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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…..

Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

Photo: ABC, NBC, CBS

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

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

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

 

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

Did you get emotional seeing it? 

CHRIS:  Oh, personally, I cried.

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

Coutesy/ABC

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

Photo :ABC

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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