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The Eric Braeden Interview – The Young and the Restless

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Getty Images

This week on The Young and the Restless the CBS soap opera honored its iconic star, Jeanne Cooper, with a two-day memorial episode for the beloved character she played for almost 40 years, Katherine Chancellor.  One of Jeanne’s longest running co-stars, who was deeply touched by the loss of his long time friend on-screen and on-off, is the indominatable Eric Braeden (Victor Newman).  Now the question remains, with the reading of Katherine’s will next week, how might it affect the mighty Victor?

Over the last several weeks, while there was plenty of attention of viewers waiting to have a good cry at Katherine’s memorial episodes, there was also controversy brewing at Y&R with the swift departure of head writer Josh Griffith, who Braeden took to Twitter to publically defend Griffith’s stories, and who voiced his displeasure over a change at the top.  In this new interview with On-Air On-Soaps, we ask the Daytime Emmy winner, where he sits with it now?  And, that raises the age old question: has any writing regime in the history of the show even come close to the way that Y&R creator Bill Bell told stories and constructed the show?  Eric certainly weighs-in heavily on the matter.

In the coming weeks on Y&R, look for more bombshells, especially when Victor finds out that his son, Adam’s (Michael Muhney) secret investor is really his nemesis, Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman)!  Braeden gives us a preview of a major fallout!  And what about the entire Newman clan?  Will Victor ever let Victoria (Amelia Heinle) run Newman?  Will Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) share with Victor the secret contents of her letter from Katherine?  Or, will it cause a rift in the star-crossed lovers marriage, yet again?  For the answers to this, and Eric’s thoughts on the exit of Michelle Stafford (Ex-Phyllis) and not getting much air time to work with his other on-screen son, Joshua Morrow (Nick).  Read on for our chat with the always candid, tell-it-like-it-is Mr. Braeden!

MICHAEL:

As this week’s viewers witnessed the memorial service of Katherine Chancellor on Y&R, going back a step, how difficult has it been for you dealing with the loss of your longtime cast mate and friend Jeanne Cooper?

ERIC:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

It was difficult for me.  I must say Jeanne’s death touched me more than I would have anticipated.  It really hit me, and I thought about it a lot.  I suddenly realized I have been working with her for more than 30 years!  That is a helluva a long time.  I was very fond of Jeanne, and loved working with her.  She was such an intrical part of Y&R that it affected me more than I thought it would.  Jeanne’s memorial service, which was held at her house with her sons Corbin and Colin, and her daughter Caren, was so moving, nice, and so real.  Jeanne was an extraordinary person, and you can see that in her family.  Her children are some of the most stand-up people I have known.  As direct as Jeanne was, I was just as direct, obviously. (Laughs)  So, I had such a huge fondness for her, I must say, and as she got older and frail I even felt more protective of her.

MICHAEL:

I remember you speaking at Jeanne’s memorial.  It was so authentic and touching.

ERIC:

You know, that during the memorial service when Corbin spoke there was a dove right behind him, and it stayed there during the entire service, as if it was Jeanne listening.  I have never seen anything like it, right over his shoulder!

MICHAEL:

Do you think the fans will be touched by Katherine’s memorial episodes?

ERIC:

Yes, I think so.  It was a difficult day.  We had scenes where different people are involved; it became very difficult with the other actors, and for the crew.  But it was certainly appropriate.  I look forward to seeing the episodes.  I remember after we finished shooting Katherine’s memorial service, Corbin spoke and said some very lovely things, and how strange it was for him … how art and real life meet.  He is talking as the son from the stage of where his mother spent most of her life.  Very strange in ways, and very moving.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite of all-time of yours and Jeanne’s?  You had so many scenes together as Katherine and Victor.

ERIC:

What comes to mind is what I said at her real memorial service.  It is the first time we had a scene together.  She came up in the inevitable Jeanne Cooper way, and grabbed me by the “privates” and said, “Ok, big boy. Let’s see what you got!”  And I said to myself, “I am going to get along with her!”

MICHAEL:

Nikki knows the content of her letter from Katherine, and so too does Paul, but Victor does not know what it says.  Both are dealing with the loss of Katherine in their lives.  Would you say Nikki is hardest hit by her passing?

ERIC:

I would say Nikki is obviously hit hardest by it, because Kay was her confidante and best friend.  I can say a lot of surprising things will play out over the next few weeks.  I loved it.  It’s great stuff!

MICHAEL:

Often times, fans recently have been vocal that Y&R has focused on newbies that they don’t know or care about in favor of the veterans.

ERIC:

I think every since I have been on the show, during the summer months they have made the mistake to try to garner the attention of the young demographic, and that is an edict from above.  So all networks think they have to grab the attention of a young demographic, and without realizing it, it’s the old demographic that is your core audience.  I have heard these complaints for 33 years every summer.  Nothing has changed.  I think it’s a corporate decision that is made on top, but I think it’s a mistake.  I don’t think the facts support the hypothesis that it gets more young people to watch the show. But that is the thinking industry-wide, and wrongfully so.  It is the older demographic who has the financial wherewithal to buy things anyways, or to give permission to the younger kids.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

How do you feel the writing of Y&R was, during just exited head writer Josh Griffith’s tenure?

