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The Don Diamont, Scott Clifton and Darin Brooks Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Courtesy/CBS

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas/NBC

On The Bold and the Beautiful, the Spencer family continues to expand with the emergence of never-before-seen, or heard of, Wyatt Fuller (Darin Brooks)!  As it turns out, Wyatt just happens to be the biological son of Bill Spencer (Don Diamont) and Quinn Fuller (Rena Sofer) whom apparently Bill thought was never born, after giving Quinn money to have an abortion many years ago.  When handsome and seemingly good guy, Wyatt finds out all this new Intel, his whole world is turned upside down … his father is the rich and ruthless Bill Spencer, and his mother was never supposed to give birth to him!

Elsewhere, Bill’s other son Liam (Scott Clifton) who many times has made his father cringe with his less-than-Spencer-like indecision and “antics” is trying to woo back Hope Logan (Kim Matula) after dumping her for Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) quite a few times! But there is only one problem this time … it ain’t going to be so easy!  Wyatt has his eyes set on Hope, too!  And he has made it quite clear to his newly found brother that he will win the affections of Hope, leaving Liam the odd man out!  And through all of this, Bill is seeing that Wyatt, while seemingly inheriting some of the more macho, determined, aggressive, and even cutthroat side of himself, still wonders: can he even trust the guy?

On-Air On-Soaps sat down in this exclusive interview, where for the first time actors Don Diamont, and Daytime Emmy winners Scott Clifton, and Darin Brooks, chatted together about the complex relationships between these three Spencer men, and where it’s all headed!  Plus, Darin and Scott weigh-in on the fan response to who should ultimately be the guy to sweep Hope off her feet?  Clearly, Wyatt has a head start, because he is the new guy in town, but can Hope ignore her deep history with Liam?  Don Diamont cautions: don’t count Liam out just yet!  We found Don, Scott, and Darin to be witty, charming, at times incorrigible, and extremely intelligent when talking about their roles. We would expect nothing less from the men who play the Spencer clan!

MICHAEL:

What did you think Don, when you found out Bill had another son that would show up on B&B?

DON:

Courtesy/CBS

Till I found out who it was going to be I thought it was great!  (Laughs)  When I first heard about it, I said, “Really? A grown son is just going to pop up?”  And actually, it is really true to Bill’s history.  I don’t think he was discriminate.   There are probably more Spencer men and women running around!  (Laughs)  So, I can complete buy into that a son could show up in this guy’s life.  I don’t even think that it is particularly “soapy”.   That is the reality of youth misspent, or something like that! (Laughs)  In terms of the story, it works great.

MICHAEL:

So it wasn’t in your contract Don, that you couldn’t have a son over 20? (Laughs)

DON:

No, no!  The more Spencers the better, and I thought it was great.  I also thought it was wonderful for Scott to have a new conflict on the series.

MICHAEL:

And when you found out it was Darin Brooks who got the role … what did you think?  Did you know who Darin was?

DON:

Courtesy/CBS

Honestly, I did not know who Darin was, but Scott had read with Darin, and told me that of all the actors he was the one that made the most interesting choices with the material.

MICHAEL:

Scott, why were Darin’s choices so good during the audition process?

SCOTT:

There were four guys that came in to do a chemistry read with me.  The scene is after Liam is basically in his underwear and has a confrontation with his dad.  It was the one I submitted for the Daytime Emmys this year.  They took that scene and re-wrote a lot of stuff in it, and instead of it being a scene between father and son; they made it between brother and brother.  But it was with similar lines like, “You’re a Spencer.  Be a man, Liam!”  That kind of a thing.  The other three guys who tested were being macho and being very charismatic.  But, Darin was the only one, who even though he was telling me off in this scene; it looked like it killed him to do it.  It looks like it hurt him to do it.  In all of Darin’s choices, there was love, and that to me meant so much more.  If we are going to do this thing and have some longevity, there needs to be at the core of this love, and Darin was the one who brought that.  So after all four actors auditioned, our executive producer Brad Bell asked me which one I thought was the best. And I said, “Darin”.  Obviously, Wyatt and Liam are in this conflicted storyline right now, but what is important about that, I believe, is this exact storyline won’t be going on a year from now.   Maybe Wyatt and Liam will still hate each other, but you still have that basis, and that connection, that makes it interesting.  As long as you have those layers, the relationship can sustain whatever mountains, or valleys it goes through.  It just makes it more interesting to watch.  Darin was the only one who played it with the potential for that kind of longevity.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Wyatt seemed like a nice guy when he initially aired, and then he finds out Bill is his bio-father and at first he is shocked, and then he is really pissed!  Was that the turning point for the character?

DARIN:

When Wyatt found out about that he has a father, everything sort of came crashing down on him at that moment.  He has been told all these lies, and it can really put your mind in a tailspin, and then you find out you have a brother, and all these families’ members, and this hidden life that has been kept from you.   So he is angry, and he wants to know why? Then he finds out that Bill had given Quinn money for the abortion, and that hurts, too.  Wyatt is the type of guy who goes after what he feels, and he doesn’t care!  I think that is the similarity we wanted to bring with Wyatt and Bill.  There is that “bad boy-ness” but there is something about it that people are left wondering and guessing, and being a loose cannon, and all those sorts of things.  It keeps people guessing what is he going to do next?  During that storyline, all these emotions were running through Wyatt.  He did not know what do to, so he is lashing out.  I loved that scene where Bill and Liam come in and go, “We are going to go with you and go camping!”  And Wyatt is like, “What? Why are you?  This is ridiculous.”

MICHAEL:

Is Wyatt methodically working against his father, Bill?

DARIN:

I think ultimately, these shows are about love in some way and different relationships we have with a father, brother, mother, stepmother, stepbrother, nephew … everyone is sorted of related in a way.  But it’s always going to be about love and power, and the family being hurt by one another.  That is what the basis of soap opera is in general.  Wyatt has always wanted love from his father, and he feels after all this lost time, he wants to prove himself and be loved.  He has always wanted a love from a brother, but he finds it fun competition for him right now in trying to get the girl!  So it’s kind of power and love at the same time.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

SCOTT:

I don’t mean to imply that right now in the storyline Liam and Wyatt love each other, they don’t. But, they will.  You have to assume that at some point they will.

DON:

You have to separate the biological relationship from the emotional relationship.  This guy shows up and you go, “Hey, I’m your brother.”  That does not create any feeling of love at all.  It’s just a person who happens to be biologically “my brother”.   They are just two people getting to know each other, but there is no connection there, certainly at this point.

MICHAEL:

Bill has had a real problem, and been very disappointed in Liam that he was not more in his own image.  He is always reprimanding him about the way he handles things so un-Spencer like!

SCOTT:

And he still is!

DON:

I will argue that that while it was frustrating for Bill, a major part of that was Bill’s issue, not Liam’s.   At the time when Liam stood up for what Liam believed in, Bill was really proud of him.  When Bill can step back and realize that those are the moments that are important in our relationship, and he realizes that is not the way I would have handled that situation, but proud of Liam still the same, that works well.  In fact, Bill has even said that on the air shows.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

But in regards to Wyatt, does Bill see him more like himself?

DON:

Bill absolutely does see where he shares more of his personality in Wyatt than Liam, at least on the surface.  They are more obvious with Bill and Wyatt.  But I think, Liam shares some traits too, but they are just different.  Liam’s moral compass is different, but he will still stand up for what he believes in, as well.  Wyatt is more like Bill in that his scruples will come into question.  He might not necessarily be thinking he is doing something that’s wrong, but by how society sees things it may be deemed as wrong.  But while initially Bill thought, “Hey, look at this kid, he’s great!  Built in my own image!” Bill also realizes that may not be such a good thing.  We might not be too much alike.  There’s only room for one Spencer, and that’s me! (Laughs)  Liam is Bill’s conscience, and Katie’s been Bill conscience. Those people that feed into the other side of Bill tend to get into trouble.  Bill has those moments where he is lucid and has that awareness.  But it’s a constant battle that goes on: “This is who I have been for 45 or more years, and this has worked for me. And that is why I am who I am.”  Yet at times, being that way does not work for Bill, and often times Liam makes him see that.  Katie will make Bill see that, too.  But he’s always easily drawn back into what makes Bill … Bill!

SCOTT:

To that point, in the grand scheme of things, Wyatt is still brand new.  We have so much to still learn about him.  Wyatt and Bill have not even had a good chance to flesh out their relationship. There are plenty of times to discover what are the littler things that they do disagree on, and where do they butt heads, and where their differences really lie as it pertains to the real world around them.  When Liam started on the show, he was not a completely fleshed out character, so we have a lot more to learn about Wyatt and what kind of Spencer he really is.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

What did you think of the recent scenes where Wyatt has a major declaration to Liam that he is going after Hope!  As he says, “Game on, brother!” (Laughs)

DARIN:

I think he is really going for Hope.  I think for him it’s the fun challenge, and for Wyatt he is going to test the boundaries, and see if Liam is a worthy adversary.  It’s competition between brothers, and it’s fun.

MICHAEL:

Is Wyatt going to be under-handed to get Hope permanently away from Liam?

DARIN:

Maybe, who knows?  (Laughs)

SCOTT:

Everyone has their own sense of morality.  Bill is consistent with his principles.  People may see Liam as weak and pathetic, but he has principles.  Wyatt also has principles, and he will not violate them … for example, when Wyatt said to Liam, “I do”, and, “When I hear Hope say those words that is a line I won’t cross.”

DON:

I thought that was great in that scene between the two of them, that Wyatt made that statement.  It’s fair game till then.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

When Wyatt said that, it made him a bit more redeemable, and if Wyatt hadn’t said that, he would just be an all out jerk!!  And out of that, Liam will become quite defensive from all accounts?

SCOTT:

Right, and out of that you will see Liam being backed into a corner, and seeing him behave in ways you may not have seen him behave before, necessarily.  I think you are going to see Liam start to spiral a little bit.  Personally, I would like to see Liam genuinely lose for the first time, and see what that does to him.

MICHAEL:

Do you think they are crafting a story so the audience does not know which brother to root for in the race for Hope’s heart?

DARIN:

I think that is sort of the goal.  That is what makes it even more exciting for the audience to watch, that they agree with some of Wyatt’s principles and some of Liam’s principles, where it’s not just black or white, but everybody’s gray.  When everybody is gray, it can be very relatable to audience members, as opposed to the character always being one thing.  It’s good to have that balance of who to root for … and, who not to root for!  That is what is fun about a triangle. To make a good soap opera triangle you have to have that.   I think it is written great for that.

MICHAEL:

What are B&B fans saying about your characters on Twitter?

DARIN:

People are saying nice things about me, and the people that are saying bad things about me don’t put my name on it.  I see things when people don’t like Wyatt.

SCOTT:

Photo Credit: Art Streiber

People have no problem telling me they hate Liam.  In fact, just the other night someone mentioned me on Twitter and said, “Liam is such a pathetic character, and the actor who plays him should be ashamed.”

DON:

You got my tweet? (Laughs)

SCOTT:

I am so stupid!  I get caught up in this stuff and I tweeted back, “It takes a strong actor to play a weak character.”

DON:

I want to kill you right now! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Don, you are not on Twitter!  Why not?

