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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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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

Dominic Zamprogna Speaks Out On His Decision To Leave GH, His Final Scenes With Emme Rylan & How Dante Exited The Canvas

A few weeks ago, General Hospital fans watched as one of the series beloved stars, Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) exited the show in scenes opposite his longtime on-screen love interest, Emme Rylan (Lulu).  For nine years, Zamprogna brought authenticity, emotion, and heart to the son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) to life.  While Dante’s journey started out with a bang, literally (thanks, Sonny!), over the years it appeared he was taking a backseat in meatier storylines.  All the while, Dante and Lulu remained one of the more popular duos with the viewers.

After much reflection, Zamprogna decided it was time for him to walk away from a place that became his second home.  His desire now shifted to play different characters in different projects, but it was not without taking many things into account with his life-changing decision.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Dominic to glean more insight into: if there was anything GH could have done to make him sign on the dotted line again, what went down to make those final scenes seem so rushed, how it was to say goodbye to his co-workers in front of the camera and behind the scenes, if he would consider a return at some point, and how would he feel if GH now planned on recasting Dante, and much more.

For us; we recall meeting Dominic for the first times just six months into his time at General Hospital for our first interview together.  We were instantly struck by his sincerity, humor, and his eagerness to learn from some of the best in the business.  Now exiting as a “soap vet“, per se, it is a full-circle moment that we had the time to conclude his GH journey with this conversation.  Here’s what Dom had to say about it all.

What were the factors that contributed to your decision to exit GH?  Was there a pivotal moment where you were feeling, and recognizing, that you were underutilized that you felt you needed to make a change? 

DOMINIC:  When you named me the “Most Underutilized Actor of 2017!” (Laughs) Well, my plan was never to stay forever.  But half-way through my second contract,  Emme Rylan (Lulu) and I were approached by our producer on set, who said words to the effect of: you guys have been on the sideline, time to get you into the game.  That led to the Dante cheating storyline, which gave us story for about a year … which was great!  But as that ended, so did any subsequent storylines, it seemed.  In the year that followed, I started entertaining thoughts of leaving.  By the next year, I started talking about it with my wife, Linda, who had started to notice that maybe I wasn’t happy anymore, and I wasn’t.  That’s not a good feeling, especially if you’re bringing that energy home with you.  Then, I made the mistake of going on social media, which is a terrible place to go sometimes.  But fans were saying the same sort of things I was feeling.  Was it all due to story or lack-thereof?  No.  I was starting to crave playing other roles, and that’s hard to do when you’re under contract.

Were discussions even had with Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and the powers-that-be about your feelings of dissatisfaction over not being utilized more in storylines?

DOMINIC:  The discussions happened late.  Not until the negotiation process, actually.  I’m no squeaky wheel I guess, but I also don’t feel it’s in my job description to be one.  I did put out a few ideas here and there, but they didn’t happen.  I know other actors have tried the same and it didn’t lead to anything for them, either.  I was a creation of Bob Guza (former head writer, GH), and maybe I was spoiled by the amount of great writing I received while he was there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There had to be some sadness in walking away from GH.

DOMINIC:  Oh yeah… it was sad.  I built that character, and now here I was walking away from it, and essentially my second family.  That’s been the hardest part.  Lifelong friendships were made, and memories.  However, it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve been at GH and I feel happy.  I’ve been up in Canada shooting Tin Star, which has been a great experience.  I’ve stayed in touch with everybody and I miss everybody, in fact, I just spoke to Mo (Maurice Benard) yesterday, and I’m in class with Emme (she won’t leave me alone).  But, I feel like I made the right choice for me at this moment.

To clarify; were you actually trying to work out a deal to stay put, but both sides just could not hammer things out to a satisfactory conclusion?

DOMINIC:  We did try to work out a deal.  After more talks and conversations, I felt maybe we were going to get things done.  I was being told things would change and maybe shift things in the direction we wanted to go.  But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be in writing.  I feel like I’d been told similar things in the past which hadn’t come to fruition.  I was also reminded that it was me who needed to sign my name on that dotted line and live with that decision, and I chose not to do so.

If someone would have said to you: “We have an “A” story for you, and you are going to be driving it,” would you have been more apt to stay?   

DOMINIC:  There was talk about us sitting down and talking about storylines, but that didn’t end up happening, not sure why.  And even if it did, I don’t know that it would’ve changed my mind about leaving, anyway.   But just to be clear: I have no anger towards anybody.  It’s all a business at the end of the day.  Both sides did what they felt was right.  For me, I just felt this chapter had come to an end.

Photo: ABC

When, and how did you tell on-screen scene partner, Emme Rylan that you were leaving?  Was she happy for you and your decision?

DOMINIC:  Emme knew really early on.  Once January rolled around I was like: “I have been thinking for the last six to nine months that I am going to go.”   I wanted her to know, because we have been a couple for five years on the show.  Emme was very happy for me.  I went, “Wait a minute!  Don’t be this happy.  I’m leaving.” (Laughing)  

What happened when you told your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero ?

DOMINIC:  She was sad, but she is also said, “You’re in your prime, go see what’s out there!”   I wouldn’t have done this move if I did not get support at home.  My wife is the rock and the one that makes this household go.  Some things outside the show were starting to happen; I had a nice screen-test for a pilot, and then I booked these four episodes of Tin Star.  When you have choices in life; you have power and control over your future.  I think Emme and Lisa as actors realized that.  That’s what made them happy for me … for the future.  The last nine years were exciting.  However, when you can have a little bit more say in what you are doing on a day to day basis, that is empowering.  So, in saying, “no” to something, and saying, “Thank you, but that’s not what I am looking for right now,” that can feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a shame that through all the regimes that they rarely wrote any scenes between Dante and his father, Sonny.  What was Maurice Benard’s reaction when you told him you were leaving?

