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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!

 

READ MORE
Elizabeth Hendrickson Makes Another Return To Y&R

 

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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?

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Rebecca Herbst Chats On ‘Friz’, Her On-Screen Sons & How Liz Has Grown-Up

Last week, Rebecca Herbst celebrated her 22nd year playing fan favorite Elizabeth Webber (now Baldwin) on General Hospital.  She made her on-screen debut on August 1, 1997.  And in those two decades plus in Port Charles, Liz has gone through many a rocky relationship, plenty of drama, and carried out some misdeeds of her own.  But one thing is for sure, Becky is loved by the fans of the long-running ABC daytime drama series who always want the best for her, and for Nurse Elizabeth.

Recently, ‘Friz’ fans got a moment they had long been waiting for when Franco (Roger Howarth) and Liz, and their friends and family (and some enemies) shared in their wedding reception.  But can their happiness last?  According to two psychics, Sibley Gamble (Veronica Cartwright) and Chelsea Lambas (Jen Ray) that Franco has run into in recent weeks, he better be careful.  That has made Franco concerned, while Liz is trying to get her family all on the same page, and it looks like her boys are coming around to loving and accepting Franco, too, despite what Liz’s ex Jason (Steve Burton) may have to say about it.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Rebecca  at the GH Fan Club Weekend, where she made a welcome appearance, to talk about: how she sees Elizabeth’s relationship with Franco, her talented on-screen sons, and how Liz has grown-up since she started on the series, and more.  Here’s what Becky shared with us below.

What did you think of the long-awaited wedding reception of Franco and Liz?  The show finally gave them this joyous moment; after their jailhouse nuptials. Did you feel like the way the wedding actually went down it felt like it cheated the relationship, or did you like it?

REBECCA:  I felt the jailhouse wedding was a bit of a cheat, because they had tried two different times to have a really glorious wedding, so to do it in a jail cell was not the most desirable place. (Laughs)  However, the fact that the characters did actually get married and nothing came in between was a plus, and so, hey, they’ll take that.  Later, when I read in the scripts that there was going to be the reception, I was shocked, because I really didn’t think it was ever going to happen.

Photo: ABC

Do you think the fans were getting to the point where they thought this was never going to happen, also?

REBECCA:  For sure.  We all thought they Franco and Liz were never going to have their moment, or their honeymoon or any of that. I was really pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they write it, but it was beautiful!  It was also visually beautiful.  They put a lot of effort and thought into the show itself, and nobody died, and nobody fell through the roof.  Well, it was kind of funny that Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) got pushed off the ‘Haunted Star’, but according to Elizabeth, that’s just fine that Obrecht got pushed off the boat. (Laughs)  She didn’t die, so everything is good, but all in all, it was a really wonderful party.

What did you think when they had all of Elizabeth’s sons performing a song for the happy couple.  It was so cute, and touching.

REBECCA:  Oh, my goodness.  Those were real tears I shed.  That was so sweet.  So very, very sweet of them.

Photo: ABC

The show is growing the boys, so now you, as Elizabeth, have some young actors to play off of in your scenes.  How do you feel about that?

REBECCA:  Oh, I love it!  For so long, Elizabeth would only talk about her kids, “My boys, my boys, my boys, my boys in the attic.” (Laughs) Now, she has relationships, and very different relationships with each one of them.

I think that echoes real-life too.  A mother has distinct relationships with each of her children.  That’s what I like about Liz with her sons.  And as a mom in real-life as well, I am sure you can relate to this.

REBECCA:  Yes, my relationship with all of my kids is completely different, and I really love that it’s true for Elizabeth’s kids.  I attribute a lot of that to the writers, because they definitely write our relationships differently.  Aiden (Jason David) is still this baby who Elizabeth coddles and protects.  Cameron (William Lipton) is expected to be the man of the house and take care of things, and sometimes Elizabeth feels like she puts too much responsibility on him, but he is going to protect his mom no matter what.  Hudson (Jake) is so wonderful, too.  The fact that I have been blessed with three beautifully smart little actors is just a win for me.

Courtesy/ABC

Let’s talk about Aiden, who had been bullied at school by the other kids.  Do you think that story will be fleshed out?  It seems it may have been put on pause, because it would be an important story to tell for parents with LGBTQ children, if that is how GH ultimately chose to tell the story.

