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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!

MICHAEL:

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? 

HUNTER:

Courtesy/CBS

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!

MICHAEL:

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?

HUNTER:

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

MICHAEL:

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?

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

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?

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

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

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

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)

HUNTER:

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!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

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?

HUNTER:

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!

MICHAEL:

So Taylor wants Bill and Katie to stay together?

HUNTER:

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)

MICHAEL:

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!

HUNTER:

Courtesy/CBS

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.

MICHAEL:

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

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

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?

HUNTER:

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)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

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)

HUNTER:

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)

MICHAEL:

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

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

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?

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

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

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

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

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

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

HUNTER:

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!

MICHAEL:

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

HUNTER:

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. 

MICHAEL:

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

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

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

HUNTER:

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)

Courtesy/Amazon.com

MICHAEL:

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.

HUNTER:

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.

MICHAEL:

Did you make a New Years Resolution for 2013?

HUNTER:

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. 

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

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

HUNTER:

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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gilda
gilda

Great article, I have always followed her work.

Jean Lockyer
Jean Lockyer

What work?!!!

gilda
gilda

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

Claudine Squares
Claudine Squares

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.

P
P

Love Hunter and her portrayal of Taylor!

B&B Fan
B&B Fan

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.

Margot
Margot

I certainly agree with you B&B Fan.

dannielle
dannielle

i agree terrible mistake

TayFan4Life
TayFan4Life

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.

Jean Lockyer
Jean Lockyer

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

Tay Fan 101
Tay Fan 101

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

B&B Fan
B&B Fan

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.

Tay Fan 101
Tay Fan 101

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.

Right
Right

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.

kelly-ann jones
kelly-ann jones

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

Gillian
Gillian

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.

David
David

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!

linda
linda

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

barbara
barbara

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

Pam
Pam

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.

k/kay
k/kay

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.

k/kay
k/kay

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!

CC
CC

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.

k/kay
k/kay

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.

Tay Fan 101
Tay Fan 101

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!

Robin
Robin

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.

Deb
Deb

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!

Dawn L. Hayes-Stewart
Dawn L. Hayes-Stewart

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!

Cathy
Cathy

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.

Tay Fan 101
Tay Fan 101

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.

Dolphinrocks
Dolphinrocks

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….

oldsoapfan1969
oldsoapfan1969

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.

Shari
Shari

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.

Tayfan4ever
Tayfan4ever

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.

Wanda
Wanda

I am for Brooke all the way!!

mmb
mmb

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 😉

Crispy829
Crispy829

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.

Desi
Desi

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”

TeamTaylor
TeamTaylor

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.

Taylor_Fan
Taylor_Fan

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!!!

Danielle
Danielle

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.

HunterFan
HunterFan

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.

Gale
Gale

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.

Skyla
Skyla

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.

WasATayfan
WasATayfan

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…

HunterRocks
HunterRocks

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!!!!

Right
Right

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

Misha
Misha

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

JJ Phoenix
JJ Phoenix

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

Sandy
Sandy

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

Jake
Jake

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

daring sally
daring sally

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.

Jean
Jean

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

Brandy
Brandy

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

Interviews

Y&R’s Gina Tognoni Opens Up About Billy’s Bombshell With Summer & What’s Next For Phyllis

Talk about walking in at the wrong moment and getting an earful!  That’s exactly what happened to The Young and the Restless’ Phyllis on Wednesday’s episode.  Taking the moment to level his revenge and payback for Phyllis’ romp with Nick (Joshua Morrow), her beau Billy (Jason Thompson) tells Phyllis that he slept with her daughter, Summer (Hunter King), right as Summer is standing there!   With that moment now out in the open, and Billy’s intention behind it, look for fireworks to fly!

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Daytime Emmy-winning gem, Gina Tognoni, who brings the complex Phyllis to life on the CBS daytime drama series, to get her take on how Phyllis handles this shocker, and the ramifications it poses to her, and the key relationships in her life.

