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The Jess Walton, Doug Davidson, and Tricia Cast Interview – The Young and the Restless

Courtesy/CBS

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto/CBS

This week on The Young and the Restless, friends and loved ones of Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) gather together for a remembrance on the 1-year anniversary of the passing of the Grand Dame of Genoa City!  And as we know in story thus far, Katherine left specific instructions of how she wanted her party/celebration that honors her in the hands of her long-time friend and often times foe, Jill (Jess Walton)!  For the special episodes, which will begin airing on Tuesday and Wednesday, Y&R brought back fan favorite Tricia Cast (Nina) who notices during the celebration that there seems to be trouble in paradise between Paul (Doug Davidson) and her bff and his wife, Christine (Lauralee Bell). In addition, actor Michael Fairman (Murphy) makes a return when Murphy has been given his own set of instructions from Mrs C., and that doesn’t sit well with Jill!

But with this being the 1-year anniversary marking the death of the character of Katherine Chancellor, it has also been a year and a few months since the passing of the iconic and beloved Jeanne Cooper, who died in May of 2013.  How are her co-stars and Y&R family dealing with the loss a year later of this remarkable woman and talent?  On-Air On-Soaps talked with three cast members who have each shared a long-standing unique and profound relationship with Jeanne: Jess Walton, Doug Davidson, and Tricia Cast.

In this very special tribute interview, Jess, Doug, and Tricia share what it has been like at the studio without Jeanne, some of their favorite personal stories that are, for anyone that knew her, or are fans of hers, quintessential Jeanne!  Plus, the trio weighs-in on if they feel the number one soap has done a good job at keeping Katherine Chancellor in story enough, and they give us a preview of what is happening with their characters on the day of the gathering at Chancellor Park.

There isn’t a day that goes by for many that knew and loved Jeanne that don’t miss her panache, humor, graciousness, often cantankerous nature … and how she loved, in her own way, all of us.  For anyone who was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with this woman, she left an indelible mark, as well as on the millions of fans of The Young and the Restless.  This one’s for you, Jeanne!

MICHAEL:

The three of you were so close with Jeanne Cooper, personally and professionally.  What has it been like for each you, a year or so later, coming to the studio and realizing she is not there?  Do you still feel her presence with you?

JESS:

Courtesy/CBS

I kind of feel like, “The joke’s over. Where are you?”  It’s really dawning on me personally, that it’s becoming more and more real all the time.  I so miss her energy in scenes.  Whenever you would walk on to the stage with Jeanne everything came alive in a way it doesn’t without her.

TRICIA:

I am not there at Y&R all the time, and when I was there filming these episodes it was really apparent that she wasn’t there anymore.  I think she is there in spirit.  We all laugh about her and talk about her, but you can’t walk into her open door dressing room anymore and get cursed at!  (Laughs)  It’s kind of empty.

DOUG:

I have to remind myself she is in a different form, in a different place, and when that happens I am saddened.  I think her spirit must spend a lot of time around Y&R, because I feel her presence, and what she would say if she were here.  It’s almost like she is speaking silently inside of my head.  There are aspects of it like with Jess, where you feel, “My gosh, I guess she is not coming back.”

JESS:

You just reminded me that she gave us so much power of personality, and the staying power of it, and the fact that she is still there, and she is so much a part of everything.   I wonder if that’s why it’s not even more painful?  She filled us up so much, didn’t she? … More than an average person would.

DOUG:

I didn’t see her everyday, even when she was here.  There would be long periods of time, but I would still feel her presence in her heart and soul, and that hasn’t changed.  She had a huge aura that radiated beyond her physical being even when she was alive. 

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

For me, I so remember an interview I did years ago with Jess and Jeanne.  I came to Jeanne’s dressing room, and sat on the floor and chatted with the two of you.  I remember Jeanne saying to me, “Come in, dear” or “Come in, love”, and giving me a kiss.   And just being there with Jess and Jeanne, and seeing how remarkable the two of you were together, and the banter, and the fun they had with each other, was truly special.  Jeanne’s presence was always so welcoming.  It’s weird now when I do visit the set, and still expecting to see her there.

DOUG:

Once in a while the link is posted of that comedic video they did with Jeanne and Jess in the dressing room to me.  It is just so “both of you.”  It’s amazing to watch.  And it’s a moment frozen now for eternity.  You can look at it over and over again.  Jeanne has the audio version of her memoir, Not Young, Still Restless, and I have not been able to bring myself to listen to it.

JESS:

I have listened to it, Doug!  It’s exactly like she’s right there!  It’s like she is back with us.

DOUG:

Yes, there is a sample of it on Amazon.com, and I said to myself, “I am not ready for that yet.”

JESS:

I can’t think of anyone who was uncomfortable with this woman.  She made everybody feel like she had known you forever.  She would bust your balls on anything at all.  What a heavenly creature she was, and devilish.

DOUG:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

And then she would disrespect everyone to their face from the highest echelon of CBS and Sony … and for some reason no one took offense to it at all.  And, she was spot on with her comments! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Tricia, you actually stayed with Jeanne at her house?

TRICIA:

I did, and she was just a darling.  Jeanne opened up her house to me and let me be who I was.  I was not always terribly social.  So she would let me go hide in whatever room in the house, and sleep in the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on.  Then, I would creep out of my room, and we would laugh at the silliness on the television, or she would just go on with stories that were fascinating about old Hollywood and her old times, and her as child and her upbringing.  I really feel very grateful for that special time I had with her, and if I would tell her that it was very nice of her to open up her home to me, she would curse at me again! (Laughs)  I would say to her, “Thank you so much Jeanne for having me,” and she would say, “Shut up!” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Jess, after a year or so later, where do you sit with that final scene between Katherine and Jill, where Katherine goes up the stairs and says “goodnight” to Jill?  Do you think: “I can’t believe that was my last scene with her!”  Or, do you think: “I am so glad I have that on tape between us!”

JESS:

It was so magical that we even had that scene, because nobody knew that would be her final scene …

PAUL:

Courtesy/CBS

Oh, she knew! (Laughs)

JESS:

She was getting weaker and weaker, and it was magical. You are right.  I was reminded of it when we did those scenes for the memorial this time.  I was reminded when Katherine married Murphy (Michael Fairman).  He had given her a tiny, tiny ring, and after a while Jeanne got really tired of it and missed her diamonds, so she would put these huge rings over it.  And I am reminded of it because Colin (Tristan Rogers) gave Jill this little band, which kind of looks like stainless steel, and now I am kind of tempted to do the same thing Jeanne did! (Laughs)  She used to make funny remarks about Murphy all the time.  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Doug, you were so close to Jeanne in real-life, but as for your character of Paul Williams, he was more ancillary in the life of Katherine Chancellor.  As an actor, do you feel that proved difficult during last year’s very emotional memorial episode honoring Katherine?

DOUG:

Paul certainly was not as close to Kay, as Doug was to Jeanne, which was part of the difficulties playing those scenes. You had to tell Doug to shut up and have Paul just be respectful.  Corbin Bersen (Jeanne Cooper’s son, who plays Father Todd on Y&R) was there and he brought part of her ashes to put in the urn.  I mean, so much of it was for me: “Is this real?” Or: “Is this the play?”  That was a hard line to draw that day.

TRICIA:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

There was a lot to draw on that day.

DOUG:

There was so much energy, and it was on the heels of the other show we put together, where the cast sat around and talked about Jeanne.  And, that was only after a few months after she died.  So, it was pretty raw in all of her hearts.

MICHAEL:

How do the three of you feel the writers have done keeping Katherine Chancellor alive in story?  We have had a few stories coming out of Katherine’s passing.  Do you feel Y&R has kept her enough front and center in people’s minds?

JESS:

It’s not difficult to do.  They have kept her alive with his music box story, but the fans still talk about her all the time.  When I said earlier what a true gift she was to all of us, it’s impossible to ever forget her.  It’s almost impossible to believe she is on another plane, and she is in the minds of the fans every day, like I am talking hundreds of thousands of people!  So, her vibration still lives on so strongly.

