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The Dillon Casey Interview – Torchwood: Miracle Day and Nikita

When you are hot, you’re hot!  And sometimes you are just smokin’ hot!  On-Air On-Soaps Podcast recurring guest host, Dillon Casey, has been one busy actor of late. The Canadian star known to soap fans mostly for his work on SOAPnet’s MVP and Being Erica, is about to set primetime television on fire starting this Friday night, July 22nd. That is when the much talked about controversial sex scene that features Dillon with Torchwood: Miracle Day star, John Barrowman (Capt Jack Harkness) has its premiere on that hit series latest episode, Dead of Night on the STARZ network at 10PMEST.

And the scene is getting much attention! Yesterday, the BBC chose to ban it from the UK version of the series, with sources telling UK’s Digital Spy, “It wasn’t that it was a gay scene that worried people, but just the fact that it was such an explicit sex scene full stop. Even though the show airs after the watershed, it has a lot of young fans who would have been shocked at the graphic nature of the sex.”  But thus far, Americans will see the full scene. And so we asked Dillon to discuss the making of this extremely intense and sexually charged moment in his career.

Now, on the heels of all the hullabaloo over two men getting it on, came word late last week that Dillon had been cast in the hit CW primetime series, Nikita, in an exciting primo role!  Apparently, he could eventually become a love interest for series regular, Lyndsy Fonseca, who is very familiar to soaps fans for her run as Colleen Carlton on Y&R.  Dillon fills us in and gives us an exclusive peak at his new character that is set to shake up the canvas of Nikita come fall.

Witty, funny, direct and endearing, are just some of the adjectives we would use to describe Dillon.  And we ought to know, as we sit next to him and laugh for hours at a time when taping our podcast.  We hope you feel the same after reading his take on his latest career moves.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Torchwood Tumblr

I have read several interviews with Torchwood: Miracle Day star, John Barrowman, and he talked about the sex scene with you!  Are you aware of this?

DILLON:

I have had some of the interviews by John Barrowman sent to me, and I have read some of them.  I find it so funny.  First of all, he keeps calling it boysex, which I am going to kill him for! (Laughs)  I am a man first of all. (Laughs)  It is full on mansex, I guess. Basically, Capt Jack Harkness had a lover who died recently. So, he goes out to a gay bar to let off some steam, and he meets me, the bartender, who is just ready to go, and we hook-up from there.

MICHAEL:

The word is out on Friday’s episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day. It is being hailed as a very racy sex scene between you and John.  Would you say it is?

DILLON:

It is definitely very racy, and as racy as it gets.  Torchwood; Miracle Day is a very confidential show and very confidential about story.  But, I will tell you it is a very explicit.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/STARZ

John Barrowman is very open about his sexuality, which is part of what makes the Torchwood franchise so fascinating… don’t you think?

DILLON:

The part John plays, Capt. Jack Harkness, is a hero, and on the show he is not a homosexual.  The character is an omnisexual.  So that means he will have sex with men, women, aliens, and it just doesn’t matter.  Any person or thing he is attracted to that is also attracted to him, he will have sex with.  He is not a slut, but the lines of sexuality have been blurred from the world in which he comes from.  John Barrowman is a charming great guy, and he is very open about his sexuality and he made that very clear on set, too! (Laughs)  He told me right before they said, “action”… “Dillon, just so you know, I might get an erection.”  And they said, “Action”. (Laughs)  But I guess I took that as a compliment.

MICHAEL:

He said he was very turned on in the scene!

DILLON:

It’s a hot scene!

MICHAEL:

So, did you have any idea you would be having full on sex when you got the role, or did that come after?

DILLON:

Courtesy/STARZ

Basically, I got a breakdown for the part.  They were looking for a character who was comfortable having intimacy with a man.  I thought that meant kissing.  So I thought, “I am cool with that, no biggie, I can do that.”  I went in and did the audition and they gave me the part.  Later, I went in for the wardrobe fitting and the wardrobe lady said to me, “So, we have your nudity waiver you need to sign.” And I went, “Oh, this is the first I heard of nudity.  Why do I have to sign a nudity waiver?”  And she goes, “Well, it’s for your sex scene with John.”  So that is the first I heard of the sex scene, and again the scripts are very confidential.  But I knew this show was awesome and I wanted to be a part of it.  Of course, after I heard of the sex scene, as a straight guy, there was a moment of  “What have I gotten myself into?”  But I would have thought that if I had to sign a nudity waiver to do a sex scene with a woman on a show, I would hope it would just be tasteful and not just gratuitous.