DON:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

I don’t tweet, or go on facebook.  I have zero interest in doing that.  Heather Tom (Katie) would go on Twitter and see what is being said, and sometimes it would really bother her.  Why do that to yourself?  Just do your job and follow your instincts.

SCOTT:

For those of us who do keep a finger on the pulse of the Twitterverse, (laughs) what I am noticing, and this is important, fans are overwhelming favoring the Wyatt character.  I think that tells us where to go with the storyline.  Me, as a viewer, I want to see Wyatt and Hope’s relationship go somewhere.  I want to see, for the first time, Liam looses everything.  Liam has always been about, “Oh, which girl?”  I hope that this triangle resolves with Wyatt triumphant, and Liam hitting rock bottom.

DON:

It’s not surprising that the audience is overwhelming in favor of Wyatt at the moment, because Liam was in the catbird seat for three years waffling between two women.  So of course, this guy comes along and he wants to make Hope the sole focus of his world, and calling Liam out on his behavior.  Of course, the audience is going to side for now with Wyatt.

SCOTT:

Yes, and the gift there, and the opportunity that is there storyline-wise, is (and this is me selfishly thinking of my character) what does Liam take away from this?  How does it change Liam, and how does he grow from this?

DON:

Well, he will screw it up! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

What does Kim Matula (Hope) think of all this?  Having two guys vying for her affections?  Do you think she likes the way the story is being told?

DARIN:

I can’t speak for her, but I think she is having fun.

DON:

She is in the eye of these gentlemen’s affection.  She is the one being pursued.

SCOTT:

I don’t presume to speak for Kim, but I can tell you from my conversations with Kim, just as it’s hard for me to play Liam fighting so hard for something he has clearly blown a long time ago, it’s challenging for Kim to play as if these two guys are equally desirable. Here you have Wyatt, who has a clean record and adores her.  The one issue Hope has ever had with Liam is that she had to share him.  Wyatt completely compensates for that. So I think it’s hard for Kim to play really torn between these two.

DON:

In what way?  You think she would go right to Wyatt because he presents the best scenario for her?

SCOTT:

I think so!

DON:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

I would argue that he is the flavor of the moment, and he is giving her all his attention, you betcha.  But, can she trust that?  And given her history with Liam, it’s, “Can I trust this?”  Liam was like that too, and then he wasn’t like that.  Hope has emotional history with Liam.  This with Wyatt is all skyrockets, and it’s new, and it’s making her have that little tingle inside, but she has got real history with Liam.  I don’t think it’s just, “OK I am going to dump Liam and go with this guy whose clean cut, because he is telling me everything I want to hear.”  Now, this is just my opinion. (Laughs)

SCOTT:

Well, that would be cool, but they are not writing that.  It’s true what Don says, when you have been in a relationship for so long, and as poisoned and tainted that relationship may be, that history can pull you back, because of the comfort of it.  If anything, that is what Liam has over Wyatt … that familiarity.  But, what the Hope character is playing right now is, “Huh … do I have to choose between somebody who reliably hurts me?  Or, take a gamble with this new guy, who seems to adore me and nobody else?”

MICHAEL:

Does Wyatt really adore Hope … or is there a bit of revenge to it in gaining her undying love?

DARIN:

I would say it’s legitimate.  The one thing I try to do with Wyatt is that when he is with Hope you see Wyatt for who he is, but then when you see him with other people who pissed him off, or crossed him a little bit, then you see he might be playing them.  So far it’s been good with Hope and his mom.  Those are the two people where you have seen him be genuine.

MICHAEL:

What if Wyatt slept with Katie?  That would be a great twist in the story!

DON:

It could happen!  You never know?

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

I think it would be hot, sexy, and create plenty of drama for the Spencer men.  I’m not a betting man, but I am feeling strongly that could happen somewhere down the line.

DARIN:

That would make for an interesting family dynamic.

DON:

There is some history for something like that on this show, isn’t there?  (Laughs)

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SteamySteffyfan
SteamySteffyfan

Loved the interview. Hoping down the track their will be love between Spencer brothers it would be great. Darin I think your awesome I haven’t seen anything negative about your character I think your a great addition to the cast have always been a fan since your Max Brady role on DAYS. Scott love you to bits no matter what
Liam is doing I think your an amazing exceptional actor and you have great talent and I think you should stop worrying about responding to negative people and respond more to people like me you is one of your biggest Aussie fans and communicate with me and others that love you and support your character Liam. Please if you do not want to follow back I understand but responding more frequently to your fans that love you including would be really nice I would be happy with once every couple of weeks LOL Love and support to the Spencer XOXO

4everDAYS
4everDAYS

He made a mistake by not going back to Days of our Lives.
B&B is almost as bad as YawneR.

judith
judith

Well, his B&B character seems more interesting than his Dool one so actually, it seems he did good moving on to Dool..after few years away from Dool anyway..Max Brady was too much a goodie goodie..not really interesting to watch and TO PLAY and Darin seems to also think that..

DawnElicia
DawnElicia

Good Interview. I want to say Yuck no to Katie and Wyatt sleeping together. That’s Brooke’s job. It pains me as a Brooke fan to say that.

I do love Hope and Wyatt together. I hope that Hope does choose Wyatt and Liam to come out the loser. He needs to realize what its like and be alone for a while.

judith
judith

Katie is not really better than Brooke..the Brooke is ‘evil’ all pain, disasters, global world crashing is her fault..IS GETTING SERIOUSLY OLD !

Patt
Patt

I love my Spencer Men!

Nancy
Nancy

I really like the character of Wyatt and I hope the writers continue in the direction they are going with the Wyatt and Hope story. I’m one of those viewers who has ceased caring for the character of Liam. I applaud B&B for writing such a heartwrenching story with the loss of Liam and Steffy’s baby. It’s one of the few storylines that was written with so much realism that women were able to connect with it and feel the pain of both Steffy and Liam. This is a real pain that many viewers of B&B have faced in their everyday lives. When B&B chose to move Liam back to Hope – as soon as the baby was lost and a grieving Steffy ran away – and pretend as if Liam was tricked into marriage by Steffy and it was a “bad situation” that he was trying to rapidly erase from his life, I, and many of my friends were turned off by the character. As the Hope and Liam story progressed, it became even more obvious that Liam had simply lied to Steffy about so many things. Liam has shown more emotion over Wyatt flirting with Hope than he showed over the loss of he and Steffy’s baby. One crying session with Bill does not seal the deal for viewers when we have to see Liam moan and groan day after day about Wyatt and Hope. In addition to this, how does a guy with such wonderful moral compass, simply ‘not care’ about his grieving, depressed wife who he supposedly loved. I think it’s every woman’s worst nightmare to lose a baby and have one’s husband/partner treat her as Liam treated Steffy. This is the PRIMARY reason both Hope and Steffy fans are turned off by Liam. This speaks to the “character” of the man we’re suppose to love on our screens. Yes, Liam pretended to care about Steffy while he told Hope to wait on him while he found out why Steffy left. Then he skipped back to town, told Hope he got his answer and Steffy wanted him to have children and a family. Steffy had put Liam’s interest before hers and Liam happily accepted and never looked back with even concern about Steffy’s depressed state. I think Scott Clifton is an amazing actor. Up until the point that I thought Liam and Steffy finally grew up, I laughed at Liam’s waffling. Then I stopped laughing at Liam and really grew to like his character. Now, I feel as if I was duped. I look at Liam as a Liar. There is nothing truthful about him other than the truth he need to tell on the given day to further his desires. Liam does NOT have a moral compass. I like both Hope and Steffy. My issue with Liam is the way he treats women. It’s not romantic nor endearing. I want to see Wyatt protect Hope from Liam. And I hope Steffy returns to the show… Read more »

SteamySteffyfan
SteamySteffyfan

I totally agree the writing for Liam’s character has been horrendenous and even go as far as saying stupid after Steffy lost the baby after all the beautiful memories they shared even if Jacqueline was taking a break that didn’t have to be written that way, Scott and Jacqueline have amazing chemistry on screen as a couple and I am hoping that when Jacqueline returns which she said she would that Brad Bell and the writers do a better job at writing for these two exceptional actors, Jacqueline will always be my favourite she is amazing and a have a very high respect for Scott must not be easy playing Liam but he is exceptional with the bad material written and I think it is unfair that some fans say negative comments about Scott because of what is happening with Liam. I hope JMW is coming back soon and her storyline is a steam reunion because her and Scott on screen as Liam and Steffy are magic, its the writers who need to do a better job with storylines. Love both Jacqueline and Scott.

Kay
Kay

Thank you Nancy, I read ur comment and I totally agree with u. I use to love Liam but now no thanks the way he treated Steffy was just plain wrong (and hope). Liam should lose everything the same way Steffy did. Just so he can know how it feels. I am hoping that Steffy will return with a man that truly lives her (and only her) and that she’s. Pregnant. And I’m hoping that Hope wakes up and goes for Wyatt and they have a baby. Liam can hurt the same way he’s made both Steffy an Hope hurt maybe then Liam will grow up and be a real man.

judith
judith

Most of the time the one at the middle of a soap triangle (even on prime time shows actually) is maybe the one pursued on screen but he/she is the one receiving more backlash from fans..Even more when it is not a full-on black/white story with the big bad villain as the interloper..in this case the villain receive the backlash and at the end automatically lose or lose AND is killed off (just see the Michael/Lauren story with Carmine being killed off on Y&R such a waste and total awful cliche storytelling..puke). So yep Liam is the one who is the most screwed up at the end of the day..because he was on the middle for years now..not really fair but it is what it is..

kathy
kathy

I think liam is doing hope a great favor by trying to keep her away from those
two nut jobs Quinn and wyatt

Sophie
Sophie

As if Brooke would even bother with Wyatt. She didn’t go after Liam or Oliver, did she?

Anyway, great interview. I LOVE how SC is realizing that there is nothing much to Liam and LOPE anymore. Why can’t Bell see that?

k/kay
k/kay

Brooke had wall sex with Oliver thinking he was Ridge. Another one of Brad Bells crappy stories.

Ashley
Ashley

I wanted BB to give Hope her own love story and I love the Hope/Wyatt story. I do not care if Wyatt is a naughty guy. With Hope he is genuine in his love. I only care that Wyatt genuinely loves Hope.

I’m an EX Liam and Hope fan who cried for Steffy when Liam reminded her that she had been pregnant. I wanted to hug Steffy. Liam and Hope ended for me in the Spring when Steffy/Liam got married and were having a baby. I did not like how Hope kept chasing Liam. I thought Liam had made his choice and it was time for Hope to move on.

I thought the summer story was supposed to be about Liam using Hope to forget about Steffy and Hope kicking Liam’s User Self to the curb. I do not buy some great love with Hope/Liam. I wanted Hope to realize that it was over for she and Liam and choose to move on with Wyatt. I do not like that it has taken so long. But, Hope is waking up.

Nothing is real about Liam. And he is not the type of guy any woman would want to be with. If Liam could not be real about wanting Steffy/Baby, I am to believe he is real about Hope?

I do not think Hope owes Steffy anything because why should Hope when Steffy’s man does not care about Steffy. But, I also do not want a man for Hope who could be relieved about his baby being lost and his wife running away. Let us be real, no one watching BB now thinks Liam wanted to marry Steffy or wanted the baby. Liam played Steffy. I do not want a player for Hope.

