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The Don Diamont and Rena Sofer Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: G Toucas/Kathy Hutchins

Viewers of The Bold and the Beautiful knew there was quite the contentious relationship going on between Quinn Fuller (Rena Sofer) and Dollar Bill Spencer (Don Diamont).  After all, she gave birth to his son, and never told him about it, especially since he told her to go get an abortion all those years ago.  Flash forward, Quinn and son Wyatt show up in Los Angeles many years later.  Bill learns he has another son.  Quinn seems to be a little off-her-rocker, or is she really?  But that’s nothing to the story beat shocker that occurred recently when B&B went a bit 50 Shades of Grey on their daytime television audience!

It seems that Quinn and Bill like to get their freak on!  Yup, a little S&M seems to be the order of the day when these two hit the sheets, the floor, or wherever!  After Brooke decided to marry Ridge, a scorned Bill went on bender and who shows up ready to play … Quinn!  Clearly with any passionate disdain for another person, there could be a sexual spark give the right situation, right?  But when their scenes aired recently, it certainly was the talk of the soap world and those on the set of The Bold and the Beautiful!

On-Air On-Soaps sat down with Don Diamont and Rena Sofer to get them their thoughts on playing kinky, what happened when they saw this dangerous liaison in the script, and where they think Quinn and Bill’s “relationship” can go from here! Are they just two peas in a pod who like to journey to the dark side, when alone in a room together?

In this candid chat, Don and Rena give the details of their on-screen romp with self-effacing humor and insight that we found most refreshing … and wildly entertaining.  We think you will too!

MICHAEL:

What was your reaction when they informed both of you that Quinn and Bill are going to have some kinky sexcapades?  What did you think when you saw it back on the air?

DON:

Courtesy/B&B

Depending on how far they were going to take it I thought it was great, but initially it was written differently.  I thought there was more bloodshed in the original.  So that got toned a bit.  I thought that was good.

QUINN:

As it was … it was like watching porn! (Laughs)  I remember when it aired.   I was watching it alone in my living room and I watched it under a pillow! (Laughs)  I could not believe it.  I could not believe I am alone with like a hundred pillows on top of me going, “Oh, my God!”

DON:

It was little Cinemax-ish, not that I watch that stuff!  (Laughs)  But I don’t think daytime has ever done anything quite like this before.

QUINN:

No. We are the first!

DON:

Courtesy/CBS

It’s totally fits in with the history of Bill and his wheel house.  I thought it was absolutely appropriate.  Listen, I think Bill and Brooke could get pretty freaky too!

QUINN:

No way!  No!

DON:

Rena is very territorial about her S&M! (Laughs)

RENA:

(Laughs)  No, because if Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) were anything like that you would have seen it before.

MICHAEL:

Rena, what was your initial reaction that they were making Quinn, of all the characters, go there with Bill?  It certainly seems plausible given what we have gotten to know about Quinn that she is somewhat “twisted”.  (Laughs)

RENA:

Courtesy/CBS

I was like, “Hell yeah!”   I couldn’t wait for many reasons.  Oh wait, I couldn’t wait to touch Donald!  All I think to myself is, ‘My life would yet to be complete if I could be in a hot physical confrontation with Donald!’ (Laughs)  Anyway, for me, my excitement about the story is, I know this hasn’t been done on this show and I know this is new.I want to offer something different to The Bold and the Beautiful which isn’t another character who is pining and crying over this guy and that guy.  I like who Quinn is and the relationship that she has with Bill, and the fact she doesn’t want to marry him.  She doesn’t want to have a relationship with him, but she wants something from him and she is not afraid to go and get it, without being this teary, crying woman.  And so when I read that I thought, ‘This is a very interesting way to go if we can make this work and if he can be in love with Brooke.  This doesn’t touch or change that.  This is this other side that is being fulfilled for both Quinn and Bill that is not a story viewers are used to seeing.

