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The Katherine Kelly Lang Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Courtesy/CBS

As fans of The Bold and the Beautiful witnessed in September, Brooke and Ridge got married … again!  But this time there was a twist, and it didn’t happen in front of the camera, it happened behind-the-scenes.  Ronn Moss’ unexpected and seemingly sudden decision to leave his role as Ridge Forrester after 25 years, made these on-air nuptials all the more meaningful and shocking.  And, for series star Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) it meant an end of a huge chapter for her – both on-screen and in the workplace – having to say goodbye to her long-time scene partner and friend.  But with that news, came more! Katherine also learned another one of the original “core four” cast members of the CBS soap will depart the series too, when Susan Flannery (Stephanie) announced her plans to exit come the end of this year.

However, through all the changes, Katherine signed on the dotted line with B&B to continue giving fans worldwide an opportunity to see more of Brooke’s perils and experiences, and the new possibilities for her character.  On-Air On-Soaps sat down with Katherine to get her thoughts on all the upheaval, to give us some insight into what’s next for Brooke, how she handled her final tape day with Ronn Moss, and what she wants her fans, who have stayed with the love story of Bridge for 25 years, to know.

While B&B’s executive producer and head writer, Brad Bell, has teased a new love interest for Brooke, we wanted to know how Lang felt about it so soon after the Bridge “I do’s,” and you will find out her answer!  We also delve into Katherine’s remarkable success with the series, and why Brooke has become so beloved internationally, even though she has done some pretty questionable things in her past, or shall we say unknowing mistakes?  Whatever the case, one thing can be said: Let’s get this talented and beautiful star her long overdue Daytime Emmy nomination soon!   And with that, here is the effervescent Katherine Kelly Lang!

MICHAEL:

Last month, we saw your final episode with Ronn Moss, when Brooke and Ridge got married once again in front of family and friends.  Those tears streaming down your face when you looked at Ronn were so touching and heartbreaking, all at the same time.  I heard from Ronn and Brad Bell, how emotional that day was.  How was it for you?  And, how did you get through it?

KATHERINE:

Courtesy/CBS

I did not want to go to work that day, and I was dreading it.  It was hard to believe, and it’s still hard to believe, that Ronn is not here.  And that was the last day tape, and we were supposed to be getting married on-screen and being happy about it.  But meanwhile, Ronn and I tried that whole day to avoid each other while saying to each other, “Let’s just do our job and get through this!”  I remember when I walked down the aisle and I really had to look at him and engage, and then it was over.  I just stood in front of him, and we just couldn’t look at each other before that, because we knew what would happen and we would both fall apart.  But we just waited.  Then even in rehearsal, I had to take a moment because I started crying, and then we went back and we taped it.  And of course, I was crying when we taped.  But, you can cry at your own wedding! (Laughs)  But I tried to make it happy tears, even when everybody who watches the show knows he is leaving!  It was a very emotional day, and sad, and it was hard.

MICHAEL:

When we all learned of Ronn’s decision’s to exit the series, I was concerned for you and how you would take the news of his departure.

KATHERINE:

It was weird.   It felt lonely, and like a family breaking up after all this time.  I feel like Ronn was definitely a part of my family, and then he’s gone.  Working so closely together for 25 years, he was Brooke’ soul mate!  Ronn and I have a great friendship and that will continue, but it’s just sad not to see him here.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

As I told Ronn, I think it would be a lot worse to have made the announcement he did and then sticking around at B&B for months longer.  So in that way, perhaps a quick exit was better.  It may have made it unbearable, otherwise.

KATHERINE:

It would be worse for him, and maybe a little bit easier for all of us to get used to the idea, but harder for him to stay.  Once you make up your mind and make a decision, you just want to do it.  It worked out the way it was suppose to.  Change happens … it’s a part of life.  We will just make the best of it, and the shows goes on.

MICHAEL:

Katherine, you are now the backbone of the show as Brooke.  Do you feel more of the weight on your shoulders with the exits of Ronn, and then coming up, Susan Flannery (Stephanie)?

KATHERINE:

No.  I don’t feel the weight on my shoulders, but I do feel it will definitely be different. John McCook (Eric) and I will be the original people here, and Hunter Tylo (Taylor) has been here a long time too … but it will still be different.  The whole feeling about the show in general has already changed, and that is great because the young group we have on the show are fabulous.