Wyatt is the opposite of Liam and I am so happy that Hope got Wyatt. Darin Brooks is rocking Wyatt. Wyatt is REAL with Hope.

judith
judith

Wyatt is just coming on the show..give him time..he will be worse than Liam i bet lol..and he will make less years to achieve that..of course i don’t write this show but it is almost in the cards..come on..For now Liam is the scapegoat because his waffle writing and wait for what is coming for new shiny toy Wyatt..lol

Nancy
Nancy

I have been watching the love triangle with Liam/Hope/Steffy for so long. It really became old. I wanted Liam and Hope together, but now I do not want Liam to win Hope back. Liam is a weak character at this point of the show, too much waffling between women. I know this is a Soap, but how can you go from loving one to another so fast. He needs to grow up and loose for awhile. I think when Steffy returns will definitely influence all the Spencer men. I think Liam and Steffy will eventually be together, they did have good chemistry together. Liam was himself and I think Steffy truly loved him. Hope would be a fool to take Liam again after all he has put her through. Please let someone on this show be happy and in love for keeps. (Hope & Wyatt). As for Brooke and Bill, that is just plain wrong. She needs a new man on the show to go for. I would like for Bill and Katie to eventually get back together . I also like Eric and Quinn. She could become the new patriarch of the show .

judith
judith

I LOVE Brooke and Bill. Brooke doesn’t need AGAIN a new man, on the other hand Katie needs one ! That being said, from what Don seemed to subtly imply in this interview Bill and Katie will reunite pretty soon..which is a TOTAL SHAME to me..This reunion will make Katie a TOTAL PATHETIC doormat..Bill well i don’t know..it will be like he kind of settle because it is the ‘moral’ and ‘right thing to do’ and being kind of a choice by from made from pity..LAME and again we will have a Bill is straighted out by nice and moral Katie..ugh..a storyline who has been done TO DEATH BORINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.
Moreover DD has far more chemistry with KLL than HT..A Brooke/Bill coupling could have made this soap once again exiting with people against them and them as two alpha players scheming and ruling business deals..instead we will have Bill and Katie reunite and all this sunshine and rainbow and then what ? Ah yeah right a Katie whining about every Bill’s moves and THAT IS ALL, how new and riveting..really..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Cubsfan3
Cubsfan3

I think that Liam has to be alone for the character to grow. I think it will be amazing for SC as an actor. I loved Hope and Liam and to me they were the couple before being interfered with.

I think perhaps it’s best for Liam to be put with a NEW female character down the road.

I find no amazing chemistry with Leffy – at all. Steffy being “cool” with whatever Liam did – does not a great couple make. If Steffy came home and Liam went right to her – that defeats the growth for the Liam character.

Liam being alone and being able to grow is the best thing. Hope moving on is the best thing and then whatever happens – happens.

judith
judith

And then you will have Wyatt ‘suddenly’ being interested in someone else whereas he is with Hope and once again the same story but with Wyatt instead of Liam in the middle of a young love triangle..just watch..lol

Mimi
Mimi

Liam and Steffi need to be back together and happy. I think if Bill found out the real reason she left Liam, he would move mountains to find her the best medical care. Her situation is not irreversible, no matter what the small town doctors might think. Of course, there is always IVF! I can’t believe that never came up as an option from the doctors. As for Hope, I have never thought she was a good choice for Liam. She is not mature enough and, while the writers have been trying so hard to make her seem more mature lately, I don’t know whether it is KM’s lack of acting skills or the writer’s writing of the character’s character (sic), but it is not working. Hope still comes off as someone repeating lines that are being fed to her. There is also a lot of dependence on the “angel” shot…the cute girl shot…the almost adult. Even with Wyatt, she doesn’t work for me. Everyone thinks Wyatt is genuinely in love with her, but let’s be real, he hardly knows her. I think Wyatt is more wily than we think and is trying to make a name for himself wherever and however he can.

Bill and Brooke are a train wreck. Even Don, as great an actor as he is, is not convincing when he says he is in love with Brooke. His ego is bruised but what he really wants is Katie and when he is with her, he is superb. I don’t know what can be done for Brooke in terms of a redeemable (or not) storyline. I think the writers need to just accept the fact that Brooke is the “w…..” of the valley and let her play that out with gusto. Let her stand up to her rep and I think we will all respect her more than this one tear rolling act she puts on. Let her own up to rivalry against Katie and let Katie continue to kick a_ _!

4everDAYS
4everDAYS

Were you a fan of MiMi on Days of our Lives?

judith
judith

On my screen Bill seems TO NOT GIVE A DAMN about Katie and i buy totally his lust (yep) but also connection with Brooke. We don’t seem to watch the same show..and DD seemed pretty cool with his new pairing with Brooke in recent interview..however from this new interview he seems to know that Brad Bell will make his character reunite with Katie..talking all about Bill’s connection with Katie and how she is his sounding board who can make him do ‘the fight thing’ lmao..this reunion will be totally lame..but sadly it is in the cards..it will be a bore and a waste of Bill character or even the Katie character( pathetic pathetic doormat Katie..who could have kick ass and get her self-esteem back, like you say, by MOVING ON and finding a new guy..sigh).

judith
judith

‘the RIGHT thing’ my bad..(this expression is so corny and dumb..lollolololololo)

knighthawk
knighthawk

Great interview with the Spencer men!

The Liam and Hope pairing is what brought me back around to Bold after taking a break for a bit. I loved that sweet couple and hated the way the story was written with Steffy and Bill interfering and more than that, I started to dislike Liam for being so weak and unable to stay away from Steffy. It started to get better, and the writing was always ambiguous enough to believe as a viewer that Hope was Liam’s true love.

But the pregnancy and second marriage to Steffy made it impossible to root for Liam, and his reaction to the Italy manipulations was the ultimate disappointment. Wyatt is the beneficiary of the way Steffy destroyed Liam. It is easy to want Wyatt and Hope to have a romance, and easy to wish some karma to come to Liam. But in the end, I sincerely hope that Liam and Hope find their way back to each other. For me, they have replaced Brooke and Ridge as the “destiny” couple that I will always want to see together.

I love the character of Hope, but Steffy wasn’t a character I loved to hate, she was a character that made me dislike the show. I don’t miss her and hope they don’t bring her back. It wasn’t fun to watch, I didn’t look forward to the show like I do now, and I didn’t care if I missed an episode.

I hope that Liam loses Hope, and in doing so, realizes just how wrong he’s been, and how much destruction Steffy brought to his life. Only then will the character be redeemed. As long as he keeps saying he doesn’t regret his time with Steffy, I can’t root for the guy, no matter how much I like Scott Clifton.

Kim Matula is so likable that she just has fun chemistry with anyone they pair her with. I’m loving her banter and flirtation with Wyatt, and I think Darin Brooks is a fantastic addition to the show. The scene when Liam punched Wyatt was just great, and the three actors played it perfectly!

Now if Brooke can soften Bill’s edges and make him stop disliking Hope, that would be great! Keep up the good work, Bold and Beautiful has never been better!

Kay
Kay

I too was a BIG fan of steam and in a way I still am but still don’t like how Liam done the whole loss of Steffy & baby scenes. I am a STEFFY fan Big fan of JMW and I am praying she will return to the show soon. As for Brooke & Bill that’s just SICK anyway u look at it. When it comes to the scenes of Brooke & Bill I want to throw up. Brooke needs to be alone or with a new different man that’s NOT MARRIED or have a woman.. loving the HOTT scenes Wyatt & Hope hope they get togeather and stay happy.

Miette
Miette

Do what I do, Kay. Whenever Brooke & Bill are on screen together, especially if they are in bed together, I pick up my Blackberry and start playing solitaire on it. Definitely MUCH more interesting than watching Brill together!!! And I don’t become nauseus either.

darnlarry
darnlarry

i am very disappointed that hope has forgiven liam after the hell he put her through over steffy. he claim to be in love with hope and yet his indecisiveness simply proove his not ready for a commitment to anyone. hope needs to move on to someone like wyatt who can love and cherish only her. and as far as muturity she is more mature than steffy and liam has ever been. Brook and bill should both be condemed to hell!

Susie
Susie

Liam s ruined, and i can’t see him being redeemed. I started watching the show again after years away when Hope came on. I loved her with Liam but the day Liam put Hopes ring on steffy’s finger ended my love for Lope.
I now want Hope with Wyatt, I want them to both be happy, I don’t care if Wyatt is the bad guy, I’m more interested that he loves Hope and only Hope.
Liam will never change, if steffy comes back(which I don’t believe she will) Liam will start waffling again.

knighthawk
knighthawk

The only way I’d accept Steffy’s return is if she found some cure for her condition in Europe and came back to reunite with Liam, particularly if Hope is with Wyatt, and Liam says no thanks, Steffy…like he should have done the day he slipped that still warm ring on her finger.

Sharleen
Sharleen

I agree with what you said about hoping that when Steffy returns with Quinn who I can’t stand that Liam finally says no to Steffy as he should have long ago. I stopped watching for a long time because every time Liam and Hope were finally going to get together it was ruined. I turned it on for just one day when Ridge was suppose to come back and in just one day I could see that Quinn is a busy body who wants to make sure her son wins Hope. It’s like Quinn has taken Bill’s place in that department. Steffy just learned she is able to conceive and Quinn is busy talking her into coming back to stop Liam and Hope’s wedding yet again. I am not watching because I already know how it will turn out. Bell for whatever reason doesn’t want Liam and Hope together. I know I’m in the minority, but don’t care for Wyatt or his mother, and since the B&B continues to be the same old same old I’m not bothering to waste my time. I have moved on to Days and GH. No triangles.

AJ
AJ

After 2 years of getting into Bnb (was ABC transplant), I quit watching BnB, the Friday that Steffy had the motorcycle accident. I unliked the fan pages and moved on. Ran across this article and see that you are still attempting to fight the good fight for better storylines and character development. Waste of time, they never listen!

After learning that Jacqueline Woods was leaving, I guess they had to end the relationship, but this storyline like we said in the old days was “tore up from the floor up.” Nothing can replace that chemistry.

Alas, BnB only does and can only do triangles; they are extremely lazy about developing storylines and characters.

