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The Katherine Kelly Lang & Zack Conroy Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

No one does shockers quite like The Bold and the Beautiful. Recently, the Daytime Emmy Award winning drama series two years running aired the jaw-dropper of 2010.  At a graduation night soiree for Hope Logan (featuring the pulsating beats and performances by recording star Dandy Yankee) a case of mistaken identity has sent a ripple effect that will be felt for many months for the Forresters, Logans, and the Joneses.  In a night filled with hot dancers, sexy costumes, and white masks at a sin-filled masquerade ball, young Oliver comes to meet up with his girlfriend Hope to celebrate her big night and the chance to perhaps have a night of passionate sex with the young woman.  Then, in a series of twists, Oliver, thinking a masked Brooke is Hope, has tawdry sex with his girlfriend’s mother on the terrace of the mansion housing the masquerade ball!

On-Air On-Soaps, Michael Fairman sat down for an exclusive interview with the two participants in this case of “Whoops! Wrong man, wrong woman”, that is just the tip of the iceberg of their tangled storyline.  B&B favorite, Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), and hot BOLD newbie, Zack Conroy (Oliver) discuss their nerves, surprise, and thrills at getting the chance to play out this unusual set of circumstances with each other that all started with, as it is lovingly now called on the internet, “The Party Boink”.  Make sure to listen to the interview in audio as well, in our player below.

*This feature will also be in print as an exclusive for an upcoming issue of TV SOAP Australia.  For more archived interviews from TV SOAP visit our
Interviews section for the magazine here.

Listen to the audio:
The Katherine Kelly Lang & Zack Conroy Interview

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MICHAEL:

Ok, “The Party Boink”…I thought this was the best cliffhanger of a Friday tag ever in the history of B&B!  When the camera slowly pans, and in slow motion to Oliver, and he sees that the woman, who takes off her mask and is in the same blue dress as Hope, is Brooke, he then realizes he had sex with Brooke by mistake!  And the show goes to black!   Zack did you see the episode back?

ZACK:

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Yeah, I saw it.  One of the producers of the show came up to me and said, “It was one of the best tags she had ever seen!”  I watched it and I really didn’t know what to think, but it was like watching a movie.  I really didn’t think so much of me in it; it was just so cool…

KATHERINE:

It was cool!  The whole party, and Daddy Yankee, and the masks, and the clothes, and everything I had said in dialog for weeks.  It was cool, and it looked different, and it looked like something other than daytime.

MICHAEL:

It looked like a huge party scene with this fantastically produced slo-mo tag.

ZACK:

It was funny.  A couple of my friends called up who had been watching, and they sent it out and around to everyone to watch, and I was getting all these calls that day.

KATHERINE:

What did they say?

MICHAEL:

What were you doing up against the wall? (Laughs) 

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ZACK:

Way to go buddy!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Katherine, what did people you know say?

KATHERINE:

Did he wear a condom… (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

So when you heard, Katherine, that this was going to happen, did B&B executive producer and head writer Brad Bell say, “Come up to the office.  I have something to tell you.”  Or, did you find out when you opened the script?

KATHERINE:

I think Brad did not want to tell me.  He said, “I have an interesting storyline coming up for you.” (Laughs) Usually he tells me, and this time he didn’t tell me.  I thought, what does that mean?  He is not telling me.  But Brad went on to say, “But it’s really good.” And then it wasn’t till I heard people whispering about my story that I went, “What? What?” And then I said to Zack, “You better read that script.”(Laughs)

ZACK:

She had this smirk on her face.  And, as I walked out of my dressing room people were kind of looking at me, and someone said, “Just read it!”

KATHERINE:

I was nervous for my character because I was thinking, ‘Does Brooke really need this to add to her resume?’ But, it was done differently and it was an accident! (Laughs) Really! (Laughs)

MICHAEL: 

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You did not go, “Oh, my God!  I slept with one of my daughter’s men again?”

KATHERINE:

Yes, and then honestly, part of me was excited by it, and then another part of me was concerned about what my character would look like.  I did not know what to say to Brad.  I know we leave all story up to him, and I did not want to mess his story up.  So I did not say anything to Brad till the day of shooting the scene, like five minutes before I had to go to set and do that scene with Zack.  I go into the production booth and say, “I don’t think this is going to work.  I think Brooke should be drunk.”  Brad said, “Ah, that would be two evils: one a drunken Chaperone who is messing around, instead of just messing around sober.”

MICHAEL:

But you played it a bit loosey goosey!  Sort of high on life?

KATHERINE:

She was excited and high on her hormones.

MICHAEL:

But, did you really think that Brooke could not tell that it wasn’t Ridge?  I know Oliver and Ridge were wearing the same Forrester Creations original jacket, but are they even the same height, really?

ZACK:

I think he has a couple inches on me.

KATHERINE:

It was confusing….and I am trying to justify! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Did the two of you know how you were going to go up against the wall, and choreograph having sex against the concrete?

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

ZACK:

That was the part that I did not know what we were doing, because they (directors) were like, “All right, go!”   I thought this was for flashbacks.  And, I am very new to the show, and I did not want to do anything that was too uncomfortable for people.

