’s colorful past, and when Y&R planned to have Nikki strip again decades later, Melody revealed she did refuse to play it: “That’s right, and I very rarely put the kibosh on anything on this show,  I was 48-years-old.  The head writer called me and I was up in hair and make-up.  They heard me say, ‘I’m 48-years-old .. that’s just not happening.”‘

Photo: TheMichaelFairmanChannel

Over the years, Nikki has faced many battles, perils ,and demons including her addiction to alcohol which has provided many a juicy story for Thomas Scott.  As to the fans always loving to see a ‘boozy’ Nikki, Melody remarked;  “Yes!  They love it!  I have great fun with it and I think it’s wonderful.”

During a segment of the conversation, Michael shows Melody some photos of Nikki’s past loves, and gets her thoughts on why Nikki fell for those men, and what it was like working with her co-stars through the years: John Enos (Bobby), Doug Davidson (Paul), Heath Kizzier (Joshua), Wings Hauser (Greg), Don Diamont (Brad), Vincent Irizarry (David), Peter Bergman (Jack), Sean Kanan (Deacon, and of course, her longtime on-screen partner Eric Braeden (Victor).

Later, Melody reminisces about her time working with the late great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) and when asked by Fairman what she thinks Jeanne would say about her 40th anniversary milestone, Melody replied: “She would say, ‘I’m (bleeping) proud of you Mel!”‘

Photo: CBS

Check out the entire interview with Melody below (make sure to also subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube for more feature interviews), and following that the special CBS promo honoring Melody’s 40th anniversary with Y&R.  Then let us know, what has been your favorite Nikki Newman moment over the last 40 years? Share your thoughts via the comment section below,

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Interviews

Executive Producer Michael Levitt Previews The Adorable 2019 ‘American Rescue Dog Show’

Dog lovers everywhere get ready! Coming your way on Sunday, February 17th and Monday, February 18th, the good folks at the Hallmark Channel will air a two-night special event (8pmET/7pmCT) that puts a spin on the traditional competitive elite dog shows, while at the same time championing an important cause for man’s best friend.

The 2019 American Rescue Dog Show honors some of the cutest rescue dogs from around the country going paw-to-paw in categories that will tickle-your-funny-bone, bring a smile to your face, or, potentially shed a tear.  This marks the second year for this oh-so-heartwarming show, where in its first year, it beat the Westminster Dog Show in the ratings; much to the delight of rescue dogs and their families, who take these wonderful animals into their homes.

The brainchild behind the concept is the executive producer of the event. Michael Levitt (Skin Wars, Daytime Emmys, TV Land Awards), who spoke with Michael Fairman TV to give us all the inside dish and insight into why this dog show is so personally important to him, and how its goal is to create awareness about the plight of millions of abandoned dogs in shelters each year, and to inspire viewers to think about rescuing one of these loveable pups.

Levitt has a collection of notable hosts and judges along for the ride who bring this one-of-a-kind doggy competition to life from the world of TV, film, and animal advocacy.  So, for the lowdown on the competition and more, here’s what Michael shared.

Photo: Crown Media

For those who want to check out the two-night event, is the American Rescue Dog Show in the same vein as the Westminster Dog Show, where the dogs are competing? 

MICHAEL: The format of the show is similar to a fancy dog show, such as Westminster, however, on the American Rescue Dog Show, we aren’t “judging” the dog.  In our show, they all have to be rescue dogs that are spayed or neutered in order to compete, and we are not judging them based on their bloodlines, we are celebrating their cuteness in such categories as, “Best in Wiggle Butt,” “Best in Couch Potato,” “Best in Snoring,” “Best in Special Needs,” and  “Best in Senior Dog” – those are obviously some of the most important.   We have the fancy arena floor with the judges and the tuxedos.  We filmed it at the Pomona Fairplex, which is the same place that they film the Beverly Hills Dog Show.

And you have a bevy of dog-loving celebrity judges along for the ride, too!

MICHAEL: Yes, and this year we are lucky to have the support of celebrity animal advocates that include: Lisa Vanderpump, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, host of CBS’s Lucky Dog, Bill Berloni, who is the dog trainer to a lot of the dogs on Broadway, and Dirty Job’s Mike Rowe.  Our prerequisites for them to be a judge were: they all needed to be rescue-friendly.  So, they either needed to have a rescue dog of their own or support rescue in some way.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are the hosts this year, along with Ross Matthews and Home & Family’s Larissa Wall, who served as co-hosts and cover all of the action ringside.

