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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
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
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 is evil so they all need to cool it leave Sharon and Adam to be happy. Chelsea just find another town to go to. Thanks 🙂

jaybird369
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
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 fake Skyes death and such. Victor talks fire well he burned the evidence Skye was alive where he had her living. Why Sharon has to always beg Nick has to stop. Why didn’t Chuck Pratt make Nick lose custody of Faith and do the right thing for once for Sharon!

Karlie
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 deal too! He’s already knocking boots with a complete married stranger after professing undying love for Sharon, then swearing off women for his “own good”. What a crock! Nick Newman has lost all moral fibre for taking a young child away from her mother when it absolutely was not necessary just to vent his anger at Sharon. Nick for me is ruined for good. He’s pointless as a character now because he’s just an abuser.

Brandy
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 and Sharon doesn’t need this from Betty . SHARON AND ADAM YES! Love them miss them. Forget Nick. IM so over Nick. Sage will be pregnant soon with Nicks kid because everyone always has to have a Newman or Abbott baby. Let Sharon be happy with Ada, . Chelsea was a drive by who traped another man. I never thought romance love trust when I seen Chelsea with Adam. Sharon and Adam belong the supercouple we fell in love with for all those years ago and still do.

Shannon
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 Sharon. I like that but at the same time I miss Adam and Sharon. i was hoping Shadam would have a chance. Let Sharon who knows her bestie Adam figure out it her husband Adam. Chelsea can go with Nick or Billy

Missy DooDah
Missy DooDah

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

Kim Huck
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 was never the case. Sharon and Adam had us sitting at the edge of the couch waiting for another day of the chemistry of Sharon and Adam. I believe give Shadam a chance they will blow Chadam out of the water. Hear hear Shadam not Chadam not Schick 🙂

Brandy
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
Timmm

Jim, he would make a great Bo.

Gina
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 Summer really was Jack’s daughter, then it suddenly changed and Sharon was thrown under the bus to save Nick’s reputation by making her responsible for switching the DNA results (out of nowhere!). Josh can’t be surprised that there has been backlash on social media towards his character because of it. A lot of fans on boards I read are very disillusioned with Nick. I know I am. His treatment of Sharon has been nothing short of cruel and vindictive. Hurting his kids’ mom is not being a good dad. Far from it.

Janet Moore
Janet Moore

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

Darlene
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
Patty Barre

Shadam is the best couple lets face it

elvis
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
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
Darlene

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

Timmm
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 a lot of company lines!

faith
faith

Phick should have never been created…barf!

Wade
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 reunited. To make Sharon’s action out to be bigger betrayal then if she was still on the sidelines trying to keep it together without Nick in her life. Sharon changing the results, the confrontation with Phyllis on the stairs, the coma, Sharon bonding with Summer.., this storyline was planned and dragged out.

mpmajor
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 her head). I agree that Sharon changing the results, the confrontation with Phyllis on the stairs, the coma, Sharon bonding, was planned and dragged out for a year and over (5/13 – fall of Oct. 2014).

Wade
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 family would have forgiven and made excuses for him, but Phyllis, Sharon, Jack, Noah, Summer and Daniel deserved the right to kick that soap box right out from under Nick. The better story would have been Nick working for a year to regain everyone’s trust and forgiveness. Nick should have been the outcast that everyone was whispering about. Nick should have people bring up his past immoral action in every single argument moving forward.

I’m not much of a Sharon fan but I do hate that she became the scape goat for Saint Nick. I wish I could have watched Phyllis look down her nose at Nick for a year 🙂 that would have been icing on the cake.

MBmomof3
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
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
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
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 have been arrested and then arrested again for tampering with the DNA At The lab. I do not feel sorry for that slut bucket. Give me a break

.

Darlene
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
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 to have Nick beg on his knees for her forgiveness , but Nick needs to come off his high and all so mighty throne . I used to love Nick but the writers have turned him into another Victor , get what he wants and the he** with everybody else .

Karlie
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 “get Sharon out of this paternity mess” that everyone would “love”. I do not for a second believe that she would say that IF the plan all along was for Sharon to really have switched the results and everyone to crucify her; that wasn’t the plan originally. Something changed it so Nick is treated as the hero and Sharon was demonized to the point she loses custody of her daughter. It is for that reason Nick is so hated now. Pairing him with Sage is pointless and pathetic attempt to make Nick seem like a good guy, but it’s too late. That pairing will be a huge bust because Kelly has no gravitas as a character and is a giggling, dull drip. Not to mention she’s a lying schemer with Gabadam and Nick will soon be wearing egg on his face when he finds out about Adam. Lol.

Phick was sick when MS was Phyllis and it still won’t work with GT in the role. GT plays the role as cruel and hard (or “unhinged” in JM’s words) and she looks a little cracked next to Nick. No, I think Phick is dead (yay) and should stay that way. GT is in Peter Bergman’s league and should stay there. Nick was an immature frat boy with Phyllis and he still is, and JM should be thankful to both SC and MS for carrying his character for as long as they did. Truth.

Wade
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 were engaged when she went off to New Orleans to find herself yet again, then she ended up in bed with Adam. Sharon and Adam had some plot to get her out of prison… Somehow people thought Sharon was dead.., she thought it better for her family to believe her dead while she vacationed with Sam the ranch guy. Sharon makes terrible decisions that don’t take into account what is always best for her kids or husband at the time.

haha
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
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. Bye JM.

mpmajor
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 her right and Faith will have a father figure in him and a family under one roof and Faith will be happy for once and Sharon will finally have a family again, too. Maybe a little Dylan in the future?

Delta24d
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
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
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
k/kay

This was at the daytime emmys!

Dianne
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
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
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
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 together. I hated Nage. Not a great couple show me how many fans they have because the Shick’s fans are not having it.

Annoe
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.

General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin’s Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

After all his bravado, machinations and lies to keep the woman he loves, and believing he was the rightful heir to the Cassadine fortune, suddenly it all came crashing down for Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) on recent episodes of General Hospital.

Payback can be a bitch, but for Valentin; who’s past has been fraught with numerous physical and emotional tribulations since his childhood, he now finds himself at the lowest point in his life; losing Nina (Cynthia Watros) who’s now taken up with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), realizing he is the biological son of the evil Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and not Mikkos, and having all his best laid plans and misdeeds backfire.  (Remember, he shot and “killed” Nikolas, and set up the ruse that led Sasha to pretend she was Nina’s bio-daughter.)  Now, enter Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), who could very well hold the ticket, to Valentin’s rise to wealth and power all over again.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with James Patrick Stuart to get the lowdown on: those heavy and emotional scenes opposite Constance Towers, working with Cynthia Watros as his newest Nina, if Valentin might really kill Jax the next time he thinks about it, and what about a potential relationship between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin?

Not many can play bad as good as James in this industry.  He does it so effortlessly and still brings out the humanity in the guy that has t-r-o-u-b-l-e written all over him.  Here’s what James had to share about all of Valentin’s recent dramatic moments, a tease of what’s to come, and much more.

Photo: JPI

Valentin’s world has imploded at the moment.  When did you initially find out that he was going to turn out to not be a true Cassadine heir?

