Connect with us

Interviews

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.

Click to comment
Advertisement

avatar
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 …

General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright Talks on Mob Boss Carly and Her 30-Year Evolution in Daytime

She’s a fierce, force to be reckoned with, one who delivers raw and emotional performances time and time again, while never forgetting from where she came, and always willing to pass on to her newer co-stars’ the wisdom she gained from the grind of performing in front of the camera in the toughest acting genre there is … daytime drama.

General Hospital’s Laura Wright’s (Carly) real-life soap journey actually has a very humble beginning when in 1991 – fresh off a job at a gas station – she landed in Corinth and the role of Ally Rescott on ABC’s Loving.  Up next, a jaunt to its re-imagined version, The City, until the series ultimate demise in 1997. But that was just an appetizer for soap fans of Wright’s burgeoning talent, when next she ventured to Springfield and CBS’ Guiding Light to take on the role of a stripper with a heart-of-gold who ultimately would be crowned a princess, Cassie Layne. Then, after a popular 8-year-run, she would head to General Hospital, and one of the most coveted roles in soaps, that of Port Charles’ Carly Corinthos following in the footsteps of powerhouse actresses, Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun. In her 20th year in daytime, Laura took home the gold for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series back in 2011, and that brings us to now.  Next week on June 7th, marks Laura’s 30th year in daytime filled with memorable on and off-screen moments that she has cherished.

Meanwhile, currently on GH, Laura is getting to play Carly in a whole new set of circumstances as she enters her three-decade soap anniversary. In story, we find Carly stepping up to run the mob, now that she and everyone else believes her husband, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is dead, and while her best friend and mob enforcer, Jason (Steve Burton) had to go on the run. And from the looks of it, Carly is adjusting to the mob boss role quite well … but is she really?

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Laura to get the lowdown on Carly’s life without Sonny, which has pushed her front and center into managing crimes and misdemeanors, mafia-style, all to protect the ones she loves, and to reflect on her amazing ride in daytime; which has made her one of the all-time leading ladies of the soaps.  Here’s what Laura shared about it all.

Photo: ABC

When you first found out what the structure of this storyline was going to be, where Sonny was going to “die” along with Julian (William deVry), and then he turns up alive and has amnesia, what was your initial thought?  Did you know how far they were going to take this for Carly, as far as her now running  the mob in Sonny’s place?

LAURA:  I had no idea about the mob part of it until about two months ago. As far as Sonny having amnesia and having another life now, I love those kinds of stories.  It also gives you as an actor something to play, and what else are you going to do with Sonny and Carly?  You can’t really break them up.  You’re talking to the person who is game for almost anything, so I loved it.  What does Carly’s life look like now as everybody believes that Sonny has died? How does she even take care of herself?  For me, it gave me great material to play because of how it all started to crumble.  Ava (Maura West) takes Avery, Cyrus (Jeff Kober) starts taking over the territory and the town, and Carly starts losing all of this security in her life as she knew it in trying to protect her family, and it was scary for her.

Photo: ABC

Of course, viewers could see where this storyline was heading once Carly lit in to Nina (Cynthia Watros), when Nina was in Nixon Falls and saw that Sonny was very much alive! You could see that Nina was going to seek revenge on Carly and not tell her about Sonny, aka “Mike”, all the while getting closer to him.  What do you think Carly would do if she found out that Nina was with Sonny and kept it from her?

LAURA:  You know, Carly before taking over the mob would have been awful, but now… and I was thinking about this the other day …  I’m like, “Carly would go after her with a gun!”

For years, I’ve always loved this idea of, “What if Carly became a mob boss?”

LAURA:  If they did have Carly go after Nina, then Jason and Sonny would be like, “You cannot do this.”  I think there is this blind rage, at least for a moment.  It can’t just be standing there and yelling at her, do you know what I mean?  Carly would probably take action and then Nina would disappear, or it’s like ‘get me away from her because I am going to kill her’ for what this woman did.  So, you have to have at least an episode of that before you come to your senses and realize that you have children and responsibilities, and you’re going to have to do this the right way, but you have to have the moment of losing it.  It’s stealing their life.  It’s great stuff.  My other thoughts are, “Poor Cynthia,” (laughs) because she’s got to be the nicest human being on the planet, and she is so fun to work with, and so great and committed, so we are going to have some interesting times getting through whatever they write.  I have no idea what they’re writing by the way, and I have no idea when it’s going to happen, but I am sure it will be great.

