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THE FARAH FATH INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

fathgreen-lowe.jpgShe plays the feisty and spirited Gigi Morasco on One Life to Live, and many remember her winning performance as Mimi Lockhart on Days of our Lives.

Well, since moving east a few years ago, not only has Farah Fath nabbed a prime role and continuing storylines in Llanview, but she’s found herself a very well known boyfriend… her co-star, John Paul Lavoisier…”Sexy Rexy” Balsom.

“On-Air On-Soaps” got the opportunity to catch up with Farah for this revealing interview. We chat about the hot new storyline kicking off next year for Gigi and Rex, the irrestiable charms of Mr. Lavoisier, and working with some of the top talent in the industry. Farah’s always direct, honest and fun to interview. So, without further adieu…Farah!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

So, I hear there is big new storyline in the New Year ahead for Gigi and Rex on “OLTL”!

FARAH:

We just started taping our new stuff, which will air beginning in January and February. I am really excited about it, and it will be all I had hoped for on the show. Frank Valentini, executive producer “OLTL”, just wanted us to know that with this new character coming on we will be working a lot again. So, Frank said, “I hope you enjoyed your time off because it’s over.”

MICHAEL:

In July you participated in the 40th anniversary of the show’s “Time Travel” storyline. I thought it was some of the best work you ever done! I loved the dual roles.

FARAH:

It’s my favorite thing I have ever done, too. It was literally so fun to go to work everyday. I have never gotten to play dual roles and have such a fun role. I could not wait for it to air. I have never been so excited to watch my scenes and watch the storyline unfold. We would scurry home from work every day and put on the Tivo and watch it. Words cannot express how John-Paul Lavosier (Rex) and I loved the storyline. At first, we thought it was cheesy, with the location shoot and the dedication the actors put towards their dual roles. I thought it was fun and different to watch. Some people, I guess, did not like it.

JP-farah.jpgMICHAEL:

You and JP are involved in real life and work together so much on-screen. Do you ever critique each other’s work?

FARAH:

We both are in the same boat, so we would never critique another actor, or I give him notes. I would compliment him. The only thing I would do is point out a physical habit, because that is what I would
appreciate if it were me.
But as far as the acting process,
to each his own. It’s a different
creative process for everyone.

MICHAEL:

Did you want to relocate from LA, where you were Mimi on “DAYS”, to New York to work?

FARAH:

You know, I had this overwhelming and gravitational pull to New York. I felt like I needed to move to New York, especially when my time was over on “DAYS”. I felt I needed to start over. And I did not leave the soap to not do soaps. I was looking at all roles. I wanted to do something different and move to New York. So, I went through pilot season. Then I took a meeting with Brian Frons (President, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet) and it all worked out. I was ready to leave LA. I had soaked up my LA sponge, if you will. I am young and not settled down at all, and I wanted to do something different. So, the adjustment was not so much. It was not a sad thing to move. I am having a lot of fun, and I have not looked back since.

MICHAEL:

You told me at ‘Super Soap’ you have had some issues playing an on-screen mom.

farah-shane.jpgFARAH:

Yeah, Shane is eleven now, and the actor Austin Williams is twelve in real life. When I first started I told the directors to be hard on me about playing a mom, and I was told at the last second that I was playing a mother to this ten-year old. It was not like I had any preparation time. I just find it’s not that natural to me. I have to be aware of how I am to this child, and so I have to remind myself, that this is my kid, and I have
done everything for him and
for us to survive, and he is my
world. I don’t have anything l
ike that, personally. I try to
keep that in front of him, and
physically have those motherly
instincts toward him.

MICHAEL:

How is Austin Williams to work with?

FARAH:

He loves acting. Sometimes I worry about the kids, if they are doing it for their parents or did they really want to go on this audition. I have asked him in nonchalant ways. He really does love it, so that is really important.

MICHAEL:

How was it when you got to be heavy in story with newcomer Mark Lawson (Brody)?

mark-lawson.jpgFARAH:

He is really intense, and I like to work with actors who take their work seriously. He is a true actor’s actor. He gets in there and finds the rawest place he can go. He does not care if it’s a big scene or small scene. He is committed. Mark was on contract from the beginning, but that does not really mean anything. I think they were really impressed with him, and he works really hard, does his homework, and I respect that.