ERIC:

As you know, whenever there is a change, it takes a while to get adjusted to it.  I am happy with the storylines right now.  I was happy before, and so as an actor you learn to do the best with what you are given.  I must say, I can’t complain at all about what I have been given.  There was only one time in 33 years that I was blatantly unhappy, and only once during someone’s regime as a head writer, but not for a long time.  I love working with Maria Bell, and I loved working with Josh Griffith.

MICHAEL:

You have voiced your displeasure on Twitter over the departure of Josh Griffith as head writer, and what kind of criteria a person should have to be put in that position to write the number-one soap. (Reports have been that Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman are the new co-head writers at Y&R, although unconfirmed by the show) What are your thoughts on the subject now?

ERIC:

It was upsetting to see that Josh was gone.  I am so use to changes, one becomes unoit to it after a while, but I was surprised.  Obviously, someone who knows the history of the show and is familiar with the characters should be the new head writer.  I don’t like change.  I did not like Maria Bell leaving, and now I don’t like that Josh Griffith leaving, but that is part of the business.  I am not aware of the reasons why Josh is gone.  I was upset on Twitter about his departure, but I have had changes for 33 years on Y&R, and the only real calm time was under Bill Bell, as we all know.  There was a sense of continuity which has not been replicated since.  Bill simply did not tolerate any interference … none!  Hopefully, the show continues in a successful way.  I think Jill Farren Phelps (Y&R executive producer) is doing a good job, and Josh was doing a great job, and we had just gotten use to that.  I am against that change, period.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Adam’s secret backer in business, is of all people, Jack!  What do you think will happen when Victor finds out?  It’s on the verge of happening!

ERIC:

Well, just fasten your seat belt.  That is all I can tell you!

MICHAEL:

Did Victor want things to go well with having Adam at Newman Enterprises?  Or, did he not want it to go well?

ERIC:

I think for Victor initially, part of him wanted it to go well, and he was hoping against hope that Adam would become someone he wanted.  But, we must always remember from the moment Adam came into Victor’s family, or the periphery there of, that the moment he came back into Genoa City he has been nothing but trouble.  I mean, people forget the things he has done, and the list goes on and on, and so it makes for interesting drama.  I think every father has a desire to get along with his children, no matter how wayward one of them has become.  Anyway, it is a very interesting storyline.  Again, fasten your seat belts!

MICHAEL:

The reading of Katherine’s will is coming up.  Could the contents in the will be paramount to Victor and his future business dealings?

ERIC:

I would say there is another bomb about to go off!  You bet!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I am hoping Victor won’t screw with Katherine holdings.

ERIC:

Victor is a businessman, but he is very respectful of Katherine.

MICHAEL:

How does Victor feel about Nikki’s multiple sclerosis?  Has it changed or impacted him in some significant way?

ERIC:

Obviously, Victor is very concerned for her, and it gives him pause in his business endeavors to not forget what Nikki is going through.  I think it has struck a chord in him that he wants to be more affectionate to her than usual.

MICHAEL:

When you call Billy Abbott (Billy Miller) “Billy Boy”, which is so funny, where did that come from?

ERIC:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I think it’s very funny.  I love working with Billy.  He is a character. (Laughs) The “Billy Boy” thing came from me.  I remember using that when I shot my nemesis in my film, The Man Who Came Back.  I shot him in the balls and I said, “I shot you in the balls, Billy Boy!”   And that stuck with me!  “Billy Boy” I just love that!  It rolls of your tongue. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Why does Victor not want Victoria in charge at Newman?

ERIC:

That isn’t quite true.  I adore Amelia Heinle, and I love working with Billy Miller.  Unfortunately, there is always friction between father and daughter.  And in my real life, I would hate friction with my own kids or grand kids.  That is one thing about Victor I never really liked, but it’s conflict and drama and we need that.  But my God, I would be so warm and giving with my own daughter, of course.  I enjoy having dinner with my son more than any other person, and we are very close.  My grandchildren I just adore.  Victor gets to show part of that, but for my taste not enough.   But what a great conflict with “Billy Boy”! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

How does Victor view Adam as opposed to Victoria in business?

ERIC:

He does not trust Adam business-wise, but he wants to trust him.  Adam is always up to shenanigans that makes Victor very disappointed.  It must be horrible in real life to have children like that.  Again, we are doing a drama and need conflict.  As far as Victoria, I think Victor thinks she is very capable, but in the end he doesn’t trust anyone.  So let’s be frank, he wants to run the ship himself and that ain’t going to change.  So, would he like to be close to his kids?  Of course, yes.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Why do you think the Jack Abbott/Victor Newman clash has worked so well over decades?   Do you attribute it to you and Peter Bergman as actors?  Or, the story?

ERIC:

That is a good question to ask, and very difficult to answer.  I think it is to the way that Peter Bergman plays Jack, and the way I play Victor.  We piss each other off.  It’s as simple as that.  I respect Peter as an actor enormously and we certainly get along, but then we start acting these scenes, and they are full of vinegar and poison.  That is due to how we both interpret our parts.

MICHAEL:

Did you think the role of Victor would last this long?  You must moments of “How cool is this”.  You are playing this delicious role that many actors only dream about getting to play once in their lifetime!