MICHAEL:

It seemed to us that since in an episode that aired back in November, when Quinn cuts Bill in the neck with his little dagger necklace, that the stage was set for this to happen later on down the line.  That was a bit freaky too!  Do you think they planted the seed then?

DON:

Maybe that planted the seed, I don’t know.  She is, after all, the “Quinn of Darkness”. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

RENA:

When I originally came on the show we didn’t know where Quinn was going.  What happened is: they started writing all of these crying moments for me and at the beginning, when I started to lose my son, it worked.  Then I started to cry about everything!  I went to the powers-that-be and said, “I don’t do that.  I may not be like other actresses on this show that connect to that type of performance, and who are great at that.  I don’t want to be in competition with that.”  So, I just started to play opposite the lines.  I just took it to a different place and they started writing in that sensibility.  And because they didn’t have a clear story for Quinn in the beginning, I wanted to be clear of who this woman was. Quinn has given everything up for her son and she has never gotten out of that.  She still does everything for her son …everything for his name … and everything for his happiness.  The first time she really steps out of that to do something for herself is with Bill … and that was why it was so exciting for me.  This was the first scene I have done that wasn’t surrounding Wyatt and Hope and Liam.  But it was more like for Quinn, “This is what I want.”

DON:

She has totally been fixated on Bill since she was 17 years-old, but she had to focus on Wyatt instead.

RENA:

Of course!  He’s right!  Quinn was a child when this happened to her.  When Bill happened to her, she was like 17 years-old.  And for me, let’s not forget he was the same age.  So it’s not like Bill was a pedophile.  She has never matured from him in her mind.

DON:

Courtesy/CBS

It certainly makes it lot more interesting.  In my mind, I play that Quinn has been obsessed with Bill since her pregnancy and the break up.  I have to play in my back-story that she was sort of stalker-ish, and he knew she was a bit of freak and over the line from the very beginning.

RENA:

I say, that once Bill opened Quinn’s eyes up to it, she was down for it.

DON:

Bill is clearly a freak, and when we first established him, he was the playboy of playboys!

MICHAEL:

And that he was in actuality going to turn out to be the “Christian Grey” of daytime TV?  (Laughs)

DON:

No, no he wasn’t…

RENA:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

I was Christian Grey! (Laughs)

DON:

I think that is something they share in common.  I think that Bill is aware that she is a wild-card from way back, and that she has an obsession, and she has directed it at Wyatt (Darin Brooks) all these years, instead of Bill.  Now she is showing up here.  Now there maybe is more she wants from Bill than she will admit, and even to herself!

MICHAEL:

Isn’t there a moment for Bill, that after he went there with Quinn and had sex with her, that in the aftermath there was a moment of, “Oh, God.  What did I just do?” 

DON:

Oh sure, of course he has been thinking that!

MICHAEL:

So now that Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) didn’t marry Brooke.  Does Bill truly want Brooke back?

DON:

He wants Brooke, and this was a romp to get over Brooke, so he thinks!

MICHAEL:

So why then has Quinn has been acting weird for months … prior to this little S&M binge?

RENA:

Courtesy/CBS

Him!  (Laughs)  We don’t know Quinn’s back-story, or why she appeared on the scene on The Bold and the Beautiful, and what she had to do to survive and succeed in this business.  We don’t know how she made her money and how she bought the jewels for her jewelry, and who she got involved with.  I am hoping we get to tell that at some point in the future so people will understand including myself, why she made the choices that she made.  But until then the story is simple: she fell in love with Bill, he dumped her, she was left with another child, this child was apart of him and she told him, and he gave her money and dropped her off to have an abortion, and told her to get rid of it!  So she projected her obsessions, her love, her neediness, and her growing up on this perfect son, Wyatt.  And by the way, do you not know people in your life who think their children can do no wrong, and are the most perfect things, and yet they are kind of a freak? (Laughs) I am not saying being proud of your child, but I am proud of my children, but I often have this conversation.  My little one said to me, “Mommy, if I ever want to go on American Idol, would you support me in doing it?”  And I said, “If I thought you were an amazing singer, I could encourage you.  If I thought you weren’t, I would encourage you not do to something like that, or train until you could.”  I don’t believe my own personal children, (although I have quite a brilliant child) that they are perfect no matter what. Quinn is a different story.  Quinn thinks Wyatt can do absolutely no wrong, and she would do anything to protect him.

