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THE JACK WAGNER INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

By Michael Fairman

Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:

Wagnerheadshot.jpgYour dressing room is pretty sparse. Were your other soap opera haunts like this one?

JACK:

I had always visited them, but they were never my own, and all the houses I have owned looked just like this. When a woman would walk into my house, she would say, “Now, I know why you have spent so much time at my house!”

TV SOAP:

How do you like working with Nick’s newest love interest ‘du jour’ Katie Logan, played by Heather Tom?

JACK:

I find Heather very interesting. She is able to do comedy, and obviously, she can do drama! She is always crying, and I say to her, “What are you crying about?” And she says, “I don’t know.” So, she is always crying. She cries during make-up, and cries during rehearsal, and I say, “You know, we are not suppose to cry here.” She goes, “I know I am winning my Emmy or something.” I am just kidding!

TV SOAP:

But Heather has 12 Emmy nominations under her belt.

makingoutwithKatie.jpgJACK:

That’s not bad! Heather did flub a line and she said, “I think after my seventeen years in daytime, I would know better than that.” And I go, “Seventeen years? You must have started when you were 3 years old.” Ever since then she has been really nice to me. I like her a lot and have a lot of fun with her.

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TV SOAP:

Nick has been all over the map with many “B&B” leading ladies. It’s hard to keep up without a scorecard. What are your feelings on Nick’s situation?

JACK:

It’s a little weird! It’s been a very unusual year for Nick to be in love with Taylor. But, as far as I’m concerned it’s “B&B”… “Blondes and Brunettes,” not, “Bold and Beautiful.” (He laughs) It was really good to go through that whole egg storyline and whose baby it was. I thought the way they did that with the two rivals of Taylor and Brooke, was a good soap storyline. Then it branched into maybe its Brooke’s. And when you introduce a new character, like with the Katie character, it can get a bit tricky. You can’t revisit Taylor and Brooke right away. I think Nick’s character was sacrificed this year, I really do. Nick has always been a stand up guy… trying to do the right thing and being a man of his word. This year I named him the ‘seed man’. He just drops his seed in any woman he sees, and what happens, happens! Its kind of what this year’s been like, and to play that has been difficult.

TV SOAP:

How have you dealt with all the changes in direction for Nick in his love life?

JACK:

You have to act as is if you are doing a play a day, and then we wrap and do another one. It’s gotten a little confusing, and the character has been scarified a bit to move storylines. But that’s OK. That’s part of this medium. We do a lot of work, and quick, and sometimes when you introduce a new character you have to sacrifice some other characters. It had not happened at all in five years here. But, to go through a year where there is a little confusion and in what direction Nick is going, is OK. I can deal with that.

TV SOAP:

When Heather came on she seemed to languish on the back burner until the heart storyline, and then Nick came into the story to propel it.

JACK:

It’s a tricky show, because its pretty much core family oriented. So, when you get actors and characters that are not integrated into that family, actors like Heather, you say to yourself, “How do we use her the right way?” So, that is the process here. They mix and match. I think that’s what Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, “B&B”) did this year. I think Heather will show, like most seasoned good actors that they can fit in everywhere.

TV SOAP:

What about Nick and Bridget’s relationship?

Ashleyjack.jpgJACK:

Bridget, Ashley Jones’s character; you’ll need to go call her about that one. Her character has got that unrequited love all the time. It was all about Nick, and then the heart-transplant. It was almost like courtesy sex with Katie on the beach.
What happened was that it never happened. We were three weeks past that, and Katie was going to be pregnant. They had made love on the beach, and as the actors we were like, “Oh.” So we have been playing three weeks like there was no subtext. So we had to go back and re-shoot those lovemaking scenes. They added them in. That’s because we were playing this underlying sexual tension. But, that was all kind of a late addition to the storyline, which is what made it confusing. That’s why I think the audience was thinking, “Where is Nick’s core here? Where is his heart? Where has it gone?”

TV SOAP:

So Nick sleeps with Katie!

JACK:

He sleeps with Katie. Nick gets wrapped up in the moment. It’s her dying moment. She wants to die. She does not want to take her pills anymore. Nick has basically been hired by Brooke and Bridget to go and take Katie out on the Marlin. They want to give her last dying wish, which is to feel happy. No one makes her happier than Nick. The Logan sisters say, “You make her laugh. When you come into her hospital room she lights up, so please do this for our family.” Nick is with her and she is dying, and smash-cut, they start making out and….what can you say … it happens! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Now, what about poor Bridget? Nick has hurt her again!

JACK:

We are not going to tell Bridget until she has to be told, because something is going to happen where she has to be told. And guess who has to tell her… Nick!

