Connect with us

Interviews

The Don Diamont Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

The lip-smack heard around the world on The Bold and the Beautiful, had a vulnerable Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Bill (Don Diamont) giving into their attraction to each other, albeit for a minute.  Soon the reality and the gravity of what they had done would come back to bite them!  You see, just as soon as Bill and Brooke headed home to Los Angeles there was previously MIA Katie (Heather Tom), who had vanished due to her post-partum depression, waiting for her husband!  Now what was Bill going to do?  Or … Brooke for that matter?

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with daytime heartthrob Don Diamont to get his thoughts on this latest wrinkle, which could eventually cause a seismic shift in the relations between the Logan and the Spencer families!  Meanwhile, Dollar Bill had been up to his neck in manipulations in his attempt to keep ex-girl-on-the-side Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) happily married to his son, Liam (Scott Clifton), and away from Liam’s true love, Hope (Kim Matula)!  Now that much of his machinations have been exposed and caused havoc for his family including Caroline (Linsey Godfrey), Diamont has been at the story forefront painting a rather complex side of Mr. Spencer!

But while there are big changes on-screen for soap veteran, Diamont, over this past summer, there were big changes in Don’s personal life.  Don married his long time girlfriend, Cindy Ambuehl, in a romantic ceremony outside of Monte Carlo surrounded by his sons, castmates and friends, and as you will read, it was a magical time for his family.  And, family means everything to Mr. Diamont!  Here now is Dandy Don!

MICHAEL:

When you got the scripts that said, “Bill kisses Brooke,” or “Brooke goes to look for an MIA Katie with Bill,” how much of the story did you know?  When Ronn Moss (Ex-Ridge) left the series, did you know that this is what was going to happen?

DON:

Courtesy/CBS

I had an idea that we were going to move in that direction. 

MICHAEL:

The reason I ask, is that the last time we chatted you had said you think Katie and Bill are a great couple, and this new romantic entanglement could lead the viewers now questioning who to root for!

DON:

I do think Katie and Bill are a great couple and I love working with Heather Tom (Katie).  I think it reflects in our work.  Although, if Heather hated me, it would still be as good. (Laughs) But I don’t think that is the case, but having said that, we still went through the Steffy period, and that was challenging for Bill and Katie.  As this story progresses with Brooke, I am sure it will present its share of challenges, as well.  My feeling was that it has to be a real love story that has to develop with Bill and Brooke, as he has a real love story with Katie.  But, it has to be a real love story, and they have to be driven together and not an overly contrived fashion.  It is Bill’s sister-in-law, and Katie is Brooke’s sister.  Given Brooke’s history, that whatever story gets told, it has to be very compelling that would push these two people together that would otherwise not go anywhere near that.

MICHAEL:

The groundwork was laid out very well for Brooke and Bill to share that kiss.  Brooke was frantic to find Stephanie’s engagement ring that she gave to Brooke shortly before she died.  Bill was then the one to find it and hand it to Brooke.  There was symbolism in all of that for the future, for sure, and then … BAM … they kissed!

DON:

They both were in very vulnerable places.  At that point, as far as Bill knew, post-partum depression or not, Katie wanted a divorce.  She did not want to be a mother to their child, and she in her own right, wanted a divorce.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Next, Bill and Brooke head back to the Spencer home after Stephanie’s passing, and lo and behold …. there was Katie!  And your face in the scene was priceless!

DON:

Yes, there she was! (Laughs)  You know, Heather and I had talked about playing this scene.  Bill was and is conflicted.  He would be conflicted even if nothing had happened with Brooke.  Katie was back and like, “Oh, I am back, and everything’s wonderful and it’s all good.”  No it’s not!  You left and put us through a very difficult time.  Bill obviously was not aware of the ordeal Katie was going through, and that made this more difficult as well.  So, add to that, the feelings the Katie helped create – the feelings he now shares with Brooke – and obviously it wasn’t, “Katie’s home and everything is great. Oh, joy!”

MICHAEL:

So is Bill buying the post-partum depression from Katie as the reason for her checking out on him and baby Will?  Is he Ok with that?

DON:

He is many things, and idiot is not one of them.  So yeah, he gets it, but it still makes him feel like he is on unstable ground now.  So here is who I thought she was, and yeah, the post-partum depression was a big part of this.  But, is there more going on here than that that is going to potentially rear its ugly head?  She is not the same person Bill thought he married.  It’s unsettling for him and he is not sure what to do.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

He wants to be a father to baby Will, right?  This is his chance to be a dad after missing out on years raising his other son, Liam!

DON:

No question.  He loves this baby.

MICHAEL:

One can assume this will cause conflict with Liam down the road, because he was Bill’s first born son?

DON:

I would imagine once Will is an infant and goes to boarding school and returns as 17 (laughs), I would think down the road that two male Spencer’s would be a great story to tell!  Will would be the golden child, for sure.  I would guess Will probably will be molded more in Bill’s image.  I already suggested putting a sword around his neck! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Yes! They need to cast a little Don Diamont who looks like you!  In real life, you are a father to a ton of boys! (Laughs)  There isn’t one person we have ever met who knows you, who does not say you are the best father.

DON:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I try.  Being a dad is something I always wanted to be.  When I was a kid, I had valued my relationship with my dad, and I lost that pretty young.  I wanted that and I thought it was very important.

MICHAEL:

You finally got married to your long time sweetheart, Cindy Ambuehl, over the summer.  How was the wedding?

DON:

We went to Rome, Venice, and Monte Carlo.  The wedding took place June 12th in Eze, which is this magical storybook medieval city.  It was perfect.  As I said, because we had waited to get married, the boys were older, and we all had many years together.  So, a lot of our collective life experiences were brought to bear.  It was very much like we all got married.  It was very emotional for everyone.  Cindy walked out, and Luca, my eleven year old, just started crying.  Let me tell you, I was having to hold everyone up at my own wedding! (Laughs) My son Alexander made a speech on behalf of all the boys, and he got emotional and everyone started crying.

MICHAEL:

I remember chatting with you and Cindy on the red carpet at B&B’s silver anniversary party!  She was so funny and charming.

DON:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Cindy is hysterical; she has an amazing sense of humor.  She is a very funny.  When she was still acting comedy was her real passion.  She had two sitcoms, and she had guest-starred on every sitcom from the 90’s: Seinfeld, Frasier, Wings, and on and on.  She looks like she does, and is hysterical on top of it.  She often brings me to tears and I beg her to stop because I am laughing so hard that I am doubling over in pain.  And on top of that, she is gorgeous, brilliant, a hard worker, and an amazing mom … and she puts up with me! (Laughs).

MICHAEL:

This role as Dollar Bill Spencer seems to be the defining role in your daytime career.  So many of your peers feel that you really “pop” with this character.  Would you say that you have really immersed yourself in this role, like none other?

DON:

What happened on Y&R and the way it happened was difficult, and when Brad Bell (B&B’s executive producer and head writer) called it was a job, so that was great.  So when he described the character to me it was over the phone, but then we later sat down and he told me he had created this character for me.  I just immediately understood and knew Bill Spencer.  I was able to create a life experience in my head for him, and had just a great give-and-take collaboration with Brad.  He gave me the outline for this guy, and he gave me the “ball” and the freedom and trusted me.  I felt that from him.  Brad expressed to me that he had very high hopes for the character and that he created other leading male roles over the years for this show that were not so successful.  I promised him that I would not let him down.  In creating Bill, I was able to bring some elements to me that are right there and other elements that we all have that are smaller parts of who we are, and parts of your personality that you handle; like Bill is quick to temper.  I, Don, am not so quick to temper, so you bring that, but it’s there and you bring it more to the forefront.  I relished the opportunity to bring Bill to life.  I thought this is an opportunity to bring a unique and dynamic character to the show.  It is my job to make him complex, contradictory, and a Type-A person.

