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The Florencia Lozano and Kelley Missal Interview – One Life to Live

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

When One Life to Live has its online premiere on Monday, April 29th on Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes, two powerhouse actresses set the stage for some emotional drama that will pull you in and leave you breathless, and maybe speechless, when all-new episodes begin!  Of course, we are talking about the talented on-screen mother/daughter duo of Florencia Lozano (Tea Delgado) and Kelley Missal (Dani Manning).  When One Life begins anew, viewers will learn what has happened to Tea, who is still reeling from the loss of her husband Victor Jr. and her little baby boy, while Dani is seeking comfort, but has turned to drugs!  This sets the stage for turmoil and angst!  And, who better to play that than scene-stealing Lozano, and the alluring Missal?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Florencia and Kelley to get a preview of: what has happened to two of One Life’s favorite gals when the story resumes in Llanview, their thoughts on the cancellation of the series, and having it brought back to life by Prospect Park, and the undying persistence and power of the shows legions of fans … plus, getting the opportunity to work with Roger Howarth (Todd Manning) again, and Kelley adjusting to the new SORAS’d Matthew in actor Robert Gorrie!

With so many fans concerns of the new One Life being edgier, sexier, and bolder, Missal points out in our conversation that it does come out of story, and it’s not just thrown in gratuitously into the show!  While that should come as a relief to many, still others are wondering if Tea will ever come to know the fact that her presumed dead husband, Victor Jr. (Trevor St. John) is alive, after fans discovered the character was being held captive at the end of the ABC One Life finale? Lozano reveals her hopes for her character and the struggles Tea faces with her daughter, who is all grown up and stirring up trouble all over town.  It’s t-minus less than 24 hours till the return of One Life to Live!  So let’s kick-off the celebration with the fabulous Florencia and Kelley!

MICHAEL:

Florencia, how has this tumultuous turn of events been for you?  First, One Life is canned by ABC.  Next, Prospect Park was going to bring it back, only that did not happen on their first attempt.  Next, you head to General Hospital to be a key component of the baby-switch story where Tea’s baby with Victor Jr. is switched with Sam’s baby, thanks in part to Todd Manning!  Now Prospect Park has the show in production in a magical way with all systems go for tomorrow’s online debut, and Tea is back in Llanview!

FLORENCIA:

Courtesy/ABC

First, I have to say, being on General Hospital was a blast.  I had a great time.  I honestly went with the flow.  I didn’t expect One Life to Live to have another life.  I am incredibly surprised in a very happy way that we are doing it again.  I didn’t have any expectations that we would be doing the show again, and so I didn’t stress on whether it was going to happen, or not.  I really didn’t think it would happen and I believed it was dead in the water.  So, it’s been amazing to get to go back.

MICHAEL:

Tea Delgado has always been one of my favorite characters on One Life to Live.  She always has so much gut-wrenching stuff going on, and she can be powerful, and a spitfire to boot!  Will we see that again on the new One Life?  Will Tea be similar to how she was previously?

FLORENCIA:

Oh hell, yes!  And, Kelley is fantastic.  It’s true!  I would say that Kelley, even if you were not chatting with us in this interview.  Kelley is getting to do some really fun stuff, and so now it’s really fun to play the mother/daughter material.  Tea is of the mindset: “She is getting older … she is challenging.  I love her, and she is driving me crazy.  There are moments where I want to kill her and she wants to kill me.”   There is that grey area, and the complexity of a mother and daughter relationship.  That whole dimension of playing Tea is really exciting.

MICHAEL:

Sweet Dani, now I am every concerned! (Laughs) When One Life starts out she has a drug problem, and we see a sexier version of the character.  Kelley, you must have been thrilled to have this freedom as an actress?

KELLEY:

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler

It’s juicy stuff we are diving into when we check up on Dani.  She is older.  She is 21 when we catch up with her, and so you can see where that can go.  There is Shelter, the new club in Llanview that is focal point.  This has been so much fun playing all of these things that I never had the opportunity to do at the old One Life to Live.  It’s challenging and really hard, but that’s what I like about it!

MICHAEL:

From all appearances, it looks like Dani is front and center when One Life kicks off, and much will revolve around her!

KELLEY:

You know, it’s kind of funny.  On the old One Life to Live, when you saw Dani last time, there was all this stuff going on around her.  She was kind of getting bounced around between all this mayhem within her family, and her boyfriend.  She was just so lost.  She is still lost, but she is acting out a lot more!  You see the internal struggle that she has, instead of her just staying quiet and trying to put on a good face and pretending like things are normal.  She is not pretending anymore.  It’s really interesting to watch her go off into some rather dangerous situations.

MICHAEL:

So Florencia, I heard in a promo clip you said the word, “F**k” as Tea.  Were you the first actress that got to throw a swear word on camera?

FLORENCIA:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

All the other actors are so much more respectful than I am saying, “I still don’t think this is a good idea to do this.”  And I go, “Absolutely!”  But then the first chance I get to say, “F**k,” I was saying it left and right! (Laughs)  Tea takes over and I have to really hold myself back. (Laughs) You know, she gets very upset! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Tea would be uttering expletives all the time, knowing her as all the viewers do!

FLORENCIA:

Exactly! They have had to tell me, “Don’t say that!  We have had a couple of others in the episode!”  I think actually it’s a good idea that we are able to swear a bit as the characters on the show.  I think we have to be careful about it.   But it’s fun to have some new parameters, in which we can play that are a little less strict, and hopefully we will make the most of them!

MICHAEL:

Kelley, can you address the fans that are concerned that the stuff that Dani goes through is born out of the story, and not just thrown in for shock value?  And where there is swearing, and sex, it is bound to the story? 

KELLEY:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Studios

I have said this before, it’s not exemplifying it … it’s storytelling.  I personally feel all the things that you see her go through are an important part to her story.  It’s really relatable stuff that goes on and very modern.  I think that it is a part of the story that needs to be told for her.  I don’t think they are just putting it in there for shock value, or to get press, or anything.  It’s an important part of her story.

MICHAEL:

Will Tea’s loss of her little baby boy, as she was devastated to find out in episodes of General Hospital, carry over onto the new One Life?  Will she be dealing with the fallout from all of the loss in her life?

FLORENCIA:

It’s funny, what you just asked Kelley and what you just asked me.  Those two questions are very intertwined.  It was a real concern of mine, and I think of a lot of ours, that with this new reboot that it not just be, “OOH!  We want to catch people’s attention! And oh, we are going to take our clothes off and swear and try to be the hot new thing!”  We worked really hard to anchor everything that happens story wise in our history.  To make it make sense within the projectary of what we’ve been playing for many years.  The writers, God bless them, are doing their best, but they are just coming on board now.  So, it’s our job, as well as it should be to say, “OK, Dani OD’d.  Why might she have done that?”  Kelley and I worked hard to figure it out.  I think Tea was really done being a mother after what happened with her son dying.  I think that was such a shock, and such a deep, deep source of grief that she started to really ignore Dani and push her away.  We played that, and sort of sketched that into some of the scenes.  Then Kelley and I really tried to flesh out this whole element of Dani desperately needing her mother, and wanting her mother, and Tea not being there for her.  So the drug problem came out of that.  Dani is not a loose cannon for no reason.  She is reacting to something that is real.  Then Tea starts to go, “Oh, my God. I have been living in this complete haze for the past year!  My daughter needs me.”  And that is where the guilt, the anger, the rage, the burden of being a mother is, and going: “It’s not always unconditional love for your kid.”  Sometimes it’s, “I don’t want to want to feel this way about another human being because it’s just too painful.”  The long answer is: I really hope we have done our job.  It makes the story seem like it has deep roots and ramifications.

