Over the past few weeks the online soap world has been abuzz at the hilarious satire called Pratt Falls, which offers a parody on the much maligned head writer of All My Children, Chuck Pratt. The series details Pratt’s fumbles and stumbles with the same sex storyline of fan favorite Bianca (played by Eden Riegel), and her new gal pal, Reese (played by Tamara Braun). In Pratt Falls the virtual animated Pratt has behind close doors chats with his alleged co-conspirator, “AMC’s” executive producer, Julie Hanan Carruthers, who at times during the webisodes (or clips) is the voice of reason against Pratt’s mishandling of “AMC” storylines.
In a very recent TV Guide Interview that added more fuel to the fire for the already disgruntled fans of the Reese/Bianca story, Chuck Pratt blamed the mess on Eden Riegel’s exit for pilot season. “I was led to believe we had her for longer than we really did — suddenly I got word that Eden is leaving now. We got to play everything we wanted to with Bianca and Reese, but not in the time we’d hoped for — in my mind, it was a two-year story,” Pratt continues. “I guess I could have rushed to the wedding earlier so that they’d have had more time together as a married couple and then had them break up, but I think the fans would have been even more unsatisfied with that.”
Regarding Tamara Braun, Pratt said, “If Tamara decided to stay, keeping her on the show as an angry lesbian — with no other lesbian characters on the canvas — would be kind of insane. So we thought about making Reese bisexual — kind of an Anne Heche who bounces back and forth.”
Through the use of the Xtranormal animated application, the creators of this satire have been able to keep in stitches, both soap pundits and fans, (especially fans of Bianca and Reese) and “AMC”, with their snarky observations. After much public fanfare on You Tube, the creators decided to come forth (a few weeks ago) only as their virtual selves, named Ellen and Portia, and give a face to their popular series.
When I approached Ellen and Portia for an interview, I was asked to take part in their virtual world and I happily agreed. I mean, how else could I get into their space? I wanted to chat with the very clever gals, who are now an online sensation. But there was one stipulation that they were adamant about; protecting their true identities, that seem to be akin to the Cape Crusader and his sidekick, Robin! On all accounts, Ellen and Portia seem to speak for many fellow soapers, who through their sharp wit and tongues only want what’s best for their favorite characters on their soaps.
So, I present to you my very special interview with Pratt Falls creators, Portia and Ellen!
View the video on YouTube:
How did you two get the idea to start Pratt Falls? How did you come about the Xtranormal animations?
PORTIA: After reading Pratt’s TV GUIDE interview where he throws Eden Riegel under a bus, we simultaneously experienced the urge to slap Pratt. And that resulted in the satirical smack down now known as PRATT FALLS.
ELLEN: I am quite passive by nature, but Pratt’s blatant lies about Eden Riegel’s contract had me seeing red. If I remember correctly, I posted a ten line mock script on the Bianca/Reese message board. Portia emailed me, asking if she could play around with it and animate it. I said yes. Next thing we know: BAM! (No pun intended).
How long have you been Bianca fans and fans of Eden Riegel?
PORTIA: Always and forever.
ELLEN: Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but I followed Eden to “AMC” from Imaginary Bitches. So I’m quite new to Pine Valley. It took me about a month to catch up on a decade’s worth of Bianca storyline on youtube. But now I’m a fan for life. And I will never leave Erica Kane. Ever.
Was there ever a Bianca story you liked, and if so, what was it? She had so many great stories from “coming out” to Erica, to the baby switch and getting back Miranda, etc?
PORTIA: Any story with Bianca in it, I like. Even if the story is abysmal, and the writing is wretched, Eden seems to rise above. And when the writing is good, she soars! I especially enjoyed the days when Bianca and Kendall hated each other. Their relationship right now is so fractured and damaged, it’s sad to watch.
ELLEN: As Portia has said, anything with Bianca in it, no matter how poorly written, I’ll watch. I love the relationship between Kendall and Bianca. And I could watch Bianca bitch slap Babe over and over again.
Do the two of you have a background in comedy writing?
PORTIA: We do now.
ELLEN: Not at all (until last week, that is). I have spent years sitting in front of “SNL” and telling people how I would rewrite certain scenes. But no one ever listens.
How did you meet to collaborate on Pratt Falls?
PORTIA: We “met” as members of the Bianca/Reese Forum. But we’ve never met in person.
ELLEN: We met in a private message inbox. We’ve now moved into an email inbox.
Many want to know if you are life-partners or just friends.
PORTIA: We are just friends for life.
ELLEN: I prefer “friendly partners in crime.” It has a nice ring to it.
When the first episode of Pratt Falls made its way to the internet and you saw the amazing feedback, because it was spot on to what many fans of Rianca and “AMC” felt, what was you reaction?
PORTIA: My reaction was: “Jumpin’ Johosephat!”
ELLEN: I believe my exact words were “By the Hammer of Thor! What the hell is going on?” And then I let loose with some expletives that would make the Imaginary Bitches crew blush.
View the video on YouTube:
What would you like to see happen with Pratt Falls and animated Ellen and Portia, next?
PORTIA: I suppose Pratt Falls will continue as long as we have satirical things to say about the state of AMC. Which means, potentially forever…. I’d like to see Ellen and Portia address other absurdities currently rampaging through the world. I am endlessly fascinated by people’s ability to live with cognitive dissonance. And Silvio Berlusconi, — how is his existence even possible in the 21st century? Wouldn’t you love to hear us discuss that?