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MICHAEL:

Now on to your boyfriend, John Paul Lavoisier. It’s not unheard of that co-stars end up together. It almost looked like you were together, even when none of us knew you were together! Make sense?

FARAH:

Yes, I met him a week before I started. I came in for a wardrobe fitting and he did not have a shirt on. Obviously, I was taken aback with his physique, but I went up to him and said, “Hey. I am Farah Fath. I am playing Gigi.” And he went, “Hey JP, nice to meet you.” And I walked away and I started to question myself, “Does he know who I am and does he know who Gigi is?” JP also said, “I don’t usually walk around without my shirt on.” We did not work together for four or five weeks because I was doing scenes with Erika Slezak (Viki). But, the first time we worked together there was an instant chemistry.

MICHAEL:

Weren’t your first scenes in the diner and Rex yelled, “Morasco?”

FARAH:

Yeah, and those were some really well written scenes. I liked his work ethic and his fun personality immediately.

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MICHAEL:

Did either one ask the other out on a date?

FARAH:

No. It just happened organically, and we just started hanging out together and there was no asking out. I have never dated anyone I worked with. I actually made it a rule, and it’s really easy to know someone that way. We were definitely friends first. He is pretty wonderful, but he is a terror and a handful. I have to tell people, “He’s my boyfriend, but he also is my little brother,” as sick as that is true.

JP.jpgMICHAEL:

JP’s comedic timing is beyond brilliant!

FARAH:

I know! That was the first thing I noticed right away when I met him. He is super talented. He has a huge range, and he can do it all, and do it all in one scene. He is a very good actor, and he’s better than me and I told him that. I hope in four years when I am his age, I am that good.

MICHAEL:

If you were to describe JP in a few words, what would you say?

FARAH:

Charming… goofy… sweet and laid-back. He would say the same about me.

MICHAEL:

When Gigi arrived in Llanview she was thrust into story with Viki. So, there you are in your first scenes working with thee Erika Slezak! Were you nervous?

FARAH:

I was not nervous. I was excited. I mean, I knew all about her. I was antsy to get back to work, and when I heard I was going to start on air with Erika, it made it all the more suspenseful. I had nine months off and I was ready to act. I was so excited it was going to be with her. Watching her work the first few weeks was fascinating. She is a genius! She does not look at her scripts. She is so prepared she knows everything, and everything about every storyline, and everything about every piece of history with the show. She is consulted about these things. I don’t think I have ever seen her mess up. We hit it off. I think my not being nervous around her, and my talking to her like a normal person might have helped. We had so much fun and we would gossip together about the soap world. Erika is also down to earth.

MICHAEL:

How was working with “Bitchy Bangs” Adrianna, played then by Melissa Gallo Fumero?

FARAH:

Working with Melissa is a fun dynamic because she plays the bitch so well. At the beginning, when Gigi came on, she just took it. Then the writing starting to change to where Gigi would stand up for herself and fight back. It’s always fun to have catfights.

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MICHAEL:

“One Life” had Adrianna and Rex together and then they brought you on the canvas. Was the intention always to do the Rex and Gigi romance, even though Melissa was leaving the show?

farah-sexy1.jpgFARAH:

My character was written to fill the void of Melissa Gallo leaving the show. They knew pretty far in advance. The part was written for me to work with JP, and have the characters eventually come together. Brian Frons (President ABC Daytime/SOAPnet) really banked on, thought and hoped that JP and I would work well together. He had seen my work and personality on “DAYS”. I guess if the chemistry wasn’t there for some reason, they might have changed gears and gone with another storyline, but it was always planned, yes, from the beginning that Rex and Gigi would be a couple. At the same time, if Melissa hadn’t been leaving this may have happened anyway, you never know.

MICHAEL:

Do you think the fact that you and JP are a real life couple has any influence on the two of you staying together on-air? Soap history has shown that sometimes if the writers see a couple off-screen together they may partner them on their soap.