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REBECCA:  It is an important story.  I would love to tell the story.  There is a great message.  I don’t think we touched on it enough.   I think, for now, the best way to put a button on it is to send the message that we should accept our children with all of their wonderful attributes and personalities and whatever their interests, and let’s not label children, and listen to them and support them.   We should just all be kind.   I was sad when I would read some of the tweets about the story.  It saddened me to read people’s harsh opinions towards Elizabeth’s acceptance of her child.  Some people said that we should not be doing a story like this, and then there was the other half who said, “Just because he is a baker, doesn’t make him gay,” which is 100% true.

True!  TV viewers have certainly seen a lot of straight chefs on foodie or cooking shows, for example.

REBECCA:  Absolutely!  All three of my children in real-life love to cook.  There is nothing wrong with that.   I think we need to just continue to love Aiden no matter what, and he is not different than any of the other kids.

Photo: ABC

William Lipton has been amazing as Cameron, right?

REBECCA:  Amazing.  I know!  He is not only a great little actor, singer, and performer, but he has this beautiful little face, and he is such a grounded young man.  He’s a really sweet person.  You can tell he’s been raised in a really great house, and he has an amazing mom.

Because you are such a “mom’s-mom” in real life, do you think that helps you in how Elizabeth reacts to her children?

REBECCA:  I think so.  I always ask permission from my on-camera kids before a scene: “Is it okay if I kiss your little head?  Is it okay if I put you on my lap here?  Is it okay if I put my hands on your face?”  I’m not their mother, but when I think about what I would do with my real-life kids,  they’re always getting kissed and hugged and held by me, so I want to make it look as real as possible.  I have to think, “What would I do if this were Emerson?”  He’d be on my lap, and I’d be kissing his little neck.  So, then I have to ask Jason, who plays Aiden, “Is it okay that I kiss your neck, and if I kind of just like snuggle you?”  All three of my on-screen kids are so great, because they’re like, “Yeah, sure.  We don’t care!” and not all stage kids are like that.  They all are receptive of my love, and they just let me do it.  I think that is what is so sweet.

Photo: ABC

What do you think of this whole pairing of Elizabeth and Franco, and that you were paired with Roger Howarth?  Elizabeth has had many relationships on the show, so where does her relationship with Franco fit into her list of romances/relationships?  Do you think Franco is one of her great loves?  Over her life, Liz has had a lot of ups and downs, and at times, has not made the best choices for herself, or the choices she made just haven’t worked out in her favor.  I think we all can relate to somebody whose choices don’t work out the way they envision them to be.

REBECCA:  For sure.  I think each of Elizabeth’s relationships have been so different. Just to talk about a timeline: she was a little girl when she was with Lucky (Jonathan Jackson), and as she’s matured, so have her relationships.  However, I think the relationship she has with Franco is her first real adult relationship; in that she not only does respect him, but she respects herself.  She is not afraid to stand up to anybody for the sake of herself, or her children.  I think that is the difference.  In the past, she has been a little so head-over-heels in love that she would do anything, and now, she knows who number one is, and that’s her children, and she puts herself first now, too.  Before, Elizabeth did not matter to herself.

Photo: ABC

I thought Elizabeth treated herself badly.  Is there a self-loathing?  Did you ever that figure out as an actress where that comes from?  Do you think it was from when she was raped years ago?

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REBECCA:  I think it went deeper than that.  I think it was because her parents left her at such a young age, and although they were doing great work for whatever they were doing, she was left as a child.

So, she felt something was wrong with her if they left her behind?

REBECCA:  Yes.  I think that’s where her lack of self-esteem came from.  She just didn’t have that support at home when she needed it the most, especially when she was a teenager.  You need your parents around you to tell you that things are awkward and weird, and you’re changing, but you’re going to be okay.  She didn’t have that, and so, she kind of had to figure it out on her own.  She did it through her relationships with men, and she didn’t have men in her life who were telling her, “You’re going to be okay,” except for Lucky, but that was a younger relationship in her life.  Now, as more of an adult with Franco, he tells her she is going to be okay.  Franco believes in her as much as she does now.

Photo: ABC

What’s the best part about working with Roger … and what’s the most challenging part?  Is it some curve balls that might come from when you are going live-to-tape?

