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THE JOSHUA MORROW INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

josh_mic_crop.jpg

This week on “Y&R”: Nick sleeps with Sharon again, Phyllis loses it and Sharon winds up in trouble with the law,

and Nick walks out on Phyllis. Just another week in the lives of three of Genoa City’s most notable citizens! With so many “Phick” and “Shick” fans defending the partnership they believe should win out and what woman should ultimately own Nick, I decided it’s time to chat with the man at the epicenter of the controversial story, actor Joshua Morrow.

This leading man certainly had his hands full these days playing opposite heavy hitters Michelle Stafford and Sharon Case. In this revealing interview: Joshua talks about his feelings about the storyline, working with his leading ladies, and how playing the not-so-upstanding Nicholas Newman these days, may come with a price from the fans. However he clarifies that that he is relishing this hot storyline.
Joshua also offers up some insight as
to who Nick should and will ultimately
end up with, this time.

One of the most underrated actors in daytime, who delivers real and honest performances day after day, no matter what the material… here is Joshua!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

This week Nick sleeps with Sharon again, and they went to the cabin, again and did it there, again! What is going on in Nick’s mind? I have so many “Phick” and “Shick” fans that want me to talk to the guy at the center of all of this.

JOSHUA:

Well honestly, he goes to the cabin just to find his son. I don’t think he had ulterior motives as far as sleeping with Sharon. Sharon calls to tell him that Noah went up to the Abbott cabin with Eden. They are trying to keep those two apart right now, and he literally goes up there just to find his son. When he doesn’t find his son there, then the two of them decide not to leave, which I am sure is very shocking to soap fans everywhere! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Is he feeling that Sharon is just falling apart and he has to save her? Or, does he really love her and knows it, and is conflicted?

JOSHUA:

I think there is story that was not finished with Sharon. Nick feels very responsible for the death of Cassie that led to the break-up of their marriage. Nick feels it’s entirely his fault. Then he helped break up the marriage by being with Phyllis, and he is really putting it all on his shoulders. It’s hard for him to let her go because he feels, “I am the one who messed this up.” Sharon has revealed to him that she is still in love with him and can’t really move on, and Nick can’t seem to let her go. With that said, he is very much in love with Phyllis. He is not like, “I have to get rid of this one to be with this one.” No, this is a sucker who is in love with two hot women, and I do not envy him.

MICHAEL:

He really is in love with two women at this point?

JOSHUA:

threesome.jpgYes. He is genuinely in love with two women and he can’t make a decision. That is causing problems for both women and it’s hurting everybody. Nick is not going into this with malicious intent to hurt these women. He does not know what to do. He can’t let go of Sharon, but he started this beautiful new family with Phyllis and he is crazy about her. He feels an allegiance to Phyllis. Nick was in a bad place and Phyllis helped him find his smile again, and let him know that life was great and
you can have a good time
again. He can’t just let her go.
Of course, there is his child,
Summer, and if he leaves
Phyllis then Summer pays
for it.

MICHAEL:

In a recent On-Air On-Soaps interview, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) defended Phyllis’s point of view, because if you look at it, Nick cheated on her. Do you and Michelle have talks off screen about what the two of you really think of this story, and does the story make sense?

JOSHUA:

At times, we think it makes sense. I mean Phyllis is not making it easy for Nick to stay because she is doing all these stupid things that drive him crazy, which kind of is a testament to their relationship because he keeps going back to her. First, there was the Brad situation and these capers she has pulled to set Sharon up. He really does not approve of that. This story gets a little unbelievable at that point, but it’s what we do. We have to tell the stories to the best of our abilities. We don’t write it.

MICHAEL:

This week on-air Nick walks out on Phyllis!

phyllis_nick_summer.jpgJOSHUA:

I do walk out on her and I do leave, and there are a lot of things left unsaid. They kind of get to the point where they are, “We don’t know what we are going to do, and until Nick figures out who he wants to be with, we are just going to keep having this problem.” But they don’t ever have this conversation, where he
says, “I’m leaving,” till now.
He has just had it with what
Phyllis is doing. She is kind
of pushing him into Sharon’s
arms and Sharon is still
crazy! So who knows?