FARAH:

I don’t think real life couples have much on the writers. I think if we stay together and they decide to break Rex and Gigi up, they are just going to do it. We might care and be sad as actors that we can’t work together anymore, but what else can we do?

MICHAEL:

Who else on the cast of the “OLTL” would you just love to work with more?

FARAH:

I like working with Trevor St. John (Todd), and I only had a hand full of scenes with him about a year ago. He came to Paris, Texas looking for his son. All the scenes we did were very fun, because he is very unpredictable. He works like I do. He does not plan anything, he just let’s it happen. His scenes are different every time he tapes them. If we do a re-take, it’s different than the ones before, and that is so interesting to me. I don’t know in what way they would have Gigi and Todd working in a storyline together, but he is so interesting, funny, and raw.

MICHAEL:

Who else on the show?

FARAH:

Robin Strasser (Dorian) is phenomenal! She had spoken to me when Dorian took over BE and Gigi was working there at the time. She was hoping they would do a, “Devil Wears Prada” storyline with Dorian and Gigi. I thought that would be really fun. But it did not go that way. Dorian ended up quitting, and we never worked together again.

MICHAEL:

What is Gigi doing for work these days?

FARAH:

The scenes where I am at now, I am working at Rodi’s. But, the scenes I was telling you about at the beginning will kind of lead me to a different direction.

farah-Xmas.jpgMICHAEL:

Since Rex is already a PI, I am feeling Gigi and Rex will be PI’s like a “Nick and Nora” spy coupling.

FARAH:

I am hoping that. I mentioned that at “Super Soap” that it would be fun, but as soon as I got back to the studio, I found out she is not going to be a PI, but it is in that realm.

MICHAEL:

So, I was close.

FARAH:

It’s a mystery with romance, and it’s an umbrella story.

MICHAEL:

Since you have been a bit back-burnered of late, do you like it better when you are working?

FARAH:

John-Paul likes to work, work, work and have stuff to do everyday. I am the opposite. If I have nothing to do, I will sleep all day, but he feels he constantly has something he has to do everyday. Me too, sometimes. I like working a lot. Sometimes I surprise myself when I like to work a lot, and it’s also fun not working a lot!

MICHAEL:

Do fans still call you “Mimi” from your “DAYS” job?

FARAH:

Most of the messages are, “I like you as Mimi from ‘DAYS’, but I like you as Gigi on ‘OLTL’.” A lot of people came up to me at “Super Soap” and said, “They watched me on ‘DAYS’.” It’s nice that people made the jump with me to One Life.

MICHAEL:

Then, how did you feel about the Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John) firings, and the current state of the soap industry budget cuts?

FARAH:

I don’t know what to think about it. I know Ken Corday (executive producer, “DAYS”) is in a tight spot and he has a lot of cutting to do. Listen, I don’t know what Marlena and Johns numbers are. I feel bad for Deidre and Drake personally, but I know Ken needs the show on the air. I know that “AMC” had cuts. I know Susan Lucci took a pay cut. I have not heard about anything at “OLTL”, but I am a team player. I know John-Paul and I will do what we need to do to help our show. I think hearing about Deidre and Drake, and Susan Lucci and Kristian Alfonso (Hope), and Peter Reckell (Bo) taking cuts, and for me personally, since I am not in those categories, I feel like they are going to impact the top stars first. When I was on “DAYS” in 2006, it was mandatory that we had to take pay cuts. So I have been there before and in this situation before. I think “OLTL” is the one show that does not go over budget every year. We do locations and musical acts, and that’s because they only do those things when we are still under budget and we have money to play with. We are keeping our fingers crossed that our show is in good shape.

MICHAEL:

Which of your former cast-mates of “DAYS” do you still stay in touch with?

cook-fath1.jpgFARAH:

Jason Cook (Ex-Shawn “DAYS”, now Matt “GH”), Martha Madison (Ex-Belle) a bit, Kyle Brandt (Ex-Phillip) is doing an ESPN show called “The Jim Rome Show”. He writes and produces his show, and does a radio show. He actually is so talented. I think he should host his own sports show, but he likes writing best.

MICHAEL:

Do you ever just pinch yourself and stop for a second and look at what you have accomplished at such a young age? Not many girls that are younger actresses have had the opportunity to have leading roles on two soaps.

