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The Hunter Tylo and Winsor Harmon Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Wire Image

Photo Credit: CBS/Getty Images

The Bold and the Beautiful sure knows how to shake up the feuding Forrester clan with deception, boardroom antics, and lots of bedroom blues.  Recently, the series has cleverly re-ignited the brotherly feud of Thorne vs. Ridge, the underdog vs. the reigning kingpin, in the house of Forrester Creations.  But this time, a much smarter Thorne went into his fight with a very sexy and special secret weapon… Taylor!  From there the sparks flew and the fallout continues to resonate on-air.

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with two B&B favorites: Hunter Tylo (Taylor) and Winsor Harmon (Thorne) to discuss their burgeoning on-screen relationship and to see if these good friends who have each other’s back through thick and thin, might have a chance at a full-blown romance!  Plus, we get an inside look at this juicy storyline and the viewpoints of these two unlucky-in-love-and-life characters who are drawn together for the greater good.

Always a highly charged interview whenever you get one of these talents in a room together, imagine the fun when you get two of them at the same time!  We think you will find this interview funny, insightful, and in some cases, it will truly tug at your heart-strings.  So here now are two of the most invincible performers in all of soapland, who have certainly been through their share of trials and tribulations, and who have always come back strong … Hunter and Winsor!

MICHAEL:

What did you think, Winsor, when B&B started teasing a Taylor/Thorne pairing/relationship?

WINSOR:

Photo Credit: Wire Image

I was very happy about it.  I love working with Hunter.  She is fun and she has a wicked sense of humor.

MICHAEL:

It wasn’t about Hunter’s beauty?  Looking into those beautiful blue eyes?

WINSOR:

That goes without saying.

HUNTER:

But he never looks at my eyes, sorry.  Tell the truth, Winsor.

WINSOR:

I could not pick her out of a police line-up. (Laughs)

HUNTER:

You know, us fellow Texans have to stick together.  It’s an interesting background Winsor and I have in real life, as we grew up 20 miles away from each other.  We probably went to the same football games and everything, but we were sitting on opposite bleachers. (Laughs) But I have no doubt when I was out there on the drill team he was probably under the bleachers with the guys who were checking us out while we were changing our clothes!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Wow, she knows you Winsor!  So, in story, Thorne is the put-upon Forrester child. Ridge is always number one and Thorne is always thrown in the basement of Forrester Creations and trying to get out.  Thorne had this big moment recently where he tries to do a company takeover and stake his claim at Forrester.   What did you think of those scenes, Winsor?

WINSOR:

I loved them!  I thought they were great and I thought everyone was very equal and strong in them.  The dynamics of it I love.  And, I love fighting with Ridge, and I love the Forrester situation we find ourselves in.  But what makes this much stronger is that Thorne now has Taylor on his side and Ridge is really taken aback by that.  One of the funniest lines in the whole show this past year was when we got into that scuffle!  I got thrown to the floor and then Taylor kissed Thorne.  At that moment, Ronn Moss (Ridge) just did this look and said this line that was hilarious.  I seriously almost started laughing when I was in the middle of the scene.

MICHAEL:

Can we just set the scene for this, Winsor?  What went down?  Viewers saw that Taylor, at the last minute, seems to end up siding with Ridge when you are waiting for her to side with you!  That is the big shocker.

WINSOR:

Taylor just can’t start a war between her kids and when it comes down to your children, that battle could destroy lives and relationships forever.  But then again, I don’t know. In daytime you can do anything.  It was par for the course for Thorne.

HUNTER:

I know!  He got kicked to the curb again.

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

Hunter, what do you think about what Taylor did in this situation?

HUNTER:

I think Taylor found herself in a bind where she absolutely knows if Brooke gets one word in edge-wise with Ridge, she will end up getting her way and she would cut Taylor’s children out of Forrester in two seconds.  Taylor has worked really hard to step up to the plate.  Her psychiatrist background would also make her aware that it’s a very unstable situation when children don’t have a connection with her father.  So she will try to do everything she can to keep her children mentally healthy, because Steffy had been through so much loss, and yes, so has Thomas.  But for Steffy, in losing her twin sister, she is kind of hyper-vigilante.  Surprisingly, Ridge had been backing Steffy now with her new love interest, Liam, who of course, used to be Hope’s love interest, and Brooke did not like that.  Taylor was like “Wow.  Ridge is siding with Steffy, and this may never happen again.”  So she had to side with him.

