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The James Scott Interview – Days of our Lives

Oh Baby!

James Scott

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

This is it! The long awaited reveal of baby Sydney is finally going to come out next week on Days of our Lives. James Scott, who has played EJ Dimera’s plight through this complex baby switch, talks to On-Air On-Soaps about the intricacies of the monumental plot twists from baby Grace to baby Sydney, and all things and destination and angles in between.

The set-up as many know: Nicole miscarried EJ’s baby. She then switched teenager Mia’s baby with Sami’s, because Sami’s baby would still have EJ’s DNA… so she could pass off that baby as EJ’s and hers. Then, the baby Sami believed to be hers (who she believed was EJ’s) suddenly died. Thus, making the only living baby, Sami’s original baby, who Nicole has been keeping for herself… Confused???

In this interview, James Scott, the dashing Brit previews the next beats in the story. He talks about EJ’s backbone, and if “EJami” will get a second chance, and he tells you why (if you don’t already know) that in November, DAYS is must see daytime TV!

You can see James at A DAY of DAYS fan event today in Los Angeles and he is our soap guest this week on The Scott and Melissa Reeves Show airing on syndicated radio airing through next Thursday.

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

As EJ, you have so much material and are on the show so much of the time. As an actor, does it ever get daunting?

JAMES:

It’s always daunting. I have spent most weeks thinking how am I going to get through this week? And by the time I get to Friday, I can’t believe it’s coming to an end. But at the same time the story had been really good, and as long as you are not in that trap on soaps where things can be repetitive and get drawn out much longer than they should be drawn out …that is when things get tough. It happens here sometimes when you think, “Didn’t I just have this scene with the same person a few months ago on a slightly different set?“ That gets a bit difficult to remember and all the time I am asking what happened yesterday? Where am I going? Most of the time we are shooting completely out of sequence.

MICHAEL:

James, was it hard for you to keep straight all the twists and turns of the baby switch storyline?

James Scott with babyJAMES:

It has been confusing, but I think I have been doing a pretty good job. I think this has been a really good storyline, and there was a time when it ran into a risk
of being the trap I spoke of, of going on a bit too long, and they kept teasing the end of the story far too much, and to my mind it became a bit tedious. Aside from that, it has been a really strong story and it has had a lot of different twists and turns that I liked. I was chatting with our executive producer yesterday and he was going to give me some information on what is going to happen to EJ into next year and it was lovely. My jaw just dropped and I went, “What? Wow!”

MICHAEL:

So, you liked it?

JAMES:

I really like the things they are doing and some of the stuff coming is stuff I had been pushing for, for a long time…. but I am not going to say what it is!

MICHAEL:

Will you as EJ be more snarky and more evil?

JAMES:

I will be a lot less of a pushover. It was hard to play the scenes where Nicole would be crying and Brady would be with her and I would go, “What is going on here?” She would rub her fake belly and she would say, “I am just having some fake pregnancy things.” EJ would be like, “Oh, well OK”, time and time and time again, and that era I want over. I think I said to Soap Opera Digest that EJ was the ‘village idiot ‘and I don’t want that to be the fair representation of the character and EJ continually being misled in this way. I can understand certain aspects of the story and that he had faith in Nicole and that commitment, and when you have strong faith it’s hard for people to undermine it. But ultimately you would have to ask some questions when they don’t add up. EJ does ask some questions, but he was easily satisfied by the answers. I don’t think he should have taken them on face value, as he did. So, I am happy to see he is doing a lot less of that.

MICHAEL:

So coming up EJ will have more business and relationship drama?

JAMES:

Both, of course. It’s set up for that. Now I have a baby with Sami, and there is that relationship with Samantha that they have been teasing for years.

EJ and SamiMICHAEL:

Would you love to see
EJ and Sami (or affectionately known as “EJami”) get back together? Or, is it time for a new woman for EJ?

JAMES:

It depends on what they do with Sami, because EJ and Sami worked well when they were both bad. Recently Sami has been more of a ‘goody girl’. It’s harder to pair the ‘goody girl’ with the bad guy, but they have these kids that connect them and these huge connections between the two of them. You have to have more of that for a relationship to work. So either I have to be not so bad or she has to be not so good, or we meet in the middle. There are lot of people who are very supportive of Sami and EJ. I have now been working in soaps for six years, and it seems to me that when the fans really want something, and the networks and the producers know about it, they want to give it to you as much as you want to get it. But they want you to have to wait.

MICHAEL:

Right! The powers-that-be and the network brass want fans to tune in to see if the couple they are rooting for will get back together.

JAMES:

So I would think that Sami and EJ would be a potential relationship. I don’t think I am giving anything away about that because it seems like an obvious extension to where we are.

MICHAEL:

How has it been having two other leading men put into the mix for you? I am taking about Galen Gering (Rafe) and Eric Martsolf (Brady).

