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The Doug Davidson Interview – The Young and the Restless

Courtesy/CBS

Who doesn’t love to see one of the veterans of daytime getting handed the ball and a great emotional story, and then give it such a heartfelt delivery that it leaves us reaching for the hankies?  Well, in recent weeks on The Young and the Restless, long-time stalwart Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) has been chewing the scenery with some powerful performances that really took off when Paul shot his son Ricky, which sent the evil one crashing through a window to his death!  What has followed has not been good for poor Paul!  Eden, who was about to be sliced to death by Ricky before Paul shot his son, can’t remember what happened.  And, the knife, which is a key piece of evidence, is missing!  Now Paul has been arrested for the murder of his psychotic son, and his ex-wife has come back into the picture to defend him!  And that is only half of the story!

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Doug Davidson to get his thoughts on taking front and center stage again, and how it has been working with his most recent on-screen offsprings, Peter Porte (Ex-Ricky) and Jennifer Landon (Nu-Heather).  Doug also reveals if he would like to see a rekindling of the Paul and Christine (Lauralee Bell) romance, what he feels about all the actresses who have embodied Heather, and how he managed to rationalize playing the distraught father to an irredeemable character, and the challenges it presented him.

In addition, find out what Doug would like to see happen in the next the arc of the story if he had the opportunity to write it.  We actually loved his suggestion and hope you will too!  One thing is for certain, Doug is that dependable performer who can make us smile or break us down in tears.  It’s always a joy to catch up with him and hear what he has to say about it all.  So with that, here’s Doug!

MICHAEL:

Doug, your performances have been amazing and so moving.  Fans and critics have given you well-deserved kudos and recognition.  When you saw the script that said Paul shoots his son, Ricky in the shoulder who then crashes through a window to his death, what was your initial reaction?

DOUG:

Courtesy/CBS

The first thing I thought was, “OK. I have work to do!” (Laughs)  Because it has been kind of spotty story wise for Paul, for awhile.  Secondly, I thought fear and worry.  If it wasn’t handled properly it could backfire.  So I was kind of nervous.  We had an instance where Chris and Paul had a rather violent lovemaking session, and because it wasn’t explained, did kind of backfire.  I was pretty nervous about it, but once I saw how well crafted it was, then it was just performance anxiety! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Peter Porte (Ricky) had pushback from the audience at the beginning of his time on Y&R, but by the end of his run, people loved him and his performance!  How was your experience working with Peter?

DOUG:

My experience with him was outstanding.  I read with him when he got the job, and to his credit, once they gave him something to run with, he certainly was loaded and ready to go.  It is kind of a difficult situation when you are not exactly sure what they want from you, and by the time they figured out the direction, then Peter knew where they were going with it, and he could give it to them.  And he did, in spades.

MICHAEL:

On last Friday’s episode, when you as Paul were talking to Christine and Nina at Ricky’s gravesite talking about the father’s day card, it was so sad.  It was my favorite part of your speech, even more than when Paul was alone in front of Ricky’s grave.  In your portrayal, did you reconcile why Paul was a MIA dad to Ricky?

Courtesy/CBS

DOUG:

They did not write it in, and they did not explain it.  I made the assumption that Paul would make periodic trips to see him, and so I had to have that in my own head to play.   I think Paul, as a responsible father, would have done things like that.  By the same token, once I realized that was not what their past was, you validate it by you saying you own your business, and that it is never a good time to getaway.  Out of sight and out of mind.  You might send an email here and there.  And of course, they aged him to a point to where, in reality, Ricky would be 12.  Faced with that, then I try to validate the fact that I was not as attentive as I might have been.  Even doing it 24/7 with my own kids, you second guess your actions.  Even with my own parents and their aging, I don’t always make the best, or admirable choice, in retrospect.  I would probably push my kids too hard, or not hard enough.  I was angry or not angry enough, and you can second guess it.  So how I validate it in real life is come hell or high water, I did the best of my capabilities.  But there were plenty of areas to play the guilt of Paul with regard to Ricky, because he is not the only kid to be raised by his grandparents.  You know the history of this is not good anyway!  Michael set up Isabella.  She got herself pregnant.  Then we got married.  I think it went something like that! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

So did Paul truly reconcile he had a psycho son?

DOUG:

Right, but then there was a period of time where Paul knew before anyone else!  So then that discovery is painful too.  You feel it in your heart, and it’s supported by the things you discover with logic.  It’s hard to ignore when people are disappearing or dropping dead.  And, he is acting strangely, and tormenting me, and all these things you pointed out were true as well.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

Then what is interesting is how Y&R is crafting things with Christine back in Paul’s orbit.  Now, she is defending him in his murder rap.  However, then there is that little ditty of Phyllis mowing down Christine years ago in a hit and run.  That has come to light, which then forced Christine to admit to Paul that she kissed Danny on the night of their wedding years ago.  Paul took it quite well, I thought.  What did you think about the way Paul reacted to that bit of news?

DOUG:

It happened so far down the road, and she even admitted it.  Why would she lie? Christine admitted it was a goodbye kiss to Danny, as I recall.  If she really had any hesitation she wouldn’t have gone through with the wedding.  So her actions to Paul at the time suggested that what she was saying was definitely true.  It was a goodbye kiss to her that was misinterpreted by psycho Phyllis.  Whether or not I think it would have made a difference to me if I was the one who was seeing it, and had the visual and been a witness to the kiss, at that period of time, it might have upset Paul more.  But that too would not have derailed it.  Christine had a full-blown relationship and first-love.  It would be hard to imagine that there weren’t’ still residual feelings for Danny as she enters a new relationship.  Certainly, now we are both adults, or I like to think so! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do you remember the details of the hit and run?

DOUG:

Christine and Paul were crossing the street and the car came out of nowhere.  Paul was leaving and Christine was crossing the street, and Paul saw the car coming.  He raced back to Christine and was not able to push her out of the way in time, if I remember this correctly.

MICHAEL:

Paul is in heap of trouble!  He has been arrested because they cannot find the knife Ricky used to attack Eden.  So it looks like Christine will help Paul and save him.  Eventually, would you like to see the two former lovebirds get back together?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

DOUG:

It would certainly be welcome.  I don’t know if Lauralee is going to be around.  She is the middle of her child and family rearing, and I don’t know if it is something that will fit into her schedule.  But I do know she is coming back from her summer vacation, and we have more scenes to come.  I am always open to working with her. We spent over a decade working together side by side.  So when they were calling us during the weeks we were shooting those episodes, they would call our name to the set, “Doug and Lauralee!” and it was just like the old days.  It felt really good, and so of course.  I would be open to it, and then there would be something to play with Tricia Cast (Nina) too.

MICHAEL:

Tricia Cast is such a fantastic actress to work with.  Wasn’t there a romantic relationship going on with Nina and Paul?  It seems it’s not being played that way anymore!  What gives?

DOUG:

They have not been really playing the romantic thing between them at all, recently.  So when people say it would be nice for Nina to have a romantic relationship with Paul, I too forget that I am in one! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

At the gravesite during Ricky’s funeral, Nina was not holding Paul’s hand, or standing next to him.  It was if their relationship was being played so non-committal!

