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As The World Turns

The Eric Sheffer Stevens Interview – As the World Turns

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You wrote to me, you tweeted me, you facebooked me, and to be honest, I was never going to let As the World Turns fade into soap heaven without trying to get Eric Sheffer Stevens (Reid) to do an in depth interview with On-Air On-Soaps! And, this past Monday, Eric and I finally had our long awaited chitchat.  We went 360 degrees in and out the world of Luke and Reid, or as we have come to love them as… LuRe.  The actor whose performances have resonated with soap fans across the world, burst on to the soap opera scene with a character quite unlike any other, right?  I mean the sheer arrogance of this fictional doc!  Well, we have loved it all.

Eric Sheffer Stevens and his on-screen acting partner Van Hansis (Luke) have caused such a stir, that as we head into the final seven weeks of the 54 year old soap, it’s not a sure bet that Luke and Noah will be the two to ride off into the sunset.  Sheffer Stevens had the enviable task of coming between perhaps the most popular soap couple of our time, and making it an all gay on-screen triangle…something seldom, if ever, seen on daytime.  And, as daytime fans lose three beloved male gay characters, (which will be quite a devastating loss come September); Eric details what was great, and not so great, about playing a gay doc on daytime TV.

Prepare yourselves for a super-sized interview below!  I think we can all say that in nine months time Eric Sheffer Stevens, as Dr. Reid Oliver, has left an indelible impression for years to come, and whose character’s sexual orientation was not
the subject of his storyline, because there was so much more that defined him,
and Eric felt so too.  From his work in the theatre to his work on daytime, Eric is
one of a kind, and just as he will remember his time in Oakdale, so too will the
citizens that orbited around Reid’s world.


Eric, have you seen the comments about you and your alter ego Reid, all over the Internet?  It’s amazing, and it’s escalating!  The fan bases are in-fighting between LuRe and Nuke! And, these are fan bases and contingents from all over the world. Reid has become beloved!  Kudos to you.


It was a great match for me.  I love that role, and they wrote really well for him.  Being on the show for the last nine months of the show’s run was a very special time to be there, and to be involved with it, and to have one continuous storyline. When it was canceled they were forced to write an ending to it and have an arc for the character and the storyline, which is unique in soaps from what I observed.  I feel very lucky to have been a part of it.


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ATWT head writer, Jean Passanante was interviewed by me for Pride Magazine, which is currently available at many of the Gay Prides in the U.S., Europe and Canada…this summer.  In the feature, we discuss that the end of the Reid/Luke/Noah story is really the end of gay male storylines being represented on daytime.


I think someone will move in on that territory!


Maybe… not sure about that one.  Did you know from the very beginning of landing this primo role of Dr. Reid Oliver, that he was going to be gay, and such a snarky neurosurgeon?


They changed the name of the characters when we auditioned for it.  It was very much his character and it was very much who he was.  In the audition, he had the same kind of horrible interaction with people (Laughs) and sarcasm.  I really loved it and I had not seen anything like that soap-wise!


Well there isn’t anyone like him on daytime, which is why it was so refreshing to see.


It’s really fun stuff to play.


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I actually know pompous doctors like that!


I’m sorry. (Laughs) So, yes.  I sort of knew who he was, but I did not know where the story was going to go, or anything.  But, they had said that a couple months in it was going to be revealed that he was gay, and then they would sort of see where the story went from there.


Did you have any trepidation at all playing a gay character?


No, not at all.  Playing a gay character I had no problem with, but being sucked into a relationship, and then having relationship talks, (laughs) that is not fun for me to play. But fortunately, they did a fine balance with not only Luke, but also Reid got to intermingle with other characters on the show as he is trying to figure out his whole situation with Luke.  I feel I was lucky and got to skirt that pitfall of a soapy romance.  You know what I am saying? (Laughs)


Reid fought so hard his attraction to Luke, and he is hot for this guy, and he really wants him bad!


There is an element where he is angry at himself about that, but he is now coming to terms with it and going, “Well, this is what it is.  Let’s see where this goes.”  And it changes him, and changes the way Reid is interacting with people.


When we witness the final weeks of Reid on-air, will he change more and more?


He definitely continues to evolve till the end of the show.  He is on a path.


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Jean Passanante said to me, “In the case of Reid, we knew he was funny, and a pain in the ass, and a misanthrope, but without a face it’s sort of hard.  Once we had Eric in the role he informs everything for us.  We are getting positive feedback for Luke and Reid.  And who would’ve imagined we could bring anyone between Luke and Noah?  You never know.  I thought people would yell, ‘You can’t do that!’  But it’s been great!”  What would you say to that?


I am very grateful to her for saying that, and that is very sweet. And, I became aware of the Luke/Noah storyline after joining As the World Turns.  I had no idea of the phenomenon that is Luke and Noah.  I looked into it right away, and became quickly clear how significant they were, and not just fan base wise, but historically.  At the beginning I told both Van and Jake, “It’s an honor to be breaking you guys up for a little bit” because it’s such an established and historical relationship to come between. I became so aware of the significance of that, and to add a triangle to that… I think this whole triangle balanced really well. That is due to the writers, the way they have pieced this whole thing out.


Since as Reid you have to play a delicate balance of a pompous jerk, a man who is somewhat relatable to make fans root for him, and who is gay… have you taken issue with anything in the scripts or that they wrote for him?


There were a few things, but nothing I can think of specifically. I just expanded my idea of who Reid was. I think that is something about a character that is ongoing and evolving, and that the writers are figuring out at the same time.  Early on, I got an idea of who he really is to be behaving this way.  And then little things would get thrown in, and I would go, “I don’t think he would do this.”  But then you go, “OK. It’s a given that he is doing this.  So why is he doing this?”  Somehow I have to make sense of it.  And, all people are some form of contradictions anyway.


Many have commented, and it has been written about, that the reason fans enjoy LuRe so much is that it is a much more mature relationship for Luke than the Nuke pairing.  It’s more adult.  Would you agree with that?


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There is still the element of not fully fleshing out their relationship because it’s a gay relationship, and it’s on daytime television.  That is frustrating.  It’s like, “OK. If we are going to do this, then let’s do this!  Let’s show two men dating, and falling in love, and wherever it goes.”  The writers and producers still have to negotiate differently than they do with straight couples, and that gets a little frustrating when you are playing it.  Then, it feels awkward.


On Guiding Light during the huge and wildly popular Otalia storyline, Crystal Chappell expressed to me in interviews how it was frustrating playing a same-sex couple who instead of kissing, were only allowed to bump or touch foreheads as a show of affection.  It still seems that the network and the soaps themselves keep dancing around the issue.


To kind of play that well is tough, when actually what the couple would be doing is making out on the couch, or spending the night together.  To give them a little nice kiss and leave them at the door…well…it’s a fifties television show feel then, and it does not feel authentic.  But again, that is a given, and you have to play it, and for some reason that is where they are at this point in daytime television culture… or so it would seem.


Sadly gay intimacy is not shown on daytime.  However, One Life to Live should be given kudos for their love scene for the same-sex couple, Kish.  They actually showed two men in bed together, and now they are off the air!  Reid and Luke have not had sex yet, right?


No. They have not had sex yet.  And, something always happens to break that up! (Laughs) There is some device like, “Ah, yeah. I really got to get back to work.”  Oh man. Whatever, dude?  Who cares about work?  Then, what you would do in real life would be to make the excuse after you show up for work 20 minutes late, and so…


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Well, there has been a drought of action for LuRe fans, not only in the sex department, but also airtime recently.  But I hear they are going to kiss again.


Right now there is not much airing, because that is when Van Hansis was off filming his feature film, Occupant. So we did not tape that much then, but right now Reid got his job back, and they are going to give it a go as a relationship.  They are going to kiss again.


Luke is hesitant to have sex with him next week, when an opportunity arises for the duo.


