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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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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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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?

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

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 on her, she still looks about 17.

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

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 liar who deliberately withheld the truth from Rick until she was sure he was going to marry her. And his name, who he is, the money and the life style was all that mattered. This story was suppose to build support and sympathy for Maya because she is transgender but BBell picked the wrong character for that. She is still a gold digging, manipulating liar.

It was and still is a badly written PSA that BBell can never do right. Had it not come out about Bruce Jenner, there would be no transgender story. Rick’s daily harping about Maya’s honesty and how she would never lie to him, yada, yada, yada one knew that something was coming. Then I read that it was decided early on that Maya would have a secret and the stories about Bruce dropped the idea in Bell’s lap.

I have nothing against transgender people. Had Bell brought on a new character with that secret of being transgender, it could have worked. But he backed the wrong character and expected everyone to suddenly like and sympathize with Maya. It didn’t work.

I agree 100% Eliza..

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 main characters are so idiotic. Who the hell is writing the dialogue for these characters? Mr. Bell, you are ruining a good soap opera. Go back to what you know best….living off your parents money

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

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 response, she suggests that Myron/Maya was breaking the law with boyfriend Jesse to get the money for the surgeries. It’s tied in with her response about the baby that wasn’t really her’s. There are probably hundreds if not thousands of people out there, stuck where Myron was at. They don’t have the financial means to get the surgeries but they aren’t out there breaking the law to get it either.

My point is that this story was a poorly conceived idea just as poorly written with the wrong character to play the part. It was taken out of the media in a knee jerk reaction and it’s an insult to anyone who has gone through it. Maya’s history on the show is that her every move was planned, including finding a rich husband and living the high life. Gold digging. Manipulating. Liar. And then they just threw in a transgender story on top of it.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 put Maya up in a pent house & treated Caroline like dirt. I’m sorry I really don’t care for this pity Rick & Maya crap at all. Back to Y & R for me.

I agree 100% Nikki..

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

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 with their relationship. Karma is a #itch Wyatt lol. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…

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, manipulating liar such as Maya.

Transgenders are NOT gold digging, manipulating liars but Maya is. There is a huge difference.

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 all to believe Rick who has known this character of Maya and was intimate with her doesn’t blink or bat an eye to her Reveal??? Come on what a big heaping load of crap!!! Shame on Brad Bell and the what do you call them, writers? To take an important subject like being transgender and give it to characters to whom people feel no attachment or caring for. They lost their viewers attention because of the dislike of these characters , it clouded it all. Now are they going to throw a lot of characters under the bus so the viewer should feel sympathy for these two??? Good luck with that one. They should have kept it real! The viewer would have learned so much more. Before anyone immature comments on this and says “what would you have like to happen ?for Rick to hit or beat Maya… Of coarse not moron but for sure a huge disappointment in not being told such a reveal that could affect the person you care about. Also the endless comments how Ricks character hates to be lied to… ? The character of Maya thoughtfully choose to keep information from him even when she knew how he would feel , um I’d call it lying to save yourself … How fake was this story !!!Ugh what a disappointment of a show ..boo and a big thumbs down to the Bold and Beautiful :0(

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 episode or two and just when you think you can get something out of the storyline, its over. No past, an unclear present, and no future. Keep watching B & B, this show has all the ear marks of prejudice and phobia. I would have applauded louder then thunder had Karla Mosley been a true Transgender.

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 .

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 nice living the life-style they we’re living. Caroline (after kissing Ridge twice) wanted to make her marriage work. Rick humiliated her in front of everyone when he got the job by picking Maya to be by his side & Maya humiliated Caroline by outing her in a board meeting. I’m sorry I would like to see all three of them tossed out on their ass but lately Eric is a gutless wimp who should be out with them. Stephany’s picture should be put back up, Eric needs to take back his house, kick Brooke back to her lab. and let Ridge take over.

I like you 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 men. Wow nuff said she needs to get back to her lab.

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

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 ?

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 to Maya being an unsympathetic trans character, well she has sympathy for her hard life but I like that they didn’t make her “with a heart of gold”, she’s mean and spiteful and flawed just like any other character, in essence, equal! But she needed a public revealing and comeuppance like she did to Caroline. The show is getting a little too “educational” when they could still do the same thing WITH drama. Ridge doesn’t tell Nick that Rick has used a gun on his wife recently? Nick and Ridge could have run to save Maya! But no, Nick came across as flat as Nancy Reagan stepping on the set to deliver an anti-drug message.

Right now Bill’s my hero for having the guts to print the truth as would happen in real life. This IS what happens when someone sets out to deceive others, Maya needs to pay for it. (Not with her life of course.)

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 this show yes Ivy is borderline that character but besides her not really they all have been bullies and hurtful at one point so for me that is just so whatever to criticize. As for the fact that Karla isn’t transgender the problem with that is it implies that people can only be characters that match up with there own gender identity either being cis or trans woman/man and sexual orientation. which is crazy so many amazing actors don’t follow that kind of logic when auditioning for different roles. Also need I remind people that whilst the role of Nick is at the moment being the support for maya and giving a better perceptive on being transgender to the rest of the character on the show it has been confirmed that this character is here to stay so when all is said and done we will most likely see a huge amount of character development and no doubt we will see a romance unfold (My money is on it being Ivy but who knows). So if your waiting for them to pair a transgender actor playing a transgender character with someone on the show it will happen eventually. Another point to add of course is the back story I always felt that this would be the biggest struggle with this storyline moving forward and I do wish they had spend more time on telling it from start to finish incorporating what we already know but we have heard bits here and bits there and it all totally fits but I want to see Maya sit down and tell her whole back story because it fits for me they explained it clearly but on a soap it does need to be repeated a few times because people can sometimes miss it and they haven’t done that with her back story really.

At least they are consistent.

Last one to know on the cast: Jacob

Last one to know in his family: Rick

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

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 Stephanie was alive and still don’t. I miss Stephanie a lot. She was something else. What about Brooke breaking up Stephanie and Eric? I miss her. And her portrayer.

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 !!!!

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.

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!

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

Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

What has it been like working with Abigail Klein?

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Watch the livestream chat with Blake in full below.

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

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: CBS

Watch the full 45th anniversary conversation with Melody below.

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

 

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

PhotoL JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

How is Billy Flynn to work with?

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

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

SUSAN: Oh yeah.

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: NBC

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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