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The Ilene Kristen Interview – One Life to Live

Courtesy/ABC

Photo Credit: Y. Perez/ABC

We all knew for the past decade that every time Ilene Kristen’s irrepressible and boozin’ Roxy Balsom would hit our television screens in a scene on One Life to Live, we were in for a barrel of laughs.  And then, over the years there have been times when the laughter turned to tears through Roxy’s drama and secrets, and attempts to help those she loves.  But nothing prepared us for the special Christmas present with a beautiful bow on it delivered to us by Kristen and the powers-that-be at One Life when they decided to pay homage to its loyal fan base, and mirror what has happened to its 43-year-old soap … its cancellation!

Over the past several weeks Roxy, played in a brilliant star turn by Kristen (that has Emmy written all over it) has led the charge trying to save Llanview’s own favorite long running soap, Fraternity Row!  After all, Roxy is the soap’s number one fan!  And in doing so Roxy, and we along with her, found out most of the members of the community of Llanview have a special hankering for Frat Row, too!

Next, in a spectacular episode that aired this past Monday, Roxy and David (Tuc Watkins) head to the set of Fraternity Row to try to save the soap, and when they get there they realize that the soap has filmed their final episode and the set has gone dark.  Roxy faints in horror and shock, and wakes up as Lorraine, the central character of Fraternity Row!  And what ensued from there was a laugh a minute spoof on the genre, and OLTL’s own storylines, magnificently played by the entire cast!  And then when the episode ended, there was not a dry eye among viewers nationwide.

On-Air On-Soaps talked to Ilene Kristen the day following the fantasy episode airshow to get her thoughts on this special love letter to the fans… the legacy of Roxy Balsom, the real-life cancellation, and then the devastation over Prospect Park’s initial decision to halt One Life’s move online, and what the future may hold now amongst all the circulating rumors and reports.  Here’s Ilene!

MICHAEL:

Monday’s Fraternity Row special episode was truly a remarkable episode with you at the epicenter!  It’s amazing that you were able to poke fun and jabs at ABC with what they did in cancelling OLTL with this entire Fraternity Row storyline … and the network never kiboshed it!

ILENE:

Courtesy/ABC

I think we got away with some major great things.  What a unique show!  We have done so many clever and interesting things from the Babes Behind Bars episode to the Live Week. I have to say these ten years have been creatively unbelievable and very bittersweet.

MICHAEL:

How did you first find out that you were going to have this whole fantasy episode centering around Roxy?

ILENE:

Frank Valentini (OLTL, EP) did come to me, and what he said was very beautiful.  He said, “For your reward for your great work, we are writing a whole episode for you, basically.”  And I went, “Oh, that’s nice.”  I had no idea really what he was talking about and had no idea of how it would come about. (Laughs) I learned not to ask too many questions. (Laughs)  Frank was an extraordinary producer and I think Frank and Ron Carlivati (OLTL, head writer) worked beautifully together.  I think the last six months of this show for me were fantastic. And once they did not have to deal with Brian Frons micro-managing everything, the show was beyond fantastic.

MICHAEL:

What did you think when you found out that it was Roxy that would be spearheading the movement to save her favorite soap  … Fraternity Row?

ILENE:

Oh, I was so happy about that, and so proud that I was really representing the fans.  I feel like growing up in New York and being on television for a long time… but also being out in the public, (I am on the subway all the time!) I kind of feel like I am a person of the people.  I felt very happy that I was representing the people, and so it was very profound to me.  And, it will always be profound to me that I got to represent all of our soap fans, who have been fighting so valiantly … and are still fighting.

Photo Credit; Steven Bergman

MICHAEL:

You were not only able to play the humor, but you brought the pathos and reality to your performance in the fantasy episode, and thus far in the entire Fraternity Row storyline.  The canceling of this fictional soap was so poignant and personal to Roxy, and almost everyone else in Llanview, and yes, it had plenty of laughs to boot!  There was such a heartbreaking and touching element to it.  Anyone that has watched OLTL on a regular basis, and/or knows what has happened, got the inside joke and satire of it all.   So when you taped the fantasy episode did the cast not laugh out loud?  How did you get through the taping?

ILENE:

First of all, our director that day, Larry Carpenter, wanted to do the whole first scene in one take!  That was the first laugh of the day!  I am like, “You want to do what?”  They had to break it down into pieces.  We are used to shooting two pages at a time in daytime now, because scenes are so short.  And, this opening scene was literally ten pages – the first people coming in, the first people coming out – it was kind of a long and crazy scene.  Actually, the day was well organized, and Larry Carpenter is very organized on how he does things.  It was hard not to laugh in certain places.

MICHAEL:

What did you get the biggest laugh out of?

ILENE:

I thought Erika Slezak (Viki) was hysterical when Gilda’s alter comes out … Matilde! That cracked me up!  I thought Roger Howarth (Todd) was funny.  I thought everybody was great.  And, we did not retake things because we were laughing; we would retake things because we would forget, like, “Where the hell am I?” (Laughs)  In rehearsals we would laugh, but I will tell you what?  The scene that was a little hard to get through, and it wasn’t the special episode day, but it was in the Blanca Morales show tape day.  That was so funny.  Tuc Watkins (David) was extremely funny, and I thought that was written really well.  I thought that was such an amazing episode.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

Those were pretty fantastic special episodes!  I say, “Emmy!”