He is hesitant and that is part of the storyline coming up.  And, it’s one of those that you can’t analyze too much, because I don’t know any two men that would hesitate.  But Luke does, so that is what we have to play. (Laughs)


What did you think of the plot point of Reid losing his job, and being thrown out, because of his relationship with Luke?


It was a bit abrupt and fun stuff to play.  I like any storyline that was with Dr. Bob.  I mean not all of it was completely rational, because it happened to be an accelerated time frame… to quit, be sad about it, and sewing up a teddy bear!  I thought we could have played with it longer, but I enjoyed all of it.


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Coming up, when Chris Hughes collapses, Reid is the one who finds out something is wrong with the good doc!


Which I loved, because it’s a doctor thing.  It’s a twist of their rivalry, and their interaction.


Reid has got to help the guy he is the rival of.


Yeah, or antagonize him!  So Reid is the only one aware of what is going on for a little while.  I love playing with Daniel Cosgrove (Chris).  He is a great, great, guy. Reid will help Chris along the way, and that is part of story.


How was working with Van Hansis?


I loved working with Van. We worked really well together and enjoyed each other, and it was a lot of fun.  Van is fantastic!


Why do you think the viewers and fans have fallen in love with LuRe?


I don’t know.   I am not sure.  I think they like the way they interact, and they are sort of opposites, and there is chemistry there.  On a personal note, Van and I have a lot of fun working together.  I think that is attractive to people, and people like watching people who enjoy each other.  I think they are a unique couple, and so are Noah and Luke.  It’s a well-written pairing.


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Did your on-screen nemesis for the affection of Luke, Jake Silbermann (Noah) ever say to you in jest. “I can’t believe you come in here and take my man!”


We have never even addressed that.  I am not sure what he feels about the whole thing, but we all enjoyed how the story ended up.


Did you enjoy when Noah hit Reid?


Yes! (Laughs) Anytime you get to jump or fall on a table, it’s a good day.  It was a great thing for Noah to lash out like that at Reid.


I also asked Jean Passanante, “Where would you like to see Luke, Noah and Reid five years from now?  She answered, “I think Luke would like to get married.  It would be interesting to play that there is nothing in the world that Reid would like to do less than get married… and/or one of them wants a child they become attached to.  There are lot of things, and an endless supply of stories that would have been done.”  I posed this same question to Van.  What do you think about Reid not wanting to be part of a marriage ceremony?  He would be sooo uncomfortable.


Yeah, and it’s not because it’s a gay wedding, it’s just Reid.  That seems consistent. (Laughs)


Are you sad that As the World Turns ended?


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Yeah, it was funny that I got attached to it so quickly.  I was on for nine months, and I became very sentimental about the whole show.  I am sort of a sucker for that. ATWT has been on for 54 years and Don Hastings (Bob) and Kathryn Hays (Kim) being on it for so long…they had so much knowledge of the history of the show.  Anytime I could I get Don to tell me about the past was a good day.  Don is very funny, charming, smart and very generous.  The history of something like that coming to an end is very sad to me. And, that group of people not working together again is very sad.  In the last weeks, it was tough walking around, and looking at different sets knowing that I would only be on that particular set two more times.  It’s like that when you come to the end of any project and it’s hard to let go, but this one was definitely more significant.  I was surprised how drawn into that storyline I had gotten.


I had spoken with Colleen Zenk (Barbara) who detailed to me the last day of taping when everyone got to be called to the set/stage with ovations.  Did you have that?


I was not there the last day.  I kind of snuck out of the studio before anyone realized it was my last one.  We all hung out the last night of taping, and met up and there was a party, and the last day we had an informal get together.  We all hung out for hours, and so my cast mates told me how that last day went down.


What do you think you would love to have gotten the chance to play as Reid, if the show had continued?


I would have loved to have tormented Henry more, and that was really fun. Trent Dawson (Henry) and I had worked together before ATWT.  We had done a play together six years before that.  That was fun right off the bat that I was antagonizing him.  Trent was the only one I knew at that time on the show.  I assume Reid would eventually have to move out of Katie’s house. (Laughs) Maybe like a grown up… get his own place?  I don’t know. (Laughs).


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I was thinking it could be a never-ending romance between Luke and Reid, like a Carly and Jack.  Perhaps they were meant to be and star-crossed, but through the years, always something gets in their way.


Regardless of what happened in our end, and in the hypothetical… getting together and breaking up over the next several years, would be good.  One story could be Reid gets kidnapped… like a whole, “Where is Reid thing?” for a month and a half.  Definitely where Luke and Reid would end up in five years is interesting, because this is a significant event in Reid’s life.  And, that is giving in to this massive attraction to Luke and not just attraction, but giving in to why he wants a relationship.


What is it about Luke that Reid likes?  I mean, you knew instantly from the moment he showed up in Oakdale and despised Luke, and Luke hated him in return, that this was soap opera love in the making!


I figured out, if you are introduced that way then you are bound to end up together (Laughs).  It’s a mystery to him, and that is why he resists it and hates it for so long.  Besides Luke being rich and spoiled, those are all unattractive qualities to Reid, as far as his list of what he would want in a mate.  However, it’s usually those people in life like that that keep you off guard.  There is more to them.  I think that is what becomes attractive to him… that despite all the trappings of his upbringing, Luke is a very attractive, smart, funny, interesting guy.  All of that surprises Reid, because I think he pre-judged Luke right off the bat.  And then, all of his pre-conceived notions were proven wrong, and then Reid fights that. There is a lot of self-loathing, because Reid perceives that as weakness… having feelings.  That is not the world that he lives in.  Reid is very practical and logical, and likes to do his work.  He has no personal life outside of work.  He is not a well-rounded person.


The infamous elevator scene, which I loved, and I will tell you why.  It did not end up as being the tried and true soap device of a couple stuck in an elevator, and obviously they would not let two men do it in an elevator, let alone in a bed.  But, there was other stuff going on.  And, in a way it was a perfect vehicle to ignite the spark between Luke and Reid.


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I ended up loving it.  But I loved learning that about Reid.  It’s a funny thing… like his thing with food, like when he is eating and always talking with his mouth full.  I loved learning that he gets claustrophobic and how it would play out.  When we were doing it, it didn’t feel great. But, when I watched it, I liked how it all came together.  I thought it was fun. While doing it they were in the elevator with a camera, etc, and it did not feel great, plus sweating and the hanky (Laughs).  But I love it.


I thought, “This is going to be awful! Oh barf! They are not doing this to them!”


(Laughs) Me too!  But what they did was use it to flesh out Reid a little bit and have Luke help him through a little thing that was not overly cheesy.  That was my reaction, too. Somebody came up to me on set and went, “So did you read next week?  You get stuck in an elevator with Luke?” And, I went, “Oh, Really?” (Sarcastically).


What I also loved about this story was Reid did not have a coming out story and he was just gay, which I loved.  I said to myself, “Thank God, not another coming out story.”


Yeah!  He just is, and he never apologized for it.  This is what I liked about Reid, and how he was written.  Him being gay was just part of who he was.




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And that is the pitfall in writing any gay character.  That is not what we need as far as expanding people’s mind and getting people who don’t know gay people themselves, or to represent real gay people.  Reid being gay, that is just who he is attracted to.  They did not write him, that he is the “Gay guy” on the show.  Reid already had a strong personality.  That was just one more aspect of who he was.  I loved that about him.   As far as people saying anything… one story was brought to my attention.  There was a woman who had not come out and got hooked on this storyline, and became involved with people who were fans of the show and the storyline.  Through her involvement with them, she has since come out.  She wrote me a note expressing gratitude. To affect anybody is a gift, because not only are you doing your work, but that somebody’s been influenced by it is so special.   I so appreciate that.


Do you surf the web, message boards, etc and see what people are saying about you and Reid?


