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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
Guest
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… Read more »

TREY
Guest
TREY

GREATT INTERVIEW!

Dean
Guest
Dean

Love her!

SueMatt
Guest
SueMatt

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

Pilar
Guest
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
Guest
Mamita

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

Elaine
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Cathy S.
Guest
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… Read more »

Sara
Guest
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
Guest
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.
Guest
Stacy A.

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

Katie
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

iowahawkeye
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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 Matthew Atkinson Weighs-In On Daytime’s Wildest Storyline, The Hope Mannequin & What’s Really Going On With Thomas

If you think you’ve seen it all on daytime soap operas, think again! Over the past several weeks viewers of CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful have been witness to fashion designer Thomas Forrester’s (Matthew Atkinson) descent into madness, or is it?

In B&B’s thriller-esque storyline, complete with tight close-ups and tilted angles of Thomas and his co-star, the Hope Mannequin – yup, you read that right, the series is taking the audience on one wild ride, something we have not seen the likes of since back in the hey day of the late head writer, James Reilly, during his tenure on Days of our Lives or Passions.

Photo: JPI

Inspired by, believe it or not, true life events, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell and his creative team have served up a story generated off all of the buzz the show was receiving for using mannequins as scene partners for the actors in intimate moments to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.  B&B was the first American show back in production amid the pandemic.

 

Within this twisted tale, Thomas has the life-like version of Hope Logan Spencer (Annika Noelle) at home with him.  Those who have stumbled upon him with the mannequin, well, he has been able to explain that away by saying that having the doll with him is helping him create some of the best designs of his career.

The problem is the mannequin is talking to Thomas, it’s eyes have often turned devil-red, and on Friday’s episode it walked!  It’s objective is to get Thomas to kill Liam (Scott Clifton) and to get Hope back to be his one and only. Throughout many of the scenes in the storyline, Thomas suffers from what appears to be severe headaches.  All of this leading the audience to believe either … he has a brain tumor … he is being drugged … he is suffering from a severe mental break and disorder, or something else.

Photo: JPI

In a very candid and often humorous conversation with Michael Fairman for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Thomas’ portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, discusses some of the craziest scenes to shoot thus far including Thomas having dinner with the mannequin!  In addition, Atkinson reveals how he and Annika Noelle tape the scenes where she is the voice of the Hope mannequin while adhering to safety protocols,  and how Liam is the only one, apparently, thinking something is off with Thomas, and so much more.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

One thing is for certain, Matthew Atkinson is sinking his teeth into the material and making it must-see daytime drama through his performances while we all wait to see what the possessed mannequin does next.

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

Then let us know, what do you think is happening or wrong with Thomas? Are you getting a kick out of the Hope Mannequin storyline? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

 

 

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Interviews

Eric Nelsen Talks Latest Film, Becoming a Tony-Nominated Producer, ‘The Bay’, and His Elizabeth Gillies & Ariana Grande Connection

You can catch All My Children reboot alum, Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler), just about everywhere this month, and that’s hard to do given that we are all living in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this Daytime Emmy-winning actor has his hands in a myriad of projects of late including: appearing on season six of The Bay (new episodes every Tuesday on Popstar! TV) where he continues to play Daniel’s journey after the character has come to terms with his sexuality and finds love, plus his comedic turn in the film, 1 Night in San Diego, and recently becoming a Tony-nominated producer along with his wife Sainty for the critically-acclaimed, and now 11 times nominated Broadway play, The Inheritance.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Eric to get the lowdown on his busy professional life, and we were in for some surprises along the way including: what the producers of AMC had in mind for the character of AJ that ultimately did not happen, and that Eric starred on Broadway with Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon, Dynasty) and Pop superstar, Ariana Grande – and there’s more to that story below.

 

What makes Nelsen so good at what he does on-screen is that he is a like a chameleon; adept at playing the quirky, to the troubled bad boys, to the emotional heart-tugging anti-hero. So here’s what Eric had to say in this fascinating conversation.

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

Your latest film appearance in 1 Night in San Diego is out this week on multiple streaming on-demand platforms from: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and more. Tell me about the movie and when did you film this?

