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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 🙂

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alum Kevin Spirtas Chats On His Heart-Tugging Series ‘After Forever’ & Love and Life In Your 50s

Filling the void in the digital drama series arena, the eight episodes first season of After Forever (available on Amazon), tackles the journey of a two middle-aged gay men in their 50’s in a deep romantic relationship, and looks at it through its various stages of love, loss, and moving on with one’s life when suddenly your world is turned upside down, when one of them has died.

While the LGBT community has seen other love-centric and dramatic web series, none have really taken a deep dive into the difficulties of starting anew in your 50’s or even older.  Leave it to former Days of our Lives alum and Broadway producer, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley), along with another DAYS alum, writer, Michael Slade, and the two put their shared experiences, and dramatic ideas into this emotional series, that is not limited to anyone who is gay, but touches on the universal themes that anyone may have, or will experience, at one time in their lives.

Spirtas, brought along with him none some notables for his passion project.  First, none other than former Prospect Park One Life to Live EP, Jennifer Pepperman, to bring his vision to life, and some amazing co-stars: Mitchell Anderson (Ex-Party Of Five), MIchael Urie (Ugly Betty), Cady Huffman (Ex-OLTL), Anita Gillette, Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) to  name just a few.

While the series bowed a little over a month ago, if you haven’t taken a look, check out our interview with Spirtas for some juicy insight into the making of and the construct of, After Forever.  Following that, check out the teaser for the series, and the video for the theme song, “My Forever” by Lio Nicol which becomes available tomorrow June 4th on Amazon and iTunes.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

What was the genesis of the idea for the series?

KEVIN:  Patrika Darbo, came to New York close to 7 years ago. She had called me ahead of time, and said, “I was asked to present at the ISA Awards, and you’re coming with me.”  She was getting very involved in the world of the web series. I looked at this amazing presentation of content that was being shown at the ISA’s.  I was blown away. It was better than half the stuff on TV, theater, or film. At that point, I made a mad rush for a gentleman by the name of Sebastian La Cause.  Sebastian had won several awards that night and his material was so well presented, and beautifully shot, and his acting was very unique.

Sebastian La Cause was the star of the web series Hustling, right?

KEVIN:  Yes, it was Hustling, the first season.  I went up to him and I said, “I’m Kevin Spirtas. I’m an actor, I did a soap …”  He goes, “Kevin, I know who you are.” I was starstruck, and impressed, and inspired, because he is exactly the kind of person I want to work with.  He is talented, and creative and I want to work with those kind of people. I said to him, “If you do a second season, I’d love to be considered for anything you might be doing.”  Wouldn’t you know? He wrote me in. I fell in love with the story. I was very clear to me, that you have to start creating for yourself, because creating your own content in this industry now is king.  The third season of Hustling then crossed me over to appearing in Winterthorne.  That was also the first year that NATAS opened up the judging to the digital world.  I got nominated for an Emmy. It inspired me to start thinking about, ‘What do I know?  What do I have in my life that I feel is worth sharing and putting out there to help heal, or inspire?’  I had been producing in New York City for 3 years at this point.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

It becomes every performer’s concern, as they get older, that they can still be considered for the roles they would like to play.  Sometimes, actors can grow into the types of roles, and sometimes they’ve expired past those types of roles. Was creating After Forever also a way to re-enter being part of the conversation?

KEVIN:  Well, I was hoping to write something for myself … because I just didn’t see the roles coming toward me anymore.  My name wasn’t on them as I imagined them or had seen them in the past. I was worried about that. I thought, “If I have a chance to keep working, I’ve got to keep current.”

