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The Jacob Young and Karla Mosley Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Courtesy/CBS

Courtesy/CBS

Back in March of this year, The Bold and the Beautiful dropped a major bombshell, and even if you guessed the secret, you never thought the daytime drama series would actually go through with it … but they did!  It was revealed that the character of Maya Avant (Karla Mosley) was actually a transgender woman.  The shocker came when Maya’s younger sister Nicole (Reign Edwards) arrived in Los Angeles, and was armed with some information she was going to use to her own advantage.  Nicole confronted Maya about it, and informed her she knew that Maya was actually born as her brother, “Myron!”

Actress Karla Mosley, who for two years played Maya without this back-story of her character, learned back in December of last year that series EP and head writer, Brad Bell had this planned for her, and that the long running soap opera was going full force with this story of love and acceptance for this under-represented segment of our population on television … the transgender community.

But Maya’s story is so much more complicated than just even having all the people she knows, and or loves, find out the truth she took great pains to hide!  Maya is deeply in love with Rick Forrester (Jacob Young), and he is deeply in love with her.  However, while on a trip to Big Bear, Rick proposes marriage to Maya.  Before Maya accepts Rick’s proposal, she decides to disclose her truth so that there are no secrets between them.  Maya knows first-hand that lying to Rick does not sit well with the Forrester CEO. In fact, Maya blew up his marriage to Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) after his then wife was found out to be locking-lips with Rick’s arch-enemy and half-brother, Ridge (Thorsten Kaye).

On-Air On-Soaps sat down with two of daytime’s finest actors, the recently Daytime Emmy nominated Young, and the engaging Mosley, to get their thoughts and a preview of what is to come in this on-screen love story that will continue to shed light, compassion, and understanding for those who have struggled, or faced prejudice when striving to be their authentic selves.    

MICHAEL:

Did you anticipate such fervor in the mainstream press when the secret came out on air that Maya was born a man named “Myron”, and was in fact, transgender?

KARLA:

Courtesy/CBS

I really didn’t.  I knew the work we were doing was important, but I really didn’t realize how big this was for daytime television in general: to have a character who is a regular series character, and who is not the butt of a joke, and who happens to be transgender.

JACOB:

Nothing really shocks me in daytime, but I thought immediately it was brilliant, and then I thought, “Oh crap!  What if they can’t execute this the right way,” and then I got concerned.  I wanted to make sure of the educational aspect of it, and that it was just coming across well.  When you have someone playing this, and someone as talented as Karla, she can probably make anything work even if they weren’t telling it right.  Karla has definitely put in her two cents worth, for sure.

KARLA:

It’s so interesting.  There are things I wouldn’t have stood up for, for myself, but because I knew of its importance for the transgender community, I was like, “No, we cannot do that.”   I have had to be more firm on things than I have been in the past, because you want to tell the story, and you want to tell it right.  We are all committed to that.

MICHAEL:

Was there a concern of, “Will we look like buffoons?  How will we make this story work, because this was not originally part of Maya’s story previously? “

KARLA:

Courtesy/CBS

When the first episodes aired, of course, I was holding my breath with the reveal, but it was really the follow-up episode, where we had those long four days in between, because we were pre-empted for March Madness Basketball … that was insane!  That was really the episode that I felt was so important, because everyone was waiting for an explanation.  I was thinking, “Please make this not be awful! (laughs), and in fact, let it be good.”   I think the writers really did a fabulous job, and the whole team, with the two key episodes.

MICHAEL:

What does Rick truly feel for Maya at this point, now that he knows her secret past?

JACOB:

He really loves her.  You will see … expect the unexpected!

MICHAEL:

Your characters are both so bitchy and awful to other people! (Laughs)

KARLA:

Courtesy/CBS

It has been great awful!

MICHAEL:

Did the two of you not laugh when doing these types of scenes, in particular where you literally have this takeover of the Forrester mansion, displacing people, and then taking down the picture of the matriarch of the Forrester clan (Stephanie Forrester) above the living room mantel, and replacing it with one of Maya?

KARLA:

Of course, there is this huge ridiculous portrait of me hanging over the mantel, and Rick is making people wash Maya’s feet, and that’s what I love about it.  Their love for each other comes from them both being victims in life.  They are such open-hearted people, who then have had to guard their hearts from being disappointed.  But, they are also connected, because they are assholes! (Laughs)

JACOB:

They value each other that way!  (Laughs) You know what I think is funny, that after all the antics they pulled; Eric (John McCook) comes in and says to Rick, “You should have the house!”  I read that in the script, and laughed, and laughed, and went, “What?”  Eric is like, “I will go live in the guest house, son.”  (Laughs)  Rick is being rewarded for being a jerk!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Karla, what can you say about Jacob’s incredible performances this past year, in which he received a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category, and being his main scene partner throughout a good portion of it?

KARLA:

I think as actors you get something that pushes you to the next level, and pushes you even deeper to where you can go, and that’s what I see when I look at Jacob’s work.

JACOB:

We have good days, and bad days, and not with every material are you going to have that connection that Karla is talking about.  The episode I submitted for the Emmy, had where Maya busts open the truth about Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) and Ridge (Thorsten Kaye), and in that same episode, Rick also found out that Ridge was going to be made CEO.  It was a double-whammy that hit him, and so Rick was like an emotional basket case.

KARLA:

You saw the rage that was there, but you saw the years of their relationship, and his love for Caroline, and the betrayal by his father.  You saw all of that, and that is not an easy balance to find and yet make the character sympathetic.

JACOB:

Courtesy/CBS

It was just before the Emmy calendar year cut off, and thank God I got it in, where I had an episode that had all that emotional material in it.   I was thankful that I had it, and so grateful and honored to be recognized by my peers.

MICHAEL:

Karla, let’s talk about the interview you did with Janet Mock on her TV show, So Popular.  She was coming at you to see if you knew your stuff, and if you could handle her questions.  Being transgender herself, it was like Janet was putting you through your paces going: “You’re going to play this character?  Let’s see if you get it!”

KARLA:

She was so tough, and she was coming at me.  Janet is amazing!  I have her book up in my dressing room.  She and Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) are my new idols.  I was so honored to be on Janet’s show.  It was really nice to have a conversation with her that wasn’t in sound bites.  So often we get a minute or two to tell our story, but here we actually got to have a conversation, and I had to think.  I knew I would have to show up and know my stuff, and speak honestly, because I knew Janet was not going to have it any other way.  I have to say afterwards I got a tweet from Laverne Cox who said, “I am watching Janet’s show and I really enjoyed your interview.”  And I said, “Thank you so much!”  I am jumping up and down, and my mother said, “What is wrong with you?  You never get like this!”  And I answered, “Because I feel I am sitting at the ‘cool girl’ table at school right now!”  Laverne said, she thought I handled it with care, and so to hear that from both of those ladies was a really shining moment for me.

MICHAEL:

One of the first things Janet asked you was that you, Karla, are not transgender, and why do you think B&B had you play transgender instead of hiring a transgender actress to play this kind of key role?

KARLA:

Courtesy/MSNBC

That was one of the first questions I asked, too.  I called my friends and I asked, “Why me?”  Like I said during the Janet Mock interview: “Why me?  Why this body?”  And I think there are plusses and minuses to both, but I think one of the assets is that people in the audience have known Maya, and they have loved her, or loved to hate her.  Now just like with any other disclosure or coming out process, there is another emotion that comes up from some viewers, such as, ” I don’t like her now.”  We are then forced to look at why?  What is causing that?  Is there some latent prejudice that I am not aware of?  And that is what has been so incredible on social media is to really process this with people. Why are you not wanting to look at this storyline … or … what nerve is this touching upon?  Even if they don’t understand, that it’s touching upon real things in them … we do!

MICHAEL:

Jacob, what did you think about how Maya went about disclosing her truth to Rick?  What did you  think of Rick’s reaction?

