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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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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

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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!

long story

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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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….

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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. 😀

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General Hospital

(INTERVIEW) William deVry Talks on His Roles in Hallmark’s ‘A Whitewater Romance’, New Film ‘Pocket of Hope’ and His Time on the Soaps

For soap favorite, William deVry life-after-daytime has been reinvigorating, filled with new projects and new directions. This Saturday, May 11th he can be seen in the latest rom-com from Hallmark, A Whitewater Romance (8pm ET/PT) starring Cindy Busby as Maya and Ben Hollingsworth as Matt who play intense business rivals, and featuring Will as Jim Burdett, set against the backdrop of the outdoors and Canada.

In addition, Wil has been busy prepping other projects in which he is executive producing and starring including: Colt & McQueen and Christmas in Bordeaux, and producing and starring in a very dramatic departure for deVry, as the lead in the new true-life story feature film, Pocket of Hope.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Wil to get the lowdown on his latest and upcoming roles, his expanding career aspirations, and to get his reflections on his three main soap roles: Julian Jerome on General Hospital, Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and Michael Cambias on All My Children. Read on for what deVry has been up to of late and his reflections of the past.

Courtesy/Hallmark

In A Whitewater Romance, you play the character of Jim Burdett, tell me about him?

WIL: My character runs this whitewater rafting company and the deal is that there’s a corporate retreat that is organized at my company. Jim is sort of old school. He’s been running the company for quite a lot of years. Jim’s not social media savvy. In the story, Maya and Matt get there, and they end up obviously enjoying themselves at this corporate bonding retreat. They discover that Jim was going to close down the company. He stayed open specifically to accommodate this corporate retreat. And then, of course, Cindy Busby’s character, and Ben Hollingsworth character do this little online thing for Jim and get business booming. Before he knows it, the entire summer is booked with clients and they basically saved his company. It’s a feel-good movie with beautiful, stunning locations.

And, are you a good guy in this?

WIL: It’s almost like, wait!  Will is playing good guy? It’s funny because our director, Jason Bourque knows I’ve been playing bad guys for so long. Even the Christmas movie that I did with Terry Hatcher, Christmas at the Chalet, I went through such an arc. My character was so focused in his business and kind of unhappy because he was living his life for other people, and you don’t really realize that you might be slightly unhappy because you don’t take time to do inventory for yourself. In A Whitewater Romance, Jason had this idea that I was this really kind of ‘happy-go-lucky’ guy. And by the second day of shooting, he goes, “I think maybe Jim is a former military …” We both laughed because it was a subtle joke, because you know, I can be a little bit serious.

Photo: Willdevry

How was it to work with Ben and Cindy?

WIL: Great. Cindy being a lead, they set an example for everybody. Cindy is so low key and very friendly, and basically the trailer door is open if you want to discuss anything. Ben was also a producer on this. He might have had a little more stress on him than just sort of acting. But honestly, you couldn’t tell. Both of them had a good sense of humor. I would work with either one of them in a heartbeat again.

You have some exciting news to share; as you are about to be the lead in a new film?

WIL: Yes, I’m the lead in a new film called Pocket of Hope. It’s based on the true story of Chad Gaines, and I am playing Chad. It’s a beautiful movie. It’s in the present day with Chad talking with his daughter. He’s always been reluctant to share his past with her, and because there was a lot of trauma involved, he didn’t really want to put her through that. She’s no longer a young lady and so he feels now is the time to share that. There are a lot of strong flashbacks in the movie. It goes back between the past and the present, which I think is really engaging. The budget is well over a million dollars. We start filming at the end of May in Los Angeles, and then we will go on location in August to shoot the remaining scenes.

Courtesy/Willdevry

How do you feel about tackling a dramatic role such as this with tough subject matter?

WIL: It’s a heavy-duty role. There’s a lot of responsibility. I’ve prepared my whole life for these kinds of roles. It’s really exciting to play a true life individual, who has a story to tell. I think it’s a great honor for me and for the director/producer David Kohner Zuckerman, as well. David is wanting to do Chad’s story justice. We’ve got a good team for this. Robert Altman Jr’s, Cora Atlman, is playing my daughter. When you find a troupe that you like to work with and you can collaborate with, you stick together. So, we have David, as I mentioned and also Deran Sarafian, who is consulting on the project. Deran and I have been working on my other project together, Colt & McQueen. We are the luckiest people in the business right now to be working with Deran. He has had a lot of successful pilots that he’s done for Fox, ABC, and NBC and also Marvel and Netflix shows. He was also a producer on House for Fox.

