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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
Vern

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

Madison
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
mary papcun

I like Quinn but I love brooke with bill

Mary Mary
Mary Mary

I love Quill!

Mary Papcun
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
mandy

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

LCA
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 times have simply not played out . Did B&B change the story? Or did the CBS censors have a say? Now that is a question I would like to see the answer to!

Michele
Michele

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

mary papcun
mary papcun

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

jasmine
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
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
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
jaybird369

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

jsnkth
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
sarah16

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

Monica.
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
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 it stop!

Pam
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
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
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
Anna

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

Interviews

Executive Producers David Michaels & David Parks Chat On The Moments That Made The 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Ceremony

The 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards are in the record books, and with it came surprising victories, emotional tearjerker moments, and a show that ended up with more heart than the fluff we often see within many entertainment award shows.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Daytime Emmy show executive producers, David Michaels (who also serves as the SR. VP Daytime Emmy Awards for NATAS) and David Parks to gain some insight on how they pulled off some of the major moments of the evening including: a surprise appearance by Amy Poehler, Kathie Lee Gifford’s daytime TV send-off, Shemar Moore’s touching tribute to the late Kristoff St. John, and of course, that Emmy-winning acceptance speech from Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, who is currently battling stage four pancreatic cancer.

On the soap opera side, there was the long overdue win by GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny), former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) receiving her Younger Actress award from her idol, none other than Alex Trebek, and B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) receiving the Lead Actress trophy in a tough category of industry heavyweights.

In a year that was tumultuous for the producers and for NATAS with a threatened boycott by the network soaps, requests for more rule regulations and transparency, and the ongoing situation where the Daytime Emmys have not returned to be televised on cable or network TV, but have found success on streaming and social media platforms, we checked-in with Michaels and Parks for a Daytime Emmy post-mortem, and to get the lowdown of their thoughts on daytime’s biggest night of the year. Here’s what they shared.

Photo: NATAS/Getty

Let’s talk about some of the big moments that happened throughout the Emmy ceremony and how you pulled them off.  One, of course, is the Amy Poehler surprise as the presenter of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Judge Judy that nobody knew about.  How did you find out that Amy was a Judge Judy fan, and how did you keep her appearance a secret?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I want to just say that what a great job our co-host, Sheryl Underwood did in announcing it, because she saw the name on the teleprompter for the first time during the live show.  I was going to tell her that morning, but as she said, “If I was a bucket, I couldn’t hold water.”   So, very, very, very few people knew.   All through the scripts in the rundown, Amy was listed as “Presenter X.”   What happened was, the day after the press release about Judge Judy came out, Harlan Boll (NATAS publicist) forwarded me an email from a publicist that I didn’t know saying that he wanted to talk about his client presenting on the Emmys.   I called him, and he claimed to be Amy Poehler’s publicist, and I didn’t know him.  He said, “Amy Poehler is Judge Judy’s biggest fan.  She wants to present the award.”  The only stipulation is that it has to be a surprise.  Then, I went on IMDB-Pro, and checked him out, and he was indeed Amy’s publicist and for a lot of other celebrities, as well.   I called Judy’s people, and I said, “You’re not going to believe this,” and they went to Judy, and she just loved it.  I don’t even know why Amy wanted it to be a surprise, but we had to honor it.  It obviously would have done us more good pre-publicity-wise if it wasn’t a surprise, but we honored it.   We actually kept a secret in Hollywood!  I mean, David Parks knew, and maybe four other people.  I think that maybe what I am proudest of … keeping the secret.

Photo: NATAS

David Parks, did you think it would really happen?

DAVID PARKS:  You know, I am often a naysayer about things, but I actually did.  There was something legitimate about it once David vetted the manager.  There was really never any scare or anything that was like, “Oh, all of the sudden she’s busy.  All of the sudden she’s been offered this other thing.”   It was kind of like, it got arranged, and we didn’t have to do anything until that week, and then, we had to figure out the best place to drop her off and how to get Amy inside the venue with as few people as possible seeing her.   She could not have been nicer about it all too.  I mean, we got her to the closest spot, and nobody on my team knew.  Like David said, it was “Presenter X.”  Everybody kept asking.   I was like, “Not going to tell you.  Then, you don’t have to worry about keeping the secret.”

DAVID MICHAELS:  I was just very taken with how gentle and kind Amy was.  She looked me in the eye and actually thanked me for letting her do this.  She was so gracious and sweet.  The whole thing was just a great experience.