MICHAEL:

So now leading up to this week’s 1-year anniversary of Katherine’s death, she has written letters again from the great beyond? (Laughs)

JESS:

Courtesy/CBS

She has written letters to be delivered at this time.  Colin and Jill had been off on their honeymoon and it’s very, very emotional for Jill to see Katherine’s handwriting, to hear the voice out of the cosmos, and it’s very amusing how she gives all of these specific instructions for her party.  It’s fabulous, and it has all those emotions that are mixed in with Jeanne.  She was the sweetest lady in the world, and then she would make you almost want to strangle her! (Laughs)  The letter was very much her.  I am so glad the show is keeping her alive in that way.  It’s going to be a fabulous episode.  And, to see Tricia there is great, and Michael Fairman back, who plays Murphy, was wonderful.

MICHAEL:

And then I hear Nina returns to be part of the remembrance, and she is not too happy to see that Paul and Christine (Lauralee Bell) are having marital issues, ( Last year at this time, Paul and Christine got married at Katherine’s memorial service) due to the attention Paul is giving hapless Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott)!

TRICIA:

The nerve of him!  Not cool!  Nina sees that Paul is not exactly pining for Christine at the moment.  All he can do is watch Nikki, and true it’s out of concern for her, but still it doesn’t sit well with Nina. This is: 1) her best friend Christine: 2) that marriage was supposed to last forever, and for Nina she is saying to herself, “If it wasn’t me you chose to spend your life with, than darn it, it better be my best friend!”  It’s a tough moment for Nina.  I think she actually channels Mrs. Chancellor a little bit, and tells him “what’s what!”

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS Photo Credit: JPI

So Nina wants to help Christine, even though Paul dumped Nina to be with her bff?  That’s awfully nice of her! (Laughs)

TRICIA:

Yes.  She wants to help Christine, and since Paul dumped Nina she is thinking, “You better be there for my girlfriend!”

MICHAEL:

So Doug, what is going on here?  Paul is clearly drawn to Nikki because of the revelation that they now share a child together in Dylan (Steve Burton), and all that has happened.

DOUG:

I don’t know if that’s exactly the case. Nikki has a lot of stuff going on in her life right now.  I think as with any friend, at least from Paul’s perspective is that she is pretty needy right now.  She has been batted around by Ian Ward (Ray Wise) and she has these health issues, and she is not handling the little bumps in the road so well.  She actually looks pretty doggone fragile.  I think Paul just wants to make sure that she is OK.   I think Paul loves Nikki, but I don’t think it’s the kind of love that everyone else seems to be worried about.

TRICIA:

You’re lying to yourself! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Pinterest

Doug, what did you think when they made Dylan, Paul’s biological son?  Did you like it … or were you like, “Where is this coming from?

DOUG:

I think a little of both.  I think the long-term story that we have they spent quite a while building is certainly interesting.  And, it was interesting coming on the heels of Paul having lost one son, and then it’s not like I can teach Dylan (Steve Burton) how to ride a bike, or play ball.  He is a grown man.  So, that is a very odd position to be in, and for Dylan as well.  I think that part is interesting, and to have to figure out what’s next is also interesting.  I think that requires the writers to consider the possibilities, and not just jump to the lowest common denominator.  I mean, Paul and Dylan do care about each other, but now it’s just blood related, so it’s a little bit different.

MICHAEL:

Can viewers expect an emotional and touching show when Y&R marks the 1-year anniversary of Katherine’s passing this week?

DOUG:

I think it’s more story-related this time, and the fact that she has more letters is pretty interesting!  Katherine has us turn inside for our feelings, and that is kind of interesting that even in life on this planet, she is assisting in the lives of the people in Genoa City.

MICHAEL:

So we know Jill got a letter this time from Katherine, but does everyone else get a letter by the time the gathering happens?

JESS:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

No, we don’t all get a letter, but Murphy reads her words to all of us and her instructions about something.  What is very interesting about it is it psychologically makes you feel like she is there talking to you.  It really does.  It’s like she is still alive, and talking to them. They really use her voice, or how the character of Katherine would speak in the letter, and the language that she would use.  It’s a device that works.

MICHAEL:

How was it to film those episodes this time?  Was it emotional for you?

JESS:

It was emotional when I was reading Katherine’s letter in the Chancellor living room … that was very emotional for me.

DOUG:

I think every time we get together as a group, it’s hard not to feel her presence and remember her.  And, the characters that are involved in this particular episode are probably the people in real life that knew Jeanne the best.  So, it’s hard to not talk about her and not feel her.

MICHAEL:

Will Katherine send Jill off on another goose chase … ala “The Music Box Mystery”?

JESS:

Courtesy/CBS

I have no idea, Michael, because the “Music Box” is still going strong!

MICHAEL:

I thought that was going to be wrapped-up! (Laughs)

JESS:

Yeah I did too, and it’s still going strong … and there you go. (Laughs)

DOUG:

I was surprised.  Y&R has re-signed the music box!  It has its own dressing room now! (Laughs)

JESS:

It has a special slot on the prop box! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Who has Jeanne’s dressing room now at the studio?

DOUG:

Courtesy/DougDavidsonTwitter

It’s Daniel Goddard’s (Cane) dressing room.  He gets it when he’s there taping.  If he’s not there, whoever is working, and in that day, might get it.

JESS:

But it will always be Jeanne’s dressing room.

DOUG:

When Corbin was in, he was in her dressing room, which was harder for him than he expected.

MICHAEL:

So Tricia, you just come back for a few episodes?

TRICIA:

Yes, and I am very happy that they called me in for this.  It was great chance to see everybody and laugh, play, and act. What a gift!

MICHAEL:

Fans are always excited when you come back to the show.

DOUG:

Maybe, she can come back to the show and rag on somebody else next time!  (Laughs)

JESS:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

You could come back and stay in Katherine Chancellor’s house with us!  And maybe then Chance (John Driscoll) could come back.  It would be great!

TRICIA:

It would be.  A house full of us would be good!

DOUG:

A house full of people that really don’t like each other! (Laughs)

TRICIA:

What better soap opera!

MICHAEL:

Can each of you share a story or little nugget about Jeanne?  We have all had such fond memories of time we shared with her.  I know it’s hard to single out one thing, but what comes to mind?

TRICIA:

There are so many, but there would be times we would sit together an eat ice cream and poke fun at Dancing with the Stars, or whatever show was on.  I just remember watching it at the time and just laughing.  Jeanne’s laugh was so infectious.  I loved making her laugh!  That was amazing.  If I could get a chuckle out of Jeanne my day was made!

DOUG:

I think what happens to me now is the Chancellor Mansion set is usually stored in a visible location on the way to the CBS commissary, if it’s not up.  I have her voice in my head and part of the sorrow has lessened.  I don’t think there is a day for me that goes by, in or out of the studio, where I don’t hear her saying something to me, or have a memory, and for me it’s just knowing that she is still around.

JESS:

Photo Credit: CBS

I was just reminded recently, because somebody brought this up on Twitter, that there was this segment that I think Entertainment Tonight had done years and years ago … like in the 80’s!  And, it was Jeanne and I on stage, and it was around the time Barbara Crampton was on Y&R as Leanna Love, and Jill was trying to think of something to call her.  And she called her: “Bubble butt”, and they wouldn’t let me say, “Bubble butt.”  So I just came out with “Fish head”, and Jeanne loved, “Fish head”.  And I kept going; “I can’t say ‘Fish head’… it doesn’t make any sense.”  And Jeanne was going, “Please!  Please say ‘Fish head’”. (Laughs)  And if you go on Twitter you can find it, but it was a perfect example of how we used to sit in the dressing rooms, back in the day when we both smoked for hours.  Jeanne’s set was up last in the afternoon, so we had hours to kill.  We would go over every bit of comedic material, and we would sacrifice our characters to work up to a punch line for the other one. (Laughs)  We would make ourselves look foolish, so the other one could have their moment.  It was the most beautiful partnership, and it didn’t even make me so sad, but what it left me with was wonderment that I didn’t even appreciate more at the time of what a wonderful combination of people we were, whose intention was the same, which was to make the story great, and to make the duo of Katherine and Jill interesting and entertaining.  We loved the comedy of Jill and Katherine.

