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The Florencia Lozano Interview – One Life to Live

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Want a sexy spitfire who can handle every thing thrown at her including the kitchen sink?  Look no further than One Life to Live’s Florencia Lozano. As legal eagle Téa Delgado, her ‘woman on the edge’ performances have been nothing short of remarkable.   And if you follow the shenanigans in Llanview, then you know Téa has a big elephant in the room, her daughter Danielle, who the man Téa loves never knew existed, till now   So the stage is set for more of the stormy and twisted drama in the never-a-dull moment relationship between Téa Delgado and Todd Manning.  This couple spells dysfunction with a capitol, “D”.   Over the last month, soap fans have been introduced to Danielle, the newest member of the Manning clan.  And the teen seems like a chip off the old block….hating every one that wronged her.  Sound familiar?  Now the question is, when will Dani find out the man she hates is her dad?

As Christmas time approaches, after the “supposed” sudden death of Ross Rayburn (who Danielle believed to be her biological father) went over a bridge with the help from Todd and an assist from a bullet, this family is all over the map for the holidays.  Blair wants to console Todd, Eli wants to console Téa and Todd wants to tell Dani the truth, and all the while Todd and Téa seem to truly love each other, even though they cannot stop hurting one another.  In this On-Air On-Soaps interview, Florencia Lozano talks about working with the brilliant Trevor St. John (Todd), what propels Téa to “act” up, and we get a small sneak peek into life in Llanview in 2010!

MICHAEL:

Your storyline has been so dramatic for months, and whenever I watch Téa I need to take two Xanax when her scenes are over. (Laughs) Her histrionics alone are enough to make me grab for the bottle.  But I love her.  Do you think she is slightly, shall we say, “over-the-top”?

FLORENCIA:

I missed the showing of the OLTL Christmas reel, which apparently I am the star of! (Laughs)  Apparently, there was a part where I was screaming and screaming, and screaming hysterically, and then immediately was like, “Was that over-the-top?” (Laughs)  I guess I see it as melodrama that we are doing with heightened emotion.  I do have fun pushing that to the extreme and pushing myself emotionally to extremes.  Certainly, Téa has been in situations that have warranted that.  Imagine if you were fighting with someone and they went out the window.  How would you feel?  How horrifying would that moment be?  That’s all I can say. (Laughs)

Tea and Todd Fight

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

You had left the show in 2002 and came back a year ago.  How has it been different this time out?

FLORENCIA:

I am different, and am happy to say that.  I have learned a few things over the years and feel more grounded, and more appreciative, and more comfortable with myself.  I am enjoying myself more than I did before… not that I did not have a great time with Roger Howarth (Ex-Todd, Paul ATWT).  I did.  But working with Trevor St. John is equally wonderful.  I am getting to do a lot of material with Kassie DePaiva, (Blair) which is terrific.  It’s a good team over here.

MICHAEL:

Did you know when you were going in this time, that Téa was going to have a daughter?

FLORENCIA:

I don’t think anybody knew that.  I did not know.  And it has been cool to have that dimension added to my character, because I don’t have a child in real-life.  It’s been satisfying to imagine that I am responsible for this person.

MICHAEL:

You were not, “Oh God, I am too young to have a teenage daughter?”

FLORENCIA:

No, I wasn’t.  It’s a soap… all kinds of stuff happen in terms of the age thing.  I was honestly curious to explore another dimension of Téa, because for so long it’s been Todd and Téa.  This idea that she was hurt as a child by her circumstance, so therefore she is attracted to men who are troubled like herself, was refreshing to play something outside of that paradigm.  So, I was glad.

Todd and Tea Wedding

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

Téa’s background… I don’t feel the show has re-established that in recent months as to why Téa is the way she is.  Can you give On-Air On-Soaps readers a refresher course?  Was she abused as a child?

FLORENCIA:

It’s less about abuse and more about abandonment.  I guess abandonment is sort of abuse. Her dad was a super who was very busy and lonely. Téa’s mother abandoned her and him.  So, Téa grew up with a dad who always had a lot on his mind, and was struggling really, really hard.  I think she felt very isolated in this Park Avenue world that she didn’t feel she belonged in, but she felt that she was determined that she was going to fit in, too.  She is used to thinking about love as something that she has to work really, really hard to get.  There is a real tortured relationship for her of getting love and being loved.  