Photo: ABC

With the way GH shoots their taping schedule, I am assuming now you barely see Maurice, because you are basically in two different parts of this interconnecting story?

LAURA:  We shoot by set.  So, if Maurice is working in the morning, and I am scheduled at let’s say at noon, by the time I get there, he’ll be gone.  So, it’s fascinating. It’s kind of running parallel of what is happening on and off screen because I don’t see him at work, either.

Photo: ABC

Carly seems that she is becoming pretty comfortable in this mob role.  There was a scene that recently aired between Diane (Carolyn Hennesy) and Carly, where Carly was discussing her options of what to do with Gladys (Bonnie Burroughs).  Does Carly like the power this brings her?

LAURA:  I think so, but it’s not like she’s sitting around going, “Oh, this is amazing.”  It’s seriously what she has to do.  What she is seeing is that there are so many moving parts that she didn’t realize how difficult it was.  Sonny made it look easy.  There’s not a time to even take a breath.  You’ve got to always be on your toes.  You know, she is doing it in ‘Carly fashion,’ so it’s always entertaining, and trying as a woman to put out all the fires, but there’s 20 fires behind it, because there is just someone constantly trying to take your seat, trying to hurt your family.  There’s just always something to look out for whether it be from the other families or law enforcement.  I think that Carly is surprised that she is good at it and surprised at how making these decisions is becoming easier and easier for her, but I don’t know if she sits back and enjoys it.  At this point, from air to what we are taping, the decisions don’t stop, and the danger doesn’t stop, and more decisions have to be made, and there is no one else to do it.  This is a world that is life or death.  This isn’t like, “Well, if they don’t like me, I’ll just find someone else to do the job.”  There’s nobody else to do that job.  It’s not that world.  You don’t get to walk away, and she is learning that more and more, as she plays in the big world.

Photo: ABC

So, Jason went on the run with Britt (Kelly Thiebaud).  How does Carly feel about that?

LAURA:  Britt saved his life.  She said that on camera.  “She saved your life; she can take you wherever.  I trust her.”  Carly saw how Britt stepped up and helped him.  I don’t think there is anything else that Carly is thinking right now.  Carly doesn’t have the luxury of being old Carly and being snippy, catty, wanting to vet every person in Jason’s life.  It’s just not her reality right now.  That would be a luxury if she could go back and be that person, but that’s not it.  Right now, it’s assessing the situation.  “Is he safe?  Is she taking care of him?  Great.  I don’t care about anything else right now.”  This is the difference between old Carly and mob-boss Carly.  Those days are gone.  She would give anything to go back to those days because she didn’t have to have the world on her shoulders because Jason was safe, and Sonny was alive.  It’s not where she is now.  It’s a different dynamic that she was forced into.

Photo: ABC

When you and Steve Burton are in scenes together, whether it’s just in your eyes, or expressions or emotions, there is so much going on, or at least that’s how it plays to the audience.  Is the relationship between Carly and Jason one of your favorites to play, because it’s so unique and deep rooted into their history? 

LAURA:  Oh, I love the Carly/Jason relationship. It’s the loyalty and that their dedication to each other is unbendable, unbreakable.  It’s so unwavering.  It’s great to play because it’s like being in a really good relationship, even though he’s not her ‘person’, but he kind of is.  It’s being in a great relationship that means that you get to be 100% you and everything that means, and that person loves and accepts you. There’s such incredible love and freedom, and that’s what it’s like to work with Steve because Steve approaches our scenes – and almost every scene when I watch him with other people – that there is no undercutting judgment, only help.  If I’m struggling with a line or I don’t want to do something, he’s either like, “Yeah, I agree. That’s unnecessary; cut it,” or he gives me a really great way of looking at it, where I’m like, “Oh, that is a really interesting thing, thanks!”  So, then you have full freedom to feel and play and do anything, and that’s kind of what you see.  There’s just a confidence, and I think it is also the relationship.  I think it has to be there when I work with Steve because the relationship between Carly and Jason is that way.