Courtesy/NATAS/Getty

Another memorable moment occurred at the end of the night, when Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm, Y&R and now S.W.A.T.) honored his dear friend and former on-screen Y&R brother, the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters) before announcing the winner in the Outstanding Drama Series category. Were you aware that Shemar was going to go off-script and talk about his love and respect for St. John?

DAVID MICHAELS:  Obviously, to this daytime community, Kristoff was very special.   I made him last in the In-Memoriam segment, which obviously was the most I could do as a producer, because there were over 30 other people who passed as well. Before he took the stage, Shemar came to the producers table and he said, “Are you sure?”  This was in regard to him saying a few words about Kristoff.  I said, “Shemar, as long as you say that you’re going off the script,” because he was.  There was nothing in the script.  I just said, “If you go out there and speak from the heart, I will have no problem with it, and I think that everybody will have no problem with it.”  He went out there, and he just killed it.  He was brilliant. I was sitting there at the producer’s table crying.  He destroyed me.  I think everybody really appreciated it, and I thought it was the perfect way to go into the final award.

DAVID PARKS:  I thought it was very genuine.  You can still feel his pain.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Next, you were able to get Kathie Lee Gifford to attend the Daytime Emmys to honor her.  How did that come together?  I assume she did not have a speech written when she addressed the crowd.  Kathie Lee is all about being “authentic”.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Correct, she actually had no speech written.  I saw her right before she went on, and she said, “Well, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.”  I said, “You’re supposed to go out there and be Kathie Lee.  You’re supposed to tell the community what you think of them.”  I also added, “I doubt this is the first time you’ve improvised,” and she laughed.  The result is what you saw, because she had not seen the tribute video before we played it, and the ladies of The Talk had actually asked to introduce Kathie Lee, because they adore her.

DAVID PARKS:  It really did come off well, because there was this concern about it not being a Lifetime Achievement Award(Not that she doesn’t deserve one, but that just wasn’t what it was this year.)  We were figuring out, how do you make this moment that is special without overshadowing the Lifetime Achievement Awards?  Kathie managed to do that.  I think it was her then winning in the Outstanding Informative Talk Show host category along with Hoda Kotb that really made it one of the most talked about moments of the show.

That award was positioned after Kathie Lee’s tribute, correct?

DAVID PARKS:  Yes, and on purpose, because in the case that she doesn’t win, you don’t want her out there kind of bumming out about it.  In all of these moments you have mentioned, the serendipity of it worked out really nicely for us.  Judy got honored, and unfortunately for her she didn’t win, but it didn’t destroy the moment.  In Kathie Lee’s case, it elevated the moment.

Courtesy/NATAS

Talking about serendipity, with Amy, Kathie Lee, Shemar, and Alex, it was almost like an organic perfect storm, and the next day people were talking about the Daytime Emmys in the mainstream press more than they had in recent years.

DAVID PARKS:  You picked up on this inclination that you have to fight sometimes to entertain, entertain, and entertain.  I think this year kind of proved that you don’t have to throw out the dog and pony show. It kind of works that you honor people, and they come out and they give these heartfelt speeches, and those mean more than those extra segments – whether it’s song or dance, or jokes, and you can tell the things that we cut out this year.  I think what it’s all about is …  getting awards, giving awards, and honoring people for their achievements.

How do you feel your co-hosts, Sheryl Underwood (The Talk) and Mario Lopez (EXTRA) did this year?  You seem to like this pairing as you have had them back multiple times now.

DAVID MICHAELS:  I thought it was Sheryl’s best year.  We didn’t give Sheryl big comedy moments, but everything she did felt so heartfelt and right.  They were there throughout the show.  They got their moments.  They got their beginning, middle, and they got their end.

DAVID PARKS:  I think as producers there was a little bit of a gift in watching what happened with the Oscars this year because it actually showed, (I mean, I’m sure it’s not what they wanted initially) not having a host kind of stream-lined that show.  People were like, “Yeah, the Oscars were pretty good this year.”  We talked about that a lot.  We don’t need to over think this.  It’s already been proven what happens if we don’t give as much to our hosts.

Photo: NATAS

Let’s talk about Alex Trebek.  That was such a huge moment when he accepted his award; winning Outstanding Game Show Host, and when he took the stage to present the Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series award.  I heard he wasn’t not feeling well at all at the ceremonies, as we all knew he is battling stage four pancreatic cancer.