KATHERINE:

That’s because no one really knew what to tell us to do.  So I am like, “Yeah, what do we do?  I mean we are fully clothed.  How are we going to look like we are actually doing it?”  Then, that is when I was trying to put my leg up and around, and so at least you saw some leg.  And they had to cut, because one time I got up on him and put two legs around him and CBS said. “No”.  And then I think there was also your hand pulling my dress.

MICHAEL:

Were CBS Standards and Practices there on the set?

KATHERINE:

No, but they look at everything before it goes to air, and they cut two parts of it out.

MICHAEL:

I thought the funniest thing was that Brooke wanted to do it without lifting their masks off!  How perfect a set-up!

KATHERINE:

That was in the script in bold type. (Laughs) I was nervous about it because he is so cute and young, but it was fun once we started, and it felt kind of normal.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Was Oliver then thinking, “How cool!  I had this older woman,” or, “What did I do?”

ZACK:

We are obviously in that storyline right now.  I was actually hoping that immediately after I could have had a scene with Oliver’s sister Aggie (Sarah Brown) where I could have shown my real emotions and how I really felt.  Because look, if you are a dude…. before it all becomes a tragedy, with Steffy finding out, and her ultimatums and what not, that would have been kind of cool, because it is a fantasy for a young guy!

KATHERINE:

Well, the whole thing was mysterious and exciting, and it reminded me of that one movie…Eyes Wide Shut, kinda, sorta.

MICHAEL:

When she said the buzzwords, “I’m ready”, how did Brooke know to use those words? Where did that come from?  Because, what the viewers knew was that was the buzz word that Hope was going to use to Oliver, giving him the green light that they could have sex.  I was floored when it came out of Brooke’s mouth!

KATHERINE:

No, she did not know it was their buzzword.  It was when Ridge and Brooke had the scene before, when we were in the steam room, and getting all hot and heavy and we said, “We better not do this now.  Let’s wait, because we are late being Chaperones at Hope’s party!”  And we stopped right before doing it in the steam room, so Brooke was still horny.  So once we were at the party and started dancing, she was like, “I’m Ready.” It was just coincidence that she used those words to Ridge.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

Oliver knew that was the buzzword, but it was for Hope and him.

ZACK:

Yeah, he had a moment of like, “This isn’t right.”  And at the same time, he had been waiting and waiting and waiting to have sex with Hope, so he thought at that moment, the door was opened for him to be with Hope.

MICHAEL:

What is the conflict of emotions?  I mean, Oliver then finds out about Brooke’s past, and that she has had sex with her children’s boyfriends before!

ZACK:

Hope tells me about her mother’s history with the men in her daughter’s life, and that kind of sets off a trigger to him that Brooke had sex with him on purpose, but that is not the case.

MICHAEL:

She didn’t really want Oliver?

KATHERINE:

No, she didn’t really.  Well, Brooke wanted to do it with her husband Ridge, and she did not want to make this big problem that happened.  But she definitely wanted to do it with her husband.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

But now do you think that Oliver has an affinity for Brooke?

ZACK:

You know, I don’t know.  But it certainly opens things up in terms of story, so that would be very interesting to play.

KATHERINE:

Well, I asked Brad where it was going to go, and it was for Steffy to find out, and blackmail everyone.  But, you never know. It’s all about how the story is going and playing out as we are actually doing it.  Then Brad gets his ideas that maybe we should go this way with it, or maybe we should go that way with this.  So you never know, but it will make a lot of mess for the kids, young love, and with Brooke and Stephanie, most likely, and eventually.

ZACK:

And now these two have a bond.

KATHERINE:

This is kind of interesting.

MICHAEL:

From an accidental moment in time.

ZACK:

© JPI Studios

You had questioned me what my intention was, but now Brooke knows that Oliver is a good guy. 

KATHERINE:

(Laughs) Yes, I really know you are a good guy.

MICHAEL:

Now the other woman in this, Brooke’s daughter, Hope.  How is acting with Kim Matula (Hope)?

KATHERINE:

She is great, and a great little actress, and focused and dedicated.

ZACK:

We were thrilled.  Kim and I were doing this lovey dovey stuff, but it needed a jolt, and because it all happens so fast there was a short build up.  But the relationship needed that spark, and long term this could be better for Oliver and Hope, because there wasn’t really anything to separate them at all.  It was all too perfect.

KATHERINE:

It’s just between Brooke and Oliver. We agreed to keep it a secret.

ZACK:

But Oliver is guilt ridden, and it was an accident. You can’t blame someone for something that was an accident.  Oliver has never been in this situation before, but Brooke has.  So he doesn’t really know that people can’t forgive.  So that will probably come up along the way.

KATHERINE:

© JPI Studios

Actually, I saw that scene where I was going to talk to you about love.  And I was like, “Oh, I am not sure about this speech coming from of all people, Brooke!”  But then I thought, it was kind of interesting when I saw it.  It was kind of nice.

MICHAEL:

Brooke, back in the day, was very racy.  So it’s interesting to kind of tease that aspect of her character again.

KATHERINE:

It’s nice, and it’s always exciting to play that material.  Things have been going so smooth for Ridge and Brooke lately that it was kind of a little boring, and I think for viewers, too.  I think the viewers want to see that old Brooke spark, or whatever that is again.  She is always creating trouble!

