Connect with us

Interviews

3

THE DON DIAMONT INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

donDiamontMain.jpgThe old adage: “When one door closes another one opens” could not be more apropos’ for Don Diamont. The actor who spent nearly 23 years playing Brad Carlton on The Young and the Restless and was let-go by the show, reportedly due to budget constraints, is back on daytime next week on The Bold and the Beautiful. Mark your calendars for May 12th when Bill Spencer Jr. in the form of Diamont, makes his explosive debut on the “B&B” canvas.

In this very warm and engaging interview between Don and On-Air On-Soaps, he opens up about getting the call from Brad Bell that would bring his talents to “Y&R’s” sister soap. In fact, in an ironic twist of fate, it is known that Don’s character, Brad Carlton, was named after Bill Bell Sr.’s son, Brad. So, how amazing that some two decades later it would be Brad who would come calling for Diamont.

Don chats about the aspects of his new role; working with the leading ladies at “B&B”, getting to see his old pals at “Y&R” again, and the emotional and difficult time he faced being “killed-off” from that series and people that he loved. And yes, we even address the much-maligned “Reliquary” storyline for good measure.

“B&B” fans look out! This guy is getting ready to shake things up for the lives of the Forrester’s, Logan’s, and anyone else who comes into his radar.

Here’s Don!

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

Daytime fans are so excited that you’re back on soaps! Tell us how you came to your new role of Bill Spencer Jr. on “B&B”?

DON:

First, I am very blessed and happy to be back. I received a call from Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, “B&B), and he told me he had a role for me, and asked me if I would be interested. He described the character to me. I said, “When do I start?”

MICHAEL:

Is Bill Jr.…..?

DON:

susanDon.jpg…Well, he is not going to be going by the name Bill Jr.; he sets that straight right off the bat!

MICHAEL:

So he is just “Bill”?

DON:

That is what he says when Stephanie refers to him as “Bill Jr.” and I say, “Bill”. I make that clear right away.

MICHAEL:

Can fans expect Bill to be
a ‘smarmy’ sort of a guy?

DON:

I would describe him as rogue-ish, as opposed to smarmy. He is politically incorrect, sexually inappropriate, and has no censor on himself, whatsoever. He says whatever is on his mind to anyone at anytime…no-holds barred. He takes no-prisoners and nothing or no one intimates him. He is a highly competitive guy, an adrenaline junkie, and a mixed-martial arts guy, and an Ultimate Fighting fan. Bill is quite a force to be reckoned with.

MICHAEL:

So, he comes on to the canvas because his father, Bill Sr., died?

DON:

Correct. He has been estranged from his father. I believe he was born out of wedlock from an affair, and Karen is his half-sister. Roughly ten years ago they developed a business relationship, and it was a contentious one. They really had no personal relationship to speak of. Bill is a pretty gifted and ruthless businessman. He kind of took the Center Publications to new heights, and here he is in LA.

MICHAEL:

Will Bill become involved with all the fashion titans on the show, such as the Forresters?

donPurple.jpgDON:

He will, in one way or another, be involved with the fashion industry, and he will mix things up a bit… sort of the straw that stirs the drink to some extent.

MICHAEL:

All the females on “B&B” who I have interviewed are ecstatic to have you on the show!

DON:

Well, that is good to hear. I would hate to hear, “Off the record, we can’t stand him!”

MICHAEL:

Have you gotten to work with thee ladies of “B&B” yet?

DON:

I have worked with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), Jennifer Gareis (Donna), Susan Flannery (Stephanie), and I have worked with Heather Tom (Katie).

MICHAEL:

How long have you been taping now?

DON:

I have been taping only a couple of weeks. I shot my first week, and then we had an anniversary party, and then we went on hiatus for three weeks. So, that is a nice introduction to a job! Then we came back, and I am working this week, and then we are dark next week! It’s a great job! But I tell you we do get quite a bit of time off, but when we are working, we are working! It is intense! There is an incredible amount of dialog, and they tape two shows a day, and its sort of when you are the featured person in one of the shows, you are the show. You talk and a have a lot of dialog. It requires a lot of discipline.

MICHAEL:

What is it like for you, being able to work with Susan Flannery?

DON:

I know this sounds corny, but it’s an honor and a privilege. She is such a dynamic actress, and she is so professional. Susan is so present, and you need to be on your toes. I relish it and I enjoy that. I truly love when the characters go to toe to toe. And, its well-written material. I cannot say enough about her and how much I look forward to working with her. It certainly lived up to my expectations. She cares so much about the work. When I told my friends at “Y&R” that I was going to be working with Susan quite a bit, everyone was envious.

