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The Hunter Tylo Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

It’s Taylor’s time!  That is the mantra around The Bold and the Beautiful set these days, and in particular for long time series stalwart Hunter Tylo (Taylor Hayes Forrester)!  As fans know, a mega-shift happened for the first time in the 25 year history of the canvas, when two of the core four … Susan Flannery (Stephanie) and Ronn Moss (Ridge)… decided not to re-sign with the show and have since been written out.  Ridge is somewhere out of the country tootling around Europe. Stephanie died on-screen of lung cancer.  Those departures have paved the way for some complicated and excited stories ahead for Tylo, and what looks to be a potential new love interest in John McCook (Eric Forrester).  Will Taylor become Stephanie 2.0?

On-Air On-Soaps sat down with Hunter Tylo in her dressing room to find out what is behind and what is driving Taylor these days, as she tries to pick up the pieces after Stephanie’s death which has also re-ignited her long running feud with Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang).  As Hunter fills us in, a subtle metamorphosis has begun which could ultimately lead her to become of all things … the matriarch of the Forrester clan! But will it really happen? There are lots of single eligible women on B&B who would like to get their claws into Eric Forrester!

How does such a beloved star, such as Hunter, deal with balancing languishing on the back burner to a front-burner story?  How has she coped with the loss of her long-time cast mates?  These questions, and Taylor’s questionable psychiatric practices, involving Katie (Heather Tom), are just a few things we touch upon in this fascinating interview with one of daytime’s all-time most fascinating stars, Hunter Tylo!


Before Susan Flannery left the show, you had a heartbreaking moment at the goodbye party, when Taylor hugged Stephanie.  How was it for you being part of that episode, and saying goodbye to Susan? 



That last day, when we were taping Stephanie’s going away party, I was dreading it.  It was just one of those things where you feel like you have to get dressed for a funeral, or something.  The only thing I could do is keep reassuring myself that Susan is O.K.  She is healthy and she is going to go on to do other things.  I even asked her several times, “Are you sure now?  Maybe you will work this out?”  And she said, “No.  I really want to go do other things.”   So I had to make sure she was O.K.  Once I knew it was something she really wanted and needed, I could understand that.  It is a lot of work being on a soap, and she has done this for so long.  She deserved it.  So then I was able to bolster myself through it.  I understood what this meant for her as a woman moving on with her life and enjoying her life now, because she has worked her rear off.   But when we got to the last scene – where Stephanie is saying goodbye – I believe she added the line, “Please forgive me.”  That was hard, that was really hard.  It was a hard day, and it was so much so that even when we were done filming I had a hard time saying goodbye to Susan.  She actually did have more scenes to shoot the following week, but I was not in that week.  So I did not want to make it any more difficult on Susan, because she was not finished yet.  We later shot those vignettes for the video they gave to Stephanie, where each character said something to her.  They let me sort of adlib in some of my own thoughts.  I said, “You are my hero,” which is true.  I got to express it that way to Susan.  I did not know that Brad Bell (B&B head writer and executive producer) decided to write it … that Taylor would not be with Stephanie on her death bed moment!


Was it shocking to you that it was Brooke who was with Stephanie at the end instead of Taylor, given all that Brooke had gone through with Stephanie during Stephanie’s last-go round with cancer?


I knew whatever the reason would be, with the long history there, there was going to be some pay-off.   I did not know what it would be, but now looking at what he has done with the story … it’s genius!  It’s absolutely awesome, because it motivates so many things for Taylor.  It brings out so many things in her that have been dormant.  I think it also infuses Taylor with this drive to now do every single thing that Stephanie ever told her to do, that she would always battle with herself morally about.  Whether it be right to take her place?  That is a great question.  As well as, should Taylor forget about what other people think or feel?  So now it’s really cool!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins


Did you have a meeting with Brad Bell (B&B executive producer and head writer), where he informed you that after Susan departed the show that he had major plans for you as Taylor to stir the pot… sort of as a next generation Stephanie?


No.  I never like to know and never really worry about it.  If an actor truly puts their hand into that creative mix, I think that now the actor has an agenda.  So to me, I treat it as if it’s like God unfolding our own lives.  Whatever happens to me I need to react to it on-screen genuinely.  There is a tendency for actors to go to the powers-that-be and go, “Look, I don’t want to do this, because my character is going to look bad.”  I feel if you don’t trust where the writing is going to go; you are going to set yourself up for disappointment … a lot!   Our characters have to lose too, in order to come back and win. In soaps, the power has to go back and forth, and that can be hard to take when you are working and you want to have that drive to come in and perform the material.  Sometimes it is hard to come in here when your character’s is on the downside. You don’t really get too excited where you might go, “Oh!  I have got to do this stupid scene?” (Laughs)  I like that Taylor had a down period where she was losing, losing, losing, because it really does give her some place to go now.  It does breathe some life into this show, because we lost two major characters.  We needed to have a dynamic change.  I don’t know if that is just how life plays out, because we did not know that Susan and Ronn Moss were going to leave.  Or, if it’s just Brad’s genius to reserve certain characters and bring them back when it’s time.  All I can say, it’s working out really well. I think it will be a nice way of having the show come around full-circle.


So, since you did not talk to Brad directly, what was your first clue when you saw the scripts that Taylor is becoming somewhat manipulative?


She is not manipulative; that is the thing.  She is very much a psychiatrist-type of person.   Taylor will rationalize herself into anything, and then she will believe it.  There are some things coming up that will be shocking that will definitely make Taylor fans happy! These are some things the fans have been complaining about for a long time.  I had no idea things were going to go to this other place until I saw the script the day before we taped it!  There is an incident where Stephanie left Taylor and Eric without saying goodbye, and so they bond over being denied closure.  That was the first moment where I went, “Hmmm. What is happening there?”  It’s been very true to life, and true to the personalities, true to the history of the show, and true to all of the things that were set up.  This also sets up nice dynamics for Katherine Kelly Lang’s character of Brooke.  When Brooke and Taylor go at it, it really gets a lot of people wound up.  I said this brings the show around full circle with everything Stephanie was fighting for, and now the battle has been set for these two to really go at it.



If Taylor and Eric were to become a bonafide couple on the show, how would you feel about it?


I love working with John McCook (Eric).  He is just the happiest person ever on set.  He is the funniest person on set even with his old jokes! (Laughs)  We love that! (Laughs)  I can see Eric and Taylor as a couple. Whatever has held them back in the past romantically is that they have always had a respect and affinity for each other, or their love for Stephanie.  Once, a long time ago, they toyed with this pairing and everybody felt like, “Taylor would not do that.  She loves and respects Stephanie too much.”  They put the kibosh on that storyline.  I am happy where the story is right now.


I have to say, Taylor did some very bad psychiatry on poor Katie!  She literally was telling her how badly she was suffering from post-partum depression and such, over and over again! (Laughs)


Yeah, well you don’t usually tell the patients their worst fears! (Laughs)  Then again, there are many people who have gotten into psychology careers who have taken on that choice of a job, because they have real issues of their own that really never did get resolved! (Laughs)  You can actually get psychology licenses from online courses, and so there are some bad psychologists walking around out there.  I think Taylor is one of those people who glazed by some of the analytical things she needed to do towards the end of her PhD. (laughs) I think maybe she put on a good act, and then of course, as all of her personal traumas happened to her with losing Ridge and the death of her daughter, all of Taylor’s baggage came out!  Things weren’t really resolved for her.  Taylor has her issues.  I think that is what makes her an interesting character, though.  It’s kind of a cool to see a character that doesn’t have her act together!  If Taylor really had it together, who would care?  You have this character who is telling everybody how to do things, and then you watch them screw up their own stuff.  Taylor can give the medicine, but she can’t take her own!



