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The Joshua Morrow Interview – The Young and the Restless

Courtesy/CBS

As The Young and the Restless continues to “Flirt with Disaster” this week in a series of shocking events that have put the lives of everyone in Genoa City in dire straits, viewers just witnessed the entire collapse of Nick Newman’s (Joshua Morrow) club, “The Underground”!  While those close to Nick and his family were celebrating Valentine’s Day in a gathering filled with some intense encounters, in a blink of an eye they are all trapped beneath the rubble of the trashed venue, and caught in some oh-so-uncomfortable scenarios.  As for Nick, well, he has been finding himself more attracted to Sage Warner (Kelly Sullivan) who is at the club when it all caves in.  But what Nick doesn’t know is that brother Adam (Justin Hartley) has been lurking around in the guise of Gabriel Bingham … and just what is Sage’s true relationship with the guy?

Meanwhile, Nick recently was awarded custody of his daughter Faith after the bitter ending of his relationship with Sharon (Sharon Case).  As Y&R fans know, Sharon switched the paternity tests, which proved all along that Nick was Summer’s (Hunter King) biological father, while making him believe he wasn’t her dad, and that Jack (Peter Bergman) was!  Sadly for Shick fans, it looks like it’s curtains for Nick and Sharon right now, as they are headed in the path of some new loves!

On-Air On-Soaps sat down with the talented, and oh-so-funny, Joshua Morrow in his dressing room at Y&R to get the lowdown on the massive mess that has struck Nick’s club, and what it was like to film the sequences where he and his cast mates are crawling around in the debris!  Plus, we get a preview as to who will be the true hero in all of this and save the day.  After all, this Newman must feel pretty guilty that due to some poor construction and weather conditions, the customers at his club are not having, shall we say, a very good time.  Later, Joshua weighs-in on the how he feels Gina Tognoni (Phyllis), Justin Hartley, and Kelly Sullivan are faring on the number one daytime drama as recent casting additions in major roles … two being recasts, and one being a chick for Nick!  So, ladies and gents, we bring you Joshua!

MICHAEL:

Everyone is in turmoil this week on Y&R as we “Flirt with Disaster”!  But, where is Nick at with Sharon (Sharon Case) at this point in time, since he won custody of their daughter Faith?  Nick has been harsh on Sharon in regards to Faith, not that she hasn’t done some … umm, unforgivable things!

JOSHUA:

Courtesy/CBS

Nick is probably over-reacting, as Nick tends to do in these situations.  Based on his track record, he is extremely protective of his children now, and so at the slightest hint of danger, no matter what merit anyone gives to it, he instantly goes into this psycho-protective mode, and this is coming at the expense of Sharon (Sharon Case). Unfortunately, Sharon the character, does not deserve what Nick is putting her through, but if he thinks Sharon is a danger to faith, probably isn’t, but if he thinks that, he is going to go to these extreme steps, and act like the way he is.

MICHAEL:

Do you think it’s hard to justify Nick’s actions towards Sharon?

JOSHUA:

It is.  I have a job to do, and that is to tell the story they want to tell.  If I took myself out of the equation, I think Nick is wrong.  I even think Nick knows he is wrong, as he is asking all of his family, “Do you think I am doing the right thing?”  There is clearly some doubt in what he is doing, but he is so concerned about Faith, and Sharon going off the rails again, and so, he can’t risk it as he is trying to protect his child.

MICHAEL:

I also did not get the opportunity to ask you previously: what you thought of how your standalone episode played out, where Nick confronted all the women past and present in his life, and tried to figure out why he is such a failure as a husband?

JOSHUA:

Courtesy/CBS

I did watch it and I thought it was great.  I thought everyone did a great job, and it was a fun show to watch.  To go down memory lane with Julianne Morris Poloha (Amy) and Jennifer Gareis (Grace) was fun.  I think it was pretty appropriate to finally have a show with no other males in it.  I think it’s about time. (Laughs)   Being a 21-year vet of Y&R, I think getting a show that is just about me and women is appropriate. (Laughs)  So, we did that!

MICHAEL:

Did that episode truly include all the women Nick has slept with?  I swear there seemed to be more, because let’s face it, Nick hops in to bed, or wherever, a lot! (Laughs)

JOSHUA:

Well, everyone but Diane was represented, but I think Nick has a reputation of being a slut, but it’s really only with the same girls.  He just keeps going back and forth, but there are many, many characters on Y&R that have been in more beds than me.  Nick is just a bad husband, not a bad guy.

MICHAEL:

So, let’s put this to bed, sort of speak.  Shick is done for now?

JOSHUA:

Courtesy/CBS

Definitely, Shick is done for now.  I hope viewers understand, this isn’t a story we picked, or are promoting, it is just the way the show is going to go right now.  We certainly appreciate all their complaints and ‘Shickness”, but right now Nick and Sharon are not together.  That being said, they love each other.  Sometimes, you can completely love someone, and not be together, and it’s just not right for them right now.  They are certainly not over, by any means, if you know anything about soaps, but for now the page had definitely turned.

MICHAEL:

Four years from now, we will be having a conversation like this, and it will be centered around the fact that Shick are back together again.  Thoughts? (Laughs)

JOSHUA:

We are going to be having déjà vu.  We are going to be here in my dressing room, with you going: “Tell me about you and Sharon falling in love again?” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Let’s get to the business at hand this week on Y&R!  The walls have come crumbling down at Nick’s club, “The Underground”.   And isn’t this all due to a building inspection mishap?

JOSHUA:

Courtesy/CBS

Nick has a lot of stuff going on in his personal life, and he is the owner and operator of his club.  Apparently, the building inspector has come by a few times, and there are some issues that need to be dealt with.  Nick is never around, and there is never anyone in his club, so he’s not there. (Laughs).  I don’t even know what the business is there for anymore. (Laughs)  I think Nick just wanted a place to go.  I don’t think he cares if the place makes money.  He just wants to go there and say, “This is mine!” (Laughs)   But apparently, the business inspector has been to the club when Austin (Matthew Atkinson) was there, and Austin forgot to tell Nick there were some issues with the club.

MICHAEL:

So, Austin made a big boo-boo?

JOSHUA:

Yup!  Austin messed up, and Nick has got to clean it up in short order, as they are threatening to shut the club down.  And the biggest night of the year is Valentine’s Day, which was fast approaching.  And, at the Valentine’s Day party, I think there were actually nine people there and eight bartenders. (Laughs)  Nick likes to keep his place heavily staffed.  He likes the ratio to be one-to-one of staff and customers.  Anyways, Nick hires a contractor.

MICHAEL:

Do we know anything about the contractor Nick hired?  Is this a sub-plot?  (Laughs)

JOSHUA:

Courtesy/CBS

No, we don’t know anything about the contractor.  It’s just like “Contractor Jones” showed up.  (Laughs)  So, the guy shows up, Nick pays for it, and it’s done, and the place is up and running.  The party happens.

MICHAEL:

Now, it looks like there is a new girl in town that has caught the lustful eyes of Nick’s Newman … the alluring Sage Warner (Kelly Sullivan)!  What does Nick think of this woman?

JOSHUA:

He digs Sage.  She is a little mysterious.  He doesn’t know what she is doing, and she’s spunky.  She is kind of like a breath of fresh air for Nick, and they don’t know what it is that is going on between them.  They are just hanging out, and she is like a sounding board for Nick, and vice-versa.  She has got some stuff going on with Adam/Gabriel (Justin Hartley) and Nick is always there to talk her through it.

MICHAEL:

So, Sage shows up at “The Underground” for the Valentine’s Day bash, and lo and behold, she ends up bartending!

JOSHUA:

Courtesy/CBS

Yes!  She shows up, and unbelievably, one of the bartenders doesn’t show up for work, and so he wants ten bartenders as opposed to nine!  And apparently, Sage is able to whip up this amazing drink, and it’s a miracle.  She saves the day.  And, when we were taping the scenes I was joking to Kelly going, “Sage, can you clean up table four?”  Nick really put her to work and she volunteered!   Sage works for Nick that night and he gives her a t-shirt and staffs her, but he didn’t make her sign a w-2 form or anything.  So, legally I think there are all kinds of problems here.

MICHAEL:

And then the roof comes down on all the patrons!

JOSHUA:

The roof comes down on everyone, and Nick doesn’t notice, because he is way too busy flirting with Sage.  So, he doesn’t know what is happening because … he just does not stop flirting with Sage! (Laughs)  The roof caves in, and comes down due to the weight of the snow and the shoddy construction contractor work.  When the roof comes down, Sage and Nick are in a different part of the club, as we went to check the generator together, and we get in the rubble.

MICHAEL:

Of course, Nick needed his “bartender” to go with him to check the generator!