I see things and read interviews.  Occasionally I read things, posts, and see feedback on things, but I am not on facebook or anything.


So you are not secretly using an alias, as some soap actors do and go sniffing around on the message boards?  (Laughs)


No, no.  I actually would not know how to do that.  I have never even checked my email and the show, because I barely email myself.   I am not that technical.


Which is not like Reid? 

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No, it’s not.  But, I am not quite sure he would spend anytime on the message boards. (Laughs)


Are you happy with the way your storyline wraps up?


I loved it.  We can talk afterwards and see if you like it.


Will we need our hankies?


I can’t say.


In the nine months you spent on ATWT, reflecting back what were some your favorite scenes/moments on the show?


I have a bunch.  Early on, I remember really liking the court stuff when I had to go to court and Henry was at my hearing.  I liked the speech I had about the town when I was first arrested, and the doctors going to “Clown College”.  I loved all that stuff.  There are scenes with Katie that I love, where she works on him and tries to change him, and when she first suspects he has a thing for Luke, and calls him on it.  Then there was a scene where he suspected that she was sad to lose him as a roommate.  He said, “Holy co-Dependency! You don’t want me to leave!”  There were a lot of lines like that, that were so funny. 

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What about scenes with Luke?


When Luke and Reid become more playful is when I really enjoyed it, and when it was not so fraught with so much tension…. where we see them really enjoying each other.  I think now we are seeing on-air that they are getting into that part of their arc. And, by the way, the scenes that aired this week when he is trying to teach me manners and tact…I loved that. We are doing role-playing, and we had a fun time shooting it because we would goof around.  Where we left off was; Bob is considering me for the Chief of Staff position.  So I have asked Luke to help me become somebody who would be considered for that job…. which would basically be changing the whole way Reid interacts with people.


Reid really wants the Chief of Staff job right?


Yes, he does.  Luke’s charge is to try to groom him.  It’s scenes like that when Luke and Reid enjoy each other, and you don’t have to write about the relationship, or have a talk about your relationship… you’re just in a relationship.  That is what I was talking about earlier.  I like playing it as opposed to saying it.  I don’t need to articulate it because people don’t do that.


What can you tell the rabid LuRe fans about the final weeks of your story?  Can you give us a tease?


I don’t tease. (Laughs)  Hopefully the LuRe fans will watch it all the way to the end, since it all kicks into high gear.


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What would you like to say to all the fans for sticking with you, and their loyalty to your character, as we prepare to say goodbye to ATWT?


I have been overwhelmed and very grateful for it.  Going into this I had no idea where this character would be, and so that anybody pays attention to what I am doing is very gratifying.  The way this has played out and the popularity of this storyline has caught me by surprise.  I am very pleased with it.  People have been wonderful in support of that.  There is a huge group of fans coming up to Vermont to see the play I am doing up there Much Ado About Nothing with the Vermont Shakespeare Company.  We will be up there next week, August 5th through the 15th.  I am looking forward to seeing them.


Would you consider doing another soap, and/or moving to L.A.?


It’s always a question that is difficult because they are so far apart, New York and L.A.  I would do another soap, but it’s difficult considering spending time away from my family, and it’s also difficult considering uprooting my family.  New York is where we live and where our community is, but there is a lot of work out there.  That is always something to throw into the mix, when considering this.


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Your cast mates, the Hensley’s (Emily and Holden) and Maura West (Carly) are moving out here, so we just wanted to make sure you weren’t left behind!


(Laughs) Everybody has different things to deal with in their life, and for me theatre is a really big part of my life that I enjoy, and that is fulfilling for me. There is not much of that in L.A. but there is a lot of work more exponentially out there that would help me provide for my family.  So that is always going to be a question.


So you and I will have a download and compare notes after the final airdate of As the World Turns on September 17th?


I would love that!  We will discuss it all, and I am happy to do it.

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Great interview, Michael. The questions and answers are so intelligent, especially when Eric spoke about his approach to his role as a gay man. He just approached it as an actor telling an important story. This was a classy interview with a classy actor. Do we think the couple in the end will be Lure? I certainly hope so. I enjoyed this interview very much and feel badly that the show is leaving . I hope we will see Eric again sooner than later………

This is an amazing interview. Thank you Michael for asking so many great questions, and thank you Eric, for being so open and honest with your responses.

I love the character of Reid, it’s like he says so many of the things that the audience has been thinking for years. I love that he is so direct, but there is also a caring side to him, for example, how he told Katie about the photographs of his patients who died, or how he made Noah relax before his surgery. Eric has done an amazing job at making this character believable and fun to watch.

Eric has an incredible future ahead of him.

A terrific interview Micheal. I think this might be one of the best Eric has done. Wonderful job. I’ll be here when you interview him again once the show is over.

What a really terrific interview & I give credit to you for asking the right questions & being a great interviewer. Also the added pictures were a nice bonus.

I love that Eric tried to answer these questions honestly, especially as he discussed the qualms daytime TV feel about showing a fully developing gay relationship. When you see they have no problems showing teen agers undressing & starting to have sex in the woods but they’re so unwilling to have 2 gay men touch each other meaningfully, it makes you sort of queasy to see how far we have not come. And I say this as a straight woman. It’s also ironic that CBS has now decided that they need to include more gay characters in their prime time shows. Apparently they must believe the daytime TV audience is still living in the 1950’s. They need to get in the 21st century, we can handle seeing gay men in love.

As for the interviewee himself, Eric, I cannot say enough good things. I was one of the viewers who tapered off watching ATWT last year. It was Eric and the Reid & Luke story that bought me back. Eric has portrayed the anti-social, curmudgeon but witty & smart doctor with such charm & talent that it has made many fall in love with Reid. Eric is obviously a very talented actor. I wish him much success in his future. Thanks again for a great interview.

I loved Reid character portrayed by Eric whish they had more time together.
They were believable even if not guay . They made a nice couple . I tought at the beginning he was a jerk , but by the end I loved him ….I watch that show for about thirty years , sad to see it end

Great interview! I have NEVER been so involved in or so loved a storyline as that between Luke and Reid! These two incredible actors have the most amazing on-screen chemistry and are so “in sync” with each other that they are absolute perfection together!! I would say 98% of the viewers want to see Lure together in the end….Nuke fans got to see them together for 3 yrs. Lure fans are already being cheated out of years of watching our guys…The LEAST we should get is a fairytale ending for Lure…

I really wanted to get through this interview, but I found it hard to get through your blatant bias in the beginning, in your introduction before the interview. I felt like you were alienating the Nuke fanbase and then proceeded to degrade what Nuke has done for daytime and what they have meant to a lot of people. What was the point of that? Especially since Nuke is what made it possible for Reid to be even ON the show. I am still trying to understand the angle that a lot of the press seem to be going with all their reports on this “triangle.”

Anyway, besides the way it started, I loved Eric’s responses. They were quite intelligent and I particularly loved how he pointed out how significant Nuke is in history. And that he recognizes their importance. And I also found it quite interesting that he enjoys playing Reid more when he’s not in the relationship with Luke. I’ve never read an actor openly admit that. And I got the feeling he enjoys the other drama of his storyline that doesn’t involve the romance.

The only thing that I really disagreed with him on is when he said that this “triangle” was balanced. Because it’s not. I sometimes wonder if the actors watch their own shows.

But overall, besides the obvious bias in the beginning, and throughout this interview in how it was conducted on your part, it was a pretty interesting read.

Hey Michael,

I apologize if that’s not how you meant it but it’s how it came across personally to me. I just thought the comparison to Carly and Jack was a bit too much. Since in my opinion, Luke and Reid will never be a CarJack as I am a huge fan of that couple as well.