ILENE:

Yes, and if you put those two episodes together it’s an amazing submission. The ludicrous thing about the Emmys is; now for the pre-nomination process you have to pick a scene that is only 2 minutes, which first of all is so belittling as a judge, because I have been a judge many times.  You know, it used to be much better when you sit in a room with everybody and judge on these panels.  People have gotten so lazy.  I have been a judge many times, and even when I’m most busy, I have made the time to just sit and watch each person’s tape for however long it takes.  I want someone to respect me and my work, so I will respect your work.  And it’s gotten easier and more stupid every year! I don’t know who is making up these rules!  You can’t sit and watch reels anymore that you get in the mail?  It’s hard to take it seriously, and having said that…. I hope I get nominated! (Laughs)  For the Emmys, I gave them the scene where I go to Clint and Roxy tells him he should pick up Fraternity Row.  I did not use the Lorraine material, because it has so many people in it, and because it’s kind of an inside joke and she is reacting a lot   However, I had some very funny lines in it.  Believe me; I will put together a reel of the whole thing!

MICHAEL:

Well, you know what my favorite Lorraine moment was?   When she walked in and there were the three half-naked guys (David Gregory, Lenny Platt, Nic Robuck) all waiting for her, all wanting to bed her!

ILENE:

Oh, wasn’t that funny?  And weren’t those guys wonderful?  My favorite moment though was the play on the word “nepotism”, where Roxy thought nepotism is when you sleep with dead bodies!  And I go, “That’s disgusting” and Sean Ringgold (Shaun) whispers in my ear, and I go, “Oh, that’s what that means.”

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Can I tell you my favorite mangled word?  And, it wasn’t on the Fraternity Row episode.  It was when Roxy blurted out, “I am done.  D-U-N.”  I was drinking a glass of water at the time, and when you said that I found it so hilarious that the water spewed out from my mouth!

ILENE:

(Laughs) Oh, I know!  Sometimes they write them brilliant and sometimes they write something and I go, “Oh, I know I can come up with something better than that!”  And so I do.  D-U-N, I think was mine.  I spell “done” like that all the time because I wrote this song called, “I’m Not Dun Wit U Yet.”   It’s a jazz song, and that is how I spell it when I short hand it.  But they do write some great stuff.

MICHAEL:

Tell me how it was to tape the tearjerker final scene on Monday’s Fraternity Row special episode with you and Tuc Watkins, where you walk off the closed set?

ILENE:

Oh, that was so emotional for me.  I thought it was beautiful.  It’s funny; it looked like Tuc and I were walking sort of fast down the studio, in my estimation.  However, when we were performing it, it felt like we were walking much slower.  I wish there would have been one more shot where I turned around and looked back. 

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

When David grabbed Roxy’s hand, and you and Tuc were walking hand in hand … I just lost it!

ILENE:

Oh, I am so glad you could see that.  This is the thing… if you put together a bunch of those shows and you were to send them to Prospect Park and say, “Look what we created here.  We want to keep this quality,” because One Life to Live looks amazing!  All the Blanca Morales stuff, and the fantasy episode … it’s an amazing story with an amazing caliber of actors.  It was classically funny, and a goof on soaps and on the medium.

MICHAEL:

At the end of the day, you must be so proud of your performance as Roxy, and the ten years you have gotten to play this fabulous part …

ILENE:

…. And that, and a Metro Card can take me anywhere in New York City! (Laughs) Look, I feel blessed for so many reasons.  I got this job September 10th, 2001.  And the next day, the world blew up.  And then I went, “What does acting really mean?”  But by September 27th, 2001, which was Yom Kippur, (and I did not say to them I would not work on Yom Kippur) I think I was the only Jew in the building.  And then I realized the truth of the matter, which was; the audience needed to have some entertainment.  And by God, I was going to entertain them.  It’s been a labor of love, and not that Ryan’s Hope wasn’t.  I have never had a continuous job for ten years like this.  Ryan’s Hope was in bits and pieces.  It has been the most unbelievable ten years of my life, and I thank God that I had it.  I am very grateful to Frank Valentini.  He kept me on the show, when sometimes I felt like Brian Frons may have wanted me gone.   I am going to stand apart from myself and say that I am one of the most entertaining things on One Life.  So if you want to get rid of me you’re an idiot! (Laughs)  I know what I do.  I entertain people. That has been my goal since the time I was 8 years old, to entertain people.  I think it’s a lofty goal.  But it’s not to prove anything to myself, because I knew I was talented as a little kid.  I liked that I could bring smiles to people’s faces. 

MICHAEL:

You had the opportunity to work for years with Melissa Archer (Natalie) and John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex) as Roxy’s kids.  What has it been like for you working with this duo?

ILENE:

Courtesy/ABC

I love them.  I watched them grow up.  John-Paul was a young adult in a way when he started, and he became a man.  He has done great work, and I am sure there is a place in this business for him beyond One Life to Live and Melissa, too.  Melissa would memorize a HUGE amount of lines in record time.  I was very hurt that the show made the decision for Echo to be Rex’s mother.  They did not tell me they were going to make Scott Clifton (Ex-Schuyler) my kid!  Then they chose to get rid of him. That was upsetting for me, and I was never notified that they were going to let Kyle and Fish go.  So major storylines that I had, I had to find out on the internet that people were let-go!  So along with every great thing along the way, there were some disappointing things, but overall it’s been a banquet and a feast to be at One Life to Live.