REBECCA:  For me, I know I can totally work around whatever comes out of his mouth. (Laughs)  I’m good with that. (Laughs)  The most challenging thing about working with him is that he is constantly losing his glasses, so he can’t see his scripts.  It’s always at the end of the scene.  It’s like, “Where are the glasses?” (Laughs)  So, if losing his glasses might be the most challenging thing, then I’m a pretty lucky girl!

Where does Jason (Steve Burton) fit into Liz’s life at this point? 

REBECCA:  We’ve not really established that.

Courtesy/ABC

Since Jason has been back on the canvas, not much has been played between them.

REBECCA: They had a relationship, they have a relationship, and they have a friendship.  It should be played.

What would you love to see happen to Elizabeth story-wise, that perhaps you have not gotten the opportunity to play?

REBECCA:  I would love to see Elizabeth be happy with Franco and just explore whatever that means for her in a long-term, adult sense (because she doesn’t really know how that is yet), an adult happiness, while trying to navigate the kids’ lives, but also having a friendship with Jason.  I think that would be interesting, because she has always held a torch for Jason.

Photo: ABC

Viewers are currently alarmed that Franco has been receiving warnings from two psychics.  On last Friday’s episode, Franco is clearly afraid to take a drive and in Cameron’s new car (the one Oscar gave him) due to the psychic, (Chelsea) telling him: “Don’t take that drive!” Does Elizabeth have something to be worried about? 

REBECCA:  Yes, but she’s going to hang on to Franco, and make sure nothing happens to him … until he doesn’t come home (laughs) …  and then she’ll be calling Jason! (Laughs)

So, what did you think of the sentiments shared by Rebecca?  What did you think of the Friz wedding reception, and Liz and Franco’s relationship?  What do you think of Liz’s relationship with her children?   What are your hopes for Liz moving forward? Comment below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Mark Grossman Dishes On Tackling One Of Soaps Most Coveted Roles … Adam Newman

When The Young and the Restless finally decided to resurrect the character of Adam Newman, it was one of the most highly-anticipated returns in the soap genre.  After all, when viewers last saw Adam, then played by This Is Us star, Justin Hartley, he was presumed blown to smithereens in a cabin, thanks to first, being tranquilized by a dart gun by an unstable Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson), who holds Adam responsible for the hit and run that killed her daughter, Delia.

Fast-forward to summer of 2019 and Y&R fans got a very much alive Adam, vengeful as all get-out, picking right back up where he left off; only this time the role is being played by soap newcomer, Mark Grossman.  In what has to be one of the most sought after roles on television for any young actor to play, Grossman nabbed it and has come on to the scene hitting the ground running and is quickly becoming one helluva soapy badass on the Genoa City canvas.

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Mark at CBS Television City where Y&R is taped to talk about: how his journey has been thus far in a role that has put him under the microscope from viewers to critics.  Many will agree that in short order, Grossman is making the role of Adam his own, as he has been so in the mix with the iconic staples of the series, to those performers who just made exciting returns.

This week on Y&R, Adam is going to take down his brother, Nick (Joshua Morrow) by any means possible to gain custody of his biological son, Christian.  As they face-off in a custody hearing, Adam is up to his chicanery, and viewers will see the fall-out.

Here’s what Mark had to say about his castmates, the opportunity and the pressure of being Adam on the top-rated soap, and why he loves getting to be bad.

Photo: CBS

Adam is so integral and key to the canvas.  How are you settling into the pace of Y&R? Did you have any idea that it was going to be this amount of work when you signed on?

MARK:  I had an idea, and this is actually my first soap.  I had always heard that the amount of volume is a lot, but yeah, it was kind of a steep learning curve, but it got much easier as time has gone on, and the memorization got a lot easier.  You adjust to it, and you just get used to it.

A few years back, I attended the premiere of the indie film you were in with Melissa Archer (Ex-OLTL and DAYS) called South32.   In that, you played one bad dude.  I remember thinking, “That guy plays evil and creepy so well.”  Your character was horrible in the film!

MARK:  Oh, yeah.  My character’s name was Donny.  That was a bad guy.  That was a really bad guy. I just remember I had a lot of fun because Melissa Archer was great, and Sean Kanan (Ex-GH, Y&R and B&B) was in that too, and they both are in the soap world.

Courtesy/IMDB

So when I saw that Y&R cast you as Adam I was like, “Oh yeah!  Great choice!  He can play a real jerk!” (Laughs)   So, why do you think you play bad so well? 

