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THE JOHN MCCOOK INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

By Michael Fairman

John-main.jpgTV SOAP:

This soap season has been really great for your character, Eric Forrester. It’s been major story!

JOHN:

Yes, major story…. even when I was laying there. I had the scruffy beard, and the bedsores, and it was wonderful. Actually, the bed we had was the most modern hospital bed one can have, and it changes every 20 seconds. It deflates on one side, and puffs up on another, and that’s why it keeps the pressure off one place in your skin. So, it prevents bedsores, and sure enough, I did not get any.

TV SOAP:

Did you love the concept surrounding Eric’s heart attack?

JOHN:

I thought it was great, because it was a heart attack, and nobody realized it wasn’t caused by anybody when it happened. Certainly, none of the actors knew it had been caused by anybody when it happened. I endured a lot of Viagra jokes because it had happened after sex with Donna. I got tired of that. Then, a couple of weeks into his coma, it had been revealed that somebody had caused it and that it was a ‘Whodunit’. Then, that evolved into something else. As Eric recovered, the family worked to keep Donna apart from him. Then, they steal him back, and who does he see? Well, the good news is you’re waking out of your coma; the bad news is, your ex-wife Stephanie is there! Then, it was a really wonderful reunion with Eric and his family after that. Then what happens is that Eric sees Donna and Owen in a compromising position, and it appears to be more than that. Eric freaks out and it almost makes him sick again. They now keep Donna away. But then, this wonderful thing happens of Donna wanting to explain her side of the story, and sneaking into the house to get to talk to Eric. It was pretty cool! It goes on from there.

TV SOAP:

So, Donna pleads her case?

JOHN:

When she first comes to him, he still is monosyllabic. It’s hard for him to wrap his brain around anything, let alone express himself. So, she tearfully explains, “I never lost faith in you. I did not go off with Owen someplace and commit myself. I love you Eric. You are the guy I want to be with. I feel terrible that your family has done this. They are keeping me away from you. They are not telling the whole truth of what happened to you while you were in a coma.” Eric is not able to say, “What are you talking about? Tell me everything?” All of that is in the future with these characters. Right now Eric is still on the edge, and very vulnerable to anyone’s machinations: Stephanie’s or Felicia’s, let alone Donna’s!

steph-eric.jpgTV SOAP:

What does Eric feel for Stephanie? It seems like they will always have feelings for each other, and always drift back towards each other, no matter what.

JOHN:

It seems like that, doesn’t it? That’s the tension. I think what I like about how Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, “B&B) writes is that he keeps these things unresolved, and these feelings are unresolved. Eric’s feelings for Stephanie are always in flux. He wants to shoot her in the head, and he realizes he owes her so much. He loves her and has been with her for 150 years! (He laughs) I always use to say that, “They used to hunt Bison together. They have been together so long!”

TV SOAP:

But Stephanie and Eric, for all purposes, are an iconic soap couple!

JOHN:

It’s a cliché I suppose, and a staple, and it’s necessary. So for this man to be so dependent, and owe so much to Stephanie, and be adored and loved by Donna is interesting. This is not a pin-up or hot tamale. Donna really loves him. That’s what’s different about this. It starts out as this “hootchie-mama” putting the makes on this older guy, but Eric really loves this gal.

TV SOAP:

What if Owen were to steal Donna away from Eric? How would Eric feel about that?

Owen-Donna.jpgJOHN:

If Donna left Eric for Owen, he would just go, “Donna’s big mistake”, and he would not blame this guy Owen. Owen is just a kid, and a cute kid, who comes around and has hot pants for Donna. If Donna went with him permanently, Eric would just shrug it off. However, he would be sad about Donna.

TV SOAP:

Would it devastate him?

JOHN:

It would devastate him, but he would not blame Owen. I don’t think so. Not to the point of committing a crime or getting into a fistfight with him. I think he would flick him off.

TV SOAP:

What about Eric’s relationship dynamic with daughter, Felicia?