MICHAEL:

And, everyone would love the banquet to continue!  Do you think after the “suspending efforts” announcement by Prospect Park there is still a possibility that this show will still continue and end up online?  Prospect Park recently came out with a news item that they were still looking to make this work and resurrect the show!

ILENE:

I think Prospect Park is determined to try and do something with the One Life to Live property.  And, they can do what they want with the property because Prospect Park does have the rights for a year.  And, if they get it done by January 2013, then they have the rights for the next ten years.  I do believe there are other producing entities that are interested in doing something with One Life to Live, too, because of its entertainment value, quality, and passionate audience.  I’m sure if you talk to me in a month or so, more will be more revealed.

MICHAEL:

Do you think that Prospect Park had any inkling of what they were getting into when they decided to pick up All My Children and One Life to Live from ABC and attempt to move them online?

ILENE:

Photo Credit: Broadway World

I think Prospect Park has underestimated us.  I don’t think they understand what it really takes to do this kind of a show.  And, I don’t think they did their homework the entire time.  We all know how difficult this medium is, but all the actors love it.  It has been creatively fantastic to be on this show.  In daytime soaps you have to think on your feet and make split second decisions.  If Prospect Park came and watched us for a whole week, they would see what we do.  They came to the show once, and as far as I know, they never watched us shoot.  They came and made a statement that they needed us, as much as we might need them.  And, that they want us to be the anchor for their new online network, and that they need a show such as ours with a loyal and loving fan base that would tune-in every day.  That was one of the most important criteria in starting a network, they said, that you have people who are addicted to something, and who would watch every day.

MICHAEL:

What went down on November 23, 2011 – five days after One Life finished taping their final network television episode?  You got word on Thanksgiving eve that the show is not going to launch online in January as planned, and Prospect Park was suspending their efforts.

ILENE:

I had just found out about an hour before I went to Lorraine Broderick’s (AMC head writer) house.  So it was a really happy Thanksgiving eve!  She has all this wonderful food and I felt like I had no appetite.

MICHAEL:

You must have felt utterly disappointed!

ILENE:

ABC had asked us to clean out our dressing rooms by December 9th, but being the optimist that I am, I went, “Oh, this is because they have a place for us to be shooting.  We have to get our stuff out because they don’t want to rent the ABC Studios any longer than they have to.  So of course, they are going to be making the announcement before the final date.  And it’s going to be surprise, surprise, surprise!”  It was a surprise all right!

MICHAEL:

When the cast and crew finished taping the final days at One Life at ABC Studios, was there any sense of closure with all this upheaval from the Prospect Park situation, while bringing down the curtain on One Life’s time at ABC?

ILENE:

Photo Credit: Y. Perez/ABC

There was no real feeling of completion. Even when we had our party on Friday after the final taping, it still did not feel complete.  It was kind of like we are all saying, “Well, I will still see you.”  I think we are all hoping that everything would come together, and we be working together soon.

MICHAEL:

In closing, what would you like to say to the fans of the series, as we get ready to say farewell to One Life as we know it on network television?

ILENE:

I love the fans to pieces!  I think they are sophisticated, and more sophisticated than anyone gives them credit for, than the networks give them credit for.  I think that when you have an audience of several million and treat them like, “We’re done with you,” I don’t think that is a good thing.  I think the repercussions of that for ABC … we shall see … more to be revealed.  I think you have taken an audience who wouldn’t want to miss an episode, and now if they miss an episode of The Chew…who cares?

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ricardo
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ricardo

ilene kristin is a wonderful actress. enjoyed her work on ryans hope and one life to live. please someone pick up one life to live. its not to late, oprah winfrey are you listening. save the own network. please oprah i am begging get one life to live and all my children on your network it will improve your ratings. i heard rumblings that general hospital has 6 months to improve or they are cancelled. michael fairman you are great. love your podcasts and your scoop on soaps. keep up the good work michael. im you red this.

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Oprah isn’t listening….. I wrote her the most thought provoking letter, detailed, and the pro’s of why she should place these shows on her network. This was a busines letter to the 10th power. What I didn’t know was when I sent the letter, she had already POST a video on YouTube telling WHY she wouldn’t PICK UP the shows. I can’t understand it myself. She definiely needs the viewership. The soap being cancelled in the same year Oprah went off the air and THEN needing a home to go to was almost like a gift to Ms. Winfrey’s network.… Read more »

Max
Guest
Max

Ilene’s a great actress, I loved the humor and variety in the role she played as Roxy. I don’t think another actress could have done it half as well. As for Oprah, huge disappointment in not helping to save the soaps. Her strategy with her new network is obviously not work, it’s not getting the viewership; she must be dumping a lot of money into a sinking ship. But, she’s doing so based on her current strategy. I think it’s time for her to take a 2nd look at reviving AMC and OLTL. The appreciation from the viewership to bring… Read more »

Doe
Guest
Doe

Michael, I loved your interview with Ilene. Her portrayal of Roxy has never dissapointed me. She is a unique actress playing a unique character. I was happy tro see her comments concerning PP and ABC, She was very honest and I liked how she was concerned about us fans. She has plenty of moxy. I would love to see her on a nightly sitcom. I think she would be an asset for any show. But, there will never be anyone better than Roxy….

david
Guest
david

If you love Roxy (and Lindsey and Nora), you will love her singing in parts 2 and 4 of the OLTL special episode Babes Behind Bars (July 4, 2001):

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q74g1FvTePI
Jailer sings Bad Girls.

