Connect with us

Interviews

THE JEANNE COOPER INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

Jeann CooperBy Michael Fairman

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]TV SOAP:

Where were you when the 5.4 Southern California earthquake hit?

JEANNE:

I was sitting in the courthouse on the witness stand in Santa Monica. Seriously, it’s a long story. It was absolutely amazing! The court clerk dove underneath the desk, the two councils and the plaintiff got under their desk, and the judge got under his desk, and I am sitting there, and I go, “It’s just an earthquake, you guys!” Well, the court recorder started laughing and said, “Are you still testifying?” I said, “No. I am just looking at the great leveler… fear!” I looked at the ceiling to make sure nothing was coming down. After the shaking, everyone was crawling out from underneath the tables, and the judge was walking back up to his chair and said, “I think we will recess for about an hour and half.” It’s amazing how frightened people can be during earthquakes, especially when you see damages, when we see the quakes around the world, and when 1,000 get killed. That’s an earthquake!


TV SOAP:

I want to go back to the night of the Emmys. You’re sitting in the audience. Your name is called, and then what happened?

JEANNE:

The name I heard barely, but I was thinking, “That is the way my name sounds?” I am not kidding. First of all, I was not going to go to the Emmys. I’ve gone, gone, gone. It’s always a 110 degrees heat, and I have gone many times. Like Meryl Streep, you just sit there and somebody else’s name is called and you go, “OK, they won.” So, I did not bother to look for anything to wear, and then Gino Colombo, my dear friend, told me about this gown and was insistent I go look at it. So I did, and it was pretty and cool and different. I tried it on, and looked at it and went, “OK, I will go.”


TV SOAP:

So, when your name is called you hear, kind of, “Jeanne Cooper”…..?

JEANNE:

My knees were so weak. I could not move, and my son, Colin who sat in front of me, and my son, Corbin Bernsen who sat in back of me, were all excited to be there with me. All of a sudden there is a seat filler in Colin’s seat and I was going to say to him, “Help me!” I turned to look for Colin, but I saw Doug Davidson (Paul) and I flew to him, and hugged and kissed him, and I was looking at Crystal Chappell (Olivia, “GL”) and she was rooting for me all the way. It was so sweet and kind. There was Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael) and Peter Bergman (Jack) at the table screaming and happy, and everyone was on their feet. Gina Tognoni (Dinah, “GL”) who had just won Supporting Actress was sitting at the table directly across from us. I said, “Help me up the bloody stairs!” And she said, “Yes, m’am!”

TV SOAP:

To set the record straight, this was your 10th nomination.

JEANNE:

I was nominated ten times in daytime, and two times in primetime.

TV SOAP:

This year, all the soap experts felt that you had your best two back-to-back episodes you have ever had in competition. Did you feel that way?

JEANNE:

Absolutely! Everyone who saw it said the same thing. After awhile everything seems to run together. But, basically these showed two elements of Katherine, and several people who voted said, “They were the best they had seen!”


TV SOAP:

Then I remembered in the pressroom, you acknowledging that you did this for “everybody who wanted this for me,” which I thought was so touching and so moving. Is that how you still feel about it at this point?

JEANNE:

Absolutely! Everybody who wanted it for me, and the press always wanted it for me for such a long time. So, the gratification was disbelief, and one thing that was totally amazing was Susan Lucci (Erica, “AMC”) was there…. and she had the greatest smile on her face. I said to her, “I am the only one who knows exactly how you felt!”

TV SOAP:

I kept thinking to myself the same thing… does anyone realize or know that you had been nominated this many times? With Susan, there were 19 times, but I said to my constituents she has been up ten times. They said, “No!”

JEANNE:

Most people thought I had won 5 or 6 times, like Tony Geary (Luke, “GH”)…. and Tony Geary who is a good friend of mine, said in the winners circle in the press room, “OK. Let’s show ‘em what the vets are like, baby!” He was so cute and I adore him! Everybody was so pleased for me. That’s what was touching. So many people had wanted this for me for so long, and frankly, I just did not really think I would get it. I will say that I was the coolest one in the heat at the Emmys though, in my dress.

TV SOAP:

In the pressroom, what did your son, Corbin, say to you upon your winning the Outstanding Lead Actress award?