MICHAEL:

But, she had to be torn?

HUNTER:

Absolutely!  She probably equally feels that Thorne deserves to have a shot at Forrester in the driver’s seat.  Taylor does not like the way Brooke has been running everything through Ridge.  So she thinks someone a bit more level-headed should be running things.  But unfortunately, there is that sticky point between them…Taylor killed Darla, Thorne’s wife.

MICHAEL:

Oh yeah … remember that?

HUNTER:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Taylor has a little guilt, but she would do anything to make up for that.  I mean, Thorne was even there with her when he helped get her to AA.  Thorne was really forgiving and loving.  So she knows that Thorne has a really good heart, and that he has been pushed to the wayside and neglected.  I want to believe that Taylor, as a psychiatrist, would understand how sad of a life that it is…that this young man who always grew up in the shadow of Ridge, is always getting the seconds, and how that must feel for him.

MICHAEL:

Thorne had a great line in the key episode that he is the real Forrester heir and that Ridge is just Massimo’s son.

WINSOR:

That is a big thing to me.  We found out that Ridge’s father is Massimo Marone and not Eric Forrester.  Thorne is the heir to the throne of Forrester and he then is the first born.  Thorne is being treated like he’s not, and he always has been.  I think that probably hurts him more than anything, that his father shows more love for Ridge.  And, we definitely know how Stephanie feels about it all, and there is no doubt about that. (Laughs)  But I am glad that Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) wrote a line in the script like that addressing the fact of whose father is who.

MICHAEL:

But the big question really is; because Taylor ran down and killed his wife, Darla, how does Thorne deal with this several years later and getting close to Taylor?

WINSOR:

That is just Thorne.  He forgives; he has been forgiving his whole life.

HUNTER:

Courtesy/CBS

That is what has worked with this storyline so well, because Thorne had always compromised.  He has been trained up to compromise and bow down to allow Ridge to do whatever he wants.  I would imagine he got in trouble for that when he was a little boy if he did not back whatever the parents wanted to do for big brother Ridge.  And it’s a very sad thing and it does happen in families… favoritism… and sibling rivalries … are very real.  I was so glad this show revisited this rivalry between the brothers.   I think it’s a really important dynamic in the Forrester family.

MICHAEL:

Didn’t Thorne have a plan that he brought to light to Taylor to bring down the house of Forrester?  How did the two of them end up conspiring?

WINSOR:

We were putting everything into “Hope for the Future” and we were neglecting the other lines and Thorne was very against it.  He came out and said, “Look guys.  We are making a mistake here.  What happens if this line doesn’t work?”  And lo and behold, look what happened?  He came to Taylor with a plan of: “Look, I have been pushed down by Ridge long enough, and now his own son and daughter are being pushed down.”  Thorne figured out that because Stephanie tricked Thomas and gave him the stock so that he would say he slept with Brooke, so then Brooke would leave Ridge, and Ridge would then end up with Taylor!  So, Thorne finds this stock option and goes to Taylor and says, “Look. Your kids are being shoved in the basement like me.  They are too talented. Thomas had one of the most successful lines Forrester ever had. Look you have got 55% of this company and you can now control this company through these stocks.  And it’s time for you to do it.  We need a change.”  And that is where it started from and he was not trying to use Taylor by any means.  He was driven by what he really believes and that is that this company is in jeopardy, and putting all your eggs in one basket, over one fashion line.  He was against it.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Vic Dennis

Is it a perk of the whole vendetta that Thorne wanted Taylor to be his as well?

WINSOR:

I don’t think it started out like that, and that is what I liked about the relationship.  We grew.  I loved the scene where Taylor goes to a psychic and she tells her this guy will show up at your door, and it turns out to be Thorne.

MICHAEL:

Hunter, what did you think about the “psychic scene”?