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Lq3d5mOsI&feature=related
Roxy sings Set Me Free.
Allison sings Ben.

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWodzl0hODs&feature=related
Blair sings I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.
Starr signs The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrMdocmq1W4&feature=related
Prisoner Tilly sings How Can People Be So Cruel.
Jessica and Roxy sing Bad Reputation.

Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93VBEPpnEro&feature=related
Lindsey sings I Can’t Make You Love Me.

Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr6Antu7l98&feature=related
Cast sings We Are Family.

Rebelle
Guest
Rebelle

I told you prospect park was a hoax to keep fans quiet. They are OWNED by disney WHO CANCELED our soap

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

What? Prospect Park made another announcement (after the Nov announcement) that they wouldn’t continue, THEN in December on the 7th and it was in print on this website and stated Prospect Park was still looking for buyer’s and was interested in going forward with OLTL. So what happened with that? I haven’t read any differently since that. It’s in print on this site (December 7, 2011 UPDATE: Prospect Park looking for partners to still bring AMC & OLTL Online) under New Soap Buzz, so what happened with that? Where are you getting your information from since the Dec 7th announcement?

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

How do you know that Prospect Park is owned by Disney?

Jason Eldridge
Guest
Jason Eldridge

Go Ilene Kristen for speaking for the fans!

Mer
Guest
Mer

I LOVE OLTL…this is one soap that will be a complete wrong thiing to get rid of…
The acting is phenomenal…the writing OUT OF THIS WORLD…
I have emailed ABC so many times….i have left voicemails….if everybody would do it…IT WOULD HELP…
I HAVE ALSO BOYCOTTED A B C PROGRAMS…
to all the OLTL cast…what a huge injustice you have been given, not to mention the writers, the crew & anyone else i may have left out.
I AM STILL HOPING & PRAYING FOR A SAVE….
Love alll of your work you have worked so hard to give us…

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Have you DONE THIS, since you have done everything else?
Join us in sending soap bar’s to the ABC studio in NYC. PASS THIS ON….. and POST it on other soap sites, including abc.com. Let ABC see how it feels to be BOMBARDED with “soap” from Fan’s across the United States!

Eric
Guest
Eric

SO GOING TO MISS this whole cast and ESPECIALLY ROXY! She made me laugh EVERY time she came on screen!!

NORN
Guest
NORN

I’ve said before: The Viewer may ASPIRE to be VIKI, DORIAN or BLAIR, but The Viewer ★IS★ ROXY!

Brian Greene
Guest
Brian Greene

Go, Ilene, Go! We Love You & OLTL Very Much Here In Evanston, Illinois!! 😀 😀

granieharrison
Guest
granieharrison

I have boycotted ABC & DISNEY shows ,and products also. I cant believe OLTL was cancelled BEFORE General Hospital. GH needs to be The Sonny & Jason show. I no longer watch it, OLTL has way better actors and storylines. I cant believe some other network , CBS or NBC didnt pick up OLTL. AS for Oprah, she rather have the “Judds” and “Shania Twain” lol which is why her network is failing, and I hope it continues to do so. she has more then enough $$$ to put OLTL on her network. I think us OLTL fans would even… Read more »

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

Id like to know why oltl was cancelled and gh is staying, for how long thats another story, and your right about everything ,except, I call it the sonny corinthos show.everything in port charlas evolves around him and the same crap every day,most of the time I leave the room ,go back and theres sonny or its franco and he is painting his crap all over town,john mcbain should throw him in jail for that.oh ,thats right anyone in the mob gets away with murder on gh.because there the good guys.

Heather
Guest
Heather

General Hospital had higher ratings than One Life to Live at the time of the cancellation notice.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

heather,I dont believe that gh had higher ratings then oltl,abc wanted us to think that .they never counted the people taping at the time its on, they didnt count soapnet and they dont give a crap about me watching, Im in the over 49 group.Ive watched gh since the beginning and I have stayed with it , the writing is terrible,I know what I watch on one life to live and general hospital, and one life to live is far better than gh .So I dont buy the ratings crap ,abc is killing the soaps because of greed .and I… Read more »

gloria
Guest
gloria

Oprah does not realize how big a hero she would be if she picked up these soaps & ran them in their regular timeslots. It would be a huge boost to her lineup! Her network is just reruns, reruns & more reruns-a few older movies thrown in. But I would watch my shows on any channel, any time, & gladly pay for the privilege!

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Oprah isn’t listening….. I wrote her the most thought provoking letter, detailed, and the pro’s of why she should place these shows on her network. This was a busines letter to the 10th power. What I didn’t know was when I sent the letter, she had already POST a video on YouTube telling WHY she wouldn’t PICK UP the shows. I can’t understand it myself. She definiely needs the viewership. The soap being cancelled in the same year Oprah went off the air and THEN needing a home to go to was almost like a gift to Ms. Winfrey’s network.… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Gloria, I wanted you to read my post that I posted with Ricardo (on top) at first and then I read your’s about Oprah being a hero, so I did a copy paste for you to read it….

Mernnna
Guest
Mernnna

I would watch if it was a late show

Valerie
Guest
Valerie

As so many other One Life to Live fans have stated in so many different ways, I’m BEYOND done with ABC. With respect to Ilene Kristin, I’ve been a fan of hers ever since Ryan’s Hope was launched in 1975. I find it most ironic that both RH and OLTL will go down in daytime drama history as having aired their last episodes on January 13, and that Ilene was on board for both endings.