So what did Taylor want?  Does she want Brooke with Bill?  So therefore, somewhere down the line she can go after Ridge all by her lonesome with no competition from her rival?


No. What Taylor was doing was warning Katie that Brooke is up to her old tricks, and she is going to start coming on to her husband.  Taylor already had that figured out, that Brooke would start feeling needy because she lost Ridge, and all of a sudden, there would be a little kiss between Brooke and Bill.  And … Taylor was right!   I think Taylor planted one too many fears into Katie, though!


So Taylor wants Bill and Katie to stay together?


She wants Bill and Katie to stay together.  Taylor is just trying to tell Brooke to mind her own business.  But then, again Taylor isn’t minding her own business! (Laughs)


What did you think when Ronn Moss made the choice to leave B&B after 25 years? After all, he was your on-screen love interest for many, many years!



I was shocked!  When I heard about Ronn and Susan, I thought they must be at an impasse contract wise, or Ronn is really bored and he will just take a couple weeks, or a couple months off, and he will be right back.  I think over the holidays is when it really sunk in for me more.


It’s great to see both you, and John McCook, being given some front-burner material to play!


Viewers are going to see a whole new strength with Eric Forrester. And for John McCook that is great, because for a long time he was in the background of the show, too.


Taylor’s son Thomas (Adam Gregory) did not get the CEO position in the end at Forrester Creations!  What do you think about that plot point, and how it ultimately affects Taylor?


I have got to say, when we were watching the deathbed video that Stephanie left us, I literally got mad!  I screamed, “What?  Oh, my gosh!”  Taylor’s son had been set up to lie by Stephanie to set up Brooke, which got them all in trouble, which then caused Taylor to have the disastrous wedding, and then Stephanie pulled the rug out from under Thomas.  I was so mad!  But I have got to say, that is how genius it was of Brad to have Stephanie do so many annoying things.  It leaves us so much to play, and somewhere to go.  Now of course, Stephanie’s picture is hanging right over the fireplace and now we have to look at her all the time! (Laughs)



Oh, but wait!  Taylor will have her picture up above the mantle soon at the Forrester mansion!  She will be the one to go, “Let’s just take this old picture of Stephanie down!”  You’ll see! (Laughs)


Do you see the dynamic though?  For years, Stephanie was trying to tell Taylor to do something that she did not have it in her to do, and then Stephanie took Brooke under her wing.  It totally makes these characters true.  Now Taylor is exactly in Stephanie’s shoes when the show first started.  She had lost her husband.  She had lost everything and Brooke was taking everything, and that is what made her fight.  Now of course, Taylor would want to step up and Taylor actually takes on the persona of Stephanie!  That is what I have chosen to infuse Taylor with.  We will see Taylor change in many ways.  I actually have Taylor taking on Stephanie’s mannerisms, and the way that Susan would say certain line, and it’s been kind of fun.  All I need now is one of Stephanie’s pant suits! (Laughs)   I told wardrobe this!  I told them, “Just give me a pant suit and broach!”  And so wardrobe said, “No.  Let’s just put her in the jacket of the pant suit and heels.”   I said, “That is an awesome! That will be just back in Brooke’s face!  Perfect!” (Laughs)


Is Taylor going to be a much more aggressive mama bear when it comes to her kids, Thomas and Steffy?


I think Taylor is feeling this is her moment to be the mama bear and the matriarch, and to step up to the plate and start fighting for her kids.


Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Does Taylor want her pregnant daughter Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) with Liam (Scott Clifton) … even though Liam is the most indecisive male character ever seen on B&B?


She does want Steffy with Liam, even though she wants to slap Liam. (Laughs)  I can hear Susan Flannery’s voice in my head when we would be running lines with Ronn Moss going, “Well, Ridge is really pretty, but he’s not smart!” (Laughs) I get the same feeling when I see Liam in these scenes where he can’t decide between Hope and Steffy! I am like, “C’mon already!”  That is the beauty and the frustration of the characters on our show, and what they have to overcome.


Did you watch the final scenes between Susan Flannery and Katherine Kelly Lang, when Brooke sang Stephanie through to her passing?


I did not see it, but I heard it was breathtaking and touching.  I don’t even know if I would have made it through it.  I don’t know how Katherine did it.  I know I am glad I did not have to say goodbye to Ronn or Susan on-screen.  For me, I think it would take me a few days to recover from after playing those moments out, because you do have to go to a place of loss, and it’s hard to recover from that psychologically, a little bit.


Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Have you and Katherine discussed what is happening between Taylor and Brooke now?


No.  Once we realized the rivalry was back on, we had to quit talking and chit-chatting in the make-up room.  We have to, and that is what is sad about this for our job and to service the storyline.  We can actually get to know each other well, but when you are two characters in a rivalry you have to really watch it, because then any comfortability will show through on camera.  We have to put distance between us and not bond too much. We cannot look comfortable with each other.  We need to look like we are in a place of competition.   Katherine and I try to work with each other as actors.  We will run lines and we respect each other.  For example, trying to talk about what is going on with politics on television, we can’t do because we can’t bond on anything.  It sucks, I have to say.  I really like Katherine.  As people, and as women, we have a lot of common.  We both love horses, we love cooking, and we love to do stuff with our kids.  So it t becomes a kind of a shame when the storyline gets like this.


Can we expect a roll in the mud, or chocolate cake fight in the near future between Brooke and Taylor?  Fans love that!


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Oh, I don’t know!  We do love that, and I am clapping right now. (Laughs) We have had the mud fight, and we have had the coy-pond fish fight.  We will come up with something really good, messy, and super sexy!


What are fans saying to you on your Twitter account about Taylor’s latest behavior change, and where her story is going?


I have not been on it in for a little awhile.  Since the end of October 2012 … my life has been insane.  Everybody in my family has a birthday.  Then it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then there are more birthdays!  We just had my daughter Katya’s, and my oldest son’s birthday in January.  Usually in the spring I will get back on Twitter, and then it will be a good time for me to interact with the fans more.  I do know though, that whenever Katherine and I would banter with each other on Twitter, we did it in character! We found out that was a huge mistake, because it started pitting the fans against each other.  We had to regroup. For a while we had to un-friend and un-follow each other, and now we are friends on there again. We had to let the fans know, “Look. Wait a second. We can’t have you bad-mouthing.  Now it’s going into personal lives.  When it does that … that is not cool!”   Twitter is a weird real world.  People want to joke, but when people tend to make it too close to home with anything that is a touchy subject, people mistake what someone intended, and then that becomes bad. 


But let it be noted, the Brooke and Taylor fans are intense!


Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

The Brooke/Taylor fans are intense!  I think we are going to see this happen again, but what I want the fans to know more than anything is this: Katherine and I really do respect each other.  We love each other as people.  They should not get our characters confused. The thing is that we love doing the scenes we do. We do know how to goad each other and push each other’s button.  We do know a little about each other in real life that we know how to get to each other emotionally.  So the fans may see on-screen intense emotions when we are talking, but there is nothing that they need to get so wound-up about that they say something ugly.  I would not want anyone to say anything ugly about Katherine.  She is a sweet and adorable person, and she works her butt off!  We all go through different things in our lives, and no one needs that Twitter stress.  I am excited about where the characters and the show are going.  I hope we can all keep encouraging each other to watch the show and get excited about what is going to happen next, and those types of things.  I think the fans are going to be really excited, and that which drove them to watch B&B in the first place, I think they are going to feel excited about that all over again.