FARAH:

It is cool, and it takes people like you to bring it up. I am proud of myself and it is great, but I am constantly on the track of trying to get better and do better. I never feel like I am good enough, so I am always trying to improve. Even though I have sort of made my mark in daytime, it still could be taken out from under me. Look at Deidre and Drake. I want to do my best.

MICHAEL:

Would you like to pursue a feature film career?

FARAH:

It’s always an option. I really hate auditioning, to be quite honest. I really like the soap opera world. I get to do it everyday. I never say never, but I am very content with my career and the current state of it.

MICHAEL:

What are you and JP doing for the holidays?

FARAH:

We are going to his parents’ house for Christmas. This will be the first time I don’t go to my parents’ house in Kentucky. I was there over Thanksgiving and broke the news to my family that I am going to spend my Christmas with JP.

MICHAEL:

How did that go over?

farah-sister.jpgFARAH:

They were all pretty upset. My family loves JP. They think he is cute and funny and they approve. My sister and I are close and she is my best friend. She thinks he is very good for me. So, we will spend Christmas in Pennsylvania. We don’t have New Year’s Eve plans yet, but maybe Atlantic City because we like gambling.

MICHAEL:

Yes, I know you do. Now you have a ‘jonesing’ for Poker?

FARAH:

I want to get onto a Celebrity Poker tournament. We were scheduled to play in one event and JP got sick. It was at the Mohegan Sun, and it was a celebrity event. He felt so bad because I worked hard at getting this gig, but he was so sick, poor thing.

MICHAEL:

And then there is bowling night with Lavoisier and Fath, right?

FARAH:

Bowling is every Tuesday. We have a place you can bowl all night for $28.00 in New York. It’s called Chelsea Piers. We got new bowling balls. Since we advanced our skills, we got heavier ones. JP loves it. He has a lot of hobbies, and I found my self hobby-less. All I did was work. So, I decided bowling would be my thing. However, he has taken over and now he wants to be a pro bowler. We have been watching the PGA Bowling on ESPN everyday!

MICHAEL:

So, will Shane ever come to love his real father?

FARAH:

I think once they start the new storyline that is not going to be the issue anymore. That had sort of been our holding storyline, and we are going to move on to the next big thing.

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farah-jpcar1.jpgMICHAEL:

In closing, what can we tease your fans to look forward to in the New Year from Rex and Gigi?

FARAH:

Right now, they are a happy couple and trying to get Shane to accept Rex as his father. But they kind of get past that, and someone comes to Llanview from their past, and stirs up their relationship. Rex and Gigi find themselves trying to solve something together. They are going to get into a lot of trouble. It’s back to fun Rex and Gigi. You are going to see the Rex and Gigi that first were on the screen together, because JP and Farah are itching to be comedic and loveable once again.

Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on Decision to Make Days of our Lives 15000th Episode About Doug’s Funeral, and Previews Chances for WGA Award

This week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode. In of it itself, that is an incredible accomplishment for the long-running soap opera currently streaming on Peacock.

However, this on set gathering was a bit different. Though the show is celebrating their achievement, they are also in the middle of taping scenes surrounding the death and the funeral of Doug Williams, played by the late Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th of this year at the age of 98.

As previously revealed many longtime favorites are back to honor Bill and the character of Doug including: Gloria Loring (Liz), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Maree Cheatham (Marie), Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Stephen Schnetzer (Steve) to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV was in attendance and spoke with Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati to gain some insight into how the 15,000 episode was crafted and the decision to honor the character of Doug Williams and Bill Hayes as its epicenter. In addition, Ron weighed-in on this Sunday’s April 14th WGA (Writers Guild of America) Awards, where he and his writing team are facing off with General Hospital for the daytime drama prize. Here’s what Ron shared below.

Was this your idea to make the 15,000th episode centered around Doug’s funeral and passing?

RON: It was. When you’re looking at it, and laying out the calendar for the whole year and you see 15,000 is coming up, we’re like, “What are we going to do?” And then, we got the news that Bill had passed away and something kind of clicked. I was like, “We should honor Doug on that show.” So then, we started to kind of build around that … when does he pass away? How does he pass away? Who could come back? You know, it’s a lot.  I’m very pleased with the returns that we got as there’s so much that you could do. We wanted everybody we could get. So, we put together a wish list and Janet Drucker (co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) made it happen.