Serena
Guest
Serena

I do remember Kristin back in the day of Ryan’s Hope and she’s hardly changed a bit. Beautiful then, beautiful now. I have to say there were some funny things about Roxy of course but I think she should have played a beautiful intellect instead. But alas, a diamond in the rough, never moving up like so many of the beginning of people like Nat, Rex, and the others who were no one then suddently they shine with brilliance…so many years kind of killed off the innocence of the character she played on Ryan’s Hope. Keep on shining Kristin!

Carol Painter
Guest
Carol Painter

I Love OLTL. I have watched for over 40 years. I have written many many posts, and letters. I never, ever in a million years ever thought anyone would cancel any of the soaps, especially OLTL. It was the most creative, well written, funny storylines…inside jokes..love EVERYONE. This is a very very sad event for me, and Millions of other people.Ilene( Roxy) is Sooo funny! David (Tuc Watkins) hysterical ! Love Roger H, Trevor too…..Everyone..Great stuff..and lots of silly storylines and a blast to watch….. The FR soaps last week were great! Sad at the end..i actually cried as Tuc… Read more »

gloria
Guest
gloria

Wow, you said it all! I feel exactly the same way. I cried like crazy when David & Roxy walked out, then she reached for his hand-it was just horrible-all too real. I love this show so much. I have watched every soap at one time or another & they kind of ebb & flow, I have had different favorites depending on what was going on at the time. But for the past 10 1/2 yrs. or so, really since Natalie, Rex & Roxie came on, I have never missed a second of OLTL. I was sick over GL &… Read more »

gloria
Guest
gloria

Forgot to say loved Roxy at the wedding too of course. I love how Rex & Natalie have stayed close to her & I love Viki’s relationship with Roxy.

Carol Painter
Guest
Carol Painter

Hi Gloria, Yes, I agree with you as well……I also feel the same way about your comment regaurding OPRAH. When she made her statement , saying NO, to picking up the soaps..I have never watched anything she has ever done since she has made that statement……I tuned into Rosie’s program..it was NOT GOOD. I was sure Rosie would be able to boost her ratings..guess not.. 9 days to go…..until final show. I may just tape “THE VIEW” on that day , even though I can’t stand watching them anymore either..But OLTL cast will be on , so I will tape… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Hi: Oprah isn’t listening….. I wrote her the most thought provoking letter, detailed, and the pro’s of why she should place these shows on her network. This was a busines letter to the 10th power. What I didn’t know was when I sent the letter, she had already POST a video on YouTube telling WHY she wouldn’t PICK UP the shows. I can’t understand it myself. She definiely needs the viewership. The soap being cancelled in the same year Oprah went off the air and THEN needing a home to go to was almost like a gift to Ms. Winfrey’s… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

I feel for you.

kelly cook
Guest
kelly cook

hi my name is kelly c im going to miss the show i lookedforward to sitting down and just relaxing i cryed when i found it was going to end just when its getting good ihave one qustion what is desteny have a boy or girl i hope its a girl in fact i bet it will be a girl i just wish it wasent ending i would like to say good luck to all the good people that played on the soap im a big fan of all of you and i hope you all have a good life… Read more »

JIMMYOLTL
Guest
JIMMYOLTL

I AM VERY UPSET ABOUT OLTL..I GREW UP WITH THE SHOW ( THE CAST THE CREW ETC)) BRIAN FRONS RUINED ALOT OF LIVES HIM AND THAT THING ANN SWEENEY SHOULD BE IN STATESVILLE ITS A CRIME TO MESS WITH PEOPLES LIVES ..THANK GOD BRIAN FRONS IS GOING BYE BYE LETS PRAY THAT ANNE IS NEXT..CAN I GET AN AMEN

Carol moorby
Guest
Carol moorby

I so enjoyed the re-runs of Ryan’s Hope on soap net? I was very sad when they cancelled them. I would much rather see Ryan’s Hope re-runs Than some of the replacements. It is so enjoyable to see some of the other actors and actresses from that day on some of the newer soaps! Never realized that Anne Gillespie was in that old soap until I recognized her in 90210! Slao, the old Roger is now on G.H.. I have seen Ilene sing and she is great…….. Ilene is very good at playing ditsy roles….Does Ilene ever stay in contact… Read more »

Interviews

Y&R’s Christian LeBlanc and Michelle Stafford Talk On Their Enduring Friendship, Sharing Scenes & Preview Special Episode

Coming up on the Monday, January 10th episode of The Young and the Restless, the CBS daytime drama series will mark the 30th anniversary of Christian LeBlanc as Michael Baldwin.

In it, Michael will being trying to figure out what’s next in his life, after he has been a successful legal eagle for decades, with the assistance of several characters and some memorable flashbacks that might inform him.

Photo: JPI

LeBlanc debut on Y&R back at the end of November in 1991, and has won three Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series throughout his time in Genoa City.

To celebrate Christian’s 30th anniversary, Michael Fairman welcomed Christian and his longtime co-star and dear friend, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) for a special conversation on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel along with some memorable clips.

Photo: JPI

During the chat, Michelle and Christian reveal their favorite scenes together, how they met, the key to their enduring friendship, and and how they have gone through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Later, Christian shares his reaction to the on set celebration in his honor with his co-star and previews his special episode.