ERIC:  We filmed it near San Diego, not this past February, but last February, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a female-driven comedy.  The cast is incredible.  Alexandra Daddario, who is just epic, and Jenna Ushkowitz, and Laura Ashley Samuels, they truly bring it in this powerhouse comedy, and it’s just one of those make-you -laugh movies from beginning to end, just silly, stupid stuff happening the whole time.  General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin) is also in the film.  While we don’t work in scenes together, I did get a chance to meet him and he’s a really great guy.  I play this off-the-wall character, named Gordo, who is a real burn-out, think Matthew McConaughey meets space cadet, which was a lot of fun to play.  Gordo is a great role.  I had more fun with this part than I’ve had in a long time.  So, it was cool to throw a comedy into all of the drama I have been playing in my other projects.

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

ERIC:  One of the girls knew him back in the day, so they were in town looking to reconnect, and she’s like, “Oh, we want to party and let’s hit up Gordo,” and they do.  He has just gone completely off the rails, off the deep end with spirituality and kind of in his own world. They find themselves in quite a predicament when they come visit what they didn’t know was a commune, basically.  Gordo creates this hippie commune for a bunch of outcast musicians, (laughs) and I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of interesting stuff happens there.

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

In addition, you are now a Tony-nominated producer for the play The Inheritance!

ERIC: That was crazy, because it’s always been a dream of mine to produce for Broadway.  That was how I got into the world of film and TV acting, which was through the theatre.  That’s where I started.  I was lucky enough to star on Broadway when I was 16 and 17, in a musical called, 13.  I started with Ariana Grande! It was so fun.

Wait, what?

ERIC:  Yeah, that was her first big show, and Elizabeth Gillies’.

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

ERIC:  Oh yeah, and you know she and I dated for two and a half years during the whole run of the show 13.  Elizabeth is very talented.   She is amazing.  The funny part of it is, we were dating forever, and kind of had a bad breakup, and then Sainty, my wife, gets cast in her show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in the pilot to play Liz’s best friend on the series.  So, all of the sudden, I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, out of all the shows, all of the things, this is who you have to get cast as best friends with?” and so they actually became really, really, close friends.  So, I’d actually come home from work or filming, and Liz would be on my couch sitting there giggling with Sainty.  I’m like, “This is just becoming too much.  This is a full-circle moment here.  I can’t deal.” (Laughs)

Now, you and Elizabeth are broken up at this point?

ERIC:  Yes.  We had been broken up at this point.  Sainty and I were actually together.  I started dating Sainty in New York and the pilot she was shooting was in New York, and she gets cast as Liz’s best friend, and I was like, “Oh, of course.”

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

ERIC:  Yes, so dying.  Dying.   You know, it’s just one of those things that in a million years, you would never expect this to happen, and of course, Sainty and her had to become best friends in real life because they’re both great girls, and naturally, they would be friends, but now, I’m like this guy stuck in the middle who can’t believe what’s happening, and thought that was one chapter, and this is a different chapter, and now the chapters are combining.  It’s kind of a comedy act.

Photo: JPI

Since Ariana Grande was on Broadway with you and Liz, what was she like back then before her meteoric rise to fame?

ERIC:  Ariana was literally the sweetest, most innocent, and cutest – like my little sister.   To me, it was like, Liz and I were dating, and Ari was kind of like the little sister.  All of a sudden the show ended. Ariana got a Nickelodeon show, and after that, she became the most famous person in the world and was like this sex icon, and I couldn’t get over it.   She’s always had that talent with her voice and in 13 she was an ensemble member.  She wasn’t even one of the leads, but her voice was so incredible, even then as a young teenager.  I thought she was going to go on to have this great Broadway career as an actress and do musicals her whole life just because of her voice.  Then, all of the sudden, right after the musical, we all auditioned for the same Nickelodeon show.  I ended up going to the finals for the boyfriend role, Liz got the girlfriend role, and Ari got the funny friend on the show role.  That kind of catapulted them into the TV world, and Ari got a spinoff because of her character on that show for another Nickelodeon show, called Sam and Cat, and then after Sam and Cat, she went from this innocent, sweet, little Nickelodeon girl that I knew to being the biggest star.  It was unbelievable to me.