MICHAEL:

How was it going back to CBS and getting to see your pals at “Y&R”, who work right across the hall from “B&B”?

DON:

goodbyeParty.jpgIt was really heartwarming. I really felt like a long lost son who had come back. I wasn’t gone that long a time. But, I had this feeling of joy that they were so genuinely happy and thrilled that I was on “B&B”. I walked on to the set and it was a warm reception. I also have to say, I was so touched by my send-off by all the actors, crew, and production people, and the welcome when they found out I was back and working down the hall. It was so touching.

MICHAEL:

Many of your former cast mates from “Y&R” were so upset when you were let-go from the show, including Eric Braeden (Victor), who was very vocal with me about letting someone go who has been a veteran for over 20 years on their show.

DON:

That means a lot to me. They are all my friends and we had been through a lot. I was very touched by the send off, the outpouring, and the phone calls when people heard. It was a tough time and a difficult period for me.

MICHAEL:

What did you think about how Brad died on “Y&R”? As a “Mr. Freeze”, no less?

DON:

mrFreeze.jpgOdd that a Navy Seal froze under the ice in the water? Yes, I thought that was odd, but it aint’ up to me. So that’s the way they chose to do it, and they did that to propel story forward and to make it very clear that I was not coming back. (He laughs) Unless, I have been cryogenically frozen! Honestly, the hardest part was just leaving, because my entire adult life had been spent there and through everything good and bad that happened to me, “Y&R” was the constant.

MICHAEL:

At least you won’t have to ever revisit the “Reliquary” storyline anymore!

DON:

I do not have to do the “Reliquary” anymore, correct, but it was fun story. The reliquary got a little out of hand, but having said that, it was a pretty compelling story and I was very happy to play it.

MICHAEL:

You have a large family. What was their reaction to you coming over to “B&B”?

DON:

donFamily.jpgThey are really excited. I have many children, and this is just a very different guy I am playing. His look is different, his clothes are different, and his hair and the facial hair are different.

MICHAEL:

Will we be throwing things at the TV when Bill is on?

DON:

You mean love to love to hate him? I think you could say that. He has the JR Ewing kind of thing going. He is the guy that you tune in to see, “What is he going to do today?” Look, I am actor and I want to act. So, to have an opportunity to go back to work is terrific. For Brad to entrust me to play this important dynamic character, I am very honored that he would give me the opportunity, and that he had enough respect for my ability that
he offered it to me.

MICHAEL:

Who would you like to see him romantically involved with on the show?

DON:

Do you think I would answer that question? Are you out of your mind? I would never walk down that road! They are all beautiful, talented, charming and intelligent women, and I would be happy to work with each and every one of them. How do you like that answer? Candidate Obama! Next, I will be running for President.

MICHAEL:

What about the guys?

donWinsor.jpgDON:

Hate em all! Every single one of them! Ronn Moss (Ridge), Winsor Harmon (Thorne) and Brandon Beemer (Owen) were my buddies before. We had done some appearances together and I have known Winsor for 20 years. Ronn and I had never spent much time together, but we did a celebrity fan cruise together and that was my first opportunity to get to know Ronn. He is such a wonderful guy. Brandon is, too. John McCook (Eric) I have known for many years. All good people!

MICHAEL:

If we were to describe Bill, and what to look forward from him, what would you say?

DON:

He will be a cross between Jack Sparrow, ( Johnny Depp’s character from Pirates of the Caribbean), Richard Branson media mogul, and maybe a little pinch of Hannibal Lechter.

MICHAEL:

You were a victim of budget cuts at “Y&R” and tough economic times in the soap genre. What is your perspective on what soaps need to do now to survive?

DON:

I think some of those changes have obviously been happening in terms of salary cuts, budget and production cuts, streamlining the shows to make them more efficient to keep their costs down. Do I know what the answer is? No. The world is a more competitive place and you have to be on your game and invested in what you are doing to try to keep pace. I think the actors, crew, and production are all very aware of it. Everybody gets the picture.

MICHAEL:

I know it was a very difficult time being let go from “Y&R” after so many years. For people that find strength from others, can you tell me how you dealt with the loss and how did you get to the other side of it?

