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THE HILLARY B. SMITH INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

This week on “One Live to Live”, fans have been witness to drama at its best, as Nora and Bo’s son is in a tragic car accident that leaves repercussions and a ripple effect across many lives of the citizens of Llanview.

It also affords long time viewers and new ones an opportunity to see one of daytime’s greatest actresses, Hillary B. Smith, as she takes front and center stage as a guilt-ridden mother dealing with her son Matthew’s paralysis, and seeking justice for those who caused it…which means her friend Marty’s son, Cole!

Many fans of the show are hoping the writers and producers may use this storyline as a vehicle for Nora and Bo to finally get back together. But will that happen? I chatted with Hillary about her current storyline, the upcoming return of Nathan Purdee as Hank Gannon, the
re-cast of her on-screen daughter Rachel,
and Nora losing every trial involving
Todd Manning!

Here’s Hillary…

hillarymain.jpgListen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

There has just been a huge moment on-air, where Nora learns of the car crash involving Matthew. How is Nora going to hold up through all of this?

HILLARY:

I think how any parent would be. First, there is the “Oh my God”, and then there is “OK. Everything’s OK. We just have to go through this process. What do you mean he’s numb?” And then there’s thee “What? Cole was driving under the influence? What?” And then, there is the complete loss of control because it all could have been prevented. She goes through her own anger and blame. It’s so easy to blame Cole, but basically he was still living in her house, and she didn’t notice his drug problem. In the past, Nora had dealt with her own daughter Rachel’s drug use. So there is all this stuff going on with her.

MICHAEL:

Then she finds out the tragic news of Matthew’s condition.

oltl.jpgHILLARY:

Yes. Then she finds out he is paralyzed and it enrages her and intensifies her feeling of guilt, because she was not there for him. Every mother wants to protect her child; even if it isn’t something she had no control over. You feel guilty. You feel guilty when something goes wrong with your child and you could not have prevented it, even when you have a hand in it. The guilt is overwhelming, and it eats at her, and eats
at her until she finally
explodes and arrests Cole.

MICHAEL:

Nora is all about law and order and justice, so naturally she is going to go for the jugular in this case against Cole.

HILLARY:

She is all about law and order and justice, and what is right, and making sure he does not do it again, and she is enraged. She is going to throw the book at him and nail him to the wall. But at the same time, she has these scenes with Marty when she goes to arrest him and Marty says, “Well, he is not here,” and Nora says, “You’re hiding him!” Finally, it kind of comes out in these scenes with Marty, where she says, “You know, none of this would have happened if you would have just stayed dead.” And, that’s a moment where even Nora goes, “Are you hearing yourself and what you are saying?” She finally breaks down and has this complete meltdown and she says, “I am sorry. I did not mean that.” That is when she is realizing she feels guilty and responsible that she did not notice Cole was on drugs. But she has to arrest him.

bo_nora1.jpgMICHAEL:

Does Bo feel guilt, as well? Perhaps, for letting Matthew go to the dance even though he was grounded? It was so awful seeing the kids set Matthew up at the dance, too!

HILLARY:

When you have parents that are divorced, and something tragic happens to your child, the first thing you do is look at each other and go, “Ok, I heard that. Did you hear that?” And the next thing is you absorb it the way you absorb it, and you go through your own personal process. Then you come together as a process and you function as a team. I think Nora and Bo are still trying figure that dance out. For Bo’s part, letting him go to the dance does not have anything to do with drugs or knowing someone is on drugs.

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MICHAEL:

Eddie Alderson (Matthew) has been so great; do we need “hankies” for upcoming episodes? The last couple of days on the air shows, I have been so upset watching it. It’s heavy material and very sad!

HILLARY:

I think there are no heroes and many victims. Not only does Eddie do beautiful work, but also Brandon Buddy (Cole) is spectacular because of his guilt. This was just tragedy for everyone, and Matthew is paralyzed from the legs down, and is a paraplegic.

brandon_matthew.jpgMICHAEL:

Have the actors or the show’s producers guided Eddie into how to portray this type of story, when you have no use of your legs?