KELLEY:

Courtesy/ABC

Amen!  And to add to that, Dani grew up with her father in Tahiti on the old One Life to Live.  It’s almost as if Dani had been fighting her whole life to have a mother.  Now she is fighting with herself.  I think a lot of times in these situations the child blames themselves, or they look toward themselves for problems like, “What is wrong with me? Why don’t my parents want me?”  So, I definitely think we tried to play that, and it’s so easy to play that when I am working with Florencia.  Tea and Dani have has their ups and downs, and had their fights, but this is definitely something different and very emotional.

MICHAEL:

Did the two of you get to share many scenes with Roger Howarth during the time he was filming at One Life as Todd?

KELLEY:

I shared a lot of scenes with Roger!

FLORENCIA:

Photo Credit: TOLN

Oh yes!  He is in there big time with us!  Roger is just endlessly hilarious and surprising. All you have to do is look into his eyes and there is so much to play off of.

KELLEY:

He is very honest in everything he does, which is so awesome to play off of!  Honestly, I couldn’t believe he came back!  I was so excited and so surprised!  I worked with him before, and I was excited to work with him again.  It was fun, the scenes we did!

MICHAEL:

But Dani has major father issues too, because of Victor Jr., Ross, and Todd!

KELLEY:

Yeah I guess, but it has almost come to a point with Dani, where she just gives up on a lot of things, including herself.  She used to be so shocked at all of the things that used to happen to her, and with all of her “daddy” issues.  She was always so shocked.  But now, it’s like a really sad acceptance you see in her of: “This is my life.  Shit happens to me. I have awful parents.”  So you kind of see that, and Dani and Todd’s relationship gets really interesting, and not even in a dark way.  But it’s all very confused and weird between them.  They say one thing to one another, but it usually means something completely different!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Kelley, you have a new Matthew Buchanan to play off of!  First there was the wonderful Eddie Alderson, who is not back with the show, but now we have an older Matthew played by Robert Gorrie.  Has it been an adjustment for you?  How is working with Robert?

KELLEY:

Oh, I love Eddie Alderson with all my heart.  I want to marry him some day!  And he knows it! (Laughs) When I heard he wasn’t coming back, I was sad.  He is out in Los Angeles building a life, and I am happy for him.  But meeting the new Matthew, played by Robert Gorrie, we have great chemistry.  We love working together, which is good. You see a lot of Dani and Matthew scenes right from the start, and they play off each other a lot.

MICHAEL:

Florencia, I have always told you, I think you are one of the most phenomenal actresses ever in this medium.  Can we tell your fans that you will definitely figure heavily into story?  Please tell me Tea is still a lawyer and not a cocktail waitress? (Laughs)

FLORENCIA:

Photo Credit: TOLN

Tea is still a lawyer, never fear!  If you need anyone to defend you, she is there. (Laughs) Yes, there is a lot of material for Tea to flail about, and rage at the Gods, and breakdown in tears, and throw things around a hotel room!  There is a lot for her to do.  But I think what Kelley is talking about in terms of the children and the generation of young people on One Life, sort of saying to the parents and to our generation, “You guys are telling us one thing, but the way you lead by example is a whole other story.”  That conflict of: “We want our kids to be one way, but we are not being very good examples of that.”  That is a very interesting conflict, and the new incarnation of this show is really mining that for all it’s worth!  It’s sort of an old age conflict.  The younger generation saying, “You guys have screwed things up for us and you have lied to us!  And now you are reaping what you sew!”   That struggle is … that we can no longer control our children, and we have messed up their lives.  What are we going to do about that now?  That has been a lot of fun to play.

MICHAEL:

What have the fans said to both of you during the time you have been off-screen? Were they reaching out to you on the street, or via social media?

KELLEY:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

I connect to my fans a lot through Twitter.  I just figured when One Life went off the air that everything there would drop.  I did not expect anything from the fans.  I did not expect them to follow me and they have!  It has been a really touching thing.  I am grateful for them.  They remind me of all the work I had done, and it keeps you very humble for people reaching out to you all the time with love, respect, and support.  The fan base has been amazing!  I could not be more grateful to them.  And, it is also fun to hear their insight on what they want Dani to do!

MICHAEL:

Kelley, are you at all concerned with what the fans might say when they see what happens to Dani on all-new episodes of One Life?  Be honest! (Laughs)

KELLEY:

You know, I am!  It’s not my job to worry about the writing, or where the story is going. It’s my job to be Dani.  I have tried my best to put my all into that, and to really do good work.  But the fans are always in the back of my head, and I am always thinking about how they are going to react.  I do think that they have to realize that it is not going to be the old One Life to Live.  It’s going to be different.  But I think if they give it a chance, they are really going to be pleasantly surprised.  I hope they are going to love it. 

MICHAEL:

Florencia, you have ardent fans, and also the TNT brigade of fans who loved Tea and Victor Jr. (He was then Todd thus the “TNT”).  Have you been in touch with them?  What do you think of their unwavering support?

KELLEY:

I did a reading of a play a few weeks ago and my fans were there. And all the time I was off of One Life I would post stuff on my Facebook page.  I don’t do Twitter.  But I am amazed at how smart, sweet, and supportive they are.  I didn’t know who those fans were till I started being on a soap.  Then I heard and saw how committed they are, in a way that I don’t think fans of other mediums are committed in quite the same way.  Like Kelley said, it’s a blessing and an amazing thing.  It’s because of them that we are back and that we have jobs!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

At the end of ABC’s finale cliffhanger of One Life to Live, viewers learned that Victor Jr. was very much alive!  How do you think Tea would react to that … if Tea were to see the love of her life, Victor, again?  Would you like to have the opportunity to play that out?

FLORENCIA:

Yes, of course!  Tea has always had in her heart and mind that she is going to be reunited with the love of her life.  How she thinks that is, when she saw him being zipped into a body bag, is not really a rational sensibility.  It’s something in her that can’t let go of … the dream of Victor Jr. being alive.  So, she holds that in her imagination and in her minds eye with real tenacity.  And, she would love to see him, of course.  She would love to see that for her daughter’s sake as well, not just for her own, but also for her whole family.

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Ju
Ju

Florencia always gives insightful interesting interviews about her character and story. Kelley has grown up too. I cant wait to see Tea and Dani again. Love them

Alexandra
Alexandra

These two are the reason I care at all (if Trevor St. John returns, too, that is just icing).

Nancy
Nancy

I just love Flo and Kelley. Tea is one of the top characters that I adore and who could not love Dani. This is happening tomorrow and I doubt if I will be able to sleep tonight. Thank you PP.

Jennifer Janeiro
Jennifer Janeiro

Very nice interview with both. I hope Dani makes it out of the drugs ok but I so do not want a Dani and Mathew pairing!