ERIC:

I have many moments of how cool this is, when you think of how hard it is to keep a job in this business.  We have 150,000 actors registered in the union, in which 1% makes a living.  I have been doing this show for 33 years, and I have been in the business for 50. The longest I have been unemployed is for three months.  I consider myself very fortunate with this job, and very proud of this show.  Do I wish I had more say and power as I have over some films, such as The Man Who Came Back?  I would be lying if I said “no.”  But you do the best within the parameters that you have been given.  This is too fleeting of a business.  This medium is so fast.  We shoot 80 pages in one day, and what they write about we find out about 2 months later.  So, I am reconciled to the limited parameters of Y&R for me as actor.  We have 25 characters most of the time on the canvas.  So I am very happy where I am, and the kind of life I have had.  There is no question about it.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Soap operas over the last five years have faced numerous network television cancellations.  A few, AMC and OLTL moved to a new online platform and format.  How do you think soaps are doing now?  What do you think of how CBS Entertainment Daytime SR. VP Angelica McDaniel has been doing in her position, since being put in charge of the day part that Y&R resides in?

ERIC:

I think Angelica has proven that she is very passionately in support of our show.  I like that very much.  I appreciate that very much.  Look, we have been number one for a very long time, and there is a reason for that.  We try to make it as real as we can.  We stay away from the fantasies, and away from the science-fiction stuff.  We can’t do certain things as well that other people can do in films, or nighttime television. This is about being real people, and their real emotions.  I have always insisted in playing my role as realistically as I can.  I think that is the key to success in our medium.  We just need to have good stories.  Our medium is not made for something fantastical, or out of the ordinary.  It is made for real emotions.  That is what people want to tap into.  What is art about?  Art is about people looking at something, or watching something, or reading something, and going, “That’s interesting.”  You transport them into the lives of the artist whether its music, or daytime soaps.  Within that enjoyment of looking into other people’s lives, you need people to be as real as you can be as the artist, so you identify with them.  If people can’t identify with it, you lose them.  I think the medium is here to stay if the people who write soaps understand perfectly well that the audience needs to buy into the characters, and that’s all.  We have done that to a greater or lesser degree on this show, ever since I have been here.

MICHAEL:

You are up on Twitter a lot more now!  How do you like being part of social media? I know a few times you may have encountered some controversy while on there, as of late.  (Laughs)

ERIC:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I must say I love it, because you get immediate feedback, and you begin to in the 33 years I have been here, be intimately aware that there is an audience out there and that is the reason you are here to begin with.  We in Hollywood often times become cynical of what we do, because we are not in contact with the people who watch.  And when you do films, you are just totally out of touch with the people who watch you, and who pay to see you.  Twitter is an avenue where I really appreciate the audience, and learned that the audience is very smart.  They know exactly what is going on, and I resent the condescending aires of certainly people in Hollywood as if they don’t know … they know!  The audience knows when something is phony; they know when something is real.  They really know it immediately, and Twitter gives me an immediate feedback. So one lesson I would teach Hollywood executives, some actors, and directors, is don’t ever under-estimate the intelligence of the viewing audience.  You make a huge mistake when you do that.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Michelle Stafford leaving Y&R was a big loss for the show?

ERIC:

I am very upset that Michelle is gone.  She is one of those rare actresses who doesn’t come along very often.  She is very unique, and very passionate about her profession.  When she comes on the screen, it lights up the scenes and pops!  For whatever reasons she left, partly personal reasons … I don’t know, and I don’t want to know, but I am sad she is gone.  It’s a loss.

MICHAEL:

Michael Muhney and you play two very strong-willed characters.  What is it like acting in a scene with him when you go toe-to-toe constantly?

ERIC:

Well, I have never been worried about someone else’s strength, that does not bother me. Michael is very good at what he does, and so the scenes work well.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Do you wish you had more scenes with Joshua Morrow? Viewers don’t get to see the connection between Victor and Nick much at all anymore!

ERIC:

It saddens me, because Joshua is my first son on the show and he couldn’t be a nicer guy. He is a very good actor.  Joshua has one of those casual all-American attitudes, where sometimes you underestimate what he does.  I don’t.  He can star in any medium, as far as I am concerned, nighttime television or film.  So sometimes it saddens me that he and I don’t have a closer relationship as Victor and Nick, as father and son, on the show.  I am so sick of Victor interfering in others people’s lives!  I don’t give a shit, but unfortunately I have too.

MICHAEL:

Will Victor ring Sharon’s (Sharon Case) neck for changing the paternity test on his son, Nick, when that eventually comes to light?

ERIC:

More than that!  She also set fire to the damn ranch!  Yes, I am asking “Paul, God dam it. Find the culprit, will you?” (Laughs) And he hasn’t yet; he walks around with that silver briefcase all the time.  It must be so heavy; when he comes home he needs a rest.  (Laughs) Anyway, Doug Davidson (Paul) is wonderful to work with.  The only problem when Doug and I work together is we have a difficult time keeping from laughing.  With Dougie, when I see the glint in his eyes, it’s difficult to keep a straight face with him … it really is!

MICHAEL:

So as we conclude our chat, we can leave the fans knowing that truly all is OK from where you are sitting with what’s happening now with Y&R, and in the near future, for Victor Newman?