JACOB:

I think she waited too long, but at the end of the day she was still forthcoming and truthful.  I think Rick’s reaction was refreshing.  A step in the right direction.

KARLA:

Courtesy/CBS

She is the same ‘cuckoo pants Maya’ that we have always known, and so that doesn’t change.  It just deepens what we know about her.  But I did read in a chapter in Janet Mock’s book about disclosing to her then fiancé, Aaron.  I have some passages that I will go back to when I need a refresher.  Kate Bornstein is also amazing, so I have been watching some of her talks.  Thank goodness for the internet.   There is so much there, and just listening to people’s stories.  We don’t have to go very far to hear people talking about this subject.   People are waiting to be heard for years, and now they will be getting to be heard, and I hope this storyline on B&B will help with that.

MICHAEL:

Let’s talk about the ‘elephant in the room’ storyline-wise!  The fact that Maya supposedly had this baby with ex-boyfriend Jesse!  Weren’t you concerned as to how they were going to make sense of this?

KARLA:

Of course!  The baby makes sense to me.   Jesse (Ricky Paull Goldin) helped her to transition.  She was helping him raise his child.  It also made sense why they both went to jail, and in this mysterious unknown way; why she would have risked so much for him if she had his child.  That was always one of the things that sort of bothered me.  If she had this child that she was so in love with, why would she risk everything to do something illegal with Jesse?  But, if that was funding her transition, then that makes a lot of sense.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Remember Maya’s humble beginnings?  When Rick found her all raggedy at the mission in downtown Los Angeles? (Laughs)

JACOB:

From rags to riches!  Rick has had a history of that, like with Amber (Adrienne Frantz). She was from the trailer park! (Laughs)  She was also, at times, compassionate and lovely, and was all about him.  Rick needs somebody that is there supporting him.  He doesn’t view that he can be alone with his company …he has to have that person in his life that has his back.

MICHAEL:

What does Rick think of ex-wife Caroline at this point?

JACOB:

That she’s a liar, but there was definite love there.  If he wasn’t in love with her, he would not have been so devastated.

KARLA:

There is a part of Maya that worried that if Rick knew the truth about her, he would go back to Caroline, and that was scary for Maya.

MICHAEL:

Who has been the bigger bitch in your estimations … Caroline or Maya?

KARLA:

Courtesy/CBS

I don’t know if people remember how awful Caroline was to Maya, but they do remember Maya being awful to Caroline, because she did it in such a public way.  Caroline almost had Maya thrown back into prison.  I mean, that was awful.  Maya just broke up her marriage. (Laughs)

JACOB:

And Caroline never said Maya’s name correctly…

KARLA:

Uh-huh, she called her “Myrna”!

MICHAEL:

Karla, what can you say about working with Reign Edwards (Nicole)?

KARLA:

She is amazing.   I call her my 18-year-old teacher.  She is so good.  Both Karla and Reign, and Maya and Nicole, have a great balance.  Reign is so grounded and fabulous.

MICHAEL:

What did Lawrence Saint-Victor (Carter) do when he found out Maya was going to be revealed to be a transgender woman?

KARLA:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

He fell out of his chair.  We were all in the make-up room, and everyone was trying to guess Maya’s secret.  Lawrence actually guessed-it, and then we left the room.  I was not going to say it in front of everyone.  So I said to him, privately, “You guessed it!”  He said, “I did?”  He was then texting me all night.  People would guess that theory, but not actually believe it would be true, and that happened a lot.

JACOB:

I would go, “What is this secret?”  I was thinking … was she born a man?  Just as a guess.

KARLA:

I knew a few months before, but poor Jacob was one of the last to know.  It got around the set to everyone, but Jacob!

JACOB:

Ed Scott, our producer, at the end of a tape day came to tell me.  I looked at him and said, “You’re joking?”  I said that because I can never take Ed seriously.   He is so damn serious all the time, and so you never know because his jokes are as serious – you know two-bit comedy! (Laughs)  He then goes, “No.  I’m not joking!  It’s fabulous!”  I then said, “I guessed it!  I knew it!”  So I guess, somehow instinctively I knew.

KARLA:

I think most people who guessed it did not think we would really go there, but what else could it be?

JACOB:

Courtesy/CBS

The only other one that I kept thinking was that Nicole was Maya’s daughter.  That is so classic soap opera.

MICHAEL:

I thought that as a possibility, too!  But then I thought that Maya would have been way too young to have given birth to Nicole.

JACOB:

No, I did the math.  It would have been OK! (Laughs)  But that would have been too obvious, but everyone was shocked, but in a good way.

MICHAEL:

This reveal has been one of the best laid shockers on a daytime drama series!  But Karla, what was your family’s reaction to the news when you told them about the character twist?

KARLA:

My husband Jeremiah was like, “Oh, Oh OK.”  He couldn’t really wrap his head around it.  I told him the day that Brad Bell told me.  I thought, you know, maybe I should run this by my partner, and let him know.  He did watch the reveal episodes, which was great.  He has been totally supportive.  Now my mom first went, “Why?” (Laughs)  But, my mom has also been so supportive, and she actually went with me when I taped the episode on Janet Mock’s show.  Originally, I told my mom that she can’t tell anyone, because she is a talker, and everyone at church watches the show, so I told her she can’t tell anyone.  But I told her she can talk to Jeremiah!  So they have had conversations on their own, I know it.  (Laughs)  My mom is always skeptical at first, and then she comes around, and she is the biggest fan.  Now she is texting me all the time going, “I think this is great, Karla!  I think this is wonderful.”  I think that is the best thing about being a parent is that your kids can open your mind.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Karla, what kind of emails, tweets, letters are you getting from the transgender community who have begun to follow Maya’s journey on B&B?

KARLA:

Through Twitter people are saying, “You’re telling my story, and these are conversations I’ve had.”   I got a tweet the other week where someone said, “My friend’s mother hadn’t spoken to her in 20 years, because her daughter is transgender, and after watching B&B, she made a call to her.”  It’s amazing, and that’s why we’re here.

JACOB:

You can’t deny there is such an impact with some of these storylines on the soaps.  I can’t tell you when I did the cancer storyline on All My Children how many people reached out to me.  How many people said they had gotten through whatever it is we are going through at that time, because of watching the show.  Some families don’t know how to deal with it, and so they saw a family coming together, and being loving on TV.  It’s important what we do here.  We have a responsibility to tell these stories the right way, and to be compassionate about it.  I think it’s brilliant.

KARLA:

I think what Jacob is saying is so important.  It’s not only Maya’s story, but we are also seeing Nicole, Rick, and Carter, and the people she works with, and who she loves, and their responses.  So even if people have trouble relating to what Maya is going through, they might be able to see themselves in the reaction of the other family members, and friends.  Someone recently said looking at Carter’s reaction, especially initially, it was so emotional.  I think we can all understand all the varied reactions he was having, and yet he, and Maya are working through it, and are still in the same room together as uncomfortable as it is.

MICHAEL:

Final thoughts: Jacob, is Rick going to continue to be an asshole? (Laughs)

JACOB:

Courtesy/Pop

Yes, (pauses) but whom he is going to be an asshole to … that is the bigger question!

MICHAEL:

And Karla, where do you hope Maya’s story eventually goes?

KARLA:

I keep saying, I can’t wait till we get to the point where we are past the shock, and where Maya is just living her life as a model, or whatever career path she has chosen.  And, we get to just go back to the ups and downs, and the craziness of Maya Avant, who also happens to be a transgender woman.

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DEH
Guest
DEH

Jacob played today’s episode so tenderly and loving I forgave Rick all his transgressions. And damn right Caroline was nastier than Maya. I can’t wait to watch now as the fallout from $$$ Bill’s tabloid reveal.

The Substitute
Guest
The Substitute

So tell us all your bullying other family members is ok? The politically incorrect story makes me sick!

