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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!

General Hospital

GH’s Finola Hughes, Marcus Coloma & Josh Swickard Talk On 15,000th Episode Milestone

The juggernaut that is ABC’s General Hospital, is marking yet another accomplishment in its storied 59-year-history.  The iconic soap opera is set to air on Wednesday, June 22nd (unless preempted), its 15,000th episode.

As part of the celebration, General Hospital’s Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), Marcus Coloma (Nikolas Cassadine) and Josh Swickard (Chase), who all appear in the standalone episode, chat with Michael Fairman to mark the occasion.

During the conversation now on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Finola and Marcus, and later Josh, who logged on later while at Disneyland, discuss: their beginnings on GH from landing their respective roles, who in the cast perhaps most intimated them, at first, and what it has meant to be part of the legacy of General Hospital.  In addition, Finola, Marcus, and Josh reveal some of their more challenging storylines, and more.

Photo: ABC

Later, the trio each gives us a tease of what’s to come now that Nikolas has slept with Esme (Avery Pohl), what lies ahead for Anna and her love-interest Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and Josh talks on working with his on-screen love-interest, Amanda Setton (Brook Lynn Quartermaine).

Watch for a special appearance by GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) within the interview, as we do a deep-dive of being part of the ensemble cast.

We also take a moment to send out our condolences to Kristina (Felicia) and Jack Wagner (Ex-Frisco) on the passing of their son, Harrison, and how you can donate to the scholarship fund in his honor.

Check out our GH 15K interview with Finola, Marcus, and Josh below, and make sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Michael Fairman Channel for more upcoming features, interviews, and upcoming Daytime Emmy red carpet coverage.

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Interviews

Sean Kanan Talks On The New Season of His Streaming Series ‘Studio City’ and The Life and Times of B&B’s Deacon Sharpe

The second season of the Emmy-Award winning, digital streaming series, Studio City is now available on Amazon Prime. The six latest episodes bring us back into the series of an aging actor, Sam Stevens, played by soap vet, Sean Kanan, who is one of the stars of the soap opera, Hearts on Fire, in the role of Dr. Pierce Hartley.

Throughout Studio City, viewers go on the journey of Sam’s foibles through life off-camera juxtaposed with his life on-screen. A sundry of delicious characters enhances the premise of the series portrayed by the likes of: Carolyn Hennesy, Anna Maria Horsford, Justin Torkildsen, Lilly Melgar, Tristan Rogers and more, all names familiar to soap fans.

While Sean is busy promoting the latest season of Studio City, and his book Way of the Cobra, he is also continuing to appear on The Bold and the Beautiful as bad boy – trying to straighten out his life after years in prison – Deacon Sharpe.  Since his return last year, Sean has been mixing it up in stories with the likes of Kimberlin Brown (Sheila) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke).

 

In this chat with Michael Fairman TV, Sean weighs-in on: what could be next for B&B’s Deacon, the struggles and the joys of continuing his streaming series, and the homage Studio City is to the soap genre and much more. Check out what he had to share below.

Courtesy/StudioCity

How challenging was it to shoot this season of Studio City?

SEAN:  When we do this thing on a shoestring, everything needs to fall into place in order for it to happen properly.  We know that everybody involved with the show was going to potentially get other projects, or do other things   One of the biggest issues we have, is that a lot of times, we didn’t know what locations we had because Studio City is the real world, and then it’s the show within a show (Hearts on Fire).  So, with the show within a show, those actors aren’t in the ‘real world’. For instance, Tristan Rogers (Doc), is only in the ‘real word’, so, if we have a location that isn’t for the ‘real world’, we can’t shoot Tristan because he doesn’t exist there.  We would have to literally decide what we were writing (sometimes the night before) based on the locations we could get.  It was just an enormous challenge.

Sarah Brown (Laurie) was not a part of the newest six episodes as well as some others cast members. Will she and others be back at some point?

SEAN:  Sarah was directing a podcast, and we kind of had to look at who was available to us, and what stories we needed to tie-up, and hopefully we are going to wind up doing another five episodes to finish up this season.  Then, hopefully we are able to get the actors who weren’t able to do the first six to come back and do the second five.

What I liked about the new six episodes is that I thought you built-in some really solid scenes for the actors.  How did you feel about the outcome?

