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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:

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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
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justin

james is hot

Sue
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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
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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.

General Hospital

WATCH: The Cast of ‘Studio City’ Talk On the Latest Five Episodes & The Making of the Critically-Acclaimed Digital Drama

It’s one of the most talked about digital dramas out there, with a look and feel all its own, containing smart, witty, and dramatic plots and dialogue, and stellar performances abound.

In Amazon Prime’s Studio City, the story about life on a soap in front of the camera juxtaposed with the often harsh reality of life behind the scenes, will have any fan of the genre getting a kick out of some of the very familiar soap tropes contained within balanced with the five-hankie moments throughout  And now, Studio City has dropped their latest five episodes picking the story back up from where it left off.

Michael Fairman chatted with the cast of Studio City in his latest interview for The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube. Those taking part in this virtual conversation included: Sean Kanan (Sam), Sarah Joy Brown (Laurie), Tristan Rogers (Doc), Carolyn Hennesy (Gloria), Scott Turner Schofield (Max), Anna Maria Horsford (Jolene), and Justin Torkildesn (Jacob).  Ronn Moss, who also appears in the series playing a version of himself, was filming a movie during the scheduling of this chat, but his presence is felt when some hilarious moments featuring him and Sean Kanan were discussed.

Soap fans know these actors very well.  Kanan, Brown, Hennesy and Rogers have all, or are presently appearing, on General Hospital.  B&B fans recognize Torkilden, Horsford, Moss, and Schofield along with Kanan from their work on the CBS Daytime drama.

Getting a show up and running and then taped during the Covid-19 pandemic is no easy task as Kanan shared in the group interview.  As well, Anna Maria Horsford and Sarah Joy Brown share how they came to their parts and the rapid-fire pace in which their scenes were shot.  Tristan Rogers, who won a Daytime Emmy last year for his performance as Doc, gives another heartbreaking turn, and reveals his thoughts on the work he did, plus shares his remembrances of his late friend and GH co-star, John Reilly.

Scott Turner Schofield talks about how Sean and his wife Michele Kanan, two of the creators of the show, have given him and the transgender community a space with Max’s storyline in Studio City.  GH favorite, Carolyn Hennesy shares how she crafted her role of Gloria, the executive producer, after Jill Farren Phelps, and Daytime Emmy winner Justin Torkildsen shares how he wound up with a part in the digital drama and the scenes he shares with Hennesy.

You can check out the full Studio City cast interview below.  Then let us know, have you checked out the series? What have been your favorite moments and performances in it? Let us know in the comment section.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Mishael Morgan Talks Amanda’s Gut-Wrenching Scenes With Her Mother, Romance with Devon & Vice-President Kamala Harris’ Historic Moment

Since Mishael Morgan returned to The Young and the Restless as Hilary’s twin, Amanda Sinclair, it’s been a slow burn for the character.  However, recent revelations of Amanda’s childhood past have exposed the emotional wounds and the inner fight of this legal eagle, who is now poised for a romance with her late sister’s husband, Devon Hamilton (Bryton James)!

And who better to take on the challenge of trying to make Amanda and Devon a couple to root for then the talented Morgan.  In recent scenes, viewers watched as Amanda learned the harsh reality from her biological mother, Naya (Ptosha Storey), that she gave her and her sister up at birth and never really regretted it! Mishael played those scenes as you would expect for all they were worth and then some.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with the Trinidadian-Canadian Morgan, as the United States marked Martin Luther King Day on Monday – a holiday that holds a special place for her – and then the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice-President of the United States on Wednesday and its historical significance.

 

While Mishael shares her thoughts on these moments of our time, we also do a deep-dive into how she created a second life in Genoa City and the challenges of playing a twin and making her unique and different, plus what fans should look forward to in the months ahead, which to us looks like it could be a love triangle between Elena (Brytni Sarpy), Devon, and Amanda.  And, as the second anniversary of the death of Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) is fast approaching, Morgan opens up about the impact her former co-star had on her daytime career.  Here’s what Mishael had to say about it all below.

Photo: AP

Yesterday was such a historic day watching the swearing in ceremony of Kamala Harris, as Vice-President of the United States.  She is the first woman, first Black woman, first Indian woman, so many firsts to hold this office.  I just wanted to get your thoughts from watching it.  What was it like for you?

MISHAEL:  For me it was such a beautiful moment, and such a defining moment because now there is no person in America who can feel like they can’t do it all, that they can’t make it to the highest level of office, or at least one of the highest levels of office.  I think that is going to transform this country and the world in many ways because the rest of the world really does pay attention to American politics, and to what goes on in America.  I think it will really have a ripple effect throughout the entire world.  For me, it was so exciting to see this moment actually come to fruition because I think that the impact is even greater than we all could imagine.  You never know who you’re inspiring.