JEANNE:

Corbin had tears in his eyes. He said, “I lived to see it,” and I said, “You lived to see it? I lived to see it!” Corbin flew in for the ceremonies, and that was a complete surprise. There was a pat on my shoulder, and I turned around and I said, “Hi. Corbin!” His brother was going to be my escort that night, and he said, “I am going to fly in and be her other escort!”

TV SOAP:

Where is the Emmy?

JEANNE:

I went and put it next to my Lifetime Achievement award, and now I felt I had come full circle. I got so many flowers, candy and gifts throughout the house, and coming from as far as Canada and England. The response was marvelous. The gift giving was a bit awkward, but people wanted to personalize something. I think everyone reacted, like, “Jesus! She finally made it!” Career wise, it probably was one of the most rewarding evenings, because it wasn’t just going there and planning it.

TV SOAP:

How was the annual Lead Actress nominee luncheon? Did you have a good time?

JEANNE:

It was fun. Michelle Stafford always makes those things fun, which means she is always nominated. (She laughs) It’s the third luncheon we have gone together, and Maura West (Carly, “ATWT”) and Nicole Forrester (Cassie, “GL”) were so delightful, too. I actually thought the Emmy might go to Nicole.

TV SOAP:

Did you like the roundtable Emmy table seating, as a throwback to the telecasts of year’s past?

JEANNE:

I loved the surrounding of the tables, and I have said forever, “Can’t we have a humongous luncheon at the Waldorf like it used to be?” It was glamorous and fun and it said, “This is a daytime event,” and at nighttime you are dressed to the hilt and hot in the jungles! It just has no chic to it, as far as I am concerned!


TV SOAP:

With “Y&R”, what do you think we can expect to see from Katherine in the coming months? And, do you have new writers on board now?

JEANNE:

Oh-ho…restoring the tapestry of the show! Katherine has big storyline coming up in two weeks that will carry on ‘till the end of the year… easily… Thank God! It is front-burner stuff! It will deal with Jill and Katherine, and many offshoots of that relationship.

TV SOAP:

In the past, you have been vocal in your opinion, and unhappy that Jill was made your daughter, and were hoping for a reversal. Will that be addressed?

JEANNE:

That will be approached. There is another character coming back that everybody loves and has been missed for a long time, so I am looking forward to that.

TV SOAP:

Will you get a romance?

JEANNE:

No, but I probably will at some point. But the thing of it is, it’s a character coming back that I love and the audience loved, and was dispensed with! In fact, the man that participated in that storyline called me from New York (an actor, who participated in that storyline). You know who I am talking about? Isn’t that exciting?

TV SOAP:

So, that will happen in a couple months?

JEANNE:

I think so, because Katherine needs a real friend.

TV SOAP:

Is Katherine still writing her autobiography, or was that dropped for good?

JEANNE:

They are so busy with “Restless Style” that I don’t know what happened to Katherine’s book. What do you think has been wrong with the numbers on the show for a while? The audience knows about work-place stuff. But we are also changing gears now, so things will be back on the upswing.

TV SOAP:

Have you seen a difference in the scripts with Hogan Sheffer and the new team at the helm?

JEANNE:

This last week, absolutely! The tapestry of what “Y&R” used to be is there, but hands are tied and false egos are involved. You are pulling for artistic achievement, but you have to protect the numbers and that’s what corporate does. We almost have a full page of writers now who are dealing with a few issues. I think, through the corporate side and the production side, they will make sure everything is right on board and we will be full steam ahead.

TV SOAP:

What would you still love to see happen to Katherine, that you have never gotten the opportunity to play?

JEANNE:

I always wanted Katherine to go into politics… sort of like the Anne Richards of Texas, who was the Governor of Texas and who was very blatant. She was so fantastic! She was one of the most dynamic and forward in her thinking. I think politically, Katherine would be great, but that became a Jack Abbott story on our show.

TV SOAP:

Was the sudden departure of Raya Meddine (Sabrina) a bit of a shock to the cast, or to you, as it had been made out to be by Internet rumors and reports? Do you think it’s just to get Victor and Nikki back together?

JEANNE:

I think Victor and Nikki days are over, because there are a lot of people who are star-crossed lovers, and as they become older, the general reaction is “They will never be parted.” You will always want Victor and Nikki back together, and they probably will from time to time, but you cannot at this point have Victor going off and impregnating another woman. The audience at home, at some point, will not like what happens. The wives will turn to their husbands and say, “Can’t you ever settle down?” And that’s who Victor is, unless you make him settle down. I don’t know if Eric Braeden (Victor) is willing to give up that part of the character at this point. He always wants that challenge, which is part of life and he does it very, very, well. And so does Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki). They are superb and accepting of these types of situations.