JAMES:

Galen and Eric are great additions to the show, and Lindsay Harley (Arianna) as well. My relationship with those two guys is important, because on the show it’s very adversarial. It helps me a lot because I don’t like to have anyone at work I don’t get on with. It’s important as soon as you stop tape you get along with people. Both of these guys are good actors, and every now and again my character is a nasty guy to them. So sometimes when actors come on the show that are less experienced, EJ gets to go to town, or James gets to go to town and show what a nasty character I play. But it works to support this kind of character. Eric Martsolf, in particular, makes me work harder. The first thing I did with Eric was I tried to do something and walk around him in a way that he was stuck in the middle. I sort of walk around them, which makes me look like the powerful one. Eric is experienced. He stepped off his mark and came right up to me, which is good, I think.

MICHAEL:

In this entire baby switch arc, you had some very big moments as an actor and as EJ. One that comes to mind was your monologue in the morgue with dead baby Grace.

Nicole and babyJAMES:

The big days I felt for me were the days I lost Grace and I thought she was my daughter and when I went into the morgue. The unraveling of the material with Nicole was not as immediate, he had to piece things together and come to the realization. With Grace it was two scenes of me standing in front of Sami and one scene of me getting it. So you went from knowing nothing to everything within a short amount of time. With the Sydney story it was slightly different and more protracted.

MICHAEL:

But next week Stefano puts out a hit on Rafe, and things start to make sense to many people about what baby Sydney’s true parentage really is!

JAMES:

Stefano puts a hit on Rafe and it does not make sense to EJ. He does not like Rafe, but did not understand the orders for a hit. So he think there is clearly something going on here that he doesn’t know. So it seems to EJ that Rafe must know something about his family that his father does not want to be out as information. And that information is the DNA test that shows that Sydney is biologically Samantha’s and mine. So this is the beginning of my finding out about the real baby and what is going on.

MICHAEL:

Now that the truth comes out, can we expect big emotional stakes and moments between you and Alison Sweeney (Sami)?

JAMES:

The fact is that they don’t like each other right now very much. They are going to have to deal with this situation and put their heads together and work out how they are going to resolve a problem that is not going to go away for a long time.

James and AriMICHAEL:

How has it been working with Arianne Zuker (Nicole) this entire storyline? She has carried so much of the load of this to make it work. And Arianne is due to have her first child in December! She will be a real-life mom!

JAMES:

She is pregnant in real life and she is not at all crazy or emotional…not more than usual. (Laughs) She is really lovely and it is a privilege working with her. She is an exceptional actress. Arianne is no different pregnant or not pregnant. For a long time she has had scenes with a child being taken from her… the miscarriage… and now she had another child taken from her. Now she can relate to Nicole in a way, because now she is having a baby in a real life. So it makes those performances all the more wonderful.

MICHAEL:

Now there is a new drug storyline involving EJ. Tell us the set-up.

JAMES:

I bought the drug operation Victor had. Victor sold it because he did not want Brady’s hands on it. So I am now a drug kingpin, which is fine, and I don’t mind that really. It’s a noble way to earn a living. I have a job in Salem, which most people don’t (Laughs). They don’t have jobs in Salem. They go from having no money at all to giving Nicole $50,000. It’s strange!

MICHAEL:

But being that EJ hates Brady, and Brady is a recovering drug addict, that could only mean….Oh, I hate to think! Bad stuff for Brady?

EJ workingJAMES:

I spoke with our executive producer and I said, “I really, really feel EJ needs to have one or two scenes where he hits Brady in the face till he is bloody and unconscious. I think it
would make EJ feel much better.” Brady was up to
his neck in the cover up about the baby and the
fact that EJ does not rip him apart with his bare hands is beyond me. Let’s talk reality for a second! If someone kept your child’s existence from you what would you do? Guaranty you would just kill them, you really would.

MICHAEL:

So what would you tell soap fans about November sweeps on DAYS? It looks to be kicking into high gear here!

JAMES:

Knowing what I know of this show between now and March of 2010, every week is must see DAYS TV. I have never seen such impressive story outlines, ever! We have an incredible cast now, and Crystal Chappell (Carly) is with us, too. She is lovely and a very nice addition to the cast, and now we really have a lovely cast here. We don’t have any kind of friction on this set at all.

MICHAEL:

I am glad to hear you say that, because there was a time last year that morale on the set was at its all-time lowest, with cancellation rumors and major cast cuts. Has it changed here?

James ScottJAMES:

A year ago the morale was different and it has to do with executives having to hammer a deal with the network to stay on the air. From what we heard, it had to do with the negotiations and consequently we got a year’s contract (not really very long) and we ended up in a hole where our budgets got cut drastically. Our ratings had averaged about a 1.9 and now it is a 2.2. These things are important. NBC does not measure ratings by how many people watch the show. They measure the ratings in how many people watch the commercials, and that is what keeps us on the air.