DON:

donSmileSuit.jpgFirst, I think it’s important that you do sit with it for a minute. It’s all right to be upset, to have some hurt and anger… whatever those emotions are. You are allowed to feel that way and there is some benefit to that. It’s a loss. Like anyone, when you lose a loved one you have a period of mourning, and it’s the same thing for me. It was a loss for me, and then it becomes, “Ok, let’s get proactive.” I did not know I would get the call from Brad. I assumed I might hear from some other daytime show, given that I had been doing what I have been doing for as long as I had been doing it. I thought I may hear from somebody, but I could not bank on that. So, I was proactive. I got a new agent. I shot new pictures, started training harder, doing as much as I could to move forward and move through it. You can’t wallow in your self-pity, and you can’t say, “Why me?” Again, you can do that for a brief period and go through your mourning. Life is about moving forward. It’s not about looking back. That is how I talk to my kids, that’s what I would tell myself, and that is what I would say to anyone. Do what you can do to better yourself, to affect your circumstances, and do the things that are in your control. You can’t control when you are going to get the phone call, but you can be prepared when it comes. Do the things that are in your control to do. Be positive. Walk through the fire. There is something on the other side of it.

Leave a comment | 3 Comments
Advertisement

3

avatar
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
Carol HartsteinJoshua ZuckermanRose George Recent comment authors
newest oldest
Rose George
Guest
Rose George

what a great interviewer. really enjoyed it… thanks for bringing out some great stories. Rose

Joshua Zuckerman
Guest
Joshua Zuckerman

Don Diamont has a lot of boys!! He’s definitely keeping the mohels in business!

Carol Hartstein
Guest
Carol Hartstein

I can’t stand Don Diamont. He sounds as arrogant as I assumed he was. Smarmy was a perfect description.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Cady McClain & Rob Scott Wilson Talk Being Recasts, All My Children Reboot, Future of Cin & Jennifer’s Bitch-Slap

Current Days of our Lives and former All My Children reboot stars, Cady McClain (Jennifer, Days, Ex-Dixie, AMC) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben, Days, Ex-Pete AMC) chat with Michael Fairman in an enlightening and exclusive conversation for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

McClain, who recently took over the role of Days of our Lives beloved heroine Jennifer Horton from mainstay Melissa Reeves (who chose to stay with her family in Nashville during Covid-19 thus forcing the series to recast the role for now) talks about stepping into the key part of the Salem canvas, plus the recent Jennifer/Kate fight over Jack (Matthew Ashford), and how the legacy series is coping with production during Covid-19.

Cady is no stranger to be a recast.  She was the second actress to play Dixie on ABC’s All My Children, as well as the second actress to play Rosanna on As the World Turns, and she had previously taken over the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless.

Photo: JPI

Rob, talks about landing the role of Ben and being a recast, and in an emotional moment, reveals how he credits the opportunity to the late producer, Lisa de Cazotte. Wilson also shares his hopes for his Salem alter-ego who is struggling to move on with his life after the supposed death of his wife, Ciara.

The actor also opens up on if DAYS decided to recast the role of Ciara, since Victoria Konefal is not presently with the NBC soap full-time, how he would feel about it and thus the future of Cin.

Photo: JPI

Both Cady and Rob first appeared together in Prospect Park’s online revival of All My Children. In this interview, they discuss how they had high hopes for the continuation of the series, how it ultimately fizzled, and what it was like to be a part of the then, groundbreaking first, for a daytime drama series along with One Life to Live.

Photo: TOLN

In addition, Cady gives the viewer insight on how she runs lines for both DAYS and GH at home with her real-life husband, Jon Lindstrom (Kevin and Ryan, GH), while Rob talks about his recent storyline where Ben was kidnapped and tortured by a vengeful Eve (Kassie DePavia) and much more.

Check out the full chat with Cady and Rob below. Then weigh-in: How would you feel if there was a Ciara recast? What are your hopes for the holidays for Jennifer? What did you think of the stories shared by Cady and Rob in the interview? Comment below, and if you have not done so already make sure to “subscribe” to the Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interviews.

Continue Reading

Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Weighs-In On Daytime’s Wildest Storyline, The Hope Mannequin & What’s Really Going On With Thomas

If you think you’ve seen it all on daytime soap operas, think again! Over the past several weeks viewers of CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful have been witness to fashion designer Thomas Forrester’s (Matthew Atkinson) descent into madness, or is it?