MICHAEL:

Jess, you have to pinch yourself when you look at the legacy you have left with Jeanne!  Those classic fights between Katherine and Jill are the best!  The hose scene, the cake fight, the attic, I could go on!  When I was culling clips for the 40th Annual Daytime Emmys clip package on classic soap catfights, I watched so many of those moments and just laughed out loud!

JESS:

Courtesy/CBS

Remember the hose in the face?  I came at her with that hose and I just sprayed it in her face … and it was just awful! (Laughs)  What I did to that poor woman? (Laughs) Oh God, it was so much fun.  I wish I could relive some of those days.

MICHAEL:

That’s the thing; Jeanne was so much fun, a vibrant lady, exceptional!

JESS:

She was so much fun, and it was always fun with her and we would drive over the hill together to come to work at CBS.  Because most of our scenes were together, we would meet up on Laurel Canyon and we would drive along to the studio waving to each other!  Her in her seafoam jaguar, and I was in a Volvo wagon, and I would always pass her! (Laughs)  She loved that! (Laughs)  Jeanne was incredible.

 

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Gloria Zimmerman
Gloria Zimmerman

Thank you for this lovely conversation between these wonderful Y&R actors! One would think a person would get used to the fact Jeanne is gone but she isn’t ! This week is proof of that .a year has passed already but when you scratch the surface of the story lines Jeanne keeps popping up as though she were rehearsing for her scenes …. People let us never forget this dynamo wrapped up in a beautiful smile !keep looking up and Jeanne don’t forget us the loyal fans… Farewell lovely Lady 🙂

Liza
Liza

It’ so nice to hear all the stories about Jeanne. Thanks for a heartwarming interview.

I only wish Y&R would do the same with Katherine Chancellor’s story. I hated that Katherine Chancellor’s memorial turned into Christine & Paul’s wedding. Now it sounds like the 1 year anniversary is about Paul & Christine’s relationship. Who cares? I’d love to see some flashbacks of Katherine Chancellor intertwined with the future of Kay and Jill’s long story which began back in 1973. Shouldn’t Kay’s anniversary episode be about her relationships, her estate, and her company? She has 40 years of flashbacks and story to pull from, they shouldn’t have to go off topic.

I sure hope that music box ends up returning Chancellor Industries to Jill. Jill opening up a little hotel boutique seems silly given her past. Jill may have done something like that when she was 20, but she has come a long way since then. Launching the Jabot Men’s line, major stock holder , CEO of Jabot, then CEO Chancellor Industries…. now starting up a teeny hotel boutique????. Watching Jill take over Kay’s role at Chancellor would be something to turn in for, watching her put together a hotel boutique…..not so much.

Size matters when it comes to interest in a story. I remember when Neil Fenmore died leaving a very young Lauren with this huge corporation, a chain of upscale department stores, to run. That was amazing, if he had left her a simple boutique no one would have cared. All the females roles have been diminished. They have been stripped of money, influence, and ambition they had pre-2005. The women of Y&R used to plot and dream, now they cry, and cry, and cry as they react to the men around them.

LOu
LOu

I agree. Chancellor industries should have been left to Jill, not Victor. And I agree with your comment about the roles of women being diminished. They have become sniveling little women from the 50’s, not the powerful women of 2014.

Barbara from Atlanta
Barbara from Atlanta

I agree as well. I’m disappointed in how the show has used Katherine’s death. Everything seems unoriginal: I’m not sure where the music box storyline is going but it really seems to me to be a knockoff of the “red swan” storyline that was used on Another World when the actor who played Mac Cory died suddenly. Also, Chancellor Park seems like a copy of Horton Square on Days that is suppose to honor Tom and Alice Horton. Of all the ways that the show could remember the Duchess, a park would be the LAST thing that would come to my mind.

Chancellor Industries does belong with Jill. I’ve thought it was strange that Jill barely batted an eye at Victor receiving it and then simply folding into his operation. With Jill’s history, there could have been a MAJOR battle between Jill and Victor over it. Instead, Jill is “stuck” with this music box business and Colin. Frankly, I’m disappointed in the writing for Jill. Not only has she been stripped of her lineage (no longer a Foster) but she barely has ANY involvement with her sister, Lauren, or her son. When exactly was she in a scene with Billy? Has Walton even acted opposite the new actor playing him?? Far more needs to be done with Jill than what we’re getting. This character has been butchered over the past decade and it really is a shame.

Here’s what I would love to see: Jill winds up owning Chancellor Industries. The business gets its own set — maybe an office or conference room — with Kay’s portrait hanging prominently in it so Jill can talk to it from time to time. Meanwhile, Chance returns to town to work at Chancellor with Jill. I personally would love to never see that park again!!!

DE fan
DE fan

very well put!!!

Sally
Sally

Yes, I am also SO sick of that park!!!

Jess Walton
Jess Walton

Michael, what a wonderful interview……you are so good at what you do! You really bring all your subjects to life! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Jess…I totally agree. I TOTALLY ENJOYED reading the interview!!!!! I LOVE to read, period!!!!! Thank you…Jess, Doug and Tricia. And, yes…Michael Fairman is so good at what he does!!!!! Thank you, Mr. Fairman. And Mr. Fairman…your website TRULY ROCKS!!!!! Thank you.

Take care, Jess. XOXOXOXOXO

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Thank you, your cast mates, and Mr. Fairman for a lovely interview!

alistaircrane
alistaircrane

Nina needs to be back full time!

Lois
Lois

I really miss Jeanne- it always feels like something special is missing….RIP Jeanne

Jake
Jake

Its time to make Nina the new Katherine Chancellor. She should have gotten the mansion so she could but heads with Jill Abbott.

bernie tauer
bernie tauer

I miss her she was a great lady

bernie tauer
bernie tauer

An a great actress

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Katherine shouldve had a half sister and it should be Mamie Johnson who was the Abbots housekeeper…Jill was Johns wife and she and Mamie didnt get along…Mamies neice was Dru so she also has ties to the Winters family…Mamie could return to town as half owner of the Chancelor estate and be in constant conflict with Jill like Katherine and Jill were for years…just a thought!!!

DE fan
DE fan

Such a fab idea. You should write for them! 🙂

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

The death is Jeanne and Katherine still lives on with the show, and the struggle everyone has in their every day lives. And I feel like this one-year tribute to the both of them is really going to be a great remembrance of what an extraordinary woman Ms. Cooper was, and what a tremendous and bold character Katherine was too! Mrs. C, we miss you!

kalamaty
kalamaty

THanks for sharing this wonderful interview! Wonderful to read their personal accounts!

Sam
Sam

Enjoyed the interview piece. Been a Y&R viewer for 30 years. Truly miss Mrs. C. RIP.

Loretta Singleton
Loretta Singleton

Wow this was so good to read and I remember her last scene when Jill was about to help her and she threw up her hand and then started up the stairs and Jill ask do you need some help going up the stairs and Ms C look up and say I can manage turn around and say good night I knew when she walk up those stairs that was the last time we would see Ms C. I can see her now pointing her finger and telling you how she feels love this Lady and all The Casts of Y&R. R.I.P. Jeanne Cooper/katherine Chancelor WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU AND YOU WILL BE TRULY MISS. I am crying as I write this I can see her smile love you Ms C

Robert Clark
Robert Clark

Thank you all for remembering a woman who was and is such apart of my childhood and life. I starting watching Y/R with my Grandmother. When I watch it and see Ms.C. it brings back memories of my childhood. I know Y/R has a special Angel looking after the cast, crew and it’s fans. Thanks for the memories.

Tami Ply
Tami Ply

I have been a Y&R fan since day one! Jeanne Cooper has always been my absolute favorite! I miss her soooo much! And just as everyone else,…I cherish all the memories and awesome scenes that she made epic! Wish she was still with us! She will forever be a part of the Young and Restless! Love you and miss you Jeanne!!!

