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THE ERIC BRAEDEN INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

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Playing the ruthless businessman Victor Newman on “Y&R” for more than 28 years, Eric Braeden still thrills fans with his powerhouse performances. Particularly in 2008, he gave a star turn that many feel should be recognized. The series brought back star-crossed lovers Nikki and Victors’ relationship to the forefront, and reignited the relationship between Victor and Ashley, as well.

In this honest and direct interview, Eric only tells it like it is. We discuss the exit of fellow cast mate and long time friend, Don Diamont. We talked about The Daytime Emmy voting system gone wrong, the aging of his on-screen daughter, and upcoming retribution for those who wronged Victor Newman. Eric also spoke about the “Dream Team” regime that has revived “Y&R” back to its rightful place as one of the most compelling dramas on television, as well as Braeden’s pet project,
“The Man Who Came Back”.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

What are your thoughts on Don Diamont (Brad) being ‘let go’, since he had been part of the Genoa City canvas for so long?

ERIC:

I was very sad about that, to be quite frank with you. He did some of his best work in the last months, where he played the ‘shifty’ guy and the bad guy and you don’t know quite what he is up to. I think he played that extremely well. I always think that’s a mistake to let people go that have been part of the fabric as long as he has been. Furthermore, he was related to people on the show, and personally, I think those things are a mistake. If you want to want to save money, then cut down on hiring new actors.

MICHAEL:

It’s a hard pill to swallow, to see people lose their jobs.

DonsLast.jpgERIC:

My heart goes out to him. I don’t know why the decision was made. Who knows? That is why when I do my movies I control everything. I don’t like other people to control things.

MICHAEL:

The animosity grew between Brad and Victor (on Don Diamont’s final weeks on the show) over both being Abbe’s father. Victor was showering the young girl with
lavish gifts, while Brad got pissed off.

ERIC:

Victor is Abbe’s father, but that does not mean that affection and love have to come naturally, and you can’t force that. I hope it won’t continue that he buys all sorts of things, and buys her love. I am tired of that. Hopefully, they will grow closer. Victor is basically a loner and does not trust anyone. He grew up in an orphanage and was abandoned when he was seven years old. So, he is sometimes a little awkward because he does not trust affections either, not really, and the moment there is the slightest inkling, I think he goes against that person to protect himself.

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MICHAEL:

Victor’s romantic life finally got a jump-start after the death of Sabrina, when Eileen Davidson returned to the show as Ashley. And this brings up something you and I discussed over the years, that “Y&R” never really played out the Victor/Ashley romance re-do.

ERIC:

I agree with you, and I love working with her, but I love working with Melody as well. With Eileen, I always felt it was an unrequited love story that should have been started a long time ago, and for various reasons it wasn’t. I always thought it was an honestly felt love story with great material for conflict with Nikki.

Diamontein.jpgMICHAEL:

Now your daughter Abbe has grown into quite the teenager within a blink of an eye. Yup, SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) has hit another of the Newman kids. How do you explain it?

ERIC:

Well you know what happens, as I have told you before. Victor Newman sends his children to Switzerland and they go to a clinic and they eat Swiss cheese and learn how to yodel. That combination while there makes them go through enormous growth spurts and they suddenly jump by ten years. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

In 2008, and now through the beginning of 20009 on “Y&R”, you have been front and center and have delivered powerful performances as Victor Newman. You were in the running for the in-house pre-nomination Lead Actor category for Daytime Emmy consideration. (Braeden eventually did not make the in-house final cut) This year you submitted yourself, even though in the past, I know you have been vocal about participating in the Emmy process.