In B&B’s thriller-esque storyline, complete with tight close-ups and tilted angles of Thomas and his co-star, the Hope Mannequin – yup, you read that right, the series is taking the audience on one wild ride, something we have not seen the likes of since back in the hey day of the late head writer, James Reilly, during his tenure on Days of our Lives or Passions.

Photo: JPI

Inspired by, believe it or not, true life events, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell and his creative team have served up a story generated off all of the buzz the show was receiving for using mannequins as scene partners for the actors in intimate moments to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.  B&B was the first American show back in production amid the pandemic.

 

Within this twisted tale, Thomas has the life-like version of Hope Logan Spencer (Annika Noelle) at home with him.  Those who have stumbled upon him with the mannequin, well, he has been able to explain that away by saying that having the doll with him is helping him create some of the best designs of his career.

The problem is the mannequin is talking to Thomas, it’s eyes have often turned devil-red, and on Friday’s episode it walked!  It’s objective is to get Thomas to kill Liam (Scott Clifton) and to get Hope back to be his one and only. Throughout many of the scenes in the storyline, Thomas suffers from what appears to be severe headaches.  All of this leading the audience to believe either … he has a brain tumor … he is being drugged … he is suffering from a severe mental break and disorder, or something else.

Photo: JPI

In a very candid and often humorous conversation with Michael Fairman for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Thomas’ portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, discusses some of the craziest scenes to shoot thus far including Thomas having dinner with the mannequin!  In addition, Atkinson reveals how he and Annika Noelle tape the scenes where she is the voice of the Hope mannequin while adhering to safety protocols,  and how Liam is the only one, apparently, thinking something is off with Thomas, and so much more.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

One thing is for certain, Matthew Atkinson is sinking his teeth into the material and making it must-see daytime drama through his performances while we all wait to see what the possessed mannequin does next.

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

Then let us know, what do you think is happening or wrong with Thomas? Are you getting a kick out of the Hope Mannequin storyline? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

 

 

Continue Reading

Interviews

Eric Nelsen Talks Latest Film, Becoming a Tony-Nominated Producer, ‘The Bay’, and His Elizabeth Gillies & Ariana Grande Connection

You can catch All My Children reboot alum, Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler), just about everywhere this month, and that’s hard to do given that we are all living in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this Daytime Emmy-winning actor has his hands in a myriad of projects of late including: appearing on season six of The Bay (new episodes every Tuesday on Popstar! TV) where he continues to play Daniel’s journey after the character has come to terms with his sexuality and finds love, plus his comedic turn in the film, 1 Night in San Diego, and recently becoming a Tony-nominated producer along with his wife Sainty for the critically-acclaimed, and now 11 times nominated Broadway play, The Inheritance.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Eric to get the lowdown on his busy professional life, and we were in for some surprises along the way including: what the producers of AMC had in mind for the character of AJ that ultimately did not happen, and that Eric starred on Broadway with Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon, Dynasty) and Pop superstar, Ariana Grande – and there’s more to that story below.

 

What makes Nelsen so good at what he does on-screen is that he is a like a chameleon; adept at playing the quirky, to the troubled bad boys, to the emotional heart-tugging anti-hero. So here’s what Eric had to say in this fascinating conversation.

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

Your latest film appearance in 1 Night in San Diego is out this week on multiple streaming on-demand platforms from: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and more. Tell me about the movie and when did you film this?

ERIC:  We filmed it near San Diego, not this past February, but last February, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a female-driven comedy.  The cast is incredible.  Alexandra Daddario, who is just epic, and Jenna Ushkowitz, and Laura Ashley Samuels, they truly bring it in this powerhouse comedy, and it’s just one of those make-you -laugh movies from beginning to end, just silly, stupid stuff happening the whole time.  General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin) is also in the film.  While we don’t work in scenes together, I did get a chance to meet him and he’s a really great guy.  I play this off-the-wall character, named Gordo, who is a real burn-out, think Matthew McConaughey meets space cadet, which was a lot of fun to play.  Gordo is a great role.  I had more fun with this part than I’ve had in a long time.  So, it was cool to throw a comedy into all of the drama I have been playing in my other projects.

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

ERIC:  One of the girls knew him back in the day, so they were in town looking to reconnect, and she’s like, “Oh, we want to party and let’s hit up Gordo,” and they do.  He has just gone completely off the rails, off the deep end with spirituality and kind of in his own world. They find themselves in quite a predicament when they come visit what they didn’t know was a commune, basically.  Gordo creates this hippie commune for a bunch of outcast musicians, (laughs) and I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of interesting stuff happens there.