MICHAEL:

What did you think when you heard that Susan Flannery was also leaving?

KATHERINE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Oh, my Gosh!  Double whammy!  Susan has been saying for years she is going to go.  And I would say, “Susan come on!”  Now she was like, “No. I am leaving!”  So it’s taken some years for that to happen, but it’s sad.  I just have to make a point to see her and Ronn outside the studio.

MICHAEL:

Susan and Ronn were your scene-partners, your touchstones, in which so many stories were generated through Brooke’s relationships with Stephanie and Ridge.  So, it will be quite an adjustment for both Katherine and Brooke.

KATHERINE:

Actually, this past year I have more scenes with Kim Matula (Hope) as my daughter, and what she was going through, and Brooke looking out for her.  So there has already been a transition of my scene partners.  It’s just the history that was there, and all the memories that will be really missed.

MICHAEL:

Do you have a Brooke and Ridge moment that is closest, or special to you, in your heart? Clearly, it couldn’t be the way the relationship just ended so abruptly …  over a text message debacle! (Laughs)

KATHERINE:

(Laughs) I don’t know if the fans love a particular moment, but we could be anywhere, in our bedroom, in the office, or on the beach, and what they like is that chemistry and that spark that is so sincere, and so honest.  It’s just real, fun, and sweet.  They appreciate that.  They have always been diehard fans, because they think it’s so romantic, and so real at the same time, and that is how easy Ronn is to work with.  Ronn is very accessible.  I could look into his eyes and there is a connection there.  He made it so easy and comfortable.  Brooke and Ridge had a great relationship.  So that is all very special to me.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/FabulousPenguinAus

I saw your tweet in your initial shocked reaction to Ronn’s departure.  Did you know at all what was going on with him, and that he may leave?

KATHERINE:

We kind of knew what was going on … but I was still shocked!  I was shocked that it was all happening the way it was happening.  It’s not something you picture happening, and it happened, and so it was shocking!  You know, we probably all thought we would be here together and be one big happy family forever.  Then when it starts changing, it was like, “This can’t be happening, but it is, and it’s OK.”

MICHAEL:

Brad Bell has teased a new love interest for Brooke.  In new episodes, she is going to be helping Bill locate an MIA Katie, leading many fans to speculate that perhaps Brooke and Bill might be a romantic pair down the road.   How do you feel about having another love interest, no matter who it might be?

KATHERINE:

My question to that is why?  Why does it always have to be about a man?  I would like Brooke to have her own story about something.  There is no way, after being with the man she loves for 25 years, she is just going to fall in love and have sex.  I think it’s just weird.  I am just hoping whatever it is, it doesn’t happen that fast!  I hope it takes time to develop.  I was on the set and I was flirting with Adam Gregory (Thomas) today!  And Adam and I do that and pretend, because of the Berry storyline, and so we were doing that today! (Laughs)  Maybe things could happen there, I don’t know.  But again, I ask, why another man?

MICHAEL:

Jon Hensley is working on the show in a recurring capacity right now as Dr. Meade.  What would you think of a Hensley/Lang pairing on-screen?  I think it would be kind of “hot”!

KATHERINE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Jon Hensley is fabulous.  He is handsome, sexy, and talented and that manly character that would fit in well with this show.  I can see Brooke with him!  Jon is a sweetheart and I like him a lot.  To work with him would be fabulous.

MICHAEL:

Katherine, amidst all the contract talks with three of the core four members of B&B, you decided to re-up and sign a new contract that has been reported to be for two years.  Was deciding to stay, after all the turmoil behind-the-scenes, a difficult decision for you?

KATHERINE:

I love this show and I love being here, but it was at the moment a little difficult.  I am like, “Wait! Don’t leave!”   The show allows you time to do other things and have a life, and so my thing is I want to do both.  Our new schedule gives us freedom and time where we can sort of plan to do things, sort of.

MICHAEL:

The Hope/Liam/Steffy triangle had gotten so much airtime this past year, while many legacy characters were back-burnered.  What do you think about that?