HUNTER:

Oh, we laughed so much about that. (Laughs)  But, when Thorne shows up she is thinking “Did Stephanie send you here?”  Because Taylor is thinking she is being set-up because this is just more manipulation.  However, when Thorne actually shows her some legal information in the stock options, that was not even in her motivation to use them to get a leg up, Thorne knows that.  But one of the things that I think motivated Thorne to go look it up was, “What kind of power does Taylor have in this situation?  Because look at her son!  He is down here in the basement and this kid is going to be doomed just like me.”   So I do think that is what motivated him to look up the legal info, or, maybe go get some advice.  Then he realizes since Taylor has the controlling trust while Stephanie is alive, and Thomas does not have the stocks actually, now Taylor is the trustee and now she can vote in the company.  She now has 55%.  So,  whereas before we thought that Taylor lost her shares when she took a mortgage out on her house, (and bought 50 million dollars worth of shares, and gave a lot to Steffy) now as the mother and the trustee, Taylor realizes she has a lot more power than she thought.  Thorne knows that Taylor in the past has been just like him.  She has always tried to do the right thing and got screwed over.

MICHAEL:

Right!  So they are really the screwed-over couple of B&B!

WINSOR:

Courtesy/CBS

I believe they have it tough.

MICHAEL:

Do you think this will go anywhere and they will show a more romantic side to their relationship in the future?

WINSOR:

Well, that is up to Brad Bell, but they do spend Christmas together.  I do think they could end up having a very passionate relationship.

HUNTER:

I think it’s very cool that there is so much history behind the two characters. First of all, it does not seem like a sexually based relationship. So I think the audience can appreciate it and go, “Wow.  I can understand these two emotionally bonding,” and then let it grow into something that doesn’t look forced.  I think with the right vehicle for the two characters to be united doing something together, like they have a goal that is a going to be good for everybody, and of course, we don’t really care if it upsets Ridge and Brooke. (Laughs)  I do think the two of them could become very passionate in the moment that they succeed.

MICHAEL:

I think they need to trap you two on a high-stakes basement caper!  Something where you are locked up together and can’t get away from each other and it’s life or death!  What do you think?

HUNTER:

I think that sounds cool.  How about they get stuck in Rome?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

WINSOR:

Rome is fine with me.

HUNTER:

OK … then we need to hurry up and go to Venice, Italy before it sinks. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Hunter, what would you tell us about how it is to work with Winsor?

HUNTER:

Winsor is hilarious.  He is so laid-back and he tells you just what happened, and it can be scary sometimes what just happened.  Such as: if he just came from the bathroom you might not want to hear that part.  He is so open.  He is like your family member, in that no matter what is going on, he just tells it like it is.  So Texas!  To me it’s like a brother or family member type of comfortable relationship. I can tell you people in California aren’t really used to that. When Winsor walks into a room and the two of us start talking, our Texas twangs start coming out.

WINSOR:

I have worked so hard to get rid of the accent for this show, because Thorne is not from Texas, obviously. (Laughs)

HUNTER:

Well now, I have explained that away.  I told Winsor, I think that when Thorne was a little boy he probably was sent away a lot to boarding schools, because they probably thought he was acting up all the time, because he was acting out to get attention.  So maybe he went to a boarding school, or a ranch one summer to get corrected because he had behavioral problems. And he picked up this Texas accent while there.

MICHAEL:

Hunter, you could be a writer on a soap!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

HUNTER:

I love to write and actually I am writing right now. (Laughs).

MICHAEL:

Winsor, Hunter is known to really go through her scripts and dialog line by line …

WINSOR:

… That is one thing I love … and that is that Hunter comes in so well-prepared.

HUNTER:

I don’t have the lines all memorized but I have it all outlined, thought-process wise.  And yes, I do pick apart every single line and then try to connect emotionally everything that I am saying that means something in my own life, so it means something.  Sometimes there is a lot of scribbling all over my script or page!

MICHAEL:

How is working with her while she is going through her process?

WINSOR:

I absolutely love it, because it opens up things to me that I did not actually see.  I am so comfortable with Hunter. We have that comfortablity around each other, and when that happens as an artist, you are allowed to open up more and there is more spontaneity.

HUNTER:

I have to say that we do have a great friendship from way back.  What I would say is Ronn and Winsor and I do have a good buddy friendship, and we all bond over nice cars! We all sit and talk about engines and the best cars.  I am a corvette person and Winsor is a Porsche person, and we all argue which is better the Porsche or the “Vette”! And we all know that the “Vette” is! (Laughs)

WINSOR:

I would agree with you on that one right now, since it’s half the price.

HUNTER:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

I also have to say this, and I don’t know if I ever said this to you Winsor.  After I lost my son, Winsor was there for me so much.  He would come over to my house and stop by and check on me.  We would sometimes meet up at a bar and have a drink.  Winsor would just let me vent and piss and moan and grouch whatever I had to do, and he was there for me.  I really appreciated that so much, Winsor.

