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The Heather Tom Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

To say that 2012 was a whirlwind of a year for The Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom would be putting it mildly.  In June, Heather won her first Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actress category for her work as Katie Logan Spencer.  Tom had previously won in the Supporting and Younger Actress categories, making her the first performer in Daytime Emmy history to win the gold in all three major acting fields.

Then in October, Heather and her husband James Achor became parents of their first child together, a son, Zane Alexander.  And in addition to that, Heather and James have been developing a new home renovation television series that is soon to have its debut.  But while all of that was going on in Heather’s personal life, there was crisis after crisis for her on-screen alter-ego on B&B!

Katie developed a severe case of post-partum depression after giving birth to baby Will!  So much so, that she took off and abandoned her husband Bill (Don Diamont) and could not care for her newborn baby!  Meanwhile, while Katie walked away from all her responsibilities, Bill was getting too close for comfort with Katie’s big sis, Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang)!  From there, things really took a turn following the death of Brooke’s closest friend, Stephanie (Susan Flannery).  You see, through grief and a growing attraction to Bill, the duo kissed, which will now play havoc on Katie’s life, especially since Katie just returned home to her married life after conquering her baby blues!

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Heather Tom to fill us in on all the baby news, and developments in her real life and her fictional life, and to get a preview of what is to come as the storyline heats up in 2013 between Katie, Bill, and Brooke!

MICHAEL:

Heather, as we are sitting here with you, you are wearing a bathrobe, having just been on set doing some sex scenes in lingerie!  It’s kind of shocking that you are already doing love scenes so soon after returning to B&B after just giving birth in real life!  Wouldn’t you say?

HEATHER:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

I can’t remember the last time I had to wear lingerie on a soap.  And honestly, this is bizarrely mean to do to a new mother! (Laughs)  I did not think Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) was this vindictive, but clearly he is!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Clearly, you must have pissed Brad off somehow! (Laughs)

HEATHER:

It was only six weeks ago that I had my baby.  Apparently, I have another one coming up after our holiday break.  I have three weeks to lose fifteen pounds!  I am convinced ten of them are in my boobs!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

On-air we saw Katie bolt from her relationship with Bill and go on the run, and sort of become MIA.  Was that storyline set up to facilitate your maternity leave?

HEATHER:

No, I was still pregnant.  Actually, it was only ten days from the time I gave birth till the time I came back to work at B&B.  They gave me a week off because I thought my due date was October 15th, but as we all know that does not mean anything.  I actually did not give birth till October 28th, so I was a week and half late.  I was home at that point, going, “Please God. Let this happen soon.”   The show actually took another dark week because I gave birth on a Sunday.  I was supposed to go back on Tuesday and I said, “Well, that is not going to happen.” 

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

How was it for you at the time, as an expectant mother in real life having to play a very dark emotional story of post-partum depression?  Was it difficult?

HEATHER:

No, if anything it was the complete opposite.  I treated it like a catharsis.  I was already so hormonal.  So I thought, “Well, I will just go to work and cry all day long, and then I will feel better when I get home.  So, it actually worked out pretty well.  I also kind of feel, and I don’t know if this is my own projection, but I kind of feel like I got it out of my system, because I have not had any baby blues.  From what I know from my friends, every woman I know has had some form of hormonal depression afterward.  It would be anything from: “I feel a little bit depressed,” to “I can’t get out of bed.”  I really haven’t had anything.  I was very concerned about that as I am a hormonal person and an emotional person.  Maybe, I just got it out of my system here on set.

MICHAEL:

The scenes where Katie would look at the room she was in and see it as filthy dirty, and crooked and haunting, was almost too much to take for the audience.  We all could only imagine how it was for you to play those scenes, being a mom-to-be in real life!

HEATHER:

I am just glad that I did not have to do any pushing scenes, and that Katie had a C-section!  I am glad that it wasn’t a story where Katie did not like her baby, or love her baby.  It was that Katie loved her baby so much that is why she had to do this.  I think that would have been harder to play that I don’t want him.  I have had friends on other shows where they have to play storylines like that, or play upset that they are pregnant.  I remember One Life to Live’s Kassie DePaiva (Blair) when she was pregnant with her son J.Q.   In the storyline, she had to play and say, “I don’t want to be pregnant.”  That would have been a lot harder to play than what I ended up playing.