How is your daughter Katya doing after her battle with Retinoblastoma so many years ago?


She is doing great.  Fifteen years later, that is how old she is.  She is a survivor and a fighter.  I had a lot of faith in her, but I wondered how it would all turn out, and so I am just really celebrating her life.  Isabella just turned 16 and that was really scary, and we won’t even go there! (Laughs)



Will you ever consider writing a follow-up to your first memoir, Making a Miracle? So much has happened in your life personally and professionally since the last book.


I was working on a follow-up, but there have been so many changes that all of a sudden my life got really busy again.  I will go back to it.  I would like to write some more encouraging things to people based on my life experiences, and now there is even more to talk about.  So we will let things keep unfolding.  There will come that right time to put it all together.  I have notes that I have been keeping about everything.


Did you make a New Years Resolution for 2013?


You are going to think this is weird and boring, but mine is to get back to do doing all my ballet and gymnastic stretches.  It was something that I thought just because I am becoming a certain age that I was not going to stop; doing my hair fun, or dressing fun, or working out or riding bikes.  I have always liked to ride a mountain bike, but I always thought there must be some period where you go hang that up.  But now, I have been doing it more than ever, like riding through mud puddles and all sorts of crazy stuff.  So far I am happy to report, that I have kept my resolution and I have been doing my stretches every single day. 



In closing, what should Taylor fans watch for in the months ahead?


I would say to watch to see how many things Taylor does that Stephanie always told her to do.  I think Taylor always thinks she has all the answers and she has an agenda, but I do think she will have her heart in the right place.  However, now I don’t see Taylor compromising or giving up on things she really wants these days.  I think she has already done that enough in the past, and has seen where it has gotten her! (Laughs)

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Great article, I have always followed her work.

What work?!!!

Movie, book, All My Children, etc. She’s a lovely person.

I think Taylor is a poor excuse for a psychiatrist. She can’t keep herself together. She could not raise her baby ! She gave it to Brooke to raise.

Love Hunter and her portrayal of Taylor!

Taylor can’t carry this show. Bell is making a big mistake giving her more air time. Many will tune out because we don’t want to see her on our screens. And putting her with Eric is another huge mistake.

I certainly agree with you B&B Fan.

i agree terrible mistake

Haters Get over it!…It’s Hunter’s time to shine…she’s been in the background long enough!…if you don’t like it too bad…change the channel…you must be insane to think brooke can carry this show on her own…she is nothing without Stephanie or Taylor to fight with…If Hunter leaves it’s a wrap for this show I truly believe…this show cannot stand to lose anymore main players like Taylor.

To be honest, I’m over the B&B. It has become so boring, Liam and Steffy are really not doing the series and favours. They bore the crap out of me. Perhaps I’ve outgrown B&B or it’s outgrown me. Either way, I don’t bother to watch it anymore. Hunter Tylo is the worst actress I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness

LMAO!!! Haven’t the ratings gone up lately? Enuff said. Bell knows what he is doing! Gooooo Taylor!!!

NO the new ratings out are down with Taylor on our screens we lost 125,000 viewers from the week before. So NO Bell doesn’tknow what he is doing but will soon once he sees Taylor is not bringing up the viewership but making it go down. And Brook can carry this show way better then Head bobblng and Arms waving Taylor anyday.

New ratings are 2.6. Sorry, but yes that means the rating did go UP from 2.4. Sorry, but I doubt Bell cares that some people don’t like it. He knows who is important to the show and who is not. And I am also sorry that you think Taylor/Hunter is ‘carrying the show’, because no one has been saying anything like that except YOU. Thanks for acknowledging her impact.

On the contrary. I was not sure about the pairing with Eric at first, but now I am convinced that the show has found a replacement for it’s matriarch. It’s perfect.

who should carry the show brooke logan
what has brooke dont for the show ohh yea he return tanked the ratings that week
the thought of her getting stephanies shares caused outrage resulting in the bb call line crashing the thought of stephanie dying in her arms caused outrage from fans the only mistake was pushing brooke front burner
brooke logan a washed up cat kitten who can only play 1 type of rolls

I’ve been watching BB since AMC was cancelled. I find Brooke and the Logans’ feelings of entitlement annoying and think it is refreshing to see Taylor with a backbone.I fastforward through most Hope & Brooke scenes.

Great interview! I like Hunter Tylo but i’m very disappointed by Taylor! Taylor is not Stéphanie! She would be with Thorne or Bill! Not Eric! I don’t understand Bradley Bell! The Bold and The beautiful become an incredibly stupid soap opera. Marcus, Dayzee, Maya, Katie are deadly boring! Where are Deacon, his son, Amber, Kristen, Felicia, CJ??? Fortunatly, Rick, Brooke and Bill are here!

i think taylor is a pure ecuse for a doctor an please dont put her with eric she has interfered with every ones life shes just a poor excuse for a women or doctor

taylor has always been a poor psychiatrist and doesn”t have much insight into her own feelings-she has always been jealous of Brooke and repeatedly misjudges her-she should be as kindhearted as Brooke .I don”t think she is -she is so blind to her own lack of insight

I totally agree with you Linda. I can’t stand Taylor. She thinks she is so high and mighty, and all she is , is a trouble maker. Taylor thought it was just fine for Steffy to break up Liem and Steffy but not for Hope to go after what was taken away from her. Taylor should move to Paris and go after Ridge and leave Eric alone.

Hunter Tylo is really a very nice lady when she lived in LV I lived in her area also and would run into her from time to time I am glad she is getting screen time again. Brad Bell has to realize their are some of us out here that are worn out with the triangle for two years of Steffy/Liam/Hope I remember when they were going to go down that road of Eric & Taylor but backed off for good reason then, but now it feels right just once let Taylor win it all. So in other words it is back on my DVR.

I would also like to thank you Michael for helping straighten out this rumor that KKL & HT did not get along two soap columnists actually three tried with the help of soap fans to start a war back when Ronn Moss left it was tacky. Thanks again for asking the right respectful questions. You are indeed a gentleman with the soap actors!

How classless of Hunter Tylo. She seems to be the one unable to separate the character from the actor. Susan and Kelly played enimies for years, yet are close in real life. come now Ms. Tylo. Your jealousy is shining through, loud and clear, lol.

Maybe you might want to do some research on Ms. Tylo she and Kimberlin Brown/Sheila became very best friends they went into business together etc then when Ms. Tylo and her husband Michael were thinking about getting a divorce Ms. Brown testified against her saying she was an unfit mother. I think I personally would think twice before I became close to a co-worker again. It was very nasty and I would not want to go thru that again.

There is no rule that states any actress needs to be friends with any co-workers off camera. If that were the case, no one in Hollyweird would have jobs. Who needs phony work related friends? I am sure Mrs. Tylo has had more than her fair share of those. LMAO! She hasn’t been employed in this business for over 20 years for nothing. Obviously, she knows her business well. To hell with friendships! Keep the money and keep it moving!

Michael does it again. GREAT interview!!! Very revealing. That said…I HATE TAYLOR, ALWAYS HAVE, ALWAYS WILL! And she’s nothing like Stephanie (who was likeable, Hunter!!!) Taylor is an entitled, preachy, holier than thou, self serving bitch! Ok, feeling better lol. The character is so unlikeable and unrelatable. Stephanie was evil but fun and likeable. I really miss her!!!!!!
Hunter is right when she talks about her character being someone who rationalizes her bad behavior then believes the rationalization. Liam is spineless and Steffy seduced him while he was engaged. Remember Taylor?? Bring back Bridget and Nick! OMG I need to a life lolol. Great interview.