MICHAEL:

I would think it would be the same if you were shooting a sex scene between a man and woman and they yelled, “Now get naked Dillon!”

DILLON:

There were moments when I was doing MVP where I thought, “I hope this is not gratuitous ass shots!”  With regards to Torchwood, I did think for a bit, “Am I just coming on here to do a sex scene?”  I have never had any contact like that with a man in a sexual way, so the nerves started to hit, but then I thought, “What the hell! This is my job.  I am an actor.  Homosexuality does not bother me, so let’s do it, and let’s go for it.” And right away when I met John, he was an awesome guy.  And Russell Davies, the creator of Torchwood: Miracle Day, was an awesome guy.  Everybody made me feel really comfortable.  It worked out really well.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/STARZ

John had nothing to do with you being selected for the role, or did he?

DILLON:

I think he definitely did.

MICHAEL:

I think so, too! (Laughs) Was he there when you auditioned?

DILLON:

No, but he told me later he saw my audition tape.  I had my clothes on for the interview, by the way!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Have you seen the final edited version of it?

DILLON:

Nope.  But I knew where the camera was and what was going on.  So I have an idea what it looks like.  But, I have been told not only is it sexy, but it is a very beautiful scene.

MICHAEL:

I was floored yesterday to see the BBC decided to cut the sex scene when they air this episode there, but the US is not cutting it.  Usually, it’s the reverse.  I think the US can be behind the rest of the world when it comes to sex scenes on television.

DILLON:

I read an article that said it was one of the raciest sex scenes ever on primetime television.  I think it all depends on Torchwood: Miracle’s Day’s timeslot in the other markets or countries for who could be watching TV at a certain time.  It does not matter it’s a gay sex scene at all.  I think if it was a racy heterosexual sex scene, it would be the same scenario, or at least I would like to think so.

MICHAEL:

After you finished taping the sex scene, what did John say to you?

DILLON:

It was like, (Laughs) “Peace, bro. Good working with you!” (Laughs)  It really was not awkward after we shot it.  I remember we had not talked for a while after the taping, because John is really busy with the show.  I finally saw him at the Torchwood: Miracle Day wrap party and I said, “Well, you don’t call and you don’t write!” (Laughs) But seriously, I could see how it could be awkward, but John is such a professional and we have the same sense of humor, which is great.  I knew right away after talking with John I could trust him in the scene.

MICHAEL:

Recently you faced, like many before you, a little twitter hiccup that developed when you tweeted something, and then some people were saying you were homophobic!

DILLON:

I made a stupid tweet with just my sort of sense of humor.  I now understand that there are some hard-core fans of Torchwood, which is great.  And, because of the nature of Capt. Jack Harkness, people can have a political stance on it and have their views. There are also people out there that are looking to get offended, and sometimes have a chip on their shoulder.  I guess the tweet offended them.  Then, I made that Living in L.A. with Dillon Casey video, which is my satirical video series on FunnyorDie, which should have cleared it up for some people.

MICHAEL:

Since you are up in Toronto with your family, will they watch you in Torchwood: Miracle Day?

DILLON:

Courtesy/Getty

You know what?  Now that I know the scene got cut in the UK, I am curious to know if it got cut in Canada.  I am not sure if they would show a scene like that.  My dad actually kind of wants to see it, but I would not watch it with him.  I can tell him the time and the channel. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Then…all of a sudden last week you landed a role on the hot CW show Nikita! Tell me what went down and how it all happened?

DILLON:

I came back to Toronto because I was planning on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa with my family at the end of July.  So I had to come back and get my shots and vaccinations and make sure my visa was all good.  I had an audition for Nikita set up in L.A, but I told them I was going to be in Toronto during that time.  And since Nikita shoots here, they often see people for casting calls.  So I went in and did the audition and three days later my manager called me up and said, “You are their first choice!”  And as an actor, that is something you just really don’t want to know, because that could put you on the edge of your seat, and makes it more nerve-wracking. (Laughs) So he told me that, and that put the Kilimanjaro trip on hold.  And then a week later, they told me the part was mine, and I started shooting this past Sunday.