MICHAEL:

To clarify: what you were playing as Katie that started all the craziness? The audience saw that Katie had her heart condition and literally died from it, but came back from that and survived!  Was then Katie’s overwhelming concern that she would not be there for her child?

HEATHER:

Courtesy/CBS

The main thing was that Katie was convinced that she was going to drop dead at any minute, and that was in combination with what she had just gone through where she “died”, and then the C-Section.  The hormonal changes you go through while you are pregnant are something that I cannot even describe, and on top of that she had major surgery, and then dying.  She had all these pretty traumatic things happen one after the other.  Katie was then so messed up emotionally and hormonally.  I think that is where it came from where she thought, “I can’t bond with him.  Because if I bond with him, I am going to end up leaving him and it’s going to be horrible for him.  So I am doing this for him.”  It’s a twisted logic, but it made sense to her.

MICHAEL:

Did Katie really believe Taylor (Hunter Tylo) had her best interest at heart?  Every time Taylor would open her mouth it seemed like bad psychiatry that she perpetrated on a fragile patient!

HEATHER:

I think at this point, she does.  Taylor keeps telling Katie things which will give her a heart attack! (Laughs)  She has had three heart attacks, and then Taylor goes, “By the way …” (Laughs) Taylor is a terrible therapist! (Laughs)  Taylor then basically breaks patient confidentiality with Steffy, and then blurts out to Kate that Bill and Brooke kissed!

MICHAEL:

Did Katie believe Taylor when she informed her that Bill and Brooke kissed?

HEATHER:

I think she didn’t believe Taylor, but then Katie goes and confronts Bill and Brooke about it, and they don’t hide it from her.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

When you, Don Diamont, and Katherine Kelly Lang found out the storyline, where it would now be a Brooke/Bill/Katie triangle, were you concerned that the integrity of your characters would be blown to smithereens?

HEATHER:

I loved what they did!  I think it kept the integrity of the characters in tact, because it was such a crazy situation, and because it was Katie’s impetus.  She was kind of manipulating the situation, and so they kind of have plausible deniability.  I actually wished they had gone further and really solidified them as a couple, and then had her come back.  But I think the storyline got so depressing.  They were like, “Let’s wrap up this. We can’t take this anymore with Katie rolling around on the floor!” (Laughs)  I am hoping that if they continue, they will continue very slowly and have the story make sense.  I think the things that Katie is still going through does make sense, and it would cause friction between Bill and Katie.  Brooke can be there without being the aggressor to keep her integrity in tact.  So that way, if the marriage breaks up, it’s something that happens, not something that is pursued on Brooke’s end.

MICHAEL:

When Brooke and Bill arrived back on the scene together after Stephanie’s passing, there was Katie with baby Will in her hands, excitedly waiting to see her hubby.  Katie was so over-bubbly … and even, dare we say, annoying!  Were those scenes hard to play?

HEATHER:

I was kind of playing her kind of manic at that point!  Now it was like the pendulum struck the other way and she took her happy pill and was like, “Hello! I’m here!”  It was a little over the top.  I think we can make a case of being a little maniacal at that point.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Armed with the knowledge of Bill and Brooke’s kiss, Katie confronts her husband and her sister on the lip-lock!

HEATHER:

Yes. They tell her pretty much that it won’t happen again, which means it will happen sooner rather than later.  Although it hasn’t happened again, yet, so I don’t know.  Katie and Bill are going to continue to have issues.  Having a child has changed her and changed her priorities, and I understand this.  She married this man who is this daredevil guy who lives life on the edge, but she is now dealing with, “OK. We have a child.  I don’t want to raise a child by myself.  My time is limited by the nature of my medical condition.  I don’t want my kid not to have parents.  So I want you to be here, but changes may need to be made to our lifestyle.”  We will see how that all plays out.