ZACK:

You know what is interesting, is that as crazy as this happenstance is, I think the way it was created is like it’s not a circus or so unbelievable.

KATHERINE:

Real life to me is stranger….

MICHAEL:

…. Well, I have not been to masquerade balls like that!  Zack, what do you think of your new B&B family?

ZACK:

© JPI Studios

It’s incredible, and it’s a great family of actors here.  I am so lucky to work with the superstars.  Working with Katherine, Susan Flannery (Stephanie), and Kim Matula and Jacqui Macinnes Woods (Steffy), I could not be in a better situation.  I was talking to a couple of my friends back in New York, and where they are at, and where I am at, and they are doing other things than soap operas.  But, I am so happy where I am at right now, I would not change a thing.

MICHAEL:

Katherine, what can you say about working with Zack?

KATHERINE:

He is fabulous and he is good and has positive energy.  It’s a good that they are bringing in the kids more to the stories, as they are developing into the next generation.  Some have come and gone and never really settled in, but with this group of people including Zack, Kim and Jackie, it’s very different, and he is adorable.

MICHAEL:

Zack has a very laid back style to the acting, which is very refreshing to see on soap operas.

KATHERINE:

He is not soapy and his approach is very laid back.  It’s good and refreshing.  Sometimes, I watch myself in a scene with him and go, “Oh, God.  I am over acting!  I’ve got to tone down a little.”  And it’s nice and refreshing to see that on daytime, because sometimes the actors feel they have to chew the scenery too much.  It’s best just to relax into it and be conversational.  But again, I was so nervous to work with Zack the first day.  You made me nervous!  Look at his eyes!

MICHAEL:

Zack, Steffy is going to get her claws into Oliver now that she knows about this mistaken identity sexcapade.  Everyone is going to have their lives turned upside down!

ZACK:

© JPI Studios

Yes, Steffy is going to cause hell.   She puts me on the list that she wants to hold onto this information, so it’s straight up blackmail and deranged.  So I will have to leave Hope to be with Steffy.

KATHERINE:

I won’t be happy with any blackmail, let alone from Steffy, and it’s involving my family and my daughter and whatever else she is throwing in the pot!  She is going to try and make me leave Forrester Creations!

MICHAEL:

Katherine, do you think an on-air coupling, or a romantic entanglement between Brooke and Oliver long term might be something of interest to you?

KATHERINE:

I think it’s interesting and I like the idea.  How could I not like the idea?  It’s different.  I love the story with Owen and Jackie, played by Brandon Beemer and Lesley-Anne Down. They are so good and sweet together.  It is an interesting relationship.

MICHAEL:

The whole show cannot be Cougar Town L.A.! (Laughs)

KATHERINE:

Don’t call me Mrs. Forrester!  It makes me feel old. (Laughs) Stop it!

MICHAEL:

So, what has been your favorite on-screen moment thus far, Zack, since you started on B&B?  Is it the “Party Boink”, or are there some other moments?

ZACK:

© JPI Studios

That by far was the funnest moment for sure. Things are happening so fast lately. I had 60 pages of dialog today.  I never had that on Guiding Light.  Sometimes, we had long days when we were shooting exteriors in Peapack, New Jersey, but not like this.  I was looking at myself in the mirror recently, and I said, “Zack that is unbelievable!”  I have only been doing this for a while, and the fact that I am doing all those lines in three days is crazy.

KATHERINE:

That is like one whole script or a whole play.

ZACK:

She has been doing this a long time, but for me it’s brand new.

MICHAEL:

Katherine, your young son was present one day when you and Zack were rehearsing the dialog from the sexcapade episodes!

ZACK:

Remember when we were running lines about that stuff?

KATHERINE:

Zack felt really nervous because he said, “Ah, Katherine, we are running lines about this and your son is sitting right there.”

ZACK:

I was sweating!

KATHERINE:

© JPI Studios

And my son then goes, “Oh yeah, mom.  I know.  I have heard it all from you.”   So it was not a big deal.

MICHAEL:

What can we tell the fans to look forward to?  More scintillating story?

KATHERINE:

I hope so.  I think we shot a lot of stuff lately, and I think there is more to see. We are heavy in the story.  So keep watching.

ZACK:

It’s drama at its best!

Click to comment
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Cyndi
Guest
Cyndi

KKL rocks as Brooke Logan

Doe
Guest
Doe

This is an unusual interview to say the least. Katherine and Zack are very funny and very loose. Michael, you did ask some provocative questions that actually had the real stars being themselves, instead of the characters. It is very enticing. This wa a great creative story to persue. Now with Steffy knowing, you know she is going for the throat. But it is fun and I can’t wait to see where this is going and how it ends. You know Ridge is going to find out.

Kellyfan
Guest
Kellyfan

KKL rocks but this story sucks!!! No one wants Brooke with a 20 year old boy. Brooke haters are having a field day as it is. KKL needs a more mature story. The cliffhanger was good because it made people wonder if it was Steffy or Brooke but the fact it was Brooke just makes it sick. This is the third man she has cheated on her daughter with Michael! Not cool. Not cool at all! Thats not drama. That is an old story rewritten in a different way. Ratings show the story is blah!