MICHAEL:

Do you ever go, “OMG!  Now Téa’s going back to Todd… again?”  Do you think you and the audience have to suspend belief?  Or, do you think somebody would keep going back into this dark and murky territory?

FLORENCIA:

Listen, I think all kinds of things happen in the world and truth is stranger than fiction.  I could totally see that she would keep going back to Todd.  Going back and forth with Todd is basically what Téa has been doing, and it’s tiring, but I think it’s the truth of love/hate relationships and a lot of people are like that.

MICHAEL:

Do you ever get exhausted after those emotionally-packed performances and carry it with you off the set?  Can you just let it go and walk home?  Or, is it so draining that it affects your life?

Tea Freaked

Courtesy/ABC

FLORENCIA:

It’s draining.  It’s cathartic sometimes too, because you get to express, rage, or sadness, or grief or pain, that as a person there is not always the appropriate time or place to do that.  And to get to express that, and to know that people will watch it, and then they get in touch with their own feelings of sorrow, is sort of the cool cathartic thing as an actor to think.  So I say to myself, “Yeah, that was tiring (and at times I am knocked out) but in a kind of uplifting way.”  I enjoy it, and that is why I became an actor.

MICHAEL:

How is playing with your on-screen daughter, Danielle, Kelley Massal?  Or as Téa says, “Dan-yell-ah.” (Roll of the tongue, too)

FLORENCIA:

(Laughs) Trevor always makes fun of me with my pronunciation.   She is wonderful!

MICHAEL:

Were you involved in the casting?

FLORENCIA:

I screen tested with all of them.  Kelly is still a kid, and it’s easy to forget that because of the work that she delivers.  It’s cool to pretend to be a mom, to touch her hair and feel I can comfort her or protect her.  I like keeping an eye on her and making sure she is all right.  It’s a lot to be here.  And to take the pace of soaps is hard at that age, with the emotion it calls for.  I think for Kelly it’s also been a lot of fun for her to get to play the rebellious teen.  You know, the Todd Manning teen!  I have actually been in awe of what she has done.

MICHAEL:

So, right now Danielle hates her mother and her father.  What do you think we can look forward to?  Any resolution?

Todd and Dani

Courtesy/ABC

FLORENCIA:

She is a teenager, and for a couple years there, it’s really a true test of faith. Adolescence, if you remember, (I vaguely do) it’s a really hard time.  Mothers often times get the brunt of that, especially with daughters.  There is a lot of separating from the mother yet wanting to stay merged with the mother.  In our case, she is about to find out her father is not who she thought he was.  So we are definitely going to have a struggle.  But I would hope our love would win out.

MICHAEL:

Todd comes to Téa soon, and tells her he loves her.  Does Téa still love Todd?

FLORENCIA:

What do you think? 

MICHAEL:

I think she still loves him!

FLORENCIA:

You are right, and as we go into the New Year, things will happen.

MICHAEL:

Every one in the cast touts, and rightfully so, working with Trevor.  Can you shed some light on working with such a dynamic actor, day in and day out?

FLORENCIA:

He is very funny, and that cannot be underestimated…. the joy of that amidst all this as tragic melodrama…. to have someone who is sort of poking fun at every direction, at everyone including himself, is a real joy.  I find that very attractive.  It gives some relief.  He is very grounded and smart, and so it allows me to be able to go off into the stratosphere emotionally, because he is asking questions that are really helpful and plotting our path through all of this material.  He is very open to being in the moment. We have so few takes in daytime, and if we try something and it’s captured and it takes well, that’s the best.  We do rehearse when we can.

Trevorsolo width=

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

If you were to say three things about Trevor off the top of your head, what would you say?  He is …

FLORENCIA:

He is unique and marches to his own beat, and he is perceptive and playful.

MICHAEL:

Tell me about working with your sworn enemy on-screen and best bud off-screen, Kassie DePaiva?