JOSHUA:

Courtesy/CBS

Well, Nick said, “I need somebody to hold the flashlight for me.”  He picked Sage over the eight other bartenders that were there.  (Laughs)  So, when they went back to check it, the roof caved in.  Nick and Sage were in the office area where the circuit breakers were, because the lights went out and so they went back there to check it out.  The whole place collapsed, but they are in a different room.

MICHAEL:

Does Nick then go into heroic mode to save his family from certain doom amidst all the destruction?

JOSHUA:

Well, duh! (Laughs)  I think Sage and Nick decide not to have sex due to the risk of tetanus, because there is metal everywhere, so we decided to keep our clothes on.  But yes, Nick goes into, “I’m saving everyone … I don’t care what happens” mode.

MICHAEL:

So, Nick is the hero in all of this?

JOSHUA:

Well, maybe.  Nick and Dylan (Steve Burton) tend to go around and save everyone. Dylan is not there when the roof collapses, but he shows up later.  You need Steve Burton to look heroic, you know. (Laughs)  So, we get the blue-eyed wonder to show up.  Nick and Dylan go digging in the rubble to find everyone.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

What was it like filming those sequences of the club’s collapse?  Were they extremely long day taping sequences?  Remember, the “Out of the Ashes” story arc?  Would you say it is similar to that?

JOSHUA:

Yes, it’s a lot like “Out of the Ashes”, but this one is more scaled down.  When we did “Out of the Ashes” it was incredible.  However, this sequence was also incredible, and how they shot it in a much smaller space.  The way they used and created different pockets to illustrate different areas of the club was genius.  They were able to create using half the stage six different pockets of destruction for people to be in … it was incredible.  And, the way they used the space and they shot it, will look enormous on camera.  It was really, really genius work.  To answer your question, yes, they were super long tape days.  We would start at seven in the morning, and go till eleven at night.  It was difficult shooting.  I still have bruises from it.  We were literally crawling around in crap and they are pumping snow and dirt at us, I mean we were filthy!  It was hard work, but really fun.  It looks amazing.

MICHAEL:

Did you get to talk to new head writer and executive producer, Chuck Pratt Jr., when he came on board about what his plans are for Nick?

JOSHUA:

I haven’t spoken to him, but I have met him.  Chuck had a vision for this, because we destroyed the s**t out of everything, (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CW

Chuck is known for using the big disaster plot device like the tornado that hit Pine Valley on All My Children, and in doing so it was suppose to change a few characters lives.  Can you see lives forever changed when all is said in done in the collapse of Nick’s club?

JOSHUA:

I don’t know if it will alter people’s lives, and if that’s the case.  It was more about different pockets of people working together to see if they can survive, because there is a building collapse.

MICHAEL:

Nick’s mom and dad (Nikki and Victor) are in there, too!

JOSHUA:

Yeah, Nick doesn’t know if his parents are even alive at this point.  But he knows they are there and he can’t get to them.  Nick doesn’t seem to care about safety measures.  He doesn’t really care about himself at this point.  Dylan comes in, and together they have got to find their mom!  We have Victor (Eric Braeden) and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) and Jack (Peter Bergman) and Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) Avery (Jessica Collins) and Joe (Scott Elrod) all in the mix.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

How does Dylan (Steve Burton) show up on the scene?

JOSHUA:

Dylan shows up because he wants to find his mom, but when he gets there he finds Nick and Sage trying to dig out of the rubble, and so the three of them find Joe and Avery together, and the paramedics find Nikki and Phyllis. Victor and Jack are also a big part of this mess!

MICHAEL:

What has it been like working with the talented Kelly Sullivan (Sage)?

JOSHUA:

I love her.  Kelly is super funny and I love her personality.  She is not all “actressy”.  I had heard so many cool things about her coming in, and obviously, Michelle Stafford (Ex-Phyllis, Y&R, now Nina, GH) is one of my best friends.  Michelle was talking about Kelly, and that she was the best thing that ever happened to television.  Kelly makes me laugh a lot.  She doesn’t take any of my crap.  She’s very similar to Michelle Stafford in that way – and they have a similar sense of humor.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Hutchins Photo

And, what do you think of Justin Hartley’s portrayal of Adam Newman/Gabriel  Bingham?   He has really made the role his own in a short time.

JOSHUA:

Things started out funky, because Adam wasn’t being totally upfront about his background, but Nick certainly didn’t figure anything out.  It’s a great story that they have with him, coming in.  Justin has done a tremendous job.  There will never be another Michael Muhney Adam.  Michael played him differently.  Justin adds just enough of himself to create this mystique about this character that it really needed. That was really crucial to playing this role – and that is – keeping this element of danger, but being able to fool the town.  There is something about Justin’s clipped line delivery that is fascinating to me.  It makes you think, “What is going on with this guy?”  But then he says something, and you go, “Oh, OK.”   Justin’s delivery is such that he can brush things aside, but the way he delivers his lines are very effective.  In Muhney’s portrayal, Adam’s heart was pulsating on his sleeve.  He was this broken human, and you wanted to hate him, but yet you understood everything he was going through.  Well, you can’t have that character come back, because then it’s so obvious.  Justin plays him with the perfect level of “How am I going to get out of this?”   Next, there is a moment where in a scene the camera goes to the other person and Justin as Adam is looking at them, and then he kind of smoothes that over.  Whether Justin came in as that as his plan, or his choice, or maybe that is just who he is as an actor … it works so well!  My greatest compliment to him is that he needed to be able to play Adam completely differently with this shroud of mystery, and that is exactly what he is doing.  I like watching him.

MICHAEL:

When the truth finally comes out of Gabriel’s true identify, are you looking forward to having Adam and Nick go at it again as brothers and adversaries?

JOSHUA:

Courtesy/IMDB

I told anyone who would listen that my favorite relationship on the show is Nick and Adam’s, because there was always something to play.  You can go through down periods in your career where you think, “My character is doing nothing right now.”  But, I always had something to play in scenes with Nick and Adam, and they didn’t even need to write it.   It was just right there between me and Muhney.  It was hate, resentment, and pain, and it was easy to play and fun.  I am looking forward to when that comes about with Justin.  I appreciate they are taking their time with it, because it’s a great story.

MICHAEL:

What about Sage in all of this?  What is she really up to?

JOSHUA:

What’s interesting to me about this is: Sage is being devious as innocent as she is in all of this. There is a method to what she is doing and it is not completely on the up and up, and that gives this layer of danger to her.  Nick is obviously going to fall madly in love with her, and then we will see what happens when all of this comes out, because at any point she could have been honest with what was going on, but she is choosing to protect and go along with this with Adam/Gabriel, which in of itself is pretty dastardly!  

MICHAEL:

Nick is going to be duped yet again … by another woman!

JOSHUA:

Photo Credit: Hutchins Photo

Listen, he is never going to win the Noble Prize for brains.  Nobody wants Nick to be the guy to figure stuff out.  Standing up has never been his problem, but he never is going to sit back and figure things out, because he acts too impulsively.

MICHAEL:

Wait.  Nick was the one that put the pieces together about Phyllis.  He’s had a few moments where the light bulb went off!

JOSHUA:

Well, they’ve got to give him a win once in a while. (Laughs)  I like that Nick is all reaction.  He is not calculating, that is Adam.

MICHAEL:

Have you ever thought what it would be like to play a doppelganger version of Nick?   Certainly, it’s been done before on Y&R.   This way, you would get the opportunity to play a bad dude!

JOSHUA:

No.  I like playing Nick.  I would like to play someone else like that, but in a different project.  But on Y&R, and in this realm, I love playing Nick.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

I think it is very difficult, and takes a solid actor, to make a good character remain interesting throughout its run on a soap opera.  What are your thoughts on that having played a good guy for over two decades?

JOSHUA:

I think good is hard to play with a lot of longevity.  Look, there are certainly more interesting characters on the show, and they usually have something dark and insidious about them, but I wouldn’t trade Nick for any of that.  I really, really like my character.  He makes a lot of mistakes, which is fun, and I like the guy!  If he was real, I would hang out with him.

MICHAEL:

Could you see Nick and Phyllis getting back together, and you working opposite Gina Tognoni?

JOSHUA:

I did a scene with her, and it was amazing.  Steve Burton came to me and said, “They need to put you two back together.”  Steve is such a good friend of mine, and I appreciate he took the time to watch, and good grief!  Gina is so talented.  It’s funny.  I remember when they were reading for the role of Phyllis.  I thought Kelly Sullivan was going to get the part, for sure.  I didn’t think there was a question.  Then, I found out the show went with Gina, and she was awesome, too!  Now, I can’t imagine it switched around. Gina has so owned the role of Phyllis now.  She is freaking scary and unhinged.  I like watching her.  She’s really good … I mean, really good!  They did a great job casting her, because I think you can’t replace Michelle Stafford, but Gina has done amazing.  I love the characters of Nick and Phyllis together, and that story was probably my most favorite that I ever told.  I got to work with Michelle, and it put Nick in a different stratosphere.  He was no longer bopping around the coffee house, and it was a very intense relationship that was told very maturely.  The Sharon/Nick/Phyllis triangle was definitely one of my favorites, too.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

You have been going on personal appearances around the country with Steve Burton.  What has that been like to work with him away from the Y&R studio? Why do you think the combo of the two of you works in a live venue?