Photo: Broadway World

So, you started on Broadway as a teenager, and you found you always wanted to produce for the Great White Way? 

ERIC:  Yes, I did the Broadway thing, and then I got into film and TV, and then I got into film and TV producing.  As an actor, there are a lot of ups, a lot of downs.  So, in between the ups, I wanted to fill my time, so I got into producing, and I loved it.  I loved creating.  As an actor, we just show up, and everything is already done.  All we have to do is say our lines.  We get pampered, and we go home, but I wanted to know how it got to that point, like what happens before that.  So, I started producing film and found some success doing that, and it was so much fun for me.  Sainty’s and my first love, and what feels like home, is theatre.  So, I wanted to take it full circle and produce a Broadway show.  I just thought that would be such an incredible moment, and so that’s what I did.  I started emailing all of the Broadway producers who I had worked with as an actor, letting them know what I had been doing, kind of the success I had gotten from producing The Bay and some of these other things. Different shows came across my desk that I didn’t quite bite the bullet on, a couple of which I wish I would have, Dear Evan Hansen being one of them.  I would have been so rich by now!  (Laughs)

I just want to clarify for people who might not know, the word “producer” can mean different things.  There are “producers” who are putting money in … they’re backing projects or shows.  There are other people who are “producers” on the creative side of projects.  So, when you’re talking about producing a Broadway show, it is as an investor?

ERIC:  So for theatre, unless you’re the head producer who kind of gets creative control, every other producer listed in the credits is basically helping raise finances and is also very heavily involved in the process of everything else along the way, which is also what makes it special.  So finally, The Inheritance came across our desk, and it checked every single box.  It was just an epic play.  It’s a two-part play, and it’s just hours and hours and hours long.  You see it in multiple days or in multiple shows.  I remember reading the script and not stopping until I finished.  I was like, “This is amazing,” and it had just come off of a huge commercial successful run in London.  It won the Olivier Award for “Best New Play” and just about every other award you could win, and so I was like, “This is the one.  This is incredible.  I love the piece, love the message, and pulled the trigger,” and I would have done it all over again if we could.

Photo: Broadway World

The Inheritance is a generational piece centering on gay men during the AIDS crisis.  What can you say about it to those who don’t know about it, or have not seen it yet?

ERIC:  It takes place in the past, and then it fasts forward to the future.  You see two generations of gay men in New York City, and it’s all about the AIDS crisis, and so you’re bawling crying, and then you’re laughing throughout it.  It’s just one of those epic plays that pulls at every single emotion and you feel like you’re watching a movie.

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s definitely its own thing.  It’s actually an adaptation of Howard’s End, the novel by Forster, definitely different from Angels in America, but the two-part show is kind of what I was meaning by that.  People have said it is kind of our generation’s Angel’s in America in tone and subject matter.  It was just a dream come true, and like all other theatre that was open during our season, it had to close because of the pandemic, and it will have life after Broadway.  We are already slated for the Geffen Playhouse in LA, so I’m very excited for all of my LA friends and the public to get to see it.

Courtesy/ENelsen

And you get nominated in the year that the coronavirus pandemic shut down live theatre! But it is my understanding we still do not have a date for handing out this year’s Tony Awards.

ERIC:  No, we do not.  They finally announced that they were going to announce nominations, and for a while we didn’t even know that they were going to do that.  We received 11 nominations, which is incredible.  We were so excited.  I truly thought the American Theatre Wing and the Tony committee were not going to do the Tonys at all, and so we were just like, “I can’t believe the one year we pull the trigger on the show, this isn’t going to happen for us,” but then thank God, they came to their senses.  There were plenty of shows that opened and needed to be recognized.

How long was it open on Broadway?

ERIC:  We were open from September 2019 through February or March.  So, as long as your submission was open on Broadway before Covid-19 and had at least all of its previews and an opening night before Covid-19 hit, then you could qualify, and then in the play category, there were like 10 plays that had opened last year that were contenders.  So, that was definitely the hardest category.   It will be interesting to see what happens after all of this.  The only good thing I know that is going to come from this is the amount of creatives who have had so much time sitting at home to create and write, that there will be so many new scripts and plays and musicals that are going to come from this.  I think it’s’ going to be the biggest boom that we’ve probably ever seen in theatre, just because there’s been so much time to develop stuff.  At the same time, it’s piggybacking on the darkest time that theatre has ever seen.