MEG
MEG

THIS WAS A GREAT INTERVIEW ,I’VE LUVE FLORENCIA FROM THE MIN TEA CAME TO TODD/VICTOR IN HIS JAIL CELL,AND KELLEYLDANI WHEN SHE FIRST MET TODD/TREVOR ,IIIIIIIIIIIIIII CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR TOMORROW TO SEE THEM ON FX CANADA ,THANKYOU SO MUCH TO PP AND FX ,TSJ IS THE ONE WHO MADE ME LUV OLTL. 10:30 AM CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH.

emlons
emlons

Great interview i too agree Florencia is one of the best actresses in anything she does. I love how she can make any emotion she portrays so believable. I also enjoy watching Kelley go toe to toe with Florencia she has improved so much since we first saw her (she was already good then)
Thanks again for the interview
Will be watch on 4/29 @4:00am on my smart tv, at 11:30 at work on my tablet and at 3pm on the smart tv again – missed the show that much. 🙂

Jason
Jason

Damn i wish they didn’t spoil that Dani was now a drug addict.. I hope they don’t copy the stuff with Rachel from the past…BUT i sitll can’t wait to see the show tomorrow!! #OLTL

Rose
Rose

awesome!!! loved the show!

Annick
Annick

Awesome interview. Love this dynamo acting duo and Florencia is priceless, love her.

heidi
heidi

Great interview Michael!!! Love Florenzia/Tea and hope Kelly/Dani gets healthier very soon!!! Knowing Tea and Todd she will… have some challenges with that.

Sunshine
Sunshine

Michael one more thing the media named Todd and Tea TNT when Roger and Florencia portrayed them because every scene was electric between, them TnT fans are still a fanbase very much devoted to Roger and Florencia’s TnT. TnV is Tea and Victor, so please don’t make it seem like TNT fans are all Tea and Victor fans because we’re not thanks. Really enjoyed the interview it was a great read.

TnT 2.0 Forever
TnT 2.0 Forever

Some Victor and Tea fans still call them TNT as well. As far as I know, the name TNT hasn’t been copy-written, so anyone can use it. Its really not that big of a deal. Besides, did you see the love seen between Victor and Tea yesterday? Now that’s explosive chemistry!!!

Monica
Monica

Another great interview, Michael! I’m looking. For more of Tea’s wrath in the future and seeing how Dani deals with all the pressure and pain of her circumstances. So cute what Kelley said about Eddie Alderson! I love him too and miss him on OLTL, but he seems to have moved on.

Simi
Simi

Oh my! I wish Todd (RH) and Tea fall back in love. I loved them together. Everyone seems to love Tea and Victor and Blair and Todd. I loved their scenes when they played the characters on GH.

TnT 2.0 Forever
TnT 2.0 Forever

After yesterday’s love scenes between Tea and Victor, they definitely need to stay together. Tea is such a sexy woman, she needs a man who doesn’t think twice about fulfilling those needs.

TnT 2.0 Forever
TnT 2.0 Forever

After yesterday, I also don’t see Tea giving up sex with Victor. She is hooked! The Todd and Tea ship has sailed, people need to let go and allow the characters to mature and evolve. Tea is a grown woman and a mother and no longer an immature twenty-something, she doesn’t need to be sucked into the Todd/Blair/Tea love triangle.

Sunshine
Sunshine

Claire Labine the fabulous writer who created TnT back in 97 called Roger and Florencia’s chemistry “lightening in a bottle” she went against the current of TnB and created this couple just because of how amazing RH and FL are together and as the characters they play. The name TnT has been around way before TSJ ever played his version of Todd on OLTL and that’s thanks to Claire Labine, Florencia L, and Roger H.

Brian Greene
Brian Greene

Bless Florencia, Kelley, & OLTL–Yay! 😀 <3 😀 <3

Chels
Chels

I like tea delgado

Grace
Grace

Great interview!

Interviews

B&B’s Katherine Kelly Lang on That ‘Brill’ Kiss, 33 Years as Brooke, Her Co-Stars & International Success

Just when you think Brooke will finally score a moral victory in her vendetta with Thomas Forrester, (who’s manipulations almost destroyed her marriage to his father, Ridge), then she finds herself once again in hot water, and with a secret that in the wrong hands could cause a seismic shift to several relationships – that would he hers and her sister Katie’s – thanks to that ill-timed smooch with Bill!

But what else is new for Brooke? For 33 years, the character has captivated audiences with bold moves, questionable choices, enduring romances and plenty of gusto, all in the more than capable hands of her portrayer, the one and only Katherine Kelly Lang.

This week marks Katherine’s 33rd-year in the role of Brooke Logan Forrester, who along with John McCook (Eric Forrester), are the two original cast members since the very inception of the CBS daytime drama; which debuted back on March 23, 1987.  Now over three decades later, Lang is an international favorite. First, due to the success and broad appeal of B&B in foreign countries, but second, from her own entrepreneurship and hustle.  Always with multiple projects going on at once, Lang and her beau, Dom Zoida recently opened the American version of the Italian clothing and leather store in Beverly Hills, California, Benheart USA.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Katherine to get the lowdown on: Brooke’s line-up of nemesis’ which seems to be growing! (Yes, you can put Thomas, Quinn and Shauna on that list, for sure.) Plus, what she feels this B&B anniversary is truly about, how she and others in the cast are coping with the ‘stay at home’ orders in California during the coronavirus pandemic, the recent loss of B&B co-creator, Lee Phillip Bell, and those all-time classic Stephanie and Brooke scenes opposite Susan Flannery and more.  Here’s what this BOLD original had to share with all of you.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Brooke’s whole relationship with Thomas (Matthew Atkinson) and the tit-for-tat between them?  Brooke really stood up to him and his manipulations, and held her ground. Meanwhile, he was going to do everything he could do ruin her and cause so much trouble for Brooke’s marriage to Ridge (Thorsten Kaye).

KATHERINE: This is my feeling: she was so adamant and so trying to convince people about Thomas and that he was so out for himself;  and out for Brooke’s daughter, Hope (Annika Noelle), and very manipulative, and nobody would listen really.  Only a few people like Liam (Scott Clifton) did and her daughter finally agreed with her.  Then at the wedding of Thomas and Zoe (Kiara Barnes), it proved that Brooke was right all along.  I still don’t feel like Brooke got her due as far as what everybody was saying.

No, she didn’t!  No one really said to her in a grand way, “Oh, my God, Brooke!  You were right about Thomas all along.”

KATHERINE:  I know!  Ridge did say, “You were right,” and that’s great.  However, more people should have apologized and acknowledged her, and said, “Oh, we understand now where you were coming from,” and, “Hey!  Good intuition!”

Photo: JPI

That was must have been so frustrating to Brooke!  She knew the truth, and everybody was treating her so badly and painting her to be the bitch.

KATHERINE:  Yup!  They dubbed herthat crazy one” and the bitch.

Was all of this enjoyable to play?

KATHERINE:  It was enjoyable that it finally came out that Thomas is the manipulative person that he is, even though he is so good at it that he almost makes you feel sorry for him.  But he’s like a good sociopathThat’s why they’re so good at what they do.  They’re good at bringing real emotion into every situation and yet being very manipulative.  Kudos go to Matthew Atkinson for playing Thomas, really well.  He’s been great, and he brings something really different on to our show.

Photo: JPI

Brooke and Ridge’s relationship has been severely tested; almost tearing them apart over Ridge previously standing up for his son.  Now Brooke’s recent kiss with Bill (Don Diamont) threatens it, as that kiss was caught on tape, and landed in the wrong hands.  Is Brooke in freak-out mode yet?