Eileen Hargis
Guest
Eileen Hargis

Jacob and Karla are knocking it out of the park! Emmys for sure!!!!

Rose
Guest
Rose

Jacob’s a long way from Lucky on GH. I think he and Karla are both doing a great job. The main detraction has been their asshole antics, I don’t care for what baggage reasons. Their characters, if any, should know how that feels.

tara
Guest
tara

Or J.R. on All My Children. He is so different and still gorgeous.

sarah
Guest
sarah

this storyline has been handled well I think they really I feel wanted to show respect to the transgender community & tell a beautiful love story. Thats what they are doing so well

Phyllis Scott
Guest
Phyllis Scott

Karla and Jacob indeed deserve the Emmy. The last time I cried over fictional material was Imitation of Life. I’m like: where are these tears coming from? I was witnessing what true love means: acceptance and value. And when Maya started out the door only to be drawn back into Rick’s arms by: “please don’t leave me”–why, how more poignant can you get?

sarah
Guest
sarah

thats exactly what happened for me when I was watching. Karla Mosley & Jacob Young were amazing & the dialogue just spectacular it was absolute soapy goodness

Patty
Guest
Patty

I totally agree ! I can’t remember when a storyline touched my heart like this one. I felt real pride when Rick’s love shined through. Bravo B & B !! I can’t wait to see what developes. Hopefully, this will cause Spencer Publications to crash and burn while Forester shines brighter than ever. Then Bill will finally get what HE deserves !!!!! Happy to hear that Steffy is returning. Love to see Steffy and Rick take Forester, along with Maya, to the next level. Still hate Ridge and Carolyn ! I don’t care how much of “mommy’s make-up”, you put… Read more »

elm51
Guest
elm51

wow – oh yes that scene had me in tears also – well written & phenomenally executed by karla & jacob!

Eliza
Guest
Eliza

Nothing against Karla or Jacob but this story was bad from the very beginning. Maya used recordings of Oliver against him, she showed up at a meeting and blindsided Rick about Caroline and Ridge. Rick turned into a major bully who walked over everyone including Aly who already had mental issues. The most insensitive part being when Maya had Aly rub her feet. Rick’s acceptance speech at the end of the Monday’s (the 18th) episode was a joke. All that about wanting to be accepted for who he is, not what his name is. Maya is a gold digging, manipulating… Read more »

Diane
Guest
Diane

I agree 100% Eliza..

lisa from boston
Guest
lisa from boston

I absolutely agree. I no longer watch this show. Bringing a true Transgender woman on as a character would have been a breakthrough in daytime soap operas but suddenly deciding to make a lead character a transgender is just plain insulting. I’m sure Mr.Bell had to think of how to make the love scenes work between the actors……since Karla Mosley isn’t a true transgender. Anyone think of that? There was no past indications Maya could be hiding something like being transgender. Bruce Jenner took the headlines…so Bold & Beautiful had to hone in?. But the Transgender storyline aside, the other… Read more »

sarah
Guest
sarah

Correction it didn’t work for you & yes there are people who agree with you by a majority dont

Eliza
Guest
Eliza

You cannot say a “majority” because there is nothing to indicate either way. I know many people who don’t like this story period. And those who aren’t happy with the fact that it was Maya who was chosen as the transgender. And if anyone involved with the show were really honest, they would have to admit that they do get tweets or whatever saying how bad this story actually is. It’s all a bunch of PR to make people believe that it’s been widely accepted, well liked and received. Transgender surgeries can cost from $50,000 to $100,000. According to Karla’s… Read more »

rose
Guest
rose

Agree about Maya. But without making a list, Caroline’s not been angel either. And Rick’s just a first class jerk. I don’t care about his emotional baggage. This is something both he and Maya have in common, but it doesn’t make how they’ve acted right. Just the opposite, they should have been more sensitive as to how it feels. Think all three actors have been exceptional throughout, though.

AJ
Guest
AJ

I watch the Rick and Maya episodes only because I have watched Jacob over the years as Lucky, Jr Chandler. He is a superb actor. I never warmed up to him as Rick Forrester until he first got with Maya – they were cute. Rick and Caroline matured together until her betrayal with his arch enemy. I was all team Raya right up until the moment they started bullying Aly and Ivy. I am still a fan of Jacob, but I FF through his scenes with Maya now. And no, I find nothing moving and noteworthy about bullies finding love.

elm51
Guest
elm51

michael as usual thanks for another awesome interview………………….

Ms Red
Guest
Ms Red

I think the storyline of transgender is terrible I will stop watching B & B. Ive been watching for quite some time now. Y’all couldn’t find another storyline. Its terrible. Everything up to now I could deal with its disgusting. What’s the purpose its enough of that foolishness going on. Ok. It exists so what. I’m done. You all need to do better than that. It was cool but now. BAD TASTE.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

I really liked the story until Monday. Rick who wanted children, Rick who had the truth with-held from him. This was a lie through omission. Maya getting her feet rubbed, that picture taking his grandmothers place & now Rick the bully wants sympathy. In real life that whole damn family would turn their heads on her and all of a sudden all this love PLEASE if the story was more to reality and less to B.S. it may be good. And Aly already having mental issues & lets not forget Caroline who because she kissed Ridge twice this little jerk… Read more »

Diane
Guest
Diane

I agree 100% Nikki..

OB
Guest
OB

I can’t forget how she called Rick’s ex-wife a lier. She need to pay the piper for keep the true for Rick

omaoftwo
Guest
omaoftwo

Appears to be some prejudice and phobia towards the transgender community. Tsk tsk and shame on y’all. I’ll admit there are times I want to reach in the TV and choke “Rick” and “Maya”. More so Rick for how he treats everyone. Making Ally rub Maya’s feet, really?! Maya should have absolutely refused! As far as the transgender storyline goes I have to applaud B&B and the actors! And I stand up and applaud the fact Rick was so accepting of Maya for the woman she is and always has been. I just hope Maya and Nicole can move forward… Read more »

Eliza
Guest
Eliza

There is absolutely no prejudice towards the transgender community. The injustice is the way Bell picked a manipulating, lying gold digger to play the transgender. It’s all about the shabby way Bradley Bell threw this story together without thinking it through. There is a lot of prejudice against gays, transsexuals, transgenders and it is because most people don’t understand them or the whys. And Brad Bell picked the worst character on B&B to play that role. If his goal was to gain understanding and sympathy for those communities, he should pick someone who didn’t start out as a gold digging,… Read more »

LB
Guest
LB

I sincerely wish people would stop saying that those who do not like Rick and Maya aren’t accepting people , and are prejudice against the transgender population… WAKE UP !! people are disappointed in this storyline because they hate this coupling period! These characters bring out the worst In Each other . Maya became a self righteous big headed snob once she blew up Rick and Caroline’s marriage and Rick became a vindictive ,hateful loner of a weirdo. So after months of the same repetitive dialogue of how honest and full of integrity ,keeping it real Maya is we are… Read more »

lisa from boston
Guest
lisa from boston

May I ask how you derived at this opinion of what is being written is somehow prejudice and phobic against the Transgender community? The brass at B&B stated they wanted to raise awareness on social issues and decided to take on Transgender. 2 months ago it was a 7 day PSA stint on Alcohol addiction – last year it was mental illness. 2 years ago it was Cancer. These social issues are real and exist in thousands of people’s lives but B & B just scratches the surface. Whatever story is making headlines, Bell latches on and squeezes out an… Read more »

Alice Langley
Guest
Alice Langley

Its easy for him to forgive a real woman playing a transgender but could he actually play opposite a real male to female transgender ? The answer is no ! So what are they trying to prove . Will that transgender nick hook up with brooke? The answer is no ! Kelly is not having it .