TV SOAP:

If you were to say a few words to describe working with Melody Thomas Scott, what would they be? In storyline, Nikki and Katherine are best friends. Is Nikki about to go off the deep end?

JEANNE:

Melody is delicious, and extremely talented. We have things coming up in tapings tomorrow that you have not seen this girl do in years. It’s called: “Study All Night Long” because it will blow you right through the roof. I wish I could tell you what she is doing, but I can’t. I have her on the telephone line, and I have Nicholas on the phone, and it’s boom, boom, boom, with all directions towards Nikki! It just reeks of the Bill Bell (creator and former head writer of “Y&R”) and it’s written by Janice Ferrari, who of course, was one of the prime writers for the show back in his heyday.

TV SOAP:

What about a few words to describe Dan Goddard (Cane), your on-screen grandson?

JEANNE:

He is such an “Aussie”. He is a pure delight, and absolute candy. He is kind and a deadly serious actor, and wanting to know more. He is very curious about everything, and it’s always a pleasure to do scenes with him. To do scenes, where he is all prepared and you attack it in a different vein, and he looks at you, and his talent really comes out because he rises to the occasion, which is great!


Jess WaltonTV SOAP:

And finally, a few words about Jess Walton (Jill)? “She is _ _ _”

JEANNE:

Delightful… neurotic… talented and neurotic… and talented and fun… and neurotic and talented! And, she has two new dogs!

TV SOAP:

And my last question is, when you won the Emmy what did Jess say to you?

JEANNE:

Jess said before I left, “Tonight is going to be your night, and I am not going to be there!” So, if Jess had come, I wouldn’t have won! (She laughs)

Days Of Our Lives

Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves Talk Return to DAYS for Doug’s Funeral, Susan Seaforth Hayes, and Their Enduring Friendship

Last week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode which is tentatively scheduled to air on December 3rd. The story will feature emotional and heart-tugging scenes of Doug Williams funeral and honor his portrayer, the beloved Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th at the age of 98.

While the actors, producers, and crew took a lunch time break to pose for some pictures and speak with the press, they knew they would have to get back to taping the funeral, which was going to make it a tough day, but also cathartic for all who loved Bill Hayes.

Several returns have thus far been announced including; Melissa Reeves reprising her signature role of Jennifer Horton (a part she first played in 1985), and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux. Reeves had last appeared on the show back in 2021, and she was replaced by Emmy-winner Cady McClain in her absence when Jennifer was in storylines. In real-life, Melissa had moved full-time to Tennessee along with her husband, Scott Reeves (ex-DAYS, GH, Y&R). Now, and as previously reported, Reeves will first appear back on DAYS for the Thanksgiving episodes with the Hortons.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Matt and Melissa during the 15,000th episode celebration to get their take on: being back for these special episodes, how it has been working with and watching Susan Seaforth Hayes portray Julie’s grief over losing Doug, and how they have supported each other through the years. Check out what they shared below.

Melissa, you are back on the set of Days of our Lives for this very emotional and special moment in the series history. How does it feel?

MELISSA: Oh, my goodness. I am honored. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but to be here for Bill. He was like my real-life dance partner. He taught me how to ballroom dance. And to be here for Susan, of course, who’s just been our sweet hero this whole week. We’re just following her lead. She’s just been this incredibly strong example for us in the midst of this trial and season of her life. She is like just lifting us all up with her. It’s been incredible.

I was at Bill Hayes memorial service which was truly incredible and I know at the time you were in Tennessee. It was moving and celebratory of his life, all at the same time.

MELISSA: That’s all I have heard. I have to watch it on You Tube. They said it was just a real celebration of his life and I love that.

Photo: JPI

This must be difficult for Susan Seaforth Hayes depicting the death of Doug, when she is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. (Susan pictured above with the returning Stephen Schnetzer who plays her on-screen brother, Steve Olson).

MELISSA: I’m sure Susan has those moments at home by herself, but she’s so good at being a leader and leading all of us. We’re following her, you know, and she’s like, “This is how I want to feel today.” And we’re just going along with her, you know? It’s so sweet.

Photo: JPI

How is it to see Matt Ashford again live and in-person?