WINSOR:

I know you did and you did not have to say it.

HUNTER:

So we do have that type of relationship that Taylor and Thorne have too, and that is: “Whatever the hell is going on, I am here for you, and I have been through that too.”

MICHAEL:

Winsor, you have been on contact with B&B and then taken off contract and put on recurring status.  Are you OK with being recurring?

WINSOR:

I love it at B&B and I have always considered it my home.  I look at it like this, like a football team. There is a coach and the coach is going to run the team like he sees fit and that is OK.  I am a player, and that is how I see it.

HUNTER:

A player! That’s the truth. (Laughs)

WINSOR:

And when I get called in, I come in a hundred miles an hour because I love it!

HUNTER:

Courtesy/CBS

And that’s the truth!

MICHAEL:

Taylor and Thorne have quite the past.  In fact, Thorne delivered Taylor’s baby at one point!

HUNTER:

I don’t know if this is sub-consciously in Brad Bell’s head, or he made sense of this that literally, but Winsor’s character would have a bit of this bonding thing with Thomas that is very natural because he delivered Thomas when Ridge was in jail!  Thorne was there for Taylor and helped her deliver her baby!

WINSOR:

That is Ridge’s first born son and he is in the basement with Thorne!

HUNTER:

Right, and in Taylor’s mind she is like, “Well, Brooke was OK with that happening to Thorne, and of course, she is gong to be happy about leaving Thomas down there too.”

MICHAEL:

Speaking of Thomas, how is working with Adam Gregory (Thomas)?

WINSOR:

He is pretty to look at, isn’t he?  I catch myself at times going, “Man. That is a good looking kid.”  Adam is the nicest, nicest guy.  He kind of reminds me of Ronn.  He has a super big heart, and when I was going through my divorce he said, “Look, if you need to go out to be with some friends, and you need someone to watch your son, please, my wife and I love kids, and we would love to watch him.”  I thought that was awesome.  It kind of caught me off guard, but that is just who he is, though.  Adam is always offering to help.  He is an all-around grounded guy and he has good spiritual belief going on.  I think he is a great asset to the show and I enjoy being around him.

HUNTER:

Photo Credit: Wire Image

I like his energy.  It is a lot like Ronn Moss’s personality … kind of laid-back and quiet. But, if you get him going, he has a great sense of humor and he is mostly kind of reserved.  Then, in contrast, Winsor comes in a hundred miles an hour and that is Winsor’s energy. He has way high energy.  I was so amazed that Adam is so well grounded for the age he is at.

MICHAEL:

Then Hunter, how then would you define your energy on set?

HUNTER:

I come in pretty easy going.  I am kind of quiet, and it depends on what is going on in the storyline.  If it’s a heavy duty storyline I am very quiet, but when all the stress is gone and it’s a light day for me, I am usually acting pretty goofy and pretty silly.

MICHAEL:

Is she silly, Winsor?

WINSOR:

Oh yeah!  Hunter is fun and I like to say things to get her to be silly.

HUNTER:

That is true, and then Susan Flannery (Stephanie) starts yelling, “Winsor! Shut up!”  We just love getting Susan wound up, don’t we Winsor?  And that is what is funny.  It’s hysterical!

WINSOR:

I have times in my life where I needed some family advice or something, and I called Susan.  And on my cell phone it says “Mom-California” and the other one says “Mom- Dallas.”  Susan and I do have a very good close relationship. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

I have had the opportunity to watch Susan Flannery direct actors on the set of Crystal Chappell’s web-series, Venice.  I also know she directs several episodes of B&B.  How is working with Susan in that capacity?

HUNTER:

I love it when Susan directs. Usually actors don’t like when they are given a line read for a certain scene, but I love it when Susan says, “You know what would be good here Hunter?”  Susan really gets into it. 

WINSOR:

If we could shoot in between our scenes, you could put a laugh track to it … one could be a daytime show and one a comedy/reality show.  And even with the crew, I will cut up with the camera guys and the sound guys!

MICHAEL:

I hope some day someone actually does a reality show of what goes on the set of a soap when you are not rolling tape!  We think it would be a hit series and help boost the dwindling genre.  Especially, if it were to air in the daytime block and maybe repeat at night on a cable outlet.