Photo: JPI

Carly and Jason accept each other for who they are, all their flaws, and the dangers that come with their lives.  Wouldn’t you say?

LAURA:  She accepts him 100% for who he is.  She wants to manipulate the world around him, so he is safe, and perfect, and always there, but she still accepts him when nobody else does and vice versa.  He knows that Carly is going to destroy things, and mess up, and spiral.  Like, she had that scene where she said, “Even when Jason knows I’m wrong, he supports me.” It’s really that right there that is everything between the two of them, and it’s the hardest thing to find in any relationship, real life, TV, etc.  We always want to change people to make them be who we want them to be so that we feel okay. It’s a great soap opera relationship because it causes conflict in every other relationship that they have, which is great for storytelling in a show because then there is always a challenge, always a hurdle, always a problem built-in if you need drama. It’s because there is so much acceptance and unconditional love and support that they are free to be who they need to be, and I feel that as an actor working Steve as well.  I think that’s what you see when you say there’s ‘a lot going on’.

Carly’s plan for Gladys took quite a turn!

LAURA:  Well, Carly thought the second that Cyrus finds out that Brando (Johnny Wactor) is the father of Sasha’s (Sofia Matteson) baby that Cyrus is going to want to take him out, so she basically said to Gladys, “Look, I’ll set you up.  I’ll give you all the money you want.  Hell, I’ll even buy you a house.  Leave town, but you have to tell everybody that you lied about Jason,” and she doesn’t bite the bait.  So, you then have Carly saying, “Well, we can do this the easy way where I just pay for your life and you go, or we can do it the hard way,” and the hard way is me letting her know that, “You have a grandchild on the way, and your son is going to be murdered if you don’t do this for me,” because it puts Cyrus back in prison because he is on probation, and he has now obstructed justice.  It’s all on Gladys’s testimony.  That was Carly’s plan.  Right now, her biggest threat is Cyrus and obviously as viewers have seen things did not go as planned!

Photo: ABC

June 7th you will be celebrating 30 years on daytime! Do you remember your first day on Loving? What happened?

LAURA:  I do.  Oh, God!  I remember what dress I had on.  I remember how my hair was.

Were you like in “Oz”?

LAURA:  I looked like Oz. (Laughs) I looked like Dorothy… the dress they had me in, the hair, are you kidding?  I didn’t know what a boom was!  I was really loud.  I had one line: “Grandma!” and that was it, and then they had to note that because I kept saying, “Grandmaw,” and they were like, “It’s not ‘Grandmaw.’  It’s ‘Grandma.’”  Then, I did whatever they said at first, but then the longer I was on the show, I was like, “I say ‘Grandmaw.’ I’m not saying ‘Grandmuh.’ I don’t care. (Laughs) Everyone gets their own personalization of how they say what they say.”  That was my big argument, and now I’ve had a thousand arguments over 30 years, but that was my first big pushback because I would be doing, what in my mind was great work.  I got all of the lines out, my God, and that was before we could do pickups, and when we shot the show in order. Those cameras had wheels. So if you were on set, and they shot the scene before us, you had to be ready to go, and they would fly down the studio on those cameras to set up to start shooting the next scene.  If I got through a scene and they had to do it over again because I said, “Grandmaw,” I would be so angry. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

Who helped you the most on Loving?

LAURA:  Nada Rowand, who played my grandmother, Lisa Peluso, who played my aunt on the show, and Eric Woodall was my best friend and he played Matt Ford.  He and I would get together every Sunday night, and here’s a little bit of trivia for you … Eric lived with Billy Porter! They graduated from Carnegie Mellon together.  So, I would go over to his apartment, and on Sunday night, we would go over all of the scripts together for the whole week because Eric graduated from Carnegie Mellon; I worked at a gas station. (Laughs) We had very different talents that we were bringing to the table for this soap opera job.  Eric helped me a great deal, my gosh, and so did Bernie Barrow (Ex-Louis).

Bernie was an amazing actor and the only Daytime Emmy winner, ever from Loving!