KATHERINE:

I have done so much for so many years that it was kind of nice.  I liked what my character was doing.  She was being a mom and really caring for someone else other than herself for a change.  So that was fine, and also other people then had a chance on this show, and a chance to develop their storylines for those characters that are sticking around, and to build the next generation.  So it makes sense, until I read one too many comments that people wanted to see a story that involved other people as well.  Then I thought maybe the fans have a point.  And now I can say it’s coming back around to that, which is good.  It’s just involving different kinds of stories that incorporates everybody.

MICHAEL

On to an outside project:  You just completed working on the production of Crystal Chappell’s (Dani, B&B, Gina, Venice) upcoming new web series, The Grove!

KATHERINE:

Courtesy/OpenBook Productions

I loved working on The Grove and being a part of it.  I was there behind-the-scenes as an associate producer on the show.  I worked with Crystal Chappell on some location scouting, and trying to hook her up with the right people.  It was doing whatever needed to be done, and then being on set, and on script, and watching the monitors to see if the shots were blurry and framed right, and checking on the booms.  We had three monitors set up, because we were shooting three different cameras.  It was fun to be a part of that process, and Susan Flannery was directing.  It kind of felt like being at B&B!  I did not want to act in it.  I wanted to get into the producing side of it.  It is something that I could learn.  My step-dad is also a producer, so I have seen him through the years do what he does.  It was kind of nice doing that, and being more on that side of the business, and not having to memorize lines and be in front of the camera!

MICHAEL:

How did the shoot for The Grove ultimately go?

KATHERINE:

Actually, the shoot for The Grove went amazing!  Crystal is amazing and a great businesswomen and such a creative person … and too is Hillary B. Smith (Ex-Nora, OLTL, Stacy, B&B, Venice, Fumbling Thru The Pieces).  These are very talented people that were involved in it.  I was very happy to be a part of it.  I would love to do more of that.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

What you do know of your upcoming “story” on B&B?  What can you tell us?

KATHERINE:

I know my story to an extent.  I have an idea of what is happening and the basic story.  And yes, it will be with people that I am very excited to work with.  I think there will be some major drama ahead.

MICHAEL:

Sounds very encouraging!  Then can we pick your Emmy reel with this new material?  I am determined to get you an Emmy nomination!

KATHERINE:

Yeah! (Laughs)  Someone jokingly in the B&B office said, “Oh, Katherine will win sometime. There are only four shows left!” (Laughs)   But that cracked me up!  It’s kind of good motto to go by!  Even if I don’t win then it’s O.K.  Look to me, it’s about working and people enjoying your character, and me being happy with the job that I do and what I put into it.  There are so many actors, both men and women, who have not won a Daytime Emmy through the years that deserve them.  It’s just that I have been on a lot and so long, and have not gotten nominated. (Laughs)  But honestly, there is no animosity there.

MICHAEL:

You have to admit, there has been more behind-the-scenes drama on the soaps over the past year, that it has become much more interesting to fans than what is airing on the shows themselves!

KATHERINE:

I have always said, real life in general is a lot crazier then what goes on in the soap operas.  Some people don’t believe that! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

In my recent interview with Ronn Moss, he thought the future of the soaps would not be on network television, but on the Internet.   How do you see the future of the daytime drama?

KATHERINE:

I am concerned about the future of network television. There is too much money involved in network TV. And as far as what Ronn was saying in regards to web series, and having just working on recently, you see the quality you can do now for a lot less money, and everybody’s heart is still in it.  There are going to be people flocking to do web shows … and they already are!

MICHAEL:

Katherine, all over the world you are on magazine cover after magazine cover.  You have become so iconic and synonymous with B&B globally, and a fan-favorite here domestically, as well.  You have to pinch yourself on all this!  What is like to be you?  Is this the dream you had?  Did you want to be that actress who was on all the covers?

KATHERINE:

I wanted to be a movie actress, not a TV actress.  I kind of looked down on all TV, not just soap operas.  I really wanted to just do movies, and stick with that career path and see what happens.  But, you have to make a living also.  Now seeing the career that I have had?  It’s pretty amazing.  I have to say, “Wow.”   I will give myself a pat on the back for that one.  It’s pretty good that you took the job and you stayed there, and you did what you did with the character, and it became what it has.  And … B&B is one of the biggest shows in the world!

MICHAEL:

And might I add, Brooke is beloved!  She can do all those ridiculous things or missteps, and still is adored by the fans!  The audience of this show cares about Brooke.  So whatever it is you have done storyline-wise, fans worldwide have come to love and care about her, I would say, more than any other character on B&B.