JOSHUA:

Listen, Steve Burton brings me along to the personal appearances for one very obvious reason … to make it zany.  Our roles are very clearly defined, and Steve is such a sharp business man.  I am not that guy.  Steve is like, “Here is what you need to do! You need to do this, and you need to do this…”   So … I had to learn how to make flights! (Laughs) I know that sounds super ridiculous, but Steve is just lean and mean.  He’s got a plan and he is no-nonsense, but you put us together, and he is like the straight man and I am like the idiot brother.  It works!  Steve and I have a great time together.

MICHAEL:

Did you initially think you would enjoy doing these club dates with Steve?

JOSHUA:

I didn’t!  It’s such a different format than what I have been used to over the years, but this by far is the best way to do this, which is: get a van and drive around with your buddy and act like idiots, and people love that, assuming you are good at it.  Steve is a tremendous idiot. (Laughs)

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

I think many would agree it’s time for you to have your own talk show.  You are a natural at it.  Could you see your career heading that way in the future?

JOSHUA:

It’s my dream.  I would just need the right vehicle.  My hero is Jimmy Fallon.  What he does is insanity, and I feel that is my calling.  I am not afraid to do anything, or make an idiot of myself, and I like talking to people.  I would love to do something like that.

MICHAEL:

“The Underground” has collapsed.  Everyone is in peril.  Give me some parting shots on what viewers are going to see.

JOSHUA:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

All the characters get really dirty.  It’s the dirtiest you have ever seen them! (Laughs) But we all had fun!

MICHAEL:

Did the iconic Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) have fun too, getting all dirtied up?

JOSHUA:

Melody had fun!  You should have seen her on the stage!  We loved this.  We never get to do this, and it’s good, good TV.

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Sarah Knutsson
Guest
Sarah Knutsson

I adore him and would watchi him every day with anyone. I think it’s time that Nick and Chelsea hook up though b/c that drive Adam totally nutso!!

Janet Moore
Guest
Janet Moore

NICK has a serious problem. Nick doesnt deserve a spectacular women like Sharon! Nick has a sexual impulse control problem. What is wrong with Nick is the question. Is he so self absorbed he lied to Sharon about his feelings for her then jumps into a relationship with Sage. SHARON RUN TO ADAM as soon as you find out the real man who loved you is alive!!! NICK IS INFANTILE ! Sharon and Adam had such a bond. Chelsea no good for anybody! Shadam is love and always will be. Avery and Nick and Phyllis all love themselves and Victor… Read more »

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

Janet…Y-E-S…T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U!!!!! To me, Nick is N-O-T A M-A-N!!!!! Nick is nothing but an immature, overgrown, lovesick and lust-crazed MAN-CHILD who will NEVER EVER GROW UP!!!!! Bottom Line Here: Sharon deserves W-A-Y BETTER than Nick!!!!!!!

Have a good one, Janet. Peace.

Ella
Guest
Ella

Well see Schick is over. SHADAM is the future. Adam does not under any reason needs to be with Chelsea. Chelsea gave away her 1st born she will give away the second. Or just let Sharon raise Connor with Adam. I hope Chuck Pratt knows the Sharon and Adam long haul what they would do for each other. Some younger new viewers think Shadam was not a true romance because of what Adam has done but most of why Sharon and Adam had problems was the works of Victor and Nicks games and threats to Sharon and Adam trying to… Read more »

Karlie
Guest
Karlie

Well, according to backhanded comments JM always makes in interviews, no really likes Sharon much so everything will always be blamed on her and she will always lose and he’ll always win. Dumping the blame for Summer’s paternity on Sharon instead of Nick was just fine by him so he could stay looking the “hero”. The disgusting of treatment of Sharon is all good as it keeps Nick and Sharon apart and keeps selling Nick as the concerned ” good dad” that’s only doing what’s best for his kids…..and, bonus, he gets a new love interest out of the whole… Read more »

Brandy
Guest
Brandy

Never ever ever will I forgive Nick again for what he is doing to Sharon and Faith. I do not like this. Schick is over and good. Sharon was so much better with the man of her dreams who fans remember clear as day is Adam. Adam said all the time he and Sharon are meant to be and he will never give up on Sharon. Please then tell me why the writers are now making Sharon the only person who is given the bad stories. Dylan is a brother figure to Sharon. Avery will be all over the map… Read more »

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

I see he is saying Shick is done. Wow I knew it. Nick failed us and Sharon. How did he profess true love for life and more onto a stranger like Sage, Sage wants Gab we can see that. Gab-Adam and Nick now will fight over Sage. I don’t like Chelsea with Adam so I supose that is better then Chadam getting back together. I don’t like Chadam I fast forward them all the time. I see some like Chadam but they are like watching paint. Sorry Chelsea I think you and Nick are perfect together. I see Dylan likes… Read more »

Missy DooDah
Guest
Missy DooDah

Sounds like Morrow misses Michael Muhney as much as we do.

Kim Huck
Guest
Kim Huck

Sharon and Adam is my choice. Nick has been a boy not a man for more years I care to remember. Nick never took care of Sharon. Victor believe it or not and Adam were who cared for Sharon. Victor that is before the writers made a mess out of the sweet relationship father/daughter Sharon and Victor had. That has to get back ASAP. This hate Victor has for Sharon is so ridiculous . Adam oh dear, Adam loved Sharon. Now I can’t figure out what the writers are thinking making it sound like Adam loved Chelsea. We know that… Read more »

Brandy
Guest
Brandy

I miss Michael Muhney also. Sharon and Michael gave us all Shadam. I think Justin H can do it they just need a chance to show Shadam still has it. So far like in the past Chadam makes me sleepy

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

What is Joshua talking about Phick? OMG that was the worst even more worst then Chadam. We need a do over. Shick and Shadam was my favorite . Dylan should of turned out Sharons big brother to protect her not Dylans brother of Nick. Nick needs anger mang.

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

I loved Shadam! No one will be able to do Shadam like Sharon Case and Michael Muhney. They had so much chemistry playing these roles that I cannot see anyone even begin to duplicate that relationship. No one will play Adam like Michael Muhney. Joshua Morrow said it himself! Please do not get them back together as it will just not be the same. I like to think of my memories of the Michael Muhney/Sharon Case days and want to leave it at that.

Carrie Jay
Guest
Carrie Jay

LET SHADAM LIVE! Shadam is was and will be the best. Nick always takes back all the promises. Tell me why is this idiot always allowed to treat Sharon like crap? Oh Please enoough hey Chuck Pratt time for Sharon anmd Adam back as the hottest daytime couple ever lived. Before your time so read up on Shadams awesome history

Sheila
Guest
Sheila

as usual brilliant Michael. Love the ease in which you and the actor ask and answer. Always an entertaining read. Thanks

Laurie A McRae
Guest
Laurie A McRae

Michael Fairman, you always get the best interviews out of Daytime Drama actors…and this one with Josh Morrow is no exception!

Juanita G
Guest
Juanita G

Thank you for this interesting interview with Joshua Morrow. I enjoy him on Y&R, but always felt he could go on to other shows. Thank you Michael.

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

To bad Josh M. couldnt come over to Days and play Bo Brady once in awhile like Eileen D. does when she plays Kristen…just a thought!!!

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Jim, he would make a great Bo.

Gina
Guest
Gina

I always learn so much from your interviews Michael. It’s a shame though Josh can’t see that the trajectory of the Shick pairing and the beat down of the Sharon character was in fact influenced by his request to Jill Farren Phelps to not make him the bad guy regarding Summer’s paternity. He said that he spoke with the EP about this storyline in a previous interview. I think he did influence how this storyline played out and it wasn’t just about letting the writers write what they wanted. The story clearly seemed to be heading in the direction that… Read more »

Janet Moore
Guest
Janet Moore

Shadam yes best . Sharon and Adam had the most love for each other. Nick loves himself. Like Chelsea.

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

No more Shadam! No one can duplicate the chemistry between Sharon Case and Michael Muhney. Leave it alone!
Find a new love interest for Adam/Gabriel. I never liked Adam with Chelsea. Chelsea is too self-absorbed. Once a con, always a con!

Patty Barre
Guest
Patty Barre

Shadam is the best couple lets face it

elvis
Guest
elvis

I love that JM still is so friendly with MS and that he would love a Phick pairing again. Also glad Shick is over for the near future.. that is a pair that should never get together again.

