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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
Guest
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
Guest
Alexandra

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

Nancy
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Rose

awesome!!! loved the show!

Annick
Guest
Annick

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

heidi
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Brian Greene

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

Chels
Guest
Chels

I like tea delgado

Grace
Guest
Grace

Great interview!

Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On Dina’s Death & How It Will Impact Jack, His Final Scenes With Marla Adams & Taping During COVID-19

The Abbott family is reeling from the death of their mother, Dina Mergeron, who passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of last Friday’s episode; signaling the end of an era for Dina’s portrayer, Marla Adams.  In a pivotal and heart-breaking scene, Dina shares one last goodbye with her children: Traci (Beth Maitland), Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and of course, Jack (Peter Bergman).

Today, the drama continues as the Abbott’s grieve Dina’s death and its aftermath while they remember the life of their flawed mother. This puts Jack at the epicenter of the family, and like it, or not, the new head of the clan.  What does the future hold for him now?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman, who has embodied Jack for over 30 years on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, to get his thoughts on: how Y&R needed to handle Dina’s death within the confines of the coronavirus pandemic and its safety protocols, what he felt about playing those final scenes with Marla Adams and the significance of the ‘teardrop of love’, and a preview of what fans can expect in the coming days as the impact of Dina’s death will be felt by the Abbott children and extended family.

 

An actor’s actor, you can always expect a conversation with Peter to be forthright, candid and enlightening, and this one was no different.  Here’s what one of the genre’s absolute best had to share about the significance of this story and more.

How has it been returning to Y&R during the pandemic?  I bet you never thought in all of your years in daytime, that you would be doing your scenes socially-distanced, sitting or standing, so far apart from your castmates.

Courtesy/CBD

PETER:  Just getting back to work felt great, loved that.  I wasn’t involved really in romantic scenes at this point, so that I didn’t have to do.  So, all in all, I was very happy to be back, and socially-distancing didn’t really bother me at all, and then Dina died.  Doing that from six feet away was just awful.  You saw the limits at a time where not any of us could be within six feet of each other; where you would usually hold a hand, stroke a brow, and talk softly.  So, I think the writers did what they needed to do to make it work for Dina’s exit.  We are in the middle of COVID, in case anybody forgot, and so you have to ask, ‘Does America really want to watch an elderly woman die in the middle of the Abbott living room or anywhere else?’  So, we had to have Dina’s exit without looking at a dead body, out of respect for the times we are living in.  We had to do a strong, powerful, pivotal scene with our hands tied behind our backs.

Courtesy/CBS

It’s so interesting that you say that because that’s how I felt watching it, knowing what it would have been like, if Jack, Ashley and Traci would have been with Dina at her bedside, up till the end, for instance.  But all of that said, Peter, I got so choked up in your last moments with Marla.  Jack is just sitting there and Dina is telling him how much she loved him and you’re doing the thing that only Peter Bergman can do as the tears well-up in your eyes.  As we have talked about previously, my mom died from complications from Alzheimer’s, so these are always tough types of scenes for me to watch.  I am sure it was also for those in the audience, who have lost a loved one to this disease, many of whom reached out to me on social media following its airing.

PETER:  It’s got to be tough for you to watch.  I get that.

Photo: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

Yes, so I felt for Jack and Dina in the moment as a son and his mother.  But what did you think about how the scene was written, and what Dina was saying to Jack and his sisters as her final goodbyes to her children and their reactions to it?

PETER:  As written, something in this necklace triggers something in Dina that brings her out of a stupor, brings her out of the murk, the fog for a brief instant to tell the people who she cares the most about that she loves them in slightly different ways.  I have, with everything in me, a struggle to always add in there, “I have a complicated relationship with my mother.”  I’ve added that line in there so many times over the years, you have no idea.  It was a complicated relationship because by the time she dies, there is no kind of straightening that out, there is no kind of Jack looking for answers. The depth of what Ashley is feeling, what Traci is feeling, what Jack is feeling, were kind of lost because of the way we had to do it. The writers had to do it, so I’m not blaming anyone, but because of the way we had to do it, there was no, “Wow, why isn’t Ashley crying?  Why is she just so stoic that this isn’t touching her at all?” because she can’t go there. Traci feeling like she found her place in the family simply by Dina saying, “You’re the beating heart of this family,” and Jack, who is doing the right thing, “She should leave peacefully, she should leave feeling loved, we should all be here, we should give her nothing but love,” damn, this is complicated.  You couldn’t have any of those things.  .  Hopefully, some of that slid in there and we wedged some of those complexities into it, but it was hard to write a complex scene with the situation as it was.  We needed to get it done it one day.  We did not need to drag this out.  Again, were it not COVID time, sure, let’s drag it out.  Let’s spend some time on this.  People die.  Let’s watch the family process a death.