JOHN:

We swept that under the rug; the fact that Felicia offered Owen $200,000 for a crime. They did not go down that road, but they did resolve it in 7 minutes between commercials 2 and 3, where Owen admits it to Donna. (He laughs) He admires her so much, and sees how much she is put upon by her family and Eric’s family. He feels sympathy for her and she admires him for turning it down. That shows that Owen is not some bad guy or some money hungry guy. He turned the money down for good reason.

TV SOAP:

How do you justify all of this? Won’t Eric be hell-bent on getting back at everyone in his family for how they took advantage of him during his coma?

ridge-plug.jpgJOHN:

Eric was very angry with his children prior to the heart attack. I think in the future when all is revealed, and it had not all been revealed to Eric, there is a lot for Eric to learn in regards to what happened to him when he was in coma. He needs to learn how Ridge tried to take the business away from him, and then tried to take the business away from Donna while Eric was down. Ridge wanted to violate Donna’s power of attorney that Eric had put in place. And, he also pulled the plug on Eric, and when Eric finds this all out, it’s going to be stunning! And this business with Ridge, Thorne, and Felicia, is not over.

TV SOAP:

I want Eric to have a backbone. The men on soaps and on “B&B” tend to be portrayed as weak.

JOHN:

These stories are about the women. Women are the manipulators, and fight, achieve, and fail, and I get that. The men are the prizes and are the thing to win or not. So the men have to not be aware of all the machinations going on, which in turn makes us look dumb. Then the scene is happening right in front of us, and you have to say, “I’m sorry, I don’t see that. I am not aware of that? How dumb am I?” And the producers go, “Well, be looking at the fern and pretend you don’t hear it!” So our characters are constantly being compromised by how little we are aware of. It’s true of Ridge Forrester, Eric Forrester, and all the men on the show.

TV SOAP:

22% of the soap viewing audience between the ages 18-49 in last months Nielsen ratings were reported as male. What kind of message does this portrayal of men send to those guys watching it at home?

JOHN:

It’s Ronn Moss’s (Ridge) and my frustration. How the hell am I going to play this and retain Eric’s intelligence at all? These characters are supposed to have achieved something in their lives. They can’t be this dumb or this blind. But, we have to be here. It’s not true on “Gossip Girls”. The men on that show are the prizes, but they are not stupid. As men on soaps, we are constantly having to come up with the spine of the scenes, and make it stronger than what is written for us. I think Eric will be upset when he comes-to, but it would be better if he was angry, rather than upset.

TV SOAP:

Eric needs to write to his children out of his will, like Victor Newman did recently on “Y&R”!

JOHN:

Well, that is a very Victor Newman thing to do! It would be a powerful thing for Eric to do, and to also write Stephanie out of the will, if you ask me. I like when Eric made a decisive choice, like when he chose Donna and he told Stephanie, “I am done with this. I am not coming back to you again. I’m not!” Eric is being nursed back to health after a coma and a heart attack. I think that changes men in business, when they have heart attacks.

wheel-kids.jpgTV SOAP:

Will there be physical and emotional repercussions from the heart attack when Eric tries to regain his life?

JOHN:

That was the thing I talked to Brad about. Does this change Eric? And he said, “No, no, we have to be careful. He did not have a stroke.” He said, “Eric does not have lingering physical or mental changes. He is not injured by it.” But, will he be a different man when he comes back to work? Yeah! It kind of slows a guy down, and makes you doublethink things. “Maybe I do need to ease off a bit.” We move things so fast on our show, that we don’t fully explain things over several episodes so that everyone understands and gets it. We explain it in one episode and one little segment, and if you were not there for that, you have to ask somebody else. I think our show moves too fast at times.

TV SOAP:

How is working with the new Beth Logan, Robin Riker?

JOHN:

I love her as Beth. I can’t wait for her to have more to do. She has a little twinkle in her eye and is a wonderful actress. I think she is beautiful and very attractive. I can’t wait to play with her. I have not worked with her yet, and that’s a surprise. Robin is an episodic television queen. I think I am a big episodic television person, too, but it’s been a long time since I have been out doing it. (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Susan Flannery’s (Stephanie) moments in the hospital with Eric were wonderful. What’s it like when you work with her now?

JOHN:

It’s wonderful, c’mon! She does not surprise me, but that’s the fullness and the richness of what she does. That’s her skill. That’s her talent, and she does that better than anyone on television, I think.