Photo: Crown Media

So, did the judges get along?  Did they differ on their top picks?

MICHAEL: The judges absolutely got along famously, but as a producer of the show, I was a fly on the wall listening to them when they were deliberating as they were picking a winner.  That was quite entertaining, because each of them had a strong point of view on the dog, or dogs that they thought should win the competition. We found ourselves throughout the filming just turning to each other and saying, “I don’t know how the judges are going to pick just one, because they are all just so incredibly special.”

How was Lisa Vanderpump? 

MICHAEL:  Lisa was wonderful!  When she was being interviewed by Rebecca and Jerry O’Connell, they asked her what she would say to a potential family that is about to buy a dog from a breeder, and it was such a profound moment, because as someone who comes from her socioeconomic level, from her privilege, to see that she has embraced rescue might be incredibly meaningful to someone who might think that rescue dogs are second-hand animals.  Lisa Vanderpump disproves that just by being there, and being a part of it.

Photo: Crown Media

How did you decide on Rebecca and Jerry as your hosts with the most?

MICHAE:  I have a long history with Rebecca from producing my show, Skin Wars, which she hosts.  I knew that she and Jerry had four rescue dogs of their own, and that she is incredibly passionate about rescue and shedding light and creating awareness about the plight of animals that are sheltered.  They were not only organic and authentic to the cause, but they were a lot of fun and clearly had a lot of natural chemistry.  They also brought their own rescue dogs to the show, as did Lisa Vanderpump.  So that was fun.

You have two wonderful dogs of your own.  So, this is your passion project!

MICHAEL: This is a true labor of love for me, because in 2011 when my sister, Jennifer was dying of cancer, my partner and I decided to rescue a dog, and we rescued a pit bull named Trooper, and Trooper rocked our world.  My sister met him four days before she died, and it’s that old adage of “Who rescued who.”  Trooper really was there for me during a really difficult time of my life. I learned first-hand how special not only rescue dogs are, but pit bulls, and that really was the beginning of my animal advocacy.  I ended up taking a year off from producing just to rescue dogs.  I realized at the end of that year, that as a rescuer, I am saving one dog at a time, but as a producer, I could do so much more to bring awareness to the plight of animals in our shelters by creating rescue-themed programming.

Pit bulls seem to always get a bad rap.  Do you feel that way?

MICHAEL:  They absolutely get a bad rap, and after we rescued Trooper, we rescued another pit bull named Nelson, and it was really the two of them who inspired me to get heavily involved in rescue and to be an advocate for pit bulls.  With pit bulls it is such a unique human-animal bond that you don’t find with any other breed.  All they really want to do is please their humans, and it is absolutely true that when you hear these horrific stories about pit bulls on the news, these are rare incidents of pit bulls who have fallen into the hands of bad people who have treated them badly.  It’s really unfair to profile and entire breed of dog, because all dog breeds have some dogs that have behavioral problems.  I have come in contact with thousands of pit bulls, and I have only met one that was human-aggressive, and that dog was severely, severely abused.  Every other pit bull I have come in contact with has been nothing but incredibly sweet.

Photo: Crown Media

So, last year’s American Rescue Dog Show is currently in the running to earn a Daytime Emmy nomination in the ‘Special Class Special’ programming category!

MICHAEL:  Yes, “Special Class Special”. (Laughs)

You obviously know who wins this weekend’s American Rescue Dog Show competition.  Were you happy with the winner? 

MICHAEL:  Yes, but you can imagine how difficult it is for the judges to pick a winner because every single dog in the competition is beyond adorable. It is really the dogs who deliver on the show, and that’s what makes the show so heartwarming.  The real purpose of the show is to inspire the viewers to rescue their next dog from their local shelter, or rescue organization, so that people who are watching turn to the person they are with and say, “Honey, I didn’t know you could get a pure-bred dog at a shelter!  Let’s rescue our next dog!”  We have really powerful segments in the show about the joy of adopting a senior dog, or a special-needs dog.  We do a segment on debunking the myths about pit bulls, and we have messaging on why it is important to spay and neuter your dog.  So, through this wonderfully entertaining program, we are also educating people and hopefully touching their heart and their soul and inspiring them to be a part of the solution by rescuing their next dog; instead of being a part of the problem by purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder.

Photo: Crown Media

When you look at what you have to take on as a producer when you do this type of show; as opposed to any other type of production you have helmed, what are the major differences?