KATHERINE:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

I am kind of that way as a person.  I try to be really positive and not put out any negativity, and put that out in my own life. You then in return, get so much more back and more happiness.  People gravitate to that and so appreciate that.  They so look to you for that kind of energy, whether it be through your character, or as a person.  I see that a lot now because of Twitter.  It still is amazing to me that kind of social network outlet is there.  I get so many comments or tweets from fans.  I love how you can have so many conversations with people around the world, all the time, and anytime of day.

MICHAEL:

What do your fans and followers tweet to you the most?

KATHERINE:

They all say they love the show, Brooke, or Bridge.  But, they appreciate me for who I am and the work that I do, and that makes me feel really good.  It’s not just about the work.  It’s about what you do for others, and that you mean it.

MICHAEL:

Do you see yourself at some point exiting B&B, as your co-stars just recently did?

KATHERINE:

I can at some point, but it could be who knows how long?  It could be many, many years down the line.  It is hard for me to look too far in the future to assess things.  As of now, I see myself at B&B for a long time, as well as incorporating other things in my life.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

You appeared on the season three premiere of the CBS daytime talk The Talk.  And, with the panel of co-hosts, along with Y&R’s Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) you were on the air with no make-up!  Knowing you as I do, I don’t think that was a big deal for you.   How was it?

KATHERINE:

It was great and a lot of fun.  I have never been in a room with that many women wearing no make-up.  And the audience had no make-up on and all wore the same robes we were wearing on the panel.  You never go to a function, or even a spa, and see that!  Even in a spa, women still have their make-up on! (Laughs)  At The Talk, all the women on the panel and everyone in the audience looked beautiful!  And, you can really look at them and talk to them for who they are.  Sometimes it’s weird.  Make-up does give you a bit of a mask and a bit of a cover up.  You may not really see who that person is then for who they are inside.  Actually, I feel more comfortable without make-up.

MICHAEL:

You have always been this natural and outdoorsy beauty.  You never wear a lot of make-up.   So how do you feel when you have to get made-up?

KATHERINE:

I have been really made-up on the red carpet for the Emmys, but it goes with the whole look.  You have too!  I mean, can you imagine?  No make-up and you are wearing this gown?  (Laughs)  It just doesn’t really go together, and your face will just get lost.  So you have to kind of go with the whole look.  There have been times where I have gone to events, not a red carpet, where I just don’t feel like wearing make-up.  Then I go and kind of regret it.  I feel so out of place, because everyone there is so “done”.  So, it can be sort of awkward sometimes.  But in my real life, I just don’t wear make- up.  I like to be more down to earth and natural.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Before we end our conversation, what would you want to say to the fans of Bridge, who rooted and stood by this couple for years and are having a tough time with the departure of Ronn Moss?  And, what that in turn means for you on-air?

KATHERINE:

I don’t know what to say to make them feel better, because I know most of them are very upset.  But, I can say that I think the Brooke and Ridge wedding was great, even though how sad it was that day to tape, but in the end, as I said, I think it was a really nice wedding.  I think the fans will be in tears over it whenever they see it.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, just like Brooke thinks, I think Ridge/Ronn will be back!  I just don’t want to believe it!  So somewhere deep down inside, I am hoping he will be back.

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Sophie
Guest
Sophie

Great interview! KKL is B&B. I love Brooke, she is my fave character on the show. But I did not like Bridge. I wanted Nick and Brooke to be together!

Jan
Guest
Jan

I agree. Bricky always was the only real couple for me- one of the best in daytime, IMO.

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

Bricky was HOT. JW and KKL have SO much chemistry, the best couple on B&B ever for me. And on Daytime, other than DAYS’s E.J. and Sami.

I miss them so much and spend tons of time on Youtube, watching old Bricky clips.