MICHAEL:

And you are playing Sgt. Sean Pierce.  What can you tell us about him and for Nikita fans who cannot wait for season two to start this fall?

DILLON:

I am playing Sergeant Sean Pierce, who is a badass army tour specialist who is brought to Division to make sure Division can find Percy’s black box.  And if you know the show, you know what that is.  And basically, Sean is a streamlined badass marine, and all he cares about is getting the job done.

MICHAEL:

He is all about precision then?

DILLON:

Courtesy/CW

He is described as the thinking man’s solider.  He is very analytical.

MICHAEL:

Well, that must have been a stretch! (Laughs)

DILLON:

(Laughs) But he is very methodical and he throws a curve ball to Division and their plans.  He does not necessarily share the same morals and end game as them.  He is also there as a potential love interest for Alex, played by Lyndsy Fonseca.  It was also nice to meet Melinda Clarke.  I am a big fan of hers from the OC! You know the legendary, Julie Cooper from the OC. (Laughs).  And yesterday I shot my first action scene where I shoot up people, where I was shooting blanks, whereas in my Torchwood scene, I was not shooting blanks! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

(Laughs) And you know soap fans know Lyndsy Fonseca for her time as Colleen Carlton on The Young and the Restless! So we hear your new role on Nikita is recurring?

DILLON:

I am on several episodes.  Nikita is one of those shows where you can get shot at any moment… so we shall see.  Honestly, it comes down to how inspired the writers are.  As an actor, you can’t worry about that.  You just need to do your job and not put so much pressure on yourself, as that is never good.  I think there are probably times where a show casts somebody and then they come on to a set and go, “What did we just do?”  And then they try to get rid of that person.  But I think if somebody and the storyline inspires the writers, and if they see something happening between myself as Sean, and Lyndsy as Alex, then they will want to write for it.  But if they don’t see it, then it won’t happen.

MICHAEL:

Nikita premieres September 23rd on the CW.  When will you debut on it?

DILLON:

Courtesy/CW

I am in the first episode when it premieres!

MICHAEL:

So you have Torchwood: Miracle Day on Friday, and Nikita in September…

DILLON:

Yes, but what I am really looking forward to is the release of the motion picture Creature that comes out on September 9th in movie theatres nationwide. And I have to tell you, it is an awesome throwback horror movie, with no CGI effects, or any of that stuff.  It is my first leading role in a movie and I am very excited.  The movie is about a group of kids who are going to New Orleans to party, because one of them has to go off to war in Iraq. And they get diverted to a little shanty shop in the middle of the swamps, and they should not have made that turn!  So I play the character of Oscar, who organizes the whole trip, and that is all I can tell you!

MICHAEL:

So maybe you will grace us with your presence at the On-Air On-Soaps podcast when you are not so busy?  We love having you do Stump the Soapers with us, but we miss you in the studio!

DILLON:

I am always open for a podcast.  I have so much fun doing it.

MICHAEL:

Because Carolyn Hennesy and I are so insane? (Laughs)

DILLON:

Well… (Laughs)… the phone interviews are one thing, but I just love being in the booth.

Courtesy/MFSOAPS

MICHAEL:

People tell me they love you on the podcast because you are fun and goofy, and you add another dimension to it.  I think it’s because you are younger than us, and because you don’t come from a background on daytime soaps! (Laughs)

DILLON:

Maybe I am kind of like the guy who is on the outside looking in on the whole thing going, “What?  What are you guys talking about?  How did that happen?”  So then I have an outside perspective on what is going on in the soap world.  We have a lot of fun.  Hopefully, I can get back to the booth soon!  Stay tuned.

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icerose
Guest
icerose

get it right -the BBC has not cut the scene it has cut about 10 sceonds of both the het scene and the gay scene-from what has been said it is a bit of Captain Jacks naked behind and lets face it we have all seen that before-the reasoning is that because his charactor originated on DW a show watched by children and it is being shown within 20 mins of the watershed that some of the scenes were innapropriate for what is primtime.Personally i have no problems with this-my issue is with Torchwood Miracle Day which is badly edited… Read more »

sam
Guest
sam

Great interview! Looking forward to that racy scene now!

