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The John-Paul Lavoisier Interview – Beacon Hill

Courtesy/ABC

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

It’s been awhile since soap fans have seen John-Paul Lavoisier!  The former One Life to Live favorite where he played Rex Balsom, is now co-starring in the political soap opera Beacon Hill, which will have its online debut on March 5th.  In it JP plays Eric Preston, the son of Crystal Chappell’s Claire Preston, and brother to Alicia Minshew’s Sara Preston, and who’s Grandfather Senator Preston is played by Ron Raines!  How’s that for a family tree for starters?  Beacon Hill also reunites John-Paul with his One Life to Live sister Melissa Archer, and former on-screen love interest Jessica Morris!

As for John-Paul’s personal story, it was no secret that he, as well as many others in the cast, were devastated at the cancellation of One Life to Live by ABC.  Once the series was canned, he and then girlfriend Farah Fath (Ex-Gigi) moved out to Los Angeles, where JP began to pursue other acting career opportunities.  But many have asked: what happened to his relationship with Farah?  According to John-Paul, when he came out to Los Angles he had a hard time dealing with the change from the east coast.  He admits he was in a dark place, and he says that Farah could not deal with it.  Apparently he relates, she had a five month limit on how much she could take a depressed JP, and left him in June of 2012.  Since that time John-Paul has been single.

There had been other rumors circulating as well for over a year concerning JP.  One of which was that the popular actor was next in line to take over the role of Dillon Quartermaine on General Hospital, and another being about why he chose not to become part of Prospect Park’s online version of One Life to Live.   Well, in this candid interview with On-Air On-Soaps, John-Paul fills us in on if the rumors were true, and if anything would have brought him back to One Life to Live for a reprise of his beloved role as “Sexy Rexy”!   Plus, we learn what the heck is, “The Full Dolores” that he and best friend and former OLTL cast mate, Tuc Watkins (David) have cooked up!

One thing is for certain, John-Paul holds a very special place in the hearts of One Life to Live fans for all-time. And with that, he hopes to make new memories with his upcoming role in Crystal Chappell and company’s, Beacon Hill.  Here now, the one and only JP!

MICHAEL:

So many soap fans have missed seeing you every day!  How did you become involved in Beacon Hill?  What made you decide to be part of this project, since this is your first soap role since One Life to Live?

JOHN-PAUL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

It fell into my lap.  I randomly got an email from Hillary B. Smith saying, “I have this project I am working on with Crystal Chappell, and there is a part for you that you would be perfect for.  And can I email you the script and the material?  We would love to have you.”   So, she emailed me the script and I thought, “Well, I can do this.  I want to work with you, and I miss you.”  So, it was a chance to work and to see Hillary again and to fly back east.  I had never met Crystal before, so it was a chance to meet her for the first time.  I knew Ricky Paull Goldin was involved, and I love Ricky.  He is one of the easiest guys to talk to, and one of the funniest guys to talk to.  Then, when I found out I was going to play Alicia Minshew’s brother, I was very excited.  I grew up watching All My Children, and I have grown up knowing Alicia’s work forever.  I was sort of a fan, and I would see her at soap events.  It was a chance to reconnect and sort of get to know her better, as well.  I am glad I did Beacon Hill.  It felt so good to be in cold weather in Massachusetts bundled up, and I just felt at home, because I also was with Melissa Archer.  Even though I never worked with Alicia and Crystal, it was kind of like Abbott and Costello not working together for 20 years, and then someone calling them up and saying, “Hey, can you do this part?”  It was kind of like us all falling back into the old routine.  We knew we could trust each other.  We knew it was going to be fun, and we had the same sort of work ethic.  We all came from the same place, sort of.  I knew it was going to be fun, and we were going to get it done without problems.  Everyone was so professional.  It was neat to see Hillary in producer mode, because I am used to seeing Hillary in “Hillary mode” mostly (Laughs).  Your producer Hillary!  You have your headset on and you are watching the monitor. So there was that element that was new.

MICHAEL:

Did being a part of Beacon Hill, make you miss OLTL?