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Lesley-ADown.jpgTV SOAP:

What happened to those great mother/son scenes between you and your amazing on-screen mom, Lesley-Anne Down? (Jackie)

JACK:

There has not been much, because if any real mother watched what went on, she would be taking Valium and Xanax throughout the day! I think she is going to wait in the wings to find out what real direction Nick is going and then play the matriarch. She has been out of the loop because Nick has been so busy being the ‘seed man’. The ‘seed man’ has very busy days. He does not work or make money anymore. I think Nick now plays the stock market from the cell phone of his car. He was a seaman, and then an entrepreneur, and ran a fashion company, and was able to sell that. Now he apparently is able to live off of his million! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Are there any other women you would like to be paired with on “B&B” that you haven’t been with?

JACK:

Please, I am tired. Look at me; I am actually 27! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Are you finding time for some celebrity-pro golfing tournaments?

JACK:

We are not golfing, because I have an 18-year-old and a 13-year-old, and this is my last leg here. I am on the back nine with these kids. So, I have abandoned a little bit of ‘Jack time’ to focus on really being there for them. I am a busy man!

TV SOAP:

Is fatherhood every thing you expected it to be?

JACK:

When you have a child, nobody tells you what its like. And by the way, you and everyone go away, I am a single parent. When I have my children, it’s about how to combine my needs and schedule with theirs. Mine really has to adjust to what is theirs. It’s kind of a part of parenting. It’s selfless.

LocklearWagner.jpgTV SOAP:

Is it still hard for you to go out in public because you are so recognizable?

JACK:

LA is not bad at all, and that’s where I live. So, I can kind of go around with a golf hat or something, and it’s not so big a deal. When you are out of LA, it gets goofy. If I am out with my girlfriend, Heather Locklear, it’s different because she is so popular. It’s insane! They follow us everywhere. If I go out on my own, it’s cool. If Heather is along and it’s a happening restaurant, it’s insane, but we will duck in and out of low-key places… no problem.

TV SOAP:

How is your relationship with you and Heather working out?

JACK:

We have good times, and things are good.

TV SOAP:

Jack, what would you still love to see Nick do story-wise on “B&B”?

JACK:

Something a little more substantial in terms of his power. I think they really exercised that in terms of his shipping company, and trying to have him in the fashion business was a nice attempt. But, this show is grounded in families and relationships. It’s about that core family. For Nick to have a son and Brooke be the mother, that is a pretty good foundation, and where that goes to in terms of power. When you branch off into professional parts of his life, like taking over Forrester Creations, I don’t know how many legs that really has. (Unless, it was like Spectra, where it was a competing fashion house). “B&B” is such a relationship-driven show, that you kind of have to really stick with what works on the show, and what makes these people laugh and cry.

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TV SOAP:

What can we tell Nick fans to look forward to in the coming months?

JACK:

Nick will be in search of the never-ending process of ending the confusion! (He laughs)

Katherinejack.jpgTV SOAP:

I want to get your immediate response, to say a few words to describe your leading ladies. Let’s start with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke)?

JACK:

It is a treat everyday, because I get to laugh and
be stupid.

TV SOAP:

Heather Tom?

JACK:

Not only challenging…but very rewarding. She is one of the best actresses I have ever worked with.

TV SOAP:

Ashley Jones?

JACK:

Ashley Jones is not only about having a great friend, but someone who is beautiful and talented. I get the best of the best everyday.

Hunterjack.jpgTV SOAP:

What about Hunter Tylo as Taylor?

JACK:

I found Hunter to be so interesting. With her process, you don’t know if she is with you or not. She rehearses different. Hunter has a whole different line set up; it’s never really the script. But boy, I tell you, when they say action, it’s there. It’s really kind
of cool. I think to myself, “I just want to know, when you are going to stop talking, because I really don’t know.” I love that, but we are in such time restraints. I found working with Hunter challenging in a good way, not in a negative way. She just works differently than all the other girls on the show.

TV SOAP:

What would these ladies say about you?

JACK:

“Jack who?”

TV SOAP:

You are known to be very funny on set.

JACK:

I am funny on set. I really find that with actresses there has to be chemistry, and women and actresses respond to laughter. It tones down tension. If we have to laugh, and we can laugh at ourselves, it makes the day go by a lot easier. We are all more relaxed. All the way back to “Melrose Place”, it was so crucial. When Heather Locklear and I worked together we really had a good time, because it really opens you up. If you have a good relationship, and if you have some tense serious stuff, you do have to focus. But, 9 times out of 10, even if you are at a funeral, laughter eventually breaks out. It’s really true. I find that to be a formula that works for me, and especially for the actresses I work with. I will say, “Let’s check in and see what we have to do today, and you know what, let’s make sure we find it along the way,” it makes the process so much more enjoyable.