DOMINIC:  It has been pretty publicized that he and I were dissatisfied at the lack of  storyline, or scenes together.  Maurice asked the powers-that-be, “Why aren’t we working together more?”  We never had a clear answer as to why.  He didn’t know from one day to the next what was happening with my contract talks.  Mo saw me smiling one day and asked, “So does that smile mean you’re staying?”  And I said, “No, that smile is because I’m leaving.” (Laughs)  I said that more to mess with him, and make him sad.  He said, “As long as you are good financially, then I am all for anybody getting out of here and seeing what else is out there.” Really, Mo talks people into leaving so he can get more screen-time. (Laughs)

Let’s talk about the final airshow, and the story that came out of left field to facilitate your exit.  Was that written quickly to accommodate a shooting schedule or contract completion?  It felt rushed to the viewing audience.

DOMINIC:  Left field is right!  I still had a week and a half left of work when they found out I wasn’t going to re-sign, and within twelve hours I had six exit scenes written.  So, it wasn’t done to facilitate anything but a set (Lante’s house), I think.  My final tape date was May 18th, and Emme and I had scenes on the Wednesday or Thursday before that.  I guess they wanted my last scenes that aired to be with Emme, and that might have been the only scheduling day that worked for the set and the actors, and maybe that’s also why it felt so rushed.  All I could assume is that they didn’t think I was really going to leave so they didn’t plan for it, or they chose to protect themselves in this way, by not making a big deal about it.  I had another week of scenes in the PCPD with Chase (Josh Swickard) and Michael (Chad Duell) that was shot afterward.  But they had nothing to do with Dante’s “secret mission!”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought, “Wait!  Is that it?  Is this Dominic’s final show?  Dante doesn’t say goodbye to his mother… his father … or his son, Rocco?

DOMINIC:  Yeah, that was tough for me.  After 9 years you think you’re going to get a little bit better of a send off.   You also, hope they’re going to honor the character.  Dante wouldn’t leave to go to the 7-eleven without saying goodbye to his mother and kids.   Maurice and I talked about that.  He said, “I guess, they don’t want people to feel really sad.  You and me doing some goodbye scenes, people are going to be devastated.”   I agree with that.  However, I also think it’s a soap and that’s what fans want … good, ole drama.  I would have loved to have had scenes with Sonny, Olivia, and Dante’s kids, but when you make a decision like this, how you leave on-air is not up to you.  Both parties are going to handle it how it’s best for them.   I was very grateful they gave Emme and I something to seek our teeth into. 

They were very sad scenes.  You are one of those actors that can take the material and connect with it while delivering it in a very subtle and heartfelt way.  How was Emme after your final scenes?

DOMINIC:  She was kind of crying the whole time, going “Damn you! Damn you.”   I was having fun with it, because I love making Emme cry.  It’s not a very difficult thing to do.  (Laughs).  We were both pretty teary-eyed, actually.  Then, when we finished the scenes and I looked over and I saw how upset the crew was, that’s what really got me.  Barbara, one of the camera operators actually jokingly apologized; suggesting that if my last shot was blurry it was my fault!  As an actor, when you make the crew feel something it kind of gives you some extra good feels. That was always the best feeling, talking to Craig (our stage manager), or Donna (head of makeup department) after a scene to get the honest truth on how you did.  I’ll miss them.

Courtesy/ABC

Viewers, watching Dante have this flashback about the guy who was responsible for Lulu going overboard the Haunted Star a few years ago, probably needed a moment to connect the dots.  Some viewers were going, “What?  Dante is going after the guy that tried to drown Lulu from two years ago?”

DOMINIC:  When I read that in the script even I went, “What?” Who’s that?”  I had no idea, either. (Laughs)

Then there was this:  Dante was so hard on Lulu for her pursuing her dream as a journalist and how it inadvertently got Nathan killed.  Then all of a sudden in your final scenes, Dante has a line to Lulu in which he says something to the effect of: I understand now – you got to do, what you got to do.  In story, prior to these scenes it was leaning more towards Dante and Lulu were going to break-up over what had recently transpired.

DOMINIC:  Which, who knows?  If Dante had stayed in Port Charles it could have been the direction they were going in.  It certainly looked like they were building toward conflict, conflict, conflict, but with me leaving it was much sweeter to leave on the note that we left on, instead of Dante leaving, because he can’t deal with being around Lulu. This all leads me to believe that they didn’t want to do anything too permanent to give them time to make the proper decisions.

Courtesy/ABC

What was the last day of shooting like for you?  Was it hard to get through?

DOMINIC:  It felt like a regular day, and my final scenes were up towards the end of the tape day. They had a cake afterwards.  Frank briefly spoke and introduced Maurice; who said a bunch of sweet words.  That meant a lot to me.  I said “goodbye” to everybody and took some photos, and that was it.  I already had my room packed up.  Once you’re ready to go, you’re ready to go.  Afterwards, I went out with Ryan Paevey (Ex-Nathan) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Ex-Carlos) for some beers and wings at the bar down the street.  It wasn’t until everybody came back after a two-week break that it felt real, because then I was receiving text messages from people saying, “We’re back.  Why the hell aren’t you here?”

The door has been left open for Dante to return.  Would you ever come back?