MICHAEL:

When fans meet you, what do they ask you the most?

JAMES:

Every time: “When are you going to get together with Sami?” Or up until recently, “When are you going to find out about the baby?”

MICHAEL:

Nothing about how incredibly tall you are?

JAMES:

Often when I meet them I am sitting down. So they don’t get the full majesty of my height, because I am pretty tall.

MICHAEL:

So if we were to preview what’s coming up for EJ on DAYS, what would you say?

JAMES:

I can tell you that the stuff I am shooting now with EJ is the best stuff I have ever filmed! There is so much I can’t tell you. It’s the best time to watch the show since I came to the show three and half years ago. The stuff you are going to find out now and the stuff you are going to find out in a bit, and in a long time, and the way they are pulling everything together, is very interesting!

James Scott with babyMICHAEL:

Will there be emotional scenes when Sami gets her baby back?

JAMES:

I can tell you this: There is going to be a huge… huge… twist that you don’t see coming that is going to turn that story on its head.

MICHAEL:

When you found out that twist, were you surprised?

JAMES:

I was surprised, but I thought it was brilliant! Brilliant!

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marjiNANCYchristieRJSMichael Jenkins Recent comment authors
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justin
Guest
justin

james is hot

Sue
Guest
Sue

The trouble with huge twists that you don’t see coming is not we KNOW there is a huge twist coming! But it is really not possible to be completely spoiler free if you are on the internet, soap sites, show boards, twitter and are a fan of Days. The people who will be surprised will be folks watching that don’t use the internet to keep up with the actors. I see James has voiced some of the same frustrations I have seen on the boards about the storyline. I have noticed in various interviews with different actors on this soap… Read more »

Polly
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Polly

I see great things for James on and beyond Days. He’s got a beautiful voice and a great screen presence. I’d like to see him in feature films. Wonder if he’s classically trained?

Michael Jenkins
Guest
Michael Jenkins

James is my favorite actor on the show, great interview.

RJS
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RJS

James presence on the show is really dynamic. He draws you in almost as a Shakespearen tragic figure with both dark, devious, mad sides, but then vulnerable, tender, longing to be loved and to love moments. I really have not watched the show much in years, but I happened to see it the other day, and once I started to watch him I was smitten. He has quite an acting depth and range, and of course, his adonis good looks make him very pleasing to watch :). The writers should be very careful how they handle his character’s storylines –… Read more »

christie
Guest

yummy! I have never been into the soaps…..but my god…..this man….James Scott is so good….but really how TALL is he…..I can see him go far as an actor if he plays his cards right!!!!

NANCY
Guest
NANCY

a female stranger named grace ej dimera’s new love intrest but grace has a secret it has something to do with sami and ej played by nancy walberg

marji
Guest
marji

“nothing about how incredibly tall you are?” sounds so rude {& jealous}! most of the males in my family are 6’1″ to 6’5″, & some of us females are 6′ tall, so GROW UP, michael!
& learn some manners, while you’re @ it.

Interviews

Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Kim Waltrip Talk Plans & Launch Campaign To Make ‘Dial Emme For Murder’ into a Series

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner, and soap opera favorite Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R and Ex-Kristen/Susan, Days) is bringing one of her soap opera mystery novels to life with a proposed six-part series for the soapy and hilarious mystery, Dial Emme For Murder.

Joining Eileen in the cast will be none other than Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R) , Knots Landing favorite, Donna Mills (Ex-Abby), and primetime TV and film actress, Nancy Valen.  More cast members will be announced in the future.

Photo: JPI

In Dial Emme for Murder, Davidson plays actress Emmanuelle “Emme” Peterson, a successful soap star who finds herself smack dab in the middle of a  whodunit.

Now, in conjunction with the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television (PSWIFT), and its president and director/producer, Kim Waltrip, Davidson is launching a fundraising campaign to get the series made.

Photo: EDavidson

In an exclusive interview on the Michael Fairman Channel, Eileen, Judith and Kim exclusive reveal key Intel on the project, campaign and working together.  The proposed series has also launched its official website here.

About PSWIFT:  PSWIFT (Palm Springs Women in Film & Television) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2001 dedicated to promoting our members, both men and women in the Entertainment, New Media Creative arts community. In 2020 Palm Springs Women in Film & Television created and launched a Filmmakers’ Lab to teach members how to make a film, by making a film, hands-on.

PSWIFT is currently seeking donations through their non-profit – which are 100% tax-deductible – to fund the Filmmakers’ Lab’s next venture Dial Emme for Murder.  You can find out more on the different perks and packages if you donate to the project here.

Watch the interview with Michael, Eileen, Judith, and Kim below.

