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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.”

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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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Days Of Our Lives

Stephen Schnetzer Talks On His Return to Days of our Lives and Working with Susan Seaforth Hayes In Emotional Episodes

Who says you can’t go home again? In the case of Another World favorite, Stephen Schnetzer (ex-Cass Winthrop), he has proven that it is true, and you can go back to your soap roots and where it all started for you.

Last week on April 11th, Schnetzer, along with several other key returns were on set at Days of our Lives taping all-new episodes of the Peacock streaming soap opera, centering on the funeral of Doug Williams (the late Bill Hayes), and as part of the iconic soap opera’s 15,000th episode.

Stephen is reprising his first daytime role as Steve Olson, the brother of Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes). The last time Schnetzer appeared on a DAYS set was during his one and only run on the show from 1978 to 1980. Clearly, viewers will be in for some very emotional scenes when Steve returns to Salem to be there for his sister, Julie in her time of need. In real-life, Susan has been going through her own grief, having just lost Bill back on January 12th at the age of 98.

Photo: NBC

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Stephen during the 15K episode celebration ceremony, and during a break from taping the gut-wrenching funeral scenes, to get his thoughts on being part of these highly-anticipated moments that will air later this year in December. Here’s what he shared with us below.

What has this been like for you to work with Susan Seaforth Hayes after all of these years?

STEPHEN: She’s a dream and she’s so bright. We ran lines yesterday and we ended up just visiting for about 45 minutes and just catching up and telling tales about each other’s career. She even dropped off the autobiography that she and Bill did. And being back here at DAYS, every time I turn a corner, there’s another familiar face. When I was on the show 40 more years ago, a bunch of the guys, played softball on a team together. This is really a trip down memory lane as I knew it would be.

Photo: JPI

Taping Doug’s funeral must be a hard day for Susan. Are you checking in with her to help hold her up through this?

STEPHEN: I am and I’m checking in with Amy Shaughnessy (Susan’s assistant), and she’s holding her up more than anybody. We’re there for each other.

There will obviously be some major hankie-inducing moments when Steve comes back to Salem to console his sister.

STEPHEN: Oh, wait till you see it in December. It’s going to be great.

Were you surprised you got this call to come back to the show decades later?

STEPHEN: It was out of the blue! I was completely surprised. They should have called me decades ago! That’s what surprised me. When Another World went down, I thought I’d land somewhere else and it never happened. That was more of a surprise.

Photo: JPI

Cass is such an identifiable character for you. As well, you and Linda Dano (ex-Felicia Gallant) are so synonymous together as best friends Cass and Felicia from Another World. When fans heard you were reprising your role as Steve Olson on DAYS, they are now hoping there will be more of you on the show to come.

STEPHEN: Steven Olson is a real “Cassian “character. I cut my teeth on Steve Olson and that’s how Cass was introduced. He was kind of a roguish charmer. And then when the character stuck for Another World, they rehabilitated me, and turned me into one of the shows heroes. And that’s what would’ve happened if I stayed as Steve Olson probably. So, Steve is the ‘pre-Cass’, Cass.

Photo: JPI

As the story goes, you originally decided to leave Days of our Lives?

STEPHEN: I was never on contract. I was doing a day and a half a week and I got a Broadway play directed by Franco Zeffirelli starring Joan Plowright and Frank Finlay. I was able to it as I didn’t have to break a contract or anything. I cut loose and went back to New York for that.

How well did you get to know Bill Hayes during your first time around on DAYS?

STEPHEN: My first episode was with Bill and Susan, as her long lost brother coming into Salem. They were so good to me. They were so kind. I had been doing eight years of classical repertory theater, never been in front of a camera. I tell everybody, it took me longer than any other actor I’ve ever seen to get comfortable in front of a camera. And they were very supportive at that time in my career. Coming back to honor Bill now in 2024, and to be see Susan, I am just so happy to be here.

Looking forward to seeing the scenes between Stephen and Susan Seaforth Hayes come December and Doug’s funeral and surrounding episodes? Do you hope that DAYS might bring the character of Steve Olson back for a longer stay? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves Talk Return to DAYS for Doug’s Funeral, Susan Seaforth Hayes, and Their Enduring Friendship

Last week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode which is tentatively scheduled to air on December 3rd. The story will feature emotional and heart-tugging scenes of Doug Williams funeral and honor his portrayer, the beloved Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th at the age of 98.

While the actors, producers, and crew took a lunch time break to pose for some pictures and speak with the press, they knew they would have to get back to taping the funeral, which was going to make it a tough day, but also cathartic for all who loved Bill Hayes.