JAMES:  Well, there were some clues dropped by Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) back when we did the gallery auction where Helena’s portrait went up in flames.  Frank looked at me and goes, “Hey, Jack Nicholson it up.  Have some fun!  You’re not going to be feeling pretty good for a while.”  (Laughs)  I’m like, “Oh … what are the plans?”  He pulled me aside and goes, “Yeah, you’re going to lose Nina, but you’re going to try to take over ELQ.  That’s when I started to go, “Wait a minute!  That sounds to me like Valentin’s losing his money.”  (Laughs)  With the character of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) coming back; it’s pretty great.  I think the writing was on the wall there.  I put it out on twitter the other day.  I said, “Look what they’ve done to my boy.”  Somebody chimed in, “They gave him a storyline!” (Laughs)

Who doesn’t love to see you, James Patrick Stuart, play tortured soul?  They audience loves to see you get the opportunity to go to those depths in your performances.

JAMES:  It’s been really interesting for me.  I’ve had a lifetime of playing bad guys because the line was always shorter. (Laughs)  Everybody wants to be Tom Cruise, but the Alan Rickman’s of it all, to me, were what was so interesting.  Early on, you play one dimensional kind of twisting of the mustache, tying a woman to the train tracks.  After a while, you start to watch the truly great actors.  They start to take you on a ride.  If you’re paying attention, you start to feel what it would be like to be that damaged, and that’s why you do it.  Then you start to see the vulnerability. To me, I thought, “This is a great time in my life because I’m ready to do that.” A lot of people say, “I don’t understand.  I feel like that makes no sense. because why would I root for a person who behaves like this?” and that to me, I feel is the greatest compliment of all.

So much happened recently to Valentin in one fell swoop; he overhears Nina telling Ava (Maura West) she kissed Jax, then he envisions shooting Jax and then he is drinking himself into oblivion and he gets a “visit” from Helena!  But … the scenes between Valentin and Helena really summed up the bitter truth for him, wouldn’t you say?

JAMES:  Yes.  In the “Helena” scenes, it all basically is revealed.  It all comes down in a moment where he “sees” her.  I think he realizes with the DNA test; he’s not the person he thought he was, but he certainly had no idea that he had her blood in his veins.  The truly tragic moment of the evening is when it dawns on him that he has a daughter with Helena’s blood in her veins.  Now, he would kill her a thousand times over in that moment.  He can’t do it.  He’s fighting phantoms.  That’s the bottom below the bottom, and things got worse than he ever thought they would get.

Courtesy/ABC

Does Valentin have any idea then, who his biological father could be?

JAMES:  I don’t think so.  I don’t believe so.  I know I don’t.  I think once he realizes that Helena is in fact the mother, I think he’d rather just go into oblivion.  I think at that point, he’s out of answers.  Enter Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) …which is wonderful because I think the world of Nancy, and she saves the day.   Alexis basically talks him out of hurting himself, telling him to count his blessings that he is not a Cassadine, etc, which was a really sweet moment.

I assume, when you have this kind of material to play, it must be exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?

JAMES:  I think that’s exactly right.  As an actor, I think you want to do this stuff.  Maura West and I compare notes all the time.  I think it can be kind of emotionally draining.  You do feel it, and I felt it when I had spent a lot of time with Nina and Valentin, and when the actresses changed, and we brought Cynthia Watros in.  I worked twice as hard to make sure that Cynthia’s landing was as easy as possible, and I really grew attached to the Nina and Valentin connection.  So, when Jax steps in, Cynthia’s love life means nothing to me, I don’t care about that, but Nina’s love life means a lot to me!  And it bums me out, and I don’t know that I’ll actually be watching any future love scenes between them as much as I love them both!  I have a deep attachment to the Valentin connection to Nina.  So, the lines get burred because we just play these characters so long.

Photo: JPI

What was it like sharing those tough scenes with Constance? No one can play icy, evil villainess like her … and yet in real life, she is such a gracious and kind-hearted woman.

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JAMES:  In real life, Constance is such a sweetheart, and she’s so grateful to be there.  She was so ready to work, and rehearse, and play, and find the stuff, and she was great.  I’d been in scenes with her before.  Last time, we didn’t really talk to each other.  I was with the hump.  I was being Valentin pre-surgery.  It was some sort of moment in a graveyard, but this time we actually got to interact with each other.

You look at Valentin, and he’s not had the greatest life.  Do you bring his entire back-story into your performance; such as when he was deformed with the hump and how he had to literally reconstruct his life both in the physical and in emotional ways for many years?

JAMES:  Absolutely.  It’s the brokenness that he’s making choices from.  He was never truly and authentic person to begin with which is why his love fell apart.  He’s always been faking.  He’s always been putting on a show.  That’s not sustainable in matters of the heart.  It was unbelievably easy for Jax to swoop in, because it was inevitable that things were going to fall apart.  Of course, that anger and that brokenness were what lead him to want to kill Jax.  There’s no question.  He was prepared to do that.  If you look in the eyes in the fantasy sequence in the shooting, he just wanted to watch him die.  He wanted to watch the light go out in Jax’s eyes.  He was so furious … and even more tragic is … that was all he could think of, and somehow, he realized in that moment that wouldn’t work, because he’d lose his daughter.

Photo: JPI

Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) just kind of busted up.  Do you think Anna and Valentin will hookup? There is a connection and a history between the two of them whenever they seem to be in proximity of one another.

JAMES:  Personally, I’m waiting for that.  I hope so!  There is a finesse and elegance to that woman, and not only that, there is an effortless to the connection between Valentin and Anna, if one can say that about one’s own coupling.  I love to look at it!  I think we go together like a wink and a smile.  I just find that chemistry really great.  I think that’s mostly Finola, though.  She can probably have chemistry with most anything.

Valentin was going to leave Port Charles with Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), after Nikolas revealed all and the fallout began.  Interestingly enough, it was Anna who came to Valentin’s side and tried to talk him down from fleeing with his daughter and showed such compassion for him!

JAMES:  Wasn’t that great?  She was the one who got him.  She was the one who was able to calm the beast.  There was no one else he would have listened to.  In the moment in the police station, after Charlotte had been kidnapped, and there is that moment where Anna has that bruise, I thought it was such a tender moment.  I just said, “If I kiss my finger and touch your wound?” and she’s like, “Do it.”  It was just this moment where we had been bitter rivals and enemies for so long, but he just adores her so much it’s undeniable that he sees her wounded and wants to make it better.  It’s floating out there waiting to be done.  I know that everybody knows it.  It’s just a matter of what the right away to go about in the writing would be.

Photo: JPI

So, you’ve worked opposite two acting dynamos in the role of Nina – Michelle Stafford and now, Cynthia Watros.  Was the transition difficult for you when Cynthia came to GH?