4everDAYS
4everDAYS

Do yourself a favor, watch Days of our Lives.

k/kay
k/kay

AJ I went into the bathroom with Taylor on July 3rd and never been back. Don Diamont has been all over with interviews trying to sell Brooke and Bill I guess Brad Bell cuts his steak for him before he eats it too.

judith
judith

It is pretty clear that Brad Bell is planning a Bill and Katie reunion..therefore DD has to sell once again Bill and Katie..just see..he did not even mention Brooke in this interview and while talking about Liam he add several times Katie and her connection to Bill..so so obvious..which is lame..imho..but well i bet it is already filming..Let’s hope now the show will not be once again a BORE, Bill and Katie pairing is not great soap opera, nope nope nope Brad Bell…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

jenette
jenette

i love wyatt and hope togather they are good used to love hope and liam but i am changeing my mind get your women wyatt

bc
bc

It’s the new eric and ridge and thorne w/ the same storylines abt fighting for women and fighting for a company and fighting for whatever stupid and tired storyline. Same old from the day sudsers and same old from the night sudsers too. Seldom any racial diversity from day and night sudsers. Buh bye to this backwards genre of sudsers.

jaybird369
jaybird369

At this point, Liam is such a MORONIC TOOL!!!!! Hey, here’s an idea/solution: Put Liam and that whiny-ass ice princess Caroline together as a so-called couple. PROBLEM SOLVED!!!!!

judith
judith

They are related..i know B&B is kind of incestuous and known for that but still..too much is TOO MUCH..They will probably hire a new gal for Liam..while the new shiny couple Hope and Wyatt will enjoy their romance for FIVE SECONDS and then Wyatt will show his interest for someone else and Hope will talk and whine and rant about her destiny but this time not with Liam (old news) but Wyatt ! lol

arnease
arnease

I never liked the fact that Liam’s character had not backbone or mind of his own. Whatever Bill wanted he did and forgave him. For a while I left B&B. Now that they have decided to put Brooke and Bill together I must say goodbye because this story line offends my moral senses. I can’t imagine anyone in real life wanting to see their sister with their husband or ex. It just doesn’t fly.

judith
judith

‘moral sense’ you are joking right ?
Soap operas are MADE of drama like cheating, romance between sister’s husband, brother’s wife ect…Ah, yes there are also some little ‘things’ like murders, attempted murders, drugging,coming back from the death, evil twins, baby-switch, rape ect..i guess all these soap opera staples don’t ‘offend your moral senses’ ? Right ? RIDICULOUS.
Brooke is certainly NOT the only one soap character banging the EX-husband of her sibling..actually MOST of soap characters did or DO IT !

jaybird369
jaybird369

Judith…I totally agree!!!!! And, on soaps, let’s not forget the following: multiple marriages, all kinds of REVENGE, murder trials, rape trials and NON-STOP love triangles. Back in the day, remember when B & B’s Ridge, um, volleyed back and forth between BOTH Brooke and Taylor? Over the years, Ridge ping-ponged the ball to death (or whatever) in going back and forth from Brooke to Taylor over and over again…LOL!!!!! And, if Bill and Brooke do get married, their, um, marriage probably won’t last all that long. After all, it’s a S-O-A-P!!!!! Period.

Becky
Becky

What are you doing by putting Bill with Katie sister hasn’t she slept with enough of the man on B&B. let Liam and Hope be happy let them get married whatever you do don’t let her go to Wyatt.

Pam
Pam

Liam has no clue who and what Hope needs and he’s been with her for 3 years. I think it’s time for Wyatt to take over and show Hope what a devoted man who loves only her is like. Liam never seems to get it. He always finds a way to hurt Hope and will continue hurting her because his feelings are divided between two women and has no ability to feel and understand anything until it’s too late. He’s too insensitive to be serious with anyone and his marriages never last more than 5 minutes so why bother if he’ll be divorced in a few months. He left his wife in Paris broken, and only started obsessing about marrying Hope when Wyatt came around and had him cornered. Liam doesn’t know how to love and Hope has been through enough.

It’s interesting how Wyatt observes Hopes every move, feelings, wants and emotions. He takes it all in and can even know what she wants or needs without her saying anything. Like when he removed her ring for her and his comments about the video being disrespectful. He seems to understand her in such a short period of time, unlike Liam. I think the two characters can build a great relationship that can be deeper than Liam and Hope. Hope has never had a guy in her life that hasn’t made her feel unloved, not enough or disrespected. I think Wyatt can change that for her which will allow her to open up more and heal. I hope she doesn’t torture herself and add another year of pain and Steffy drama with the waffler. Wyatt is too sweet to get go.

Betty Dean
Betty Dean

No Joshua and H;ope if I wanted someone I would know all the right things to say to them to specially especially when they are complaining to me all the time about it I would know exactly what to say to.hope and Liam together and go from there get rid of Josh

Donna
Donna

I feel like a lot of peeps watching this show & I have watched since almost the beginning am tired of the Brook Logan show..I don’t really think she is all that anymore..I have heard that she is on the writing team & she wanted to work with Don Diamont so there you have it…Whatever Brook wants Baby Bell gives…It’s not fair & that is why the ratings have tanked in this show..Lets face it Heather is the one who won the emmy cause she has the acting chops besides not having to sleep with every Tom, Dick & Harry on the show..Believe me, this is not just my opinion either…

Betty Dean
Betty Dean

The Bold and the Beautiful, I’m with the rest to you I am tied of Brook Logan she has played out.please find another Star role. Put Hope and Eing together get rid of the new guy Joshua. Bring Ridge back,don’t matter who and put him with somebody else. please get red of Bill Spencer. He played out years ago on the Young and the Restless.

Luv wyatt
Luv wyatt

Lol at someone saying
Ratings tanked! The show is doing so much better now that Steffy and her psycho mo
Are gone.

Steffy winning all the time, with all her lies was ruining the show. Liam is ruined after the second wedding.

It was smart to fire Steffy and Taylor. They were to evil and hated.

Plus, they both were strangely obsessed with Logans.

KKL is awesome!! Brooke is the best.

Barbara
Barbara

I haven’t taken to the character of Wyatt. I find his acting a little over the top. He seems to mug for the camera to me. Also, I like Hope with Liam better. I find myself looking away sometimes when he is on,. Also, the character is like his mother – dishonest & capable of doing whatever is to his advantage, or what they think is to his advantage.

General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin’s Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

After all his bravado, machinations and lies to keep the woman he loves, and believing he was the rightful heir to the Cassadine fortune, suddenly it all came crashing down for Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) on recent episodes of General Hospital.

Payback can be a bitch, but for Valentin; who’s past has been fraught with numerous physical and emotional tribulations since his childhood, he now finds himself at the lowest point in his life; losing Nina (Cynthia Watros) who’s now taken up with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), realizing he is the biological son of the evil Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and not Mikkos, and having all his best laid plans and misdeeds backfire.  (Remember, he shot and “killed” Nikolas, and set up the ruse that led Sasha to pretend she was Nina’s bio-daughter.)  Now, enter Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), who could very well hold the ticket, to Valentin’s rise to wealth and power all over again.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with James Patrick Stuart to get the lowdown on: those heavy and emotional scenes opposite Constance Towers, working with Cynthia Watros as his newest Nina, if Valentin might really kill Jax the next time he thinks about it, and what about a potential relationship between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin?

Not many can play bad as good as James in this industry.  He does it so effortlessly and still brings out the humanity in the guy that has t-r-o-u-b-l-e written all over him.  Here’s what James had to share about all of Valentin’s recent dramatic moments, a tease of what’s to come, and much more.

Photo: JPI

Valentin’s world has imploded at the moment.  When did you initially find out that he was going to turn out to not be a true Cassadine heir?

JAMES:  Well, there were some clues dropped by Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) back when we did the gallery auction where Helena’s portrait went up in flames.  Frank looked at me and goes, “Hey, Jack Nicholson it up.  Have some fun!  You’re not going to be feeling pretty good for a while.”  (Laughs)  I’m like, “Oh … what are the plans?”  He pulled me aside and goes, “Yeah, you’re going to lose Nina, but you’re going to try to take over ELQ.  That’s when I started to go, “Wait a minute!  That sounds to me like Valentin’s losing his money.”  (Laughs)  With the character of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) coming back; it’s pretty great.  I think the writing was on the wall there.  I put it out on twitter the other day.  I said, “Look what they’ve done to my boy.”  Somebody chimed in, “They gave him a storyline!” (Laughs)

Who doesn’t love to see you, James Patrick Stuart, play tortured soul?  They audience loves to see you get the opportunity to go to those depths in your performances.

JAMES:  It’s been really interesting for me.  I’ve had a lifetime of playing bad guys because the line was always shorter. (Laughs)  Everybody wants to be Tom Cruise, but the Alan Rickman’s of it all, to me, were what was so interesting.  Early on, you play one dimensional kind of twisting of the mustache, tying a woman to the train tracks.  After a while, you start to watch the truly great actors.  They start to take you on a ride.  If you’re paying attention, you start to feel what it would be like to be that damaged, and that’s why you do it.  Then you start to see the vulnerability. To me, I thought, “This is a great time in my life because I’m ready to do that.” A lot of people say, “I don’t understand.  I feel like that makes no sense. because why would I root for a person who behaves like this?” and that to me, I feel is the greatest compliment of all.

So much happened recently to Valentin in one fell swoop; he overhears Nina telling Ava (Maura West) she kissed Jax, then he envisions shooting Jax and then he is drinking himself into oblivion and he gets a “visit” from Helena!  But … the scenes between Valentin and Helena really summed up the bitter truth for him, wouldn’t you say?

JAMES:  Yes.  In the “Helena” scenes, it all basically is revealed.  It all comes down in a moment where he “sees” her.  I think he realizes with the DNA test; he’s not the person he thought he was, but he certainly had no idea that he had her blood in his veins.  The truly tragic moment of the evening is when it dawns on him that he has a daughter with Helena’s blood in her veins.  Now, he would kill her a thousand times over in that moment.  He can’t do it.  He’s fighting phantoms.  That’s the bottom below the bottom, and things got worse than he ever thought they would get.

Courtesy/ABC

Does Valentin have any idea then, who his biological father could be?

JAMES:  I don’t think so.  I don’t believe so.  I know I don’t.  I think once he realizes that Helena is in fact the mother, I think he’d rather just go into oblivion.  I think at that point, he’s out of answers.  Enter Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) …which is wonderful because I think the world of Nancy, and she saves the day.   Alexis basically talks him out of hurting himself, telling him to count his blessings that he is not a Cassadine, etc, which was a really sweet moment.

I assume, when you have this kind of material to play, it must be exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?

JAMES:  I think that’s exactly right.  As an actor, I think you want to do this stuff.  Maura West and I compare notes all the time.  I think it can be kind of emotionally draining.  You do feel it, and I felt it when I had spent a lot of time with Nina and Valentin, and when the actresses changed, and we brought Cynthia Watros in.  I worked twice as hard to make sure that Cynthia’s landing was as easy as possible, and I really grew attached to the Nina and Valentin connection.  So, when Jax steps in, Cynthia’s love life means nothing to me, I don’t care about that, but Nina’s love life means a lot to me!  And it bums me out, and I don’t know that I’ll actually be watching any future love scenes between them as much as I love them both!  I have a deep attachment to the Valentin connection to Nina.  So, the lines get burred because we just play these characters so long.

Photo: JPI

What was it like sharing those tough scenes with Constance? No one can play icy, evil villainess like her … and yet in real life, she is such a gracious and kind-hearted woman.

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JAMES:  In real life, Constance is such a sweetheart, and she’s so grateful to be there.  She was so ready to work, and rehearse, and play, and find the stuff, and she was great.  I’d been in scenes with her before.  Last time, we didn’t really talk to each other.  I was with the hump.  I was being Valentin pre-surgery.  It was some sort of moment in a graveyard, but this time we actually got to interact with each other.

You look at Valentin, and he’s not had the greatest life.  Do you bring his entire back-story into your performance; such as when he was deformed with the hump and how he had to literally reconstruct his life both in the physical and in emotional ways for many years?