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Nobody is being prejudice here omaoftwo. The two actors we’re nothing less than fantastic but the ending was extremely weak. Maybe you want to believe they all sat holding hands singing Kum-by-ah but the soaps are trying to hit as close to reality as they can bringing forth subjects that are happening in the world today. That said with all the games Maya has played remember how she told Carter how she would love to live on the hill & be a Forester & not a week ago her sister was telling her to not tell Rick because it was… Read more »

Frances
Guest
Frances

I like you Nikki!

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

I like you too Frances. I guess my views are pretty much to the point but O.M.G. What happened to Eric? He tells Ridge “I’m your Father” but he lets that little punk (Rick) tell Ridge over & over that he’s not a true Forester. Rick says he & Myia could adopt kids, well the way he treats Ridge shows he’s not to good with adoption they (kids) wouldn’t be real Foresters! As far as blaming Ridge for breaking up Brooke & Eric, Ridge was her first love, nobody twisted her arm and she’s been married to all the Forester… Read more »

Betty Dean
Guest
Betty Dean

I think that it is a great story. It is what’s happing the world today. I think they are both great actors. I was disappointed that the story was changed, I wanted to see how far they would take a couple married to a black

Alice Langley
Guest
Alice Langley

This is soap opera fairytales . In the real world a real man wants a real woman . Theres no shortage of women in this world. No disrespect to transgenders but you cant trick strait people into being with you . The first thing to share is hi im a transgender and how do you feel about dating someone born of the same sex ?

Nick Heyward
Guest
Nick Heyward

I’m enjoying the storyline, and I do have many transgendered friends. Hardly any of them are following this for some reason, maybe you just already have to be a soap fan! But the writer’s have really dropped the ball on some potential dramatic moments. The speculation on the IMDb board has some better plot twists ideas than we’re actually getting! The slow build up was filled with filler dialogue, such as – “Have you seen the way that Rick is treating Allie and Ivy? Something’s got to be done about this!” repeated over and over again in different ways! As… Read more »

sarah
Guest
sarah

I really like this storyline so of course I want to defend it because they have really done a great job of it so far this really could have been a mess used purely as a ploy to get Rick & Caroline back together but its not even in that direction. It seems to me that some people are purely disappointed with this storyline because Karla Mosley isn’t transgender and they didn’t use a typical nice girl character to tell this story with. Which is a problem for me as being legitimate criticism because no one is truly nice on… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

At least they are consistent.

Last one to know on the cast: Jacob

Last one to know in his family: Rick

davlestev1
Guest
davlestev1

LOL…AND THERE YOU HAVE IT…next major storyline….

Frances
Guest
Frances

Ok. Transgender storyline aside for a moment, what I can’t forgoet is that Rick was actually messing with Maya at the same time he was accusing Caroline of of infidelity with Ridge. Caroline and Ridge were only looking at each other. True they did have a couple of kisses when Rick started whining but Rick and Maya were already sleeping together. It’s hard to accept these “truths” not coming to light. Maya and Rick may love each other, but she is a manipulator and golddigger and he is a liar. Eric needs to get some spine. Didn’t have any when… Read more »

Patty
Guest
Patty

Here is hoping that Ridge is on the 1st jet back to Paris !!! Shame on Liam…will he ever man up ??? Always following the crowd. After what Bill did to Maya, Liam owes Maya and Rick —-big time !!!!

mariette
Guest
mariette

Maybe Caitlyn Jenner can visit Maya as an old bosom buddy…and they can have a cat fight over Rick. Something Dynasty-like for kicks.

jaime
Guest
jaime

I’m disgusted! Having watched months of bullying shameful behavior we get just shameful whitewashing of it all and now a reward for the two contemptible bullies. Add to that we now face denigration of the victim of bullying! This is not politically correct just a producer horning in on the Jenner story dispute how inconsistent the writing and characters are treated. Turning the channel and the dvr!

Kenny
Guest
Kenny

Have Karla and Jacbob been written out of their parts now that Forerester has a new CEO?

Interviews

Y&R’s Brytni Sarpy Talks On Her Emotional Week of Scenes & The Fallout From Elena and Devon’s Break-Up

Talk about self-sabotage! Over the last few weeks, fans of CBS’ The Young and the Restless have seen how one decision, or moment in time, can have an effect on several residents of Genoa City, such as the case with Elena Dawson (Brytni Sarpy), after she had sex with her colleague Dr. Nate Hastings (Sean Dominic) … at the clinic they work at!

It all starts unraveling for Elena when her fears get the best of her thinking that the current-love-of-her-life, Devon (Bryton James) will fall for the sister of his late wife, Hilary, in the form of Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan).  And thus sets the stage for a potential quadrangle, and perhaps … some baby drama?

Since coming to Y&R from General Hospital, actress Brytni Sarpy has been developing the character of Elena and playing her for all she is worth and then some in recent heavy-duty heart-tugging scenes where viewers saw Elena confess to Devon that she cheated on him with his cousin, Nate! Then later, she gets kicked to the curb by the man she loves, leaving her wondering, “What did I just do … and why?”

 

Well, Michael Fairman TV has some of the answers as we chatted with Brytni to get the lowdown and the insight on these pivotal moments in Elevon’s love story, and if there is even a future for them, or is it on ice for good? Plus, Brytni opens up about falling for her co-star and recent Daytime Emmy winner, Bryton James, and taping what would normally look like a red-hot passionate sex scene on the soaps with Sean Dominic, but having to do it under strict CDC Covid-19 protocols. Here’s what Ms. Sarpy had to say about it all!

Courtesy/CBS

You’ve got this big storyline unfolding now on Y&R.  Did you know when they brought on Sean Dominic that they were going to bust up  Elena and Devon?

BRYTNI:  Yes and no.  When Sean was first brought in, there had been another actor playing his role, so technically his character has already been on-screen.  So, I didn’t necessarily think it was going to cause any type of conflict, or a love triangle, or anything like that.  However, I think that there were little hints about it along the way in the writing, and our characters similarities in both being doctors.  The writers are pretty tight-lipped, so I only know things two or three weeks in advance.

Were you playing that Elena had this attraction to Nate for a while now?

BRYTNI:  There was a point where I decided to play it, and that is when I felt that it was in the material. It was when things got a little crazier with Amanda coming around and Elena being at the height of her insecurity about that, and her really choosing to only confide in Nate.  I think that kind of relationship and comfortability that she was finding and that dynamic of being at the clinic with Nate, and establishing that with him, she was not having with Devon.

Courtesy/CBS

Right, and so do you think once Elena knew Amanda was interested in Nate, she subconsciously stepped up her own interest in him?

BRYTNI:  No, I think around this time she was hoping for Amanda to date Nate, and she was asking a lot of questions and things to egg on that whole relationship.  I think in her subconscious she really felt like, “Oh good, if I can put these two together, then my fears about this woman who looks exactly like my boyfriend’s dead wife… that resolves that.”  I think for Elena it was just kind of putting them together.  It wasn’t about Nate.  It was about someone to occupy Amanda so that Elena’s insecurities didn’t have to come out and she didn’t have to worry about Devon, or anything with those two being together.

But didn’t Elena have a nightmare/dream about Amanda and Devon having sex?  Wasn’t she freaked out about Amanda being Hilary’s sister?

BRYTNI:  This was when she had already jumped down the rabbit hole of being insecure about what was going on about Amanda and Devon and how much time they were spending together and hoping that he didn’t fall back into those feelings he had for Hilary that he had just gotten through.  For Elena, I think it was a lot of PTSD; for her.  She felt the first half of their relationship was trying to get over Hilary.  Once it finally turned to a point where Amanda was spending a lot of time with Devon. and she had started only confiding in Nate and not Devon about how she felt, that’s when I think those insecure feelings came up, and her talking about it so much manifested into her dreams, and she set herself up for her own trauma.

Courtesy/CBS

So, you have to do this sex scene amidst Covid-19 protocols with Sean Dominic.  How was filming that scene with Sean because Nate looks at Elena, she looks at him, signaling they want to have sex right now, right there at the clinic, and then it cuts out.  Was it awkward filming it?