DOUG:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Usually the scenes we have we are talking about our offspring.  And way early on, we were going to the movies and stuff like that.  It has not been focused on in our relationship at all as of late, and any of those things that you might find in one.

MICHAEL:

Let’s talk about the “Heathers” in your life.   You had Vail Bloom, then Eden Riegel and now Jennifer Landon play your on-screen daughter Heather Stevens.  I think Jennifer possesses the sexiness of Vail and the acting chops of Eden!  What do you think about my assessment?

DOUG:

I agree.  I did not have any issues with Vail at all.  I thought she was fabulous, and her dismissal shocked and surprised me, to tell you the truth.  So I can’t really comment on that because I am not on the production side.  I did not have to deal with the fact that she wasn’t on set.  I know she had some serious medical issues that she was dealing with at the time.  Eden, by her own admission, never really attached herself to the role.  I think they liked her so much they wanted to give her a role and that was the one.  But I think they were casting a couple of things at that time, and they gave that role to one and this to the other.  I don’t think it ever jelled there.  I don’t think it’s a talent thing; it’s the wrong part for a talented actress.  And, I have to agree with you, that for me I feel that Jennifer is terrific.  She is funny, she is smart, and she is great to work with.  She is organic and free, and that is the part I connect to.   She also has one degree of separation from me, because she is really good friends with my best friend and his family.  We get along really well. 

MICHAEL:

What is Heather and Paul’s relationship now?  Are they close?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

DOUG:

The most recent thing with Ricky showed Heather that Paul is committed to being a father.  He is trying to make up for the mistakes he made in the past.  And the first time Paul had a huge run-in with Ricky was in the coffee house, when he found out Ricky was the one who took the pictures of Heather and took advantage of his sister’s position to raise his own.  It was thoughtless and heartless.  I think Heather saw how Paul supported her through it.  She is beginning to understand who Paul is, besides who she thought he was.  The relationship issue there with Heather was that April had decided she would rather raise her with Heather’s step-father and make her believe she was begat out of that relationship.  So that was not Paul’s decision.  Then when the time arose, we had a tearful scene in the coffee house when we were indeed related, and Paul was not just a family friend.  So I think Heather is on board now.  I am sure Heather has residual feelings and hurt, but also beginning to get it now and feel that Paul is a real father to her.

MICHAEL:

You have had some very emotional scenes during your years on Y&R.  Several times you have been Emmy nominated.  You are one of the best male criers on daytime and the tears just flow, and so effortlessly it seems.  Are those big emotional payoff scenes tough for you to do, such as the recent big moments in the aftermath of Paul shooting his son?

DOUG:

The performance anxiety that arose out of that was the changing face of daytime, and that they are going to give me a shot at it.  It was suggested by one of our producers and the network, and then our executive producer and head writer, Maria Arena Bell, jumped at the idea.  Then they told me about it.  So there is always a bit of doubt, when it’s three o’clock in the morning and I am alone where I will say to myself, “I hope this all works out.”  There was no net.  I had new performers and I must say, once it kicked in and I saw the scripts and got into it, it is about the work.  Any performer, when they look at it with their left brain, will be nervous about it until they get into the material.  Doug is different than Paul, and Paul did fine with it. (Laughs)

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

From the beginning of your time on Y&R till now, you have told me in past interviews you have become a better actor.  When you look at your body of work now, do you ever think, “I am a very fine actor in this medium?”

DOUG:

It is really hard for me to do that.  It’s funny, because when I am doing it, it’s not part of me.  I am trying to connect with what they have written, and who Paul is.  It really is a kind of brainwashing.  You are fooling your own mechanism that this is true, and this is happening, and you are this person.  My technique is so refined; it is not something I think about.  When you look at a concert violinist or a pianist, they are not thinking where their fingers go.  They just go because they have been doing it for so long.  Acting is one of the things that I know how to do.  I think it is part of my personality.  So when I look back, there are so many forces involved.  I just don’t have that ego.  I do remember when Y&R went to number one.  I had the number one TVQ rating and Entertainment Tonight came out to my house!  To take credit for it is not really fair.  That is why when people win awards for their work, there are these long lists of people to thank.  That’s because you really don’t do it on your own, unless you are an author of a book.  I do give credit to all the people in my past from Brett Hadley and Carolyn Conwell, who played my on-screen parents, and the things I learned a long the way.  I hope I do the same thing for young people in this business, and let them know they are not doing this alone.  I am sure not. 

MICHAEL:

What can fans expect coming up in the perils of Paul?

DOUG:

Paul will be out on bail, and Eden is going through hypnosis to help her memory to trigger where the missing knife is.  And being under Bill Bell (Creator, Y&R) all these years, I don’t even question where they take us.  My job is to sell it! 

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

What would you love to see happen to Paul?

DOUG:

I think it would be incredibly hard to come to terms with what happened, even if it is true.  There are so many ‘what ifs.’  It would be a dark place for the rest of Paul’s life when he thinks of Ricky.  It’s like a war veteran.  It’s like a part of your life that you have to deal with and go on.  So there are some interesting stories there.  I thought it would be nice to have Ricky come to Paul and Paul find a kid who is orphaned or homeless who has the same name, and is 10 or 12 years old. and does not have a dad.  Paul then becomes a big brother to the kid, and tries to make up for the errors of the past with someone who still does need attention and help.  I think it would be fun to bring Peter Porte back and redeem his character as a ghost or a spirit, and maybe Paul does not see him.  But Ricky sees so much of his spirit working, and through the young kid who comes to Paul.  Paul asks the kid his name, and he says, “Ricky”!   Then it’s about how his relationship with his son and what happened changed him permanently.

MICHAEL:

Do you still like being the P.I.?

DOUG:

Photo Credit: Denice Duff

Yeah, but they don’t always write it.  In the old days, Paul had cases he worked on without any need for the police department.  For instance, the Cassandra storyline had the duality of having a case and a mysterious woman that happened to be part of the case, unbeknownst to Paul at the beginning.  Things like that.  But that is when we had isolated stories per character, and it was a completely different format than what we have today!

MICHAEL:

I was glad to see Paul had a scene with Phyllis where he lets her have it for running over Christine eons ago!

DOUG:

Yes, but it’s very short.  But yes, we have one scene in the hallway at the police department where he does confront her.

MICHAEL:

I really wanted Paul to have a few choice words for her!  (Laughs)

DOUG:

(Laughs) There is a bit of confrontation, and working with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) is wonderful.  I have nothing but superlatives for her.  She brings it.  She is great and fabulous.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

In closing Doug, I just want to tell you it has been wonderful to see you being given some very heavy material and you have done an amazing job with it.  Have you seen or felt the feedback from the fans and the longtime viewers of Y&R?

DOUG:

I am so flattered.  I loved doing this story and it was a pleasure.  I have to tell you the response has been so positive and overwhelming … and even on the message boards, which is unheard of.  I cannot express the thanks and the gratitude I have for the fans and the people who have watched, and who have been supportive all along, and the new folks.  And, the ratings went up!