ELLEN: I think as long as we have something funny to say, we’ll keep putting episodes together. And the way “AMC” is going right now, that shouldn’t be very difficult. Plus, with Eden Riegel on the loose, who knows how many other storylines she will destroy? We’re on guard, protecting those who can’t protect themselves.
If you were writing “AMC” right now…..
PORTIA: Oh, please, from your lips to God’s ears.
ELLEN: I’d have to buy Susan Lucci’s pilates machine.
What changes or makeover would you give to Pine Valley in terms of story?
PORTIA: If I were writing AMC, I would institute a few basic rules: 1) Only Jesse gets to carry a gun. 2) Only one coma per character per decade. 3) Only one kidnapping, life threatening disease, and/or disappearance, per family per year. 4) Take all the minutes that Erica is scripted each episode and triple it. 5) No more blaming actors for crappy writing. 6) Casinos and hospitals are really not all that interesting, let’s stop going there. 7) No more misogyny. It’s offensive and not entertaining for our core audience. 8) If a character dies, they are dead. And they stay dead. Forever. 9) If you have Tamara Braun on contract, you use her more than 3 minutes a week. (See #4, it applies here too). 10) Bianca has suffered enough. Let the poor girl have (and keep) her happy ending already!
ELLEN: Here I go: 1) No more sex in mental institutions, hospital beds or Ryan Lavery’s penthouse. 2) The characters should move the plot, not the other way around. 3) Erica Kane is the queen of daytime and she should remain front and centre. 4) Strong women. I am so tired of watching strong women makes fools of themselves in front of the men folk. Kendall is a Kane woman. She doesn’t need Zach or Ryan to survive. 5) Use the vets. Young and the Restless is heading into sweeps featuring a wedding between two eighty year olds, and it’s wonderful. 6) David needs to stop drugging people and twirling his imaginary mustache. 7) Jackson? Anyone? Jackson? 8) Less violence, more love in the afternoon (but not love between David and Krystal or Kendall and Ryan) 9) Where have all the sets gone? Long time passing. Where have all the sets gone? Long time ago. Where have all the sets gone? Gone to scrap heaps, everyone. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? 10) I agree with Portia. Bianca will now have a life of overwhelming joy. They can start heaping pain and sorrow on Miranda and Gabrielle in a few years, but lay off Binks.
How long have you been watching the soaps?
PORTIA: Since I was knee high to a grasshopper. But I don’t watch consistently. I check in every 4 or 5 years…. And I’ve never had a problem keeping up!
ELLEN: Since birth. A soap character inspired my first name. And my first crush was on Bo Brady (back when he was with Carly Manning).
How do you feel the portrayal of gays on the soaps has been, in general?
PORTIA: Mixed. Certainly some things have been done quite thoughtfully and with real sensitivity. But TBTB can’t quite seem to sustain that.
ELLEN: I feel like soaps haven’t quite figured out how to integrate gay characters into the general storylines. This is part of the reason the Bianca/Reese story went so off track. The writers obviously wanted to create some drama, but because there were only two gay characters on canvas, they went the Zach route. And it obviously came off as ridiculously offensive.
What are you expecting from the Reese/Bianca wrap-up this week?
PORTIA: I was hoping their reunion would be as intense and dramatic as their break up. But I know that’s not likely to happen. So sadly, I expect to be disappointed.
ELLEN: I have very low expectations. I know that Tamara Braun and Eden Riegel will take what they’re given and do fantastic work, but I have no faith in Pratt (shocker, I know). Maybe we’ll get a grief glance, followed by a grief high five and then a grief flight back to Paris.
View the video on YouTube:
How do you feel Tamara Braun did in this messed up role?
PORTIA: I think Tamara Braun deserves a soap opera version of the Congressional Medal of Honor for distinguishing herself “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of her life above and beyond the call of duty” while engaged in a storyline penned by Pratt & Co. Seriously, my Fake Internet Girlfriend has had a rough time in Pine Valley, and I feel sorry for her. She spun straw into gold for “AMC”. Plus she had to put up with the scorn of BAM and Zendall fans! She must be made of steel. The more convoluted and nonsensical they made Reese’s story, the more I fell in love with Tamara, because even though she was getting screwed over, she always gave a 100% of herself. I truly felt sorry for her. Much in the same way I feel sorry for Alicia Minshew right now…..
ELLEN: Don’t forget the Purple Heart, Portia! I can’t even begin to imagine how she went to work everyday and managed to portray this character with integrity and depth. Reese is an interesting character with an interesting back-story. But her feelings and motivations changed daily, and somehow, Tamara had to make the audience believe. Pratt & Co. did her no favors when they threw her between Zendall. I am actually a fan of the Zach and Kendall pairing, but the Zendall fans are armed and dangerous. I really hope Tamara avoids soap message boards because things can get vicious. Yet, no matter what they threw at her (both on and off screen), Tamara gave her all and so I have great respect and admiration for her. And I agree with Portia in regards to Alicia Minshew. I’m very tired of hearing characters refer to women as “whores, sluts and bitches.” Enough.
When the same-sex wedding day occurred on AMC, what did you think when it was over? A landmark or milestone? Botched opportunity?
PORTIA: It was all of that. It was a landmark and a milestone and they managed to botch it. I will admit to oohing and ahhhing over the dresses, and I thought the vows were beautifully written, and, yes, I cried. But I could not for the life of me understand why it all had to be intercut with the other stories. Really, how can you enjoy the wedding when Greenlee, in her wedding dress is on a motorcycle, flying off a cliff? I think Bianca and Reese deserved better than that. Actually, I think Greenlee deserved better than that too.