MELISSA: You know, Matt and I can go years without talking, or seeing each other, and then the minute we see each other we’re chatting away.

MATT: Melissa was out on set doing a scene yesterday on the phone talking to a stage manager; as she was telling some really tough news on the phone. I’m like crying in the background, literally, I’m off-stage crying.

MELISSA: And then we get like back into normal life, and we’re like, okay, “What’s happening? What’s happening with this … or what’s happening with that?”

I had read, Melissa, that you were in touch with Matt about if there night be a possibility for you to reprise your role as Jennifer for these special episodes?

MELISSA: Yes. Well, Matt was like, “Hey! Would you want to come back? “And I was like, “Matt, you know, I would always come back. ”

MATT:  Every time I come here to Days of our Lives, they ask, “Where’s Missy? How’s Missy?” Everybody backstage says, “I miss her.” All of the crew is asking about her and saying, “It would be nice to see Missy. Nothing wrong with you Matt, but …”  They said, “Where is she?” I said, “She wants to come!”

Photo: JPI

There are some beautiful photos of Missy and Bill and Susan thorough the years that I found. It just reminded me of just the deep and entrenched history we all have had with the show, personally and professionally.

MATT: Missy is roughly the age where Francis Reid (ex-Alice Horton) was when she started the show, which is just crazy.

Photo: JPI

I’ve always said Missy was going to be the next generation Alice. Do you feel that Jennifer is the heir apparent matriarch of the Horton family?

MELISSA: Yes. I mean, this has been greatest blessing of my life, and that would be great. I told Ken Corday (executive producer, Days of our Lives) when I was 17 that this show would be my life. Ken always told me, “This is your home,” and I’ve always felt like that.

How have gotten through the scenes watching Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie go through the loss of Doug?

MATT: Susan is bringing her best performance life for her and Bill. I mean, she’s a showbiz baby. She always has been one hundred percent, and she’s doing it for him, and this is who they’ve always been. So, you’re seeing this amazing performance colored by her life. She has her private life as Susan, but she has enough plugged into Julie that she’s done amazing work. The director, producers and writers are giving her room to live in these moments and it’s quite wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Have you already broken down in tears during the taping?

MELISSA: Yesterday, but today’s taping of the actual funeral I think they want us to try and be just more celebratory.

MATT: I mean, it is a beautiful long life for Bill Hayes and his character of Doug Williams, and so it will be about that. Then, you get a bunch of us together in the church pews, and there’s going to be hijinks.

MELISSA: We all have been through the waves of grief. You have that awful cry and then all of a sudden you feel okay.  There are those family situations we are portraying where you’re like, “What do we do? What do we do now? You know, no one knows what to do. But, it’s so sweet. I’m looking forward to seeing how the scenes all turn out.

So, are you glad that Matt and Melissa are back for the 15K episode and Doug’s funeral? From what we can tell, it’s going to be quite an emotional journey for Days of our Lives fans, and especially the performance of Susan Seaforth Hayes, 

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on Decision to Make Days of our Lives 15000th Episode About Doug’s Funeral, and Previews Chances for WGA Award

This week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode. In of it itself, that is an incredible accomplishment for the long-running soap opera currently streaming on Peacock.

However, this on set gathering was a bit different. Though the show is celebrating their achievement, they are also in the middle of taping scenes surrounding the death and the funeral of Doug Williams, played by the late Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th of this year at the age of 98.

As previously revealed many longtime favorites are back to honor Bill and the character of Doug including: Gloria Loring (Liz), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Maree Cheatham (Marie), Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Stephen Schnetzer (Steve) to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV was in attendance and spoke with Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati to gain some insight into how the 15,000 episode was crafted and the decision to honor the character of Doug Williams and Bill Hayes as its epicenter. In addition, Ron weighed-in on this Sunday’s April 14th WGA (Writers Guild of America) Awards, where he and his writing team are facing off with General Hospital for the daytime drama prize. Here’s what Ron shared below.

Was this your idea to make the 15,000th episode centered around Doug’s funeral and passing?

RON: It was. When you’re looking at it, and laying out the calendar for the whole year and you see 15,000 is coming up, we’re like, “What are we going to do?” And then, we got the news that Bill had passed away and something kind of clicked. I was like, “We should honor Doug on that show.” So then, we started to kind of build around that … when does he pass away? How does he pass away? Who could come back? You know, it’s a lot.  I’m very pleased with the returns that we got as there’s so much that you could do. We wanted everybody we could get. So, we put together a wish list and Janet Drucker (co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) made it happen.