MARK:  I don’t know.  I just have that face… the jerk face?  (Laughs)

(Laughs) Do you practice those looks in the mirror?

MARK: (Laughs)  No.  I like to think I’m a really nice guy, actually.  I think I’ve always liked characters that are more broken and are trying to do the best they can with the cards they are dealt or trying to overcome something.  I mean, in South32, that’s a different story.  I’ve just always gravitated to those kinds of roles more than a stereotypical love-interest or something like that, or kind of a more vanilla character.

Let’s talk about the audition process for this sought-after soap role.  Did you know when you first were in the running for the character that it was to play “Adam Newman”?

MARK:  I had no idea because it’s all under codenames.

What was the codename?

MARK:  The codename was “Jeremy”, and I had no idea I was auditioning for Adam, because they change all of the names, and I wasn’t up-to-date with everything that had been going on with Y&R.  When you’re out there as an actor you are auditioning for all kinds of stuff (and I don’t really watch much TV as it is).  I think it was at the network test when a couple of the other actors, who were there, kind of let it slip what part this really was for.

Photo: JPI Studios

You had your screen-test with Sharon Case (Sharon).  What was your first impression of her?

MARK:  I adore Sharon.  She’s wonderful, and she was so, so helpful.  She’s coming up on twenty-five years on this show, and that is amazing.  I really love working with her.

Once you knew the role was that of Adam Newman, did you begin to do your research? Call people?  Phone a friend (laughs)? Take to You Tube?

MARK:  Oh yeah!  I went way down the rabbit hole.  When I did my research I watched tons of scenes on YouTube, and then everything on the internet, Wikipedia, and every site that had information on the role.  Before I started, I also had lunch with a couple members of the cast, and they were probably so annoyed at me for asking so many questions about just about everything that came to mind.  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You follow in the footsteps of other great actors who have played this role; Chris Engen, Michael Muhney and Justin Hartley.  Did you have trepidation taking the role knowing the bar was set so high?

MARK:  Yes, of course.

In the world of daytime drama, recasts happen all the time; that is just the nature of the beast.  You hope the fans will give the actor stepping into a role a chance to establish themselves in the part, because they can get initially very reactionary.  In your case, there were some immediate tweets that went out right when you were announced as the new Adam with some fans commenting: “He’s too young!”  That happened even before your first episode aired, so no one had seen you embody the part yet.   What’s your take on all of that?

MARK:  I get it, trust me. You watch somebody for years, and you really enjoy watching this person, and then all of the sudden they’re gone, and somebody new comes on.  That’s hard to get used to.  So, that was a little daunting, but it just is what it is.  You just have to go in and put your stamp on it, and the audience will say what they do.  That’s all you can do.  Just, “this is what I think it is,” and do your best job with that, and yes, people will say what they’re going to say.

Courtesy/CBS

So, you meet Y&R icon Eric Braeden (Victor).  You’re playing his on-screen son, the black sheep of the Newman clan.  What was it like meeting Eric, and then actually getting on set and getting to work your first scene with him? 

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MARK:  It was great.  He was really supportive.  I remember I would get together with him and ask if we could rehearse, and we’d just end up in his dressing room talking for like twenty minutes about the show and life.  I just feel so lucky that I get to play you know, the problem child. (Laughs)

It’s fun for actors in soaps to be a storyline catalyst.  However, sometimes the catalysts can be short-term roles, and this one isn’t.  Catalysts shake things up, and Adam is so entrenched with so many characters and has such a checkered past, and there is much to him.  In finding out his back-story; what was the one thing that you were shocked to find out about him?  That he ran down Delia?

MARK:  That’s a huge thing.  There’re people who think that Adam actually really didn’t do it.  I mean … then there was … pretending that he was blind … wearing dresses.  There’s so much!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It’s a great part.  Adam would literally do anything to get what he wants. (Let’s not forget he apparently had sex with Rafe).

MARK:  It’s a great part.  I’m looking forward to what he does next.  I hope they throw me in a dress and let me mess around and pretend to be other people. (Laughs)

So, how are you playing Adam’s motivations now?  He comes back to Genoa City with amnesia after being in Vegas, and gets shot.  He seems a nice guy, but then his memory comes back, and now he is literally back to old tricks and wanting to screw everybody over who he feels wronged him.