HUNTER:

Yes, like a 30 Rock of the show.  It would be hilarious!  The things that I think people would enjoy seeing are a lot of the comedy moments.  We have to learn so many lines. You cannot believe how much stuff we have to do.  We are shooting 78 or more pages in one episode.  So if we shoot three episodes in one day, which we often do, people cannot fathom how we do it.  And, then the funny things that happen on the set to get through it, or the coping mechanisms we have to get through it… those are funny, and those are great moments to capture.

MICHAEL:

Hunter and Winsor… you should host that show!

HUNTER:

I just think Brad should get a reality crew down here on set!  I am telling you since we are now in print that we did this, we are officially the writers of the show.  We claim it right now.  It’s legal.  55% percent of this show, we own. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

As we come to the end of our fascinating and fun conversation, ultimately how would the two of you like to see your characters relationship head in the future?

HUNTER:

Photo Credit: Wire Image

I would like to see Taylor finally have had it with Brooke and Hope and that whole thing, and step up and put Thorne in the CEO seat and take over and let him come up with his own line.  Then, let everyone discover that he is more talented than everybody!  And that he really has Eric’s gift!  That would be awesome.  As far as their relationship, I like them having a deep meaningful relationship and not being sexual.  I think that is unique, because our show is usually high romance and people that are so over the top that they are not thinking clearly.  I think this could be cool to show a couple that is thinking clearly and that they have a goal together, and that they are overcoming their own demons.  I think we should see Thorne and Taylor get strong and stand up to these people who mowed them down.  Now Taylor has been standing up to Stephanie, and now we have Thorne standing up to his brother, so I think they are in that place.

WINSOR:

I love exactly what she said.  But one thing I would like to see between the two of them is to have that mutual respect for each other, and it’s not just based on lying around in lingerie or having sex all the time.  It’s more of a deep rooted relationship that they have developed, and they come to realize this that, “Wait, we just might have the perfect relationship.”

READ MORE
GH's Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist
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Tom
Tom

Love Taylor and Thorne but we have barely seen them lately! I am not sure what is going on over at B&B but the show is all over the place currently–even more so than usual! Storylines are dropped from week to week and it’s hard for viewers to gain traction. Enough with Steffy/Liam/Hopeless and back to Taylor/Thorne and some adult storylines!

BETTYEJ
BETTYEJ

Wow, this is my lucky day, two of my favorite people together and guess what guys, we are all from Texas. I wish that Brad Bell would make you a super couple, because that is what is needed on this show. I like the fact that your relationship is not being rushed this time.

TF 101
TF 101

I agree with Tom. TNT was garnering fan interest and I love the rapport these two share on screen. I was looking forward to a storyline involving Taylor and Thorne, with his daughter Ally added in for extra drama and suspense. It would be a nice change and contrast to all of the other stories on the show currently. It seems Bell and his writers are fumbling the ball AGAIN and ignoring fan support and interest. No wonder soaps are a dying genre.

Susanlee
Susanlee

I think the writer did a good interview and both actors do a very credible job, but Taylor is portrayed as a real imbecile when it comes to her childrens behavior and also her own. How many times would a supposed renowned physchiatirst be left at the alter from a man that she has to realize is totally in love with another woman. She see’s no destructtion in her childrens’s behavior and encourages them to continue and to never accept responsibility. Thorne has no respect for himself and that is why no one else does and he remains in the cellar. It would be so refreshing to actually see a soap that would incorporate vaules, morals, honesty and responsibility. Viewers would go into shock. BB used to be a decent show, but it is no longer on my agenda. Once in awhile, I will check in to see what is happening and the major storyline continues to be senseless people with one thing on their minds. SEX. Too Bad.

kay killgore
kay killgore

I have been saying for years they should use Winsor Harmon more I did read that they were going to be off camera a while for the teenybopper crowd. Brad Bell has a bloated cast for thirty minutes. Just get these two back in front of the camera. Please! Good Interview.

Kassie
Kassie

I am really looking forward to the Taylor/Thorne relationship and business takeover!! I love both of these characters and actors!!!