LAURA:  I had scenes with Bernie because he played my grandfather on the show. I had no idea about half the notes that they were giving me. Bernie would pull me aside and explain what they meant and teach it to me in a way where I knew how to incorporate it into my scenes and adjust and take the notes.  He was extremely helpful.  Then, there is the famous Noelle Beck (Ex-Trisha) story, where two weeks after starting the show, Eric and I were invited to go to the Daytime Emmy Awards.  I was dying because I grew up watching daytime television, and I grew up watching the Daytime Emmys.  So, when I was allowed to go, I told my mom to ship me my prom dress from my senior year of high school, which was this poufy, emerald green thing, and it looked like something from Dynasty with jewels all over it.  I got it, and I was so excited, and everyone on the show was like, “Oh, my God, someone has got to tell her … she cannot wear that dress.”  I didn’t know you could go to wardrobe and ask to borrow a dress, because I’d only been on the show for two weeks maybe.  The same day, they came to me and said, “So, if Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica, AMC) doesn’t win, you’re going to be interviewed on Good Morning America the next morning about how the gas station girl got a job.”  So, it was a big deal. I’m getting ready for the Emmys, and to put this emerald-green dress on, and there is this knock on my door, and it’s Noelle Beck.  She has this beautiful, black, strapless dress. She’s like, “Your dress is beautiful, but I don’t know, I think this is really simple, and I think you might really look beautiful in it if you want to try it on.”

Photo: JPI

Her dress?

LAURA: Her dress! It was a dress that was in Noelle’s closet on the show because she went to wardrobe and was like, “Laura cannot wear that emerald green prom dress.  She will be laughed at.”  I would have been mortified because I did not know what people wore.  I had never been to a red carpet! Noelle went to wardrobe, and they all came up with this dress, and so she came to me and said, “Your dress is so pretty, but I think this might go better with Eric’s suit,” or however she sold it! I tried it on, and I just felt so sophisticated, and I was like, “It’s okay if I wear this!?” and she’s just like, “Oh, my God, yeah!”  When I think back to that story, I’m like, ‘thank God for Noelle Beck’.  It was one of the funniest stories ever, and her dressing room was right across the hall from me, and she was from Maryland; I was from Maryland.  She was like a sister.  Noelle was always looking out for me, personally.

Photo: ABC

Over the years, you have become one of the great leading ladies of daytime.  Was there a moment, when you were like, “I’ve got this down now … I really know what I’m doing.”

LAURA:   There have been different moments.  I remember the first time where I felt like ‘an actor.’  It was when they shot and killed Casey (Paul Anthony Stewart) on Loving, and he had to die in my arms.  I embodied something and felt it in a way that was different.  I didn’t know what it was at the time because I was playing my emotions of Paul leaving the show. I was really confused because I was like, “Do I really like this guy?” like in real life, because I didn’t know.  I didn’t have any tools of acting to know how to separate.  I was so in love with the characters’ love story, which was also my feelings at the time because I didn’t know the difference.  I didn’t know where Ally stopped, and Laura started.  I was just kind of playing myself.  I remember they called Paul to the set for a goodbye, and they were giving him a big cake and everything, and I could barely hold it together.  I couldn’t believe he was leaving.  I was like, “You’re going to say, ‘I changed my mind,’ right?” and I really believed that.  I really was like, “There’s just no way he’s going.”  Then, we had to shoot his scene, and I was very emotional and upset.  But, it was the next day where I had to go and play the scenes where he is dead and talk about it to the family, and that was when I just lost it.  I just changed as an actor in those scenes.  I remember having an opinion.  When the writers were telling me the story that they were going to tell, I remember saying, “Well, I think the interesting moment is she is not going to believe it,” and they were like, “What do you mean?”  I say, “When she comes home from the hospital, I think she needs to be like, ‘We have to go back.  Casey is at the hospital, and he needs us,’ and they were like, “That’s such a great thing to play.”  That’s what shifted for me.  I just remember there was a moment where Ally couldn’t lie anymore. She couldn’t convince herself, and then she had to tell her son that Casey wasn’t coming back.  I really understood what it was to get lost to a scene; what it was to not be Laura going, “I’m going to act now and play this scene.”  I learned how to become the character and transform in the moment.