Kellyfan
Guest
Kellyfan

Forgot to say thanks for the interview! It was nice to hear from the actors themselves. I just hope they know many fans aren’t exactly eatting this story up.

bottomchef
Guest
bottomchef

In the beginning, i was against this storyline. But it’s grown on me. It’s a soapy kind of mistake to make for Brooke and Oliver to sleep w/ each other. However, it’d be more interesting if Oliver does fall madly in love w/ Brooke down the line. And then Brooke commands him to stay w/ Hope since she can’t get her heart broken again. I don’t think Brooke and Oliver would ever become a couple since that would mean Brooke breaking up w/ Ridge. That would be boring and their reunion would be an eventuality. As for the Taylorettes who… Read more »

BETTYEJ
Guest
BETTYEJ

This is one time that I wish Brad Bell wouldn’t have crossed the line. because of Brooke’s past actions, Bridget finds her self in her Mother shoes. Now another daughter must pay for Brooke’s action and it appears that Brooke will never grow up.

Anna
Guest
Anna

Oh please finally an exiting story on B&B ! I love this Brooke and Oliver twist, finally something meaty for Brooke Logan, our awesome sexy trouble maker (and this time despite herself…even more funny and refreshing). And i am even could be for a real Brooke/Oliver hook up (Ridge is too boring and judgemental for Brooke, she deserves better). However i like Hope, she is a innocent good girl but not too boring so.. a love triangle could be good..and bring back Deacon in the mix could be even more interesting and ironic with his history with Brooke and Hope…… Read more »

BETTYEJ
Guest
BETTYEJ

This story line is nothing new for Brooke Wall Banger. I think that it was trashy and shows that Brad Bell doesn’t have any writing skills and always use the shock and awe instead of letting this character grow up. What next? If Bridget’s baby live, will she be screwing him up against a wall when he grows up?

Heidi
Guest
Heidi

This interview was so much fun! I loved to hear everyone laugh so much! You really have a way of making people feel comfortable and relaxed and ultimately getting a better interview. The sexiness was fun too! I am enjoying the storyline and thought the tag was great! Thanks Michael!

tgtsing
Guest
tgtsing

BRADLEY BELL IS JUST A SEX ADDICT. THE MAN JUST HAVE RUINED BB. HE HAS LOST MORE VIEWERS THEN ALL THE SOAPS COMBINED. YEAH KELLY LANG THINK SHE STILL SIXTEEN EVEN IN REAL LIFE. ALL I CAN SAY THEY ARE SOME MESS UP FOLSKS IN LA. I DON’T CARE FOR KELLY LANG NEVER HAVE AND NEVER WILL. I WOULD SAY TO THIS ZACK GUY GO BACK TO ACTING SCHOOL YOUR NOT READY TO ACT YET OR BE CALLED AN ACTOR. TYLER BELL IS AN ACTOR. SUSAN FLANNERY IS AN ACTOR. BROOKE IS THE SEX QUEEN OF DAYTIME TV AND SHOULD… Read more »

ZackAttack
Guest
ZackAttack

Why are you still watching this show? You complain on the boards all the time with the same exact rant that I knew it was you before I saw your name. No one makes you watch the show and you obviously do not enjoy it so why keep torturing yourself?

leftstandinghere
Guest
leftstandinghere

Michael, this was a great interview! Loved every minute of it. You can feel that the actors are simply having a good time with this wacky plot twist! It’s a soap opera, and in true soap fashion, there’s a camp and an “OMG” factor in this storyline. Lang realizes the show has been a bit boring lately and I, for one, tuned out for the last three months or so. It wasn’t until the party boink did I start tuning in again because this is how a soap lures people in. You give the audience a shock, then we just… Read more »

BETTYEJ
Guest
BETTYEJ

Just when you think Brad Bell and Katherine Kelly Lang couldn’t get any sleazer, here they come up with the Mother and Father hosting a Graduattion Party for their teen age daughter and the daughter’s Mom get so hot in the pants listening to Pose Pose HOse, that thinking it’s her husband, take him up stairs to screw him up against the wall. Only later finding out that it was her daughter’s male friend.

Enough is enough. Is this what you want your kids watching this summer?

ZackAttack
Guest
ZackAttack

Are you and tgtsing the same person? Same rant different name! Watching B&B is not a requirement.

Michael Jenkins
Guest
Michael Jenkins

This was a cliffhanger, I did not see it coming at all. I thought it was Steffy but the writers surprised us when they had Brooke be behind the mask, it was juicy and great.

CHRIS
Guest
CHRIS

I have to admit I was shocked to the core when it turned out to be Brooke behind the mask. It was so unexpected and made me think back to the time on “Santa Barbara” when Julia and Father Michael had sex. I had to stop watching for a while…it just got to be TOO much. However, this time I stuck with it. Since it wasn’t Ridge and Hope that Brooke and Oliver thought they both thought they were with it was just a matter of how people would react when it all came out. Steffy, Stephanie, Taylor and all… Read more »