MICHAEL:

Your former long time acting partner on The Young and the Restless, Scott Reeves, just got let go on General Hospital.   Many are saying, including Daytime Confidential’s Wishful Casting suggestion, that they would love Scott to come on to The Bold and the Beautiful as Taylor’s bad seed brother, Zach Hamilton! What would you think of that?

HEATHER:

That would be awesome!  I would love that!  I would be all for that.  I think it’s time for Katie to start having other avenues, rather than Bill always being the one to have other avenues.  That’s just my thoughts.  But, I have not talked to Brad Bell about that yet. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

It’s Daytime Emmy submission time here in the U.S to be considered for the 40th annual honors.  You are the defending champion for the Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series category!

HEATHER:

I can’t believe it!  I have no idea what to submit.  I honestly have just started watching the episodes of the post-partum storyline.  That is my stuff for this year, so we will see.

MICHAEL:

How did you come to choose the name “Zane Alexander” for your real life little bundle of joy? 

HEATHER:

Before I knew I was having a boy, I dreamed it and I woke up and his name was Zane.  I liked that.  It kind of turned out that my husband James’ grandfather’s favorite author is Zane Grey, and he grew up outside of Zanesville, Ohio!

MICHAEL:

Now wait a minute! When you played Kelly Cramer on One Life to Live, wasn’t the name of your child, Zane? 

HEATHER:

Yes, and I forgot about that!  Maybe it was some subconscious thing, but James can never know about this! (Laughs)  Yes, it is true.  Zane was the name of Kelly’s last child on One Life to Live.  I think I blocked it out because fans were telling me my baby’s name was Zane, and I would go, “No, No. My last baby was Ace!”  And they would go, “No … the last baby!”   I was so pissed off at that time the way they were writing my character out that I totally forgot about it.  Now it’s embarrassing that I named my child after a soap character.  Again, James can never know! (Laughs) When we shot that in New York, that was my last day at work on One Life, where Kelly named the baby, and that was right before she and the baby Zane moved to London.  As far as my baby’s middle name, Alexander is James’ middle name and he wanted to use that.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

How is your husband James with your new baby?

HEATHER:

He has been better than I would have ever dreamed.  I fall in love with him more and more every day, because he is so good with the baby, and eager to be involved.  James is really hands on, and more so than I ever thought he would be.  It’s awesome and great!

MICHAEL:

What has thus far been the best and worst part of motherhood?

HEATHER:

The best part is that Zane is smiling right now.  Every day he becomes more alert and he is very into everything.  I don’t think I will ever get bored with that.  The worst part was we had a traumatic birth, where he had fluid in his lungs and he had to be in an incubator for five days.  It was not something that was really dangerous.  But of course, as mother, you don’t know that at the beginning.  The doctors told me, on a scale of 1 to 10, we are at a 2.  It was the most stressful five days of my life.  I do not want to go through anything like that again.  It was just horrible.

MICHAEL:

When you think of your dreams and hopes for Zane, what are they?

HEATHER:

Oh gosh.  I think if I can instill a work ethic in him, then I will have done my job.  I think that will help him in all aspects of his life… in his relationships at work, friendships, and otherwise.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Danya Morrison/Shandrew PR

So what happens if teenaged Zane comes to you and James as says, “Mom and Dad, I want to be an actor!?”

HEATHER:

And then …. I kill myself! (Laughs)  Or, if he says, “I want to play a guitar for a living!” James is a musician!  Honestly, it’s all bad. (Laughs)  We are totally screwed on all levels.  Hopefully, he will rebel and say, “I want to be an accountant!”  A doctor would be awesome! (Laughs) Or, I am hoping he will rebel and go, “I am a science nerd” That is what I am hoping!

MICHAEL:

James and you have been working for quite some time on a new home renovation series that will show off your collective interior design prowess!  Any news on when fans can expect to see it?