It’s was on-the-job training.

LAURA:  Oh, for sure on-the-job training, because I went to one acting class thinking that in New York City I need to know what I’m doing, and I was so terrified to get up and speak in a scene that I literally could not talk.  I couldn’t even function outside of the safety of what I knew on a soap opera set.  I had that happen with my meditation teacher training a few years ago.  I almost left the training because it was terrifying for me to get up and not know what I’m going to do and have the script, no cameras in front of me!  It was very bizarre.

Photo: CBS

And later, Guiding Light came your way!

LAURA: When The City got canceled, I shot a pilot that did not get picked up, and my agents were like, “What do you want to do?” and I was like, “I’m really good at daytime… can we just stick with that?  I don’t really want to do this auditioning thing.” So, then all of the sudden within a week of me saying, “I think I’ll do daytime again,” I had a screen-test for All My Children and Guiding Light at the exact same time.  I was like, “What are the parts?” and I wasn’t going to pit them against each other because my agent was like, “It’s bad taste. We don’t represent that kind of negotiation.” You have to pick because before you go into any screen-test, you already have a pre-negotiated contract, and the deal has been placed.  So, you know going in what your situation will be.  So, it was All My Children, playing a doctor, or a stripper with a heart-of-gold on Guiding Light.  It was the role and that Guiding Light just had a better money offer that pushed me towards that screen-test. Then, I had to go in and meet Paul Rauch (Former EP, GL) before I screen-tested, and then Jim Brown and Barbara Esensten who were now the head writers at GL. They wrote for me on The City.  They were the ones who said, “Let’s get Laura Wright in here and see if she wants to do this.”  It’s interesting, because when they were shooting Annie’s (Cynthia Watros) big trial on Guiding Light, and Kim Zimmer (Reva) had these incredible, long days and tons of dialogue in the courtroom scenes. Then, they throw this screen-test at her with me in the middle of the afternoon! I remember when we were doing the scene. Kim had jumped to another part in it, and of course, I knew the script backwards and forwards because I’ve had it for a week and a half.  Kim had probably looked at it that day because she’s got a thousand other lines that she’s learning for that week of shows.  We were in the middle of the scene, and they’re rolling cameras, it’s very emotional, we’re going at each other, and Kim had jumped to the next page of a line, but I knew exactly where she went, so I went right there. We got back on track and ended the scene, and Kim goes, “She just saved my ass in that screen-test!” and we just started laughing.  It was a great moment.

Photo: LWInstagram

The cast of Guiding Light was so amazing!

LAURA:  So amazing, and that’s where I met my man.

Wes Ramsey (Ex-Sam, GL, now Peter, GH) at the time had a crush on you if I recall the story.

LAURA:  Yes, he had a crush.  I don’t know if he wanted to go out with me because when I first came on, I was pregnant, so that would have been weird! (Laughs) We have a funny story that he told me four years ago when we got together. Wes was going through old photos that he had logged into his computer and was trying to put things in different files, and he’s like, “Oh, my God.”  He had come back a few times on Guiding Light after he’d left, and one of the times was after I’d had my son, and this was when Richard had died, and Cassie had chopped all of her hair off.  So, he was going through these photos and he showed me that he had snuck a picture of me.  (Laughs) Then, he’s like, “See, I told you I had a crush!”  I’m like, “Oh my God, that’s so funny!”

Do you and Wes run lines together at home, even though you are in different storylines on GH?

LAURA:  If he needed me too, I would, but Wes has a totally different way of learning his lines than I do.  His prep work is very different than mine.  His is very professional and probably how you should do it. He is a Juilliard graduate.  So, he was taught well, and I’ve just figured it out.  Mine is just pure survival …’the gas station girl’.

Photo: ABC

What was the impact Guiding Light had on the trajectory of your career?