DOMINIC:  Of course, at some point.  But it might not be my choice, they might recast.  They told me they won’t, but who knows what’ll be done.  Do I think you can just recast a role?  No, I think it’s always a tough sell, but they’ve done it with bigger names/characters than mine.  I would be a little surprised, only because there hasn’t been much story for Dante in the last three years.  For me, as of now, I’ve moved on, and I’m very happy with my decision and my life.  It’s sad in other respects, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve read things that people have said on Twitter, and I want everyone to know I’ve seen it all and it means a lot to me.  People have been beautiful to me.  I’m truly overwhelmed by the love.  I thought there would be more of, “Who cares?” when fans found out I left.   I must have done something right during the years I was at GH.

Did you think when you made the decision to leave they would kill-off Dante? 

DOMINIC:  No, not at all.  I don’t think killing off Dante would be a good idea, especially after they killed Nathan, and also because of the climate we live in with police involved shootings and violence, in general.  In a perfect world as an actor, you crave the opportunity to have one last moment with the other characters that have been important to your character over the years.  That’s all I would have wanted for myself, and Dante.  I’ll take what I got though.  It was extremely meaningful because of what Emme and I had and built.  I feel we got to the heart and soul of those two characters in a pretty short amount of time in our scenes.

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking of Nathan, I think thus far those funeral scenes, which you were wonderful in, and the story arc revolving around his death, are GH’s best bet for an Emmy in the Drama Series category next year. 

DOMINIC:  I agree.  It was so well-done.  We’d all would like to go out like that!  Tragic, but it made for great TV and great soap.  It was phenomenally well-acted across the board.  Lots of Emmy reel stuff for Michelle Stafford (Nina) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie), and Kathleen Gati (Liesl), and hopefully for our directors and crew, also.  They did an amazing job bringing that to life.

This now leaves Josh Swickard as the lone cop now by default on GH.   he PCPD is notorious for being the worst cop shop in the history of soaps! (Laughs) They can’t ever solve a crime.

DOMINIC: (Laughs) I know!  What is Josh is going to do?   Maybe between Chase and Jordan (Vienssa Antoine) they will solve crimes.  Maybe, they’ll bring on a new cop.  Josh is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him.  At the beginning, we had that contentious relationship between the two guys.  That would’ve been fun if it lasted longer, where they had this continual real dislike for one another.  Who knows?  With Dante gone, maybe they will start solving some crimes! (Laughs) Maybe now the PCPD will be the greatest police unit in the USA.

Courtesy/ABC

Over your nine years at GH, would you still consider that your best storyline was coming on to the show and then having Sonny shoot Dante, only for it to turn out that he just shot his own son?

DOMINIC:  Yes, I think you have to.  That was my intro.  They had this story planned eight months before they even cast the role.  To get to that moment, was a classic soap cliffhanger.  I grew up watching soap operas with my grandparents, and if they had been alive for that scene they would have lost it, because it was something that ‘old school’ soap fans would really dig.  For me, doing that story felt so special.  ABC also pumped it with the promotion, and the promos, and the TV spots, and amped it up.  I didn’t feel it disappointed.  It was actually the audition scene that I had to perform to get the part!  Then six months later you get to say these lines that got you the part, and you hope you don’t whiff on the softball.

While putting together and producing the GH 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys, I included that moment between Sonny and Dante.  I remember watching the complete scene before editing it and the dialog was so good.  It still holds up to this day.

DOMINIC:  My manager was at the Emmys that night, and said what a great moment that was.  I meant to thank you for that, because I really appreciated it being in there.

Courtesy/ABC

Are there any other scenes that come to mind that you are most proud of?

DOMINIC:  I also really loved the scenes with Max Gail (Mike). He is a special guy.  There was so much in our scenes; where Dante finds him with Avery in the stables.  Those moments are going to stick with me for a long time.

On June 28th, the airdate of your last episode, you posted a tweet to the fans that read: “The love you guys have given me over the years and continue to give is overwhelming.  It is I that must thank YOU!”  I thought that was extremely touching and very appreciated by the fans.

DOMINIC:  I was thinking, “Man, I have to thank you, because I would not legitimately be here if you hadn’t liked this guy, Dante.”  It was bringing tears to my eyes reading what people were saying, and seeing how much love I was receiving.

Tell me about your role in the British-Canadian production of Tin Star?

DOMINIC:  It’s a recurring role,  I’ve been working on it since March.  It’s something very different from what I’ve been doing the last 9 years.  Can’t give much away, but I play a hired gun type of guy.  There are some great scenes and moments, and I was lucky enough to work with Christina Hendricks, John Lynch, and the legend, Tim Roth.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel now that you have had some time away now from GH, and have been playing another role, that the thought of playing Dante for you at this point is like: “Been there. Done that?”

DOMINIC:  I would never say Dante is done forever.  Right now for me, he is.  They left it open, hopefully they left it open for me, but every actor hopes that.  We want our cake and to eat it too!  I want to leave right now, but I want you to want me to come back some day.  No one wants their role to be recast.  But it’s an important character, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Who knows what the future holds.  I left on good terms.  Just so everyone knows; I didn’t spring something on GH on the last day of my contract.  It’s important that I let people know that I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “See ya”.  This also wasn’t about money.  Sure, we want to be paid what we believe we’re worth.  But this in no way was about me asking for the moon, or I was going to leave.  It was a very, very difficult decision.

