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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
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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
Guest
Kristen

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

MBmomof3
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

kay/kay
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

LisaZee
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Chaz
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

DDfan4life
Guest
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
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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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
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Gayle Trent

Great interview!

Donna
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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
Guest
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… Read more »

Jane
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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… Read more »

Delores
Guest
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
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Laura

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

Jeanne Curnow
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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
Guest
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… Read more »

Joanne
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Cheryl Pederson
Guest
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
Guest
lori

hi
an excellent interview. love lori

Phyllis
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Ginger
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Cynthia

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

Carolyn
Guest
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
Guest
MP

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

CAROL
Guest
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… Read more »

General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright Talks on Mob Boss Carly and Her 30-Year Evolution in Daytime

She’s a fierce, force to be reckoned with, one who delivers raw and emotional performances time and time again, while never forgetting from where she came, and always willing to pass on to her newer co-stars’ the wisdom she gained from the grind of performing in front of the camera in the toughest acting genre there is … daytime drama.

General Hospital’s Laura Wright’s (Carly) real-life soap journey actually has a very humble beginning when in 1991 – fresh off a job at a gas station – she landed in Corinth and the role of Ally Rescott on ABC’s Loving.  Up next, a jaunt to its re-imagined version, The City, until the series ultimate demise in 1997. But that was just an appetizer for soap fans of Wright’s burgeoning talent, when next she ventured to Springfield and CBS’ Guiding Light to take on the role of a stripper with a heart-of-gold who ultimately would be crowned a princess, Cassie Layne. Then, after a popular 8-year-run, she would head to General Hospital, and one of the most coveted roles in soaps, that of Port Charles’ Carly Corinthos following in the footsteps of powerhouse actresses, Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun. In her 20th year in daytime, Laura took home the gold for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series back in 2011, and that brings us to now.  Next week on June 7th, marks Laura’s 30th year in daytime filled with memorable on and off-screen moments that she has cherished.

Meanwhile, currently on GH, Laura is getting to play Carly in a whole new set of circumstances as she enters her three-decade soap anniversary. In story, we find Carly stepping up to run the mob, now that she and everyone else believes her husband, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is dead, and while her best friend and mob enforcer, Jason (Steve Burton) had to go on the run. And from the looks of it, Carly is adjusting to the mob boss role quite well … but is she really?

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Laura to get the lowdown on Carly’s life without Sonny, which has pushed her front and center into managing crimes and misdemeanors, mafia-style, all to protect the ones she loves, and to reflect on her amazing ride in daytime; which has made her one of the all-time leading ladies of the soaps.  Here’s what Laura shared about it all.

Photo: ABC

When you first found out what the structure of this storyline was going to be, where Sonny was going to “die” along with Julian (William deVry), and then he turns up alive and has amnesia, what was your initial thought?  Did you know how far they were going to take this for Carly, as far as her now running  the mob in Sonny’s place?

LAURA:  I had no idea about the mob part of it until about two months ago. As far as Sonny having amnesia and having another life now, I love those kinds of stories.  It also gives you as an actor something to play, and what else are you going to do with Sonny and Carly?  You can’t really break them up.  You’re talking to the person who is game for almost anything, so I loved it.  What does Carly’s life look like now as everybody believes that Sonny has died? How does she even take care of herself?  For me, it gave me great material to play because of how it all started to crumble.  Ava (Maura West) takes Avery, Cyrus (Jeff Kober) starts taking over the territory and the town, and Carly starts losing all of this security in her life as she knew it in trying to protect her family, and it was scary for her.

Photo: ABC

Of course, viewers could see where this storyline was heading once Carly lit in to Nina (Cynthia Watros), when Nina was in Nixon Falls and saw that Sonny was very much alive! You could see that Nina was going to seek revenge on Carly and not tell her about Sonny, aka “Mike”, all the while getting closer to him.  What do you think Carly would do if she found out that Nina was with Sonny and kept it from her?

LAURA:  You know, Carly before taking over the mob would have been awful, but now… and I was thinking about this the other day …  I’m like, “Carly would go after her with a gun!”

For years, I’ve always loved this idea of, “What if Carly became a mob boss?”