Cathy
Guest
Cathy

I am of the opinion that Mr Casey believes his own publicity. And the little video he made did not clear anything up, it just made him look even more Homophobic. The ”boy” needs to grow up!

Bri
Guest
Bri

I’m totally with you here Cathy and icerose.
Please do not compare Jack’s one night pity shag with Ianto.
And do not compare Gareth David-Lloyd with this Dillon boy, not in terms of acting and not in terms of personality/maturity/intelligence.

Belinda
Guest
Belinda

I’m in the UK and I’m happy to report that we WILL see Dillon’s racy Torchwood scene, but we may have a couple of seconds cut. Looking forward to it. It takes guts and professionalism to do a scene like that.You rock. All the best for the future, Dillon!

DumCanuck
Guest
DumCanuck

Intelligence? imdb.com says: “Received his BSc. in Environmental Science from McGill University in 2005, and a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Toronto in 2006.”

Cathy
Guest
Cathy

Mr Casey may be intelligent but if so you would think he would think before he speaks. Book smart and street smart are two completely different things. As an actor the boy needs to be careful and not give away ”trade” secrets. I am offended by his smutty inference to the GLBT life style, and there is no excuse for ignorance, be it out of the mouth of a ”hottie” or not.

dr dick
Guest
dr dick

what’s with Cathy. Dilon appears to be professional and there were no smutty references to any lifestyle. are we so sensitized that any reference to GLBT is considered wrong. if you’re looking for issues..maybe attacking those gay actors who remain closeted and don’t support the glbt agenda. i’m canadian.where sexual orientation is old news…..we don’t care as its not an issue …

Days Of Our Lives

Watch the Replay: GH, DAYS, Y&R, B&B & OLTL Stars at Michael Fairman’s Virtual Birthday Party for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 Relief Fund

Earlier this week on Monday night, several of the stars of General Hospital, Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and One Life to Live, took part in a virtual livestream “party” for Michael Fairman’s 60th birthday.

The event was held virtually to help performers in need who have been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by letting viewers know where to make a donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Covid-19 Relief Fund.

Photo: ABC, NBC, CBS

Participating throughout the 90 minute livestream were: The Young and the Restless, Jason Thompson, Sharon Case, and Christian LeBlanc, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Wes Ramsey, and Chloe Lanier, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Katherine Kelly Lang, Days of our Lives’ Rob Scott Wilson, Eric Martsolf, Galen Gering, Arianne Zucker, Shawn Christian, Santa Barbara favorite, A Martinez, One Life to Live’s Kristen Alderson and Eddie Alderson, and Studio City’s Sean Kanan.

You can catch the replay of the birthday benefit event below or on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

Throughout the evening, the actors shared stories of how they got their SAG card, played a game of Michael’s trivia, and revealed stories about themselves and other “party” guests in a wonderful display of community and camaraderie at all went down live!

Since March of 2o2o, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has given out more than $6.2 million in emergency aid to over 6,500 SAG-AFTRA performers and their families facing hardship and uncertainty during this pandemic. Thousands of SAG-AFTRA artists have found themselves in dire need of assistance to help pay their rent, buy groceries, cover health care premiums and other bills.  You can still make a donation of any dollar amount to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 relief fund here. https://members.sagfoundation.org/donate 

Now, check it out below, and let us know if you enjoyed the virtual birthday party livestream via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH Co-Head Writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’ Connor Interview – “Soapmakers of the Year” Honors 2020

In a year which saw production of your favorite soaps shutdown for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic, everyone in daytime had to pivot.  As original episodes aired, they eventually ran out, giving way to rebroadcasts, while the audience eagerly awaited the return of the current stories.

At General Hospital, once production resumed over the summer, head writers, Chris Van Etten and Dan O’ Connor had teed-up: surprising homecomings (Dante, Britt) shocking twists and revelations, the conclusion of what will become an all-time soap classic, the Alzheimer’s storyline, dipping into the rich 57-year history of the iconic soap to tie story to the present (Laura, Cyrus, Martin), and crafting stories for its A-list cast which gave 2020 some of its finest on-screen moments.  GH became can’t-miss television again, coming back even stronger than its pre-pandemic self; which also kicked the year off in high-style with the reveal of Nikolas to his family, alive and well, and the long-awaited truth about baby Wiley.