Photo: JPI

In addition, during the holidays, Michelle helped organize a toy drive for the second year in a row to help children and families in need along with the NAACP and the National Action Network, which Christian participated in along with several Y&R cast members, and they discuss how the toy drive came together during these trying times for everyone.

Courtesy/CLeBlancIG

Now below, check out the full interview with Christian and Michelle, followed by the promo for LeBlanc’s special episode.

Let us know in the comment section what your favorite part of the conversation was, what are your favorite Michael and Phyllis scenes through the years on Y&R and share your congratulations to Christian on a job well-done for his 30-year milestone.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Joshua Morrow Chats On Nick’s Standalone Christmas Eve Episode

Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) is one tired Santa! After delivering presents to the less fortunate for Christmas, he is tuckered out, and thus will begin the special episode The Young and the Restless is serving up on Friday, December 24th.

The Christmas Eve airing of this all-new standalone episode marks the fourth time in Joshua Morrow’s career that he has been featured like this on the top-rated CBS soap.

In this story, Nick will try to come to terms with where his life is headed when he is taken on a journey through his dreams. Enter plenty of your other favorites from the Newman clan and more, who will definitely make an impact on Nick.  At the end of it all, will Nick come away with some revelations and reflections? Will he learn anything that will change him for the better and give him a clear direction?

As viewers recently witnessed, Nick and Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) called it quits in heartbreaking scenes, leaving Nick once again at a loss in the love live department.  Will he, in turn, eventually reunite with Sharon (Sharon Case), when all is said and done?

Michael Fairman TV talked with Joshua to get insight and a preview on what to expect during this holiday episode including: if he feels Nick is adrift, how he sees each of the characters from Adam (Mark Grossman) to Victoria (Amelia Heinle) impacting his alter-ego, and of course, Nick’s relationships with the women in his life.  So, with that, ‘ho, ho, ho,” here’s our yuletide chat with Mr. Morrow.

Photo: SonjaFlemming/CBS

How did you feel when you got a script for this special Christmas episode, and that it was all centered-on Nick?

JOSHUA:  My first reaction was, “Do people really want to see more of Nick? (Laughs) When you see an episode like this, you instantly know that you’ve got to do a lot of work. You’re basically in every scene, and I think it’s pretty common knowledge that I learn my lines in the morning when I get to work. However, on those days, you can’t do that, so you just know that you’ve got to prepare, and everyone is counting on you.  I like doing my scenes as fast as possible, but when you have that much material, you’ve got to put the time in.  As an actor, you hope it’s written well, and that you perform it the way they want you to, and you just go from there.

It’s not about which women Nick should sleep with next?  (Laughs)

JOSHUA:  I think all of Nick’s dreams are women-based. (Laughs) He’s walking around town going, “Who’s next?”  No, it’s a dream about figuring out who he is.  He is going through this kind of loop in his life where he’s not entirely sure where he is, where he should be, what he should be doing, how he’s treating people … it’s just kind of a look inside himself to see if he can come up with any solutions because he knows that what is happening and what he is doing right now is not working.  He doesn’t necessarily know why or how he got to this place, but with the help of some family, hopefully he will figure it out in the dream.

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Sounds like Nick is very much at a crossroads here.

JOSHUA:  Yes, that’s a good description of it.  He’s just kind of wandering, and the biggest thing (and he’s been going through this a lot throughout his whole life) is that he just doesn’t know why he gets to this place.  It’s like, is it something he’s doing?  Is there something wrong with him?  He’s just questioning a lot of things, so during the holidays, it seems like the perfect time to come up with solutions for oneself.

So, in his dream, should viewers expect to we see different characters coming to him, like we’ve seen in other Y&R episodes similar to this?

JOSHUA:  Yes, in the dream, we’re seeing his family coming into his life, and they’re talking about who he is, the good parts about him, sometimes the bad …

… Wait, Nick has bad parts about him? 

JOSHUA:  Well … just maybe some things that he needs to improve on. (Laughs) Without him knowing it, I think Nick is kind of hard on people.  If they don’t necessarily think like he is, without knowing it, he tends to hold that against them.  Just because somebody doesn’t think like you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wrong.  He is just struggling with where he is in life.  He is wondering if he is doing things right.  The dream comes up, and it helps him realize some things.

Photo: JPI

You and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) did some wonderful scenes recently that aired when Phyllis and Nick broke up.  Do you remember taping those?  How did you feel about the on-screen relationship going south … again?

JOSHUA:  For me, Stafford is my bro.  When you start doing those types of scenes, you realize it’s the end of something for now.  I realized that there was a window when I was with her every day, laughing, making fun of each other, doing the fraternity style comedy that we do with each other.  I did those scenes with sadness because I knew that they were breaking us up and that I wouldn’t get to see her every day, but they were great.  Michelle is such a freaking tornado of talent. I was excited to see her really do the thing I think she does best, which is just unbridled passion, whether it’s positive or negative.  She obviously crushed it.  I was just happy to be a part of it.  I don’t have to do much heavy lifting in those scenes. I just wanted to be there for her.  I think that the scenes did turn out very well.  I wasn’t happy to do them, but I always want to do good work.

Photo: JPI

So, where is Nick at with Sharon (Sharon Case) at this point?  How does she impact him in the holiday episode?