ERIC:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

To be frank with you, I am happy with the storyline.  I was sad to see Maria Bell go at the time, because it was the last of the Bells that went.  It really affected me a lot.  I have a good relationship with both Jill Farren Phelps, and Josh Griffith.  I am an actor and paid to do what people write, one must not forget that.  But if I had to do it over again, I would have decided years ago to direct more.  I like to have complete control of stuff, and that is the one frustrating thing of being an actor on a soap.  If you star on a primetime series or a film, you have far more power.  In daytime, your power is limited and you can’t affect things.  And, that I would never do again.  I have seen too much; I know too much.  I know what I think is right.  So my interests are that I learn my lines, I do as well as I can, but then when it’s over, I am on to the rest of my life.  So that is one thing I would change if I had to do it all over again.  I would start directing earlier, I would be more involved in the writing, and have much more control over it, than I have allowed myself to be.  But having said that, are you kidding?  I am very happy playing Victor Newman. And look, we all have complaints about this and that, that are life and part of the creative process. We don’t always agree, but we pull ourselves together and in true show business style, you say, “Let’s go.  Let’s get it done, and do it the best way that you can.”

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KerryMARY ELLISONSherry Holas-HerrickmarkSR Recent comment authors
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mary jonas
mary jonas

what a guy. what a guy! He’s funny. I love how he tweets Doug about “who burnt the damn ranch”.
Fun read.

kalamaty
kalamaty

Great interview with the icon himself! Always loved his absolute candor, and love his affection for his costars!

Monica Junge
Monica Junge

Wonderful hearing from Eric.

SHARON HARRISON
SHARON HARRISON

ERIC,, I WAS WATCHING THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS YESTERDAY. AND I THOUGHT THAT JACK ABBOTT WAS GOING TO GET YOU MAD ABOUT NEWMAN ENTERPRISES. I SAID GET HIM VICTOR . JACK THOUGHT THAT HE HAD YOU FOOLED. ABOUT ADAM IS PLAYING ON THE DIRTY SIDE WITH JACK ABBOTT. I WILL BE WATCHING YOU ON THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS TONIGHT GET HIM VICTOR

SHARON HARRISON
SHARON HARRISON

ERIC THIS THING ABOUT ADAM MAKES ME SICK. HE IS A SNAKE IN GRASS FOR WHAT HE DID TO YOU AND NIKKI NEWMAN. I HOPE THAT YOU WILL LET HIM GET A WAY WITH IT. I WONDER WHAT NICK THINKS ABOUT HIS BROTHER ADAM DOING WHAT HE HAS DOING TO YOU AND THE NEWMAN FAMILY. HE IS AS BAD AS SHARON NEWMAN THAT SORRY NO GOOD. BECAUSE SHE IS TRYING TO MESS WITH NICK”S WEDDING PLANS. SHARON HARRISON

k/kay
k/kay

The one thing I hate is that the writers on both of these regimes screwed up the relationship he had with Sharon it was always a father/daughter if you will. The one storyline I know he hated was when LML was running the show and had him cutting out paper dolls that was indeed an eye roller.

Diane
Diane

I so loved reading your interview..thank you so much..Eric is the backbone of the show..with Jeanne gone he makes it still feel like family..they have added to many young actors to fast ..so it gives me comfort to see Eric as often as possible ..
Great interview…just wonderful…
Thank you..dd

Michelle
Michelle

This was such a great interview. I have such respect for Eric saying all that he said and being truthful about it. He is right about tweeting…it gives you that personal bond with the actors.

ethel
ethel

loved the interview!

MEG
MEG

I would have liked to know how will treat Adam when they find out ,the baby is Adams will he be there for Adam and his son .

Eileen Hargis
Eileen Hargis

In person, the first thing u learn about him is that he has a wicked sense of humor! He is truly so interesting to listen to and I value that he twitters to me fairly often, the first thing he that he said to me at the autograph table was a tweet I sent to him while he was in Monte Carlo earlier! Eileen n Vegas

glenda alford vaughn
glenda alford vaughn

I loved every min. of this interview. He is a legend! He demands respect, and gets it in the end.

I do hope it all plays out the way; that all is well, and like OKAY:-)

Colleen
Colleen

What an awesome interview. Eric is admirable in every
human way possible. Both on and off screen. If only he would follow
me on Twitter!!
And Michael, as always, your interviews are excellent !
I really enjoy all of them.

Jewell
Jewell

Love how he came up with Billy Boy. haha Eric is so fun to talk to on Twitter, he is very intelligent , and so funny..

SR
SR

Honest, straight forward, insightful, consummate actor, respectful of fans and dam smart. He rocks! Great job Michael.

mark
mark

great interview hes a classy guy!

Sherry Holas-Herrick
Sherry Holas-Herrick

I admire Mr. Eric! I started watching this Y&R soap when Steve Burton jumped over from GH, but it turns out, my most favorite scenes are with the Victor character! Michael Fairman, you do a great job interviewing also 🙂

MARY ELLISON
MARY ELLISON

PLEASE BRING PHYLLIS BACK AND GET RID OF SHARON . IT TIME FOR HER TO GO|||

Kerry
Kerry

My mother has watched Young and the Restless for as long as I can remember, and I am now 48 years old. She is going to be 82 September 29, 2013 and she
was diagnosed with stage 4 mouth cancer barely a month ago and it is progressing VERY quickly. She would be so thrilled to have an autographed pic from the cast…..especially Murphy. Obviously she would love it if he could call her, or better yet visit her, but I know I have to be real!!!! If there is anyone out there who knows how I could accomplish this in a quick manner I would be so grateful. Moms name is Carole. She doesn’t know I am doing this, but my brothers and sisters all agree that this would really be an awesome gift hearing from the The Young and the Restless cast who have been family to her and a huge part of her life ; )

Thank you and God Bless!