BRYTNI:  Yes, it was certainly awkward because his double was Bryton, so it’s hard to play that you’re cheating on a character with the actor who plays the character that you’re cheating on. (Laughs)

We are going to give you the Emmy right there for that!  (Laughs)

BRYTNI:  Right! (Laughs) Then in some of the scenes we are looking into each other’s eyes, and we appear to be close, but of course we are not that way.  So, I am staring up at a mannequin that it is at Sean’s eye-level, and he is staring down at a mannequin that is at mine.  It is not easy to try to sell that energy that is between two people in such an electric, heated moment, so it was definitely challenging.

Do you buy Elena’s rationale that they were on a euphoric high from saving Jared’s life at the clinic, as the impetus that leads her and Nate to have sex?

BRYTNI:  I don’t think she really understands what happened.  I think she is trying to put it together.  Right after it happens, she goes into that whole monologue about how, “I’m not blaming you, but this happened, and we were just coming down from a high.”  I think it’s just her trying to figure out why her emotions brought her to this place because I think this is one of the few times in someone like Elena’s life when she has acted without thinking or without forethought to the consequences.  I think she has just been exhausted with trying to battle her emotions, trying to be a doctor with a residency in a hospital, and then also trying to do as much work as she is doing at a clinic.  Then, coming off of an emotionally-charged partnership with Devon after seeing what he was going through with the ghost of Hilary for so long, and going back into this after finally having a calm and peaceful few months, it rocked the whole boat again.

Courtesy/CBS

Viewers have seen what played out over the last week and half, a lot of scenes were you as Elena are called upon to do a lot of breaking down, and crying.  So, how are those scenes to perform? Do you like those types of scenes, or are you like, “Oh, God! These are so soapy!”

BRYTNI:  For me, personally playing that, I think with all the tears and all of that, it’s been exhausting, because there are certainly levels of reality to this where I have to go for it to not be me just trying to emote on-screen, but actually feel the depths of what my character would be going through.  It’s a lot.  I’ve had a few migraines after work sometimes, but I do enjoy it.  I enjoy getting those emotions out.  I think that because of what I’ve established with her character for a little over a year, I’ve been building up Elena, and more importantly, building up her relationship with Devon.  I think to understand her actions, it had to come from a really solid place.  I don’t think she is ill-intended in any of her emotions.  I think she really cares about and wants to protect her partner, Devon throughout all of this, and then she finds herself unprotected and vulnerable in making decisions that inevitably do the complete opposite.  So, I think at the end of it, she really is disappointed in herself and also, she has just created this entire disruption of her life in the matter of a moment, and I think there is a lot of mourning, and there is a lot of guilt.  I just don’t think that it is intentional of her character to do something like what she did.  I think that for me to make it what it was… something that my character would do or did … it had to come from a real place that didn’t sit well with her, and it just happened, and she feels guilt-ridden.  It’s as serious as a character attempting to murder someone, or any other kind of character who would go to the extremes of who they are in their characteristics.

Courtesy/CBS

For you, since you are romantically-involved with Bryton James in real life, does that make it harder or easier to play?

BRYTNI:  I’d say both.  It makes it harder because it’s more real, but it also makes it easier because it’s more real.  These are situations that could at some point come up or have come up, and to put yourself in those positions, and to have him look at me the way that he does and to jeopardize something that real, to go to that place, is a dark place to have to portray.

… And then Devon throws her out! 

BRYTNI:  He does.

Devon tells her to leave the penthouse and he tells her to pack her stuff and go.

BRYTNI:  Rightfully so.

Courtesy/CBS

Doesn’t Elena deserve that reaction for her actions?

BRYTNI:  I think so.  She made a mistake, and she has to learn from it.  I think if there is any potential for these two to ever reconcile, there has to be space given, and there has to be understanding.  You can’t just pretend like everything is normal even though she is sorry.  Sorry isn’t a reason why and sorry isn’t proactive.  She has to fix the issue.

They brought Jared (Michael Maclane) back to be the catalyst that was ended up being the spark that ignited Nate and Elena’s passionate moment together at the clinic. What did you think of that plot point?

BRYTNI:  The point was actually, that it was a patient who they had invested in and cared about, and she was able to do something for this kid and save his life with someone who she has been leaning on, someone who she has had a shared connection with, someone who shares her perspective, and helped her through situations with Devon, and who has seen her ugly side and her insecure side, and it was a bonding moment, I guess, that they were able to save a kid’s life who they both knew added another layer to their relationship that caused things to go grey.

Coming up, it appears that Amanda is going to be instigating a lot of stuff, and Nate is going to still have feelings for Elena.

BRYTNI:  Yeah, I mean, it’s not over.  Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, they still have residual feelings.  I think Nate is starting to make it very clear why he went the direction he went.  I think he has more of an understanding of where his feelings lie and that they are with Elena.  I think with Amanda, maybe a part of her ego just got bruised, and maybe she wants to unearth the truth of all of this because she was kind of caught in the middle of it.

When you and Bryton are together in real life, are you rehearsing all of these scenes and playing all of the other characters in them?

BRYTNI:  Typically, we run lines together.  I have voices for everyone.  I have a Nate voice.  (Laughs)  I have an Amanda voice; I have a Lily (Christel Khalil) voice.

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

You are in one of those interesting situations where you are with the person in real-life and in story.  I have talked to Bryton about this, but what was the moment when you knew it clicked with him? 

BRYTNI:  We certainly liked each other since day one just as people.  He was a great scene partner to do a screen-test with, very giving, just really professional, but just a down-to-earth nice guy. Then, just moving forward from that and working with him as my scene partner on Y&R, I think it was during our first group scene, it was the opening of Society, and we did a tribute to Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John), and that was the first time I had spent long hours on a Y&R set.  You’re with the whole group all day because you’re doing group scenes.  We just discovered and learned that we are both really goofy, and we were just laughing and talking about stories.  I think we found that we had a lot more in common than we would have realized… very similar pop-cultural references, and upbringings, and all of that.  From there, we’ve just gotten along really well, and it progressed.

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

Back in late June,  there was this viral video of you jumping up and down when Bryon’s name was called as the winner of the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series during the 47th annual Daytime Emmys telecast.  What do you remember of that night with him?  You seemed more excited than he was!

BRYTNI:  Yeah!  I was really excited for him.  The year before – well, I didn’t know that it was our first date –  but,  I guess it was our first date at the 46th Daytime Emmys, because I honestly thought that Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) had asked me if I wanted to go along, and apparently, Bryton had asked if he could invite me.  So, we spent that time together, and he was nominated that year as well and lost.  Cut to this year where Bryton is a person who I have actually worked with and have seen how he works, and after Kristoff’s passing, and just seeing the amount of work that Y&R put into it, and the time that they spent on those episodes, and how beautiful they came out, everyone deserved an Emmy for that.  It was really beautiful work, and it was really touching, and it was really true and honest.  I really thought Bryton deserved it.  I think he was just as happy.  He’s just more reserved than I am.

What do you want to see happen for Elena moving-forward?  Do you want to see more of her extended family pop up so she is a character who has more ties to Genoa City?

BRYTNI:  I do, I do.  A lot of the characters never know who their father is.  I’d love to know who that is. (Laughs)  Like when I played Valerie on General Hospital, she didn’t know who her father was either.  Things like that are interesting to play.  I’d love to start closing those little holes about her because that helps me.  It helps me to create more dimensions in her character and to make firmer choices, and give her somewhere to go, and it gives more richness in her story.  I would love to also cement her to the Y&R canvas if she has any relation to anyone else there.

Courtesy/CBS

There have been rumors that Elena will become pregnant.  What would you say to that?

BRYTNI:  What do I think of that?  I don’t know.  It could happen.  Crazier things have happened on soaps.  Will it be the classic, “Whodunit?”

You mean, who could be the baby daddy?