LAURA:  If they did have Carly go after Nina, then Jason and Sonny would be like, “You cannot do this.”  I think there is this blind rage, at least for a moment.  It can’t just be standing there and yelling at her, do you know what I mean?  Carly would probably take action and then Nina would disappear, or it’s like ‘get me away from her because I am going to kill her’ for what this woman did.  So, you have to have at least an episode of that before you come to your senses and realize that you have children and responsibilities, and you’re going to have to do this the right way, but you have to have the moment of losing it.  It’s stealing their life.  It’s great stuff.  My other thoughts are, “Poor Cynthia,” (laughs) because she’s got to be the nicest human being on the planet, and she is so fun to work with, and so great and committed, so we are going to have some interesting times getting through whatever they write.  I have no idea what they’re writing by the way, and I have no idea when it’s going to happen, but I am sure it will be great.

Photo: ABC

With the way GH shoots their taping schedule, I am assuming now you barely see Maurice, because you are basically in two different parts of this interconnecting story?

LAURA:  We shoot by set.  So, if Maurice is working in the morning, and I am scheduled at let’s say at noon, by the time I get there, he’ll be gone.  So, it’s fascinating. It’s kind of running parallel of what is happening on and off screen because I don’t see him at work, either.

Photo: ABC

Carly seems that she is becoming pretty comfortable in this mob role.  There was a scene that recently aired between Diane (Carolyn Hennesy) and Carly, where Carly was discussing her options of what to do with Gladys (Bonnie Burroughs).  Does Carly like the power this brings her?

LAURA:  I think so, but it’s not like she’s sitting around going, “Oh, this is amazing.”  It’s seriously what she has to do.  What she is seeing is that there are so many moving parts that she didn’t realize how difficult it was.  Sonny made it look easy.  There’s not a time to even take a breath.  You’ve got to always be on your toes.  You know, she is doing it in ‘Carly fashion,’ so it’s always entertaining, and trying as a woman to put out all the fires, but there’s 20 fires behind it, because there is just someone constantly trying to take your seat, trying to hurt your family.  There’s just always something to look out for whether it be from the other families or law enforcement.  I think that Carly is surprised that she is good at it and surprised at how making these decisions is becoming easier and easier for her, but I don’t know if she sits back and enjoys it.  At this point, from air to what we are taping, the decisions don’t stop, and the danger doesn’t stop, and more decisions have to be made, and there is no one else to do it.  This is a world that is life or death.  This isn’t like, “Well, if they don’t like me, I’ll just find someone else to do the job.”  There’s nobody else to do that job.  It’s not that world.  You don’t get to walk away, and she is learning that more and more, as she plays in the big world.

Photo: ABC

So, Jason went on the run with Britt (Kelly Thiebaud).  How does Carly feel about that?

LAURA:  Britt saved his life.  She said that on camera.  “She saved your life; she can take you wherever.  I trust her.”  Carly saw how Britt stepped up and helped him.  I don’t think there is anything else that Carly is thinking right now.  Carly doesn’t have the luxury of being old Carly and being snippy, catty, wanting to vet every person in Jason’s life.  It’s just not her reality right now.  That would be a luxury if she could go back and be that person, but that’s not it.  Right now, it’s assessing the situation.  “Is he safe?  Is she taking care of him?  Great.  I don’t care about anything else right now.”  This is the difference between old Carly and mob-boss Carly.  Those days are gone.  She would give anything to go back to those days because she didn’t have to have the world on her shoulders because Jason was safe, and Sonny was alive.  It’s not where she is now.  It’s a different dynamic that she was forced into.

Photo: ABC

When you and Steve Burton are in scenes together, whether it’s just in your eyes, or expressions or emotions, there is so much going on, or at least that’s how it plays to the audience.  Is the relationship between Carly and Jason one of your favorites to play, because it’s so unique and deep rooted into their history? 