It is about-damn-time! Ok Hunter, I’m sticking with this for awhile longer ONLY because you are getting a serious storyline … If Hope and Liam walk down the aisle a 5th time that’s it! The Hayes/Forresters need to move to the front burner for a LONG time … (OMG I just saw Brooke meet Carter … so I guess she has a new one to have sex with!) She is so condescending all the time and second guessing Eric about HIS choices at the company! Ugh … you still need a scen where you get to slap her! (for all the Team Taylor folks out here…we’d slap her and her fake phoney daughter too! All the Best Hunter … you are my (51), and my (70+ YO) parents’, favorite!

Actually had the pleasure of meeting Hunter and (now-ex) husband, Michael Tylo, years ago. She is a completely lovely, down-to-earth person who really appreciated that I didn’t call her by her character name (I actually forgot it for a moment!). I think it’s great that her character is getting a chance to be the pseudo-bad girl for a change. You can only sit back and take “stuff” for so long, in life and in soaps. So Hunter – don’t “go gentle into that good night” and we cheer you on!

It would be a blessing for Taylor & Eric to be together! They belong together and I know Stephanie would approve. I think this is what she wanted all along.

Thanks for the article Mr. Fairman…..Taylor/Hunter are the reason that I watch this show and I LOVE watching Taylor shine in all of her new material. It is about time the show started to put her character on front burner again. I had almost given up on this show. This shake up gives me something to look forward to.

Taylor is the only reason that I have endured the B&B over the years.When Hunter left the show I stopped watching until I heard that she was returning.I am loving the New Taylor and loving that she has a back bone now and that she is ready to take on the world..Ya never mess with a woman scourned and it’s great to see Taylor take on everyone who has wronged her and her family.I also love Steffy and Thomas..If Taylor and Eric get together then so be it..Bring it on..Team Taylor all the way..It’s great to see that Taylor front and center where she belongs…We love our Taylor….

I been watching this soap since the the very first day. I always loved Taylor’s outlook. Since Stephanie died, Taylor flipped a script. The way she is now on the show isn’t Taylor! It’s like she should take her own advice like she gives to her patients. Take into consideration you wouldnt tell your patients to do the things your doing. They will tend to look up to you (on the show) and see your not following your own advice.

I’m another Hunter/Taylor fan and love this article. Thank you Mr. Fairman.

I used to DVR to either watch part, FF’d the rest, or delete it completely, now I’m watching live and love that Taylor is front-and-center, with a story. It’s a long time coming. I see Taylor as a Mama Bear, just like Stephanie used to be, so I can definitely see the comparison.

I’m not sure why anyone would have a problem with another character becoming front-and-center, isn’t that what soaps are all about – BALANCE.

Hunter Tylo/Taylor is a very important part of B&B and it’s about time she is acknowledged.

Great article! I am so excited and looking forward to seeing Hunter front and centre once again on B&B!! I have watched the show since Day 1 and the best thing that ever happened to this show was bringing on the character of Taylor portrayed by Hunter Tylo.

I am for Brooke all the way!!

Thanks for the interview.. honestly.. u interviewed Don, KKL, John and Heather before this and I wasn’t interested in what they had to say abt their characters on the show. those characters do nothing for me. i am not interested in brooke incest for the nth time, nor am i interested in watching Bill strut his stuff ard. stallion?? give me a break!! i dnt care if katie recovers or dies, all I have been interested is in Taylor, cuz she is BEAUTIFUL of BnB. Hunter Tylo is an amazing actress who portrays Taylor best and I only watch BnB for her. I am more than thrilled for her to finally get the well deserved screen time.. abt time! and abt time,, taylor fought for herself and claimed what is rightfully hers!!

And i feel sorry for all the haters who bash an actor because they are obsessed with a fictional character of Brooke. very sad to see people stoop so low.

GO HUNTER TYLO!! UR TRUE FANS HAVE UR BACK AND WILL SUPPORT U ALWAYS!! TAYLOR ROCKS AND THERE IS NO BNB WITHOUT HER. without taylor, brooke will just look like a lost cow in the meadow.. more than she already is 😉

So ready to see Taylor/Steffy & Thomas come out on top (FINALLY!!!!!) for a change. It is long, LONG overdue from all Brooke & her whiny getting their way far too long. I’m sick and tired of Brooke always being justified, propped up and put on a pedestal as the queen, with her pion children never taking responsibility for their actions and always expecting things to go their way. Brooke is and always will be needy, and her children, Rick and Hope are no different. I’m Team Taylor all the way; looking forward to them emerging as the family to control the next phase of Forrester Creations. Stephanie in her evil ways new what she was doing by stripping Thomas of her shares. She knew that he has what it takes to emerge w/o benefit of using stupid tactics but talent to get him to the top. She knew that Steffy would wear her name and personality proud. And as for Taylor being the “Mama Bear”…..I say BRING IT OWN!!!!

Now I’m still on the fence about a Eric/Taylor relationship. I don’t want Taylor to be a Stephanie number two. I want her to be her own woman. If they are going in the direction of a romance between Eric/Taylor, please don’t rush it. Ease some of us like me into it. Don’t slam us with the nastiness just yet because right now it’s vomit worthy. And I’d like to see Eric grieve a little more and Taylor to continue being the true Mama Bear insuring that her children are not cheated out of their “true” legacy.

Here’s hoping the Hayes/Forrester clan reigns supreme for a while.

I love B&B but Taylor needs to get a grip on reality and realize that Stephy is getting a dose of her own medicine. It’s about time that B&B wrap up this story line with Liam/ Hope / Stephy , it’s getting real old fast. Get creative writers “Yawn”

What a great interview! Hunter is what got me hooked on this show!! It’s about time she is finally up front and center again where she belongs. She is a one of the show’s long time veterans, and much needed. Believe me, Hunter’s fanbase is worldwide and just as big as anyone else’s. We watch for her. For the longest time, Brooke has been on screen every single day. It’s time to share the limelight.

Thank you for this interview Mr. Fairman!!
The only reason why I still watch B&B is because of amazing Hunter Tylo as Taylor.
I am so happy that Taylor is finally front and center again, standing up for herself and her kids. Go Taylor!!!

Taylor is the reason I started watching the show and it is about time she got a good story. I think many of the Brooke fans are so selfish — Brooke is already the show hog and has been for years and they begraudge Taylor (and Hunter) being front and center for a while—- many people don’t like Brooke and I am glad that Bell offers us a choice. I would NEVER support a woman/character who would screw her son-in-law for a year and do what she did to her own daughter. That is disgusting — but that is exactly who Brooke Hogan is.

Honestly, given Brooke’s long sordid history on this show, it is surprising that she has any fans at all. She has been despicable since day one.

Thank you so much for this wonderful interview. Im a day 1 viewer and Im thrilled to see Hunter/Taylor back on my screen. I had tuned out because the stories were so predictable that the Logan’s were always going to win. Glad to see Taylor and her children for once just may stand a chance unless Brad pulls the rug out from under us. Hunter Tylo is a beautiful person inside and out and her class comes shining through in this interview.

I have always enjoyed watching Hunter Tylo playing Taylor. She is an amazing actress. It is great to see her on the screen more. I’d much rather see more Taylor and less Hope. I can even tolerate Brooke more than I can Hope. KKL and HT are both exceptional actresses.