JAMES:  Absolutely.  It’s the brokenness that he’s making choices from.  He was never truly and authentic person to begin with which is why his love fell apart.  He’s always been faking.  He’s always been putting on a show.  That’s not sustainable in matters of the heart.  It was unbelievably easy for Jax to swoop in, because it was inevitable that things were going to fall apart.  Of course, that anger and that brokenness were what lead him to want to kill Jax.  There’s no question.  He was prepared to do that.  If you look in the eyes in the fantasy sequence in the shooting, he just wanted to watch him die.  He wanted to watch the light go out in Jax’s eyes.  He was so furious … and even more tragic is … that was all he could think of, and somehow, he realized in that moment that wouldn’t work, because he’d lose his daughter.

Photo: JPI

Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) just kind of busted up.  Do you think Anna and Valentin will hookup? There is a connection and a history between the two of them whenever they seem to be in proximity of one another.

JAMES:  Personally, I’m waiting for that.  I hope so!  There is a finesse and elegance to that woman, and not only that, there is an effortless to the connection between Valentin and Anna, if one can say that about one’s own coupling.  I love to look at it!  I think we go together like a wink and a smile.  I just find that chemistry really great.  I think that’s mostly Finola, though.  She can probably have chemistry with most anything.

Valentin was going to leave Port Charles with Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), after Nikolas revealed all and the fallout began.  Interestingly enough, it was Anna who came to Valentin’s side and tried to talk him down from fleeing with his daughter and showed such compassion for him!

JAMES:  Wasn’t that great?  She was the one who got him.  She was the one who was able to calm the beast.  There was no one else he would have listened to.  In the moment in the police station, after Charlotte had been kidnapped, and there is that moment where Anna has that bruise, I thought it was such a tender moment.  I just said, “If I kiss my finger and touch your wound?” and she’s like, “Do it.”  It was just this moment where we had been bitter rivals and enemies for so long, but he just adores her so much it’s undeniable that he sees her wounded and wants to make it better.  It’s floating out there waiting to be done.  I know that everybody knows it.  It’s just a matter of what the right away to go about in the writing would be.

Photo: JPI

So, you’ve worked opposite two acting dynamos in the role of Nina – Michelle Stafford and now, Cynthia Watros.  Was the transition difficult for you when Cynthia came to GH?

JAMES:  It wasn’t.  It was scary because Michelle Stafford wasn’t just one in a million, I mean, she is one of a kind.  The last thing in the world that I would ever want to consider doing myself was recast that actress.  So, my deal was (and I’ve said this to Cynthia) I said, “I have no control over this.  All I can do is make the landing as easy as possible for Cynthia.”  We did a lot of photoshoots together, and I had flowers waiting for her, and I did everything possible to make sure that she knew that she had a friend and that she had somebody that was going to make it as easy as possible.  It was rough because a lot of the trolls on social media were just awful to her… just brutal, and she goes, “I have thick skin.  I can take it,” and then a week later, she goes, “I’ve closed all my social media accounts!”  (Laughs)  It’s been fun to watch those guys turn around and go, “You have a really special person.”  That wedding stuff was just incredible!  She came so prepared and she knocked it out of the park.  Cynthia has been wonderful.  I love them both.  I love her the reddest, and I love Michelle the bluest, and together I love them the purplest.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s interesting that all the women in his life such as Anna and Nina, all have a soft-spot for Valentin; even though they don’t necessarily want to be with him.  These ladies are just drawn to this dysfunctional guy.

JAMES:  Don’t you think?  Is it that you want to help him, you want to fix him, you see the potential, you want to help him despite himself?  I think that’s what it is.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Valentin’s still going to try to win Nina back, or is that done? 

JAMES:  I don’t know.  I do know that the Valentin I know will never shake Nina, and when he loves, he loves forever.  He can be simultaneously in love with Anna whenever she’s near.  I don’t believe he ever truly got over Nina hearing his story and his brokenness and still loving him twice as hard.  Years ago, there was a moment where he said to her the stuff that he’s never said, and Michelle beautifully kissed my tears away and said, “You’re beautiful” to me.   I think in that moment his fate was sealed.  I think he knew that this was his woman forever.  So, I just don’t think that that goes away.  I think he will always carry a torch for Nina, for sure.

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Do you see Valentin becoming darker and darker now that he had found out he is Helena’s offspring?

JAMES:  Well, yes and no.  I remember watching these scenes and we’ve done a lot of this stuff, and you know how easy it is to sort of go, “Let’s go dark, let’s go dark, let’s go more dark,” and after a while, I go, “You know, maybe he does learn something.  Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all.”  Of course, more bad stuff will happen to him, and he will do more bad stuff, because that’s just who he is.  A leopard can’t change his spots, and those are his survival instincts, but there are some new colors, and it’s all a direct result of all of just these horrible things that have happened to him… mostly learning that he is part Helena and he can’t undo that.

Photo: JPI

We saw that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) called and then goes to see Valentin, because she wants to sell her shares of ELQ.  So, obviously he has the potential to become really rich here which is what would give him his power back.  How do you think that will go over with the rest of the Quartermaines? (Laughs)

JAMES:  (Laughs) A lot of the Quartermaine actors have been asking me that in the hallways of General Hospital!  Isn’t that interesting how he’ll just sort of switch families? (Laughs)

Of all the people, just as Valentin’s life is in the gutter and he is at his lowest, who should show up with a sort of lifeline, Nelle! How will he go about attempting to gain control of ELQ?

JAMES:  Valentin knows he has to get the majority shares to gain a control of the company, and he has to do it fast before people see that he’s doing it.  So, that’s where Michael E. Knight (Martin Gray) has been.  He’s gallivanting the states rapidly accumulating shares.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s been so fun seeing you and Michael Knight on-screen and on a daytime soap together again, as so many remember you as Tad Martin and Will Cortlandt on All My Children.  How has it been getting the chance to work with Michael?

JAMES:  My God, are you kidding me?  He taught me!  He’s the guy who taught me.  I didn’t know how to do this.  Nobody instinctively knows… this is a very unique art form.  It’s more Jazz than anything else, and he showed me how to do it!  Walt Willey (Ex-Jack, AMC) showed me how to do my hair, and Michael Knight taught me how to break down a script!  And, what’s so funny is he is still doing it.  In a scene on GH, when he threw in that line, “From now on, you pay in advance,” I just about fell on the floor!  I thought, “There he is!  That’s the Michael I’ve always known and loved.”

Photo: JPI

Who would have thought that you guys would get to share scenes like that again on soaps?  You just never know in this life who may be wind up back in your orbit.

JAMES:  It’s incredible.  That’s what we say all of the time… “Who would have thought?”  You could never plan something like this and that we’d still be doing it at this point.

Now with Lulu (Emme Rylan) learning that Valentin is not a Cassadine, and Nina apparently moving on to a relationship with Jax, what do you think it will mean for their relationship in raising their daughter, Charlotte?

JAMES:  I think in the short-term, Valentin’s shelved any ideas of getting her out of Charlotte’s life.  He’s sort of putting out the fires in his own personal life.  Charlotte needs a mother in her life, and he’s quite willing to share custody as they always have been.  She seems to be looking at this as an opportunity to paint him as an unfit father, and she wants full-time custody.  So, we’re back to that again.  It looks to me like Lulu is kicking Valentin while he’s down.

Photo: JPI

It was so nice to see you, and some of your GH co-stars such as: Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) show up for Y&R’s Eric Braeden’s (Victor Newman) 40th anniversary on set celebration at CBS.  It was quite the event; speakers galore, and so many from our industry and beyond in attendance.

JAMES:  It was pretty profound.  Eric has always been kind to me.  I only worked with him on one movie, a western, called The Man Who Came Back, and that was probably 12 years ago.  He has been so complimentary of me in interviews and in his book.  So, if he does that with me, I can only imagine how many dear, dear friendships he has.  So, the fact that everybody showed up like that from the president of CBS Entertainment to local councilmen, and that they were willing to do be there for 2 hours was really proof of how much they love him.  Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I don’t even think was working that day, came in for it and spoke at the event. There was so much respect shown for Eric and what he has meant to this medium.

Photo: JPI

Your album The Apple Tree was so well-received, and everyone always loves seeing you get the opportunity to sing on General Hospital as well.  Will you continue to put out more music in 2020?

JAMES:  Yeah, that’s the plan.  I have another one that I’m working on.  I have a bunch of songs.  I’m in no rush to get it out.  Unfortunately, I lost Glen Roven, who wrote the cello part for Book of Love, passed away right after the Nurses’ Ball where I played Book of Love, which is really heartbreaking, and then, Michael Sherwood, who helped me with a number of songs on the record passed away right after The Apple Tree came out.  So, I’m a little gun-shy.  But, I’m planning on having something out by December for Christmas.

In closing, what would you say the fans should look forward to in the weeks ahead from Valentin?

JAMES: Look forward to that moment where Valentin is so low that there’s nowhere to go but up!  The comeback is going to be one for the books.

So, what do you think of how Valentin’s life hit rock bottom?  Do you think he will ever win Nina back? Do you think he will takeover ELQ? Share your thoughts on James’ recent performances and his thoughts contained in this interview via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Wally Kurth Talks DAYS Dramatic Twists That Gave Justin a Heartbreaking Story, a New Romance, and Unforgettable Moments

If you have been watching recent episodes of Days of our Lives, soap opera vet, Wally Kurth has been turning out the performances of his daytime career.  In one of the most heartbreaking weeks we can remember, DAYS took us back to ‘Mother’s Day’ one year ago, prior to their time jump, to show us how Justin’s wife, Adrienne (Judi Evans) died following a car crash, it’s aftermath, and assorted other key plots for the characters of Salem.

For decades, Wally Kurth along with Daytime Emmy winner, Judi Evans created the on-screen love story of Justin and Adrienne on DAYS, and while they were off the canvas for quite some time, they remained one of the most popular duos in the history of the show.  Saying goodbye to one daytime love story opened the door for another, and now Kurth has been paired with another Daytine Emmy winner, Mary Beth Evans (Kayla).  The romance of Justin and Kayla is really going to be tested with the recent return of Stephen Nichols who seems to have Steve’s body overtaken by the mind and soul of Stefano DiMera.   What will happen if, and when Steve, Kayla, and Justin enter into a romantic triangle?

But as daytime viewers know, Wally is not only recognizable for his role as DAYS Justin but that of General Hospital’s Ned Quartermaine.  Kurth has the distinction of being on two separate soaps (sometimes even airing on them at the same time), playing two different fan favorite roles.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Wally about: being handed the ball in the emotional storyline on DAYS that has had him acting his heart out alongside Chandler Massey (Will) and Freddie Smith (Sonny) that could just land him a Daytime Emmy nomination in just a few months.  Plus, giving us a glimpse of what is was like to tape all of those tear-filled scenes, his reaction to his latest romantic pairing, and having the gift of acting on two soaps at this stage of his career.  Here’s what Wally shared.

Photo: JPI

Let me just say; I’m all cried out watching your performances now.  I can’t cry anymore. (Laughs)  Did you watch everything back from the week-long flashback to Mother’s Day that changed the course of so many lives in Salem, and in particular, with the death of Adrienne?

WALLY:  Oh, yeah.  It was hard to watch.  It was interesting because the show must have been long as there were a couple of scenes that I was actually looking forward to seeing and they didn’t air.  One was on the Thursday episode and the other was on the Friday episode.  I remember seeing something about Matt Ashford (Jack) not having his scene air with Jack and Adrienne, and I wanted to tell him: “Hey, it was all around.”  It was probably just a little too much material to get it all in.