 

 

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Debra
Debra

Just wanted to say that the Paul/Ricky showdown has easily been the best part of Y&R this year. Doug & Peter deserve some major props from making yet another psycho story actually matter to the audience.

Kristen
Kristen

Doug soooo brought it in this story line! I wept. I have missed you. You are still very hot btw : )

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Doug Davidson was simpy amazing in this story. Emmy worthy material. I think all the players brought their A game.

Thanks for another great interview Mr. Fairman.

kay/kay
kay/kay

My man Doug Davidson is and always has been one of the reasons I watched Y&R. He is a sweetheart like I said before give us a good story and we will come back MAB. Mr Fairman thank you for this interview this guy is so overlooked. I would have liked to have seen more scenes of Doug with his son before we went down this road but I will take anything I can get of DD, now lets keep him out of mothballs and on the front burner where he has always belonged. As Jeanne Cooper said when he had the storyline with Nina Arvenson who played Cassandra Rawlins in the 80’s they had the best chemistry of anyone on the show ever. And she was right!!

kay/kay
kay/kay

I also forgot to add his comments about the actresses who played Heather were spot on. What a true gentleman the only comment about JL I have is tone the harir down otherwise I am warming up to her portrayal it was definitely not the role for Eden Riegel.

Sally D
Sally D

I’ve enjoyed Doug Davidson as Paul from the very beginning when he started,
hanging out with Nikki. I can’t always catch Y & R, but whenever I see that
Paul is on, I know that I will enjoy DD’s performance–he is always very natural
and believable, no matter what kind of storyline is going on! And I like how he
can do both heavy and more fun material with equal skill. Glad Y & R is using
Davidson more now, and I hope that continues! I also like him having some
storyline with Tricia Cast, who always is a gem to watch, as well.

Thanks for posting this interview. It was a real treat!

LisaZee
LisaZee

Doug is a wonderful actor. Those scenes proved he has what it takes and I wish TPTB hadn’t waited so long to showcase his talent again. He is doing an awesome job! He also has always, in real life, seemed like a great guy, which is nice to know too!

Mel
Mel

Doug has been amazing in this storyline and definitely deserves an Emmy next year! I started watching Y&R 25 years ago and Paul has always been one of my favorite characters so it’s wonderful to finally see Doug Davidson on the frontburner again where he belongs. He makes everything feel so real and believable. I just love him!

Bart
Bart

While I have always liked Doug Davidson as Paul, his character’s “Juicy story” rings as very hollow and phony, which is pretty much everything as crafted by Maria Arena Bell. Paul has knowingly admitted not knowing his SORAS’ed son Ricky and never ever being there for him yet, so his graveside scenes didn’t produce any emotions for this long-time viewer.

The SORAS’ing of his son (and of MANY MANY “Y & R” offspring have ruined many past timelines as created by the late great William J. Bell and his staff. By SORAS’ing Ricky to a 20-something young man negates everything that Phyllis did to Paul & Christine back in 1994 – 18 years ago – yet, Ricky was born AFTER Phyllis’ “joyride” – thereby retcon’ing and destroying Bill Bell’s story structure.

Doug Davidson deserves better – so does the viewer.

Chaz
Chaz

Doug Davidson has deserved story for so long that I am thrilled he has finally gotten one that proves what an asset he is to Y&R. My partner, who is not a Y&R viewer, came in while I was watching the show on DVR and commented what a powerhouse performance Doug Davidson was giving.

Beef up Doug & Nina’s story….it is nice to see older couples having a relationship. Plus, Tricia Cast is a gem.

mjlynn
mjlynn

Chaz, any relation to Cher? Seriously, I totally agree. It’s about time Y&R writers are writing OUR DOUGIE back into the scripts. He’s been the MAIN reason I’ve been a dedicated viewer for 34 years! I loved his old story-lines, back when he dated April and impregnated her with Heather, and then when he went undercover into the mafia to trip up and take down the bad guys. His parents were always a huge part of the plot and I miss them both. Also, the original Patty, the blond teenager gal, cannot recall her name, anyone know, she was an excellent actress. I often think that the writers re-use so many of the old plots, such as there are two Pattys… and two Cathryn Chancellor’s… and how Victor took a prisoner in his basement in the Seventies and Paul was paid to go down to this dungeon and feed the guy, like caged animal, and then they had Daisy lock up Jana and Lauren in outdoor cage, similar to old Victor story-line. Ah, the similarities… I LOVE Y& R!!!

DDfan4life
DDfan4life

Doug’s portrayal of Paul Williams was the reason I started watching over 30 yrs. ago. I never stopped and think he is an incredible actor. I would love to see him front and center more often. When an actor can make me cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh, and smile just by their presence on a tv screen… they’ve got something special, that’s for sure! Now, Doug… have Paul go out there and investigate this hit and run from so long ago!

Mandy
Mandy

I love that you now have a good story line and wish more for you and Nena, as I like to see the older players return with a few new ones. I have watched this story since the first of Y&R when the Brooks family was on. That has been many moons ago. Love it and if they take off the two stories left, I will stop watching CBS daytime . We do not need another game show or talk show. You are a great actor, and I love the show.

nan williams
nan williams

Doug u r a fantastic actor…ur fans all behind u n support u in whatever story line ur given ….best of luck to u in whatever u do.God Bless u n urs. The writers should get this knife found

mjlynn
mjlynn

Agreed! Where could have a huge knife like the one missing have gone? Some homeless guy walks by and picks it up to shave off his matted hair>? LOL. Certainly, it will be the KEY to SOLVE the issue and set Paul free! Then again, I think Paul should get his PI office back and have his story-line multiplied to what it once was! Also, Jennifer Landon is a great actress, she’s the daughter of Michael Landon, correct???

Linda Lou Boehl
Linda Lou Boehl

Paul has always been a great actor, glad to see him doing more of it, always been a favorite of mine, keep up the great work my friend… love ya Y&R is the very Best!!!
All are such great actors on there….. from Linda Lou

Gayle Trent
Gayle Trent

Great interview!

Donna
Donna

Doug Davidson was simpy amazing in this story. Emmy worthy material. I think all the writer team is doing best wrting in a long time and hope they keep it up. I hope to see more of Chris and him month head too they are best time and Nina too all three of them .keep of the good work doug as paul williams

DEANNA JO KNIGHT
DEANNA JO KNIGHT

IT DOES MY HEART GOOD, TO KNOW THAT I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT LOVES DD & PAUL. HE HAS BEEN MY FAVORITE ACTOR FROM THE BEGINNING AND ALWAYS WANTED MORE STORY LINES FOR HIM. THIS STORY LINE IS GREAT, BUT IT SEEMS TO BE GOING TO FAST. SLOW DOWN SO DD/PAUL CAN REMAIN ON THE FRONT BURNER LONGER.
I TOO LIKE HAVING CHRIS & NINA BACK. INFACT, I HOPE THEY BRING MORE OF THE OLD CAST BACK. MAKES FOR GOOD STORY LINES.
THIS WAS SUCH AN ENJOYABLE INTERVIEW HOPE TO SEE MANY MORE OF THESE.
WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO KEEP Y&R IN THE SPOT LIGHT.
I DON’T WANT IT TO BE CANCELED. I LOOK FORWARD TO WATCHING EVERY DAY.