TV SOAP:

“GL’s” Kim Zimmer (Reva) told me that the level of performance Susan Flannery brings to her role is unparalleled. I have heard that from so many of the top-notch actresses in the soap genre.

JOHN:

Sure they do. They aspire to it. The appreciation these veteran women have for each other is wonderful. They all come back to Susan Flannery all the time, because Susan is powerful and real, and inventive. What surprises me sometimes is how she chooses to do a scene.

TV SOAP:

Does that ever throw you off in your performances?

MacCook-wife.jpgJOHN:

No. I have been married to her for 21 years, and that is almost as long as I have been married to my own wife.

TV SOAP:

How is your wife?

JOHN:

Laurette is great, and she does surprise me all the time.

TV SOAP:

Are there times when you felt your performance was not up to par?

JOHN:

Of course, there are times. I will be in a scene with somebody, and maybe Jennifer Gareis (Donna) or Kyle Lowder (Rick) will say something about their own work like, “I wasn’t very good. Do you think I should do it again?” It’s not being cavalier, but I say to them, “It’s a different scene tomorrow, and that’s the lesson you have to learn. You cannot come out and rehearse and warm up to it in this medium. Nowadays, the first time we rehearse is probably when we are going to shoot it. So, be on it right now, out of the gate. We are all capable of doing that.”

TV SOAP:

How is working with Jennifer?

MacCook-Gareis.jpgJOHN:

She surprises me, to be quite truthful. We have been doing this story for at least a year. When I began, I was very excited to have a story with a young woman, any one woman but Stephanie, because that makes for good story for Eric. I think she was excited because it meant doing something different than she had done before. I had not watched her on “Y&R”, and I saw the ‘sex-kitten’ thing she does really well here at “B&B”. Then as Brad started writing it, I thought, “What are we going to do? Is it going to be Eric and some sex-kitten story?” It’s so, mid-life crisis for Eric. So I went to Brad, and he said, “No. She falls in love with Eric, and then Eric falls in love with her.” Jennifer and I had a quick talk then about how we’re going to approach this, and said, “Let’s make it different than anything we have ever done… for you, Jennifer, and for me, too.” It’s an opportunity to go to an acting place we had never gone before, and she just did fall in love with this guy. Her childlike reaction to loving him is what I reacted to. It was funny, sweet and real.

TV SOAP:

What can we tell your fans to look forward to from Eric in the coming months?

JOHN:

I think they can look forward to the same thing I do, which is really complicated reactions to a very complex storyline. He loves his Stephanie. He is in love and married to Donna, I think. Who is he going to end up with is an overriding story point, but that’s not even the story we are telling. The complex part of the story is, how does he react to the information he learns, and how does it affect him, with this family, kids and wife.

kyle-john.jpgTV SOAP:

When do you see all of this coming into play for the audience?

JOHN:

This will all be coming out between now and Christmas. I don’t know all the answers to those questions, and as we go through fall and come to the end of the year, he is going to know a lot more.

TV SOAP:

Do you think Eric could just fall apart and have a complete meltdown?

JOHN:

Yeah, he could. I would like to see him in an alley in downtown LA, with some of the same people Stephanie hung out with years ago. (He laughs) I think the business is too important to him, so he wouldn’t fall apart. We need to see Eric suffering with the business and bringing it back, and achieving stuff there. We need to see Ridge and Rick there, and see the other kids and everybody in that building, fighting for the millions and millions of dollars that are generated by that family business.

TV SOAP:

How has it been working with Kyle Lowder (Rick)?

JOHN:

Kyle is great, and has a lovely sense of humor. He is an efficient leading man, and it’s fun to fuss with him a little bit, and try to pull him out of that a bit. He is playing good Rick storyline now, and he is pulling that off really well.

TV SOAP:

And finally, you and Ronn Moss have been with the show since the beginning. How is your working relationship with him?