SANDA
Guest
SANDA

In the first moments when I’ve see the episode with Hope graduations it make me confuse and I did not blivet she can be such bad mom in one way is so attractions for a person like as in 40 this parties make as vibrant and the same time feel young . I realize was a mistake but like we see Ridge start to hit her up before in steam room is was everything prepare so no intentions .I hope like usual first kiss or love never remain true the same Hope well not remain with Oliver is better to… Read more »

anca
Guest
anca

Regarding wath happend between Brooke and Oliver was an unexpected moment. But I was surprise that Ridge react calm . Some other man…will not admitted…and never be with that waman again, in the saime relatio

anca
Guest
anca

Wath abbout Thomas? UUUUUUHHHH!!! Life send a woman in to some spats thath is hard to understend. But a man like Ridge will …take, becouse love is keepting us , in to a wrld not yze to understand. don’t sewrch the rulls in love , becouse U will be creizy to understand those rulls !

nagendra
Guest
nagendra

I katherine kelly lang

angela
Guest
angela

this episode was so awesome !! very cool i think that zack conroy and all the ather actor do very good job !!

angela
Guest
angela

i think that this soap opera is the only that makes u see all the episodes!

mash
Guest
mash

zack is HOTTTTTTTTTTT

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Cady McClain & Rob Scott Wilson Talk Being Recasts, All My Children Reboot, Future of Cin & Jennifer’s Bitch-Slap

Current Days of our Lives and former All My Children reboot stars, Cady McClain (Jennifer, Days, Ex-Dixie, AMC) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben, Days, Ex-Pete AMC) chat with Michael Fairman in an enlightening and exclusive conversation for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

McClain, who recently took over the role of Days of our Lives beloved heroine Jennifer Horton from mainstay Melissa Reeves (who chose to stay with her family in Nashville during Covid-19 thus forcing the series to recast the role for now) talks about stepping into the key part of the Salem canvas, plus the recent Jennifer/Kate fight over Jack (Matthew Ashford), and how the legacy series is coping with production during Covid-19.

Cady is no stranger to be a recast.  She was the second actress to play Dixie on ABC’s All My Children, as well as the second actress to play Rosanna on As the World Turns, and she had previously taken over the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless.

Photo: JPI

Rob, talks about landing the role of Ben and being a recast, and in an emotional moment, reveals how he credits the opportunity to the late producer, Lisa de Cazotte. Wilson also shares his hopes for his Salem alter-ego who is struggling to move on with his life after the supposed death of his wife, Ciara.

The actor also opens up on if DAYS decided to recast the role of Ciara, since Victoria Konefal is not presently with the NBC soap full-time, how he would feel about it and thus the future of Cin.

Photo: JPI

Both Cady and Rob first appeared together in Prospect Park’s online revival of All My Children. In this interview, they discuss how they had high hopes for the continuation of the series, how it ultimately fizzled, and what it was like to be a part of the then, groundbreaking first, for a daytime drama series along with One Life to Live.

Photo: TOLN

In addition, Cady gives the viewer insight on how she runs lines for both DAYS and GH at home with her real-life husband, Jon Lindstrom (Kevin and Ryan, GH), while Rob talks about his recent storyline where Ben was kidnapped and tortured by a vengeful Eve (Kassie DePavia) and much more.

Check out the full chat with Cady and Rob below. Then weigh-in: How would you feel if there was a Ciara recast? What are your hopes for the holidays for Jennifer? What did you think of the stories shared by Cady and Rob in the interview? Comment below, and if you have not done so already make sure to “subscribe” to the Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interviews.

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Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Weighs-In On Daytime’s Wildest Storyline, The Hope Mannequin & What’s Really Going On With Thomas

If you think you’ve seen it all on daytime soap operas, think again! Over the past several weeks viewers of CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful have been witness to fashion designer Thomas Forrester’s (Matthew Atkinson) descent into madness, or is it?

In B&B’s thriller-esque storyline, complete with tight close-ups and tilted angles of Thomas and his co-star, the Hope Mannequin – yup, you read that right, the series is taking the audience on one wild ride, something we have not seen the likes of since back in the hey day of the late head writer, James Reilly, during his tenure on Days of our Lives or Passions.

Photo: JPI

Inspired by, believe it or not, true life events, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell and his creative team have served up a story generated off all of the buzz the show was receiving for using mannequins as scene partners for the actors in intimate moments to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.  B&B was the first American show back in production amid the pandemic.

 

Within this twisted tale, Thomas has the life-like version of Hope Logan Spencer (Annika Noelle) at home with him.  Those who have stumbled upon him with the mannequin, well, he has been able to explain that away by saying that having the doll with him is helping him create some of the best designs of his career.

The problem is the mannequin is talking to Thomas, it’s eyes have often turned devil-red, and on Friday’s episode it walked!  It’s objective is to get Thomas to kill Liam (Scott Clifton) and to get Hope back to be his one and only. Throughout many of the scenes in the storyline, Thomas suffers from what appears to be severe headaches.  All of this leading the audience to believe either … he has a brain tumor … he is being drugged … he is suffering from a severe mental break and disorder, or something else.

Photo: JPI

In a very candid and often humorous conversation with Michael Fairman for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Thomas’ portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, discusses some of the craziest scenes to shoot thus far including Thomas having dinner with the mannequin!  In addition, Atkinson reveals how he and Annika Noelle tape the scenes where she is the voice of the Hope mannequin while adhering to safety protocols,  and how Liam is the only one, apparently, thinking something is off with Thomas, and so much more.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

One thing is for certain, Matthew Atkinson is sinking his teeth into the material and making it must-see daytime drama through his performances while we all wait to see what the possessed mannequin does next.