MICHAEL:

Don, did you let your wife watch these sex scenes with you and Rena?  How do you handle something like this with your spouse?  (Laughs)

DON:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I will suggest that she not watch, because just the imaginary …. who wants to see that? After I suggest it, then it’s up to her if she chooses to check it out.

RENA:

I had to watch it under a pillow! (Laughs)

DON:

This is what my wife likes to say to my children, “Hey guys! Let’s watch daddy today. Let’s see daddy’s job!”  It’s so funny.  Then, she will freeze the frame it on the TV.

MICHAEL:

Don, what would you say about working with Rena?

DON:

She brings it, and that is the best thing I could say about any actor.  But that is the biggest compliment you can pay any actor.  You’ve got to be ready and you got to be prepared. Rena is prepared weeks in advance.  I think that is a great thing.  Her choices are clear and strong, and she has a great sense of humor.  For me, if you don’t have a sense of humor that’s a problem and that’s important.  We have a lot of fun.

MICHAEL:

Your turn!  What has it been like working with Don?

RENA:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

First of all, I like his little dagger. (Laughs)  When I first got the job at B&B, I told Donald’s cousin, who I am good friends with.  She said, “You are going to love working with Donald.  He is the nicest man you will ever meet.” And honestly for me, I hate working with people that aren’t prepared. I hate working with people who don’t take what they do seriously, or complain about it constantly.  I love the fact that he is also prepared and can do it quicker than me.  I need to prepare days ahead. He can pull it together much faster than I can.  I think it’s because you have been doing this much longer than me! (Laughs)  If I didn’t have Donald’s support, I wouldn’t be able to create this character and if he wasn’t up for the play.  As an actor, you want to play.  You want to be prepared and when you come to set, you want to be able to see what happens.  He always gives back what I am giving him and vice-versa.  That’s what fun about this and it remains to be to this day.

MICHAEL:

Rena, you made such an indelible impression playing such a unique character on daytime soaps, when you portrayed Lois Cerullo on General Hospital.  And now Quinn is turning out to be very unique in her own right.  Are these the types of characters you gravitate towards?

RENA:

I like playing original characters.  I don’t like playing the same character.  I think soap operas tend to have the villain, or have the heroine, or the ingénue, and as actress you need to get out of the box.  So for me and the great thing about (B&B executive producer and head writer) Brad Bell is that he wrote this character and said, “I don’t know what we are going to do with her yet.” And he let me do what I wanted to do, and he watched what I was doing, and he is now moving her towards that and now I am having a blast.   I do like playing somebody you haven’t seen before like Lois Cerullo on General Hospital.  She was an original.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

What on earth was going on with the crew when both of you were filming the sex scenes?  What were they doing? (Laughs) Did they all gather around to gawk?

RENA:

I will just say this; and by the way, I didn’t know we had that many crew people on our show until we were shooting that! (Laughs)  Afterwards, they move on to the next scene and we are kind of laughing about it and they go, “Wait, wait, and wait.  We have to do the voice over of when Liam walks up and he hears Quinn and Bill going at it.”  They basically wanted to sit us in a room with all these people around us going moaning and groaning and going, “OH, YES!”, and we couldn’t do it.  We were laughing to hard. And B&B producer Ed Scott went, “C’mon, we need to get through the day!” (Laughs)

DON:

So later, I went into ADR doing the audio tracks going, “AHHHH” and moaning and groaning!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Rena, how is Darin Brooks to work with as your on-screen son?

RENA:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Well, let’s just face facts, that Darin could never be my son.  Other than that, I am having a great time with him, but I am not old enough to be his actual mother.  But I love working with Darin.  He is up for rehearsing and he is up for playing.  Even though I play his mother, the two of them grew up together, so they talk to each other in scenes as friends, and that is what I am really enjoying.  It’s very realistic, you know.  Quinn raised him as she was raising herself, so there is this great camaraderie.