MICHAEL:

When I talked recently with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) she was saying, “Oh God, I don’t want Brooke to be paired with another man so soon after Ridge.”  And … here Brooke was kissing Bill!  Did the two of you have any talks about that and address any concerns?

DON:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

No.  We did not really talk about it.  (Laughs)  I think her concerns were the same as mine and Heather’s; that the integrity of all concerned not be comprised.  We will see how this plays out as we move forward.

MICHAEL:

What are your thoughts on this situation?  Do you think Katie and Bill can come back from anything and endure it as couple?  Or, do you think Brooke is a real spoiler and threat to their relationship?

DON:

I think where Katie is at now is not good, especially if they can’t come to a meeting of the minds.  Bill feels this is not the Katie that he married.  This is a person living in fear, as opposed to this wallflower of a person that had all this stuff within her that he saw and yanked out of her.  Bill made her more in his own image.  Then, Katie became more of a powerhouse and a go-getter.  That is not who she is right now.  She is strong in other ways, but not that person.  We will see how it unfolds.  I think it’s great story.

MICHAEL:

There will probably be at least 327 episodes to come now of Brooke and Bill looking longingly at each other, with nothing advancing! (Laughs)

DON:

I don’t read facebook, or the blogs, or Twitter, just because I don’t want to know what people’s opinions are, or what the reactions out there are.  I just like to do my work and do my thing, and not let it be colored by opinion … everyone else can do all that.  I don’t really know what the reaction of Bill and Brooke is at this point.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

From the reactions we have seen, the fans are more disappointed in Brooke because she just apologized to Stephanie for her behavior with all the Forrester men and taking them from her.  Then she kissed Bill, and to many it made her look bad.

DON:

She thinks Katie is gone at that point, and that Katie wants a divorce.  Brooke is dealing with her own vulnerability of the Ridge situation and losing Stephanie, her best friend.  I think moving forward it’s important that Brooke fights against whatever feelings clearly she has for Bill, and genuinely tries to make Bill and Katie work things out in their marriage.

MICHAEL:

B&B’s first on-screen same sex couple: Joanna Johnson (Karen) and Crystal Chappell (Dani) were back for a short-arc after Caroline’s “accident”.   What did you think about the way Bill handled the reveal of his sister’s sexuality?

DON:

Who would have expected that Bill would respond that way, and be OK with his sister’s sexuality?  I was glad that he responded in that way.  It was very important.  I said from the very beginning, “Bill is probably very Republican with his wallet, but he is very liberal in his social views.”   He does not care who sleeps with whom.  Bill is not about that … Jewish, Gentile, Muslim, Gay, Straight… he doesn’t care.  If you mess with him, no matter what you are, you are in trouble! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Photo Credits: L Bohm & K. Hutchins

Would you like to see the show delve more into Karen and Bill’s brother-sister relationship and dynamic?

DON:

I like our scenes, and I like our dynamic.  Crystal is great, too.   I liked the scenes with Crystal where he is thinking, “Oh, yeah. She is into me. C’mon! You’re telling me, I don’t know when a woman is interested in me?”  I thought it would be kind of funny, if Crystal’s character was finding herself into Bill! (Laughs)  That would have created a riff between Bill and his sister, Karen.

MICHAEL:

What do you think of Bill’s sudden alcohol “problem”? And is it really a problem? Or, do you think he will get this under control?

DON:

He doesn’t have anything to get under control. It’s not a problem. Bill is not drinking any more or any less than he ever was. Bill really sees it more as Katie having a heightened sensitivity since having gone through her recent near death experience, almost losing the baby and her post partum depression.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Everyone in town is furious with him: from Hope, Caroline, Liam etc.  How was it to play all of those heavy confrontational scenes?  Bill even got so upset that he “stabbed” himself with Liam’s little dagger charm on his necklace! Is he unraveling?

DON:

Confrontation plays right into Bill’s wheel house so that is a non-issue.  There are certain things that Bill certainly doesn’t like being challenged about but he is always up to the task. I relish the opportunities to play those scenes. Those kinds of scenes get your juices flowing. Lastly, as the audience found out, Bill did not actually stab himself.

MICHAEL:

One day Bill will get shot by any number of suspects, and they can do a “Who Shot Bill?” whodunit!  Of course, Bill lives though it! (Laughs)

DON:

You mean like Dallas’ “Who Shot J.R.?”   This would then be “Who Shot B.S?” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Well … Bill did have a part in the machinations that ruined Hope and Liam’s chance at happiness that inevitably pushed Liam into the arms of Steffy!

DON:

Courtesy/CBS

Bill got Deacon out of prison to throw an emotional wrench in Hope’s world, and then that would hopefully stop the wedding from happening.  Deacon showed up in Hope’s hotel room while she was getting ready for the wedding.  However, Hope and Liam did get married, as Bill had made clear.  Hope showed some emotional fortitude and Bill respected that.  He did welcome her into the family, and he meant that.  It’s not his fault that the wedding wasn’t legal, and that they neglected to take care of the paperwork.  It was really on Rick.  Rick was the one who created the problem, and that has been Bill’s position this whole time.

MICHAEL:

Were you on set for Susan Flannery’s (Ex-Stephanie) farewell party day?

DON:

As I said to Susan, my first episode was with her and that meant a lot to me.  Bill being introduced in scenes with Stephanie brought gravitas to Bill right off the bat.  It was an honor for me to work with her, and to start out what I hoped would be a nice long run here.  I valued my scenes with Susan.  The first eight weeks I was on the show that story arc revolved around Stephanie.  I worked with her quite a bit.  I have so much respect for her as an actress and as person, and it was really wonderful for me.  I was glad I got the time with her that I did.  The entire send-off was beyond well deserved.  If anyone deserved that kind of send-off, both in story and in terms of the party we had here, it is Susan. My hats are off to Brad Bell for all of that.  I give Susan a lot of credit too for giving Brad the opportunity to send her and the character off in the manner in which she he and Susan deserved. 

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

In closing, do you want the audience to like Bill, hate Bill, or ultimately both?

DON:

Interesting question and nobody has ever asked that.  I think that both are the answer.  I think Bill is very entertaining and a likeable hard-ass.  Even though he gets in his own way, genuinely he believes he is doing the right thing.  The commitment to his family is clear.  I think there are some people out there who love to hate him, and some who love him, and some who want to be Bill!  It’s all of that.  But overall, I think he is very entertaining, and coming up he will be smack dab in the middle of a huge firestorm with the women in his life.

Click to comment
Advertisement

avatar
annesha
Guest
annesha

I would love for you and Steffy to fid your way back to each other, what do you think about that?

kimmie
Guest
kimmie

cause they truely deserve each other, thats why bill fights so hard to keep steffy near, he wants her but is with katie so next best thing give er to his son, just keep it in the fam right dolla bill

Dee Bickford
Guest
Dee Bickford

I love Don. When he was on YR, and love him on BB more! His character is basically good.. But he is all man! So good to look at too, so that sure doesn’t hurt. 🙂 I can see lots of chemistry with Brooke. In spite of her history. That’s life in the soaps! I agree with Bill about Hope too! I don’t like her with Liam! It actually surprises me how much I dislike her character. I am sure she is a lovely person. So credit for my dislike is given to the writers. 🙂

Jeffery
Guest
Jeffery

It’s so refreshing to see Don so vibrant on B&B after his Brad seemed to diminish over many years on Y&R. B&B is like daytime’s answer to Greek mythology, and Bill Spencer is a formidable god. Of course, we can love and hate him at the same time. His sexiness counterbalances the absolute jerk that he is. He’s both bold and beautiful! Without Don in the role, I don’t think we’d get that complexity. It’s compelling, to say the least. So glad to see this talented guy not going to waste.

carla
Guest
carla

we want Bill & steffy together!