JAMES:  It wasn’t.  It was scary because Michelle Stafford wasn’t just one in a million, I mean, she is one of a kind.  The last thing in the world that I would ever want to consider doing myself was recast that actress.  So, my deal was (and I’ve said this to Cynthia) I said, “I have no control over this.  All I can do is make the landing as easy as possible for Cynthia.”  We did a lot of photoshoots together, and I had flowers waiting for her, and I did everything possible to make sure that she knew that she had a friend and that she had somebody that was going to make it as easy as possible.  It was rough because a lot of the trolls on social media were just awful to her… just brutal, and she goes, “I have thick skin.  I can take it,” and then a week later, she goes, “I’ve closed all my social media accounts!”  (Laughs)  It’s been fun to watch those guys turn around and go, “You have a really special person.”  That wedding stuff was just incredible!  She came so prepared and she knocked it out of the park.  Cynthia has been wonderful.  I love them both.  I love her the reddest, and I love Michelle the bluest, and together I love them the purplest.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s interesting that all the women in his life such as Anna and Nina, all have a soft-spot for Valentin; even though they don’t necessarily want to be with him.  These ladies are just drawn to this dysfunctional guy.

JAMES:  Don’t you think?  Is it that you want to help him, you want to fix him, you see the potential, you want to help him despite himself?  I think that’s what it is.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Valentin’s still going to try to win Nina back, or is that done? 

JAMES:  I don’t know.  I do know that the Valentin I know will never shake Nina, and when he loves, he loves forever.  He can be simultaneously in love with Anna whenever she’s near.  I don’t believe he ever truly got over Nina hearing his story and his brokenness and still loving him twice as hard.  Years ago, there was a moment where he said to her the stuff that he’s never said, and Michelle beautifully kissed my tears away and said, “You’re beautiful” to me.   I think in that moment his fate was sealed.  I think he knew that this was his woman forever.  So, I just don’t think that that goes away.  I think he will always carry a torch for Nina, for sure.

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Do you see Valentin becoming darker and darker now that he had found out he is Helena’s offspring?

JAMES:  Well, yes and no.  I remember watching these scenes and we’ve done a lot of this stuff, and you know how easy it is to sort of go, “Let’s go dark, let’s go dark, let’s go more dark,” and after a while, I go, “You know, maybe he does learn something.  Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all.”  Of course, more bad stuff will happen to him, and he will do more bad stuff, because that’s just who he is.  A leopard can’t change his spots, and those are his survival instincts, but there are some new colors, and it’s all a direct result of all of just these horrible things that have happened to him… mostly learning that he is part Helena and he can’t undo that.

Photo: JPI

We saw that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) called and then goes to see Valentin, because she wants to sell her shares of ELQ.  So, obviously he has the potential to become really rich here which is what would give him his power back.  How do you think that will go over with the rest of the Quartermaines? (Laughs)

JAMES:  (Laughs) A lot of the Quartermaine actors have been asking me that in the hallways of General Hospital!  Isn’t that interesting how he’ll just sort of switch families? (Laughs)

Of all the people, just as Valentin’s life is in the gutter and he is at his lowest, who should show up with a sort of lifeline, Nelle! How will he go about attempting to gain control of ELQ?

JAMES:  Valentin knows he has to get the majority shares to gain a control of the company, and he has to do it fast before people see that he’s doing it.  So, that’s where Michael E. Knight (Martin Gray) has been.  He’s gallivanting the states rapidly accumulating shares.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s been so fun seeing you and Michael Knight on-screen and on a daytime soap together again, as so many remember you as Tad Martin and Will Cortlandt on All My Children.  How has it been getting the chance to work with Michael?

JAMES:  My God, are you kidding me?  He taught me!  He’s the guy who taught me.  I didn’t know how to do this.  Nobody instinctively knows… this is a very unique art form.  It’s more Jazz than anything else, and he showed me how to do it!  Walt Willey (Ex-Jack, AMC) showed me how to do my hair, and Michael Knight taught me how to break down a script!  And, what’s so funny is he is still doing it.  In a scene on GH, when he threw in that line, “From now on, you pay in advance,” I just about fell on the floor!  I thought, “There he is!  That’s the Michael I’ve always known and loved.”

Photo: JPI

Who would have thought that you guys would get to share scenes like that again on soaps?  You just never know in this life who may be wind up back in your orbit.

JAMES:  It’s incredible.  That’s what we say all of the time… “Who would have thought?”  You could never plan something like this and that we’d still be doing it at this point.

Now with Lulu (Emme Rylan) learning that Valentin is not a Cassadine, and Nina apparently moving on to a relationship with Jax, what do you think it will mean for their relationship in raising their daughter, Charlotte?

JAMES:  I think in the short-term, Valentin’s shelved any ideas of getting her out of Charlotte’s life.  He’s sort of putting out the fires in his own personal life.  Charlotte needs a mother in her life, and he’s quite willing to share custody as they always have been.  She seems to be looking at this as an opportunity to paint him as an unfit father, and she wants full-time custody.  So, we’re back to that again.  It looks to me like Lulu is kicking Valentin while he’s down.

Photo: JPI

It was so nice to see you, and some of your GH co-stars such as: Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) show up for Y&R’s Eric Braeden’s (Victor Newman) 40th anniversary on set celebration at CBS.  It was quite the event; speakers galore, and so many from our industry and beyond in attendance.

JAMES:  It was pretty profound.  Eric has always been kind to me.  I only worked with him on one movie, a western, called The Man Who Came Back, and that was probably 12 years ago.  He has been so complimentary of me in interviews and in his book.  So, if he does that with me, I can only imagine how many dear, dear friendships he has.  So, the fact that everybody showed up like that from the president of CBS Entertainment to local councilmen, and that they were willing to do be there for 2 hours was really proof of how much they love him.  Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I don’t even think was working that day, came in for it and spoke at the event. There was so much respect shown for Eric and what he has meant to this medium.

Photo: JPI

Your album The Apple Tree was so well-received, and everyone always loves seeing you get the opportunity to sing on General Hospital as well.  Will you continue to put out more music in 2020?

JAMES:  Yeah, that’s the plan.  I have another one that I’m working on.  I have a bunch of songs.  I’m in no rush to get it out.  Unfortunately, I lost Glen Roven, who wrote the cello part for Book of Love, passed away right after the Nurses’ Ball where I played Book of Love, which is really heartbreaking, and then, Michael Sherwood, who helped me with a number of songs on the record passed away right after The Apple Tree came out.  So, I’m a little gun-shy.  But, I’m planning on having something out by December for Christmas.

In closing, what would you say the fans should look forward to in the weeks ahead from Valentin?

JAMES: Look forward to that moment where Valentin is so low that there’s nowhere to go but up!  The comeback is going to be one for the books.

So, what do you think of how Valentin’s life hit rock bottom?  Do you think he will ever win Nina back? Do you think he will takeover ELQ? Share your thoughts on James’ recent performances and his thoughts contained in this interview via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Wally Kurth Talks DAYS Dramatic Twists That Gave Justin a Heartbreaking Story, a New Romance, and Unforgettable Moments

If you have been watching recent episodes of Days of our Lives, soap opera vet, Wally Kurth has been turning out the performances of his daytime career.  In one of the most heartbreaking weeks we can remember, DAYS took us back to ‘Mother’s Day’ one year ago, prior to their time jump, to show us how Justin’s wife, Adrienne (Judi Evans) died following a car crash, it’s aftermath, and assorted other key plots for the characters of Salem.