MICHAEL: The biggest distinction is that on this show we are dealing with living animals, so I take that responsibility very seriously.  First and foremost: is the safety and well-being of the dogs that are participating on the show.  We have to consider everything from making sure that the animals are up-to-date with their vaccinations to having veterinarians on hand, having production personal on-hand standing by with treats and pooper-scoopers. This also means that the dogs are being treated like VIPs.  So, we have a VIP room, but that stands for “Very Important Pooch”, and all of the dogs that are participating have their own dressing rooms with a star on it and their name.  There were over 130 dogs that actually participated from all over the country.  In addition, we had a gifting suite like they do on the Oscars and Golden Globes, but on this show, they didn’t get swag bags, they got “Wag Bags”.

Knowing you as I do, it seems a lot this creative from the categories in the competition, to the backstage VIP room, are very YOU!

MICHAEL:  I have an incredible team of producers who I collaborate with.  None of this would be possible without the good people at Hallmark being such incredible animal advocates.  Specifically, Bill Abbott, who is one of the few network executives in the industry who is really walking the walk and doing so much to be supportive of dogs and cats who need homes.  So, this is right up my alley, because creatively I am so passionate about it that it is so easy to come up with fun ideas that hopefully resonate with the viewers.

Photo: Crown Media

Are there any other fun moments that you can tease?

MICHAEL:  We are celebrating the perfectly imperfect.  So, we love when a dog decides to roll on his back in the middle of the arena and decide he wants to get a belly rub in the middle of the competition.  We had a dog decide that he had to go potty on the middle of a flower arrangement on the arena floor.  Those are the moments that give the show its heart and feel-good sensibility.  We had a couple of dogs in the “Best Wiggle Butt” category where one of their forever parent brings them out initially, and their other forever parent was on the other side of the area, and we removed their leash so that they can run from one parent to the other so that we can really see their butts moving, but … we had a few dogs get so excited that they ran right out of the arena! (Laughs)  They ran right through the tunnel off stage and come running back in, and the whole audience erupted into laughter.  It’s just magical.

How did you find these dogs to compete? 

MICHAEL:  We put out a call-to-action on social media, and we got thousands of responses. People submitted their rescue dogs in as many categories as they qualified for, and they submitted photos and videos. Then, we have a team of producers and rescue experts who go through all of the submissions, ultimately picking the top semi-finalists in each category who come to Los Angeles to compete.  We had a wonderful partnership with Pedigree Foundation in which they provided $100,000 in grant money for the dogs that win for the rescue that saved him or her.  So, in the ten semi-final categories, each winning dog received a $5,000 grant for the rescue that saved him or her, and then the ultimate winner of the competition, which is crowned the title, “Best in Rescue,” received an additional $30,000 for the rescue that saved him or her, again, courtesy of Pedigree Foundation.  We also had a partnership with adoptapet.com, which is the largest online resource for people to find rescue dogs in their own communities. Throughout the show, we have a call-to-action for people to go to hallmark.com/bestinrescue and look for the adopt a pet icon … they click it… then enter their zip code … and they are instantly linked to thousands of available dogs in their own community who are patiently waiting for a loving home.

Photo: Crown Media

The dog handlers are the owners of these pets?

MICHAEL:  Yes.  We call it a member of their “forever family”.  Several of the dogs on the show are service dogs now, or companion animals, working in senior homes or working with military service people suffering from PTSD.  We celebrate each and every one of them.

Is your hope to do a third annual show, and keep the dog rescue competition going?

MICHAEL:  Yes!  My hope is that this show continues to be on for many years to come and be a platform for the 8 million animals that enter our shelters each year and are patiently waiting for their forever home, and that we can continue to be a voice for these dogs that don’t have voices of their own.  Of all of the shows that I have produced over the years, this one is going to be the most meaningful to me, and is going to be my legacy, because it is such a beautiful thing that I can bring my work and my passion together to hopefully make a difference in the lives of all of these animals.  As a result of this show, we heard from numerous shelters across the country that there was a definite uptick in adoptions.  That warms my heart beyond compare.

In closing, you know what they say:  it’s easier to work with animals than humans! Thoughts? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Every show has its challenges, but I would much rather deal with a diva Chihuahua than a diva celebrity.  So, on that level, this show is pure joy to make.

So, will you be watching this heartwarming, creative two-night rescue dog event?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below, but first, check out this behind-the-scenes video of how the American Rescue Dog Show is put together with co-host, Ross Matthews.

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Video du Jour

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

The Michael Channel

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