Eva Watson
Eva Watson

Love Y&R. Miss Ms C. The people are so real. Good storie. Great writers.

damien
damien

don t understand why we have kelly and a recasted phyllis who will never last( lets be honest) when we can just have nina back full time on our screens!! a character who everyone cares about with plenty of storyline potential, history and a amazing actress portraying her! baffles the mind…

Barbara from Atlanta
Barbara from Atlanta

AMEN

Mary SF
Mary SF

Timeless beauty never fades; the blooms of youth my whither and fall to winter’s touch of cold death, but the vibrant promise of spring lingers in slumber yet.

Iakovos
Iakovos

This is a gift, Michael Fairman. Thank you for this interview. The conversation reminds me of the Y&R I loved and I miss now.

mary
mary

I have watched Y&R since day one. I record it every day. I felt like I lost a member of the family when Mrs. C past away. I miss her wit, charm. She could make you laugh, cry, and cuss right along with her. There was never a dull moment when she was in a scene. I was so afraid they were going to try to replace her when she died. It would of been a disaster. You could never replace her. She was one of a kind and I am so glad that I got to watch her for all those years!

Carol
Carol

I miss Jeanne Cooper. What a Great Lady. Thank you for the
Memories. Keep the rest of actors on show, so it stays alive.

Deb
Deb

I loved reading this article and thanks for sharing. It’s great that the Y&R had the 1 year celebration of her passing on the show. I remember watching it when she told Jill goodnight for the last time. Jill asked her if she needed any help and Katherine turned around and snipped at her no I can manage(I believe this was her words). Katherine then finished up the stairs. Katherine will be missed by all.

Timmm
Timmm

I dont know why things can be so obvious but never done. Katherine and Jill had a bitter sweet relationship. Katherine is dead. You have to bring someone in that Jill can spar with now. Katherine could have had a long lost son [Corbin] or daughter come into town looking for their inheritance. Giving Victor control of Chancellor would make good business sense but one, who does benefit from it and two, story line wise, Victor has no competition now. I would have liked to see someone challenge Victor. Even Tucker, bring the original Tucker back and have him and Victor be enemies. Plus Tucker and Jill have a history together and Tucker could have a past with Colin which would make him more interesting. Its time to clean this BS up. I understand losing Jeanne was a shock and writers had to scramble but lets put this whole big mess in the trash and start fresh!

Liza
Liza

I like the original Tucker too. William Russ’s Tucker had oodles of chemistry with Jill and could give Colin some competition. The only problem is MAB went too far with the Tucker character, he became unappealing…gross really. Maybe nuOldTucker could have had a brain tumor?

DE fan
DE fan

the 1st tucker with the white hair and overweight was too old looking for her, but had a hell of a lot more charm

Lisa
Lisa

This was a great interview, thanks for sharing!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Great interview to honor a great lady. Clearly she is loved and missed by all who knew her and her multitude of fans.

She is one-of-a-kind and will never truly be gone. She is immortal through her body of work and the legacy she left on the lives of those she touched.

wil
wil

I have watched this show for most of its running.. I have always enjoyed the part of Nina, played by Tricia Cast.. I was so glad to see her character brought back after the death of Jeannie Cooper.. and also to have her back for the memorial.. It would be great to see her back on the show again, and living in the Chancellor Estate.. I am sure that Katherine Chancellor would have wanted it that way..

Tracey
Tracey

Thank you for the interview. Jeanne Cooper was a treasure. I miss her.

Interviews

Mishael Morgan Talks on Her Return to Y&R and Tackling the New Role of Amanda Sinclair

So, just how did The Young and the Restless lure back one of the series most powerhouse actresses to take on a brand-new role? Mishael Morgan, who earlier this year was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her gut-wrenching final performances as Hilary Curtis, reveals in a new interview with Michael Fairman TV, what went down to bring her back to the CBS Daytime drama.

As fans know thus far, after appearing as ‘Ghost Hilary” through the late spring and summer, Y&R’s creatives worked behind the scenes to get Morgan back on screen without tainting Hilary’s ultimate demise.  That is when they came up with the role of the sexy yet tough lawyer, Amanda Sinclair.

So, enter Mishael in a new wig and style that defines Amanda as her own character.  Question is, since Amanda is a dead-ringer for the late Hilary, are they related? And, what will ultimately be proven to be in her DNA?  In story, Amanda entered the scene as the often-mentioned Chance Chancellor’s attorney.  She shows up in Genoa City to contest the legitimacy of the late great Katherine Chancellor’s will and the fortune she left to Devon (Bryton James).  With Devon directly in Amanda’s line of fire it sets the stage for potential fireworks down the line.

We sat down with Mishael backstage at Y&R for this informative and entertaining chat as we officially welcome back this truly kick-ass performer.  Here’s what Mishael shared below.

Photo: JPI

What transpired behind the scenes to make it possible for you to come back to Y&R?

MISHAEL:  Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) kind of gave me a little bit of a heads up.  They called me back to come in and do the ghost episodes as Hilary, and it happened really quickly.  It was like, “Hey, Mishael, do you think you can do this?  Yeah?  Okay.  We’ll work it out with your team.  Alright.  We’ll see you tomorrow.” (Laughs) It was really, really fast.  I was hesitant for a second about the whole Hilary ‘ghost thing’, because I felt good about how we wrapped up Hilary’s storyline.  I’d only left for a couple of months, and I still felt funny about it, but I was like, “I’ll do it.  She’s a ghost … so she hasn’t returned from the dead.  So, it’s fine.”

Originally, I was concerned that they were going to have you as Hilary keep popping up as a ghost to Devon for an indefinite amount of time; when the show has already done that with Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and his father, John (Jerry Douglas).  Because of your previous performances, and Emmy-nominated performance for the final arc of Hilary’s story, I thought, in the end, it might detract from that.

MISHAEL:  Yes, and I think that’s how I felt too, but I agreed to do it because they said that it was going to be a max of seven episodes.  So, while I was doing that, Tony was on set watching the scenes.  Next, he just called me up and said, “Well, how do you feel about coming back?”  I was like, “Coming back?  Hilary is dead.  Like, Hilary is dead-dead.  Is this going to be an alternate universe?” (Laughs) He said, “Well, no.  You’d be coming back as a different character.”  That was really intriguing to me, because one of the reasons why I left was because I felt like creatively I’d played a character from beginning to end, and it felt like it would just be nice to go off and play somebody new.  I never in a million years thought that I could come back to Y&R and actually play someone new!  That was weird to wrap my head around when they said, “You’d play a new character,” but then when they said she was going to me a lawyer, my ears really perked up! I’ve always wanted to play a lawyer, because I have the background where I wanted to be a lawyer in real life.  So, then I’m like, “OK. Now I get to play a lawyer on TV.”  They really got their hooks in to me with that … and just hooked me in from there.  Then, I got open to the idea and the story that Josh Griffith (head writer, Y&R) wanted to tell.

Photo: JPI

Once you learned the idea of the story from Josh, it seemed that things happened very quickly!  We all found out about your return via a social media post where you got to tell the fans yourself that you were coming back … but as a new character.

MISHAEL:  It happened relatively quickly in terms of me tentatively coming back, but then they still had to write the story.  So, everything wasn’t really confirmed until a couple of weeks before I started taping again.  We were in talks for about two months, and we worked it all out.  I said, “I’d do it,” and then it was 100% confirmed around August of this year, and I was airing in September.  It was kept was very, very quiet.

Are you still figuring out what Amanda’s back-story is?

MISHAEL:  I am.  I feel like every writer is a little different, and I feel like Josh likes to keep things very close and tight to his chest so that you kind of don’t know what’s happening.  Josh gives you enough information to play a little bit of something that is coming down the pike, but he doesn’t really disclose everything.   I’ve gotten little hints, and I kind of know where we are going, but I still don’t know the whole back-story of Amanda.  I’m still trying to figure her out.  If she’d been the polar opposite of Hilary, I think it might have been easier, but if you read her description, she’s very much like Hilary: A-type, strong, driven, all of those things.  Hilary had this very malicious, unscrupulous side to her, but I don’t know if Amanda has that.  In terms of the general description of the character, they’re very similar, which I was happy about just because I like playing strong women on TV.  If they had said, “We’re bringing on this character, and she is homeless” … or somebody who was super quiet… that would pose a different set of things for me as an actress.  I think seeing strong women of all different colors, shapes, and sizes is so important right now on TV, and it is very relevant.  I am happy to be a part of that.