SEAN:  We make the best show that we can make with the resources and time that we have.  I was glad that we got to develop the story a little more with Delilah (Juliet Vega), Sam’s would-be-daughter.  We always try to do something that’s socially responsive, and diversity is certainly and important issue in Hollywood, without a doubt, but I also think that you need to see the comedic side of everything.  I thought there was some really funny stuff about that with Sam doing the podcast and the scene with Anna Maria Horsford (Jolene) and Will Roberts (Dennis), where she comes in, and she’s like, “The production is too white.”  I thought that was some funny stuff there.  I loved the monologue my wife, Michele, wrote for Carolyn Hennesy (Gloria) about the soaps – that thing about how all of the soaps are dead, and Carolyn just railed in support of the soaps, about the soaps being this dependable thing.  For a lot of people, soaps are their point of emotional contact.

Photo: StudioCity

I talk to fans all of the time and for many times soaps are their lifeline.  Your character, Sam, lands a part in action-adventure film and screws that all up while on set. Where did that plot point come from?

SEAN: It came from a couple different places.  I think that there is not a male actor alive, who some part of him doesn’t harken back to when he was a little boy and doesn’t want to be an action star.  I think the funny thing about it is, of course, Sam is right on the precipice of being over the hill for it, and he’s not going to let that stop him.  Natalie Burn (Shelby Brock) is a legit action star.  She’s a terrific martial artist.  Our director, Timothy Woodward Jr. has done some action movies.  So, we sort of said, “Okay, we’ve set this thing up where Sam wants to get this film.  Let’s give him the film and have him struggle abysmally.”  Marching orders for Studio City are always to keep as much mishigas on Sam’s shoulders as we can.  You never want to see the lead of your show succeeding wildly because that diffuses all of the conflict.  I do think I’ve had some really great dramatic stuff.  I really liked the scenes that I had with Delilah in the sixth episode, and I loved the stuff with Tristan, and I loved the stuff with Lilly Melgar (Becky).  I thought it was really funny.  Lilly killed it and so did Justin Torkildsen (Jacob).  I thought Justin was great.

Courtesy/StudioCity

I thought when you utilized on-camera testimonials from the cast and the EP, that was really a hilarious piece to add to the story.

SEAN:  That was great.  I’d love to take credit for that, but it was Tim’s idea, and it was a really great idea from a production standpoint, because you can do one of two things.  You can either do a whole show where you’re using those, or you can chop them up and use them throughout different shows. From a production standpoint, we had to build some things into the show to insert those when we needed.

Courtesy/StudioCity

You also cast celebrity publicist, Anthony Turk, as a network executive in the series.

SEAN:  Yes. Way back when I created Studio City, there was a part for a publicist, and I had talked to Anthony about doing it.  We had eliminated the publicist part until Lilly became the publicist; which ended up in a completely different plot point.  I always knew I wanted to put Anthony in the series, because I think he’s a good actor. I was like, “You know, I didn’t write this part for you, but I think you can do it,” and I was really happy with how he did it.

 

Courtesy/StudioCity

I also liked the scene with Anna Maria Horsford’s Jolene where she tells Sam to keep his mouth shut while he is working on set. 

SEAN:  She is so fabulous.  I love that woman.  She is such a talent, and I was so happy when she got nominated for a Daytime Emmy last year.  I have such an affection for everybody on our show, because they really put their heart and soul in it, and it just means so much that they show up, and they support, and they do great work.

What I noticed is that the way Timothy Woodward Jr. captures you as an actor.  There is so much going on in the reaction in your eyes of what is happening to Sam.  He realizes the, “Oh, my God,” of each situation as he realizes what he just stepped into, or he finds the humor in it, or when he lets out his frustration, as he did with his daughter in the sixth episode.

SEAN:  That was one of my favorite scenes.  I wrote that one.   It was great because it’s my real-life stepdaughter, and I thought she really stepped up, and I was so proud of her.

For the first time in the realignment by the television academies, Studio City will now be competing at the Primetime Emmys instead of the Daytime Emmys, if the series receives nominations.  How do you feel about that?

SEAN: We are really excited to be competing with the big dogs now at the Primetime Emmys, and rather than being intimidated by it, we are saying, “This is the universe opening up and saying, ‘this is what you need to do,’ and so let’s embrace it.”  It’s going to be exciting.  In my 35 years in the business, I’ve never been to the Primetime Emmys.  So, we shall see.