TV SOAP:

Have there been moments or scenes where you felt you ‘hit it out of the park’?

JACK:

There are a handful of days. The majority probably has been with Lesley-Anne Down, as Nick’s mother. I, like most men, are connected to that mommy or mother syndrome. Lesley is so above and beyond anyone I have worked with in terms of being able to capture things that are unexpected. It usually taps into something, or some emotion with me, as Jack and as a man. I am usually able to play that as Nick, because, lets face it, it’s not like we are doing Arthur Miller here. It’s not like we have a long time to rehearse a play; we need to do this in a half hour. So, the key to acting in daytime is to basically know your lines in a short amount of time and be available. With Lesley, it’s not that romantic thing I play with Katherine Kelly Lang, or Ashley, or Heather, or Hunter. This is a mother. Everyman that I know, who I have ever talked therapeutically to or anything, there is always some sort of mother syndrome. So, most that are memorable for me are with Lesley-Ann Down.

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TV SOAP:

What about favorite moments in your career?

JACK:

Memorable was the last scene of “Melrose Place” for Amanda and Peter. To fake our death, buy an island, and walk off into the sunset having gotten married, is not just a romantic storyline… it’s just such a fairytale. You ended this amazing series with Heather, who is a television icon and star of the show, and then be the guy beside her and to walk off with, was amazing! I walked off thinking, “How grateful am I? How lucky am I to have been in this nighttime series and to have also directed it. Now, here I am in love with this woman in real life, ten years later.” Literally, it’s her birthday today, and we were talking about it today, and that is a memorable moment for me. Also, I got to play “Jekyll and Hyde” on Broadway. This play is an 1880’s gothic tragedy, and I was able to play, Jekyll and Hyde dual characters. We all have a dark side and another side, the good side, and that’s a role I love. Also, Frisco Jones on “GH”, where I got my initial fame and my recording career, started on television. Those three moments, Frisco, “Melrose Place”, and “Jekyll and Hyde”, are the most memorable.

TV SOAP:

Will you be playing any more music concerts?

carpert-Jack.jpgJACK:

I just finished performing at the Mohegan Sun. I do that venue once a year now. For me to chase after that on weekends is too much. It’s got to be financially rewarding for me to do, and rewarding for me to do as an artist. You know, I don’t quite know where I am going to go with that. I am just letting things happen right now. Maybe I can go out and play a few acoustic sets with a couple buddies of mine, and play a few places. I might do that. The full production of flying, band, lighting, and crew, beat me up over the years, and I don’t chase it as much as I used to.

General Hospital

GH’s Finola Hughes, Marcus Coloma & Josh Swickard Talk On 15,000th Episode Milestone

The juggernaut that is ABC’s General Hospital, is marking yet another accomplishment in its storied 59-year-history.  The iconic soap opera is set to air on Wednesday, June 22nd (unless preempted), its 15,000th episode.

As part of the celebration, General Hospital’s Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), Marcus Coloma (Nikolas Cassadine) and Josh Swickard (Chase), who all appear in the standalone episode, chat with Michael Fairman to mark the occasion.

During the conversation now on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Finola and Marcus, and later Josh, who logged on later while at Disneyland, discuss: their beginnings on GH from landing their respective roles, who in the cast perhaps most intimated them, at first, and what it has meant to be part of the legacy of General Hospital.  In addition, Finola, Marcus, and Josh reveal some of their more challenging storylines, and more.

Photo: ABC

Later, the trio each gives us a tease of what’s to come now that Nikolas has slept with Esme (Avery Pohl), what lies ahead for Anna and her love-interest Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and Josh talks on working with his on-screen love-interest, Amanda Setton (Brook Lynn Quartermaine).

Watch for a special appearance by GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) within the interview, as we do a deep-dive of being part of the ensemble cast.

We also take a moment to send out our condolences to Kristina (Felicia) and Jack Wagner (Ex-Frisco) on the passing of their son, Harrison, and how you can donate to the scholarship fund in his honor.

Check out our GH 15K interview with Finola, Marcus, and Josh below, and make sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Michael Fairman Channel for more upcoming features, interviews, and upcoming Daytime Emmy red carpet coverage.

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Interviews

Sean Kanan Talks On The New Season of His Streaming Series ‘Studio City’ and The Life and Times of B&B’s Deacon Sharpe

The second season of the Emmy-Award winning, digital streaming series, Studio City is now available on Amazon Prime. The six latest episodes bring us back into the series of an aging actor, Sam Stevens, played by soap vet, Sean Kanan, who is one of the stars of the soap opera, Hearts on Fire, in the role of Dr. Pierce Hartley.