Photo: Hustory.com

It was really amazing, and this was also right after Martin Luther King Day and I know you produced your “I Have a Dream” Project.  How was the holiday for you?

MISHAEL:  It was funny because even though I did the MLK project, I didn’t really think that it was something I could really explain to my son.  Then, yesterday my son really wanted to know: “What was Martin Luther King Day about?  Why was it a holiday?”  It was so interesting because I had to come up with a way to explain it to a five-year-old, and what I came up with was so basic but so true.  I just said, “This was a day when Martin Luther King, a very famous man, who was famous because he stood up for everybody’s rights, and he marched to make sure that everybody can do the same things in this country as everyone else no matter how they look,” and that’s what he was.  He wasn’t just a champion for just Black lives.  I think he is a champion for equality, and he is a champion for making sure that we always remember to see each other the same.

Is that what inspired you originally to do your project?

MISHAEL:  Yes.  100%.  I remember being inspired by Martin Luther King as a child when I was learning about him for Black History Month and stuff like that, and then when all of the social unrest happened, I just remembered him again, and it was something that I wanted to explore.  When I started reading about him again, I just became so inspired by him all over again that I wanted to do something, and that’s what really inspired me to do the “I Have a Dream” Project.

Photo: Getty

I just hope that we will make strides in our country in stomping out systemic racism – it’s such a deeply-entrenched issue in our society.  A lot of people talk, but we need action to bring change to the system.

MISHAEL:  That’s the thing, I think that this moment, you can’t stop – like the moment when Kamala Harris got sworn in as our Vice-President – you can’t stop the train now because strides will be made that the next generation will look at as normal, and of what it means to be a Black woman or a woman in this country is going to change forever.  It’s the next generation that is really going to continue to move it forward.  So, I think that at the end of the day.  This will always be something that’s remembered.

Courtesy/CBS

Now on to Y&R, I wanted to tell you that these performances that you gave that recently aired were just great.  I always love it when they give you the ball.  How did you feel about the scenes and the storyline, where we learn the deep pain and hurt of Amanda’s childhood and the truth from her mother?

MISHAEL:  I was so excited to play it because for me, I really love telling human stories.  I love diving into that part of myself, and I really know that a huge part of why I am an actor is because I just have this outpouring level of empathy for every life that’s lived.  When I talk to people, and they tell me their stories, I want to take it on because I want to show that beautiful side of humanity.  So being given this story, I wanted to be very careful with it, because I knew that this is a reality for a lot of people.  I also thought about the fact that twin stories have always been done before, paternity stories have been done before, but I have to make sure that it comes from a truly honest place inside of me and a truly empathetic place.  I was excited to take on the challenge to be true to myself, and be true to my artist, and just find the beauty and the honesty in this real human story.

Courtesy/CBS

Ptosha Storey, who played your on-screen mother, Naya, was amazing in the scenes with you.  What was it like working with her and the gravity of it, where this woman is basically unapologetic that she didn’t want her children and she gave them up, and she did not sugar-coat it.

MISHAEL:  Ptosha was amazing.  I loved working with her.  We really got to kind of know each other a little bit.  She has such an interesting story about coming to LA to pursue acting, taking a break from it, (and I don’t want to speak for her), but then really going full-throttle right now when Black, female characters are being played, and she’s getting an opportunity to get back out there and do what she loves to do.  Just listening to her story was so inspiring to me. We had a true respect for each other when we got on the stage, and I think we made some art.

Photo: JPI

It was almost like watching a two-person play in those scenes.  What did Amanda feel at this point?  Was she hoping that her mother would say, “I loved you.  I wanted you?”  Was she hoping for a different outcome in her head?

MISHAEL:  I think anybody who goes into a search for their parents is hoping for a positive outcome.  I think for her, it was heartbreaking to hear that if Naya could go back and do it all over again, she would have made the same choices, and also knowing that those choices really impacted Amanda’s life in an incredible way.  I don’t think that all of it has come out yet.  I think a lot of the pain and hurt that she had to go through as a child, and the loneliness that she had to go through as a child, and hearing from a mother that she would put you back in that situation because it was more comfortable for her, and the level of selfishness is hard to take. Then there is the anger and everything that would come out of hearing that from your biological mother.  It’s funny because the way that those scenes were scripted, there was no stage direction, which to me, I love, because a lot times it will say like, “in this moment she is going to get a little angry,” or, “in that moment she is going to be sad,” but for those scenes, for some reason (and they were really juicy scenes) they really didn’t give much direction. I appreciated that because then it really allowed me to really just make the scene what I thought it was and just really live in the moment.  I know this was a roundabout way to answer the question, but yes, it was very heartbreaking because nobody expects that somebody would say that to them.

