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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.

Interviews

B&B’s Katherine Kelly Lang on That ‘Brill’ Kiss, 33 Years as Brooke, Her Co-Stars & International Success

Just when you think Brooke will finally score a moral victory in her vendetta with Thomas Forrester, (who’s manipulations almost destroyed her marriage to his father, Ridge), then she finds herself once again in hot water, and with a secret that in the wrong hands could cause a seismic shift to several relationships – that would he hers and her sister Katie’s – thanks to that ill-timed smooch with Bill!

But what else is new for Brooke? For 33 years, the character has captivated audiences with bold moves, questionable choices, enduring romances and plenty of gusto, all in the more than capable hands of her portrayer, the one and only Katherine Kelly Lang.

This week marks Katherine’s 33rd-year in the role of Brooke Logan Forrester, who along with John McCook (Eric Forrester), are the two original cast members since the very inception of the CBS daytime drama; which debuted back on March 23, 1987.  Now over three decades later, Lang is an international favorite. First, due to the success and broad appeal of B&B in foreign countries, but second, from her own entrepreneurship and hustle.  Always with multiple projects going on at once, Lang and her beau, Dom Zoida recently opened the American version of the Italian clothing and leather store in Beverly Hills, California, Benheart USA.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Katherine to get the lowdown on: Brooke’s line-up of nemesis’ which seems to be growing! (Yes, you can put Thomas, Quinn and Shauna on that list, for sure.) Plus, what she feels this B&B anniversary is truly about, how she and others in the cast are coping with the ‘stay at home’ orders in California during the coronavirus pandemic, the recent loss of B&B co-creator, Lee Phillip Bell, and those all-time classic Stephanie and Brooke scenes opposite Susan Flannery and more.  Here’s what this BOLD original had to share with all of you.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Brooke’s whole relationship with Thomas (Matthew Atkinson) and the tit-for-tat between them?  Brooke really stood up to him and his manipulations, and held her ground. Meanwhile, he was going to do everything he could do ruin her and cause so much trouble for Brooke’s marriage to Ridge (Thorsten Kaye).

KATHERINE: This is my feeling: she was so adamant and so trying to convince people about Thomas and that he was so out for himself;  and out for Brooke’s daughter, Hope (Annika Noelle), and very manipulative, and nobody would listen really.  Only a few people like Liam (Scott Clifton) did and her daughter finally agreed with her.  Then at the wedding of Thomas and Zoe (Kiara Barnes), it proved that Brooke was right all along.  I still don’t feel like Brooke got her due as far as what everybody was saying.

No, she didn’t!  No one really said to her in a grand way, “Oh, my God, Brooke!  You were right about Thomas all along.”

KATHERINE:  I know!  Ridge did say, “You were right,” and that’s great.  However, more people should have apologized and acknowledged her, and said, “Oh, we understand now where you were coming from,” and, “Hey!  Good intuition!”

Photo: JPI

That was must have been so frustrating to Brooke!  She knew the truth, and everybody was treating her so badly and painting her to be the bitch.

KATHERINE:  Yup!  They dubbed herthat crazy one” and the bitch.

Was all of this enjoyable to play?

KATHERINE:  It was enjoyable that it finally came out that Thomas is the manipulative person that he is, even though he is so good at it that he almost makes you feel sorry for him.  But he’s like a good sociopathThat’s why they’re so good at what they do.  They’re good at bringing real emotion into every situation and yet being very manipulative.  Kudos go to Matthew Atkinson for playing Thomas, really well.  He’s been great, and he brings something really different on to our show.

Photo: JPI

Brooke and Ridge’s relationship has been severely tested; almost tearing them apart over Ridge previously standing up for his son.  Now Brooke’s recent kiss with Bill (Don Diamont) threatens it, as that kiss was caught on tape, and landed in the wrong hands.  Is Brooke in freak-out mode yet?

KATHERINE:  I definitely think she is, and she wanted to take that kiss back from the second that it happened.  She allowed it to happen.  It’s a little bit of old Brooke resurfacing there.  Right away she was like, “What are we doing?   This is ridiculous.  You’re with Katie, and I’m with Ridge, and we’re both happy.”  Brooke has had underlying feelings for Bill, and she probably always will (and he for Brooke), but we know that’s not where we want things to be.  So, in Brooke’s mind, it’s “let’s forget about that and carry on, and don’t tell anybody.”  Of course, it comes out to some people, and it’s so embarrassing for Brooke.  Like, how does she explain herself?  I mean, at that point she can’t explain what happened … or why she did that.  She has to kind of succumb to it.

Right! And of course, Shauna (Denise Richards) and Quinn (Rena Sofer) want to take her down with this ammo.

KATHERINE:  Of course!  That’s what they live for. (Laughs)

Photo” JPI

Recently, Quinn spiked Brooke’s drink with some booze after they had quite the argument. Fans were on the edge of their seats that Brooke might start drinking again.  What did you think of the plot point?

KATHERINE:  I think it could have been interesting.  I have no idea if they will bring it up again.  That happens sometimes.  They’ll put in a little teaser and not run with it.  However, you never know if it’s going to resurface down the line, especially when Brooke is really down in the dumps for some reason.