Throughout Studio City, viewers go on the journey of Sam’s foibles through life off-camera juxtaposed with his life on-screen. A sundry of delicious characters enhances the premise of the series portrayed by the likes of: Carolyn Hennesy, Anna Maria Horsford, Justin Torkildsen, Lilly Melgar, Tristan Rogers and more, all names familiar to soap fans.

While Sean is busy promoting the latest season of Studio City, and his book Way of the Cobra, he is also continuing to appear on The Bold and the Beautiful as bad boy – trying to straighten out his life after years in prison – Deacon Sharpe.  Since his return last year, Sean has been mixing it up in stories with the likes of Kimberlin Brown (Sheila) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke).

 

In this chat with Michael Fairman TV, Sean weighs-in on: what could be next for B&B’s Deacon, the struggles and the joys of continuing his streaming series, and the homage Studio City is to the soap genre and much more. Check out what he had to share below.

Courtesy/StudioCity

How challenging was it to shoot this season of Studio City?

SEAN:  When we do this thing on a shoestring, everything needs to fall into place in order for it to happen properly.  We know that everybody involved with the show was going to potentially get other projects, or do other things   One of the biggest issues we have, is that a lot of times, we didn’t know what locations we had because Studio City is the real world, and then it’s the show within a show (Hearts on Fire).  So, with the show within a show, those actors aren’t in the ‘real world’. For instance, Tristan Rogers (Doc), is only in the ‘real word’, so, if we have a location that isn’t for the ‘real world’, we can’t shoot Tristan because he doesn’t exist there.  We would have to literally decide what we were writing (sometimes the night before) based on the locations we could get.  It was just an enormous challenge.

Sarah Brown (Laurie) was not a part of the newest six episodes as well as some others cast members. Will she and others be back at some point?

SEAN:  Sarah was directing a podcast, and we kind of had to look at who was available to us, and what stories we needed to tie-up, and hopefully we are going to wind up doing another five episodes to finish up this season.  Then, hopefully we are able to get the actors who weren’t able to do the first six to come back and do the second five.

What I liked about the new six episodes is that I thought you built-in some really solid scenes for the actors.  How did you feel about the outcome?

SEAN:  We make the best show that we can make with the resources and time that we have.  I was glad that we got to develop the story a little more with Delilah (Juliet Vega), Sam’s would-be-daughter.  We always try to do something that’s socially responsive, and diversity is certainly and important issue in Hollywood, without a doubt, but I also think that you need to see the comedic side of everything.  I thought there was some really funny stuff about that with Sam doing the podcast and the scene with Anna Maria Horsford (Jolene) and Will Roberts (Dennis), where she comes in, and she’s like, “The production is too white.”  I thought that was some funny stuff there.  I loved the monologue my wife, Michele, wrote for Carolyn Hennesy (Gloria) about the soaps – that thing about how all of the soaps are dead, and Carolyn just railed in support of the soaps, about the soaps being this dependable thing.  For a lot of people, soaps are their point of emotional contact.

Photo: StudioCity

I talk to fans all of the time and for many times soaps are their lifeline.  Your character, Sam, lands a part in action-adventure film and screws that all up while on set. Where did that plot point come from?

SEAN: It came from a couple different places.  I think that there is not a male actor alive, who some part of him doesn’t harken back to when he was a little boy and doesn’t want to be an action star.  I think the funny thing about it is, of course, Sam is right on the precipice of being over the hill for it, and he’s not going to let that stop him.  Natalie Burn (Shelby Brock) is a legit action star.  She’s a terrific martial artist.  Our director, Timothy Woodward Jr. has done some action movies.  So, we sort of said, “Okay, we’ve set this thing up where Sam wants to get this film.  Let’s give him the film and have him struggle abysmally.”  Marching orders for Studio City are always to keep as much mishigas on Sam’s shoulders as we can.  You never want to see the lead of your show succeeding wildly because that diffuses all of the conflict.  I do think I’ve had some really great dramatic stuff.  I really liked the scenes that I had with Delilah in the sixth episode, and I loved the stuff with Tristan, and I loved the stuff with Lilly Melgar (Becky).  I thought it was really funny.  Lilly killed it and so did Justin Torkildsen (Jacob).  I thought Justin was great.

Courtesy/StudioCity

I thought when you utilized on-camera testimonials from the cast and the EP, that was really a hilarious piece to add to the story.

SEAN:  That was great.  I’d love to take credit for that, but it was Tim’s idea, and it was a really great idea from a production standpoint, because you can do one of two things.  You can either do a whole show where you’re using those, or you can chop them up and use them throughout different shows. From a production standpoint, we had to build some things into the show to insert those when we needed.

Courtesy/StudioCity

You also cast celebrity publicist, Anthony Turk, as a network executive in the series.

