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The Jacob Young Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Courtesy/CEG

It has been over eleven years since Daytime Emmy winner, Jacob Young, has appeared on his original daytime stomping grounds, The Bold and the Beautiful. Now, one of soaps favorite “bad boys”, (as the former JR Chandler of AMC), comes home to reprise the role of Rick Forrester! After all, who doesn’t remember all the twists and turns of the Rick and Amber relationship back in the day? In this new interview with On-Air On-Soaps, Jacob reveals “not so fast” about going back to revisit history, and that Rick has a lot to prove this time out!

Now as many longtime daytime fans know, Jacob just completed an amazing eight year as JR Chandler on All My Children. AMC had its network television conclusion on ABC last month on September 23rd. Shortly before that time, Jacob and B&B had announced that he struck a deal to come over to the international hit, and thus would not be continuing with AMC when it moves to the Internet in the early part of 2012 in its new home, The Online Network. Jacob fills us in on his difficult decision to leave Pine Valley, his thoughts on the controversial network TV finale which saw JR aiming a gun at the citizens of Pine Valley, and how he is ready to turn the page on life as a Chandler, and embrace life again as a key member of the Forrester clan.

We have always found Jacob to be one of the most endearing, honest, and refreshing actors to speak with in the genre. And so, On-Air On-Soaps is thrilled to bring this one-on-one chat with Jacob to you, as we welcome the original Rick home!

MICHAEL:

Jacob, you decided to come back to The Bold and the Beautiful instead of staying with All My Children with its move online. Why the decision to make such a BOLD move?

Courtesy/CBS

JACOB:

The issue with leaving AMC was about the uncertainty. Is there going to be a future? How serious are they about the online venture? How is it going to work? And I had just recently heard a rumor that they are actually moving all the sets out of the studio. Now I know with One Life to Live their team is signed and their people are pretty much ready and gung-ho. But I knew there was going to be a little resistance with AMC. Maybe it was a bit of foreshadowing, but with The Bold and the Beautiful it was my first job. So there is this sort of romanticism about my first break into Hollywood.

MICHAEL:

I remember interviewing you back in 1997-1998, when you were first at B&B. It seems so long ago, but look at where things are now! The old adage proves true, “Never say never”!

JACOB:

It has gone full circle. I am lucky to be one of the actors in a diminishing market to have some place to go, especially now with the way the economy, and jobs, and the uncertainty of our future, and the new great depression upon us. So, it’s nice to just be able to have a job and be a wanted.

MICHAEL:

Did you talk with Brad Bell, the executive producer and head writer of B&B, about story before you decided to sign on the dotted line? B&B has proven tricky sometimes when big name actors come to the show, because of the focus on main characters and that the show is only a half-hour long … so you can only pack so much story in that amount of time.

JACOB:

Courtesy/CBS

Thirty minutes certainly does not allow that much time for storytelling, but I said, “Brad, it really does not matter to me where you want to put me right now. I just want a chance to have everybody warm back up to him, and be worked into the story somewhere so people will start seeing Rick, and becoming use to and comfortable with me again.”

MICHAEL:

Seems like an excellent plan, so Rick is not shoved down the audiences throat!

JACOB:

Right. I have totally taken a different approach on this. The writers have caught on, or are just on the same page with me. Rick is going to stand up for what he believes in, but his approach is a little more tactful. He wants a fresh start. Now, obviously all those old rivalries will pick up and probably blow up in his face, but at least Rick is making efforts to try and mend relationships with the damage he did in the past.

MICHAEL:

You are not telling On-Air On-Soaps fans that you are going to be a complete good-guy are you? Soap fans have come love you as a badass! (Laughs)

JACOB:

(Laughs) I am sure there will be a time when I go straight for the throat. I know there will be that dichotomy with Thomas, because he is fighting for his position in the family. Rick is still a little older than him and wants to make sure he settles down a bit.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Do you ever look at Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) and go, “You play my mother?”

JACOB:

Every day! (Laugh) She is my mother, but she is absolutely beautiful and dateable! She is more than dateable! I find myself stammering on myself when she is talking to me. She is being genuine and I am like, “Uh-Uh-Uh.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

And then John McCook (Eric) plays your dad! That must have been very cool for you to come back and get the opportunity to work with him again.

JACOB:

Well, I really bond with John on an almost a real father/son level. We always had that relationship even back in the days. He is the guy that takes everyone under his wing and makes everyone feel comfortable. If we could all aspire to be that kind of person and say, “hello” and embrace and hold and be friendly, I think the world would be a better place.

MICHAEL:

Rick finds out that his former flame, Amber, and Marcus had a child immediately upon arriving back on the scene!