Then let us know, if you think Dial Emme for Murder featuring powerhouse actress, Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Donna Mills, will be a must-see for you via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Chats On Mia St. John’s Powerful Interview on ‘State of Mind’, Winning the Daytime Emmy & Sonny’s Future If Carly & Jason Get Hitched

Since the launch of Maurice Benard’s You Tube series, State of Mind, he has welcomed numerous guests who have opened up and shared their struggles with different aspects of mental health.  But this Sunday, July 11th, Maurice will share for the first time his powerful and emotional sit-down interview with Mia St. John; one that he reveals was one of the most moving of his series thus far.

With Maurice being a huge boxing enthusiast throughout his life, having St. John, who is a boxer, herself, on as a guest was, of course, special. However, as soap fans know, Mia is also the former wife of the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters, Y&R) and they shared a son, Julian.  Both men died, tragically. Julian, suffered from a long-history of mental illness, and his death was ruled a suicide, and Kristoff was consumed with grief following his son’s death which ultimately set him on a downward spiral.  Kristoff’s death was ruled accidental caused by hypertrophic heart disease; which was exacerbated by alcohol use.  In the conversation with Benard, Mia opens about her own personal struggle with addiction and how she coped with these two devastating losses. (See an exclusive preview clip below within this interview)

It’s also been a whirlwind year for Maurice. He just took home his third Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series during the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards for his moving portrayal as GH’s Sonny Corinthos, as he goes through all the stages of a child watching his father, Mike Corbin (played by Emmy-winner Max Gail) slip away due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Since the Emmy broadcast was pre-taped due to Covid restrictions, except for revealing who the winners actually were, Benard shares what went down when his name was called watching the show from home with his family.

 

And … things are heating up on General Hospital!  For months, Benard has been playing an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” who has become taken with deceitful Nina (Cynthia Watros), who knows he is alive and well and living in Nixon Falls, but fails to tell her nemesis Carly (Laura Wright), or anyone else in Port Charles.  With everyone believing Sonny is dead after his showdown with Julian Jerome, Carly and Jason (Steve Burton) find themselves having to save Sonny’s territory and go up against the five families.  So, what are the besties deciding to do? Get married! And as viewers saw, Carly recently removed her wedding rings to Sonny.  So, now the question on GH fans inquiry minds is; will Sonny get his memory back in time, and stop Jason and Carly from tying the knot?

Benard weighs-in on what the future may hold for Sonny, the difficulties he faced during the Covid-19 lockdown with his mental health, his conversation with Mia, and much more.  Here’s what Maurice shared.

Courtesy/StateofMind

Having Mia St. John on as your guest on the upcoming episode of State of Mind was quite emotional for you. What can you preview? 

MAURICE:  I can say that during last ten minutes, there’s a lot of spiritual stuff going on.  I felt it.  She’s very tough.  You can tell that she doesn’t want to hurt anymore, and with me, I don’t know for sure, but I think she felt safe and protected.  We got into Julian and Kristoff and what happened.  I’m pretty sure I asked her and said, “I’d like to get into something.  You could say ‘no’ to me.  It’s fine,” and she told me the whole story.  Michael, I know you were friends with Kristoff, you’re going to really be moved because I was extremely moved.  It really, really hit me hard, because of what I’ve just been through during the pandemic. I just felt the need to be there for her.  I mean, I have that in me anyway, but with her, I did because it seemed like a lot for someone to go through.  I didn’t know Kristoff.  I met him once, and we talked for a bit.  He seemed like a great guy.  I knew he was a great actor because I watched his work.  I do know that everybody seemed to love him, but through State of Mind, it seemed like I got to know him a little better through Mia.  I was looking in her eyes, and taking it all in, and she was telling me everything.

Throughout your series, you seemed to have become more comfortable in the role of the interviewer.  It’s quite the switch isn’t it from always being on the other end as the interviewee.

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve gotten better.  You know what it is with me, and somebody said it, I’ve got a curiosity that I love to hear people’s stories, and I have a way to make people comfortable.

Photo: KSJIG

Does it help you in listening to what other people have gone through in dealing with your own struggles with mental illness?

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve said it before.  It’s like therapy for me.  After Mia, I was drained, but in a good way.  In the beginning of doing “State of Mind’, I was just learning.  I wish I was more well-rounded in my intelligence.  I barely graduated out of high school, but as far as what it is with me, if I know something like acting or mental health, I really completely know it.  I’m into it.

How did the interview with Mia come about?  Did you ask her to come on State of Mind?

MAURICE:  I know who is involved with mental health.  I know who would be interesting to interview, and then I reach out, and I have people coming who are not in the soap world.  I have a WWE person; I have a TV critic, etc.  So, I asked her, and Mia said ‘yes’, and then we did the interview.  I’m a huge boxing fan.  So, to be able to talk to her about boxing and things that happened to her right before her fights, I was just really fascinated.