Photo: JPI

It was just so heartbreaking.  I kept thinking, “Maybe she’ll…” but no, Naya just stood her ground on it even though Amanda grew up in a foster home.  She wasn’t the “chosen” twin either!

MIHAEL:  No, and she was never chosen, and I think that’s an interesting thing that you said because she was never chosen, and I then even to this day, as a grown woman, she still isn’t chosen, and that I think is heartbreaking.  It’s an interesting thing because I do happen to have a bit of a personal experience with this.  My father wasn’t in the foster system, but he was raised… kind of farmed out to two aunts as a young child and didn’t really get to have a relationship with his parents until he was older, and with his mother, until he was in his 20s.  So, it was so fascinating watching my father.  I just remember always looking up to him and thinking he was so strong, and so powerful, and never cared about what anybody thought, and because of his upbringing, it made him a very driven person, very much like Amanda, but there was a weird sense of wanting to be good enough when his father was around, or when people talked about his father.  It was very fascinating for me to watch that.  It was like I would see my father almost turn into a child again, just wanting that love.  I think it’s because that is so organic to who we are as human beings that it just never goes away, that need to know that your parents love you, that there are two people in this world who no matter what will be there for you, and they will love you.  That’s a hard reality to come to when you realize that’s not true.  I think that’s something that’s really hard for the human spirit to let go of.

Photo: MMorganIG

Yes, and I think what you are saying is also true that you realize as an adult that we are so deeply affected by our childhood and how it plays into our choices, or how we perceive things that happen in our lives.  So, when you think of that, and because you’re a mom, doesn’t it make you feel even more that you want to do right by your kids? That you don’t want to do anything to screw them up in their later years?

MISHAEL:  Yes, it’s true.  It does make you want to be the best person for them and the best example, especially the best example for love.  You want them to feel accepted, and appreciated, and proud, and you want them to know that you’re proud of them.  You want to do everything you can because you think of every single person you may have met who felt like their parents didn’t love them enough, and you want to do every single thing to make sure that your child doesn’t feel that way.  I talked to one of my friends, and they’re like, “My parents never told me that they were proud of me,” and I’m like, “Alright!  Well, Niam, I am so proud of you!” Every day, “I am proud of you!  I am proud!”  It’s like every day I better make sure to tell my kids that I am proud of them, and that I love them.  I was talking to Bryton James about this because I had a disciplinary moment with my son, and you wonder if they are going to take it the way that you take it, but at the end of the day, that might get burned into his memory as “the worst thing that my mom ever did to me,” and meanwhile I thought it was a life lesson that I think he learned.  You kind of have to get rid of that fear that you are going to screw them up because I think it doesn’t matter.  You’re either going to love them too much, or you’re not going to love them enough, and you just have to do the best that you can, and you just hope that it’s good enough.

Photo:JPI

Now, you were brilliant as Hilary on Y&R and had this amazing story send-off, and then you came back to the show as Amanda, a new character.  How has it been to try to define Amanda as her own character without the ‘Hilary-isms’, or does it not matter anymore?  Do you feel you have made the distinction for yourself that they are two very different characters?

MISHAEL:  I feel like now they just are different.  It was active choices that I was making in the beginning, and it was important for me in the beginning.  That’s why, for me, when I was bringing Amanda in, I was trying to stay very steady in my tone and how I spoke because Hilary was very, very up and down, and everything was all over the place.  So, for me, that was my beginning moment, just really focusing on how Amanda spoke and how she conducted herself. I can’t change the way that I look, but I feel that the way that I speak and the way that I carry myself will naturally start to define the character.  After a while, when that becomes more second nature, I feel like more of the character comes through … more of how she is and how she takes things in.  That’s just sort of explaining a bit of my process. It’s just the weirdest situation that I never thought I would ever be in, but I definitely feel like a different character for sure!  I do feel like I know who Amanda is now.  In the beginning, when I read the script, all I heard was Hilary.  I really had to think about how I was going to say things because I didn’t want it to sound like Hilary, and now when I read the script, I see Amanda.  I don’t hear Hilary anymore.  It’s become easier for me now to lean more into the role and get more comfortable with it.