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that would be interesting, and yes, I’ve seen those rumors, too.

Do you think Elena will fight and claw her way back to Devon, or do you think she is going to let it be? 

BRYTNI:  I think even from the scenes that aired this past week, you can see the extent of how sorry she is.  She is laying it all out there, in a puddle of tears, exactly how she feels even though she is not able to really understand why she did what she did, her sorrow is there.  I don’t think there is really much more for her to do as far as pleading to get him back until he is ready, if he ever is ready.  I think her respecting his wishes in the situation is probably the best thing that she can do at this point.

Photo: IG

Meanwhile, if you have any more romantic scenes with Sean Dominic, Bryton will step in, so you will still be in scenes with him, even if Elena and Devon aren’t together. 

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that’s true!

So, are you rooting for Devon and Elena to get back together quickly?  Do you think she may end up in a relationship with Nate? What have you thought of Brytni’s performances in this storyline? Comment below, but first watch Devon tell Elena to move out!

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Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On Dina’s Death & How It Will Impact Jack, His Final Scenes With Marla Adams & Taping During COVID-19

The Abbott family is reeling from the death of their mother, Dina Mergeron, who passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of last Friday’s episode; signaling the end of an era for Dina’s portrayer, Marla Adams.  In a pivotal and heart-breaking scene, Dina shares one last goodbye with her children: Traci (Beth Maitland), Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and of course, Jack (Peter Bergman).

Today, the drama continues as the Abbott’s grieve Dina’s death and its aftermath while they remember the life of their flawed mother. This puts Jack at the epicenter of the family, and like it, or not, the new head of the clan.  What does the future hold for him now?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman, who has embodied Jack for over 30 years on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, to get his thoughts on: how Y&R needed to handle Dina’s death within the confines of the coronavirus pandemic and its safety protocols, what he felt about playing those final scenes with Marla Adams and the significance of the ‘teardrop of love’, and a preview of what fans can expect in the coming days as the impact of Dina’s death will be felt by the Abbott children and extended family.

 

An actor’s actor, you can always expect a conversation with Peter to be forthright, candid and enlightening, and this one was no different.  Here’s what one of the genre’s absolute best had to share about the significance of this story and more.

How has it been returning to Y&R during the pandemic?  I bet you never thought in all of your years in daytime, that you would be doing your scenes socially-distanced, sitting or standing, so far apart from your castmates.

Courtesy/CBD

PETER:  Just getting back to work felt great, loved that.  I wasn’t involved really in romantic scenes at this point, so that I didn’t have to do.  So, all in all, I was very happy to be back, and socially-distancing didn’t really bother me at all, and then Dina died.  Doing that from six feet away was just awful.  You saw the limits at a time where not any of us could be within six feet of each other; where you would usually hold a hand, stroke a brow, and talk softly.  So, I think the writers did what they needed to do to make it work for Dina’s exit.  We are in the middle of COVID, in case anybody forgot, and so you have to ask, ‘Does America really want to watch an elderly woman die in the middle of the Abbott living room or anywhere else?’  So, we had to have Dina’s exit without looking at a dead body, out of respect for the times we are living in.  We had to do a strong, powerful, pivotal scene with our hands tied behind our backs.

Courtesy/CBS

It’s so interesting that you say that because that’s how I felt watching it, knowing what it would have been like, if Jack, Ashley and Traci would have been with Dina at her bedside, up till the end, for instance.  But all of that said, Peter, I got so choked up in your last moments with Marla.  Jack is just sitting there and Dina is telling him how much she loved him and you’re doing the thing that only Peter Bergman can do as the tears well-up in your eyes.  As we have talked about previously, my mom died from complications from Alzheimer’s, so these are always tough types of scenes for me to watch.  I am sure it was also for those in the audience, who have lost a loved one to this disease, many of whom reached out to me on social media following its airing.

PETER:  It’s got to be tough for you to watch.  I get that.

Photo: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

Yes, so I felt for Jack and Dina in the moment as a son and his mother.  But what did you think about how the scene was written, and what Dina was saying to Jack and his sisters as her final goodbyes to her children and their reactions to it?

PETER:  As written, something in this necklace triggers something in Dina that brings her out of a stupor, brings her out of the murk, the fog for a brief instant to tell the people who she cares the most about that she loves them in slightly different ways.  I have, with everything in me, a struggle to always add in there, “I have a complicated relationship with my mother.”  I’ve added that line in there so many times over the years, you have no idea.  It was a complicated relationship because by the time she dies, there is no kind of straightening that out, there is no kind of Jack looking for answers. The depth of what Ashley is feeling, what Traci is feeling, what Jack is feeling, were kind of lost because of the way we had to do it. The writers had to do it, so I’m not blaming anyone, but because of the way we had to do it, there was no, “Wow, why isn’t Ashley crying?  Why is she just so stoic that this isn’t touching her at all?” because she can’t go there. Traci feeling like she found her place in the family simply by Dina saying, “You’re the beating heart of this family,” and Jack, who is doing the right thing, “She should leave peacefully, she should leave feeling loved, we should all be here, we should give her nothing but love,” damn, this is complicated.  You couldn’t have any of those things.  .  Hopefully, some of that slid in there and we wedged some of those complexities into it, but it was hard to write a complex scene with the situation as it was.  We needed to get it done it one day.  We did not need to drag this out.  Again, were it not COVID time, sure, let’s drag it out.  Let’s spend some time on this.  People die.  Let’s watch the family process a death.

Photo: CBS

I just think of what it all means for Jack moving forward.  Dina basically tells him, “You’re in charge of the family. Look after the family.” That’s kind of where it’s been going for Jack this whole time.  I don’t know if that’s what Jack wanted, but that’s where he is ending up.

PETER:  Right!  That’s where he ends up, and you know, this has been a long time coming.  Dad dies, and it is pretty clear that he’s got to step up, and his mom comes into town, and she’s not just his mother.  She’s Ashley’s mother; she’s Traci’s mother, we’ve got to look out for her and give her the dignity and things like that.  Now, there is just no getting around it.  Jack is the head of the family.  That’s the way it fell.  Twenty-five years ago, was Jack ready to be head of anything?  Absolutely not, but I think enough has happened to Jack now: enough heartache, enough growth, enough introspection, enough losing people, that Jack might just be ready for this job.

Courtesy/CBS

When Marla Adams came back to Y&R 2017, and they started telling the Alzheimer’s storyline, it brought up such abandonment issues for Jack and rightfully so, about how a mother could just leave her family and children,  Throughout all that,  you did such poignant work.

PETER:  I wanted that to be in there at the very end.  One of the powerful parts in this whole thing is that Jack wanted to scream at Dina every bit as much as he wanted to hug her.  That was there for quite a while, and Jack had to kind of come to terms with, “Hey, you’ve been leaning on this excuse for quite a time.  She’s here.  She can’t do you any harm.  She feels bad about what happened.  What do you want, Jack?”

Photo: CBS

One of the highlights of this storyline was when Y&R explored the history and relationship between the siblings, Jack, Ashley and Traci.  We saw their younger versions as the show flash-backed to when Dina left John and the Abbott family.

PETER:  Between the writers and Peter Bergman, we built this story that the night that Dina left, Dad was upstairs with the girls, they were weeping inconsolably, there was no fixing it, there was no telling them that everything was going to be all right.  He didn’t want to lie to them and say she will be right back, he told them, “She’s not coming back,” and he comes downstairs, and Jack is fourteen-years-old, and a little confused, but decided to say to his dad, “Hey, can I help?”  He looks across the room, and his dad is weeping, first time he had ever seen that.  His father is weeping, and he said, “Jack, you’re going to have to help me with the girls.  I can’t do all of this,” and it changed Jack’s life forever.  Jack was a parent to Ashley for a good part of their relationship.  So, all of this stuff with Jack’s identity, all of the fighting with Ashley, all of the Jabot madness is Ashley finally getting to say, “I don’t need a father!  You’re not my father.  Stop talking to me like you’re going to fix things for me!  I’m sick of it.”  All done by Dina … all truly caused by Dina.