And somehow, you and Michael Slade ran into each other, and thus, a collaboration began that would eventually turn into After Forever?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Then, I ran into Michael Slade at a gym… I had never met him before, he was a writer on Days as I was leaving the show.  And I remember saying to myself, “wouldn’t it be great to work with somebody, and see what kind of story we could come up with?”  Unbeknownst to me, Michael, at that particular time in his life, was working on the very same type of story and idea about what it’s like to be who he is, at his age, where he’s at, and what he knows.  I pitched him this idea: “I think there’s some really funny ideas I could express to the world about my experience as a single gay man at this point.” He said, “Call me.” In short, he was living life as a single gay man, and I was living life as a single gay man, and that’s how After Forever was born.  Michael had the experience of losing his long-time partner of 25 years.  There’s a part in the story where Brian and Jason are going along and they have everything in their life that they could possibly want, and then they don’t, because Jason is diagnosed with cancer and it takes him away.

Do we see Jason die in this?

KEVIN:  You just might! … It’s how we incorporated him in the story…

Courtesy/AfterForever

After Forever bounces back and forth in time, obviously, that was part of the unique structure of the storytelling?

KEVIN:  It does do that.  It tells the story through a lot of present, and a lot of flashbacks.  There is also the present with Brian, and his memory of Jason. As Brian is going through the next chapter of his life as a single man, he has to look at his life and learn how to continue to love even though the person’s not there.  When someone dies, the love doesn’t die, the relationship doesn’t die, it keeps growing on a certain level. So, if he turns around, and he sees him, is it real? Is it him working it out in his own mind? It’s a tool to tell more story …

Tell me about casting Mitchell Anderson?  He had retired and moved to Atlanta, and he ends up playing the love of Brian’s life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  When Michael and I were writing, we threw out, “Who do you think would play this part?”  One day, I just dropped the name “Mitchell Anderson” I said, “I just see him as Jason.” Michael said to me, “Kevin, he’s retired.”  I just knew Mitchell and I had great history in the business. We started off as actors together in class. He went one direction, I went another, then he left the business, but I just felt there was something about his persona – not to mention his talent – his unique humor, his sensibility, and style, so I said, “I think we should ask him.”  We did. Mitchell said, “Okay, Kevin. Let me read the script.” He called back immediately after receiving it, and said, “I would love to do this!” I have not stopped thanking him every day. He’s so good in it.

The main character of Brian goes on this journey: he meets other guys, some appear younger than others! (Laughs)

KEVIN:  It’s a year after Jason is gone, Brian is trying to settle into his new life, but he’s guilty that his partner has died.  He has sadness, grief, and so much love for Jason that he’s having trouble moving forward, and everyone is trying to push him forward.  Brian is not necessarily ready, but sometimes his body is ready, while emotionally, he’s not. It’s how we deal with all that navigation of seeing good-looking guys.  He meets a guy in the middle of the series, and it starts to open up the doors. That’s the beauty of what happens when he starts to let himself open up to the possibilities.  There are some great rollercoaster moments that you’ll see.

Would you do another season of After Forever?

KEVIN:  Oh, my God!  Michael and I have already started to script out seasons 2 and 3.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Middle-aged gay men do have it rough in the relationship department, if they’re not already partnered up by this point in their life.  Younger guys think they’re over the hill, older guys aren’t necessarily interested either, and unfortunately, the LGBTQ community is unforgiving to community if you’re not young and pretty, and not in your 20s or 30s. There aren’t a lot of LGBT-oriented shows out there like this.  On that level, I think the concept of the show is an important story to tell.

KEVIN:  We were absolutely committed to writing not just another gay story.  We’ve seen those. I think the beauty of After Forever is that it’s not just a gay story- even though it’s told through two gay men… but, it’s a story about love … it’s a story about loss.  Everyone is going to have to deal with this in their life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Dealing with loss is part of the circle of life, whether it’s a parent, a child, a lover, a friend, or your longtime partner. Many in the LGBT community succumbed to AIDS in the ‘80s and ‘90s, which was a pivotal moment in the gay movement.

KEVIN:  We lost half of our community.  We lost half of our brothers. To jump back to that history with Mitchell, he and I had so many mutual friends who aren’t here anymore.  We would look at the scene that was at hand, take a breath, look at each other, and they’d say “action” and we’d step into these people. Yes, it’s gay themed, because it’s told by two leading male characters who are gay.  But, I have heard more people in the last two months since this has come out, who have not only stopped and said, “Thank you for writing such a wonderful story about love and loss, and new beginnings, but also, what it’s like to have to confront that loss.” They also went on to say, “For so many years, gay people have had to watch the heterosexual world. People are trying to fit themselves into our world now, into our story, and how they would feel navigating it.”