JOHN-PAUL:

Oh, c’mon.  (Sighs)  I would sign a 30 year contract to be on One Life to Live if it was in front of me, right now.  It’s a no brainer.   I miss everything about it.   Everything!  I never had any complaints that whole time when I was on ABC.  I hope Beacon Hill continues, because it brought me back.   It’s sort of like we all have come together to do the same magic trick.  We know the gimmicks.  We all have this well-oiled machine.  We know how to hit our marks.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

When I interviewed Crystal Chappell (Claire Preston) about what she thought of you, she says what I have always said about you, that you are so interesting to watch and you never know what is going to happen.  I have often said that you have your own unique, very non-soap acting style, the way you delivered your material as Rex on OLTL.  So, I totally get what she is saying. 

JOHN-PAUL:

I had one scene with her, and she is really fun.  Her character is not of sound mind when my character has this interaction with her.  We had this close moment; she affected me.  I was happy and excited that Hillary threw me this bone, but when I found out I was playing Crystal’s son, I thought, “I don’t think she is old enough to do this! I hope that it’s believable and they buy I am her son, because I would sleep with her!” (Laughs)  Crystal is very good at turning on and off … I am the actress now … I am the hang out co-worker … and I am also the producer and boss … and I have to give people orders and tell them what to do, and flip that switch, just as Hillary was.

MICHAEL:

So what is the deal with the Eric Preston character you play in Beacon Hill?

JOHN-PAUL:

I have not read anything for season two, but in the first season he is basically playing this runner, wet nurse, for his grandfather.  He wants to keep the family working, and he only wants what’s best for the family.  He is probably the future heir to the family, and right now he is just the “yes” man to the grandfather.  You see him getting him tea, or answering the door, or carrying people’s luggage.  He is sort if like the family slave, and the caregiver right now. He is making sure the dust is off the counter.  I heard that he has his own plans for taking over certain things, but that is not happening yet.

MICHAEL:

So, you therefore share scenes with the amazing Ron Raines (Senator Preston)?

JOHN-PAUL:

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

Everything you see Eric doing is for Ron Raines’ character.  You sadly never see him with Ron Raines!  We are never face to face.  Although I am face to face with his lover, my old sister on OLTL, Melissa Archer, which was neat.

MICHAEL:

I was thinking Eric and Evelyn (Melissa Archer) would end up having a fling!

JOHN-PAUL:

We have been told that since they are closer in age, and this being a soap, that there is a sexual spark that they have to deal with soon.

MICHAEL:

So is Eric Preston a good guy?

JOHN-PAUL:

In the first season, I played him as a good guy.  I wasn’t playing that he had nefarious activities.  I was basically being truthful and honest with everything I did, except I know there was a moment where I have this moment with Crystal.  I was beat down from her, and when my grandfather yells something from the bedroom.  I give a look like, “Not again.”  I think Eric was tired of all this crap, and that he is running all the time, but he just sucks it up and does it, because he thinks, “I am family, and family comes first.   And being the political figures that they are, I have to keep everyone’s face pretty for the world.”  I am excited to see how much more of the brother and sister relationship they build between Sara and Eric.  I feel a cool bond with Alicia.  I hope that I can pull though as an actor, if they do push and something evolves between Evelyn and Eric, because it’s incredibly weird.  I have known Melissa Archer for 12 years.  I see her almost every day.  We hang out in L.A. all the time, and she is like my sister.  And the thing with me is, the less I know about you sometimes, the better I can act with you, depending on our character.  With Bob Woods (Bo) on OLTL, it was easy to work with him.  He was kind of like my dad.  With Erika Slezak (Viki), I respected her, so it was easy to respect Viki on the show.  With Melissa it was easy.  She was like my sister, and she played my sister on the show.  But if all of sudden we are bedfellows, this will definitely be the biggest challenge of my acting career; playing that I want to sleep with Melissa Archer.  I love Melissa, she is very sexy, but she is John-Paul’s sister. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

It takes me back to the final scene between Natalie and Rex on OLTL, and she runs into the Buchanan’s as Rex is leaving for London to say goodbye!  I must have watched that episode back countless times and it is a five-hankie episode.