HEATHER:

The tentative airdate is April 13th on HGTV.  We just finished doing pick-ups for all six episodes.  They are cutting it together now and it’s called Renovation Unscripted.  This is what I did while I was pregnant! (Laughs) It was a ridiculous amount of work, but I think for the viewers it’s going to be super fun to watch.  I am very excited of the projects we did.  I think it’s some of the best work James and I have ever done in terms of home renovation.  The transformation’s you will see were pretty awesome, and James and I were able to do what we wanted to do with the spaces, which was great!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2013?

HEATHER:

Yes.  I make the same one every year, which is: “No Parking Tickets!”  I did really well the first part of 2012, and then really blew it the last part of the year.  I have spent many thousands of dollars in the past on parking tickets.  But, what I will say, the new automated meter with the credit card makes it a lot easier to not get tickets, because I never had change.  I mean, who carries around change? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Since you were at the tail end of your pregnancy, were you able to come to B&B to say goodbye to Susan Flannery as she exited the series?

HEATHER:

I wasn’t.  I was there her last shooting day, but I was not there for the big farewell party day on set.  I should have gone, but I was thinking, “Oh no.  I can’t go.  I am going to have a baby and be in labor.”  I also should have gone to Scott Clifton’s (Liam) wedding! I was basically at home screaming at my tummy going, “When are you coming out? (Laughs)  I think as far as Susan Flannery leaving, that is something she wanted to do. Susan will be sorely missed, but I think her presence is felt whether she is actually here physically.  I am sure she is not going to sit around and do nothing!

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

In closing, what should viewers be on high alert for coming up for Katie in the coming months?

HEATHER:

That is a good question.  I don’t think she is going to be an emotional mess.  I think she and Bill are going to have some issues.  Being a mother and going through childbirth has had a profound change on her that I don’t think is out of the norm.  But, I think it’s going to throw a wrench into things when it comes to her relationship with Bill.

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IVEL
IVEL

What an awesome actress and her smile is beautiful. I have been watching Heather since she was Victoria on the Y&R. To go back to work so soon, is amazing.
Great interview!

Judith
Judith

I first became aware of Heather Tom when she played Victoria Newman on Y&R, and her enormous talent was very evident. When she became Katie Logan on B&B, I marveled at how she was so flexible, and not even a tiny bit of Victoria came thru’ in her performance of Katie. No matter with whom she shares a scene, Heather is the one whose ability shines.

Christine
Christine

That’s a really nice thing to say, Judith, and I agree.

I always love when an actor can move from role to role and not resemble the previous character. That is the mark of a true actor and Heather is one of them.

Edwina babb
Edwina babb

Liked very much. Would like a little more of what might be coming up especially with Hope and Liam.

Christine
Christine

“I also kind of feel, and I don’t know if this is my own projection, but I kind of feel like I got it out of my system, because I have not had any baby blues. From what I know from my friends, every woman I know has had some form of hormonal depression afterward. It would be anything from: “I feel a little bit depressed,” to “I can’t get out of bed.” I really haven’t had anything. I was very concerned about that as I am a hormonal person and an emotional person. Maybe, I just got it out of my system here on set.”

First I want to say that I LOVED this interview. Becoming a mom in 2009 and then again in 2011, I can relate to everything that Heather has. I wanted to comment on her quote above in case this gets back to Heather or any other mom who feels the same. I NEVER had any baby blues or anything like it through either of my pregnancies nor anything all the while I was postpartum. I am a terribly hormonal person to the fact that I believe I am estrogen dominant due to the migraines I get. I was very surprised that I did not have some sort of hormonal problem after giving birth, but I was just elated at being a mom and that my boys were healthy. I may cry at the drop of a hat, but I guess I was otherwise hormonally normal after giving birth. My sister-in-law did have the baby blues with her baby for about a week but she also had trouble with her milk coming in too.

I really feel for any new mom who suffers with post-partum depression and I applaud Heather for tackling that storyline … while she was pregnant no less. What a task to be given.

Thank you again, Michael, for a great and very honest interview.

Beacon
Beacon

She’ll always be Victoria Newman. It’s as simple as that.

TnT 2.0 Forever
TnT 2.0 Forever

Great interview! Thanks Michael!