Brandy
Guest
Brandy

Nick again tells Sharon how much he loves her with those vowes but he can just love Sage just like that????? No Im done I don’t believe anything does or says. Time for Schick fans to get on the Adam/Gab Sharon train. I loved Shadam. They gave me the feels so awesome 🙂 Shadam rocks my world

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

No, no no! Only the Sharon Case/Michael Muhney SHADAM will do!

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Thank you Michael Fairman. Josh seems so cool and he loves what he does. He is funny and respectful. I suspect he would be a womens dream? Anyway, it is cool to hear how close him and Steve are and the road trips they take together. I would love to see him a Sage together because they seem to have instant chemistry and it gives the viewers something different to watch. They same could be said about Dylan and Sharon. One other thing, it is refreshing to read an interview with a guy like Josh who offers insight and not… Read more »

faith
Guest
faith

Phick should have never been created…barf!

Wade
Guest
Wade

JM stated in a previous interview that when they brought him the paternity story he worried how Nick would look, but that the writer’s told him that they had written it in a way that Nick would not come off as the bad guy. I think from Jump Sharon was made to be the fall guy because the Newman’s are never really down for long. Summer was IMO never going to turn out to be Jack’s. They used the paternity “reveal” and “re reveal” to drive story for a year. IMO it was the only reason why Nick and Sharon… Read more »

mpmajor
Guest
mpmajor

It was an interview with Joshua Morrow with TV guide. He said he was really worried about his character NIck denying another man (Jack) to raise his kid and he did not want his character to be that evil and his character to be ruined beyond repair. I guess Sharon Case’s character was convenient to use instead. Great insight, btw, about they used the paternity “reveal” and “re reveal” to drive story for a year. And, now hindsight, it was the only reason why Nick and Sharon were reunited (but not really officially since the paternity was always hanging over… Read more »

Wade
Guest
Wade

I really wish the writers had the balls to indeed make Nick the bad guy in all of that. Even if Nick turned out to be the father in the end, he played God with all of their lives for 18 years and then tried to cover it all up. A better story would have been Nick sneaking and getting the results that he was the father, but that Sharon found the test and confronted Nick about why he had another test done? 🙂 Nick deserves to have been treated the way Sharon and Phyllis are regularly treated. Yes his… Read more »

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

I really like Josh Morrow, but I can’t stand Nick. Used to be a Shick fan, and I barely tolerated Phick. Now I HATE NICK NEWMAN! Sharon deserves better and Nick needs to gain some insight. Nick has 2 daughters, if he were the “great Dad” everyone claims he is he would never want any man to treat his daughters the way Nick treats women. Yuck!

But thanks for another insightful interview.

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

I hope they NEVER do a Phick retread. I like Gina’s Phyllis, but Phick and everything about it is terrible. Nick needs redemption at this point and Phick2.0 would make him even more unlikeable, if that’s possible.

Shae
Guest
Shae

I know I might be in the minority here, but I like Shick! They’re great together. I wish they wouldn’t make Nick so heartless towards her, but those two belong together! Not wild about the Sage character. She’s just another distraction for Nick. Put Nick and Sharon back together.

lee
Guest
lee

Well I like Nicks character, always did. Never liked Sharon.She was always rude to Nikki and thought it was all about her. People tend to forget the things Sharon has done. Let’s start when she left her family for another man and ran after him to New York, then she tried to blackmail Nikki into letting her host the charity gala and had it not been for Nikki it would have been a total flop. Let’s not forget what she did to Victor’s house I don’t care if she was off of her meds. In the real world she would… Read more »

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

Thank you to Joshua Morrow about being honest about Michael Muhney’s Adam. There was so much negativity surrounding Michael’s leaving Y&R, it is finally nice to read a former co-worker say something positive. Michael Muhney is a great actor…the best soap opera actor I have watched in my many years…but I won’t share my age…suffice to say I have watched soaps for over 40 years.

janet
Guest
janet

I really don’t know where some of you people get your information but I have watched Y&R sense day one and Sharon has always had to bow down to all the Newmans , she is the BEST PERSON ON THE SHOW and she has never left her family for another man , and Victor is the reason she was even in that mansion to begin with her acted like he was her friend and cared about her but as with everything Victor does is for victor’s benefit and NO ONE ELSES , I will always love Sharon and she needs… Read more »

Karlie
Guest
Karlie

I agree. Those who really watched Sharon from day one knows she was never some stuck up priss (like Nikki) who only thought about herself, and ran off to be with some guy (unless that’s what society is now calling rape by a stranger or trying to escape wrongful imprisonment for life). That’s some twisted revisionist history for those who just don’t like her character. I believe the story was going to prove Summer was Jack’s, as even SC said in an interview early last year right here with MF that the writers had a really clever twist planned to… Read more »

Wade
Guest
Wade

Phick Phyllis and Nick have as big of a fan base as Sharon and Nick. That is a fact whether you fast forwarded them or not 🙂 I’m one if their many fans and I look forward to seeing what is to come between GT’s Phyllis and Nick. SB was not the only one who saw a spark between those two. Sharon Sharon and Nick are series cheaters. Fact. Sharon left her family to go find herself and I believe it was Noah who fell into a pond during her vacation away from her kids and husband. Sharon and Nick… Read more »

haha
Guest
haha

Who cares about Phick? JM received backlash that last time he suggested Shick was the couple for like so it appears he is working overtime not to disappoint MS again…and btw…Boring Shick is dunzo for now, but now dunzo in the future…just thought I would mention would you forgot.

Teri
Guest
Teri

Wow, look at that another JM interview where he gushes about phick and backhandedly slams Shick and SC. Why am I not surprised at this passive aggressive nonsense? It’s a good thing I’m not a shick fan. To me, no matter how twisted Sharon/Adam were they gave great soap. MM and SC had that IT thing, and I could never get enough. I don’t know if Shadam can ride again, but I know that JH and SC have some chemistry already and it outshines MCE/JH. I personally think, SC and JH could get some magic going as Shadam. I’m ready.… Read more »

mpmajor
Guest
mpmajor

Justin Hartley is so tall and Sharon Case being taller would look beautiful on screen together maybe reconnecting as friends first and only if JH’s Adam becomes available and SC’s Sharon Newman is also single. Possibly in the future. Guess its up the writers who they want to pair up next with her and possibly Dylan. Dylan will be good for Sharon and he will support her in her battle with bipolar and he understands more about having some mental issue. I like that about Dylan and hopefully, IF, Sharon and he become more than friends, he will always treat… Read more »

Delta24d
Guest
Delta24d

I think Joshua is an amazing person. I love that he is so loved that so many fanbase fights over him. I am downright giddy when i read Shick is dead! Hope they stay that way for a long time. I hope that Shadam never comes around..Sharon seems to have great chemistry with Dylan or better yet Jack. And Phick will always be my #supercouple!

JayJay
Guest
JayJay

Hope they never revisit Phick eyuk!. Although I WAS a shick fan, I LOVED Shadam so much more. Nick isn’t worth all the anguish Sharon goes through to be with him.

Every interview JM does reads the same, would like to see something new from him. SC is mostly the reason he is talked about so much, otherwise he wouldn’t get that much attention.

Nanci
Guest
Nanci

I don’t like Nick anymore…don’t enjoy his character at all.
Not a big Sharon fan, either, but she is more tolerable than
he is!

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

This was at the daytime emmys!

Dianne
Guest
Dianne

Let’s throw a little interracial flavor in the mix…How about a Nick and Hillary or Lilly…LOL! I think that would be awesome. Let me know your thoughts

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

Disappointed that they are not going to put Sharon & Nick together again. I guess the non wedding was just a tease. Anyway, I enjoy the show, but wish they would make Sharon a little stronger. I think both Joshua & Sharon are both terrific actors! I also enjoyed Michael Fairman ‘s interview with Joshua.

edaem
Guest
edaem

Nick is a pig and always seems to be able to give anyone else the benefit of the doubt but when it comes to Sharon, no way. Phick was an abomination and I hope that relationship is never revisited. Can you say ICK?

CSense
Guest
CSense

Shick is not over. Hated Nick and Sage as a couple. Shadam is over because Adam and Chelsea are a super couple aka Chadam. Stop talking about Shadam being this true love crap when Adam had used Sharon badly in the past. He was never truly in love with her and dumped her when Victor asked him to prove his worth as a son. Adam done just that. Nick need to go to a sex addict clinic!!!!!!!!!!!!! He know damn well he’s still in love with Sharon, Sage is horrible she have more secrets than Nick’s last two wives put… Read more »

Annoe
Guest
Annoe

I just hope that there are not months and months between Sharon and Nick finding out that the baby is not theirs. I hope it is not Adam’s either.