Photo: StudioCity

Justin Torkildsen’s role greatly expanded this season.  In story, do you see Jacob attempting to thwart his Aunt Gloria and take control of Hearts on Fire as the EP? 

SEAN:  I don’t know if the goal is for him to take over for Gloria.  It certainly was a lot of fun to see what happened when he got just a little taste of power.  He’s got his own agenda, and I also love that he wants the love from his Aunt Gloria.  He’s not just a young guy trying to ascend the power ladder of the show.  He really does want his aunt to be proud of him and to love him, and she’s a tough nut to crack.

There was scene after the network executive tells Gloria, “You’re out, if you don’t fix the show.”  Doesn’t Jacob gloat in it for a minute?  Doesn’t he want payback for how she treats him?

SEAN:  I don’t know if he does.  I think he certainly does like to see when Gloria gets her little comeuppances, but when push comes to shove, I think he’s really got her back, I do.  Justin is so naturally funny.  He’s a great guy to have on set.  He’s got a great attitude, and he’s a very good actor.  I was really struck by a moment in season one where he’s coming up the stairs, and he had this abject fear of interrupting Gloria, and Justin didn’t have any lines.  He just played it beautifully with no dialogue.  I was like, “We’ve got to give Justin more to do,” and for me, it was nostalgic to work with him again because the very first scene I had on The Bold and the Beautiful was with Justin.

Photo: JPI

What can you say about Carolyn Hennesy; who often is the quintessential scene-stealer in Studio City when she appears on-screen?  Does she go with the script or ad-lib parts of the dialog?

SEAN:  She’s a gorgeous, red-haired, flaming beast.  She definitely did some wonderful ad-libbing to elevate what was on the page, and she made it her own, and that’s one of the things that I love the most about her.  I love that I can write a 20-page scene and give it to, for example, Tristan Rogers, 20 minutes before and know that he’s going to nail it.  That’s one of the things that I love about working with Daytime actors.   Say what you want, but when the chips are down, and your back is against the wall, a Daytime actor is going to be the one who can take the dialogue, digest it quickly, and give you a good performance.  With the way that we are run and gun in our style of shooting, you have to move really quickly.  I’ve worked on a lot of films, and with people who are recognizable in the business, and sometimes they get overwhelmed when they have more than a couple of pages in a day … and you know what we do in Daytime.

Courtesy/StudioCity

When you were writing the new season with Michele and Tim, was it laid out pretty definitively, or did it evolve?

SEAN:  We laid out some large arcs.  We knew the storyline that we wanted to do with Natalie and with Will.  Natalie, actually joined us as a co-executive producer.  She is Ukrainian and has family there.  So, she had a lot going on.  I just feel like she really stepped up.  She really helped the production both as an actress and as a Co-EP, and we were very fortunate to have her, and have her at a time when it would be completely understandable when her ability to even act would have been compromised, yet alone have the facility to Co-EP.  In addition, we knew we wanted to deepen the relationship between Sam and Delilah.  We had a different idea with what we wanted to do with Doc, and we wound up doing something another way than what we had originally discussed.  Sometimes, you have to make these decisions that are sort of production-based and you have to alter storyline.  Of course, we knew we wanted to continue to create the storyline that like a lot of soaps, Hearts on Fire was potentially on the chopping block.  At the same time, we really wanted to illustrate that the soaps are full of people who are talented, gifted actors, who love what they do, they work really hard, and they don’t always get the respect that they deserve.

Courtesy/StudioCity

It looks like Doc might be having a change of heart?  Will he begin chemo to save his life?

SEAN:  That’s what we are thinking, and we are hoping to bring Patrika Darbo back in, and finding out where she’s been and having some really nice scenes between, she and Doc.  I think things are going to develop between Dennis, who is the producer, and my character, Sam, and we are going to learn that all has not been revealed of who Dennis really is.

Courtesy/StudioCity

What did you think when you saw your performances in the latest six of Studio City?

SEAN:  I’m always super critical of myself.  I like the stuff with the podcast because I thought it was really organic, and I thought it was funny.  I loved the stuff with Lilly.  I always see things that I could fix and do better, but I also saw stuff that I liked, and I really liked a lot of what was going on with Juliet.  We had another take where Sam really breaks down, and unfortunately, we had a sound problem with that one, and we couldn’t use it.  That was really crushing to me, but again, you make the show that you can make. Michele and I always joke and say, “Making a 50-million-dollar movie is easy.  You want to really produce something?  Produce it when you have no money.”