So, what do you think about how GH wrapped up Dante’s story for Dominic’s exit? Would you like him to return to GH sooner than later?  Do you think the role of Dante was problematic to write for?  What were your favorite scenes of Dom’s during his time at GH? Let us know via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Jonathan Jackson Talks Avery’s Love Quandary, Saying Goodbye To ‘Nashville’ & If He Would Return To General Hospital

With just three weeks before the series finale of CMT’s Nashville, Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) finds himself in a major conundrum.  The woman he has loved and had a child with, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panetierre) has returned home after escaping a cult compound, just as Avery has opened himself up to the start of a new relationship with Alannah (Rainee Blake).  After not hearing from Juliette, added to the many times he felt she abandoned him and their child, will a betrayed and hurt Avery want to find a way to patch up their relationship … or try to keep Alannah by his side?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with five-time Daytime Emmy winner, Jonathan Jackson to get the lowdown on what transpired over the last few episodes and how it may end for Avery, as we inch closer and closer to having to say farewell to the Music City drama.

Since Nashville wrapped its sixth and final season a few months back, General Hospital fans have been wondering and hoping, if now is the time that Jackson would return to his role as the beloved Lucky Spencer, the son of Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis). Jackson originated the role in 1993 and stayed with the series till 1999.  He next returned in 2009 for a few years, then left again, and was cast on Nashville.  Jonathan made a special return in 2015 to appear in a storyline that reunited him on-screen with Geary one final time, before the soap icon retired from the show.  In this interview, Jackson addresses a return, some of his favorite moments of all-time on GH, what he learned from Tony and Genie, and more.

Those that follow Jackson are aware that his talent knows no bounds.  He is also focused on his music career, and his band Enation, which has been building on its success, playing recent sold out shows in Europe, while Jackson also had been on the final Nashville tour performing with the cast.  So, buckle up!  The next step in Jackson’s career will be one to watch.  Now, check out our insightful and heartfelt conversation below.

Avery is caught in a compromising position by Juliette, when she walks in while Avery is making out with Alannah, who has just has taken her top off.   What goes on in Avery’s mind at that point?  Is it, “Oh, no! I’m busted!” (Laughs)

JONATHAN:  It’s all sorts of things.  There is the visceral reaction, and then in his mind trying to figure what to do.  It’s sort of awkward, because they are in her house and her photos are everywhere (Laughs).  However clumsily and strange it is, he is trying to move on and get a life together with someone, and yet deep down he still has feeling for Juliette, which is mixed with anger and all of that.  He is having all different confusing conflicting emotions, all at the same time, and for Alannah as well.  It’s kind of a mess!

Courtesy/CMT

By the end of this week’s episode, viewers saw Avery and Juliette start to talk, with Avery letting her know just how he feels about her leaving him, and that he has decided to move out.  All Juliette is asking is that he keeps talking to her.  As Nashville moves toward its conclusion, the big question for the character of Avery will be … who is he going to end up with, if anyone?  I would assume many longtime fans would be rooting for Avery and Juliette, because they have gone through so much together.

JONATHAN:  Yes.  However, I have been receiving messages from fans, and talking to fans on tour, and they are slightly conflicted, too.  There is a lot of love for Avery and Juliette, but there is also frustration around the whole thing, and that they want Avery to move on and be happy. 

Courtesy/CMT

Where is Avery at with his relationship with Alannah?  He was getting close to her, and now she is attempting to put distance between them since Juliette resurfaced.

JONATHAN:  It’s difficult to pinpoint where Avery is at right at this moment.  There is a lot going on, and a lot of it is rooted in the fact that he went to Bolivia to try and bring Juliette home, and when she refused him that was so devastating for him.  The Alannah relationship snuck up on him. In some sense his heart is still attached to Juliette, but his mind is telling him it’s over, and that she is gone.  Avery and Alannah are connected to each other on a certain level.  It surprised both of them.  I think he has genuine feelings for her, but it’s also him pushing himself to move on from Juliette, which is something he has not been able to do.

Without Alannah, the band flounders with Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Avery, and then there is the health situation with Will (Chris Carmack).  Alannah’s presence really put a kink in Gunnar and Avery’s friendship.  She stared out with one guy, and was on her way to being with another.

JONATHAN:  Gunnar and Avery are really good friends and care about each other a lot, and it is certainly an awkward moment in their friendship.   In terms of the band, they lose Will who has been through this health crisis, and then Alannah.  The music components are kind of imploding and they are just trying to hold on to their friendship, and not have that implode along with the band.

Courtesy/CMT

Brad (Jeff Nordling) is making advances towards Alannah, and she originally tells Avery about it.  What does he think of the situation?  Now, she may do whatever Jeff wants her to do to get ahead in the music biz, since Juliette came back into Avery’s life.

JONATHAN:  I think Avery is trying to be supportive of Alannah.  It was a little bit of a blow for her to leave the band, but he generally wants to support her.  Avery has this instinct to be protective, as well.  He kind of has to hold himself back a little bit and not complain too much. He knows Alannah is an independent person, and may not want his help.  With the situation with Brad, Avery is aware of it, but she is walking into that in her own way.  It’s a moment for Avery to sort of step back and trust her that this is how she wants to go about her career.

Did you know Rainee Blake was going to be your potential love interest this season? Did you screen-test with her?

JONATHAN:  We did not screen-test together.  I think relatively earlier on I heard that this might happen, but it is one of those things were you never really know.  Often times, the writers and the producers bide their time and see how things develop as a couple, and how the audience responds to the on-screen chemistry.  You never really know if it’s going to materialize.  I actually did like how Avery and Alannah started to connect on the tour bus several episodes ago. The audience got a tease of a different side of Alannah, and Avery kind of brought that out.  Rainee was great to work with.