What do you remember doing that didn’t air?  Was Justin in even more tears?  (Laughs)

WALLY:  If you can believe it! (Laughs)  There was one scene with Sonny at her gurney that I really broke down.   There was a scene on Friday after Will leaves.  It’s a scene between Sonny and Justin talking about what Will had done that I thought was pretty intense, but that’s alright.  It’s part of the deal.  Shows run long and they’ve got to make decisions.  It’s all good.

Photo: JPI

What do you remember about the day you had to shoot those death scenes with Judi Evans?

WALLY:  It’s interesting.  I made a decision that I’m not going to go about those scenes with the normal method: thinking about something really, truly terrible in my life because first of all, I’ve never lost a woman I’ve been with for 30 years.  So, I decided just to use my imagination and use the words in the script, and just go there.  It was certainly a lot more fun.  I didn’t second-guess myself.  The words were beautifully written, and I just sort of played the scene; rather than try to regurgitate some kind of past memory and/or try to imagine one of my children dying or my wife dying.

You didn’t do “substitution”!

WALLY:  Yeah, I didn’t substitute.  I guess for people who don’t understand this kind of method in acting; you can substitute things in your real life, your personal life to help you feel something called upon to do in a script, and I’ve done that before.  I’ve done that a lot, actually.  I did that when I was first on the show with Judi.  But, on that day when Adrienne died, I didn’t.

Photos: NBC

It was so sad, and when they had the clip of a young Wally as Justin, meeting Adrienne for the first time, it was a sweet moment.  Justin sees her crying and is apparently smitten.  Did you see that flashback?  

WALLY:  It’s a famous one!  We got to talk about it, and the handkerchief in the scenes when she died.  I think in the scene that was cut, there was more about the handkerchief and that I gave her the handkerchief and that I needed a handkerchief now and Sonny gave me his handkerchief.  Years ago, I remember Al Rabin (Ex-director, DAYS) saying, “When you see her, she’s unlike anybody you’ve ever seen before.  That’s it,” and I went, “What?” and he said, “Yeah.  That’s it.”  So, I said, “Okay, she’s the one,” and I went in and just played that.  Like, “I don’t know who this woman is.  She’s crying on the bench.  She looks pretty miserable, but I’ll just try to talk to her” and that was Justin and Adrienne’s love story: coming in like a white knight and rescuing her.

You and Judi had worked together as Justin and Adrienne on and off for decades.  So, is there any sadness in saying goodbye to that on-screen relationship?

WALLY:  Yes, but in between it all we took like a 19-year break.  So, it’s not like John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena (Deidre Hall) who have been on continuously.  We fell back into that very comfortably.  It was 1987 when we were doing that scene at the park where she is crying.  Hello! That was 33 years ago!  And … oh, my God … the leather tie, the hair.  I had serious hair.  I remember that. (Laughs)

You had serious hair.  But … we all did!

WALLY:  It took longer just blowing my hair out than getting on make-up to hit the set.  I remember that little tweed jacket, and the black leather shoes.

Photo: JPI

What were we all thinking back then!? (Laughs)  It must have been hard for Judi on the day while you were grieving over her body?

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WALLY:  I remember Judi told me it was really hard for her, and I can understand it.  She’s such a good actress who really listens, so she’s always really affected.  We can be running lines in the makeup room, and if it’s an emotional scene, she can start crying.  So, she’s obviously really in touch with her emotions.  It was really hard for her to listen to Freddie, and me, and Matt and Mary Beth, and everyone tell her how much they’re going to miss Adrienne.  She was so good and professional.  She just kept her eyes closed all the way through the breaks.  She didn’t sit there and talk to us in between.  Probably, in her mind, she’s just trying to play dead.

She told me in the interview feature that I did for the DOOL app, that she intentionally didn’t want to see you and Freddie before those scenes.  

WALLY:  Yeah, that’s true.  I’m just thinking about that, and it really did help because we could just stay in that place and she never jumped up and went, “Hey!”   That’s just her professionalism.

Photo: JPI

When you originally found out that DAYS was going to kill-off Adrienne, and that they were going to do a time jump which paired Justin and Kayla, romantically, what was your reaction to all of that?  Was it like, “Oh, story for me!?” and/or did it make you feel bad about the character casualty in order to make that happen?

WALLY:  I guess, selfishly, you’re only thinking of yourself – when you’re selfish, and I did think like, “Wow.  That sounds like an amazing story,” and then I’m like, “Oh, well that sucks for Judi, and that’s going to be kind of crazy,” but then I also realized quickly (because I know Judi, and I know how much she loved playing Bonnie) that if they choose to bring her back, they could bring her back as Bonnie.  But yes, I thought about that as well, but mainly, I thought that this is something new.  As an actor and as an artist, you want a new challenge.  For Judi and me, we were just sort of playing the two greatest parents to Sonny.  Pretty much, that was our role.  We were happily married.  We hadn’t really had a story in about a year.  I mean, I’m mister lawyer in town.   At least for me, and it turns out, this has been an amazing story to play.  I have to say; never in a million years did I imagine Justin with Kayla.  So, it wasn’t like I was campaigning for it.

I know in daytime that sometimes actors campaign to be paired with certain actors on their respective soaps,

WALLY:  Yeah, so I think we were both surprised.  I worked with Mary Beth on General Hospital and of course, we are dear friends off set.  We thought that was probably going to be the hardest part, because we’ve been friends for so long, and it’s kind of nice that when you do a love story that you do have to kind of go there, and feel comfortable, and be excited, and it worked out.  I thought we both brought out qualities in our characters that really conveyed that a really good friendship morphed into a true love.  Justin and Kayla helped each other through this difficult, difficult time, and then…

… Then Stevano shows up in Salem!

WALLY:  Yup!   People fall in love.  That’s what happened, and then of course Stephen Nichols comes back, and all hell breaks loose.  I have to say, the audience is in for a really fun 6 months coming up.

Photo: JPI

What have you thought of Stephen Nichols portrayal as Stefano?

WALLY:  He has been amazing!   I told Stephen, and he appreciates it.   I don’t think anyone could do it as well as Stephen’s doing it.  I mean, when he blew up the other day in front of Anna (Leann Hunley), he sounded like Stefano.  He sounded like Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano)!  I think he’s done a really good job of pulling it off.  Only a really gifted actor could pull it off, and I believe it when he plays it.

You made a comment on Twitter to me about “the boys” (Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey), after I named the three of you Power Performance of the Week.  What can you say about Freddie in the scenes where he has to say goodbye to his mother, Adrienne, and then Chandler for his scenes with both Freddie and you in the aftermath, where he tells Sonny and Justin he was the responsible party that caused the crash that took Adrienne’s life?

WALLY:  Freddie went for it, and you have to.  He did, and I was so proud of him.   When Will tells Sonny that he was driving the car and he caused it, they were so in the moment.  They didn’t rush their emotions.  They took their time, and it was just totally believable, and not a false move, and then when I came in, it was just a really nice scene between the three of us, because I was checking in with Sonny, and then I was checking in with Will, and things took turn from there and it felt really solid.  I was very proud of it.

Courtesy/NBC

Then, when Justin tears into Will for the death of his wife, and Will goes, “I wish it would’ve been me.”  It was so intense; everyone was good in that scene.

WALLY:  I wanted to send out a tweet to everybody from that episode who were                       wonderful in it including: Stacy Haiduk (Kristen), Eric Martsolf (Brady), Paul Telfer (Paul), and Casey Moss (JJ)…

Oh, my Gosh, and then Casey was so heartbreaking learning of Haley’s (Thia Megia) death!

WALLY:  Good lord.  Three deaths in one day!

You’ve been on soap operas for a long time.   It was a lot to take in as the viewer, but it made for a riveting and can’t-miss week of episodes.

WALLY:  It was amazing that the show pulled it off.  It could have been really too much.  I thought that the production pulled it out.  It wasn’t too much.  That’s probably why scenes were cut, too.  It might have just been too much; all of that just grieving over dead bodies.

What is the reaction you’re seeing to all of this on social media?  The fans have been very favorable to the performances.  You’re in such an interesting position, because you’re on two soaps (DAYS and GH) and you’re able to have these two distinct and different characters to play. What’s that been like that you’ve been able to bounce back and forth for so long in your career from Salem to Port Charles, and back again?

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Wally Kurth Talks DAYS Dramatic Twists That Gave Justin a Heartbreaking Story, a New Romance, and Unforgettable Moments

WALLY:  I couldn’t have planned it, obviously.  It just worked out that way; having created both roles, one 33 years ago and one 29 years ago.  I’m sort of integral on General Hospital because I’m sort of the lone patriarchal Quartermaine, and they want to keep that family going. So, that has been really kind of cool that I can keep breathing air into that legacy, and they’re recently brought in Amanda Setton as Ned’s daughter, Brook Lynn, too.  Then of course, with Days of Our Lives, they brought me back on as an attorney in 2009, and that was really out of the blue.  I hadn’t been on the show in 19 years.  So, to get a call to come back and be an attorney in town was just great, and at the time, I needed a job.  I kind of have to say, I owe Ken Corday (executive producer, DAYS) twice in my lifetime. He hired me as an actor when honestly; I could really use a job.  My first job was Days of Our Lives, and I was driving around in a moped then.

Photo: JPI

Speaking of Amanda Setton (Ex-Kimberly, One Life to Live) how do you think she is doing with the part of GH’s Brook Lynn?

WALLY:  She’s great.  She’s experienced, and nowadays you really have to be experienced on soaps.  We go so fast.  Unfortunately, the newbies take some time and have to get on track, but it’s a world of one takes and we go so quickly.  It really helps to have an actor who has done it before and isn’t daunted by the speed.

Speaking of keeping the legacy of the Q’s going, the one and only Jane Elliot recently came back to GH to reprise her role of Tracy Quartermaine. What was it like having her back on set to work with?  

WALLY:  It was great!  I hope she’ll make some future returns.  She had a good time.  The show is really much better with her.  I was just thrilled.

Photo: JPI

You must be grateful that Justin and Ned are still alive and kicking!

WALLY:  I love working on Days, and I love the crew.  I love the cast.  Both casts and crews from both soaps are fantastic.  I feel like the luckiest actor in town.  I don’t complain, and I won’t complain.  It’s interesting, when I was an actor on one show, I would complain, and I hear other actors on shows complaining about one thing or another.  I just don’t have a right to complain.  On my days off, I used to be the guy who would look at my lines the day before.  I probably could still do that, but I don’t want to.  I like spending a heck of a lot of time with my scripts so that when I go in there, I really know it.  I have a lot of different ways to play with it, and I get to be creative with it, and I pick that.  I don’t take that for granted.  So, every day when I get to work, I’m excited to be there, and I put a lot into it.

Photo: JPI

So, do you think we can foreshadow you winning a Daytime Emmy this year, or next year, or both for the performances we have seen and those yet to come?

WALLY:  (Laughs) I feel like I’ve already won an Emmy by having two jobs.  Honestly, I’m having the time of my life.

Do you think the audience will see Justin grieving still for Adrienne? With the time jump, in theory, we missed a year of that part of the mourning process.