Photo: JPI

What was it like playing all of these entrance scenes as Amanda where your former and current scene partners had to suspend belief? There’s Bryton James, Christel Khalil, Daniel Goddard, Jess Walton, and you, and Amanda walks in like, “Hey there!” (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  We just laughed about it.  It’s one of those things that is so funny, and it can only happen in the world of soaps.  A lot of the fans said, “This is weird,” in the beginning, but the fans love the show, and they accept it, and they do suspend their disbelief, and then it becomes normal.   We just had fun with it.

You’re like, “Hi, do you like my new hair?” (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  That was the thing too.  (Laughs) I don’t even think Christel even saw my hair until she came to set, and she was like, “Oh wow! I like your new hair.”

Photo: JPI

What happened when you and Christel taped the scenes where Lily sees Amanda for the first time, after the former contentious relationship of Lily and Hilary that ultimately changed the course of both their lives?

MISHAEL:  For me, it was super fun and easy because I don’t know any of the Hilary/Lily back-story.  I just play very oblivious like,“Hi, I’m just here.” (Laughs)  So, it’s very easy for me, but I almost envy a lot of the other characters who have to play all of these layers because Lily does have that back-story because she was charged for Hilary’s death, and the guilt associated with doing something like that, and also the hate that she had for Hilary.  Then overcoming that hate, and then going on that entire beautiful journey that they had together as women.  But now having that as a layer, and adding on top of it this woman who looks exactly like Hilary, but is a completely different person, is really interesting. Even for Bryton, I feel like he has a golden opportunity as well, because to have that love of your life, and then a new love of your life there in Elena, and then see a woman who looks just like your ex-wife is, I’m sure, really difficult.  Your mind would just be exploding!

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How did Bryton find out that you were coming back, and what was his reaction to the news?

MISHAEL:   Well, I came in for the ghost episodes, and I just couldn’t hold it in any longer.  I told him before we finalized this new deal.  He’s a friend of mine.  I wanted to get his opinion, and he was like, “You should do it!”  I was like, “Really?  It feels so weird because I just left a year ago, and I was so happy and content with leaving, so it feels weird to come back.”  He was like, “No, it will be fine.”  He’s like, “The fans will love you either way.  They’ll want you back.”   I was worried about how the fans would feel because it is such a quick return.

Photo: JPI

What is the feedback you’re getting from the fans thus far on your transformation from Hilary to now Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I feel like it’s pretty positive for the most part.  There are always going to be a couple of fans who are skeptical … or who don’t like the storyline … and even if they don’t like it they say, “This is kind of weird to bring her back as a different character.  We miss Hilary, but we love that Mishael Morgan is back, so, that kind of makes it all OK.”

The story that brings Amanda to Genoa City revolves around the legitimacy of Katherine Chancellor’s (the late Jeanne Cooper) will, and she comes in and says there was a counterfeit will etc.  She’s the messenger at this point and her client is Chance, correct?

MISHAEL:  Yes, Amanda’s client is Chance.

Isn’t she starting to question the legitimacy of her client?

MISHAEL:  Yes, but I think she still believes that it was Chance.  She’s kind of wondering now … because she even accuses Jill (Jess Walton).  She’s like, “It’s your grandson.  He’s all out to lunch.  He’s not getting back to anybody.”  Jill is very much in the headspace where she is like, “Well, this is probably not my grandson.”  Amanda is like, “I’m pretty sure it is.”  So, I think Amanda still thinks that it is Chance, even if he is a criminal, and even if he is doing something tricky.

Photo: JPI

How did Amanda get contacted by Chance in the first place to take this case?

MISHAEL:  It was an email, and then Amanda spoke to him on the phone …  or at least to who she believed was Chance.  He signed the papers, he scanned them over, and he forwarded Amanda the retainer. She had no reason not to believe that it was him.

So, when Amanda came to see Devon and company, she had no idea that there was this lookalike of her that was intertwined with this family?

MISHAEL:  No, but then after Devon tells Amanda about all of this, she sees pictures of Hilary online, but this is all done off-camera.

Does Amanda now suspect that she could be a twin? 

MISHAEL:  I think so.  I’m kind of playing that or keeping that there.  I’m kind of playing that as part of the reason why I want to stay in town because Amanda is intrigued by this other person who looks like her.  This could possibly be family.  I think it adds an extra layer as to why she wants to stay on Genoa City.  It is not just because she likes this person, or that person.  I think it is because she wants to figure out her connection to this person who looks just like her.

Photo JPI

We’ve seen Amanda be a little shifty.

MISHAEL:  Maybe a little bit. (Laughs)

What do you think we, as the audience, should be feeling at this point about Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I think we just have to wait and see.  Hilary had a lot going on before I left, and this is a new character who is slowly building.

I think that one of the things that daytime shows often have done wrong is that when they bring in a new character, they shove them down the audience’s throats too fast that they get sick of them.  I don’t know if that’s the tactic for the emergence of Amanda, more of a slow burn?

MISHAEL:  I feel like they are definitely doing a good job of building her character slowly and adding layers.  It’s not all coming out right away.  I feel like people should be feeling excited to try and figure out who this woman is because that is what it is eventually going to be leading to.  Right now, we are all just together in trying to figure out who she is.  I feel like everybody is really excited (and I am too) to get going, but even when Hilary came to Genoa City, it took about a year for her to catch her stride.  I think it’s going to take a while to really understand the meat of this character and how she fits into everyone’s lives.

Photo: JPI

Do you think Amanda feels badly about what is going on with Cane and Devon with the will, and how it would change both their lives forever?

MISHAEL:  Yes.  I definitely think that she feels badly about that.  In the beginning, it was very much her job.  I think when Devon is contemplating giving over his fortune, it makes Amanda see him in a different light, and her empathy for him starts to increase because she sees that he is a good guy, and that there wasn’t anything that he did that was malicious.

I think there is an attraction brewing here between Devon and Amanda.

MISHAEL:  Possibly.  I mean … Devon was attracted to someone who looked like Amanda.

Photo: JPI

Will she like him if he has no money, though?

MISHAEL:  I don’t know… I mean, Hilary definitely wouldn’t. (Laughs)

What do you think about working with Brytni Sarpy (Elena)? I see a triangle or quadrangle brewing and I see catfights in your future!

MISHAEL:  I love Brytni.  I definitely see that because Elena is definitely in the state of mind where she can’t stand this Amanda character.  The second she walked through the door, she couldn’t stand her.  I’m sure there are going to be some catfights coming.  I’m sure that it is going to be very entertaining for everybody! We’ll see.

Because you were considering being a lawyer … wait until you get into the courtroom set for some scenes!

MISHAEL:  I know, I’m excited for that!

Christian LeBlanc (Michael) always loves the courtroom monologues because he says it’s like doing a stage play.  Will you be up for that?

MISHAEL:  I think it’ll be ready for it.  I had a little one already to kind of warm up.  I won’t tell you what it was about.  I was like, “I can do this,” and I think it would have been even more fulfilling if there were an actual jury there where it feels like you’re performing.

Photo: JPI

What kind of lawyer is Amanda?  Does anyone know? (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  Well, right now she specializes in estates and trusts, but the one thing that I do know about attorneys is that technically with your license you can kind of do anything.  It is just that your experience will be in a specific area.  So, certain people may not want you to defend them, because you’ve never defended people in these cases.  I feel like it is not the same as a surgeon.  A surgeon specializes in the heart, and they don’t really do anything else, but as an attorney, you can kind of do anything.  You can defend anyone if the price is right and you feel confident.

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When you were thinking of being a lawyer, did you think of the kind of lawyer you wanted to be?

MISHAEL:  Well, when I wanted to be a lawyer, I wanted to be an international human rights lawyer.  So, something very different.  I wanted to save the world.