SEAN:  Yes. Way back when I created Studio City, there was a part for a publicist, and I had talked to Anthony about doing it.  We had eliminated the publicist part until Lilly became the publicist; which ended up in a completely different plot point.  I always knew I wanted to put Anthony in the series, because I think he’s a good actor. I was like, “You know, I didn’t write this part for you, but I think you can do it,” and I was really happy with how he did it.

 

Courtesy/StudioCity

I also liked the scene with Anna Maria Horsford’s Jolene where she tells Sam to keep his mouth shut while he is working on set. 

SEAN:  She is so fabulous.  I love that woman.  She is such a talent, and I was so happy when she got nominated for a Daytime Emmy last year.  I have such an affection for everybody on our show, because they really put their heart and soul in it, and it just means so much that they show up, and they support, and they do great work.

What I noticed is that the way Timothy Woodward Jr. captures you as an actor.  There is so much going on in the reaction in your eyes of what is happening to Sam.  He realizes the, “Oh, my God,” of each situation as he realizes what he just stepped into, or he finds the humor in it, or when he lets out his frustration, as he did with his daughter in the sixth episode.

SEAN:  That was one of my favorite scenes.  I wrote that one.   It was great because it’s my real-life stepdaughter, and I thought she really stepped up, and I was so proud of her.

For the first time in the realignment by the television academies, Studio City will now be competing at the Primetime Emmys instead of the Daytime Emmys, if the series receives nominations.  How do you feel about that?

SEAN: We are really excited to be competing with the big dogs now at the Primetime Emmys, and rather than being intimidated by it, we are saying, “This is the universe opening up and saying, ‘this is what you need to do,’ and so let’s embrace it.”  It’s going to be exciting.  In my 35 years in the business, I’ve never been to the Primetime Emmys.  So, we shall see.

Photo: StudioCity

Justin Torkildsen’s role greatly expanded this season.  In story, do you see Jacob attempting to thwart his Aunt Gloria and take control of Hearts on Fire as the EP? 

SEAN:  I don’t know if the goal is for him to take over for Gloria.  It certainly was a lot of fun to see what happened when he got just a little taste of power.  He’s got his own agenda, and I also love that he wants the love from his Aunt Gloria.  He’s not just a young guy trying to ascend the power ladder of the show.  He really does want his aunt to be proud of him and to love him, and she’s a tough nut to crack.

There was scene after the network executive tells Gloria, “You’re out, if you don’t fix the show.”  Doesn’t Jacob gloat in it for a minute?  Doesn’t he want payback for how she treats him?

SEAN:  I don’t know if he does.  I think he certainly does like to see when Gloria gets her little comeuppances, but when push comes to shove, I think he’s really got her back, I do.  Justin is so naturally funny.  He’s a great guy to have on set.  He’s got a great attitude, and he’s a very good actor.  I was really struck by a moment in season one where he’s coming up the stairs, and he had this abject fear of interrupting Gloria, and Justin didn’t have any lines.  He just played it beautifully with no dialogue.  I was like, “We’ve got to give Justin more to do,” and for me, it was nostalgic to work with him again because the very first scene I had on The Bold and the Beautiful was with Justin.

Photo: JPI

What can you say about Carolyn Hennesy; who often is the quintessential scene-stealer in Studio City when she appears on-screen?  Does she go with the script or ad-lib parts of the dialog?

SEAN:  She’s a gorgeous, red-haired, flaming beast.  She definitely did some wonderful ad-libbing to elevate what was on the page, and she made it her own, and that’s one of the things that I love the most about her.  I love that I can write a 20-page scene and give it to, for example, Tristan Rogers, 20 minutes before and know that he’s going to nail it.  That’s one of the things that I love about working with Daytime actors.   Say what you want, but when the chips are down, and your back is against the wall, a Daytime actor is going to be the one who can take the dialogue, digest it quickly, and give you a good performance.  With the way that we are run and gun in our style of shooting, you have to move really quickly.  I’ve worked on a lot of films, and with people who are recognizable in the business, and sometimes they get overwhelmed when they have more than a couple of pages in a day … and you know what we do in Daytime.

Courtesy/StudioCity

When you were writing the new season with Michele and Tim, was it laid out pretty definitively, or did it evolve?

SEAN:  We laid out some large arcs.  We knew the storyline that we wanted to do with Natalie and with Will.  Natalie, actually joined us as a co-executive producer.  She is Ukrainian and has family there.  So, she had a lot going on.  I just feel like she really stepped up.  She really helped the production both as an actress and as a Co-EP, and we were very fortunate to have her, and have her at a time when it would be completely understandable when her ability to even act would have been compromised, yet alone have the facility to Co-EP.  In addition, we knew we wanted to deepen the relationship between Sam and Delilah.  We had a different idea with what we wanted to do with Doc, and we wound up doing something another way than what we had originally discussed.  Sometimes, you have to make these decisions that are sort of production-based and you have to alter storyline.  Of course, we knew we wanted to continue to create the storyline that like a lot of soaps, Hearts on Fire was potentially on the chopping block.  At the same time, we really wanted to illustrate that the soaps are full of people who are talented, gifted actors, who love what they do, they work really hard, and they don’t always get the respect that they deserve.