Tracey
Tracey

I’m sorry that Thorne has to be saddled with Taylor. He is so much better than that. He has had a chance to run a company and he failed. If they take over house of Forrester then Ridge, Brooke, Eric, Hope and Stephanie sholud start a new company and cut them out completely. Or they can just wait til Taylor and Thorne run the company into the ground and then come in with a takeover and boot Taylor to the curb where she needs to be. She knows nothing about fashion or physchiatry and needs to hit the road. Tired of watching her on my screen.

sunisha ramlogan
sunisha ramlogan

i want to see more Taylor/Thorne relationship storyline and less ridge/brooke/hope/liam and steffy storyline.There is something strong brewing here between these two and that’s what we want to see.

Barbara
Barbara

I’m glad to see Thorne being used more. However, I am not pleased about him being paired with Taylor. This show desperately needs some new blood. How hard would it be to introduce a new love interest for Thorne rather than give him Ridge’s peripetual toss off?

Frankly, the once interesting and beautiful Taylor is neither these days. The character is completely played out. I cannot root for Taylor as the character has been nothing but a complete idiot for the past five years. Using Taylor with all of her baggage as Thorne’s new partner is a really, really, really, really bad idea.

Debbera T.
Debbera T.

It would be great to see FC in other hands for a change lets see it for the better. And as for Taylor, her children and Thorne as underdogs is quite hearting now. I’m so tired of seeing them lose out to Ridge and Brooke all the time. When Bell writes for Taylor he portrays her not as an educated woman, but as someone who is blind to her children needs and to her own relationship . The Taylor I remember was wonderful and bright. So Bell lets see more of the underdogs on top .I’m tired of the current winning team always getting what they want always winning . And thank you for the wonderful interview with Hunter and Winsor.

JT
JT

Have to say Im just NOT interested in Steffie and Hope and company and am more than tired of the Ridge show. They are the reason I rarely watch B&B now. When Bill Bell’s fixation with Ridge ever leaves I could be back. I loved the all too short story of Thorne leaving Forrester. That was great. But the Ridge show is wooden. Sorry

Racheebee
Racheebee

Taylor and Thorne were always a boring couple with zero romantic chemistry. It really might be each other’s worst pairing in the last decade. They were far better matched with other characters in the past. Don’t really wanna see HT and WH as a onscreen couple for a third time since the first two times left me cold. They aren’t gonna get any story or airtime together anyway.

Ann
Ann

I love, love Taylor and her kids, however I have zero interest in seeing her with Thorne, I think they had something when they paired him with Amber. Taylor has been written poory for the past 5 years, but she will always be a much better women then Brooke. Only on the B&B does the slutt from the valley end up with the man. B&B has been all down hill since they put Brooke and Ridge together, now they’re working on Hope being the next best thing, and it’s all tiresome, I agree with the other fan, they need new blood. and new and better s/l for Taylor, more meaningful ones. s/l that will show the women we use to know.

Kamlita goven
Kamlita goven

Taylor and thorne as a couple makes alot of sense. Let them have their deep friendship along with the hot steamy romance that is the bold and beautiful. They deserve to be happy with each other. A great power couple.

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Rebecca Herbst Chats On ‘Friz’, Her On-Screen Sons & How Liz Has Grown-Up

Last week, Rebecca Herbst celebrated her 22nd year playing fan favorite Elizabeth Webber (now Baldwin) on General Hospital.  She made her on-screen debut on August 1, 1997.  And in those two decades plus in Port Charles, Liz has gone through many a rocky relationship, plenty of drama, and carried out some misdeeds of her own.  But one thing is for sure, Becky is loved by the fans of the long-running ABC daytime drama series who always want the best for her, and for Nurse Elizabeth.

Recently, ‘Friz’ fans got a moment they had long been waiting for when Franco (Roger Howarth) and Liz, and their friends and family (and some enemies) shared in their wedding reception.  But can their happiness last?  According to two psychics, Sibley Gamble (Veronica Cartwright) and Chelsea Lambas (Jen Ray) that Franco has run into in recent weeks, he better be careful.  That has made Franco concerned, while Liz is trying to get her family all on the same page, and it looks like her boys are coming around to loving and accepting Franco, too, despite what Liz’s ex Jason (Steve Burton) may have to say about it.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Rebecca  at the GH Fan Club Weekend, where she made a welcome appearance, to talk about: how she sees Elizabeth’s relationship with Franco, her talented on-screen sons, and how Liz has grown-up since she started on the series, and more.  Here’s what Becky shared with us below.

What did you think of the long-awaited wedding reception of Franco and Liz?  The show finally gave them this joyous moment; after their jailhouse nuptials. Did you feel like the way the wedding actually went down it felt like it cheated the relationship, or did you like it?