ERIC:

You know when I think about that Michael, I don’t think much about the Emmys. I really don’t. It’s irrelevant ice. There are other people who are just as deserving. I wanted to pull out of that years ago. It’s nice if you get them. Does it translate into anything? No, it doesn’t. It’s just another piece to put on your mantle. The point is, how do you judge certain performances? It’s so hard. Let me give you an example: I recently saw some performances that were fantastically written and played. They were scenes by Peter Bergman (Jack) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), and between Joshua Morrow (Nick) and Sharon Case (Sharon)… all good stuff. This happened in the last few days. Where do you draw the line and whom do you choose there? Melody Thomas Scott (Niki) and I had some good scenes when Sabrina was dying, and all that. There are so many good actors on the show, and how do you decide between them? How many times have I watched the Oscars where I say, “How could you give it to this person and not that person?” Sometimes, they give it to someone because of age and for all the wrong reasons. Besides, it’s a pain in the ass to get dressed up in a tuxedo. I appreciate very much that you, the soap community and fans, think I gave a wonderful performance last year. That is very satisfying to me. There is so much politics involved in the awards process. I have a bad taste in my mouth about it all, but it’s a nice show, the Emmys, and I am not denigrating the show per se, but do I want to be there? Nope!

MICHAEL:

You have an incredible fan base and viewers who want to know what Victor Newman is going to do next.

ERIC:

I really appreciate the people who are fans, I really do. Victor is going to go after those who tried to do him wrong with a vengeance, and that’s what my movie, “The Man Who Came Back” is about, as well. I do that well. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

You can’t shoot everyone in retribution, can you?

ERIC:

Well, I almost do, but not on “Y&R”. There would be nobody left! (He laughs)

TheManAd.jpgMICHAEL:

Speaking about your film, “The Man Who Came Back” was released direct to DVD late last year, and it spent time as the #1 DVD rental for films with non-theatrical distribution and the #10 film to buy, overall, and is still available. For those who still may not be aware of your project, how would you describe the movie?

ERIC:

“The Man Who Came Back” was 80 years in the making! (He laughs) It’s a western, and takes place in the second part of the 19th century. It’s a revenge story, where the lead character, myself, is falsely accused of a crime he did not commit… a lynching. They go after him and send him to prison. Obviously, he is full of rage and comes back and kicks-ass. It’s a revenge film, pure and simple, in a historic context. It deals with the second bloodiest labor strike in US history in 1887. The film has been doing extremely well.

MICHAEL:

You were both the star and the executive producer of the film, but had a host of other known Hollywood actors in the feature with you.

ERIC:

The cast is wonderful, with George Kennedy, an Oscar winner, who I have enormous respect for. He played my father on “Y&R” for a while. We had Billy Zane, who I worked with on “Titanic”, Armand Assante, Sean Young, Peter Jason, Ken Norton and James Patrick Stuart. It was a wonderful cast. I am eternally grateful to my fellow actors to make this possible. So, we had a hell of a time last year shooting it.

MICHAEL:

On “Y&R”, will we finally see enormous payback for Jack and an eventual huge showdown between the two rivals?

ERIC:

Eventually, there will be a huge showdown. Peter Bergman is wonderful actor, so it will come to that.

MICHAEL:

Chris Engen plays your son, Victor Jr. How do you feel about the plot point that Victor has let his own flesh and blood rot in a jail cell?

Melody-Eric22.jpgERIC:

Being a father, it would break my heart, and I could never do what Victor did to his own son. But, I understand it. It provides for good drama and good conflict, and probably a lot of people are angry with me for doing it. On the other hand, Victor Jr. was trying to frame me for a murder I did not commit, and he conspired with my archenemy. So again, it is Victors’ way of paying back. I think he wants to teach Victor Jr. a lesson as well. Victor Jr. was arrogant for awhile, and needs his wings clipped a little, I think.

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MICHAEL:

I so vividly remember the recent scene where Victor and Nikki were in the Mexican bar. It was such an emotionally packed scene, where Victor railed at her. It reminded us all of the old Victor/Nikki, showing us their complete and utter
dysfunction. Did you enjoy those moments?

ERIC:

The answer to that is simple, I like to play whatever comes naturally out of that situation. Obviously, Victor has enormous anger when it comes to her, because she was in front of him flaunting her relationship with that David character. She did not listen to what Victor was telling her and tried to defy him. And, all he wanted was for her to be successful and not embark on a political career, and it backfired. These are two strong personalities and she always felt that she lived in his shadow. Victor understands that, but yet, if you show disloyalty to Victor Newman, you are finished. That’s why these scenes are so good, because they are so real and visceral, and recently that’s what I saw happen between Nick, Sharon, Phyllis and Jack. Those are real scenes! They are so riveting.