As to what happens in the near future, looks like Phyllis is not going to do too well with what has just come to light, and that may set her on a whole new trajectory!  But will it be to Jack (Peter Bergman), to Nick (Joshua Morrow), or to someone else?  And, oh, there is that little item of her part in the death of J.T. Hellstrom.  Will that ultimately prove to be her downfall?  Here’s what Gina dished on the latest developments from GC.

When Phyllis gets the bombshell dropped upon her that Billy had sex with Summer, in that immediate moment what does this mean for Phyllis’ relationship with her daughter?

GINA:  Phyllis never saw this coming.  She is gutted and disgusted with her daughter in the moment, and in disbelief that her daughter would turn on her like this.

What about Billy saying to Phyllis and Summer that he had revenge sex with Summer to get back at Phyllis for sleeping with Nick?  Is she disgusted with him?

GINA:  I mean, she is speechless with him.  She’s speechless that he would stoop so low.  In her mind, this is a different offense.  Her sleeping with Nick is something that can’t be put in the same ballpark as Billy sleeping with her daughter.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think Phyllis knew in her gut that Billy would sleep with Summer; after the truth about her tryst with Nick came out at Sharon and Nick’s wedding?

GINA:  I think she was consumed with her own guilt and her own loss of control that it was not in the forefront of her mind.  So, when he plops that on her, that’s what leaves her to be absolutely speechless.  Whether you call it karma, or whatever, she got knocked with some of that, and she doesn’t know what else to say.  She’s devastated by both of these people.  In Phyllis’ mind she had moved on and was trying to make things right, but Billy sleeping with her daughter just crosses a boundary.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I actually thought Phyllis knew in her gut that Billy would go to Summer, after the Shick wedding busted wide open, as she drank out those tiny liquor bottles!

GINA:  She was drinking the bottles, and it was all out, and her life was beginning to unravel, which caused her to want to numb the pain, because it was getting so intense.  It came out at the wedding that she slept with Nick, but what she was upset about was how Billy and she had now imploded, and their relationship has been forever changed.  That’s what that drinking was about.  They had overcome so much.  Here they were trusting each other, she was supporting him, brought him out of his gambling addiction, and she ‘drowns’ herself, and then we come to today. She walks in, and he just unloads it, and says, “I slept with Summer.”   From that moment on, we start to see that she has a break, and the break is in her personality.  Not that she’s a multiple personality, but it’s literally so painful for her that it changes something within her, and we’ll see something within the next two to three weeks on-air of what that means.  Phyllis gets really drastic, which has been fun to play.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Does she think at all, that this is her fault, because she did sleep with Nick?

GINA:  Oh, yes.  She’s so confused and so overwhelmed by how screwed up it’s gotten that she is in survival mode.  We’ve seen Phyllis go in and out of that during the almost five years that I have played her. This is good stuff to play, and the writing is much more detailed than I have ever seen it.  When you see the scenes that are airing the rest of this week, they were done in one take.  Jason Thompson’s performance is so good, and Hunter King is really wrapping her arms around this role in such a cool way, that I just think the viewers are going to feel something.  Phyllis is just wrecked.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

One of the great scenes that you’ve had this year was when Phyllis realized that Summer is going after her man and she confronts her.  Phyllis slapped her own daughter and then went on the offense to keep her daughter from meeting up with Billy.  Summer did try to seduce Billy, and his gambling addiction wouldn’t have resurfaced at this time in his life, if it weren’t for her.

GINA:  Yes. Summer did push it.   I think in life, people disappoint us in such a profound way.  People are human.  We will be disappointed.   You pray to God that it’s not to certain levels, but it happens.  At the end of the day this is still her daughter, and it’s that bond that you have forever, and you love them, and you have to find a way to forgive because it’s natural: that love in your heart for your child.  That’s all I can say about this story, because it’s bizarre. (Laughs)  It sounds so funny, “My daughter slept with my boyfriend.” (Laughs)  You know what I mean?  However, when you really think about it, Summer broke her mother’s heart.

Even though Summer was a big contributor to the combustion of Billy and Phyllis’ relationship, Phyllis wants what’s best for her?

GINA: That’s the way Mal Young (EP and head writer, Y&R) is writing it.  I think that’s the most human way to do it.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t be angry, or that you have to be trusting in a situation like this.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What does this mean for any future for the duo known as “Philly”?