Courtesy/CMT

You have gotten the opportunity as Avery to tug on the heartstrings, as a dad raising his little girl, Cadence, all by himself, with a the runaway mother who never shows up.  How was the journey working with Hayden Panetierre?  You two had to battle, bicker, fight, and had to play all these ups and downs together to make the story work over many seasons of Nashville.

JONATHAN:   It was really amazing, and for me that is one of the things I will miss most about working on the show, and that is working with Hayden.  It’s such an interesting thing when you work with people for so many years, and all of the emotional ups and downs that the characters go through.  Often times, we would be doing a lot of intense and emotional scenes, but for whatever reason, we would find a way to have a lot of fun and find the humor when we are doing those.  I have a lot of love and respect for Hayden.  I think she is incredibly talented. We both started off in soap operas (Hayden was Lizzie on Guiding Light) and thus had a certain approach to our work, and our work ethic.  For me, it’s always a highlight in my career when I get to work with somebody that the scene is already great, because of the person you are working with.  We would constantly share ideas back and forth between us.  The thing about working on Nashville was the friendships we developed in the cast, especially going on tour with the cast and to experience all of that with everybody else.

Courtesy/CMT

What happened when you found out that this sixth and final season of Nashville would be its last?  Did you have any idea that this was coming down the pike when you wrapped season 5? 

JONATHAN:  No.  I don’t think anybody knew when we wrapped season 5.  We did not know till right before everybody else that this was going to be the last season.  We were in production maybe halfway through season 6.  I think that it helped having that time to adjust, and it gave us some time for reflection.  It really did help in a sense, because you know other shows they might wrap a month, or two later, and it’s over.  You don’t get to say goodbye, but we really did.  We got to say our goodbyes.

Courtesy/CMT

I can imagine that was heartbreaking.  When you think of the rollercoaster ride you and the cast had been through together which included: the cancellation by ABC, then the show coming back on CMT, only for it to be cancelled again, it’s quite a lot to deal with and not knowing if there is job security.  Do you recall your last day on the set?

JONATHAN:  I do remember it very well.  There were a lot of beautiful moments with people, and having so much love for the crew and so many amazing people that worked on the show.  We wrapped on April 10th and then we flew to the U.K. on the 12th   It was two days later that the tour started.  Even though filming was over, we were on a plane and then on a bus together, which was really good for all of us.  I know it was for me to have another ending.  In some ways, the end of the tour was even more emotional, because that really felt it was the end.

Photo Credit: CMT

Do you think there were more stories to tell on Nashville … or, do you think the series is going off the air when it should, as the stories can tend to get repetitive on any long-running series? Do you think this was the right time for Nashville to say goodbye?

JONATHAN:  I don’t know how other people’s perspectives are about it, but I know from my perspective, I think we told the story that was there to be told for these characters.  That is sort of the bittersweet reality of it.  It’s painful to say goodbye to a lot of people that I had become very close to, but at the same time, there was a sense of peace about it.  It really did feel like the right time.

What can you say tease about how Nashville concludes? The series finale airs on July 26.

JONATHAN:  One of the hardest things about being in a long form series; whether it be in the primetime format, or the daytime format, is often times the lack of resolution that takes place. You are pertually in Act 2 and in all the drama.  So, knowing that the show was over, allowed the writers to approach everything from the perspective of the end, and Act 3.  Certain storylines have resolution, and others are left open-ended.  There is a good overall balance from the writers of what the audience is going to experience with the end of the show.

Courtesy/ABC

I produced the General Hospital 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys.  I remember looking at some of your storylines and touching performances all over again that still hold up to this day.  One in particular was Lucky pulling tough love on Luke (Tony Geary) during his father’s intervention.  Lucky is such a valuable character on the canvas.  Would you consider going back to GH? 

JONATHAN:  My perspective on that is; I don’t really put that off the table.  I really don’t have plans to do that, because after coming off six years on a series, that is a lot.  I am definitely looking for other projects that have an Act 1, 2, and 3, that happen a little sooner than Nashville did.  I always have going back to GH on the table, because it’s like a family for me.  I have always said that that even when I left in the 90’s; that GH would be something I would come back to.  But, I am very committed and excited about what is happening with Enation, and excited about some other projects that are out there on the acting front. I don’t see going back to GH in the near future, but I never write it off.

When you last returned you did come back to be part of Tony Geary’s exit.

JONATHAN: Yes, yes, which I was really happy to be a part of.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Still years later, when you think of all the stories you portrayed as Lucky, is there one, or two that stand out to you among the rest?

JONATHAN:   There are many.  There were a lot of stories, and the writers wrote so much material, and that is a double-edged sword.  It’s great to have, but it was so much that I really couldn’t continue. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: ABC

I remember saying to you years ago, “You cry so well on camera. They are going to keep expecting you to cry, and they will be throwing scripts like that to you every day!”

JONATHAN:  And that is exactly what happened!   But for me, it’s the moments with the co-stars that I will always carry with me.  There are endless ones in my memory with Tony Geary. “The intervention” was certainly one of those moments.  I had those moments as well with Tyler Christopher (Ex-Nikolas, now Stefan, DAYS), and Becky Herbst (Elizabeth).  I remember having these scenes with Maurice Benard (Sonny) when scenes on the soaps were much longer.  And of course, earlier on, with Genie Francis (Laura) as well.  I feel like as an artist, I was really formed by Tony and Genie’s presence and observing them and watching how they worked.  I asked so many questions to them as I really wanted to learn.  They really protected me in so many ways, and yet gave me the freedom to try to find my own way through a whole process as well.  Those are the things that really jump out at me, as well as working through the scenes prior to filming, especially with Tony.  He and I would go pretty deep with what we were trying to figure out; what the scenes were, and what they were about, and how to approach it.  That part of the process was really memorable to me.  The unique thing I think in this industry for me was that I started at 11-years-old and got to come back to the show in my mid-20’s, and got to have that connection with another actor, and explore this father and son relationship.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I don’t think, and I really mean this, that there has been a father/son relationship on television like Luke and Lucky’s.   It was so multi-faceted.   Have you stayed in touch with Tony?