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

Then let us know, what do you think is happening or wrong with Thomas? Are you getting a kick out of the Hope Mannequin storyline? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

 

 

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Interviews

Eric Nelsen Talks Latest Film, Becoming a Tony-Nominated Producer, ‘The Bay’, and His Elizabeth Gillies & Ariana Grande Connection

You can catch All My Children reboot alum, Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler), just about everywhere this month, and that’s hard to do given that we are all living in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this Daytime Emmy-winning actor has his hands in a myriad of projects of late including: appearing on season six of The Bay (new episodes every Tuesday on Popstar! TV) where he continues to play Daniel’s journey after the character has come to terms with his sexuality and finds love, plus his comedic turn in the film, 1 Night in San Diego, and recently becoming a Tony-nominated producer along with his wife Sainty for the critically-acclaimed, and now 11 times nominated Broadway play, The Inheritance.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Eric to get the lowdown on his busy professional life, and we were in for some surprises along the way including: what the producers of AMC had in mind for the character of AJ that ultimately did not happen, and that Eric starred on Broadway with Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon, Dynasty) and Pop superstar, Ariana Grande – and there’s more to that story below.

 

What makes Nelsen so good at what he does on-screen is that he is a like a chameleon; adept at playing the quirky, to the troubled bad boys, to the emotional heart-tugging anti-hero. So here’s what Eric had to say in this fascinating conversation.

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

Your latest film appearance in 1 Night in San Diego is out this week on multiple streaming on-demand platforms from: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and more. Tell me about the movie and when did you film this?

ERIC:  We filmed it near San Diego, not this past February, but last February, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a female-driven comedy.  The cast is incredible.  Alexandra Daddario, who is just epic, and Jenna Ushkowitz, and Laura Ashley Samuels, they truly bring it in this powerhouse comedy, and it’s just one of those make-you -laugh movies from beginning to end, just silly, stupid stuff happening the whole time.  General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin) is also in the film.  While we don’t work in scenes together, I did get a chance to meet him and he’s a really great guy.  I play this off-the-wall character, named Gordo, who is a real burn-out, think Matthew McConaughey meets space cadet, which was a lot of fun to play.  Gordo is a great role.  I had more fun with this part than I’ve had in a long time.  So, it was cool to throw a comedy into all of the drama I have been playing in my other projects.

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

ERIC:  One of the girls knew him back in the day, so they were in town looking to reconnect, and she’s like, “Oh, we want to party and let’s hit up Gordo,” and they do.  He has just gone completely off the rails, off the deep end with spirituality and kind of in his own world. They find themselves in quite a predicament when they come visit what they didn’t know was a commune, basically.  Gordo creates this hippie commune for a bunch of outcast musicians, (laughs) and I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of interesting stuff happens there.

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

In addition, you are now a Tony-nominated producer for the play The Inheritance!

ERIC: That was crazy, because it’s always been a dream of mine to produce for Broadway.  That was how I got into the world of film and TV acting, which was through the theatre.  That’s where I started.  I was lucky enough to star on Broadway when I was 16 and 17, in a musical called, 13.  I started with Ariana Grande! It was so fun.

Wait, what?

ERIC:  Yeah, that was her first big show, and Elizabeth Gillies’.

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

ERIC:  Oh yeah, and you know she and I dated for two and a half years during the whole run of the show 13.  Elizabeth is very talented.   She is amazing.  The funny part of it is, we were dating forever, and kind of had a bad breakup, and then Sainty, my wife, gets cast in her show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in the pilot to play Liz’s best friend on the series.  So, all of the sudden, I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, out of all the shows, all of the things, this is who you have to get cast as best friends with?” and so they actually became really, really, close friends.  So, I’d actually come home from work or filming, and Liz would be on my couch sitting there giggling with Sainty.  I’m like, “This is just becoming too much.  This is a full-circle moment here.  I can’t deal.” (Laughs)

Now, you and Elizabeth are broken up at this point?

ERIC:  Yes.  We had been broken up at this point.  Sainty and I were actually together.  I started dating Sainty in New York and the pilot she was shooting was in New York, and she gets cast as Liz’s best friend, and I was like, “Oh, of course.”

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

ERIC:  Yes, so dying.  Dying.   You know, it’s just one of those things that in a million years, you would never expect this to happen, and of course, Sainty and her had to become best friends in real life because they’re both great girls, and naturally, they would be friends, but now, I’m like this guy stuck in the middle who can’t believe what’s happening, and thought that was one chapter, and this is a different chapter, and now the chapters are combining.  It’s kind of a comedy act.

Photo: JPI

Since Ariana Grande was on Broadway with you and Liz, what was she like back then before her meteoric rise to fame?