JOSHUA:  Sharon is in the special episode offering Nick a lot of advice and guidance.  Sharon is one of Nick’s biggest cheerleaders.  She is constantly trying to make him feel good and better about things that he does.  They’re really good friends.  They are coparenting, you know.  I’m no dummy, obviously the writing is on the wall as to where this will lead, but the journey of how they get there will be the question.  I don’t know when it will happen, but obviously Nick and Sharon have a tremendous history, and anytime they get together it is usually beautifully told.  I don’t know for certain because I don’t ask, but if that is indeed the path that they are going down, I am sure that it will be something the long-time “Shick” supporters are very happy with.  Like I said, there is no romantic anything at the moment. They’re nothing about that.  It’s just that around the holidays, it’s tough not to have someone, and they’re there for each other.  They’ve got kids, and they’re just trying to have a good Christmas.

Photo: JPI

Nick and Adam (Mark Grossman) have a very contentious relationship that is very complex. How does that figure into the equation?

JOSHUA:  It’s an interesting dynamic because Nick is forever grateful to Adam.  I literally think he has saved every one of Nick’s children’s lives at some point in their past, and maybe even Noah a couple of times (Laughs) It’s a delicate relationship because whether he mentions it or not, Nick is jealous that Victor (Eric Braeden) seems to turn to Adam now.  Despite all of Nick’s, “I want to do my own thing, leave me alone, etc.” it really hurts him that Victor turns to Adam when the family needs it.  For all of Nick’s, “I’m my own man,” he still really believes in the strength of the Newman family.  He will always have its back, and if it’s being threatened, like it was with what Nick perceives Ashland (Richard Burgi) to be doing, and Victor doesn’t come to Nick to help with that (or … he does in the beginning, but when it comes to an end, he basically casts Nick aside), that really bothers him.  It’s hard not to take that out on Adam. Still, he doesn’t trust him fully, and he is always kind of on edge around him.  It’s a delicate balance of trust and acceptance with Nick and Adam.

Photo: SonjaFlemming/CBS

Does Nick feel like the ‘odd man out’ with Victor, when it always seems that Adam and Victor team up?

JOSHUA:  He absolutely does, and again, Nick had brought a lot of this on himself.  He is constantly saying, “I’m going to do me.  I’m going to make my own decisions.  I don’t want you impacting any of those,” but then when Victor turns to Adam and not Nick in a very important situation that involves his sister, Nick is pretty hurt by that.  Nick does feel like Adam has come into his relationship with his father.  They’re working together very closely.  It seems like Adam had Victor’s ear.  It seems like Victor trusts Adam – at this point, maybe even more than Nick.  That definitely bothers him. I don’t fault Victor in this because all Nick has done is stomp is feet and say, “I don’t like the way you handle things,” and, “Leave me alone.  I’m going to handle things my own way.”  It’s an interesting situation for Victor to be in because I think he wants Nick to be in the fold.  He wants Nick to be there whenever he needs him, but Nick has not made that easy.  He is very hardheaded when it comes to the family dynamic at times.  Nick has created all these difficult relationships now in his family, except with his mother.  He and Victoria (Amelia Heinle) are at odds.  He and Victor are always staring each other down at opposite sides of the fence, and then Adam comes in, and threatens what he perceived to be his role in the family, and that also kind of leads to the whole dream.

Photo: SonjaFlemming/CBS

You brought up Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott).  How do you see the bond between mother and son?

JOSHUA:  Nick and his mother have always had an extremely close relationship.  Nikki leans on Nick to bring peace in the family, and Nick leans on her to talk him off the ledge at times because he does overreact, and he acts impulsively at times, while Nikki is very cool, calm, and collected at all times.  Usually, he does everything she asks of him.  Nick is very clearly a Momma’s boy, and he always will be, and if his mother needs him, he is going to step up and do what she wants.

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

In terms of his sister, Victoria, how does Nick feel about their stormy relationship?

JOSHUA:  I feel like they are not contentious now, but there is a level of sadness because they’ve always been the best of friends.  They have always relied on each other for everything, and now that has been completely cast aside.  They realize they are no longer each other’s person, the person they go to for anything: advice, support, comfort, whatever.  That is gone for each of them now.  It started with the Phyllis situation with the hotel, and now, it is certainly taken to another level with the Ashland thing.  I think that’s what the overall feeling is between the two of them at this time.

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

What’s amazing is that you, Amelia, Eric, and Melody are all really close in real life.  It’s like you truly have a second family.

JOSHUA:  It’s a real family.  The four of us are, for sure.  Without question, my favorite scenes to do on the show are when the four of us are together because we really are so close. Those dynamics are the fabric of what the show is about.  It’s not just the Newmans, but with the Abbotts and the Winters as well, and when the show highlights that, and really puts those small details at the front of the show, the fans realize that you don’t need those big, dynamic stories.  You don’t need the big explosive things.  When you just see those tender moments between those family members, that is everything.  That is the Bill Bell (Co-Creator, Y&R) playbook.  It’s easy to play because we care so much about each other, and I think it comes across on the screen.

Photo: JPI

Now, you’ve got a new Noah in Rory Gibson, and you got a new Faith in Reylynn Caster, both who came on to the show in the last several months.  How are they doing, and how has it been for you to adjust to working with them as their on-screen father?