FLORENCIA:

We also share a dressing room and she is one of my closest friends here.  She is so different than me as a person and we are so different as characters, that I think our pairing really works well.  Kassie tends to have a lighter touch and a more flippant attitude, which lends itself to comedy and good dynamics for Téa and Blair.  Kassie is a really good person and a light, and brings upbeat energy into the room.

MICHAEL:

What did you think of Téa’s handling of Matthew’s case during the trial of Matthew suing his parents, Bo and Nora, for the right to have his life-threatening surgery?  Is performing the legalese in courtroom scenes difficult for you?

FLORENCIA:

I like it.  It’s a cool challenge, and it’s the opposite of the emotional dramatic feelings and this and that.  It’s very objective, and black and white, and technical terms are kind of fun to crunch your mouth around.  It brings out a side of Téa that is objective.

MICHAEL:

In a court of law, she is clever and shifty!  So watch out!

FLORENCIA:

Oh yeah… and I love doing that stuff!  As far her defending Matthew, I was telling someone this the other day; Téa is able to compartmentalize herself, and the self that is a lawyer has a large acting component to it.  It is something Téa feels safe in… in terms of, “There is a law, and I abide by that law.”  Now, there are all types of interpretations of the law, but that structure gives her a lot of leeway.  I don’t think she allowed herself the possibility with Matthew that anything was going to happen to him.  Later, seeing something could happen to her own daughter in a different way, she thought, “Oh My God!  What did I just put Nora through?  What could have happened to Matthew?  What if I was helping his surgery along and he could have possibly died?”  But at the time, Téa was invested in, “I am being hired here to defend what this person wants to do, which is legal, and he has every legal right to do it.”  So, Téa barreled ahead with her blinders on. (Laughs)

Remote

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

You just did a remote in New Jersey for the climatic scenes that aired earlier this week.  New Jersey doubled as a backdrop for the Washington state border, heading into Canada.  What did you think of how those remote scenes turned out?

FLORENCIA:

It’s pretty ambitious.  And what I like about remotes is every one is on their toes, because they are doing it for the first time.   It’s not the safety of the studio where they can say, “We have done this a million times,” and they go on autopilot.  And it was cold outside!   I loved going on a field trip and staying overnight with everyone in Jersey, or wherever the heck we were, Canada! (Laughs)   I enjoyed working with Hillary B. Smith (Nora) and Bob Woods (Bo).

MICHAEL:

Speaking of Nora, Téa has only a few female friends in town in Viki and Rachel.  The rest of the town of Llanview is not too keen on her.

FLORENCIA:

That’s about it, and now sort of, Nora.  Circumstances throw us together in times where we need each other.  I think Téa really likes Nora, but she keeps her at arms length for a lot of reasons.  And yes, there is an uneasy alliance between them.

MICHAEL:

One of the best Téa moments was recently, when she along with Blair were trapped and almost gassed to death by Powell Lord.  Was that one of your all-time favorite soap gems?

Blair and Tea

Courtesy/ABC

FLORENCIA:

I did enjoy playing that because we got to go places like, “We are about to die here,” and this is an extreme, extreme, circumstance that I love to play.  We had just been through this ordeal with this psycho who has kidnapped us all, threatened to kill us all… Todd is tied to a bedpost, and we are brought down to a basement, and there is a gas leak!  We think we are going to die, and what happens in those last moments of wanting to connect… what would your last words be?  It was cool to also not have to look that great. I like those moments where we have bruises and scratches. We have been there for two days and our clothes are all haggard, and I find that fun, instead of looking ‘just-so’. Usually, in soaps there is a lot of lip gloss going on!

MICHAEL:

Talking about the Powell Lord story, brings me around to asking if have you seen or stayed in touch with your original Todd, Roger Howarth?

FLORENCIA:

I haven’t.  I saw him at Phil Carey’s (Asa) memorial service awhile ago, but I have not seen him since then.  I hope he is all right, now that As the World Turns was cancelled.

MICHAEL:

Now I see more romantic entanglements in your future.   What about Elijah Clarke?   My thoughts were that he took a liking to Téa and now he seems to be hooking up with Blair.  Do I see a quadrangle developing?