Photo: JPI

What did your wife, Michele, say about how she thought the latest season of Studio City turned out? 

SEAN:  I do have to say that Michelle really stepped up this season of Studio City.  She ran the show.  She is an executive producer, but she was also the supervising producer, in charge, responsible for crewing up.  She amazes me to no end.  I couldn’t be prouder of her, and I’m so honored that she and I were able to both win out at the Daytime Emmys.  We have very different skillsets, which is great.  There are not a lot of areas where we overlap, but we compliment, and that’s why I love working with her.

Photo: JPI

You are also busy with The Bold and the Beautiful.  How has this most recent return been for you as Deacon Sharpe?

SEAN:  Oh, my God, it’s been fantastic.  The Bold and the Beautiful consistently ranks as one of the best professional experiences that I have ever had.  I love the people I work with.  I love the creative freedom that I have on the show.  I love what they write for me.  It’s just great.  Listen, I’ve done four Daytime shows, and by far and away, this has been the best experience.   It’s a great role.  I’m the only guy who has ever played Deacon, so I’m fiercely protective of the character.  I know I’m coming into a really big storyline right now, which is very exciting.  I can’t say anything about it yet, but I’m going to be working with a character who I haven’t worked with very much before, which is very exciting.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Kimberlin Brown receiving an Outstanding Supporting Actress Daytime Emmy nomination? I believe you are in some of her submitted scenes.

SEAN:  I think it’s incredibly well-deserved. She just brought so much to it, and I’m just honored that I was able to be a part of what she did.

People are saying you’re going to get all wrapped-up in the Li (Naomi Matsuda) Sheila, and Finn (Tanner Novlan) storyline.

SEAN:  Well, I guess I already am to a certain extent.  I like to think that in his infinite wisdom, Brad Bell (head writer and executive producer, B&B) knew that Kimberlin and I would find humor in an eccentric relationship; rather than just being two kinds of ‘baddies’.  Deacon is not nearly as bad as Sheila, but rather than be two people with somewhat aligned wants and needs, I think hopefully Brad was like, “I think they’re going to come up with something interesting,” and I think we did.   The fight that Deacon had with Ridge (Thorsten Kaye), that is not something that you see on Daytime all the time.  That was really exciting and fun.

Photo: JPI

I love that Deacon’s home-away-from-home is the supply closet!

SEAN:  I was teasing Brad.  I said, “If I get a raise, do I get a Swiffer?”  I love it.  In terms of Sheila and Deacon, I didn’t know if we were going to wind up in the sack together or not, and I thought, you know, if that happens, that would be interesting, too.  By my calculations, Deacon has now been out of jail for how long, and he has not gotten any action.  No action for a guy who just got out of prison for 5 years.  So, I don’t know what’s going on in that broom closet. (Laughs)

What was it like working with Katherine Kelly Lang during the whole ‘New Year’s Eve drunken night with Brooke’ story?

SEAN:  You know, Kelly and I really were able to capture lightening in a bottle many years ago, and I think it was wonderful.  I always wondered, what was going to happen all this time later if we worked together again?  Are we going to be able to come up with something great?  I love working with her.  Poor Kelly, just broke her ankle, which is terrible, but she is a champ.

Photo: JPI

Do you think there is still chemistry between Brooke and Deacon?

SEAN:  Yeah, I do.  I try to create chemistry with anyone I work with, men or women, but don’t we do that in life?  We always want to be interesting and sexy with anyone we talk to.  Ultimately, what we are trying to do on some level, is we are always seducing as human beings.  That’s where I come from as an actor.  You’ve got a goal.  You’ve got a series of actions that you use to get the goal.  You usually fail a couple times in the scene, so you change the actions, and you try to overcome the obstacles.

Right, and seduce people …

SEAN: … And seduce.  Deacon is a very adept seducer.  I think a lot of it was from being a conman.  I think now, Deacon is finding that he can be seductive by being authentic.  I think that’s new to him.  I think ultimately, when you’re authentic, that’s a way more powerful brand of seduction than something that is some sort of a manufactured, fabricated, external seduction.