That is right in your wheelhouse!

MAURICE:  Way up my alley!  If I could have more boxers on, I would love that.  I love sports, but boxing is my one sport, so I was like a kid in a candy store talking to Mia.

How do you feel Mia is doing as she has been very open about her battle with alcoholism?

MAURICE: Any time you’ve been through that much, I think it’s a daily struggle for anyone. In addition, there is a really great organization she works with that I hope people will check out as she is trying to help others.

In terms of all of your State of Mind’s, did this one impact you in a different way?

MAURICE:  The good thing for me about State of Mind is that I learn from each person about things that I didn’t know.  For instance, coming up I have: Linsey Godfrey (Ex-Sarah, DAYS) who got hit by a car.  I mean, you could read about it, but when you’re talking to someone, things come out.  That’s what I love about doing this show.  Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) didn’t know anything about mental illness, personally, but he talked about mental illness more than anyone!  I said to him on the episode, “For somebody who doesn’t know anything about mental illness or didn’t have someone with it, you talk more about it,” because he had a curiosity on the subject.  Mia’s was a little more because of the boxing and how deep we went with her talking about death.  In an upcoming episode with Ken Shriner (Scott, GH), he teaches me a lot about death.  When your parents die at 16, I don’t know how you could keep going.  He taught me how.  It was beautiful.

Photo: NATAS/CBS

Let’s go back to a few weeks ago on June 25th and you win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  How did you find out you took home the gold?

MAURICE:  I was at my place in LA with my son, Joshua and my wife, Paula and we were watching the show.  When they called my name, I was very moved to watch my wife and my son get so excited, it really was sweet.  I liked my speech even though people had a problem with it, which is fine.  It’s always great if Max Gail wins or I get a win, because it’s the Alzheimer’s storyline that gets the attention.  And as I told you already, my dad has Alzheimer’s so it makes it even more personal.

And as you know, my mom had Alzheimer’s and died.  That’s why what you and Max did together on-screen together felt so real and raw and touched so many people – especially those who have a loved one going through this now, or that has passed.

MAURICE:  Yeah, it’s tough. I truly believe with this Emmy win, that it is the Alzheimer’s that really pushed it over the edge because it was a real story, greatly written, everybody deals with it, including you, including me, and you just can’t help but have a feeling about it.  You know, if I have a reel that shows me as Sonny yelling at people, beating people up, it’s not going to give you the impact.

Photo: NATAS

Was it weird coming to the stage and doing a pre-taped Emmy acceptance speech knowing that everybody else that was nominated had to do one too?

MAURICE:  Well, thank, God I didn’t have to do it in front of actors; I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.  It’s weird, right?  I knew I had to adjust.  When I’ve won before, it’s in front of a lot of people, or semi-in front in a lot of people.  So, with this year, your energy is different.  So, you can’t act in a speech like that, because then it would seem kind of over the top, maybe.  So, I just made a speech that I thought would work for what I was doing; which is kind of acting because I didn’t want to come out and say, “Oh, my God!  I can’t believe it!”  So, I said, “Okay, I’ll thank the actors, I’ll thank Frank, and I’ll make it about Alzheimer’s.”

Photo: GFrancisTwitter

I know some fans on social media jumped on the comment you made within the speech about ‘being the star of the show’ and you did tweet out that you went to Genie Francis (Laura, GH) to make sure there were no ruffled feathers there.

MAURICE:  I went to Genie because I thought, I don’t want her to take what I said personally, and she’s like, “What are you talking about?”  Sometimes I respond to a negative comment on Twitter with an emoji which can incite people.  So, I decided, “I’m not going to do that anymore. No more responding.”  Like I always say, you want to be loved and you want to be hated.  You just want to be loved a little more. So, I stopped with the child’s play.  I’m cool with it.

It seemed that things got twisted up, because you had related in the speech, that Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) came over to you and said you have to do the storyline, because you are the star of the show, when you were overcome in the screen-test with Max Gail. 

MAURICE:  Sometimes people love to change the narrative.  If you watch everything … they say what I said, but they don’t say that I also said ‘Alzheimer’s’ was the star, but I’ll take the hit.

Courtesy/ABC

I recently posted a clip of my interview with Cynthia Watros from the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys saying how she is so thrilled and honored to work with you.  How is it working with Cynthia?

MAURICE:  Let me tell you about Cynthia, and this is just my experience because I don’t know her that well.  We hadn’t worked together before. First of all, we tend to overlook, because of her character and the story, or whatnot, is that she is a real actress.  Let’s not forget that, I know she did Lost, and I didn’t watch her on another soap.  I know from working with her.  She can act She makes adjustments, and she listens, and I’m really happy to be working with her.  She is just stuck in a circumstance that is not her fault, but you know what, like I said today I think on Twitter to somebody, ‘but wait’.  I’ve been working this last month doing some scenes with her, and when you see that, there’s a little bit of magic in there!  I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing in the world, I’m just saying there’s a little magic!