Photo: Willdevry

In Colt & McQueen, you play a former LAPD detective, right?

WIL: Correct. He was basically dishonorably discharged for something that he didn’t do. He is going be trying to clear his name of any wrongdoings. However, in order to make a living, he sort of does these unsanctioned assignments for the captain of the LAPD, who is also on his way out. He’s a good guy. Kin Shriner (Scott, GH) is in it and he kind of plays a man of the streets who goes by “The Professor.” Rebecca Staab (Elizabeth, Port Charles, et al) is in it, and she plays the character with the code name “Leather Jacket” within the LAPD system. We go into production on it in July.

You’re doing your own projects now. That must be liberating in some ways and harder in others.

WIL: I just said, “Look, if I’m going to stay in this business, I have to have some control over my career now as opposed to just auditioning blindly.” That can be a frustrating process. I am learning a lot because I’ve never produced before or executive produced, but the effort is there, and the will to do so is there.

Photo: RStaabIG

Speaking of projects, you have another one you are working on, a romantic comedy called Christmas in Bordeaux. What is the theme of that one?

WIL: It’s a tale of family traditions, renewed passions, for love and life and spiritual and cultural awakenings. Finding value in the time we have left. And of course, a happy ending for all involved.

As an actor, when you finally get to the point where you get to act you probably really enjoy that. It’s just the challenges of all the things it takes to get there that can be daunting for a performer.

WIL: As an actor, you have to be so good and so comfortable and embrace the rejection. The rejection has to feed you. It can’t defeat you. However, I kind of do take everything personally. If a casting director doesn’t want to bring me in for something that’s their prerogative. I don’t really get angry about it, but I take it personally because I kind of feel like, they should bring me. I can’t just sit back and accept my fate based on other people’s ideas of what I’m capable of or not capable of. Sometimes my resume is a benefit, and sometimes it’s a detriment. It’s up to me to change the narrative.

Photo: JPI

What would you want to say to the GH fans who had been so supportive of you through the years?

WIL: It blows me away how loyal they are, and their passion. I want them to be of aware that. I’m excited to work for myself, and if that doesn’t work out, I am very comfortable going on to do something else with my life. Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH) and I had talked about it at one point, and how she absolutely loves the business. I have other things that interest me and move me. I hope every single fan of Julian Jerome comes along on this journey with me.

Photo: JPI

Looking back, do you think your best role on the soaps was Michael Cambias on All My Children?

WIL: I think with Michael Cambias that All My Children destroyed the character. I sat down with the executive producer at the time, Jean Dadario Burke, and she said, “You’ll be here as long as you want. We did a focus group and you’ve got a 96% approval rating. That’s through the roof.” Two days later, I was called back into her office as they had fired the head writer. I was told Megan McTavish was coming back and they were going to make my character irredeemable, which as everybody knows, Michael Cambias went on to do horrible things to Erica Kane’s (Susan Lucci) family and then he was off the show.

Photo: JPI

Then, you went on to portray Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and the heartbreaking suicide storyline which saved Katie’s (Heather Tom) life, but cost Storm his.

WIL: Storm had a lot of potential. When you’re going through such a beautiful, heart-wrenching, horrific story like that, I wanted to give the audience a lot of credit. Soaps have a smart audience. I wanted them to go on the journey with me. I didn’t want to ruin it for them by playing the problem. I didn’t want to create the drama before it was time to pay the price, if you know what I mean. I allowed it to play out on-screen without any foreshadowing. I think that’s why it worked and that’s why it broke everybody’s heart, and I think that’s why it won a Daytime Emmy for Best Drama Series. Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) trusted me with a vehicle that ended up being the Ferrari for that year. I’m eternally grateful to him.

Photo: JPI

Do you ever check out General Hospital nowadays to see how your old castmates are doing and what is happening in Port Charles?

WIL:  I like to check in. I like to see what Kin Shriner (Scott) is up to, and I like to see who’s showing up and who’s going. I like to see Maura West (Ava) who is such a terrific actress and who played my on-screen sister. We had such a good working relationship and I hope she is on the show forever.  I was happy with my eight years on the show. I knew for 18 months it was time for me to leave. I knew in my heart the character was done. Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) was thrilled with how I left the show. Those six and a half years on General Hospital were a lot of fun. I really loved going to work.

So, will you be watching William deVry in ‘A Whitewater Romance’ this weekend on Hallmark? What do you think about his upcoming projects and roles? Miss him on daytime? Comment below.