Photo: CBS

I just think of what it all means for Jack moving forward.  Dina basically tells him, “You’re in charge of the family. Look after the family.” That’s kind of where it’s been going for Jack this whole time.  I don’t know if that’s what Jack wanted, but that’s where he is ending up.

PETER:  Right!  That’s where he ends up, and you know, this has been a long time coming.  Dad dies, and it is pretty clear that he’s got to step up, and his mom comes into town, and she’s not just his mother.  She’s Ashley’s mother; she’s Traci’s mother, we’ve got to look out for her and give her the dignity and things like that.  Now, there is just no getting around it.  Jack is the head of the family.  That’s the way it fell.  Twenty-five years ago, was Jack ready to be head of anything?  Absolutely not, but I think enough has happened to Jack now: enough heartache, enough growth, enough introspection, enough losing people, that Jack might just be ready for this job.

Courtesy/CBS

When Marla Adams came back to Y&R 2017, and they started telling the Alzheimer’s storyline, it brought up such abandonment issues for Jack and rightfully so, about how a mother could just leave her family and children,  Throughout all that,  you did such poignant work.

PETER:  I wanted that to be in there at the very end.  One of the powerful parts in this whole thing is that Jack wanted to scream at Dina every bit as much as he wanted to hug her.  That was there for quite a while, and Jack had to kind of come to terms with, “Hey, you’ve been leaning on this excuse for quite a time.  She’s here.  She can’t do you any harm.  She feels bad about what happened.  What do you want, Jack?”

Photo: CBS

One of the highlights of this storyline was when Y&R explored the history and relationship between the siblings, Jack, Ashley and Traci.  We saw their younger versions as the show flash-backed to when Dina left John and the Abbott family.

PETER:  Between the writers and Peter Bergman, we built this story that the night that Dina left, Dad was upstairs with the girls, they were weeping inconsolably, there was no fixing it, there was no telling them that everything was going to be all right.  He didn’t want to lie to them and say she will be right back, he told them, “She’s not coming back,” and he comes downstairs, and Jack is fourteen-years-old, and a little confused, but decided to say to his dad, “Hey, can I help?”  He looks across the room, and his dad is weeping, first time he had ever seen that.  His father is weeping, and he said, “Jack, you’re going to have to help me with the girls.  I can’t do all of this,” and it changed Jack’s life forever.  Jack was a parent to Ashley for a good part of their relationship.  So, all of this stuff with Jack’s identity, all of the fighting with Ashley, all of the Jabot madness is Ashley finally getting to say, “I don’t need a father!  You’re not my father.  Stop talking to me like you’re going to fix things for me!  I’m sick of it.”  All done by Dina … all truly caused by Dina.

Courtesy/CBD

In my interview with Marla, she told me that at the end of her last scene, you and many others came back to the set to pay tribute to her.

PETER:  We did.  The show had arranged it, and Tony Morina, the executive producer, stepped out on the soundstage with a microphone, and Marla sat on the sofa in the Abbott living room. Tony began telling a lovely, lovely story about how far back his relationship with her goes because Marla and Tony wife’s, Sally Sussman (Ex- head writer, Y&R), also had a long-standing relationship.  Tony was just so grand and gracious in saying that there are some people who, if they weren’t an actor, they’d be this or that or the other thing, but that Marla was born to be an actress.  That’s what she is, and it was so generous.  I think she got three and a half years that she didn’t expect to get out of this.  It was supposed to be a six-month storyline, and four years later, she was still there, and it was a good thing for her, and a unique story turn for the rest of us.  It really was.  It was a powerful thing, and now the Abbott family has a new shape.  There are three adults there: Ashley has established her independence, she is not around as much, she is back and forth between Paris, and Genoa City, Traci is trying to be as supportive and kind as she can be, but essentially, Jack is in the big house by himself.

Yep!  Well, now we’ve got to find Jack a good woman.

PETER:  Yes, or a bad woman.

… Or a bad woman!  I’ll take him in a relationship with someone to stir things up.  I also hear coming up, there will be the reading of Dina’s will.  Is there anything you can tease about that?

PETER:  There is a will read, yes.  No one knows what to expect, and Dina … in the end… comes through for almost everybody…

Courtesy/CBS

Well … that ought to be good.

PETER:  Yep… really comes through for almost everybody, and you know, the Abbott children are wealthier, and all three of them are alone, and in no small thanks to Dina for that.  These are three adults who have been very unlucky in love.  Of course, this is the next challenge.  I don’t mean to assume that I have any idea of what you went through in losing your mom, but there is a point at which you also have to let go and say, “Okay, now it is just me, and what do I want to do with this life?  I’ve used this as a reason not to move forward for a good while.  What am I going to do now?”  I think the next turn in the Jack Abbott story comes pretty organically.  Dina’s death frees Jack to be just as alone as he has ever been.