Jane
Jane

Doug,There are not enough words in Websters dictionary to tell you what a fantastic actor you are. I have followed you for years.

I totally missed you when my husband and I were stationed in Germany,that I didn’t see you. It was like loosing my best friend. I did get newspaper cli[ppings of The Young And Restless. It was during the winter of 1989 up to Nov.of 1991.

I used to brag to my sister’s whenever I would get a new postcard or letter from you. I always had your picture hanging on my hutch in the kitchen. Now I send them the emails that you send me. I know they love the Young and Restless also.

You keep up the fabulous acting and I will keep watching . Sometimes I feel like I am right there. If you cry, I cry. When you laugh I do too. I love you, Doug Davidson,for making such wonderful daytime acting. Jane Salles

Delores
Delores

Every now and then on Y & R, we are blessed with a story that just knocks it out of the park and that’s what happened with Doug when Paul shot his son. I rarely cry at stories (even when I’m supposed to feel sad) but Doug’s performance was so real that I found myself sobbing. He rarely gets “meaty” stories so I’m grateful for this one; it reminded me what an amazing actor he is.

Laura
Laura

Awesome interview! I love that Paul finally has a storyline 🙂

Jeanne Curnow
Jeanne Curnow

Love the interview! Always enjoy seeing Doug perform on Y&R [awesome story line these days].Sure wish you the best always !

CONI
CONI

doug is a fantastic actor and i’ve watched him on y & r since day one. had the chance to meet him personally a couple of times and he’s so wonderful to talk to. his warm kindness and that smile just melts anyones heart. he has a great personality that out shines his talent. the best storyline he’s ever done and deserves an emmy for was the ricky & paul storyline. that storyline really touched my heart and yes brought tears to my eyes also. all the years he’s acted on y & r can’t ever be replaced by anyone else. great job doug! bravo, bravo, bravo—your the best. i love you DOUG DAVIDSON!!!

Joanne
Joanne

I have watched Doug play Paul Williams from the very beginning. So many great story lines over the years but I honestly think this is one of his best. I was kinda losing faith a bit in Y&R lately because I was seeing less and less of Paul and some of the other veteran actors. So happy to see he has another great story line his character can really sink his teeth into! Hope this leads to another Emmy nomination. Way to go Doug! Keep up the exceptional work and we will keep watching!!

mjlynn
mjlynn

I want to laugh because I’ve loved this guy since his entrance onto Y&R in ’78, when my pal Rick Springfield told me Doug was going to star on show! These new fans who’ve started liking him because of the RS cruises, behave as if they’re his biggest fans… and then there’s those, like me, who have loved this guy since his face was youthful and rounded, and his long blond hair was thick and…made fans long to run their fingers through it… Now I’m like, “I’m an original fan” and some of these young girls didn’t even know who the guy was until the past several RS cruises. This interview is funny because it seems as if the interviewer was one of those ‘newbie’ fans…causes happy crinkle laughter… a GOOD thing!! All in all, quite cutely done. I love you, Dougie!

Cheryl Pederson
Cheryl Pederson

Well, of course the ratings went up! How long have people waited for a story for Paul? I do like the idea, in moving forward, of this being a “war wound” for Paul — and that is takes some time for the understanding and a measure of peace in the soul. Doug has learned so much over the years, but he has always been great — and I really do miss a great PI story because I love the adventure! So here’s hoping,
Love to Paul and Doug!
Cheryl P

lori
lori

hi
an excellent interview. love lori

Phyllis
Phyllis

FINALLY the recognition he deserves! Long time in the waiting .. Doug has always been the greatest actor.. Never changes in looks, still as handsome as ever. These last few months you have done an awesome job. Thank you wrighters for giving Doug more and more in the story. He does deserve another emmy. Wow fantastic father an son acting. Keep it up Doug! Armenian hugs an kisses:)

Diane
Diane

Why does Phyllis get out a jail free card and forgiven by everybody except Paul and Cricket? Phyllis is just like Daisy and Ricky(demented). She needs to pay for all of her dirt. Didn’t she kill the nurse named Sasha back in the day because the nurse knew about her dirty deeds involving the baby and Danny situation? Also, Michael and Ronan should be taken off the case. They are warning the killer and sticking up for her.

David-Edwsard
David-Edwsard

Doug,

I would like to see your performance with Ricky. I would love to see you in action now to find out that Ricky isn’t actually dead. Your are an amazing character. You need to stop hidding behind your shield and let Christine (Lauralee Bell) know that she needs to focus on your case and attempt to prosecute Phyllis later. The writers need to allow you and Ricky’s mother unite and then allow her to go off the deep end after seeing you with Christine. The storyline is great and you do well at it.

lisa
lisa

I have always loved Paul, his amazing way of turning on and off those tears are incredible.. When he cries I cry because of the realness of it. He truely makes the show. I would love to see him and Cricket back together.. but poor Nina would be distraught.. Hopefully they will find her a good man in the future she sure needs it. I never liked Ricky..Not happy about the ex- returning- definitely hoping he dos not rekindle with her.

Laura
Laura

I am so glad that Doug has such a great role to play. He is an awesome actor and it’s great that he has a meaty storyline to portray. Very excited for him & the show.

Cilla
Cilla

Great interview! Thank you Micheal! Doug is the unsung hero of this show. Those of us who have watched him over the years know he can completely knock it out of the park whenever the writers give him a chance. His acting in the Ricky story line was mesmerizing. I just wish he would be featured in front burner stories more often.
Doug is the one who puts the heart and soul back into Y & R with his amazing ability to convey deep and totally genuine emotion. That’s the essence of soap operas for me. I really hope Paul’s story of emotional healing continues – I like the idea Doug came up with about mentoring a young boy as part of his healing process.
I started watching this show years ago because of Paul Williams and will continue to do so as long as he is on my screen!

Ginger
Ginger

Doug Davidson is a tremendous talent and a sweet person. He is hilarious in person. This interview was terrific and I hope to see more. I am glad the ratings went up for Y&R. Paul DESERVES it! Paul is effortlessly emotional and it does come naturally, like riding a bike. To Doug, never question yourself, you are right about just letting Paulie steer! ***I just want to see more Paul on Y & R!!! You deserve a very Special EMMY award! 🙂 Great Q & A. Thanks!!!!

Joy Mathys
Joy Mathys

Thanks for this great interview. Doug Davidson is the heart and the soul of the show. I love his suggestion about a young kid coming to Paul. How about this boy being Maggie Sullivan’s son and asking Paul to find his mother who just vanished (like Carl Williams years ago)? Paul would bond with the boy who could even be his son.

Tammy Ross
Tammy Ross

I really would like to see paul (Doug Davidson) and christina (Lauralee Bell) rekindle there romance I think they make a good c on the show. its time to see more on the show Y& R

Karen
Karen

Thank you y and r for giving Paul a great storyline. He is a great actor that doesn’t get much screen time! Outstanding performance!

Bobbie
Bobbie

I think Paul is a great guy, great acting, made me have tears. I think he should be best male actor. He is a great looking guy, great personality.