MICHAEL:

Um, Sharon’s a clepto!

JOSHUA:

She is crazy! Nick is genuinely concerned about Sharon’s well being. Yes, he is still attracted to her, but a lot of this stems from Nicks’ need to protect her, because he sees her unraveling.

MICHAEL:

So, when Phyllis says “Sharon is a slut,” does it not register to him?

JOSHUA:

sharon_black.jpgIt registers to him in a bad way. He does not like that Phyllis is attacking Sharon in the state she is in. She seems kind of vulnerable and susceptible to people saying things about her. So, Nick feels he has to protect her, and how many times has Nick told Phyllis to back away from Sharon? It can’t be easy for Phyllis to hear. I totally understand why Phyllis would feel this way, because Nick is not making it easy for her to accept, because what he is saying to her is that he is totally with her. But then, he is always on the phone with Sharon and always wondering about how she is. It’s really difficult. Nick is caught in the middle and it’s really hard to play him where he doesn’t seem like a total jerk. He says all of these amazing beautiful things to Phyllis, and then he turns around and is sniffing around Sharon. It’s really hard to do.

MICHAEL:

When you are faced with this as an actor, how do you not make Nick look like a complete jerk?

JOSHUA:

It’s almost darn near impossible. Michelle told me, “You have the toughest job in this one, because it’s hard to get any sympathy from the viewers if you are going about it in this way.” It’s not very believable to have people seeing him saying, “I am committed to you Phyllis,” and on the other hand he is with Sharon. It’s not easy to do.

MICHAEL:

Are you concerned about viewer’s backlash towards Nick because of the predicament he finds himself in?

JOSHUA:

I am not concerned, because my job is not to be palatable to the audience. I want to tell a convincing story. I have never been a man in love with two women. I can only imagine what that must be like.

MICHAEL:

It’s difficult enough being in love with one woman!

JOSHUA:

I agree. But if I need to look like an ass and a bad guy, so be it. If that’s what it takes to keep people interested and to tell a good story, then I will do it. I’ve got big shoulders.

MICHAEL:

I don’t think its coming off that way. I think it’s coming off as he is confused.

smile_poker.jpgJOSHUA:

Michelle said, “It’s impossible for people to hate you. All you have to do is smile.” So now I smile a lot and I am going with Michelle on this one. I am going to keep smiling, even in non-smiling situations. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Are you aware of the great debate between the “Phick” and “Shick” fans?

JOSHUA:

Yes I am. They are rabid!

MICHAEL:

Many fans feel Phyllis should have walked out on Nick before he walked out on her. Do you agree?

JOSHUA:

I do. I can’t see a scenario in real life where a woman would put up with this much crap from a donkey, like Nick has been. I am totally sympathetic to the Phyllis case. She has been through the ringer. She has put up with much more than any woman should ever have to. But Nick’s got something special that Phyllis just can’t get out of her system. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

I see! Speaking of something special… let’s talk about sex! Nick and Phyllis are sex-personified. That is what I always see from Nick and Phyllis. Isn’t that the main basis of their relationship?

JOSHUA:

It is, and it’s probably not the best basis to have. Michelle and I constantly say, “These two people cannot keep their hands off of each other and at the end of the day they go back to that.” We play back-story all the time, where they just come into a scene where they’ve finished having sex or they are getting ready to have sex. That’s what these characters do. It’s all about sex with these two. I think the audience responds to that, and I think it’s a great story. I don’t think they show it enough.

MICHAEL:

So, you think they have should have more sex scenes?

JOSHUA:

I do. I think they should have more sex scenes. I think it’s a cool quality that these characters have; that they are so totally turned on by each other.

MICHAEL:

What do you think is the basis of Sharon and Nick’s relationship?

sharon_josh_france.jpgJOSHUA:

Sharon and Nick are each other’s first loves. It’s Romeo and Juliet. They are star-crossed lovers who literally were meant to be together. Their story was interrupted by a tragic event and that led to other events with Phyllis, and it’s just an unfinished story. They were kids when they met and they fell in love. No one wanted them together, and no one thought they should be together. They beat all the odds, and then
it fell apart. So they will
never get each other out
of their systems.