DAVID MICHAELS:  I know Alex pretty well.  So, I could tell he wasn’t feeling well; even though that wasn’t what he was putting forth.  It’s interesting though because Alex originally told us he wanted to stay backstage the whole time, but once he got to the ceremony that was not what he wanted to do.  So, Alex was in the audience, and he actually surprised me.  In a similar way to what I said to Shemar.  I said, “When Alex gets out there, he’s going to get a standing ovation,” which he did, and that was the moment when I said, “Alex, if you want to say something, go ahead,” and he didn’t.  I was shocked.  He just came out and presented the Younger Actress award.  So, if Alex had not won, he never would have said anything because that’s when he got the emotion in and all of that.  He definitely took a chance.

So, Alex presents ‘Younger Actress’ and made Hayley Erin’s (Ex-GH) life, because when I did my interview with her backstage, all she talked about is what this meant to have her idol, Alex Trebek hand her the award.  Talk about serendipity!  Now, when Alex accepted his award for Outstanding Game Show Host, did you have any idea what he was going to say, because coming out of the Emmys, people were buzzing about what he shared on-stage.

DAVID MICHAELS:  No, and quite honestly, I got scared when he started that speech when he was saying he didn’t want a sympathy vote, but that’s Alex.  He will totally bring it, and then turn it around.

Photo: NATAS

DAVID PARKS:  There was a side thing that you probably didn’t know about.  We got approached by a guy looking to buy fan tickets, but they had a group who needed ADA (Americans with Disabilities) seating.   It turned out be a group of cancer patients who were terminal.  The group was SayYEStoHOPE.org.  They weren’t asking for anything.  They just wanted to be able to sit together. So, we comped them all.  I’m at the red carpet, and this group is coming up the stairs, and one of the guys from the venue says to me, “This is the ‘Say Yes to Life’ group.”  So, I start talking to them, and one of the women just had chemo that day, and they were so excited to be at the Daytime Emmys, but what they were really excited about was to see Alex Trebek.  I wish there had been a way to either acknowledge them, or to let Alex know,  because they are big Daytime television fans,  but Alex meant so much to them in terms of being a cancer survivor, and a cancer patient, just like them.

Were you worried about Alex on Emmy night?

DAVID PARKS:  I thought he looked pretty good considering what I knew he had been going through.  It was actually this past week when I read about how on Jeopardy, he was doubled over in pain on the floor.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Yeah, if you saw that CBS Sunday Morning interview, it was pretty extreme, and they showed a clip from our show, by the way.  Similar to what David described with Judge Judy and Amy, Alex stood by the monitor to see if Jeopardy was going to win, which it didn’t, and Alex was just like, “Okay,” and off he went, and I got a big hug.  Just knowing him, I think he put out a lot of energy to be there, but I think he was glad to do it.

Courtesy/NATAS

Let’s move on to another amazing moment which was General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) finally winning his second Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor.  The crowd went crazy!  What did you think about how that happened . … and the fact that Maurice didn’t have a speech prepared?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I honestly believe Maurice that he didn’t think he was going to win.  It’s been many years since he had, and I also didn’t think that any of the other nominees could complain about losing an award to Maurice, because he’s the king.  He kept saying he couldn’t cry up there, and then, he cried up on-stage.  It really was about doing the Alzheimer’s storyline with Max Gail (Mike, GH) who totally reminds Maurice of his real father, and then, to have Max win as well, I just think it was a very emotional moment for him, and it was beautiful.

DAVID PARKS:  What impressed me is that often times you think actors should be so good at giving speeches, and they’re horrible at it because it’s not scripted.  So, when somebody does give one, and it’s really heartfelt and all of that, it’s really refreshing.  It’s kind of nice, especially on such a big award.

Photo: NATAS

DAVID MICHAELS:  In addition, Kyler Pettis (Ex-Theo, Days) win for Younger Actor in a Drama Series, was one of the most emotional things I have ever seen.  For years, I have been impressed with his portrayal of the high-functioning autistic young man.  It was always very moving to me.  If you watched the show and the close-up on him when they called his name, Kyler immediately was crying.  It really moved me.  I spoke to him the next day at The Talk, and he was completely blown away.  I just don’t think he thought this was going to happen.

What went into the decision to make the opening number “Sing!”?  Obviously, a big part of that was you were celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street.  And, I hear Mario Lopez’s son got to see the Muppets backstage, up close and personal?