Now I currently root for Bill and Katie. Team Logan all the way.

cathy
Guest
cathy

I also agree, Brooke and Ridge WERE the show..up and down, in and out..and just had that SPARK! She is an amazing actress, at a point cried too much..but she is just so emotional. I can relate!
Go Logans! I love them..more REAL people.

teamsteffyceo
Guest
teamsteffyceo

Mr. Fairman, I really do enjoy the interviews you do with different cast members from the Bold and The Beautiful. You do a great job in asking the right questions us fans of the show want to know. I have a problem with this particular interview you did with Mrs. Lang (Brooke Logan). Brooke does have fans around the world, but everyone who watches the show is not a fan of Brooke Logan. In this interview, I was under the impression (from your questions) that the entire audience loves Brooke. As a long time viewer of B&B Brooke Logan was… Read more »

Bonstertm
Guest
Bonstertm

I agree! This show has become a Logan Fest and not everyone is a fan of Brooke. We’ve been begging for more Forrester and less Logan! Give Eric, Thorne, Taylor, Thomas and Steffy something to bite into besides being the props for the Logans. I love this interview. I am also a very long time B&B fan. We need more fashion and not based on a virgin teenage who cannot get married in 1 year.

L
Guest
L

“I personally don’t see how anyone with a conscience and a soul could favor this character.” -WOW! First of all, it’s a soap and everyone is entitled to like whoever. It’s subjective. Brooke is a FICTIONAL character. Questioning REAL people’s “morals” or “conscience” or “soul” for their personal preferences is very extreme, to say the least. It says a lot more about you as a person than those that you’re accusing. Second, how about being a bit more forgiving, being more compassionate and less judgmental? Doesn’t your religion teach you that (assuming that you’re a christian)? If only people actually… Read more »

Momduxx
Guest
Momduxx

I concur with the above comment. Brooke Logan is not beloved by everyone. In fact she has a big following who hate the character. I also would like to address where you said that KKL was the series star. I dont think she is and there are many who agree with me. She is one of a number of outstanding stars on B&B but not “THE” series star. A lot of us were happy to see Ronn go & Bridge die as we hated Bridge but we would have preferred KKL left to Ronn.. Tridge was the true couple. And… Read more »

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

Oh PLEASE! As if KKL needs SF and RM to leave to be front and center :-)! Brooke has been a HUGE part of B&B since day 1 and continues to be.

As for Tridge being the true couple? That is HILARIOUS!

Go KKL! Go Brooke!

brookefan
Guest
brookefan

What a load of tosh, tridge…really…oh come on.. ridge and brooke they went better together, I never really saw what they saw in him, but i liked taylor even less, she is so false, I loved brooke.

Susan
Guest
Susan

OMG what show is this moron watching? KKL and her fits? I think you are mistaken as it is Hunter tylo who is known for her hissy fits and law suits…blah!

charming
Guest
charming

what a nasty thing to say, kkk is not the character brooke is y would she b happy that two of her closet friends r leaving. She has sept 25yrs with these 2 people and togather they have produce some priceless storylines. Wow! it’s so sad that we speak so badly about people who have entertain us for years, who took a character and protrays her so well that we can geninuely hate not the character but the actress. KKK has being on the front burner from day one, she has made the show interesting, if Brooke did not exist… Read more »

Momduxx
Guest
Momduxx

Oh please! A bunch of delusional whore lovers. I never watched the show to see what the whore would do next. I enjoyed the Forresters and the fashion. Not the whoring around of one Brooke Lowgan & art seems to imitate KKL’s real life. Are you people all inside of a box and don’t read what is and has been happening? KKL has taken over this show & its been going downhill ever since. READ PEOPLE READ!!! As I have said many times before, a person that enjoys a good whore or even a bad one is most likely one… Read more »

Cory
Guest
Cory

Michael

Another brilliant interview!!! You really are good at this!!!!

And Kelly was so great with her answers. I’m soooooo ready to see what B&B is going to do with Brooke.

Thanks for sharing!!!!

Robin
Guest
Robin

Michael:
You are brilliant at what you do. You ask the questions we all want to know. I’ve always been a huge Brooke fan! She is the show! Love reading your interviews. Thanks 🙂
xo
R

ANGY
Guest
ANGY

how much and beautiful Brooke you can tell me something more of his/her private life and if with ridge it will always be all Ridge

Arlene
Guest
Arlene

For me Brook and Ridge were the show, will definately miss Ridge and Stephanie also, have been watching since day 1 and will continue to do so…Love B&B…

Carole
Guest
Carole

I like Brooke , KKL is a great actress. But thank your for interview .

kay/kay
Guest
kay/kay

Does Jack Wagner need a job so bad he would go back when he was not even given an exit story as for the character of Brooke , sorry Ms. Lange your only storyline for 25 years has been laying on your back. Why would anything change. And for those of you who get all hysteric over the comments I am talking of the character I could care less about the actors temper tantrums off the set.

kay/kay
Guest
kay/kay

That is Lang not Lange sorry for the misspelling of the name.