Cynthia
Cynthia

I love Paul and Chris together, their love and emotion seem so real.

Carolyn
Carolyn

Doug you do a great job just wish you were on there more often. You play a good role and I can’t miss a day without seeing this. I like you and Christine on here togather. Thanks for all the Pictures you have sent me and I am waiting for another photo of you. Your are a very handsome man. Keep the good work up. Can’t wait to the show to come on in the daytime. take care.

MP
MP

Doug has done a marvelous job with the Ricky storyline. Hope he is featured more in the future.

CAROL
CAROL

Doug Davidson has played the role of Paul Williams for an amazingly long time and he has had 2 children Heather and Ricky to come back into his life as adults and then he ends up having his daughter leave town and his son dies. He is a strong person, who endures so many unhappy periods in his life; but he is still able to go on with his life and I know that his TV father and mother would be very proud of all he has accomplished (the chief of police no less). What a GUY!!!! Paul Williams needs to stay on the show because
he and Christine are not done Y-E-T?

Interviews

Melody Thomas Scott Chats On 40 Years As The Young and the Restless’ Incomparable Nikki: The Men, The Booze, The Drama

Today marks Y&R icon Melody Thomas Scott’s 40th anniversary with the top-rated daytime drama series.  While CBS plans to air a special standalone episode (Nikki is in the slammer for confessing to J.T.’s murder, and she will reflect on her life in an emotional look-back), Michael Fairman sat down with the popular and beloved star for a deep dive into four decades in the life of stripper-turned-socialite, Nikki Newman for The Michael Fairman Channel.

During the interview, Melody first addresses her sadness at the loss of her longtime friend and co-star Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters): “I adored him.  I love him to bits.  I loved working with him; such a wonderful actor.  I don’t even know if he knew how good he was.”

When discussing Nikki’s colorful past, and when Y&R planned to have Nikki strip again decades later, Melody revealed she did refuse to play it: “That’s right, and I very rarely put the kibosh on anything on this show,  I was 48-years-old.  The head writer called me and I was up in hair and make-up.  They heard me say, ‘I’m 48-years-old .. that’s just not happening.”‘

Photo: TheMichaelFairmanChannel

Over the years, Nikki has faced many battles, perils ,and demons including her addiction to alcohol which has provided many a juicy story for Thomas Scott.  As to the fans always loving to see a ‘boozy’ Nikki, Melody remarked;  “Yes!  They love it!  I have great fun with it and I think it’s wonderful.”

During a segment of the conversation, Michael shows Melody some photos of Nikki’s past loves, and gets her thoughts on why Nikki fell for those men, and what it was like working with her co-stars through the years: John Enos (Bobby), Doug Davidson (Paul), Heath Kizzier (Joshua), Wings Hauser (Greg), Don Diamont (Brad), Vincent Irizarry (David), Peter Bergman (Jack), Sean Kanan (Deacon, and of course, her longtime on-screen partner Eric Braeden (Victor).

Later, Melody reminisces about her time working with the late great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) and when asked by Fairman what she thinks Jeanne would say about her 40th anniversary milestone, Melody replied: “She would say, ‘I’m (bleeping) proud of you Mel!”‘

Photo: CBS

Check out the entire interview with Melody below (make sure to also subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube for more feature interviews), and following that the special CBS promo honoring Melody’s 40th anniversary with Y&R.  Then let us know, what has been your favorite Nikki Newman moment over the last 40 years? Share your thoughts via the comment section below,

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Interviews

Executive Producer Michael Levitt Previews The Adorable 2019 ‘American Rescue Dog Show’

Dog lovers everywhere get ready! Coming your way on Sunday, February 17th and Monday, February 18th, the good folks at the Hallmark Channel will air a two-night special event (8pmET/7pmCT) that puts a spin on the traditional competitive elite dog shows, while at the same time championing an important cause for man’s best friend.

The 2019 American Rescue Dog Show honors some of the cutest rescue dogs from around the country going paw-to-paw in categories that will tickle-your-funny-bone, bring a smile to your face, or, potentially shed a tear.  This marks the second year for this oh-so-heartwarming show, where in its first year, it beat the Westminster Dog Show in the ratings; much to the delight of rescue dogs and their families, who take these wonderful animals into their homes.

The brainchild behind the concept is the executive producer of the event. Michael Levitt (Skin Wars, Daytime Emmys, TV Land Awards), who spoke with Michael Fairman TV to give us all the inside dish and insight into why this dog show is so personally important to him, and how its goal is to create awareness about the plight of millions of abandoned dogs in shelters each year, and to inspire viewers to think about rescuing one of these loveable pups.

Levitt has a collection of notable hosts and judges along for the ride who bring this one-of-a-kind doggy competition to life from the world of TV, film, and animal advocacy.  So, for the lowdown on the competition and more, here’s what Michael shared.

Photo: Crown Media

For those who want to check out the two-night event, is the American Rescue Dog Show in the same vein as the Westminster Dog Show, where the dogs are competing? 

MICHAEL: The format of the show is similar to a fancy dog show, such as Westminster, however, on the American Rescue Dog Show, we aren’t “judging” the dog.  In our show, they all have to be rescue dogs that are spayed or neutered in order to compete, and we are not judging them based on their bloodlines, we are celebrating their cuteness in such categories as, “Best in Wiggle Butt,” “Best in Couch Potato,” “Best in Snoring,” “Best in Special Needs,” and  “Best in Senior Dog” – those are obviously some of the most important.   We have the fancy arena floor with the judges and the tuxedos.  We filmed it at the Pomona Fairplex, which is the same place that they film the Beverly Hills Dog Show.

And you have a bevy of dog-loving celebrity judges along for the ride, too!

MICHAEL: Yes, and this year we are lucky to have the support of celebrity animal advocates that include: Lisa Vanderpump, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, host of CBS’s Lucky Dog, Bill Berloni, who is the dog trainer to a lot of the dogs on Broadway, and Dirty Job’s Mike Rowe.  Our prerequisites for them to be a judge were: they all needed to be rescue-friendly.  So, they either needed to have a rescue dog of their own or support rescue in some way.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are the hosts this year, along with Ross Matthews and Home & Family’s Larissa Wall, who served as co-hosts and cover all of the action ringside.

Photo: Crown Media

So, did the judges get along?  Did they differ on their top picks?

MICHAEL: The judges absolutely got along famously, but as a producer of the show, I was a fly on the wall listening to them when they were deliberating as they were picking a winner.  That was quite entertaining, because each of them had a strong point of view on the dog, or dogs that they thought should win the competition. We found ourselves throughout the filming just turning to each other and saying, “I don’t know how the judges are going to pick just one, because they are all just so incredibly special.”

How was Lisa Vanderpump? 

MICHAEL:  Lisa was wonderful!  When she was being interviewed by Rebecca and Jerry O’Connell, they asked her what she would say to a potential family that is about to buy a dog from a breeder, and it was such a profound moment, because as someone who comes from her socioeconomic level, from her privilege, to see that she has embraced rescue might be incredibly meaningful to someone who might think that rescue dogs are second-hand animals.  Lisa Vanderpump disproves that just by being there, and being a part of it.