MICHAEL:

Sharon gets in trouble with the law when they find all her stolen items in her hotel room, thanks to Phyllis. Does Sharon go to jail?

JOSHUA:

Sharon wants to turn herself in and confess and Nick does not want her to do that. He is telling her, “Going to jail is not good for anyone and you are not going there. We are getting you a lawyer.”

MICHAEL:

Phyllis told Nick that Sharon slept with Billy. You kind of did not react in the scene to that. Is Nick not jealous of that fact?

JOSHUA:

As an actor, I wanted it to kind of wash over me. I did not want it to become a big deal, because that wasn’t what that scene was about. That hurt him, and I think they should have gone into it, and never addressed it with any other character. I think that would have been cool to tell, but I just wanted to color him for a second and then move on. Right now, Nick’s purpose is to keep Sharon out of trouble and to help get her healthy. What she did on her own time, even though I pretend it’s none of my business, it is. But, I am not going to let anybody else see that.

MICHAEL:

Working with Michelle, what do you think she brings as an actress to your story?

michelle_nick_laugh.jpgJOSHUA:

She is one of the best actors I have ever seen in my life, and that includes any theater and any movie. I love her unpredictability.
I never know what she is going to do.

MICHAEL:

Does it ever bother you, that perhaps, you can’t ‘ping- pong’ back with her
in a scene?

JOSHUA:

I relish that opportunity. I look forward to that moment where I have no idea what she is going to do. Michelle is a whirling dervish of energy and spunk that is unmatched around here. Now, I have had very few acting jobs. I have done some theater and a couple small movies and “Y&R”, so my experience in working with actors is just with a small pool of them to draw from. Michelle is so incredible! The moments that take my breath away are when she says nothing. She does not have to say anything to convey the most impactful thing I have ever seen or witnessed. The scenes I have played where Nick has hurt Phyllis, are crushing to me as a human being. I see how it consumes her, like no other actor I have been around, and she is amazing. I could never say this to her face because I would get embarrassed and run away, but she has taught me more about acting than anyone in the world.

MICHAEL:

Michelle told me that you are not over-rehearsed and you are very real, and that is what is so unique about your performances.

JOSHUA:

I don’t want to run lines with people and have the material so perfect that I am delivering each line and being too locked in. People who have their lines down forward and back, and spot on, tend to give a similar performance. So, I really want to know my material when I go out there and hit the set, because nowadays you get one take, maybe two, and it’s not like the old days. I want it to be real, where in normal relationships maybe you don’t always know what the right thing to say is at the moment. It’s the way I approach it, and it’s free and easy and relaxed, which is how I live my life.

MICHAEL:

What about working with Sharon Case (Sharon)? Were you happy about this turn of events, possibly reuniting with Sharon from a story perspective? Or, do you prefer Nick with one woman or the other?

JOSHUA:

josh_main.jpgIt’s kind of difficult for me to do. I had ten years with Sharon. They were ten solid great years, but I felt I was ready for a change, or I am going to fall into a pit here. I need some movement. So they broke us up at a great time and did it in a good way. Now, I am kind of ambivalent about it because I love working with Michelle Stafford. I laugh with her all the time, and laughing is one of my favorite things in the world. Look, they are going to break us up. It’s going to happen, so I feel very sad about that. The alternative is I am going to go back with Sharon. I have said this many times, and unfortunately Sharon Case has taken this the wrong way, “I don’t want to get rushed back into another ten year romance with someone, whether it be Sharon or Farah Fawcett. It doesn’t matter who it is.” That being said, I look forward to working with Sharon again. We have told some great stories. Sharon has taken this the wrong way because I had said that in the press, so to clarify: “I am absolutely looking forward to working with Sharon. I just did not want to go to a happy marriage in the tack house where we are talking about what we are going to have for dinner and some cute things the baby did.” Happy sucks! I don’t want to go back and be happy now. Now, I will go back with Sharon in a heartbeat, where there is a messy, drawn out story where there are problems. That I will look forward to.