Michael Urie is in it too? And you have some pretty accomplished people in your cast.  

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Yes, there’s Michael Urie, Cady Huffman who sings in one of the episodes.  Tere is a scene in episode 3 that it still floors me, I can’t watch it without losing it.  Then, there’s Anita Gillette, Lenny Wolpe, David Dean Bottrell. Everyone is perfect, and everyone was able to show up, and everyone delivered a million percent.

What’s the response you’ve been getting from people who have watched After Forever?  You mentioned it’s been very positive.  

KEVIN:  Everyone has been touched.  The majority who have seen this, are just moved to tears and full of excitement.

I saw that Jennifer Pepperman, ex-executive producer of One Life to Live, directed your series.  What was it like working with Jen?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  We had a lot of people who we could have pulled from.  Jennifer came up in conversation, because she had sent Michael an invitation to go see her new short film that she had done with Austin Peck (Ex-Austin, Days) and his wife, Teri Conn (Ex-Katie, ATWT).  I said, “Maybe if I go see the show and I like it, I can introduced myself to Jennifer.”  I called him right after and I said, “If we don’t get her, we’re crazy!” She’s so good. What she did is perfection.  We shot the whole thing like a movie. It was shot in 12 days. She knew everything she wanted to do and it shows in the edit.  And, this extraordinarily, talented girl named Colleen Kwok, who was the director of photography. She’s the real thing. She got it.  She got the style we were going for immediately.

So, we want to tell people to binge watch the series on Amazon.

KEVIN:  Binge it, or make it last for 15 days…

How many hankies will I need for this? 10? 5?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  I say Kleenex is not included … Anybody who has ever loved, anybody who has ever lost, must see this show, because it unifies all of us, it shows us that we are the same.  It shows us that we still have love in our lives, regardless of if that person is gone, the relationship never ends, it never dies. That’s what people are getting from this.  That’s what people are taking away from it. You and I were raised with the symbols of a straight world and how we had to fit into that certain way of life. That’s changed now.  We have Will & Grace … we have RuPaul … all these great things that are illustrating our diversity.  Now, people are going, “it’s just a story being told.”

What was Mitchell’s reaction when he saw the final product?

KEVIN:  We saw it together…We just sat there and cried.  It’s hard. Especially, the first two episodes and the last two episodes.  We served it up, Michael, we served it up!

Courtesy/AfterForever

I think you spoke to a greater issue, as you move through this career, you have to remain relevant as things change.  So, you’ve dipped yourself into this pool and now you can do more.

KEVIN:  I hope so.  You and I talked about this along time ago, when I first started on Days Of Our Lives, it was still a different world.

It was so different back then.  Actors couldn’t be out. There was still that stigma that if the audience at home knew they were gay, they wouldn’t buy into what they were portraying.

KEVIN:  That’s where I kind of worked it out, because I didn’t pretend not to be me, I just wasn’t very open about everything in my life.  Not that I still am. There’s certain things that I don’t talk about, because it’s not relevant, or it’s no one’s business.

So, do you get the obligatory question, “What’s a guy like you doing being single”? (Laughs)

KEVIN:  Michael said to me one day, “How come a guy like you is single?”  I made a joke out of it and said, “Have you seen me eat? Come on!”

So, intrigued to check out After Forever? What do you think about its central theme looking at what happens when one loses their partner at middle-age and more?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright and Wes Ramsey Talk Their Love Connection & The Demands Of Daytime

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After presenting for the first time together, at the 45th Annual Daytime Emmys since they’ve been a couple, Laura Wright (Carly) and Wes Ramsey (Peter aka Henrik) of General Hospital have certainly been in the throes of a romantic, fun, and cherished relationship. The two former stars of Guiding Light reconnected last year at Emmy time. Now, sharing their over one year anniversary, Michael Fairman TV caught up with Laura and Wes to get some insight into what makes their relationship work amidst the hustle and bustle, and pace of both being on a network television daytime drama series, and with the pressures of Hollywood where often relationships between two actors seem to start hot and heavy but then fizzle out.