LAURA:  Guiding Light was 100% an actors show. They told a different kind of story, and the actors across the board were serious and wanted you to take it just as seriously. You were either going to sink or swim on that show, and I had to figure out how to swim. I think I spent the first six months in my dressing room crying when I wasn’t on set, trying to figure it out.  I was really taken care of on Loving.  I was 20-years-old when I got that part, 27 when I left. When I went to Guiding Light, it wasn’t like I wasn’t taken care of and protected, but it was a new energy. No one knew me.  No one knew what I was capable of.  I didn’t even know what I was capable of at the time, and you weren’t going to phone it in there.  I started working with Kim Zimmer and Jordan Clarke (Ex-Billy Lewis).  My God, you’re thrown in with people who make you feel things and play things that are uncomfortable, because that’s what we do as actors.  We make it uncomfortable, and we stretch the boundaries, and we play these emotions that are so raw and real.  One day I was freaking out over a scene with the characters of Edmund and Dinah, and I just said I would never do this.  I was just adamant. The director, said, “We have to do this.  So, you have to give me one reason where you could stay in this room.”  I said, “I guess my daughter could walk in the door, and I don’t want to leave her,” and he goes, “Great!  That’s great,” and I go, “Or…” and it just opened this door of there’s a thousand ways I could play a scene.

Photo: CBS

When you came onto General Hospital and embodied Carly, did you feel like this was it now… and that you were in command of your craft?

LAURA:  No, because it took me a long time to get comfortable.  I’m the fourth Carly, so you want to honor what they’re writing, you want to honor the fans and what they love about the character, and there were three women who played her before me and somebody loved something about all of them. So, you want to bring that, as well as make your own mark.  You’re taking over a leading female role of the show with that much passion and dialogue that comes with the character, so it was a lot of pressure at first, but I was excited for it.  I showed up every day ready to kick ass, but as far as feeling like, “Ha ha, it’s mine; I’ve made it!”, I’ve never felt that.

Photo: ABC

I have spoken to many of your co-stars through the years, and they often share how you helped them within a scene, or with something they were struggling with.  That is where experience can be a great asset for a performer in this medium.

LAURA:  As a female lead on the show, I do think it’s important to lift other women up to become their own female leads, and I do mean that.  If I’m working with someone, and I see them get a note that they don’t understand, or it’s a technical note, but gosh, it’s an important scene for them emotionally, anything I can do to help them in that moment, whether it has anything to do with me or not, I am there for.  There was a bathroom scene that I think aired a week or so ago with Carly and Sasha.  In the scene, Sasha (Sofia Mattsson) has all of her makeup in front of her, and the shot they need to get is through the mirror.  Sasha has a full conversation with Carly, who is standing upstage. It’s very difficult to do that when you don’t have rehearsal time to figure it out. They gave her the note that they needed her to say her line into the mirror, or they can’t get her face, right? I’m like, “Hey, do you have any idea how you’re going to do that?” because it’s so hard! I wanted to help. Having 30 years’ experience in something feels great, and it’s shocking because where did those 30 years go? What incredible memories I have, but what it’s gifted me the most is being able to help people through my experience, and through what I have learned along the way.  The whole show shines when we all shine, not just when one person does.

Photo: LWrightInstagram

What do you think your late parents would say about your 30 years in daytime?

LAURA:  Oh, they would be so proud… so happy.  It’s just so crazy that it’s been 30 years, and 2020 being the longest year with what we all experienced with Covid-19.  Looking back on my daytime career, I don’t know why, the shows didn’t let me go. I think it really was work ethic.  I can really say my work ethic is a huge part of me sticking around because I never got lazy.  I was never not going to figure it out.  I was never one to show up not knowing her lines, or being a problem, or not caring. I think that’s what kept me going, and then listening, watching, feeling, and I’m just so grateful.  I’m like, “Wow, what a ride!”

Photo: ABC

… And what can you say about what your time as Carly has meant to you within your now illustrious daytime career?