LAURA:  Oh, I love the Carly/Jason relationship. It’s the loyalty and that their dedication to each other is unbendable, unbreakable.  It’s so unwavering.  It’s great to play because it’s like being in a really good relationship, even though he’s not her ‘person’, but he kind of is.  It’s being in a great relationship that means that you get to be 100% you and everything that means, and that person loves and accepts you. There’s such incredible love and freedom, and that’s what it’s like to work with Steve because Steve approaches our scenes – and almost every scene when I watch him with other people – that there is no undercutting judgment, only help.  If I’m struggling with a line or I don’t want to do something, he’s either like, “Yeah, I agree. That’s unnecessary; cut it,” or he gives me a really great way of looking at it, where I’m like, “Oh, that is a really interesting thing, thanks!”  So, then you have full freedom to feel and play and do anything, and that’s kind of what you see.  There’s just a confidence, and I think it is also the relationship.  I think it has to be there when I work with Steve because the relationship between Carly and Jason is that way.

Photo: JPI

Carly and Jason accept each other for who they are, all their flaws, and the dangers that come with their lives.  Wouldn’t you say?

LAURA:  She accepts him 100% for who he is.  She wants to manipulate the world around him, so he is safe, and perfect, and always there, but she still accepts him when nobody else does and vice versa.  He knows that Carly is going to destroy things, and mess up, and spiral.  Like, she had that scene where she said, “Even when Jason knows I’m wrong, he supports me.” It’s really that right there that is everything between the two of them, and it’s the hardest thing to find in any relationship, real life, TV, etc.  We always want to change people to make them be who we want them to be so that we feel okay. It’s a great soap opera relationship because it causes conflict in every other relationship that they have, which is great for storytelling in a show because then there is always a challenge, always a hurdle, always a problem built-in if you need drama. It’s because there is so much acceptance and unconditional love and support that they are free to be who they need to be, and I feel that as an actor working Steve as well.  I think that’s what you see when you say there’s ‘a lot going on’.

Carly’s plan for Gladys took quite a turn!

LAURA:  Well, Carly thought the second that Cyrus finds out that Brando (Johnny Wactor) is the father of Sasha’s (Sofia Matteson) baby that Cyrus is going to want to take him out, so she basically said to Gladys, “Look, I’ll set you up.  I’ll give you all the money you want.  Hell, I’ll even buy you a house.  Leave town, but you have to tell everybody that you lied about Jason,” and she doesn’t bite the bait.  So, you then have Carly saying, “Well, we can do this the easy way where I just pay for your life and you go, or we can do it the hard way,” and the hard way is me letting her know that, “You have a grandchild on the way, and your son is going to be murdered if you don’t do this for me,” because it puts Cyrus back in prison because he is on probation, and he has now obstructed justice.  It’s all on Gladys’s testimony.  That was Carly’s plan.  Right now, her biggest threat is Cyrus and obviously as viewers have seen things did not go as planned!

Photo: ABC

June 7th you will be celebrating 30 years on daytime! Do you remember your first day on Loving? What happened?

LAURA:  I do.  Oh, God!  I remember what dress I had on.  I remember how my hair was.

Were you like in “Oz”?

LAURA:  I looked like Oz. (Laughs) I looked like Dorothy… the dress they had me in, the hair, are you kidding?  I didn’t know what a boom was!  I was really loud.  I had one line: “Grandma!” and that was it, and then they had to note that because I kept saying, “Grandmaw,” and they were like, “It’s not ‘Grandmaw.’  It’s ‘Grandma.’”  Then, I did whatever they said at first, but then the longer I was on the show, I was like, “I say ‘Grandmaw.’ I’m not saying ‘Grandmuh.’ I don’t care. (Laughs) Everyone gets their own personalization of how they say what they say.”  That was my big argument, and now I’ve had a thousand arguments over 30 years, but that was my first big pushback because I would be doing, what in my mind was great work.  I got all of the lines out, my God, and that was before we could do pickups, and when we shot the show in order. Those cameras had wheels. So if you were on set, and they shot the scene before us, you had to be ready to go, and they would fly down the studio on those cameras to set up to start shooting the next scene.  If I got through a scene and they had to do it over again because I said, “Grandmaw,” I would be so angry. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

Who helped you the most on Loving?