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

In addition, you are now a Tony-nominated producer for the play The Inheritance!

ERIC: That was crazy, because it’s always been a dream of mine to produce for Broadway.  That was how I got into the world of film and TV acting, which was through the theatre.  That’s where I started.  I was lucky enough to star on Broadway when I was 16 and 17, in a musical called, 13.  I started with Ariana Grande! It was so fun.

Wait, what?

ERIC:  Yeah, that was her first big show, and Elizabeth Gillies’.

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

ERIC:  Oh yeah, and you know she and I dated for two and a half years during the whole run of the show 13.  Elizabeth is very talented.   She is amazing.  The funny part of it is, we were dating forever, and kind of had a bad breakup, and then Sainty, my wife, gets cast in her show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in the pilot to play Liz’s best friend on the series.  So, all of the sudden, I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, out of all the shows, all of the things, this is who you have to get cast as best friends with?” and so they actually became really, really, close friends.  So, I’d actually come home from work or filming, and Liz would be on my couch sitting there giggling with Sainty.  I’m like, “This is just becoming too much.  This is a full-circle moment here.  I can’t deal.” (Laughs)

Now, you and Elizabeth are broken up at this point?

ERIC:  Yes.  We had been broken up at this point.  Sainty and I were actually together.  I started dating Sainty in New York and the pilot she was shooting was in New York, and she gets cast as Liz’s best friend, and I was like, “Oh, of course.”

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

ERIC:  Yes, so dying.  Dying.   You know, it’s just one of those things that in a million years, you would never expect this to happen, and of course, Sainty and her had to become best friends in real life because they’re both great girls, and naturally, they would be friends, but now, I’m like this guy stuck in the middle who can’t believe what’s happening, and thought that was one chapter, and this is a different chapter, and now the chapters are combining.  It’s kind of a comedy act.

Photo: JPI

Since Ariana Grande was on Broadway with you and Liz, what was she like back then before her meteoric rise to fame?

ERIC:  Ariana was literally the sweetest, most innocent, and cutest – like my little sister.   To me, it was like, Liz and I were dating, and Ari was kind of like the little sister.  All of a sudden the show ended. Ariana got a Nickelodeon show, and after that, she became the most famous person in the world and was like this sex icon, and I couldn’t get over it.   She’s always had that talent with her voice and in 13 she was an ensemble member.  She wasn’t even one of the leads, but her voice was so incredible, even then as a young teenager.  I thought she was going to go on to have this great Broadway career as an actress and do musicals her whole life just because of her voice.  Then, all of the sudden, right after the musical, we all auditioned for the same Nickelodeon show.  I ended up going to the finals for the boyfriend role, Liz got the girlfriend role, and Ari got the funny friend on the show role.  That kind of catapulted them into the TV world, and Ari got a spinoff because of her character on that show for another Nickelodeon show, called Sam and Cat, and then after Sam and Cat, she went from this innocent, sweet, little Nickelodeon girl that I knew to being the biggest star.  It was unbelievable to me.

Photo: Broadway World

So, you started on Broadway as a teenager, and you found you always wanted to produce for the Great White Way? 

ERIC:  Yes, I did the Broadway thing, and then I got into film and TV, and then I got into film and TV producing.  As an actor, there are a lot of ups, a lot of downs.  So, in between the ups, I wanted to fill my time, so I got into producing, and I loved it.  I loved creating.  As an actor, we just show up, and everything is already done.  All we have to do is say our lines.  We get pampered, and we go home, but I wanted to know how it got to that point, like what happens before that.  So, I started producing film and found some success doing that, and it was so much fun for me.  Sainty’s and my first love, and what feels like home, is theatre.  So, I wanted to take it full circle and produce a Broadway show.  I just thought that would be such an incredible moment, and so that’s what I did.  I started emailing all of the Broadway producers who I had worked with as an actor, letting them know what I had been doing, kind of the success I had gotten from producing The Bay and some of these other things. Different shows came across my desk that I didn’t quite bite the bullet on, a couple of which I wish I would have, Dear Evan Hansen being one of them.  I would have been so rich by now!  (Laughs)

I just want to clarify for people who might not know, the word “producer” can mean different things.  There are “producers” who are putting money in … they’re backing projects or shows.  There are other people who are “producers” on the creative side of projects.  So, when you’re talking about producing a Broadway show, it is as an investor?