If you caught this week’s GH, you witnessed that the town of Port Charles has found out that Peter is the notorious Cesar Faison’s son, and the ramifications that will be felt for weeks and months and potentially years to come. Meanwhile, Carly is in all sorts of trouble, thanks to naughty Nelle (Chloe Lanier). Nelle is making Carly look awfully unstable and what happens next could change Carly’s life forever.

So, what do these two lovebirds have to say about their relationship and their passion for working on the soaps? Check out what they had to share below. 

Wes, you had met Laura originally years ago on Guiding Light.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Yes, 15 years ago in New York.

And what did you think of her then?

Wes: Well, I was smitten, but I had to keep it to myself.

You had to keep it under wraps, huh?

Wes: Yep!

Laura: I was married then.

Wes: She was pregnant with her second child.

Laura: And he’s a good Kentucky boy.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Uh-huh! But we would run lines in the green room and I would try very hard to make sure she didn’t catch me staring at her… too often. But we laughed, and had great conversation.

Laura: I would always say, “Wes, will you run lines with me?,” because I would want to run my lines.

Wes: We never had story together, but she always knew I was game to hang out with her for a moment.

It’s good when you’re in a relationship with someone and you can laugh with them. You seem to be able to do that a lot!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: Oh, gosh. I think that’s all we do.

Wes: Yes, yes, yes, yes…

Laura: Like, we belly laugh. It gets to the point where people would think we were ridiculous. We’ll say things and just think it’s the funniest thing ever and people would be like, “You guys have a problem …” and we’re like, “Yeah.” (Laughs)

Laura, and then he comes back into your life years later…

Wes: That’s right, it was Emmy weekend 2017.

Laura: I totally was not expecting it at all. Even when I gave him my number I walked away going “huh…”

You mean you thought he wouldn’t call?

Laura: No, I didn’t feel that… because he hit on me hard. He’ll tell you that.

Wes: I still am hitting on her.

Laura: I remember I walked away quick after he got my number. I was like, “Oh, my God … I gotta go.”

Courtesy/Instagram

Wes: There was an assertiveness on my part that was for sure 15 years in the making. I did not expect to run into her. I also did not expect for her to tell me that she was recently single. In that split second, it was one of those, “stop the presses!” moments. Like, you need to give me your number, I’m taking you to dinner.

Laura: I go, “Oh, be quiet! Are you like, 32, because I can’t do that.” (Laughs)

Wes: And I said, “Far from it.”

Laura: He’s like, “I’m getting ready to be 40.” And I’m like, “I can do that!”

Then, on top of all of this, Wes, you land a primo role on General Hospital. That of Henrik aka Peter, Cesar Faison’s son.

Photo Credit: Courtesy/ABC

Wes: Yes, a dream come true.

Laura: I’m going to jump in and say it’s a role that he worked all on his own for. He had to screen test against 8 plus guys, 3 different auditions, 2 different days.

Wes: That’s true.

Laura: I can’t say strong enough that the best actor got the role. Meaning, Wesley is so talented and has the ability to give this character the depth, and emotion, and layers that it needs to tell the story that needs to be told. I just think he’s incredible.

So, did you know from the get-go who you were going to be playing?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: I did not.

Laura: I did! (Laughs)

Wes: I’m thrilled that the writers have been giving me such incredible material to dive into.   Each month that goes by, it becomes more and more complex, and more and more layered and intense. I love the depth… I love the conflicts… I love the humanity… I love the desperation… I love the psychology behind it. It’s a very interesting story and a great journey to tell.

Laura: I was getting ready to say, where you mentally have to go to be the son of Faison and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes)! To blend that together is amazing. It’s incredible to watch.