Interviews

Y&R’s Brytni Sarpy Talks On Her Emotional Week of Scenes & The Fallout From Elena and Devon’s Break-Up

Talk about self-sabotage! Over the last few weeks, fans of CBS’ The Young and the Restless have seen how one decision, or moment in time, can have an effect on several residents of Genoa City, such as the case with Elena Dawson (Brytni Sarpy), after she had sex with her colleague Dr. Nate Hastings (Sean Dominic) … at the clinic they work at!

It all starts unraveling for Elena when her fears get the best of her thinking that the current-love-of-her-life, Devon (Bryton James) will fall for the sister of his late wife, Hilary, in the form of Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan).  And thus sets the stage for a potential quadrangle, and perhaps … some baby drama?

Since coming to Y&R from General Hospital, actress Brytni Sarpy has been developing the character of Elena and playing her for all she is worth and then some in recent heavy-duty heart-tugging scenes where viewers saw Elena confess to Devon that she cheated on him with his cousin, Nate! Then later, she gets kicked to the curb by the man she loves, leaving her wondering, “What did I just do … and why?”

 

Well, Michael Fairman TV has some of the answers as we chatted with Brytni to get the lowdown and the insight on these pivotal moments in Elevon’s love story, and if there is even a future for them, or is it on ice for good? Plus, Brytni opens up about falling for her co-star and recent Daytime Emmy winner, Bryton James, and taping what would normally look like a red-hot passionate sex scene on the soaps with Sean Dominic, but having to do it under strict CDC Covid-19 protocols. Here’s what Ms. Sarpy had to say about it all!

Courtesy/CBS

You’ve got this big storyline unfolding now on Y&R.  Did you know when they brought on Sean Dominic that they were going to bust up  Elena and Devon?

BRYTNI:  Yes and no.  When Sean was first brought in, there had been another actor playing his role, so technically his character has already been on-screen.  So, I didn’t necessarily think it was going to cause any type of conflict, or a love triangle, or anything like that.  However, I think that there were little hints about it along the way in the writing, and our characters similarities in both being doctors.  The writers are pretty tight-lipped, so I only know things two or three weeks in advance.

Were you playing that Elena had this attraction to Nate for a while now?

BRYTNI:  There was a point where I decided to play it, and that is when I felt that it was in the material. It was when things got a little crazier with Amanda coming around and Elena being at the height of her insecurity about that, and her really choosing to only confide in Nate.  I think that kind of relationship and comfortability that she was finding and that dynamic of being at the clinic with Nate, and establishing that with him, she was not having with Devon.

Courtesy/CBS

Right, and so do you think once Elena knew Amanda was interested in Nate, she subconsciously stepped up her own interest in him?

BRYTNI:  No, I think around this time she was hoping for Amanda to date Nate, and she was asking a lot of questions and things to egg on that whole relationship.  I think in her subconscious she really felt like, “Oh good, if I can put these two together, then my fears about this woman who looks exactly like my boyfriend’s dead wife… that resolves that.”  I think for Elena it was just kind of putting them together.  It wasn’t about Nate.  It was about someone to occupy Amanda so that Elena’s insecurities didn’t have to come out and she didn’t have to worry about Devon, or anything with those two being together.

But didn’t Elena have a nightmare/dream about Amanda and Devon having sex?  Wasn’t she freaked out about Amanda being Hilary’s sister?

BRYTNI:  This was when she had already jumped down the rabbit hole of being insecure about what was going on about Amanda and Devon and how much time they were spending together and hoping that he didn’t fall back into those feelings he had for Hilary that he had just gotten through.  For Elena, I think it was a lot of PTSD; for her.  She felt the first half of their relationship was trying to get over Hilary.  Once it finally turned to a point where Amanda was spending a lot of time with Devon. and she had started only confiding in Nate and not Devon about how she felt, that’s when I think those insecure feelings came up, and her talking about it so much manifested into her dreams, and she set herself up for her own trauma.

Courtesy/CBS

So, you have to do this sex scene amidst Covid-19 protocols with Sean Dominic.  How was filming that scene with Sean because Nate looks at Elena, she looks at him, signaling they want to have sex right now, right there at the clinic, and then it cuts out.  Was it awkward filming it?

BRYTNI:  Yes, it was certainly awkward because his double was Bryton, so it’s hard to play that you’re cheating on a character with the actor who plays the character that you’re cheating on. (Laughs)

We are going to give you the Emmy right there for that!  (Laughs)

BRYTNI:  Right! (Laughs) Then in some of the scenes we are looking into each other’s eyes, and we appear to be close, but of course we are not that way.  So, I am staring up at a mannequin that it is at Sean’s eye-level, and he is staring down at a mannequin that is at mine.  It is not easy to try to sell that energy that is between two people in such an electric, heated moment, so it was definitely challenging.

Do you buy Elena’s rationale that they were on a euphoric high from saving Jared’s life at the clinic, as the impetus that leads her and Nate to have sex?

BRYTNI:  I don’t think she really understands what happened.  I think she is trying to put it together.  Right after it happens, she goes into that whole monologue about how, “I’m not blaming you, but this happened, and we were just coming down from a high.”  I think it’s just her trying to figure out why her emotions brought her to this place because I think this is one of the few times in someone like Elena’s life when she has acted without thinking or without forethought to the consequences.  I think she has just been exhausted with trying to battle her emotions, trying to be a doctor with a residency in a hospital, and then also trying to do as much work as she is doing at a clinic.  Then, coming off of an emotionally-charged partnership with Devon after seeing what he was going through with the ghost of Hilary for so long, and going back into this after finally having a calm and peaceful few months, it rocked the whole boat again.

Courtesy/CBS

Viewers have seen what played out over the last week and half, a lot of scenes were you as Elena are called upon to do a lot of breaking down, and crying.  So, how are those scenes to perform? Do you like those types of scenes, or are you like, “Oh, God! These are so soapy!”

BRYTNI:  For me, personally playing that, I think with all the tears and all of that, it’s been exhausting, because there are certainly levels of reality to this where I have to go for it to not be me just trying to emote on-screen, but actually feel the depths of what my character would be going through.  It’s a lot.  I’ve had a few migraines after work sometimes, but I do enjoy it.  I enjoy getting those emotions out.  I think that because of what I’ve established with her character for a little over a year, I’ve been building up Elena, and more importantly, building up her relationship with Devon.  I think to understand her actions, it had to come from a really solid place.  I don’t think she is ill-intended in any of her emotions.  I think she really cares about and wants to protect her partner, Devon throughout all of this, and then she finds herself unprotected and vulnerable in making decisions that inevitably do the complete opposite.  So, I think at the end of it, she really is disappointed in herself and also, she has just created this entire disruption of her life in the matter of a moment, and I think there is a lot of mourning, and there is a lot of guilt.  I just don’t think that it is intentional of her character to do something like what she did.  I think that for me to make it what it was… something that my character would do or did … it had to come from a real place that didn’t sit well with her, and it just happened, and she feels guilt-ridden.  It’s as serious as a character attempting to murder someone, or any other kind of character who would go to the extremes of who they are in their characteristics.

Courtesy/CBS

For you, since you are romantically-involved with Bryton James in real life, does that make it harder or easier to play?

BRYTNI:  I’d say both.  It makes it harder because it’s more real, but it also makes it easier because it’s more real.  These are situations that could at some point come up or have come up, and to put yourself in those positions, and to have him look at me the way that he does and to jeopardize something that real, to go to that place, is a dark place to have to portray.

… And then Devon throws her out! 

BRYTNI:  He does.

Devon tells her to leave the penthouse and he tells her to pack her stuff and go.

BRYTNI:  Rightfully so.

Courtesy/CBS

Doesn’t Elena deserve that reaction for her actions?

BRYTNI:  I think so.  She made a mistake, and she has to learn from it.  I think if there is any potential for these two to ever reconcile, there has to be space given, and there has to be understanding.  You can’t just pretend like everything is normal even though she is sorry.  Sorry isn’t a reason why and sorry isn’t proactive.  She has to fix the issue.

They brought Jared (Michael Maclane) back to be the catalyst that was ended up being the spark that ignited Nate and Elena’s passionate moment together at the clinic. What did you think of that plot point?

BRYTNI:  The point was actually, that it was a patient who they had invested in and cared about, and she was able to do something for this kid and save his life with someone who she has been leaning on, someone who she has had a shared connection with, someone who shares her perspective, and helped her through situations with Devon, and who has seen her ugly side and her insecure side, and it was a bonding moment, I guess, that they were able to save a kid’s life who they both knew added another layer to their relationship that caused things to go grey.

Coming up, it appears that Amanda is going to be instigating a lot of stuff, and Nate is going to still have feelings for Elena.

BRYTNI:  Yeah, I mean, it’s not over.  Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, they still have residual feelings.  I think Nate is starting to make it very clear why he went the direction he went.  I think he has more of an understanding of where his feelings lie and that they are with Elena.  I think with Amanda, maybe a part of her ego just got bruised, and maybe she wants to unearth the truth of all of this because she was kind of caught in the middle of it.