I could see her being down in the dumps if she finally had no man in her life! (Laughs)

KATHERINE: (Laughs) That’s probably what she needs … not having a man in her life!

How is working with Rena Sofer and Denise Richards; especially when they are antagonists in scenes with Brooke?  Do you ever have a good laugh while trying to tape those scenes, as well?

KATHERINE: I think there’s a good chemistry between the three of us, and we have that rivalry going on.  So, I think it’s been working, and it’s been entertaining and interesting.  They’re fun to bounce off of.  Usually we are pretty serious when we do those scenes, especially if they’re more verbally combative.  So, we’ll just be really serious and stay in it.  Of course, sometimes things happen, and you laugh, but we sometimes don’t have the luxury to take the time to laugh and enjoy the moment, because we have to try to get the scene done in one take and move on.

Photo: JPI

There were a few months there that Brooke was slapping everybody! There were plenty of bitch-slaps that needed to go around. What did you think of those scenes?

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KATHERINE: I loved it, but then I felt like it was also maybe getting out of hand because it’s not really PC.  Nobody is supposed to hit people or slap people in anyway.  So, it worked more years and years ago in our genre, as times have changed in our world and culture.

Viewers saw this week that Donna (Jennifer Gareis) knows Brooke kissed Bill and that they have to make sure Katie (Heather Tom) does not find out, while others are out to expose Brooke!

KATHERINE:  I would imagine that everybody would want to see how Brooke unravels.  So, just keep watching!

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome another go round at a Brooke and Bill romance?

KATHERINE: Not when Bill’s with Katie and with everything that Katie’s gone through.  I couldn’t see that.  I don’t think it would be right.  That would mean that Brooke is completely selfish, you know?  There are so many other men.  Why does she have to go for her sister’s man?

Photo: JPI

In recent months, we have witnessed scenes where Brooke has been more confrontational and fighting back and not putting up with the shenanigans of others!  We have seen this in particular with Thomas, Shauna, and Quinn.  Did it seem like they ramped that up for Brooke?

KATHERINE:  Yes, because at some point it’s frustrating because nobody was listening to her.  It all started with the whole Thomas thing, and once she started fighting back, she wanted to fight back on everything.  She’s been lied to about a lot of things.  It’s not been fair.

Does Brooke still think Hope is too vulnerable to make wise decisions for herself; even after she stood up for herself at the wedding of Thomas and Zoe?

KATHERINE: Now. I think she feels much better, because there are moments where Hope is very vulnerable, but then she kicks herself in the butt, and stands up for herself and everybody else.  So, Brooke knows that Hope’s strong, but she also knows that she can be vulnerable.  At this moment, she is proving that she can handle things.

Photo: JPI

B&B turned 33-years-old this week as the show continues to remain so popular in the United States, and of course, is the most watched soap in the world. What can you say about still being with the series since its inception, and all that has happened to you in your life and career, because of playing Brooke, plus a nod to the fans?

KATHERINE: It’s been an amazing opportunity for me.  It’s been my life basically! 33 years on The Bold and the Beautiful, and the show has always kicked butt.  I mean, the show has been going strong ever since it started, and it still is going strong.  It’s just been an honor to be on the show, and remain on the show for so long as one of the original characters.  My heart really goes out to the fans, because honestly, so many of them tell me they’ve watched from day one.  We have a history with them raising their families.  Younger people come up and say, “I’ve been watching the show ever since I was little with my mom.”  So, there’s a wide range of different people who watch the show, and I appreciate them so much.  We all appreciate them so much because really, without them, there would be no show.  I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all of the fans.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Photo: JPI

Brooke is one of the most notable characters of all-time in soap operas and you are the actress playing her. That has to be a very good-feeling for you.

KATHERINE: I think there have been a lot of notable characters on soap operas, who have even been on the air a lot longer than me.  Look at Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) who just celebrated his 40th, and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R) who also reached a milestone recently.  What I have learned from all of this is; what matters is when you come on a show that your heart is in it 100%, and you come to your job and you try your hardest.  That to me is what matters and makes you an honorable person.  I’m very flattered that I’ve been on The Bold and the Beautiful for as long as I have.

Photo” JPI

When you look back at 33 years of your time on The Bold and the Beautiful, are your scenes with Susan Flannery and those epic moments between Stephanie and Brooke, the ones that still standout to you the most?

KATHERINE: Those scenes with Susan informed and formed the show and the characters for years.  I had a lot of memorable scenes with Susan.  I’m so lucky to have worked so closely with her.  She’s an amazing actress.  I learned so much from her, and just watching her.  I would hang on her every word – how she would talk about the business, how she would talk about acting, directing (because she loved to direct), and producing.  Susan was very knowledgeable, and she was very tough, but very fair, I thought.  I just loved her work ethic.

You and Thorsten Kaye have created your version of Brooke and Ridge. What do you think about working with Thorsten?  Is it fun? Challenging? How would you define it?

