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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: 

© JPI Studios

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:

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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

Interviews

B&B’s Scott Clifton and Don Diamont Talk on the Plight of Liam & Bill and Their Cover-Up of Vinny’s Death

If you are watching current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful then you know that Scott Clifton (Liam) and his on-screen father, Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) have been spending plenty of time together in scenes in very dramatic and intense fashion.

In story, Liam is guilt-ridden over running down Vinny Carter (Joe LoCicero) by accident when he was driving Bill’s car.  Since the moment that Vinny was killed, Bill leapt into action, destroying any evidence tying the two to the scene of the crime and continually demanding that Liam let this go and move on with his life, or the implications for the both of them could certainly be a long jail sentence, or worse.

Photo: JPI

Now as Liam is finally making headway in a reconciliation with Hope (remember his last secret – sleeping with Steffy – was quite the doozy), this new secret of what he has done, and hiding, could up the stakes even more and take him away from his family for good … or would Hope (Annika Noelle) after finding out what Liam did be the nail in his coffin that ends their relationship once and for all and kicks him to the curb?

Courtesy/CBS

Both, Scott Clifton and Don Diamont chatted virtually with Michael Fairman exclusively for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel to offer up for viewers and fans of The Bold and the Beautiful: an inside look at what goes on when they tape their scenes, how they see their characters motivations, and they serve up a preview of what may lie ahead in this tangled web that Bill and Liam have unfortunately weaved.

Photo: JPI

Check out the humorous, candid, and enlightening conversation with two of the leads and mainstays of this CBS Daytime drama series below.

Then let us know; how do you think Liam and Bill can get out of the mess they find themselves in? Will Liam crumble and spill the beans? Will everyone in town get on to them and figure out the secret they have been keeping? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section after taking a look at the virtual conversation.

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

 

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

Photo: ABC

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: ABC

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

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

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

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

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