ERIC:  So for theatre, unless you’re the head producer who kind of gets creative control, every other producer listed in the credits is basically helping raise finances and is also very heavily involved in the process of everything else along the way, which is also what makes it special.  So finally, The Inheritance came across our desk, and it checked every single box.  It was just an epic play.  It’s a two-part play, and it’s just hours and hours and hours long.  You see it in multiple days or in multiple shows.  I remember reading the script and not stopping until I finished.  I was like, “This is amazing,” and it had just come off of a huge commercial successful run in London.  It won the Olivier Award for “Best New Play” and just about every other award you could win, and so I was like, “This is the one.  This is incredible.  I love the piece, love the message, and pulled the trigger,” and I would have done it all over again if we could.

Photo: Broadway World

The Inheritance is a generational piece centering on gay men during the AIDS crisis.  What can you say about it to those who don’t know about it, or have not seen it yet?

ERIC:  It takes place in the past, and then it fasts forward to the future.  You see two generations of gay men in New York City, and it’s all about the AIDS crisis, and so you’re bawling crying, and then you’re laughing throughout it.  It’s just one of those epic plays that pulls at every single emotion and you feel like you’re watching a movie.

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s definitely its own thing.  It’s actually an adaptation of Howard’s End, the novel by Forster, definitely different from Angels in America, but the two-part show is kind of what I was meaning by that.  People have said it is kind of our generation’s Angel’s in America in tone and subject matter.  It was just a dream come true, and like all other theatre that was open during our season, it had to close because of the pandemic, and it will have life after Broadway.  We are already slated for the Geffen Playhouse in LA, so I’m very excited for all of my LA friends and the public to get to see it.

Courtesy/ENelsen

And you get nominated in the year that the coronavirus pandemic shut down live theatre! But it is my understanding we still do not have a date for handing out this year’s Tony Awards.

ERIC:  No, we do not.  They finally announced that they were going to announce nominations, and for a while we didn’t even know that they were going to do that.  We received 11 nominations, which is incredible.  We were so excited.  I truly thought the American Theatre Wing and the Tony committee were not going to do the Tonys at all, and so we were just like, “I can’t believe the one year we pull the trigger on the show, this isn’t going to happen for us,” but then thank God, they came to their senses.  There were plenty of shows that opened and needed to be recognized.

How long was it open on Broadway?

ERIC:  We were open from September 2019 through February or March.  So, as long as your submission was open on Broadway before Covid-19 and had at least all of its previews and an opening night before Covid-19 hit, then you could qualify, and then in the play category, there were like 10 plays that had opened last year that were contenders.  So, that was definitely the hardest category.   It will be interesting to see what happens after all of this.  The only good thing I know that is going to come from this is the amount of creatives who have had so much time sitting at home to create and write, that there will be so many new scripts and plays and musicals that are going to come from this.  I think it’s’ going to be the biggest boom that we’ve probably ever seen in theatre, just because there’s been so much time to develop stuff.  At the same time, it’s piggybacking on the darkest time that theatre has ever seen.

Throughout the pandemic, I always stream all of the Broadway Actor’s Fund events.  It’s really sad.  It’s just a difficult time, those in the arts are struggling and especially in the live theatre and also musicians who can’t tour or play gigs in front of an audience. I know they said Broadway is closed through May 31, 2021.

ERIC:  It is really hard.  I’m happy that we are able to find other ways like streaming shows.  I’m actually producing a big benefit for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS that will be airing on World AIDS Day, December 1st.  It’s a show called Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.  The cast we have is everybody from Nathan Lane, to Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons.  It’s insane.  It will be streaming online on the Broadway HD network.  It is a huge list of Broadway stars and a lot of movie and TV stars as well that are participating.  We’ve got people from all over the map.

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

ERIC:  (Laughs)  Ari is not in it, actually!

Photo: Prospect Park

So, in this week’s latest episode of The Bay, your character of Daniel Garrett makes his final choice for love between Caleb (Mike Manning) and Matthew (Randy Wayne).  When you came to the show, did you know that this part was going to wind-up being a gay character?

ERIC:  No, I did not.  I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay.  The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me.  Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison, our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York. They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything.  It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, “100% completely.”  I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, “Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.”  At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ.  So, I was like, “Yes.  I will be all over it.  Absolutely.”  So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show.  Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially.  It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.