No matter what Jack does, including the bad things, you always see the inner-pain that is very palpable within him, as you have portrayed him.

PETER:  Yes, but he really has grown in the last 30 years.  Jack is hungry for more right now, and he couldn’t really be that way with Mom in the house.  He didn’t have time for that.  Now he has all of the time in the world.  So, we’ll see what he does with that.

Courtesy/CBD

I understand there is a funeral for Dina, but it will be off-camera?  I guess, because of COVID, it is better that way.

PETER:  That’s true and it’s off camera, that’s correct.  What’s important at most of these things isn’t what happens at the gravesite, it is what happens at the reception afterwards, and that is also a fun turn.  So, they all agree as a family they are going to do it at Society, and they kind of close the joint and make it their own little party, and someone shows up who isn’t expected, and it throws a really, really different vibe into the whole thing, and everybody has to adapt.  It’s actually fun, what it turns into.  It turns into a memory fest with crazy stories of Dina.

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite moment, or memory, of a scene you played with Marla?

PETER:  I think I had a day where Jack tried to get through to her and tell her, “Do you realize the damage you did?  Do you realize?” and she wasn’t able to take it in, and he went to Traci, and he said, “I want to shake her.  I want to yell at her… and I want to protect her.”  I thought there was something just so rich about that.  That was my favorite moment, my favorite part of it, when Jack finally said, “She’s going, man.  We’ve got to get this conversation done now.  We’ve got to talk this through,” and he was too late.   She was too far along with Alzheimer’s.  She wasn’t up to it.  She couldn’t do it.

Photo: JPI

And now here is Jack; and his parents are both gone.  There is no Jerry Douglas or Marla Adams on the show as both John and Dina have passed on within the history of The Young and the Restless.

PETER:  Again, you were generous enough to share your own personal experience, but isn’t it amazing?  Wow, you’re the grownup now.  Isn’t it amazing?  That’s what the Abbott’s are going through: just what you went through.  There is no older generation to turn to for anything.  We are the older generation.  It’s powerful stuff, and I’m really, really grateful for anytime that Ashley, Jack, and Traci are together talking about those things, talking about, “Wow, okay, that just happened… where do we go from here?”  It’s going to be really interesting.  If you asked me, “Over the last 30 years that you’ve played Jack Abbott, have there been many times where you’ve thought, ‘I’ve got no idea where this is going!’”  I would say, “Yeah, right now.”  I’ve got no idea where we are going with this.

Courtesy/CBS

There has been much speculation that the “teardrop of love” necklace will lead Jack to a new romance, or some new adventure in his life.  They spent a lot of time mentioning it in short order, that it would seem it’s not just to bring Dina some closure.  What are your thoughts on it?

PETER:  I think it has legs.  I think you’re going to hear about it again. There is something in there, and I don’t know if it’s the teardrop’s magic charm or that its history is not what it was, or it gets stolen.  I don’t know, but I think we have spent enough time saying ‘teardrop of love’, that there could be a story there.

In Dina’s final moments where Jack brings her the ‘teardrop of love’, wasn’t it symbolic to her because it was her acknowledgement of having her family back together and with her at all times? There is a back-story to that piece of jewelry as well.

PETER:  The point of the necklace is, “This was when I was truly happy, when I had this necklace, when it is all back together,” and maybe we are to know something more about the teardrop…?  I don’t know.  So, this was a gift to her before Jack was born.  She wore it home from the hospital when she brought him home, but we don’t know exactly what year she got it, and we don’t know exactly what year she lost it.  It was stolen, and it was on the black market for a while, and Victor (Eric Braeden) was looking into it.  It was clear that it was very important to Dina.  So, Jack, against his own wishes, said, “No, I’ve got to do the right thing.  I’ve got to try to trace this thing down.  It clearly means something to her.  Maybe she is trying to tell us something.  God only knows.”  So, he did the right thing, not because, “I want to make Mommy happy,” but because he forced himself to do the right thing, to find the damn necklace, and to see what this is about.  Then, we saw the affect it had when he gave it to her.

Photo: CBS

It’s always good to chat and check-in with you during these key and historical moments in the life of the character of Jack Abbott.  There have been many throughout your time on Y&R, and it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

PETER:  It will be, and I’m telling you, this is a real moment.  Normally, we just go from one story into the next, into the next, and this one has been hanging for so long that, “Okay, now that it is over, wow, what is going to happen to Jack?”  I’m just as curious as everybody else.

So, what do you think will happen next for Jack?  Did you reach for the hankies in Peter’s final scenes with Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Marla Adams Talks Her Final Scenes As Dina Mergeron, The Alzheimer’s Storyline, and Her Touching Farewell

Today on The Young and the Restless marks the end of the enduring run of Marla Adams in the role of Dina Mergeron. In story, Dina passes away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a storyline that started four years ago when the CBS Daytime drama brought back the character and Adams; and one that has deeply affected many in the viewing audience who have also had their own personal experience of losing a loved one to this dreadful disease.