Throughout the pandemic, I always stream all of the Broadway Actor’s Fund events.  It’s really sad.  It’s just a difficult time, those in the arts are struggling and especially in the live theatre and also musicians who can’t tour or play gigs in front of an audience. I know they said Broadway is closed through May 31, 2021.

ERIC:  It is really hard.  I’m happy that we are able to find other ways like streaming shows.  I’m actually producing a big benefit for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS that will be airing on World AIDS Day, December 1st.  It’s a show called Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.  The cast we have is everybody from Nathan Lane, to Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons.  It’s insane.  It will be streaming online on the Broadway HD network.  It is a huge list of Broadway stars and a lot of movie and TV stars as well that are participating.  We’ve got people from all over the map.

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

ERIC:  (Laughs)  Ari is not in it, actually!

Photo: Prospect Park

So, in this week’s latest episode of The Bay, your character of Daniel Garrett makes his final choice for love between Caleb (Mike Manning) and Matthew (Randy Wayne).  When you came to the show, did you know that this part was going to wind-up being a gay character?

ERIC:  No, I did not.  I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay.  The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me.  Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison, our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York. They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything.  It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, “100% completely.”  I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, “Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.”  At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ.  So, I was like, “Yes.  I will be all over it.  Absolutely.”  So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show.  Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially.  It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.

Photo: LANYEntertainment

So for those who may not know let’s do a re-set.  Where is the character of Daniel at? It seems like he is at crossroads, and is making some important decisions, or trying to.

ERIC:  So Daniel was a wild party boy in the beginning, just head in the clouds, lives life with thinking there’s no repercussions and just doing what you want to do all of the time, and that got him into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Then, we realize why Daniel has been the way he is, and why he acts out, and why he has been so all over the place, and it’s because he hasn’t been able to come to terms with who he is.  Then, he admits it to himself and for the first time to somebody else – who happens to be his priest in a catholic church, ironically –  that he is gay and this is what he has been battling with.  For the first time (and I don’t know where on television it has depicted it this way), but the catholic priest looks at Daniel, and he’s like, “What’s your sin?  You haven’t sinned.  This is perfectly fine.”  So, I love that Gregori made that the outlet for which Daniel was able to basically come to terms with who he was, because he grew up in the church, and so he was always told that it was wrong.  Obviously, it’s not wrong, or obviously the church needs to change their mindset, but on The Bay, he chose that to be the outlet through which he came out, which I thought was really powerful.  Through that, Daniel experimented with other boys and such to figure out where he wanted to land, and then in this newest season, I can’t say much that gives anything away, but for the first time, we really see Daniel’s growth, and he’s making decisions, and the most mature we’ve ever seen him, and it’s been really cool to see that come full circle.  He’s making commitments to himself.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

ERIC:  Obviously, that’s who it works with,  Caleb is a teacher and a great guy.

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

ERIC:  He is… he’s just not the great guy for him.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

This season of The Bay is heavily steeped with social issues of our time.  Covid-19 has come to Bay City and the Black Lives Matter movement also plays prominently.

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s kind of the beginning of the pandemic in The Bay and within all of the intense drama that Daniel has been having, he is still, for all intent and purposes the comedic relief of the show, and so there is a funny scene where I’m carrying like 28,000 rolls of toilet paper like, “Come on, guys.  We’ve got to stock up!”  We all remember those days, don’t we?

Photo: JPI

How do you feel about this season of the show and your work in it? You’ve previously won a Daytime Emmy for your performances on The Bay.

ERIC:  This season is more cemented in a character that has truly grounded himself.  So, the first Emmy I won was for a storyline of coming out and uncertainty and struggle and pain, whereas this season Daniel knows what he wants and is going for it.  There is much more passion and love in this season for Daniel, as opposed to struggle and heartache.

The cast and crew of The Bay all went away and quarantined at this ranch this past summer to get the new season completed.  What was that like?