LAURA:  Nada Rowand, who played my grandmother, Lisa Peluso, who played my aunt on the show, and Eric Woodall was my best friend and he played Matt Ford.  He and I would get together every Sunday night, and here’s a little bit of trivia for you … Eric lived with Billy Porter! They graduated from Carnegie Mellon together.  So, I would go over to his apartment, and on Sunday night, we would go over all of the scripts together for the whole week because Eric graduated from Carnegie Mellon; I worked at a gas station. (Laughs) We had very different talents that we were bringing to the table for this soap opera job.  Eric helped me a great deal, my gosh, and so did Bernie Barrow (Ex-Louis).

Bernie was an amazing actor and the only Daytime Emmy winner, ever from Loving!

LAURA:  I had scenes with Bernie because he played my grandfather on the show. I had no idea about half the notes that they were giving me. Bernie would pull me aside and explain what they meant and teach it to me in a way where I knew how to incorporate it into my scenes and adjust and take the notes.  He was extremely helpful.  Then, there is the famous Noelle Beck (Ex-Trisha) story, where two weeks after starting the show, Eric and I were invited to go to the Daytime Emmy Awards.  I was dying because I grew up watching daytime television, and I grew up watching the Daytime Emmys.  So, when I was allowed to go, I told my mom to ship me my prom dress from my senior year of high school, which was this poufy, emerald green thing, and it looked like something from Dynasty with jewels all over it.  I got it, and I was so excited, and everyone on the show was like, “Oh, my God, someone has got to tell her … she cannot wear that dress.”  I didn’t know you could go to wardrobe and ask to borrow a dress, because I’d only been on the show for two weeks maybe.  The same day, they came to me and said, “So, if Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica, AMC) doesn’t win, you’re going to be interviewed on Good Morning America the next morning about how the gas station girl got a job.”  So, it was a big deal. I’m getting ready for the Emmys, and to put this emerald-green dress on, and there is this knock on my door, and it’s Noelle Beck.  She has this beautiful, black, strapless dress. She’s like, “Your dress is beautiful, but I don’t know, I think this is really simple, and I think you might really look beautiful in it if you want to try it on.”

Photo: JPI

Her dress?

LAURA: Her dress! It was a dress that was in Noelle’s closet on the show because she went to wardrobe and was like, “Laura cannot wear that emerald green prom dress.  She will be laughed at.”  I would have been mortified because I did not know what people wore.  I had never been to a red carpet! Noelle went to wardrobe, and they all came up with this dress, and so she came to me and said, “Your dress is so pretty, but I think this might go better with Eric’s suit,” or however she sold it! I tried it on, and I just felt so sophisticated, and I was like, “It’s okay if I wear this!?” and she’s just like, “Oh, my God, yeah!”  When I think back to that story, I’m like, ‘thank God for Noelle Beck’.  It was one of the funniest stories ever, and her dressing room was right across the hall from me, and she was from Maryland; I was from Maryland.  She was like a sister.  Noelle was always looking out for me, personally.

Photo: ABC

Over the years, you have become one of the great leading ladies of daytime.  Was there a moment, when you were like, “I’ve got this down now … I really know what I’m doing.”

LAURA:   There have been different moments.  I remember the first time where I felt like ‘an actor.’  It was when they shot and killed Casey (Paul Anthony Stewart) on Loving, and he had to die in my arms.  I embodied something and felt it in a way that was different.  I didn’t know what it was at the time because I was playing my emotions of Paul leaving the show. I was really confused because I was like, “Do I really like this guy?” like in real life, because I didn’t know.  I didn’t have any tools of acting to know how to separate.  I was so in love with the characters’ love story, which was also my feelings at the time because I didn’t know the difference.  I didn’t know where Ally stopped, and Laura started.  I was just kind of playing myself.  I remember they called Paul to the set for a goodbye, and they were giving him a big cake and everything, and I could barely hold it together.  I couldn’t believe he was leaving.  I was like, “You’re going to say, ‘I changed my mind,’ right?” and I really believed that.  I really was like, “There’s just no way he’s going.”  Then, we had to shoot his scene, and I was very emotional and upset.  But, it was the next day where I had to go and play the scenes where he is dead and talk about it to the family, and that was when I just lost it.  I just changed as an actor in those scenes.  I remember having an opinion.  When the writers were telling me the story that they were going to tell, I remember saying, “Well, I think the interesting moment is she is not going to believe it,” and they were like, “What do you mean?”  I say, “When she comes home from the hospital, I think she needs to be like, ‘We have to go back.  Casey is at the hospital, and he needs us,’ and they were like, “That’s such a great thing to play.”  That’s what shifted for me.  I just remember there was a moment where Ally couldn’t lie anymore. She couldn’t convince herself, and then she had to tell her son that Casey wasn’t coming back.  I really understood what it was to get lost to a scene; what it was to not be Laura going, “I’m going to act now and play this scene.”  I learned how to become the character and transform in the moment.