Photo: JPI

So, what would say in a tease of what’s coming up for Deacon on B&B?

SEAN:  All I can say is that I’ve been told that I’ll have an exciting story coming up, and I’m looking forward to it.  I always like when I get the ball, and you never know what another actor is going to bring out of you.  Whenever I work with someone who I haven’t worked with, I hope that they are going to allow me to tap into a part of myself that maybe I haven’t demonstrated before.  That’s what I look for, and that’s what keeps me enthused in this job.  We do have to give the same information a lot in Daytime.  That’s just the nature of the beast.  The challenge is, “How do I do this in a way that is not only interesting for the audience but allows me to stay engaged as an actor?”  If you start getting apathetic as an actor, you start doing bad work, and I can’t do that.

Have you checked out the latest six episodes of Studio City? What do you hope happens next for Deacon on The Bold and the Beautiful? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn Chats On Her Daytime Emmy-Nominated Performance and Its Significance

When the nominations were revealed for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital mainstay, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), was recognized for her stunning work in the Alexis-centric standalone episode which honored her 25th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series.

Grahn, is already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner.  She won back in 1989 in a tie for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara along with All My Children’s Debbi Morgan, and again received the honors in that category in 2012 for her work on General Hospital.

Now. she is vying for the gold in 2022 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category against other formidable actresses including: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown, DAYS Stacy Haiduk, Y&R’s Melissa Ordway, and her GH castmate, Kelly Thiebaud.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Nancy to talk about her decision to enter the Emmy race this year, her powerful and moving scenes, why this nomination is significant and important to her, and her take on some very important social issues of our time.

Always candid, insightful, combined with great humor and wit, here’s what Nancy had to share below, and make sure to check out GH this week when sparks fly between Alexis and Gregory (Gregory Harrison). Will he turn out to be the new beau in Alexis’ life? Stay tuned.

Courtesy/ABC

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination.  How do you feel about being in the running again, especially with the material from your 25th anniversary episode?

NANCY:  You know, I don’t submit myself if I don’t think I have something, and I didn’t last year.  This year, I had the one show, and the first reason I submitted myself was I had the episode that was worthy of the competition. These judges have to sit, and watch this stuff, and very often, it’s hard to watch soap opera scenes.  It really is, unless you’re in it.  It’s a different kind of material that most primetime people aren’t used to watching.  So, it’s tricky business.  I don’t want to put them through anything too awful. I don’t want to torture them and I’ve judged before. It can be a bit tedious. So, for me to submit myself, I thought, it has to be something that isn’t going to torture another human being. The second thing is, older women get marginalized the older they get, and they get diminished very often, and every time we get nominated, it means something different to me.  This time, to me, I want it to somehow be symbolic, or a shoutout to women who are still producing, who have been doing their job for a long time and are still doing it good enough, and that it’s still worthy of respect and recognition.

When we were at the GH Convention back in March, I played the scene on-stage for the fans in attendance of when Alexis goes over to the corner of Kevin’s office and heals her younger self.  You saw the reaction just from the fans.  It’s such a beautiful moment within the story.  What did you think about how the standalone episode was crafted?

NANCY:  It was a different experience for me because GH co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, and script writer, Scott Sickles gave it the attention, but even more to that, they allowed me to participate in the creation of it.  They allowed the director, Phideaux Xavier, to participate.  We all sat in a room.  They said, “You know what?  Make it how you’re comfortable with it.”  There were so many people who gave it time and effort, and Phideaux gets a lot of credit because he came up with a lot of ideas.  So, the little girl in the therapy room wasn’t initially a part of it.  That was Phideaux’s idea, and they let us alter things, and they allowed me to write some words that meant something to me with the character.  Our producers, Michelle Henry and M.K Weir, who I both adore, were also a part of this.

Courtesy/ABC

That is great to hear that you were involved in the collaborative process of the creation of the episode.

NANCY:  We read through the whole script, and we worked it like you would on primetime. We went through it like, “Does this moment work?  Does that moment work?  Does this make sense?  Does that make sense?”  We never do that in soaps.  We don’t get to that.  So, it was a gift to me.  It really was. Chris and Dan, and Scott and Phideaux, and the two producers, generosity in gifting me that experience and making sure that it was to everybody’s liking, was really very special to me, and it meant a lot.