ELLEN: I have such mixed feelings about the wedding. On one hand, it was beautiful and everyone looked smashing. On the other hand, the constant juxtaposition of crazy Annie and biker Greenlee destroyed what could have been a beautiful, memorable event. Even the fact that Kendall was not present upset me. The wedding was not about Bianca and Reese; it was about Annie’s gun wielding, Kendall’s anger and Rebecca Budig’s exit. I wanted to concentrate on the vows and the love, but all I could think about was the absurdity of Greenlee riding that bike wearing her wedding dress. The whole thing was over the top and preposterous. And on top of all that, the Reese and Zach kiss hung over the event like a dark cloud. Bianca is the daughter of Erica Kane. The wedding should have been all about Bianca. Instead, it was about everyone else.
Why is the anonymity important to you? Why did you choose Ellen and Portia??
PORTIA: We just enjoy being a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, rendered in a cartoon.
ELLEN: We’re both comic book fans and I think the idea of a secret identity appealed to our nerdy sense of humor. We also want to live. And Pratt has connections with Sonny Corinthos.
Has anyone at ABC Daytime or any of the top brass from “AMC” contacted you regarding your parody and satire?
PORTIA: Not yet.
ELLEN: No. Although lately, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being watched.
What can we preview for your new online fans to look forward to in upcoming episodes of Pratt Falls or Ellen and Portia?
PORTIA: We just don’t know until we start venting…. Probably more pirate jokes.
ELLEN: Definitely more pirate jokes. We will continue to fight for truth and justice.
PORTIA: We’d like to encourage everyone to visit our virtual store at http://www.cafepress.com/breesenation You can purchase authentic Pratt Falls merchandise! 100% of all sales go to “Invalidate Prop 8.” And, of course, a great big THANK YOU, Michael for your interest in our little show. We’ve enjoyed “talking” with you.
ELLEN: A huge thanks for your interest and a thank you to all the people who watch and support our little show! And before we go, just a reminder that in these dark times, we all must take extra precautious for our safety. Remember,
Eden Riegel walks among us.
PORTIA: Oh, I heard bells, did you hear the bells?
The Bold and the Beautiful’s Annika Noelle Chats on Hope’s Feelings for Thomas and Her New Attitude, Moving on From Liam, and Being an Advocate
2023 has been the year of Annika Noelle on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. As Hope Logan, she found herself fighting the fire and passion she felt for Thomas Forrester (Matthew Atkinson), while trying to figure out where she stands in her marriage to Liam (Scott Clifton). As an actress, Noelle has carried much of the story and has been front and center. Something that should be remembered come Emmy time in 2024.
In story, ultimately, a trip to Rome, Italy set the stage for life-changing events in Hope’s life. After the wildly successful showing of her design collection, Hope for the Future, in collaboration with her ace designer, Thomas Forrester, the duo end-up in a passionate lip-lock, initiated by Hope, in front of the overhang at the world-famous Colosseum. Problem was … Liam happened upon the scene and saw his then wife’s betrayal.
Flash-forward, Hope has divorced Liam and is moving on with her life seemingly with Thomas, much to the chagrin of most of the entire Forrester and Logan families given Thomas’ twisted past – yes, they are probably thinking, “Baby Beth” and the “Hope Mannequin!” All that aside, on the surface Thomas appears a new man fully ready to embrace a relationship with Hope. Meanwhile, Hope has discovered more of her independence, has a fashionable new short crop hair-do, and is no longer ruled by what others think she should do.
Michael Fairman TV chatted with Annika to get her thoughts on a myriad of subjects including: is it truly the end for Hope and Liam? Will the duo known as “Thope” have a shot at any longevity? What is Hope going to do now that her father Deacon (Sean Kanan) is engaged to none other than evil-personified in Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown)? And that’s just for starters! Read on to see what Annika had to share about it all, and her about beautiful new rescue dog, Huckleberry.
Hope just found out that Eric (John McCook) is dying. How do you think she will cope with the news from here? What has Eric meant to her throughout his life?
ANNIKA: Eric has been a loving patriarch throughout Hope’s life. One of her mother’s biggest champions, Thomas’ grandfather, and Douglas’ great grandfather. He is someone that has been a guiding force throughout her life and to lose him would be like losing the cornerstone that built the house of Forrester. It would be a devastating loss to her family.
Liam seems to be reeling from seeing just how serious Thomas and Hope appear to be with each other at this point. Is Hope moving forward with Thomas in her mind as a “relationship” or does she see this more as an “aﬀair” for her?
ANNIKA: At this point, she can acknowledge that she has feelings for Thomas and she wants to be with him. However, given his significance in her life (an integral part of ‘Hope for the Future’ as well as Douglas’ father) I think she wants to be extremely careful. She has been burned by love and is hesitant to jump in again. She needs to take things slow and thus far, Thomas has respected that.
You carried a very heavy load in the storyline over recent months: from when Thomas and Hope kissed in Rome, to the fallout, to her divorcing Liam, to her feeling more self-assured and independent. What were the more challenging beats of the storyline for you?
ANNIKA: Honestly? This has been a joy. After the heavy “Baby Beth” storyline throughout most of 2019, I have so enjoyed this story arc. From being able to travel to Rome for the first time with the cast and crew, playing beats of strength, laughter, and love as well as the heavier moments, it has been a story I have embraced and given my all.