ERIC:  Ariana was literally the sweetest, most innocent, and cutest – like my little sister.   To me, it was like, Liz and I were dating, and Ari was kind of like the little sister.  All of a sudden the show ended. Ariana got a Nickelodeon show, and after that, she became the most famous person in the world and was like this sex icon, and I couldn’t get over it.   She’s always had that talent with her voice and in 13 she was an ensemble member.  She wasn’t even one of the leads, but her voice was so incredible, even then as a young teenager.  I thought she was going to go on to have this great Broadway career as an actress and do musicals her whole life just because of her voice.  Then, all of the sudden, right after the musical, we all auditioned for the same Nickelodeon show.  I ended up going to the finals for the boyfriend role, Liz got the girlfriend role, and Ari got the funny friend on the show role.  That kind of catapulted them into the TV world, and Ari got a spinoff because of her character on that show for another Nickelodeon show, called Sam and Cat, and then after Sam and Cat, she went from this innocent, sweet, little Nickelodeon girl that I knew to being the biggest star.  It was unbelievable to me.

Photo: Broadway World

So, you started on Broadway as a teenager, and you found you always wanted to produce for the Great White Way? 

ERIC:  Yes, I did the Broadway thing, and then I got into film and TV, and then I got into film and TV producing.  As an actor, there are a lot of ups, a lot of downs.  So, in between the ups, I wanted to fill my time, so I got into producing, and I loved it.  I loved creating.  As an actor, we just show up, and everything is already done.  All we have to do is say our lines.  We get pampered, and we go home, but I wanted to know how it got to that point, like what happens before that.  So, I started producing film and found some success doing that, and it was so much fun for me.  Sainty’s and my first love, and what feels like home, is theatre.  So, I wanted to take it full circle and produce a Broadway show.  I just thought that would be such an incredible moment, and so that’s what I did.  I started emailing all of the Broadway producers who I had worked with as an actor, letting them know what I had been doing, kind of the success I had gotten from producing The Bay and some of these other things. Different shows came across my desk that I didn’t quite bite the bullet on, a couple of which I wish I would have, Dear Evan Hansen being one of them.  I would have been so rich by now!  (Laughs)

I just want to clarify for people who might not know, the word “producer” can mean different things.  There are “producers” who are putting money in … they’re backing projects or shows.  There are other people who are “producers” on the creative side of projects.  So, when you’re talking about producing a Broadway show, it is as an investor?

ERIC:  So for theatre, unless you’re the head producer who kind of gets creative control, every other producer listed in the credits is basically helping raise finances and is also very heavily involved in the process of everything else along the way, which is also what makes it special.  So finally, The Inheritance came across our desk, and it checked every single box.  It was just an epic play.  It’s a two-part play, and it’s just hours and hours and hours long.  You see it in multiple days or in multiple shows.  I remember reading the script and not stopping until I finished.  I was like, “This is amazing,” and it had just come off of a huge commercial successful run in London.  It won the Olivier Award for “Best New Play” and just about every other award you could win, and so I was like, “This is the one.  This is incredible.  I love the piece, love the message, and pulled the trigger,” and I would have done it all over again if we could.

Photo: Broadway World

The Inheritance is a generational piece centering on gay men during the AIDS crisis.  What can you say about it to those who don’t know about it, or have not seen it yet?

ERIC:  It takes place in the past, and then it fasts forward to the future.  You see two generations of gay men in New York City, and it’s all about the AIDS crisis, and so you’re bawling crying, and then you’re laughing throughout it.  It’s just one of those epic plays that pulls at every single emotion and you feel like you’re watching a movie.

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s definitely its own thing.  It’s actually an adaptation of Howard’s End, the novel by Forster, definitely different from Angels in America, but the two-part show is kind of what I was meaning by that.  People have said it is kind of our generation’s Angel’s in America in tone and subject matter.  It was just a dream come true, and like all other theatre that was open during our season, it had to close because of the pandemic, and it will have life after Broadway.  We are already slated for the Geffen Playhouse in LA, so I’m very excited for all of my LA friends and the public to get to see it.

Courtesy/ENelsen

And you get nominated in the year that the coronavirus pandemic shut down live theatre! But it is my understanding we still do not have a date for handing out this year’s Tony Awards.

ERIC:  No, we do not.  They finally announced that they were going to announce nominations, and for a while we didn’t even know that they were going to do that.  We received 11 nominations, which is incredible.  We were so excited.  I truly thought the American Theatre Wing and the Tony committee were not going to do the Tonys at all, and so we were just like, “I can’t believe the one year we pull the trigger on the show, this isn’t going to happen for us,” but then thank God, they came to their senses.  There were plenty of shows that opened and needed to be recognized.

How long was it open on Broadway?

ERIC:  We were open from September 2019 through February or March.  So, as long as your submission was open on Broadway before Covid-19 and had at least all of its previews and an opening night before Covid-19 hit, then you could qualify, and then in the play category, there were like 10 plays that had opened last year that were contenders.  So, that was definitely the hardest category.   It will be interesting to see what happens after all of this.  The only good thing I know that is going to come from this is the amount of creatives who have had so much time sitting at home to create and write, that there will be so many new scripts and plays and musicals that are going to come from this.  I think it’s’ going to be the biggest boom that we’ve probably ever seen in theatre, just because there’s been so much time to develop stuff.  At the same time, it’s piggybacking on the darkest time that theatre has ever seen.

Throughout the pandemic, I always stream all of the Broadway Actor’s Fund events.  It’s really sad.  It’s just a difficult time, those in the arts are struggling and especially in the live theatre and also musicians who can’t tour or play gigs in front of an audience. I know they said Broadway is closed through May 31, 2021.