KATHERINE:  I definitely think she is, and she wanted to take that kiss back from the second that it happened.  She allowed it to happen.  It’s a little bit of old Brooke resurfacing there.  Right away she was like, “What are we doing?   This is ridiculous.  You’re with Katie, and I’m with Ridge, and we’re both happy.”  Brooke has had underlying feelings for Bill, and she probably always will (and he for Brooke), but we know that’s not where we want things to be.  So, in Brooke’s mind, it’s “let’s forget about that and carry on, and don’t tell anybody.”  Of course, it comes out to some people, and it’s so embarrassing for Brooke.  Like, how does she explain herself?  I mean, at that point she can’t explain what happened … or why she did that.  She has to kind of succumb to it.

Right! And of course, Shauna (Denise Richards) and Quinn (Rena Sofer) want to take her down with this ammo.

KATHERINE:  Of course!  That’s what they live for. (Laughs)

Photo” JPI

Recently, Quinn spiked Brooke’s drink with some booze after they had quite the argument. Fans were on the edge of their seats that Brooke might start drinking again.  What did you think of the plot point?

KATHERINE:  I think it could have been interesting.  I have no idea if they will bring it up again.  That happens sometimes.  They’ll put in a little teaser and not run with it.  However, you never know if it’s going to resurface down the line, especially when Brooke is really down in the dumps for some reason.

I could see her being down in the dumps if she finally had no man in her life! (Laughs)

KATHERINE: (Laughs) That’s probably what she needs … not having a man in her life!

How is working with Rena Sofer and Denise Richards; especially when they are antagonists in scenes with Brooke?  Do you ever have a good laugh while trying to tape those scenes, as well?

KATHERINE: I think there’s a good chemistry between the three of us, and we have that rivalry going on.  So, I think it’s been working, and it’s been entertaining and interesting.  They’re fun to bounce off of.  Usually we are pretty serious when we do those scenes, especially if they’re more verbally combative.  So, we’ll just be really serious and stay in it.  Of course, sometimes things happen, and you laugh, but we sometimes don’t have the luxury to take the time to laugh and enjoy the moment, because we have to try to get the scene done in one take and move on.

Photo: JPI

There were a few months there that Brooke was slapping everybody! There were plenty of bitch-slaps that needed to go around. What did you think of those scenes?

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KATHERINE: I loved it, but then I felt like it was also maybe getting out of hand because it’s not really PC.  Nobody is supposed to hit people or slap people in anyway.  So, it worked more years and years ago in our genre, as times have changed in our world and culture.

Viewers saw this week that Donna (Jennifer Gareis) knows Brooke kissed Bill and that they have to make sure Katie (Heather Tom) does not find out, while others are out to expose Brooke!

KATHERINE:  I would imagine that everybody would want to see how Brooke unravels.  So, just keep watching!

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome another go round at a Brooke and Bill romance?

KATHERINE: Not when Bill’s with Katie and with everything that Katie’s gone through.  I couldn’t see that.  I don’t think it would be right.  That would mean that Brooke is completely selfish, you know?  There are so many other men.  Why does she have to go for her sister’s man?

Photo: JPI

In recent months, we have witnessed scenes where Brooke has been more confrontational and fighting back and not putting up with the shenanigans of others!  We have seen this in particular with Thomas, Shauna, and Quinn.  Did it seem like they ramped that up for Brooke?

KATHERINE:  Yes, because at some point it’s frustrating because nobody was listening to her.  It all started with the whole Thomas thing, and once she started fighting back, she wanted to fight back on everything.  She’s been lied to about a lot of things.  It’s not been fair.

Does Brooke still think Hope is too vulnerable to make wise decisions for herself; even after she stood up for herself at the wedding of Thomas and Zoe?

KATHERINE: Now. I think she feels much better, because there are moments where Hope is very vulnerable, but then she kicks herself in the butt, and stands up for herself and everybody else.  So, Brooke knows that Hope’s strong, but she also knows that she can be vulnerable.  At this moment, she is proving that she can handle things.

Photo: JPI

B&B turned 33-years-old this week as the show continues to remain so popular in the United States, and of course, is the most watched soap in the world. What can you say about still being with the series since its inception, and all that has happened to you in your life and career, because of playing Brooke, plus a nod to the fans?

KATHERINE: It’s been an amazing opportunity for me.  It’s been my life basically! 33 years on The Bold and the Beautiful, and the show has always kicked butt.  I mean, the show has been going strong ever since it started, and it still is going strong.  It’s just been an honor to be on the show, and remain on the show for so long as one of the original characters.  My heart really goes out to the fans, because honestly, so many of them tell me they’ve watched from day one.  We have a history with them raising their families.  Younger people come up and say, “I’ve been watching the show ever since I was little with my mom.”  So, there’s a wide range of different people who watch the show, and I appreciate them so much.  We all appreciate them so much because really, without them, there would be no show.  I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all of the fans.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Photo: JPI

Brooke is one of the most notable characters of all-time in soap operas and you are the actress playing her. That has to be a very good-feeling for you.

KATHERINE: I think there have been a lot of notable characters on soap operas, who have even been on the air a lot longer than me.  Look at Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) who just celebrated his 40th, and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R) who also reached a milestone recently.  What I have learned from all of this is; what matters is when you come on a show that your heart is in it 100%, and you come to your job and you try your hardest.  That to me is what matters and makes you an honorable person.  I’m very flattered that I’ve been on The Bold and the Beautiful for as long as I have.

Photo” JPI

When you look back at 33 years of your time on The Bold and the Beautiful, are your scenes with Susan Flannery and those epic moments between Stephanie and Brooke, the ones that still standout to you the most?

KATHERINE: Those scenes with Susan informed and formed the show and the characters for years.  I had a lot of memorable scenes with Susan.  I’m so lucky to have worked so closely with her.  She’s an amazing actress.  I learned so much from her, and just watching her.  I would hang on her every word – how she would talk about the business, how she would talk about acting, directing (because she loved to direct), and producing.  Susan was very knowledgeable, and she was very tough, but very fair, I thought.  I just loved her work ethic.

You and Thorsten Kaye have created your version of Brooke and Ridge. What do you think about working with Thorsten?  Is it fun? Challenging? How would you define it?

KATHERINE:  He’s very fun to work with.  Thorsten is very serious, very prepared all of the time, and he’s watching everything.  He’s got eagle eyes.  He’s just so on top of it and working with people like that makes you raise your bar.  It makes you want to try 110% to be there and put in the work.  Thorsten’s also so funny, and easy to work with, and so charming, and such a dear friend.   I love working with him.  I do think Brooke and Ridge have an interesting relationship even though some people say, “Oh, they should be over,” or whatever they want to say.  I do think they have created a good banter between them, and almost an understanding without having to say anything.  Thorsten’s a delight!

Photo: JPI

What is your takeaway when you travel overseas and internationally to places such as Italy, Dubai, Monaco or Australia where B&B is so widely popular and the reaction you receive from the fans?

KATHERINE:  Just seeing the overseas reactions in different countries and how popular or how loved The Bold and the Beautiful is truly special.  The fans really do love from their hearts.  They feel a part of it, and they are, but just their enthusiasm and their passion and their love, and they give their whole heart to you and to the show.  I just found that really interesting, and like I said earlier, we owe the success of B&B to the fans who love the show so much.