When you and Bryton are together in real life, are you rehearsing all of these scenes and playing all of the other characters in them?

BRYTNI:  Typically, we run lines together.  I have voices for everyone.  I have a Nate voice.  (Laughs)  I have an Amanda voice; I have a Lily (Christel Khalil) voice.

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

You are in one of those interesting situations where you are with the person in real-life and in story.  I have talked to Bryton about this, but what was the moment when you knew it clicked with him? 

BRYTNI:  We certainly liked each other since day one just as people.  He was a great scene partner to do a screen-test with, very giving, just really professional, but just a down-to-earth nice guy. Then, just moving forward from that and working with him as my scene partner on Y&R, I think it was during our first group scene, it was the opening of Society, and we did a tribute to Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John), and that was the first time I had spent long hours on a Y&R set.  You’re with the whole group all day because you’re doing group scenes.  We just discovered and learned that we are both really goofy, and we were just laughing and talking about stories.  I think we found that we had a lot more in common than we would have realized… very similar pop-cultural references, and upbringings, and all of that.  From there, we’ve just gotten along really well, and it progressed.

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

Back in late June,  there was this viral video of you jumping up and down when Bryon’s name was called as the winner of the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series during the 47th annual Daytime Emmys telecast.  What do you remember of that night with him?  You seemed more excited than he was!

BRYTNI:  Yeah!  I was really excited for him.  The year before – well, I didn’t know that it was our first date –  but,  I guess it was our first date at the 46th Daytime Emmys, because I honestly thought that Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) had asked me if I wanted to go along, and apparently, Bryton had asked if he could invite me.  So, we spent that time together, and he was nominated that year as well and lost.  Cut to this year where Bryton is a person who I have actually worked with and have seen how he works, and after Kristoff’s passing, and just seeing the amount of work that Y&R put into it, and the time that they spent on those episodes, and how beautiful they came out, everyone deserved an Emmy for that.  It was really beautiful work, and it was really touching, and it was really true and honest.  I really thought Bryton deserved it.  I think he was just as happy.  He’s just more reserved than I am.

What do you want to see happen for Elena moving-forward?  Do you want to see more of her extended family pop up so she is a character who has more ties to Genoa City?

BRYTNI:  I do, I do.  A lot of the characters never know who their father is.  I’d love to know who that is. (Laughs)  Like when I played Valerie on General Hospital, she didn’t know who her father was either.  Things like that are interesting to play.  I’d love to start closing those little holes about her because that helps me.  It helps me to create more dimensions in her character and to make firmer choices, and give her somewhere to go, and it gives more richness in her story.  I would love to also cement her to the Y&R canvas if she has any relation to anyone else there.

Courtesy/CBS

There have been rumors that Elena will become pregnant.  What would you say to that?

BRYTNI:  What do I think of that?  I don’t know.  It could happen.  Crazier things have happened on soaps.  Will it be the classic, “Whodunit?”

You mean, who could be the baby daddy?

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that would be interesting, and yes, I’ve seen those rumors, too.

Do you think Elena will fight and claw her way back to Devon, or do you think she is going to let it be? 

BRYTNI:  I think even from the scenes that aired this past week, you can see the extent of how sorry she is.  She is laying it all out there, in a puddle of tears, exactly how she feels even though she is not able to really understand why she did what she did, her sorrow is there.  I don’t think there is really much more for her to do as far as pleading to get him back until he is ready, if he ever is ready.  I think her respecting his wishes in the situation is probably the best thing that she can do at this point.

Photo: IG

Meanwhile, if you have any more romantic scenes with Sean Dominic, Bryton will step in, so you will still be in scenes with him, even if Elena and Devon aren’t together. 

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that’s true!

So, are you rooting for Devon and Elena to get back together quickly?  Do you think she may end up in a relationship with Nate? What have you thought of Brytni’s performances in this storyline? Comment below, but first watch Devon tell Elena to move out!

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Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On Dina’s Death & How It Will Impact Jack, His Final Scenes With Marla Adams & Taping During COVID-19

The Abbott family is reeling from the death of their mother, Dina Mergeron, who passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of last Friday’s episode; signaling the end of an era for Dina’s portrayer, Marla Adams.  In a pivotal and heart-breaking scene, Dina shares one last goodbye with her children: Traci (Beth Maitland), Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and of course, Jack (Peter Bergman).

Today, the drama continues as the Abbott’s grieve Dina’s death and its aftermath while they remember the life of their flawed mother. This puts Jack at the epicenter of the family, and like it, or not, the new head of the clan.  What does the future hold for him now?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman, who has embodied Jack for over 30 years on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, to get his thoughts on: how Y&R needed to handle Dina’s death within the confines of the coronavirus pandemic and its safety protocols, what he felt about playing those final scenes with Marla Adams and the significance of the ‘teardrop of love’, and a preview of what fans can expect in the coming days as the impact of Dina’s death will be felt by the Abbott children and extended family.

 

An actor’s actor, you can always expect a conversation with Peter to be forthright, candid and enlightening, and this one was no different.  Here’s what one of the genre’s absolute best had to share about the significance of this story and more.

How has it been returning to Y&R during the pandemic?  I bet you never thought in all of your years in daytime, that you would be doing your scenes socially-distanced, sitting or standing, so far apart from your castmates.

Courtesy/CBD

PETER:  Just getting back to work felt great, loved that.  I wasn’t involved really in romantic scenes at this point, so that I didn’t have to do.  So, all in all, I was very happy to be back, and socially-distancing didn’t really bother me at all, and then Dina died.  Doing that from six feet away was just awful.  You saw the limits at a time where not any of us could be within six feet of each other; where you would usually hold a hand, stroke a brow, and talk softly.  So, I think the writers did what they needed to do to make it work for Dina’s exit.  We are in the middle of COVID, in case anybody forgot, and so you have to ask, ‘Does America really want to watch an elderly woman die in the middle of the Abbott living room or anywhere else?’  So, we had to have Dina’s exit without looking at a dead body, out of respect for the times we are living in.  We had to do a strong, powerful, pivotal scene with our hands tied behind our backs.

Courtesy/CBS

It’s so interesting that you say that because that’s how I felt watching it, knowing what it would have been like, if Jack, Ashley and Traci would have been with Dina at her bedside, up till the end, for instance.  But all of that said, Peter, I got so choked up in your last moments with Marla.  Jack is just sitting there and Dina is telling him how much she loved him and you’re doing the thing that only Peter Bergman can do as the tears well-up in your eyes.  As we have talked about previously, my mom died from complications from Alzheimer’s, so these are always tough types of scenes for me to watch.  I am sure it was also for those in the audience, who have lost a loved one to this disease, many of whom reached out to me on social media following its airing.

PETER:  It’s got to be tough for you to watch.  I get that.

Photo: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

Yes, so I felt for Jack and Dina in the moment as a son and his mother.  But what did you think about how the scene was written, and what Dina was saying to Jack and his sisters as her final goodbyes to her children and their reactions to it?

PETER:  As written, something in this necklace triggers something in Dina that brings her out of a stupor, brings her out of the murk, the fog for a brief instant to tell the people who she cares the most about that she loves them in slightly different ways.  I have, with everything in me, a struggle to always add in there, “I have a complicated relationship with my mother.”  I’ve added that line in there so many times over the years, you have no idea.  It was a complicated relationship because by the time she dies, there is no kind of straightening that out, there is no kind of Jack looking for answers. The depth of what Ashley is feeling, what Traci is feeling, what Jack is feeling, were kind of lost because of the way we had to do it. The writers had to do it, so I’m not blaming anyone, but because of the way we had to do it, there was no, “Wow, why isn’t Ashley crying?  Why is she just so stoic that this isn’t touching her at all?” because she can’t go there. Traci feeling like she found her place in the family simply by Dina saying, “You’re the beating heart of this family,” and Jack, who is doing the right thing, “She should leave peacefully, she should leave feeling loved, we should all be here, we should give her nothing but love,” damn, this is complicated.  You couldn’t have any of those things.  .  Hopefully, some of that slid in there and we wedged some of those complexities into it, but it was hard to write a complex scene with the situation as it was.  We needed to get it done it one day.  We did not need to drag this out.  Again, were it not COVID time, sure, let’s drag it out.  Let’s spend some time on this.  People die.  Let’s watch the family process a death.

Photo: CBS

I just think of what it all means for Jack moving forward.  Dina basically tells him, “You’re in charge of the family. Look after the family.” That’s kind of where it’s been going for Jack this whole time.  I don’t know if that’s what Jack wanted, but that’s where he is ending up.