Courtesy/StudioCity

It looks like Doc might be having a change of heart?  Will he begin chemo to save his life?

SEAN:  That’s what we are thinking, and we are hoping to bring Patrika Darbo back in, and finding out where she’s been and having some really nice scenes between, she and Doc.  I think things are going to develop between Dennis, who is the producer, and my character, Sam, and we are going to learn that all has not been revealed of who Dennis really is.

Courtesy/StudioCity

What did you think when you saw your performances in the latest six of Studio City?

SEAN:  I’m always super critical of myself.  I like the stuff with the podcast because I thought it was really organic, and I thought it was funny.  I loved the stuff with Lilly.  I always see things that I could fix and do better, but I also saw stuff that I liked, and I really liked a lot of what was going on with Juliet.  We had another take where Sam really breaks down, and unfortunately, we had a sound problem with that one, and we couldn’t use it.  That was really crushing to me, but again, you make the show that you can make. Michele and I always joke and say, “Making a 50-million-dollar movie is easy.  You want to really produce something?  Produce it when you have no money.”

Photo: JPI

What did your wife, Michele, say about how she thought the latest season of Studio City turned out? 

SEAN:  I do have to say that Michelle really stepped up this season of Studio City.  She ran the show.  She is an executive producer, but she was also the supervising producer, in charge, responsible for crewing up.  She amazes me to no end.  I couldn’t be prouder of her, and I’m so honored that she and I were able to both win out at the Daytime Emmys.  We have very different skillsets, which is great.  There are not a lot of areas where we overlap, but we compliment, and that’s why I love working with her.

Photo: JPI

You are also busy with The Bold and the Beautiful.  How has this most recent return been for you as Deacon Sharpe?

SEAN:  Oh, my God, it’s been fantastic.  The Bold and the Beautiful consistently ranks as one of the best professional experiences that I have ever had.  I love the people I work with.  I love the creative freedom that I have on the show.  I love what they write for me.  It’s just great.  Listen, I’ve done four Daytime shows, and by far and away, this has been the best experience.   It’s a great role.  I’m the only guy who has ever played Deacon, so I’m fiercely protective of the character.  I know I’m coming into a really big storyline right now, which is very exciting.  I can’t say anything about it yet, but I’m going to be working with a character who I haven’t worked with very much before, which is very exciting.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Kimberlin Brown receiving an Outstanding Supporting Actress Daytime Emmy nomination? I believe you are in some of her submitted scenes.

SEAN:  I think it’s incredibly well-deserved. She just brought so much to it, and I’m just honored that I was able to be a part of what she did.

People are saying you’re going to get all wrapped-up in the Li (Naomi Matsuda) Sheila, and Finn (Tanner Novlan) storyline.

SEAN:  Well, I guess I already am to a certain extent.  I like to think that in his infinite wisdom, Brad Bell (head writer and executive producer, B&B) knew that Kimberlin and I would find humor in an eccentric relationship; rather than just being two kinds of ‘baddies’.  Deacon is not nearly as bad as Sheila, but rather than be two people with somewhat aligned wants and needs, I think hopefully Brad was like, “I think they’re going to come up with something interesting,” and I think we did.   The fight that Deacon had with Ridge (Thorsten Kaye), that is not something that you see on Daytime all the time.  That was really exciting and fun.

Photo: JPI

I love that Deacon’s home-away-from-home is the supply closet!

SEAN:  I was teasing Brad.  I said, “If I get a raise, do I get a Swiffer?”  I love it.  In terms of Sheila and Deacon, I didn’t know if we were going to wind up in the sack together or not, and I thought, you know, if that happens, that would be interesting, too.  By my calculations, Deacon has now been out of jail for how long, and he has not gotten any action.  No action for a guy who just got out of prison for 5 years.  So, I don’t know what’s going on in that broom closet. (Laughs)

What was it like working with Katherine Kelly Lang during the whole ‘New Year’s Eve drunken night with Brooke’ story?

SEAN:  You know, Kelly and I really were able to capture lightening in a bottle many years ago, and I think it was wonderful.  I always wondered, what was going to happen all this time later if we worked together again?  Are we going to be able to come up with something great?  I love working with her.  Poor Kelly, just broke her ankle, which is terrible, but she is a champ.

Photo: JPI

Do you think there is still chemistry between Brooke and Deacon?

