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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

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Cyndi
Cyndi

KKL rocks as Brooke Logan

Doe
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
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
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
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 are hating on Brooke, that’s expected. But I’d rather Brooke be in a scandalous storyline than all the boring happy couple crap w/ Ridge. They need to make storylines like this, where the older and newer characters interact in the same storylines.

BETTYEJ
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
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…
Anyway thanks Michael really good and cool interview, KKL and Zack Conroy seem really charming and a really cute “cougar” buddie team off-screen..lol

BETTYEJ
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
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
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 GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS SUCH. ONCE AGAIN THE RATINGS HAVE DIPPED. BB HAS GONE UP IN THE RATINGS IN A LONG TIME. BB DIDED OUT WITH MR. WILLIAM BELL SR.

ZackAttack
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
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 have to see where the story will go. And the more time you invest in it, the more likely you are to stick through the plot to see it all unfold. Conroy is doing great and you can tell Lang is having a blast. Fantastic interview Michael! Keep ’em coming.

BETTYEJ
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
ZackAttack

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

Michael Jenkins
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
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 the other hypocrites on the show call Brooke a slut and a whore, but together those three could teach whore classes. This has turned out to be a compelling and surprising storyline. I’m just glad that now Steffy can cry instead of being a bully. She deserves everything that comes to her. I just hope one day all of Stephanie’s dirty little secrets (Ridge’s paternity can’t be the ONLY skeleton in her closet) come to full view and Brooke can rub her nose in it or take the high road and give Stephanie the break she has never given Brooke.

SANDA
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 have Liam by making this Bill $ unified them and make a prosper against new company come on the way make the show more true vital with the reality today involve the real life . About Katherine I love her voice I fell like I so her in a new episode Zack is lite shay but it seems hi improving working in this team.

anca
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
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
nagendra

I katherine kelly lang

angela
angela

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

angela
angela

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

mash
mash

zack is HOTTTTTTTTTTT

General Hospital

Bryan Craig Talks Javi In ‘Grand Hotel’, Recasting GH’s Morgan, And His Post-Daytime Career

When Grand Hotel finally makes its highly-anticipated debut this summer (Monday night, June 17th) on ABC, soap opera fans will see some very familiar faces in primo roles as this sudsy drama, based on the Spanish series Gran Hotel, tells the story of a family-owned hotel in Miami, the people who run it, and all of the secrets they keep from one another.

Brought to you by executive producers Eva Longoria and Ben Spector, the show explores the family dynamic of the Mendoza family. Longoria herself will play a mother in four episodes of the show, as well.

General Hospital fans will take note that Daytime Emmy-winner, Bryan Craig (Ex-Morgan Corinthos) is front and center in the cast as Javi Mendoza, the troubled son of the family who has some major obstacles in front of him.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Craig during the recent ABC TCA’s Press Tour for the network to get some insight into his new role, how he would feel if GH would recast the role of Morgan (he recently propped up former DAYS star Billy Flynn as a potential viable candidate) and what it has been like post-daytime in his burgeoning career in film and TV.  Here’s what he had to say about his TV life past and present.

What has this experience been like for you taping the episodes of Grand Hotel and working with such a stellar cast?

BRYAN:  It’s been incredible   It feels like it went by so fast.  It’s an awesome group of people.  We’ve got a fun show.

How would you say your character of Javi Mendoza stacks up against GH’s Morgan Corinthos?

BRYAN:  I think it’s one of the most layered characters that I’ve ever played.  There’s a lot going on with Javi.  He has a big disability, kind of like Morgan did.  It’s a physical disability, and there are a lot of challenges that come along with that.  He also has a substance problem.  So, some of the same issues and in the same world that Morgan was in.  Javi is a very troubled character, but he is also a lot of fun, and a ladies’ man … and sleeps with a lot of women! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the audience will care for Javi, though?  

BRYAN:  Oh yeah, one hundred percent.  He was written in a very kind-hearted manner.  He’s a great guy, who has had a tough life.

Did they put you through a audition process to nab the role in Grand Hotel?

BRYAN:  They had read hundreds and hundreds of people for this role.  I came in at the tail end of it, and then the process went pretty quickly.  I read once, and the next think I knew, I was in a room with Eva Longoria and director, Ken Olin.  Then two days later, I was testing with Eva, and then I got the call that I had the part.

You’re a part of the core family, the Mendozas, on Grand Hotel, and on GH, you were part of the Corinthos clan.  How do the family dynamics stack-up?

BRYAN:  It’s pretty special.  There are a lot of similarities.  It feels like we have kind of shifted GH into prime-time.  In Grand Hotel, we have Demián Bichir, who plays Santiago Mendoza, and he is my Sonny Corinthos now.   They gave us a very heavy, heavy storyline … just like they gave Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH) and me.   So, I think the fans are really going to buy into it.   ABC, (I think) wanted to marry that bond a little bit, and I feel it was very apparent in the writing.  This network has been very good to me.