KATHERINE:  He’s very fun to work with.  Thorsten is very serious, very prepared all of the time, and he’s watching everything.  He’s got eagle eyes.  He’s just so on top of it and working with people like that makes you raise your bar.  It makes you want to try 110% to be there and put in the work.  Thorsten’s also so funny, and easy to work with, and so charming, and such a dear friend.   I love working with him.  I do think Brooke and Ridge have an interesting relationship even though some people say, “Oh, they should be over,” or whatever they want to say.  I do think they have created a good banter between them, and almost an understanding without having to say anything.  Thorsten’s a delight!

Photo: JPI

What is your takeaway when you travel overseas and internationally to places such as Italy, Dubai, Monaco or Australia where B&B is so widely popular and the reaction you receive from the fans?

KATHERINE:  Just seeing the overseas reactions in different countries and how popular or how loved The Bold and the Beautiful is truly special.  The fans really do love from their hearts.  They feel a part of it, and they are, but just their enthusiasm and their passion and their love, and they give their whole heart to you and to the show.  I just found that really interesting, and like I said earlier, we owe the success of B&B to the fans who love the show so much.

Photo: JPI

You recently were in Greece appearing for a multi-episode arc on the soap 8 Lexeis.  How was that experience?  I know Greek soap star, Andreas Georgiou, also came over to the States and appeared on B&B afterwards, too.

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KATHERINE:  It was an incredible opportunity.  I love working in other countries, and seeing how other people work, and how they make different projects and things.  8 Lexeis is their top TV show on their top network in Greece, so it was really exciting to go there and work on that.  I did 15 episodes in 5 days; something crazy like that.  We worked all morning through late at night every day, but it was fun.  It was amazing to see how creative they are and how they just run with it.  Everything was really chill on the set, but they still moved really fast and got everything done, and they were all so talented and so nice.  Then later, Andreas came over and did some shows here.  He was supposed to come to visit, but then the Coronavirus happened, so he had to postpone his trip, but we’ll see him soon.

Photo: JPI

B&B is on a production break due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Have you stayed in touch with your co-stars during this time?

KATHERINE: A lot of us talk on Instagram all of the time, and then a lot of people have been going live on their as well.  So, we jump into each other’s live videos!  Have you seen Katrina Bowden (Flo) and Kelly Kruger (Mackenzie, Y&R) do their little workouts together? You should check those out! Ashley Jones (Bridget) is always on, and Annika Noelle, and then our Supervising Producer, Casey Kasprzyk, started doing Zoom.  He did a Zoom with some of the B&B people.  So, we’ve all been texting and keeping in touch and making sure that everybody is okay.  I know it’s very hard times and it can be scary for all.   Hopefully, if everybody does what they should be doing, it will flatten the curve and the Coronavirus will be a lot easier to deal with.

Photo: JPI

You are one of the busiest people I know! Recently, you went to Australia, you opened your new store Benheart USA in Beverly Hills, and you appear on B&B in a lead role.  Is there ever a moment when you’re like, “I can’t do one more thing?” or do you like the go-go-go of it all of the time?

KATHERINE: I like the go-go-go, but I felt that I was going too fast and too hard, and I’ve recently been thinking of what I can take out of our lives and our schedule, and then in thinking of that, I couldn’t really think of what I can take out.  Then, this all happened with life coming to a screeching halt, which I find very interesting because life is set up to go so fast.  Nobody can really enjoy anything.  We have to get up early, we have to go to work, we have to make money to pay for this, we’ve got to take care of the family, do this, do that, maybe just try to be motivated to be successful, whatever your dreams are, you’re going after them, etc.  It’s such a driven world all around that I think with having to self-quarantine that this is a chance to take a good look at what is going on in your life.  Now, we have a lot of down time.  We have time to think, go inside ourselves.  It gives you time to be kind, slow down, think of others.  What can you do for others?  What can you do for the world?  It’s been frightening for a lot of people; especially the ones who have gotten sick, or the ones who are scared of getting sick because they are immunocompromised.  But, at the same time, we need to try to not let that anxiety get to us and try to appreciate what we have.  Like, “Why is this happening?  What is this moment trying to tell us?”  I’m always trying to find the silver lining; or what is this trying to tell us in life?

Photo” JPI

B&B and Y&R co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away at the end of February, and it was so heartbreaking.  I know you were close with Lee.  What can you share on her passing?

KATHERINE:  It was heartbreaking.  I always think, “Gosh, I wish I saw her one more time before she passed,” but she was around her family, who are so loving, and supportive, and always there for her.  Lee created an amazing life for herself and for her family, and she was a huge part of The Bold and the Beautiful, and of course, I thank her so much because she hired me.  Lee gave me my life, and this time on the show.  She was amazing.  She cared so much about the show and the people on it.  Lee was such a great mom and such a great friend.  It’s been special knowing her and spending all of that time with her that I was able to through the years.  My heart goes out to the Bell family as well.  I know this must be hard for them.

Photo: JPI

Then, it was so sad that Orson Bean died tragically before that.  Have you talked to Alley Mills (Pam)?