MARK:  I think he wants his kids back.  Adam is going to do whatever he wants to do to get his kids, and I think he is justified.  Obviously, the way he goes about it is very shady and sometimes illegal, but I think he comes from a place of really wanting to be a father to his kids because of the stuff that happened with Victor, and being abandoned, and his blind mother, Hope.  The issue of where Victor was while he was growing up and how Adam’s life could have been so different always weighs on him.  Adam feels, “If there is one thing I need most, it’s to make sure my kids don’t go through what I went through.”  I think that’s where he is justified in that regard, but the way he goes about it is obviously very questionable.

Photo : JPI Studios

So, what happened when Joshua Morrow and you met for the first time?

MARK:  I met him at my screen-test too.  At the screen-test, we had to do scenes together and Joshua is such an awesome guy.  He’s a total professional, but he is so funny.  He is hilarious.  We’ll always have these scenes where we are at each other’s throats, and then we’ll just crack up laughing.

Do you think there could ever be brotherly love between Adam and Nick?

MARK:  I’ve actually been thinking about that lately. You know, I have a half-brother in real life. I think there are definitely possibilities for that with Adam and Nick.  I think somewhere deep, deep down, on some very small level, Adam could possibly want to have a relationship with Nick.  I think it could be possible, but I don’t know, and they’re so different from each other.

Then, there is the return to Y&R of Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea).  And another task you were handed was to see if you can create the same on-screen magic for the duo known as “Chadam”.

MARK:  I sure hope we can create that.  Melissa is another person in the cast who is just so awesome.  You probably think I’m lying, but everybody who works on this show is so nice, and they want the show to work.  They have the best interests of the show at heart.  You feel like you’re on a team here.  I had watched Missy on YouTube with the other Adams.  So, when I first met her I was all, “Oh, you remember this scene … and this scene … and when you were doing this?”

Photo: JPI Studios

And Missy was like, “No, I don’t remember.” (Laughs)

MARK:  She’d go, “No I don’t…”  And then she would go, “Oh! That scene!”  I had watched as much of her stuff that I could get my hands on.  When I first met her, we had a big scene to do.  We just kind of had to dive in.  She was great.

So, where do you think Adam’s heart lies? 

MARK:  I think he has a deep love for Chelsea and Sharon.

Why does he love Sharon?

MARK:  Oh, Sharon has been there for him when nobody else has, and they have so much past together, but I know there’s always the Chadam/Shadam thing!

Photo: JPI Studios

Welcome!  You’re right in the middle of these fan wars between camp Chadam and camp Shadam.  That’s not a bad place to be.  You’ve also been working with Greg Rikaart (Kevin) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis).  Adam has been horrible to Kevin, and poor Kevin is being blackballed by him.

MARK: (Laughs) We have so much fun.  Those are great scenes.  I really love working with Greg.  It’s fun when you get to manipulate and blackmail someone, and Greg, as an individual is great, and obviously he’s been part of this show a long time, and he was really helpful too.  So, I asked him questions.  You know, “Fill me in on Adam and you before.  What was it like, and what was your dynamic like?”  Things like that.

There has been a total refocusing of Y&R.  They brought in you as Adam, and they brought back Melissa, and Michelle Stafford, and you’re kind of in there with all of them. There have been some great scenes between you and Michelle Stafford, too.  There was the scene where Phyllis is sitting alone at Adam’s eating a whole cake by herself with her champagne glass, and it was so funny.  I’m like, “Did Michelle make that choice to sit there with the whole cake, or was it written like that?”  She is a firecracker!

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MARK:  She’s great.  I love Michelle.  She keeps you on your toes.  It’s funny, I actually had done a little, independent movie.  I popped in for a day.  She was in it, so I knew who she was, but I had never met her.  She wasn’t there the day I was there.  You never know which way she’s going to go in a scene.  I enjoy that.  You just have to be present because a lot of times we are doing these scenes in one take on Y&R, so you’ve got to be in it. Michelle is really fun to watch.

Photo: JPI Studios

Are your family and friends checking you out as Adam on Y&R?

MARK:  I have an aunt who is a big Y&R fan in Pennsylvania.  She was so excited when she found out I was playing Adam.  My dad is like, “I watch twice a day,” and my mom works during the week, so I think she watches on the computer at night.  They live in Arizona.

Can you watch your work back?  A lot of actors I have interviewed over the years in this medium have told me they do not like to watch their work, as it would then make them to aware of any quirks they may have and detract from their ability to deliver their performance, etc.