But all in all, I enjoyed Eric’s responses. And I like how he said that basically all three of them, including Van and Jake, are happy with the ending. It gives me hope for Luke and Noah. Because Eric seems the type of guy who loves playing drama in television and in theatre more than the cliche of soapy romances. So I am not surprised he likes the ending for Reid, especially if it’s a dramatic one. Am looking forward to seeing Eric in other roles in the future.

Really? You thought the intro was biased? I would think that “arguably the most popular soap couple of our time” and “THREE beloved gay male characters” made it clear that Noah was being honored for his contribution as well.

Eric never said that he did not enjoy playing Reid being in a relationship. If you read it, he actually said he enjoyed it when Luke and Reid became more playful and when they are just enjoying each other. That is their relationship.

I’m not sure where you got the impression that ESS enjoys playing Reid more when he’s not in a relationship with Luke, when he described some of his favorite parts as: “When Luke and Reid become more playful is when I really enjoyed it, and when it was not so fraught with so much tension….where we see them really enjoying each other. I think now we are seeing on-air that they are getting into that part of their arc. And, by the way, the scenes that aired this week when he is trying to teach me manners and tact…I loved that.”

It seems like he most enjoyed playing LuRe when they were finally together and being happy, and he comments several times how much FUN he had with Van, so he seems to enjoyed it a lot.

That’s an interesting interpretation of the interview, with people now saying on some message boards that ESS isn’t even a LuRe fan. LOL, okay. That’s quite a leap. Anything to make certain fans feel better, though, I guess.

Is the implication that Reid and Luke never get it on?

Diane, I strongly believe that Eric was speaking to what is currently happening THIS week on the show–at this time in their story arc. Michael specifically asks: “Reid and Luke have not had sex yet, right?” That fact that Eric says “not yet”, leads me to believe that it actually will happen. I can’t imagine that they would have a whole story arc about Luke hesitating about having sex with Reid and not have the payoff in the end of the arc. Let’s just enjoy these wonderful actors and the great story they are telling us each week.

Wonderful interview, Michael! I was waiting for you to snag Eric, because your questions are always so intelligent. Eric seems very smart, and I LOVED his answer to playing a gay character. I’m also happy to see him reiterate that he loves the ending for Reid, and I’m choosing to think that means good news for LuRe fans. Regardless, I can’t wait to see the ending, because ESS has created a once in a lifetime character, and I’m thrilled to see how the storyline wraps up.

Great interview. Love him. Wish we could see more of him. Will miss ATWT, greatly.

Uh, thanks, but this storyline is NOT a triangle at all. Noah/Jake has been missing from it (as usual). Michael, are you planning on doing an interview with Jake Silbermann about his point of view in this “gay triangle”?

Thanks for the interview.

However, Jake has been absent in a large portion to when Luke and Reid are ACTUALLY on. It is still not a triangle in my opinion as it’s been ALL Luke and Reid, all the time. Counting ESS apperanaces vs. Jake’s and the proof is in the pudding. This story isn’t balance or fair. I was very put off with Eric’s take on this “triangle”. However, thanks again for the interview.

I hope this happens. I am very much looking forward to reading about Jake’s view on this entire storyline. Since Noah has been missing for 85 percent of it.

Thank you for keeping him in mind for an upcoming interview.

Thank you, Leanna. Not only this storyline, but his character in general. As I would also like to hear why Reid gets to rub elbows with all of Oakdale, while Noah gets to be shipped off again and given more fodder for people to hate his character. This wasn’t a triangle, at all!

Noah hasn’t been on the screen for almost 2 months. There is no triangle and there won’t be one. This is where the show really failed it’s viewers. It’s a shame that the show gave up on a almost 3 year relationship (in it’s final months) to show LuRe when obviously, it’s not going anywhere. Shame the gays don’t really get an endgame when other supercouples will.

Great job with the interview, I think he gave better answers to your questions than he has in other interviews.

Awesome interview with ESS and really don’t see the need to bring up Jake Silberman’s name every time ESS does an interview. Sorry but that’s really old.

Luke and Noah had three years to build up their part of the “love triangle”. Reid has had about three episodes with Luke alone. Their whole relationship starting back from January when Eric first came on the landscape was ALL about Noah. Jake was off because of his own personal schedule, so when he comes back on screen, the story will take the frontburner status and become the main focus. It’s impossible to compare this story with the “Mason” story because Eric and Van actually have incredible chemistry, whereas “Mason” and Jake had zilch. I’m happy the writers incorporated Reid throughout Oakdale because they allowed this well thought-out and layered character to become more that just a love prop for Luke–the way Noah has been written for years. No need to blame that on Eric. Obviously he knows more than you do since he actually KNOWS what is coming up on the show and the ending of the show. Trust him.

Thank you for this interview. Eric Sheffer Stevens is an amazing actor that was unfortunately brought to attention this late in the show’s run. Nonetheless, he has made the last storyline for Luke and Noah a must-see event. It’s always interesting to hear what he thinks about his character and his interactions on the show, as well as his frustrations. Thank you for covering all this here. T

I really enjoyed the interview. Eric Sheffer Stevens is very articulate. Reid Oliver is my favorite character and I’m glad that he has brought Reid to life. I can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

Thank you so much for this wonderful interview! The questions you asked were great and Eric’s answers made me love him even more. He seems to have really enjoyed playing this role and working with van, and it shows on the screen.
As for the “triangle”, it really has not played out that way yet…with only seven more weeks, I am hard pressed to see any way for Nuke to find their way back to eachother. I mean no disrespect to Nuke fans, I would be mad if I were you…after three years of putting your time and passion into a couple, they seem to be torn apart at the very end of the show. That being said, I have been a fan of ATWT for twenty years and I think that for Luke, the legacy character, the relationship with Reid has helped him grow and mature in a very short time, and I for one hope they end up together.
Thanks again for a great interview!

Great interview, Michael! Always enjoy reading your interviews. You always ask great questions. I’m loving the current storyline, Reid as a character & the LuRe pairing, so any interview done by his very talented (and humble) portrayer is great. I hope you had a lot of fun interviewing him! 🙂 I loved his views on gay storylines in general & how much is allowed to be shown by the higher-ups & his views on how real life people would be behaving as opposed to how Luke & Reid are behaving in regards to intimacy/lack of sex. Also loved that Reid’ll be interacting with so many different people in the coming weeks, such as Abigail, Carly, more Chris/Reid, Katie, Luke, etc. And that he’ll be evolving & changing until the very end, which is great seeing that change in Reid from how he was when he first arrived to how he is now & how he’ll be by the end of the show. I also love how he doesn’t seem like the perfect interviewee, but that’s a good thing since his answers don’t seem rehearsed or generic like others come off as being – they’re real & honest & sometimes he gets stumped by questions or doesn’t necessarily know the whys & hows (lol I’m sure he doesn’t spend lots of time thinking about this stuff like fans do), but he always seems to have enjoyed playing the beats of his character’s story.

I have to disagree with you, Leanna, about it being biased. Eric touched on Nuke’s historical significance in the soap genre in the interview itself & really respects the pairing & what he’s come into in the last 9 months of the show. It can only be “biased” though if the opinion was clearly one way or the other & if I recall, Michael doesn’t actually say one way or the other his personal preference. He’s just interviewing based on the current storyline. Since this interview was done by Michael featuring ESS talking about HIS character & the storyline HE’S currently in – which includes his relationship with Luke/the LuRe pairing & how it’s effecting Reid as a character – that doesn’t seem biased in the least to me. He wouldn’t spend the entire interview focusing solely on a couple that Eric had no part in, just like he wouldn’t spend an entire interview with Jake focusing on the LuRe pairing. JMO

Love the interview. Very good questions and answers! Comparisons to Carly and Jack are spot on. Carjack and Lure are very similar couples.