Photo: LANYEntertainment

So for those who may not know let’s do a re-set.  Where is the character of Daniel at? It seems like he is at crossroads, and is making some important decisions, or trying to.

ERIC:  So Daniel was a wild party boy in the beginning, just head in the clouds, lives life with thinking there’s no repercussions and just doing what you want to do all of the time, and that got him into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Then, we realize why Daniel has been the way he is, and why he acts out, and why he has been so all over the place, and it’s because he hasn’t been able to come to terms with who he is.  Then, he admits it to himself and for the first time to somebody else – who happens to be his priest in a catholic church, ironically –  that he is gay and this is what he has been battling with.  For the first time (and I don’t know where on television it has depicted it this way), but the catholic priest looks at Daniel, and he’s like, “What’s your sin?  You haven’t sinned.  This is perfectly fine.”  So, I love that Gregori made that the outlet for which Daniel was able to basically come to terms with who he was, because he grew up in the church, and so he was always told that it was wrong.  Obviously, it’s not wrong, or obviously the church needs to change their mindset, but on The Bay, he chose that to be the outlet through which he came out, which I thought was really powerful.  Through that, Daniel experimented with other boys and such to figure out where he wanted to land, and then in this newest season, I can’t say much that gives anything away, but for the first time, we really see Daniel’s growth, and he’s making decisions, and the most mature we’ve ever seen him, and it’s been really cool to see that come full circle.  He’s making commitments to himself.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

ERIC:  Obviously, that’s who it works with,  Caleb is a teacher and a great guy.

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

ERIC:  He is… he’s just not the great guy for him.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

This season of The Bay is heavily steeped with social issues of our time.  Covid-19 has come to Bay City and the Black Lives Matter movement also plays prominently.

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s kind of the beginning of the pandemic in The Bay and within all of the intense drama that Daniel has been having, he is still, for all intent and purposes the comedic relief of the show, and so there is a funny scene where I’m carrying like 28,000 rolls of toilet paper like, “Come on, guys.  We’ve got to stock up!”  We all remember those days, don’t we?

Photo: JPI

How do you feel about this season of the show and your work in it? You’ve previously won a Daytime Emmy for your performances on The Bay.

ERIC:  This season is more cemented in a character that has truly grounded himself.  So, the first Emmy I won was for a storyline of coming out and uncertainty and struggle and pain, whereas this season Daniel knows what he wants and is going for it.  There is much more passion and love in this season for Daniel, as opposed to struggle and heartache.

The cast and crew of The Bay all went away and quarantined at this ranch this past summer to get the new season completed.  What was that like?

ERIC:  We were actually in Santa Barbara, and filmed on this epic ranch up there.  It’s like this 500-acre ranch that we all quarantined on.  We had to do the testing, and temperatures three times a day, and the whole thing.  So, it was really structured, tough to pull off, but we were all so grateful that we were able to do this.  Luckily, we had this incredible kind of bubble of a ranch to live and work on while we were shooting.  They were really good about block shooting it all, so we’d kind of shoot one person’s character, then the next, so we wouldn’t have to ever be leaving the ranch before we were done.

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

ERIC:  Oh, it’s amazing.  I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying by because of it.  We just had Molly’s first birthday on October 1st, and I feel like yesterday she was born.  I sound like my parents when I say this, but it’s like the time keeps getting faster, but it’s so true.  She’s awesome.  We play Broadway musical soundtracks to her all day, and she sings.  She sits at the piano with me when I play, and she kind of plunks notes out next to me.  She loves music, and we’ve introduced it to her from day one.  We always joke that she won’t be able to watch any of daddy’s stuff until she’s 18 probably, but Sainty is a voice-over actress.  She has done parts for animated films and TV shows such as Trolls, and Barbie, and Boss Baby, so everything from the first part of my daughter’s life is all going to be Mommy’s stuff, and then, in the later part of life she can start watching Daddy’s stuff.

Right, she can’t watch anything that you do!  (Laughs) So, basically forget that!

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

Check out the trailer for 1 Night in San Diego below.  Then share your thoughts on Eric’s current role on The Bay, if you hope he wins a Tony to go with his Daytime Emmy, the six degrees of separation between him, Elizabeth Gillies and his wife, and that the All My Children reboot considered making the character of AJ Chandler gay via the comment section below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

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

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

William deVry as Julian

General Hospital

Airdate: 11-20-2020

Advertisement

Popular