Kerry

P.S. Victor…she has always been in love with you too!!!! (As have I!)

Days Of Our Lives

Wally Kurth Talks on His Daytime Emmy Nomination For DAYS As Justin’s World Is Turned Upside Down

You kind of know when you are handed the ball in the world of daytime drama, and it’s your turn to shine, especially when you get meaty material that runs the gamut of emotions. And this past Emmy season, Days of our Lives’ Wally Kurth delivered the performances of his soap career (although we suspect there is some more to come in 2020!) in the role of the grieving Justin Kiriakis.

For Wally not only played grief, but starting life anew in a romantic entanglement that can be all too familiar when someone tries to move on after the loss of the love of their life. Add to that, the complication that his son’s husband, was believed to be the person who caused the accident that killed his wife, Adrienne (Judi Evans), and with that the deck is stacked for an emotional fallout that landed Kurth in the running for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at this year’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to air on CBS on Friday night, June 26th, albeit in a virtual presentation.

While Wally is getting many accolades for his work on DAYS, let’s not forget the double duty he pulls on General Hospital, where this week his Ned Ashton. This week Ned is front and center during the encore presentations of the GH’ Nurses’ Ball episodes, which feature Wally singing his heart out in numerous memorable performances through the years.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Kurth to get his thoughts and insight into his well-deserved acting nomination for DAYS, plus to find out his favorite GH Nurses’ Ball performances, and much more. Here now is what Wally had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

I am so thrilled about this nomination because you know, I willed this to happen.  I was like, “It’s got to happen!” (Laughs)

WALLY:  You actually were saying that, and you have been very supportive and positive.  I appreciate it.

What did you end up submitting? I believe I gave you “Power Performance of the Week” honors on my site for some of them, too.

WALLY:  I do try to put together a little story in my submissions for Emmys.  I think that’s kind of important because if you’re asking someone to watch 8 or 9 minutes of just you… I didn’t want to just (not that I had this material) but bludgeon them with one sad, sobbing scene after another.  I wanted to give them a whole range of Justin and a little story.  So, I did start off where Justin was asking Adrienne to marry him, and Justin is very happy, and it’s all good, and he gets down on his knee, and you see her, and it’s like, “This is something really good,” and I also wanted to include a scene with Judi Evans in my reel.  Then, I cut to where it’s a year later, and Justin is with Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) in their apartment. They are already living together, and they are discussing the anniversary of their marriages, and about the sadness of Adrienne, and she’s talking about Steve (Stephen Nichols), and then she brings up having to tell me that Adrienne died.  So, that was obviously in a flashback that happened six months earlier; where Justin is obviously very upset, and scared, and doesn’t want to hear it, and breaks down, and Kayla comforts him. Then, I did the continuation where Justin tells Kayla how much she has meant to him, and how he felt like he wasn’t going to survive, and how she came to his aid in a way to make him feel like he really has something to live for.   Then, at the very end, I did two scenes with Will (Chandler Massey) in the jail which is where Justin confronts Will, who obviously Justin thought was responsible for killing Adrienne.  It was a really lovely, really well-written scene where Justin tells him, “You’re a son to me, and you can be disappointed with a son, and you can be hurt by a son, but you never stop loving him.” I think it showed a nice range of the anger, the hurt, the happiness (because Justin tells him about Kayla), so you get an idea of what happened to Justin last year.  I thought it was a good collection of scenes that told a little story, and you could see the range of what Justin went though.  Evidently, it worked on some level because I got nominated.

Courtesy/NBC

In the scene with Will, doesn’t Justin also tell him, “Don’t give up on life?” in a very hankie-inducing moment?

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WALLY:  Yes.  “Don’t give up.  Don’t give up on life,” which is really positive… even though he started the scene like, “I don’t even want to talk to this guy.”  Justin is there talking to Ben (Rob Scott Wilson), and Will kind of surprises him. So for Justin it;’ like, “Now I guess I’ve got to talk to Will about this,” and so he is still angry, he is still hurt, and you’re right, at the end, the scene has sort of transformed him in a way.  So, all of that stuff was just really nice, really nice scenes to get to play and very emotional.

I’ve watched most everything on the soaps from the performances to the storylines, and that one scene with the two of you was one of the best scenes I have seen in long time.  It was just so good from the writing to the execution of it. 

WALLY:  Oh yeah, I can’t even imagine a scene that was as good. Thank God that scene aired in December.  My story really didn’t get started until October/November, and all of those scenes that I included were from October, November, and December.

So, what did you think then when you found out that Chandler, along with you, and Paul Telfer (Xander) are all in the Supporting Actor category together?

WALLY:  I love it.  How great is that?  I love both of those guys.  I mean, I am such a fan of both of them.  Chandler kind of gets nominated every year, so I wasn’t surprised there.