KATHERINE: Yes, a bunch of us went over and spent time with Alley and brought her food.  We brought her goodies, and we just hung out.  We just gave her lots of love, spent time, and that was before I had to run off to Australia as well, but she’s really strong.  That was just very tragic.  Two weeks before Orson died, we had seen them both in the play Bad Habits.  It was so, so funny, and they both had all of us who attended laughing so hard, and it was such a pleasure.

Photo: JPI

In closing, what are your hopes for Brooke moving forward into the future?

KATHERINE: I’ve been saying that I hope she’ll spend time by herself and be alone for a while and focus on her family.  I’ve said that for so long, but I don’t know what’s going to work for her! (Laughs)  However, I’m just so curious to see what will happen next for her.

So, what do you think of Brooke’s latest predicament after her kiss with Bill? Do you hope that Ridge and Brooke stay together? What have you thought of the more recent version of a feisty Brooke who fought back when no one believed her about Thomas? And finally, share your congrats to Katherine for 33 years as Brooke and let us know some of your favorite all-time scenes via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Eric Braeden Talks On 40 Years Of Life In Soaps As Victor Newman

Back in February, Eric Braeden added another milestone to his illustrious career – that of portraying the one and only Victor Newman for 40 years on the top-rated daytime drama, The Young and the Restless.  And boy was he celebrated!  First, there was a one-of-a-kind on set celebration at CBS Television City which was quite the star-studded affair.  That was followed by special episodes of Y&R, where Newman Enterprises turned 50 with a gala that also proved emotional with speeches and retrospective clips.

When you talk daytime dramas to anyone, you would be hard-pressed for the general public to not know the name “Victor Newman”- and that is because of the powerhouse performances and nuances that Braeden brings to his soap opera alter-ego.  For it was Y&R co-creator Bill Bell and Braeden who really shaped what viewers have come to know, expect, and love, forty years later.

Those who know Eric understand he can be at times outspoken, has a heart of gold, stands up for what he believes, can bring the drama, the suspense, the tension, the romance and the tears in any given scene when it is called upon, and that throughout the years he has earned the respect from his peers for an impressive job well-done.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Eric to take a look back at all that had gone down recently in his honor, and to get his thoughts on some major moments in time through over 40 years in Genoa City, and where things are at now.  Check out our special conversation below.

Photo: JPI

When I attended and saw you at your 40th anniversary on set celebration at Y&R last month, I cannot tell you what a special event that was.  I have never seen that for anybody else!  The amount of people who attended, and the love they showed for you, was so special. When you were sitting in that chair on the soundstage and watching and hearing what was being said about you, what was going on in your mind at that point?

ERIC:  Well, first of all, it was the nicest thing that’s ever happened to me in 40 years on that show, and secondly, in moments like that, you try to stay focused on who is giving the speeches, because if I then look around and see all of the people who I have known for so many years, it’s emotional.  There’s a saying in German, “he’s close to the water,” meaning it’s very moving.  I saw my son and my granddaughter there and obviously everyone else, and my old coach and players, and so many others that have been a part of my life.

Photo: JPI

There were some very special guests and speeches.  I loved that Justin Hartley (Ex-Adam, Y&R and now Kevin, This Is Us) came.  I thought that was sweet and cool, and also that ESPN sports personality, Stephen A. Smith was there calling you one of his good friends.  There were so many moments.  You knew who was going to speak, right?

ERIC:  Yes, I did.  We kept it to just family, and in other words, Y&R family, etc.  I want to thank Matt Kane (Publicist, Y&R), who had a lot to do with putting the event together.  I also wanted to thank Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R). The Y&R art department and David Hoffman (Production Designer) also did a fantastic job with those pictures they had created that was part of a set.  Thinking back on it, again, I would without a doubt say, that the celebration was the most moving moment in 40 years in the business and on that show.

Photo: JPI

A few weeks ago, Y&R and B&B co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away.  Obviously the late Bill Bell (co-creator, Y&R) and she were instrumental for you being at Y&R in the first place, and the creation of Victor Newman.  What can you say about Lee? 

ERIC:  We invited Lee to the event, and she apologized and said she was not in a position to attend, and then, shortly thereafter she passed.  In a sense, I’m glad Lee wasn’t there because when I would see her on some occasions, I just am moved to tears.  I would have not been able to really hold it together for long.  Obviously, she was co-responsible for a lot of stuff that happened on Y&R. co-responsible for that show still being number #1, and my heart goes out to her.  I know what I owe them, and she had a lot of influence on the storylines.  Lee was an incredibly smart and bright lady.  Her son, Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) did speak at the 40th event and I appreciated it enormously.

There were a lot of retro clips shown of you show in celebration of your 4oth anniversary from when you started on the show back in 1980 till now.  Did you remember all of those moments?

ERIC:  First of all, they put that together so beautifully.  That was done so extremely well.  When I see it, it comes right back, or in other words it evokes precise memories, but if I weren’t seeing it, it’s all a blur.

Photo: JPI

Y&R brought Meg Bennett (Ex-Julia) and Robert Parucha (Ex-Matt), for the on-screen episodes celebrating Newman Enterprises 50th anniversary.  Was it nice having them back and seeing them, or is it kind of weird, because it can be such a long time in-between since you have all been together?