Chris and Dan’s depiction of Mike’s heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer’s gave viewers many tears through its unrelenting and realistic storytelling, plus their commitment to air the standalone episode to honor the passing of the 19th amendment of the women’s right to vote in November.  Both were noteworthy, and illustrated what daytime can do best.

 

Each year, Michael Fairman TV gives our highest honor to a creative or creatives who most delivered to its audience and whose quality of work continues to keep us engaged, on the edge of our seats, or reaching for the hankies. That is why this year’s Soapmkers of the Year honor goes to GH scribes: Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor.  Shortly after receiving their acknowledgement, the duo spoke to us about some of the 2020 highlights in Port Charles, and how they work so well together to bring their stories to life.  Here’s what they shared.

Courtesy/ABC

First, and foremost, I want to commend you for the Alzheimer’s storyline  As I’ve shared publicly, my mother died of Alzheimer’s, and I have seen the progression of this disease and the effects it has on a family and loved ones, and the person afflicted with it.  You did a beautiful job of telling every beat of the story within the context of what you could do within a soap opera.  What can you tell me about crafting that and seeing it through to the end?  You never abandoned the story, which at times, can happen on daytime.

CHRISNo, we didn’t abandon it.  Soap operas have a power that I am sure we have acknowledged before, to allow audiences to really get to know characters in a deeper and more profound way than I think most other mediums do.  We get to see characters’ lives day in and day out.  For us to tell a story about Alzheimer’s, which is a disease that is devastating in so many ways, not the least of which is the fact that it can take years to develop and years to finally claim a life, we felt that among our audience, there had to be many people who had experienced this in an up-close and personal way.  So that to tell the story too expeditiously would really deny their experience and would take away from their appreciation of the show as a reflection of reality.  Of course, soap operas don’t do that in every sense on every episode, but when you’re telling a story about a disease that people experience every day, you have an obligation to reflect the real-world experience.  So, by bringing it to a close too fast and by doing it in a way that didn’t honor what at times is the horror of the disease, felt like it would be a cop-out.  We wanted to do our best within the constrictions of the medium to depict that; while at the same time, of course, not wanting to leave people so depressed as to not want to tune back in.  It was a really delicate dance.  We are very grateful to have had the support of the network and Frank Valentini’s (executive producer, GH) ingenious production team as well as a great repertory of actors who were willing and able to give their all to this story.

Courtesy/ABC

Maurice Benard (Sonny) did some of his finest work of his career in this story, and you gave him the ball to do it, and Max Gail (Mike) was amazing.  Two standout episodes included: when Mike passed and was taken to heaven by Courtney (Alicia Leigh Willis) and Mike’s funeral episode.  Did you realize when you were writing it, the impact it would have on the audience?

DANAs for the funeral, I’d say that we knew as we were writing it that not only did we want to give the characters and the audience a chance to say goodbye to Mike, but we also wanted to give the performers a chance to say a goodbye to their relationship with the actor, Max Gail as well.  Max is a fantastic, phenomenal actor, and he formed close relationships with many of our performers.  So, when we wrote the episode, yes, we did want to give the audience a chance to say goodbye to the character, but we also knew that because of the close relationships that these performers have made with each other that the actors were going to bring their all, and it was going to provide the audience with some powerhouse performances.

Did you get emotional seeing it? 

CHRIS:  Oh, personally, I cried.

Courtesy/ABC

I know you both love and appreciate the soap genre and understand that the audience often wants a good cry and is invested in these characters.  So because of that; what’s it like for you when you see these emotional moments play out that start in your mind, go to the page, then to the stage, and now are out in the world for people to see and experience?