DAVID MICHAELS: They always say don’t work with children and animals – but we did it – children – a dog – and two Muppets!  The dog – of course was Q-Tip – the shelter dog who came on with Lucky Dog’s Brandon McMillan. The kids were mostly from a community theatre production of MATILDA – and Joely Fisher connected us.  They included one of Joely’s daughters, Rebecca Romijn’s twins and Gary Busey’s son!  It was my concept and our musical director’s arrangement.  I thought it would be a great, positive way to start the evening.  It is always a joy to work with the Muppets – and Ryan and Leslie who do Elmo and Abby are amazing.  When Mario’s son, Nico, came in, I wanted to be careful to not shatter any illusions – so I took him over to the Muppets and he stared at them and he whispered to me: “Are they real”?  I said “Of course they are – just like you see them on TV.”  Nico says, “Can they talk?” I  say, “Of course they can.”  Then, Nico says, “Does someone have to help them talk?”  Now I am nervous and I pause, “Well … what do you think?”  He says, “I think they have some help”  Then,  he walked around back and saw the puppeteers.  The most adorable sweet child on the planet!

Photo: NATAS

There was a lot of behind the scenes drama and difficulties in the months prior to the Emmys; including the independent investigation, requests for more transparency in the awards system, the four soaps potentially boycotting, etc.  When you look back at what it took to get here, how do you feel about the outcome?

DAVID PARKS:  I’ve used this analogy a couple of times already, and I’m not a woman, but I think this is kind of what childbirth must be like.  The pain of it is so great that you think, “We can’t get through this,” and “Never again,” and afterwards, you see the baby, and all of the pain goes away.  You’re like, “Hey, we did it, and it worked.  It was really good.  It was enjoyable.”  I think, as a producer, you don’t really want people to know the difficulties.  If people understand the difficulties of getting to that night, you’ve probably done something wrong.  At the same time, I’m the last guy to crave attention, but for the people who were aware of the challenges that we had this year to see what we’ve pulled off, and when they say, “Holy cow.  Your set, your show, the smoothness…”  that is gratifying. You know, the stuff people are experiencing in the audience or the stuff that they see on the screen is what ultimately matters.  You learn from the mistakes, but at the end of the day, as long as that experience is good for the nominees, the winners, and the fans, that is what really counts.

People always want to know how it goes backstage with the handling of the envelopes.  Do you have it plotted out so that nobody except the accountants knows the winners until the big moment on-stage?  How does that work?

DAVID PARKS:  So, this year we actually had two accountants backstage.  The envelope went from the hand of the accountant to the hand of the stage manager, who then gave it to our trophy people, who give it to the presenter.  We had our fancy, new envelopes which everybody seemed to like, but literally, nobody on the staff even touched the envelopes this year.

Photo: NATAS

It seems like you have built-in a failsafe to minimize any potential complaints.

DAVID PARKS:  People always can, I guess.  It’s always been completely above board, but this year it was just even another step.  It’s important because the integrity of the awards is important.  I laugh a little bit, when somebody thinks they know if they are going to win or not because they’re trying to read something into the position of a camera in the audience.  We even added steps with how we shot it.  We told our cameramen, “Hold your shot for like 5 seconds after the announcement has been made.  So, even though your person isn’t getting up, we don’t want you to relax.”  We don’t want the person to think they’re not going to win.  The worst thing that will happen is somebody thinks they’re not going to win like a half a second before the announcement, it’s not a life-altering thing, but we still want to make the experience perfect for all nominees.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Our director Greg Gelfand, I think is the best in the business.  This is all a big pain in the butt for him.  He’s just trying to direct a show, but he was totally with us.  Greg said, “Okay, you’ve got it.”  The cameramen were great, and Greg was great.   Again, I’ll say for the 8 millionth time, I don’t know who is going to win.  It was very exciting and it was very surprising.

DAVID PARKS:  I always tell people that if anybody wanted to have proof that we don’t know in advance, all they have to do is watch David’s reaction at the producer’s table.  We find out at the same time as everybody else, and he’s like, “Oh, my God!  They won!?  That is an upset.  You don’t understand, Dave.  That is like an upset.”

Courtesy/NATAS

DAVID MICHAELS:  I know the soaps more than David does, but I’m like a little boy back there when I see who is winning.  I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” (Laughs)  The accountants sometimes will look at me like, “Did I do something wrong? (Laughs)  Look, there’s not much more we can do.  I was very proud.  I was very proud of the presenters, and I thought it was a great mix of all of the genres and the whole industry, and everybody was great in their own unique way.  There was some new blood at the show presenting and with the winners.