HILLARY:

Everyone has given Eddie exercises and hints telling him, “Eddie, You don’t know how much you use your legs and your feet, and nobody understands how much you use them, until you can’t. So here is what I want you to do. Sit in a bathtub and hold yourself by your arms and you will get the feeling of weightlessness in a pool. Also, make a decision as to where your paralysis comes from and really try to do things by isolating those muscles.” Eddie is an athlete, so he knows how to use his muscles and I have to say he is doing a great job!

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MICHAEL:

Who do you think Nora loves? Clint? Or, do you think there is still any chance for her and Bo?

HILLARY:

This is going to be very interesting, because when you are pulled into a tragedy like this, it pulls you in different directions and aligns you with the strangest bedfellows, as they may say. I think she loves Clint. I think she has had awakenings that the man she fell in love with is not there now, so she has had to say, “Wait a minute.” But, he is still good and kind to her and her son, and I think she loves him.

clint_bo_nora.jpgMICHAEL:

But, one would hope Nora and Bo would be drawn together because of the tragic circumstances surrounding their son.

HILLARY:

I think this whole situation, with Matthew and bringing Nora and Bo back together in this realm where nobody will understand what they go through except each other, will be very interesting to see what happens. It could make them fight, because when Nora and Bo thought Matthew was doing drugs, it put them at odds. Nora had dabbled and Bo hadn’t. It just pointed out the things they didn’t know about each other and set them at odds. So, when you get down to the basics, when something you love is going to be taken away you go primal. You don’t think in the terms of you did this, and you did that. And, I think whatever hurt came between Bo and Nora gets shelved. It just comes down to Matthew needs them and they need each other.

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MICHAEL:

Fans of Bo and Nora have been rooting for a long time to get them back together. I know I have!

HILLARY:

If there ever was a chance for them to get back together, I think this scenario would be the ideal way to do it. They are both so preoccupied with the hurt of what’s going on with their child that they can’t hang onto the pain they caused each other. So, if there was ever going to be a door open to that relationship, now would be interesting and now would be the time they would be most open to it.

MICHAEL:

Now I know Nathan Purdue (Hank) is coming back and a new recast for Nora’s daughter, Rachel!

nathan.jpgHILLARY:

Yes, Daphne Duplaix. I screen-tested with her.

MICHAEL:

And what did you think?

HILLARY:

All the actresses were beautiful, and they were all talented. I had a ‘sneaker’ for her and she was just right. She had Ellen Bethea’s (Ex-Rachel) earthiness, which is a very beautiful quality and a hard one to come by.

MICHAEL:

I loved Ellen!

HILLARY:

Well, Ellen Bethea was my Rachel, and Ellen had a very centered and grounded quality and a presence about her. Then I find out Daphne has three kids and “duh”, that’s why! So, now I understand why she’s got those qualities. She’s there and present, and there it is. I have to say, I have worked with her a couple of times and I have to say, “Wow. She is a pro!”

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MICHAEL:

Will you have story with Nathan?

HILLARY:

Nathan is Nora’s guy, and he is one of all the ex-husbands she stays in touch with. I am sure she scratched her head and said, “And Why?”

MICHAEL:

Remember, she’s Nora Hanen Gannon Buchanan Hanen… and wasn’t there a Colson thrown in there at one point? (He laughs)

HILLARY:

And who knows? Maybe we can add another Gannon or Buchanan to it!

MICHAEL:

hillaryda.jpgIs Hank coming back for Matthew?

HILLARY:

He comes back to help out, but he is a professor at Georgetown now. He is a very smart man!

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MICHAEL:

Now, let’s talk about all the court stuff against Todd! Nora can never win a case involving Todd!

HILLARY:

No, not ever. I love the writers; they gave me a nod in the script: “It doesn’t’ matter how or what evidence I have. He still walks away.” That was my favorite line. At least I got him to confess, which is one of the most important things.

MICHAEL:

How is doing the courtroom material after all these years and the legalese that comes with it?