MARK:  I watch, sometimes.  It’s weird, isn’t it?  I’ll go back and forth.  I’ll watch myself sometimes with the sound off, and then I’ll slowly start creeping the sound up, and I’ll see … and then I’ll rewind it, and I’ll slowly start watching it.  I’ve got to ease myself into it.   Sometimes; I’ll ask other people if they’ve seen the scenes I was in, and I’ll be like,  “Well, how was it?”

Photo: JPI Studios

There is major bad blood between the characters of Billy and Adam.  How has it been working with Jason Thompson (Billy), and what do you think of the Adam/Billy dynamic?  Billy is considering taking a bullet to Adam and pulling the trigger.  Billy holds Adam responsible for the death of his child, Delia and perpetrating much hurt on those he loves.

MARK:  That’s a tough situation, and as for Jason Thompson, man.  Jason Thompson is just such a great actor, I think.  I just love watching him.  He’s just so real, you know?  You really feel what he is going through and what he is saying. I know there is a lot history between Billy and Adam, and yeah, Billy is becoming a little unglued.

Adam has that effect on people.

MARK:  Adam does!  It’s such a tragic thing that happened with Delia.  How does one get over that?  How many times can Adam apologize?  So, I don’t know if they can even make amends and be friends.

I don’t think we want them to be friends.  Do we?  No.

MARK:  No.  There’s a lot of good drama there.

Photo: CBS

Then, we have Elizabeth Hendrickson as Chloe.  So, what does Adam think about Chloe?  Does he understand why she is constantly unhinged?

MARK:  Yes.  I think he understands that you lose a child, and that really affects you.  I guess you don’t really know what you’re going to do until something like that happens.  I think Adam tried to clear the air … and be honest about what actually happened that night, and say, “Look, if we keep this up, one of us is going to end up dead.”  So, we’ll see if she can move on.  I don’t know… Adam has got to keep watching his back.

And … watch out for dart guns. (Laughs)

MARK:  Look out your window!

Victor thinks Adam is the smartest of his kids.  Do you think so?

MARK:  I think so.  Adam went to Harvard.  I think he is the smartest of the three.  Obviously, he is the outcast, but I think he is the smartest intellectually of the three.

Photo: JPI Studios

They’re talking a lot on the show, about the missing years when Adam supposedly went to Vegas.   So there is a lot to yet be discovered about what happened to him and what he was really up to.

MARK:  Maybe he was faking this whole amnesia story because he really wanted Sharon?  I don’t know.  I would imagine we would be delving into where he was.  At least, I hope so.

Would you like to play some scenes where viewers get to see the more tender side of Adam?

MARK:  Yes.  I would love to explore the real sadness with Adam and Victor and why his father wasn’t there for him.  I would love to see more of that, and scenes with the kids… get Connor back, and stuff like that.

Now speaking of doing anything to get back his kids, Adam, who professes to love Chelsea, kind of screwed her over after her new husband Calvin (John Burke) suddenly died, and he is kind of using that to his advantage with her.

MARK:  Well, hey!  You don’t mess with a man’s kids.  It’s his son.

Adam is such a polarizing character and is driving story.  Do you open the script and go, “Oh, man! I’m doing this today?”

MARK:  Oh, sure.  I’m always excited, because I’ll get a new episode, and I’ll open it immediately, and I’m like, “Oh, yes … oh, wow… oh, wow!”   I feel like that’s what it’s been like though since I’ve been a part of this show,  Adam is always stirring the pot and bringing a lot of that drama to it.

Photo: JPI Studios

This week on Y&R, it’s the custody battle for Christian between Adam and Nick.

MARK:  Yes, we are going to be in court, and we are going to go head to head over this custody battle for Christian.  I hear Chloe might be back.

Do you get to make a statement as to why you’d be a good father while everybody is like, “Oh, God?”  Do you get to say how your kids were taken from you?

MARK:  Yeah, I do!  Adam pleads his case.

Photo: JPI Studios

It’s going to be interesting to see how this progresses with you as Adam, and how the fans take to him.  Will the audience be at all compassionate towards him in certain circumstances, even though he’s screwed everybody over?

MARK:  I hope so!

So, are you enjoying Mark’s portrayal of Adam?  Who do you hope Adam winds up with romantically? Do you want Adam to get custody of both of his sons? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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