It’s was on-the-job training.

LAURA:  Oh, for sure on-the-job training, because I went to one acting class thinking that in New York City I need to know what I’m doing, and I was so terrified to get up and speak in a scene that I literally could not talk.  I couldn’t even function outside of the safety of what I knew on a soap opera set.  I had that happen with my meditation teacher training a few years ago.  I almost left the training because it was terrifying for me to get up and not know what I’m going to do and have the script, no cameras in front of me!  It was very bizarre.

Photo: CBS

And later, Guiding Light came your way!

LAURA: When The City got canceled, I shot a pilot that did not get picked up, and my agents were like, “What do you want to do?” and I was like, “I’m really good at daytime… can we just stick with that?  I don’t really want to do this auditioning thing.” So, then all of the sudden within a week of me saying, “I think I’ll do daytime again,” I had a screen-test for All My Children and Guiding Light at the exact same time.  I was like, “What are the parts?” and I wasn’t going to pit them against each other because my agent was like, “It’s bad taste. We don’t represent that kind of negotiation.” You have to pick because before you go into any screen-test, you already have a pre-negotiated contract, and the deal has been placed.  So, you know going in what your situation will be.  So, it was All My Children, playing a doctor, or a stripper with a heart-of-gold on Guiding Light.  It was the role and that Guiding Light just had a better money offer that pushed me towards that screen-test. Then, I had to go in and meet Paul Rauch (Former EP, GL) before I screen-tested, and then Jim Brown and Barbara Esensten who were now the head writers at GL. They wrote for me on The City.  They were the ones who said, “Let’s get Laura Wright in here and see if she wants to do this.”  It’s interesting, because when they were shooting Annie’s (Cynthia Watros) big trial on Guiding Light, and Kim Zimmer (Reva) had these incredible, long days and tons of dialogue in the courtroom scenes. Then, they throw this screen-test at her with me in the middle of the afternoon! I remember when we were doing the scene. Kim had jumped to another part in it, and of course, I knew the script backwards and forwards because I’ve had it for a week and a half.  Kim had probably looked at it that day because she’s got a thousand other lines that she’s learning for that week of shows.  We were in the middle of the scene, and they’re rolling cameras, it’s very emotional, we’re going at each other, and Kim had jumped to the next page of a line, but I knew exactly where she went, so I went right there. We got back on track and ended the scene, and Kim goes, “She just saved my ass in that screen-test!” and we just started laughing.  It was a great moment.

Photo: LWInstagram

The cast of Guiding Light was so amazing!

LAURA:  So amazing, and that’s where I met my man.

Wes Ramsey (Ex-Sam, GL, now Peter, GH) at the time had a crush on you if I recall the story.

LAURA:  Yes, he had a crush.  I don’t know if he wanted to go out with me because when I first came on, I was pregnant, so that would have been weird! (Laughs) We have a funny story that he told me four years ago when we got together. Wes was going through old photos that he had logged into his computer and was trying to put things in different files, and he’s like, “Oh, my God.”  He had come back a few times on Guiding Light after he’d left, and one of the times was after I’d had my son, and this was when Richard had died, and Cassie had chopped all of her hair off.  So, he was going through these photos and he showed me that he had snuck a picture of me.  (Laughs) Then, he’s like, “See, I told you I had a crush!”  I’m like, “Oh my God, that’s so funny!”

Do you and Wes run lines together at home, even though you are in different storylines on GH?

LAURA:  If he needed me too, I would, but Wes has a totally different way of learning his lines than I do.  His prep work is very different than mine.  His is very professional and probably how you should do it. He is a Juilliard graduate.  So, he was taught well, and I’ve just figured it out.  Mine is just pure survival …’the gas station girl’.

Photo: ABC

What was the impact Guiding Light had on the trajectory of your career?