LAURA:  I love every second of it.  It’s my choice how I show up on that soundstage.  After 30 years, I am not bored.  I have had my moments of trying to find the fun in it and caring about Carly’s storyline at the time. That’s my own choice though, right?  It’s a choice – how I choose to show up every day there – and what I choose to find interesting and challenging, and I do.  No matter what storyline they’ve given me, I can choose for it to be, “Okay, I’m here.  I’ve been doing this for so long, I could do it in my sleep,” or I could choose to show up and go, “Where am I going to kickass today?  Where is the moment?”  Now, I don’t love the amount of time it takes for my hair to get blown out; I’ll be honest (Laughs). I’m an antsy person.  But when I get on set, it’s my choice to find the love and the fun of it, whatever that is for me.  I choose to open up every script I get, the second I get it, and am always excited to see what I’m doing.

Photo: ABC

Finally, what would you say, as a tease of what we should look forward to in the coming weeks involving Carly?

LAURA:  All I can say is there is amazing stuff coming, amazing performances, amazing excitement, amazing heartbreak, amazing surprises.  It’s all coming.

So, are you into Carly running the mob? What do you think will happen when and if Carly finds out Nina has been with Sonny aka Mike for months?  What has been your favorite moment of Laura’s on the soaps throughout her 3 decades in daytime? Share your thoughts and congrats to Laura in the comment section below.

Continue Reading

Interviews

Y&R’s Telma Hopkins and Bryton James Talk on their ‘Family Matters’ Connection, Amanda Sinclair’s Past, and the songs of Tony Orlando and Dawn

This week, kicks-off a very special guest appearance by Telma Hopkins on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.  Hopkins plays Denise Tolliver, a private eye with some very important intel for Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan), about her past, her father, and her biological family drama.

Photo:CBD

Telma’s guest stint on Y&R reunites her with her dear friend and former on-screen son, Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) after they appeared together on the late 80’s and 90’s sitcom Family Matters.  Fans of the comedy series remember a very young Bryton as Richie Crawford and Telma as his mother, Rachel.  Year laters, they now have the opportunity to work together in Genoa City.

Photo: CBS

In a new interview out today on the Michael Fairman Channel, Telma and Bryton chat virtually with Michael, and we learn that Telma is a longtime fan of Y&R, a huge fan of Mishael Morgan’s, and just how Denise Tolliver’s arrival in Genoa City will set the stage for fireworks to come.

And while Telma and Bryton reminisce about first their first impressions of each other on the Family Matters set, we also delve into another key part of Hopkins career as part of the iconic singing trio Tony Orlando and Dawn, whose hit singles included: “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole’ Oak Tree”, “Candida”, “She Don’t Love You” and more.

Photo: CBS

So, excited to see Telma and Bryton together again? What were your first impressions of Telma as Denise Tolliver on today’s Y&R? What is your favorite Tony Orlando and Dawn tune? Did you watch “Family Matters” with Telma and Bryton years ago? Share your thoughts in the comment section.  But first check out their full interview below.

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

WATCH: Daytime Emmy Nominations Special 2021 Replay

Last night, during the Daytime Emmy Nominations Special Livestream on the Michael Fairman Channel, 15 nominated performers who will be going for gold on the upcoming 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, shared their reactions and their excitement at learning they were in the running in the major Daytime Drama performer categories as chosen by their peers.

Throughout the livestream, the actors also shared what scenes they chose for their reels in the competition that landed them in the top spots in their respective categories.

Photos: ABC, CBS, JPI, NBC

During the broadcast, Michael welcomed: The Bold and the Beautiful’s Darin Brooks and Courtney Hope, General Hospital’s, Maurice Benard, Finola Hughes, Max Gail, Briana Lane and Dominic Zamprogna, The Young and the Restless’ Bryton James, Melissa Claire Egan and Alyvia Alyn Lind, and Days of our Lives nominees: Victoria Konefal, Cady McClain, Wally Kurth, George DelHoyo, and Tamara Braun.

In addition, NATAS President and CEO Adam Sharp shared insight into this year’s nomination process, the year in daytime, and teased what to look for on the upcoming Daytime Emmy Telecast on June 25th on CBS, where the award show recently got a two-year pick-up.

In case you missed it, enjoy this kick-off to Emmy season and watch the Daytime Emmy Nominations Replay below.  Then let us know what moments you enjoyed the most during our show, and who you are rooting for to take home Emmy gold in the comment section.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Kirsten Storms as Maxie

General Hospital

Airdates: 6-2/3-2021

Advertisement

Popular