JACOB:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Yes, that was right off the bat at the beginning of my return. Rick found that out, and he says to Marcus, “So, you and Amber are an item?” And Marcus tells him they are absolutely not together. And then there is some small talk and that opened up a little story arc that is happening with that. This was one of the things Brad and I talked about.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Rick would really forgive Amber for all she has done to him in the past?

JACOB:

I think he can forgive, but you never forget, and that I think is going to be the barrier. Amber is very supportive of Rick taking an active interest in the family.

MICHAEL:

In addition, Rick came back to town and instantly wanted to help Hope with her relationship mess with Liam.

JACOB:

Yes, absolutely. He wanted to help Hope. You see that caring side of Rick that was not there that much before. He really loves his sister. He wants her to be happy with Liam, because that’s what she wants. However, Rick thinks Liam is a dirt bag, but if his sister loves a dirt bag, then that is how it’s got to be. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

So if there is an open playing field for Rick Forrester, in terms of a romantic interest, who would you like to see him paired with on the canvas?

JACOB:

There are very few women on this show that are in my age range. Brad and I were talking a little bit about that. Maybe down the line we will recruit in someone new.

MICHAEL:

Yes! Maybe there was a woman from Rick’s past while he was away in Paris whom they need to bring in.

JACOB:

John McCook said maybe there was someone he met down in shipping and maybe she is someone who is European. That would make for an interesting storyline. We will see how the cards fall. Right now, he is really just trying to figure out if he wants to stay in town, or go back to work for the International Side of Forrester Creations.

MICHAEL:

Now Rick is going to get involved with Thorne and Taylor as they maneuver their takeover of Forrester Creations!

JACOB:

Yeah, it is sort of everyone coming together going, “OK. We have really got to make a run at this, because we are falling short as far as the fashion is concerned. We have got to put our heads together and rise above.” I think Rick’s intention is to work with Thorne and Taylor. Now it may be to stick it to the other Forresters, but I think it’s mainly about the competition and putting the brand back out there. Rick wants to be the guy to help bring that together.

MICHAEL:

What does he really do for Forrester? Do we know? Or, should we make it up? (Laughs)

JACOB:

Courtesy/ABC

(Laughs) He was running the international team from a business perspective, because Rick is not a designer, although they recently have hinted that maybe he is designing a little bit. And, I can’t draw and neither can Rick, apparently! (Laughs) I would say, Rick takes an active role internationally in sales and business, and works on some creative ideas. I think he agrees with Thorne and Taylor right now; that there has to be change and has to be a movement that happens that puts Forrester back on the map!

MICHAEL:

Will we see Ridge and Rick at odds again? Remember; while you were away from B&B there was that “balcony” drama story point.

JACOB:

Yes. absolutely. There is always this “tread lightly” kind of attitude between him and Ridge, because you know at any minute they could blow up at each other. Rick is trying to resolve that stuff and come in with a fresh slate.

MICHAEL:

OK, but would you say the fans should trust that?

JACOB:

No. Absolutely not! (Laughs) There is definitely a storm brewing.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Let’s talk about the controversial ending of All My Children and the finale episode, which has been all the buzz for the last several weeks. There you were in the closet with a gun in the final episode. And the talk is, “Did JR shoot himself? Or did he shoot somebody?” What did you think about how it ended?

JACOB:

I will tell you this, the way they had written it was not the way they had edited it. It was definitely changed in the editing and I can tell you now. Originally, JR was supposed to unload a bunch of rounds of fire. He was basically going to take out everybody he was at odds with. And then, I got a change in the script like a day before the taping, saying that there is just going to be one shot fired. So then they taped the show with my gun out as if I was shooting somebody, and there was a billow of smoke and the whole thing. So it was definitely not JR that got shot. But now with this, they could change it that JR did kill himself, especially with editing. And actually, it was one of my ideas to begin with, where I said to them, maybe we should leave it to where maybe he killed himself.

MICHAEL:

What many are speculating is, since AMC already knew you had signed at B&B before the final episode was taped, that perhaps they changed the original scripted ending because they knew you were not continuing on with the online.

JACOB:

I was already in talks with B&B, but they did not know that. I don’t know how much that has to do with the decision of the ending, because they had written that before all of this happened. But keep in mind; JR still had that plane ready to fly out of town.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Originally, ABC had been planning a two-hour finale for AMC, before it was going to continue online with Prospect Park. Did they shoot a second hour of the finale that is in the can, that would further explain what happened if that were to be put up online as the premiere episode?