LAURA:  Guiding Light was 100% an actors show. They told a different kind of story, and the actors across the board were serious and wanted you to take it just as seriously. You were either going to sink or swim on that show, and I had to figure out how to swim. I think I spent the first six months in my dressing room crying when I wasn’t on set, trying to figure it out.  I was really taken care of on Loving.  I was 20-years-old when I got that part, 27 when I left. When I went to Guiding Light, it wasn’t like I wasn’t taken care of and protected, but it was a new energy. No one knew me.  No one knew what I was capable of.  I didn’t even know what I was capable of at the time, and you weren’t going to phone it in there.  I started working with Kim Zimmer and Jordan Clarke (Ex-Billy Lewis).  My God, you’re thrown in with people who make you feel things and play things that are uncomfortable, because that’s what we do as actors.  We make it uncomfortable, and we stretch the boundaries, and we play these emotions that are so raw and real.  One day I was freaking out over a scene with the characters of Edmund and Dinah, and I just said I would never do this.  I was just adamant. The director, said, “We have to do this.  So, you have to give me one reason where you could stay in this room.”  I said, “I guess my daughter could walk in the door, and I don’t want to leave her,” and he goes, “Great!  That’s great,” and I go, “Or…” and it just opened this door of there’s a thousand ways I could play a scene.

Photo: CBS

When you came onto General Hospital and embodied Carly, did you feel like this was it now… and that you were in command of your craft?

LAURA:  No, because it took me a long time to get comfortable.  I’m the fourth Carly, so you want to honor what they’re writing, you want to honor the fans and what they love about the character, and there were three women who played her before me and somebody loved something about all of them. So, you want to bring that, as well as make your own mark.  You’re taking over a leading female role of the show with that much passion and dialogue that comes with the character, so it was a lot of pressure at first, but I was excited for it.  I showed up every day ready to kick ass, but as far as feeling like, “Ha ha, it’s mine; I’ve made it!”, I’ve never felt that.

Photo: ABC

I have spoken to many of your co-stars through the years, and they often share how you helped them within a scene, or with something they were struggling with.  That is where experience can be a great asset for a performer in this medium.

LAURA:  As a female lead on the show, I do think it’s important to lift other women up to become their own female leads, and I do mean that.  If I’m working with someone, and I see them get a note that they don’t understand, or it’s a technical note, but gosh, it’s an important scene for them emotionally, anything I can do to help them in that moment, whether it has anything to do with me or not, I am there for.  There was a bathroom scene that I think aired a week or so ago with Carly and Sasha.  In the scene, Sasha (Sofia Mattsson) has all of her makeup in front of her, and the shot they need to get is through the mirror.  Sasha has a full conversation with Carly, who is standing upstage. It’s very difficult to do that when you don’t have rehearsal time to figure it out. They gave her the note that they needed her to say her line into the mirror, or they can’t get her face, right? I’m like, “Hey, do you have any idea how you’re going to do that?” because it’s so hard! I wanted to help. Having 30 years’ experience in something feels great, and it’s shocking because where did those 30 years go? What incredible memories I have, but what it’s gifted me the most is being able to help people through my experience, and through what I have learned along the way.  The whole show shines when we all shine, not just when one person does.

Photo: LWrightInstagram

What do you think your late parents would say about your 30 years in daytime?

LAURA:  Oh, they would be so proud… so happy.  It’s just so crazy that it’s been 30 years, and 2020 being the longest year with what we all experienced with Covid-19.  Looking back on my daytime career, I don’t know why, the shows didn’t let me go. I think it really was work ethic.  I can really say my work ethic is a huge part of me sticking around because I never got lazy.  I was never not going to figure it out.  I was never one to show up not knowing her lines, or being a problem, or not caring. I think that’s what kept me going, and then listening, watching, feeling, and I’m just so grateful.  I’m like, “Wow, what a ride!”

Photo: ABC

… And what can you say about what your time as Carly has meant to you within your now illustrious daytime career?