ERIC:  We were actually in Santa Barbara, and filmed on this epic ranch up there.  It’s like this 500-acre ranch that we all quarantined on.  We had to do the testing, and temperatures three times a day, and the whole thing.  So, it was really structured, tough to pull off, but we were all so grateful that we were able to do this.  Luckily, we had this incredible kind of bubble of a ranch to live and work on while we were shooting.  They were really good about block shooting it all, so we’d kind of shoot one person’s character, then the next, so we wouldn’t have to ever be leaving the ranch before we were done.

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

ERIC:  Oh, it’s amazing.  I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying by because of it.  We just had Molly’s first birthday on October 1st, and I feel like yesterday she was born.  I sound like my parents when I say this, but it’s like the time keeps getting faster, but it’s so true.  She’s awesome.  We play Broadway musical soundtracks to her all day, and she sings.  She sits at the piano with me when I play, and she kind of plunks notes out next to me.  She loves music, and we’ve introduced it to her from day one.  We always joke that she won’t be able to watch any of daddy’s stuff until she’s 18 probably, but Sainty is a voice-over actress.  She has done parts for animated films and TV shows such as Trolls, and Barbie, and Boss Baby, so everything from the first part of my daughter’s life is all going to be Mommy’s stuff, and then, in the later part of life she can start watching Daddy’s stuff.

Right, she can’t watch anything that you do!  (Laughs) So, basically forget that!

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

Check out the trailer for 1 Night in San Diego below.  Then share your thoughts on Eric’s current role on The Bay, if you hope he wins a Tony to go with his Daytime Emmy, the six degrees of separation between him, Elizabeth Gillies and his wife, and that the All My Children reboot considered making the character of AJ Chandler gay via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Peter Reckell Reflects On His Time As DAYS Iconic Bo Brady, Life In New Zealand & Christmas Music Project

Last week, Days of our Lives  turned 55-years young, and the historic long-running NBC daytime drama series has been home to some of the most memorable stars and characters of the soap opera genre, perhaps none more so than anti-hero Bo Brady played by Peter Reckell.

Reckell who appeared on the show for several runs that lasted over four decades, premiered as Bo back in 1983.  He then stayed through 1987, came back from 1990 to 1992, again from 1995 to 2012, and back again in 2015 during DAYS 50th anniversary and to wrap his run as Bo, when the character was killed-off, after Reckell made it clear that he wanted to give the audience closure for the character.  He later made another return in 2016 to help the character of Hope (Kristian Alfonso) move on with her life.  Hard to believe for all of those heart-tugging performances, Peter was nominated only once for a Daytime Emmy.

Photo: JPI

In this candid, deeply personal and enlightening new interview for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Reckell opens up as to: what led to many of the decisions he made throughout his time as Bo, how he helped craft the role from the start, the accident that almost took his life, how he handled all the fame that came his way as part of the Bo and Hope supercouple pairing, and how two women in the cast; the late Frances Reid (Alice) and Peggy McCay (Caroline) made lasting impressions on him that he will carrying with him for the rest of his life.

Photo: JPI

What would Peter say if somehow DAYS wanted him back and Bo was actually alive and well?  Find out as Peter weighs-in and wishes his former show a happy anniversary  In addition, he even shares how he felt when Robert Kelker-Kelly took over the role of Bo when he decided to leave the show at one point, and his time playing Johnny on primetime’s Knots Landing.

Photo: JPI

Reckell has moved his family to New Zealand, and this conversation was conducted from his home.  Peter is married to singer/songwriter/producer Kelly Moneymaker and the couple have a daughter, Loden.   It was not wanting to miss the moments of his daughter’s life growing up that has been much of the impetus for some of Peter’s career choices.

Photo: BlueAeris

With Christmastime approaching, Kelly and Peter are part of a brand new Christmas LP entitled Joy.  The album is now available for download on Spotify, Apple Music and major music streaming platforms.

In an exclusive during the interview, we give fans a sneak peek of Peter’s new music video for “Under the Mistletoe”, the song he sings that appears on Joy, which was written by his wife.  For more on the album project visit BlueAegis.com

Photo: BlueAegis

Now, check out the interview with Peter direct from New Zealand below! Then share your thoughts on Peter, Bo, and more via the comment section.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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