Photo: JPI

Well, he had one year, as he pointed out to me (laughs), that he didn’t get a nomination. But, Chandler has been pretty much a perennial nominee every time he submits!

WALLY:  Yeah, Chandler just delivers.  He is a really an outstanding actor Paul, I think is great.  I love the character.  I was kind of surprised and happy for him because sometimes his character gets overlooked; just like the bad guy with the smarmy smirk and the great English accent.  So, there you go.  It’s terrific.  I think people saw more to his performance, and they should.  He works on a lot of different levels, and Paul brings a lot to the game.

And obviously, you know James Patrick Stuart (Valentin, General Hospital), since you work on that show too, and he is also nominated in your category. 

WALLY:  Yeah, and I have been a big fan of his too.  So, I was really delighted.  I called him up and left a message.  I love James.  We did a thing last year together where we went back east and played some music in some clubs,   I always think that James should be nominated.  He does such an exceptional job at bringing that character to life.  That’s not an easy thing to do either.  It’s kind of like a Xander character, and so, it is nice to see my fellow actors see the complexity in their performances and appreciate it.

Photo: JPI

Last week’s DAYS airshows contained scenes where Justin confronts Orpheus (George Delhoyo), over killing Adrienne, and Justin also goes to visit Adrienne’s grave.  I think you have another run of shows next year to submit for the Emmys (Laughs)

WALLY:  I do like to include the big four emotions that an actor has to play:  happy, sad, angry, and fear.  That is a scene where you get to see Justin really angry.  So, I will probably look to that as you get to see the anger part of the character, which I think is important.  You don’t get to see Justin very angry and lose it like that.

No, and that’s what was so great about it.  George was a great scene partner, though.

WALLY:  Oh, he was great.  George and I had a great time.  It was really awesome.  I mean, it was a challenge because it was very tricky, especially when Steve (Stephen Nichols) and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) came in because you know; there is a part of the character that is just like, “Please, just let me shoot.  Just let me fire a bullet and just put it over his head or something, or maybe his hands are shaking so much that he misses the target!”  I don’t know, but you do just want to let him shoot, just one bullet.  (Laughs) Another moment that I really, really loved – and I’ll probably include it next year in my submission -was that scene with Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) at the hospital.  They gave me a beautiful speech to tell her that she should be her judge and jury and sentence herself to death, a beautiful speech about how she reminded me of Adrienne.  It brought out a different side of Justin that you don’t usually see.

Photo: JPI

When I spoke to Chandler about this nomination he related to me, “I am so happy for Wally because I feel like he is often underrated.” You have always been the guy on soaps who is always delivering consistent work, but now you’ve been given a story.  So now everyone can see what you can do or are reminded of it.  It’s hard without a story on the soaps; especially playing the Emmy game.

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WALLY:  It’s true.  What did Maurice Benard (Sonny, General Hospital) say?  “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.”  It’s really true.  Let’s face it, you can only do so much, and that’s why I don’t get too competitive.  If I lose, that’s totally fine.  I feel like I’ve already won.  Being recognized by my peers, that’s it.  Being nominated is awesome, and honestly, after this, so much of it is the material and what the actors got to do.  It’s sort of out of your control, you know.   I am happy for all of my fellow nominees.  It’s all good at this point.  I’m really, really happy.

Photo: ABC

You’ve been nominated once before, right?

WALLY:  Yes. I’ve been nominated once before, two years ago on General Hospital.  It was the year that Jane Elliot (Tracy) left.  In story, Tracy leaves, so there was all of that emotional stuff to play.  That was the year I also submitted myself for Days of Our Lives too, and I was really proud of that work.  That year saw Adrienne having to choose between Justin and Lucas (Bryan Dattilo), and she chose Lucas.  There were just some really nice scenes there that they wrote for Justin and Adrienne, and she was dealing with cancer.  Anyway, I got nominated for General Hospital, and I learned from that year that I am never going to nominate myself in the same category for both shows.  That’s just stupid.

Well, you’re everywhere.  You’re on the Nurses’ Ball encore episodes right now on GH,  

WALLY:  Oh, isn’t that funny?  All of these Nurses’ Balls, it’s hilarious.

Courtesy/ABC

Are you watching them?

WALLY:  Yes!  I watched parts of them the other night, especially my performances. It looked good; actually, they were really good.  I’m always kind of surprised like, “Wow! The dances … the singing … the production!”  I always feel like there should be more people at the Nurses’ Ball.  Shouldn’t there be more people in the seats? (Laughs)  But other than that, good stuff, good story.  It was fun to see the beginning of Ned and Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) as well, you know that first year where she and Sonny were just breaking up on the red carpet at the ball, and the next year, Ned and Olivia are already together.  This week they aired where I sing with sweet little Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma), the Elton John and Kiki Dee duet, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

Photo: ABC

Do you have one favorite Nurses’ Ball number you performed of all-time?

WALLY:  You know, someone has been posting old Nurses’ Balls from the 90s, and I forgot that I sang “Forever Young” with Amber Tamblyn (Ex-Emily), and that was so sweet.  I also loved singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” in the very first one or the second year, we did it. Some of my other favorites include: “I Feel Good,” with the Quartermaine boys, and Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible” – that was fun because I got to put my own vocal stamp on it, and I remember performing George Michael’s “Faith.  It was fun singing that with Lisa.