Great interview, I really enjoyed reading it. I’ve always been a fan of Hunter Tylo since I was a kid and admire her as a person very much for how much strength & grace she has, and how she’s come through so many hard times. I believe she put alot of that into her character Taylor but the writing did not always allow Tay to stand up for herself. I am so glad they are finally doing that. So many people I know are tired of The Logans always come out on top when for the most part they are some of the most manipulative people on the show. It’s time for Taylor and her family to come out on top for once and I for one am excited to watch. I was close to tuning out of B&B recently when they started propping Hope again over Steffy, feeling like I was gonna watch a redux of Queen Brooke & Cinderella Taylor, but seeing the recent changes I’m excited about the show again. I can’t wait to see how this plays out and hope that Taylor will finally for once come out on top, it’s time for the nice girl to get some happiness for a change.

I have been watching B&B for many years now, I used to be a Taylor Fan and when she was dead in a scene I got sad and was on strike with the show until they brought her back, but now I am not a Taylor fan. She is a hypocrite and acts as if she is too holy. She makes it seems as if she doesn’t break a glass. She is always so meddling and her character makes it seem as of she wants to be like Brooke. She hates her so much, yet deep inside Taylor wants to be as desirable as Brooke. Now, her interview sounded as if it was Taylor herself speaking. She cannot separate her true life with her character. I can totally sense that she envy’s KKL in real life. If Taylor becomes the new Stephanie Forrrester, I am on strike again. The show is becoming more predictable by the minute, I just watch Y&R and I’m done with soap world. If Bell continues with this merry go round storyline and putting Taylor as the new Stephanie, all I can say is Goodbye B&B, I can do something better with those 30 mins of my life a day…

Sounds like a typical Brookie pretending to be a Tay fan. LMAO! Very transparent and immature. Nice try. I am sure Bell will be crying in his soup over you as he continues to write more fabulous storylines for the lovely Hunter, who can carry her own stories, has a huge fan base and can act. She has shown so much perserverance and it is nice to see the powers that be recognize her ability by moving her to the forefront. THANX BELL AND STAFF FOR RECOGNZING TAYLOR IS A POWERHOUSE. Please let her wear the pantsuit and broche!!!!

Great interview. HT appears to be a very professional, very focused actress. Her performances are always enjoyable. Looking forward to see more of her.

Great interview with Hunter! Taylor will make a hell of a matriarch for the show

Excellent interview there Micheal , LOVEEEE Hunters Wok the main reason i watch lov it lov it lov it i can actually start watchin bnb again

If Taylor is on my screen more often, I will stop to watch. I’m so tired of her whining.

Thanks for the great interview Michael! I Love HT and Taylor, glad she is getting more screen time!

The show does have some boring characters on it now. Marcus and Dayzee and Amber can all go away and no one would be the wiser. Boring is an understatement. Hope should have remained virginal and soft-spoken. Why mess up a good thing? The writiers need to get on the ball with this show before it slip down a volcano. Bill and Brooke should have never kissed. They should have made him a villian but one that loved his wife with all of his heart. Brooke is not all that. Get her a man from some other planet and leave Katie alone.

taylor needs to go. if she hooks up with Eric i will quit watch the show.

I’m not being disrespectfull to Hunter Tylo but I don’t think she is a good actress .
Katherine Kelly Lang is a underated actress her story lines are horrible in spite of that her talent shines. I think she has such natural beauty very beautiful women. I’d like to see her with Eric and keep the story line genuine. I think the show would be better without

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Star Blake Berris Chats On the Everett Lynch/Bobby Stein Mystery, Working with His New Co-Stars, and the Last Christmas Episode with Bill Hayes

On Days of our Lives, the return of Blake Berris is making for some very intriguing drama, with the audience guessing just which way the story will go.

When Berris arrived back on Days of our Lives, after previously playing Nick Fallon, he was taking on the new role of Everett Lynch, who has a past with Stephanie Johnson (Abigail Klein) and Jada Hunter (Elia Cantu). Only, as it has been revealed, the past he had with Jada was under the name “Bobby Stein,” who from what we can tell was far from a nice guy.

Blake visited the Michael Fairman Channel for a livestream interview this week, where fans in the live chat were weighing-on what could be the truth about the guy – is he a split personality suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder? Did the accident that cost him a year of his life in a coma, never happen? Recently, someone set fire to the beloved Horton house. Fans are suspecting it would have been “Bobby” who is working for Clyde Weston (James Read). Others believe that Everett/Bobby could actually be Clyde’s son. With upcoming therapy sessions with Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) about to start, things are about to get more juicy in Salem.

Photo: JPI

Here are just a few excerpts from our conversation with Blake on a myriad of Everett/Bobby subjects. Make sure to check out the full interview for more.

Did you know that they were going to make Everett Lynch a Jewish character? This is only the second time in the history of the show that they have even had a Jewish character on the canvas. Didn’t they reveal this at the Horton family Christmas episode?

BLAKE: No, they never asked me. I am half-Jewish on my dad’s side. There was never like, ‘You’re Jewish, right? We can call you Jewish on the show?’ At the Horton Christmas, “They made a real point of it, yeah.”

And now the new ‘character’ is “Bobby Stein” …

BLAKE: “Right, and that suggests more Jewish, and then Lynch must be coming from somewhere else, maybe the mother. I was so curious because I think the show has been historically, I’m gonna say, Catholic more than like Wasps. With the Bradys there’s this sort of Irish influence, and then the DiMeras, that’s Italian. So, we’ve got Catholics sort of on both sides that are dominant. Now I, “represent”.

Photo: JPI

What has it been like working with Abigail Klein?

BLAKE: I think she is extraordinary. We start off sort of frosty, or she’s frosty with me, like she doesn’t want to let me in. And then, for a while things are going really well. I just could not adore Abigail more. She’s such a good actor. I could always rely on her to bring me back into a scene and be there in this emotionally, supportive way.

Photo: JPI

Everett and Chad seemed to be becoming friend-ish, when all went awry when at the PCPD interrogation room, Everett let him know about Elia and Bobby Stein, and Chad let him have it for worming his way back in to Stephanie’s life.

BLAKE: Billy would call us the ‘disgusting brothers’ and that’s a reference from Succession, because all of a sudden they’re just so chummy with each other. It’s like all of a sudden we just had this like ‘Bernstein and Woodward’, sort of dynamic duo. I think that Everett really started to think of Chad as a friend and feels sort of disappointed, and he feels, “Oh, it’s that easy? I just needed to have some other identity and now you’re a fair-weather friend?”‘

Photo: JPI

In recent scenes, Jada sees Bobby Stein for the first time, and we see you and Elia Cantu share scenes with each other for the first time. What is it like working with Elia?

BLAKE: She’s fire, man. She comes in hot and she tells you the way it’s going to be. I think early on, we were trying to suss each other out and the more we worked together, the more comfortable you get with somebody. I think actors do this sometimes with each other; if there’s spice on screen, you like to keep some of what you have on-screen in your (real-life) interactions because it helps … it helps the work.  Eventually, we just sort of wore each other down and we’re like, ‘I actually totally get you, and you’re great.'”

Did you know that they were going to make Everett Lynch a Jewish character? This is only the second time in the history of the show that they have even had a Jewish character and didn’t they reveal this at the Horton family Christmas episode?

BLAKE: No, they never asked me. I am half-Jewish on my dad’s side. There was never like, ‘You’re Jewish, right? We can call you Jewish on the show?’ At the Horton Christmas, “They made a real point of it, yeah.”