JOHN-PAUL:

Courtesy/ABC

It was heartbreaking.  If anyone can go back and watch the same scene, I also say goodbye to Bo. And we did it in one take, and I actually flubbed one of my words because I couldn’t get it out, because I was so upset about the whole moment.  Yes, in that moment when I had to say goodbye to Natalie, I remember the line that they wrote for her was, “What am I going to do without you?”  And I think I said, “What am I going to do without you?”  Those lines made perfect sense, because at the time everyone thought that Prospect Park was continuing OLTL, and at that time I was not going to go to Prospect Park, I was leaving, and so it was her saying, “I’m staying in Llanview, what am I going to do without you?”  And John-Paul is going to stay on the west coast and Melissa is staying on the east coast.  And what are we going to do without each other?  And it was very real.  The music was great.  Sadly, it was a good episode.

MICHAEL:

How was your last day of filming One Life to Live?  Eventful … or uneventful?

JOHN-PAUL:

My last work day was November 17th, and unfortunately it is, what it is.  Things were shot out of order.  In my last scene, I was working with Terri Conn (Ex-Aubrey).  I was walking into Asa’s mansion and I was talking about Gigi (Farah Fath).  It was my last scene ever, and it was like five lines and not a big deal.  I did not get to have “And ‘Cut,’ that’s a wrap on JP!”  It was like “Cut’ moving on” (Laughs).  As soon as they yelled cut, I looked down on Asa’s desk and decided to take something with me, and it was a prop of a picture of me and Shane (Austin Williams).  And that was it.  I did not have a fond farewell.

MICHAEL:

Did you watch the new OLTL from Prospect Park?

JOHN-PAUL:

Courtesy/TOLN

I watched the first couple episodes of the new OLTL.  I will say I enjoyed the AMC intro. I don’t think I got the OLTL intro.  The dancing was weird.  

MICHAEL:

Were you hoping that if the online version of One Life to Live had taken off, and if you felt it was a successful platform, you would have eventually signed on and joined the show?

JOHN-PAUL:

I was in a wait and see mode.  There were so many unanswered questions.  They did ask me to be in the show, twice.  Because of it being the Internet, I did not know what they could put on the Internet.  I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but I still questioned things like, “Well, are we going to be doing full frontal nudity?”  Is it going to be True Blood meets daytime?  Who is Rex going to be on Prospect Park’s version?”  There were too many unanswered questions, and no answered questions.  But because Melissa Archer, and Bob Woods, and Tuc Watkins were all going with the production, I wanted too.  But at that point as soon as they announced the ABC cancellation of OLTL, I immediately made plans to pack up and move to L.A.  I could not deal with all the uncertainties of Prospect Park, and closing up and moving from New York, and to starting in L.A. and giving it a try.  I had to make a decision.   So I said, I am going to close this door. This got cancelled.  I am just going to go see what other opportunities are out there.  If right now everything worked out and they put OLTL on Showtime and offered me a contract for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t think twice about it.  It was an awesome show.  Until that day, however ….  The other thing is, and this is just being a selfish actor, and sometimes you have to be, a lot of it was going to take place during pilot season and at the time being a 31-year-old new to L.A, I kind of needed to make myself available for other opportunities.  The ten weeks they would have needed me was a crucial time for an actor to get his face known in L.A.  The timing did not work out for me to try and do other things.

MICHAEL:

Would you have done the OLTL “Brand New Start” dance sequence, if they had you in the cast?

JOHN-PAUL:

What am I dancing for?  What is my motivation?  I would dance with Shenaz (Treasury)!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

There had been so much speculation that you were going to actually come to General Hospital and be the recast Dillon Quartermaine following Scott Clifton.  Did you ever receive a call about this?

JOHN-PAUL:

I have never gotten a call from ABC.  There is no truth to this rumor.  General Hospital never called me.  I have never been out to their studio lot except for a pilot.  I have not even seen Frank Valentini since the cancellation of One Life to Live.  I honestly can’t tell you what I would say if my phone were to ring.  It’s been two years now, and I can’t imagine it ringing.