Great interview as always, Mr. Fairman! Thanks for sharing it with us. ESS sounds like a lovely man and I’m glad we had these nine months to enjoy his talent on ATWT. Reid will stick out as one of the most memorable characters on a soap for me, as will the Luke/Reid pairing. He and Van have fantastic chemistry and I look forward to the coming weeks seeing them work together. I hope Van and Eric get the opportunity to work together again one day.

ETA: IMO, Michael’s one of the most UNBIASED interviewers among the soap press. He just asks the questions that people want to know by whoever he happens to be interviewing at the time (in this case, Eric).

And saying that Reid & Luke could’ve continued on a la Carly & Jack isn’t really a stretch. If the show had continued, I think we can all assume that the Luke/Reid pairing would’ve continued on for quite awhile, possibly even years. Or that Reid/Luke/Noah could’ve continued on & had several more story arcs, whereby they become a power-triangle a la Dusty/Lily/Holden or Damian/Lily/Holden. It’s rather sad actually when you think about it, because the possibilities for this storyline are SO endless, and yet because it’s cancelled, we’ll never get to see what could’ve been.

Thanks so much for the wonderful interview. Eric is extremely talented and articulate as well. It was a joy to read!

And, uhm, I thought you did a nice job of integrating the Noah/Luke relationship in the context of the interview and the storyline, considering the interview *was about Eric and his character, Reid.* Focusing more strongly on what ATWT did or did not do regarding other characters would have been out of place.

do you think luke will end up with noah now that reid is gone? and do you think that reid will come to luke in a dream/? i like the one where reid tells luke he loves him before he goes to bay city i think he met it to.

On Facebook we tried to save. Grew up watching Fifty years with World Turns would appreciate a movie with our cast. Thank you you were part of our lives

Thank you so much for this great interview with Eric. I’ve never been as emotionally invested in a character as I have been with Reid Oliver and I’m devastated that we won’t see him after September. Eric is in amazing talent and he should have producers lined up at his door.
I really appreciate your questions about the portrayal of gay characters in soaps and I loved Eric’s frank and honest responses. As frustrating as the double standards are though, this is still an incredibly nuanced portrayal of a character that just happens to be gay. I can’t think of a more complex, convincing characterization on TV and I have to credit the writers for creating Reid and Eric for bringing him to life.
Finally, I just have to say that the love story between Luke and Reid is astonishing. The chemistry is amazing, the dialogue sparkles, and I really feel that I am watching two people fall deeply in love. It’s not easy to create such a convincing, entertaining love story so I hope that the writers realize what a magical pairing they created and give them the happy ending they deserve.

Sandra – everything you said in your note to Michael could have been written by me! Ditto everything! I have watched ATWT for 52 years and have never been so invested in a character/storyline as I am with Eric/Reid/LuRe. ATWT has been the only Soap I’ve watched and I will miss Oakdale and all its denizens tremendously!

^^What Sandra said – well said!

That was some terrific interview!
I love how sincere you both talked about the way daytime TV treats gay relationships. Eric seems to be a really intelligent, classy guy.
I will surely stay tuned for LuRe. And yeah, fingers crossed for that “together” part.

*sincerely, of course.

Best Eric interview yet!

I would love to read/see an interview of Van Hansis about the end of the show since Luke is the one who will be in there till the end. I love when Eric says that Van is fantastic: he is so right!

I hope Michael Fairman will get to interview Van (and ESS and Jake, if they want!) after the show is over. I think Mr. Fairman asks the questions the fans want to know the answers to, and he always gets great responses.

I hope that too! An interview with Van, Eric and Jake after the last episode was shown on TV. So everyone can be pleased.
And that part with the questions that fans always wanted to ask him, absolut!! This brought me the actor an person Eric closer and he seems to be more sympathic than before, if that is possible.

Great interview, thank you Michael!!

Wonderful Interview Michael. Thank you!

Cannot wait to see how this story plays out. I am enjoying every episode that has Dr. Reid Oliver & Luke Snyder.

Kudos to Eric Sheffer Stevens for a job well done!!

Hi Michael-

Great interview. I really appreciated that you covered a variety of set of questions and didn’t overlap much with ones that have been used previously in past interviews from other sites and mags. This really showcases your professionalism.

Liked how blunt Eric was about the LuRe storyline and their lack of intimacy. It’s sad that a gay couple gets treated differently then a heterosexual one on tv. It amazes me that we are advanced on many fronts in society, yet in some areas we are still taking baby steps.

Thanks again for a great interview.


Thank you for taking the time to interview Eric. I love that he’s so refreshingly candid. I’m anxiously awaiting your followup piece with him after ATWT airs it’s finale.

Thank you for such a fantastic interview. I love the character of Reid, and it’s interesting to hear the actor’s take on him. I am sad that the show is coming to an end, but I look forward to reading your interview afterwards.

Thank you so much for this interview. Truthfully, Eric and the LuRe pairing is the only reason I am hanging in there to the end of ATWT. What a shame this SL started so late. Will look forward to your follow-up interview after the end of the show.

What Nuke fans don’t seem to want to admit is that Nuke wasn’t on much in the last couple of months because seeing their interactions is like watching paint dry. Viewership had been down for Nuke for a long, long time before Reid came on the scene, but when he did show up, wow! Van Hansis to me was revitalized by being able to work with someone like Eric, and the characters of Luke and Reid have had so much more humor, intensity, chemistry, you name it, in their scenes. Luke and Noah together equals a whiny, clutchy Luke and Noah lashing out one minute and being lovey dovey the next. To me, Nuke have been most believable in the last few months as being old, good friends. When they reunite in the end (or the storyline points in that direction) I will mourn. Sad, sad way for Luke to end up, and Reid, well I’m not even going to go there…

What a fabulous interview! I have loved Eric since he came to ATWT and this just makes me love him more. I can’t imagine any other actor playing Reid and his chemistry with Van is off the charts. I am very sad that we won’t see what could have happened with LuRe in the future but I’m enjoying the story that we are getting now!

This is, without a doubt, one of the most honest interviews with a current soap star that I’ve read. Thank you, Michael, for asking such thought-provoking questions, and thank you, Eric, for having the courage to answer them in an honest and articulate way.

This x 1000.

Michael…thank you so much for this amazing interview! Eric Sheffer Stevens is indeed an articulate, honest and understanding man and this interview was just reflective of that. It is a shame that we do not have much time left to see his talent and his character unfold onscreen because I think, if anything, we all would have loved to have seen how Reid deals with the ridiculous situations that occur in Oakdale as well as balancing a relationship with Luke. I wish we would have been introduced to this character earlier but to see what we have seen so far, has been special enough for me! Wishing Eric all the success in the future and I am looking forward to the next 2 months! Thanks again for this interview!

Thank you for the wonderful interview. Reid and LuRe got me hooked on this show again after a long period of apathy. I will definitely follow ESS (and VH!) with their future projects, and I’m just sad we won’t be able to watch their relationship grow and develop for many years. In my personal opinion, this is the supercouple that Luke was always meant to be a part of. I appreciate Noah and Nuke’s historical significance, but the two can’t be compared in terms of quality soap-storytelling and actor chemistry.

ESS had many insightful things to say about his character, and the impact of Reid and the relationship on both the show and viewers. I agree with him that it’s much more interesting to watch people IN a relationship rather than watch people TALK about their relationship. I also agree that it’s important for Reid to have other interactions and interests, making him a well-rounded and well-developed character who just “happens” to be gay. While the writers absolutely get credit for that, it wouldn’t be possible with someone without ESS’s acting ability and talent.

As a LuRe and Eric Sheffer Stevens fan I’d like to thank you for a great interview. It was great to read Eric’s take on Reid and the relationship of LuRe. I’m really going to miss him and this storyline come September but I hope to see Eric back on tv some time soon because he’s a very talented actor.

Thank you for the interview. Eric seems like such a nice and smart guy, and it’s especially nice to hear his opinions on the show, because I know that’s exactly what a lot of people think too. I have a lot of respect for him, as an actor and a person.