JONATHAN:  We definitely stay in touch.  Again, when I left General Hospital, I did not know if anything like that would happen again in my career where I would form sort of long-lasting friendships with people.  Most of the time you do a film and you get to know some people, and you go your separate ways, and that’s just how it is.  So I was really grateful for Nashville, because I feel like we were able to have those long-lasting relationships. I can’t really put into words my relationship with Tony.  It’s just a lot of love and gratitude, and respect that I have for him.

Courtesy/JJacksonInstagram

Meanwhile, your music career is very exciting of late.  Last month, you played the Royal Albert Hall in London with your band, Enation.  How was that experience?

JONATHAN:  It was amazing.  I went overseas with the Nashville tour and then Enation did a couple of shows, and then we opened for Echo & the Bunnymen.  The last gig on that tour was at Royal Albert Hall.  I have loved Echo & the Bunnymen for such a long time, and so this was wonderful for us.

Will Enation be touring more coming up?  

JONATHAN:  We are looking to go back to Europe later this year, or the spring of next year, and are working out those details.  We are going to be touring in the United States later on this year.

Photo: JJacksonInstagram

Did your wife Lisa (Ex-Hannah, GH) meet up with you on this recent European tour?

JONATHAN: The Nashville tour ended in Ireland, and then my wife and kids came over for the last two shows there. Then, got to go around Ireland for a couple of weeks and drive around, and it was fun.

Did you notice a difference between the European music fans of Nashville as opposed to those in the U.S.?

JONATHAN:  Yes, and no.  One of the things I have noticed playing over there is that the distinction in musical genres isn’t quite as a sharp as it is in the U.S.  Over there, the radio seems to play a lot different kinds of music.  So, it was a pretty seamless transition for a lot of the people that came to the Nashville show.   We see a slight difference in the music fan base, and it mainly has to do with that they may go to a country show one week, and a couple of weeks later go to a rock concert, and not think twice about the genre.  It’s just they are looking for good music.

Courtesy/JJacksonInstagramm

Hard to believe we are turning the page on another great character played by Jonathan Jackson as Nashville heads towards its finale.  What would you like to say to the fans, the #Nashies, who have loved, and have stuck with show every step of the way?

JONATHAN:  Just a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all the support, especially when the show was cancelled.  CMT saw the enthusiasm and support from the fans here and internationally, and that was a huge part for us to be able to get the last few seasons.  It has really meant a lot to us creatively to write that 3rd act, sort of speak, and have that sense of closure. I also would just say to the fans that have come out to the Nashville concerts as well, that it has meant so much.  We feel like we have had some beautiful moments with everybody, and so I am very grateful for that.

So, what do you think will happen to Avery at the end of Nashville?  Do you want him to end up with Juliette, Alannah, or by himself? Should GH try to lure Jonathan back to the his role as Lucky Spencer? Comment below!

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Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On: Jack Finding His True Biological Father, His Co-Stars, And If He Would Like A New Love Interest

On The Young and the Restless turns out Ashley (Eileen Davidson) is not the only child raised as an Abbott; whose father is not John.  As viewers learned back at the end of March, Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) is not the biological son of the Abbott patriarch, either!  This has sent Jack on a pursuit to find out who he truly is, and who he truly belongs to, because being John Abbott’s (Jerry Douglas) son meant everything to him.

Once again, this story has given multi-Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman an opportunity to play the complex layers of one of daytime’s best characters.  Recently, Jack had gone through his mother Dina’s (Marla Adams) old diary, where there was a key page missing out of it.  He then located a photo, which led him to believe that none other than late Phillip Chancellor II (played by the late Donnelly Rhodes) is his real father.  Is Jack a Chancellor?

Hell-bent on exhuming the body for DNA proof, Jack is getting massive pushback from just about everyone on Genoa City.  It is not helping the situation that Dina is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and her recollections of what transpired years ago when she had an affair, may not be accurate.  Now this week, Jack has a plan that may backfire and ends up involving his son, Kyle (Michael Mealor) in the process.  Will these two work together to get the proof of the truth?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with the actor’s actor, Peter Bergman to get his take on: the surprise story twist he never saw coming, if Jack has the purest of intentions, or if he is just chomping at the bit get his hands on Chancellor Industries, if he would like to see Jack have a new love interest, and more.  It’s always a treat to speak with Peter.  Here is what he had to say about Jack’s latest inner-turmoil.

Jack is not John’s Abbott’s son.  He is searching for the answer of who is his biological father.  Now, Jack believes he has found the answer in the photo he found that included Phillip Chancellor II, and then went to Dina to confirm the answer, even knowing his mother is battling Alzheimer’s disease.  Don’t you think he jumped on this notion of Phillip being his dad all too son?