ERIC:  It is really hard.  I’m happy that we are able to find other ways like streaming shows.  I’m actually producing a big benefit for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS that will be airing on World AIDS Day, December 1st.  It’s a show called Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.  The cast we have is everybody from Nathan Lane, to Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons.  It’s insane.  It will be streaming online on the Broadway HD network.  It is a huge list of Broadway stars and a lot of movie and TV stars as well that are participating.  We’ve got people from all over the map.

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

ERIC:  (Laughs)  Ari is not in it, actually!

Photo: Prospect Park

So, in this week’s latest episode of The Bay, your character of Daniel Garrett makes his final choice for love between Caleb (Mike Manning) and Matthew (Randy Wayne).  When you came to the show, did you know that this part was going to wind-up being a gay character?

ERIC:  No, I did not.  I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay.  The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me.  Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison, our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York. They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything.  It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, “100% completely.”  I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, “Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.”  At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ.  So, I was like, “Yes.  I will be all over it.  Absolutely.”  So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show.  Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially.  It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.

Photo: LANYEntertainment

So for those who may not know let’s do a re-set.  Where is the character of Daniel at? It seems like he is at crossroads, and is making some important decisions, or trying to.

ERIC:  So Daniel was a wild party boy in the beginning, just head in the clouds, lives life with thinking there’s no repercussions and just doing what you want to do all of the time, and that got him into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Then, we realize why Daniel has been the way he is, and why he acts out, and why he has been so all over the place, and it’s because he hasn’t been able to come to terms with who he is.  Then, he admits it to himself and for the first time to somebody else – who happens to be his priest in a catholic church, ironically –  that he is gay and this is what he has been battling with.  For the first time (and I don’t know where on television it has depicted it this way), but the catholic priest looks at Daniel, and he’s like, “What’s your sin?  You haven’t sinned.  This is perfectly fine.”  So, I love that Gregori made that the outlet for which Daniel was able to basically come to terms with who he was, because he grew up in the church, and so he was always told that it was wrong.  Obviously, it’s not wrong, or obviously the church needs to change their mindset, but on The Bay, he chose that to be the outlet through which he came out, which I thought was really powerful.  Through that, Daniel experimented with other boys and such to figure out where he wanted to land, and then in this newest season, I can’t say much that gives anything away, but for the first time, we really see Daniel’s growth, and he’s making decisions, and the most mature we’ve ever seen him, and it’s been really cool to see that come full circle.  He’s making commitments to himself.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

ERIC:  Obviously, that’s who it works with,  Caleb is a teacher and a great guy.

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

ERIC:  He is… he’s just not the great guy for him.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

This season of The Bay is heavily steeped with social issues of our time.  Covid-19 has come to Bay City and the Black Lives Matter movement also plays prominently.

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s kind of the beginning of the pandemic in The Bay and within all of the intense drama that Daniel has been having, he is still, for all intent and purposes the comedic relief of the show, and so there is a funny scene where I’m carrying like 28,000 rolls of toilet paper like, “Come on, guys.  We’ve got to stock up!”  We all remember those days, don’t we?

Photo: JPI

How do you feel about this season of the show and your work in it? You’ve previously won a Daytime Emmy for your performances on The Bay.

ERIC:  This season is more cemented in a character that has truly grounded himself.  So, the first Emmy I won was for a storyline of coming out and uncertainty and struggle and pain, whereas this season Daniel knows what he wants and is going for it.  There is much more passion and love in this season for Daniel, as opposed to struggle and heartache.

The cast and crew of The Bay all went away and quarantined at this ranch this past summer to get the new season completed.  What was that like?

ERIC:  We were actually in Santa Barbara, and filmed on this epic ranch up there.  It’s like this 500-acre ranch that we all quarantined on.  We had to do the testing, and temperatures three times a day, and the whole thing.  So, it was really structured, tough to pull off, but we were all so grateful that we were able to do this.  Luckily, we had this incredible kind of bubble of a ranch to live and work on while we were shooting.  They were really good about block shooting it all, so we’d kind of shoot one person’s character, then the next, so we wouldn’t have to ever be leaving the ranch before we were done.

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

ERIC:  Oh, it’s amazing.  I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying by because of it.  We just had Molly’s first birthday on October 1st, and I feel like yesterday she was born.  I sound like my parents when I say this, but it’s like the time keeps getting faster, but it’s so true.  She’s awesome.  We play Broadway musical soundtracks to her all day, and she sings.  She sits at the piano with me when I play, and she kind of plunks notes out next to me.  She loves music, and we’ve introduced it to her from day one.  We always joke that she won’t be able to watch any of daddy’s stuff until she’s 18 probably, but Sainty is a voice-over actress.  She has done parts for animated films and TV shows such as Trolls, and Barbie, and Boss Baby, so everything from the first part of my daughter’s life is all going to be Mommy’s stuff, and then, in the later part of life she can start watching Daddy’s stuff.

Right, she can’t watch anything that you do!  (Laughs) So, basically forget that!

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

Check out the trailer for 1 Night in San Diego below.  Then share your thoughts on Eric’s current role on The Bay, if you hope he wins a Tony to go with his Daytime Emmy, the six degrees of separation between him, Elizabeth Gillies and his wife, and that the All My Children reboot considered making the character of AJ Chandler gay via the comment section below.

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