 

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Interviews

(INTERVIEW) Y&R’s Peter Bergman Deconstructs Jack’s Desperate Move to Sober Up Nikki, the Repercussions Ahead, and the Loss of TV Mom, Marla Adams

This week on The Young and the Restless, the top-rated soap deliver first in its five decades. An episode aired involving only two characters; Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott).

At its epicenter was Jack trying to stage his own intervention, of sorts, to get Nikki to stop drinking herself into oblivion as her battle with alcoholism escalated to a whole new level. Alone in a suite at the GCAC, Nikki has bottles of booze everywhere.

Jack, who is Nikki’s sponsor, finds her and for most of an entire episode tries everything he can think of to make her sober up, but she continues to hit rock bottom and doesn’t want to be saved. After she ridicules him in a drunken stupor, about how he failed her as her sponsor, it sends Jack, an addict himself, over the edge. Next thing you know, Jack is drinking with Nikki, and then takes it one step further and orders some pills from his dealer. And from there, things take a deadly turn.

Photo: JPI

Peter Bergman and Melody Thomas Scott have a long history on Y&R together, plus she was instrumental in bringing him to Genoa City in the first place. In story, Jack and Nikki were married from 1990-1994, but things came crashing down between them due to alcohol. Years later, in a case of history almost repeating itself, it once again almost destroyed their bond, but instead, the powerful moments bonded them together for life.

It is without question, that Peter Bergman and Melody Thomas Scott are Michael Fairman TV’s picks for the Power Performance of the Week, and for Bergman, who has already nabbed 24 Daytime Emmy nominations in his storied career with 3 previous wins, this performance surely will land him his 25th next year and maybe even Emmy gold.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Peter shortly after the heartbreaking episodes aired to get his thoughts on: Jack’s motivations throughout the key scenes, what will happen to Jack now, and the passing of his on-screen mother, Marla Adams (ex-Dina), who passed away on April 25th at the age of 85. Here’s what this iconic actor, who is known for the excellence of execution in his craft, had to share in our conversation below.

Photo: JPI

Well, my mouth dropped. I just could not believe how gut-wrenching this episode was. It was like a twist on the classic motion picture, Days of Wine and Roses, but on steroids.

PETER: That was a wild trip, I’ll tell you. As it was presented to me, it was the story of Jack going too far to help Nikki. When I got the script and saw that it was one of those great, ‘the tables turn,’ suddenly you’re on the receiving end. And normally in daytime television, the table doesn’t turn for about four days. And, in one episode, this giant shift happens. It was really rewarding to do that stuff with Melody with whom I have so much history. Some of my first scenes on the show were with Melody. My first couple years I was glued to Melody. So, it was pretty powerful for me. It really was. 

When you saw the script and you saw that Jack put his sobriety in jeopardy for Nikki, you’re left with all these questions, because it’s such a severe turn. I’ve been kind of tracking the response on social media, and some people are like, “Oh, that would never happen.” But we also have to take into account the dramatic license Y&R is taking here. What are your thoughts?

PETER: I think we have to give dramatic license. But I think too, Jack kept appealing to the goodness in her. It was covered by all of this addiction and alcohol. And the best way he could find her kindness, her goodness, was by putting himself in jeopardy and watching her come alive.

So, Jack knew what he was doing?

PETER: Yes. He knew what he was starting, and then it went too far. Jack knew he wanted to shock her into sobriety, shock her into clarity and he went too far and he’s going to pay for it.

Photo: JPI

Peter, this is an Emmy-performance! I’m calling it now.

PETER: Oh, well, it’s very, very, kind of you to say. Maybe I can get my 91st nomination. (Laughs) It was a crazy journey in so many ways. I found out about this episode, strangely enough, when one of the audio guys said to me, “Hey, I heard about your show next week with Melody?” I go. “What show is that?” And the sound guy said to me, “They were talking in the booth yesterday. It’s like an episode with only the two of you in it.” I thought he had to have heard that wrong. We’ve never, ever done that. Turns out, he was right. It was a day later that Josh Griffith (EP and head writer, Y&R) came to me and said, “Well, you ready?” I said, “Ready for what?” And, off we went …

The episode was like watching a two-person play in many ways.

PETER: It was just that, and it kind of came out of nowhere, but certainly didn’t come out of nowhere history-wise with these two characters. Obviously, Jack’s been Nikki’s sponsor here for a while. I think what I’m happiest about is this undercurrent that was there all along – that Jack really wanted to be there for her. Jack and Nikki were married once, and it really fell apart around alcohol. Jack was not the right person to be there for her. Back then, he was an enabler. He could not help her. Everything ended because of that and eventually, Victor (Eric Braeden) stepped in to take over Nikki’s sobriety and everything went. I think Jack has seen this opportunity to redeem himself. It meant the world to him. And suddenly that’s on the line, and it’s “Oh, God. I failed her again.”