JOHN:

I love working with Ronn. It’s been 21 years. Ronn got better all through the years and every year he has done that. I am staying sort of the same, and Ronn is getting better, and it’s funny. People made fun of Ronn. ridge-eric.jpgIt was so
stunning to see a man who looked like that, even on television. And Ronn has a stunning look, and he is the icon of our show. The jaw, and the zero body fat, and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke)… the two of the them together in a picture are amazing. But at first, people would make fun of our show because of how Ronn looked. They would go, “How could this guy be any good as an actor, and look like that?” And Ronn proves that he can. He loves the show and the character. We all love being here together, and its great. Ronn says the same thing he said to me the first day, every day. He holds a script up and goes, “What is this?” If I ever win an Emmy, I’m going to thank him and say that! (He laughs)

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Been following John for many yrs!! I was hoping he might remember his roots were once in Tx!! The McCooks were kinsfolk from way back!! He has had a awesome career and I am one of his biggest fans!! I love all the family in what is my favorite soap!!

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alum Kevin Spirtas Chats On His Heart-Tugging Series ‘After Forever’ & Love and Life In Your 50s

Filling the void in the digital drama series arena, the eight episodes first season of After Forever (available on Amazon), tackles the journey of a two middle-aged gay men in their 50’s in a deep romantic relationship, and looks at it through its various stages of love, loss, and moving on with one’s life when suddenly your world is turned upside down, when one of them has died.

While the LGBT community has seen other love-centric and dramatic web series, none have really taken a deep dive into the difficulties of starting anew in your 50’s or even older.  Leave it to former Days of our Lives alum and Broadway producer, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley), along with another DAYS alum, writer, Michael Slade, and the two put their shared experiences, and dramatic ideas into this emotional series, that is not limited to anyone who is gay, but touches on the universal themes that anyone may have, or will experience, at one time in their lives.

Spirtas, brought along with him none some notables for his passion project.  First, none other than former Prospect Park One Life to Live EP, Jennifer Pepperman, to bring his vision to life, and some amazing co-stars: Mitchell Anderson (Ex-Party Of Five), MIchael Urie (Ugly Betty), Cady Huffman (Ex-OLTL), Anita Gillette, Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) to  name just a few.

While the series bowed a little over a month ago, if you haven’t taken a look, check out our interview with Spirtas for some juicy insight into the making of and the construct of, After Forever.  Following that, check out the teaser for the series, and the video for the theme song, “My Forever” by Lio Nicol which becomes available tomorrow June 4th on Amazon and iTunes.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

What was the genesis of the idea for the series?

KEVIN:  Patrika Darbo, came to New York close to 7 years ago. She had called me ahead of time, and said, “I was asked to present at the ISA Awards, and you’re coming with me.”  She was getting very involved in the world of the web series. I looked at this amazing presentation of content that was being shown at the ISA’s.  I was blown away. It was better than half the stuff on TV, theater, or film. At that point, I made a mad rush for a gentleman by the name of Sebastian La Cause.  Sebastian had won several awards that night and his material was so well presented, and beautifully shot, and his acting was very unique.

Sebastian La Cause was the star of the web series Hustling, right?

KEVIN:  Yes, it was Hustling, the first season.  I went up to him and I said, “I’m Kevin Spirtas. I’m an actor, I did a soap …”  He goes, “Kevin, I know who you are.” I was starstruck, and impressed, and inspired, because he is exactly the kind of person I want to work with.  He is talented, and creative and I want to work with those kind of people. I said to him, “If you do a second season, I’d love to be considered for anything you might be doing.”  Wouldn’t you know? He wrote me in. I fell in love with the story. I was very clear to me, that you have to start creating for yourself, because creating your own content in this industry now is king.  The third season of Hustling then crossed me over to appearing in Winterthorne.  That was also the first year that NATAS opened up the judging to the digital world.  I got nominated for an Emmy. It inspired me to start thinking about, ‘What do I know?  What do I have in my life that I feel is worth sharing and putting out there to help heal, or inspire?’  I had been producing in New York City for 3 years at this point.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

It becomes every performer’s concern, as they get older, that they can still be considered for the roles they would like to play.  Sometimes, actors can grow into the types of roles, and sometimes they’ve expired past those types of roles. Was creating After Forever also a way to re-enter being part of the conversation?