Photo: JPI

You recently were in Greece appearing for a multi-episode arc on the soap 8 Lexeis.  How was that experience?  I know Greek soap star, Andreas Georgiou, also came over to the States and appeared on B&B afterwards, too.

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KATHERINE:  It was an incredible opportunity.  I love working in other countries, and seeing how other people work, and how they make different projects and things.  8 Lexeis is their top TV show on their top network in Greece, so it was really exciting to go there and work on that.  I did 15 episodes in 5 days; something crazy like that.  We worked all morning through late at night every day, but it was fun.  It was amazing to see how creative they are and how they just run with it.  Everything was really chill on the set, but they still moved really fast and got everything done, and they were all so talented and so nice.  Then later, Andreas came over and did some shows here.  He was supposed to come to visit, but then the Coronavirus happened, so he had to postpone his trip, but we’ll see him soon.

Photo: JPI

B&B is on a production break due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Have you stayed in touch with your co-stars during this time?

KATHERINE: A lot of us talk on Instagram all of the time, and then a lot of people have been going live on their as well.  So, we jump into each other’s live videos!  Have you seen Katrina Bowden (Flo) and Kelly Kruger (Mackenzie, Y&R) do their little workouts together? You should check those out! Ashley Jones (Bridget) is always on, and Annika Noelle, and then our Supervising Producer, Casey Kasprzyk, started doing Zoom.  He did a Zoom with some of the B&B people.  So, we’ve all been texting and keeping in touch and making sure that everybody is okay.  I know it’s very hard times and it can be scary for all.   Hopefully, if everybody does what they should be doing, it will flatten the curve and the Coronavirus will be a lot easier to deal with.

Photo: JPI

You are one of the busiest people I know! Recently, you went to Australia, you opened your new store Benheart USA in Beverly Hills, and you appear on B&B in a lead role.  Is there ever a moment when you’re like, “I can’t do one more thing?” or do you like the go-go-go of it all of the time?

KATHERINE: I like the go-go-go, but I felt that I was going too fast and too hard, and I’ve recently been thinking of what I can take out of our lives and our schedule, and then in thinking of that, I couldn’t really think of what I can take out.  Then, this all happened with life coming to a screeching halt, which I find very interesting because life is set up to go so fast.  Nobody can really enjoy anything.  We have to get up early, we have to go to work, we have to make money to pay for this, we’ve got to take care of the family, do this, do that, maybe just try to be motivated to be successful, whatever your dreams are, you’re going after them, etc.  It’s such a driven world all around that I think with having to self-quarantine that this is a chance to take a good look at what is going on in your life.  Now, we have a lot of down time.  We have time to think, go inside ourselves.  It gives you time to be kind, slow down, think of others.  What can you do for others?  What can you do for the world?  It’s been frightening for a lot of people; especially the ones who have gotten sick, or the ones who are scared of getting sick because they are immunocompromised.  But, at the same time, we need to try to not let that anxiety get to us and try to appreciate what we have.  Like, “Why is this happening?  What is this moment trying to tell us?”  I’m always trying to find the silver lining; or what is this trying to tell us in life?

Photo” JPI

B&B and Y&R co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away at the end of February, and it was so heartbreaking.  I know you were close with Lee.  What can you share on her passing?

KATHERINE:  It was heartbreaking.  I always think, “Gosh, I wish I saw her one more time before she passed,” but she was around her family, who are so loving, and supportive, and always there for her.  Lee created an amazing life for herself and for her family, and she was a huge part of The Bold and the Beautiful, and of course, I thank her so much because she hired me.  Lee gave me my life, and this time on the show.  She was amazing.  She cared so much about the show and the people on it.  Lee was such a great mom and such a great friend.  It’s been special knowing her and spending all of that time with her that I was able to through the years.  My heart goes out to the Bell family as well.  I know this must be hard for them.

Photo: JPI

Then, it was so sad that Orson Bean died tragically before that.  Have you talked to Alley Mills (Pam)?

KATHERINE: Yes, a bunch of us went over and spent time with Alley and brought her food.  We brought her goodies, and we just hung out.  We just gave her lots of love, spent time, and that was before I had to run off to Australia as well, but she’s really strong.  That was just very tragic.  Two weeks before Orson died, we had seen them both in the play Bad Habits.  It was so, so funny, and they both had all of us who attended laughing so hard, and it was such a pleasure.

Photo: JPI

In closing, what are your hopes for Brooke moving forward into the future?

KATHERINE: I’ve been saying that I hope she’ll spend time by herself and be alone for a while and focus on her family.  I’ve said that for so long, but I don’t know what’s going to work for her! (Laughs)  However, I’m just so curious to see what will happen next for her.

So, what do you think of Brooke’s latest predicament after her kiss with Bill? Do you hope that Ridge and Brooke stay together? What have you thought of the more recent version of a feisty Brooke who fought back when no one believed her about Thomas? And finally, share your congrats to Katherine for 33 years as Brooke and let us know some of your favorite all-time scenes via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Eric Braeden Talks On 40 Years Of Life In Soaps As Victor Newman

Back in February, Eric Braeden added another milestone to his illustrious career – that of portraying the one and only Victor Newman for 40 years on the top-rated daytime drama, The Young and the Restless.  And boy was he celebrated!  First, there was a one-of-a-kind on set celebration at CBS Television City which was quite the star-studded affair.  That was followed by special episodes of Y&R, where Newman Enterprises turned 50 with a gala that also proved emotional with speeches and retrospective clips.

When you talk daytime dramas to anyone, you would be hard-pressed for the general public to not know the name “Victor Newman”- and that is because of the powerhouse performances and nuances that Braeden brings to his soap opera alter-ego.  For it was Y&R co-creator Bill Bell and Braeden who really shaped what viewers have come to know, expect, and love, forty years later.

Those who know Eric understand he can be at times outspoken, has a heart of gold, stands up for what he believes, can bring the drama, the suspense, the tension, the romance and the tears in any given scene when it is called upon, and that throughout the years he has earned the respect from his peers for an impressive job well-done.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Eric to take a look back at all that had gone down recently in his honor, and to get his thoughts on some major moments in time through over 40 years in Genoa City, and where things are at now.  Check out our special conversation below.

Photo: JPI

When I attended and saw you at your 40th anniversary on set celebration at Y&R last month, I cannot tell you what a special event that was.  I have never seen that for anybody else!  The amount of people who attended, and the love they showed for you, was so special. When you were sitting in that chair on the soundstage and watching and hearing what was being said about you, what was going on in your mind at that point?

ERIC:  Well, first of all, it was the nicest thing that’s ever happened to me in 40 years on that show, and secondly, in moments like that, you try to stay focused on who is giving the speeches, because if I then look around and see all of the people who I have known for so many years, it’s emotional.  There’s a saying in German, “he’s close to the water,” meaning it’s very moving.  I saw my son and my granddaughter there and obviously everyone else, and my old coach and players, and so many others that have been a part of my life.

Photo: JPI

There were some very special guests and speeches.  I loved that Justin Hartley (Ex-Adam, Y&R and now Kevin, This Is Us) came.  I thought that was sweet and cool, and also that ESPN sports personality, Stephen A. Smith was there calling you one of his good friends.  There were so many moments.  You knew who was going to speak, right?