You know what they should do?  Maybe Amanda could have a courtroom show.  Instead of Judge Judy, it could be called Judge “Mandy”!

MISHAEL:  Put people in their places.

That’s if Amanda doesn’t get a talk show gig on the side, like Hilary did with GC Buzz! (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  With the courtroom cases, and the talk show, that would be a lot.

Photo: JPI

We talked about Hilary and taking her through everything she had gone through, and it really was the perfect ending when she passed.   Do you look back on that time and that work which we all loved so much?

MISHAEL:  Yes, I do.  I still look back on it, and I feel so blessed to have gone through that journey with her and to have created such a great character.  There are times when I’m like, “Yeah, coming back as Hilary would have been a lot of fun,” because I read the lines, and I know how Hilary would say everything, and now I have to figure out how Amanda says it – and it never feels the same, because I got so used to this being Hilary’s home.  I feel like Amanda is a little more like me, so there is a little less playfulness happening.

You want more of that which is reminiscent of Hilary, or not as much with Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I feel like naturally there is not as much now with Amanda, but I do want more of the playfulness to happen. It’s fun to play that on camera.  I feel that’s the fun of acting and pretending in that you get to be less of yourself, and more like a character.  Hilary was so different from me that it was just so fun to play her.  I feel like I’ve got to find those things in Amanda that make her unique and different that I can indulge in.

Photo: MMorganInstagram

In real-life you’re now a mom of two.  When you leave your kids to come to work, is it hard for you?

MISHAEL:  It is, but it’s okay because my husband stays at home with them.  We bounce back and forth.  He doesn’t work when I am working, and the days when I am not working, I am at home, and I get to enjoy time with them.  Then, when I am working, he stays home, and he gets to enjoy time with them.  It sucks to leave them, but at the same time it’s great to know that they are getting to spend time with their father, and I’m getting some ‘me time’.  I think that is necessary, because being a stay at home mom was a lot harder than I thought.  It is exhausting, and you are always on call.  You feel like you’re a surgeon.  It is just too much at times.

You always have the best Instagram photos with your kids and their outfits.  Are you going to have them dressed for Halloween?

MISHAEL:  Oh, yes.  They are going to dress up.   My son is going to be a firefighter, and I am going to be the fire, and my husband is going to be the fire hydrant, and my daughter is going to be the fire dog, the little Dalmatian!

Were you thrilled that you had a daughter this time, after previously having a son?

MISHAEL:  Yes.  At the time, I was okay with whatever the gender turned out to be.  I know everybody says it, but as long as they’re healthy, that is the most important thing.  I even thought about if I did have another boy, there would be that brother bond.  I grew up with sisters so to give him a brother would have been great, too.  Everybody always wants to have one of each because you want to be able to see what a boy would look like, and what a girl would look like, and their temperaments and all of that.  So, it’s nice that we got one of each.  We are happy.  We are good.  No more kids in my future.  (Laughs)  I shouldn’t say that too much because what if I do get pregnant, and my kid is like, “I was definitely an accident, Mom?” (Laughs)

We don’t know who Amanda has ties to at this point, but would you like to see her in another romantic relationship with some guy who is not Devon?

MISHAEL:  I would like to see that just because it would be something that kind of defines her as her own kind of person with her own journey and her own likes and her own dislikes.  I even feel that if she just ends up with Devon, it would be kind of weird.  We don’t know if Hilary and Amanda are related, but if they are related somehow, you would not have the same experiences, you would not have the same connections as this person.  As far as who I would want to work with, I don’t know.  I don’t know how to judge.  Well, Sean Dominic (Nate) has been awesome.  It would be kind of cool to be with Sean character-wise, because if Amanda ends up with Nate, that’s a relative of Devon, so Devon would have to see that all of the time … so that’s interesting.

Photo JPI

How is working with Sean?

MISHAEL:  Lots of fun.  He actually has the same birthday as my dad.  He’s a really cool guy, and we get along great.  That is half the battle because every now and again (and you rarely hear about it) you can’t stand the person you’re working with, and every time you get into scene work with another character, you’re always wondering, “Am I going to get along with this person?”  I love Bryton because we definitely have a special connection when we are on camera and when we are working together.  We’ve known each other for so long, and we’ve done so many amazing scenes together, and I think there is a lot of trust there.  It’s easy to just work with him.  That being said, the challenge of working with another character would be great as well.  We’ll just see where the chips fall.  Either way; I’m going to have a blast.

So, Camryn Grimes (Mariah) and you obviously have this great relationship together on-screen.  Mariah was Hilary’s dear friend.  Did you ever see her performance after Hilary died and her heartbreaking monologue on the set of GC Buzz?

MISHAEL:  Yes, I did.  It was amazing.  She’s an amazing actress.  She’s an amazing person.  I was so happy to work with her, and I am so happy to be back, because we are such good friends.  My first day back on set when I walked in, Camryn was the first person I saw.

Photo: JPI

Did Camryn know you were coming back to the show as Amanda?

MISHAEL:  Yes, she knew I was coming back.  We had a big hug and everything like that, and we were laughing about the fact that she’d come back to Y&R too as a whole different character.  So, I was like, “What pointers can you give me?” I would really love to figure out how Amanda and Mariah can work together.

The big question … I wonder if Amanda will have friends in Genoa City? (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  I think she would.  I mean, I know she is a little uptight, but I think she’ll have friends.  I hope so.  I don’t know who though. Guess everyone will have to stay tuned to see.

So, are you happy to see Mishael back at The Young and the Restless? What do you think of the character of Amanda Sinclair thus far? Do you want to see her with Nate, Devon, or someone else on the canvas romantically?  Do you think it will turn out that Hilary and Amanda were twins? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Talks On Thomas’ Vendetta With Brooke & Playing The Manipulative Bad Boy Of The Forrester Clan

Since coming to The Bold and the Beautiful earlier this year, Matthew Atkinson is making his mark in the role of Taylor (Hunter Tylo) and Ridge’s (Thorsten Kaye) son, Thomas Forrester.  But while Matthew was a recast for his predecessor Pierson Fodé, his Thomas is quite different.  The new Thomas is a bad boy capable of horrific manipulations to get what he wants, and a young man who has caused so much suffering already for the Logans, Spencers, and the Forresters  But is there a heart underneath that often volatile exterior?

After all, Thomas went to great lengths to keep Hope (Annika Noelle) in a relationship with him and for her to be a “mother” to his son, following the death of Caroline.  So, what did he do? He covered-up and blackmailed many people to keep their mouths shut to the truth – that his sister Steffy’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) little girl, Phoebe, was actually baby Beth, the child Hope and Liam (Scott Clifton) believed had died at birth!

Following the big reveal, and getting a bit of comeuppance, Thomas landed in the hospital with a questionable push from Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) after a fall.  After promising to change his ways, looks like Thomas is back to scheming and conniving – this time to make sure Brooke gets payback and that her marriage to his father blows up to smithereens.  Meanwhile, Thomas needs to be a better father to his little boy, Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri), but will the Logans and the Spencers come between father and son?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Matthew Atkinson to get his take on: the emotional make-up of his incarnation of Thomas Forrester, what his ultimate takedown of Brooke would be, and how he thinks Thomas can find a way back into the family good graces, and more.  Here’s what Matthew had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

Thomas really has a vendetta with Brooke.  The scene where Brooke slaps him illustrated just how deep-rooted his issues apparently are with her. What did you think about what Thomas said to Brooke that came to a boiling point with the slap, and what was it like performing the material with Katherine Kelly Lang?

MATTHEW:  Katherine rocks every chance I get to be around her.  She is such a sweet human being and so fun to work with and takes her job seriously and puts a lot of work in, and I think it shows.  As far as the scene goes, every chance that I get to work with her is fun.  She’s just a great actress.  Brooke basically had this vendetta against Thomas for a while now, and she was the one who unjustifiably went a little crazy about Thomas before anybody knew Thomas was off the rails.  So, it’s kind of this interesting culmination of having that where she has built herself up to hating Thomas at this point, and she is just scared of him and what he could possibly do.  Then you have Thomas, who has hated Brooke ever since she came in and destroyed his family.  There is so much emotion there and so many levels to it.  It’s just so much fun to play around with, and in those scenes especially, it is kind of like neither one of them really has a filter.  They are both just going at each other.

