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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.

Interviews

B&B’s Scott Clifton and Don Diamont Talk on the Plight of Liam & Bill and Their Cover-Up of Vinny’s Death

If you are watching current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful then you know that Scott Clifton (Liam) and his on-screen father, Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) have been spending plenty of time together in scenes in very dramatic and intense fashion.

In story, Liam is guilt-ridden over running down Vinny Carter (Joe LoCicero) by accident when he was driving Bill’s car.  Since the moment that Vinny was killed, Bill leapt into action, destroying any evidence tying the two to the scene of the crime and continually demanding that Liam let this go and move on with his life, or the implications for the both of them could certainly be a long jail sentence, or worse.

Photo: JPI

Now as Liam is finally making headway in a reconciliation with Hope (remember his last secret – sleeping with Steffy – was quite the doozy), this new secret of what he has done, and hiding, could up the stakes even more and take him away from his family for good … or would Hope (Annika Noelle) after finding out what Liam did be the nail in his coffin that ends their relationship once and for all and kicks him to the curb?

Courtesy/CBS

Both, Scott Clifton and Don Diamont chatted virtually with Michael Fairman exclusively for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel to offer up for viewers and fans of The Bold and the Beautiful: an inside look at what goes on when they tape their scenes, how they see their characters motivations, and they serve up a preview of what may lie ahead in this tangled web that Bill and Liam have unfortunately weaved.

Photo: JPI

Check out the humorous, candid, and enlightening conversation with two of the leads and mainstays of this CBS Daytime drama series below.

Then let us know; how do you think Liam and Bill can get out of the mess they find themselves in? Will Liam crumble and spill the beans? Will everyone in town get on to them and figure out the secret they have been keeping? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section after taking a look at the virtual conversation.

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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