GINA:  I was just saying to Jason Thompson: “I don’t feel like we’ve really worked together or hung out, because we’ve broken up on this show, so I never see you,” and he said, “I know! It’s so bizarre,” and it really is, because you get into such a rhythm with somebody.  You develop this shorthand where you understand each other’s rhythms.  Now, I’m getting to work with different groups of people.  Phyllis and Billy have such a very good dynamic.  It works.  So, to mess with something that’s not broken, (I mean, obviously it’s broken in Genoa City) it’s a bummer.  The good news is, maybe we’ll find our way back to one another.  She loved Billy very much.  That’s very much her soulmate.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Where does Phyllis see Jack in all of this?  At times, in scenes, it looks like maybe she could rekindle her relationship with Jack.

GINA:  Here’s the thing … Jack represented wisdom to her.  Jack is the type of man that no woman should ever walk away from.   Phyllis screwed that up.  She also screwed up her relationship with Billy, but I actually think that Billy had a lot to do with that too.  They both have demons.  Billy and Jack are two great men that she has failed at.  How does she live with that much failure?  How does she see herself?  What does she do?  She can’t make Billy come back, and she can’t be forced to love him.  They’re both so hurt by all of this.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Joshua Morrow was on my podcast Soap Nation Live recently, and we were talking about the hotness that is Phyllis, and how there’s this constant sexual tension between Nick and Phyllis, and how they play videogames as their foreplay, before they have sex.  (Laughs) Where is that relationship at now?

GINA:  Yes, there is that foreplay with the video games. (Laughs)  Gina and Joshua have never really explored the dynamic of Phyllis and Nick.  It was Michelle Stafford (Ex-Phyllis, Y&R, now Nina, GH) and Joshua who played that.   Now we are getting a chance to get Gina and Joshua’s take on it.  Joshua is very present when you work with hum, and that’s a very powerful thing.   So, we’ll see what happens with those two, but right now it seems to be a very physical thing between them.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Then, there are the ramifications of Phyllis’ part in J.T.’s death and the four women in collusion to hide what happened to him. What is it like for Phyllis having to work with Sharon on this, when Phyllis was the cause of Sharon’s wedding to Nick to blow up?

GINA:  Well, she’s compartmentalizing.  She’s got the J.T. thing that she wants to control as much as she can, and she’s got to also be successful in her business career.  She’s proving something to herself, and she’s proving something as a woman.  Phyllis wants to be taken seriously, but she’s got this conflict that’s telling her that she’s a fraud.  She’s got this murder cover-up that she’s involved with.  Again, like in life, you try to go forward, but everyone has demons and things inside them that take them off their game.

Is there any part of her that thinks she could wind up in prison for this crime?

GINA: Yeah!  Her whole life could just blow up to a whole other level! That’s how I see it!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I know throughout your soap opera career; the writers and producers have loaded you up with heavy material, because you are an accomplished actress who can always deliver.  But, how do you feel now getting all of this material and trying to work through it?

GINA:  I’m getting to a place just now where I’m going, “Okay.  We’ve got this.”   For the last month and a half to two months, it’s been a lot.   Now, I’m starting to find my center and balance.  At first, it was a lot to digest.  I even felt emotional not working with Jason, and not working with Peter Bergman.  There is that attachment, were you go as an actor: “That was ours.  We built that, man!”  Then it moves on and it takes its shape, and you have to remind yourself that’s your job: that you are the chameleon.  You have to come in and sell it, and commit emotionally, because that’s your job.  There are certain days that I feel too much, and I have to remember to just breathe.  Day by day is how I take it, but I feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

If you could preview to the audience what they should watch for with Phyllis, what would you tell them? 

GINA:  Watch the subtle differences within Phyllis.  There is even a different look in my eyes.  I’m bringing her to a place, and she’s bringing me to a place that I have never

So, what do you think Phyllis should do now in her relationships with Summer and Billy? Are you glad the truth is out that Billy had sex with Summer? Who should be the new man in Phyllis’ life? What changes do you think will happen to her personality as previewed by Gina in this interview? Comment below.