SEAN:  Yeah, I do.  I try to create chemistry with anyone I work with, men or women, but don’t we do that in life?  We always want to be interesting and sexy with anyone we talk to.  Ultimately, what we are trying to do on some level, is we are always seducing as human beings.  That’s where I come from as an actor.  You’ve got a goal.  You’ve got a series of actions that you use to get the goal.  You usually fail a couple times in the scene, so you change the actions, and you try to overcome the obstacles.

Right, and seduce people …

SEAN: … And seduce.  Deacon is a very adept seducer.  I think a lot of it was from being a conman.  I think now, Deacon is finding that he can be seductive by being authentic.  I think that’s new to him.  I think ultimately, when you’re authentic, that’s a way more powerful brand of seduction than something that is some sort of a manufactured, fabricated, external seduction.

Photo: JPI

So, what would say in a tease of what’s coming up for Deacon on B&B?

SEAN:  All I can say is that I’ve been told that I’ll have an exciting story coming up, and I’m looking forward to it.  I always like when I get the ball, and you never know what another actor is going to bring out of you.  Whenever I work with someone who I haven’t worked with, I hope that they are going to allow me to tap into a part of myself that maybe I haven’t demonstrated before.  That’s what I look for, and that’s what keeps me enthused in this job.  We do have to give the same information a lot in Daytime.  That’s just the nature of the beast.  The challenge is, “How do I do this in a way that is not only interesting for the audience but allows me to stay engaged as an actor?”  If you start getting apathetic as an actor, you start doing bad work, and I can’t do that.

Have you checked out the latest six episodes of Studio City? What do you hope happens next for Deacon on The Bold and the Beautiful? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn Chats On Her Daytime Emmy-Nominated Performance and Its Significance

When the nominations were revealed for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital mainstay, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), was recognized for her stunning work in the Alexis-centric standalone episode which honored her 25th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series.

Grahn, is already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner.  She won back in 1989 in a tie for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara along with All My Children’s Debbi Morgan, and again received the honors in that category in 2012 for her work on General Hospital.

Now. she is vying for the gold in 2022 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category against other formidable actresses including: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown, DAYS Stacy Haiduk, Y&R’s Melissa Ordway, and her GH castmate, Kelly Thiebaud.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Nancy to talk about her decision to enter the Emmy race this year, her powerful and moving scenes, why this nomination is significant and important to her, and her take on some very important social issues of our time.

Always candid, insightful, combined with great humor and wit, here’s what Nancy had to share below, and make sure to check out GH this week when sparks fly between Alexis and Gregory (Gregory Harrison). Will he turn out to be the new beau in Alexis’ life? Stay tuned.

Courtesy/ABC

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination.  How do you feel about being in the running again, especially with the material from your 25th anniversary episode?

NANCY:  You know, I don’t submit myself if I don’t think I have something, and I didn’t last year.  This year, I had the one show, and the first reason I submitted myself was I had the episode that was worthy of the competition. These judges have to sit, and watch this stuff, and very often, it’s hard to watch soap opera scenes.  It really is, unless you’re in it.  It’s a different kind of material that most primetime people aren’t used to watching.  So, it’s tricky business.  I don’t want to put them through anything too awful. I don’t want to torture them and I’ve judged before. It can be a bit tedious. So, for me to submit myself, I thought, it has to be something that isn’t going to torture another human being. The second thing is, older women get marginalized the older they get, and they get diminished very often, and every time we get nominated, it means something different to me.  This time, to me, I want it to somehow be symbolic, or a shoutout to women who are still producing, who have been doing their job for a long time and are still doing it good enough, and that it’s still worthy of respect and recognition.

When we were at the GH Convention back in March, I played the scene on-stage for the fans in attendance of when Alexis goes over to the corner of Kevin’s office and heals her younger self.  You saw the reaction just from the fans.  It’s such a beautiful moment within the story.  What did you think about how the standalone episode was crafted?

NANCY:  It was a different experience for me because GH co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, and script writer, Scott Sickles gave it the attention, but even more to that, they allowed me to participate in the creation of it.  They allowed the director, Phideaux Xavier, to participate.  We all sat in a room.  They said, “You know what?  Make it how you’re comfortable with it.”  There were so many people who gave it time and effort, and Phideaux gets a lot of credit because he came up with a lot of ideas.  So, the little girl in the therapy room wasn’t initially a part of it.  That was Phideaux’s idea, and they let us alter things, and they allowed me to write some words that meant something to me with the character.  Our producers, Michelle Henry and M.K Weir, who I both adore, were also a part of this.

Courtesy/ABC

That is great to hear that you were involved in the collaborative process of the creation of the episode.