That was the gut-wrenching part. You could see that there was a shift in Jack the moment Nikki went in on him and how he failed her as a sponsor.

PETER: I’m very glad to hear you say that. That really was the turning point. That was when Jack came up with this wacky, crazy, dangerous idea.

Photo: JPI

Does Jack believe what he said, when he started to drink, and says, “I’m Mr. Uptight?”

PETER: In fairness, it’s something she called him. They had to cut parts of this thing. Nikki was just tired of laced up, uptight Jack. She said it in those terms, and we ended up kind of keeping it in there as “Mr. Uptight” because it is kind of true. Jack’s gotten awfully straight-laced and buttoned up. And, well, you saw how he loosened up a bit. Wow!

What did you think about the story point that Jack has his drug dealer’s number on his phone?

PETER: That’s what addicts do. They tempt themselves. “You see, I’m stronger than my addiction. There’s a bottle of vodka in this house, and I am beating it.” That was Jack’s bottle of vodka in essence, in his phone.

Courtesy/CBS

So, when he started taking the pills, did he literally lose control of himself by taking them, or, was he just doing it to keep proving a point to Nikki?

PETER: Oh, no. The first one was very strategic and very carefully planned. The problem is once you fail, once you cross that line, you’re tempted to see what else is over here on the dark side. Before he knew it, he’d had three of them and then more, and then another after that and mixed with the alcohol. It pretty much did him in.

Courtesy/CBS

I’ve seen people in that kind of state, and you nailed it. There was the moment that was heartbreaking. His teeth were clenched from the drugs, he was so high on the pills combined with alcohol and he was asking Nikki to dance with him.

PETER: I have, too. I’m sad to say, I too, have been in that position. Going to help a friend out who ended up dying for all his bad choices.

Courtesy/CBS

Later, Jack gets resuscitated by the paramedics and then later Victor shows up. How is Jack feeling after his arch-nemesis walks in on the aftermath of this traumatic scene with his wife and Jack?

PETER: When the paramedics show up, frankly, Jack isn’t sure what they did. They gave him an injection to counteract the drugs in his system. Jack didn’t come around for quite a while. And when he does, Nikki is just shocked sober, trying to get help for Jack, Eventually, Victor shows up. Jack kind of has no leg to stand on, and he eventually makes it home. His son, Kyle (Michael Mealor) is the first person to see him in the house, and there’s clearly something very wrong with Jack. He’s trying to get back on track, but he’s just had a near-death experience.

Courtesy/CBS

And now of course, it’s going to be what will happen when Diane finds out what happened with Jack and Nikki.

PETER: Oh, God. The next thing is Diane walks in, and I mean this poor woman, he never called her. He never called her to say “I’m safe.” She spent a whole night worrying, and then she gets to find out where he actually was. Oh, that’s got to be reassuring – he was in hotel room holed up with Nikki – that should comfort her.

Photo: JPI

Originally, Diane warned Jack that is was a bad idea for him to be Nikki’s sponsor.

PETER: Oh, yeah. That’s the worst part. She saw this coming. Diane literally meets the Jack she never knew and her argument is, “Wait! You’re capable of this? Did you once think of me? Where do I fit into any of this?” It’s a pretty powerful argument. Jack didn’t call her to say, “I’m in a weird situation. I will be home as soon as I can. I am safe. I am fine.” He could have been dead as far as she was concerned. And she comes home and he wants to get back on track. Yeah. It’s bad. He’s like, “I’m sorry about that. And let’s get back to our life.” Is she not ready for that!

With what he just experienced, and taking pills again, do you think Jack is very worried that he won’t be able to help himself and he will go down a path like Nikki just did, where he can’t help himself and fight off his demons?  

PETER: I think Jack has convinced himself this is a one-off. This happened once, and it went way too far, and it’s not going to happen again. And, you know how dangerous that talk is.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Melody’s performance when Nikki hit rock bottom and was stinking drunk in the GCAC suite with Jack?

PETER: It was just stunning. I got to tell you, as an actor, the hardest thing in that sloppiness is you’ve got to keep the scene moving. She was just spectacular.

Courtesy/CBS

I know you don’t often get more than one take on the soaps, but what was the approach to taping this episode?