ERIC:  It is both.  It is very nice to see old colleagues obviously, and very touching, but look, we are in a weird business.  When I saw Meg, you suddenly realize how the show has evolved in many ways.  So, I’m always very grateful to see those who I started out with on the show and of course, doubly grateful to those who are still there.  I think of Melody and Doug Davidson (Paul) for example.  Doug has been there for longer than I have, and what a great job he did emceeing the 40th anniversary event, and as for Melody, that her and my relationship still endues after all of these years is amazing.

Photo: JPI

Let’s talk about those Newman Children.  I thought Joshua Morrow (Nick) gave a hilarious speech and even Mark Grossman (Adam) spoke so sincerely from the heart to you.  You get a sense that the Newmans are a fun group to work with.

ERIC:  I obviously love working with Joshua.  Same for Amelia Heinle (Victoria), I adore her, and Melissa Ordway (Abby).  They all have a great sense of humor, and Mark Grossman, I think is doing a damned good job.  And there is Peter Bergman (Jack).  Peter has been a great nemesis for all of these years.  Of course, Peter was very funny in his speech, and Joshua was very funny, and Ed Scott’s (Producer, B&B) was very good.  Tony Morina also shared a very funny little antidote!

Photo: JPI

What came across loud and clear is what we already knew.  Everyone knows the name “Victor Newman”.  You know when they go, “Victor Newman … Y&R!”  It’s so synonymous, right?  I don’t know what it must be like for you knowing the public has that reaction to you … and you’re that guy.

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ERIC:  I’ll tell you very honestly, I have an ambivalent relationship to that fact.  I deny it on one hand, don’t want to know about it, don’t really want to know about it, and on the other hand, when I hear about it, I say, “Yeah, very happy to hear about it, but is it true?”  I am sort of strange that way.  I have not had a picture of myself or anyone else in my dressing room for these 40 years.  It’s barren, as you know.  I don’t have any pictures hanging up of me; there’s nothing.  Now, I was talking about taking the one picture that David Hoffman had designed beautifully, and I have it on one wall.  I thought, “I’ll be damned,” because the picture includes Melody and some scenes that went on.  I’ve always been funny that way with praise.  Do I like it?  Of course, but …

There’s an uncomfortableness about it, right?

ERIC:  Yes, but I’ve seen too much in this business.  I’ve seen too many extraordinary stars, where you wonder, “Where are they now”?  I take this business with a grain of salt.  I really do.  It’s so easy to succumb to it.   I’ve known many people, including on our show, who used to say, “Well, without me, this thing would go down the drain,” and I said, “Yeah?  No s**t,” and they’re not there anymore.  You have no idea what happens to some actors when they see themselves on the cover of soap magazine.  They go crazy.  I’ve seen it, and the worst thing you can do is to believe in that, and I’ve always been skeptical of that, very skeptical.  Get back to what counts in this business:  do a good job … do the best you can … and where is the money?  I mean really, let’s call a spade a spade, and that’s it.

Photo: JPI

I was just going to say, the one person I so wished was at your 40th celebration was Jeanne Cooper (Ex-Katherine, Y&R).   I wish she could have been there with us, because she would have loved it.  I know she loved you.

ERIC:  She would have spoken, trust me!  She would have said, “Alright, you son of a bitch.  Alright, macho man let’s see what you’ve got!” and then she would grab me by the balls.  The first scene I ever had with her, Jeanne did that.  Absolutely hilarious!  Jeanne and I could not do a scene without laughing.  I’m serious.  We had to pull ourselves together.  She had such a great sense of humor, and we both looked at this, obviously, with an enormous grain of salt, because we’ve been there.  We’d seen it all.

set

Photo: JPI

Through the years, you obviously have been vocal on social media where you will call out things as you see them and as you truly feel, especially through various regime changes, or if there is a noticeable shift away, or focus, from core characters. What are your thoughts on what ultimately makes Y&R, the iconic soap that it is?

ERIC:  Let me put it very simply: the show is based on the comradery and enmity between the Newmans and the Abbotts, and I’ve included on that a go-between, if you will, a Chancellor … Jeanne Cooper.   That was sort of the plan, but the major triangle was sort of the Montagues and the Capulets in Romeo and Juliet.  That is what legendary stories are based on.  It’s family rivalries, and within those rivalries, we tell all kinds of fantastic stories.  It’s father-son, father-daughter, husband-wife, love affairs, disloyalties, ruthless business competition, and it goes on and on.  The scenes with Peter Bergman and me over the years have been legendary, wonderful, and they’re great scenes.  Now, to suddenly bring in whole new characters that no one knows about, which previously happened on our show, you have to ask, “What are you not getting?  You want to reinvent the wheel?”  Go with what is working.  It doesn’t often happen that you have the right cast and the right story.  That is what makes a show successful.  Imagine taking Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) out of Seinfeld.  You couldn’t.   It wouldn’t work.  In other words, when you have the right actors and the right storyline, you have a hit.  We’d been number #1 for over 30 years because of it

Photo: JPI

When you get a script, have there been those moments in the 40 years where you will say. “My character would never do this.  I’m not playing it!?”