MICHAEL:

“On-Air On-Soaps” voted Joshua Morrow the Most Underrated Actor of 2008. He delivers consistently great work, and yet he never really gets the recognition he deserves. Would you agree?

Josh-MOrrow.jpgERIC:

You bet! To be honest with you, I called him two nights ago and said, “What you have done the last few days is riveting and just fantastic. You should submit that stuff and keep it for reel.” You are right. I have talked to Joshua about this before,”Embrace what you have,” and he has done that more lately. He is an athlete, and some of us are sort of reluctant to embrace the whole acting thing. The best thing to do in those circumstances is to stop hiding it and embrace it. I think he has a big future, to be honest with you.

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MICHAEL:

The ‘Dream Team’ came into “Y&R” towards the latter part of 2008 and turned “Y&R” on its ear. It has revitalized the show to probably the best it’s been in many years. What do you think of co-head
writers, Maria Arena Bell and Hogan Sheffer,
and executive producer, Paul Rauch’s
accomplishments?

ERIC:

I pull no punches. Maria Bell has done the best job since Bill Bell. I have not met Hogan Sheffer, but you see the writers never let you know who is responsible for what, but I have to assume Maria had everything to do with it. I thought Lynn Latham gave it her best; I personally liked her very much. I think the regime before them was trying to undo the show and reconceptualize it, and I thought that was nonsense. But right now, it is back on track and better than ever before. Maria simply realized what works for the show. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure that out. But, unfortunately what happens is; some writers come in with such egos that they want to redo everything and reinvent the whole thing. Well, don’t do that! We have been number one for 21 years. I think Maria Bell is perfectly aware of what works for the show, and she has brought it back to that. I have never heard the actors so happy.

Eileen-Eric.jpgMICHAEL:

What do you think makes for Victor’s popularity? I mean, after all, you and he have been on more Soap Opera Digest covers than anyone else!

ERIC:

I don’t know. I am enormously grateful that is the case and it’s very flattering, and especially for someone who played bad guys. “Y&R” has been very good to me and I feel
intensely loyal to Bill Bell Sr. He
and I created the character together.

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MICHAEL:

What do you think about the current state of soaps and continuing budget cuts? Do you think that soaps are about to die-off?

ERIC:

I would be very saddened if it did. I am not privy to the financial structure, but I think someone is making money. We are in an economic down turn right now, so the advertising dollars are not as forthcoming as they were. But they have to be very judicious on how they go about pairing soaps down and how they go about making it more cost efficient. I just think letting Don Diamont go is a mistake. To me, it’s so clear; when you have an audience that is invested in the show, why hire new characters? It does not make sense to me. I am sorry!

meddin-Braeden.jpgMICHAEL:

Speaking of new actors who had come and gone, Raya Meddine (Ex-Sabrina) came on and Victor’s romance with her character was so quick. It was hard for viewers to digest, yet out of that came the storyline of the year, “Sudden Impact”. What were your thoughts on the relationship?

ERIC:

I loved working with Raya. She is a brilliant woman and a joy to work with. I think Victor and Sabrina was rushed along, but I think they had something else long term in mind. If that were going to be a viable relationship, it would have had to grow very slowly. I think there is one thing wrong in soaps. I think we jump into stories too quickly to tell the story. We don’t trust the vetting process and getting to know one another. It’s a slow process. Even Bill did that sometimes. I think it’s intrinsic in soaps. I think they make a mistake when they do it. It’s very interesting the things with soaps; that soap writers need to learn that there could be a lot of emotional moments played without dialog. If, for example, you have a party going on and you want to tell the story of two people falling for each other, have them look at each other. That’s real. Let it build up.

MICHAEL:

What can we look forward to coming up from Victor on “Y&R”?

BradenHead22.jpgERIC:

He is going to get even with those who tried to undo him, for certain. Beyond that, I hope that the relationship with Ashley will go well for a while, although there is a lot of history that could throw a monkey wrench into that business.

MICHAEL:

You don’t want Victor to go back to Nikki too quickly?

ERIC:

No. I think it’s painful to watch sometimes. And I think that’s all good drama, and what we sell in this business is drama and conflict.