Courtesy/NBC

So, we know that this year will be a virtual Daytime Emmy ceremony, and we don’t know what that will look like yet.  So, how would you dress for it, if they had a shot of you from home during the broadcast on CBS?

WALLY:  I definitely am going to wear a suit and a tie.  I think that’s important to try to give the Emmys the dignity that it deserves.

So, thrilled that Wally received a Daytime Emmy nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series? What were your favorite moments of his last year? Are you enjoying seeing his performances on the encore GH Nurses’ Ball episodes? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination For Julie and Doug’s Emotional Storyline

When you think Days of our Lives, what would it be without the legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie) and her real-life and on-screen husband, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams)?

This past Emmy season, the beloved duo got a chance to shine, when they were put through a ‘heartbreaking’ predicament – Julie’s heart gives out, she is in need of a transplant, and things take a turn for the worse.

What would life be like for Doug without his Julie? How would she say goodbye to him? Fans clearly felt the sentiments overflowing from this real-life duo capturing the essence of their characters in such a raw and realistic way. So much so, that Susan landed a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category for her work.

Already a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient along with her husband, Bill back in 2018, will Susan finally get an award for her acting for her decades of beautiful work on the long-running NBC soap opera? Fans will need to tune-in to CBS on Friday, June 26th to find out with the virtual presentation of the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  But for now, here is our conversation with Susan.

Photo: NATAS

Congratulations on your Supporting Actress nomination.  You have been racking up a lot of these recently, having been nominated in the same category two years ago, and also receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award along with your husband, Bill Hayes at the 45th annual Daytime Emmys in 2018.

SUSAN:  It’s really nice to be nominated, because I’ve had a few gap years.  I’ve had, what? 25 gap years between the recent nominations.

What scenes did you ultimately chose that landed you the nomination?

SUSAN:  I submitted when Julie dies.  I submitted the farewell montage scenes with Bill Hayes, and they were very moving to us… and we’ll see.  I did not submit anything snappy, or bitchy, or hysterical.  I’ve lost against hysterical every time.  Comedy has never worked.  So, I am going to try the heart and soul of soup opera: not bitchiness, but loss.

Photo: JPI

Can I ask how you got through those scenes with Bill, because it was so touching?  I don’t know how you did it.

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SUSAN:  It was very difficult.  I mean, these are the things that make us so connected to the characters and the show.  This is a place where we can show the public what love means to us, which is everything.

They were beautiful scenes.  Do you remember when you did them, if you felt good about them at the time?

SUSAN:  No… no.  I didn’t know.  Everyone on the set seemed happy.  We are blessed to have feedback from out producers now, and they didn’t say, “I think you can do it better,” and, “Another take,” not that we would have anyway, because there is never time to do another take.

Photo: JPI

How did you find out that you were nominated? 

SUSAN:  One of the producers, Randy Dugan called me, or I wouldn’t have found out for a couple of days,

What are your thoughts on this being a virtual Daytime Emmys ceremony because of COVID-19?  We don’t know anything about will play out yet or what that will look like, but it is back on network TV.

SUSAN:  It’s going to be a wonderful surprise.

So, if they have the shot of the nominees, do you think you’d be dressed in comfortable clothes or more formal?

SUSAN:  Well, I’d certainly wear my best earrings if I were at home, yeah.  If my grandson can arrange us to get on the internet (we have a grandson living on our property, and he’s our live-in techy), we will get dressed up, and sit there, if that’s the way to do it.

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DAYS did very well receiving 22 overall nominations and a lot of your co-stars got nomination as well.

SUSAN:  Yes, an excellent year for nominations for our show.

How many times have you been nominated now? 

SUSAN:  This makes six.

Photo: IMDB

Would it mean a lot to you to get the award?

SUSAN:  The Lifetime Achievement meant a lot.  It wouldn’t be bad to win this year.  I’ll say that.  It would be sweet for the show, since I am now the oldest living cast member of the original family – the original, original.  I’m not the original Julie, but close enough.  So, I think that would be some validation for the longevity of this original storytelling.  People look at the show and say, “Are you part of the DiMera family or the Brady family?”  I say, “I’m part of the Horton family!”

What did your husband Bill say when he found out you were nominated?

SUSAN:  (Yells) Billy, what did you say when you found out I was nominated?

BILL:  Yay!!!

SUSAN:  That’s about right. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What a guy!

SUSAN:  I know!  What a guy, what a guy, what a guy!

I was really happy to see your name among the other well-deserving nominees.

SUSAN:  I know you are because I know you care.  Who knows what will happen? It isn’t going to ruin our lives you know, one way or another.  But it was very nice to receive this acknowledgment from my peers.

So, are you glad Susan received a nomination for her work in her emotional storyline? Do you think she should finally receive the Emmy for her performances? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey Chats On His Bittersweet Daytime Emmy Nomination

He’s won three Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series three years in row in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and now Chandler Massey is going for gold for the second time in his career in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series which in a field where he is competing with two co-stars from Days of our Lives among others.

Massey has long been a stand out performer, giving nuanced and emotional portrayals in the angst-ridden life of Will Horton and the love of his life, Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith).