You have a new fantastic short cropped hair-do. Was that something you wanted to do, or was it related to the character of Hope moving on with her life from Liam?
ANNIKA: This actually had more to do with me making changes and starting new chapters but it also happened to coincide with Hope having major life changes as well. I, of course, had to get permission (contractual obligation and what not) and was surprised to get the blessing to go ahead! It’s been a big adjustment as I’ve had long hair my entire adult life but everyone has been so complimentary and supportive. I think I might keep it for a while…
Do you see Hope, Thomas and Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri) being a family at some point?
ANNIKA: In my eyes, they always were a family from the moment Hope embraced the role as Douglas’ adoptive mother. She takes that responsibility very seriously, and was not going to neglect her duties to that child. Even when it was tough with the blended families, she always tried her best to make it work.
Is Hope at all concerned at this point that Thomas could fall back on his former troubled or devious ways?
ANNIKA: I think in order for her to be involved with a man who has done so much to her and her family in the past, she has to truly believe that this man has changed. That he is different. As she has said repeatedly, he has earned her trust and he has done the work. And try as everyone might to ward her away, I think it just makes it all the more appealing. As her father Deacon said… “love doesn’t always make sense”.
Do you see Hope doing anything to intervene with her father Deacon’s relationship with Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown)? She clearly is not happy about this, given Sheila’s past.
ANNIKA: I think at the moment she has a lot on her plate with Eric’s health, Liam’s realization, Hope For The Future, the children, not to mention her love life. I think she’s trying to maintain some form of peace and balance, which involves setting a boundary with that. Plus, Sheila has a few screws loose, so I don’t think she’s about to go punching crazy in the face just to see what happens.
You recently shared some scenes with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy). Within them, Steﬀy and Hope sparred with a war of words, when it came to Liam and Thomas. Did Hope use his past with Steﬀy as justification to divorce him, because she wanted Thomas so badly, or does she truly believe that Steﬀy will always come first with Liam?
ANNIKA: I think both can be true at the same time. Past resentments, insecurities, and repeated infidelity over years can lead to the downfall of any strong relationship. Hope’s issue is not necessarily Liam’s past indiscretions, as she still choose to forgive him and stay with him during those times. It is the fact that he couldn’t oﬀer her the same grace and forgiveness after she had messed up. Over a kiss. And Liam was so quick to run to Steﬀy in the aftermath. That is what stung. So, she had the divorce papers drawn up.
You have an adorable new dog Huckleberry that you showed on your Instagram. What can you tell me about how Huckleberry came into your life? What kind of dog is he?
ANNIKA: Huckleberry is my gentle angel boy who came into my life thanks to Life Animal Rescue. I had been searching for the right fit and I saw a video of him and knew we were destined to be. He is 100% “Korean Village Dog” and was rescued from a meat farm there. He is now safe with me, chasing butterflies, and playing with Burritoman kitty.
You have been a wonderful ally to the LGBTQ+ community and do get involved in charitable causes. Why is it important for you to lend your name and time to help those perhaps misunderstood, or under-presented?
ANNIKA: Funny thing is, I would be doing it even if I didn’t have this platform. I grew up in theatre as much as I did the outdoors. Both have oﬀered me community and a place of belonging. I was bullied as a child so my places of refuge were the forest in my backyard and the escape I found on the stage. So I will advocate, use my voice, and return the love that the community has shown me all my life. They were a safe haven for me, I will fight for their safety too. As Mama Ru says, “we’re all born naked and the rest is drag”.
As her fashion line says, Hope for the Future, what are your future Hope’s for Hope?
ANNIKA: I hope she finds clarity for herself, strength in her voice, and love in her heart. With or without a man. And more screen time with her children!
As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, what would you like to say to all the fans who have been so supportive to you all over the world who watch B&B?
ANNIKA: Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I know it isn’t always easy with the way storyline can ebb and flow. But if you understand me, who I am outside of my character, all I stand for, and you still ride with me? Then my loves, we are family! And I am grateful for YOU. No character choice can ever ruin that.
So, after checking out our interview with Annika, are you rooting for Hope and Thomas to be the end game, or do you think Hope and Liam should find their way back to one another? Share your viewpoints and thoughts via the comment section below.
Rena Sofer and Amanda Setton Talk On Playing General Hospital’s Mother/Daughter Duo of Lois & Brook Lynn, Working with Co-Stars: Jane Elliot, Wally Kurth and Ellen Travolta, and What Lies Ahead
It’s Thanksgiving time at the Quartermaines, and there is a lot to be ‘thankful’ for if you are a General Hospital fan of this bickering clan. Back in October, Daytime Emmy winner, Rena Sofer returned to her soap-famous role of Lois Cerullo, Ned’s ex-wife and the mother of his child, Brook Lynn. It has been over 27 years since Sofer was back in Port Charles bringing with it her Lois’ incomparable nails, that deep Bensonhurst/Brooklyn accent, those ‘Lois-isms’ and more.
GH fans were very excited and intrigued to see what would happen when Sofer appeared in scenes with her TV daughter, Amanda Setton. After all, Brook Lynn is all grown up now and as you can see like mother, like daughter. And if you were to tell us that years later One Life to Live favorite, Setton, would get an opportunity to play Lois’ daughter, we would have been “Get outta here!” That’s because we knew, even on paper, Amanda was the perfect choice.