If you have not seen today’s episode yet, you may not want to read any further, but needless to say, make sure you have the hankies ready for Dina’s final moments with her children and how she leaves this earth, which will be remembered for quite some time to come.

Marla originated the role of the rich and spoiled Abbott matriarch back in 1983 and portrayed the role on and off for what amounts to five decades. Her classic scenes with Jerry Douglas (Ex-John), Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and so many more from the iconic soap, always made for great and complex stories.

 

With this her final airdate on Y&R, it also puts an exclamation point for Marla on an incredible daytime career having also appeared on: The Bold and the Beautiful. Capitol, Days of our Lives, Generations and The Secret Storm

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adams in this very special conversation where she shared with us how it was to play these heartbreaking last scenes, the importance of the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace to the story, how Y&R gave her the most overwhelming and beautiful send-off, and her ‘thank you’s’ to all of you, who have been her extended family and are sad to see her go. She is one-of-a-kind …and now, here’s Marla.

Photo: Getty

Marla, I am so glad we have the opportunity to chat in this full-circle moment as you have brought the character of Dina to a close.

MARLA:  It’s such a joy to talk to you.  It seems like yesterday and an eternity as well.   I thought of you so much, and I remember talking to you specifically with all of the different interviews over the years, when I was at the studio.  But I will always remember the interview you did with me and Beth Maitland (Traci), my darling soul sister, and you talked to me about your mother who has since passed on from Alzheimer’s.  I’ll never forget what you had to say all those months ago

Photo: HallmarkChannel

Yes, and when as audience members we watch these stories unfold with characters we have loved, or watched on our screens for years, and there is a death, we feel connected to them as well.  And in this case, as a child who has lost a parent to Alzheimer’s, like many in the audience, you ask yourself first, “Can I watch this?” It hits very close to home, but I’m sure when people watch today’s episode of Y&R and see Dina pass away, they will be extraordinarily moved.

MARLA:  Oh, my gosh.  Wait until you people see Friday’s show.  I know they will be moved.  They should be!  I’ve got friends who I’ve already said to, “Get your Kleenex box out.”  It’s so beautiful what happens at the end of the episode.

Courtesy/CBD

How did you feel about playing Dina’s final scenes?

MARLA:  It was wonderful because it showed her lifetime of sorrow and regret, and what was so wonderful was the fact that the hero of the whole thing is the kindness and respect that she really did have for her whole family.  They had the most beautiful sendoff for me.  They sent me a limo!  I went to the studio, and dear Patti Denney (Make-up artist, Y&R) was there, of course with all kinds of makeup and everything else, and she looked like she was entering the ER room for Covid-19, because of all the safety protocols we must have.  It was unbelievable, the kindness that was served to me.  After we finished taping my final scenes, I came back to the soundstage and they totally surprised me.  Dear Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) and Sally Sussman (Ex-head writer, Y&R) were there, and Tony spoke about me, and so did my Y&R extended family and on-screen children: Peter Bergman (Jack), and Beth Maitland, and Eileen Davidson, and much of it was put on tape (see excerpts in video below).  Afterwards, Tony gave me beautiful flowers.  I was driven back home after this, and I felt really special, and it was just amazing to me. I had written Josh Griffith (Current head-writer and co-executive producer, Y&R) a ‘thank you’ for writing the show with his wonderful people, but I never heard back, but when I walked in my apartment, the phone was ringing.  Guess who?  It’s Josh!  He said, “I waited until I knew you would be home to thank you,” and I felt so lovey-doved up, I couldn’t believe it.  I want to read something to you that I received in the wonderful flowers that came the next day from CBS Daytime executive Margot Wain and others.  The flowers were so big that they didn’t fit on the bar!  The card read: “Thank you for bringing the amazing force that is Abbott matriarch, Dina Mergeron to countless fans of The Young and the Restless.  Your vast contribution to Y&R and CBS for more than five decades is unparalleled.  We are forever grateful for all you’ve brought to Y&R as both a consummate professional and a cherished co-worker.  All our best wishes.”  I was just so touched by the sentiments.

Photo: CBS

I also want to share something with you.  When it was revealed in the promo that came out last week that this would be your last show, I received so many notifications on social media, saying, “Oh, my God!  We love Marla!  You have to interview her!”  You are loved by the Y&R fans.  I hope you know that!  They’re sad to see you go, because you’re a legacy character to them, and soap fans have deep connections to characters that have been on their favorite soaps for decades.

MARLA:  Five decades!  My God!  I’m eighty-freaking-two.  I can’t believe it.