ERIC:  Yes, I did.  We kept it to just family, and in other words, Y&R family, etc.  I want to thank Matt Kane (Publicist, Y&R), who had a lot to do with putting the event together.  I also wanted to thank Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R). The Y&R art department and David Hoffman (Production Designer) also did a fantastic job with those pictures they had created that was part of a set.  Thinking back on it, again, I would without a doubt say, that the celebration was the most moving moment in 40 years in the business and on that show.

Photo: JPI

A few weeks ago, Y&R and B&B co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away.  Obviously the late Bill Bell (co-creator, Y&R) and she were instrumental for you being at Y&R in the first place, and the creation of Victor Newman.  What can you say about Lee? 

ERIC:  We invited Lee to the event, and she apologized and said she was not in a position to attend, and then, shortly thereafter she passed.  In a sense, I’m glad Lee wasn’t there because when I would see her on some occasions, I just am moved to tears.  I would have not been able to really hold it together for long.  Obviously, she was co-responsible for a lot of stuff that happened on Y&R. co-responsible for that show still being number #1, and my heart goes out to her.  I know what I owe them, and she had a lot of influence on the storylines.  Lee was an incredibly smart and bright lady.  Her son, Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) did speak at the 40th event and I appreciated it enormously.

There were a lot of retro clips shown of you show in celebration of your 4oth anniversary from when you started on the show back in 1980 till now.  Did you remember all of those moments?

ERIC:  First of all, they put that together so beautifully.  That was done so extremely well.  When I see it, it comes right back, or in other words it evokes precise memories, but if I weren’t seeing it, it’s all a blur.

Photo: JPI

Y&R brought Meg Bennett (Ex-Julia) and Robert Parucha (Ex-Matt), for the on-screen episodes celebrating Newman Enterprises 50th anniversary.  Was it nice having them back and seeing them, or is it kind of weird, because it can be such a long time in-between since you have all been together?

ERIC:  It is both.  It is very nice to see old colleagues obviously, and very touching, but look, we are in a weird business.  When I saw Meg, you suddenly realize how the show has evolved in many ways.  So, I’m always very grateful to see those who I started out with on the show and of course, doubly grateful to those who are still there.  I think of Melody and Doug Davidson (Paul) for example.  Doug has been there for longer than I have, and what a great job he did emceeing the 40th anniversary event, and as for Melody, that her and my relationship still endues after all of these years is amazing.

Photo: JPI

Let’s talk about those Newman Children.  I thought Joshua Morrow (Nick) gave a hilarious speech and even Mark Grossman (Adam) spoke so sincerely from the heart to you.  You get a sense that the Newmans are a fun group to work with.

ERIC:  I obviously love working with Joshua.  Same for Amelia Heinle (Victoria), I adore her, and Melissa Ordway (Abby).  They all have a great sense of humor, and Mark Grossman, I think is doing a damned good job.  And there is Peter Bergman (Jack).  Peter has been a great nemesis for all of these years.  Of course, Peter was very funny in his speech, and Joshua was very funny, and Ed Scott’s (Producer, B&B) was very good.  Tony Morina also shared a very funny little antidote!

Photo: JPI

What came across loud and clear is what we already knew.  Everyone knows the name “Victor Newman”.  You know when they go, “Victor Newman … Y&R!”  It’s so synonymous, right?  I don’t know what it must be like for you knowing the public has that reaction to you … and you’re that guy.

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ERIC:  I’ll tell you very honestly, I have an ambivalent relationship to that fact.  I deny it on one hand, don’t want to know about it, don’t really want to know about it, and on the other hand, when I hear about it, I say, “Yeah, very happy to hear about it, but is it true?”  I am sort of strange that way.  I have not had a picture of myself or anyone else in my dressing room for these 40 years.  It’s barren, as you know.  I don’t have any pictures hanging up of me; there’s nothing.  Now, I was talking about taking the one picture that David Hoffman had designed beautifully, and I have it on one wall.  I thought, “I’ll be damned,” because the picture includes Melody and some scenes that went on.  I’ve always been funny that way with praise.  Do I like it?  Of course, but …

There’s an uncomfortableness about it, right?

ERIC:  Yes, but I’ve seen too much in this business.  I’ve seen too many extraordinary stars, where you wonder, “Where are they now”?  I take this business with a grain of salt.  I really do.  It’s so easy to succumb to it.   I’ve known many people, including on our show, who used to say, “Well, without me, this thing would go down the drain,” and I said, “Yeah?  No s**t,” and they’re not there anymore.  You have no idea what happens to some actors when they see themselves on the cover of soap magazine.  They go crazy.  I’ve seen it, and the worst thing you can do is to believe in that, and I’ve always been skeptical of that, very skeptical.  Get back to what counts in this business:  do a good job … do the best you can … and where is the money?  I mean really, let’s call a spade a spade, and that’s it.

Photo: JPI

I was just going to say, the one person I so wished was at your 40th celebration was Jeanne Cooper (Ex-Katherine, Y&R).   I wish she could have been there with us, because she would have loved it.  I know she loved you.

ERIC:  She would have spoken, trust me!  She would have said, “Alright, you son of a bitch.  Alright, macho man let’s see what you’ve got!” and then she would grab me by the balls.  The first scene I ever had with her, Jeanne did that.  Absolutely hilarious!  Jeanne and I could not do a scene without laughing.  I’m serious.  We had to pull ourselves together.  She had such a great sense of humor, and we both looked at this, obviously, with an enormous grain of salt, because we’ve been there.  We’d seen it all.

set

Photo: JPI

Through the years, you obviously have been vocal on social media where you will call out things as you see them and as you truly feel, especially through various regime changes, or if there is a noticeable shift away, or focus, from core characters. What are your thoughts on what ultimately makes Y&R, the iconic soap that it is?

ERIC:  Let me put it very simply: the show is based on the comradery and enmity between the Newmans and the Abbotts, and I’ve included on that a go-between, if you will, a Chancellor … Jeanne Cooper.   That was sort of the plan, but the major triangle was sort of the Montagues and the Capulets in Romeo and Juliet.  That is what legendary stories are based on.  It’s family rivalries, and within those rivalries, we tell all kinds of fantastic stories.  It’s father-son, father-daughter, husband-wife, love affairs, disloyalties, ruthless business competition, and it goes on and on.  The scenes with Peter Bergman and me over the years have been legendary, wonderful, and they’re great scenes.  Now, to suddenly bring in whole new characters that no one knows about, which previously happened on our show, you have to ask, “What are you not getting?  You want to reinvent the wheel?”  Go with what is working.  It doesn’t often happen that you have the right cast and the right story.  That is what makes a show successful.  Imagine taking Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) out of Seinfeld.  You couldn’t.   It wouldn’t work.  In other words, when you have the right actors and the right storyline, you have a hit.  We’d been number #1 for over 30 years because of it

Photo: JPI

When you get a script, have there been those moments in the 40 years where you will say. “My character would never do this.  I’m not playing it!?”