MICHAEL:

We talked about working with Michelle; now for equal time, tell me about working with Sharon?

JOSHUA:

I have invested a large part of my real life with Sharon. The thing I take from Sharon is she gives me the most honest performance of anyone. It’s everyday, and it’s honest, and it’s from her heart. It’s totally believable, and I want to protect her and care for her in real life, and watch out for her. She is just that honest. I never see her on-screen and go “that’s acting”. For me, I see this beautiful person saying beautiful things.

MICHAEL:

I think there have been a lot of fans unhappy about Sharon’s breakdown and her actions and her sleeping around. Some are backlashing the character right now.

JOSHUA:

I think that’s unfair. I am speaking of the character of Sharon in real time. For somebody who would go through something like she has, they would tend to act irrationally. So, it does not make sense to me why people would attack this character that way.

MICHAEL:

How far ahead do you know what’s going to happen in this story?

JOSHUA:

We are three weeks ahead of shooting, and I have scripts a week in advance. So all I know is one month ahead. My role on the show is clearly defined. I show up, I generally take my shirt off and say my lines.

eric_melody.jpgMICHAEL:

What did you think about your on-air parents, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) and Eric Braeden (Victor), not receiving pre-Emmy nominations?

JOSHUA:

They are legends. I am not a fan of the Emmy process now. I don’t know what the solution is, but I don’t know how Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden don’t just have a permanent Emmy nomination stamp.

MICHAEL:

If we were to tease the audience, what’s coming up for Phyllis/Nick/Sharon?

JOSHUA:

Lots of problems! These three don’t mesh well together. It’s some crazy times ahead. The “Phick” fans are not going to be happy, and the “Shick” fans are not going to be happy. As far as who he chooses, Nick does not have a decision yet. At some point, the guy has to make a decision. I mean the story is gold, but how long can we keep telling it? I don’t want to sound ego-centric, but it’s so much fun telling it, and I know its working on TV. It’s been a blast and the most fun you could ever have.

MICHAEL:

The show is so on track right now. There was a year there under Lynn Latham (ex-head writer and executive producer, “Y&R”) where it felt derailed. Now it’s got its footing back. Did you notice a difference in the scripts with the dream writing team of Maria Arena Bell, Hogan Sheffer, et al?

JOSHUA:

Of course! The way we tell the story now fits what we did in the past. Our formula has worked for 36 years, and there is no sense to rewrite that. And Maria Arena Bell came in, cleaned it up and it’s back to telling stories like we normally do.

tobe_josh.jpgMICHAEL:

Is your wife, Tobe, rooting with you to be with Phyllis or Sharon?

JOSHUA:

Tobe does not care. She just wants me home by dinnertime to do bath time with the kids and read them books. If I can do that, it helps her with her day.

MICHAEL:

Just a final thought: What did you think about Guiding Light’s cancellation and the future of soaps?

JOSHUA:

I am not surprised. It’s a changing business and the model for some of
these lower rated shows is not like the
old days. People are kidding themselves
if they think all of them are going to last
forever. I would bet 3 or 4 might also
be gone soon.

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Jolene Beth MorganAnneLULULinda StevensKim Mathenge Recent comment authors
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Linda Stevens
Guest
Linda Stevens

I think you shoud always leave Nick in a turmoil he created this situation and he should have to live with always loving two women-Phyliss/Nick are so hot together Sharon/Nick no matter how you try to keep the scenes between them hot there’s always something missing- there’s something about phyl’nick when they are together They are totally hot. Makes me want to tune into the show.Love phyliss. Shaon is geat also but nick and phyliss are the best.But let nick run around always in Limbo about loving two totally different women

Dianne Chapman
Guest
Dianne Chapman

I love listening to Josh Morrow. Besides his sexy voice, we share the same views about many things. I love Nik 7 Sharon together, but it isn’t any fun if it isn’t “messy”!

Kim Mathenge
Guest
Kim Mathenge

What’s going on with sharon these days she shoots adam and still loves him What. love the actress/ actors but that makes nosense. She should have stayed with jack. they all lie to her who cares. Jack didn’t steal faith or terrorize anybody. 2 wrongs don’t make a right but if it’s about lying then. i prefer nick and sharon or phyllis and sharon . if phyllis is not with. it better then adam/sharon phyllis/sharon those 2 love each other.