NANCY:  We read through the whole script, and we worked it like you would on primetime. We went through it like, “Does this moment work?  Does that moment work?  Does this make sense?  Does that make sense?”  We never do that in soaps.  We don’t get to that.  So, it was a gift to me.  It really was. Chris and Dan, and Scott and Phideaux, and the two producers, generosity in gifting me that experience and making sure that it was to everybody’s liking, was really very special to me, and it meant a lot.

Did you come up with the key lines which summarized Alexis as a person and her journey: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a fighter, and an idealist and an advocate?”

NANCY:  No. They designed it, but we were allowed to enhance and contribute creatively to it, and, we don’t normally have the time to do that.  They don’t have the time to – and you can’t allow people to do that with every episode, to be creatively participating, because it would turn into madness with everybody.

Then, when it came down to choosing the scenes from your anniversary episode to include for your Emmy submission, was that a challenging process of which moments to go with?

NANCY:  I just told a little story with it with the time that I had, and so, I edited it with a friend of mine.  I did a sort of pre-edit on it, I’m good at that, and handed the timeline to our editor, who nicely put it together. It took very little effort.

In my humble opinion, I think that episode featured one of your all-time best performances.

NANCY: Thank you. There was a nice effort from everybody, from the lighting to everybody else, and all the effort Phideaux put into it.  He worked so hard on that!  It was fun for us.  It was like the old days where you really got to work something out.

Photo: ABC

It truly harkened back to everything we knew up to that point about Alexis and her past as well, and included a montage of scenes over the years.

NANCY:  I think it was M.K. who put that together, but when you’re working at the pace we’re working now, to have to sit and put together a montage of twenty-five years, that’s not an easy feat.  Nobody has time for that anymore, but they did it, and like I said, it was really, really appreciated.  My only thought with it is that I wanted it to be relatable to other people.  I didn’t want it to just be some, you know, self-indulgent Alexis episode. I knew that by bringing in the little girl and talking about people being hurt in their childhood and how that makes somebody feel that it was probably relatable to many people, and so it became meaningful to other people and not just me.

Do you think you’ll attend the Daytime Emmys? I know the last time you won you were not present.

NANCY:  Yeah, I’m planning on it.  I mean, barring anything happening! (Laughs)

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

NANCY:  Of course, it does.  It always does, and way too often, women who are still producing well in their jobs, don’t get the respect and the acknowledgment for it.  So, that’s why I’m saying, this is no small thing, and that I want other women to know that I know that, and that I wish for them the same thing.

What was the reaction of your daughter, Kate and your fiancé, Richard, when you told them you were Emmy-nominated?

NANCY:  Richie goes, “What is this?  Your 18th nomination?” (Laughs). You know what I mean?  It was just kind of like, “Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t you be?” It wasn’t like, “Oh, my God!”  It was like they kind of expected that.  That was nice!  I’m glad they feel that way.  I’m glad they weren’t surprised.  They were like, “Sure!  Of course, you would be.  Why wouldn’t you be?”  I said, “You know, it doesn’t always work like that!”

Photo: JPI

Now comes the part of having to find a dress and all that goes with it for the red carpet.  Do you enjoy that part?

NANCY:  No, I hate that part.  That is my… oh ‘boohoo’, you know?  I mean, I have to find something to wear.  Also, the older you get, that becomes so much less important, and the more makeup, and the more hair, and the more foofy, the more ridiculous I look. I start looking like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  You’ve just got to keep it simple.

You were talking about women and ageism.  Do you not feel that also exists for men?

NANCY:  It exists for men, but it’s not at all on the same par as women.  I mean, men still get paid more than women, and men still are valued more than women.  I mean, there are exceptions, but if you look in any place of employment, even the soaps, you will typically find the men making more money than the women, and the older the women get, the less they get.  Life’s not fair right now.  It’s fairer than it was, but still the equality game is not won yet.

Photo: JPI

I know how much all of this means to you in terms of equality for women, and people being run out of their jobs because of their age.

NANCY:  It’s just a reality.  It’s not something that I’m hopeless about, but I have a story to tell.  I’ll tell it when the time is right.  It’s life!  It happens in every field everywhere.  When my mom was 70, she was still producing the exact same way she was producing when she was 30, and she got run out, and was replaced by a man who was 40 or something, and there was no particular reason for it.  It was just, “You’re done.  We decided you’re done,” but like I said, it happens everywhere, in every line of work, and that’s why I just wanted to give a shout-out, when you still, after 36 years, can be recognized or shown respect or acknowledgment for what your do.  It’s a very big deal that I am appreciative of and grateful for.

So, rooting for Nancy to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress prize? Happy she was nominated for her work in the the milestone episode devoted to Alexis? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and to tune-in to the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 24th.

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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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Cynthia Watros as Nina

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Airdate: 6-3-2022

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