Photo: JPI

You have Melissa Reeves back as Jennifer, when the role was last played by Cady McClain. What has it meant to have Missy back for these shows?

RON: It was so nice to see Missy Reeves. I think Cady has done such a good job, but on the 15,000th episode to see Missy as Jennifer, it’s a big deal. So having her was great, and overall, the milestone was a big undertaking, because you want to live up to it. You want the 15,000th episode to be good. Now, it has a lot of real emotion that you’re playing. because for the cast and the crew they’re honoring Bill Hayes just as much as we’re honoring Doug Williams.

Photo: JPI

Was it hard for you and the team to write this episode?

RON: Yes. I’ll tell you why it was hard to write.  When I wrote, for example, Asa’s (Phillip Carey) death on One Life to Live or Victor’s (John Aniston) on DAYS, Asa is a different type of character. Like, you could have characters going, “Oh! I’m glad he is dead.” You could have different points of view, but with Doug, you’re not having that. Every person loves this man. No one had a bad relationship with him. So, you’re challenge as a writer is how do you make it that not everybody’s saying the same thing and doing the same thing. And so, we tried to find ways to make the episode about all the familial relationships and yet, how do you make it about Doug and yet broaden the scope.

Photo: JPI

I had spoken to Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), a week after Bill’s memorial, for an interview. She said that she felt very fortunate that you did include her on discussions of how you would tackle Doug’s passing. How did that conversation go?

RON: First, I attended Bill’s funeral, which was incredible. I said to so many people it was an emotional service, but it was hard to be sad at this. The guy had an incredible life and it was an incredible celebration. And so, you’re sitting there watching this knowing that you now have to write something similar. And how do you write something that lives up to what you just witnessed? I wanted to talk to Susan to get her thoughts about, you know, how much do you want this to be about keeping Bill separate from Doug. How comfortable are you sharing your grief. She was incredible to talk to. It was a great chat.

You’re in the middle of taping these major scenes for the 15,000 episode to air in December. How do you think it’s going? Have you seen any of the scenes?

RON:  I haven’t seeing anything. I mean, we were still making changes to the script up till this morning!

Photo: JPI

The Writers Guild Awards are this Sunday, April 14th and once again this year there are two daytime drama nominees, General Hospital and Days of our Lives. How are you feeling about your chances this year?

RON: It is often just GH and us in the category. I’ve won three years in a row, so I’m kind of feeling like it’s their turn.

Photo: JPI

What episodes did you submit for contention? If I recall, they had to do with Victor’s memorial.

RON: The episodes we submitted were centered around Victor’s funeral. I think one has story with Vivian. We had some fun stuff, we had some emotional stuff at Victor’s death, and I am pretty sure that our submission was three episodes right around that time.

Did you make the decision to go with those episodes because there was a mix of humor and drama?

RON: I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, then there’s Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s (Louise Sorel) crashing the reading of the will. So, we had a lot of fun and it’s hard sometimes to pick three that tell a story, as opposed to submitting for the Daytime Emmys, where the writing team only submits two shows.  So, we shall see how it goes on Sunday.

Courtesy/Peacock

So, are you looking forward to the emotional 15,000th episode of Days of our Lives? Do you think DAYS will take home the WGA writing award for daytime dramas for the 4th year in a row? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

(INTERVIEW) Eric Martsolf Previews DAYS Stars on ‘Weakest Link’, How He Fared in the Game, Plus Welcoming New Tate, Leo Howard

Tuesday night on NBC’s Weakest Link (9 p.m. ET/PT), the stars of Days our of Lives test their knowledge, and try to win big money for the charity of their choice on the newest season of the popular game show hosted by Jane Lynch. In case you miss it, you can also catch the episode on Wednesday streaming on Peacock.