REBECCA:  I felt the jailhouse wedding was a bit of a cheat, because they had tried two different times to have a really glorious wedding, so to do it in a jail cell was not the most desirable place. (Laughs)  However, the fact that the characters did actually get married and nothing came in between was a plus, and so, hey, they’ll take that.  Later, when I read in the scripts that there was going to be the reception, I was shocked, because I really didn’t think it was ever going to happen.

Photo: ABC

Do you think the fans were getting to the point where they thought this was never going to happen, also?

REBECCA:  For sure.  We all thought they Franco and Liz were never going to have their moment, or their honeymoon or any of that. I was really pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they write it, but it was beautiful!  It was also visually beautiful.  They put a lot of effort and thought into the show itself, and nobody died, and nobody fell through the roof.  Well, it was kind of funny that Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) got pushed off the ‘Haunted Star’, but according to Elizabeth, that’s just fine that Obrecht got pushed off the boat. (Laughs)  She didn’t die, so everything is good, but all in all, it was a really wonderful party.

What did you think when they had all of Elizabeth’s sons performing a song for the happy couple.  It was so cute, and touching.

REBECCA:  Oh, my goodness.  Those were real tears I shed.  That was so sweet.  So very, very sweet of them.

Photo: ABC

The show is growing the boys, so now you, as Elizabeth, have some young actors to play off of in your scenes.  How do you feel about that?

REBECCA:  Oh, I love it!  For so long, Elizabeth would only talk about her kids, “My boys, my boys, my boys, my boys in the attic.” (Laughs) Now, she has relationships, and very different relationships with each one of them.

I think that echoes real-life too.  A mother has distinct relationships with each of her children.  That’s what I like about Liz with her sons.  And as a mom in real-life as well, I am sure you can relate to this.

REBECCA:  Yes, my relationship with all of my kids is completely different, and I really love that it’s true for Elizabeth’s kids.  I attribute a lot of that to the writers, because they definitely write our relationships differently.  Aiden (Jason David) is still this baby who Elizabeth coddles and protects.  Cameron (William Lipton) is expected to be the man of the house and take care of things, and sometimes Elizabeth feels like she puts too much responsibility on him, but he is going to protect his mom no matter what.  Hudson (Jake) is so wonderful, too.  The fact that I have been blessed with three beautifully smart little actors is just a win for me.

Courtesy/ABC

Let’s talk about Aiden, who had been bullied at school by the other kids.  Do you think that story will be fleshed out?  It seems it may have been put on pause, because it would be an important story to tell for parents with LGBTQ children, if that is how GH ultimately chose to tell the story.

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REBECCA:  It is an important story.  I would love to tell the story.  There is a great message.  I don’t think we touched on it enough.   I think, for now, the best way to put a button on it is to send the message that we should accept our children with all of their wonderful attributes and personalities and whatever their interests, and let’s not label children, and listen to them and support them.   We should just all be kind.   I was sad when I would read some of the tweets about the story.  It saddened me to read people’s harsh opinions towards Elizabeth’s acceptance of her child.  Some people said that we should not be doing a story like this, and then there was the other half who said, “Just because he is a baker, doesn’t make him gay,” which is 100% true.

True!  TV viewers have certainly seen a lot of straight chefs on foodie or cooking shows, for example.

REBECCA:  Absolutely!  All three of my children in real-life love to cook.  There is nothing wrong with that.   I think we need to just continue to love Aiden no matter what, and he is not different than any of the other kids.

Photo: ABC

William Lipton has been amazing as Cameron, right?

REBECCA:  Amazing.  I know!  He is not only a great little actor, singer, and performer, but he has this beautiful little face, and he is such a grounded young man.  He’s a really sweet person.  You can tell he’s been raised in a really great house, and he has an amazing mom.

Because you are such a “mom’s-mom” in real life, do you think that helps you in how Elizabeth reacts to her children?

REBECCA:  I think so.  I always ask permission from my on-camera kids before a scene: “Is it okay if I kiss your little head?  Is it okay if I put you on my lap here?  Is it okay if I put my hands on your face?”  I’m not their mother, but when I think about what I would do with my real-life kids,  they’re always getting kissed and hugged and held by me, so I want to make it look as real as possible.  I have to think, “What would I do if this were Emerson?”  He’d be on my lap, and I’d be kissing his little neck.  So, then I have to ask Jason, who plays Aiden, “Is it okay that I kiss your neck, and if I kind of just like snuggle you?”  All three of my on-screen kids are so great, because they’re like, “Yeah, sure.  We don’t care!” and not all stage kids are like that.  They all are receptive of my love, and they just let me do it.  I think that is what is so sweet.