PETER:  Right!  That’s where he ends up, and you know, this has been a long time coming.  Dad dies, and it is pretty clear that he’s got to step up, and his mom comes into town, and she’s not just his mother.  She’s Ashley’s mother; she’s Traci’s mother, we’ve got to look out for her and give her the dignity and things like that.  Now, there is just no getting around it.  Jack is the head of the family.  That’s the way it fell.  Twenty-five years ago, was Jack ready to be head of anything?  Absolutely not, but I think enough has happened to Jack now: enough heartache, enough growth, enough introspection, enough losing people, that Jack might just be ready for this job.

Courtesy/CBS

When Marla Adams came back to Y&R 2017, and they started telling the Alzheimer’s storyline, it brought up such abandonment issues for Jack and rightfully so, about how a mother could just leave her family and children,  Throughout all that,  you did such poignant work.

PETER:  I wanted that to be in there at the very end.  One of the powerful parts in this whole thing is that Jack wanted to scream at Dina every bit as much as he wanted to hug her.  That was there for quite a while, and Jack had to kind of come to terms with, “Hey, you’ve been leaning on this excuse for quite a time.  She’s here.  She can’t do you any harm.  She feels bad about what happened.  What do you want, Jack?”

Photo: CBS

One of the highlights of this storyline was when Y&R explored the history and relationship between the siblings, Jack, Ashley and Traci.  We saw their younger versions as the show flash-backed to when Dina left John and the Abbott family.

PETER:  Between the writers and Peter Bergman, we built this story that the night that Dina left, Dad was upstairs with the girls, they were weeping inconsolably, there was no fixing it, there was no telling them that everything was going to be all right.  He didn’t want to lie to them and say she will be right back, he told them, “She’s not coming back,” and he comes downstairs, and Jack is fourteen-years-old, and a little confused, but decided to say to his dad, “Hey, can I help?”  He looks across the room, and his dad is weeping, first time he had ever seen that.  His father is weeping, and he said, “Jack, you’re going to have to help me with the girls.  I can’t do all of this,” and it changed Jack’s life forever.  Jack was a parent to Ashley for a good part of their relationship.  So, all of this stuff with Jack’s identity, all of the fighting with Ashley, all of the Jabot madness is Ashley finally getting to say, “I don’t need a father!  You’re not my father.  Stop talking to me like you’re going to fix things for me!  I’m sick of it.”  All done by Dina … all truly caused by Dina.

Courtesy/CBD

In my interview with Marla, she told me that at the end of her last scene, you and many others came back to the set to pay tribute to her.

PETER:  We did.  The show had arranged it, and Tony Morina, the executive producer, stepped out on the soundstage with a microphone, and Marla sat on the sofa in the Abbott living room. Tony began telling a lovely, lovely story about how far back his relationship with her goes because Marla and Tony wife’s, Sally Sussman (Ex- head writer, Y&R), also had a long-standing relationship.  Tony was just so grand and gracious in saying that there are some people who, if they weren’t an actor, they’d be this or that or the other thing, but that Marla was born to be an actress.  That’s what she is, and it was so generous.  I think she got three and a half years that she didn’t expect to get out of this.  It was supposed to be a six-month storyline, and four years later, she was still there, and it was a good thing for her, and a unique story turn for the rest of us.  It really was.  It was a powerful thing, and now the Abbott family has a new shape.  There are three adults there: Ashley has established her independence, she is not around as much, she is back and forth between Paris, and Genoa City, Traci is trying to be as supportive and kind as she can be, but essentially, Jack is in the big house by himself.

Yep!  Well, now we’ve got to find Jack a good woman.

PETER:  Yes, or a bad woman.

… Or a bad woman!  I’ll take him in a relationship with someone to stir things up.  I also hear coming up, there will be the reading of Dina’s will.  Is there anything you can tease about that?

PETER:  There is a will read, yes.  No one knows what to expect, and Dina … in the end… comes through for almost everybody…

Courtesy/CBS

Well … that ought to be good.

PETER:  Yep… really comes through for almost everybody, and you know, the Abbott children are wealthier, and all three of them are alone, and in no small thanks to Dina for that.  These are three adults who have been very unlucky in love.  Of course, this is the next challenge.  I don’t mean to assume that I have any idea of what you went through in losing your mom, but there is a point at which you also have to let go and say, “Okay, now it is just me, and what do I want to do with this life?  I’ve used this as a reason not to move forward for a good while.  What am I going to do now?”  I think the next turn in the Jack Abbott story comes pretty organically.  Dina’s death frees Jack to be just as alone as he has ever been.

No matter what Jack does, including the bad things, you always see the inner-pain that is very palpable within him, as you have portrayed him.

PETER:  Yes, but he really has grown in the last 30 years.  Jack is hungry for more right now, and he couldn’t really be that way with Mom in the house.  He didn’t have time for that.  Now he has all of the time in the world.  So, we’ll see what he does with that.

Courtesy/CBD

I understand there is a funeral for Dina, but it will be off-camera?  I guess, because of COVID, it is better that way.

PETER:  That’s true and it’s off camera, that’s correct.  What’s important at most of these things isn’t what happens at the gravesite, it is what happens at the reception afterwards, and that is also a fun turn.  So, they all agree as a family they are going to do it at Society, and they kind of close the joint and make it their own little party, and someone shows up who isn’t expected, and it throws a really, really different vibe into the whole thing, and everybody has to adapt.  It’s actually fun, what it turns into.  It turns into a memory fest with crazy stories of Dina.

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite moment, or memory, of a scene you played with Marla?

PETER:  I think I had a day where Jack tried to get through to her and tell her, “Do you realize the damage you did?  Do you realize?” and she wasn’t able to take it in, and he went to Traci, and he said, “I want to shake her.  I want to yell at her… and I want to protect her.”  I thought there was something just so rich about that.  That was my favorite moment, my favorite part of it, when Jack finally said, “She’s going, man.  We’ve got to get this conversation done now.  We’ve got to talk this through,” and he was too late.   She was too far along with Alzheimer’s.  She wasn’t up to it.  She couldn’t do it.

Photo: JPI

And now here is Jack; and his parents are both gone.  There is no Jerry Douglas or Marla Adams on the show as both John and Dina have passed on within the history of The Young and the Restless.

PETER:  Again, you were generous enough to share your own personal experience, but isn’t it amazing?  Wow, you’re the grownup now.  Isn’t it amazing?  That’s what the Abbott’s are going through: just what you went through.  There is no older generation to turn to for anything.  We are the older generation.  It’s powerful stuff, and I’m really, really grateful for anytime that Ashley, Jack, and Traci are together talking about those things, talking about, “Wow, okay, that just happened… where do we go from here?”  It’s going to be really interesting.  If you asked me, “Over the last 30 years that you’ve played Jack Abbott, have there been many times where you’ve thought, ‘I’ve got no idea where this is going!’”  I would say, “Yeah, right now.”  I’ve got no idea where we are going with this.

Courtesy/CBS

There has been much speculation that the “teardrop of love” necklace will lead Jack to a new romance, or some new adventure in his life.  They spent a lot of time mentioning it in short order, that it would seem it’s not just to bring Dina some closure.  What are your thoughts on it?

PETER:  I think it has legs.  I think you’re going to hear about it again. There is something in there, and I don’t know if it’s the teardrop’s magic charm or that its history is not what it was, or it gets stolen.  I don’t know, but I think we have spent enough time saying ‘teardrop of love’, that there could be a story there.

In Dina’s final moments where Jack brings her the ‘teardrop of love’, wasn’t it symbolic to her because it was her acknowledgement of having her family back together and with her at all times? There is a back-story to that piece of jewelry as well.

PETER:  The point of the necklace is, “This was when I was truly happy, when I had this necklace, when it is all back together,” and maybe we are to know something more about the teardrop…?  I don’t know.  So, this was a gift to her before Jack was born.  She wore it home from the hospital when she brought him home, but we don’t know exactly what year she got it, and we don’t know exactly what year she lost it.  It was stolen, and it was on the black market for a while, and Victor (Eric Braeden) was looking into it.  It was clear that it was very important to Dina.  So, Jack, against his own wishes, said, “No, I’ve got to do the right thing.  I’ve got to try to trace this thing down.  It clearly means something to her.  Maybe she is trying to tell us something.  God only knows.”  So, he did the right thing, not because, “I want to make Mommy happy,” but because he forced himself to do the right thing, to find the damn necklace, and to see what this is about.  Then, we saw the affect it had when he gave it to her.

Photo: CBS

It’s always good to chat and check-in with you during these key and historical moments in the life of the character of Jack Abbott.  There have been many throughout your time on Y&R, and it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

PETER:  It will be, and I’m telling you, this is a real moment.  Normally, we just go from one story into the next, into the next, and this one has been hanging for so long that, “Okay, now that it is over, wow, what is going to happen to Jack?”  I’m just as curious as everybody else.