PETER: No, we don’t get a lot of takes, but for this, it was broken up a little bit such as, “Once we get to this point, we will move the cameras upstage, and we will pick up on that line. We will pick up there.” There was an 11-page scene and I think we did that in one or two takes. It was quite a lot. Incidentally, that week I had three other episodes to tape. Is that incredible? I had so many words in my head. I’m not complaining. They decided to do something that’s never been done before. They decided, “I want do it with Peter Bergman.” Of course, I am honored and flattered and really happy that it went as well as it did. I said to my wife, Mariellen, “What did you think of the episode?” She saw it before I did. She said, “Here’s what I think. I think it was very well- written.” You’ve got a drunk character there. She could say all kinds of stupid things, and she was still kind of sparky and snotty underneath that slurring and everything. She was also acerbic and sarcastic. There was a point at which, as you said, you watched Jack and everything just changed and that’s good writing.

As a viewer, to make this make sense to us, Jack had to do something drastic to stop Nikki from drinking because nothing else was working.

PETER: Yep, and then, he has all of that substance in him and alcohol, and he says, in the most clear terms, “I would do anything for you.” And it’s just, “yikes.” What just happened?

Photo: JPI

Eric Braeden was touting your performances on social media. He said, “Watched scenes between MELODY and PETER , NIKKI and JACK, and they were brilliant! Their scenes in the hotel! Performers of the damn year!!! It was very difficult to keep this up, scene after scene and not hit a bad note! You don’t realize how many pages of dialogue that was!” Did you happen to see that?

PETER: I didn’t know that. That’s very, very generous. I am beyond respectful to what Eric and Melody had built together, so that is giant generosity on his part to do that.

What do you think this means for Jack and Nikki? Do you think they could ever be together again as a couple given all they have been through together?

PETER: It’s hard for me to imagine they could be together. They’ve been through too much. She’s in rehab, and Jack will be answering to everyone’s vitriol about his bad choices. I think, when he sees Nikki again, she will be the only person that understands what they went through. It’s hard to define, this isn’t romantic. This is shared experience, shared trauma. This was such destructive behavior and desperation.

Courtesy/ABC

It was Melody who originally recommend you for the part of Jack Abbott, and here the two of you are decades later tearing up the screen and the scenes.

PETER: Yes, absolutely. Melody did recommend me for the part. As story goes, I was on All My Children. That job had come to an end. Back then, there were 12 or so daytime television magazines. I seemed to be on the cover of all of them, because everybody seemed a little surprised that All My Children decided to let Peter Bergman go. Melody was on a flight with Ed Scott, who was then executive producer of the show. She saw my picture on the cover and she pointed to him. They’d been looking for somebody to replace Terry Lester for months. And she said, “That’s Jack Abbott.” How she got that from what I did as Cliff I’ll never know. So, Ed called the casting people and put that in motion.

Photo: JPI

Here you are together years later in this exceptional episode.

PETER: And here we are! My first day of work at Y&R, I worked with Jess Walton (Jill) and Jerry Douglas (ex-John). My second day, I worked with Melody at the old Newman Set.

Photo: JPI

I wanted to get your thoughts on the passing of your on-screen mother, Marla Adams (ex-Dina).

PETER: The passing of Marla Adams is bittersweet. She was so happy to return to The Young and The Restless. I had a hand in it all happening. Tony Morina (former Co-EP, Y&R) had asked me one day, “Is there anything you haven’t played on this show?” And I said, “You know what? Jack has a mother out there somewhere who did more damage to him. Every woman who’s been with Jack has paid for her crimes. I think it would be interesting if we found his mom.” That kind of set it in motion. Tony asked me to call Marla to see if she was interested, and that’s how it all began. So, Marla showed up and was delighted to be there, and so eager to do great work. She was so ready to tell this powerful story of Alzheimer’s and dementia. And partway into this story, it was clear that she was struggling with some of that herself. So, when people were judging Best Supporting Actress the year that she won, they saw this woman who was clearly just on a different plane than all those characters in that scene. It was stunning. Marla was a sweet, sweet woman who brought me the story that for so long we forgot to tell about Jack.

Photo: JPI

If you were to tease what’s coming up next here with Jack, what would you say?

PETER: I’m really fascinated to see how Jack and Diane survive this. I hope we have established enough of a real relationship between these two that we can dig deep. I love those types of scenes, and that’s what I look forward to. If I can do those digging deep scenes with Susan Walters, I’d be thrilled. In story, Jack has got to keep his eye on Kyle. There’s a growing resentment, a growing discomfort. I’m not sure what it is, but Jack can see it in Kyle and it could spell trouble. He is, in fact, Jack Abbott’s son.