Lee
Guest
Lee

I absolutely LOVE Bill and Steffy as a couple. Those two were so hot!!!!!!!!! What were the writers thinking breaking them up!

Jane
Guest
Jane

I soo love the Bill Spencer character, when he appears on screen i find im holding my breath just waiting to see what will happen next. Don – you are wonderful to watch, keep it up!

sam
Guest
sam

Love Brooke and Bill together

Joanna Maria
Guest
Joanna Maria

Bill’s heart belongs to Katie, Brooke or Steffy won’t change. Bill always “has” feelings for another woman when feels hurt, abandon or betrayed by Katie. Does Anyone See a Pattern Here?

Joanna Maria
Guest
Joanna Maria

I meant Steffy and Brooke won’t change this!

beth garvin
Guest
beth garvin

I have been watching b&b and y&r for 20yrs. I think bill and steffy looked good together! hope and liam should have 1 more chance without anyone messing with em. steffys plane should crash and she would lose the baby.

lori
Guest
lori

i totally agree

Christine
Guest
Christine

There are other less dramatic ways to lose a baby then a plane crash. Most pregnancies don’t make it through the first trimester because the baby isn’t meant to be in the first place.

Sheila E. Hollingsworth
Guest
Sheila E. Hollingsworth

I love to see you on B&B Don, you are so goodlooking!!!!! You also have a very beautiful wife & family, so proud of you!! Keep on doing your thing we love YOU!!!

anothercc
Guest
anothercc

I would love to see Bill, Karen & Dani in a storyline. The possibilities are endless. Dani could go nose to nose with Bill in business and be all protective of her family at the same time. $Bill & Dani Warfare will be an opportunity missed if it is not explored.

Hillary
Guest
Hillary

I love Don & Bill. However, the Steffy/Liam/Hope triangle is soooo tired. Stop. Please. I honestly don’t even care who Liam is with anymore. They can all go fly a kite for all I care. Is he the only hot, rich, available guy in LA? C’mon, B&B you’re killing me with this!

Wanda
Guest
Wanda

I loved Brad on Y & R. I despise Bill. The only woman on B & B that deserves him is Steffy. They are both just a like and deserve each other.

Shari
Guest
Shari

I love DD and loved Bill until he decided to change his thinking of Brooke. Not only is Brooke the sister of Katie, she just turned Bill into all the other men (cough) on the show. I’m not a huge fan of Katie’s nor do I want Bill with Steffy (prefer her with a new hot guy) but Bill was the man you loved to watch because he meant business. Sorry, but Brooke brings him down and I don’t think we’ll see the man that Bill was when he originally showed up. Next thing, he’ll be giving Brooke his FC… Read more »

erica
Guest
erica

disagree, finally an exiting storyline with the Bill and Brooke forbidden romance instead of everydays of the old Hope/Liam/Steffy triangle, so so played out, they try to recreate Brooke/Ridge/Taylor triangle we get it but it is not the same..Steffy although a dynamic character is not tornado Brooke Logan and Ridge had far more sex-appeal, charisma than Liam back in the day..i would say Hope is less dull than Taylor but Taylor was particularly gorgeous back in the day, Hope is just pretty..so not the same..i am not sure it can endure years like old school Brooke, Ridge, Taylor were able… Read more »

Lily
Guest
Lily

Sorry, but there is nothing exciting about seeing Brooke act like a hoe who can’t keep her hands off her relatives significant others once again. Not looking forward to another boring triangle.

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

Lily I agree Don Diamont’s statement about the character of Brooke keeping integrity. What a joke and just for the record KKL wants to be front and center all the time the show has and still is a snoozefest.

Cris
Guest
Cris

Love Don As $ Bill

ZALINA GOSINE
Guest
ZALINA GOSINE

BILL IS HOT,BROOK IS HOT,LET;S SEE SOME FIREWORKS WITH THEM….

julie
Guest
julie

yep finally an exiting story, makes me want to watch ! Yep scandalous, soapy, forbidden, sexy, they have chemistry so go go Brooke and Bill, write this story Bold and Beautiful, we want to be entertained !

jessica hutson
Guest
jessica hutson

Am I mistaken? Isn’t the actress who plays Carolines mother , the same actress who was Ridges wife/lover years ago ? I think she died of cancer? Im sure its the same woman! and her name was Caroline, too! Help me please, figure this out!!!

Betty
Guest
Betty

Yes, the actress is the same one. And yes, Caroline of years ago did die. The actress is playing Caroline’s twin sister Karen.

Ridge had married Caroline many yrs ago, she was his one and only. Then she got leukemia and she died. I don’t recall if we (audience) knew she had a twin sister at that time, but she did appear a few times through the years as Karen after Caroline died.

Sherrigoree21
Guest
Sherrigoree21

I want to see real drama! I want to see Bill and Steffy and Liam team up Hope! I want Hope to wigged out! I also want to see Bill tell Katie that he don’t want to be her no more because she not woman enought and Bill and Brooke go on vaction I want to see it all.

lulu
Guest
lulu

Bill and Brooke : exiting !!! We want to see that Brad Bell, don’t stop this story for pete’s sake, i began to watch again this soap with this direction, hep you want triangle alright..write a Katie/Bill/Brooke triangle and give us a break from Hope/Liam/Steffy triangle.

michelle
Guest
michelle

I wish the story line with Liam , Hope, and Steffy woul change up Liam can never make up his mind who he wants, Hope is so immature. I hope Steffy just leaves him standing.

Christine
Guest
Christine

Ugh. So many comments complaining about storyline … to Don Diamont mostly … especially after he said he does NOT read these comments. Thank you, Michael, for another amazing interview. I have really grown to admire Don Diamont from his Y&R days. It is just a shame how poorly things went there after all those years, but he must have a little bronze statute of Brad Bell on his mantel because that man has really given him something! He is about as front burner as you can get for a half-hour show. I’m so happy for him. I’m also happy… Read more »

kelly-ann jones
Guest
kelly-ann jones

DD pimps which ever storyline than can keep him front burner

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

More and more, as Dollar Bill Spencer on B&&, Don Diamont TRULY ROCKS!!!!! Also, more and more, the Brooke/Bill/Katie love triangle has been so wonderfully well-written and all…so far. And, Dollar Bill himself is so wonderfully BAD-ASS…LOL!!!!! Looking back on it now, I now realize and understand as to why Bill tried to break up Liam and Hope (and more than once, too). Liam acts like such a whiny and lovesick MORON and Hope’s wholesome and Puritan-like behavior is BEYOND ANNOYING!!!!! And don’t even get me started on Taylor…who is WAY TOO MUCH of an annoying and meddling busybody!!!!! One… Read more »

shidda
Guest
shidda

I love Don always!! I dont care who he be with as long its not with NASTY BROOKE!! i LOVE THAT MAN EVERYTIME i SEE B&B

Alice Croom
Guest
Alice Croom

I love bill&brooke together this is the only reason I watch.katie treated bill like a child telling him what he can do and what to do.now she is using his son to control him and I don’t like that, too many woman today are doing that, do what or you can not see your child.i want to see bill and brooke grow old together.i would like to see more passion with bill and like I did with brooke and ridge I loved to see them make love it was so hot.

Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On Dina’s Death & How It Will Impact Jack, His Final Scenes With Marla Adams & Taping During COVID-19

The Abbott family is reeling from the death of their mother, Dina Mergeron, who passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of last Friday’s episode; signaling the end of an era for Dina’s portrayer, Marla Adams.  In a pivotal and heart-breaking scene, Dina shares one last goodbye with her children: Traci (Beth Maitland), Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and of course, Jack (Peter Bergman).

Today, the drama continues as the Abbott’s grieve Dina’s death and its aftermath while they remember the life of their flawed mother. This puts Jack at the epicenter of the family, and like it, or not, the new head of the clan.  What does the future hold for him now?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman, who has embodied Jack for over 30 years on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, to get his thoughts on: how Y&R needed to handle Dina’s death within the confines of the coronavirus pandemic and its safety protocols, what he felt about playing those final scenes with Marla Adams and the significance of the ‘teardrop of love’, and a preview of what fans can expect in the coming days as the impact of Dina’s death will be felt by the Abbott children and extended family.

 

An actor’s actor, you can always expect a conversation with Peter to be forthright, candid and enlightening, and this one was no different.  Here’s what one of the genre’s absolute best had to share about the significance of this story and more.

How has it been returning to Y&R during the pandemic?  I bet you never thought in all of your years in daytime, that you would be doing your scenes socially-distanced, sitting or standing, so far apart from your castmates.

Courtesy/CBD

PETER:  Just getting back to work felt great, loved that.  I wasn’t involved really in romantic scenes at this point, so that I didn’t have to do.  So, all in all, I was very happy to be back, and socially-distancing didn’t really bother me at all, and then Dina died.  Doing that from six feet away was just awful.  You saw the limits at a time where not any of us could be within six feet of each other; where you would usually hold a hand, stroke a brow, and talk softly.  So, I think the writers did what they needed to do to make it work for Dina’s exit.  We are in the middle of COVID, in case anybody forgot, and so you have to ask, ‘Does America really want to watch an elderly woman die in the middle of the Abbott living room or anywhere else?’  So, we had to have Dina’s exit without looking at a dead body, out of respect for the times we are living in.  We had to do a strong, powerful, pivotal scene with our hands tied behind our backs.

Courtesy/CBS

It’s so interesting that you say that because that’s how I felt watching it, knowing what it would have been like, if Jack, Ashley and Traci would have been with Dina at her bedside, up till the end, for instance.  But all of that said, Peter, I got so choked up in your last moments with Marla.  Jack is just sitting there and Dina is telling him how much she loved him and you’re doing the thing that only Peter Bergman can do as the tears well-up in your eyes.  As we have talked about previously, my mom died from complications from Alzheimer’s, so these are always tough types of scenes for me to watch.  I am sure it was also for those in the audience, who have lost a loved one to this disease, many of whom reached out to me on social media following its airing.

PETER:  It’s got to be tough for you to watch.  I get that.

Photo: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

Yes, so I felt for Jack and Dina in the moment as a son and his mother.  But what did you think about how the scene was written, and what Dina was saying to Jack and his sisters as her final goodbyes to her children and their reactions to it?

PETER:  As written, something in this necklace triggers something in Dina that brings her out of a stupor, brings her out of the murk, the fog for a brief instant to tell the people who she cares the most about that she loves them in slightly different ways.  I have, with everything in me, a struggle to always add in there, “I have a complicated relationship with my mother.”  I’ve added that line in there so many times over the years, you have no idea.  It was a complicated relationship because by the time she dies, there is no kind of straightening that out, there is no kind of Jack looking for answers. The depth of what Ashley is feeling, what Traci is feeling, what Jack is feeling, were kind of lost because of the way we had to do it. The writers had to do it, so I’m not blaming anyone, but because of the way we had to do it, there was no, “Wow, why isn’t Ashley crying?  Why is she just so stoic that this isn’t touching her at all?” because she can’t go there. Traci feeling like she found her place in the family simply by Dina saying, “You’re the beating heart of this family,” and Jack, who is doing the right thing, “She should leave peacefully, she should leave feeling loved, we should all be here, we should give her nothing but love,” damn, this is complicated.  You couldn’t have any of those things.  .  Hopefully, some of that slid in there and we wedged some of those complexities into it, but it was hard to write a complex scene with the situation as it was.  We needed to get it done it one day.  We did not need to drag this out.  Again, were it not COVID time, sure, let’s drag it out.  Let’s spend some time on this.  People die.  Let’s watch the family process a death.

Photo: CBS

I just think of what it all means for Jack moving forward.  Dina basically tells him, “You’re in charge of the family. Look after the family.” That’s kind of where it’s been going for Jack this whole time.  I don’t know if that’s what Jack wanted, but that’s where he is ending up.

PETER:  Right!  That’s where he ends up, and you know, this has been a long time coming.  Dad dies, and it is pretty clear that he’s got to step up, and his mom comes into town, and she’s not just his mother.  She’s Ashley’s mother; she’s Traci’s mother, we’ve got to look out for her and give her the dignity and things like that.  Now, there is just no getting around it.  Jack is the head of the family.  That’s the way it fell.  Twenty-five years ago, was Jack ready to be head of anything?  Absolutely not, but I think enough has happened to Jack now: enough heartache, enough growth, enough introspection, enough losing people, that Jack might just be ready for this job.

Courtesy/CBS

When Marla Adams came back to Y&R 2017, and they started telling the Alzheimer’s storyline, it brought up such abandonment issues for Jack and rightfully so, about how a mother could just leave her family and children,  Throughout all that,  you did such poignant work.

PETER:  I wanted that to be in there at the very end.  One of the powerful parts in this whole thing is that Jack wanted to scream at Dina every bit as much as he wanted to hug her.  That was there for quite a while, and Jack had to kind of come to terms with, “Hey, you’ve been leaning on this excuse for quite a time.  She’s here.  She can’t do you any harm.  She feels bad about what happened.  What do you want, Jack?”

Photo: CBS

One of the highlights of this storyline was when Y&R explored the history and relationship between the siblings, Jack, Ashley and Traci.  We saw their younger versions as the show flash-backed to when Dina left John and the Abbott family.

PETER:  Between the writers and Peter Bergman, we built this story that the night that Dina left, Dad was upstairs with the girls, they were weeping inconsolably, there was no fixing it, there was no telling them that everything was going to be all right.  He didn’t want to lie to them and say she will be right back, he told them, “She’s not coming back,” and he comes downstairs, and Jack is fourteen-years-old, and a little confused, but decided to say to his dad, “Hey, can I help?”  He looks across the room, and his dad is weeping, first time he had ever seen that.  His father is weeping, and he said, “Jack, you’re going to have to help me with the girls.  I can’t do all of this,” and it changed Jack’s life forever.  Jack was a parent to Ashley for a good part of their relationship.  So, all of this stuff with Jack’s identity, all of the fighting with Ashley, all of the Jabot madness is Ashley finally getting to say, “I don’t need a father!  You’re not my father.  Stop talking to me like you’re going to fix things for me!  I’m sick of it.”  All done by Dina … all truly caused by Dina.

Courtesy/CBD

In my interview with Marla, she told me that at the end of her last scene, you and many others came back to the set to pay tribute to her.