WALLY:  You will see it.  But yes, you’re right.  You don’t see Justin the first three months, or the week after, or the weeks after.  However, more comes up for him that I think  will be very satisfying to the audience.  I know it’s been very shocking to the audience to see where Justin is at.  Most of the complaints I get are like, “Really?  It’s been three months, and you’re already making out with Kayla?”  People were kind of offended by that.  By the way, my wife is also offended by that.  (Laughs)  She was like, “You’d better wait longer than three months!

Photo: JPI

Did your wife watch your scenes when Adrienne died?

WALLY:  Yes, she did.   She liked them.   But she would say something like, “It’s hard to see you crying over another woman.”  I know she doesn’t really enjoy me making out with another woman and saying how much I love her.  I don’t usually show her all of the really romantic stuff, but I thought she’d be okay with the death scenes, and she was, but I am sure it was kind of strange for her.  She is a lawyer, not an actor.

Since she’s a lawyer, does she ever give you legalese tips for when you have courtroom scenes on DAYS?

WALLY:  She does, and I’m usually like, “Is there anything I can cut here?” and she usually goes, “Honestly, no.  You’d better say it.  I think it’s honestly pretty well-written.  You’d better say it as written. It’s pretty accurate.”

Courtesy/NBC

The other moment I wanted to bring up to you that was like the “perfect scene” is when Justin visited Will in prison and told Will to not give up on life. I think that was such a beautiful scene and performance.  I hope that is in your Emmy submission.

WALLY:  Thank you.  I was very proud of that.  I appreciate that, Michael.  I know you watch a lot of these, and, it is in my Emmy submissionIt was beautifully written.  I think the writers have really handed me just some wonderful stories to tell, and wonderful dialogue, and I used every word of it, and I feel very blessed.  As actors … you can work your ass off, but you really do also need stories to sometimes shine, you know?  I thought the writers really gave me a lot of great material to work with.

Photo: JPI

If they keep giving you more material like this every week you’ll be named the Power Performance of the Week, and then everyone will think something corrupt is going down! (Laughs) 

WALLY: They’ll think I’m paying you off, Michael! (Laughs)

So, what have you thought of Wally’s performances? Were you surprised at the Justin and Kayla pairing? Were you shocked at Adrienne’s death and what went down? Comment below.

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Eastsiders

Van Hansis and Kit Williamson Talk The Final Season of ‘EastSiders’, Their Journey As Thom and Cal, & The Impact The Series Has Made

It captivated the LGBTQ audience, expanded from there, and was a passion project and labor of love for series creator, Kit Williamson (Cal) along with his husband and co-producer, John Halbach as they tirelessly brought the digital drama EastSiders to life.  Over 4 seasons (and 7 years in and of production) fans of the series were brought: riveting characters, real, witty, and intelligent writing, and beautiful performances that leave you either crying, laughing, or just plain in awe of their depth.

Williamson brought in As the World Turns favorite, Van Hansis (Ex-Luke, ATWT), from the beginning of the creation of EastSiders, to play his on-screen other half, Thom, and over four seasons we have seen Cal and Thom’s relationship grow apart, come together, have a very open sexual relationship, deal with addiction issues, and anxiety in the day and age we live in; while giving us a glimpse of a set of characters who all are struggling with something … or trying to love someone, or just trying to love themselves.

In four seasons, EastSiders went from a show on YouTube to now a popular series streaming on Netflix.  And as season four of the series was finally released back in December of last year, fans of the show were clamoring to know if Thom and Cal will have their happily ever after? Well, if you saw the emotional final episode, you kind of know the answer to that, or do we? But just when you thought EastSiders was a fait accompli, Williamson and company released a behind-the-scenes documentary of the season that is also a must-see! (Check it out below).  And this week, EastSiders scored nominations in the Queerties Awards for the Best in LGBTQ media and culture. Van Hansis scored a nod in the Digital Performance category along with EastSiders cast member, Stephen Guarino, and the series is nominated in the Digital Series category. You can vote for the Queerties now through February 21st here.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Van and Kit in a full circle moment for all of us.  We conducted the first interview these two talented gents ever did to publicize the series seven years ago, and we couldn’t let EastSiders go without one last look, one last goodbye, and to talk to the heart and soul of the story itself.  So here, we put a bow on it, and chat it up with Van and Kit in this very special EastSiders wrap-up.

Photo: EastSiders

So, 7 years ago, the three of us met at a coffee shop in West Hollywood, California and you had this little show called Eastsiders, and we do your first interview ever about the show.  Now, 7 years later it’s grown into what it has become.  What did you think of this whole journey from the beginning to the end?  Did you have any idea that EastSiders would take off like this, and did it exceed your hopes and dreams?

KIT:  Personally, I had no idea that the show could have this many lives.  I really just set out to make something cool and to put it on the internet.  At every stage of this, I wondered, “Is this it?” and it’s been wild to see how it’s grown.  As I’m thinking back on it, you are right! It was the very first interview that we did with the show … period.

VAN:  I was thinking the exact same thing.  It was!

Photo: EastSiders

When artists in any field create something, you never know how it’s going to be perceived by the public.  I think your perseverance and how you went about it was so smart that you garnered an audience worldwide.  So, what are your thoughts about how the series wrapped up with season four?  Because I had heard, Kit, that you extended the storylines.  Is that true that the season was longer than what you intended it to be?  

KIT:  So, we ended up having the penultimate episode be an hour long because I just kept writing new scenes for people and discovering things on set, and I think that kind of speaks to all of our desire to not say goodbye to the characters.  It’s a very long goodbye, you know?  Also, I can’t imagine getting to the second to last episode of a series that I was watching, and if I loved it, wanting the episodes to go by quicker.  So, it felt like something that I could tactically do at the end there.  Van, what about you?  I know in the behind-the-scenes documentary that we filmed, stuff like, not even knowing what a web series even was when we first started doing this, came up! (Laughs)

VAN:  Oh, yeah! (Laughs) When we started I was sent the script from an acting teacher.  I loved the script.  I knew I wanted to be a part of it no matter what. I had no idea what it would be.  To see what it’s become is amazing, and to be a part of what it’s become is amazing, and that is literally all mostly Kit.  He has done so much with this, and he’s put so much of himself into it.  I feel fortunate to see some of the behind the scenes stuff that sometimes you don’t get to see as an actor on a show.  We need more Kit Williamson’s in our lives, because it takes someone like that to make this happen and to make it go worldwide from literally YouTube.  So, as far as the ending …  I love where it ends off and where all of the characters sort of end up.

Photo: EastSiders

Kit, are you ready to do an EastSiders reboot?  Are we coming back to visit Thom and Cal 5 years later?

KIT:  I have said that I don’t know that I’m done with these characters yet.  Van and I have had conversations about that.  I think that the show is definitely finished is this format.  Trying to shoot and independently produce, 6 half-hour, ensemble events like this, and to do it right, and to keep growing and scaling it, is just not really sustainable, but it’s been a hell of a ride.  I’m glad that we went on it.  To speak to what Van was just talking about; I really think it’s just alchemy.  It’s a set of perfect circumstances coming together that we all met at the right times in our lives, and Van Hansis, in particular, is the spark that ignites the show.  I don’t think that the show would have had the success that it did if: we hadn’t had the chemistry that we had, and if Van’s fan base hadn’t gotten so excited about the show. To be able to kind of grow and create something that people are excited to see is really empowering.  Knowing that there is somebody out there who wants it, who is waiting for it, is gratifying.

Photo: EastSiders

Van, what did you think about Thom’s journey throughout season four?  The audience is like, “Please ask him already.  Pop the question,” and Thom is holding onto that ring!  Do you think he realized that he had what he wanted all along in Cal?  

VAN:  I think in the end he does, but I also think he doesn’t know where that journey is going to go.  Very much like … he knows that what he has is something golden and precious, but I think that he doesn’t know how to hold onto something like that.  Throughout the series, with Thom and Cal especially, they know that they love each other, but they don’t really know how to love each other in the best way.  I don’t know if that story is fully finished yet, but I think that they’re really very much on their way to figuring out what it means … and what it means especially to them.  I think especially as queer people, you don’t have a set of outliers that are given to you, especially, queer people our age.  I think the whole series has been not just about Thom and Cal, but every character in the show figuring out what is their relationship and to be able to create their own, and not give a care about what society thinks of them, which is really kind of fun.

KIT:  One of the most recurring themes of the show in terms of motif is cartography: drawing the map of the world together as a couple.  We had that Daniel Zaitchik song at the end of season 2, Map of the World, that also reprises this season.  There’s a lot of discussion of directions and destinations that I think is something I really wanted to get at because I think as queer people, we often don’t have the benefit of being able to just go down the road laid out for us by our parents.  We have to chart our own course.

Photo” EastSiders

I was watching all the comments on social media, and do you realize how many people said (including myself) that they were in tears and needed hankies at the ending of EastSiders? They just were a ball of mess at the conclusion of the show; which speaks to the investment we all had with the characters.  Did you see how people were so emotional and how they were reaching back to you? 

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Van Hansis and Kit Williamson Talk The Final Season of 'EastSiders', Their Journey As Thom and Cal, & The Impact The Series Has Made

KIT:  It’s been so cool.  I’ve gotten hundreds and hundreds of messages.

VAN:  Yes!  I also want to go back to Kit.  That’s his writing.  There are so many amazing shows that go out with a whimper.  I have followed so many shows that I absolutely love, and the final episode comes about, and I’m like, “Wait.  That’s it?  That’s what we get?”  Glen Weldon on Pop Culture Happy Hour, which is a podcast I follow, he talked about how well it stuck the landing.  Everybody gets a sense of an ending.  Most of them are happy, or all of them are happy actually, and for these characters, you’ve stuck around with them since we were on YouTube, and the audience deserves to see their favorite character have some sort of hope.

KIT:  Yeah!  I like to say happy with an asterisk.  An Eastsiders happy ending is a little different from a traditional happy ending.   They all have things that they still need to work through, but I didn’t want to leave any character in a sense of uncertainty.  I wanted to make sure that all of the loose ends of the story we’ve been telling the last 7 years were tied up.  I do think that there is definitely more story there, but I do think that’s life.  Everybody’s story continues past what you are allowed to see.

Was your final scene together that you taped the proposal in the club, or was this shot out of order?

KIT:  Van’s last scene was actually the scene with Richard (Bryan Batt) in episode 5, when they’re reflecting on everything.

VAN:  That’s a good last scene to film.  I had to come back last January to film just the material with him and with Traci Lords. So, no, our last scene together was not the proposal, it was the scene at the restaurant together towards the end,

KIT:  Yeah, the restaurant itself.  We did that out of order.  We had to shoot the bathroom scene where our characters have our big come to Jesus moment.

Those scenes were great.  Traci Lords was wonderful, by the way.

VAN:  Oh, she’s so good.  I love her.

KiT:  The scene that really gets me the most this season was Cal and his mother in the bed, and the discussion they had between them.

Photo: Eastsiders

When you watched back the ending with the proposal, what did you think?

VAN:  I thought it was great.  I posted something on Instagram like, “I get to be in a romcom!”

KIT:  It’s your Drew Barrymore moment!

VAN:  It was!  That’s what I wrote!  It’s my Drew Barrymore moment.  I’ve never gotten to do something that joyful.  Kit, I have a question for you.  Was some of that confetti in the final scene CGI or was all of that there?