ERIC:  Of course.  Not that I’m not playing it, but I will make certain adjustments here and there.  I always have, by the way, from the very beginning.  Bill Bell agreed with most of it.  I know my character, and I have and instinctive feel for what is emotionally touching and what is not.  Look, I have always said that I admire writers.  I don’t envy their job.  I really don’t.  I think it is the hardest job in the business, and writing for soaps is even harder.  So, I have great respect.  So therefore, I don’t even want to know who wrote what.  I don’t ever want to be in the position of insulting a writer because I know how difficult it is.  As in everything in this business, it is a cooperative business.  There are very few writer/directors who have earned the right (I’m talking about Martin Scorsese, I’m talking about Ingmar Bergman, I’m taking about a handful) to write and direct their own stuff.  Even they rely on the cooperation of their lead actors.  That’s what is so wonderful about this business in that it’s this precisely cooperative thing.  However, when there are some people who simply don’t listen to those of us who have been around for a while and we know, we really know, then, they’re being foolish.

Photo: JPI

Y&R taped the Newman Enterprises 50th anniversary gala, which was in essence, your on-screen 40th anniversary episodes.  That was another amazing part of this.  I love that they would go to a clip, and one of the characters would say something in speech, and then, they’d go back to a shot of you reacting.  Were you, you, or Victor at that point, because it seemed so genuine and emotional?

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ERIC:  You know, look, one thing sort of blends into the other.  I loved that show by the way.  It was brilliantly done, and they could have easily screwed that up, but they didn’t.  I thought Josh Griffith (head writer, and Co-EP, Y&R) did a hell of a job, and Tony Morina did a wonderful job, they really did.  So, I really can’t say enough about that.

Photo: CBS

When you look back on the enormity of scenes you have performed as Victor Newman; the ones that and you and I always come back to are the scenes between you and Dorothy McGuire as Victor’s mother; and the scenes with you and George Kennedy as Victor’s father.  Do you still consider those your all-time favorites?

ERIC:  I always think about them.  They are my top favorites, plus one other.   No question about it; because the scene with Dorothy McGuire laid the groundwork of what Victor Newman is all about.  That summarized all of his subsequent moments of anger, and upset, and mistrust, and etc.  It was the seminal scene for Victor Newman … period.  One other scene that one of my favorites was the one with Melody, on Christmas Eve where Nikki keeps on bugging Victor to tell her about his past, and he finally does.  It was about that orphanage experience, etc.  Actually, those two scenes early on were responsible for my really wanting to stay and realizing that now I had a chance to play some real emotions, some real feelings, some real conflict.   I remember after Victor told Nikki that story, a moment when I went to my dressing room, I called home, and I said, “Now, I’m going to stay.”  No two ways about that.  I called my wife, and I said, “I’m staying,” because I wasn’t sure if I was going to.  It happened because I had talked to Bill Bell and I said, “Bill, I’m so tired of playing bad guys.  I’ve done it for too many years.  I’m empty.  I’m burnt out.  It’s too dehumanizing.  Let’s imbue this character with a background,” and he did, brilliantly, and that’s the reason I stayed, and that’s the reason I’m here 40 years later, truly.

So, when you were feeding rats to Nick Benedict as Michael Scott, were you ready to leave? (Laughs)

ERIC:  Well, that was a little different story, but I looked at that, and I said, “Are you kidding me?” (Laughs)  Back then, I knew little about what works on soaps … and people still talk about it!  They loved it.

Photo: JPI

The scenes opposite George Kennedy were so emotional … and heavy-duty, too.  It was so sad watching Victor’s father reject him.

ERIC:  It was sad.  It was really, really sad, and George played it wonderfully.  I cannot say enough about that because here is an actor who comes from the outside of our genre.  George lived in Boise. Idaho and he traveled all the way by car to LA with his grandson to do the scenes He wouldn’t take a plane.  George was so damn prepared that we did those scenes in one take!  It’s stunning!  I can’t talk enough about him.  I just so admired and respected him.  George passed away about a year ago, but that’s why I had him in my film, The Man Who Came Back.

Photo: JPI

As a leading man, Victor has had many women in and out of his romantic life for years and of course, his constant, Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott).   You’ve been fortunate to work with so many wonderful actresses such as Eileen Davidson as Ashley.  Which standout to you? 

ERIC:  I have to say obviously Melody, but I have to also say the scenes with Eileen – they meant a lot to me.  I regret that she and I did not have more storylines together.

Photo: CBS

So, the coronavirus is shutting down the world, life in America, and has shut down production on the soaps.  How is everybody dealing with it at the show, and how do you feel it’s being handled?

ERIC:  Well, originally I wanted to continue working, but I said only if everyone was fully supplied with the proper wipes and antiseptics all of the time.  In other words, from the makeup department, from the props department, to someone wiping down all of the handles and all of that, but I completely understand now from a company point of view, they had to shut down because what if you work and someone gets sick because of it… and it goes on and on.  It’s a terrible thing, but I was willing to continue working.  Yes, perhaps stupidly so.  It’s going to be tough when we come back because a lot of work has to be made up, but I understand why we stopped.