Photo:JPI

Amanda had said to her mother that she was also robbed of her sister.  How does that play into her whole psyche?  She does know that Devon was deeply in love with her sister, and now she has feelings for him too.  Did she want to meet her sister?  Does she feel robbed of that?

MISHAEL:  She feels very much robbed of that.  For me, it was very important that the time when she discovered that Hilary was her sister and that Hilary was gone, that I’m playing that loss properly.  It was important for me because if you couldn’t believe that Amanda’s heart is truly breaking for her sister, then you can’t believe anything else that’s coming afterwards.  This is a really defining moment for me as an actor playing two characters on the show.  It was really important, leaning into the fact that I had a twin, and I’ll have a connection to a person who doesn’t exist anymore, and really letting that break my heart, and break Amanda’s heart.  Once the audience believes that, then they can really believe that Amanda is a different character.  Then, our amazing fans will start to just buy into it, and they will figure it out, and they will work it out, and they will wrap their heads around it, but for me, it was that they had to believe that Amanda’s heart is truly broken for Hilary, otherwise we can’t hook them.  Amanda and Hilary have to become two separate characters in people’s minds.

Right.  So, after the confrontation with her mother, she runs to Devon, and she is torn up, and he consoles her.  This week he asked her out on a date.  She likes this guy, right? 

MISHAEL:  Yeah, I think she does!  He’s the first person that she met when she came to town, and I think she’s always been impressed by how he treated her even when he hated her, and the more that she learned of him, the more she became impressed by who Devon was, and his patience with all of this. In seeing his vulnerability with Hilary, and everything that he went through, and then seeing his heart being broken because of Elena and Nate, I think all of it together is starting to give these two characters reasons to be okay with exploring something that may seem strange to other people, but you can’t control who you love sometimes.

Photo: JPI

Hilary and Devon were such a hugely popular couple.  Do you feel pressure to hit lighting in a bottle, twice?

MISHAEL:  It’s really hilarious because we’re the same people!  Yeah, there is a little bit of pressure because you do wonder if you’re going to be able to create the same magic, especially because Bryton and I have known each other for so long, and we know each other so well now.  Looking back at some of the Hilary and Devon scenes, there is something that is so interesting about it and fun about it because I think Bryton and I were just getting to know each other at the same time.  So, wondering if we are going to be able to recreate that and just make it feel fun and fresh, I think is the worry or the challenge.  I think we will figure it out.  Bryton and I were talking, and the one thing that is missing, or the one thing that we have to get to in terms of the underbelly of Amanda and Devon’s attraction is that Amanda is more like Devon than Hilary ever was.  It’s almost like Devon realizing that the whole journey with Hilary was meant to happen just so that he could meet Amanda.

Isn’t Amanda going to be kind of worried that he was so in love with Hilary and the way that she looked…

MISHAEL:  Well, she doesn’t need to worry because Hilary is dead anyway.  It’s not like she’s coming back!  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Since the last time you played an on-screen relationship, Bryton is with Brytni Sarpy in real-life, and Brytni is on the show now, and there is all of that.  What has that been like working with Brytni?

MISHAEL:  Oh, I’m so Canadian!  As soon as I got back to the show, I was like, “I’m so sorry,” and she was like, “Why are you sorry?”  I said, “I just feel very sorry that I’m here.  You guys have your real-life love thing going on, and your on-screen love… I feel weird.  I’m happy to be back on the show, but I’m like breaking up the party!”  She’s like, “No!  It’s fun!  It’s fine!  Maybe we’ll be rivals!”  I’m like, “Yeah, okay it’ll be fun!”

I can see a classic soap bitch-fight on the horizon on Y&R!

MISHAEL:  Brytni has been awesome about it.  That’s been great.  We don’t know where it’s going to go, but it’s going to be fun.  They’re also playing with Devon’s love for Elena still.  They still have a pull.  Devon is still looking at Elena.  So, I think it’s going to be interesting either way.

Photo: JPI

We are going to have the fan wars again for the couples!

MISHAEL:  That’s even more fun!  I always said I’d rather people be fighting for me to be with this person and that person as opposed to just always with one person because then to me, I kind of wonder, “Is it just this one actor who makes me better?”  I want to be an actor who makes everyone better!  That I can work off of anybody and get that chemistry or that thing that audiences are looking for, that’s what I really challenge myself to do.

Photo: JPI

On February 3rd, it’ll be the second anniversary of Kristoff  St. John’s death, which is hard to believe that it will have been 2 years already.  I keep remembering when I first met you.  Kristoff and you were on The Price is Right, but it was also a crossover for your characters, and you were the new girl on Y&R.  Do you still feel his presence at Y&R?