CHRIS:  I can’t speak for any of the other writers, but I’m not crying when I’m writing it, but I’m crying when I see it realized and how the actors, and the producers, and the directors realize it.  I personally am always surprised by the nuance and the beats that they find that we, in our first draft kind-of-lifestyle that we have as soap opera writers; where we are writing six or seven episodes per week, we don’t have the time or the luxury to really sit with an episode and mine it for every single beat and every emotion. That’s why we have great directors and great actors who take these scripts and find these extra moments.  So, it is really gratifying to watch – yes, to see something that we’ve imagined be produced and personified, but then to see how the production then takes it in other directions, that’s the best.  I think that’s the most gratifying part of writing for a show, not seeing what you’ve written produced, but seeing how it was parented into life.  When you have a baby, I think you have all sorts of ideas about what the baby will be, and then the baby becomes something else as the result of its environment and of the people who are influencing and guiding it along and that may be a bit of a stretched metaphor, but it kind of feels relative.

As co-head writers of General Hospital, how do you work together to come up with long-term story?  What is your process?

DAN:  Chris and I will meet regularly and discuss the long-term stories that we are telling, and plan to tell, and maybe some adjustments that we have to make along the way.  We get to meet with our writers several days every week as we figure out the best way to tell that story in the form of however many episodes we write a week.  Chris and I also write episodes along with our great breakdown script team, and every week we figure out the best way to either stay on the path of the story we are intending to tell, or find new opportunities or new twists and turns we can take along the way.

Photo: ABC

Do you get into friendly, creative disagreements? Is one of you more protective of a certain character than the other? 

DAN:  Chris and I have known each other for close to 15 years at this point, and we are not just colleagues, we are also friends.  There is a certain amount of shorthand that we have with each other which is just invaluable in telling story.  What’s great is that we sometimes come at the story from different angles or we have a different point of view, much like any two fans of the show wouldn’t agree on necessarily everything, but in our discussions about the show’s needs, wants, and haves, and the story trajectory, we ultimately get somewhere better than where either of us could have come up with on our own.  At the same time, there are those moments where we both come to the same idea at the same moment, and that’s definitely when we go, “Okay, we’re onto something good.”

CHRIS:  I can add as a partial translation that I can get really snippy, and Dan has the patience of a saint.  So, often times, I need 24 hours to go away, and sleep on something, and wake up, and say, “Oh Dan, you were totally right about that.  I’m so sorry I was snippy the other day,” and he doesn’t seem to hold it against me.

Do you ever get a writer’s block; as has to happen often with scribes in the unrelenting medium of daytime drama, and if so, I would think having a writing partner would be an asset during those times?

DAN:  I think it’s the nature of the beast.  At a certain point, you might hit a roadblock somewhere, but that’s why having a partner is so valuable that there is somebody else that you can bounce ideas along with, and just as, if not more importantly, our team of writers are always there to sometimes give us even better ideas than what we would have come up with on our own.

Courtesy/ABC

This year you utilized and delved back into a lot of GH history.  How did the idea come about to bring back the character of Jackie Templeton and have former All My Children and NYPD Blue favorite, Kim Delaney, take on the role?

DAN:  Jackie Templeton is a character who has been an Easter egg on the show for many years now.  Whenever we needed to namedrop a famous journalist, she was always our go-to.  It always felt like the character was in the ether of Port Charles for awhile, and we were excited to bring this take-no-prisoners character back and explore her history with Robert (Tristan Rogers), and at the same time, we were finally teed up to tell the story of Finn’s (Michael Easton) falling out with his father and step-mother, and we realized we had a great opportunity to have the character serve both stories and collide with not just Anna (Finola Hughes) and Finn, but Robert as well. Those three played wonderfully with each other. When we heard that Kim Delaney was interested in playing with us, we were just over the moon.  .

Courtesy/ABC

You have also been delving back into Laura’s childhood past and her history. I love that you brought up the death of David Hamilton and her teenage years, which hasn’t been discussed for a very long time on the show while tying it into the present.

DAN:  We were always aware of the story just because we love General Hospital and we love the character of Laura, and there is nothing else like daytime drama, and one of the great things about it is that you can reach decades into the past and expand on stories and themes that the audience actually witnessed. Long reaching history is a tool in our toolbox that not many other series have.  Chris and I love honoring and using our characters’ histories to propel the show into the future with some serious momentum.

Photo: ABC

You created and brought the character of  Cyrus Renault (Jeff Kober) on to the canvas. Was it originally a case of, “We need an uber-villain to come and shake things up,” and then you decided to connect him to Laura?  It’s been an intriguing shocker for viewers.  Jeff is playing the multi-levels of Cyrus with great finesse, and whenever you give Genie something, the fans go nuts, and she, in turn, delivers every time.