KEVIN:  Well, I was hoping to write something for myself … because I just didn’t see the roles coming toward me anymore.  My name wasn’t on them as I imagined them or had seen them in the past. I was worried about that. I thought, “If I have a chance to keep working, I’ve got to keep current.”

And somehow, you and Michael Slade ran into each other, and thus, a collaboration began that would eventually turn into After Forever?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Then, I ran into Michael Slade at a gym… I had never met him before, he was a writer on Days as I was leaving the show.  And I remember saying to myself, “wouldn’t it be great to work with somebody, and see what kind of story we could come up with?”  Unbeknownst to me, Michael, at that particular time in his life, was working on the very same type of story and idea about what it’s like to be who he is, at his age, where he’s at, and what he knows.  I pitched him this idea: “I think there’s some really funny ideas I could express to the world about my experience as a single gay man at this point.” He said, “Call me.” In short, he was living life as a single gay man, and I was living life as a single gay man, and that’s how After Forever was born.  Michael had the experience of losing his long-time partner of 25 years.  There’s a part in the story where Brian and Jason are going along and they have everything in their life that they could possibly want, and then they don’t, because Jason is diagnosed with cancer and it takes him away.

Do we see Jason die in this?

KEVIN:  You just might! … It’s how we incorporated him in the story…

Courtesy/AfterForever

After Forever bounces back and forth in time, obviously, that was part of the unique structure of the storytelling?

KEVIN:  It does do that.  It tells the story through a lot of present, and a lot of flashbacks.  There is also the present with Brian, and his memory of Jason. As Brian is going through the next chapter of his life as a single man, he has to look at his life and learn how to continue to love even though the person’s not there.  When someone dies, the love doesn’t die, the relationship doesn’t die, it keeps growing on a certain level. So, if he turns around, and he sees him, is it real? Is it him working it out in his own mind? It’s a tool to tell more story …

Tell me about casting Mitchell Anderson?  He had retired and moved to Atlanta, and he ends up playing the love of Brian’s life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  When Michael and I were writing, we threw out, “Who do you think would play this part?”  One day, I just dropped the name “Mitchell Anderson” I said, “I just see him as Jason.” Michael said to me, “Kevin, he’s retired.”  I just knew Mitchell and I had great history in the business. We started off as actors together in class. He went one direction, I went another, then he left the business, but I just felt there was something about his persona – not to mention his talent – his unique humor, his sensibility, and style, so I said, “I think we should ask him.”  We did. Mitchell said, “Okay, Kevin. Let me read the script.” He called back immediately after receiving it, and said, “I would love to do this!” I have not stopped thanking him every day. He’s so good in it.

The main character of Brian goes on this journey: he meets other guys, some appear younger than others! (Laughs)

KEVIN:  It’s a year after Jason is gone, Brian is trying to settle into his new life, but he’s guilty that his partner has died.  He has sadness, grief, and so much love for Jason that he’s having trouble moving forward, and everyone is trying to push him forward.  Brian is not necessarily ready, but sometimes his body is ready, while emotionally, he’s not. It’s how we deal with all that navigation of seeing good-looking guys.  He meets a guy in the middle of the series, and it starts to open up the doors. That’s the beauty of what happens when he starts to let himself open up to the possibilities.  There are some great rollercoaster moments that you’ll see.

Would you do another season of After Forever?

KEVIN:  Oh, my God!  Michael and I have already started to script out seasons 2 and 3.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Middle-aged gay men do have it rough in the relationship department, if they’re not already partnered up by this point in their life.  Younger guys think they’re over the hill, older guys aren’t necessarily interested either, and unfortunately, the LGBTQ community is unforgiving to community if you’re not young and pretty, and not in your 20s or 30s. There aren’t a lot of LGBT-oriented shows out there like this.  On that level, I think the concept of the show is an important story to tell.

KEVIN:  We were absolutely committed to writing not just another gay story.  We’ve seen those. I think the beauty of After Forever is that it’s not just a gay story- even though it’s told through two gay men… but, it’s a story about love … it’s a story about loss.  Everyone is going to have to deal with this in their life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Dealing with loss is part of the circle of life, whether it’s a parent, a child, a lover, a friend, or your longtime partner. Many in the LGBT community succumbed to AIDS in the ‘80s and ‘90s, which was a pivotal moment in the gay movement.