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Dancing with the Stars Juniors

Adam Rippon Talks Judging Dancing With The Stars: Juniors And Stepping Away From His Olympic Figure Skating Life

If you want to talk about perseverance, facing adversary, keeping your eye on the prize, and at the same time sending a powerful message to the world about the LGBT community through his celebrity, look no further than Adam Rippon.

The bronze medalist at the 2018 Winter Olympics for the U.S. Team in the Team Figure Skating competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea made a comeback at 28-years-old to complete his Olympic career after fracturing his foot in 2017; which left him off the 2017 U.S. National Team.

Outspoken, candid, charming and with that oh-so-wicked humor, Rippon launched into his post-skate career with some lateral moves that made sense:  he won the Dancing with the Stars: Athletes competition taking home the Mirror Ball Trophy he has made numerous TV appearances, including one coming up on Will & Grace, and currently he can be seen as one of the three judges on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, the newest reiteration of ABC’s celebrity dance competition this time featuring; 12 celebrity kids who take on the world of the ballroom.

Michael Fairman TV recently caught up with the talented Rippon to get his take on: how he plans to handle critiquing the kids after their Cha Cha’s and Paso Doble’s, but also how he feels putting his skates aside and moving on to the next phase of his life.  Here’s our chat with Adam.

America and the world has come to know your personality from everything you went through during your journey at the Winter Olympics. That is to say you’re humor, off-the-cuff remarks, and being your authentic self.  What will be your take on how to judge and critique the kids on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors?  How did you end up as one of the picks for the judges table?

ADAM:  It was just the perfect storm.  It was so great, because it happened right after my season of Dancing with the Stars, which happened right after the Olympics.  I think the fun thing is that it’s with kids.  So, sometimes I have to turn down my ‘potty humor’ a little bit, but in the skating world, I’ve worked with kids for a few years teaching.  I think that’s kind of the mentality that I bring.  I’ve always found that you want to talk to them like you’re on their level.  You’re still able to find humor in that.  I think that when you’re able to laugh at yourself, you automatically break down that barrier, and you’re ready to listen, and that’s what I hope to do on the show.

Photo: ABC

Could you see yourself doing the Johnny Weir/Tara Lipinski coverage or commentary on the Olympics during the figure skating competitions?

ADAM:  I think that they do such a great job, and they are such a fun duo.   I hope I can continue to do some different things, because I think that they are so good at what they do.

When you look back on your journey at the Olympics now, what do you think? You made such an impact representing the U.S. the gay community, and skaters who never give up to finally live their Olympic dream.

ADAM:  You know, it’s a little surreal.  On one side of it, I’ve just lived in my own world and had my own experience, and yes, I’ve talked to, and met with some really crazy and incredible people.  I think I really focus more on the journey, and how I got there, and how I get to even just be here now at Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.   I focus on each day and every project that I get, giving one hundred percent, and when I really focus on that really cool and special things come along.

Photo: ABC

A lot of good things have happened.  So, when we watch this season of DWTS: Juniors, will you be giving some snippy remarks, or will you be positive and upbeat, too?

ADAM:  You know what?  I think I’ll be giving some honest remarks.  I want the kids to laugh.  I want everyone at home to enjoy the show, and I want to be honest, because I think when you’re honest, kids improve.

Would you ever go back and try to make the U.S. Olympics figure skating team again?

ADAM:  No.

It was so emotional watching your last journey during the Olympics!  So, you’re done with all of that, right?

ADAM:  I am way done.  I have my medal.  It’s done.  I’m done.  When I was at the Olympics, I knew it was it.  It was a one and done sort of thing.  It’s such an amazing and incredible honor, but there are moments where you’re about to go out there, and you’re standing backstage and you’re like, “I could just completely diarrhea-s**t-my-brains-out right now, why do I do this to myself?” (Laughs) It’s crazy, but when you push yourself to those extremes, really amazing things happen. Within skating, I achieved so many of the dreams and goals that I wanted, that to step away, feels right.  