MICHAEL:

Don, where do you want this all to go for Bill?  What do you hope happens next to him?

DON:

Where I want it to go is to keep it interesting with twists and turns and everything like Bill has been through in the last five years.  It has been a great character to play, and he has so many colors.  Brad Bell is the best boss.  He is collaborative, he gives you freedom, and he does work off what you create.  I never know what is coming, or what is around the next corner, which makes it so much fun to play.

MICHAEL:

Rena, what do you hope for Quinn moving forward?  What would you like to see happen to her?

RENA:

What I would like to see happen for Quinn is that I would like to see Bill show up at Quinn’s house one day.  He has a fight with Brooke.  Then he shows up at Quinn’s.  She will make him work for it, but she will definitely take him.  I would love to see that for the fans, so they can see something different.  I think it would be fun to see a different relationship emerge from this experience. But, I would like to see it not be one-sided.  I would like to see her as a freak of nature, and definitely her thinking, “This is not where I want to be, but I do have a couple of hours, and so, why the hell not?”

Courtesy/B&B

MICHAEL:

Some viewers have been concerned that B&B would end up painting Quinn as a psycho, so there becomes nowhere to go with her after they make that full major character turn!  Final thoughts?

RENA:

I don’t think Quinn is crazy. Everyone wants to call her “crazy” and I indulge in what they want to do.  But in my mind when I am playing Quinn, there is nothing psychotic in what she is doing.  She knows exactly what she is doing, and why she is doing it!

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AnnaPamdaring sallyMonica.sarah16 Recent comment authors
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Vern
Guest
Vern

Awesome interview. Very candid and the actors seem to have great rapport.

Madison
Guest
Madison

Quill is hot!! C’mon writers go with something fun and different for a change! Everyone knows Bill isn’t going to be Brooke’s last anyway. Go team Quill

mary papcun
Guest
mary papcun

I like Quinn but I love brooke with bill

Mary Mary
Guest
Mary Mary

I love Quill!

Mary Papcun
Guest
Mary Papcun

I don’t like them together long, the sex is sick he is better with brooke, at one time I though it was with Katie . Katie and bill were good together at one time but they changed him, even though they are not together he doesn’t care for Katie and will he is only for the sex not the real feeling of a good man with a family. Katie is beautiful

mandy
Guest
mandy

I love brooke bill together better hate Quinn Wyatt which they leave town

LCA
Guest
LCA

Thanks for the interview. I like both actors, not sure I like the SL of them at all. I thought they were going to turn Quinn into a Bunny Boiler with Bill and Brooke. Now I have to wonder why they filmed so many kinky scenes yet we’ve only seen the one when Bill was drunk and immediately regretted it and went to see Brooke and ask her to reconcile. Bill also set Quinn straight when she called them lovers and wanted to be a family with Bill and Wyatt! (That wasn’t crazy Quinn?!) Spoilers of at least two other… Read more »

Michele
Guest
Michele

I like Bill and Quinn together. Great job DD and RS!

mary papcun
Guest
mary papcun

Bill and Katie were the best but I think Brooke is the best for bill

jasmine
Guest
jasmine

I like to see Brooke and Bill together but seeing Quinn and Bill that is so wrong Quinn is not family to Bill she only wants sex to make him release his inter beast to her that happened one time but not again its see who lose Bill will always win but not you Quinn or your son to good luck with that

Kristi
Guest
Kristi

Thanks, Michael, what a great interview! It sounds like the actors are enjoying their work together, and it’s nice to watch a character that isn’t another weepy, teary woman in a story that is not all about a woman mooning over a man or some ridiculous instant, out of the blue, love. Kudos to Rena Sofer for creating a character that is different, and to both her and Don Diamont for their sense of humor and rapport.