Michael, thank you so much for your wonderful interview with Eric Stevens! There is nothing that makes me cringe more than seeing someone unprepared interviewing an obviously talented performer. You asked interesting and leading questions and in turn Eric gave intriguing answers. I LOVED finding out how he felt about the lack of physical scenes between Luke and Reid, and especially how much he enjoyed working with Van. Their chemistry really showed on screen.

Eric talks about the honor of working with the veterans and this cast. But I have been watching ATWT for 25+ years since I was a little girl, so I hold Oakdale very close to my heart. And I can tell you, It has been such a joy for me to see Eric (and the character of Reid) come in for their last year to bring such electricity and new-found excitement to the show and the cast members. What a complete and utter joy to see Don and Kathy and (I can’t wait!!) Larry brought to the forefront again and with such a quality scene partner to work with. I thank Eric for that.

I really wonder, did Eric let on to you (off the record) how Reid’s story ends? 🙂 I’m so thrilled to hear that you’ll do a wrap-up interview when it’s all over. All the best!

Thank you so much for this interview.

As a huge Reid/Eric fan I was hoping we’d get more interviews as the storyline heated up.
I enjoyed your smart questions and the indepth answers from ESS. It makes me really happy that the love story will be showcased in some manner. I was worried there after not getting much in July.

While the writers have done an excellent job in terms of character development. They were truly blessed to have Eric and Van play those roles. I don’t think we would have had the heat and interest had it not been for them.

Lastly, I appreciated that ESS was refreshingly honest about the differences in how gay couples are treated versus straight couples. The viewers know this is going on but we feel helpless to do anything. From everything I’ve read the majority may want romance, regardless of the characters orientation, and yet, those who run the soaps and network feel compelled to parent us and disregard our majority interest b/c of their own fear. How very sad when this genre broke barriers decades ago when they began to incorporate people of color into their storylines. I hope it’s not too late and that this storyline help break further barriers within daytime.

Great, great interview, Michael. Thank you so much. Your questions were thoughtful and direct. Couldn’t have asked for anything more.

What a refreshingly candid interview! And thank you for the intelligent questions, Michael. ESS is one in a million – talented, smart, honest, creative, gorgeous – and humble beyond belief. All the best to him and his family. If he doesn’t land on my TV again soon, I’m going to need some serious, serious counseling.

Loved that his answers were so honest. Especially about the lack of a physical relationship with Luke. (I’m a straight woman, BTW.) There is absolutely NO WAY these two characters would not be all over each other at this stage in their relationship. And I don’t even necessarily mean having sex. They’ would totally be making out whenever, wherever they could. I can imagine that they are (and I do) but it would be nice to see it onscreen just because that is a natural part of the “first blushes of love.” And “in love” is exactly where I think Luke and Reid are. So, yeah, I agree with ESS – Reid would be coming up with some reason why he’s late for work, not leaving Luke all dewy-eyed at the curb.

It just boggles my mind that whoever made these decisions would find physical love between two gay men who have built an honest relationship offensive, but would have no problem with straight couples who barely know each other acting like animals in heat. Or teenagers who are cousins trying to get busy in the woods. Ewww. Really offensive? Having a character fake a miscarriage. Can you imagine how many women that hurt, who have gone through that? I’ll never understand the decision-making process at ATWT, but if it weren’t for Reid/Eric I wouldn’t be watching at all.

Thanks, Michael, for giving me an ESS fix so early in the day! Well done.

Excellent interview. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how ESS views his character and how the role has evolved.

Thank you.

Great interview! Really enjoyed reading Eric’s perspective on his character and the story lines he’s involved with. Intelligent, articulate, funny Eric. It really is too bad the show is cancelled, because it would have been such a blast seeing Eric develop Reid more on the show. I’ve never been drawn to soaps before, because they always felt so fake and there’s always too much unnecessary drama involved. I realize that is what soaps are all about, but it’s something that always turned me off. Reid coming to Oakdale was so refreshing. A very un-soapy character, blunt and sarcastic and lovable at the same time. It’s funny to me that Eric seems to enjoy playing Reid the best when the lines are un-soapy, too.

At any rate, thank you for this interview! Great to get to know Eric a little better.

Thanks for the interview Michael, you do know your stuff!! I am loving the fun way Reid and Luke are relating again this week–how determined Luke is to get inside Reid’s core and peel away as much of his mask as possible. I love that Reid absolutely never gives up on his own one hope–to get Luke into bed! I am happy they didn’t throw them into a sexual relationship too soon; had they done so we would have stopped watching the fireworks, the amazing tension, the exciting dialogue. Great acting guys! Great writing–I am so happy you’ve kept me watching!

Eric Sheffer Stevens–Your talent is/ will be legendary!! Your ability to portray the Reid character as a real human being with hidden redeeming qualities is beyond fabulous! As the ‘tortured genius’ Reid is incompatible with most people on planet earth probably because his brain works at warp speed and theirs in ‘slow-mo’. His ‘people skills’ are his guard against frivolity, pain, and an abstruse world. Eric, your claustrophobia/elevator scene was brilliant. I would like to know why Reid is claustrophobic–this is not clear, yet. Only traumatic experiences cause particular reaction. My sisters, who live in Noah’s, Reid’s, and Luke’s world for real advised me against watching this story to the end because they will put the former couple back together. Since I am still obsessing about Jason and Elizabeth on General Hospital I have decided to take their advice and watch the end on Youtube, then decide on the other episodes. And because I hate to lose!!! I only started watching this show in December so Luke and Reid is my only couple. Eric, I look forward to watching you on every possible screen in the future. Thank You for choosing to entertain the world with your special gift!

Wonderful interview, Michael. Thank you. It was great to hear Eric talk about his role of Reid, the way LuRe’s love and sex life is being treated (loved his: I don’t know any two men that would hesitate!) and his ever-growing fanbase (am so glad he’s aware!).

I’m very much looking forward to the follow-up interview post 17 September, to hear his take on the ending!

What a wonderful interview! The best one he’s had so far, hands down. I love how articulate and candid he is about everything. Eric is the most talented actor I have come across in a long time – it will be a complete and total crime if he doesn’t get any more jobs in the future. It’s so great to see someone who’s in the business because of their love for the art, and not for the money. I really admire him for that, in addition to his incredible talent. I hope you two get to talk again once the show finishes, I’ll be keeping an eye out for that!

Just a thank you for the interview. Eric is a fine actor and I wish him all the best in his future projects. My wish would be to see him in a role on prime time,
And to the interviewer, thank you for a great job, It was a refreshing conversation to “hear”.
I look forward to the post ATWT interview.

Mr. Fairman, if the opportunity ever arises, I would love to see a video interview with Eric and Van, like the one you did with Kish! I’m hoping ESS will be at the Paley Center event…

Thank you so much for this wonderful interview with ESS! I do hope that you’re not deterred from another interview by the more enthusiastic Luke and Noah fans who’ve posted. There are just as many (if not more) Luke and Reid fans who would love to see another interview when the show is over.

I love how Michael asks Eric what his favorite scenes were. Eric doesn’t mention Luke, so Michael’s all “WHAT ABOUT LUKE?” That was the second time Eric had CLEARLY stated his least favorite scenes were the relationship-based ones, yet Michael just kept on pushing. Luke and Eric as star-crossed lovers? Does the soap industry turn everyone delusional?

Eric did not CLEARLY state that his least favorite scenes were the relationship based scenes. Please read the article again and don’t take his words out of context!

Eric spent a good part of the interview talking about working with Van, discussing scenes at length. He has been effusive about his enjoyment of working with Van. A follow-up question about favorite scenes gave him an opportunity to talk about working with other actors on the show. It clearly was not a coded message to the world that he hated the LuRe pairing, or that the relationship was his “least favorite” thing about working on the show.