Photo: JPI

You have Melissa Reeves back as Jennifer, when the role was last played by Cady McClain. What has it meant to have Missy back for these shows?

RON: It was so nice to see Missy Reeves. I think Cady has done such a good job, but on the 15,000th episode to see Missy as Jennifer, it’s a big deal. So having her was great, and overall, the milestone was a big undertaking, because you want to live up to it. You want the 15,000th episode to be good. Now, it has a lot of real emotion that you’re playing. because for the cast and the crew they’re honoring Bill Hayes just as much as we’re honoring Doug Williams.

Photo: JPI

Was it hard for you and the team to write this episode?

RON: Yes. I’ll tell you why it was hard to write.  When I wrote, for example, Asa’s (Phillip Carey) death on One Life to Live or Victor’s (John Aniston) on DAYS, Asa is a different type of character. Like, you could have characters going, “Oh! I’m glad he is dead.” You could have different points of view, but with Doug, you’re not having that. Every person loves this man. No one had a bad relationship with him. So, you’re challenge as a writer is how do you make it that not everybody’s saying the same thing and doing the same thing. And so, we tried to find ways to make the episode about all the familial relationships and yet, how do you make it about Doug and yet broaden the scope.

Photo: JPI

I had spoken to Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), a week after Bill’s memorial, for an interview. She said that she felt very fortunate that you did include her on discussions of how you would tackle Doug’s passing. How did that conversation go?

RON: First, I attended Bill’s funeral, which was incredible. I said to so many people it was an emotional service, but it was hard to be sad at this. The guy had an incredible life and it was an incredible celebration. And so, you’re sitting there watching this knowing that you now have to write something similar. And how do you write something that lives up to what you just witnessed? I wanted to talk to Susan to get her thoughts about, you know, how much do you want this to be about keeping Bill separate from Doug. How comfortable are you sharing your grief. She was incredible to talk to. It was a great chat.

You’re in the middle of taping these major scenes for the 15,000 episode to air in December. How do you think it’s going? Have you seen any of the scenes?

RON:  I haven’t seeing anything. I mean, we were still making changes to the script up till this morning!

Photo: JPI

The Writers Guild Awards are this Sunday, April 14th and once again this year there are two daytime drama nominees, General Hospital and Days of our Lives. How are you feeling about your chances this year?

RON: It is often just GH and us in the category. I’ve won three years in a row, so I’m kind of feeling like it’s their turn.

Photo: JPI

What episodes did you submit for contention? If I recall, they had to do with Victor’s memorial.

RON: The episodes we submitted were centered around Victor’s funeral. I think one has story with Vivian (Louise Sorel). We had some fun stuff, we had some emotional stuff at Victor’s death, and I am pretty sure that our submission was three episodes right around that time.

Did you make the decision to go with those episodes because there was a mix of humor and drama?

RON: I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, then there’s Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s crashing the reading of the will. So, we had a lot of fun and it’s hard sometimes to pick three that tell a story, as opposed to submitting for the Daytime Emmys, where the writing team only submits two shows. So, we shall see how it goes on Sunday.

Courtesy/Peacock

So, are you looking forward to the emotional 15,000th episode of Days of our Lives? Do you think DAYS will take home the WGA writing award for daytime dramas for the 4th year in a row? Comment below.

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

(INTERVIEW) Eric Martsolf Previews DAYS Stars on ‘Weakest Link’, How He Fared in the Game, Plus Welcoming New Tate, Leo Howard

Tuesday night on NBC’s Weakest Link (9 p.m. ET/PT), the stars of Days our of Lives test their knowledge, and try to win big money for the charity of their choice on the newest season of the popular game show hosted by Jane Lynch. In case you miss it, you can also catch the episode on Wednesday streaming on Peacock.

The question on everyone’s mind is … who will be revealed as Salem’s weakest link? Who will be left standing at the end of the game? DAYS favorites: Eric Martsolf (Brady) Brynn Dattilo (Lucas), Galen Gering (Rafe), Martha Madison (Belle), Victoria Konefal (ex-Ciara), Zach Tinker (Sonny), Tina Huang (Melinda) and Lindsay Arnold (ex-Allie) play while literally having the task of throwing their co-stars under the bus. The contestant who receives the highest number of votes leaves the game throughout, as Lynch declares their exit with the now iconic phrase, “You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.” 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Eric Martsolf, who daytime fans know is great as a host in his own right and oh-so-fun at playing any trivia game you throw at him. Martsolf gave us the inside scoop of what it was like to be on the set and backstage in a rather nerve-wracking environment, and trying to come off as smart while Jane Lynch roasts you at the same time!