LAURA:  I love every second of it.  It’s my choice how I show up on that soundstage.  After 30 years, I am not bored.  I have had my moments of trying to find the fun in it and caring about Carly’s storyline at the time. That’s my own choice though, right?  It’s a choice – how I choose to show up every day there – and what I choose to find interesting and challenging, and I do.  No matter what storyline they’ve given me, I can choose for it to be, “Okay, I’m here.  I’ve been doing this for so long, I could do it in my sleep,” or I could choose to show up and go, “Where am I going to kickass today?  Where is the moment?”  Now, I don’t love the amount of time it takes for my hair to get blown out; I’ll be honest (Laughs). I’m an antsy person.  But when I get on set, it’s my choice to find the love and the fun of it, whatever that is for me.  I choose to open up every script I get, the second I get it, and am always excited to see what I’m doing.

Photo: ABC

Finally, what would you say, as a tease of what we should look forward to in the coming weeks involving Carly?

LAURA:  All I can say is there is amazing stuff coming, amazing performances, amazing excitement, amazing heartbreak, amazing surprises.  It’s all coming.

So, are you into Carly running the mob? What do you think will happen when and if Carly finds out Nina has been with Sonny aka Mike for months?  What has been your favorite moment of Laura’s on the soaps throughout her 3 decades in daytime? Share your thoughts and congrats to Laura in the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Telma Hopkins and Bryton James Talk on their ‘Family Matters’ Connection, Amanda Sinclair’s Past, and the songs of Tony Orlando and Dawn

This week, kicks-off a very special guest appearance by Telma Hopkins on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.  Hopkins plays Denise Tolliver, a private eye with some very important intel for Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan), about her past, her father, and her biological family drama.

Photo:CBD

Telma’s guest stint on Y&R reunites her with her dear friend and former on-screen son, Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) after they appeared together on the late 80’s and 90’s sitcom Family Matters.  Fans of the comedy series remember a very young Bryton as Richie Crawford and Telma as his mother, Rachel.  Year laters, they now have the opportunity to work together in Genoa City.

Photo: CBS

In a new interview out today on the Michael Fairman Channel, Telma and Bryton chat virtually with Michael, and we learn that Telma is a longtime fan of Y&R, a huge fan of Mishael Morgan’s, and just how Denise Tolliver’s arrival in Genoa City will set the stage for fireworks to come.

And while Telma and Bryton reminisce about first their first impressions of each other on the Family Matters set, we also delve into another key part of Hopkins career as part of the iconic singing trio Tony Orlando and Dawn, whose hit singles included: “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole’ Oak Tree”, “Candida”, “She Don’t Love You” and more.

Photo: CBS

So, excited to see Telma and Bryton together again? What were your first impressions of Telma as Denise Tolliver on today’s Y&R? What is your favorite Tony Orlando and Dawn tune? Did you watch “Family Matters” with Telma and Bryton years ago? Share your thoughts in the comment section.  But first check out their full interview below.

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Days Of Our Lives

WATCH: Daytime Emmy Nominations Special 2021 Replay

Last night, during the Daytime Emmy Nominations Special Livestream on the Michael Fairman Channel, 15 nominated performers who will be going for gold on the upcoming 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, shared their reactions and their excitement at learning they were in the running in the major Daytime Drama performer categories as chosen by their peers.

Throughout the livestream, the actors also shared what scenes they chose for their reels in the competition that landed them in the top spots in their respective categories.

Photos: ABC, CBS, JPI, NBC

During the broadcast, Michael welcomed: The Bold and the Beautiful’s Darin Brooks and Courtney Hope, General Hospital’s, Maurice Benard, Finola Hughes, Max Gail, Briana Lane and Dominic Zamprogna, The Young and the Restless’ Bryton James, Melissa Claire Egan and Alyvia Alyn Lind, and Days of our Lives nominees: Victoria Konefal, Cady McClain, Wally Kurth, George DelHoyo, and Tamara Braun.

In addition, NATAS President and CEO Adam Sharp shared insight into this year’s nomination process, the year in daytime, and teased what to look for on the upcoming Daytime Emmy Telecast on June 25th on CBS, where the award show recently got a two-year pick-up.

In case you missed it, enjoy this kick-off to Emmy season and watch the Daytime Emmy Nominations Replay below.  Then let us know what moments you enjoyed the most during our show, and who you are rooting for to take home Emmy gold in the comment section.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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