Courtesy/CBD

In my interview with Marla, she told me that at the end of her last scene, you and many others came back to the set to pay tribute to her.

PETER:  We did.  The show had arranged it, and Tony Morina, the executive producer, stepped out on the soundstage with a microphone, and Marla sat on the sofa in the Abbott living room. Tony began telling a lovely, lovely story about how far back his relationship with her goes because Marla and Tony wife’s, Sally Sussman (Ex- head writer, Y&R), also had a long-standing relationship.  Tony was just so grand and gracious in saying that there are some people who, if they weren’t an actor, they’d be this or that or the other thing, but that Marla was born to be an actress.  That’s what she is, and it was so generous.  I think she got three and a half years that she didn’t expect to get out of this.  It was supposed to be a six-month storyline, and four years later, she was still there, and it was a good thing for her, and a unique story turn for the rest of us.  It really was.  It was a powerful thing, and now the Abbott family has a new shape.  There are three adults there: Ashley has established her independence, she is not around as much, she is back and forth between Paris, and Genoa City, Traci is trying to be as supportive and kind as she can be, but essentially, Jack is in the big house by himself.

Yep!  Well, now we’ve got to find Jack a good woman.

PETER:  Yes, or a bad woman.

… Or a bad woman!  I’ll take him in a relationship with someone to stir things up.  I also hear coming up, there will be the reading of Dina’s will.  Is there anything you can tease about that?

PETER:  There is a will read, yes.  No one knows what to expect, and Dina … in the end… comes through for almost everybody…

Courtesy/CBS

Well … that ought to be good.

PETER:  Yep… really comes through for almost everybody, and you know, the Abbott children are wealthier, and all three of them are alone, and in no small thanks to Dina for that.  These are three adults who have been very unlucky in love.  Of course, this is the next challenge.  I don’t mean to assume that I have any idea of what you went through in losing your mom, but there is a point at which you also have to let go and say, “Okay, now it is just me, and what do I want to do with this life?  I’ve used this as a reason not to move forward for a good while.  What am I going to do now?”  I think the next turn in the Jack Abbott story comes pretty organically.  Dina’s death frees Jack to be just as alone as he has ever been.

No matter what Jack does, including the bad things, you always see the inner-pain that is very palpable within him, as you have portrayed him.

PETER:  Yes, but he really has grown in the last 30 years.  Jack is hungry for more right now, and he couldn’t really be that way with Mom in the house.  He didn’t have time for that.  Now he has all of the time in the world.  So, we’ll see what he does with that.

Courtesy/CBD

I understand there is a funeral for Dina, but it will be off-camera?  I guess, because of COVID, it is better that way.

PETER:  That’s true and it’s off camera, that’s correct.  What’s important at most of these things isn’t what happens at the gravesite, it is what happens at the reception afterwards, and that is also a fun turn.  So, they all agree as a family they are going to do it at Society, and they kind of close the joint and make it their own little party, and someone shows up who isn’t expected, and it throws a really, really different vibe into the whole thing, and everybody has to adapt.  It’s actually fun, what it turns into.  It turns into a memory fest with crazy stories of Dina.

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite moment, or memory, of a scene you played with Marla?

PETER:  I think I had a day where Jack tried to get through to her and tell her, “Do you realize the damage you did?  Do you realize?” and she wasn’t able to take it in, and he went to Traci, and he said, “I want to shake her.  I want to yell at her… and I want to protect her.”  I thought there was something just so rich about that.  That was my favorite moment, my favorite part of it, when Jack finally said, “She’s going, man.  We’ve got to get this conversation done now.  We’ve got to talk this through,” and he was too late.   She was too far along with Alzheimer’s.  She wasn’t up to it.  She couldn’t do it.

Photo: JPI

And now here is Jack; and his parents are both gone.  There is no Jerry Douglas or Marla Adams on the show as both John and Dina have passed on within the history of The Young and the Restless.

PETER:  Again, you were generous enough to share your own personal experience, but isn’t it amazing?  Wow, you’re the grownup now.  Isn’t it amazing?  That’s what the Abbott’s are going through: just what you went through.  There is no older generation to turn to for anything.  We are the older generation.  It’s powerful stuff, and I’m really, really grateful for anytime that Ashley, Jack, and Traci are together talking about those things, talking about, “Wow, okay, that just happened… where do we go from here?”  It’s going to be really interesting.  If you asked me, “Over the last 30 years that you’ve played Jack Abbott, have there been many times where you’ve thought, ‘I’ve got no idea where this is going!’”  I would say, “Yeah, right now.”  I’ve got no idea where we are going with this.

Courtesy/CBS

There has been much speculation that the “teardrop of love” necklace will lead Jack to a new romance, or some new adventure in his life.  They spent a lot of time mentioning it in short order, that it would seem it’s not just to bring Dina some closure.  What are your thoughts on it?

PETER:  I think it has legs.  I think you’re going to hear about it again. There is something in there, and I don’t know if it’s the teardrop’s magic charm or that its history is not what it was, or it gets stolen.  I don’t know, but I think we have spent enough time saying ‘teardrop of love’, that there could be a story there.

In Dina’s final moments where Jack brings her the ‘teardrop of love’, wasn’t it symbolic to her because it was her acknowledgement of having her family back together and with her at all times? There is a back-story to that piece of jewelry as well.

PETER:  The point of the necklace is, “This was when I was truly happy, when I had this necklace, when it is all back together,” and maybe we are to know something more about the teardrop…?  I don’t know.  So, this was a gift to her before Jack was born.  She wore it home from the hospital when she brought him home, but we don’t know exactly what year she got it, and we don’t know exactly what year she lost it.  It was stolen, and it was on the black market for a while, and Victor (Eric Braeden) was looking into it.  It was clear that it was very important to Dina.  So, Jack, against his own wishes, said, “No, I’ve got to do the right thing.  I’ve got to try to trace this thing down.  It clearly means something to her.  Maybe she is trying to tell us something.  God only knows.”  So, he did the right thing, not because, “I want to make Mommy happy,” but because he forced himself to do the right thing, to find the damn necklace, and to see what this is about.  Then, we saw the affect it had when he gave it to her.

Photo: CBS

It’s always good to chat and check-in with you during these key and historical moments in the life of the character of Jack Abbott.  There have been many throughout your time on Y&R, and it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

PETER:  It will be, and I’m telling you, this is a real moment.  Normally, we just go from one story into the next, into the next, and this one has been hanging for so long that, “Okay, now that it is over, wow, what is going to happen to Jack?”  I’m just as curious as everybody else.

So, what do you think will happen next for Jack?  Did you reach for the hankies in Peter’s final scenes with Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Marla Adams Talks Her Final Scenes As Dina Mergeron, The Alzheimer’s Storyline, and Her Touching Farewell

Today on The Young and the Restless marks the end of the enduring run of Marla Adams in the role of Dina Mergeron. In story, Dina passes away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a storyline that started four years ago when the CBS Daytime drama brought back the character and Adams; and one that has deeply affected many in the viewing audience who have also had their own personal experience of losing a loved one to this dreadful disease.

If you have not seen today’s episode yet, you may not want to read any further, but needless to say, make sure you have the hankies ready for Dina’s final moments with her children and how she leaves this earth, which will be remembered for quite some time to come.

Marla originated the role of the rich and spoiled Abbott matriarch back in 1983 and portrayed the role on and off for what amounts to five decades. Her classic scenes with Jerry Douglas (Ex-John), Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and so many more from the iconic soap, always made for great and complex stories.