Courtesy/CBS

In story, Jack was on a mission to get the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace back to Dina before she died, hoping that she would have one last moment of lucidity and would recall it and it would hopefully make her happy.   He moves heaven on earth to get it, and does, and brings it to her and viewers saw her reaction. 

MARLA:  The necklace had never been anywhere before in story except recently, but I said to myself that I would play it ‘quietly and graciously’, because it made for such a beautiful moment for Dina with her children.

Courtesy/CBS

For Dina, the necklace was a symbol of remaining connected to her family and her children, even when she was not with them all of those years.  In your final scenes, Dina had these moments to say goodbye to each of your children.  Do you remember looking at Eileen, Traci, and Peter taping those highly emotional beats?

MARLA:  Yes, they were so there for me.  They are an extended family that is so precious to me, and playing this iconic character has been, too.  I remember when Sally Sussman told me a few years ago, “ I’m going to bring you back on The Young and the Restless, but you’ve got Alzheimer’s,” and I said, ‘What!?  You’re bringing me back so you can kill me off?’ and she said, “Oh no, it’ll be about a year.”  That dissolved into four years, and now five decades had passed and I was still on Y&R.  I am beyond grateful.

Courtesy/CBD

As an actress, was it hard to play Dina’s final moments when she goes to the light to join her beloved, John?

MARLA:  It was heart-wrenching for me.  In the story, Dina died when she went outside and to the front door of the Abbott home.  They did not tell me before-hand, and that’s why it was so wonderful.  I hope they came in for a closeup of that because I had no makeup on, it was beautiful, and then, Dina said, “Oh, John.”  I’ve done everything from movies, to daytime, to nighttime, to Broadway, but that was the iconic moment for me, to do this gig with wonderful, wonderful actors and friends, and to do this particular storyline.

Photo: CBS

It was 1983 when you first appeared on Y&R.  And through the years, Dina did not do such great things! She had an affair with Brent Davis who was the biological father of Ashley that caused such a rift between mother and daughter for years.  She abandoned the Abbott children and walked out on them and her marriage to John, and that’s just for starters! Dina was a complicated character. Did you love the fact that she could be very selfish at times?

MARLA:  You think?  That’s why I loved her.  Of course!  I can be very selfish, too.  You have to be selfish if you’re an actor, good God. (Laughs).

Courtesy/CBS

It was great that The Young and the Restless brought you back four years ago so that through the telling of the Alzheimer’s storyline that Dina was able to somewhat repair her relationships with her children.  Obviously, over the last many months the audience could not witness the more day to day progression and toll the disease took on Dina and her family in its final stages, but unfortunately with the way COVID-19 has affected shooting daytime soap operas, and all of our lives, including safety protocols, I am sure plans had to be altered,

MARLA:  Of course.  As an actress, this was the most important role of my life, and to have her final moments spread out in one day really is because of all of the fans who have been writing in and wanting to see Dina again,

Photo: CBS

People were rooting for you to win the Daytime Emmy back in 2018 when you were nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. That must be a nice moment to carry with you from playing Dina’s final storyline.

MARLA:  Yes, and I should have won!  Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) was furious. (Laughs)  He said, “What do you mean, darling, you should have won!  Goddammit!” He’s a wonderful man and a good friend.  He came to pick me up several times to go to the studio for my last few shows, and that’s the kind of mensch he is. So, I feel just so blessed and I feel great love and loss.  I would like Dina to come back as a ghost, but I have no idea, if that will happen or not. But if the fans would be interested in seeing Dina as a ghost … make sure to write in to the show and tell them!

Courtesy/CBS

Speaking of the fans that have followed you for decades on Y&R, what would you want to say to them now that Dina has passed on?

MARLA:  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all of the love, the support, and the chance to play Dina out… and I’m thankful that you cared, and loved her, up till the end.

So what did you think about Dina’s final moments on today’s Y&R? Will you miss Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first check out the special behind the scenes tribute for Marla, followed by The Michael Fairman Channel’s interview with Marla and Beth Maitland from Y&R’s 45th anniversary celebration referred to during the above conversation.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Talks Steffy’s Opioid Addiction Storyline, The Emotional Scenes & Adjustments Made Due To COVID-19

If you have been watching CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful over the last two weeks, you have witnessed the compelling and important storyline unfold with Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) at its epicenter.  In a harrowing tale of opioid addiction that can so easily happen to anyone given the circumstances, the daytime drama took on a social issue prevalent and rising in our society today.

This story gave Daytime Emmy-winner, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood another chance to shine in some of the most deeply affecting episodes and scenes in soaps of 2020.  In story, after Bill Spencer (Don Diamont) accidently hit Steffy with his car while she was on her motorcycle; she became hospitalized to treat her injuries. Once there, she met new love interest, Dr. Finnegan or as the show calls him “Finn” played by newcomer, Tanner Novlan. Finn prescribes pain medication for her. But before you know it, once Steffy is out of the hospital and back at home she struggles with the pain and the isolation of her life, and the losses she has experienced over the last many months, and before you know it, she is addicted, and no longer getting the pills from her doctor, but by any means possible.