FLORENCIA:

You may be right.  I am not sure how that is going to shake down.

MICHAEL:

But Eli likes Téa?

Eli and Tea

Courtesy/ABC

FLORENCIA:

Yes, he does, but I think Téa is so distracted by Danielle that I honestly don’t think she even kind of registered anything.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Matt Walton (Eli)?

FLORENCIA:

He is laid back and a lot of fun.

MICHAEL:

I think down the line, we may see ‘lawyers in love’?  After all, they had some sparks when they went at it in the courtroom when he first showed up in Llanview.

FLORENCIA:

Yeah, exactly.  We have a lot of similarities that we are down to business in a certain legalese sort of way, and I have a lot of fun with him.  I had fun when we first met and Eli had secrets that he was holding over her head, and now he has switched to being my friend.

MICHAEL:

Does Téa believe Todd 100% loves her, and that part of him does not want to be back with Blair?

FLORENCIA:

He totally does love her; I think at a deep level that she may not be conscious that she knows this.  I think she can’t tolerate total intimacy, but she can tolerate the push and pull of love, because that feels tolerable to her.  The idea that they could love each other without that is terrifying for her.

MICHAEL:

You are still telling Todd not to reveal himself to Danielle.  Why?

Ross and Dani

Courtesy/ABC

FLORENCIA:

Initially, it came out in a very unhelpful way in the hotel room in Seattle and Danielle was not able to process it.  Tea screwed this up so badly on so many different levels!  She screwed Ross up.  He was a good guy, and he thought he was her father and he ripped her out of his world.  I hurt Danielle and Todd a lot.  So now, Téa is trying to do things the right way, which would not be just sort of saying, to Danielle, “Hey, this is your dad.”  She wants to find someway to connect with her daughter and get some trust going with her before she just drops it on her.

MICHAEL:

How is she going to explain it away?  Have you taped some scenes when the reveal to Dani comes to light?

FLORENCIA:

You shall see, and we have taped some of it.

MICHAEL:

Did you like how the revelation comes out?

FLORENCIA:

Florenzia-black-jpi-cropped

©JPI Studios

It’s surprising how it comes out. 

MICHAEL:

For those who may just be tuning in to OLTL, what were Téa’s reasons again for not telling Todd she had his child?

FLORENCIA:

For a long time she did not know and she then realized, “OMG!  I had sex with the guy once and I think he actually might be the father.”  She came back to Llanview a year ago and got the DNA test.  Then a couple months later, Téa walked in on Todd and Blair, so that was not the right time to tell him.  Things kept happening and they are all excuses.  She was terrified of his reaction. Then she was terrified when they got married that he would be marrying her just because she was the mother of his child, and not because he loved her, just for her.  I think she has run out of excuses. This coming year will be very telling for Téa!

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Destiny LivingstonannaiowahawkeyeAnnKatie Recent comment authors
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Jordan Hudson
Jordan Hudson

I just want to thank you guys for this interview. Ms. Lozano is a favorite and the reason that I started watching OLTL again. I co-host the Pine Valley Podcast where we talk more about OLTL and I said it in our last podcast. I never understood how Florencia was never acknowledge with recognition for her work during her first tenure on the show. I only hope that not only will she be recognized with a nomination next year but that she actually wins. The incredible work that she does as an actress, never making the predictable choice but always going with her gut. Never afraid to be real, raw, exposed. I’m in awe of her ever day.
I’m so glad you back Florencia and on the Best Soap Opera on the air right now. OLTL as a whole is just outstanding and I’m disgusted that this talented cast , hard working crew led by an E.P. and head writer who obviously love there jobs, and this show get no recognition and support from the Network and Brian Frons. Soaps started on radio we don’t need special effects, inferno’s and a tornado, We just need characters who we care about in well written stories that do not insult the audiences intelligence or make a mockery of the history of the show we care about. So to OLTL for showing that one doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel in order for a Soap to be relevant and that there is still life left in this genre. I salute you.

TREY
TREY

GREATT INTERVIEW!

Dean
Dean

Love her!

SueMatt
SueMatt

This is a real nice post i also bookmarked your site and look for more updates.