Photo: Crown Media

How did you decide on Rebecca and Jerry as your hosts with the most?

MICHAE:  I have a long history with Rebecca from producing my show, Skin Wars, which she hosts.  I knew that she and Jerry had four rescue dogs of their own, and that she is incredibly passionate about rescue and shedding light and creating awareness about the plight of animals that are sheltered.  They were not only organic and authentic to the cause, but they were a lot of fun and clearly had a lot of natural chemistry.  They also brought their own rescue dogs to the show, as did Lisa Vanderpump.  So that was fun.

You have two wonderful dogs of your own.  So, this is your passion project!

MICHAEL: This is a true labor of love for me, because in 2011 when my sister, Jennifer was dying of cancer, my partner and I decided to rescue a dog, and we rescued a pit bull named Trooper, and Trooper rocked our world.  My sister met him four days before she died, and it’s that old adage of “Who rescued who.”  Trooper really was there for me during a really difficult time of my life. I learned first-hand how special not only rescue dogs are, but pit bulls, and that really was the beginning of my animal advocacy.  I ended up taking a year off from producing just to rescue dogs.  I realized at the end of that year, that as a rescuer, I am saving one dog at a time, but as a producer, I could do so much more to bring awareness to the plight of animals in our shelters by creating rescue-themed programming.

Pit bulls seem to always get a bad rap.  Do you feel that way?

MICHAEL:  They absolutely get a bad rap, and after we rescued Trooper, we rescued another pit bull named Nelson, and it was really the two of them who inspired me to get heavily involved in rescue and to be an advocate for pit bulls.  With pit bulls it is such a unique human-animal bond that you don’t find with any other breed.  All they really want to do is please their humans, and it is absolutely true that when you hear these horrific stories about pit bulls on the news, these are rare incidents of pit bulls who have fallen into the hands of bad people who have treated them badly.  It’s really unfair to profile and entire breed of dog, because all dog breeds have some dogs that have behavioral problems.  I have come in contact with thousands of pit bulls, and I have only met one that was human-aggressive, and that dog was severely, severely abused.  Every other pit bull I have come in contact with has been nothing but incredibly sweet.

Photo: Crown Media

So, last year’s American Rescue Dog Show is currently in the running to earn a Daytime Emmy nomination in the ‘Special Class Special’ programming category!

MICHAEL:  Yes, “Special Class Special”. (Laughs)

You obviously know who wins this weekend’s American Rescue Dog Show competition.  Were you happy with the winner? 

MICHAEL:  Yes, but you can imagine how difficult it is for the judges to pick a winner because every single dog in the competition is beyond adorable. It is really the dogs who deliver on the show, and that’s what makes the show so heartwarming.  The real purpose of the show is to inspire the viewers to rescue their next dog from their local shelter, or rescue organization, so that people who are watching turn to the person they are with and say, “Honey, I didn’t know you could get a pure-bred dog at a shelter!  Let’s rescue our next dog!”  We have really powerful segments in the show about the joy of adopting a senior dog, or a special-needs dog.  We do a segment on debunking the myths about pit bulls, and we have messaging on why it is important to spay and neuter your dog.  So, through this wonderfully entertaining program, we are also educating people and hopefully touching their heart and their soul and inspiring them to be a part of the solution by rescuing their next dog; instead of being a part of the problem by purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder.

Photo: Crown Media

When you look at what you have to take on as a producer when you do this type of show; as opposed to any other type of production you have helmed, what are the major differences?

MICHAEL: The biggest distinction is that on this show we are dealing with living animals, so I take that responsibility very seriously.  First and foremost: is the safety and well-being of the dogs that are participating on the show.  We have to consider everything from making sure that the animals are up-to-date with their vaccinations to having veterinarians on hand, having production personal on-hand standing by with treats and pooper-scoopers. This also means that the dogs are being treated like VIPs.  So, we have a VIP room, but that stands for “Very Important Pooch”, and all of the dogs that are participating have their own dressing rooms with a star on it and their name.  There were over 130 dogs that actually participated from all over the country.  In addition, we had a gifting suite like they do on the Oscars and Golden Globes, but on this show, they didn’t get swag bags, they got “Wag Bags”.

Knowing you as I do, it seems a lot this creative from the categories in the competition, to the backstage VIP room, are very YOU!

MICHAEL:  I have an incredible team of producers who I collaborate with.  None of this would be possible without the good people at Hallmark being such incredible animal advocates.  Specifically, Bill Abbott, who is one of the few network executives in the industry who is really walking the walk and doing so much to be supportive of dogs and cats who need homes.  So, this is right up my alley, because creatively I am so passionate about it that it is so easy to come up with fun ideas that hopefully resonate with the viewers.

Photo: Crown Media

Are there any other fun moments that you can tease?

MICHAEL:  We are celebrating the perfectly imperfect.  So, we love when a dog decides to roll on his back in the middle of the arena and decide he wants to get a belly rub in the middle of the competition.  We had a dog decide that he had to go potty on the middle of a flower arrangement on the arena floor.  Those are the moments that give the show its heart and feel-good sensibility.  We had a couple of dogs in the “Best Wiggle Butt” category where one of their forever parent brings them out initially, and their other forever parent was on the other side of the area, and we removed their leash so that they can run from one parent to the other so that we can really see their butts moving, but … we had a few dogs get so excited that they ran right out of the arena! (Laughs)  They ran right through the tunnel off stage and come running back in, and the whole audience erupted into laughter.  It’s just magical.

How did you find these dogs to compete? 

MICHAEL:  We put out a call-to-action on social media, and we got thousands of responses. People submitted their rescue dogs in as many categories as they qualified for, and they submitted photos and videos. Then, we have a team of producers and rescue experts who go through all of the submissions, ultimately picking the top semi-finalists in each category who come to Los Angeles to compete.  We had a wonderful partnership with Pedigree Foundation in which they provided $100,000 in grant money for the dogs that win for the rescue that saved him or her.  So, in the ten semi-final categories, each winning dog received a $5,000 grant for the rescue that saved him or her, and then the ultimate winner of the competition, which is crowned the title, “Best in Rescue,” received an additional $30,000 for the rescue that saved him or her, again, courtesy of Pedigree Foundation.  We also had a partnership with adoptapet.com, which is the largest online resource for people to find rescue dogs in their own communities. Throughout the show, we have a call-to-action for people to go to hallmark.com/bestinrescue and look for the adopt a pet icon … they click it… then enter their zip code … and they are instantly linked to thousands of available dogs in their own community who are patiently waiting for a loving home.

Photo: Crown Media

The dog handlers are the owners of these pets?

MICHAEL:  Yes.  We call it a member of their “forever family”.  Several of the dogs on the show are service dogs now, or companion animals, working in senior homes or working with military service people suffering from PTSD.  We celebrate each and every one of them.

Is your hope to do a third annual show, and keep the dog rescue competition going?