KEVIN:  We lost half of our community.  We lost half of our brothers. To jump back to that history with Mitchell, he and I had so many mutual friends who aren’t here anymore.  We would look at the scene that was at hand, take a breath, look at each other, and they’d say “action” and we’d step into these people. Yes, it’s gay themed, because it’s told by two leading male characters who are gay.  But, I have heard more people in the last two months since this has come out, who have not only stopped and said, “Thank you for writing such a wonderful story about love and loss, and new beginnings, but also, what it’s like to have to confront that loss.” They also went on to say, “For so many years, gay people have had to watch the heterosexual world. People are trying to fit themselves into our world now, into our story, and how they would feel navigating it.”

Michael Urie is in it too? And you have some pretty accomplished people in your cast.  

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Yes, there’s Michael Urie, Cady Huffman who sings in one of the episodes.  Tere is a scene in episode 3 that it still floors me, I can’t watch it without losing it.  Then, there’s Anita Gillette, Lenny Wolpe, David Dean Bottrell. Everyone is perfect, and everyone was able to show up, and everyone delivered a million percent.

What’s the response you’ve been getting from people who have watched After Forever?  You mentioned it’s been very positive.  

KEVIN:  Everyone has been touched.  The majority who have seen this, are just moved to tears and full of excitement.

I saw that Jennifer Pepperman, ex-executive producer of One Life to Live, directed your series.  What was it like working with Jen?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  We had a lot of people who we could have pulled from.  Jennifer came up in conversation, because she had sent Michael an invitation to go see her new short film that she had done with Austin Peck (Ex-Austin, Days) and his wife, Teri Conn (Ex-Katie, ATWT).  I said, “Maybe if I go see the show and I like it, I can introduced myself to Jennifer.”  I called him right after and I said, “If we don’t get her, we’re crazy!” She’s so good. What she did is perfection.  We shot the whole thing like a movie. It was shot in 12 days. She knew everything she wanted to do and it shows in the edit.  And, this extraordinarily, talented girl named Colleen Kwok, who was the director of photography. She’s the real thing. She got it.  She got the style we were going for immediately.

So, we want to tell people to binge watch the series on Amazon.

KEVIN:  Binge it, or make it last for 15 days…

How many hankies will I need for this? 10? 5?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  I say Kleenex is not included … Anybody who has ever loved, anybody who has ever lost, must see this show, because it unifies all of us, it shows us that we are the same.  It shows us that we still have love in our lives, regardless of if that person is gone, the relationship never ends, it never dies. That’s what people are getting from this.  That’s what people are taking away from it. You and I were raised with the symbols of a straight world and how we had to fit into that certain way of life. That’s changed now.  We have Will & Grace … we have RuPaul … all these great things that are illustrating our diversity.  Now, people are going, “it’s just a story being told.”

What was Mitchell’s reaction when he saw the final product?

KEVIN:  We saw it together…We just sat there and cried.  It’s hard. Especially, the first two episodes and the last two episodes.  We served it up, Michael, we served it up!

Courtesy/AfterForever

I think you spoke to a greater issue, as you move through this career, you have to remain relevant as things change.  So, you’ve dipped yourself into this pool and now you can do more.

KEVIN:  I hope so.  You and I talked about this along time ago, when I first started on Days Of Our Lives, it was still a different world.

It was so different back then.  Actors couldn’t be out. There was still that stigma that if the audience at home knew they were gay, they wouldn’t buy into what they were portraying.

KEVIN:  That’s where I kind of worked it out, because I didn’t pretend not to be me, I just wasn’t very open about everything in my life.  Not that I still am. There’s certain things that I don’t talk about, because it’s not relevant, or it’s no one’s business.

So, do you get the obligatory question, “What’s a guy like you doing being single”? (Laughs)

KEVIN:  Michael said to me one day, “How come a guy like you is single?”  I made a joke out of it and said, “Have you seen me eat? Come on!”