Last week, we named Jacqui’s work the ‘Power Performance of the Week’, but we are also giving it to her again this week for her masterful performance on Tuesday’s episode, where Steffy breaks down after being confronted by Finn, Liam (Scott Clifton) and her father, Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) and finally coming to the stark realization that she is an addict.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood after all the key scenes had aired to: get the inside Intel on what went down taping those moments, and how the show made some important decisions amid the coronavirus pandemic about the telling of this storyline. Here is what Jacqui had to say about: her co-stars, herself, and what she learned about those who struggle with addiction.

Courtesy/CBS

How did you feel about being handed the ball to tell this important story, and how much were you told ahead of time?

JACQUELINE: Originally, I was told that we were going to tell this story, and that was before Covid-19.  So, it was literally the week before we went into lockdown, and we were about to dive into this story. Obviously, I am so grateful to be able to tell this story because traditionally The Bold and the Beautiful has a long list of social stories that we are known for telling.  It is something that that we need to talk about because it is happening, and it is happening everywhere.  Someone knows somebody – it is in our family, or our friends are dealing with this, and I didn’t realize how close to home it was for so many people.  I think that with our show, the way we balance drama, and romance, and real social issues that really touch people, is special.  I noticed that throughout this week with so many people reaching out to me.  People who are police officers, to people who actually work with people who are addicted, people who were addicted have reached out to me.  There have been a lot, but I’m very honored, again, to dive into this story.

A lot of fans and viewers remarked along the lines of “Wow, Steffy got addicted very fast,” because it felt like the story kind of accelerated itself, and some people are like, “Well, they just told it too fast.”  I wondered how you felt about that, knowing what you know about soap operas and research you may have done on addictions.

JACQUELINE:  I did some research on YouTube on opioid addiction from first-hand accounts of addicts and the effect on just them, but also on the grief it had caused their families. I originally had mistakenly thought, “It must take years to become addicted,” and I was very surprised by how quickly and easily one can be trapped in pain management, and many cases are heartbreaking.  You always think, with opioids, “Oh, this can’t happen to a lot of people,” but it’s not just, “Oh, the ‘crackhead’ down the street…”  It could be a mom, or these people who have a surgery, or an accident, and then they just get on these pills, and it happens so quickly.  Yes, the storyline happened extremely fast, but there is truth to it because addiction does happen very quickly in this world.  The other thing I have to say, I think what Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) did so elegantly, is that we were going to tell this story, and we were going to tell this story for a very long time.  I love that he was very perceptive to this – that we are in a dark time right now.  It’s a dark world, and I think that it is important, again, to shed some light on this, but we didn’t want to necessarily drag it on too long because it’s like, you watch every news outlet, and it’s depressing, and it’s depressing everywhere.  Before Covid-19, this story would have been a lot longer, and I think it was kind of realizing, “Let’s take it back.  But, let’s dive into this.” I think we were also being mindful of the viewers because we are shedding light on this, but also, opioid addiction had now skyrocketed through this pandemic, and this quarantine.  I think, again, it’s important to tell this story, but we didn’t want to be another show that is just so depressing right now during such a depressing time.

Photo: JPI

Right, so the story won’t be as elongated , but obviously, she will always have this addiction now, which is always great as a character, to delve back into, that Steffy will have in her physical and emotional make-up now.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  She will always have that.  She will always have to be mindful of it.

What did you think about Dr. Finn in all of this?  Do you think that he should have caught on earlier that this was happening to Steffy?

JACQUELINE:  (Laughs) Yes, absolutely.  I think, Steffy was pretty good at hiding it from him, especially the last time when she invited him over, and she said she didn’t need the pills.  However, on Tuesday’s episode when there was that huge explosion, and he really got to see that visceral side of Steffy as defiant and angry, that was a lot for him to take in.  Tanner has been doing such an incredible job of diving into this and telling this story, but yeah, you wonder if Finn noticed, but again, I do think Steffy was pretty good at hiding it.

She was pretty slick, but when she got the pills from Vinny, I kept thinking, “What did he give her?”, because they seemed awfully strong, or laced obviously with another drug. 

JACQUELINE:  When Steffy got the pills from Vinny, that was the first thing I said, “Is this just opioids?” Now, she’s getting it off the street, and we just don’t know.  It’s laced with God-knows-what.  She has no idea because she’s not getting it from an actual doctor; she’s getting it from Vinny.

Courtesy/CBS

So, when Tanner came to the show, did you read screen-test with him?  What was your initial thought of him and Steffy finally having a potential new relationship?