Did you come up with the key lines which summarized Alexis as a person and her journey: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a fighter, and an idealist and an advocate?”

NANCY:  No. They designed it, but we were allowed to enhance and contribute creatively to it, and, we don’t normally have the time to do that.  They don’t have the time to – and you can’t allow people to do that with every episode, to be creatively participating, because it would turn into madness with everybody.

Then, when it came down to choosing the scenes from your anniversary episode to include for your Emmy submission, was that a challenging process of which moments to go with?

NANCY:  I just told a little story with it with the time that I had, and so, I edited it with a friend of mine.  I did a sort of pre-edit on it, I’m good at that, and handed the timeline to our editor, who nicely put it together. It took very little effort.

In my humble opinion, I think that episode featured one of your all-time best performances.

NANCY: Thank you. There was a nice effort from everybody, from the lighting to everybody else, and all the effort Phideaux put into it.  He worked so hard on that!  It was fun for us.  It was like the old days where you really got to work something out.

Photo: ABC

It truly harkened back to everything we knew up to that point about Alexis and her past as well, and included a montage of scenes over the years.

NANCY:  I think it was M.K. who put that together, but when you’re working at the pace we’re working now, to have to sit and put together a montage of twenty-five years, that’s not an easy feat.  Nobody has time for that anymore, but they did it, and like I said, it was really, really appreciated.  My only thought with it is that I wanted it to be relatable to other people.  I didn’t want it to just be some, you know, self-indulgent Alexis episode. I knew that by bringing in the little girl and talking about people being hurt in their childhood and how that makes somebody feel that it was probably relatable to many people, and so it became meaningful to other people and not just me.

Do you think you’ll attend the Daytime Emmys? I know the last time you won you were not present.

NANCY:  Yeah, I’m planning on it.  I mean, barring anything happening! (Laughs)

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

NANCY:  Of course, it does.  It always does, and way too often, women who are still producing well in their jobs, don’t get the respect and the acknowledgment for it.  So, that’s why I’m saying, this is no small thing, and that I want other women to know that I know that, and that I wish for them the same thing.

What was the reaction of your daughter, Kate and your fiancé, Richard, when you told them you were Emmy-nominated?

NANCY:  Richie goes, “What is this?  Your 18th nomination?” (Laughs). You know what I mean?  It was just kind of like, “Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t you be?” It wasn’t like, “Oh, my God!”  It was like they kind of expected that.  That was nice!  I’m glad they feel that way.  I’m glad they weren’t surprised.  They were like, “Sure!  Of course, you would be.  Why wouldn’t you be?”  I said, “You know, it doesn’t always work like that!”

Photo: JPI

Now comes the part of having to find a dress and all that goes with it for the red carpet.  Do you enjoy that part?

NANCY:  No, I hate that part.  That is my… oh ‘boohoo’, you know?  I mean, I have to find something to wear.  Also, the older you get, that becomes so much less important, and the more makeup, and the more hair, and the more foofy, the more ridiculous I look. I start looking like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  You’ve just got to keep it simple.

You were talking about women and ageism.  Do you not feel that also exists for men?

NANCY:  It exists for men, but it’s not at all on the same par as women.  I mean, men still get paid more than women, and men still are valued more than women.  I mean, there are exceptions, but if you look in any place of employment, even the soaps, you will typically find the men making more money than the women, and the older the women get, the less they get.  Life’s not fair right now.  It’s fairer than it was, but still the equality game is not won yet.

Photo: JPI

I know how much all of this means to you in terms of equality for women, and people being run out of their jobs because of their age.

NANCY:  It’s just a reality.  It’s not something that I’m hopeless about, but I have a story to tell.  I’ll tell it when the time is right.  It’s life!  It happens in every field everywhere.  When my mom was 70, she was still producing the exact same way she was producing when she was 30, and she got run out, and was replaced by a man who was 40 or something, and there was no particular reason for it.  It was just, “You’re done.  We decided you’re done,” but like I said, it happens everywhere, in every line of work, and that’s why I just wanted to give a shout-out, when you still, after 36 years, can be recognized or shown respect or acknowledgment for what your do.  It’s a very big deal that I am appreciative of and grateful for.

So, rooting for Nancy to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress prize? Happy she was nominated for her work in the the milestone episode devoted to Alexis? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and to tune-in to the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 24th.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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