So, intrigued to check out After Forever? What do you think about its central theme looking at what happens when one loses their partner at middle-age and more?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright and Wes Ramsey Talk Their Love Connection & The Demands Of Daytime

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After presenting for the first time together, at the 45th Annual Daytime Emmys since they’ve been a couple, Laura Wright (Carly) and Wes Ramsey (Peter aka Henrik) of General Hospital have certainly been in the throes of a romantic, fun, and cherished relationship. The two former stars of Guiding Light reconnected last year at Emmy time. Now, sharing their over one year anniversary, Michael Fairman TV caught up with Laura and Wes to get some insight into what makes their relationship work amidst the hustle and bustle, and pace of both being on a network television daytime drama series, and with the pressures of Hollywood where often relationships between two actors seem to start hot and heavy but then fizzle out.

If you caught this week’s GH, you witnessed that the town of Port Charles has found out that Peter is the notorious Cesar Faison’s son, and the ramifications that will be felt for weeks and months and potentially years to come. Meanwhile, Carly is in all sorts of trouble, thanks to naughty Nelle (Chloe Lanier). Nelle is making Carly look awfully unstable and what happens next could change Carly’s life forever.

So, what do these two lovebirds have to say about their relationship and their passion for working on the soaps? Check out what they had to share below. 

Wes, you had met Laura originally years ago on Guiding Light.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Yes, 15 years ago in New York.

And what did you think of her then?

Wes: Well, I was smitten, but I had to keep it to myself.

You had to keep it under wraps, huh?

Wes: Yep!

Laura: I was married then.

Wes: She was pregnant with her second child.

Laura: And he’s a good Kentucky boy.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Uh-huh! But we would run lines in the green room and I would try very hard to make sure she didn’t catch me staring at her… too often. But we laughed, and had great conversation.

Laura: I would always say, “Wes, will you run lines with me?,” because I would want to run my lines.

Wes: We never had story together, but she always knew I was game to hang out with her for a moment.

It’s good when you’re in a relationship with someone and you can laugh with them. You seem to be able to do that a lot!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: Oh, gosh. I think that’s all we do.

Wes: Yes, yes, yes, yes…

Laura: Like, we belly laugh. It gets to the point where people would think we were ridiculous. We’ll say things and just think it’s the funniest thing ever and people would be like, “You guys have a problem …” and we’re like, “Yeah.” (Laughs)

Laura, and then he comes back into your life years later…

Wes: That’s right, it was Emmy weekend 2017.

Laura: I totally was not expecting it at all. Even when I gave him my number I walked away going “huh…”

You mean you thought he wouldn’t call?

Laura: No, I didn’t feel that… because he hit on me hard. He’ll tell you that.

Wes: I still am hitting on her.

Laura: I remember I walked away quick after he got my number. I was like, “Oh, my God … I gotta go.”

Courtesy/Instagram

Wes: There was an assertiveness on my part that was for sure 15 years in the making. I did not expect to run into her. I also did not expect for her to tell me that she was recently single. In that split second, it was one of those, “stop the presses!” moments. Like, you need to give me your number, I’m taking you to dinner.

Laura: I go, “Oh, be quiet! Are you like, 32, because I can’t do that.” (Laughs)

Wes: And I said, “Far from it.”

Laura: He’s like, “I’m getting ready to be 40.” And I’m like, “I can do that!”

Then, on top of all of this, Wes, you land a primo role on General Hospital. That of Henrik aka Peter, Cesar Faison’s son.

Photo Credit: Courtesy/ABC

Wes: Yes, a dream come true.

Laura: I’m going to jump in and say it’s a role that he worked all on his own for. He had to screen test against 8 plus guys, 3 different auditions, 2 different days.

Wes: That’s true.

Laura: I can’t say strong enough that the best actor got the role. Meaning, Wesley is so talented and has the ability to give this character the depth, and emotion, and layers that it needs to tell the story that needs to be told. I just think he’s incredible.

So, did you know from the get-go who you were going to be playing?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: I did not.

Laura: I did! (Laughs)

Wes: I’m thrilled that the writers have been giving me such incredible material to dive into.   Each month that goes by, it becomes more and more complex, and more and more layered and intense. I love the depth… I love the conflicts… I love the humanity… I love the desperation… I love the psychology behind it. It’s a very interesting story and a great journey to tell.