He is punctuating his plan by telling Brooke that she may, “Have his father tied around her slutty little finger, but her reign of terror ends with him!”  I was just like, “Uh-oh.” (Laughs)

MATTHEW:  Yeah, and that’s how Thomas sees Brooke.  He sees her as this slutty woman who came in and kind of giggles her way into his dad’s life and flirted with him and destroyed his entire family.  Thomas sees her and all of her sisters as these air-headed women who are kind of just family-destroying kind of people.  They come in, they do whatever they can to get what they want, and he doesn’t care about them at all.  I think he has kind of gotten to this point, especially with Brooke … considering what happened with Hope and that he has this genuine love for Hope.  Brooke won’t even accept that, or think about that as a possibility with how she views him.   It’s that crazy dynamic and those scenes were definitely an emotional peak for both of them.

Photo: JPI

Thomas seems to become obsessed, and laser-focused on people like Hope, and now Brooke.  What has happened to him?  How are you playing this behavior pattern of his that we are seeing established?

MATTHEW:  Some of the most successful people in the world are people who obsess over things.  I think Thomas is like that, but I think that since Caroline’s death, his obsessive nature has been so focused on things other than fashion.  They aren’t his job and what his talents are, which is where he should focus all of that energy, but instead it’s been on his son needing a mother.  So, getting Hope in his life was key to him, and with Brooke, it’s a woman who has destroyed his entire family.  He wants his dad to be better off.  He wants his entire family to be better off.  He honestly feels that they would be better off without Brooke in their lives, and so that is what he is focused on.  I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad attribute to have when it is focused in the right direction, but for Thomas, since the death of Caroline, his focus has been on things that are a little abstract and are not necessarily objectively sound decisions.

Photo: JPI

What was interesting was that I did not know how they were going to be able to save the character of Thomas on the B&B canvas after all that he has perpetrated.  But then, there were scenes in the hospital where he is recovering from his “fall”, and Thomas is having big emotional scenes with Ridge and Steffy.  In those moments as the viewer, you say to yourself: “Oh, they’re going to redeem him,” but then they don’t.  He goes right back to a new vendetta.  What did you think of those plot twists?

MATTHEW:  The interesting thing about this character is that I don’t think this guy is a bad guy.  I think he is a guy who is doing a lot of bad things, but I think a lot of people can relate to him and the struggles that he is dealing with: being a single father and having a rough childhood with his family being broken up.  This is a guy who wants his father to approve of him and respect him and he has never really felt that way.  I think a lot of people out there know what it’s like to have a parent who they just want approval from but can’t get it … couple that with the fact that he let his sister down.  Everybody knows what it is like to think that they are making the right decision and end up making the wrong decision and possibly hurting someone in the process … and the kind of shame that you feel from doing something like that.  I think this makes Thomas an interesting character where viewers could say, “Well, he is doing bad things, and I don’t agree with anything that he is doing, but I can relate to him, and I want him to be better, and I want him to get better and become the good person we all know he can be.”  Yet, Thomas just keeps making all of the wrong decisions.

Photo: JPI

I predict that in short order, Thomas will be in cahoots with Shauna (Denise Richards)!

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MATTHEW:  Okay, we shall see.  (Laughs)  They have aligned interests; especially at the moment, when it comes to removing Brooke from that situation.  I think with Shauna, it’s fun that Denise Richards has come into this role and what she has done with this character.

Denise Richards is doing a great job in the role.

MATTHEW:  She’s amazing, but I think that behind the thought process she has is this woman, Shauna, who is not so dissimilar from Thomas, and is willing to blur the lines of what is acceptable and morally sound to make sure that she gets what she wants.

Photo: JPI

When you were taping those emotional hospital scenes where Thomas admits he has lost his way, and reaching out to his dad to try to find forgiveness, how were playing those scenes with Thorsten Kaye?

MATTHEW:  I respect Thorsten a lot as an actor.  I just love having scenes with him because I feel like we play off of each together so well.  When we enter a scene together, we are both in it.  When you are both in it, something real happens from that, and those real moments are kind of magical in a way, and it makes you feel great about the work that you do.  Thorsten shows up, and he’s prepared, he knows what he is doing, and at the same time, there is this connection between father and son.   I think Thorsten and I have definitely done that as father and son, and Jacqui and I have done that as brother and sister.

Since the show usually has you shirtless or sneering in scenes (laughs), I was so happy that they finally let you have some crying scenes.  It was at the point that the audience was able to see you bring another emotional level and dimension to the character.

MATTHEW:  I think he is not a guy who breaks down and cries very often.  It takes something very serious (especially for him) to get to that point.  For Thomas, the most important thing in the world is family, and he has kind of destroyed his relationship with his own family with what he has done, and I think that from the inside out is what breaks him.

Photo: JPI

Speaking of shirtless scenes; in a short amount of time you have been with the show, I think you may have set a record there.

MATTHEW:  (Laughs) Yep.  It’s all the time because the wardrobe sends me mostly pants – no shirts (Laughs).

Obviously, there is the issue of Thomas’s son, Douglas … and will he lose him because Hope and Liam want to gain custody of him. Brooke wants Thomas out of Douglas’ life for good.   This poses a major obstacle for Thomas moving forward. Agree?

MATTHEW:  Sure.  However, Brooke has no legal right to stand on.  You can’t just take a guy’s son.  There’s no legal way to do that, but they can try their hardest to either sign adoption papers or sign over custody, or something like that, but there’s not a legal way they can go and just take his son.  There are a lot of people who I understandably think Douglas would be better off with being raised by Hope and Liam, but I think Thomas has a point of view too, and just because he is going through a bad part of his life at this time, doesn’t mean that he is unfit to be a father.  I think Thomas will prove that he is fit to be father and all the while, a great force to be reckoned with,

Photo JPI

But, Thomas hasn’t been so great to Douglas, either.  Hasn’t he yelled at his son, manipulated him for his own gain, etc?

MATTHEW: Right, this was kind of right before the truth about Beth came out, and Thomas was on this massive downward swirl where he wasn’t thinking clearly; he wasn’t himself. I  think in reality, you have a person who went off the rails, he wasn’t being himself, he found the person he wasn’t, and I think that the “accident” of Brooke pushing him off a cliff, the slip, kind of clarified his intention in life to be a good, standup person from here on out.  So, I think his priorities are straight now, and I think he is thinking clearly.  I don’t think he is in the same mental state that he was before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be manipulative and that he won’t get what he wants, because he will.  There was a time that he went through a headspace when nothing was really clear for a minute, and he didn’t really have any moral backbone, but I don’t think that moving forward you’re going to see a Thomas Forrester that would hurt his son.  You’re going to see a Thomas Forrester who will stop at nothing to protect his son.

How does Thomas feel about Hope now, especially since Hope wants to raise Douglas? 

MATTHEW:  Well, here is what I will say; I think that Thomas has always had a love for Hope. I think he respects her as a person, I think he has seen her be a mother to his child, and that is undeniable … how much of a connection that she has to Douglas, and she is incredibly important to him.  Thomas can basically discard any Logan except Hope.  Hope is kind of his kryptonite.  So, going forward, I think you’ll maybe see a guy who wants to discard Hope as a person who he cares for (her and the rest of the Logans), but he may not be able to do that, because she has got a place in his heart that he can’t compartmentalize and leave behind.

Photo: JPI

What can you say about working with Annika Noelle, because you as Thomas had been terrorizing Hope for many months?

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MATTHEW:  Well, she’s a sweetheart, but also, secondly, she is a badass.  She could kick my butt any day of the week.  So, I just had to make sure that in between takes I said, “You understand that I wouldn’t do this to you.”  She’s so sweet, and she was actually one of the first people to talk to me about taking over a role on the show, because she had been one of the most recent people to take over a role, and that was something that was really hard for me.  Coming into a character that has already been there for 30 years, you have a lot to live up to.  She was amazing from the beginning just helping me through that process.