Now, as the holiday begins, there’s trouble with Turkey Day at the Q’s, and Lois’ mom, Gloria Cerullo played by beloved guest star Ellen Travolta drops in to be with her daughter and granddaughter … let the fireworks and fun begin. Meanwhile, just recently, Ned’s (Wally Kurth) memory returned after months as “Eddie Maine”, and Lois came back to Port Charles after hearing how Tracy (Jane Elliot) messed with her daughter and blackmailed her right out of Deception. Wanting to stand up for Brook Lynn, Lois got a lot more than she bargained for when she came back to town.
Michael Fairman TV chatted with Rena and Amanda in a heartfelt and candid interview; which clearly reveals that the two would be in each other’s fan club, plus how Rena wants to be respectful to the on-screen relationship between Ned and Lois, given that Wally Kurth and Rena were previously married in real life and since then are married to other people. Coming back to GH, some 27 years later, offers Sofer a fresh perspective to how she was back when she joined the show and how she views work and life now. Amanda teases what’s ahead for Brook Lynn where the ‘spicier’ side of the character is about to make a bit of a return, and what the future may hold for her romance with Chase, and more. Read on for Rena and Amanda’s thoughts on a myriad of Cerullo/Quartermaine topics below.
Rena, so you came back to General Hospital and you meet Amanda. What did you think of Amanda, and how she fits so perfectly as Lois’ daughter?
RENA: Oh, my God! Beyond the perfect daughter! If Lois could have picked her daughter, it would’ve been Amanda. I love her. I know, we as actors, are like, “Oh, I love working with them.” I am not that person. I tend to be very honest about who I like to work with and who I don’t. I’ve always been. Amanda, maybe you don’t know this, but I get myself into a lot of trouble from time to time. (Laughs) But honestly, the second I met her – we met up in a restaurant and Wally joined us a little later.It was just like talking to my daughter except more of a contemporary as opposed to mother/daughter. It just made having her be my daughter on the show so easy. We have a lot in common. There was really an immediate connection between the two of us, which was great.
AMANDA: There’s like an immediate familial feeling. We’re from the same place in the world. We come from similar backgrounds. It was a very easy friendship to strike.
Amanda, was there any intimidation that this was thee Rena Sofer, who created the iconic role of your on-screen mom, Lois?
AMANDA: Not going to lie. She’s like the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen in your life. The fans absolutely adore her. She and Wally have such a history on the show. And so more than intimidation, I was genuinely excited. When I heard that Lois was coming back onto the canvas, I got so excited to explore that mother/daughter relationship with Brook Lynn, because her father is such a central point in all of her story. To be able to play that and then have it be Rena, who’s such a spitfire, and plays Lois so beautifully, so specifically and so clearly, has such a clear point of view, who’s also funny but grounded, I was just so excited. Genuinely!
Rena, has this lived up to what your expectation of coming back into this role and to GH, some 27 years later would be like? How has it felt playing Lois again now?
RENA: It’s interesting, because I think that the gift of time for me is a very important thing. I’ve done a lot of things in my career. I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve had a lot of standstills and also disappointments. I think where I come from now is from a place of gratitude. I feel incredibly humbled and grateful to be able to play Lois again in the way that I am, and that I’m able to play her. I just feel like it’s everything I expected it to be, but it’s so much more than I expected it to be because I didn’t know what I was walking into. I didn’t know if people would want me to be there, if people would be excited for me to be there, if people would be offended that I came back after 27 years, you know? I really walked in trying to have no ego and an understanding this is not my home, that I’m a visitor, and that I just want to have the fun of playing Lois the way I played her when I first created the character. And that did not disappoint. … every single day walking on to that set with those nails and her hair and her wardrobe, and the accent … every single thing I say, even if it’s so difficult to learn, is such a joy.
I had talked with Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) and Wally Kurth for a livestream conversation on my You Tube Channel and she was saying how amazing you were, Rena. You’re so specific in your characters choices that we were also talking about the nails and the hair, and the outfits, and everything that goes into playing Lois, and it works. There’s a lot of thought you put into playing Lois. Wouldn’t you say?
RENA: Yes. I like to put a lot of thought into every character that I play. Not every production allows me to put that much thought in. It helps me to create the character. I’m really lucky that Lois was created already because it allowed me to kind of say, ‘This is now who Lois is’, as opposed to somebody saying, “Well, this is who we want this character to be.”
AMANDA: I just want to add that Rena was welcomed with open arms. Everybody was so excited that she was coming, so thrilled that the character was going to be back in the fold, and that Rena was coming back to play her. It was just a very excited, joyful energy surrounding the storyline.
RENA: Yes, to what Amanda was saying. I just felt that so much.
I can tell you from just my perspective and having a pulse on the reactions and wants of the audience and the fans on social media, they were so excited to have Rena back. And, they were like, “Oh, my God! This is perfect casting! Amanda and Rena!”
AMANDA: Josh Swickard (Chase) and I just did a fan event recently, and everybody at the event was echoing that. Just how, Rena and I were perfect casting as mother and daughter.
RENA: It’s so fun. I was on set the other day and I had to say a line and thank God for Amanda. She was trying to help me say “cab’ properly in how Lois would say it with her accent.
AMANDA: Rena’s accent is so good and she had a big line to say. It was like, “I gotta take a cab.” So, she said, “take “perfectly. And then “cab” was very California. I’m like Rena, its “cab” with a more Brooklyn accent.