PETER:  We did.  The show had arranged it, and Tony Morina, the executive producer, stepped out on the soundstage with a microphone, and Marla sat on the sofa in the Abbott living room. Tony began telling a lovely, lovely story about how far back his relationship with her goes because Marla and Tony wife’s, Sally Sussman (Ex- head writer, Y&R), also had a long-standing relationship.  Tony was just so grand and gracious in saying that there are some people who, if they weren’t an actor, they’d be this or that or the other thing, but that Marla was born to be an actress.  That’s what she is, and it was so generous.  I think she got three and a half years that she didn’t expect to get out of this.  It was supposed to be a six-month storyline, and four years later, she was still there, and it was a good thing for her, and a unique story turn for the rest of us.  It really was.  It was a powerful thing, and now the Abbott family has a new shape.  There are three adults there: Ashley has established her independence, she is not around as much, she is back and forth between Paris, and Genoa City, Traci is trying to be as supportive and kind as she can be, but essentially, Jack is in the big house by himself.

Yep!  Well, now we’ve got to find Jack a good woman.

PETER:  Yes, or a bad woman.

… Or a bad woman!  I’ll take him in a relationship with someone to stir things up.  I also hear coming up, there will be the reading of Dina’s will.  Is there anything you can tease about that?

PETER:  There is a will read, yes.  No one knows what to expect, and Dina … in the end… comes through for almost everybody…

Courtesy/CBS

Well … that ought to be good.

PETER:  Yep… really comes through for almost everybody, and you know, the Abbott children are wealthier, and all three of them are alone, and in no small thanks to Dina for that.  These are three adults who have been very unlucky in love.  Of course, this is the next challenge.  I don’t mean to assume that I have any idea of what you went through in losing your mom, but there is a point at which you also have to let go and say, “Okay, now it is just me, and what do I want to do with this life?  I’ve used this as a reason not to move forward for a good while.  What am I going to do now?”  I think the next turn in the Jack Abbott story comes pretty organically.  Dina’s death frees Jack to be just as alone as he has ever been.

No matter what Jack does, including the bad things, you always see the inner-pain that is very palpable within him, as you have portrayed him.

PETER:  Yes, but he really has grown in the last 30 years.  Jack is hungry for more right now, and he couldn’t really be that way with Mom in the house.  He didn’t have time for that.  Now he has all of the time in the world.  So, we’ll see what he does with that.

Courtesy/CBD

I understand there is a funeral for Dina, but it will be off-camera?  I guess, because of COVID, it is better that way.

PETER:  That’s true and it’s off camera, that’s correct.  What’s important at most of these things isn’t what happens at the gravesite, it is what happens at the reception afterwards, and that is also a fun turn.  So, they all agree as a family they are going to do it at Society, and they kind of close the joint and make it their own little party, and someone shows up who isn’t expected, and it throws a really, really different vibe into the whole thing, and everybody has to adapt.  It’s actually fun, what it turns into.  It turns into a memory fest with crazy stories of Dina.

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite moment, or memory, of a scene you played with Marla?

PETER:  I think I had a day where Jack tried to get through to her and tell her, “Do you realize the damage you did?  Do you realize?” and she wasn’t able to take it in, and he went to Traci, and he said, “I want to shake her.  I want to yell at her… and I want to protect her.”  I thought there was something just so rich about that.  That was my favorite moment, my favorite part of it, when Jack finally said, “She’s going, man.  We’ve got to get this conversation done now.  We’ve got to talk this through,” and he was too late.   She was too far along with Alzheimer’s.  She wasn’t up to it.  She couldn’t do it.

Photo: JPI

And now here is Jack; and his parents are both gone.  There is no Jerry Douglas or Marla Adams on the show as both John and Dina have passed on within the history of The Young and the Restless.

PETER:  Again, you were generous enough to share your own personal experience, but isn’t it amazing?  Wow, you’re the grownup now.  Isn’t it amazing?  That’s what the Abbott’s are going through: just what you went through.  There is no older generation to turn to for anything.  We are the older generation.  It’s powerful stuff, and I’m really, really grateful for anytime that Ashley, Jack, and Traci are together talking about those things, talking about, “Wow, okay, that just happened… where do we go from here?”  It’s going to be really interesting.  If you asked me, “Over the last 30 years that you’ve played Jack Abbott, have there been many times where you’ve thought, ‘I’ve got no idea where this is going!’”  I would say, “Yeah, right now.”  I’ve got no idea where we are going with this.

Courtesy/CBS

There has been much speculation that the “teardrop of love” necklace will lead Jack to a new romance, or some new adventure in his life.  They spent a lot of time mentioning it in short order, that it would seem it’s not just to bring Dina some closure.  What are your thoughts on it?

PETER:  I think it has legs.  I think you’re going to hear about it again. There is something in there, and I don’t know if it’s the teardrop’s magic charm or that its history is not what it was, or it gets stolen.  I don’t know, but I think we have spent enough time saying ‘teardrop of love’, that there could be a story there.

In Dina’s final moments where Jack brings her the ‘teardrop of love’, wasn’t it symbolic to her because it was her acknowledgement of having her family back together and with her at all times? There is a back-story to that piece of jewelry as well.

PETER:  The point of the necklace is, “This was when I was truly happy, when I had this necklace, when it is all back together,” and maybe we are to know something more about the teardrop…?  I don’t know.  So, this was a gift to her before Jack was born.  She wore it home from the hospital when she brought him home, but we don’t know exactly what year she got it, and we don’t know exactly what year she lost it.  It was stolen, and it was on the black market for a while, and Victor (Eric Braeden) was looking into it.  It was clear that it was very important to Dina.  So, Jack, against his own wishes, said, “No, I’ve got to do the right thing.  I’ve got to try to trace this thing down.  It clearly means something to her.  Maybe she is trying to tell us something.  God only knows.”  So, he did the right thing, not because, “I want to make Mommy happy,” but because he forced himself to do the right thing, to find the damn necklace, and to see what this is about.  Then, we saw the affect it had when he gave it to her.

Photo: CBS

It’s always good to chat and check-in with you during these key and historical moments in the life of the character of Jack Abbott.  There have been many throughout your time on Y&R, and it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

PETER:  It will be, and I’m telling you, this is a real moment.  Normally, we just go from one story into the next, into the next, and this one has been hanging for so long that, “Okay, now that it is over, wow, what is going to happen to Jack?”  I’m just as curious as everybody else.

So, what do you think will happen next for Jack?  Did you reach for the hankies in Peter’s final scenes with Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

Interviews

Marla Adams Talks Her Final Scenes As Dina Mergeron, The Alzheimer’s Storyline, and Her Touching Farewell

Today on The Young and the Restless marks the end of the enduring run of Marla Adams in the role of Dina Mergeron. In story, Dina passes away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a storyline that started four years ago when the CBS Daytime drama brought back the character and Adams; and one that has deeply affected many in the viewing audience who have also had their own personal experience of losing a loved one to this dreadful disease.

If you have not seen today’s episode yet, you may not want to read any further, but needless to say, make sure you have the hankies ready for Dina’s final moments with her children and how she leaves this earth, which will be remembered for quite some time to come.

Marla originated the role of the rich and spoiled Abbott matriarch back in 1983 and portrayed the role on and off for what amounts to five decades. Her classic scenes with Jerry Douglas (Ex-John), Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and so many more from the iconic soap, always made for great and complex stories.

 

With this her final airdate on Y&R, it also puts an exclamation point for Marla on an incredible daytime career having also appeared on: The Bold and the Beautiful. Capitol, Days of our Lives, Generations and The Secret Storm

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adams in this very special conversation where she shared with us how it was to play these heartbreaking last scenes, the importance of the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace to the story, how Y&R gave her the most overwhelming and beautiful send-off, and her ‘thank you’s’ to all of you, who have been her extended family and are sad to see her go. She is one-of-a-kind …and now, here’s Marla.