MICHAEL:  Yes!  My hope is that this show continues to be on for many years to come and be a platform for the 8 million animals that enter our shelters each year and are patiently waiting for their forever home, and that we can continue to be a voice for these dogs that don’t have voices of their own.  Of all of the shows that I have produced over the years, this one is going to be the most meaningful to me, and is going to be my legacy, because it is such a beautiful thing that I can bring my work and my passion together to hopefully make a difference in the lives of all of these animals.  As a result of this show, we heard from numerous shelters across the country that there was a definite uptick in adoptions.  That warms my heart beyond compare.

In closing, you know what they say:  it’s easier to work with animals than humans! Thoughts? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Every show has its challenges, but I would much rather deal with a diva Chihuahua than a diva celebrity.  So, on that level, this show is pure joy to make.

So, will you be watching this heartwarming, creative two-night rescue dog event?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below, but first, check out this behind-the-scenes video of how the American Rescue Dog Show is put together with co-host, Ross Matthews.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Jason Thompson Talks On: The Self-Destructive Billy Abbott, Victoria, Phyllis, And Katie’s Disappearance

As February sweeps kicks in to high gear on The Young and the Restless, Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson) and his ex-wife, Victoria Newman (Amelia Heinle) are once again in each other’s orbit.  First, Billy was not too happy to learn that his nemesis, Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard) shared some passionate kisses with her.  In fact, he went running to Cane’s imprisoned wife. Lily (Christel Khalil), to give her the lowdown.  Next, their child, Katie has gone MIA, but as viewers saw on Friday’s cliffhanger she is somehow heard singing through the walls at the Newman Ranch. Previously, Katie said she was playing with an imaginary friend, but someone is lurking around and watching the Newmans every move!

And let’s not forget, Summer (Hunter King) is back in Genoa City!  The last time she hit town she all but destroyed Billy – his gambling addiction returned, she tried to seduce him, and he slept with her as revenge against Phyllis for her having sex with Nick (Joshua Morrow), and we could go on!  After all the hurt, and the dissolution of their relationship, Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Billy are not seeing eye to eye on much, but saying they will try to work together.  Can they?

To fill us in on all the drama, Jason Thompson chatted with Michael Fairman TV and weighed-in on: the future for Villy, Philly, what he has learned from working on two major soaps; General Hospital, where he played the popular Dr. Patrick Drake, and Y&R, his thoughts on his recent Daytime Emmy Pre-Nomination in the Lead Actor category in what was a banner year of storyline for him in 2018, and much more.

Insightful, driven, and talented, Jason is one of the standouts in our genre.  Check out what he had to share below.

What did you think about the plot point that had Billy going to visit Lily in prison, and once there, he informs her that her husband, Cane has been kissing on Victoria!?

JASON:  What I think about it is somewhat irrelevant.  It wasn’t hard for me to rationalize it.  In the moment, Billy was hurt and pissed off.  He is irrational sometimes.  Once he got to the prison, I think he second-guessed himself.  Lily did a pretty good job of convincing him that she needs to know what is going on in order to just live in a certain amount of truth in this situation.  Billy felt that it would be worse for her wondering what was going on on the outside without knowing the truth.  I think that in that moment, he was convinced that telling her the truth was the right thing.  There was a part of him that wanted to get back at Cane, and when Billy gets hurt, he seems to lash out a bit and then sometimes he kind of recoils.  Could he have let it go?  Probably.  I think it’s an interesting thing for Lily and Billy’s relationship; to be honest.  Billy has always respected Lily.  I think that he’s always looked at Lily as someone who does the right thing, and was a good wife, and a good mother, and all of those things.  He thinks that she is in a rough place and wanted to offer her a little bit of support, and that’s the way that he did it.

Photo: JPI Studios

Where do you think the show can go now with his relationship with Cane?  They have been contentious all this time, anyway, and now this has happened.   How do you think this will resolve, or would it ever resolve?

JASON:  I think it’s one of the most interesting relationships Billy hasI don’t know that it will ever resolve.  I don’t know that Billy thinks too much about Cane either way, but in saying that,  there is still no one that can get under his skin and quickly!  In an instant, Cane can be Billy’s enemy and I think that’s great.  I always think there is story for Billy and Cane.  In our working relationship as well, I think we both get a different energy out of each other that inevitably ends up in the characters.  That’s always fun.

Photo:” JPI

How does Billy feel about Victoria now?  She’s been struggling since her relationship with J.T., making out with Cane, etc. 

JASON:  Billy does have feelings for VictoriaI think it’s a number of things that contributes to this.  I think it’s where he finds himself in his life.  He has been kind of hurt by the woman he loved (Phyllis).  He had everything for a moment that he wanted … he had the job, he had the girl, and if he had just done the right thing and had a little bit more self-control, he probably would have been in the best place of his life.  So, when all of those things get pulled away, the one constant is just when he goes to see his kids and they smile, and they don’t know what’s going on in the outside world.  I think the only people who don’t judge him are probably the kids.  There’s something really comfortable about that situation.  No matter what happens, there’s always going to be a little something with Victoria.  She’s always very supportive (not that she hasn’t been very, very upset with him, at times), but there is always something about their relationship that will keep him wondering if they should be together.  I think it will probably be like that for the rest of their lives.

Billy is still unaware that Victoria, Nikki, Phyllis and Sharon are all part of a cover-up in J.T.’s murder.  How aware is Billy in the depths of the abuse Victoria suffered at the hands of J.T.?

JASON:  There was never really a big realization about how dramatic, hurtful, and volatile the whole situation was.  It was a shock to hear all of that obviously, but he has no idea about the depths of it all.

Photo: CBS

If he found out, how do you think he would react knowing what Victoria had gone through?

JASON:  I think he would probably want to kick him again and then re-bury him. Billy has got a lot of flaws, but there is one thing that he will do, and that is always stand up for his family, and that includes Victoria.

Currently, it is just devastating for Billy when Katie goes missing.   He’s like, “I can’t go through this again after what happened with Delia,” and I know you didn’t play the Delia material, because you weren’t on the show at that time.  However, this does give you the opportunity to tap into all of that.

JASON:  Yes!  I mean, that is his biggest fear … going through all of that again.  I think that he would rather not be on the planet than go through all of that again.  What happened to Delia is never going to ever leave him.  I can’t imagine that something like that ever really does.  You just deal with it on a daily basis probably, and things come up, and you feel it all over again, and this is one of those moments.

Courtesy/CBS

I think that you being a father of two children now in your own life; really gives you a perspective when you play these things types of emotions and scenes out.

JASON:  Definitely.  Peter Bergman (Jack) and I were having a conversation about how much life and living, and trying to live a full life, really helps you with your acting.  I work really hard on my craft, but the most important thing that I can do for my work and my career is live a full life.  With the kids and everything else in my personal life, that to me is something that I can always draw upon.  It’s hard to even let myself go there sometimes, because of how scary it would be.  But yeah, I think Billy is not far off from that.  That character has a lot of life and is tied to this volcano and it’s just waiting to erupt, and that eruption is good and full of liveliness fear, and anger.  Some of that comes from hurt, and some of that comes from pain, and some of that comes from a good time, and some of that comes from addiction, and it makes it fun for me because there’s always something to play.  When I talk about what I think of a particular story line, I don’t think of it as, “Oh, I would never do this,” or “I would never do that.  That doesn’t make any sense.”  I try and make sense of everything.  That’s my job.  I just try to find a reason why Billy would be in that situation; instead of trying to find a reason why he wouldn’t be.