ERIC:  Of course.  Not that I’m not playing it, but I will make certain adjustments here and there.  I always have, by the way, from the very beginning.  Bill Bell agreed with most of it.  I know my character, and I have and instinctive feel for what is emotionally touching and what is not.  Look, I have always said that I admire writers.  I don’t envy their job.  I really don’t.  I think it is the hardest job in the business, and writing for soaps is even harder.  So, I have great respect.  So therefore, I don’t even want to know who wrote what.  I don’t ever want to be in the position of insulting a writer because I know how difficult it is.  As in everything in this business, it is a cooperative business.  There are very few writer/directors who have earned the right (I’m talking about Martin Scorsese, I’m talking about Ingmar Bergman, I’m taking about a handful) to write and direct their own stuff.  Even they rely on the cooperation of their lead actors.  That’s what is so wonderful about this business in that it’s this precisely cooperative thing.  However, when there are some people who simply don’t listen to those of us who have been around for a while and we know, we really know, then, they’re being foolish.

Photo: JPI

Y&R taped the Newman Enterprises 50th anniversary gala, which was in essence, your on-screen 40th anniversary episodes.  That was another amazing part of this.  I love that they would go to a clip, and one of the characters would say something in speech, and then, they’d go back to a shot of you reacting.  Were you, you, or Victor at that point, because it seemed so genuine and emotional?

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ERIC:  You know, look, one thing sort of blends into the other.  I loved that show by the way.  It was brilliantly done, and they could have easily screwed that up, but they didn’t.  I thought Josh Griffith (head writer, and Co-EP, Y&R) did a hell of a job, and Tony Morina did a wonderful job, they really did.  So, I really can’t say enough about that.

Photo: CBS

When you look back on the enormity of scenes you have performed as Victor Newman; the ones that and you and I always come back to are the scenes between you and Dorothy McGuire as Victor’s mother; and the scenes with you and George Kennedy as Victor’s father.  Do you still consider those your all-time favorites?

ERIC:  I always think about them.  They are my top favorites, plus one other.   No question about it; because the scene with Dorothy McGuire laid the groundwork of what Victor Newman is all about.  That summarized all of his subsequent moments of anger, and upset, and mistrust, and etc.  It was the seminal scene for Victor Newman … period.  One other scene that one of my favorites was the one with Melody, on Christmas Eve where Nikki keeps on bugging Victor to tell her about his past, and he finally does.  It was about that orphanage experience, etc.  Actually, those two scenes early on were responsible for my really wanting to stay and realizing that now I had a chance to play some real emotions, some real feelings, some real conflict.   I remember after Victor told Nikki that story, a moment when I went to my dressing room, I called home, and I said, “Now, I’m going to stay.”  No two ways about that.  I called my wife, and I said, “I’m staying,” because I wasn’t sure if I was going to.  It happened because I had talked to Bill Bell and I said, “Bill, I’m so tired of playing bad guys.  I’ve done it for too many years.  I’m empty.  I’m burnt out.  It’s too dehumanizing.  Let’s imbue this character with a background,” and he did, brilliantly, and that’s the reason I stayed, and that’s the reason I’m here 40 years later, truly.

So, when you were feeding rats to Nick Benedict as Michael Scott, were you ready to leave? (Laughs)

ERIC:  Well, that was a little different story, but I looked at that, and I said, “Are you kidding me?” (Laughs)  Back then, I knew little about what works on soaps … and people still talk about it!  They loved it.

Photo: JPI

The scenes opposite George Kennedy were so emotional … and heavy-duty, too.  It was so sad watching Victor’s father reject him.

ERIC:  It was sad.  It was really, really sad, and George played it wonderfully.  I cannot say enough about that because here is an actor who comes from the outside of our genre.  George lived in Boise. Idaho and he traveled all the way by car to LA with his grandson to do the scenes He wouldn’t take a plane.  George was so damn prepared that we did those scenes in one take!  It’s stunning!  I can’t talk enough about him.  I just so admired and respected him.  George passed away about a year ago, but that’s why I had him in my film, The Man Who Came Back.

Photo: JPI

As a leading man, Victor has had many women in and out of his romantic life for years and of course, his constant, Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott).   You’ve been fortunate to work with so many wonderful actresses such as Eileen Davidson as Ashley.  Which standout to you? 

ERIC:  I have to say obviously Melody, but I have to also say the scenes with Eileen – they meant a lot to me.  I regret that she and I did not have more storylines together.

Photo: CBS

So, the coronavirus is shutting down the world, life in America, and has shut down production on the soaps.  How is everybody dealing with it at the show, and how do you feel it’s being handled?

ERIC:  Well, originally I wanted to continue working, but I said only if everyone was fully supplied with the proper wipes and antiseptics all of the time.  In other words, from the makeup department, from the props department, to someone wiping down all of the handles and all of that, but I completely understand now from a company point of view, they had to shut down because what if you work and someone gets sick because of it… and it goes on and on.  It’s a terrible thing, but I was willing to continue working.  Yes, perhaps stupidly so.  It’s going to be tough when we come back because a lot of work has to be made up, but I understand why we stopped.

What would you say to the fans who have stayed so invested in Victor Newman, and you, even 40 years after your Y&R debut? 

ERIC:  I’ve said it before, and I will happily say it again:  I am deeply grateful to the fans everywhere.  Without them, you and I would not be talking.  That’s really the long and the short of it.  The fans have really everything to do with it.  I’m glad that I am on social media because I am engaged with quite a few people very gladly, and I hear some interesting stories, and some very touching stories.  Y&R has taught me to really not look at that as a sort of nebulous audience.  I put faces behind it because I’ve seen them.  I’ve seen them in the last 30-odd years in public appearances.  I don’t forget them.  I don’t forget what it means to me.  It’s deeply touching.  I’m not at all anesthetized to it, no.  It touches me deeply, and whenever I do a PA, and receive the people’s reactions, I say, “Whoa,” and now I know why I’m in the business.

Courtesy/CBS

In closing, fans have been watching what looks to be another showdown brewing between Victor vs. Adam for control of Newman Enterprises.  Do you think still after all these years; Victor has it in him to out maneuver his black sheep son, as he has done in the past?

ERIC:  Hell, yes.  What do you think?  Bring him on, man.  Bring him on.  Victor’s still full of piss and vinegar.  Okay?  What people don’t know is that I’m a feisty son of a bitch.  I don’t give up.  I fight to the last.  I mean it.

So, what has been your favorite all-time Y&R scenes featuring Eric Braeden? What do you hope happens next for Victor and the Newman clan? What do you think about the sentiments shared throughout our conversation on Eric’s 40th anniversary celebration? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Johnny Wactor Talks ‘Being Brando Corbin’

This week on General Hospital, viewers saw that Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) has set Port Charles newcomer Brando Corbin (Johnny Wactor) up with a mechanics garage for a place of business, that has left Brando concerned, but also thankful.

Brando came onto the scene when he saved Carly (Laura Wright) from gunfire. The once believed-to-be-dead son of Gladys Corbin (Bonnie Burroughs), has a checkered past, but has been trying to remain on the straight and narrow.  Sonny had previously put into motion protection for teenaged Dev (Ashton Arbab), that he will continue to be passed off as the biological son of Brando to keep him safe.  That, along with a back-story that includes: the Iraqi War, prison time, drug use, PTSD, familial issues, mob wars, and more, has loaded the deck for actor Johnny Wactor to show his acting chops and more within the daytime drama arena.

Since making his debut in the recurring role of Brando back in January of this year, in a short amount of time, Wactor has already displayed that he has solid leading man, and soap anti-hero potential, something that always serves one well amidst the romance, intrigue, and suspense of the genre’s storytelling.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Johnny to get his thoughts on becoming part of the iconic GH and where he hopes Brando’s journey goes from here.  Check out what he had to say below.