So, will you be checking out how Adam judges Hudson West and the kids competing in Dancing with the Stars: Juniors?  Have you followed Adam’s personal and professional journey form champion skater to TV personality? Share your comments below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Tamara Braun Talks On: Kim’s Plight With Her Son Oscar, Her Relationships With Julian and Drew & Coming Home To Port Charles

When Tamara Braun stepped back on to the canvas of General Hospital back in November of last year, the one-time and wildly popular Carly Corinthos #2 was now taking on the role of Dr, Kim Nero – a single mom of a teenage son (who is very protective of him), top-notch gynecologist in the medical profession, and a woman with a past with Drew Cain (Billy Miller). It was eventually revealed that Drew is her son Oscar’s (Garren Stitt) biological father.

Now as viewers have seen on recent episodes of the ABC soap opera, Oscar’s life looks like it could very well be cut short after the story shocker that now has the young teen diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor from cancer.  Kim had kept the truth from her son until he confronted her upon learning the news on his own (with an assist from Cameron) and putting two and two together.  This sets the stage for some difficult and heartbreaking moments ahead.

As for Braun, she rose to the top as one of soap operas most critically-acclaimed actresses after having the challenging task of taking over the role of Carly #1 in 2001 from three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Sarah Brown.  Tamara not only met this challenge, but made Carly her own scoring an Emmy nod along the way.  After departing GH in 2005, Tamara returned to daytime in 2008 in the role of Ava Vitali on Days of our Lives, which indeed earned her an Emmy.   Next, she headed to Pine Valley and All My Children to take on the role of Reese Williams, the love interest to Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel), who eventually married from 2008-2009.  Tamara even came back to DAYS for awhile in the role of Taylor in 2011, and later reprised the role of Ava in 2015-2016.  With an impressive resume, GH is lucky to have her back and Braun finally felt the time was right to take on a new role on her first soap home  upon her return in 2017.  Viewers hope that they get to see more of those emotionally raw, honest performances that Braun is known for as more layers of Kim are revealed,

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Tamara to get her take on: the latest storyline involving Kim, Oscar and Drew, where Kim’s relationship with Julian Jerome stands, and how she feels it’s important to shed light on causes of the day needing our help and how we can all ultimately live in a kinder, more thoughtful world.  Here’s what Tamara had to shared below.

In the episodes we saw last week, Kim had no choice but to tell Oscar the truth. What have you thought about this whole story where now Oscar is hating his mother, and upset with her, when she did not come forward with the truth about his medical condition to him, because in her mind she was protecting him?

Courtesy/ABC

TAMARA:  Yes, that was reasoning.  She did all of this to protect him so that he could have a normal teenage life without all of that hanging over his head.  What do I think of it?  I think that it has been hard for me, Tamara, to play.  It has been hard for me to wrap my head around why a physician would not tell her son that he’s ill.  It’s also been hard for me to wrap my head around because the way the writers have made Oscar and Kim’s relationship such a beautiful one that has been seemingly full of honesty and openness, that they can really talk to each other, which is one of the things that I really like.  In terms of the storyline, what it does do is create conflict which is what’s needed in shows.  Things can’t be ‘happy, happy, joy, joy’ all of the time, so it’s created conflict for Oscar and Kim and now Drew, because Kim dragged him into keeping the secret too for a little bit. 

Courtesy/ABC

We just also learned that Kim’s reasoning to come to Port Charles in the first place was indeed because of Oscar.

TAMARA:  Like Kim said, she came because she did an ancestry report, and it turned out that he has relatives in Port Charles.  So, she wanted for them to get the opportunity to know him and him to get the opportunity to get to know them.  I’m sure we will learn something about Kim’s past which would explain why in her mind she felt this was the right thing to do.  We know that it seems like a very controlling thing.  As a mother, take the physician out of it, I still think that Kim would have shared his diagnosis with him, but I don’t think one ever knows what they would do in that situation.  You think you know what you would do, but perhaps she felt that she could control it; she could figure it out.  Perhaps, Kim felt that because she is a physician she’ll find some answer, and she’ll be able to fix it.  These are the questions, and these are the things that as an actor, I have to put in my head because it’s not what I believe I would do.  It’s not even what I believe the character of Kim as I knew her would have done, but it’s what the writers have written.  So, they have to have a reason, and I think that it has got to be more than just to create conflict.  That’s what stories rely on.  It’s soap, and a lot of people on soaps have to do crazy things and find out ways to justify them when they seem out of character.