Photo: JPI Studios

Would you say that the situation with Katie will draw Victoria and Billy closer together?  At the end of Friday’s episode, they hear Katie’s voice in the wall, so they know she is alive.

JASON:  I think so.  One step up is often two steps back with them, but they are always connected in that way.  The kids do that, and what they’ve been through in the past, and like you said, I wasn’t necessarily there for a lot of that, but it’s in this character.  I would never say never with Victoria.

Photo: CBS

So, where is Billy at with Phyllis?  You and Gina Tognoni played that coupling to the hilt and the show separated them.  Major romances are never really ‘done, done’ on soaps.

JASON:  I mean, it only gets worse with Phyllis.  I’ll say that.  They’re not in a good place.   We have gone through some changes behind the scenes.  So, I have no idea what is happening as far as storyline.  I think there is always going to be something unresolved with Phyllis, but that’s the good thing about this kind of stuff.  You can put these two people together when you have two actors who kind of embrace it, and work at it, and have a natural chemistry, which in turn helps the characters have chemistry.  When Gina and I talk about what we did and accomplished with our characters, to be honest, it’s a little bit of a bummer that they are kind of apart right now, because we had a lot of fun.  We really enjoyed working with each other.  We felt like there was a lot more there to continue to explore, but like you said, it’s never over.  As far as the way that he sees Phyllis … it’s interesting.  I think as an outsider, he kind of looks at her as a selfish person who is going to get and grab whatever she wants, but I feel like he does understand her differently than other people do.  I think he’s looking at Nick and Phyllis and shaking his head like, “You can’t be serious.” (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI

You have had quite a gold mine of leading ladies in your daytime career from: Kimberly McCullough (Robin) to Kelly Monaco (Sam) while you portrayed Dr, Patrick Drake on General Hospital, to Gina and Amelia at Y&R.  I have to say that of all of the leading men on daytime, I think you’ve had consistently some major romantic kickass scene partners.  What are your thoughts on that?

JASON:  Yeah, I have been very fortunate.  I can go back thirteen years now and talk about how much Kimberly helped me out in the beginning, and how patient, and impatient (laughs) she was in a lot of ways.  Kimberly taught me a lot about how the business is, and to hold onto your values, and that it is very important to collaborate with your directors, and your writers, and your producers, and with other people that you work with.  You then see new things.  I’m constantly seeing things in other characters where I’m like, “That would be really interesting to shine a light on.”   I think there’s something really interesting about Sharon (Sharon Case) and Billy.  I think Billy could bring something out in Sharon that somebody else can’t.  That’s what is exciting for me as an actor – trying to find something different and trying to bring life that is not necessarily there yet.  I have had a lot of trust from writers, from producers, and from networks.  I have been very fortunate in that way.

Hunter King has returned to Y&R as Summer.  She played havoc in Billy’s life her last go-round.  I know now she is currently after Kyle (Michael Mealor) and not after Billy, but does Billy blame her at all for his spiral back into his gambling addiction?

JASON:  Realistically, if  Billy were really being dead honest about it and trying to really work soberly in his life, he would say there’s nobody to blame but himself.  There’s definitely that conversation that could be had between them about the situation that they found themselves in.  They both hurt each other pretty badly, and the people surrounding them.  I think there is probably a little bit of blame that can go around on both of them, but I don’t think he really sits back and blames her for falling back into addiction.  She might have been one of the triggers, but I think that he was really responsible for that.

Congratulations on your Daytime Emmy Pre-Nom in the Lead Actor category!  It’s quite a talented group of ten actors that made it through to the final round of competition. You certainly had a stellar year of material!

JASON:  I had a ton of great storylines last year, and it just kind of kept going, and kept going One thing I will say that really helped me out is my relationship with Mal Young (Ex- EP and head writer, Y&R).  We got along really well.  He helped me out by letting me know six months ahead of time where we planned on going with the story.  So, I was able to understand and slowly build the depths of hurt, and the gambling, and how it got further along, and the lies.   I was able to understand where we were going and the plateau that we needed to get to, which was very helpful for me. I worked with amazing people constantly; every day was like something different.  The hard part in this next round of voting is trying to find something that represents the whole year.  When I look at that list of pre-nominees, I’m proud of the work that daytime actors do … everybody from a little bit of a younger guy like Billy Flynn (Chad, DAYS) to icons like Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) , and Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH).  What Maurice brought to my life as an actor and still does has been wonderful, and on the other side of that you’ve got Peter Bergman, who is like a real brother to me now, and we’re really close.  It’s a nice comradery between everybody in the category.  It’s a great group of people to be included with, and aside from the competition part of it, that’s the really cool part.

Photo Credit: JPI

So, let’s talk about your on-screen, mom, Jess Walton (Jill).  I’ve heard you say publicly how much you really like working with her, and she with you.  What can you say about when you do get some scenes with Jess, and get to play that mother-son relationship?

JASON:  That’s another one that you can loop in with all of the other women I’ve worked with.  It’s a different kind of relationship, but talk about a soap icon! Jess Walton is right up there.  She’s a pro, and she’s got this little girl inside that is the sweetest thing alive, and her little giggle.  I can say that relationship is just there with her.  I would love for her to be there more.  If there’s one person that can tell Billy to just, you know what, she’s somebody that can give him a little whipping, and he’d be like, “Okay mom, you’re right.” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Finally, you are on this juggernaut of a show that just celebrated yet another milestone, 30 years at #1.  You go from a historic show like GH, to another here at Y&R that keeps celebrating these milestones that nobody will ever overtake.  All of this has to be a ‘pinch yourself’ moment for you?

JASON:  Yeah, I definitely pinch myself.  I think at this moment, all four soaps that are left are having monumental anniversaries and celebrations, because the truth of it is, it’s really incredible what soaps have done in our history.  With playing Patrick on General Hospital, I still look back on that time and that character, and am just so grateful that I was able to bring him to life.  Every once and awhile I wonder what Patrick’s doing.  On the other end of that, to come over to Y&R with a show that is now 30 years at number #1, and the pride that they have, and the support that they have from the network, there’s a real kind of challenge that we have in order to keep that up.  It is not about the slogans, or the glitzy ad campaigns in the magazines that say, “Hey!  We are #1 for 30 years.”  While that’s very important, what’s more important are the people who have gotten us there for the last thirty years.  We have to show them respect by doing the best that we can and continue that. That’s what drives us. You can feel it in the building.  To take on a character like Billy, who has been a part of that for a very long time, there is a pressure that comes with that, but at the same time, there is an excitement of taking on this character and continuing to make him relevant, and a part of this great soap’s history.

So, do you want Billy to end up with Victoria, Phyllis, perhaps Sharon, or someone else? Who do you think has got Katie and is watching the Newmans?  Are you rooting for Jason to receive a Lead Actor nomination for his work on Y&R in 2018?  What do you think about the other sentiments shared by Jason in this interview, and what was your favorite part of our discussion? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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