MISHAEL:  A few days ago, I had asked Bryton, who is s actually in Kristoff’s old dressing room, “Do you ever feel Kristoff in there?  In your dressing room?” and he’s like, “No, not really.  Definitely not in my dressing room, but on set sometimes.”  Even though he’s not here, it’s like he’s still with us because you still see him in pictures and sometimes that happens while you are on set doing a scene.  One time, I was on set doing a scene with Christel Khalil (Lily), and I saw a picture of Kristoff in the background, and it’s just kind of a reminder that I think he is always going to be here in terms of his impact on me and my time on the show.  He means a lot to me because I think I am the artist I am largely because of his influence, and how he really took me under his wing and made me feel so comfortable.  He was such a light, and he made acting so fun, but he always had your back as an acting partner and as friend, and I miss him a lot.

Me too.  He was just a wonderful actor too, when you look back on some of the work.

MISHAEL:  Oh my gosh, yes.

Photo:JPI

What does Amanda think of Naya’s other daughter, Imani (Leigh Ann Rose)?

MISHAEL:  She’s just irritated by Imani because she basically got to live the life that Amanda should have had essentially. To watch her be up on her high horse to Amanda, it’s laughable because the amount of hoops and obstacles that Amanda has had to go through to get to where she is standing today, somebody like Imani is just a complete joke to her! In Amanda’s mind, she is who she is just because of the opportunities that she was given and because of the family that she was born into.  It was complete luck, and it had nothing to do with hard work.  In Amanda’s eyes, everything that she is and every ounce of who she is, is because of her determination, and the choices that she made, and the obstacles that she overcame.  So, the way that Amanda looks at Imani is like she is just a person who she doesn’t even think could fathom how insignificant Amanda thinks that she is.  There is a deep-rooted resentment for Imani because I just think that Amanda has been through so much.

Would you like to have more scenes between Amanda and Naya and Imani?

MISHAEL:  Yes.I want more scenes with both of them!  Both of them are so amazing.  So, I’d love to work with both Imani/Leigh-Ann and Naya/Ptosha again.

Photo:JPI

What can you say to the fans to look forward to?

MISHAEL:  I think I would say that Amanda coming to Genoa City was a really big surprise, and I think that those surprises will continue … ff we want to be as vague as possible! I think there are a lot of things to look forward to because this relationship with Devon is definitely going, and I think it will be interesting to watch how Bryton and I figure that out, which will be fun!

Photo: JPI

Big surprises? Hmm.  Are you going to tell me that there are four of you? That Naya really gave birth to quadruplets … and you are about to take on two more roles?

MISHAEL:  Well, you never know!  That’s all I’ll say!

So, what did you think of Mishael’s recent performances where Amanda met her birth mother? Are you rooting for Amanda and Devon to wind up together, or Devon and Elena? What have you thought of Amanda Sinclair vs. Hilary Curtis Hamilton?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Watch the Replay: GH, DAYS, Y&R, B&B & OLTL Stars at Michael Fairman’s Virtual Birthday Party for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 Relief Fund

Earlier this week on Monday night, several of the stars of General Hospital, Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and One Life to Live, took part in a virtual livestream “party” for Michael Fairman’s 60th birthday.

The event was held virtually to help performers in need who have been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by letting viewers know where to make a donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Covid-19 Relief Fund.

Photo: ABC, NBC, CBS

Participating throughout the 90 minute livestream were: The Young and the Restless, Jason Thompson, Sharon Case, and Christian LeBlanc, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Wes Ramsey, and Chloe Lanier, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Katherine Kelly Lang, Days of our Lives’ Rob Scott Wilson, Eric Martsolf, Galen Gering, Arianne Zucker, Shawn Christian, Santa Barbara favorite, A Martinez, One Life to Live’s Kristen Alderson and Eddie Alderson, and Studio City’s Sean Kanan.

You can catch the replay of the birthday benefit event below or on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

Throughout the evening, the actors shared stories of how they got their SAG card, played a game of Michael’s trivia, and revealed stories about themselves and other “party” guests in a wonderful display of community and camaraderie at all went down live!

Since March of 2o2o, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has given out more than $6.2 million in emergency aid to over 6,500 SAG-AFTRA performers and their families facing hardship and uncertainty during this pandemic. Thousands of SAG-AFTRA artists have found themselves in dire need of assistance to help pay their rent, buy groceries, cover health care premiums and other bills.  You can still make a donation of any dollar amount to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 relief fund here. https://members.sagfoundation.org/donate 

Now, check it out below, and let us know if you enjoyed the virtual birthday party livestream via the comment section.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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