Lenora
Guest
Lenora

Thank you Rena for bringing a woman of this century to my afternoon TV. All women are not sitting in a corner winning over a man, must have a man, a man left me boo hoo.

You are G-R-E-A-T!!!

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

Quinn TRULY ROCKS!!!!! Brooke (on the other hand) has become WAY TOO ANNOYING!!!!! Enough said.

jsnkth
Guest
jsnkth

Rena Sofer is amazing-been loving her since Loving. She and Bill are too much alike for this to go further than a plot device to break Brill up. Quinn needs to live out her sick soncest fantasy: put her with Rick. Or THOMAS.

Or RJ.

sarah16
Guest
sarah16

With the return of Deacon Sharpe rumour has it something’s going to happen between Quinn and deacon can’t wait!!!!

Monica.
Guest
Monica.

I love Quinn and Bill. He and Brooke are boring. Quinn brings out a different side of Bill. They sure maka hot love.

daring sally
Guest
daring sally

They should’ve kept Quinn distant toward Bill. The writers make all of the women sex slaves to men. They make them vulnerable and needy. I did not see this coming with the Quinn character. They should have kept her mysterious and strong and away from Bill. He should have been the one lusting after her and not being able to get her. Please let there be just one strong woman on the show that can hold out. I am so done with these storylines of weak, silly, sex-straved women. And Maya don’t know what or who she wants. Please make… Read more »

Pam
Guest
Pam

Love you Quinn. I hope to see you soon on B&B. You are an amazing actress that is so versatile. Seen you on Criminal Minds the other day as a complete different character. Keep up the great job. We the fans love you. Forget about the LOPERS. They’re irrational and can’t separate the character played from the real person.

Pam
Guest
Pam

Quinn, please keep growing out your beautiful dark hair. I remember when you had long think flowing hair in all those movies you were in, and on GH. It makes you look youthful and sexy. Just an objective observation. Nothing more.

Anna
Guest
Anna

I HATE Quinn! Everything about her! And that son of hers! Bill should be with Brooke and Brooke only! Not with psycho Quinn or baby Katie.
And i wish somebody pushed her from a bridge or something…

Anna
Guest
Anna

You know what i’m waiting for??? Liam throwing Quinn from a cliff…..

Interviews

B&B’s Scott Clifton and Don Diamont Talk on the Plight of Liam & Bill and Their Cover-Up of Vinny’s Death

If you are watching current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful then you know that Scott Clifton (Liam) and his on-screen father, Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) have been spending plenty of time together in scenes in very dramatic and intense fashion.

In story, Liam is guilt-ridden over running down Vinny Carter (Joe LoCicero) by accident when he was driving Bill’s car.  Since the moment that Vinny was killed, Bill leapt into action, destroying any evidence tying the two to the scene of the crime and continually demanding that Liam let this go and move on with his life, or the implications for the both of them could certainly be a long jail sentence, or worse.

Photo: JPI

Now as Liam is finally making headway in a reconciliation with Hope (remember his last secret – sleeping with Steffy – was quite the doozy), this new secret of what he has done, and hiding, could up the stakes even more and take him away from his family for good … or would Hope (Annika Noelle) after finding out what Liam did be the nail in his coffin that ends their relationship once and for all and kicks him to the curb?

Courtesy/CBS

Both, Scott Clifton and Don Diamont chatted virtually with Michael Fairman exclusively for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel to offer up for viewers and fans of The Bold and the Beautiful: an inside look at what goes on when they tape their scenes, how they see their characters motivations, and they serve up a preview of what may lie ahead in this tangled web that Bill and Liam have unfortunately weaved.

Photo: JPI

Check out the humorous, candid, and enlightening conversation with two of the leads and mainstays of this CBS Daytime drama series below.

Then let us know; how do you think Liam and Bill can get out of the mess they find themselves in? Will Liam crumble and spill the beans? Will everyone in town get on to them and figure out the secret they have been keeping? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section after taking a look at the virtual conversation.

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

 

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

Photo: ABC

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: ABC

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

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

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

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

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