JACOB:

No, unfortunately not. Now they could re-edit from that point of what we shot, where JR makes a run for it. I was not satisfied myself. I just think the ending was not clear enough. The gunshot sounded muffled and I felt like it should have rang out, but maybe if it was a close-range shot to himself… who knows? The Prospect Park team did come to me and make me an offer, and it was not the offer that I wanted. So I passed softly. But I just don’t see how the show will be the same if not everybody agrees. I know everybody is still emailing each other, and we have an email chain where we talk about the negotiations. So I have some insight on those things.

MICHAEL:

Talking with your former castmates, it would seem that most people on the outside truly don’t understand what they went through and the toll it took on them. The cast was moved from coast to coast, they were promised many things and were disappointed, and there were constant cancellation rumors. Right now, they don’t know who is going to be producing and writing the show …

JACOB:

…We had so many days cut back, and instead the network would air historical episodes. It was just not a good year for All My Children. We were hoping there would be enough momentum to carry us through another few years, but ABC pulled the plug. So absolutely, there is a lot to think about. Because you have to understand from the actor’s perspective if that could happen there, it could happen again with a new team as well. There is also consideration of where is all their funding coming from? How much are they going to be able to raise? How long will they keep it afloat? But, I can tell you personally for me and my career, to come to B&B was the right move. Regardless of the terms of how I left B&B years ago, Brad and I have a great relationship. He is one of those kinds of guys that I can just talk to about anything, and its vice-versa. With other executive producers, that is your boss, and you need to tiptoe a little bit. But with Brad, I can talk to him on a one-to-one level. So he is excited about it, and I am excited about it.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

So, did you come in with a laundry list of storylines for Brad Bell to consider?

JACOB:

No, I really didn’t. I knew he was going to get cracking on it and wherever it’s going to land, it’s going to land. Then, it’s really up to me now to put the emphasis on particular scenes to help control things a little bit. And, that was always my intention with JR … which was to make him emulate and become more like his father, Adam Chandler, every day. And so by manifesting and bringing it into the story, the writers had nowhere else but to go there. But it was the best thing for JR.

MICHAEL:

Five-time Daytime Emmy winner, David Canary (Adam/Stuart Chandler) came back for the final week of All My Children. He was so riveting to watch, and every time he is on-screen he commands it! It must have been such a nice button on the AMC experience to have some final scenes with him.

JACOB:

David makes other actors, better actors. He is fantastic to watch. When I found he was coming back, I welled up with tears. I was just so excited to be able to see him. You spend so much time with somebody on such an intimate level, and it’s so cliché, but it becomes family. I will tell you this … every day David Canary would compliment me. He would say out loud to people, “You know, Jacob is very talented.” I am like, “David, are you serious? You should be looking at yourself!”

MICHAEL:

What did your castmates say to you when you decided to leave AMC and come to B&B? I know AMC creator, Agnes Nixon had some very choice, but humorous words for you on that.

Courtesy/ABC

JACOB:

They were all excited for me and they said it was the right move. They were happy that I was going to an internationally successful show. Michael Knight (Tad, AMC) called me right as the story broke. He said to me, “Jacob, are you going over to B&B?” And I go, “Yeah, and it’s hard for me to let people know.” And he said, “I am so happy for you. It is the right move for you.” So that felt good coming from my peers that they had the same sentiments.

MICHAEL:

In a way, there had to be some emotion tied to your decision to leave AMC. I am sure there were moments of it being a “hard call”. What will you miss most about playing JR?

JACOB:

A lot of people feel without the Chandlers what is All My Children? So I was tossing around new title ideas, “All My New Children.” (Laughs) Some of the things I will miss most about playing JR is what came out of his mouth, and even making him a homophobe at the end! (Laughs) I would read the scripts shocked, but also at the same time, this is who he is. I will miss his spontaneity and getting a bit vulgar. I mean, there was no edit button on him. As far as his drinking at the end, that storyline seems a bit recycled. I wish he would have recovered a bit from that and been a responsible drinker.

MICHAEL:

So are you good with putting JR to rest and moving foraward to play Rick on B&B?

Courtesy/ABC

JACOB:

The only thing I was upset about was the ending of AMC and how cryptic it was. I wish there was more of a through line on that. But, I do feel like a page has turned and not to be cliché, but it has. It is behind me now. It is weird for me to be back at B&B in the sense that it has been so long, and so much has happened in between. For myself, it is about the uncertainty within my abilities to rejuvenate Rick and bring it back. But at the same time, it is challenge and I love challenges. I have different days where I feel gung-ho and other days where I feel, “I hope this is the right place.” But this is natural, and with anytime in life that you make a change, there is that transition period. They say: uncertainty is what normally brings about the right decision.

MICHAEL:

You are scheduled to meet the fans at the end of October on the east coast in the personal appearance series, A Tribute to Pine Valley. How were you able to get time off to do that while you are taping another soap? What are you going to say to people when they come up to you at the fan events and tell you how much they miss JR, and you have some very emotionally-charged moments with them? Are you going to tell them to check you out on B&B?