And now the new ‘character’ is “Bobby Stein” …

BLAKE: “Right, and that suggests more Jewish, and then Lynch must be coming from somewhere else, maybe the mother. I was so curious because I think the show has been historically, I’m gonna say, Catholic more than like Wasps. With the Bradys there’s this sort of Irish influence, and then the DiMeras, that’s Italian. So we’ve got Catholics sort of on both sides that are dominant. Now I, “represent”.

Photo: JPI

You were on set and in the annual Horton Christmas episode which sadly marked the last for Days of our Lives legendary Bill Hayes, who passed away in January of this year.  What do you recall of that tape day?

BLAKE: It was the Christmas episode when we were watching Susan (Julie) and Bill, say ‘Merry Christmas.’  And there was something about it that just felt like it could be the last time. I mean, it wrecked us all on set. Bill gets so choked up and there was something really profound about the moment. They kiss each other as they have so many times before on the show. It was just beautiful. It felt beautiful to be there for that last Christmas. He’s just such an icon. Every time I’d see him, he was so with it … he knew my name, he knew his lines. What an incredible, incredible man.

Photo: JPI

Fans will get to see Everett in therapy sessions with Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall)? Would you say she is helping the guy?

BLAKE: Deidre’s always making jokes about Marlena, ‘She’s the worst therapist in the world’ (Laughs) I remember in the first therapy session, we almost couldn’t get through the scenes because it’s just so clear that Everett has a litany of very profound psychological issues that he is going to have to work through. He’ll keep coming back. This guy’s gonna pay the bills!

Photo: JPI

Viewers are waiting to see how they mystery of Everett Lynch/Bobby Stein plays out. What can you say as a tease for what’s to come?

BLAKE: As far as a tease, I would say, you have all these characters sort of, trying to wake up the ‘sleeping giant’ in a way. I think it’s safe to say that like if you poke a bear, the bear might wake up.

Watch the livestream chat with Blake in full below.

Now let us know, what do you think is going with Everett/Bobby? What has happened to him in his past? Share your theories in the comment section below, and make sure to catch Days of our Lives next week on Peacock for more to his story.

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Y&R’s Melody Thomas Scott Talks on 45 Years as Nikki Newman, the Keys to Playing Drunk, And Those Genoa City Relationships

February is ‘Nikki Newman Month’ in soapland as the The Young and the Restless iconic Melody Thomas Scott celebrates her 45th anniversary in her leading role.

My how time flies! Nikki has had numerous marriages, and some to the same man, battled her addiction to alcohol too many times to count (and we loved it all), and faced so much heartache in the process.

Currently, on all-new episodes of the top-rated CBS daytime drama series, Nikki can’t quite get a grip as Jordan (Colleen Zenk) is out there and in the middle of her next master plot to make Nikki suffer, all the while Nikki is drinking again. Thanks to the heinous plot concocted by Jordan and Claire (Hayley Erin) that revealed itself last November.

Photo: JPI

In a special conversation for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Melody shared her thoughts on a myriad of subjects including: her current story, those long tape days at Victor and Nikki’s weddings, why she plays drunk better than anyone on television, plus we take a mini-deep dive into Nikki’s past.

Y&R fans were stunned when the powers-that-be had Nikki kidnapped and then hooked her up to an IV of booze. Just how much did Melody know of the story going in? She elaborated, “I knew Nikki would be terrorized. That’s all that I knew. I thought that sounded like great fun. I didn’t know for a little bit that she was going to fall off the wagon in the process of it. And then when I heard how it would happen, I was thrilled to bits. I did kind of want to have a little leader (or crawl) down at the bottom of the screen saying, ‘Hey, people don’t put an IV with vodka in your arm because that will kill you.’ But, poetic license, I suppose.”

Photo: JPI

Melody also weighed-in on if she thinks Nikki will stop drinking anytime soon, expressing, “She just can’t get out of this. Then of course, Jordan’s not letting her out very easily. Just when Nikki thinks she is mentally strong enough to never take another drink, well, of course she does, because something else happens. I think it’s also a learning point for people who are watching the show who may have an addiction problem. Now, I could be wrong, but I think it’d be highly unusual for somebody to be just mentally strong to be able to stop.”

If you wondered if Melody enjoys playing a drunk Nikki, look no more, “I do. That’s simply for selfish reasons,” she shared. “That’s for my enjoyment. I take great pleasure in it. It’s fun for me, and just the process of pretending to be drunk. I love the end result. I try not to do too much because there’s nothing worse when an actor is overplaying drunk. So you have to kind of keep it a little bit underneath (the surface). However, sometimes because of Jordan, Nikki does get much sloppier than I normally would play it.”

Photo: JPI

In recent episodes, it seems that Jack (Peter Bergman) and Nikki are gravitating more to each other, as both are drawn together through their shared experiences with addiction. Victor (Eric Braeden) is not happy that his arch-nemesis is helping Nikki try to stay sober. Could Melody see Jack and Nikki becoming romantic again? “I love Peter. I mean, Peter was my second favorite husband on Y&R. It would be wonderful, but I don’t know if the fans would go for that,” she explained. “They’re so invested in Niktor that I think they would really be upset about that unless Victor did something really crummy, then I could buy that.”

Photo: JPI

One of the more ‘out there’ stories during Melody’s 45-year run, was when Nikki was paired with Crazy Edward, and he took her home to meet his mother … who was in an urn! You would think maybe Melody didn’t like the story .. but think again! “Bill Bell (co-creator, Y&R) was writing the show in those days, and Bill kept that information pretty tight. I don’t remember us knowing even a week in advance. Maybe, we would get our scripts, three or four days in advance and that was it. You knew nothing about future story, but I loved the story,” she raved. “It was almost Hitchcockian, shall we say. The actor who played Crazy Edward, Paul Tulley was so magnificent and such a sweetheart. We loved working with each other so much, but man, when that red light came on the camera, he scared the you-know-what out of me. He was absolutely terrifying. But then, the minute the scene was over, we’re fooling around and laughing and everything. He was so good. So good!”

Photo: JPI

According to Melody, the pairing of Victor and Nikki was not something she, nor Eric Braeden, initially thought would made sense: “I was a little terrified when I heard that he and I would be doing scenes. I thought, ‘What, what?’ He also wondered, ‘What am I going to be doing working with that young kid, that snotty kid?’ We had no idea what Bill Bell saw. He had a vision with us and somehow knew that we would have chemistry. It didn’t take Bill long to show us in the scripts why he put us together. Then, we started to see it. Although, it was hard to imagine at first, certainly we knew it worked by the time Nikki had baby number one during the ‘Who’s the father?’ storyline. Nikki and Victor weren’t even married yet. So, we did figure it out pretty early on.”

Photo: JPI

From her early years as Nikki Reed, Melody reflected back on some major story points in her character’s history, relating, “I actually did like her in the very beginning when she was just a little brat living with her sister and her father, who of course ended up trying to rape her…  and she had hit him over the head with a lamp … and he died. I did not care for the stripping storyline at all. Only because I knew that I didn’t have the natural dancing ability. I wasn’t fluid enough to really look good up there stripping. I know they hired wonderful choreographers and everything for me, but I just didn’t feel worthy of being up there … I guess is what it was. Of course, now I look back on it and I think, ‘Oh, I guess it wasn’t too bad.’ Later, there was a strip she did in the Colonnade Room. At the time, she was married to Jack. Victor’s sitting there with some other woman and she’s drunk. I saw that scene recently, and I thought it was great. I didn’t at the time, but looking back, I thought, ‘Wow, that was good.'”