MICHAEL:

Did you meet three-time Daytime Emmy winner Sarah Brown on the shooting of Beacon Hill?  Word has it that this was her first acting experience where she had to kiss another woman!

JOHN-PAUL:

Well, apparently she did a fine job! (Laughs) Without saying too much, and I have not seen any of the footage, but the first day I arrived in Massachusetts there was girl on girl action … and where was I?  I was just sitting in the hotel with my latte!  I am kind of in the wrong place! (Laughs)  So I was at the hotel and everyone was on their way back, Sarah, Rebecca Mozo, and Ricky, and they all come flying in the door and everybody was on high.  I was like, “What is going on?” And Sarah was like, “I had a love scene and we were throwing each other around, and we were kissing, and it was fine.  It was fine.  We had a great day.”  I said, “Hi, Sarah. I’m JP.  Nice to meet you!  You did what? With who? (Laughs)”   Sarah is a dynamo.   I just sit there and listen to her, and occasionally ask a follow-up question! (Laughs) Apparently, they had a great shoot and the lesbian action was flawless … and hot!

MICHAEL:

John-Paul, you are one of the most innately funny people I know.  Would you like to do a comedy series?  

JOHN-PAUL:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Funny, you bring that up.  I have only had a handful of sitcoms auditions since I have been out here, and honestly my feedback has been, “He’s not good enough.”  I am not going to name names, but I did meet with a woman who used to work at the same company as me.  I got to be in the same room with her and my feedback was, “He’s not multi-cam.”  I said, “OK,” and unfortunately there were no cameras in the room, so there was no proof of that.  It was just me sitting on the couch and us running lines and she said I was not multi-cam, and so that’s that.  I said, “Really?  I did multi-cam for ten years.  It just so happened that it did not have a laugh track.” (Laughs)  I am still trucking along.

MICHAEL:

Tuc Watkins (David, OLTL) is your best bud.  I hear you spend much time with the twins!

JOHN-PAUL:

I am at Tuc’s house 20 hours a day.  I house sit, and dog sit for him, when he is out of town, and take care of the twins.  I want a wife and a daughter.  I think I would be a good dad.  Right now, I am on the hunt for a wife, who wants to have a daughter! (Laughs)  Listen, I am very lucky to have Tuc in my life.  I owe my sanity to Tuc.  He is one of my best friends in the world.  There are only a few people in your life you can trust and he is one of them.  I can’t imagine having a better friend.  He is the guy I can call on when the chips are down.  I tell ya, if he did it for me, I would be the luckiest guy in the world.  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What did you think about Tuc coming forward and publicly coming out and revealing he is a gay single dad of newborn twins?

JOHN-PAUL:

He was excited when he was booked on the Marie Osmond talk show, Marie! He said, “I am doing these shows because I want the world to know these things.  It’s now time for me to talk about my life, and tell the world who Tuc is, and what’s going on with Tuc.”  We watched all his talk show appearances together.  He was very proud and happy about it.

MICHAEL:

OK, now you must tell me about “The Full Dolores”.  You and Tuc are actually starting the next exercise fad!  Fill us in!

JOHN-PAUL:

Courtesy/JPLavoisier

Tuc Watkins and I have a new fun thing in our lives that is our bible.  We do a work out routine at Runyon Canyon called “The Full Dolores”.  It’s a 100 minute workout that is basically a 4.4 mile track, and I think we go up to an elevation of 800 feet.  Anyone is welcome to join us. If you do, and complete “The Full Dolores”, you get a t-shirt authenticated in Tuc and my handwriting.  Only four people have thus far completed her.  If you attempt “The Full Dolores” and you skip anything, you have done a “Baby Karen,” and that is not a good thing, and we don’t want to talk about. (Laughs)  If you do not complete “The Full Dolores,” but want a t-shirt, we might give you one.  It just won’t be authenticated.  So we are running and hiking all over the place, going up and down lots of hills.  At moments, you feel like you are going to die, and throw up, and that’s a good thing.  But you won’t throw up; it’s that moment where you realize, “I am OK” …that’s the moment!  We do 14 different stations where we do 26 push-ups, which come to a total of 364 push-ups, one for every day of the year, but you get your birthday off. (Laughs)  We do a 100 pull-ups and a 600 count of planks, and the whole routine ends with it being plank to failure.  The whole routine ends with the last man standing wins for the day.  Tuc always wins.  You cannot out plank Tuc!   He can go for weeks and weeks, and he kills me!  Tuc is much better shape than anyone I know.  He is so jacked, so ripped, and I am so jealous!  He went out of town to Kansas City over the summer for three and half weeks, and I house sat for him.  And during that time he came back 17 lbs heavier, and when he got back we started this “Full Dolores” routine in July and he shed those pounds instantly.  It is ridiculous how in shape he is!  I am OK, but nowhere near the shape he is in.  He owes it all to “Dolores”.  We don’t go to the gym anymore, “Dolores” is free.  We just ask that you come and have fun and talk about it.   It’s a great social thing too.  We have met people at Runyon.  And we have invited people to “Dolores “…. you get one invite.  (Laughs) You know “Dolores” is happening Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  “Dolores” will crush you.  You never really win.  You get a little better each time.  You can sort of eat whatever you want.  I eat chocolate every day, and butter and crackers, and I don’t go to the gym, I just do “Dolores”.  It’s all I need.

MICHAEL:

In closing, with all you went through personally and professionally, is acting still your passion?  Because you are one of the most naturally gifted young actors I have seen.  Los Angeles can be tough and unforgiving, when there are so many talented people vying for roles on shows, and more often than not, its about that lucky break.

JOHN-PAUL:

Courtesy/ABC

I will say working on the soap was a huge blessing, and one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.  I was thinking about this a couple of months ago.  Everybody in my life that is important, I have met all of them because of ABC and One Life to Live. Everyone I know is an extension of someone I met at ABC or One Life to Live.  I know so many people through Tuc.  The Fumeros I see all the time.  I have reconnected with John Brotherton, and I see Billy Warlock and Julie Pinson all the time.  Plus, I got to act and do this character, and I had a great Manhattan life because of it.  I will say on the record, it was a huge curse working on One Life and on a soap.   I am having a difficult time doing non-soap work at a non-soap speed.  Everything else is slower.  I am in play rehearsal right now, and as happy as I am being in the play, the rehearsals are so slow, and it just is, what it is.  With primetime stuff, there is more money involved, so it allows you to have more time.  But with soaps, time is money. We had to do 250 shows a year.  So this is the way, I put it: “Going from soaps to anything else, is like a NASCAR driver having to drive a city bus.”  That’s the best way I can put it.  Beacon Hill was pretty close, because we did anywhere between 1 to 3 takes per scene, but again the process was still slower.  Beacon Hill is really the perfect balance between film and soap.  They want the film quality, but they did take a lot of time for set-ups, and it was very professional.  But when it came time to do the acting, we can get in one take, because we can.  Now we go into soap mode, because we are soap actors.  We are going to save you time and money now, so you can take that time and put it towards the production, or setting up for the next shot.  I still will never understand why a large percentage of this business looks down on soaps, when in fact it should be the opposite.

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Monica
Guest
Monica

At least he put it out there as honestly as he could. I wish him well and look forward to Beacon Hill.

robin fletcher
Guest
robin fletcher

Oh, how I miss this man. He was just incredible. I hope he gets a sitcom. No question he can multi-cam.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

As long as he stays off of the four daytime soaps, I am happy.

He was THE BIGGEST PROBLEM with “One Life to Live” during it’s final four years.

Esther Sue
Guest
Esther Sue

Says you, girlfriend. I adored him and miss him still.

egolf
Guest
egolf

Great interview. Beacon Hill will be awesome

Perla
Guest
Perla

Great interview and great actor, I can’t wait to see his character on Beacon Hill.