JACOB:

Well, that is the thing. I told production I had this previous commitment. I said, “Here’s the deal. I think it’s important number one for AMC, because it’s only a core group of actors who are doing it. And secondly, if people don’t watch CBS and want to know what I am doing, I can absolutely plug in B&B. I can also tell them that B&B is only thirty minutes, and to help them make the transition to decide to watch it. It is hard to do, but I am always proud of the decisions I make, and hopefully the fans will feel that as well. And I think if they truly care about Jacob Young and are interested in following my next career move, they will do that. Some of the soap fans network hop anyway. It was interesting. I was at a Bold and Beautiful autograph signing, and I had not even aired yet on the series. A lot of fans I saw there were the fans I see at a lot of All My Children fan events. So I think fans will move around a little bit.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

In closing, what do you want say to your fans, and fans of B&B, that they should be on the lookout for from your revitalized Rick Forrester?

JACOB:

He is going to surprise you. He is going to bring back the core of what Rick is about and stood for back when we first knew him, but with an edge, and without being a complete jerk. He is going to be fighting for his position in the family again. He has learned a lot while he has been away working for the international side, and he is ready to put his stamp on the company. I always say there is a big main difference between JR on All My Children and Rick on B&B. Rick has nothing to prove, he came from a loving family that cared about him, and he could always talk to them, whereas JR had nobody and especially at the end! It’s going to be a very exciting time for me and the viewers over at The Bold and the Beautiful that is for sure.

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Bren
Bren

This is great! I appreciate his candor. I think he made the right decision going back to B&B.

Sarah
Sarah

We’re with you Jacob! can’t wait to see the original new Rick in more action.

Y&R best
Y&R best

Jacob Young is the one and only Rick Forrester. So glad to see him back. I hope we will see less Liam and the youngsters and more about Eric, Stephanie and Rick.

ellen
ellen

this was fabulous. Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to interview Jacob. I always love his interviews, and I’m enjoying him as Rick.

ethel
ethel

jacob was very candid and most of all seemed very satisfied with his decision to go back to b&b –
this was the most down to earth interview i have read from an amc actor since the online ending of amc & maybe it’s because jacob has pretty much settled somewhere else……………i was already watching b&b because i followed don diamont there y&r – lol
thanks michael for posting this interview

Marley
Marley

thanks for the great interview.
I admire Jacob’s honesty and insightfulness and I look forward to seeing more of Rick in action on B&B.
´
jacob’s comments on AMC’s ending are very interesting. I wonder if he’s still working on the documentary that he was shooting about AMC’s last days?

Nancy Wizner
Nancy Wizner

I’m sure Jacob made the right decision for himself in returning to B&B. My only question is “WHY THE RESISTANCE WITH AMC?” Millions are waiting for AMC to start up in January and now there is a rumor that it won’t? Even PP can’t stick to their word!

Nancy Wizner
Nancy Wizner

Is AMC a go with PP or not? Jacob seems to be hinting that it is not.

ethel
ethel

in what part of this interview did jacob seem to be hinting that amc is not a go with prospect park?? are you referring to the section where he talked about where pp will be getting their funding & the amount of the funding??

Nancy Wizner
Nancy Wizner

Very first question. Why did Jacob decide to go back to B&B rather than stay with AMC. He made a few statements to make me think and everyone is already wondering what’s going on with PP. Two of the cast has resigned. Haven’t heard anything lately. Only dead silence!

Ina
Ina

Kinda in aw about it watched it for 40 years off and on. Hope they all have something to do like old suzan lucci. Maybe she can revamp the show? They come and go like the rest of us. Will miss the show though

kay killgore
kay killgore

Does anyone know about Young just signing a short contract with B&B and then going back over to PP for AMC?

Angelmi
Angelmi

I fell in love with Jacob as Lucky on GH, and really loved him as JR on AMC, I am so excited to have him back on B&B, since I missed him the first time as Rick, he is doing a great job back there, and made the right decision not to wait for AMC on the internet.

Thanks for this interview.

annie
annie

jacob young is one of the best actors ever , he could pass for brad pitts brother, i am an avid fan, good luck mr. young

Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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Dancing with the Stars Juniors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

ADAM:  No.

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

TAMARA:  Correct.

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

TAMARA:  Kim doesn’t know anything about it.

Photo: ABC

Does Kim want Josslyn to be with Oscar?

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

Photo Credit: ABC

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: ABC

What attributes of Kim do you like playing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy: TBraunTwitter

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Such a great role!

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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Video du Jour

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

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