HILLARY:

It’s not as much fun as being a defensive attorney because she is now the DA. When you are the prosecutor there is a modicum of just presenting the facts, and not to elaborate or embellish. I learned this in my little research, district attorneys are very dry because they don’t want to seem that they have to embellish facts. So they are usually just presenting the facts, and the colder and more straight-forward they are, the more powerful it tends to be. Defense Attorneys can be flamboyant: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit, “and all that type of stuff.

trevor.jpgMICHAEL:

How about the dynamics between you and Trevor St. John (Todd)?

HILLARY:

I enjoy working with Trevor. He can be unpredictable. But my work with Trevor… he makes me think and he makes me work at it. He makes me step back and watch a scene from different directions and then come back to it, and we had these in his jail cell. I basically try to get him to plead guilty for Marty’s sake. Trevor got me thinking about it in an exciting way, and he made it a much more exciting thing to play.

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MICHAEL:

Do you miss Catherine Hickland (Lindsay)?

HILLARY:

Oh, I miss my “puss, puss”…yes.

MICHAEL:

I have to say I miss some of the Lindsay/Nora scenes, such as fighting in a trash compactor!

HILLARY:

Not having her there has been sad for me personally, and I know it’s a loss for the show, for sure. I am just hoping at some point, it’s allowing for a good set-up for her to come back and it will be more powerful.

hickland_hillary.jpgMICHAEL:

How hilarious were the recent episodes where you and all the Buchanan’s got rip-roaring drunk when you realized David Vickers knew that he was a Buchanan, and was going to kick you out of your house that Asa left you?

HILLARY:

I loved the whole Buchanan scenes with David realizing he is a Buchanan. It was a blast! The funniest was this: “Alright now, who’s DNA and we believe in this guy, because?” Man, he is a bad DNA analyst, but it was Ron Carlivati’s (head writer, “OLTL”) nod to the 1968 storyline by having Rex put in there. Did you catch that?

MICHAEL:

Yes, I did.

HILLARY:

It was his little nod to Rex, as Bo, from the ‘Time travel’ piece.

MICHAEL:

You won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1994 for the amazing courtrooms scenes at Marty’s Rape Trial. As you look back, what moments or storyline are you most proud of?

HILLARY:

There are a couple of things, like the rape trial and we did that for six weeks and it was hard work. There were many nights I would stay in a hotel, near the studio rather than go home and take care of my little kids, and then have to be back at work in the morning. That was tough. It was a lot of work, and I was very pleased at how it came out. I loved the blind story, and believe it or not, I did not enjoy the coma, but I did enjoy the paralysis and the stroke. I tend to be a very technical actress, so to have my mind have to deal with technical aspects, really makes me happy. I liked playing the paralysis and the aftermath of it. But I did not get a chance to do it much.

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MICHAEL:

What can we say for One Life to Live fans to watch for in March with Nora?

hillarysmith.jpgHILLARY:

I think I would have to say watching a mother trying to be there for her son, and do her job, and face the realities and that juggling. That is what I am playing. This is a woman who the odds have turned against right now and she is trying to keep a modicum of normalcy in her life, for her son sake. She wants to make sure she is doing her job and doing it well, and catching herself when she finds herself getting emotionally involved and not being a proper DA. I think the uncovering of Matthew’s condition and how it happened, and then the aftermath of that is a great journey for me, but others have a journey. Marty has a journey. The kids have a journey. It’s a terrific story!

MICHAEL:

Finally, how is working with Susan Haskell (Marty) again after so many years?

HILLARY:

It’s like getting back in your comfortable shoes. It’s like, “Oh, yes.”

General Hospital

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

 

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

Courtesy/StudioCity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: StudioCity

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

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

Courtesy/StudioCity

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

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

Courtesy/StudioCity

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

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

 

Courtesy/StudioCity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: StudioCity

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Courtesy/StudioCity

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

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

Courtesy/StudioCity

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

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

Courtesy/StudioCity

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Right, and seduce people …

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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Airdate: 6-3-2022

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