 

With this her final airdate on Y&R, it also puts an exclamation point for Marla on an incredible daytime career having also appeared on: The Bold and the Beautiful. Capitol, Days of our Lives, Generations and The Secret Storm

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adams in this very special conversation where she shared with us how it was to play these heartbreaking last scenes, the importance of the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace to the story, how Y&R gave her the most overwhelming and beautiful send-off, and her ‘thank you’s’ to all of you, who have been her extended family and are sad to see her go. She is one-of-a-kind …and now, here’s Marla.

Photo: Getty

Marla, I am so glad we have the opportunity to chat in this full-circle moment as you have brought the character of Dina to a close.

MARLA:  It’s such a joy to talk to you.  It seems like yesterday and an eternity as well.   I thought of you so much, and I remember talking to you specifically with all of the different interviews over the years, when I was at the studio.  But I will always remember the interview you did with me and Beth Maitland (Traci), my darling soul sister, and you talked to me about your mother who has since passed on from Alzheimer’s.  I’ll never forget what you had to say all those months ago

Photo: HallmarkChannel

Yes, and when as audience members we watch these stories unfold with characters we have loved, or watched on our screens for years, and there is a death, we feel connected to them as well.  And in this case, as a child who has lost a parent to Alzheimer’s, like many in the audience, you ask yourself first, “Can I watch this?” It hits very close to home, but I’m sure when people watch today’s episode of Y&R and see Dina pass away, they will be extraordinarily moved.

MARLA:  Oh, my gosh.  Wait until you people see Friday’s show.  I know they will be moved.  They should be!  I’ve got friends who I’ve already said to, “Get your Kleenex box out.”  It’s so beautiful what happens at the end of the episode.

Courtesy/CBD

How did you feel about playing Dina’s final scenes?

MARLA:  It was wonderful because it showed her lifetime of sorrow and regret, and what was so wonderful was the fact that the hero of the whole thing is the kindness and respect that she really did have for her whole family.  They had the most beautiful sendoff for me.  They sent me a limo!  I went to the studio, and dear Patti Denney (Make-up artist, Y&R) was there, of course with all kinds of makeup and everything else, and she looked like she was entering the ER room for Covid-19, because of all the safety protocols we must have.  It was unbelievable, the kindness that was served to me.  After we finished taping my final scenes, I came back to the soundstage and they totally surprised me.  Dear Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) and Sally Sussman (Ex-head writer, Y&R) were there, and Tony spoke about me, and so did my Y&R extended family and on-screen children: Peter Bergman (Jack), and Beth Maitland, and Eileen Davidson, and much of it was put on tape (see excerpts in video below).  Afterwards, Tony gave me beautiful flowers.  I was driven back home after this, and I felt really special, and it was just amazing to me. I had written Josh Griffith (Current head-writer and co-executive producer, Y&R) a ‘thank you’ for writing the show with his wonderful people, but I never heard back, but when I walked in my apartment, the phone was ringing.  Guess who?  It’s Josh!  He said, “I waited until I knew you would be home to thank you,” and I felt so lovey-doved up, I couldn’t believe it.  I want to read something to you that I received in the wonderful flowers that came the next day from CBS Daytime executive Margot Wain and others.  The flowers were so big that they didn’t fit on the bar!  The card read: “Thank you for bringing the amazing force that is Abbott matriarch, Dina Mergeron to countless fans of The Young and the Restless.  Your vast contribution to Y&R and CBS for more than five decades is unparalleled.  We are forever grateful for all you’ve brought to Y&R as both a consummate professional and a cherished co-worker.  All our best wishes.”  I was just so touched by the sentiments.

Photo: CBS

I also want to share something with you.  When it was revealed in the promo that came out last week that this would be your last show, I received so many notifications on social media, saying, “Oh, my God!  We love Marla!  You have to interview her!”  You are loved by the Y&R fans.  I hope you know that!  They’re sad to see you go, because you’re a legacy character to them, and soap fans have deep connections to characters that have been on their favorite soaps for decades.

MARLA:  Five decades!  My God!  I’m eighty-freaking-two.  I can’t believe it.

Courtesy/CBS

In story, Jack was on a mission to get the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace back to Dina before she died, hoping that she would have one last moment of lucidity and would recall it and it would hopefully make her happy.   He moves heaven on earth to get it, and does, and brings it to her and viewers saw her reaction. 

MARLA:  The necklace had never been anywhere before in story except recently, but I said to myself that I would play it ‘quietly and graciously’, because it made for such a beautiful moment for Dina with her children.

Courtesy/CBS

For Dina, the necklace was a symbol of remaining connected to her family and her children, even when she was not with them all of those years.  In your final scenes, Dina had these moments to say goodbye to each of your children.  Do you remember looking at Eileen, Traci, and Peter taping those highly emotional beats?

MARLA:  Yes, they were so there for me.  They are an extended family that is so precious to me, and playing this iconic character has been, too.  I remember when Sally Sussman told me a few years ago, “ I’m going to bring you back on The Young and the Restless, but you’ve got Alzheimer’s,” and I said, ‘What!?  You’re bringing me back so you can kill me off?’ and she said, “Oh no, it’ll be about a year.”  That dissolved into four years, and now five decades had passed and I was still on Y&R.  I am beyond grateful.

Courtesy/CBD

As an actress, was it hard to play Dina’s final moments when she goes to the light to join her beloved, John?

MARLA:  It was heart-wrenching for me.  In the story, Dina died when she went outside and to the front door of the Abbott home.  They did not tell me before-hand, and that’s why it was so wonderful.  I hope they came in for a closeup of that because I had no makeup on, it was beautiful, and then, Dina said, “Oh, John.”  I’ve done everything from movies, to daytime, to nighttime, to Broadway, but that was the iconic moment for me, to do this gig with wonderful, wonderful actors and friends, and to do this particular storyline.

Photo: CBS

It was 1983 when you first appeared on Y&R.  And through the years, Dina did not do such great things! She had an affair with Brent Davis who was the biological father of Ashley that caused such a rift between mother and daughter for years.  She abandoned the Abbott children and walked out on them and her marriage to John, and that’s just for starters! Dina was a complicated character. Did you love the fact that she could be very selfish at times?

MARLA:  You think?  That’s why I loved her.  Of course!  I can be very selfish, too.  You have to be selfish if you’re an actor, good God. (Laughs).

Courtesy/CBS

It was great that The Young and the Restless brought you back four years ago so that through the telling of the Alzheimer’s storyline that Dina was able to somewhat repair her relationships with her children.  Obviously, over the last many months the audience could not witness the more day to day progression and toll the disease took on Dina and her family in its final stages, but unfortunately with the way COVID-19 has affected shooting daytime soap operas, and all of our lives, including safety protocols, I am sure plans had to be altered,

MARLA:  Of course.  As an actress, this was the most important role of my life, and to have her final moments spread out in one day really is because of all of the fans who have been writing in and wanting to see Dina again,

Photo: CBS

People were rooting for you to win the Daytime Emmy back in 2018 when you were nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. That must be a nice moment to carry with you from playing Dina’s final storyline.

MARLA:  Yes, and I should have won!  Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) was furious. (Laughs)  He said, “What do you mean, darling, you should have won!  Goddammit!” He’s a wonderful man and a good friend.  He came to pick me up several times to go to the studio for my last few shows, and that’s the kind of mensch he is. So, I feel just so blessed and I feel great love and loss.  I would like Dina to come back as a ghost, but I have no idea, if that will happen or not. But if the fans would be interested in seeing Dina as a ghost … make sure to write in to the show and tell them!

Courtesy/CBS

Speaking of the fans that have followed you for decades on Y&R, what would you want to say to them now that Dina has passed on?

MARLA:  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all of the love, the support, and the chance to play Dina out… and I’m thankful that you cared, and loved her, up till the end.

So what did you think about Dina’s final moments on today’s Y&R? Will you miss Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first check out the special behind the scenes tribute for Marla, followed by The Michael Fairman Channel’s interview with Marla and Beth Maitland from Y&R’s 45th anniversary celebration referred to during the above conversation.

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