General Hospital

GH’s Brook Kerr and Tabyana Ali Talk On: Trina’s Trial, Spencer and Rory, And Their On-Screen Mother/Daughter Relationship

Currently, General Hospital fans are awaiting the verdict in Trina’s trial and just what lengths her mother will go to in order to secure her freedom! With the story playing out on-air, Michael Farman chatted in a new virtual interview with the two women central to the story; Brook Kerr (Portia) and Tabyana Ali (Trina).

As viewers know, Trina was set-up by Esme Prince (Avery Pohl), to make it appear that she taped her best friends, Cameron (William Lipton) and Josslyn (Eden McCoy) having sex, and then posted the video from her phone, so it went viral.

Photo: ABC

During the conversation for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Tabyana and Brook weigh-in on what’s gone down at the trial including; how Spencer Cassadine came forward with an alibi for Trina, plus how Portia may put her medical career at risk if she brings Esme’s partner in crime, Oz, out of his coma to get the evidence they need to point the finger on Esme.

 

In addition, Tabyana and Brook share their thoughts on the men in Trina’s life: Spencer Cassadine (Nicholas Alexander Chavez) and Rory Cabrera (Michael Blake Kruse), and how the #Sprina has a life of its own on social media.

Courtesy/ABC

Brook also shares dishes on Portia’s romantic relationship with Curtis (Donnell Turner), plus the recent noteworthy scenes between Portia and Stella (Vernee Watson), where GH shed light on a mother’s concern; that racial injustice could factor in to the jury’s decision in Trina’s case.

Photo: ABC

Tabyana also discusses working alongside GH co-stars, Maura West (Ava) and Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), and what it was like taking over the role of Trina from popular fan favorite, Sydney Mikayla.

Photo: ABC

Check out the full chat with Brook and Tabyana below.

Do you want Trina to end up with Spencer or Rory? Will the jury exonerate Trina? What was your favorite part of the conversation with Brook and Tabyana? Let us know in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Steve Burton Talks On: ‘Beyond Salem’, His Co-Stars, Dismissal From ‘General Hospital’ Over Vaccine Mandate, and What’s Next

Two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actor and enduring fan favorite, Steve Burton, chats with Michael Fairman in a brand new interview on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel where he chats on his recent role on the streaming series, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter Two, which is continuing to stream on Peacock.

In ‘Beyond Salem’, Burton reprises his first ever DAYS and soap opera role of Harris Michaels. Burton made his daytime TV debut in the part back in 1988.  Throughout the five episode-streamer, Burton shares pivotal scenes and story with longtime DAYS icon, Kristian Alfonso (Hope).

Photo: JPI

Burton expressed on taping his initial scenes with Alfonso (which were Harris and Hope’s wedding day): “The greatest thing about her (Kristian) was she has amazing eyes as an actress – eyes I can really connect with and it was an highly-emotional day. She helped me stay anchored – just by looking in her eyes.  She’s probably going, “Why is this weirdo starring at me all the time?’ (Laughs). She was great, gracious and awesome, but she really did help me out and I told her that and I said, ‘You made my job so much easier today, thank you.'”

The actor also revealed that in story, the door was left open that Harris’ bad guy moves in the streaming series, could turn out to be more complicated than on the surface given the character’s interrogation room final scene.

Steve weighed-in on if he would welcome more ‘Beyond Salem’ or chance to jump to the DAYS mothership on NBC. He shared: “If there is another one, if there is an open door on DAYS at some point, and I don’t know this, I’m just saying, I think they wanted to make it like, ‘Hey, this guy is really not a bad guy, and he’s redeemable.”

Photo: ABC

In addition, Steve opens up about his decision to not adhere to the ABC/Disney Covid-19 vaccine mandate, which ultimately led to him being fired from his long-running soap opera, and pivotal role on General Hospital as Jason Morgan.

Steve played Jason from 1991 to 2012 and then again from 2017 until the late fall of 2021. When reflecting on if he stands by his decision to not adhere to the ABC/Disney Vaccine Mandate policy, which caused him to be let go, Burton expressed: “I do. There was really no doubt in mind, obviously. It was just something that I believed, and I just could not do it. Look, I always say, you’ve got to follow your gut in life. Anytime I’ve ever gone against my gut instinct or conscious, it’s usually not a good result, and that’s why regret is always a guideline, your conscious is your guideline, and I don’t think I could have really lived with myself if I went against it.”