The question on everyone’s mind is … who will be revealed as Salem’s weakest link? Who will be left standing at the end of the game? DAYS favorites: Eric Martsolf (Brady) Brynn Dattilo (Lucas), Galen Gering (Rafe), Martha Madison (Belle), Victoria Konefal (ex-Ciara), Zach Tinker (Sonny), Tina Huang (Melinda) and Lindsay Arnold (ex-Allie) play while literally having the task of throwing their co-stars under the bus. The contestant who receives the highest number of votes leaves the game throughout, as Lynch declares their exit with the now iconic phrase, “You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.” 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Eric Martsolf, who daytime fans know is great as a host in his own right and oh-so-fun at playing any trivia game you throw at him. Martsolf gave us the inside scoop of what it was like to be on the set and backstage in a rather nerve-wracking environment, and trying to come off as smart while Jane Lynch roasts you at the same time!

Photo: NBC

In addition, Eric shared his thoughts on the new Tate, as Leo Howard takes over the role of his on-screen son from Jamie Martin Mann on the April 5th episode of Days of our Lives, plus working with Emily O’Brien as Theresa, and the loss of the legendary Bill Hayes. Check out what Eric had to say below.

Did you know about the game before? Had you watched the original version of the Weakest Link, or this latest incarnation?

ERIC: I was very, very familiar with the game because I found, as someone who enjoys hosting, that has to be one of the best hosting gigs out there because they just have extreme liberties in belittling the contestants, and it’s all done in jest of course, but it’s great. Jane Lynch is a master.

Did you get to meet Jane Lynch before she hit the stage for the taping?

ERIC: I don’t think any of us met her prior to being on the set. So, we’re standing there behind our podiums and these cyber lights just point all in one direction. At one point when we’re out there, it was kind of a hurry up and wait thing. We’re just like, “When is this going to start?” Then, here Jane comes and in all her glory in a beautiful navy-blue suit. She just prances onto stage and just glares over at us, and starts making fun of a silly soap opera actors like you wouldn’t believe. It was just great. I’ll let the public see what how she crucified us. But it was all done in fun.

Photo: NBC

Did she crucify you?

ERIC: I don’t think anybody got out unscathed to be honest with you.

For those that don’t know the game, you try to eliminate those that are the weakest in answering questions.

ERIC: Correct, and therein lies the problem. Historically, I think the Weakest Link is comprised of contestants that don’t really know each other, and in this case, you have not only coworkers, but almost family members because we all know each other very, very well. It’s a tight circle and even more so when you’re on the same show. So, we all went in into it pretty nervous because the premise of the game is to expose the inadequacy of people’s knowledge of general facts and information. So, essentially, you’re voting each other off because you don’t think they’re as smart as you are and that they’re the least smart in the group. So, I mean, that in itself is pretty, pretty tough to swallow. It was really hard, because you have to look at your friends in the eye and go, “yeah, I don’t think you’re going to get the next couple questions. You’re not the smartest, you’re not the crispiest chip in the bag. I’m going to let you go. ”

Did you feel bad about some of the eliminations?

ERIC: At one point, without giving away any spoilers, I voted off someone that without a doubt, has more smarts and education than I do. I just felt silly. But, you know, the way the game was going, I just felt it was the right. There is a bit of strategy involved. I’m worried about the airing of this particular episode because I did fumble some questions that people are going to turn their heads and go, “Really? You didn’t get that one?” It’s so much easier to answer these questions at home in your pajamas than it is, you know, looking at Jane Lynch in the eye with 6,000 lights at your face in front of cameras. Your brain tends to wander. So yes, we all had had some answers that we couldn’t believe we didn’t get at the time!

Photo: NBC

Did it get very competitive?

ERIC: There was little competition there. If I recall, it’s Galen and Bryan that went at it a little bit and had some laughs. But again, I can’t stress this enough, it was all done with fun. At the end of the day, every one of us wanted to win. I think the smartest person did actually come out victorious.

Now in the game, for those that have never seen it, you’re on your podium, and then Jane gives a question, right?