You’re right.  Kim and Oscar had a very open relationship.  Yes, she was a “controlling mother,” if you want to say that, but they were honest with each other.  Garren Stitt has been very endearing in the role.  What can you say about working with him?

TAMARA:  I just adore Garren. I have adored him from the minute I met him.  I think he’s a lovely, sweet, kind person, and I feel so fortunate to get to play his mom.  I really do.  I think he’s wonderful, and I’m lucky.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Now as to the situation with Drew, Kim truly did not know he was in town when she got to Port Charles, right?

TAMARA:  Correct.

What does she feel towards Drew now, and does this situation ultimately draw them closer together?

TAMARA:  I think it absolutely draws them closer together, because now they have to deal with Oscar.  Because once Kim accepted Drew back into their lives (she thought he was dead long ago), she opened up her arms to him in the capacity of being a father for Oscar.  Kim has had to deal with everything with her child all on her own for fifteen years.  It’s just been the two of them.  So, I think that at some point it has got to be difficult to allow someone else in to help make decisions, and to lean on, and to co-parent with.  I think it was difficult at first, but I think now she is grateful to have him to share it with, even though they may not see things eye-to-eye all of the time.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you foresee Kim and Drew, at any point, growing closer romantically?

TAMARA:  I don’t know.  It’s not looking like that.  It’s looking like a nice friendship and one that is very caring and understanding, but as of now, I don’t see hints of it.  You never know.  As you know, it’s a soap.  Anything could happen.

How has it been working with Billy Miller? He has also done some wonderful work as the devastated father.

TAMARA:  It’s been great.  The last few scenes that we had to do, there have been those special moments you get as an actor where the angels are just with you.  It all just kind of connects and flows together.   I think we’ve been lucky to have gotten a few of those as of late, and that’s been really nice.

Courtesy/ABC

In story, it was revealed that Oscar could enter an experimental trial that could help his tumor and the cancer, is that what Kim wants her son to do?

TAMARA:  Absolutely, because she feels anything that could possibly save his life or give him more time, she wants for him.

I also like that they made Dr. Terry Randolph (Cassandra James), Oscar’s pediatric oncologist.

TAMARA:  Yes.  Cassandra is really lovely to work with, and she’s just a lovely human being as well.  I’m fortunate right now.  I get to work with some lovely people.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Kim’s going to let Julian (Will deVry) know about what she is dealing with?

TAMARA:  Julian does not know.  Oscar doesn’t want anyone to know and especially Julian.  He wants his mom and dad together, so he’s decided not to let Julian know.  I think only for those reasons.  Kim really didn’t honor Oscar by keeping this news of him being ill from him, so she has to honor him in his request not to share this with Julian.

Is Kim aware of how Cameron (William Lipton) is trying to maneuver himself into a relationship with Josslyn (Eden McCoy)?  Does she understand what’s going on there? 

TAMARA:  Kim doesn’t know anything about it.

Photo: ABC

Does Kim want Josslyn to be with Oscar?

TAMARA:  She does, because she knows that Josslyn makes Oscar happy, and to be happy, is what’s most important right now, because that also can help any type of recovery.  When we are happy, or are doing things that make us joyful, or raise our endorphin levels in a positive way, that’s good for health.  That’s good for recovery, and she wants her son to be happy.  What mother doesn’t want her son to be happy?  Especially now, with everything going on.

Kim was having an issue that Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco (Roger Howarth) knew about Oscar’s prognosis.  Do you think she’ll be more lax about that now, or do you think she’ll be more even intense about people not finding out?

TAMARA:  I think she doesn’t want people to know because Oscar now knows, and he doesn’t want people to know.  I think that she wants to keep his confidence.  I think she doesn’t want anyone else to know because she needs to respect Oscar’s wishes.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think that it’s possible that Drew’s twin, Jason (Steve Burton) is somehow the bio-dad of Oscar, and not Drew?  The character of Jason has a history of brain injuries and trauma.