So, what do you think will happen next for Jack?  Did you reach for the hankies in Peter’s final scenes with Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Marla Adams Talks Her Final Scenes As Dina Mergeron, The Alzheimer’s Storyline, and Her Touching Farewell

Today on The Young and the Restless marks the end of the enduring run of Marla Adams in the role of Dina Mergeron. In story, Dina passes away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a storyline that started four years ago when the CBS Daytime drama brought back the character and Adams; and one that has deeply affected many in the viewing audience who have also had their own personal experience of losing a loved one to this dreadful disease.

If you have not seen today’s episode yet, you may not want to read any further, but needless to say, make sure you have the hankies ready for Dina’s final moments with her children and how she leaves this earth, which will be remembered for quite some time to come.

Marla originated the role of the rich and spoiled Abbott matriarch back in 1983 and portrayed the role on and off for what amounts to five decades. Her classic scenes with Jerry Douglas (Ex-John), Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and so many more from the iconic soap, always made for great and complex stories.

 

With this her final airdate on Y&R, it also puts an exclamation point for Marla on an incredible daytime career having also appeared on: The Bold and the Beautiful. Capitol, Days of our Lives, Generations and The Secret Storm

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adams in this very special conversation where she shared with us how it was to play these heartbreaking last scenes, the importance of the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace to the story, how Y&R gave her the most overwhelming and beautiful send-off, and her ‘thank you’s’ to all of you, who have been her extended family and are sad to see her go. She is one-of-a-kind …and now, here’s Marla.

Photo: Getty

Marla, I am so glad we have the opportunity to chat in this full-circle moment as you have brought the character of Dina to a close.

MARLA:  It’s such a joy to talk to you.  It seems like yesterday and an eternity as well.   I thought of you so much, and I remember talking to you specifically with all of the different interviews over the years, when I was at the studio.  But I will always remember the interview you did with me and Beth Maitland (Traci), my darling soul sister, and you talked to me about your mother who has since passed on from Alzheimer’s.  I’ll never forget what you had to say all those months ago

Photo: HallmarkChannel

Yes, and when as audience members we watch these stories unfold with characters we have loved, or watched on our screens for years, and there is a death, we feel connected to them as well.  And in this case, as a child who has lost a parent to Alzheimer’s, like many in the audience, you ask yourself first, “Can I watch this?” It hits very close to home, but I’m sure when people watch today’s episode of Y&R and see Dina pass away, they will be extraordinarily moved.

MARLA:  Oh, my gosh.  Wait until you people see Friday’s show.  I know they will be moved.  They should be!  I’ve got friends who I’ve already said to, “Get your Kleenex box out.”  It’s so beautiful what happens at the end of the episode.

Courtesy/CBD

How did you feel about playing Dina’s final scenes?

MARLA:  It was wonderful because it showed her lifetime of sorrow and regret, and what was so wonderful was the fact that the hero of the whole thing is the kindness and respect that she really did have for her whole family.  They had the most beautiful sendoff for me.  They sent me a limo!  I went to the studio, and dear Patti Denney (Make-up artist, Y&R) was there, of course with all kinds of makeup and everything else, and she looked like she was entering the ER room for Covid-19, because of all the safety protocols we must have.  It was unbelievable, the kindness that was served to me.  After we finished taping my final scenes, I came back to the soundstage and they totally surprised me.  Dear Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) and Sally Sussman (Ex-head writer, Y&R) were there, and Tony spoke about me, and so did my Y&R extended family and on-screen children: Peter Bergman (Jack), and Beth Maitland, and Eileen Davidson, and much of it was put on tape (see excerpts in video below).  Afterwards, Tony gave me beautiful flowers.  I was driven back home after this, and I felt really special, and it was just amazing to me. I had written Josh Griffith (Current head-writer and co-executive producer, Y&R) a ‘thank you’ for writing the show with his wonderful people, but I never heard back, but when I walked in my apartment, the phone was ringing.  Guess who?  It’s Josh!  He said, “I waited until I knew you would be home to thank you,” and I felt so lovey-doved up, I couldn’t believe it.  I want to read something to you that I received in the wonderful flowers that came the next day from CBS Daytime executive Margot Wain and others.  The flowers were so big that they didn’t fit on the bar!  The card read: “Thank you for bringing the amazing force that is Abbott matriarch, Dina Mergeron to countless fans of The Young and the Restless.  Your vast contribution to Y&R and CBS for more than five decades is unparalleled.  We are forever grateful for all you’ve brought to Y&R as both a consummate professional and a cherished co-worker.  All our best wishes.”  I was just so touched by the sentiments.

Photo: CBS

I also want to share something with you.  When it was revealed in the promo that came out last week that this would be your last show, I received so many notifications on social media, saying, “Oh, my God!  We love Marla!  You have to interview her!”  You are loved by the Y&R fans.  I hope you know that!  They’re sad to see you go, because you’re a legacy character to them, and soap fans have deep connections to characters that have been on their favorite soaps for decades.

MARLA:  Five decades!  My God!  I’m eighty-freaking-two.  I can’t believe it.

Courtesy/CBS

In story, Jack was on a mission to get the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace back to Dina before she died, hoping that she would have one last moment of lucidity and would recall it and it would hopefully make her happy.   He moves heaven on earth to get it, and does, and brings it to her and viewers saw her reaction. 

MARLA:  The necklace had never been anywhere before in story except recently, but I said to myself that I would play it ‘quietly and graciously’, because it made for such a beautiful moment for Dina with her children.

Courtesy/CBS

For Dina, the necklace was a symbol of remaining connected to her family and her children, even when she was not with them all of those years.  In your final scenes, Dina had these moments to say goodbye to each of your children.  Do you remember looking at Eileen, Traci, and Peter taping those highly emotional beats?

MARLA:  Yes, they were so there for me.  They are an extended family that is so precious to me, and playing this iconic character has been, too.  I remember when Sally Sussman told me a few years ago, “ I’m going to bring you back on The Young and the Restless, but you’ve got Alzheimer’s,” and I said, ‘What!?  You’re bringing me back so you can kill me off?’ and she said, “Oh no, it’ll be about a year.”  That dissolved into four years, and now five decades had passed and I was still on Y&R.  I am beyond grateful.

Courtesy/CBD

As an actress, was it hard to play Dina’s final moments when she goes to the light to join her beloved, John?

MARLA:  It was heart-wrenching for me.  In the story, Dina died when she went outside and to the front door of the Abbott home.  They did not tell me before-hand, and that’s why it was so wonderful.  I hope they came in for a closeup of that because I had no makeup on, it was beautiful, and then, Dina said, “Oh, John.”  I’ve done everything from movies, to daytime, to nighttime, to Broadway, but that was the iconic moment for me, to do this gig with wonderful, wonderful actors and friends, and to do this particular storyline.

Photo: CBS

It was 1983 when you first appeared on Y&R.  And through the years, Dina did not do such great things! She had an affair with Brent Davis who was the biological father of Ashley that caused such a rift between mother and daughter for years.  She abandoned the Abbott children and walked out on them and her marriage to John, and that’s just for starters! Dina was a complicated character. Did you love the fact that she could be very selfish at times?

MARLA:  You think?  That’s why I loved her.  Of course!  I can be very selfish, too.  You have to be selfish if you’re an actor, good God. (Laughs).

Courtesy/CBS

It was great that The Young and the Restless brought you back four years ago so that through the telling of the Alzheimer’s storyline that Dina was able to somewhat repair her relationships with her children.  Obviously, over the last many months the audience could not witness the more day to day progression and toll the disease took on Dina and her family in its final stages, but unfortunately with the way COVID-19 has affected shooting daytime soap operas, and all of our lives, including safety protocols, I am sure plans had to be altered,

MARLA:  Of course.  As an actress, this was the most important role of my life, and to have her final moments spread out in one day really is because of all of the fans who have been writing in and wanting to see Dina again,

Photo: CBS

People were rooting for you to win the Daytime Emmy back in 2018 when you were nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. That must be a nice moment to carry with you from playing Dina’s final storyline.

MARLA:  Yes, and I should have won!  Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) was furious. (Laughs)  He said, “What do you mean, darling, you should have won!  Goddammit!” He’s a wonderful man and a good friend.  He came to pick me up several times to go to the studio for my last few shows, and that’s the kind of mensch he is. So, I feel just so blessed and I feel great love and loss.  I would like Dina to come back as a ghost, but I have no idea, if that will happen or not. But if the fans would be interested in seeing Dina as a ghost … make sure to write in to the show and tell them!

Courtesy/CBS

Speaking of the fans that have followed you for decades on Y&R, what would you want to say to them now that Dina has passed on?

MARLA:  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all of the love, the support, and the chance to play Dina out… and I’m thankful that you cared, and loved her, up till the end.

So what did you think about Dina’s final moments on today’s Y&R? Will you miss Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first check out the special behind the scenes tribute for Marla, followed by The Michael Fairman Channel’s interview with Marla and Beth Maitland from Y&R’s 45th anniversary celebration referred to during the above conversation.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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