DAVID PARKS:  I have to interject my half into the little bit of love fest for David, because if there is one thing I think I hammered on David more than anything else this year was that we have to shorten the show.  The difference between three hours and three and a half hours or three hours and twenty minutes, is a huge difference.  I kept pushing David to simplify, to come up with simpler ways, or less verbose ways to do presentations, and he rose to the occasion, and before the show, he was like, “I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think I could have made this any shorter,” and I went through the script and there really was so little that could have been trimmed.  David really did a great job of answering the call and writing something that got us through a lot faster than last year.  We got a lot of comments after that said it didn’t feel like three hours.  Part of that was that it wasn’t three hours and thirty minutes.  It was actually three hours.

DAVID MICHAELS:   David Parks is the perfect foil for me and me for him.  Because we are so different, we don’t fight, but we will have words sometimes, and one of us will win, but it’s always the right decision.  One of the reasons I love working with him so much is that if he is giving me a hard time about something, there is a reason for it, and I have to really consider what he is saying.  I think that is a really healthy way to work.

Photo: JPI Studios

What would you like to see happen for the next Daytime Emmy Awards presentation?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I’d love for somebody to give us a million dollars so that we can do the most lavish show in the world.  I’d love to keep the heart going.   The one bad thing about finishing a good show is that you always take a breath and say, “Now … what do we do next time?”

DAVID PARKS:  For me, it’s that you always want to keep shows like this fresh.  It doesn’t always mean completely reinventing the wheel, but sometimes, you step back, and you think, “What can we do to freshen this up so that it’s not just a repeat?”  That can have to do with the set.   You just have to look at everything and also recognize that the best moments, as we learned this year, you can’t manufacture those.  They’re just going to happen organically.  So, you just have to create a show that allows those moments to happen, and like David said, money solves problems.  We will certainly be looking for additional sponsorship, and to build on the great ratings that we’ve had this year, and the fact that we have continued to build this event up over the years.

Courtesy/NATAS

Would you ever consider, or continue to try to get the ceremony back on TV, perhaps even on daytime television, if some network would offer you a spot to do it in?

DAVID MICHAELS:  There is nothing we wouldn’t consider.   Although I will say; that if the numbers are what we think they were this year, there were probably more than three times as many viewers as the last time we were on television.

DAVID PARKS:  I’ve always said that if they were to be on TV again, if they were to be on during the day, which is when our fans are watching TV anyway, it would make sense,  However, I have to say that I think the Daytime Emmys being at sort of the forefront of digital television puts us way out in front.  Eventually, this is how everybody is going to be watching TV.  It’s not going to be like, “Oh, we’re not on basic, terrestrial TV.”  It doesn’t matter.

DAVID MICHAELS:  You’ve got to realize that this audience is worldwide.  Being on television is not.  So, when you see that people are watching all over the world, that’s pretty amazing.

So, what did you think about what David & David shared about decisions made for the Emmy ceremony and the backstage tidbits?  How would you score this year’s Daytime Emmys? What was your favorite moment within it? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Steve Burton Interview – General Hospital – 46th Annual Daytime Emmys Red Carpet

On the red carpet at the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital’s Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) chats with Michael Fairman.

During their conversation, Steve weighs-in on the nominated scenes of Laura Wright’s which also featured him, and the friendship of Jason and Carly, plus how he told Maurice Benard (Sonny) that he had to submit himself in the Lead Actor category; an award in which Maurice won that night.

Later, Burton laughs as Michael reveals that in his recent interview with Coby Ryan McLaughlin (Shiloh), the actor said that he can and wants to take down the character of Jason; to which Steve rebutted here that it ain’t going to happen.

Finally. Steve talks on the success of his road show and podcast with buddy and castmate, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli)

Watch the interview below. Then let us know, do you like the scenes between  Jason and Carly? Do you want Shiloh or Jason to have the upper hand in their rivalry? Comment below.

For more red carpet and backstage interviews from the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards visit the Michael Fairman Channel here.

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Interview – Days of our Lives – 46th Annual Daytime Emmys Red Carpet

Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati chats with Michael Fairman on the red carpet at the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Carlivati and his writing team were nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series; an award they won last year.

Ron reveals to Michael that the reels submitted in the writing category were different than those submitted for Outstanding Drama Series; with the writing submissions centering around Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) wedding and her shooting … and then the aftermath in the hospital where Marlena’s children and John have to say goodbye to her fearing she will not pull through her medical crisis.

Later, Carlivati discusses how he has become more firmly entrenched in the land of Salem after being an ABC Daytime guy for most of his life; following writing for One Life to Live and General Hospital.

Watch the interview below.  Then let us know, what did you think of Ron’s choice for the writing award? Should DAYS have toppled Y&R on the strength of those reels? Comment below.

For more 46th annual Daytime Emmy Red Carpet and backstage interviews visit the Michael Fairman Channel here.

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

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