And yes, many people DO see Luke and REID (not Eric) as the supercouple, based on the storyline, the acting, and the incendiary chemistry between the two characters. Your mileage may vary. But that does not make the rest of us delusional.

Not everyone, no. Just entitled to their own opinions that don’t deserve the label of “delusional” just because they don’t necessarily jive with yours. Oh, and btw, it’s Luke and REID, not Luke and Eric.

Just because Eric states that he likes playing other things more than the romance-based scenes doesn’t mean he doesn’t like the LuRe relationship or how it’s effecting his character. He’s stated that he & Van liked working together & had a lot of fun in their scenes & that he likes playing the actual relationship instead of them just talking about it.

Where did ESS clearly state this, because I must have missed it, in between his quotes about how much fun he had working with Van, and how much he enjoyed and LOVED the scenes with Luke and Reid in a relationship and being happy together, like in the last episode?

“Playing a gay character I had no problem with, but being sucked into a relationship, and then having relationship talks, (laughs) that is not fun for me to play. But fortunately, they did a fine balance with not only Luke, but also Reid got to intermingle with other characters on the show as he is trying to figure out his whole situation with Luke. I feel I was lucky and got to skirt that pitfall of a soapy romance.”

Actually, you’re right, Stefanie. He doesn’t actually say he doesn’t like playing relationship/romance scenes. He says he doesn’t like being sucked into a relationship & having relationship *talks* – which later on he said that he liked playing out the actual relationship instead of *just* talking about it. He’s glad he (and Reid) escaped the pitfalls of the usual soapy romance, which is actually true if you look at Luke & Reid & Reid as a character. He’s glad Reid’s interacting with others too besides Luke as he figures out what he has with Luke. So going back & reading it again, definitely misinterpreted.

Well, I loved the interview! It truly gives a new view to Eric and his role as Reid! ^^

Thank you so much Michael, for this wonderful interview. It truly is the best one of ESS yet. I really enjoyed reading it.

I can’t wait to read your Jake Silbermann interview!

Love, Love, Love ESS, and loved this interview. After 25 years watching ATWT, and loving all the old characters mucho ( Martha’s lily, Holden, Carly, Jack, Tom and Margo, Bob and Kim, Katie, Lucinda and of course John ( love that he is coming back), and many, many more, i have to say, Reid is the one that i will miss most from the show.He absolutely stole my heart.
And from this interview ESS seems like such a nice, intelligent and humble person, next to being such an amazing actor! Will definitely be following his career from now on, and hoping he will soon appear on my screen again.


Michael, thanks for the wonderful interview. Eric is obviously very thoughtful and refreshingly frank. I agree that it is more interesting to “see” a relationship than hear the characters talk about it.

Michael you are such a great interviewer. Eric is a great actor and he seems to be a very genuine person. The first day he was on as Reid, having that phone conversation with Luke just amazed me. When I heard the way he was talking to Luke, I said “Who is this guy talking to Luke like that” I was hooked ever since. I had never seen a soap character like him before. We all know that the chemistry between LuRe is off the charts. I will truly miss ATWT, for my family my daughter age 14 was the 4th generation to watch. ESS you are truly a star on the rise. I wish Eric and the rest of the cast much success in their future endeavers. (^_^)

“Liked how blunt Eric was about the LuRe storyline and their lack of intimacy. It’s sad that a gay couple gets treated differently then a heterosexual one on tv. It amazes me that we are advanced on many fronts in society, yet in some areas we are still taking baby steps.”

I can understand his frustation. I’m a straight woman but I find it almost embarassing to watch when I see scenes where gay couples are blatantly treated differently. It makes even less sense now because the show is cancelled so why not give Luke and Reid or Luke and Noah a love scene. Its already been done on OLTL so its not like its something no daytime audience has ever seen.

As The World Turns

‘As the World Turns’ Alum Martha Byrne Speaks Out On Conviction Against Her Husband, Michael McMahon: “We are Fighting Till the End”

If you have been following two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actress, Martha Byrne’s (ex-Lily, As the World Turns) social media accounts or have been following news reports, Byrne is adamantly speaking out about charges and a conviction levied against her husband, former decorated NYPD sergeant-turned-licensed private investigator, Michael McMahon.

The couple share three children together and have been married for over 30 years.  Last week, McMahon was preparing to go back to work. However, Michael was blindsided when a Brooklyn federal court convicted him and two others accused of stalking a New Jersey couple on behalf of China.

McMahon told the New York Post, that he felt betrayed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Clarifying further, Michael felt he and his family with Martha Byrne where being made scapegoats in the DOJ’s first case against Operation Fox Hunt, which is the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-corruption campaign that targets Chinese nationals abroad.  It also targets former government officials and others suspected of economic crimes against China.

In the case against McMahon, he was hired in fall of 2016 by what he believed was a translation company from New Jersey to do surveillance on a luxury New Jersey home occupied by a relative of Xu Jin and Liu Fang, and to use public records to find companies and other assets registered to the couple.  He was then informed that Xu and Liu had had stolen money from a construction company, and the people who hired him wanted to find where the cash had gone. However, McMahon says what he was not told was that Xu was a former official in Wuhan, who had fled China amid allegations of corruption.

McMahon said that when he conducted surveillance as he had done on numerous other cases.  However, what he did not know was that his work was used in a civil suit in New Jersey in 2018 against Xu and others by a Chinese construction group that alleged that they had embezzled millions from that company.

Things took a bad turn in October of 2020 when 12 federal agents surrounded McMahon and Byrne’s home.  Michael was arrested, but it wasn’t your normal arrest, he detailed.  McMahon didn’t think he needed a lawyer so he spoke to the FBI agents. He had wanted to help the government.

Photo: MBryneFacebook

Byrne shared, “He was being as transparent as he possibly could. Instead, they turned everything against him and made him look like the devil in court. I’ve never seen such dark forces trying to portray him as an unlawful person.”

McMahon was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working for the Chinese government without telling the State Department, and with conspiracy to commit interstate stalking.

Byrne answered one soap fan’s inquiry to clarify what exactly happened to her husband in a Facebook post. She expressed: “He was hired to find assets on a civil matter. never asked to do ANYTHING illegal. The FBI let the Chinese agents flee, who were operating some scheme separately and unbeknownst to my husband, so the FBI turned their attention to an innocent man to save face. They took legal work as a PI and deemed it criminal for their own purposes. This is VERY VERY scary for every US citizen.”

In the NY Post account, it details that the DOJ shifted its focus to Operation Fox Hunt, targeting private investigators across the country, including McMahon.

Currently Michael is not allowed to be a private detective until this case is overturned.  He shared: “I didn’t harass or stalk anyone, and if I had been asked to do so, or if I had suspected that my clients worked for the Chinese Communist Party, I would have contacted the FBI right away and not proceeded with the job.”

Byrne expressed: “The DOJ knew this problem existed, that private investigators were being used, they knew the patterns well, but they communicated none of this until after Mike’s arrest … We are fighting to the end.”

McMahon’s lawyer will file a post-trial motion next month to overturn the conviction.

Photo: NATAS

On her Twitter account, Martha shared their lawyer’s, Lawrence Lustberg’s statement: “We are obviously very disappointed with today’s verdict and feel strongly that it is not consistent with the evidence in the case but more importantly, is not consistent with the truth.  That truth is that Michael McMahon never had any idea that he was working for the Chinese Government.  If he had, he would not have taken the job or done the work he did.  His work in this case was the normal every day work of a private investigator and Mike’s conviction on the stalking counts, as a practical matter, criminalizes the work of private investigators in every case.  We will file post-trial motions and, if necessary appeal, until all possible appeals and lawful avenues to challenge this verdict have been exhausted.  And I believe that we will ultimately prevail because this conviction is a terrible injustice, one that I do not believe our legal system will allow to stand.”