Several returns have thus far been announced including; Melissa Reeves reprising her signature role of Jennifer Horton (a part she first played in 1985), and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux. Reeves had last appeared on the show back in 2021, and she was replaced by Emmy-winner Cady McClain in her absence when Jennifer was in storylines. In real-life, Melissa had moved full-time to Tennessee along with her husband, Scott Reeves (ex-DAYS, GH, Y&R). Now, and as previously reported, Reeves will first appear back on DAYS for the Thanksgiving episodes with the Hortons.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Matt and Melissa during the 15,000th episode celebration to get their take on: being back for these special episodes, how it has been working with and watching Susan Seaforth Hayes portray Julie’s grief over losing Doug, and how they have supported each other through the years. Check out what they shared below.

Melissa, you are back on the set of Days of our Lives for this very emotional and special moment in the series history. How does it feel?

MELISSA: Oh, my goodness. I am honored. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but to be here for Bill. He was like my real-life dance partner. He taught me how to ballroom dance. And to be here for Susan, of course, who’s just been our sweet hero this whole week. We’re just following her lead. She’s just been this incredibly strong example for us in the midst of this trial and season of her life. She is like just lifting us all up with her. It’s been incredible.

I was at Bill Hayes memorial service which was truly incredible and I know at the time you were in Tennessee. It was moving and celebratory of his life, all at the same time.

MELISSA: That’s all I have heard. I have to watch it on You Tube. They said it was just a real celebration of his life and I love that.

Photo: JPI

This must be difficult for Susan Seaforth Hayes depicting the death of Doug, when she is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. (Susan pictured above with the returning Stephen Schnetzer who plays her on-screen brother, Steve Olson).

MELISSA: I’m sure Susan has those moments at home by herself, but she’s so good at being a leader and leading all of us. We’re following her, you know, and she’s like, “This is how I want to feel today.” And we’re just going along with her, you know? It’s so sweet.

Photo: JPI

How is it to see Matt Ashford again live and in-person?

MELISSA: You know, Matt and I can go years without talking, or seeing each other, and then the minute we see each other we’re chatting away.

MATT: Melissa was out on set doing a scene yesterday on the phone talking to a stage manager; as she was telling some really tough news on the phone. I’m like crying in the background, literally, I’m off-stage crying.

MELISSA: And then we get like back into normal life, and we’re like, okay, “What’s happening? What’s happening with this … or what’s happening with that?”

I had read, Melissa, that you were in touch with Matt about if there night be a possibility for you to reprise your role as Jennifer for these special episodes?

MELISSA: Yes. Well, Matt was like, “Hey! Would you want to come back? “And I was like, “Matt, you know, I would always come back. ”

MATT:  Every time I come here to Days of our Lives, they ask, “Where’s Missy? How’s Missy?” Everybody backstage says, “I miss her.” All of the crew is asking about her and saying, “It would be nice to see Missy. Nothing wrong with you Matt, but …”  They said, “Where is she?” I said, “She wants to come!”

Photo: JPI

There are some beautiful photos of Missy and Bill and Susan thorough the years that I found. It just reminded me of just the deep and entrenched history we all have had with the show, personally and professionally.

MATT: Missy is roughly the age where Francis Reid (ex-Alice Horton) was when she started the show, which is just crazy.

Photo: JPI

I’ve always said Missy was going to be the next generation Alice. Do you feel that Jennifer is the heir apparent matriarch of the Horton family?

MELISSA: Yes. I mean, this has been greatest blessing of my life, and that would be great. I told Ken Corday (executive producer, Days of our Lives) when I was 17 that this show would be my life. Ken always told me, “This is your home,” and I’ve always felt like that.

How have gotten through the scenes watching Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie go through the loss of Doug?

MATT: Susan is bringing her best performance life for her and Bill. I mean, she’s a showbiz baby. She always has been one hundred percent, and she’s doing it for him, and this is who they’ve always been. So, you’re seeing this amazing performance colored by her life. She has her private life as Susan, but she has enough plugged into Julie that she’s done amazing work. The director, producers and writers are giving her room to live in these moments and it’s quite wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Have you already broken down in tears during the taping?

MELISSA: Yesterday, but today’s taping of the actual funeral I think they want us to try and be just more celebratory.

MATT: I mean, it is a beautiful long life for Bill Hayes and his character of Doug Williams, and so it will be about that. Then, you get a bunch of us together in the church pews, and there’s going to be hijinks.

MELISSA: We all have been through the waves of grief. You have that awful cry and then all of a sudden you feel okay.  There are those family situations we are portraying where you’re like, “What do we do? What do we do now? You know, no one knows what to do. But, it’s so sweet. I’m looking forward to seeing how the scenes all turn out.

So, are you glad that Matt and Melissa are back for the 15K episode and Doug’s funeral? From what we can tell, it’s going to be quite an emotional journey for Days of our Lives fans, and especially the performance of Susan Seaforth Hayes, 

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on Decision to Make Days of our Lives 15000th Episode About Doug’s Funeral, and Previews Chances for WGA Award

This week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode. In of it itself, that is an incredible accomplishment for the long-running soap opera currently streaming on Peacock.