Photo: JPI

Should we be worried about Jack? Perhaps, another slip might be around the corner and he could be headed to rehab?

PETER: No. I think we’ve established pretty strongly that this was a one-time thing. Thank, God! He had to pay such a heavy price for one slip. There is just no one who thinks he made the right move there. So, it pulls him up short at the right time before we’re into a real dangerous territory. I think Jack’s going to be all right. However, the damage he did that night to the trust with his wife, to his relationship with Victor, to his son’s belief in him, he did some real damage. And cumulatively all of these things, Ashley’s (Eileen Davidson) mental issues, then Nikki, and Diane and Kyle, and all these things are weighing really heavily on Jack. I hope he’s strong enough to survive it.

What did you think of Peter Bergman’s performance in the two-person episode where Jack literally put his entire life on the line for Nikki, but went too far? What did you think will happen to Jack’s marriage to Diane? Will he be tempted to pop pills again and suffer a similar fate as his ex-wife, Nikki has with booze?

Share your thoughts via the comment section, but first check out a few of the scenes from Melody Thomas Scott’s and Peter’s work in the back-to-back episodes on this story.

 

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General Hospital

(INTERVIEW) Adam Huss Talks on His Latest GH Return, Maura West, Nicholas Chavez, and Being a Swiftie

This week, General Hospital fans were in for a surprise appearance when Adam Huss reappeared as Nikolas Cassadine while serving jail time in Pentonville. He also had a very intriguing visitor, his ex, Ava Jerome (Maura West)!

In the key scenes, Ava seemingly tells Nikolas, who can do nothing about the situation, how she is getting closer to Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and within his inner-sanctum, much to Nikolas’ chagrin. For Huss, those scenes were difficult to shoot, because in real-life he has just lost his beloved grandmother, but he soldiered through and delivered an effective performance.

Adam has had quite the adventure as GH’s dark prince of the Cassadine clan. Having first subbed for former Nikolas, Marcus Coloma, a few times and over a few years time, then taking over the role and being instrumental in moving story forward, but yet not always physically on the canvas. Since taking over the role, Huss has put his own spin on Nikolas, while delivering some top-notch performances. Look no further than in scenes with the exited Nicholas Chavez (Spencer), the aforementioned West, GH icon Genie Francis (Laura), or the twins that the play Baby Ace (Joey Clay, who shares the role with twin brother Jay) to name but a few.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adam to get his thoughts on: Nikolas’ emotional state now, where he thinks the storyline may head in the future, his co-stars, reflecting on what the late Tyler Christopher (ex-Nikolas) brought to the role, and yes, some banter with us about Taylor Swift!  Check out what Adam had to say below.

Courtesy/ABC

Nikolas is kind of the gift that keeps on giving, as you keep popping back up on GH. Just when you think the show literally has written him off, he makes a return. Look no further than on Monday’s April 29th episode when he gets a visit from Ava while in prison.

ADAM: Listen, I’ve really fallen in love with playing the character. I’ve stated that I’m super passionate about it. I really like that the more I delve into his backstory, I learn about the layers of who he is. Watching Tyler Christopher’s (ex-Nikolas) work, because he really originated that character, I become even more enthusiastic about it. I have so much respect for this medium as it is. I’m a fan of TV and film. I am coming in to the story sometimes not knowing where Nikolas may be mentally. So, it’s been nice to be guided once you’re on set. You can’t come in with just your ideas and you have to be open to the collaboration. It’s been a challenge, but a lot of fun.

In the scenes that just aired opposite Maura West, it seemed you could tell that Nikolas still cared for Ava.

ADAM: I thought that was a happy surprise. I am so fond of Maura as a person. I could say that we’ve mutually grown closer each time I come in and play the part. I don’t think Ava knew what she was going to really get when she came to see Nikolas. When he saw her, I think he was just taken with her. It was interesting. There was one moment when she’s talking about Sonny. I felt as if Nikolas didn’t want to hear this, but I was advised by our director, Allison Reames Smith and Frank Valentini (EP, GH), “Remember, Nikolas hasn’t seen her in months and this is really exciting for him to be sitting across from her. ” So that really fed the motivation.

Courtesy/ABC

Nikolas gets an earful from Ava, and he is left with her secret, which is the dose of medication in Sonny’s (Maurice Benard) pills are causing him to act erratic. Ava kind of admitted to Nikolas what was going on and what she was planning.

ADAM: She did, and you’re right. I think she told him because it was safe, and in her mind he’s not going anywhere.