Now. another part of the story that’s kind of charming is that Brook Lynn is getting some pointers from her mom on the music business. She’s listening to mom’s advice, and they’re working on Blaze’s music career. Do you think Brooklyn looks up to her mother since Lois has all of this experience with a record label and music management?
AMANDA: Hundred percent! I’m pretty sure a bunch of those scenes aired. Brook Lynn goes directly to her mom, and says, “You need to help me.” She gives me a whole list of things. Brook Lynn is like, “My mother’s amazing. She’s perfect. She can do no wrong, and I love my mommy.”
How is it working with Jacqueline Grace Lopez as Blaze?
AMANDA: She’s such a great actress. She’s got such a great attitude. Jacqueline is so grateful and positive to be there. She’s always prepared and just a real professional and she’s become a friend. She’s an absolute doll and she’s like an amazing singer. She has such a good voice. She has such a presence on stage.
Rena, we recently saw on-air that “Eddie” turned back into Ned, when Ned regains his memory. You had some really great scenes leading up to him turning into Ned again. After all, it was Lois who told ‘Eddie’ to “take a leap of faith.” So, he goes and jumps in the water. What do you think Lois’ relationship is with Ned at this point? How does she feel about him?
RENA: It’s interesting, because something comes up soon enough that I will say that’s very honest. She loves Ned. He’s the father of her child. The thing about Lois is; she made the decision to leave Ned. She was brokenhearted by what happened, but she made the choice to not step into that world of the Quartermaines. It was not the place she wanted to live. It wasn’t that she didn’t want Ned, she didn’t want what he came with. She took her daughter and raised her daughter in Brooklyn. Thank God for that. She loves her ex-husband. She never stopped loving him. She’s just not in love with him anymore. She doesn’t want him anymore. She wants the best for him.
Amanda, do you think Brooklyn wants her parents together, or is she fine with Olivia and Ned?
AMANDA: I think she’s totally fine with it. It’s been so long that they’ve been apart. I will also say, I do think that every child of divorce has a secret hope that their parents will be at least friends or on good terms, or that they’ll have times together with both their parents in the same room. I do think coming up, you get to see some of those moments, which is really nice.
RENA: My daughter Rosabel is obsessed with watching GH now. Obsessed! It’s so great for her because for her it’s like, “It’s not that I want my parents to get back together. I know they don’t belong together at all in any way, shape or form,” but she gets to see us together in a way that is friendly and kind, and not affectionate in like a physical sense. But affectionate in a caring sense. She’s like, “Mom, I’m 27-years-old. This is the first time that as an adult I get to see this.” And it’s true. She loves it!
Rena, I was telling Wally, there was that OG montage of Lois and Ned that was contained in an episode. I loved it. It reminded me of back in the day when we first knew each other. Those scenes were great and they hold up today!
RENA: Those scenes were so great. I said to Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital) you took three minutes and you told the entire story. Basically, from beginning to end minus Brenda, and all the other stuff that happened. Our whole story was told in such a perfect and beautiful way. It was really honored. I felt really honored by it and loved watching it.
After Ned tells Brook Lynn, he’s no longer “Eddie” but he is Ned, she’s so happy to have her father back. However, how do you see the relationship moving forward? Will she be supportive of all his ELQ shenanigans?
AMANDA: That’s a really good question. That remains to be seen, to be fair. I do think that historically what we have seen from the Brook Lynn and Ned dynamic is she can give it, she can really tell ’em like it is. But at the end of the day, she really is a daddy’s girl. They have they this very close bond and there’s a real love for one another. I think you’ll just see that as we move forward.
Now, how has it been for both of you working with Jane Elliot in this storyline? Rena, you’re actually working with Jane again years late and of course, Lois and Tracy have a contentious relationship. Tracy has never been welcoming to Lois into the Quartermaines.
RENA: That’s true. I have to say, when I came on the show as Lois in the first place, to be fully transparent, I think I took it personally. As I said, I came back with no ego or tried to come back with no ego. This time coming back, I cannot tell you how much I’m enjoying spending time with Jane and working with her and just watching her and not feeling like I have to prove myself. I wish I could go back in time and smack myself across the face and say, “What are you doing?” I feel like that’s the truth for all of us as youth, to some extent. I wish I could just go back and just say, “All of that isn’t important. This woman is a wealth of knowledge. Just listen to her, have fun with her.” I think that when I was younger, I was a wealth of missteps in my life. Now, I hopefully am entering this phase of my life in a way where I’m more enjoying and receiving than anything. I’m having the time of my life with Jane. She’s just lovely.
AMANDA: Well, you already know! I’m obsessed with Jane. I love her to death. We’re very close. We go out outside of work. I just adore her. Jane is a really deep, deep person who, as Rena said, has a wealth of experience, and she’s willing to share it. I have had nothing but a wonderful time with her. Genuinely, I’ve learned so much from her. And to boot, she’s an incredible actor who makes such specific subtle choices that even in the room, you don’t even feel as much as when it’s on camera. She’s so good at playing to camera. It’s unbelievable. You watch it back, and you’re just floored, and plus, they write really well for her character.
So, is Brook Lynn not upset with her grandmother for what she did to her with Deception?
AMANDA: So, with Jane it’s pure love. With Tracy, it gets a little more complicated. You’ll come to see in the next couple months some scenes that are going to air of how she really loves her grandma at the end of the day. She has a lot of love and respect for her. I think that’s why the whole blackmail storyline was so hurtful, because she does look up to her in a lot of ways. There’s always going to be that push and pull between the two of them. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of love there.