Linda Stevens
Guest
Linda Stevens

It is kind of sad what the writers are doing to young and the restless. No storyline seems to make sense anymore.The jump so fast from scenes-its had to know what they really have in mind for the viewers-Since parting of Phyliss and Nick I do not tune in much anymore- But I would tune in ,in a heartbeat to see Josh and michelle doing theire thing together, both great actors and they do it naturally when they have scenes together-oh well just my opinion

LULU
Guest
LULU

Its just that it gets a bit irritating when the Sharon/Nick/Phillis story goes on forever.
Just make your final choice once and for all Nick! The Sharon being miss goody too shoes and Nick’s indecisiveness is very annoying.

Despite that,I think Josh,you’re a great actor.
(I totally agree with Linda Steven’s first sentence)

Anne
Guest
Anne

Well that kind of says it all. Tossing in my Shick fancard and including my JM fan card. What a jerk!!! He said something in the press that caused Phick fans to spread rumors that Sharon Case is difficult to work with and the best he can do is that? Sharon was really hurt by that and you’d think after she helped make him and the Shick pairing popular he’d be grateful. .Again what a jerk!! Michael doesn’t have a problem with her and pimps his joy at working with her all the time on twitter. JM sounds just like… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

Just have to add…soo happy she doesn’t have to work with him much anymore and with a bit of luck Sharon being with Adam will end Shick forever to the point where they never have to share a scene again. JM should be happy with that.

Jolene Beth Morgan
Guest
Jolene Beth Morgan

I love Joshua Morrow and Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott and I loved when Heather Tom played Victoria, the Newman clan was perfect then. Amelia Heinle is probably a very dear person and a fair actress, but Heather Tom WAS Victoria. Would love to see Heather Tom return to the role of Victoria, but it most likely will not happen since she is so popular on the Bold and the Beautiful. I also loved it when Sharon Case and Eric Braeden acted together in a romantic story line, there was alot of chemistry between them on camera. Also love… Read more »

Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

 

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

Photo: ABC

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: ABC

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

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

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

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Interviews

Y&R’s Newman Kids Talk 48th Anniversary, Storylines, Camaraderie, and Take the Trivia Challenge

On Friday, to celebrate the 48th anniversary of The Young and the Restless (which premiered back on March 26th,1973) Michael Fairman chatted virtually with the actors who comprise the adult Newman family children; Joshua Morrow (Nick), Amelia Heinle (Victoria), Mark Grossman (Adam), Hunter King (Summer) and Melissa Ordway (Abby).

During the conversation, on You Tube’s the Michael Fairman Channel, the actors discussed what it was like coming into the iconic Newman clan when they first debuted, behind-the-scenes moments and laughs they share working with each other, and what it has been like for them to share scenes with their iconic TV father, Eric Braeden (Victor) and for some of the kids, their on-screen mother, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki).

In addition, each touch upon their current Y&R storyline where:Nick is involved with Phyllis again, Adam is on to Chelsea, Victoria is trying to be in the woman in charge of the company and she finds herself boyfriend-less, Summer has her hands full with the arrival of Tara Locke and Sally Spectra who may all destroy her relationship with Kyle, and Abby wanting to have a baby via surrogacy with the sperm donor being Devon.

Later, Michael plays a round of “Stump the Newman” trivia where the actors are put to the test to see just who knows the history of the Newman clan best. Watch what happens when the mention of the notorious and ill-fated reliquary storyline is brought up!

Joshua, Amelia, Mark, Hunter, and Melissa also express what it has meant to them to be a part of the legacy of The Young and the Restless, and still later Joshua’s daughter, Charlie, even makes a special guest appearance.

Now watch the conversation in full with the Newman kids below. 

Then let us know, what was your favorite moment of the interview? How do you hope their current storylines resolve? What was your favorite and least favorite storyline of all-time for Nick, Victoria, Adam, Abby, and Summer? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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

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