Photo: CBS

Watch the full 45th anniversary conversation with Melody below.

Now let us know, are you enjoying Nikki being back on the bottle? Would you want to see Jack and Nikki try their relationship one more time? What has been your favorite storyline of Melody’s over the last 45 years on Y&R.  Let us know in the comment section.


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Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks on the Horton House Fire Storyline, Mourning the Loss of Husband Bill Hayes & His Near-to-Final Performances

It has been an emotional time for longtime fans of Days of our Lives and beloved veteran, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams). On-screen, the iconic Horton home was burned to the ground in what appears to be a storyline-dictated decision that shocked many. In real life, Susan is mourning the loss of her husband and DAYS enduring favorite, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams), who passed away at 98 in January. Over the weekend, during the 2024 SAG Awards In Memoriam tribute, Hayes was remembered along with other motion pictures and television stars whom we lost over the past year.

Since the Peacock streaming soap opera tapes months ahead of air, the Horton home fire and its aftermath are currently playing out in all-new episodes with more on this story featuring Susan to come. Bill Hayes also appeared in several of these episodes making it all the more touching and heartfelt.

When Julie came back to the Horton home to see what remained of it after the fire, Days of our Lives fans were treated to a heart-tugging episode that streamed last Wednesday, February 21st. In it, newly-taped scenes of a young Tom (Zach Chyz) and Alice (Sydney Kathrann Smith) Horton telling the story of how they came to live in the house to raise their children, juxtaposed with Julie and Doug (and members of their family and friends), surveying what’s left of the beloved house, brought many a tear.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Susan Seaforth Hayes for this very candid and heartfelt conversation to get her feelings on the Horton house fire, and being given the opportunity to have a storyline at this point in her storied career. In addition, Susan provides some insight on what it was like for her ailing late husband to tape scenes at DAYS shortly before his death, what the series plans to do about writing off the character of Doug while honoring the legacy of Bill Hayes, and how she knew she had the greatest love affair that anyone could hope for in their lifetime, which in turn, has inspired all of us.

Photo: JPI

I was shocked when they decided to burn down the Horton house. Were you at first devastated … and did you know that there would be a big story surrounding it?

SUSAN: I did not know how big a story was with it. I knew that many years ago, another regime had planned on trashing the set and getting rid of the set because nobody cared about the Hortons anymore. It was stopped by one person, and I was eternally grateful for that. This time I thought, “Oh, my goodness! I guess I’ll be meeting people for a cup of coffee at the Horton Square. No home, no roots, no reason to be called in,” and thinking that’s the end of Julie. That’s the end of Doug and Julie. Then, when they began to structure a story around it, I think all of this came up during the writer’s strike. So of course, I was curious to see how this was going to turn out. I enjoyed the aftermath, because in the aftermath, and a little bit before the fire, if you saw the show, I get to talk a bit about the history of the household and the people in it.

Photo: JPI

In the special episode that aired last Wednesday, Julie gave Leo (Greg Rikaart) the family tree history of the Hortons for his story in the Spectactor.

SUSAN:  I’ve had a couple of good long soliloquies about the past. I’m fated to be the character that does that because I’m the one still standing. I must say, I do enjoy doing them. Emotionally, all I have to do is rerun some of the actors and my own family in my mind and the emotion starts to come, you know, the emotion starts to flow.

Julie talks to Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) immediately after the fire. She is upset that the Horton family Christmas ornaments are gone. Fans were not happy that they could possibly have burned up. Thank God! There was a happy ending when they were located and unscathed, or there would have been hell to pay! 

SUSAN: I knew that they were in the prop room and that they still existed. But how much they were going to put a story around their loss, I did not know. We don’t get to ponder the plot. We just get to show up and start doing it. I think on this particular matter, something as important as a structure of the original set of the show, there’s been quite a bit of interest. So, I can appreciate that.

Photo: JPI

I was thinking, ‘Did they decide to burn the house down, because they were finally retiring the old Horton home set?’ What was the purpose of it?

SUSAN: They’ve done everything to make quicker set changes, which is remarkable and very efficient right now. The set designer said, “I’ll be interested in your input,” which was nice. The one thing that I loved that had been done, didn’t work. You couldn’t shoot into it. It was a federal mirror over the mantle. I loved it. The size was perfect. I was just delighted. And then, we tried to shoot it, and because of the roundness of the mirror, you got a perfect view of camera one and camera three. So, it came down.

This is Julie’s project to renovate the home. She’s determined to bring back all the memories and redo it?

SUSAN: Absolutely, which is another nice note to play for my character. She’s determined to make the house something that her grandparents would recognize and still feel comfortable in.

Photo: JPI

What did you think of the episode that just aired where the show incorporated flashbacks of a young Tom and Alice Horton?

SUSAN: Well, I set it up. They had their own their own lovely scenes. I read them, and I’m sure the audience was charmed.

What do you remember when you first came to DAYS, and you were in that house, in that set?

SUSAN: What did I notice about the set? I noticed that it was a strange shade of green. (Laughs) It was explained to me that that dull color meant that your face would pop on color TV. I understood that. I loved the little window up the staircase. I’ve always loved that. And at one time, there was a model of the house that sat on the set on its own little pedestal, a little playhouse of the exterior of the house. Whenever the house was on (and remember this is when we were a half-hour and practically live, but not live, because there was no editing), there would also be the sound of a barking dog whenever we reached the Horton house neighborhood. We never saw the dog, but I’m sure his name was “Spot”, and I’m sure he belonged to someone.

PhotoL JPI

You shared so many scenes with Frances Reid (Alice) and MacDonald Carey (Tom) in the Horton living room set and up till they passed. Did they get along well with Bill? Looking back, how was your relationship with them?

SUSAN: They loved him. Well, Mac and Billy had worked together before in theater. Mac was very kind to me at the beginning and helpful. Frances was as well. As Frances got older, she got a bit testy. When someone says, “You’re not going to read the line like that … are you?” It catches your attention. (Laughs). I got peeved at Frances from time to time, but her intent was always to make everything as good as it possibly could be. I saw her come back from her stroke. learn to talk again, learn to do it all again. Not do it easily, but to do it at all was wonderful, and the same with Mac. In his last shows, he was very frail, but we’re actors. We liked being there.

Photo: JPI

During the taping of the episodes surrounding the Horton house fire, Bill was mostly in them with you. How was Bill doing at the time you taped these scenes?

SUSAN: He was okay. He was up for it. He had difficulty moving at that point. So, they restricted his movement a lot. Bill always enjoyed coming to work a lot, and it was extremely difficult for him because he was blind, and didn’t move very well. And now, to do a scene with people who may or may not, have rehearsed with you, who may or may not, give you the exact cue, and when they are attempting to have you look each other in the eye, you can’t see who’s eyes they are, that was the hard part. The easy part was working with him, which was lovely and was a gift. It was a gift from Corday Productions that he was able to work within three weeks of his death, which I thought was super and extraordinary.

Photo: JPI

That is amazing. Did Bill understand everything that was going on at the time of the tapings?

SUSAN: Absolutely. He understood what was going on. He just couldn’t see it or touch it.

The timing couldn’t have been easy for you with Bill’s declining health, and that the show was going to burn down the Horton home where you shared so many scenes and memories.