CHRIS:  The story of Cyrus has a couple of phases to it.  We wanted to bring on a villain who would not only be an adversary to Sonny, but someone who we could use to really test Jordan (Briana Nicole Henry) and Curtis (Donnell Turner), and we knew going in that the first phase of this story would really hit the Corinthos family and also the Ashfords, and as we developed it, we thought about what the act two would be, and we knew that we had an opportunity to really engage Genie Francis and to expand her sphere and expand her footprint on the show, and by connecting her to Cyrus, who is not your typical face or presence for a soap, but is also not your typical person who I think Laura would encounter in her daily life.  So, we knew, as we really developed Cyrus as a villain, that for Laura to find out that this man is her brother, would really allow us to play with Laura in a different context and in a different light and really give Genie a new kind of challenge.

Speaking of Genie, what did you think when you watched back her performance in the episode where you wrote that Laura has to say goodbye to her comatose daughter, Lulu (Emme Rylan), before she was sent off the canvas to a long-term care facility?

CHRIS:  I mean to me, that’s vintage Laura.  I came to General Hospital personally in the late 80s to early 90s, so my experience of Laura really only begins with her, and Luke (Tony Geary), and Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) at the Triple L Diner.  I think that what we’ve gotten to see with Genie is really reflective of the high emotion that she is capable of delivering.  At the same time as the high emotion, you’re also seeing really small human moments that she really breathes a lot of life into.  I can speak for Dan and myself when we say that we are just really thrilled with what she has been able to bring to the screen.  Thrilled, but I guess not surprised.

Coutesy/ABC

Nelle (Chloe Lanier) was such a great interloper and threat throughout the year in story; whether it’s hatching plots to gain custody of baby Wiley, or her “death” scene and confrontations with Carly (Laura Wright).  However, through all of this, when was it decided to make Nina (Cynthia Watros), Nelle’s biological mother?

DAN:  There are very few things that are as exciting on a soap as a character that makes you wonder what they are going to do next, and Chloe and Nelle provided that role with just gusto.  The truth is, the idea that Nelle was Nina’s daughter has been a part of the conception of that character, and over the last few years, the story evolved, and we ultimately got to reveal the truth to the audience.

Courtesy/ABC

As writers, there has to be characters that are just so delicious and treacherous to write for that you have to get a kick out of it! Chloe Lanier is so good that she makes the audience want to slap Nelle when she takes the dialog and then brings it to the screen.  

CHRIS:  It is tremendous fun.  Yes, yes, we love writing for these characters who are willing to do and say anything to get what they want.  We are constrained when writing for characters who have morality.  It takes a moral character a lot of really difficult circumstances for them to make a decision that might go against the grain, but when you have a character like Nelle, who is not shackled by certain societal norms, then you really get to live out the worst impulses that a person could have, and it’s really fun, especially when you take a really great performer like Chloe and see her as Nelle unleash all of the poison that she’s capable of.  At the same time, she can turn on a dime and rip your heart out a little bit when she turns on the water works.

Photo :ABC

Ava Jerome’s (Maura West) story this year had her moving into a relationship with Nikolas (Marcus Coloma).  We, the audience, didn’t know how that was going to go – if they were just going to use each other, or ultimately fall in love.  Was that the plan all along … that they would develop deep feelings for each other, or did you want to see how it progressed and played out on-screen, and then make that determination?

CHRIS:  I think that once we saw the chemistry between the two actors, we knew we had gold. So, we wanted to take our time, especially the way that it was constructed.  These were two people who had little use for each other emotionally, and in fact, probably wanted to see one another’s downfall, and that’s what makes it so great to write – that these are people who, in a similar vein as Nelle, don’t live by the same rules as most of the rest of us, and therefore, they might do things to each other that the rest of us would not do to anyone let alone whether we like them or not.  That’s what makes Ava and Nikolas so delicious is that from one moment to the next, you don’t know if they’re going to hatch a plot against each other or fall into bed and ravish each other. That’s what I think we hope to continue to play as we go forward because they certainly have very strong, passionate feelings for one another.  When you’re talking about Ava and Nikolas, these are two people who do not have a lot of fans necessarily in Port Charles, and there are a lot of people who don’t necessarily want to see them achieve happily ever after.  Knowing that there was so much initial mistrust and suspicion between the two of them could really provide the foundation for their own undoing or their undoing from someone who does not want to see them happy.