JACQUELINE:  He is absolutely wonderful.  It’s funny because we have a lot of friends in common, and he is a fellow Canadian, and we bonded over that.  He originally screen-tested, I think, a few days before we went into lockdown.  So, who knew that we were not going to be able to work with each other for months and months and months, but he has been completely added to the group, and it is a different world that we are navigating, especially with how we are filming on set and the 8 feet apart rules, and you have these emotional scenes, and you feel like you just want to grab someone, and hold them, and cry.  I have so many fans going, “My God, I just wanted one of the characters to hold you!” and then you’re like, “COVID,” and nobody can really touch me, so…

Photo: JPI

Isn’t he kissing his wife though as your stand-in?  B&B alum, Kayla Ewell?

JACQUELINE: Yes, yes he is!  I just thought it was priceless that, how long have I been on the show, that Steffy has just been pining away for Liam for years, and years, and years, and finally gets the go-ahead, and she’s going to get a new love interest, and I’m like, “Woo-hoo!” and then, COVID happened, and I find out, “Your love interest is going to be a doll!”  So, he gets his wife, which is great.  My husband has been completely supportive, but my husband has not come in.  I don’t think it would work playing opposite him as Tanner, but his wife actually has a very similar look to me, which is great.  So, she’s been in a few times, which has been amazing!  I get the foam doll. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

I was just thinking it’s so funny, too.  Steffy FINALLY gets a new man, but she is with a doll! 

JACQUELINE:  I know, I know.

Photo: JPI

What’s great about when you get to play these kinds of emotional levels in an addiction storyline … or anything that kind of flips the character’s mental state, is that you get to see the anguish.  You know, we’ve never seen Steffy discuss or really say anything about having Beth taken from her, whom she raised her as ‘Phoebe’, and then losing Liam to Hope, and this is kind of addressing her pain through this story arc, which I thought was really good, that it wasn’t just swept under the table.  The characters, the audience, and Steffy were realizing that she had emotional baggage and distress over those losses.  How did you feel when taping those scenes with the confrontation where she pulls out a switchblade on Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang), Ridge, Liam and Hope (Annika Noelle)? Those were great scenes. 

JACQUELINE:  Thank you, thank you.  We didn’t know how we were going to be able to do these scenes.

Because of the social distancing?

JACQUELINE:  Well, yeah, social distancing!  We did it in one take.  It was a long 10-12 page scene.

Photo: Gilles Toucas/Bell-Phillip Television

Well, the final 7 minutes of that episode were just a riveting; which included that knife scene, which in itself was gut-wrenching to watch, as I assume it must have been to play?

JACQUELINE:  It was a big scene, and it was a big, emotional week for all of us, obviously, and I couldn’t have done it without my cast.  They were so phenomenal as well.  We were trying to think, “How are we going to do this?”  Thorsten Kaye came up with this idea that Steffy should have a knife because Ridge would want to go to her and grab her, and the only thing that would maybe keep him away.  She is so angry, and she does have so much emotional baggage, and yes, she is in pain from her motorcycle accident, but I think that a lot of people saw in that phone call from Hope, where Hope said, “Oh, Kelly wants to spend another night,” that was that whole mental shift of, “Oh, my God, this is my worst fear.  It’s finally happening.  My daughter doesn’t want to stay here.  I am truly alone.  I don’t have anybody.”  Her life up to now has been about raising Kelly, and then that was that whole baggage unload – the pain of all of the years of what the Logans had done to the Forresters – it was just a domino effect. She obviously is not dealing with the pain in a pragmatic way.  I think Steffy was using the pills to mitigate her misery, physically and emotionally.

Courtesy/CBS

I think there were two turning points … after the switchblade incident, when she finally realized, “Oh, my God, what am I doing?  I’ve got this knife,” and she gets rid of it.  She does seem to have these moments (in that episode and the one that aired Tuesday) where she realizes, “Oh, my God, I’m messed up,” which were heartbreaking moments.  Do you remember playing that moment of, “Oh, my God, I’m an addict,” where Steffy admitted it out loud?

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  It was extremely difficult.  I’m really good at being able to work on set and being able to leave it behind.  That’s the one thing that people will say to me, “What is it like off of set?  It must be so emotional for you!”  Once we say cut, I’m done.  I don’t mentally check out from the scenes, but I’m just able to let go because we just have so many episodes and so many emotional scenes, but I have to say this took a little while to shake.  I had to get into my car, and I was still emotional, and I had to put some good music on, and blare it, and drive home.  To know that these things are happening in the world and it is happening to so many people, it just breaks my heart, and I still get emotional about it.  It is gut-wrenching to know that this happens.  When I have those emotional scenes, (especially like that) I can’t fake it.  That’s just not who I am.  I can’t just fake cry to get through it.  Yeah, I’m an actor, but even though we film so quickly, even though it’s usually just one take, even though we are crying all day with all of these scenes, I really like to emotionally get there.  Obviously, over the years, I’ve learned to get there quicker, and I am really proud of myself for that, but what you see is what you get.  Those are real emotions.  I am just as present as I possibly can be in that scene and just listening to Ridge, and Liam, and Finn and just taking it all in – then Steffy realizes that she is addicted, just that moment of everything breaking down; her whole world was falling apart.  I think it was an important moment, but we were just really there for one another in that scene.