Photo: ABC

Have you liked being “Mike “and not having Sonny’s memory because it opened up the story?

MAURICE:  I know people think this story is my idea, like I needed a break or something.  It has nothing to do with me needing a break.  They came to me and said they were going to do this story.  I said, “Let’s do this!”  I’ve been enjoying this.  It’s a different energy.  The energy that Sonny has is dark.  It’s like in third gear.  Mike is like in first gear, calm, relaxed, happy.

You’re just realizing that now?

MAURICE:  (Laughs) Well, I guess until you’ve gone somewhere else you really don’t know.  Often times, when I do movies and other projects, it’s often the same kind of energy that Sonny has. I’ve never played a character like “Mike” where it’s a whole other feeling!

Courtesy/ABC

Is it more challenging to play a character like Mike?

MAURICE:  No, easier!  Sonny can be difficult to play.  But guess what?  The audience – at least my fans – they don’t care how happy I am or whatever, they are screaming “Go back to fricken Sonny!”  I like that in a way, but I didn’t know that it was going to be this vocal from people.  It’s not that they hate Mike, they just want Sonny, and Cynthia is put in a tough situation because of her history in that character.

So, now everyone saw last week that Jason and Carly have decided they have to get married for the sake of the business with Sonny believed-to-be-dead.  What did you think when you heard that they were going in that direction with the story?

MAURICE:  Well, I was the last one to know.  I didn’t know they were going to get married until I heard about it in the makeup room.  I think the first thing I thought of was … we are all going to be having some great scenes coming up, like, “Alright.  Let’s rock and roll!  Let’s do it!  I’ll get into this character of Sonny when called upon.”  It might be and dark and the whole thing, but once I’m in there, I’m fine.

Courtesy/ABC

It would seem if Carly and Jason do actually get married, it’s not going to be an easy road to reconciliation for Carly and Sonny down the line.

MAURICE:  No.  I would say not.  The thing about Sonny is that it’s what Sonny does best, or what I do playing him best, is betrayal.  So, for him, this is not a good thing.  I would assume he’s just going to go, “What the…” and all hell is going to break loose.

Sonny’s body washed ashore and he was very much alive, while the search and rescue mission quickly became a recovery.  Once again, law enforcement in Port Charles isn’t very good! (Laughs)

MAURICE:  So, there you go.  It’s going to be a bigger fight.  It’s going to be a great fight when Sonny does return.

Photo: ABC

Fans are predicting that Jason and Carly are going to be at the altar, and Sonny is going to walk in alive and well with his memory back to the nuptials!

MAURICE:  Well, however it goes, I would say, just let them just watch the fireworks as they unfold.

But you’re enjoying this story?

MAURICE:  I’m cool, man.  I will say this, I’m glad that I have been given this last month playing Mike, and the Nixon Falls story.   I don’t know how much more we have ahead.  I just know that what we’ve taped has been really cool, and I’m glad that they gave me that.

Photo: ABC

I know that the coronavirus pandemic and its isolation was rough for you.  What can you share, and how did you find your way out of a downward spiral?

MAURICE:  Yeah, Covid was just one of those things where I was hit with a lot of different things all at once, which was …  GH shutting down production, my book tour not being in New York (although the book ended up probably doing better because of the pandemic, which was interesting) … my mom and dad moved out …  and I thought it was the end of the world.  We all did at some point, and it all hit me with a rush of anxiety that I had never felt before in my entire life, and it was four months of terror … way too long. I was shaking like a leaf, not sleeping, it was tough.  What I tell people is that when you go through these things, it will pass.  I know, for me, four months was too long, but it did pass.  You’re better because of it.  You can take one of either two roads.  You can get worse, and you can say, “I’m a victim, I’m a victim,” or you can take the other road and say, “I’m stronger now.  Look at what I’ve been through,” and then, look at what happens … a year and a half later, look at what my life is.  I have a pond here at home, and I used to run around this pond crying my eyes out, every morning crying, like I couldn’t do it anymore, and a year later, I walk around the pond like it’s the greatest thing in the world, but that’s what this is, this mental health.  You can think you can’t go on, but then it rewards you with a better life.

Photo: Noah Harmon

I was going to say, that’s pretty profound.  When you were going through the four months, did you think you were going to come out of it okay?