What do you think about the conviction of Martha Bryne’s husband, Michael McMahon and by all accounts how he has been wrongly convicted? Comment below.

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All My Children

Pride Month Celebrating LGBTQ+ Soap Supercouples: Nuke, Kish, Otalia & WilSon … Which Stands the Test of Time?

June is Pride Month, the time when across the U.S and the world there are celebrations and commemorations to recognize all who identify as LGBTQ and their allies.

Daytime soap operas have had a rocky road when it comes to the representation of same-sex couples.  The soaps have been at one time leaders in portraying key social issues of our time, as well as treading lightly on other subjects, as to its concerns to ‘turn-off’ its core audiences.

When you look back at the groundbreaking first same-sex weddings, and the first gay kiss, the soaps have come far in some ways in their representations of gay characters, but there is always work to be done to serve and to shed light on the under-represented.

As we reflect back to the then and the now, which LGBTQ soap supercouple remains your favorite and had made a lasting impact? Let’s take a look at four duos who captivated many viewers.

Nuke  – Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer – As the World Turns

Van Hansis (Luke) and Jake Silbermann (Noah) were a key part of the evolution of, and representation of LGBTQ character on the soaps.  ‘Nuke’, as they were known as, became the first gay male soap couple to share an on-screen kiss back in 2007.  ATWT also became known as the first soap to depict a fully realized romantic male couple as an integral part of the show.  There was plenty of backlash along the way for the long-awaited kiss to happen, but when it did, the show moved forward to tell their love story.

Otalia – Olivia Spencer and Natalia Rivera Aitoro – Guiding Light

When Crystal Chappell (Olivia) and Jessica Leccia (Natalia) began to play the love story of Otalia, they had to show their affection by a kiss on the head, or holding hands.  It took quite some time for GL to move forward to have two women, two moms, no less, share a lip lock. The complicated love story featured Natalia being conflicted to face her true romantic feelings for Olivia, because of her value system and religions upbringing, and that made this all the more riveting and frustrating at the same time.  In the end, the rabid fan base for this duo was so great that Chappell wound up creating her own series, Venice, to honor and serve them, remaining one of the LGBTQ communities greatest allies.

Kish – Kyle Lewis and Oliver Fish – One Life to Live

In 2009, One Life to Live’s Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell) was an out lab tech in Llanview, who back in college had a relationship with Officer Oliver Fish (Scott Evans).  It imploded when Oliver denied he was gay.  For years, Oliver remained in the closet, before finally coming out to himself and Kyle.

Kish had been a big success with the media and One Life’s gay audience. LGBTQ-advocacy groups honored the couple and the story.  However, Kish was cut short when the network felt that the data showed that the storyline was not resonating with the show’s core audience.

WilSon – Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis – Days of our Lives

Days of our Lives delivered daytime’s first-ever gay male wedding in 2014, between Will (then played by Guy Wilson) and Sonny (then played by Freddie Smith).

In an interview with EW, Days of our Lives executive producer, Ken Corday shared on the union, “Will and Sonny have been together for a while and it was the natural progression of their love story. We didn’t feel like there was anything we could or couldn’t do, we treated them like any other couple on the canvas and continued to grow their romance as such.”

In addition, the coming out story of Will Horton was critically praised and noteworthy for the performances of Chandler Massey, who won three Daytime Emmys for his work in the Outstanding Younger Actor category 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Freddie Smith also won in the same category in 2015.  Will has been played over the years by Chandler Massey and Guy Wilson, while Sonny has been portrayed by Freddie Smith and Zach Tinker.

There have been several other key LGBTQ couples throughout the course of daytime history including All My Children’s Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Reese (Tamara Braun). These two characters were involved in the first same-sex lesbian wedding on daytime. Problem was … Reese kissed Zach (Thorsten Kaye) before the wedding, making this infuriating for viewers at home.

Other notable LGBTQ couples through the years have included: Bianca and Maggie on All My Children, Mariah and Tessa of The Young and the Restless played bv Camryn Grimes and Cait Fairbanks, Maya and Rick on The Bold and the Beautiful, Lucas and Brad on General Hospital and others.

Which couple do you think has had the most lasting impact on the history of LGBTQ representation on daytime soap operas? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

As the World Turns Castmates Mourn the Loss of Elizabeth Hubbard

UPDATED: Monday, the soap world was saddened by the loss of one of the most respected actress ever in the genre, when the news broke of the death of Daytime Emmy-winner, Elizabeth Hubbard.

This powerhouse performer who was best known for her work as Dr. Althea Davis on The Doctors, and as Lucinda Walsh on As the World Turns, died this past Saturday at her home in Connecticut from cancer.

Throughout this afternoon, several of Hubbard’s former As the World Turns castmates took to social media to share their reactions on the passing of this beloved daytime icon.  In addition, Retro TV, which has been airing vintage episodes of The Doctors, also paid tribute to Hubbard.

Photo: CBS

Martha Byrne (ex-Lily, ATWT) shared on her Instagram: As many of you are finding out this morning, Elizabeth Hubbard passed away. First and foremost I want everyone to know I made sure she was aware of how much everyone loved her. I would share your comments from social media, videos and your fond memories of her as Lucinda, Althea, every time I saw her. She loved the audience and fought like HELL to bring truth and honesty to her performances. On a personal level there aren’t words to describe how much she meant to me. Only feelings, which override words in so many cases when it comes to love. I will be sharing more so we can all grieve together but here are our last words together only just a few days ago. I said, “Liz, do you know how much you have done for me?” She said, “You can do more.” Because of what she has done for me over the last 38 years, the strength and fearless nature in how she lived her life, she is right, I can AND WILL do more. I look forward to sharing more about her life, which encompasses so much more than her INCREDIBLE career on daytime television. She also said to me when I told her how much the fans loved her…”I tried.” She more than tried. She left it all on the screen. I’ll miss her every day but grateful the universe gifted me with such a force of nature, of which the world will not see the likes of again. ❤️”

Michael Park (ex-Jack) shared via Twitter: “If Liz was involved in a scene I was lucky enough to be in, I could always count on learning a little something and laughing a whole lot. She was a ferocious talent in love with her craft. One of the greats that will certainly be missed.”

Photo: NBC

Mary Beth Evans (ex-Sierra, ATWT and now Kayla, DAYS) expressed: “I was so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Elizabeth Hubbard for six years on As the World Turns, where she played my mother. What an amazing powerhouse this woman was … always striving for spontaneity and keeping it real. My favorite times with her were riding in the car from Manhattan to Brooklyn — the stories she would tell were so much fun. Rest in peace, sweet lady. #RIPLIZ #ATWT

Photo: CBS

Peter Boynton (ex-Tonio, ATWT) added: “Rest in peace, Boss! Working with/for you at ‘Walsh Enterprises’ was a highlight of my NYC years! Your encouragement and respect meant the world to me. I’m raising a glass to you and feel so lucky to have worked with you in that great ‘ATWT’ community. On angels wings. – Peter ‘Tonio Reyes’ Boynton.”

Scott Bryce (ex-Craig, ATWT) said, “She was astonishing. Liz RIP. Love you woman.”

Retro TV expressed: “We are saddened to hear of soap-opera legend Elizabeth Hubbard’s passing at age 89. A force to be reckoned with, Hubbard stole our hearts with her portrayal of Althea Davis on The Doctors. Please share your favorite memories with us as we remember the beloved Elizabeth Hubbard.”

In addition, Alec Baldwin who played Billy Aldrich on The Doctors wrote: “I worked on The Doctors with the great Liz Hubbard. An amazing woman and remarkable actress.”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this post as reactions continue from Liz’s colleagues.

What do you think about the remembrances shared thus far from Martha Byrne, Michael Park, Mary Beth Evans and Peter Boynton on working with the great Elizabeth Hubbard? Share your thoughts in the comment section.


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