Joanna Maria
Joanna Maria

Thank you Michael, fantastic interview. I love Heathet Tom. She is amazing woman and actress. I am waiting for her next Emmy. All the best to her and her family.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Excellent interview, Michael! Loved hearing Heather’s thoughts on Katie’s depression. I always felt like they should have written Katie out when she gave birth to Will, and then brought her back when she had finally given birth. But we wouldn’t have gotten beautiful acting from Heather during Katie’s PPD. It’s pure Emmy Gold!

As for Scott Reeves joining as Taylor’s brother and potential love interest for Katie, I think that would be really interesting to see. I’d love to see that happen! We got our Brad/Victoria re-pairing, now we can get our Victoria/Ryan re-pairing. It’d be interesting.

Pamela B. Tutt
Pamela B. Tutt

Hi Heather~
Congratulations on your new baby he is so yummy! I miss you on Young and the Restless and thought you’d be Victor Newmans daughter FOREVER! But anyway I loved you on Y&R but I like you on B&B . I just wish that the writers would have let Hope enjoy and relish in what Steffy stole from her. I am so angry that the writers couldn’t let her (Hope) be happy she is so genuine and she deserves it. When no one else paid Liam any mind when he came to town as Bill’s son Hope welcomed him to town and made him feel welcome only to have him end up with the likes of Steffy………..I hate to watch now 🙁 Is your real life baby playing Katies baby on the set???????

Diane Mraz
Diane Mraz

Hi! Heather!
I enjoyed watching you on the Young and the Restless; and I enjoy watching you on the Bold and the Beautiful. You are a fantastic actress; and you seem so down to earth. I wish you all the best. Take Care.

Dorothy Ferguson
Dorothy Ferguson

Hi Heather , enjoy watching you perform as Victoria on Y&R and now follow you as Katy. congratulations on your big win.

Eliza
Eliza

Heather Tom is an amazing actress and I finally found a place to say it!!!

Diana Bayardo
Diana Bayardo

Is Katie Logan’s baby on bold and beautiful her baby in real life??
He really looks like her and anxious to know if he is. He is so adorable.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination For Julie and Doug’s Emotional Storyline

When you think Days of our Lives, what would it be without the legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie) and her real-life and on-screen husband, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams)?

This past Emmy season, the beloved duo got a chance to shine, when they were put through a ‘heartbreaking’ predicament – Julie’s heart gives out, she is in need of a transplant, and things take a turn for the worse.

What would life be like for Doug without his Julie? How would she say goodbye to him? Fans clearly felt the sentiments overflowing from this real-life duo capturing the essence of their characters in such a raw and realistic way. So much so, that Susan landed a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category for her work.

Already a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient along with her husband, Bill back in 2018, will Susan finally get an award for her acting for her decades of beautiful work on the long-running NBC soap opera? Fans will need to tune-in to CBS on Friday, June 26th to find out with the virtual presentation of the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  But for now, here is our conversation with Susan.

Photo: NATAS

Congratulations on your Supporting Actress nomination.  You have been racking up a lot of these recently, having been nominated in the same category two years ago, and also receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award along with your husband, Bill Hayes at the 45th annual Daytime Emmys in 2018.

SUSAN:  It’s really nice to be nominated, because I’ve had a few gap years.  I’ve had, what? 25 gap years between the recent nominations.

What scenes did you ultimately chose that landed you the nomination?

SUSAN:  I submitted when Julie dies.  I submitted the farewell montage scenes with Bill Hayes, and they were very moving to us… and we’ll see.  I did not submit anything snappy, or bitchy, or hysterical.  I’ve lost against hysterical every time.  Comedy has never worked.  So, I am going to try the heart and soul of soup opera: not bitchiness, but loss.

Photo: JPI

Can I ask how you got through those scenes with Bill, because it was so touching?  I don’t know how you did it.

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SUSAN:  It was very difficult.  I mean, these are the things that make us so connected to the characters and the show.  This is a place where we can show the public what love means to us, which is everything.