SUSAN: Well, it hasn’t been my greatest stretch. But I knew that life would be like this. I’ve had five decades of an absolutely wonderful, blessed marriage and a chance to work and a chance to live in my own home and travel, all good. And now, we’re going to have the epilogue. And the epilogue is the hard part, seeing rapid change around you and losing the people that were the center of your life. I’ve just been very fortunate to have cultivated some wonderful friendships, and to have a wonderful large family of Hayeses.

Photo: JPI

You do realize that you and Bill were the gold-standard of what we all should be lucky enough to have in our lives. What an incredible, beautiful, passionate, loving marriage that the two of you had. You don’t see marriages like that anymore. We were all just in awe of the two of you. To us, it was the greatest love affair. You got to have that which is so extraordinary.

SUSAN: I know, and it was all Bill. I mean, any idiot could have been married to Bill Hayes and been deliriously happy. The guy was so perfect in every way that you really would have to pick something and blow it out of proportion to ever complain about any of his traits of character. He was just all good character, goodwill, and good humor. I just followed along and tried to live my life for him, with him, and follow his style, which I hope to carry on. I hope to be as good to people as he was to people, and, not be selfish.

Photo: JPI

I always remembered how the two of you would come to the studio with your suitcases, ready to work no matter what material, large or small, they gave you. You showed up. You just had such great work ethic and you don’t see that as much anymore.

SUSAN: At the moment, it’s hard to find it everywhere. I think it’s probably generational. You cannot get too angry at people that are still holding up their phones in the one rehearsal that we have. I think it’s more convenient to receive your work electronically, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite as real. You don’t have a script in your hand anymore unless you print one up yourself.  Sometimes you haven’t met the person you’re working with. Well, that’s not unusual, but no rehearsal at all, that’s kind of marvelously new.

Photo: JPI

Does Julie lean on anybody for emotional support as she tries to rebuild the Horton home. Who’s there for her?

SUSAN: As far as I can tell, nobody. I’m supposed to be the wise woman, and Marlena (Deidre Hall) is supposed to be the other wise woman. I haven’t had any scenes with Marlena for help. I would think Marlena would be the person I would be going to for grief counseling, for friendship, for all of that. I haven’t seen it in the scripts, yet. I’m still deeply entwined with Chad’s (Billy Flynn) storyline.

How is Billy Flynn to work with?

SUSAN: A pleasure. Billy Flynn has grown a lot as a human being and as an actor since I’ve known him. I’m really enjoying his company and really enjoying doing scenes with him. We rehearse and then we get on other subjects and laugh and talk and inform each other. We’re interested in a lot of the same things. He’s a new parent. He’s really devoting himself to that, to that experience in the best possible way. So, I’m lucky.

Do Julie and Chad try to figure out who set the fire?

SUSAN: Oh yeah.

Photo: JPI

I kept thinking about how Julie got burned in the kitchen fire years ago and her face was scarred, At the time, your mother Elizabeth Harrower was writing DAYS and wrote that for Julie. Did you hate that story?

SUSAN: Well, I know where the story came from. It came up from something in mother’s own life. I knew the people involved, and I wasn’t crazy in love with the idea. Then, when it was supposed to go for six weeks and went on for months and months, I was concerned. Mainly, I was concerned that my face was going to be affected because of the appliance, the scars, that I was wearing. I was told by a dermatologist, “You’re going to have a little beard after this. Ripping your face every single day to get this off is going to be hard on you.” But, I seem to have survived.

Has the show even addressed with you how they plan to handle writing-off the character of Doug Williams, and how they want to honor Bill?

SUSAN: Only in the smallest way. I had a conference call with the producers and our head writer last Friday. I was informed about the immediate, immediate future. I’ve also been promised that they’re going to keep me busy. It’s a cast of over 40 people. I’ll be happy to show up and to be included.

Photo: JPI

I was just hoping that whatever they decide to do with the character of Doug that they were going to run it by you, first.

SUSAN: They have, and they have been very sweet about it.  I’ve got to tell you, this regime, they have a sign up on the wall now, that says, Things we expect on this stage.”  The first one at the top of the list is “kindness.”

Have you watched your work back all these years? I know some actor’s never like to watch the scenes they taped.

SUSAN: I think you learn by watching yourself, if you have an open mind, and if you are not hypercritical, or dismissive. I cannot be dismissive of a character that has given me such a wonderful life. I’m still interested in Julie, perhaps I wouldn’t have been if I’d been on the show for three years and never returned to it. But I’m quite interested in her now, and what she has to offer as a member of this ensemble.

Photo: JPI

Julie’s ties to the whole history of Days of our Lives from this point on are very important. How do you feel about that?

SUSAN:  There are those that don’t care about the history of the show. I know that. I know there are those that only care about continuing with something snappy to keep eyes on the screen through action, adventure, drama, death, kidnapping, missed opportunities, all that, which I suppose that’s what the audience craves. But, that’s not just what the show can do. What the show can do so well is character. There’s a lot of people over 70 who are still on the show now. I’m the oldest one, but I’m not the only one. We’re coming up on the 60th anniversary. I don’t think the show is worn out. And if it is, it’s had a remarkably successful six decades.

Lamon Archey (Eli) is back on DAYS for a stint. What has it been like to work with Lamon as his on-screen grandmother?

SUSAN: I think he’s terrific and visually he is so beautiful, so appealing. I think both Eli and Lani (Sal Stowers) are very appealing as characters. I’m delighted to be connected to Eli as a family member. That was a lucky break for me.

Photo: JPI

Do you think DAYS fans are going to continue to be emotional in the aftermath of this fire and all the story that comes out of it? Do you think we’ll be touched by what Julie goes through to get the remains all cleaned up for a new house?

SUSAN: I think anybody in America who’s gone through a disaster, and have unfortunately had the disruption of their home, will be sympathetic and interested in how it all turns out. It’s a nice note to play. We haven’t had to do that very often. We just go from one lovely apartment to another without much discussion. I think this is the one set that meant a lot to people. I was very sorry to lose “Julie’s Place,” as it turned into kind of a sandwich shop. I still loved having a business, a tangible place to be, and an alternate place for people to meet.

Photo: NBC

Upon reflection, what was your favorite scene with Bill? Was it when Julie and Doug got married on-screen, or was it something else that was much more intimate?

SUSAN: I think our last scene is going to be more important, emotionally. I think the first wedding was beautiful, but the material around the time of our second wedding, when Brenda Benet (ex-Lee) came back on the show and Doug stood up to her and says, “I’m not going to be manipulated anymore,” was also strong. There has been a lot of very important times – when Doug was killed-off by James Reilly, and we met in the tunnel of light. That was a day. That was a difficult day, which I certainly can’t revisit right now emotionally. When Julie found out Doug had run off and married her mother, Addie, that was a day. It was a day because, I went to the producer at the time, Jack Herzberg, and said, “Is this it? Am I not going to work with him anymore?”And he said, “Right! That’s it. You’re not working with Bill Hayes anymore.” We were not married at the time, and I thought I was going to go through the floor! That wasn’t a happy day.

Photo: JPI

In terms of Bill’s final day on the set with you, did you know that it was his last, and what would turn out to be his last scene?

SUSAN: Well, they didn’t know. But I knew. I had been allowed to rewrite it. So, I can’t tell you Bill’s last line now, of course, but I will in time.

What do you think about the sentiments shared by Susan on her late husband, and this storyline? How do hope the show properly honors Bill and Doug Williams when the series writes-off the character? Are you enjoying the Horton house fire story arc or does it upset you too much? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Airdate: 7-24- 2023