Photo: NBC

In addition, Eric shared his thoughts on the new Tate, as Leo Howard takes over the role of his on-screen son from Jamie Martin Mann on the April 5th episode of Days of our Lives, plus working with Emily O’Brien as Theresa, and the loss of the legendary Bill Hayes. Check out what Eric had to say below.

Did you know about the game before? Had you watched the original version of the Weakest Link, or this latest incarnation?

ERIC: I was very, very familiar with the game because I found, as someone who enjoys hosting, that has to be one of the best hosting gigs out there because they just have extreme liberties in belittling the contestants, and it’s all done in jest of course, but it’s great. Jane Lynch is a master.

Did you get to meet Jane Lynch before she hit the stage for the taping?

ERIC: I don’t think any of us met her prior to being on the set. So, we’re standing there behind our podiums and these cyber lights just point all in one direction. At one point when we’re out there, it was kind of a hurry up and wait thing. We’re just like, “When is this going to start?” Then, here Jane comes and in all her glory in a beautiful navy-blue suit. She just prances onto stage and just glares over at us, and starts making fun of a silly soap opera actors like you wouldn’t believe. It was just great. I’ll let the public see what how she crucified us. But it was all done in fun.

Photo: NBC

Did she crucify you?

ERIC: I don’t think anybody got out unscathed to be honest with you.

For those that don’t know the game, you try to eliminate those that are the weakest in answering questions.

ERIC: Correct, and therein lies the problem. Historically, I think the Weakest Link is comprised of contestants that don’t really know each other, and in this case, you have not only coworkers, but almost family members because we all know each other very, very well. It’s a tight circle and even more so when you’re on the same show. So, we all went in into it pretty nervous because the premise of the game is to expose the inadequacy of people’s knowledge of general facts and information. So, essentially, you’re voting each other off because you don’t think they’re as smart as you are and that they’re the least smart in the group. So, I mean, that in itself is pretty, pretty tough to swallow. It was really hard, because you have to look at your friends in the eye and go, “yeah, I don’t think you’re going to get the next couple questions. You’re not the smartest, you’re not the crispiest chip in the bag. I’m going to let you go. ”

Did you feel bad about some of the eliminations?

ERIC: At one point, without giving away any spoilers, I voted off someone that without a doubt, has more smarts and education than I do. I just felt silly. But, you know, the way the game was going, I just felt it was the right. There is a bit of strategy involved. I’m worried about the airing of this particular episode because I did fumble some questions that people are going to turn their heads and go, “Really? You didn’t get that one?” It’s so much easier to answer these questions at home in your pajamas than it is, you know, looking at Jane Lynch in the eye with 6,000 lights at your face in front of cameras. Your brain tends to wander. So yes, we all had had some answers that we couldn’t believe we didn’t get at the time!

Photo: NBC

Did it get very competitive?

ERIC: There was little competition there. If I recall, it’s Galen and Bryan that went at it a little bit and had some laughs. But again, I can’t stress this enough, it was all done with fun. At the end of the day, every one of us wanted to win. I think the smartest person did actually come out victorious.

Now in the game, for those that have never seen it, you’re on your podium, and then Jane gives a question, right?

ERIC:  It’s a firing squad of questions. You only have a certain amount of time to answer. If you get the correct answer or the wrong answer, you immediately, go to the next contestant and you have a certain amount of time. And then, at the end of that line of questioning, everyone gets to vote as to who they believed was the biggest dummy in the group. (Laughs) Some questions are simple. You know, “What color is Santa Claus’ suit?” And then, the next question is “What is 648,000 times 14?” or what’s the population of some obscure country? So, that was the biggest challenge. Someone else might get, “What is the main ingredient of a banana split?” And my question could be like, “How much is 9,430 times x 59 million?” There’s an intimidation factor that Jane Lynch brings to it when she’s staring you down.

Photo: NBC

When the cast finished the entire game, what happened backstage?