PETER:  Jack has stumbled upon evidence that this is for real with the photo he found.  He went to Dina on what was a very lucid day for her, and she was pretty damn clear.  So, therefore it wasn’t just the ramblings of a lost woman.  Jack is very eager for an answer.  Could it be argued that he jumped on this as a possibility? Yes, and for a number of reasons.  First, he feels somewhat utter-less and needs to be connected to something, but he also knows his family, and the history of this family, and “Oh, my God” could that be a way out of this untethered feeling that he had.  So he is really grabbing on to this pretty quickly.  Second, it is not lost on Jack that part of inheriting all of Phillip’s traits might also bring him part of the Chancellor estate, which would belong to Jack and perhaps he could pick-up at the corporate level where he left off.  So that is exciting, but certainly not central to his thinking.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Everyone thinks from Cane (Daniel Goddard) to Jill (Jess Walton), to Billy (Jason Thompson) , that all Jack truly wants is to stake claim as an heir and to try to take control of Chancellor Industries.  Are they that far off from the truth?

PETER:  How honest is Jack being with himself?  We will find out!  He would want to stake his claim … and maybe a little bit more!

What was your reaction when you learned that Jack would be revealed to be the son of Phillip Chancellor II, when for decades you have been playing so much of what drives your character that he is the son of John Abbott?  Were you like, “What!??” (Laughs)

PETER:  I have been doing this much too long, to go “Why?”  I, quite frankly ask, “Where do you want to go with this?  Where do you want to take me?” The things that I have done in the past that I have fought the most have usually been the things that really led me somewhere.  I tell the story all the time of John Abbott dying.  They decided to bring him back as Jack’s conscious, and he would appear in scenes with Jack and talk to him.  I thought “C’mon. This is The Young and the Restless, and I am doing a ‘ghost’ storyline?”  I fought it and I didn’t like it, and I was wrong.  It was fantastic, and it worked great, and the audience liked it.  I learned from it.   I don’t go, “Whaaat?” that much anymore.  There have been a few of those including: the whole doppelganger story, while it confused me at times, and I thought this had gone a few steps too far, but it led us to Billy/Phyllis/Jack story. It was a direct line to that, and one of the most dynamic storylines I have ever been in.  So, I see this current story, and I go, “That is an interesting turn.”  Then, as an actor, I dig into it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack wants to exhume Phillip’s body and everybody from Jill to Cane is objecting.  Esther (Kate Linder) is worried Mrs. C. will roll over in her grave if he does this move.  As we will see, Jack does not take “no” for answer.

PETER:  Jack eventually all but gives up, but then a door opens slightly for him to look at this a different way   Jack reluctantly walks through that door.

Do you think Jack has ever thought of the possibility of: “What if I am the son of someone from the circus … or the former pool boy at the country club?”

PETER:  I have thought it’s amusing when I have met people who have explored their past lives. They have always been a prince or a princess. They were never menial laborers.  I think he looks back and is kind of curious.  I think Jill points it out to him that he is not at all suspicious that he is the pool boy, or the golf pro’s offspring?  He knows the tryst happened at the country club, and so the first person you think of is one of the elite of the country club. 

Courtesy/CBS

It would be such a huge devastating fall for Jack if something like that turned out to be true!  Jack so wants to belong to a family that has wealth and prestige that goes along with their name.  I wonder what it would be like if he had to say, “Yes. It’s true.  I am the pool boy’s son!” (Laughs)

PETER:  I don’t know how that would fit Jack.

How is working with the latest Kyle, you’re on-screen son, played by Michael Mealor? The part had been recast multiple times and the actor didn’t stick.

PETER:  I cannot say enough good things about Michael.  This is an extremely disciplined, very talented, and very professional guy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.  I think he is doing a great job.  Michael gets looser every show.  He likes to take big chances and try a lot of things.  We have had a lot of young actors on the show and what they do is try to project that they are cool.  They don’t go outside of the, “I’m going to be cool, and honest, and real.”  They say, “I am going to be solid, and make simple choices.”  Michael takes big chances doing large stuff, and going overboard  That’s scary do to as an actor, but I watch him in scenes with Hunter King (Summer) where he is trying to appear cool, but just her physical prescience gets to him.  You can see it in his performances and it’s wonderful to watch.   It’s lovely to see in a 26-year-old and it’s fantastic.  I have high hopes for Michael.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

This version of Kyle seems to be a bit of a chip-off-the-old-block.  He can play dirty just like his dad!

PETER:  As far as where Kyle is at … he is like Jack Abbott.  He is not a good guy, nor a bad guy.  Kyle is a bit of an opportunist with a heart, who wants to feel a part of things, but he also takes advantage of the situation, in a way that sometimes works against that. 

We saw Jack stumble and drink again as he fights his addiction when learning the news that John is not is biological father.  Do you see him stumbling again, and going back to popping pills and booze, if Phillip Chancellor II were not to wind up being his dad?

PETER:  I don’t know if he will see him spiraling, but it is worth saying for someone who is a constant and has a had guiding light of  ‘what’s right, and what’s wrong” and that now has been taken away from him essentially when John Abbot goes “Jack!”, that is a game-changer.  What we can expect from Jack now may change.  Jack isn’t as bound by “what would dad do” as he once was.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, we may be surprised with a turn in attitude from Jack?

PETER:  You may be surprised.  So much of his life, and certainly so much of what I play is that Jack has spent his whole life trying to be like John Abbott, because John Abbott is his father.   Now that is not so. So, how much effort should Jack be putting in to being like John Abbott?

Good point!

PETER:  It will be interesting to see where that goes!

We have seen many actors in the soaps portray drug and alcohol addiction. When Jack’s played itself out originally, it was one of the most harrowing to watch.