MAURICE:  No,   I’m going to be honest.  I finally got on Lexapro after three months.  If Lexapro didn’t work, I can’t say positively what would have happened.  It gradually made me feel better.  Like I have said, if GH had called me a month before, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the storyline.  It would have been the end.  I wouldn’t have been able to go back to work, because I was in that state of mind.  So, they called at the right time.  I went back to work and I was on Lexapro.  The thing about Lexapro is – and we always tell people to get professional help. There are a lot of people like me, and I’ve got to say, first you get professional help because you’re on the brink of whatever.  So the first five days of taking Lexapro, you feel worse than you did just before you started taking it, and that is scary because you’re like, “I can’t take this.  This is horrible,” and then I stayed on it.  It got gradually better, and just a month and a half ago or so, I weaned myself off.

How are you feeling now?

MAURICE:  Oh, let me tell you, the day that I weaned off, was a Thursday, and I wasn’t going to take it, and I was on my bed, and I felt the greatest I felt maybe, ever.  Now, I’m not saying people should go off it, whatever, because I was on it for like 8 months or something, but it saved my life like lithium for my bipolar disorder, and that’s an amazing thing that these pills could do.  What happened with me with the pandemic is that I had never really taken anything for anxiety.  I had only taken lithium, and I’d been on lithium for 30 years, but for anxiety, I never wanted to take anything, but if you’re bad, if you’re like (you know those gears I’ve been talking about) in 4th and I was like in 5th gear, you’d better get some help, man, because you can’t get off it on your own.

Photo: State of Mind

I want to conclude checking in on your dad, Humberto.  When did you learn he had Alzheimer’s, and how is he doing now?  

MAURICE: It’s been a while since I found out.  I didn’t really want to talk about it, and then I did something in People magazine with the book, and I asked him if I could talk about it, and he said “yeah”.  So, it gave me the green light, and that was maybe 10 months ago.  He’s actually doing good.  It’s slowly kind of happening but that is how the disease works.  This has been a really great conversation, man!

So, what do you think will happen with Sonny aka “Mike”? Will he return to Port Charles before Carly and Jason tie the knot?  Have you been watching Maurice’s State of Mind series, and has it helped you with any of your mental health issues or concerns? Were you happy that Maurice took home the gold this year for his portrayal in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Shares Her Emotions & Reactions On Her Second Daytime Emmy Win for Lead Actress

Last Friday night on CBS broadcast of the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) took home the gold in the hotly contested Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.  This marks Jacqui’s second win.

MacInnes Wood’s performance in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline, that aired in 2020, was the ticket to victory for the talented young actress and new mom to her second son, Lenix.

As viewers saw, the Emmy telecast was pre-recorded including all the nominees taping acceptances speeches ahead of air; with the winner being revealed for the very first time on the broadcast.

 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqui post-Emmys, to find out how she felt about her speech, her emotions at having her name called for the second time in her career, and how she felt Steffy’s addiction storyline resonated with so many people at home, and obviously, the Emmy voters.  Here’s what she had to say …

Photo: NATAS/CBS

What was it like for you to do have to pre-tape your acceptance speech?  Yours, actually came off very in-the-moment, because you kind of stumbled over a word, but it seemed like you were very excited.

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  I was very excited.  Of course, it is strange to do it that way.  I am very grateful that I was up to my nose in The Bold and the Beautiful scenes and dialogues in the week and the days before, that whole week.  I wasn’t sitting around going, “I’m going to rehearse this in the mirror.”  I just wanted it to be very heartfelt and real.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t like last time – I truly was not expecting it the first time I won.  I think that this time I wanted to be mindful of who to thank and talk about the story, which was so important to bring up opioid addiction, and I really wanted to thank Brad Bell (executive producer and executive producer, B&B) for giving me this story, and allowing me to tell it, because it was such an important message to tell.  Even though this year’s Daytime Emmys were shot differently, I was still nervous. I was so excited to get on a stage. Last year, we were on a Zoom, so it was nice to be able to do this on a stage again.

So where were you on Emmy night?  Were you watching the broadcast at home?  

JACQUELINE:  I was at home, and I was with my friends and my family.  To be honest, it was such a fun way to do it.  Even though it was so wild the way that we shot it – they do this on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Sometimes they’ll do it live, but everyone has their acceptance speech.  I was just happy during the Emmy taping day to be dressed up, wearing high heels, and to be with my cast, Then, I got to celebrate watching it with my friends and family.  It was so cool to find out in that moment, then afterwards we ended up going out.  We went to Ronn Moss’ (Ex-Ridge, B&B) house for a party, where Ronn was performing, and it was great to be with some of the cast and have everybody together.  So, we danced the night away, and it was so much fun.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Of course, if we had been able to be at the Daytime Emmys that way would have been great, but it was nice to be able to go, “Okay, I can celebrate in my casual clothes, and dance, and not be uncomfortable.”

Photo: JMW Instagram

Were your children, Rise and newborn Lenix, with you watching when their mom won her second Daytime Emmy?