ERIC:  The best part was there were these post interviews that the Weakest Link conducts where you have to go into a dark black room. I think my first question was, “How did you feel about that wrong answer?” They don’t let up. They just keep jabbing at you. “Did you feel ridiculous getting the wrong answer to that fourth-grade level question?” (Laughs) There was also a lot of trash talk with that happened after the show. It got so competitive. If I recall, we were all supposed to go out together and get a meal with everybody, and that never happened. They’re like, “I’m not eating lasagna with you right now. You just voted me off!” Now, even the first person that gets voted off, you’re going to be shocked, because I thought this person would probably win it. In the game, you want the best people to remain on the panel because that’s what drives up the money.

Photo: JPI

Later this week on DAYS, we will see the debut of your new on-screen son, Leo Howard, taking over from Jamie Martin Mann as Tate.

ERIC: How about that?  I just did a post on Instagram, because I saw that Jamie Martin Mann had liked and hearted a post about Leo Howard coming on the show. I just thought that was so classy of him. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, “This is the new guy. Embrace him. He’s good. I’ve met him. He is a good guy.” It’s about handing off the character baton sometimes, sort to speak. I was really proud of those guys. I reached out to Jamie. He just wants to go to college and be a student. I understand that. That’s important.

Photo: JPI

Is that challenging for you as an actor since you’ve built this relationship with the one guy as your son, and now you’ve got to pivot and create a different kind of energy with someone else taking on the part?

ERIC: Leo Howard has been in the industry for a while, with some very good credits to his name. He brings a certain charisma to this role that I think people are really going to love. And yes, he’s older, but he plays younger, and he has that ability and he’s pulling it off brilliantly. I can’t wait for people to see him, but of course I miss Jamie. Emily O’Brien (Theresa) and I really grew to love him very quickly because the storyline got so deep, so quickly, with the drug intervention and then him getting beat up in in prison. I mean, as a father, that’s the kind of stuff that you have nightmares about, you know, your kids being in pain.

Photo: JPI

I still love the fact that Emily O’Brien is still noticeably wearing a blonde wig as Theresa. What are your thoughts on how the transition has been for you, and for her pivoting to a completely different role?

ERIC: I hadn’t worked with Emily much before, because Gwen and Brady never really crossed paths. We all saw the transition that she had to make. When I became Brady, the character hadn’t been on the map for three years.  When she became Theresa, she walks out one gate and comes through the other as Theresa. We all had a good giggle about it. That’s hard to ask an audience to go,  OK, I’m Gwen, now I’m Theresa.” I was scrolling through X (formerly Twitter) and I saw a couple posts from fans that said how they were really weary, at first, about accepting Emily O’Brien as Theresa. But after today’s episode, they shared, “I’m loving her as Tate’s mom, and the chemistry she has with the family.” I texted Emily and I said, “I just want to let you know that you’re just bringing it home really brilliantly, and people are starting to come around.” I think they’ll do that with Leo Howard too.

Photo: JPI

What had it been like without the iconic Bill Hayes (Doug Williams) coming to work and being part of the Days of our Lives cast since his passing?

ERIC: You really do miss that presence in the hallways. He was a song and dance guy and I am a song and dance guy. as well. I kind of find myself the lone singer in the makeup room sometimes, but I could always count on Bill. He’d be humming some old tune from the sixties. I’d start humming along and he’d just kind of lean over and take a look at me, and give a little smile. Everyone else was probably irritated at us, but we just kept singing along. and it’s like 6:30 in the morning. I think Bill was a lot like the late John Aniston (ex-Victor), in the sense that I don’t really feel like he felt he was working. He was just always having fun right up until the end. That little number he did with his wife, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), and Dick Van Dyke (guest starring as Timothy Robicheaux), where he was singing along, he was just living it. It was so cute and so adorable to watch.

Photo: JPI

Your final tease for the Weakest Link tonight is, “Fans should watch because …”

ERIC: Fans should watch it because if they thought we were smart before, wait till they see the show.

You can check out the cold open for tonight’s Weakest Link “Days of our Lives special” below.

Now let us know, will you be watching Eric and his co-stars, past and present, attempting to showcase their knowledge on the ‘Weakest Link? Intrigued to see Leo Howard and Eric in scenes as new Tate and his father, Brady? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Continue Reading

Video Du Jour

Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

Recent Comments

Power Performance

Eileen Davidson as Ashley

The Young and the Restless

Airdate: 4-12-2024

Popular