Photo: Getty

Marla, I am so glad we have the opportunity to chat in this full-circle moment as you have brought the character of Dina to a close.

MARLA:  It’s such a joy to talk to you.  It seems like yesterday and an eternity as well.   I thought of you so much, and I remember talking to you specifically with all of the different interviews over the years, when I was at the studio.  But I will always remember the interview you did with me and Beth Maitland (Traci), my darling soul sister, and you talked to me about your mother who has since passed on from Alzheimer’s.  I’ll never forget what you had to say all those months ago

Photo: HallmarkChannel

Yes, and when as audience members we watch these stories unfold with characters we have loved, or watched on our screens for years, and there is a death, we feel connected to them as well.  And in this case, as a child who has lost a parent to Alzheimer’s, like many in the audience, you ask yourself first, “Can I watch this?” It hits very close to home, but I’m sure when people watch today’s episode of Y&R and see Dina pass away, they will be extraordinarily moved.

MARLA:  Oh, my gosh.  Wait until you people see Friday’s show.  I know they will be moved.  They should be!  I’ve got friends who I’ve already said to, “Get your Kleenex box out.”  It’s so beautiful what happens at the end of the episode.

Courtesy/CBD

How did you feel about playing Dina’s final scenes?

MARLA:  It was wonderful because it showed her lifetime of sorrow and regret, and what was so wonderful was the fact that the hero of the whole thing is the kindness and respect that she really did have for her whole family.  They had the most beautiful sendoff for me.  They sent me a limo!  I went to the studio, and dear Patti Denney (Make-up artist, Y&R) was there, of course with all kinds of makeup and everything else, and she looked like she was entering the ER room for Covid-19, because of all the safety protocols we must have.  It was unbelievable, the kindness that was served to me.  After we finished taping my final scenes, I came back to the soundstage and they totally surprised me.  Dear Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) and Sally Sussman (Ex-head writer, Y&R) were there, and Tony spoke about me, and so did my Y&R extended family and on-screen children: Peter Bergman (Jack), and Beth Maitland, and Eileen Davidson, and much of it was put on tape (see excerpts in video below).  Afterwards, Tony gave me beautiful flowers.  I was driven back home after this, and I felt really special, and it was just amazing to me. I had written Josh Griffith (Current head-writer and co-executive producer, Y&R) a ‘thank you’ for writing the show with his wonderful people, but I never heard back, but when I walked in my apartment, the phone was ringing.  Guess who?  It’s Josh!  He said, “I waited until I knew you would be home to thank you,” and I felt so lovey-doved up, I couldn’t believe it.  I want to read something to you that I received in the wonderful flowers that came the next day from CBS Daytime executive Margot Wain and others.  The flowers were so big that they didn’t fit on the bar!  The card read: “Thank you for bringing the amazing force that is Abbott matriarch, Dina Mergeron to countless fans of The Young and the Restless.  Your vast contribution to Y&R and CBS for more than five decades is unparalleled.  We are forever grateful for all you’ve brought to Y&R as both a consummate professional and a cherished co-worker.  All our best wishes.”  I was just so touched by the sentiments.

Photo: CBS

I also want to share something with you.  When it was revealed in the promo that came out last week that this would be your last show, I received so many notifications on social media, saying, “Oh, my God!  We love Marla!  You have to interview her!”  You are loved by the Y&R fans.  I hope you know that!  They’re sad to see you go, because you’re a legacy character to them, and soap fans have deep connections to characters that have been on their favorite soaps for decades.

MARLA:  Five decades!  My God!  I’m eighty-freaking-two.  I can’t believe it.

Courtesy/CBS

In story, Jack was on a mission to get the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace back to Dina before she died, hoping that she would have one last moment of lucidity and would recall it and it would hopefully make her happy.   He moves heaven on earth to get it, and does, and brings it to her and viewers saw her reaction. 

MARLA:  The necklace had never been anywhere before in story except recently, but I said to myself that I would play it ‘quietly and graciously’, because it made for such a beautiful moment for Dina with her children.

Courtesy/CBS

For Dina, the necklace was a symbol of remaining connected to her family and her children, even when she was not with them all of those years.  In your final scenes, Dina had these moments to say goodbye to each of your children.  Do you remember looking at Eileen, Traci, and Peter taping those highly emotional beats?

MARLA:  Yes, they were so there for me.  They are an extended family that is so precious to me, and playing this iconic character has been, too.  I remember when Sally Sussman told me a few years ago, “ I’m going to bring you back on The Young and the Restless, but you’ve got Alzheimer’s,” and I said, ‘What!?  You’re bringing me back so you can kill me off?’ and she said, “Oh no, it’ll be about a year.”  That dissolved into four years, and now five decades had passed and I was still on Y&R.  I am beyond grateful.

Courtesy/CBD

As an actress, was it hard to play Dina’s final moments when she goes to the light to join her beloved, John?

MARLA:  It was heart-wrenching for me.  In the story, Dina died when she went outside and to the front door of the Abbott home.  They did not tell me before-hand, and that’s why it was so wonderful.  I hope they came in for a closeup of that because I had no makeup on, it was beautiful, and then, Dina said, “Oh, John.”  I’ve done everything from movies, to daytime, to nighttime, to Broadway, but that was the iconic moment for me, to do this gig with wonderful, wonderful actors and friends, and to do this particular storyline.

Photo: CBS

It was 1983 when you first appeared on Y&R.  And through the years, Dina did not do such great things! She had an affair with Brent Davis who was the biological father of Ashley that caused such a rift between mother and daughter for years.  She abandoned the Abbott children and walked out on them and her marriage to John, and that’s just for starters! Dina was a complicated character. Did you love the fact that she could be very selfish at times?

MARLA:  You think?  That’s why I loved her.  Of course!  I can be very selfish, too.  You have to be selfish if you’re an actor, good God. (Laughs).

Courtesy/CBS

It was great that The Young and the Restless brought you back four years ago so that through the telling of the Alzheimer’s storyline that Dina was able to somewhat repair her relationships with her children.  Obviously, over the last many months the audience could not witness the more day to day progression and toll the disease took on Dina and her family in its final stages, but unfortunately with the way COVID-19 has affected shooting daytime soap operas, and all of our lives, including safety protocols, I am sure plans had to be altered,

MARLA:  Of course.  As an actress, this was the most important role of my life, and to have her final moments spread out in one day really is because of all of the fans who have been writing in and wanting to see Dina again,

Photo: CBS

People were rooting for you to win the Daytime Emmy back in 2018 when you were nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. That must be a nice moment to carry with you from playing Dina’s final storyline.

MARLA:  Yes, and I should have won!  Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) was furious. (Laughs)  He said, “What do you mean, darling, you should have won!  Goddammit!” He’s a wonderful man and a good friend.  He came to pick me up several times to go to the studio for my last few shows, and that’s the kind of mensch he is. So, I feel just so blessed and I feel great love and loss.  I would like Dina to come back as a ghost, but I have no idea, if that will happen or not. But if the fans would be interested in seeing Dina as a ghost … make sure to write in to the show and tell them!

Courtesy/CBS

Speaking of the fans that have followed you for decades on Y&R, what would you want to say to them now that Dina has passed on?

MARLA:  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all of the love, the support, and the chance to play Dina out… and I’m thankful that you cared, and loved her, up till the end.

So what did you think about Dina’s final moments on today’s Y&R? Will you miss Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first check out the special behind the scenes tribute for Marla, followed by The Michael Fairman Channel’s interview with Marla and Beth Maitland from Y&R’s 45th anniversary celebration referred to during the above conversation.