On that note, what did you think of the epic fight scene on the rooftop opposite Scott Clifton; right before all the truth came out to Hope that Beth is alive and Thomas was lying to Hope and up to no good?

MATTHEW:  So much fun.  The shots they got were incredible.  Shooting those fight scenes was so much fun and I love Scott to death.  So, every time we get to work together it’s fun, but just getting outside and literally pretending to beat the crap out of each other is a blast.  We got to go out to Malibu, and I got to fall over a cliff.  What else can you say about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

There is another interesting relationship Thomas has on B&B, and that is with his friend, Vinny.  How has it been creating the on-screen dynamic with Joe LoCicero (Vinny) as these two scheming dudes?

MATTHEW:  I like it, and I love Joe.  This dynamic between these two guys is really funny because you have this shrewd, alpha male, Thomas Forrester, who is extremely driven, and insanely smart, but also very manipulative and he has got a thousand things going on.  On the flipside, you’ve got Vinny, who is just this guy who he has been friends with for a really, really long time, who just kind of lives life.  He is living in his apartment in Venice, he sells some not so legal substances just to his friends, and he’s a decent guy.  It’s just fun when we have these scenes together, because essentially you’ve got him looking at me like I’m an alien creature, and thinking, “I don’t understand this guy.  I don’t know why he is acting this way, but who cares; I’m going to eat my Chinese food.”  (Laughs) I think it kind of grounds some of those scenes especially when you see Thomas going off that rails, and his friend doesn’t even seem to notice. (Laughs)

I know! (Laughs) Thomas has got his own sidekick.

MATTHEW: I think Vinny wants to give sound advice, but he gives all the worst advice.  He’s like, “Well, the way you described it Thomas, it sounds like a good idea, so yeah, go ahead with that,” but maybe doing a little behavioral cognitive therapy and questioning would be good for Vinny.  He just kind of goes, “okay,” (laughs) but I think that’s what makes those scenes so much fun.

Photo: JPI

Having appeared on The Young and the Restless previously you know how soaps go.  There is always this fear of: “Will they kill me off if my character has gone too far?” Did at any point in Thomas’ storyline, and as you got the scripts and read all the terrible things Thomas was doing, that the character might get murdered, kicking off a murder mystery, and you’d have to make an exit?

MATTHEW:  I’d had discussions with Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) and I kind of knew where the character was going, so I kind of knew that he was going down a rabbit hole, but that Thomas wasn’t a lost cause.  I knew that he would at least be present for the upcoming short future that I know of, that Thomas wasn’t going to find his demise, which was very nice of Brad to give me that insight into the character to not only know what was coming up, but also know where his head is at by this point.  It helps me with the character work that I do for each scene and prep for each day; because I know where Thomas’ head is going to be at two weeks from now.

Photo: JPI

Have you had any interactions with fans, or are you checking out on social media what the viewers are saying about Thomas?  Do they love him?  Hate him?  Is there a great debate going on?  What is your take on where Thomas sits with the audience?

MATTHEW:  Oh, yeah.  I definitely pay attention.  The fans are the reason I have the job that I have.  All the feedback that I have seen is positive, and by positive, I mean that it is emotionally effective.  Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are happy with Thomas because most people are not happy with Thomas.  They don’t like what he is doing, and that obviously gets them angry or sad or whatever, but that is kind of the point of the show.  If you’re watching a bunch of characters who are all great people and who all do nice things, then it wouldn’t be that much fun to watch.  You’d be watching 40 Liam’s talk to each other, and it would be like, “Yeah, it’s just another day in Happy World.”  (Laughs)  I think that Thomas especially has been such a driving force in the last couple of months and caused a lot of drama.  I think there are a lot of storylines that people have connected to in the past that are really making people enjoy the drama happening now. You have the people who hated Ridge getting together with Brooke in the beginning that are happy with what Thomas is doing now.  You have the people who are pro – Liam and Steffy.  Thomas has been a big advocate of that since the beginning.  There are some people who just can’t stand Thomas and don’t like him, and he makes them mad, but the reality of it is that there is a thin line between love and hate.  So, as long as they love me or hate me, I’m happy.

So, have you been enjoying Matthew’s portrayal of Thomas? Do you think he will rip Brooke and Ridge apart for good and succeed in his plans? Do you think he should somehow pay for his manipulations? Share your thoughts on the current B&B storyline involving Thomas via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Eileen Davidson & Vincent Van Patten Talk ‘7 Days to Vegas’, Their Relationship and Y&R, DAYS & RHOBH

Today’s the day for the highly-anticipated film, 7 Days to Vegas which bows in selected theaters. The motion picture which stars Vincent Van Patten and his real-life wife, two-time Daytime Emmy winning actress Eileen Davidson (Y&R’s Ashley and former Kristen/Susan Banks, Days) is a comedic gambling romp, centering around the character of Duke (Van Patten), an out-of-work actor turned poker player who makes a prop bet that he walk from the San Fernando Valley in California to Sin City, Las Vegas in 7 days.

There are some catches to this bet that make it even more challenging  … Duke has to wear a suit the entire time in scorching heat.  The events in the movie are loosely based on Van Patten’s Hollywood Poker game nights.  7 Days to Vegas features a fictional gang of betting entertainment industry bigwigs, who are hardcore gamblers and of course, jealousy strikes.  Davidson plays Duke’s wife, KC.

Michael Fairman sat down with Eileen and Vincent at their home, and at their famed poker table for the Michael Fairman Channel, to chat about the making of the movie, their relationship and some intriguing tidbits for fans of Eileen’s work on The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives and her time on Bravo’s hit reality franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

In 7 Days to Vegas, Eileen says that Vincent fashioned her role of KC after their real-life relationship adding, “They are in it together. This is a lifestyle that they both enjoy.  That is what somebody does when there is a home game; you call people up, and make sure who is going to be there.  Van Patten said, “There is a host of the game, and that is her role in the movie.”

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As to the scenes where Duke is walking to Vegas, Van Patten shared, “We shot the film in Santa Clarita, California in the hills and the mountains and all of that, and then we out five days after with a second unit shoot and shot with drones in the desert.  So, I must have walked 10 miles a day, shooting, sweating, but you don’t feel it, because when it’s your baby, it’s a labor of love.”

When asked if she would go back to daytime, Eileen shared she would be back for more Ashley on Y&R: “I am supposed to go back to Y&R in a couple of more weeks. So I am popping in and out at this point.”  Davidson also shared she wishes nothing but the best to Stacy Haiduk who inherited her roles on Days of our Lives as Kristen DiMera and Susan Banks. Eileen said she does not watch the episodes of the show anymore, because it makes her feel sad.  The roles of Kristen and Susan were so close to Davidson’s heart.

In speaking of her time on RHOBH, Van Patten shared, “I think she (Eileen) did a great job. It went by real quick. I think she did like three years on it.  I was in the background carrying her purse, going, ‘Yes, yes, here I come.”  (Laughs)  Davidson expressed: “Listen, reality TV … it’s a crazy, wild, Wild West.”  When Michael asked about the time a drink was thrown in her face, Eileen explained:  “I think Brandi (Granville) felt she needed to be relevant to be on the show, and her role was to be a troublemaker. I understand more of it now.  At the time, I was a deer in the headlights for the first couple of years.”  Vincent shared, “People always ask if this stuff is scripted, and it’s actually not, but you can spice it up”   As to if ‘Housewives’ makes up the drama, Davidson elaborated, “Before the season starts they will ask, ‘What is going on in your life?’, and maybe there is some of that behind-the-scenes stuff.  It didn’t happen with me.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it is a reality show, but it is also entertainment, and if all we did was sit around, how fun would that be?”

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Watch the full interview below with Eileen and Vincent and make sure to “subscribe” to The Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interview features.

Now let us know, will you be checking out 7 Days to Vegas, which will also be available on iTunes and VOD come September 24th? Do you hope there will be more Ashley on Y&R? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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