They were beautiful scenes.  Do you remember when you did them, if you felt good about them at the time?

SUSAN:  No… no.  I didn’t know.  Everyone on the set seemed happy.  We are blessed to have feedback from out producers now, and they didn’t say, “I think you can do it better,” and, “Another take,” not that we would have anyway, because there is never time to do another take.

Photo: JPI

How did you find out that you were nominated? 

SUSAN:  One of the producers, Randy Dugan called me, or I wouldn’t have found out for a couple of days,

What are your thoughts on this being a virtual Daytime Emmys ceremony because of COVID-19?  We don’t know anything about will play out yet or what that will look like, but it is back on network TV.

SUSAN:  It’s going to be a wonderful surprise.

So, if they have the shot of the nominees, do you think you’d be dressed in comfortable clothes or more formal?

SUSAN:  Well, I’d certainly wear my best earrings if I were at home, yeah.  If my grandson can arrange us to get on the internet (we have a grandson living on our property, and he’s our live-in techy), we will get dressed up, and sit there, if that’s the way to do it.

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DAYS did very well receiving 22 overall nominations and a lot of your co-stars got nomination as well.

SUSAN:  Yes, an excellent year for nominations for our show.

How many times have you been nominated now? 

SUSAN:  This makes six.

Photo: IMDB

Would it mean a lot to you to get the award?

SUSAN:  The Lifetime Achievement meant a lot.  It wouldn’t be bad to win this year.  I’ll say that.  It would be sweet for the show, since I am now the oldest living cast member of the original family – the original, original.  I’m not the original Julie, but close enough.  So, I think that would be some validation for the longevity of this original storytelling.  People look at the show and say, “Are you part of the DiMera family or the Brady family?”  I say, “I’m part of the Horton family!”

What did your husband Bill say when he found out you were nominated?

SUSAN:  (Yells) Billy, what did you say when you found out I was nominated?

BILL:  Yay!!!

SUSAN:  That’s about right. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What a guy!

SUSAN:  I know!  What a guy, what a guy, what a guy!

I was really happy to see your name among the other well-deserving nominees.

SUSAN:  I know you are because I know you care.  Who knows what will happen? It isn’t going to ruin our lives you know, one way or another.  But it was very nice to receive this acknowledgment from my peers.

So, are you glad Susan received a nomination for her work in her emotional storyline? Do you think she should finally receive the Emmy for her performances? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey Chats On His Bittersweet Daytime Emmy Nomination

He’s won three Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series three years in row in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and now Chandler Massey is going for gold for the second time in his career in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series which in a field where he is competing with two co-stars from Days of our Lives among others.

Massey has long been a stand out performer, giving nuanced and emotional portrayals in the angst-ridden life of Will Horton and the love of his life, Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith).

Back in February of this year, DAYS fans learned that Chandler and Freddie had taped their last episodes, and since the NBC soap tapes more than 6 months ahead of air, that the two will still be on the air into the fall.  That has made this moment of recognition for Massey all the more poignant.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Chandler to get his reaction to the news that he is once again a Daytime Emmy nominee, and here’s what he had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

 

I thought it was great that you received another Emmy nomination.  What do you think?

CHANDLER:  Yeah.  I thought it was pretty great too, actually.   I was surprised.  I wasn’t keeping up on when they were announcing the nominations.   I was thrilled that Wally (Kurth) and Paul (Telfer) also got nominated too in the same category.  So, hopefully, DAYS, has a decent shot to take it home.

What did you end up submitting that ultimately landed you the nomination?

CHANDLER:  I went with some scenes that aired on December 16th of last year (I just looked that up), where Will basically breaks up with Sonny when Sonny comes to visit him in prison.  I liked those because they were sort of subtle.  I just found myself drawn in when I watched it, and it wasn’t big or dramatic, but it felt like two real people sharing their pain.  So, that’s why I chose it.

Photo: JPI

I remember those.  Those were heartbreaking because he had to get Sonny to let him go.