For decades, Wally Kurth along with Daytime Emmy winner, Judi Evans created the on-screen love story of Justin and Adrienne on DAYS, and while they were off the canvas for quite some time, they remained one of the most popular duos in the history of the show.  Saying goodbye to one daytime love story opened the door for another, and now Kurth has been paired with another Daytine Emmy winner, Mary Beth Evans (Kayla).  The romance of Justin and Kayla is really going to be tested with the recent return of Stephen Nichols who seems to have Steve’s body overtaken by the mind and soul of Stefano DiMera.   What will happen if, and when Steve, Kayla, and Justin enter into a romantic triangle?

But as daytime viewers know, Wally is not only recognizable for his role as DAYS Justin but that of General Hospital’s Ned Quartermaine.  Kurth has the distinction of being on two separate soaps (sometimes even airing on them at the same time), playing two different fan favorite roles.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Wally about: being handed the ball in the emotional storyline on DAYS that has had him acting his heart out alongside Chandler Massey (Will) and Freddie Smith (Sonny) that could just land him a Daytime Emmy nomination in just a few months.  Plus, giving us a glimpse of what is was like to tape all of those tear-filled scenes, his reaction to his latest romantic pairing, and having the gift of acting on two soaps at this stage of his career.  Here’s what Wally shared.

Photo: JPI

Let me just say; I’m all cried out watching your performances now.  I can’t cry anymore. (Laughs)  Did you watch everything back from the week-long flashback to Mother’s Day that changed the course of so many lives in Salem, and in particular, with the death of Adrienne?

WALLY:  Oh, yeah.  It was hard to watch.  It was interesting because the show must have been long as there were a couple of scenes that I was actually looking forward to seeing and they didn’t air.  One was on the Thursday episode and the other was on the Friday episode.  I remember seeing something about Matt Ashford (Jack) not having his scene air with Jack and Adrienne, and I wanted to tell him: “Hey, it was all around.”  It was probably just a little too much material to get it all in.

What do you remember doing that didn’t air?  Was Justin in even more tears?  (Laughs)

WALLY:  If you can believe it! (Laughs)  There was one scene with Sonny at her gurney that I really broke down.   There was a scene on Friday after Will leaves.  It’s a scene between Sonny and Justin talking about what Will had done that I thought was pretty intense, but that’s alright.  It’s part of the deal.  Shows run long and they’ve got to make decisions.  It’s all good.

Photo: JPI

What do you remember about the day you had to shoot those death scenes with Judi Evans?

WALLY:  It’s interesting.  I made a decision that I’m not going to go about those scenes with the normal method: thinking about something really, truly terrible in my life because first of all, I’ve never lost a woman I’ve been with for 30 years.  So, I decided just to use my imagination and use the words in the script, and just go there.  It was certainly a lot more fun.  I didn’t second-guess myself.  The words were beautifully written, and I just sort of played the scene; rather than try to regurgitate some kind of past memory and/or try to imagine one of my children dying or my wife dying.

You didn’t do “substitution”!

WALLY:  Yeah, I didn’t substitute.  I guess for people who don’t understand this kind of method in acting; you can substitute things in your real life, your personal life to help you feel something called upon to do in a script, and I’ve done that before.  I’ve done that a lot, actually.  I did that when I was first on the show with Judi.  But, on that day when Adrienne died, I didn’t.

Photos: NBC

It was so sad, and when they had the clip of a young Wally as Justin, meeting Adrienne for the first time, it was a sweet moment.  Justin sees her crying and is apparently smitten.  Did you see that flashback?  

WALLY:  It’s a famous one!  We got to talk about it, and the handkerchief in the scenes when she died.  I think in the scene that was cut, there was more about the handkerchief and that I gave her the handkerchief and that I needed a handkerchief now and Sonny gave me his handkerchief.  Years ago, I remember Al Rabin (Ex-director, DAYS) saying, “When you see her, she’s unlike anybody you’ve ever seen before.  That’s it,” and I went, “What?” and he said, “Yeah.  That’s it.”  So, I said, “Okay, she’s the one,” and I went in and just played that.  Like, “I don’t know who this woman is.  She’s crying on the bench.  She looks pretty miserable, but I’ll just try to talk to her” and that was Justin and Adrienne’s love story: coming in like a white knight and rescuing her.

You and Judi had worked together as Justin and Adrienne on and off for decades.  So, is there any sadness in saying goodbye to that on-screen relationship?

WALLY:  Yes, but in between it all we took like a 19-year break.  So, it’s not like John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena (Deidre Hall) who have been on continuously.  We fell back into that very comfortably.  It was 1987 when we were doing that scene at the park where she is crying.  Hello! That was 33 years ago!  And … oh, my God … the leather tie, the hair.  I had serious hair.  I remember that. (Laughs)

You had serious hair.  But … we all did!

WALLY:  It took longer just blowing my hair out than getting on make-up to hit the set.  I remember that little tweed jacket, and the black leather shoes.

Photo: JPI

What were we all thinking back then!? (Laughs)  It must have been hard for Judi on the day while you were grieving over her body?

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WALLY:  I remember Judi told me it was really hard for her, and I can understand it.  She’s such a good actress who really listens, so she’s always really affected.  We can be running lines in the makeup room, and if it’s an emotional scene, she can start crying.  So, she’s obviously really in touch with her emotions.  It was really hard for her to listen to Freddie, and me, and Matt and Mary Beth, and everyone tell her how much they’re going to miss Adrienne.  She was so good and professional.  She just kept her eyes closed all the way through the breaks.  She didn’t sit there and talk to us in between.  Probably, in her mind, she’s just trying to play dead.

She told me in the interview feature that I did for the DOOL app, that she intentionally didn’t want to see you and Freddie before those scenes.  

WALLY:  Yeah, that’s true.  I’m just thinking about that, and it really did help because we could just stay in that place and she never jumped up and went, “Hey!”   That’s just her professionalism.

Photo: JPI

When you originally found out that DAYS was going to kill-off Adrienne, and that they were going to do a time jump which paired Justin and Kayla, romantically, what was your reaction to all of that?  Was it like, “Oh, story for me!?” and/or did it make you feel bad about the character casualty in order to make that happen?

WALLY:  I guess, selfishly, you’re only thinking of yourself – when you’re selfish, and I did think like, “Wow.  That sounds like an amazing story,” and then I’m like, “Oh, well that sucks for Judi, and that’s going to be kind of crazy,” but then I also realized quickly (because I know Judi, and I know how much she loved playing Bonnie) that if they choose to bring her back, they could bring her back as Bonnie.  But yes, I thought about that as well, but mainly, I thought that this is something new.  As an actor and as an artist, you want a new challenge.  For Judi and me, we were just sort of playing the two greatest parents to Sonny.  Pretty much, that was our role.  We were happily married.  We hadn’t really had a story in about a year.  I mean, I’m mister lawyer in town.   At least for me, and it turns out, this has been an amazing story to play.  I have to say; never in a million years did I imagine Justin with Kayla.  So, it wasn’t like I was campaigning for it.