Photo: ABC

What do you think of this whole pairing of Elizabeth and Franco, and that you were paired with Roger Howarth?  Elizabeth has had many relationships on the show, so where does her relationship with Franco fit into her list of romances/relationships?  Do you think Franco is one of her great loves?  Over her life, Liz has had a lot of ups and downs, and at times, has not made the best choices for herself, or the choices she made just haven’t worked out in her favor.  I think we all can relate to somebody whose choices don’t work out the way they envision them to be.

REBECCA:  For sure.  I think each of Elizabeth’s relationships have been so different. Just to talk about a timeline: she was a little girl when she was with Lucky (Jonathan Jackson), and as she’s matured, so have her relationships.  However, I think the relationship she has with Franco is her first real adult relationship; in that she not only does respect him, but she respects herself.  She is not afraid to stand up to anybody for the sake of herself, or her children.  I think that is the difference.  In the past, she has been a little so head-over-heels in love that she would do anything, and now, she knows who number one is, and that’s her children, and she puts herself first now, too.  Before, Elizabeth did not matter to herself.

Photo: ABC

I thought Elizabeth treated herself badly.  Is there a self-loathing?  Did you ever that figure out as an actress where that comes from?  Do you think it was from when she was raped years ago?

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REBECCA:  I think it went deeper than that.  I think it was because her parents left her at such a young age, and although they were doing great work for whatever they were doing, she was left as a child.

So, she felt something was wrong with her if they left her behind?

REBECCA:  Yes.  I think that’s where her lack of self-esteem came from.  She just didn’t have that support at home when she needed it the most, especially when she was a teenager.  You need your parents around you to tell you that things are awkward and weird, and you’re changing, but you’re going to be okay.  She didn’t have that, and so, she kind of had to figure it out on her own.  She did it through her relationships with men, and she didn’t have men in her life who were telling her, “You’re going to be okay,” except for Lucky, but that was a younger relationship in her life.  Now, as more of an adult with Franco, he tells her she is going to be okay.  Franco believes in her as much as she does now.

Photo: ABC

What’s the best part about working with Roger … and what’s the most challenging part?  Is it some curve balls that might come from when you are going live-to-tape?

REBECCA:  For me, I know I can totally work around whatever comes out of his mouth. (Laughs)  I’m good with that. (Laughs)  The most challenging thing about working with him is that he is constantly losing his glasses, so he can’t see his scripts.  It’s always at the end of the scene.  It’s like, “Where are the glasses?” (Laughs)  So, if losing his glasses might be the most challenging thing, then I’m a pretty lucky girl!

Where does Jason (Steve Burton) fit into Liz’s life at this point? 

REBECCA:  We’ve not really established that.

Courtesy/ABC

Since Jason has been back on the canvas, not much has been played between them.

REBECCA: They had a relationship, they have a relationship, and they have a friendship.  It should be played.

What would you love to see happen to Elizabeth story-wise, that perhaps you have not gotten the opportunity to play?

REBECCA:  I would love to see Elizabeth be happy with Franco and just explore whatever that means for her in a long-term, adult sense (because she doesn’t really know how that is yet), an adult happiness, while trying to navigate the kids’ lives, but also having a friendship with Jason.  I think that would be interesting, because she has always held a torch for Jason.

Photo: ABC

Viewers are currently alarmed that Franco has been receiving warnings from two psychics.  On last Friday’s episode, Franco is clearly afraid to take a drive and in Cameron’s new car (the one Oscar gave him) due to the psychic, (Chelsea) telling him: “Don’t take that drive!” Does Elizabeth have something to be worried about? 

REBECCA:  Yes, but she’s going to hang on to Franco, and make sure nothing happens to him … until he doesn’t come home (laughs) …  and then she’ll be calling Jason! (Laughs)

So, what did you think of the sentiments shared by Rebecca?  What did you think of the Friz wedding reception, and Liz and Franco’s relationship?  What do you think of Liz’s relationship with her children?   What are your hopes for Liz moving forward? Comment below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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Scott Clifton as Liam

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