The longtime daytime star also weighed-in on if he had been concerned that he would not work on another daytime show, given his stance on the vaccine mandate. Steve said, “No, things are changing daily with things all the time. I didn’t really worry about it.  I felt if things change at GH, sure, I could probably go back.  I was on The Young and the Restless, there could be a door open there. I never really thought about DAYS too much, but I do visualization every day and I thought about all four shows. I would go, ‘Hey, if there’s a job there, awesome, bring it.” I’m open to it.  It’s daytime … it’s my home … but t I didn’t think it would be this way (with Beyond Salem) – I had no idea it would work out this way.”

Photo: SBurtonIG

During the conversation, Burton shares his sentiments on his former GH co-stars including: Kelly Thiebaud (Britt), who just won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Laura Wright (Carly) and reiterates, how again, Maurice Benard (Sonny) was instrumental in his development as an actor and shares behind-the-scenes details from his younger days as Jason.

Steve, who has been in the news of late after filing for divorce from with his wife of over two decades, Sheree Gustin, reveals during the conversation how he has faced a challenging year personally and professionally, and the lessons he has learned to get him get through the hard times.

Currently, Burton continues to travel the country with his former GH co-star, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) as their comedy show, Stone Cold and the Jackal plays multiple venues and details during the interview, why their creative and business partnership works, plus previews his new Steve Burton fitness app and workout venture and more.

Check out the full interview with Steve below.

Then let us know, do you hope to see Steve land on Days of our Lives and continuing the story of Harris Michaels? Did you enjoy him with Kristian Alfonso on ‘Beyond Salem Chapter 2″? What did you think about the sentiments he shared for his former GH co-stars, Kelly Thiebaud, Laura Wright and Maurice Benard in this interview? Do you hope someday that Jason will return to GH in the form of Burton? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Head Writer Ron Carlivati Talks ‘Beyond Salem Chapter 2’, Summer in Salem, Daytime Emmys & OLTL Favorite Moments

If you ever wondered about the thought-process of a head writer of a daytime drama, who also has the task of a creating a limited-streaming series in the same vein, then look no further then Michael Fairman’s latest interview now on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel with DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati.

Coming off his third Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, Carlivati not only shares the high points of his Emmy night, but how the win was made extra-special and emotional because of the passing of DAYS writing team member, Elizabeth Snyder, who was key to the writing of one of the winning episodes.

Photo: Courtesy/CBS

Starting on Monday July 11th, Carlivati and team’s latest creation, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter Two will drop on Peacock with a new episode each day through Friday, July 15th.  During this interview, Ron details how Peter Reckell (Bo), Kristian Alfonso (Hope) and Steve Burton (Harris) all signed on to the project, and how he approached the story for each of their characters, and how at its core this second edition of ‘Beyond Salem’ will be a must-see for any longtime Bope fan.

Photo: Peacock

Ron also talks on the on-screen debut of Abigail Klein as the new Stephanie Johnson in ‘Beyond Salem” and how she will land on NBC DAYS, and more. He also addresses the recent on-screen exodus on the mothership at Days of our Lives of Marci Miller (Abigail), Lamon Archey (Eli) and Sal Stowers (Lani) and Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben).  Though as has been reported and speculated, Wilson will be returning to the soap opera.

Photo: Peacock

In a DAYS summer preview, Carlivati shares that Abigail’s murder mystery will take many twists and turns, how Sami (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) nuptials could all blow up if Sami were to find out the man she is marrying was her kidnapper, plus what will Sami do when she realizes her sister, Belle (Marths Madison) has gotten oh-so-close with her man, EJ (Dan Feuerriegel)?

Photo: Peacock

The head scribe also teases that another major character will die in the coming months .. .but who will it be?

We wrap up the conversation with some rapid-fire questions for Ron on his favorite soap characters, storylines, etc, which if you are One Life to Live or Knots Landing fan, you will want to find out his answers.

Check out the full interview with Ron below.

Now, let us know, are you looking forward to ‘Beyond Salem: Chapter Two’? What do you think will go down this summer on Days of our Lives? Share your thoughts on this and more from our conversation in the comment section.

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