I know in daytime that sometimes actors campaign to be paired with certain actors on their respective soaps,

WALLY:  Yeah, so I think we were both surprised.  I worked with Mary Beth on General Hospital and of course, we are dear friends off set.  We thought that was probably going to be the hardest part, because we’ve been friends for so long, and it’s kind of nice that when you do a love story that you do have to kind of go there, and feel comfortable, and be excited, and it worked out.  I thought we both brought out qualities in our characters that really conveyed that a really good friendship morphed into a true love.  Justin and Kayla helped each other through this difficult, difficult time, and then…

… Then Stevano shows up in Salem!

WALLY:  Yup!   People fall in love.  That’s what happened, and then of course Stephen Nichols comes back, and all hell breaks loose.  I have to say, the audience is in for a really fun 6 months coming up.

Photo: JPI

What have you thought of Stephen Nichols portrayal as Stefano?

WALLY:  He has been amazing!   I told Stephen, and he appreciates it.   I don’t think anyone could do it as well as Stephen’s doing it.  I mean, when he blew up the other day in front of Anna (Leann Hunley), he sounded like Stefano.  He sounded like Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano)!  I think he’s done a really good job of pulling it off.  Only a really gifted actor could pull it off, and I believe it when he plays it.

You made a comment on Twitter to me about “the boys” (Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey), after I named the three of you Power Performance of the Week.  What can you say about Freddie in the scenes where he has to say goodbye to his mother, Adrienne, and then Chandler for his scenes with both Freddie and you in the aftermath, where he tells Sonny and Justin he was the responsible party that caused the crash that took Adrienne’s life?

WALLY:  Freddie went for it, and you have to.  He did, and I was so proud of him.   When Will tells Sonny that he was driving the car and he caused it, they were so in the moment.  They didn’t rush their emotions.  They took their time, and it was just totally believable, and not a false move, and then when I came in, it was just a really nice scene between the three of us, because I was checking in with Sonny, and then I was checking in with Will, and things took turn from there and it felt really solid.  I was very proud of it.

Courtesy/NBC

Then, when Justin tears into Will for the death of his wife, and Will goes, “I wish it would’ve been me.”  It was so intense; everyone was good in that scene.

WALLY:  I wanted to send out a tweet to everybody from that episode who were                       wonderful in it including: Stacy Haiduk (Kristen), Eric Martsolf (Brady), Paul Telfer (Paul), and Casey Moss (JJ)…

Oh, my Gosh, and then Casey was so heartbreaking learning of Haley’s (Thia Megia) death!

WALLY:  Good lord.  Three deaths in one day!

You’ve been on soap operas for a long time.   It was a lot to take in as the viewer, but it made for a riveting and can’t-miss week of episodes.

WALLY:  It was amazing that the show pulled it off.  It could have been really too much.  I thought that the production pulled it out.  It wasn’t too much.  That’s probably why scenes were cut, too.  It might have just been too much; all of that just grieving over dead bodies.

What is the reaction you’re seeing to all of this on social media?  The fans have been very favorable to the performances.  You’re in such an interesting position, because you’re on two soaps (DAYS and GH) and you’re able to have these two distinct and different characters to play. What’s that been like that you’ve been able to bounce back and forth for so long in your career from Salem to Port Charles, and back again?

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WALLY:  I couldn’t have planned it, obviously.  It just worked out that way; having created both roles, one 33 years ago and one 29 years ago.  I’m sort of integral on General Hospital because I’m sort of the lone patriarchal Quartermaine, and they want to keep that family going. So, that has been really kind of cool that I can keep breathing air into that legacy, and they’re recently brought in Amanda Setton as Ned’s daughter, Brook Lynn, too.  Then of course, with Days of Our Lives, they brought me back on as an attorney in 2009, and that was really out of the blue.  I hadn’t been on the show in 19 years.  So, to get a call to come back and be an attorney in town was just great, and at the time, I needed a job.  I kind of have to say, I owe Ken Corday (executive producer, DAYS) twice in my lifetime. He hired me as an actor when honestly; I could really use a job.  My first job was Days of Our Lives, and I was driving around in a moped then.

Photo: JPI

Speaking of Amanda Setton (Ex-Kimberly, One Life to Live) how do you think she is doing with the part of GH’s Brook Lynn?

WALLY:  She’s great.  She’s experienced, and nowadays you really have to be experienced on soaps.  We go so fast.  Unfortunately, the newbies take some time and have to get on track, but it’s a world of one takes and we go so quickly.  It really helps to have an actor who has done it before and isn’t daunted by the speed.

Speaking of keeping the legacy of the Q’s going, the one and only Jane Elliot recently came back to GH to reprise her role of Tracy Quartermaine. What was it like having her back on set to work with?  

WALLY:  It was great!  I hope she’ll make some future returns.  She had a good time.  The show is really much better with her.  I was just thrilled.

Photo: JPI

You must be grateful that Justin and Ned are still alive and kicking!

WALLY:  I love working on Days, and I love the crew.  I love the cast.  Both casts and crews from both soaps are fantastic.  I feel like the luckiest actor in town.  I don’t complain, and I won’t complain.  It’s interesting, when I was an actor on one show, I would complain, and I hear other actors on shows complaining about one thing or another.  I just don’t have a right to complain.  On my days off, I used to be the guy who would look at my lines the day before.  I probably could still do that, but I don’t want to.  I like spending a heck of a lot of time with my scripts so that when I go in there, I really know it.  I have a lot of different ways to play with it, and I get to be creative with it, and I pick that.  I don’t take that for granted.  So, every day when I get to work, I’m excited to be there, and I put a lot into it.

Photo: JPI

So, do you think we can foreshadow you winning a Daytime Emmy this year, or next year, or both for the performances we have seen and those yet to come?

WALLY:  (Laughs) I feel like I’ve already won an Emmy by having two jobs.  Honestly, I’m having the time of my life.

Do you think the audience will see Justin grieving still for Adrienne? With the time jump, in theory, we missed a year of that part of the mourning process.

WALLY:  You will see it.  But yes, you’re right.  You don’t see Justin the first three months, or the week after, or the weeks after.  However, more comes up for him that I think  will be very satisfying to the audience.  I know it’s been very shocking to the audience to see where Justin is at.  Most of the complaints I get are like, “Really?  It’s been three months, and you’re already making out with Kayla?”  People were kind of offended by that.  By the way, my wife is also offended by that.  (Laughs)  She was like, “You’d better wait longer than three months!

Photo: JPI

Did your wife watch your scenes when Adrienne died?

WALLY:  Yes, she did.   She liked them.   But she would say something like, “It’s hard to see you crying over another woman.”  I know she doesn’t really enjoy me making out with another woman and saying how much I love her.  I don’t usually show her all of the really romantic stuff, but I thought she’d be okay with the death scenes, and she was, but I am sure it was kind of strange for her.  She is a lawyer, not an actor.

Since she’s a lawyer, does she ever give you legalese tips for when you have courtroom scenes on DAYS?

WALLY:  She does, and I’m usually like, “Is there anything I can cut here?” and she usually goes, “Honestly, no.  You’d better say it.  I think it’s honestly pretty well-written.  You’d better say it as written. It’s pretty accurate.”

Courtesy/NBC

The other moment I wanted to bring up to you that was like the “perfect scene” is when Justin visited Will in prison and told Will to not give up on life. I think that was such a beautiful scene and performance.  I hope that is in your Emmy submission.