Pilar
Pilar

Great interview, thanks.

I love that classy and gracious an actress Florencia is, she always gives co-stars so much credit. How refreshing!

Always excited to read her insights into Tea’s motivations, she plays her with so much more layers than dialogue often allows.

Mamita
Mamita

Great interview! I really like Florencia, I hope she gets an Emmy next year.

Elaine
Elaine

I do think that Tea is a bit over the top ,, with her crying and screaming,,it is just a bit too much,,, but otherwise I lke her

melissa
melissa

I love Florencia so much and this interview just makes me love her even more!!! She is so humble and graceful giving such high praise for all of her co-stars and its obvious she is having a great time on One Life right now and I am having a great time watching her!! I also think she understands her character so well and I love the way she can delve into Tea’s motivation and give such a great explanation and rationale of her character!! So, thanks so much for this interview and showcasing Florencia’s wonderful spirit and beautiful heart and her amazing talent. And she deserves the emmy next year!! She has simply shined this past year!!

Cathy S.
Cathy S.

What a wonderful interview!!! I really enjoyed reading this interview and I just am in awe of everything that Florencia brings to OLTL! She is an amazingly talented actress. I tune in everyday to OLTL because of HER! She has become my favorite actress and has inspired me so much. I love that she credits her fellow cast mates with high praise. She just seems very sincere and a kind hearted person inside and out. I have really enjoyed watching OLTL because of what she brings to the character Tea Delgado. I feel after this year she will definately be getting an emmy for her talent she’s brought to the show. I hope she knows how many of us fans are out there and how talented we think she is. Thank You Florencia for what you do by gracing my tv screen on OLTL I see such hard work and talent shining through!

Sara
Sara

This is one of Florencia’s best interviews! She is a definite class-act. The many layers of Tea Delgado make her one of the best soap characters, and I truly appreciate Florencia’s take on everything.

I absolutely love what Flo says about TREVOR ST. JOHN!!! They both seem to challenge each other and definitely have some amazing chemistry going on!! We fans can only hope that TnT relationship continues into 2010.

Jamie
Jamie

THANK YOU for the great Florencia interview! I only watch OLTL these days because of the wonderfully complex relationship between Todd & Tea.

Trevor and Florencia are ^^MAGIC^^ together and I hope they both stay with the show!!!

Florencia has such great insight into her character which I enjoy reading about. Kudos on such a good interview.

Stacy A.
Stacy A.

Great interview, Love some Florencia and the character Tea Delgado.

Katie
Katie

Love the interview and love FL. Her return as Tea has kept me on the edge of my seat watching OLTL this year. I can’t wait to see what’s to come for her character in 2010. She’s an amazing actress and we’re so blessed to have her back on daytime. Thank you for your phenomenal portrayal of Tea Delgado, Florencia!

Ann
Ann

Thank you for the insightful interview! I enjoyed reading Florencia’s take on things. I also enjoyed her comments about her co-stars, especially what she had to say about Trevor St. John!

I love TnT and I want to see a great deal more of them on my screen! The addition of a daughter is icing on the cake–a TnT family!

I hope that FL does get the recognition she deserves for her work. TSJ deserves to be recognized as well. I just love the fact that TPTB had the wisdom to put these two actors together–now they have to keep them that way!

Thanks again for the great interview!

iowahawkeye
iowahawkeye

Great interview Michael, i can’t say more than what’s already been said. She deserves a nomination and win! Everyone please check out my Florencia page on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/#/group.php?gid=157394258906&ref=ts

anna
anna

That seems like a cool inteview. I hope they get to have a new TnT child though by that is just my own opinion.

Destiny Livingston
Destiny Livingston

i wish i can meet her seems like she really like trevor and kassie is her best friend if they were togeter in rl they will be an awesome couple she seem so laughful like me 🙂

Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Was all of this enjoyable to play?

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo” JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo” JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo” JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

There’s an uncomfortableness about it, right?

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

set

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: CBS

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: CBS

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

Photo; ABC

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

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

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

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

Right! Or, they could be married!

JOHNNY:  It’s Port Charles!

Photo: ABC

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

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