You used to run lines together on Guiding Light. Do you run lines together now on GH? It’s like a full circle moment.

Laura: We do, and we carpool.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Something we were trying to manifest together. We thought it would be a lot of fun to work together one day.

Laura: The last week we worked, we didn’t. He worked all afternoon. I worked all morning. I was like, “Are they doing this on purpose?” I was so mad! I was like, “Why are you in the afternoon everyday?” (Laughs)

Wes: She lost her chauffeur. (Laughs)

Laura: I did! He always drives us to work. I also love when we both have afternoon calls, because we love having mornings together. So, I didn’t get my morning, nor did I have my chauffeur!

So, two actors can have a good relationship? You see so many Hollywood relationships with actors and they go bust. But that’s not always the case …

Wes: Oh, my God, yes.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: I’m going to say this; I think I can see it being more difficult for daytime actors, because the work we do is so intense. I know the weeks he’s getting ready to go into, and I’m getting ready to go into. Where we go emotionally and psychologically to tell these stories, on the level that we tell them, as quick as we tell them, you kind of have to become really in a headspace. The fact that we can …

Wes: … the long hours …

Laura: Yes, and exhaustion! You really have to go, “Wow! It’s not about me right now. It’s about us individually as actors.” Thank God, we know the workload. I know what he’s getting ready to go through.

Wes: I have always had so much respect for Laura’s work. On Guiding Light, I’ve always been in awe of what she’s capable of doing. So, the level of respect is obviously there. But also, the understanding whatever it is that you need from a personal assistant in one moment… or a life partner in another moment … or a best friend in moment … or whatever it is in order to get through the day-to-day and the week-to-week, so we can do what we love to do. We know we’re very lucky to have the opportunity to do what we love.

Courtesy/welcometolaurasworld Instagram

Laura was such a great co-host on my Soap Nation Live! Daytime Emmy Nomination Specials, in particular when she talks about acting. It’s so rewarding to hear the other actors who are guests on the show listening to what Laura has to say about her craft and respecting the hell out of her.

Wes: Without a doubt. You can’t watch her work and not be in awe. It speaks for itself.

Laura: I just love the journey of going to the places that we go; to bleed for it.

Wes: Leave it all out on the floor.

Laura: I know that process. So, when I see another actor that’s bleeding, I just bow to them, because I know what it takes to go there. I know the work that Wesley does. When I see that he’s spent at the end of the day, I’m like, “Babe, I so get it.” So, I can see where it could be really difficult for people that haven’t been there, because it’s a lot of work and you’re spent. It’s hard! For us, that works.

What do you think of Laura and Wes’ love connection? What do you think of the latest developments for GH’s Carly and Henrik? Comment below.

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Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: 45th Annual Daytime Emmys Winners & Backstage Video Interviews!

Photo : MF Soaps Inc

The 45th Annual Daytime Emmys are in the record books.  And as previously reported, it was a big night for NBC’s Days of our Lives taking Outstanding Drama Series, Writing and Directing in a Drama Series Awards, plus top acting nods to James Reynolds (Abe) and Greg Vaughan (Eric).

Behind the scenes while the ceremony continued on-stage, and as the night’s big winners and several presenters were whisked away backstage following their victory, they took to the Winner’s Walk and chatted with Michael Fairman who got their reactions to winning the gold, or presenting important moments of the night during the live-stream broadcast.

From DAYS Deidre Hall (Marlena), Dr. Oz, The Ladies of The Talk, and GH’Chris Van Etten to DAYS head scribe Ron Carlivati, to Y&R’s actress winners: Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and Camryn Grimes (Mariah), and GH’s Chloe Lanier (Nelle, Vernee Watson (Stella) and more now you can watch the complete backstage series of conversations on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Make sure to “subscribe” for these and more celebrity interviews.

After the jump, check out some of the winners and backstage interviews with Michael.  You can also go directly to the video you are looking to view, by clicking on the blue hyperlink on the interviewees name. (more…)

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Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

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Joshua Morrow as Nick

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