CHANDLER:  Yes.  He said he has a new prison boyfriend, and that he’s doing really well in prison, so he doesn’t want to be tied down. (Laughs)

You’ve had Freddie Smith as your scene partner for so much of your run on DAYS.  What did he give you in those scenes that helped you, or even further enabled the performance that you gave?

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CHANDLER:  Freddie always gives everything.  He is a consummate professional, so he really commits every time.  I think it is more that we are just so comfortable with each other that we are not afraid, and that there is no hesitation between the two of us, so we just are able to do the work.  We usually know we are there to listen to, and support each other. in the scenes.

Photo: NATAS

Was your entire submission from the prison scenes or did you include something else?

CHANDLER:  It was just that.  I know I could have included something else, but I like to keep it sort of short because I feel like as a judge, I know within a few minutes.  It’s not that I get bored, but it really only takes a scene or two, and then, you’re like, “this is something special.”  You can recognize it pretty quickly.

So, you have won three Daytime Emmys. This is your first nomination in a few years, right?

CHANDLER:  Yeah, I didn’t get nominated the year before.  I had a gap year… to my family’s great shame. (Laughs)  They were not pleased with me.

Photo: JPI

This is your second nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series category.

CHANDLER:  Yes. I was nominated in ‘Supporting’ for the first time when I came back to DAYS, and then submitted for “Lead” the next year, didn’t get nominated, and then went back to ‘Supporting’.  I learned my place.  I went back to ‘Supporting’ for this year.  (Laughs)

It’s such a game though, right?  .

CHANDLER:  Yeah, you’ve got to be smart.  I just thought, “What the heck?”  Freddie and I were like, “Maybe there’s a shot that if we pick different categories, we can both get nominated,” but then, after that didn’t work, I said, “Screw that… going back to ‘Supporting”

Now, you’ve been through Emmy night before, and this is obviously going to be a virtual Emmy’s.  Now, if they did a six-shot of all of the nominees, what would you wear?  Would you be dressed up?  Would you be casual?  What would you see yourself doing?

CHANDLER:  That’s a good question. I think maybe… I’ll do a little of both.  I’ll go the middle ground.  I’ll be in my finest bathrobe, a silk bathrobe so it’s casual but also still sort of fancy.

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There you go.  (Laughs)  Is this nomination all the more special for you in that you are no longer working at DAYS? 

CHANDLER:  Oh, totally.  Every year is special, but you know, I’m not on the show anymore, so it’s a nice reminder that the work that I did had an effect on people, and it won’t be forgotten for at least a few more hours.

Photo: JPI

I saw the fan outcry and show of support for you and Freddie, when viewers got wind that you were exiting the series.  It was sad and heartwarming at the same time.  The WilSon fans are so behind you guys.

CHANDLER:  Yeah, if only they knew what horrible people that we were in real life, then they wouldn’t be this way, but thankfully… (Laughs)  Yeah, it’s really nice, but it is sad.  I started in 2009, and that was over 10 years ago, and nothing lasts forever.  I had a really, really great run, and so did Freddie.  I am very satisfied and don’t feel jipped, or like, I was entitled to anything more than I got.

Courtesy/NBC

Obviously, your co-nominees, Wally and Paul you worked with many times.  What can you say about them?

CHANDLER:  I think that both men deserve definitely to get second and third place.  (Laughs)  I have known Wally for a while now.  I love him.  I think his work is phenomenal.  I think he is really, really underrated.  Paul, I don’t know as well, but I think obviously his work speaks for himself.  If only he were physically attractive, I think that would really, really help his career.

Photo: JPI

I know, it’s a shame.

CHANDLER:  Unfortunately, he is kind of schleppy, you know?  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Did Freddie reach out to you after you received the nomination?  

CHANDLER:  Oh yes, he sent a text congratulating me, and we talked about it.  It was nice.  I feel like our stories are so intertwined, the scenes we submit are mostly with each other.  So, it’s really kind of a shared accolade.

So, will you be rooting for Chandler to cap off his career on DAYS with an Emmy win on June 26th during the virtual ceremony on CBS? What did you think of the nominated scenes he submitted? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

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EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

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EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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