Cheryl
Guest
Cheryl

Great interview, thanks!

Margie
Guest
Margie

Love him. Miss Rex so much, and all of the Llanviewers. Damn ABC. He did a great job on The Mentalist. I hope he gets more prime time work.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

I think that is one of the most honest, down-to-earth interviews I’ve ever read. It’s always nice to actually LIKE the actor whose work you admire. I loved him as Rex…he was both cute and sexy…a “bad boy” who grew up into a great guy…great friend, brother, father, boyfriend…loved his relationship with Bo…just really, really connected with his character. Now, after reading this, he just seems as genuinely endearing as he did onscreen. (Much more so than his ex Farah…after reading a few of her tweets I’m not such a fan…think “Gigi” was a better woman for him than Farah!)… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Hahaha…after rereading my post it might look to some like he had a relationship with Bo! I just segued into that thought…just mean great father/son-type rappost
that emanated off the screen.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

now again in English! LOL…meant… great rapport!

SiteAdvocate61
Guest
SiteAdvocate61

Rebecca,don’t sweat it. I totally agree with your comments. JP has always been one of my favorite actors since I began watching OLTL in mid 2006. I enjoyed how Frank and Ron made a responsible loving dad out of a smarmy playboy. Rex was more than Shane’s father,he was his best friend and you rarely see that. This show was known for displaying that side. I enjoyed JP’s down to earth interview with Michael very much.

KatieK
Guest
KatieK

JPL is the best! I really hope he finds something. I could easily see him pulling off Adam Newman on Y&R or bringing him on as Dylan on GH. But, Ill watch this new show, it has so many of my favs.

Potato hip
Guest
Potato hip

Loved this interview, disappointed to hear they don’t want him for Dillon Q., but maybe they will call him!

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

He would make an excellent Dillon! Could totally see him in that role.

Harry
Guest
Harry

And OF COURSE Frank Valentini never called him. Why am I not surprised to hear this?

Bennie
Guest
Bennie

I have been searching and searching to see when you would start acting again. I am very happy and you can count on me, I will be watching everything you do! Break a leg John Paul!

louisa
Guest
louisa

I loved this interview too! And I adore him. Always have, but after reading this really revealing interview, I love him even more. I miss OLTL and Rex so much!

He is too good for a sitcom. Plus, sitcoms don’t last. I would love to see him on GH as Dillon. I hope he finds a nice wife very soon.

Diane Hunsel
Guest
Diane Hunsel

Beacon Hill… please what station, time and day is it going to be on? I hope it will be on tv and not the internet, but I will watch it anyway. There is a lot of great stars from One Life To Live that I have missed.Thanks

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

GH should call him to be Dillon. He’s a shoe-in for the recast. As for the online version of OLTL, I think we all had the question of nudity, etc. Obviously it wouldn’t happen (disappointingly) since the swearing did not kick off well, due to people unwilling to get into a change. I hated Rex, but due into J.P. as an actor and would like to see him back on television.

Joe
Guest
Joe

You will see me at Big Bertha!!!! haha
I miss JP on TV. He would be great as Dillion Q! WIsh he would get the role!

heidi
Guest
heidi

Another great interview Michael and JPL… thank you!!! Miss JPL and wish he could be Dillion on GH. He could be with Maxie when she comes back… since we don’t have my fave Bradford as Spinelli!!!

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

If he’d like to do both a sitcom and play Dillion, GH would be the perfect place to do both…lol(i know im poking fun at the soap with my sitcom crack but i do like the show regardless of its sitcom silly moments and characters!!!)

ScoobyDum
Guest
ScoobyDum

If General Hospital ever wanted to do a long flashback, he could be a young Stefan Cassadine…Are you listening Cartini?

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

Thank you for another great interview. I really enjoyed JPL on OLTL (my favorite soap).