WALLY:  Thank you.  I was very proud of that.  I appreciate that, Michael.  I know you watch a lot of these, and, it is in my Emmy submissionIt was beautifully written.  I think the writers have really handed me just some wonderful stories to tell, and wonderful dialogue, and I used every word of it, and I feel very blessed.  As actors … you can work your ass off, but you really do also need stories to sometimes shine, you know?  I thought the writers really gave me a lot of great material to work with.

Photo: JPI

If they keep giving you more material like this every week you’ll be named the Power Performance of the Week, and then everyone will think something corrupt is going down! (Laughs) 

WALLY: They’ll think I’m paying you off, Michael! (Laughs)

So, what have you thought of Wally’s performances? Were you surprised at the Justin and Kayla pairing? Were you shocked at Adrienne’s death and what went down? Comment below.

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Eastsiders

Van Hansis and Kit Williamson Talk The Final Season of ‘EastSiders’, Their Journey As Thom and Cal, & The Impact The Series Has Made

It captivated the LGBTQ audience, expanded from there, and was a passion project and labor of love for series creator, Kit Williamson (Cal) along with his husband and co-producer, John Halbach as they tirelessly brought the digital drama EastSiders to life.  Over 4 seasons (and 7 years in and of production) fans of the series were brought: riveting characters, real, witty, and intelligent writing, and beautiful performances that leave you either crying, laughing, or just plain in awe of their depth.

Williamson brought in As the World Turns favorite, Van Hansis (Ex-Luke, ATWT), from the beginning of the creation of EastSiders, to play his on-screen other half, Thom, and over four seasons we have seen Cal and Thom’s relationship grow apart, come together, have a very open sexual relationship, deal with addiction issues, and anxiety in the day and age we live in; while giving us a glimpse of a set of characters who all are struggling with something … or trying to love someone, or just trying to love themselves.

In four seasons, EastSiders went from a show on YouTube to now a popular series streaming on Netflix.  And as season four of the series was finally released back in December of last year, fans of the show were clamoring to know if Thom and Cal will have their happily ever after? Well, if you saw the emotional final episode, you kind of know the answer to that, or do we? But just when you thought EastSiders was a fait accompli, Williamson and company released a behind-the-scenes documentary of the season that is also a must-see! (Check it out below).  And this week, EastSiders scored nominations in the Queerties Awards for the Best in LGBTQ media and culture. Van Hansis scored a nod in the Digital Performance category along with EastSiders cast member, Stephen Guarino, and the series is nominated in the Digital Series category. You can vote for the Queerties now through February 21st here.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Van and Kit in a full circle moment for all of us.  We conducted the first interview these two talented gents ever did to publicize the series seven years ago, and we couldn’t let EastSiders go without one last look, one last goodbye, and to talk to the heart and soul of the story itself.  So here, we put a bow on it, and chat it up with Van and Kit in this very special EastSiders wrap-up.

Photo: EastSiders

So, 7 years ago, the three of us met at a coffee shop in West Hollywood, California and you had this little show called Eastsiders, and we do your first interview ever about the show.  Now, 7 years later it’s grown into what it has become.  What did you think of this whole journey from the beginning to the end?  Did you have any idea that EastSiders would take off like this, and did it exceed your hopes and dreams?

KIT:  Personally, I had no idea that the show could have this many lives.  I really just set out to make something cool and to put it on the internet.  At every stage of this, I wondered, “Is this it?” and it’s been wild to see how it’s grown.  As I’m thinking back on it, you are right! It was the very first interview that we did with the show … period.

VAN:  I was thinking the exact same thing.  It was!

Photo: EastSiders

When artists in any field create something, you never know how it’s going to be perceived by the public.  I think your perseverance and how you went about it was so smart that you garnered an audience worldwide.  So, what are your thoughts about how the series wrapped up with season four?  Because I had heard, Kit, that you extended the storylines.  Is that true that the season was longer than what you intended it to be?  

KIT:  So, we ended up having the penultimate episode be an hour long because I just kept writing new scenes for people and discovering things on set, and I think that kind of speaks to all of our desire to not say goodbye to the characters.  It’s a very long goodbye, you know?  Also, I can’t imagine getting to the second to last episode of a series that I was watching, and if I loved it, wanting the episodes to go by quicker.  So, it felt like something that I could tactically do at the end there.  Van, what about you?  I know in the behind-the-scenes documentary that we filmed, stuff like, not even knowing what a web series even was when we first started doing this, came up! (Laughs)

VAN:  Oh, yeah! (Laughs) When we started I was sent the script from an acting teacher.  I loved the script.  I knew I wanted to be a part of it no matter what. I had no idea what it would be.  To see what it’s become is amazing, and to be a part of what it’s become is amazing, and that is literally all mostly Kit.  He has done so much with this, and he’s put so much of himself into it.  I feel fortunate to see some of the behind the scenes stuff that sometimes you don’t get to see as an actor on a show.  We need more Kit Williamson’s in our lives, because it takes someone like that to make this happen and to make it go worldwide from literally YouTube.  So, as far as the ending …  I love where it ends off and where all of the characters sort of end up.

Photo: EastSiders

Kit, are you ready to do an EastSiders reboot?  Are we coming back to visit Thom and Cal 5 years later?

KIT:  I have said that I don’t know that I’m done with these characters yet.  Van and I have had conversations about that.  I think that the show is definitely finished is this format.  Trying to shoot and independently produce, 6 half-hour, ensemble events like this, and to do it right, and to keep growing and scaling it, is just not really sustainable, but it’s been a hell of a ride.  I’m glad that we went on it.  To speak to what Van was just talking about; I really think it’s just alchemy.  It’s a set of perfect circumstances coming together that we all met at the right times in our lives, and Van Hansis, in particular, is the spark that ignites the show.  I don’t think that the show would have had the success that it did if: we hadn’t had the chemistry that we had, and if Van’s fan base hadn’t gotten so excited about the show. To be able to kind of grow and create something that people are excited to see is really empowering.  Knowing that there is somebody out there who wants it, who is waiting for it, is gratifying.

Photo: EastSiders

Van, what did you think about Thom’s journey throughout season four?  The audience is like, “Please ask him already.  Pop the question,” and Thom is holding onto that ring!  Do you think he realized that he had what he wanted all along in Cal?  

VAN:  I think in the end he does, but I also think he doesn’t know where that journey is going to go.  Very much like … he knows that what he has is something golden and precious, but I think that he doesn’t know how to hold onto something like that.  Throughout the series, with Thom and Cal especially, they know that they love each other, but they don’t really know how to love each other in the best way.  I don’t know if that story is fully finished yet, but I think that they’re really very much on their way to figuring out what it means … and what it means especially to them.  I think especially as queer people, you don’t have a set of outliers that are given to you, especially, queer people our age.  I think the whole series has been not just about Thom and Cal, but every character in the show figuring out what is their relationship and to be able to create their own, and not give a care about what society thinks of them, which is really kind of fun.