However, this on set gathering was a bit different. Though the show is celebrating their achievement, they are also in the middle of taping scenes surrounding the death and the funeral of Doug Williams, played by the late Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th of this year at the age of 98.

As previously revealed many longtime favorites are back to honor Bill and the character of Doug including: Gloria Loring (Liz), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Maree Cheatham (Marie), Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Stephen Schnetzer (Steve) to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV was in attendance and spoke with Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati to gain some insight into how the 15,000 episode was crafted and the decision to honor the character of Doug Williams and Bill Hayes as its epicenter. In addition, Ron weighed-in on this Sunday’s April 14th WGA (Writers Guild of America) Awards, where he and his writing team are facing off with General Hospital for the daytime drama prize. Here’s what Ron shared below.

Was this your idea to make the 15,000th episode centered around Doug’s funeral and passing?

RON: It was. When you’re looking at it, and laying out the calendar for the whole year and you see 15,000 is coming up, we’re like, “What are we going to do?” And then, we got the news that Bill had passed away and something kind of clicked. I was like, “We should honor Doug on that show.” So then, we started to kind of build around that … when does he pass away? How does he pass away? Who could come back? You know, it’s a lot.  I’m very pleased with the returns that we got as there’s so much that you could do. We wanted everybody we could get. So, we put together a wish list and Janet Drucker (co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) made it happen.

Photo: JPI

You have Melissa Reeves back as Jennifer, when the role was last played by Cady McClain. What has it meant to have Missy back for these shows?

RON: It was so nice to see Missy Reeves. I think Cady has done such a good job, but on the 15,000th episode to see Missy as Jennifer, it’s a big deal. So having her was great, and overall, the milestone was a big undertaking, because you want to live up to it. You want the 15,000th episode to be good. Now, it has a lot of real emotion that you’re playing. because for the cast and the crew they’re honoring Bill Hayes just as much as we’re honoring Doug Williams.

Photo: JPI

Was it hard for you and the team to write this episode?

RON: Yes. I’ll tell you why it was hard to write.  When I wrote, for example, Asa’s (Phillip Carey) death on One Life to Live or Victor’s (John Aniston) on DAYS, Asa is a different type of character. Like, you could have characters going, “Oh! I’m glad he is dead.” You could have different points of view, but with Doug, you’re not having that. Every person loves this man. No one had a bad relationship with him. So, you’re challenge as a writer is how do you make it that not everybody’s saying the same thing and doing the same thing. And so, we tried to find ways to make the episode about all the familial relationships and yet, how do you make it about Doug and yet broaden the scope.

Photo: JPI

I had spoken to Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), a week after Bill’s memorial, for an interview. She said that she felt very fortunate that you did include her on discussions of how you would tackle Doug’s passing. How did that conversation go?

RON: First, I attended Bill’s funeral, which was incredible. I said to so many people it was an emotional service, but it was hard to be sad at this. The guy had an incredible life and it was an incredible celebration. And so, you’re sitting there watching this knowing that you now have to write something similar. And how do you write something that lives up to what you just witnessed? I wanted to talk to Susan to get her thoughts about, you know, how much do you want this to be about keeping Bill separate from Doug. How comfortable are you sharing your grief. She was incredible to talk to. It was a great chat.

You’re in the middle of taping these major scenes for the 15,000 episode to air in December. How do you think it’s going? Have you seen any of the scenes?

RON:  I haven’t seeing anything. I mean, we were still making changes to the script up till this morning!

Photo: JPI

The Writers Guild Awards are this Sunday, April 14th and once again this year there are two daytime drama nominees, General Hospital and Days of our Lives. How are you feeling about your chances this year?

RON: It is often just GH and us in the category. I’ve won three years in a row, so I’m kind of feeling like it’s their turn.

Photo: JPI

What episodes did you submit for contention? If I recall, they had to do with Victor’s memorial.

RON: The episodes we submitted were centered around Victor’s funeral. I think one has story with Vivian (Louise Sorel). We had some fun stuff, we had some emotional stuff at Victor’s death, and I am pretty sure that our submission was three episodes right around that time.

Did you make the decision to go with those episodes because there was a mix of humor and drama?

RON: I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, then there’s Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s crashing the reading of the will. So, we had a lot of fun and it’s hard sometimes to pick three that tell a story, as opposed to submitting for the Daytime Emmys, where the writing team only submits two shows. So, we shall see how it goes on Sunday.

Courtesy/Peacock

So, are you looking forward to the emotional 15,000th episode of Days of our Lives? Do you think DAYS will take home the WGA writing award for daytime dramas for the 4th year in a row? Comment below.

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