However, Nikolas isn’t always on the up and up, either.

ADAM:  No, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. This is all speculation, but maybe to get her away from Sonny he uses the information she shared. I think Nikolas is thinking that he doesn’t want to see her get hurt, and, “I cannot lose another person right now. I lost my newborn son,” in that, he is not going to raise him. And even bigger, he lost his son Spencer who he believes is gone. So, imagine then losing the love of his life. Their last interactions around New Year’s Eve showed that he still had feelings for her.

Photo: ABC

So, when you first met Maura, what was your reaction to this daytime dynamo?

ADAM: From day one, she was so lovely to me. I tested with her. I got to know her in that moment. She was just so welcoming and wanted me to succeed. Then, when I did fill in for Marcus Coloma, the first time, she and Ken Shriner (Scott) were super lovely. It was like, “You’re my scene partner today. You are Nikolas today. Let’s have fun.” Each time I came in to work, I got the same thing, if not more – more trust, more openness and kindness. Then, as you’re aware, my grandma passed right before these most recent scenes. Maura was so lovely about it. We were running lines, but she just wanted to stop and talk about it for a second. I almost didn’t want to come to work. I just wanted to get home. Maura really got me focused. It was something you wanted to get off your chest with somebody. Then we filmed, and she called me after, and just made sure I was doing alright. I said to Maura, “You are a class act, you know that. Thank you so much.”  I am so glad I didn’t have to miss the funeral and I still got to film at General Hospital, which my grandma loved to watch me on.

Courtesy/AHussIG

Now. did you have any context when you started that your on-screen mother was Genie Francis (Laura)?

ADAM: I did. In the nineties, when I was on Long Island in college and working as a DJ in the summers, I just remember seeing soap opera magazine covers. I’d see that triangle between Nikolas, Lucky and Elizabeth. So, I very much knew of the world that those people were part of. I knew how big the Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura wedding was and all of that. I definitely knew the legacy I was coming into. When I read these sides for the role, I was like, “I think this is Nikolas Cassadine!” Later, when I was on the show, and doing scenes with Genie, where Laura was warning Nikolas about making up with Spencer, she said, “You’re doing wonderful work.” To hear that from her was a big sigh of relief for me. I love connecting with actors in the eyes. I know when things are cooking when you almost feel like magnets in your eyes with another actor, because you’re drawing that emotion through them. The eyes are the windows of the soul, right? I felt that with Genie, Maura and Nicholas Chavez, too. You feel that magnet pull and it’s so beautiful.

Photo: ABC

I’m going over your gut-wrenching scenes in my head. There was obviously when Spencer hands baby Ace  to Nikolas, and then the baby is so taken with you, and the scenes where Spencer tells Nikolas how much he loved him as a young boy and vice-versa.

ADAM: The three scenes you just mentioned are highlights for me in shooting the show thus far. Those moments felt so authentic to me. As soon as Spencer got Ace in my arms, I just would melt, and it made me emotional just to hold him. And then, he really took to me. His mom was like,”I think you kind of remind him of his father,” because there is a similar energy. He’s just a great little actor and a great little empath. The moment with him laying his head on my chest was so emotional. In the one scene with Nicholas Chavez, he’s supposed to not hand me Ace till the end, but as soon as we started the scene, the baby reached out to me with this smile. Nick is like, “OK, here you go.” We sort of had to improv around it a little bit, but it was amazing.

Courtesy/ABC

However, then there is the scene where Spencer cries about how Nikolas meant everything to him, too.

ADAM: I think Nikolas went to Spencer with the intention of like, “I’m taking this baby no matter what. And if I have to get through my son, I’m going, too.” There was so much power in the words that those writers chose especially when Spencer goes, “You were my whole world” as a child. Nikolas was saying how I loved him fiercely as a kid. I was watching a lot of those scenes between Nicolas Bechtel (ex-Spencer) and Tyler Christopher. That kid was such a dynamo, too, and he was so cute. Their bond stuck with me.

Courtesy/ABC

You are one busy actor. I check in on your Instagram and you are either in one town or the other shooting a horror film or other projects.

ADAM: Not just horror films, there’s a mix of Hallmark, too. I’m super excited about an indie film I did called Pieces of Lilo. It’s about an estranged father and son. In it, my father gets sick and I get stuck basically taking care of him. And then he passes and when I’m burying him, all these memories start flooding back. It’s this sort of flashback of basically trauma and how this trauma affected, my character, Jerry, in the present day. I fought for this part and I got it. We just wrapped in March. I’m excited about that. Next week, I am off to Long Island to do a rom-com called The Wedding Bell.