TAMARA:  I never thought of that! (Laughs)  That would be a fun kind of plot twist!  I don’t think so because there have been lines a couple of times when Kim is with Jason and she says, “You know, you look exactly like him.  It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around that, but you act so differently.”   You know what?  Even if Jason did have a brain tumor, he is Drew’s twin, and Drew is Oscar’s father, so that does still genetically match and run in the family.  It’s an interesting twist there that you bring up!

I remember watching the episode where the audience learned Oscar was dying and I was completely shocked!   I had no idea where the writers were going with it after the seizure.  When the powers-that-be filled you in on what was going on, what was your reaction to that part of the story?

Photo Credit: ABC

TAMARA:  Illness in any form on a soap gives you something to play.  So, that’s good.  When they start saying in the dialogue, “terminal,” you’re like, “What!?” But then you also have people saying, “There’s always hope,” so, you never know where it’s actually going to go, or how the story lines will play.  I understand how people keep saying that it came out of the blue and they didn’t even hint at that.  So, I will say they did write a scene the day that Michael (Chad Duell) lost the baby, and I believe Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Michael were in the church. There was a scene that I was ready to shoot that day, and it was a monologue in the church.  It was after Nelle’s (Chloe Lanier) baby had died and after Kim and Nelle had scenes.  Kim goes to the chapel and she has a monologue talking to God, and it was a bit of a hint, but they had to cut the scene because the tape day ran long.  I didn’t even shoot it.  I think that had they had left it in; people would have been like, “Oh, that’s what that meant.”  I think now that I see the reaction of viewers and you’re bringing it up, that would have been the moment you could have gone to and said. “Oh!  That’s the moment.  That’s what she meant,” or when it happened, the audience have been like, “What’s going on?  What don’t we know?”  I think had that scene been in there, people wouldn’t have been taken aback so much.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what would you say the audience can look forward to with Kim coming up?  Are we going to see her with a lot of stress on her relationship with her son?  Do you see her holding it together, or falling apart? 

TAMARA:  I think probably all of the above… trying to pull it together, falling apart, a rift between them, trying to bring it back together, making mistakes, doing the right thing … I think it’s everything.  I think reality just smacked Kim in the head, and her son… but when you’re so closed and tight about something in life, and when you no longer have control over it… you’ve got your best-laid plans, and you know what they say about your best-laid plans.  (Laughs).  It explodes, and then you have to deal with the aftermath.  So, hopefully we will see some nuance in there.  I’m hoping for it.  Hopefully, we will see Kim and Oscar work through stuff because people make mistakes; people do the wrong things for what they think are the right reasons all the time.  If Oscar is dealing with an inoperable, terminal brain tumor here, then time is of the essence for them to get it together and come together.

Well, I hope that it’s hankie-inducing, poignant and does have those beats for you to play, and they don’t kind of skip story beats.  As you said, time is of the essence for them and there is, usually no matter what, an unbreakable bond between mother and son.

TAMARA:  I hope so, too!  We can keep our fingers crossed for that!

Photo Credit: ABC

What attributes of Kim do you like playing?

TAMARA:  Kim’s no pushover, which I do like about her.  She’s strong, but she’s a quiet strong.  She doesn’t come at somebody charging, blazing, knocking things down or with a baseball bat like Carly does.  She has strength as a woman, and it’s in a very different way.

Do you think Kim is in love with “Charlie” AKA Julian? 

TAMARA:  I think she loves him.  It’s been a long time since she’s been in a relationship.  Her primary relationship, for better or for worse, has been her son all these years.  She’s made him her number one and didn’t feel she had time or that there was anyone who was worth that time.  So, I think that with Charlie, or Julian, whoever the hell he is (laughs)…

… Wait! She knows he’s Julian, right? (Laughs)

TAMARA:  Yes, she knows, but she likes to call him, “Charlie” because of the bar.  It was a cute little thing from the beginning.  I think that he doesn’t pressure her.  It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s light, and that’s what I think she can handle right now.

How has it been playing the mother of a teenager?  Is that odd for you?  It seems like a bit of a jump.