ERIC:  It’s a firing squad of questions. You only have a certain amount of time to answer. If you get the correct answer or the wrong answer, you immediately, go to the next contestant and you have a certain amount of time. And then, at the end of that line of questioning, everyone gets to vote as to who they believed was the biggest dummy in the group. (Laughs) Some questions are simple. You know, “What color is Santa Claus’ suit?” And then, the next question is “What is 648,000 times 14?” or what’s the population of some obscure country? So, that was the biggest challenge. Someone else might get, “What is the main ingredient of a banana split?” And my question could be like, “How much is 9,430 times x 59 million?” There’s an intimidation factor that Jane Lynch brings to it when she’s staring you down.

Photo: NBC

When the cast finished the entire game, what happened backstage?

ERIC:  The best part was there were these post interviews that the Weakest Link conducts where you have to go into a dark black room. I think my first question was, “How did you feel about that wrong answer?” They don’t let up. They just keep jabbing at you. “Did you feel ridiculous getting the wrong answer to that fourth-grade level question?” (Laughs) There was also a lot of trash talk with that happened after the show. It got so competitive. If I recall, we were all supposed to go out together and get a meal with everybody, and that never happened. They’re like, “I’m not eating lasagna with you right now. You just voted me off!” Now, even the first person that gets voted off, you’re going to be shocked, because I thought this person would probably win it. In the game, you want the best people to remain on the panel because that’s what drives up the money.

Photo: JPI

Later this week on DAYS, we will see the debut of your new on-screen son, Leo Howard, taking over from Jamie Martin Mann as Tate.

ERIC: How about that?  I just did a post on Instagram, because I saw that Jamie Martin Mann had liked and hearted a post about Leo Howard coming on the show. I just thought that was so classy of him. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, “This is the new guy. Embrace him. He’s good. I’ve met him. He is a good guy.” It’s about handing off the character baton sometimes, sort to speak. I was really proud of those guys. I reached out to Jamie. He just wants to go to college and be a student. I understand that. That’s important.

Photo: JPI

Is that challenging for you as an actor since you’ve built this relationship with the one guy as your son, and now you’ve got to pivot and create a different kind of energy with someone else taking on the part?

ERIC: Leo Howard has been in the industry for a while, with some very good credits to his name. He brings a certain charisma to this role that I think people are really going to love. And yes, he’s older, but he plays younger, and he has that ability and he’s pulling it off brilliantly. I can’t wait for people to see him, but of course I miss Jamie. Emily O’Brien (Theresa) and I really grew to love him very quickly because the storyline got so deep, so quickly, with the drug intervention and then him getting beat up in in prison. I mean, as a father, that’s the kind of stuff that you have nightmares about, you know, your kids being in pain.

Photo: JPI

I still love the fact that Emily O’Brien is still noticeably wearing a blonde wig as Theresa. What are your thoughts on how the transition has been for you, and for her pivoting to a completely different role?

ERIC: I hadn’t worked with Emily much before, because Gwen and Brady never really crossed paths. We all saw the transition that she had to make. When I became Brady, the character hadn’t been on the map for three years.  When she became Theresa, she walks out one gate and comes through the other as Theresa. We all had a good giggle about it. That’s hard to ask an audience to go,  OK, I’m Gwen, now I’m Theresa.” I was scrolling through X (formerly Twitter) and I saw a couple posts from fans that said how they were really weary, at first, about accepting Emily O’Brien as Theresa. But after today’s episode, they shared, “I’m loving her as Tate’s mom, and the chemistry she has with the family.” I texted Emily and I said, “I just want to let you know that you’re just bringing it home really brilliantly, and people are starting to come around.” I think they’ll do that with Leo Howard too.

Photo: JPI

What had it been like without the iconic Bill Hayes (Doug Williams) coming to work and being part of the Days of our Lives cast since his passing?

ERIC: You really do miss that presence in the hallways. He was a song and dance guy and I am a song and dance guy. as well. I kind of find myself the lone singer in the makeup room sometimes, but I could always count on Bill. He’d be humming some old tune from the sixties. I’d start humming along and he’d just kind of lean over and take a look at me, and give a little smile. Everyone else was probably irritated at us, but we just kept singing along. and it’s like 6:30 in the morning. I think Bill was a lot like the late John Aniston (ex-Victor), in the sense that I don’t really feel like he felt he was working. He was just always having fun right up until the end. That little number he did with his wife, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), and Dick Van Dyke (guest starring as Timothy Robicheaux), where he was singing along, he was just living it. It was so cute and so adorable to watch.