JACQUELINE:  My children were with me, and we celebrated together, and of course they don’t really understand what is going on, but they just saw all of us jumping around.  I probably scared my 4-month-old.  My mom ended up watching them.  Then, we all went out.  So, it was a good night.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have an inkling that you were a frontrunner to take home the gold as Lead Actress for your work in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline?

JACQUELINE:  Were there times when I thought I could win?  I wasn’t sure, but I knew what we did was very special.  The first time I won, I was very proud of myself knowing I had to do all of these long scenes, but I was not expecting to win.  This time, I thought there was a possibility, and I wouldn’t say that it’s all because of me.  I know it’s cliché, but honestly those days when we were filming, you could just feel the energy.  Everyone brought it.  We do film so quickly, and some performances are great, and some of them aren’t, whether it’s because you don’t sleep that night, you don’t know your dialogue that well, you don’t understand why your character is doing a certain thing, but you’re trying to figure it out.  When we were filming these scenes, I thought it was just such an important story to tell, and I felt like everyone gave it 110%.  I looked at everyone, and I knew we were all connected, and even though it was such a heavy storyline, there was something so magical those days and those weeks of filming.  I was so proud of everyone, and it wasn’t something that was like, “Here I am forcing myself to cry,” I was like, “I am just going to be in this scene and really tell this story that millions of people have gone through.” When I watched back those scenes after they initially aired, it was not only about the cast, but it was just how the audio had been added, how the directing was done (since we had to be six feet away from each other because of Covid-19 protocols) which made it all come to life.

Did you think when you came into this medium that you wind up being a two-time Daytime Emmy-winner?  Was it something that you aspired to have?

JACQUELINE:  I think yes and no.  I can’t sit there and say, “No, I didn’t.”  I have goals for myself, and you want to manifest some things, so I wanted to visualize that one day.  I’m in this industry, and I want to do the work, and I eventually wanted to have the Emmy one day, absolutely.  I’d be lying if I said, “I just want to go with the flow, and if I get an award, great.”  No.  I definitely thought about it and said, “Okay, this is something that I do want one day. I didn’t think I’d have two!  I just wanted an award, one day.  So, I think that’s amazing in itself, but I am very honored.

Courtesy/CBS

So, during the Lead Actress nominee package during the Daytime Emmy broadcast, they showed the gut-wrenching clips of yours, where Steffy admits in front of Ridge, Liam and Finn, “I’m addicted.  I’m addicted.  I have a problem.”  Do you remember performing those scenes?

JACQUELINE:  You know, you remember it sometimes as if you’re out of your body. In that moment, I remember being so in my body, but in a good way.  To say those words, to finally realize how heavy – even in talking to you right now – my body feels heavy.  I felt the weight of what Steffy was finally admitting. It broke Steffy, and it broke me.  I’ve never been in that position, but I did my research, and I looked up people who have suffered from addiction and the families, and to look over at Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) and see the heartbreak in his eyes, in Ridge’s eyes, to see what Steffy was doing to other people – she realizes in that moment, “Oh, my God. I am addicted.”  Looking back at those scenes, there is just so much truth in them, and for so many people who have been there.  It just breaks my heart that people have to go through this every day.  People sent me messages from all over the place, it was amazing.  I couldn’t believe the number of direct messages they sent me on my Instagram.  It was pretty incredible.

Courtesy/CBS

Your performance just felt so raw and real, which is why I think it registered with people who have been in that situation, and for the peer vote for the Emmy.  Whenever I talk to other actors about what they look for in judging other performers work, they always say they look for the truth. They don’t want to see a false note delivered in a performance.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  For sure.  That’s why I’m so proud of everyone in the scenes because they all gave that.  It wasn’t like you look over at a cast member and went, “Oh, what’s my line?”  We were there.  It just gave me goosebumps.  It isn’t just my award.  It was everybody’s award.  When you get to really feel like you’re really alive in these scenes, living in those scenes, it’s such an incredible feeling. After this win, I am just riding the wave right now and really just enjoying it.

Photo: MFTV Inc.

Well, I’ll finish on this last question: How do you rate our Emmy photo together this year? (Laughs) We have well-documented our issues taking a decent photo together; usually because we break up laughing trying to take one.

JACQUELINE: (Laughs) I mean, okay … I am happy that we had those LED bars of light.  We have to have LED lighting around us 24/7.  So, I’ll give it a 9.5 rating   Moving forward, we need indoor, 3-4 LED lights, and we’ll be good.  Now that I have two Emmys, I’m going to be asking for that lighting moving forward … now that I’ve turned into a diva. (Laughs)

Share your congratulations to Jacqui via the comment section below … and let us know your thoughts on her winning her second Daytime Emmy – this time for Steffy’s powerful opioid addiction storyline.  But first, check out our red carpet interview with more with the eventual Lead Actress Emmy winner.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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