TAMARA:  It seems like a jump from what people have seen me do for a long time.  If you think about it, the last time people saw me on General Hospital with a kid, it was Michael (formerly Dylan Cash), and I mean, not in soap terms, but in real life terms, he was playing I think 6 when he was 8, and now he’s 23 so he would have been playing 21 if he had stayed.

Courtesy: TBraunTwitter

Is it ever odd for you that you aren’t the character of Carly anymore when you see Michael and characters that you have shared and played emotional attachments with your first go-round on GH?  I would suppose as an actress you can switch that on and off, but what about as a person?

TAMARA:  Yes, as an actress you switch it off, but as a person Michael is not the same Michael.  I think if he had been the same because we were so close, and we were so connected it might have been more difficult.  If it were him on set playing him every day, I’d be like, “Hi honey!   Hi my son!”   He was so in my heart.  I think because it’s Chad Duell now playing the part, who is lovely and wonderful, there’s no history with us, and that made it really okay.   I loved Dylan as a little boy.  I still love him.  He stopped in at my fan event, which was wonderful!

When you think back on all of your soap roles, it’s pretty amazing what you’ve done. Although we hated the end of the Reese/Bianca wedding on All My Children, it was the first same-sex wedding, and was a landmark moment.  You were a part of it.  Forget what happened afterwards, but that moment was key.  When you were on General Hospital, you received a Daytime Emmy nomination for your performance as Carly.  And then there was Days of our Lives’ Ava Vitali!  You got to play the psycho.  You won the Supporting Actress Emmy for your performance.  Do you think Ava is somehow still alive? 

TAMARA:  I think she may be alive.   I mean, no one really saw.  They put a sheet over her and rolled her out.  You didn’t see her dead.  I mean, come on now.  Joey (James Lastovic, Ex-DAYS) can strangle, but I don’t know that he’s that strong.  Ava’s got some fire in her.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Such a great role!

TAMARA:  I have been really, really blessed to play very strong or pivotal or interesting, dynamic roles on daytime.  I have been very fortunate to do that, and I have been very fortunate to work with people who allow me to do my thing.  They don’t hamper it.  They say, “Go.  Go for it.”

I love your Instagram posts, and I love when you talk about social issues and things that are important to you.  Could you talk a little bit about how you’re using that platform to make a difference?

TAMARA:  I just like to post things that are important to me. There are a lot of people who are using social media for brand identity.  I’m glad that I don’t even know what that is.  I mean, maybe I should know.  (Laughs)  It probably would be better for me, but –

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You realize on Instagram; if you post a shirtless pic along with a quote from something unrelated and are a guy, or are a very sexy woman, you’re going to get millions of likes.

TAMARA:  Yeah, and that’s not my brand.  (Laughs) I guess if I had to say what my brand is; it would be “Truth. Real. Honest.”  You know, here’s the real deal from me.  I think it’s important to bring awareness to what’s going on that touches your heart.  I think that if you can shed light on issues in a positive way, to make people think, to make people feel; that is important.  I have always wanted to do good things in the world, and you can do that at any place and time in your life as a human being, but when you have a bit of a platform, I believe it is a responsibility to use that to share things of importance to the world for humanity.  We’re given this one life.  Whether you come back, or whatever you believe this is the one life we have, if we don’t do something good with it, what’s the point?   I think there’s too much, “Me, me, me, me, me.”  I mean, that’s what this business is, right?  But we need to step back, and we need to remember that there is a real world going on out there where people are dealing with issues, and we need to be kind.  That being said, I do post stuff of myself, and people want to see it, so I want to give them what makes them happy, but I think that as long as I’m doing that too, I think it also makes people happy to see things good going on in the world, bring light to issues that need light brought on them.  I really just feel that we need more kindness.  We need more positivity because right now is a really hard time in our world, in America especially. It’s important to be more generous and kind-spirited than what we’re so often seeing these days.

So, what have you thought about the way Kim handled telling Oscar of his cancer diagnosis?  Do you hope Kim continues to stay in Julian’s orbit, or would you want her to become involved with Drew?   What do you think will happen next in the story … will Oscar survive?  What has been your most favorite performance of Tamara Braun of all her soap roles through the years? Comment below.

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This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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