Back in February of this year, DAYS fans learned that Chandler and Freddie had taped their last episodes, and since the NBC soap tapes more than 6 months ahead of air, that the two will still be on the air into the fall.  That has made this moment of recognition for Massey all the more poignant.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Chandler to get his reaction to the news that he is once again a Daytime Emmy nominee, and here’s what he had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

 

I thought it was great that you received another Emmy nomination.  What do you think?

CHANDLER:  Yeah.  I thought it was pretty great too, actually.   I was surprised.  I wasn’t keeping up on when they were announcing the nominations.   I was thrilled that Wally (Kurth) and Paul (Telfer) also got nominated too in the same category.  So, hopefully, DAYS, has a decent shot to take it home.

What did you end up submitting that ultimately landed you the nomination?

CHANDLER:  I went with some scenes that aired on December 16th of last year (I just looked that up), where Will basically breaks up with Sonny when Sonny comes to visit him in prison.  I liked those because they were sort of subtle.  I just found myself drawn in when I watched it, and it wasn’t big or dramatic, but it felt like two real people sharing their pain.  So, that’s why I chose it.

Photo: JPI

I remember those.  Those were heartbreaking because he had to get Sonny to let him go.

CHANDLER:  Yes.  He said he has a new prison boyfriend, and that he’s doing really well in prison, so he doesn’t want to be tied down. (Laughs)

You’ve had Freddie Smith as your scene partner for so much of your run on DAYS.  What did he give you in those scenes that helped you, or even further enabled the performance that you gave?

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CHANDLER:  Freddie always gives everything.  He is a consummate professional, so he really commits every time.  I think it is more that we are just so comfortable with each other that we are not afraid, and that there is no hesitation between the two of us, so we just are able to do the work.  We usually know we are there to listen to, and support each other. in the scenes.

Photo: NATAS

Was your entire submission from the prison scenes or did you include something else?

CHANDLER:  It was just that.  I know I could have included something else, but I like to keep it sort of short because I feel like as a judge, I know within a few minutes.  It’s not that I get bored, but it really only takes a scene or two, and then, you’re like, “this is something special.”  You can recognize it pretty quickly.

So, you have won three Daytime Emmys. This is your first nomination in a few years, right?

CHANDLER:  Yeah, I didn’t get nominated the year before.  I had a gap year… to my family’s great shame. (Laughs)  They were not pleased with me.

Photo: JPI

This is your second nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series category.

CHANDLER:  Yes. I was nominated in ‘Supporting’ for the first time when I came back to DAYS, and then submitted for “Lead” the next year, didn’t get nominated, and then went back to ‘Supporting’.  I learned my place.  I went back to ‘Supporting’ for this year.  (Laughs)

It’s such a game though, right?  .

CHANDLER:  Yeah, you’ve got to be smart.  I just thought, “What the heck?”  Freddie and I were like, “Maybe there’s a shot that if we pick different categories, we can both get nominated,” but then, after that didn’t work, I said, “Screw that… going back to ‘Supporting”

Now, you’ve been through Emmy night before, and this is obviously going to be a virtual Emmy’s.  Now, if they did a six-shot of all of the nominees, what would you wear?  Would you be dressed up?  Would you be casual?  What would you see yourself doing?

CHANDLER:  That’s a good question. I think maybe… I’ll do a little of both.  I’ll go the middle ground.  I’ll be in my finest bathrobe, a silk bathrobe so it’s casual but also still sort of fancy.

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There you go.  (Laughs)  Is this nomination all the more special for you in that you are no longer working at DAYS? 

CHANDLER:  Oh, totally.  Every year is special, but you know, I’m not on the show anymore, so it’s a nice reminder that the work that I did had an effect on people, and it won’t be forgotten for at least a few more hours.

Photo: JPI

I saw the fan outcry and show of support for you and Freddie, when viewers got wind that you were exiting the series.  It was sad and heartwarming at the same time.  The WilSon fans are so behind you guys.

CHANDLER:  Yeah, if only they knew what horrible people that we were in real life, then they wouldn’t be this way, but thankfully… (Laughs)  Yeah, it’s really nice, but it is sad.  I started in 2009, and that was over 10 years ago, and nothing lasts forever.  I had a really, really great run, and so did Freddie.  I am very satisfied and don’t feel jipped, or like, I was entitled to anything more than I got.

Courtesy/NBC

Obviously, your co-nominees, Wally and Paul you worked with many times.  What can you say about them?

CHANDLER:  I think that both men deserve definitely to get second and third place.  (Laughs)  I have known Wally for a while now.  I love him.  I think his work is phenomenal.  I think he is really, really underrated.  Paul, I don’t know as well, but I think obviously his work speaks for himself.  If only he were physically attractive, I think that would really, really help his career.

Photo: JPI

I know, it’s a shame.

CHANDLER:  Unfortunately, he is kind of schleppy, you know?  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Did Freddie reach out to you after you received the nomination?  

CHANDLER:  Oh yes, he sent a text congratulating me, and we talked about it.  It was nice.  I feel like our stories are so intertwined, the scenes we submit are mostly with each other.  So, it’s really kind of a shared accolade.

So, will you be rooting for Chandler to cap off his career on DAYS with an Emmy win on June 26th during the virtual ceremony on CBS? What did you think of the nominated scenes he submitted? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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