Photo: ABC

Back in November, GH made good use of a standalone episode spotlighting the history of the women’s right to vote and the suffrage movement; just as the presidential election was happening.  What made you decide to write this special show, and how do you feel it turned out as it also spotlighted the female cast?

CHRIS:  We had long intended to honor the one hundred years of American women’s suffrage with a special episode to air on the anniversary of the 19th amendment’s passage, but we missed the date due to the pause in production.  We realized we had a second chance as the election neared.  Going forward was a no-brainer. The biggest challenge was in distilling such an epic story into one episode. We think ABC would do well to consider a spinoff: “Port Charles, 1920”

Courtesy/ABC

You have such a powerhouse cast to write for.  It’s loaded.  It’s got to be a challenge for you to construct the story for GH when you’ve got to front burner people and back burner people, and then you’ve got these huge daytime stars all in one show.

DAN:  It’s an embarrassment of riches to have a cast as talented as we do quite frankly.  We are fortunate enough that we know that we have these amazing performers that we can trust with whatever stories that we throw their way.

CHRIS:  I will say that we do have a great cast.  They’re all wonderful, and when you have a show that is only approximately 35 minutes of airtime on any day, it’s a real balancing act to make sure that everybody gets a story that really is worthy of their talents, and we’ve got one for everybody.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of which story takes precedence in which moment, which is why occasionally some characters aren’t featured on a daily basis, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be.  If you were to ask me, “Who are the standouts?”  I would say all of them.  You saw this year: Maurice Benard, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Maura West, Genie Francis, and Laura Wright (Carly) to name but just a few.  They’ve all done such fantastic work, and we can’t wait to give them more material to give them more moments to shine.

DAN:  A priority of ours is every week, we meet up and look (well, it’s virtual now during Covid-19) at the big board of our cast photos and we go through each character and always make sure that they have some story percolating even if it’s not on the air at the moment.

Photo: ABC

As we close out 2020, and look forward to 2021, any parting thoughts, and perhaps a tease of what GH fans can look forward to in the New Year?

CHRIS:  In general, I would just say that despite all of the challenges of the year, we are really grateful to our cast and the crew back in Los Angeles for realizing and improving the show that we imagined, and we are so excited for everything that is coming in 2021.  We hope to continue to throw a lot of surprises at the audience, and at the same time give them a lot of moments and stories of heart and love and excitement.

So, what did you think of the year in story on General Hospital in 2020? Share your thoughts on Chris and Dan’s comments and their year-end honors via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stephen Nichols and Lucas Adams Talk Salem Longevity, Tripp’s Predicament and Their Co-Stars

Days of our Lives stars Stephen Nichols (Steve “Patch” Johnson) and his on-screen son, Lucas Adams (Tripp Dalton) are in the middle of plenty of drama on the long-running NBC daytime drama, which recently celebrated its 55th anniversary in November and its 14,000 episode milestone in December.

In a new chat with Michael Fairman on the Michael Fairman Channel, Stephen reveals his surprise at still being with the iconic show. while Lucas talks about how his first run on DAYS came to an abrupt end, but now he is deep in-story involving Allie (Lindsay Arnold) and the brother he is yet-to-know he has, Charlie (Mike Manning), who is Allie’s actual rapist.

Both Stephen and Lucas discuss having the opportunity to work with Daytime Emmy winner Tamara Braun (Ava) again, as well as James Lastovic (Joey) in recently aired scenes. In story, Ava has returned back-from-the-dead and realizes she has major trouble brewing with her two sons, Tripp and Charlie.  How will it all play itself out?

 

Check out what Stephen and Lucas shared below.  Then, be on the lookout beginning this week, as Steve and John (Drake Hogestyn) work together to figure out who is responsible for Allie’s rape and just who is the biological father to her child, when it is not Tripp!

Share your thoughts on the sentiments shared by Stephen and Lucas in the interview via the comment section.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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