KIT:  It was all there!

VAN:  Really!?  I don’t remember.  I was just so deep into your eyes that I don’t remember all of that confetti falling on my face.  It looks amazing.

KIT:  It was at the end of the night.   We only got one shot at that scene.  That was one take, and it ended up perfect.

Photo: EastSiders

 

In season four, you really expanded Jeremy’s role.  Matthew McKelligon was wonderful in the story you provided him.

KIT:  Yeah!  I really have tried with all of the characters to subvert expectations.  With Willam Belli (Douglas) and Stephen Guarino’s (Quincy) characters, their introduced as kind of the commedia clowns and then revealed to be the lovers, and with Matt’s character, he’s introduced as the “other woman”.  He’s literally called “Jezebel” all throughout the first season and then starting in season 2.  I think a lot of people were probably surprised that we are still following this character.  Jeremy doesn’t just disappear from the story when he stops sleeping with Cal and Thom.  I think to be able to follow his trajectory as he’s going on a radically different path than I think he even expected was really fun for me … and for Matt.

Photo: EaatSiders

Kit, a moment I recall on your social media posts, was when you said you’d just watched the sex scenes you were in and you were like, “I hope my mother doesn’t see this.”  Were you really embarrassed?

KIT:  Yeah, I did a reaction video when I watched it.   I will be honest.  You disassociate when you’re editing something because you’re looking at it as a frame-to-frame perspective, and then I had a little distance from it and watched it on Netflix for the first time, and that was the first time it really sunk in that I was like, “Oh, that’s a sex montage starring me.”

Van, when you were seeing the story of EastSiders progress through the years, and how Thom and Cal were sleeping around and with multiple partners, did you ever have a moment of, “What’s happening here?” Or, were you like, “Oh … cool!?”

VAN:  That started in the 2nd season, but I wasn’t like scandalized or anything by it.  What I love about the show, and what I love about the 4th season especially is that there are basically 4 narratives of gay male relationships, like queer all encompassing, but specifically looking at gay men.  Each one is different, and I think if you are in this community, I think you’ve seen these types of relationships, and you fall into one, or you don’t, or you fall between them.  So, I wasn’t like, “Oh, my God, you’re having a sex montage in the 2nd season,” no.  I’m not like some Victorian lady who is fainting on a chaise when someone is shirtless.  The thing that’s funny to me is that this isn’t shown more.

Photo: JPI

Van, you know from portraying Luke Snyder on As the World Turns, on a daytime soap, that as a gay character they often tap dance around so much in the writing!

VAN:  Yeah, I do.  I lived that, and that’s what honestly pisses me off.  That this program is afraid to show something.  It’s because they’ve probably done tests of what people are comfortable with, so it’s like, “Okay, we live in this society where people are uncomfortable with X and X and X and X,” and really, why?  People just need to live their lives.

Kit, do you have a favorite scene that you’ve written in this entire 7 years of the creative lifespan of EastSiders?

KIT:  I would say season 3 episode 5, the “What do you see when you look down?” conversation between me and Van as Cal and Thom.  To set the scene a little bit: it’s the culmination of days of talking on the road trip when you run out of frivolous things to say to each other and the real stuff comes out.  My character is asleep, and he wakes up to find that Thom is kind of drinking by himself in the camper, and they have this conversation to really get to the heart of what both of them are most afraid of, not just in their relationships, but in their lives. You sort of get to realize that this fear has been shaping their decisions from the very first season, that they have been leading with fear, and that is something that maybe they can work through as a couple, that they can maybe address together.  I think that moment for me is the moment that I knew that Thom and Cal were meant to be together.

Photo: EastSiders

That was the scene where you both were in tears inside the camper?

VAN:  Yep.  That scene is on my reel.  That is one of my favorite scenes that Kit has written also.  I would say for me, my favorite full-on episode is probably the first episode of season 3.  The bottle episode in Palm Springs.

KIT:  I love that episode, too.

VAN:  I think that what you do so beautifully is that it is just so funny and uplifting, but you do get those undercurrents of the reality in the relationship with Quincy and Douglas. I think that is where we see them go from sort of the clowns into the lovers, and I love the way that you put that.  We see them get a little bit more grounded.  So, that’s my favorite episode, but I love that scene in season 3, but I love so much from the series!  In season four, I love the scene with Jeremy’s foster daughter.  It’s not like a huge deep scene or anything, but the stuff that you brought out of that little girl … she is just incredible.

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KIT:  Scout was just so brilliant.  If she wants one, that kid has a career ahead of her.  I have every confidence that her family is supporting her in whatever she wants to do because they’re just incredible.

Kit, in EastSiders, you wore so many hats within it.  Would you ultimately want your next projects to just be acting in front of the camera, and not worrying about producing and writing it?  Did you like doing it all?  It’s a lot to take on.

KIT:  Yeah, they’re different itches to scratch.  I would like to have less responsibilities as a producer in terms of the day-to-day responsibilities and nuts and bolts of things.  I would love to never print a set of sides or stock ‘crafty’ ever again.  I would love to have those sorts of things taken off of my plate, but ultimately, my goal is to be a showrunner, and that means that I want the buck to stop with me.  I want to be the person who is ultimately responsible for not just the creative vision, but the execution of that vision from concepts to finished product.  But, I want to do all of it.  I find it really empowering to wear fewer hats.  I think a great career model that’s emerged for me in recent years is Phoebe Waller-Bridge.  I love everything that she does.  I love that she is creating shows that she’s not acting in, she’s acting in shows that she’s writing, she’s punching up the new Bond movie, and she is acting in projects that she has nothing to do with as a writer.

How do you feel the door had been opened for you because of the series?

KIT:  Oh man, I’m getting a lot of opportunities, and I’m really, really grateful for it.

In the LGBTQ community, what do the guys say to you, and how EastSiders has impacted them? Do they ever say, “Thom and Cal showed me this?” or “I’m so glad this was portrayed?” 

VAN:  Yeah.  I got something on Instagram about a week or so ago from a guy who was really freaking out about being in an open relationship, and he was like, “Thank God for this show.”

KIT:  Definitely anytime I’ve been outside of New York or LA and in a gay bar or a gay space, somebody has come up to me, and I definitely love it because the whole point of this is to get people to engage with your work.  That’s the reward; is knowing that people are watching.  I actually have a “gratitude folder” on my computer where I save some messages that people have sent to me.  It’s something I started recently, and I wish I’d been doing it since the beginning, because I always try to write back to everybody that writes to me about the show, and if I missed some, I’m so sorry.  It was an accident.  I can read you a few.  One says, “I live in a very conservative family, in a developing country, El Salvador.  Thanks to EastSiders, I understood that discovering my sexuality wasn’t something to be ashamed of and that all expressions of love are equally worth it.  You guys basically saved my life since I thought about suicide many times.”  In other messages, many people told me that the show gave them the confidence to come out to their friends or family, or that it made them feel less alone in countries where being gay is illegal.  I have a message from someone in Saudi Arabia, someone from Iran, Nigeria, Mississippi, where I’m from.  I get a lot of messages from Mississippi, because I’m so outspoken about how coming from the south shaped me.  It’s just really overwhelmingly satisfying.  As a kid there weren’t any openly gay people around me, so the first gay people I ever met were characters on TV, and it made me feel, like maybe, I could have a life worth putting on a screen someday.

Photo: Eastsiders

Let’s go back in time. Van, what was your first impression of Kit when you met him?

VAN:  I feel like I met him through his writing first, because I had never met him when I got the script.  I remember we met at a coffee shop in Los Feliz in Los Angeles.  Kit was very professional, and I remember there was a question if I was going to play Thom or was I going to play Jeremy? I think I was sort of gravitating towards Jeremy at that point, but you were like, “No, you’re a Thom,” so I was like, “Okay.”  (Laughs) I remember leaving. feeling that it was very much like a business meeting, but that went away really quickly when we just got to know each other.  You came across as a lot more serious than I thought whoever wrote the script would be.

KIT:  Oh.  Cool.  I love that.

Kit, what did you think of Van when you first met him? 

KIT:  Well, I was super nervous, and I definitely wanted to convey that this was something that I took really seriously.

VAN: (Laughs)

KIT:  So, I’m glad he got that.

Photo: JPI

I get that you wanted to come across very professional.

KIT:  Yeah, because it was my first time directing so I wanted to come ready, and the first thing I thought when I met Van was, “That’s Thom.”  Literally a sentence comes out of his mouth, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah.  Absolutely.  This is absolutely correct.  Thank God.  We have our lead.”

VAN:  I love the role of Jeremy, but I’m so glad I played Thom.

KIT:  Honestly, a lot of people were almost a lot of different people in this thing.   At one point, John Halbach, was going to be Thom.  John, at one point, was going to be Jeremy.  We didn’t have a casting director.  I was in grad school.  I had no clue what I was doing, and I keep on coming back to the idea of alchemy.  We accidentally made gold because we did not know what we were doing.

How did you know about Van?

KIT:  Through a mutual acting teacher in Los Angeles, and of course, I was familiar with As the World Turns and all of that, but I didn’t know him, and it never would have occurred to me that I could even reach out to somebody at his career level.  So, it was very, very fortuitous that we were connected.

Photo: Instagram

Kit, you have a gazillion followers on Instagram.  Do you ever have a moment with yourself like, “God, I have to do another post today to keep this going?”  

KIT:  It’s a hustle, and it’s a balance that John and I are both constantly doing our best to navigate, because we started it to bring attention to the show, and now, sometimes people will recognize us from Instagram and not from the series, and that’s not what we are going for. (Laughs)

You’re Instagram stars!

KIT:  It’s a balance that we are trying to navigate.  You know, how many shirtless selfies is too many shirtless selfies?  At what percentage of shirtless-ness will you no longer be taken seriously?  But as Van pointed out, I’m a serious MF with a master’s degree and multiple Emmy nominations. (Laughs)  So, I take myself way too seriously, but I know that you have to play the internet like a video game.  You have to do certain things and get a certain response, and attention begets attention, and a lot of people have told me that they found the show by following me on Instagram.  So, it’s mission accomplished I suppose, but it’s something that we have to be really careful about especially as I’m moving into phase two of my career.

Did you guys submit yourselves for contention in the upcoming Daytime Emmys?

KIT:  Yes.  Absolutely.

Photo: EastSiders

You both gave two of the most memorable performances of the year in Eastsiders and within the digital drama space.  So, we’ll see how it plays out for you when the nominations are revealed.

KIT:  Thank you.  It’s really interesting because historically it seems like the Daytime Emmys have gone with more traditional soap narratives, and ours is definitely the weird kid on the block, but I’m really hopeful that this season we will have a good showing because I really believe in Van’s performance.  I believe in all of the actors.  I believe that they’re all operating at their series best … to put it that way.  I think everybody is just sitting in their power and owning their characters in a way that was really, really cool for me as a writer to see.

It was amazing.  Congratulations.  I guess this is our wrap-up interview for Eastsiders … for now.

KIT:  Who knows… maybe this isn’t the end.  We’ll see.

So, will you miss seeing the journey of Thom and Cal on EastSiders?  If you watched the four seasons. did you have a favorite moment within it?  Share your thoughts on our conversation with Van and Kit via the comment section below.  Then check out the documentary of the “making of” EastSiders.

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