What would you say to the fans who have stayed so invested in Victor Newman, and you, even 40 years after your Y&R debut? 

ERIC:  I’ve said it before, and I will happily say it again:  I am deeply grateful to the fans everywhere.  Without them, you and I would not be talking.  That’s really the long and the short of it.  The fans have really everything to do with it.  I’m glad that I am on social media because I am engaged with quite a few people very gladly, and I hear some interesting stories, and some very touching stories.  Y&R has taught me to really not look at that as a sort of nebulous audience.  I put faces behind it because I’ve seen them.  I’ve seen them in the last 30-odd years in public appearances.  I don’t forget them.  I don’t forget what it means to me.  It’s deeply touching.  I’m not at all anesthetized to it, no.  It touches me deeply, and whenever I do a PA, and receive the people’s reactions, I say, “Whoa,” and now I know why I’m in the business.

Courtesy/CBS

In closing, fans have been watching what looks to be another showdown brewing between Victor vs. Adam for control of Newman Enterprises.  Do you think still after all these years; Victor has it in him to out maneuver his black sheep son, as he has done in the past?

ERIC:  Hell, yes.  What do you think?  Bring him on, man.  Bring him on.  Victor’s still full of piss and vinegar.  Okay?  What people don’t know is that I’m a feisty son of a bitch.  I don’t give up.  I fight to the last.  I mean it.

So, what has been your favorite all-time Y&R scenes featuring Eric Braeden? What do you hope happens next for Victor and the Newman clan? What do you think about the sentiments shared throughout our conversation on Eric’s 40th anniversary celebration? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Johnny Wactor Talks ‘Being Brando Corbin’

This week on General Hospital, viewers saw that Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) has set Port Charles newcomer Brando Corbin (Johnny Wactor) up with a mechanics garage for a place of business, that has left Brando concerned, but also thankful.

Brando came onto the scene when he saved Carly (Laura Wright) from gunfire. The once believed-to-be-dead son of Gladys Corbin (Bonnie Burroughs), has a checkered past, but has been trying to remain on the straight and narrow.  Sonny had previously put into motion protection for teenaged Dev (Ashton Arbab), that he will continue to be passed off as the biological son of Brando to keep him safe.  That, along with a back-story that includes: the Iraqi War, prison time, drug use, PTSD, familial issues, mob wars, and more, has loaded the deck for actor Johnny Wactor to show his acting chops and more within the daytime drama arena.

Since making his debut in the recurring role of Brando back in January of this year, in a short amount of time, Wactor has already displayed that he has solid leading man, and soap anti-hero potential, something that always serves one well amidst the romance, intrigue, and suspense of the genre’s storytelling.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Johnny to get his thoughts on becoming part of the iconic GH and where he hopes Brando’s journey goes from here.  Check out what he had to say below.

Photo: ABC

What do you think about your character’s name being “Brando”? Did GH tell you where the idea for the name came from?

JOHNNY:  Oh, I love it.   No, they didn’t tell me why, but I assume it was in some relation to Marlon Brando; when back in the day he was in a leather jacket … because I come onto the scene wearing a leather jacket as a badass!

What’s your experience been like coming onto a show like GH?  Previously, I know you’ve done a lot of primetime roles and series.  Were you shocked at the pace of shooting a daytime drama?

JOHNNY:  Oh, yeah.  I was made aware of the pace beforehand by my manager, as well as my buddy, Mark Grossman (Adam Newman) who works on The Young and the Restless.  He’s kicking ass over there.  In this genre, you get one rehearsal and one take pretty much, and then, they move on.  It’s definitely been a learning curve, and I’m still getting used to that at times where I’m just like, “Ah, I want one more take!”  I can get a bit obsessive and I’m a perfectionist.  It definitely has been challenging, but I enjoy it.  It’s fun to work at a fast pace.  It’s a lot like working in the theatre.

In story, Johnny is pretending to be Dev’s father.  Did you know that would be part of Brando’s story when you took on this gig?

JOHNNY:  I did not.   I didn’t know that until I read the first script that they sent me.  I’m like, “I also have a son?”   It was a lot to take in, but that’s where the imagination comes in.

What’s great for you, I would think, is that you’re getting to play in scenes with Maurice Benard and Laura Wright and major players who are a part of that core group.  What’s it been like working with them?

JOHNNY:  It’s been a Godsend, really.  Being my first time on a daytime show, for one, anytime you come onto a new project and one that’s been going on for some time, and you’re a newcomer, there’s always that concern like, “What will this set be like?  Is it like a familial atmosphere?  Am I going to be welcomed?”  They’ve made it super easy.  I’m just so lucky that I have people who have so much experience on this show and just daytime shows in general, where they’ve kind of taken me under their wings and are super helpful.  Anytime I have questions, they’re patient.  I’m sure I annoy them sometimes, but they don’t let on to it.   I’m grateful that they’ve sort of “teamed” me up with them to kind of ease me onto the show.

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The fans are seeing a spark between Brando and Carly.  Is Brando into Carly?