Don’t you also have a role in an upcoming Melrose Place-type streaming soap?

ADAM: Oh yes. I wish it was the Melrose Place reboot! I did work with Daphne Zuniga on a Lifetime movie, though. She was awesome, and we’re friends, so who knows? It’s called The BLVD and I’ve taped it already. There’s supposedly five more episodes they’re going to shoot soon. So, we finished the pilot and I play one of the one of the clients of the PR firm. It’s all about  cutthroat PR in Hollywood.

Photo: JPI

I know the fans really enjoy you in the part of Nikolas. However, the worst thing in soaps, I think, for any actor is having to replace a very well-known actor in a part; whether they’re good, bad, or indifferent. People just don’t like change. As a recast, you have to kind of go through that difficult part of waiting to be accepted by the audience. They often say how they don’t like the actor and then somewhere along the way, they are like “Oh! I love him in the part.” How has it been for you to ride that wave of, you’re not Tyler Christopher, you’re not Marcus Coloma, but now it’s you playing Nikolas?

ADAM: I get it. You want your original person to be the person, and sometimes they just can’t, and in soap operas, it’s more common. I also know it’s always polarizing. There were days in the beginning where I was like, “Oh, my God! Look at all these wonderful comments.”  Then it’s, “Oh, my God.” and as you’re scrolling, you see “I’m a hideous monster” to these people. I think you just have to have a very healthy perspective. Thankfully, I do have tools in my life to secure my foundation of who I am. And sure, on those vulnerable days or those ambiguous days where you don’t know your future at work, it could weigh on you. You could think of every, “Oh, my God! Everybody hates me.” I am so glad and grateful that people have come around. You’re not going to please everybody. It’s just the nature of what we live in now. I will say, the warm embrace and the acceptance, and people who have really come around, has moved me and then they’re feeling the same way about my performances. When I say I’m humbled by it, I’m blown away, it’s true.  I used to get annoyed at Taylor Swift when she would always say that. I’m like, “All right, honey, you’re selling millions of copies. Accept it.” But it is humbling, because you know how critical people can be, and for it to really start to change overtime, helps me every time I hear it.

Photo: DisneyPlus

Speaking of Taylor Swift, are you a Swiftie?

ADAM: I am a Swiftie, sure. I didn’t go to Taylor’s concert. I wanted to. But then, when my friend showed me The Eras Tour on Disney Plus, I was like, “That was amazing. That was like the best time.” I’d have a smile on my face for three and a half hours if I was at her concert. So, yes.

Did you listen to Taylor’s new album, Tortured Poets Department yet?

ADAM: Yes. I’ve been bouncing around in there. There are a lot of songs.

It’s a lot of songs. It took me a little bit to warm up to it. And now, just like in true Taylor Swift fashion, I’m like, “You know what? This track or that track is really good.”

ADAM: Yeah, at first they all sound the same for a minute.

So I wonder, how does Taylor Swift manage to suck us in all the time? 

ADAM: I know. I think it works whenever someone’s just raw and honest. Taylor gets a lot of flak for talking about her exes and stuff in her songs, but that’s her life experience. We feel that and we resonate with that, especially younger girls, or anyone really, can relate to these like breakups and this heartache. I think that’s where she gets you.

Courtesy/ABC

Hopefully soon, it’d be nice to see Nikolas not in prison orange. So, he gets out of jail and where does he go then?

ADAM: I don’t want him on the run because that’s the whole reason he came to prison, you know, to reform himself. So, for me, that was a nice sign of like, “Hey, maybe the reformation comes and you finally get to be free.” Maybe Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) gets her law degree back and then she’ll help him get out. Wyndemere’s gone. It’s out of his hands. I think it’s a good time for him to start a different life and for us to see Nikolas in different stories. Let’s see a different person trying to put his family back together and falling in love again. If it’s Ava, wonderful, would love that. I’d love to see a really great, big epic love story like he had in the past. I try to infuse that when Nikolas is sitting across from Ava. The last thing I want to say is, I wish I was there at GH more, too. However, I really trust in the process and the writers, and the way things unfold. So, I’m hoping that it all leads to a beautiful place.

What did you think about the scenes this week on GH between Ava and Nikolas? Do you hope Adam Huss is back on-screen sooner than later? What are some of your favorite scenes with him thus far? Comment below, but ICYMI, below are the touching scenes between Spencer, Ace and Nikolas that GH fans are still buzzing about.

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