Anyway, Beacon Hill looks like it has great potential. Best wishes JPL on all your future projects. We have missed you.

jbj
Guest
jbj

Thanks so much for this interview, MF! I missed him on the PP version of OLTL, because I think they let Bo, Nora and Natalie have a lot more fun than on the ABC version, and I would have enjoyed Rex’s running commentary. That said, I totally get his conflict and he has probably grown a lot more from his Hollywood experience. This interview was also an interesting follow-up to Dirty Soap, which gave some insight into his personality and relationship with Farah Fath. I’m not at all surprised she broke up with him so soon after, because she really… Read more »

Terri C.
Guest
Terri C.

Hi John Paul, You will always be Rex, but I wish you success and much happiness. With you looks and the person you seem to be , you are in line to find a wife and have a happily everafter with children. Bless you and welcome back to the light!

lenafreed
Guest
lenafreed

Loved JPL as Rex – I will be watching Beacon Hill and hoping it is picked up for cable TV!

Omar
Guest
Omar

Good interview and wish him all the luck..A bit taken a back with the “wanting a wife and child” comment, you can have a child and still be who you are JPL, have a loving partner and still be a father with a willing female “friend”..I look forward to BEACON HILL!!!

sandy
Guest
sandy

I love JP and would like to know where can I watch Beacon Hill

david1964
Guest
david1964

Ok, I’m really confused. He wouldn’t join the on-line version of OLTL which was already a well established show on ABC. But he did agree to join “BH” which is online, not knowing how well the show will do. Huh? That makes no sense.

Jim Reasoner
Guest
Jim Reasoner

JP, you truly are very gifted. I always looked forward to your scenes with all of your co-workers especially the ones with Robert Woods. It was obvious that you were friends on the show and in real life. Your ad lib moments cracked me up! Especially when you made movie references without caring that it didn’t matter if no one else but you and Bob got it. Not that it matters, I got it! Subtle humor is a sign of intelligence and you are swimming in it. Thanks for all the great scenes on OLTL and I look forward to… Read more »

Joan Brigham
Guest
Joan Brigham

I miss Rex (John Paul) most of all. He lit up the screen and he and Gigi (Farah) were magical together. I still won’t watch anything on ABC due to their inhumane treatment of their soap stars. Their viewership tanked after the Boycott began, and has yet to recover. I sincerely hope that John Paul will return to television soon, he makes a show worth watdhing.

Kim B
Guest
Kim B

Farah is better off, she’s happy engaged and very obviously in a much better place. I don’t think JP has done anything at all since OLTL.

Interviews

B&B’s Scott Clifton and Don Diamont Talk on the Plight of Liam & Bill and Their Cover-Up of Vinny’s Death

If you are watching current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful then you know that Scott Clifton (Liam) and his on-screen father, Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) have been spending plenty of time together in scenes in very dramatic and intense fashion.

In story, Liam is guilt-ridden over running down Vinny Carter (Joe LoCicero) by accident when he was driving Bill’s car.  Since the moment that Vinny was killed, Bill leapt into action, destroying any evidence tying the two to the scene of the crime and continually demanding that Liam let this go and move on with his life, or the implications for the both of them could certainly be a long jail sentence, or worse.

Photo: JPI

Now as Liam is finally making headway in a reconciliation with Hope (remember his last secret – sleeping with Steffy – was quite the doozy), this new secret of what he has done, and hiding, could up the stakes even more and take him away from his family for good … or would Hope (Annika Noelle) after finding out what Liam did be the nail in his coffin that ends their relationship once and for all and kicks him to the curb?

Courtesy/CBS

Both, Scott Clifton and Don Diamont chatted virtually with Michael Fairman exclusively for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel to offer up for viewers and fans of The Bold and the Beautiful: an inside look at what goes on when they tape their scenes, how they see their characters motivations, and they serve up a preview of what may lie ahead in this tangled web that Bill and Liam have unfortunately weaved.

Photo: JPI

Check out the humorous, candid, and enlightening conversation with two of the leads and mainstays of this CBS Daytime drama series below.

Then let us know; how do you think Liam and Bill can get out of the mess they find themselves in? Will Liam crumble and spill the beans? Will everyone in town get on to them and figure out the secret they have been keeping? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section after taking a look at the virtual conversation.

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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