 

Scott Clifton, I just really want to say, throughout that week, had to play annoyingly holier-than-thou with you as Steffy.  People were annoyed with Liam.  He was the perfect annoyance to get her really pissed off!

JACQUELINE:  Yeah, I know!  It was actually funny at one point because so many fans were like, “Steffy was out of her mind!  She was clearly on drugs!”  I love the Steffy fans who were like, “Liam is so wrong!”  You could see how loyal the fans were.

Courtesy/CBS

They were!  It was great, but Liam was super annoying. That being said; did you watch back last Friday’s episode where after Steffy runs out, the camera pans to Scott, and Liam breaks down and cries?  So good. 

JACQUELINE:  Yep, yep.  I know, it was so good, and that was him!  That’s what I find so beautiful is that when you are in that scene, you don’t know what the reactions are going to be, and I know that was so true and authentic of Scott.  It was a genuine emotion that came out of him. I hadn’t seen him break down in a long time, but it was so unexpected, but I was glad to see it, really glad.

Photo: JPI

We haven’t seen Bill Spencer come to Steffy yet.  How does she feel about that?

JACQUELINE:  That’s a good question.  I don’t know how Steffy is going to feel about that.  I think, obviously before the addiction happened, she would blame him for hitting her on her motorcycle, but you never know, things could change coming up with Bill and Steffy.

Well, he will probably blame himself now for the addiction, I would think, because he hit her.

JACQUELINE:  I think so, too.  That’s one of the things he may be playing in those scenes.  So, we shall see.

Courtesy./CBS

Talk to me about Thorsten Kaye in those scene with you as the dad, because in the episode we saw Tuesday, there was a powerful moment when he just sat beside Steffy, but not holding her at the very end.  I thought that was a very nice touch given also Covid-19 protocols.  At that point they weren’t dragging Steffy out into a rehab facility.  We just watched him sitting there quietly while Steffy had this reckoning to herself. 

JACQUELINE:  I really liked it.  I liked that we had a lot of those chill moments of taking each other in. Thorsten and I get along so well.  We’ve just always had a bond, and I love working with him because in rehearsal, we do something one way, and then, again, when you’re filming, it’s always so unexpected, you don’t know what he is going to throw at you, which makes you be even more present.  It’s a tough scene.  I was feeding off of him and vice versa, and I’m sure he was putting himself in that situation of God-forbid if his daughters were in this situation, and you know, I’m looking at him in that father-daughter moment and seeing him become emotional for his daughter.  It just kills you, it really does, but it was a heartbreaking moment, but I like how we ended the scene: with something as very simple as sitting beside each other.

Courtesy/CBS

Your fans and the soap pundits are saying that obviously you have your Emmy reel for next year, it’s done.  It’s right there.  This may just make you a two-time Lead Actress Daytime Emmy winner.

JACQUELINE:  Aw, that’s so sweet.

It is great for you because you have an arc of a story there to tell, and we’ve talked about this before – an arc of a story for a submission in Emmy competition seems what many of the judges like to see and can understand because they watch the performer in scenes from the progression of a story.   

JACQUELINE:  Definitely, and it was nice to know that I was going to do this story and that we were going to tell this story, but once we came back months later, I didn’t know that we were still going to dive into opioid addiction with Steffy, because again, with our show, and with a lot of soaps, storylines change all of the time. I am very grateful for it.

 

So, what can we tease?  Will Steffy get Kelly back, or will she be estranged from her for a little bit?  What do you think?

JACQUELINE: I think that Steffy is a strong woman, and I think she will come back stronger than ever, and I think she will get her daughter.

Courtesy/CBS

You should be very, very proud of this work, Jacqui!

JACQUELINE:  Thank you.  I am.  During the week, when we had all of the dialogue to do, and it’s a different world now when you’re taking care of a toddler, and then with the Covid-19 protocols, and then you get the story, (and again, so grateful for it), but it was so much dialogue, and going back and forth, and making sure you’re bringing it emotionally, and it was extremely challenging, to say the least,  But, I am really proud of myself that come that Friday I was like, “Oh, my God, we did it.  We did it!”

What have you thought of Jacqueline’s performances in the opioid addiction storyline? Were you glad to hear the show decided not to drag out the story due to the times we are all in? Do you feel this storyline was powerful and could help those in need of help? Share your thoughts on the interview with Jacqui and more via the comment section below.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

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General Hospital

Airdate: 10-08-2020

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