Morgan
Guest
Morgan

I think that a slow start up of a cougar storyline of Thomas and Brooke is worth looking into. Why? Berry-boink island. The storyline was never explored as it should’ve been because his dad was still alive and Brooke was loyal to Ridge. Also, Thomas wouldn’t have done anything while his dad was alive. Yet, there are feelings on Thomas’s side and who BETTER THAN BROOKE to guide Thomas on his way? The “Brooke’ character has guided the lives of the men of Forrester since day 1 for better or worse but they all learn something and are enriched by… Read more »

Morgan
Guest
Morgan

Thank you for this interview. It was the longest and most intense look at the “Brooke” character.

Susan
Guest
Susan

LOVE KKL…so down to earth and sweet!

bc
Guest
bc

a 50 something actress flirting w/ a 20 something actor who’s abt to be a father. shaking my head.

Susie
Guest
Susie

Kelly and Susan have always been the heart of this show. Great interview. Kelly’s honest and down to earth. I was a Bridge fan until they brought in JW, and I became a Bricky fan. I just hope that with Ronn gone Bell doesn’t trash Brooke.

Rita
Guest
Rita

First of all let me tell you I love the show and of course all of themembers but liek the way you and Steohanie have become friends its super. I always knew tha tyoua nd Ridge belonged together but he needs to come back at the farwell party of him mothe5 and at th end of the episode they both should hold hands and embrace just give me another day to cry as I will miss them bothe. Please the rest of you’ll stay.
Gods Blessings to all of you.
Happy retirement Stephanie
Ridge one more appearance please.

Rita

vfocused
Guest
vfocused

Hope Kelly tries to get her friend Ron back for one episode of the party. It will really look bad if Ron Moss is not there. I think he will also regret and B&B, Mr. Bell will regret not getting him back to send Susan off the right way for the fans sake! It will not make any sense to bring someone else in or no have ridge there at all. That would be just wrong! Please Kelly if you are reading this, try to make it happen. You all are the core 4 that have been there from the… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

I love KKL. Brooke & Ridge were the show for me and I’ve watched since day 1. As for Brooke & Thomas….just no!

joanmarie
Guest
joanmarie

I absolutely love KKL! She is just beautiful. I love her and Ridge together, but I actually preferred Brooke with Nick (Jack Wagner). Those two had hot, beautiful chemistry! It will be interesting to see what Bell has in store for Brooke now. KKK, PLEASE STAY!

Ziyal
Guest
Ziyal

Thank you so much for this interview, Michael. Yes, there is still a bitter divide between the Bridge and Tridge fans, but Brooke is my girl and KKL is absolutely wonderfully down-to-earth that it’s disarming. Wonderful interview; it is obvious that you enjoy the show as much as any other fan and that is great to have in an interviewer.

Ernest
Guest
Ernest

I already know that she and Ronn Moss (ex-Ridge) have a strong relationship offscreen. They have been working together for over 25 years. Plus, they have a connection to the other 3 actors John McCook (Eric), Hunter Tylo (Taylor), and Susan Flannery (ex-Stephanie).

Interviews

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

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

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

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

 

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

… And then Devon throws her out! 

BRYTNI:  He does.

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

BRYTNI:  Rightfully so.

Courtesy/CBS

Doesn’t Elena deserve that reaction for her actions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

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

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

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

You mean, who could be the baby daddy?

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

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

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

Photo: IG

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

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that’s true!

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

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Courtesy/CBD

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Photo: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

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

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

Photo: CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Photo: CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBD

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

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

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

PETER:  Yes, or a bad woman.

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

Well … that ought to be good.

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

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

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

Courtesy/CBD

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

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

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

Photo: CBS

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

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

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

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Photo: Getty

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

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

Photo: HallmarkChannel

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

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

Courtesy/CBD

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

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

Photo: CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBD

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

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

Photo: CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Photo: CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

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

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