Photo: ABC

What do you think about your character’s name being “Brando”? Did GH tell you where the idea for the name came from?

JOHNNY:  Oh, I love it.   No, they didn’t tell me why, but I assume it was in some relation to Marlon Brando; when back in the day he was in a leather jacket … because I come onto the scene wearing a leather jacket as a badass!

What’s your experience been like coming onto a show like GH?  Previously, I know you’ve done a lot of primetime roles and series.  Were you shocked at the pace of shooting a daytime drama?

JOHNNY:  Oh, yeah.  I was made aware of the pace beforehand by my manager, as well as my buddy, Mark Grossman (Adam Newman) who works on The Young and the Restless.  He’s kicking ass over there.  In this genre, you get one rehearsal and one take pretty much, and then, they move on.  It’s definitely been a learning curve, and I’m still getting used to that at times where I’m just like, “Ah, I want one more take!”  I can get a bit obsessive and I’m a perfectionist.  It definitely has been challenging, but I enjoy it.  It’s fun to work at a fast pace.  It’s a lot like working in the theatre.

In story, Johnny is pretending to be Dev’s father.  Did you know that would be part of Brando’s story when you took on this gig?

JOHNNY:  I did not.   I didn’t know that until I read the first script that they sent me.  I’m like, “I also have a son?”   It was a lot to take in, but that’s where the imagination comes in.

What’s great for you, I would think, is that you’re getting to play in scenes with Maurice Benard and Laura Wright and major players who are a part of that core group.  What’s it been like working with them?

JOHNNY:  It’s been a Godsend, really.  Being my first time on a daytime show, for one, anytime you come onto a new project and one that’s been going on for some time, and you’re a newcomer, there’s always that concern like, “What will this set be like?  Is it like a familial atmosphere?  Am I going to be welcomed?”  They’ve made it super easy.  I’m just so lucky that I have people who have so much experience on this show and just daytime shows in general, where they’ve kind of taken me under their wings and are super helpful.  Anytime I have questions, they’re patient.  I’m sure I annoy them sometimes, but they don’t let on to it.   I’m grateful that they’ve sort of “teamed” me up with them to kind of ease me onto the show.

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The fans are seeing a spark between Brando and Carly.  Is Brando into Carly?

JOHNNY:  I’d like to say that he rescued her because she was a beautiful blonde, but that’s not what that was and why he did it … even though I’m not denying that she’s a beautiful blonde.  I think there’s something there, but how far Brando pursues that, I don’t know!  Sonny sets Brando up with the garage and a pretty sweet deal at that.  So, does Brando want to screw this up?  However, not everyone makes logical, levelheaded decisions.  We’ll see.  I’m not ruling it out as something that could possibly happen.

How are you playing Brando right now? Is he a good guy … or, are there secret ulterior motives going down that the audience may not know about, yet?

JOHNNY:  In my opinion, he is a guy who has got a good heart.  I don’t think he is infallible.  I think he is someone who is determined to be on the mend and make up for his decisions and his past, because he is someone who has made poor decisions.  I don’t think you can rule him as a good person who will never make a mistake, or won’t get into trouble, or won’t make some bad decisions.  “Does he have ulterior motives?”  Maybe, but I think that if he does, they might be a little unconscious.  I think he is a genuine good guy.

Photo: ABC

Are the fans swooning over you on social media now that you’ve made your GH debut?  When you get the, “Oh, he’s hot,” do you take those compliments well, or, is it uncomfortable for you, and you deflect that?

JOHNNY:  It’s always flattering to get those compliments.  I think when I was younger, like 22, first getting into this business; I was definitely pining for those compliments and put more weight into it.  I will say; it’s always good to have someone say something positive about you.  I will take, “Hey, he’s good-looking.”  I love the comments.  It’s great.

So, what would you love to see happen with Brando?  Is there anything that you’re seeing with your character that you wish you could do …or get to have the opportunity to be able to drive the direction in which he goes in?

JOHNNY:  That’s a great question.  I love when the writers put Brando on the scene and planted some seeds early on when he was revealing a little of his background to Carly.  He reveals he has PTSD and spent time in prison.  Brando also has got issues with drug addiction.  I would love for those to kind of resurface somehow.  Maybe Brando has a relapse and gets back on the sauce, or drugs, or maybe has some kind of other issues with PTSD, because those are the real things in the world that people deal.

Photo: ABC

What’s great about it is that they kind of loaded you up with a back-story that they can fill in, so that as a viewer, you ultimately root for the guy

JOHNNY:  Absolutely.  Yeah, nobody wants to root for the guy who has everything and just has the perfect life.  We’ve all made mistakes.  So, alright, he’s trying to get back on the horse and make a good life for himself.

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Did you get any pointers from GH vet Steve Burton (Jason), who you have also shared several scenes with since coming to GH?

JOHNNY:  The most pointers I’ve gotten from Steve are about preparation for the scenes.  Every time we have scenes together, he’s just always willing to work with you, and make sure that you’re prepared, and he’s prepared, and the scene is going to be the best that it can be.  Also, he’s been really invaluable with giving me more of a crash course on the background of these characters.  This show has been on for decades and it’s tough to get caught up in the short amount of time between when you find out you have the job, and you start filming, to really know who everybody is.  So, he explained to me who Jason is on the show and who the Corinthos family is and what they represent … these are dangerous guys!

Photo: ABC

Take me through what happened when you learned you got the part of Brando, and were joining the cast of General Hospital?

JOHNNY:  I was at my apartment.  I think it was probably two days after I went in for the producer’s session.  They brought in 4 or 5 guys to read in front of the producers, (at least that I saw) and I felt strong about my reading.  Then, I just kind of tried to forget about it after I left so I wouldn’t get all into my head about whether I got the part, or not.  Then the next day, I didn’t get a phone call.  So, I’m like, “Man, really?  I thought that might have been it.”   But the next day, I was with my girlfriend at the time and my agency was calling.  My manager was on the phone as well, and they shared with me that I got the part, and it was exciting.  It was a relief and an affirmation.  It’s always exciting when you book a job and then to book a major recurring role on a show with a character whose name is “Brando Corbin”, needless to say, was really cool.

Photo: ABC

I think it’s very apparent that you have the “It” factor.  You already have a shown a strong presence on the show and have a very bright future ahead of you.   I have seen a lot of actors come and go, and who launch their careers on daytime over the years, and I think you are going to be one to watch for quite some time to come.

JOHNNY:  First of all, thank you so much for saying that.  That’s really kind of you.  It’s really high praise.  Coming from someone who knows that show and who is a fan of it that means I passed the test!  Thank you, Michael!  I really appreciate that affirmation.  It’s good to get validation from someone whose opinion really matters.

Photo; ABC

Could you see a love interest for Brando coming up in the future?

JOHNNY:  I could definitely see a love interest for him coming up.  Maybe multiple love interests!  Who knows?

I think there are a lot of single ladies in Port Charles.

JOHNNY:  Yeah!  But, why do they have to be single?

Right! Or, they could be married!

JOHNNY:  It’s Port Charles!

Photo: ABC

So, have you been enjoying Johnny’s performances as Brando Corbin thus far?  Who do you hope he becomes involved with romantically on GH? Do you want to know more about his back-story and see what happens next now that Sonny has set him up with a garage? Comment below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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