KIT:  One of the most recurring themes of the show in terms of motif is cartography: drawing the map of the world together as a couple.  We had that Daniel Zaitchik song at the end of season 2, Map of the World, that also reprises this season.  There’s a lot of discussion of directions and destinations that I think is something I really wanted to get at because I think as queer people, we often don’t have the benefit of being able to just go down the road laid out for us by our parents.  We have to chart our own course.

Photo” EastSiders

I was watching all the comments on social media, and do you realize how many people said (including myself) that they were in tears and needed hankies at the ending of EastSiders? They just were a ball of mess at the conclusion of the show; which speaks to the investment we all had with the characters.  Did you see how people were so emotional and how they were reaching back to you? 

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KIT:  It’s been so cool.  I’ve gotten hundreds and hundreds of messages.

VAN:  Yes!  I also want to go back to Kit.  That’s his writing.  There are so many amazing shows that go out with a whimper.  I have followed so many shows that I absolutely love, and the final episode comes about, and I’m like, “Wait.  That’s it?  That’s what we get?”  Glen Weldon on Pop Culture Happy Hour, which is a podcast I follow, he talked about how well it stuck the landing.  Everybody gets a sense of an ending.  Most of them are happy, or all of them are happy actually, and for these characters, you’ve stuck around with them since we were on YouTube, and the audience deserves to see their favorite character have some sort of hope.

KIT:  Yeah!  I like to say happy with an asterisk.  An Eastsiders happy ending is a little different from a traditional happy ending.   They all have things that they still need to work through, but I didn’t want to leave any character in a sense of uncertainty.  I wanted to make sure that all of the loose ends of the story we’ve been telling the last 7 years were tied up.  I do think that there is definitely more story there, but I do think that’s life.  Everybody’s story continues past what you are allowed to see.

Was your final scene together that you taped the proposal in the club, or was this shot out of order?

KIT:  Van’s last scene was actually the scene with Richard (Bryan Batt) in episode 5, when they’re reflecting on everything.

VAN:  That’s a good last scene to film.  I had to come back last January to film just the material with him and with Traci Lords. So, no, our last scene together was not the proposal, it was the scene at the restaurant together towards the end,

KIT:  Yeah, the restaurant itself.  We did that out of order.  We had to shoot the bathroom scene where our characters have our big come to Jesus moment.

Those scenes were great.  Traci Lords was wonderful, by the way.

VAN:  Oh, she’s so good.  I love her.

KiT:  The scene that really gets me the most this season was Cal and his mother in the bed, and the discussion they had between them.

Photo: Eastsiders

When you watched back the ending with the proposal, what did you think?

VAN:  I thought it was great.  I posted something on Instagram like, “I get to be in a romcom!”

KIT:  It’s your Drew Barrymore moment!

VAN:  It was!  That’s what I wrote!  It’s my Drew Barrymore moment.  I’ve never gotten to do something that joyful.  Kit, I have a question for you.  Was some of that confetti in the final scene CGI or was all of that there?

KIT:  It was all there!

VAN:  Really!?  I don’t remember.  I was just so deep into your eyes that I don’t remember all of that confetti falling on my face.  It looks amazing.

KIT:  It was at the end of the night.   We only got one shot at that scene.  That was one take, and it ended up perfect.

Photo: EastSiders

 

In season four, you really expanded Jeremy’s role.  Matthew McKelligon was wonderful in the story you provided him.

KIT:  Yeah!  I really have tried with all of the characters to subvert expectations.  With Willam Belli (Douglas) and Stephen Guarino’s (Quincy) characters, their introduced as kind of the commedia clowns and then revealed to be the lovers, and with Matt’s character, he’s introduced as the “other woman”.  He’s literally called “Jezebel” all throughout the first season and then starting in season 2.  I think a lot of people were probably surprised that we are still following this character.  Jeremy doesn’t just disappear from the story when he stops sleeping with Cal and Thom.  I think to be able to follow his trajectory as he’s going on a radically different path than I think he even expected was really fun for me … and for Matt.

Photo: EaatSiders

Kit, a moment I recall on your social media posts, was when you said you’d just watched the sex scenes you were in and you were like, “I hope my mother doesn’t see this.”  Were you really embarrassed?

KIT:  Yeah, I did a reaction video when I watched it.   I will be honest.  You disassociate when you’re editing something because you’re looking at it as a frame-to-frame perspective, and then I had a little distance from it and watched it on Netflix for the first time, and that was the first time it really sunk in that I was like, “Oh, that’s a sex montage starring me.”

Van, when you were seeing the story of EastSiders progress through the years, and how Thom and Cal were sleeping around and with multiple partners, did you ever have a moment of, “What’s happening here?” Or, were you like, “Oh … cool!?”

VAN:  That started in the 2nd season, but I wasn’t like scandalized or anything by it.  What I love about the show, and what I love about the 4th season especially is that there are basically 4 narratives of gay male relationships, like queer all encompassing, but specifically looking at gay men.  Each one is different, and I think if you are in this community, I think you’ve seen these types of relationships, and you fall into one, or you don’t, or you fall between them.  So, I wasn’t like, “Oh, my God, you’re having a sex montage in the 2nd season,” no.  I’m not like some Victorian lady who is fainting on a chaise when someone is shirtless.  The thing that’s funny to me is that this isn’t shown more.

Photo: JPI

Van, you know from portraying Luke Snyder on As the World Turns, on a daytime soap, that as a gay character they often tap dance around so much in the writing!

VAN:  Yeah, I do.  I lived that, and that’s what honestly pisses me off.  That this program is afraid to show something.  It’s because they’ve probably done tests of what people are comfortable with, so it’s like, “Okay, we live in this society where people are uncomfortable with X and X and X and X,” and really, why?  People just need to live their lives.

Kit, do you have a favorite scene that you’ve written in this entire 7 years of the creative lifespan of EastSiders?

KIT:  I would say season 3 episode 5, the “What do you see when you look down?” conversation between me and Van as Cal and Thom.  To set the scene a little bit: it’s the culmination of days of talking on the road trip when you run out of frivolous things to say to each other and the real stuff comes out.  My character is asleep, and he wakes up to find that Thom is kind of drinking by himself in the camper, and they have this conversation to really get to the heart of what both of them are most afraid of, not just in their relationships, but in their lives. You sort of get to realize that this fear has been shaping their decisions from the very first season, that they have been leading with fear, and that is something that maybe they can work through as a couple, that they can maybe address together.  I think that moment for me is the moment that I knew that Thom and Cal were meant to be together.

Photo: EastSiders

That was the scene where you both were in tears inside the camper?

VAN:  Yep.  That scene is on my reel.  That is one of my favorite scenes that Kit has written also.  I would say for me, my favorite full-on episode is probably the first episode of season 3.  The bottle episode in Palm Springs.

KIT:  I love that episode, too.

VAN:  I think that what you do so beautifully is that it is just so funny and uplifting, but you do get those undercurrents of the reality in the relationship with Quincy and Douglas. I think that is where we see them go from sort of the clowns into the lovers, and I love the way that you put that.  We see them get a little bit more grounded.  So, that’s my favorite episode, but I love that scene in season 3, but I love so much from the series!  In season four, I love the scene with Jeremy’s foster daughter.  It’s not like a huge deep scene or anything, but the stuff that you brought out of that little girl … she is just incredible.