PETER:  He got to a dark place very fast.  It was out of control.  It was an important part of the Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Jack story, because he honestly did not have the strength to do it by himself, and he had somebody to help him through it   As it turned out, it was a formative experience for Jack and for Phyllis; one that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. They know things about each other that the rest of the world does not know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Billy recently read Jack the riot act, when Jack told his brother about being Phillip Chancellor’s son.  Having had it with Jack, Billy threw him out of his office.  Where do you think the relationship stands between the brothers at this point?

PETER:  It’s really hard for Jack.  He is still on the board at Jabot.  He has family ties there, and he still gets the checks, but it feels so weird for him, it really does.  He is trying to be a bigger man and let Billy do what Billy is going to do.  Deep down inside Jack has known Billy for a really long time, and when Billy sort of combusts, boy, does he go! Jack hates that Billy is holding the reins of Jabot, if things fall apart for Billy.

Viewers are seeing Billy turning to gambling again.  What would Jack do if he finds out what is happening to his brother?

PETER:  I don’t know what he could do.  I am not sure what he could do to stop the CEO of the company as things currently stand.  It’s hard for Jack to relax around Billy. It’s not a promising situation.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the Jack and Bill will ultimately be there for each other when the chips are down moving forward?

PETER:  Jack has a soft place in his heart for addicts for reasons we both know, and a soft spot for family.  It will be interesting to see how well Jack’s patience holds up, if Billy should go down that particular rabbit hole.

Do you think Jack might visit Chancellor Park and have a chat with the late Katherine about the revelation about Phillip and Dina?

PETER:  I think Jack is really trying to be realistic about all of this.  It could clearly be proven, but he is impatient.  He could wait for Chance and Phillip III to come back from their Himalayan trip, but he does not want to wait.  It’s just so easy if everyone would be practical about this, and get some fragment of Phillip’s remains, and there would be a DNA test.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack’s nemesis, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) is having a lot of issues, too.  This includes his mysterious health diagnosis …

PETER:  Oh, damn! (Laughs)

How does Jack feel about Victor these days and the plight that he is in?

PETER:  Jack has such contempt for Victor.  However, Jack can occasionally see that Victor is important to some people, but Victor to Jack is everything that is wrong in the world.  As to the fact that he is struggling right now, does Jack wish bad physical health on him, or anybody?  No. However, if things didn’t go easily for Victor, Jack would not lose any sleep over it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Don’t you think it’s time for Jack to have a real, honest-to-goodness, love interest?

PETER:  Jack should have a new love interest.  I think the writers and the producers of The Young and the Restless are paying me a lot for half of what I do.

Jack should find true love.  Someone who will be with him and whom he loves with all his heart, and someone who loves him back, flaws and all.  A romance where he is not manipulating her, or she is not manipulating him, for financial or corporate gain.   Do you think at this point that is even possible?

PETER:  I think that would be a swell thing, but that would be a daytime show investing in an actress that is over 40-years-old.  They have done it, but it’s a rare thing.  But yes, I do feel like we are seeing two-thirds of Jack.  There is another third of him that is completely unexplored and that’s a shame.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

We saw those heartbreaking scenes that aired last year where Jack had to admit to Ashley that his mother has Alzheimer’s.  How is he going to continue in his relationship with Dina knowing she has had multiple affairs throughout her life, and when married to John?

PETER:  This is a real difficult place for Jack.  Obviously, he has his mother back in his life in one sense, but his mother has been responsible for pretty much everything that has gone wrong in his life over the last two years.  It’s just one thing after another.  Had his mother been faithful to John, Jack would not be in this situation.  Had his mother not returned, we could have gone on with life as it was, and now all this mess is in part Dina’s doing.  Now, Jack has moved out of the house and so his mother is slipping away by the minute, and Jack is not around for it.  He keeps visiting, and he keeps stopping by, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s enough.  Jack struggles with that a lot.  He should be more in Dina’s life and be around for that, but being around for that means being in the Abbott house.  Everywhere he looks are reminders that he is not who he told himself he is for his entire life.

One of the more endearing moments came at this year’s Daytime Emmys, after Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) took to the stage to accept her award for Outstanding Lead Actress.  She thanked you while you were in the audience.

PETER:  This is in keeping with my new plan for the Emmys each year,  What I do is: I try to get a nomination so that I can sit in the audience after I have lost and hear the winner for Lead Actress thank me personally. (Laughs)  I am two for two in the last two years! (Laughs) Gina Tognoni had won that category the year prior.  Eileen Davidson is the greatest, and she has been for all intent and purposes my leading lady on Y&R.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Now, Eileen Davidson has announced, and made the decision to leave her role as Ashley.

PETER:   I can’t say enough things about her.  I adore her … I adored working with her. She is every bit as good as everybody thinks she is.  She comes to work prepared   She never needs hand- holding or spoon-feeding.  Eileen is the real deal; had she been one of Jack’s lovers that would have been over a long time ago.  The fact that she is his sister is fantastic.  Now with her exiting the show, I will miss her terribly.

In closing, viewers should watch for Jack’s next move?

PETER:  Jack is not leaving any stone unturned.  He has to figure out who he is, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

So, do you think Phillip Chancellor II is truly Jack’s biological father?  If not, who do you think is?  What have you thought of Peter Bergman’s performance in the storyline? Would you like to see Jack have a new love interest?  If so, who would you like to see the series bring onto the show to play opposite him? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Next week on Y&R, Hilary is fighting for her life, but the prognosis is not good. Friends and loved ones come to the hospital and ask for forgiveness and to tell her to fight. But how can she? Watch the latest promo from CBS Daytime below. Leave A Comment

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