Laura: I was getting ready to say, where you mentally have to go to be the son of Faison and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes)! To blend that together is amazing. It’s incredible to watch.

You used to run lines together on Guiding Light. Do you run lines together now on GH? It’s like a full circle moment.

Laura: We do, and we carpool.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Something we were trying to manifest together. We thought it would be a lot of fun to work together one day.

Laura: The last week we worked, we didn’t. He worked all afternoon. I worked all morning. I was like, “Are they doing this on purpose?” I was so mad! I was like, “Why are you in the afternoon everyday?” (Laughs)

Wes: She lost her chauffeur. (Laughs)

Laura: I did! He always drives us to work. I also love when we both have afternoon calls, because we love having mornings together. So, I didn’t get my morning, nor did I have my chauffeur!

So, two actors can have a good relationship? You see so many Hollywood relationships with actors and they go bust. But that’s not always the case …

Wes: Oh, my God, yes.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: I’m going to say this; I think I can see it being more difficult for daytime actors, because the work we do is so intense. I know the weeks he’s getting ready to go into, and I’m getting ready to go into. Where we go emotionally and psychologically to tell these stories, on the level that we tell them, as quick as we tell them, you kind of have to become really in a headspace. The fact that we can …

Wes: … the long hours …

Laura: Yes, and exhaustion! You really have to go, “Wow! It’s not about me right now. It’s about us individually as actors.” Thank God, we know the workload. I know what he’s getting ready to go through.

Wes: I have always had so much respect for Laura’s work. On Guiding Light, I’ve always been in awe of what she’s capable of doing. So, the level of respect is obviously there. But also, the understanding whatever it is that you need from a personal assistant in one moment… or a life partner in another moment … or a best friend in moment … or whatever it is in order to get through the day-to-day and the week-to-week, so we can do what we love to do. We know we’re very lucky to have the opportunity to do what we love.

Courtesy/welcometolaurasworld Instagram

Laura was such a great co-host on my Soap Nation Live! Daytime Emmy Nomination Specials, in particular when she talks about acting. It’s so rewarding to hear the other actors who are guests on the show listening to what Laura has to say about her craft and respecting the hell out of her.

Wes: Without a doubt. You can’t watch her work and not be in awe. It speaks for itself.

Laura: I just love the journey of going to the places that we go; to bleed for it.

Wes: Leave it all out on the floor.

Laura: I know that process. So, when I see another actor that’s bleeding, I just bow to them, because I know what it takes to go there. I know the work that Wesley does. When I see that he’s spent at the end of the day, I’m like, “Babe, I so get it.” So, I can see where it could be really difficult for people that haven’t been there, because it’s a lot of work and you’re spent. It’s hard! For us, that works.

What do you think of Laura and Wes’ love connection? What do you think of the latest developments for GH’s Carly and Henrik? Comment below.

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Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: 45th Annual Daytime Emmys Winners & Backstage Video Interviews!

Photo : MF Soaps Inc

The 45th Annual Daytime Emmys are in the record books.  And as previously reported, it was a big night for NBC’s Days of our Lives taking Outstanding Drama Series, Writing and Directing in a Drama Series Awards, plus top acting nods to James Reynolds (Abe) and Greg Vaughan (Eric).

Behind the scenes while the ceremony continued on-stage, and as the night’s big winners and several presenters were whisked away backstage following their victory, they took to the Winner’s Walk and chatted with Michael Fairman who got their reactions to winning the gold, or presenting important moments of the night during the live-stream broadcast.

From DAYS Deidre Hall (Marlena), Dr. Oz, The Ladies of The Talk, and GH’Chris Van Etten to DAYS head scribe Ron Carlivati, to Y&R’s actress winners: Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and Camryn Grimes (Mariah), and GH’s Chloe Lanier (Nelle, Vernee Watson (Stella) and more now you can watch the complete backstage series of conversations on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Make sure to “subscribe” for these and more celebrity interviews.

After the jump, check out some of the winners and backstage interviews with Michael.  You can also go directly to the video you are looking to view, by clicking on the blue hyperlink on the interviewees name. (more…)

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Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

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Joshua Morrow as Nick

The Young and the Restless

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