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Van Hansis and Kit Williamson Talk The Final Season of 'EastSiders', Their Journey As Thom and Cal, & The Impact The Series Has Made

KIT:  Scout was just so brilliant.  If she wants one, that kid has a career ahead of her.  I have every confidence that her family is supporting her in whatever she wants to do because they’re just incredible.

Kit, in EastSiders, you wore so many hats within it.  Would you ultimately want your next projects to just be acting in front of the camera, and not worrying about producing and writing it?  Did you like doing it all?  It’s a lot to take on.

KIT:  Yeah, they’re different itches to scratch.  I would like to have less responsibilities as a producer in terms of the day-to-day responsibilities and nuts and bolts of things.  I would love to never print a set of sides or stock ‘crafty’ ever again.  I would love to have those sorts of things taken off of my plate, but ultimately, my goal is to be a showrunner, and that means that I want the buck to stop with me.  I want to be the person who is ultimately responsible for not just the creative vision, but the execution of that vision from concepts to finished product.  But, I want to do all of it.  I find it really empowering to wear fewer hats.  I think a great career model that’s emerged for me in recent years is Phoebe Waller-Bridge.  I love everything that she does.  I love that she is creating shows that she’s not acting in, she’s acting in shows that she’s writing, she’s punching up the new Bond movie, and she is acting in projects that she has nothing to do with as a writer.

How do you feel the door had been opened for you because of the series?

KIT:  Oh man, I’m getting a lot of opportunities, and I’m really, really grateful for it.

In the LGBTQ community, what do the guys say to you, and how EastSiders has impacted them? Do they ever say, “Thom and Cal showed me this?” or “I’m so glad this was portrayed?” 

VAN:  Yeah.  I got something on Instagram about a week or so ago from a guy who was really freaking out about being in an open relationship, and he was like, “Thank God for this show.”

KIT:  Definitely anytime I’ve been outside of New York or LA and in a gay bar or a gay space, somebody has come up to me, and I definitely love it because the whole point of this is to get people to engage with your work.  That’s the reward; is knowing that people are watching.  I actually have a “gratitude folder” on my computer where I save some messages that people have sent to me.  It’s something I started recently, and I wish I’d been doing it since the beginning, because I always try to write back to everybody that writes to me about the show, and if I missed some, I’m so sorry.  It was an accident.  I can read you a few.  One says, “I live in a very conservative family, in a developing country, El Salvador.  Thanks to EastSiders, I understood that discovering my sexuality wasn’t something to be ashamed of and that all expressions of love are equally worth it.  You guys basically saved my life since I thought about suicide many times.”  In other messages, many people told me that the show gave them the confidence to come out to their friends or family, or that it made them feel less alone in countries where being gay is illegal.  I have a message from someone in Saudi Arabia, someone from Iran, Nigeria, Mississippi, where I’m from.  I get a lot of messages from Mississippi, because I’m so outspoken about how coming from the south shaped me.  It’s just really overwhelmingly satisfying.  As a kid there weren’t any openly gay people around me, so the first gay people I ever met were characters on TV, and it made me feel, like maybe, I could have a life worth putting on a screen someday.

Photo: Eastsiders

Let’s go back in time. Van, what was your first impression of Kit when you met him?

VAN:  I feel like I met him through his writing first, because I had never met him when I got the script.  I remember we met at a coffee shop in Los Feliz in Los Angeles.  Kit was very professional, and I remember there was a question if I was going to play Thom or was I going to play Jeremy? I think I was sort of gravitating towards Jeremy at that point, but you were like, “No, you’re a Thom,” so I was like, “Okay.”  (Laughs) I remember leaving. feeling that it was very much like a business meeting, but that went away really quickly when we just got to know each other.  You came across as a lot more serious than I thought whoever wrote the script would be.

KIT:  Oh.  Cool.  I love that.

Kit, what did you think of Van when you first met him? 

KIT:  Well, I was super nervous, and I definitely wanted to convey that this was something that I took really seriously.

VAN: (Laughs)

KIT:  So, I’m glad he got that.

Photo: JPI

I get that you wanted to come across very professional.

KIT:  Yeah, because it was my first time directing so I wanted to come ready, and the first thing I thought when I met Van was, “That’s Thom.”  Literally a sentence comes out of his mouth, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah.  Absolutely.  This is absolutely correct.  Thank God.  We have our lead.”

VAN:  I love the role of Jeremy, but I’m so glad I played Thom.

KIT:  Honestly, a lot of people were almost a lot of different people in this thing.   At one point, John Halbach, was going to be Thom.  John, at one point, was going to be Jeremy.  We didn’t have a casting director.  I was in grad school.  I had no clue what I was doing, and I keep on coming back to the idea of alchemy.  We accidentally made gold because we did not know what we were doing.

How did you know about Van?

KIT:  Through a mutual acting teacher in Los Angeles, and of course, I was familiar with As the World Turns and all of that, but I didn’t know him, and it never would have occurred to me that I could even reach out to somebody at his career level.  So, it was very, very fortuitous that we were connected.

Photo: Instagram

Kit, you have a gazillion followers on Instagram.  Do you ever have a moment with yourself like, “God, I have to do another post today to keep this going?”  

KIT:  It’s a hustle, and it’s a balance that John and I are both constantly doing our best to navigate, because we started it to bring attention to the show, and now, sometimes people will recognize us from Instagram and not from the series, and that’s not what we are going for. (Laughs)

You’re Instagram stars!

KIT:  It’s a balance that we are trying to navigate.  You know, how many shirtless selfies is too many shirtless selfies?  At what percentage of shirtless-ness will you no longer be taken seriously?  But as Van pointed out, I’m a serious MF with a master’s degree and multiple Emmy nominations. (Laughs)  So, I take myself way too seriously, but I know that you have to play the internet like a video game.  You have to do certain things and get a certain response, and attention begets attention, and a lot of people have told me that they found the show by following me on Instagram.  So, it’s mission accomplished I suppose, but it’s something that we have to be really careful about especially as I’m moving into phase two of my career.

Did you guys submit yourselves for contention in the upcoming Daytime Emmys?

KIT:  Yes.  Absolutely.

Photo: EastSiders

You both gave two of the most memorable performances of the year in Eastsiders and within the digital drama space.  So, we’ll see how it plays out for you when the nominations are revealed.

KIT:  Thank you.  It’s really interesting because historically it seems like the Daytime Emmys have gone with more traditional soap narratives, and ours is definitely the weird kid on the block, but I’m really hopeful that this season we will have a good showing because I really believe in Van’s performance.  I believe in all of the actors.  I believe that they’re all operating at their series best … to put it that way.  I think everybody is just sitting in their power and owning their characters in a way that was really, really cool for me as a writer to see.

It was amazing.  Congratulations.  I guess this is our wrap-up interview for Eastsiders … for now.

KIT:  Who knows… maybe this isn’t the end.  We’ll see.

So, will you miss seeing the journey of Thom and Cal on EastSiders?  If you watched the four seasons. did you have a favorite moment within it?  Share your thoughts on our conversation with Van and Kit via the comment section below.  Then check out the documentary of the “making of” EastSiders.

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