Continue Reading

Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Talks Steffy’s Opioid Addiction Storyline, The Emotional Scenes & Adjustments Made Due To COVID-19

If you have been watching CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful over the last two weeks, you have witnessed the compelling and important storyline unfold with Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) at its epicenter.  In a harrowing tale of opioid addiction that can so easily happen to anyone given the circumstances, the daytime drama took on a social issue prevalent and rising in our society today.

This story gave Daytime Emmy-winner, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood another chance to shine in some of the most deeply affecting episodes and scenes in soaps of 2020.  In story, after Bill Spencer (Don Diamont) accidently hit Steffy with his car while she was on her motorcycle; she became hospitalized to treat her injuries. Once there, she met new love interest, Dr. Finnegan or as the show calls him “Finn” played by newcomer, Tanner Novlan. Finn prescribes pain medication for her. But before you know it, once Steffy is out of the hospital and back at home she struggles with the pain and the isolation of her life, and the losses she has experienced over the last many months, and before you know it, she is addicted, and no longer getting the pills from her doctor, but by any means possible.

Last week, we named Jacqui’s work the ‘Power Performance of the Week’, but we are also giving it to her again this week for her masterful performance on Tuesday’s episode, where Steffy breaks down after being confronted by Finn, Liam (Scott Clifton) and her father, Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) and finally coming to the stark realization that she is an addict.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood after all the key scenes had aired to: get the inside Intel on what went down taping those moments, and how the show made some important decisions amid the coronavirus pandemic about the telling of this storyline. Here is what Jacqui had to say about: her co-stars, herself, and what she learned about those who struggle with addiction.

Courtesy/CBS

How did you feel about being handed the ball to tell this important story, and how much were you told ahead of time?

JACQUELINE: Originally, I was told that we were going to tell this story, and that was before Covid-19.  So, it was literally the week before we went into lockdown, and we were about to dive into this story. Obviously, I am so grateful to be able to tell this story because traditionally The Bold and the Beautiful has a long list of social stories that we are known for telling.  It is something that that we need to talk about because it is happening, and it is happening everywhere.  Someone knows somebody – it is in our family, or our friends are dealing with this, and I didn’t realize how close to home it was for so many people.  I think that with our show, the way we balance drama, and romance, and real social issues that really touch people, is special.  I noticed that throughout this week with so many people reaching out to me.  People who are police officers, to people who actually work with people who are addicted, people who were addicted have reached out to me.  There have been a lot, but I’m very honored, again, to dive into this story.

A lot of fans and viewers remarked along the lines of “Wow, Steffy got addicted very fast,” because it felt like the story kind of accelerated itself, and some people are like, “Well, they just told it too fast.”  I wondered how you felt about that, knowing what you know about soap operas and research you may have done on addictions.

JACQUELINE:  I did some research on YouTube on opioid addiction from first-hand accounts of addicts and the effect on just them, but also on the grief it had caused their families. I originally had mistakenly thought, “It must take years to become addicted,” and I was very surprised by how quickly and easily one can be trapped in pain management, and many cases are heartbreaking.  You always think, with opioids, “Oh, this can’t happen to a lot of people,” but it’s not just, “Oh, the ‘crackhead’ down the street…”  It could be a mom, or these people who have a surgery, or an accident, and then they just get on these pills, and it happens so quickly.  Yes, the storyline happened extremely fast, but there is truth to it because addiction does happen very quickly in this world.  The other thing I have to say, I think what Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) did so elegantly, is that we were going to tell this story, and we were going to tell this story for a very long time.  I love that he was very perceptive to this – that we are in a dark time right now.  It’s a dark world, and I think that it is important, again, to shed some light on this, but we didn’t want to necessarily drag it on too long because it’s like, you watch every news outlet, and it’s depressing, and it’s depressing everywhere.  Before Covid-19, this story would have been a lot longer, and I think it was kind of realizing, “Let’s take it back.  But, let’s dive into this.” I think we were also being mindful of the viewers because we are shedding light on this, but also, opioid addiction had now skyrocketed through this pandemic, and this quarantine.  I think, again, it’s important to tell this story, but we didn’t want to be another show that is just so depressing right now during such a depressing time.

Photo: JPI

Right, so the story won’t be as elongated , but obviously, she will always have this addiction now, which is always great as a character, to delve back into, that Steffy will have in her physical and emotional make-up now.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  She will always have that.  She will always have to be mindful of it.

What did you think about Dr. Finn in all of this?  Do you think that he should have caught on earlier that this was happening to Steffy?

JACQUELINE:  (Laughs) Yes, absolutely.  I think, Steffy was pretty good at hiding it from him, especially the last time when she invited him over, and she said she didn’t need the pills.  However, on Tuesday’s episode when there was that huge explosion, and he really got to see that visceral side of Steffy as defiant and angry, that was a lot for him to take in.  Tanner has been doing such an incredible job of diving into this and telling this story, but yeah, you wonder if Finn noticed, but again, I do think Steffy was pretty good at hiding it.

She was pretty slick, but when she got the pills from Vinny, I kept thinking, “What did he give her?”, because they seemed awfully strong, or laced obviously with another drug. 

JACQUELINE:  When Steffy got the pills from Vinny, that was the first thing I said, “Is this just opioids?” Now, she’s getting it off the street, and we just don’t know.  It’s laced with God-knows-what.  She has no idea because she’s not getting it from an actual doctor; she’s getting it from Vinny.

Courtesy/CBS

So, when Tanner came to the show, did you read screen-test with him?  What was your initial thought of him and Steffy finally having a potential new relationship?

JACQUELINE:  He is absolutely wonderful.  It’s funny because we have a lot of friends in common, and he is a fellow Canadian, and we bonded over that.  He originally screen-tested, I think, a few days before we went into lockdown.  So, who knew that we were not going to be able to work with each other for months and months and months, but he has been completely added to the group, and it is a different world that we are navigating, especially with how we are filming on set and the 8 feet apart rules, and you have these emotional scenes, and you feel like you just want to grab someone, and hold them, and cry.  I have so many fans going, “My God, I just wanted one of the characters to hold you!” and then you’re like, “COVID,” and nobody can really touch me, so…

Photo: JPI

Isn’t he kissing his wife though as your stand-in?  B&B alum, Kayla Ewell?

JACQUELINE: Yes, yes he is!  I just thought it was priceless that, how long have I been on the show, that Steffy has just been pining away for Liam for years, and years, and years, and finally gets the go-ahead, and she’s going to get a new love interest, and I’m like, “Woo-hoo!” and then, COVID happened, and I find out, “Your love interest is going to be a doll!”  So, he gets his wife, which is great.  My husband has been completely supportive, but my husband has not come in.  I don’t think it would work playing opposite him as Tanner, but his wife actually has a very similar look to me, which is great.  So, she’s been in a few times, which has been amazing!  I get the foam doll. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

I was just thinking it’s so funny, too.  Steffy FINALLY gets a new man, but she is with a doll! 

JACQUELINE:  I know, I know.

Photo: JPI

What’s great about when you get to play these kinds of emotional levels in an addiction storyline … or anything that kind of flips the character’s mental state, is that you get to see the anguish.  You know, we’ve never seen Steffy discuss or really say anything about having Beth taken from her, whom she raised her as ‘Phoebe’, and then losing Liam to Hope, and this is kind of addressing her pain through this story arc, which I thought was really good, that it wasn’t just swept under the table.  The characters, the audience, and Steffy were realizing that she had emotional baggage and distress over those losses.  How did you feel when taping those scenes with the confrontation where she pulls out a switchblade on Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang), Ridge, Liam and Hope (Annika Noelle)? Those were great scenes. 