My thought is … Lois and Brooklyn will work together to ensure Tracy doesn’t pull any machinations again.
AMANDA: Well, you’ll just have to watch and see.
RENA: Exactly! And by the way, how are we supposed to control the weather? I mean, come on! It’s so true. We can do our best, but Tracy’s going to do what she’s going to do, and she does it well. It’s who she is, and you know, we can only try to fix the damage. We can’t control the hurricane.
AMANDA: I will say, there’s some stuff coming down the pike with Brook Lynn “Spice” coming back into the fold, which has been really fun to play. I’m excited to have more of that stuff because post-Bailey and falling in love with Chase, she’s really softened a lot, which is great. I think we’ve seen her humanity and her nurturing side as a mother figure, and now as a serious girlfriend figure. But, It’ll be fun to play some of that Brook Lynn nastiness.
Rena, what was your first impression of Josh Swickard?
RENA: He is adorable. We were sitting there when I really first met Josh and he sang. He sang the song that’s already aired. He looks at me and he goes, “I’m so embarrassed. You know, because I don’t wanna be one of those guys who sings and is like. ‘I’m so great of a singer.”’ Josh is like, “I’m really worried that people are going to think that I’m arrogant, or, or something like that.” I said to him, “Do you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race? And he just looked at me like I was literally from a different planet. And he’s like, “no.” I’m like, “Well, I do. I watch it all the time. I’ve seen almost every episode. And here’s what RuPaul, the brilliant RuPaul says, “It’s none of your business whatever people think about you. That is not your business at all.” If you think about it and you take that in, it kind of saves you from ever worrying about that. That was one of our first interactions. I remember that. Thank you, RuPaul. Josh is just adorable.
Amanda, do you see Brook Lynn and Chase having longevity as a couple on GH?
AMANDA: I hope so. I see it, but we’ll see what the writers cook up.
Ellen Travolta’s going to be back on air for Thanksgiving as Lois’ mother, Gloria Cerullo. Rena, you’ve been friends with her this whole time, correct? Did you have a hand in her return?
RENA: Yes, yes, yes. It was me! I went, “I’d love to come back to General Hospital. Here’s the thing: If I come back, you need to bring back Gloria.” Let me just tell you, everybody loved Ellen. Everybody loves Ellen. Ellen is like the dream mom of everybody in America, in the world. She was Chachi’s mom. She was my mom. She’s the best mom. Emma, who works at at the front guard desk at GH, checks you in and tells you where your room is. I’ve been there for two months. I still walk up to her sometimes and she goes, “What’s your name? “Do you have your pass?” I say, “ I do. I do. Hold on.” I show her my pass. She goes, “OK, and she looks down the list and she’s like, “You’re in this room.” It took Ellen the second day she was there to get settled in. She was like, “Ellen! I want the best room for you. I’ll make sure you’re right near me. If you need anything, don’t you worry, ” and she is giving her hugs. I’m behind her, right? I walk up and I’m like, “Hi!” And she goes, “Name?” “Pass?” (Laughs) Ellen Travolta is a dream, and to work with her is a dream. I’m completely responsible because I almost bullied Frank Valentini into bringing her back. But what a gift it was to have her back, because she’s amazing.
Will we be touched by the scenes, or is it fun and campy during the Thanksgiving episodes? What can you preview?
RENA: I think the audience, as much as they enjoyed seeing Lois and Brook Lynn, the three of us together is a whole other world. You will be touched in many different places. However, you want to take that.
Amanda, what was it like meeting Ellen Travolta and then working with her?
AMANDA: Oh, my gosh. We fell in love immediately. What’s crazy Michael is, my maternal grandmother was Grandma Gloria. I had her till I was 30 and we were so close. She was really like a second mom to me. So, when I got this script and I’m reading “Grandma Gloria”, it was so bizarre. And then in meeting Ellen, she looks like my grandma – same haircut, same high cheekbones. It really did feel like I had a few days with my grandma. It was very, very special for me. Ellen is sweet, prepared, professional, talented and funny to boot. So, it was one of the best weeks I’ve had at work. I hope she comes back. My fingers are crossed.
RENA: Ellen told me when she was on General Hospital the first time she was my age. She was almost 55 years old when she started in the role, and now I’ll be 55 in a couple weeks. It was just very apropos. I loved it.
Olivia’s ready to throw in the towel for Thanksgiving, but Lois will hear none of it. I’m assuming perhaps Lois saves the day?
RENA: Lois always saves the day.
Is there any jealousy between Lois and Olivia? Do you play any of that in your scenes?
RENA: Oh, no. Listen, here’s the deal. I’m not giving the audience any sort of hinting or preconceived notion that there is going to be a triangle or a love story between Ned, Lois and Olivia. Let’s be really clear. Wally and I were married. We are now remarried. It is not fair to either of our spouses to even play that kind of a story. It’s not. It is not respectful. We will not cross that line. It doesn’t matter. It’s not about not respecting the audience. It’s not about how fun that storyline could be, but we have relationships with people that really, it would be difficult for them because we were married and had a child. We have two children together – Megan being my stepdaughter. So, that is not something I’m willing to play. I’m not going to play. I don’t want the audience thinking, “Oh!” I don’t want them asking for it. It’s not acceptable.
I think a lot of viewers were thinking Lois and Olivia might get into it over Ned.
AMANDA. You know soap writers, Michael.