JOHNNY:  I’d like to say that he rescued her because she was a beautiful blonde, but that’s not what that was and why he did it … even though I’m not denying that she’s a beautiful blonde.  I think there’s something there, but how far Brando pursues that, I don’t know!  Sonny sets Brando up with the garage and a pretty sweet deal at that.  So, does Brando want to screw this up?  However, not everyone makes logical, levelheaded decisions.  We’ll see.  I’m not ruling it out as something that could possibly happen.

How are you playing Brando right now? Is he a good guy … or, are there secret ulterior motives going down that the audience may not know about, yet?

JOHNNY:  In my opinion, he is a guy who has got a good heart.  I don’t think he is infallible.  I think he is someone who is determined to be on the mend and make up for his decisions and his past, because he is someone who has made poor decisions.  I don’t think you can rule him as a good person who will never make a mistake, or won’t get into trouble, or won’t make some bad decisions.  “Does he have ulterior motives?”  Maybe, but I think that if he does, they might be a little unconscious.  I think he is a genuine good guy.

Photo: ABC

Are the fans swooning over you on social media now that you’ve made your GH debut?  When you get the, “Oh, he’s hot,” do you take those compliments well, or, is it uncomfortable for you, and you deflect that?

JOHNNY:  It’s always flattering to get those compliments.  I think when I was younger, like 22, first getting into this business; I was definitely pining for those compliments and put more weight into it.  I will say; it’s always good to have someone say something positive about you.  I will take, “Hey, he’s good-looking.”  I love the comments.  It’s great.

So, what would you love to see happen with Brando?  Is there anything that you’re seeing with your character that you wish you could do …or get to have the opportunity to be able to drive the direction in which he goes in?

JOHNNY:  That’s a great question.  I love when the writers put Brando on the scene and planted some seeds early on when he was revealing a little of his background to Carly.  He reveals he has PTSD and spent time in prison.  Brando also has got issues with drug addiction.  I would love for those to kind of resurface somehow.  Maybe Brando has a relapse and gets back on the sauce, or drugs, or maybe has some kind of other issues with PTSD, because those are the real things in the world that people deal.

Photo: ABC

What’s great about it is that they kind of loaded you up with a back-story that they can fill in, so that as a viewer, you ultimately root for the guy

JOHNNY:  Absolutely.  Yeah, nobody wants to root for the guy who has everything and just has the perfect life.  We’ve all made mistakes.  So, alright, he’s trying to get back on the horse and make a good life for himself.

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Did you get any pointers from GH vet Steve Burton (Jason), who you have also shared several scenes with since coming to GH?

JOHNNY:  The most pointers I’ve gotten from Steve are about preparation for the scenes.  Every time we have scenes together, he’s just always willing to work with you, and make sure that you’re prepared, and he’s prepared, and the scene is going to be the best that it can be.  Also, he’s been really invaluable with giving me more of a crash course on the background of these characters.  This show has been on for decades and it’s tough to get caught up in the short amount of time between when you find out you have the job, and you start filming, to really know who everybody is.  So, he explained to me who Jason is on the show and who the Corinthos family is and what they represent … these are dangerous guys!

Photo: ABC

Take me through what happened when you learned you got the part of Brando, and were joining the cast of General Hospital?

JOHNNY:  I was at my apartment.  I think it was probably two days after I went in for the producer’s session.  They brought in 4 or 5 guys to read in front of the producers, (at least that I saw) and I felt strong about my reading.  Then, I just kind of tried to forget about it after I left so I wouldn’t get all into my head about whether I got the part, or not.  Then the next day, I didn’t get a phone call.  So, I’m like, “Man, really?  I thought that might have been it.”   But the next day, I was with my girlfriend at the time and my agency was calling.  My manager was on the phone as well, and they shared with me that I got the part, and it was exciting.  It was a relief and an affirmation.  It’s always exciting when you book a job and then to book a major recurring role on a show with a character whose name is “Brando Corbin”, needless to say, was really cool.

Photo: ABC

I think it’s very apparent that you have the “It” factor.  You already have a shown a strong presence on the show and have a very bright future ahead of you.   I have seen a lot of actors come and go, and who launch their careers on daytime over the years, and I think you are going to be one to watch for quite some time to come.

JOHNNY:  First of all, thank you so much for saying that.  That’s really kind of you.  It’s really high praise.  Coming from someone who knows that show and who is a fan of it that means I passed the test!  Thank you, Michael!  I really appreciate that affirmation.  It’s good to get validation from someone whose opinion really matters.

Photo; ABC

Could you see a love interest for Brando coming up in the future?

JOHNNY:  I could definitely see a love interest for him coming up.  Maybe multiple love interests!  Who knows?

I think there are a lot of single ladies in Port Charles.

JOHNNY:  Yeah!  But, why do they have to be single?

Right! Or, they could be married!

JOHNNY:  It’s Port Charles!

Photo: ABC

So, have you been enjoying Johnny’s performances as Brando Corbin thus far?  Who do you hope he becomes involved with romantically on GH? Do you want to know more about his back-story and see what happens next now that Sonny has set him up with a garage? Comment below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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Kelly Thiebaud as Britt

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Airdate:3-23-2020

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