Photo: JPI

Your final tease for the Weakest Link tonight is, “Fans should watch because …”

ERIC: Fans should watch it because if they thought we were smart before, wait till they see the show.

You can check out the cold open for tonight’s Weakest Link “Days of our Lives special” below.

Now let us know, will you be watching Eric and his co-stars, past and present, attempting to showcase their knowledge on the ‘Weakest Link? Intrigued to see Leo Howard and Eric in scenes as new Tate and his father, Brady? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Interviews

The Young and the Restless’ Michael Damian On Christine/Danny/Phyllis: “It’s a Fun Triangle Story That They’re Having Us Do, Because It’s Very Retro”

This week on The Young and the Restless, while Danny (Michael Damian) and Christine (Lauralee Bell) hit the sheets, and Phyllis (Michele Stafford) sets off an alarm as payback (literally!), the top-rated CBS soap opera continues to weave the tale of these three characters decades later, finding themselves in very familiar territory with each other.

We know that Christine and Phyllis are basically, mortal enemies, while Danny, who has been the man in the middle, has had a past with both women. However, it is Christine who has been, for all intent and purposes the love of his life.  But, will Phyllis’ machinations make it near to impossible for Danny and Christine to be together? Stay tuned.

Last week, Michael and his real-life wife, Janeen Damian visited the Michael Fairman Channel promoting their #1 streaming film on Netflix, Irish Wish starring Lindsay Lohan. The film was produced by the Damians, while Janeen directed it and co-wrote the romantic story. Michael is featured on the Irish Wish soundtrack performing his track, Wild Irish Heart.

Photo: Netflix

During the conversation, Michael shared what it has been like revisiting the Christine/Danny/Phyllis triangle years later. Damian addressed the fans on the livestream, who inquired. “It’s a fun triangle story that they’re having us do, because it’s very retro. And I think it’s fun to bring that nostalgia, retro thing back.”

Photo: JPI

Recalling a tender moment between Danny on the piano alone with Christine (during the standalone episode which honored Lauralee Bell’s 40th anniversary with Y&R), Michael expressed, “I think what they’re doing is so smart, and they’re reconnecting a lot of the fans to a lot of the story. I mean, we’re talking years and years of story.”

Photo: JPI

The longtime Y&R fan favorite, added, “I’m really glad they did the thing on the piano because people have been asking, ‘Why are you not doing any music? Why are you not singing? Where’s your band?’ You know what I mean? Janeen is asking the same thing, ‘Why aren’t you singing something on the show?’ The last time I sang on the show was when we thought Phyllis was dead. So, you know, that didn’t count. (Laughs)

One of the funniest moment in the revisiting of the triangle occurred when Phyllis and Christine were arguing over Danny, and he was right there in the room with them. The two women got so engrossed in their fight, they forgot he was there, and thus he walked out of the room.

Photo: JPI

Michael revealed, he liked that scene too! “They’re fighting. They’re arguing and Danny’s like, ‘Listen, I’m over here. Please stop it.” And then they don’t stop,” Damian recalled. “And so Danny just grabs his coat, picks up his sheet music, because he was working on a song. He goes to the door. In the scene, I even look back to see if they are even noticing me leave, and then I just left. That one was pretty funny. I’ll be honest. I was laughing out in the hallway when I left. I was thinking, ‘Should I slam the door? But then if I slam the door, they still have dialogue.’ They’re still talking and they would’ve turned, and then it would’ve ruined it. So, I just gently closed the door and left.

Photo: JPI

During the livestream, Damian teased he has some upcoming scenes with longtime Y&R co-star Beth Maitland (Traci), “I just worked with Beth Maitland actually the other day, and that was really fun. I can’t wait for people to see that show.”

Check out the the Michael Fairman Channel chat with Michael and Janeen Damian below.

Now, let us know, are you rooting for Danny and Christine? Do you think Phyllis will continue to be a disruptor in this relationship and somehow worm her way back into Dannys good graces? Share your thoughts in the comment section. But first check out this sneak peek for this week’s Y&R featuring the trio.

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