JOSHUA:  It’s been awesome.  I’ve always said it’s a very tough job because I fall in love with these kids who play my children, and eventually they go off and do something else, or when they are little, sometimes there is a window when they turn about four, where they go, “I don’t want to be here! (Laughs) But when they’re babies, they’re just kind of in your arms, and it’s hard not to fall in love with them, but then when they get older, I see them grow up and turn into young adults.  Rory is an absolute stud. I did screen-test with the actors auditioning for the role of Noah, and he went first. I’m not exaggerating when I say two beats into our rehearsal, not even the actual screen-test in front of the network, I locked eyes with him, and I went, “This is him.  What are we doing?  I don’t need to do this with anyone else.”  He’s got a soul to him that is really amazing to watch.  He’s got depth.  He’s a really tremendous actor.  He’s a good kid, too.  He works hard, and he really wants to do well, and he’s humble.  In the special episode, Rory steals the dream. He does a scene in this show that is going to break women’s hearts around the world.  I am excited for people to see what he can truly do.  The sky is the limit for this kid.   I love having him here.  I super miss Robbie (Robert Adamson, Ex-Noah).  I love him like he is a son of my own, but Rory has taken this role and done something really good with it.  So has Rey-Rey.   She is obviously a tremendous talent.  Losing Alyvia Alyn Lind (Ex-Faith), who was one of the great loves of my life, killed me.  However, I couldn’t be prouder of her.  We text weekly about what’s going on with her, and she’s off crushing it, and the world is not ready for Aly, trust me!  Rey-Rey has come in, a beautiful, talented, young girl, who really wants to do well, and she fits right into the Newman mold.  I’ve been very, very blessed.  The casting department has really knocked it out of the park with these two.

Photo: JPI

I know Hunter King (Ex-Summer) is not on the show right now, but I know you two are really close.

JOSHUA:  Yeah, good grief.  It’s hard for me.  Probably Hunter and Amelia are the two others loves of my life along with Aly.  Hunter and I will text each other constantly, making fun of each other.  We have such a special relationship.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her.  I just know that she will be back someday.  I don’t know why.  Whereas I know Aly is gone forever.  She is off, and she is going to be a huge star.  Some fish outgrow their ponds, and I said that about her when she left.  Aly is off to a much bigger world, but I have a feeling (and maybe it is more of a hope) that Hunter will come back to me, and I say “me” because nobody loves her more than me. My kids are just everything to me on this show.  Honestly, it is one of the things that keeps me coming back for now almost 28 years.  I love them.  They’re all great people.

Photo: TMorrowTwitter

What are you and your wife, Tobe, and the family, going to do for the holidays?

JOSHUA:  We always go snowboarding.  We didn’t go last year obviously because of staying safe from COVID, but we tend to go Colorado every year, and we will be doing that again.  My oldest is away at college this year, so it will be fun to get him home and go off and do what we do.  I remember when I was in my teens learning to snowboard, I was like, “Someday, I cannot wait to lead a bunch of sons down big mountains!” and I’ve been doing that for years with them.  Two years ago, my middle son, who is just this testosterone-raged-alpha-male, finally said, “Dad, I’m leading us down.”  I was like, “Okay.”  He is the one son who has surpassed me in speed, and now we follow him. (Laughs)

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Now let’s talk College Basketball! (Laughs) Gonzaga has already had two losses and it seems every week there is a new team at #1 in the rankings.  Who do you think is looking good? 

JOSHUA:  I only watch Oklahoma hoops. (Laughs) The days of going off to March Madness with all my friends and acting like jackasses for multiple days are gone because I have soccer and lacrosse commitments with my family, but I am still equally as passionate about Oklahoma basketball as I’ve ever been.  I always say it, and it is definitely more heart than mind, but Oklahoma is going to win the national championship this year.

Okay, Joshua.  We will put it out there in the press!

JOSHUA:  You’ve got to put it in the universe!

So, looking forward to Nick’s Christmas journey on Y&R? Which women in Genoa City would you like to see Nick have a relationship with next? What advice would you give Nick Newman to get his life on track? Share your thoughts on this, and our conversation with Joshua, via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey & Zach Tinker Chat On ‘WilSon’, Being Recasts, ‘A Very Salem Christmas’ and that Drag Show

Chandler Massey (Will) and Zach Tinker (Sonny) are back for another streaming special, reprising the duo of “WilSon”.  Massey and Tinker can now be seen in the holiday film, Days of our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas now on Peacock.

In a new virtual interview with Michael Fairman for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Chandler and Zach talk about their scenes and their participation in the Salem Christmas tale.

Courtesy/Peacock

As many know by now, in story, Will has to act fast to come up with a story for his script with his Christmas Eve deadline approaching.  Sonny decides he will assist Will and help conjure up the story, and thus we get an altered version of Salem from the guys that plays on the history of Days of our Lives.

Photo: JPI

During the conversation, Zach weighs-in on being a recast for Sonny (previously played by Freddie Smith), and Chandler shares that it’s always challenging to step into a role played by someone else – something he also had to do when he began on DAYS.

Courtesy/Peacock

In addition, the two discuss reprising their drag roles of Amanda Bottom and Sonny Delight for the holiday number to help save Salem business owners from eviction in Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem.

The actors also banter about the importance of maintaining a presence for ‘WilSon’ as one of the only LGBTQ on-screen duos as part of a daytime soap opera.  The question is: will the airshow write them back in?

Photo: JPI

Chandler also weighs-in on: if he was writing Will’s holiday script, what would he like to see befall the good citizens of Salem? You’ll hear his answer.

Check out the interview with Chandler and Zach below.

Now let us know, are you enjoying Chandler and Zach as the new version of WilSon? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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