RENA: True. But I will say this, the one thing that I don’t want to play as I get older and if I have any control over anything, and I’m not saying I have any control over the script at all, is I don’t like playing women hating women. I do not enjoy that. Most of the people who watch our show are women. I don’t want to be a role model to then say, “Hey, guys can never do any wrong, but you should always be wary of your girlfriend.” I don’t like that. I don’t think it’s correct. And in this world, it’s a choice I make not to send that message.
AMANDA: Just bringing it back to the Lois/Brooklyn/Gloria scenes. It’s really fun to see three really strong New Yorker comedic women in the same room together. And then of course, you add in Lisa LoCicero and Jane Elliot, of course. Having all of these really strong female characters together, representing the Quartermaines on Thanksgiving is pretty awesome.
As our conversation comes to a close, what would you want to say to the fans and/or your wish for them as the holidays approach?
AMANDA: Happy holidays to all the fans. Thank you so much for watching. You know, we only get to do this because of you guys, and we’re so grateful for your support over the years and your genuine love of these characters and these storylines. We just hope that we can continue to fulfill all of your storyline wants and desires.
RENA: I wish everybody out there a happy and peaceful holiday season where they could be surrounded by friends and family, and remember what’s important and hold onto what is dear to them. And, just pray for peace everywhere. Everywhere. Pray for peace.
What do you think of Rena Sofer and Amanda Setton as the mother/daughter duo of Lois Cerullo and Brook Lynn Quartermaine on ? Are you looking forward to seeing how Thanksgiving plays out at the Q’s? What are your hopes moving forward for Lois while she is in Port Charles and for Brook Lynn in love and in her professional life? Share your comments below.
‘Neighbours’ Stars Lucinda Cowden, Rebekah Elmaloglou and Stefan Dennis Talk What Went Down On ‘Flashback Week’
If you caught this week’s episodes of Neighbours: a New Chapter on Amazon Freevee, you know that the streaming revival of the beloved Australian soap opera went back in time two years; to fill in the blanks of some of the events that happened from when the original Neighbours ended after 37 years.
In all-new story for “Flashback Week”, Melanie (Lucinda Cowden) was revealed to be the victim of a relentless blackmail and extortion attempts from Krista (Majella Davis) and her troublemaking ‘boyfriend, Eden (Costa d’Angelo). As the story unfolded, its tentacles reached far and wide involving almost the entire cast and those who reside in the fictional town of Erinsborough.
In addition, while Terese is somehow married to Toadie in the reboot of the series, we learn how her marriage to Paul fell apart, especially when Paul covered-up Krista’s death after Melanie pushed her and Krista fell in the pool at Lassiter’s Hotel, which Paul runs.
Speaking with Michael Fairman direct from Melbourne on Wednesday for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel were series stars: Lucinda Cowden, Rebekah Emagloglou and Stefan Dennis. The trio discussed taping the emotional story and scenes, what they hope happens next for their characters, and when they learned the heartbreaking news that Neighbours had been canceled.
However. while the original series came to its heartbreaking conclusion, the streaming revival is delivering compelling drama with a mix of old and new cast members, and this season with special guest star Mischa Barton (ex- The O.C.).
You can check out all-new episodes of Neighbours: A New Chapter on Amazon Freevee Monday through Thursdays in the UK and the U.S. and on Channel 10 in Australia.
Now below, check out our conversation with Lucinda, Rebekah and Stefan. Then let us know what you thought of what befell Melanie, Terese and Paul during ‘Flashback Week’ and what you think of the streaming series reboot via the comment section below.
The Cast of ‘The Bay’ to Preview Upcoming 8th Season in Live Chat
DANCING WITH THE STARS: Semi-Finals Conclude with A Shocking Twist
Win a Private Game Night with Soap Stars and Help Children in Need for the Holidays
THIS FRIDAY: The Young and the Restless’ Hayley Erin to Chat Live
Josh Swickard, Eileen Davidson & Annika Noelle Star in Netflix’s ‘Holiday in the Vineyards’
Jonathan Frakes Opens Up on How He Met Real-Life Wife ‘General Hospital’s’ Genie Francis
THIS WEEK ON Y&R: Aunt Jordan Ramps Up Her ‘Attack of the Newmans’ (Preview)
The Cast of ‘The Bay’ to Preview Upcoming 8th Season in Live Chat
DANCING WITH THE STARS: Semi-Finals Conclude with A Shocking Twist
THIS FRIDAY: The Young and the Restless’ Hayley Erin to Chat Live
CM Punk Returns to ‘Monday Night Raw’ For First Time In Nearly 10 Years: “I’m Not Here to Make Friends, I’m Here to Make Money”
Video Du Jour
Days of our Lives
Airdate: 7-24- 2023
General HospitalNovember 25, 2023
Josh Swickard, Eileen Davidson & Annika Noelle Star in Netflix’s ‘Holiday in the Vineyards’
General HospitalNovember 20, 2023
Roger Howarth Exits General Hospital
NewsNovember 27, 2023
NewsNovember 20, 2023
ATWT Favorite Colleen Zenk on Being Cast as Y&R’s Aunt Jordan: “Josh (Griffith) Was Around During the Evil Barbara Days So He Knew What I Was Capable Of”
General HospitalNovember 24, 2023
Jonathan Frakes Opens Up on How He Met Real-Life Wife ‘General Hospital’s’ Genie Francis
NewsNovember 23, 2023
Y&R’s Camryn Grimes and Fiancé Brook Powell Reprise Their Roles as Santa and Mrs. Clause for Disney