JACQUELINE:  Thank you, thank you.  We didn’t know how we were going to be able to do these scenes.

Because of the social distancing?

JACQUELINE:  Well, yeah, social distancing!  We did it in one take.  It was a long 10-12 page scene.

Photo: Gilles Toucas/Bell-Phillip Television

Well, the final 7 minutes of that episode were just a riveting; which included that knife scene, which in itself was gut-wrenching to watch, as I assume it must have been to play?

JACQUELINE:  It was a big scene, and it was a big, emotional week for all of us, obviously, and I couldn’t have done it without my cast.  They were so phenomenal as well.  We were trying to think, “How are we going to do this?”  Thorsten Kaye came up with this idea that Steffy should have a knife because Ridge would want to go to her and grab her, and the only thing that would maybe keep him away.  She is so angry, and she does have so much emotional baggage, and yes, she is in pain from her motorcycle accident, but I think that a lot of people saw in that phone call from Hope, where Hope said, “Oh, Kelly wants to spend another night,” that was that whole mental shift of, “Oh, my God, this is my worst fear.  It’s finally happening.  My daughter doesn’t want to stay here.  I am truly alone.  I don’t have anybody.”  Her life up to now has been about raising Kelly, and then that was that whole baggage unload – the pain of all of the years of what the Logans had done to the Forresters – it was just a domino effect. She obviously is not dealing with the pain in a pragmatic way.  I think Steffy was using the pills to mitigate her misery, physically and emotionally.

Courtesy/CBS

I think there were two turning points … after the switchblade incident, when she finally realized, “Oh, my God, what am I doing?  I’ve got this knife,” and she gets rid of it.  She does seem to have these moments (in that episode and the one that aired Tuesday) where she realizes, “Oh, my God, I’m messed up,” which were heartbreaking moments.  Do you remember playing that moment of, “Oh, my God, I’m an addict,” where Steffy admitted it out loud?

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  It was extremely difficult.  I’m really good at being able to work on set and being able to leave it behind.  That’s the one thing that people will say to me, “What is it like off of set?  It must be so emotional for you!”  Once we say cut, I’m done.  I don’t mentally check out from the scenes, but I’m just able to let go because we just have so many episodes and so many emotional scenes, but I have to say this took a little while to shake.  I had to get into my car, and I was still emotional, and I had to put some good music on, and blare it, and drive home.  To know that these things are happening in the world and it is happening to so many people, it just breaks my heart, and I still get emotional about it.  It is gut-wrenching to know that this happens.  When I have those emotional scenes, (especially like that) I can’t fake it.  That’s just not who I am.  I can’t just fake cry to get through it.  Yeah, I’m an actor, but even though we film so quickly, even though it’s usually just one take, even though we are crying all day with all of these scenes, I really like to emotionally get there.  Obviously, over the years, I’ve learned to get there quicker, and I am really proud of myself for that, but what you see is what you get.  Those are real emotions.  I am just as present as I possibly can be in that scene and just listening to Ridge, and Liam, and Finn and just taking it all in – then Steffy realizes that she is addicted, just that moment of everything breaking down; her whole world was falling apart.  I think it was an important moment, but we were just really there for one another in that scene.

 

Scott Clifton, I just really want to say, throughout that week, had to play annoyingly holier-than-thou with you as Steffy.  People were annoyed with Liam.  He was the perfect annoyance to get her really pissed off!

JACQUELINE:  Yeah, I know!  It was actually funny at one point because so many fans were like, “Steffy was out of her mind!  She was clearly on drugs!”  I love the Steffy fans who were like, “Liam is so wrong!”  You could see how loyal the fans were.

Courtesy/CBS

They were!  It was great, but Liam was super annoying. That being said; did you watch back last Friday’s episode where after Steffy runs out, the camera pans to Scott, and Liam breaks down and cries?  So good. 

JACQUELINE:  Yep, yep.  I know, it was so good, and that was him!  That’s what I find so beautiful is that when you are in that scene, you don’t know what the reactions are going to be, and I know that was so true and authentic of Scott.  It was a genuine emotion that came out of him. I hadn’t seen him break down in a long time, but it was so unexpected, but I was glad to see it, really glad.

Photo: JPI

We haven’t seen Bill Spencer come to Steffy yet.  How does she feel about that?

JACQUELINE:  That’s a good question.  I don’t know how Steffy is going to feel about that.  I think, obviously before the addiction happened, she would blame him for hitting her on her motorcycle, but you never know, things could change coming up with Bill and Steffy.

Well, he will probably blame himself now for the addiction, I would think, because he hit her.

JACQUELINE:  I think so, too.  That’s one of the things he may be playing in those scenes.  So, we shall see.

Courtesy./CBS

Talk to me about Thorsten Kaye in those scene with you as the dad, because in the episode we saw Tuesday, there was a powerful moment when he just sat beside Steffy, but not holding her at the very end.  I thought that was a very nice touch given also Covid-19 protocols.  At that point they weren’t dragging Steffy out into a rehab facility.  We just watched him sitting there quietly while Steffy had this reckoning to herself. 

JACQUELINE:  I really liked it.  I liked that we had a lot of those chill moments of taking each other in. Thorsten and I get along so well.  We’ve just always had a bond, and I love working with him because in rehearsal, we do something one way, and then, again, when you’re filming, it’s always so unexpected, you don’t know what he is going to throw at you, which makes you be even more present.  It’s a tough scene.  I was feeding off of him and vice versa, and I’m sure he was putting himself in that situation of God-forbid if his daughters were in this situation, and you know, I’m looking at him in that father-daughter moment and seeing him become emotional for his daughter.  It just kills you, it really does, but it was a heartbreaking moment, but I like how we ended the scene: with something as very simple as sitting beside each other.

Courtesy/CBS

Your fans and the soap pundits are saying that obviously you have your Emmy reel for next year, it’s done.  It’s right there.  This may just make you a two-time Lead Actress Daytime Emmy winner.

JACQUELINE:  Aw, that’s so sweet.

It is great for you because you have an arc of a story there to tell, and we’ve talked about this before – an arc of a story for a submission in Emmy competition seems what many of the judges like to see and can understand because they watch the performer in scenes from the progression of a story.   

JACQUELINE:  Definitely, and it was nice to know that I was going to do this story and that we were going to tell this story, but once we came back months later, I didn’t know that we were still going to dive into opioid addiction with Steffy, because again, with our show, and with a lot of soaps, storylines change all of the time. I am very grateful for it.

 

So, what can we tease?  Will Steffy get Kelly back, or will she be estranged from her for a little bit?  What do you think?

JACQUELINE: I think that Steffy is a strong woman, and I think she will come back stronger than ever, and I think she will get her daughter.

Courtesy/CBS

You should be very, very proud of this work, Jacqui!

JACQUELINE:  Thank you.  I am.  During the week, when we had all of the dialogue to do, and it’s a different world now when you’re taking care of a toddler, and then with the Covid-19 protocols, and then you get the story, (and again, so grateful for it), but it was so much dialogue, and going back and forth, and making sure you’re bringing it emotionally, and it was extremely challenging, to say the least,  But, I am really proud of myself that come that Friday I was like, “Oh, my God, we did it.  We did it!”

What have you thought of Jacqueline’s performances in the opioid addiction storyline? Were you glad to hear the show decided not to drag out the story due to the times we are all in? Do you feel this storyline was powerful and could help those in need of help? Share your thoughts on the interview with Jacqui and more via the comment section below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

JMaurice Benard as Sonny & Max Gail ad Mike

General Hospital

Airdate: 10-08-2020

Advertisement

Popular