Courresy/ABC

Did you know that your co-star Denyse Tontz was in Prospect Park’s All My Children reboot as Miranda Montgomery and had a soap past, as well?

BRYAN:  Yes! I did know that.  Denyse plays my sister on Grand Hotel and we work together a lot on the show.  There were quite a few people on the show who came from soaps.  Even some guest stars who came in were big in soap at points.

So, this kind of all  worked out for you!  You left General Hospital, and landed a major primetime series, plus your other movie roles!

BRYAN:  It was a scary move, but it worked out.  I did a few things; a couple of movies, and I did a show for CW for a while, and then this.  So, it’s been back-to-back.  I’ve been fortunate.

Courtesy/ABC

How would you feel if General Hospital, ultimately, recast the role of Morgan?

BRYAN:  You know, if it was to behoove the show, then so be it.   I feel like it was a pretty nice end for me there, but I can’t sit here and be selfish and be like, “I’m the last person who could play that role!”  Would that be awesome?  I mean, yeah!  But, who knows?  They’ve got to do what’s best for the show.

GH’s Maurice Benard had great story in 2018 with the Alzheimer’s storyline involving Sonny’s dad, Mike Corbin (Max Gail).  Had you been checking it out at all?

BRYAN:  I know!   I do keep up with Maurice a lot.   We are good friends.

To remind those who have not seen the trailer to Grand Hotel check it out below.  Will you be watching Bryan in his exciting new role on Grand Hotel? Will you be OK with a Morgan recast on GH, or hope the show will wait for Bryan to return one day? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Melody Thomas Scott Chats On 40 Years As The Young and the Restless’ Incomparable Nikki: The Men, The Booze, The Drama

Today marks Y&R icon Melody Thomas Scott’s 40th anniversary with the top-rated daytime drama series.  While CBS plans to air a special standalone episode (Nikki is in the slammer for confessing to J.T.’s murder, and she will reflect on her life in an emotional look-back), Michael Fairman sat down with the popular and beloved star for a deep dive into four decades in the life of stripper-turned-socialite, Nikki Newman for The Michael Fairman Channel.

During the interview, Melody first addresses her sadness at the loss of her longtime friend and co-star Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters): “I adored him.  I love him to bits.  I loved working with him; such a wonderful actor.  I don’t even know if he knew how good he was.”

When discussing Nikki’s colorful past, and when Y&R planned to have Nikki strip again decades later, Melody revealed she did refuse to play it: “That’s right, and I very rarely put the kibosh on anything on this show,  I was 48-years-old.  The head writer called me and I was up in hair and make-up.  They heard me say, ‘I’m 48-years-old .. that’s just not happening.”‘

Photo: TheMichaelFairmanChannel

Over the years, Nikki has faced many battles, perils ,and demons including her addiction to alcohol which has provided many a juicy story for Thomas Scott.  As to the fans always loving to see a ‘boozy’ Nikki, Melody remarked;  “Yes!  They love it!  I have great fun with it and I think it’s wonderful.”

During a segment of the conversation, Michael shows Melody some photos of Nikki’s past loves, and gets her thoughts on why Nikki fell for those men, and what it was like working with her co-stars through the years: John Enos (Bobby), Doug Davidson (Paul), Heath Kizzier (Joshua), Wings Hauser (Greg), Don Diamont (Brad), Vincent Irizarry (David), Peter Bergman (Jack), Sean Kanan (Deacon, and of course, her longtime on-screen partner Eric Braeden (Victor).

Later, Melody reminisces about her time working with the late great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) and when asked by Fairman what she thinks Jeanne would say about her 40th anniversary milestone, Melody replied: “She would say, ‘I’m (bleeping) proud of you Mel!”‘

Photo: CBS

Check out the entire interview with Melody below (make sure to also subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube for more feature interviews), and following that the special CBS promo honoring Melody’s 40th anniversary with Y&R.  Then let us know, what has been your favorite Nikki Newman moment over the last 40 years? Share your thoughts via the comment section below,

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Interviews

Executive Producer Michael Levitt Previews The Adorable 2019 ‘American Rescue Dog Show’

Dog lovers everywhere get ready! Coming your way on Sunday, February 17th and Monday, February 18th, the good folks at the Hallmark Channel will air a two-night special event (8pmET/7pmCT) that puts a spin on the traditional competitive elite dog shows, while at the same time championing an important cause for man’s best friend.

The 2019 American Rescue Dog Show honors some of the cutest rescue dogs from around the country going paw-to-paw in categories that will tickle-your-funny-bone, bring a smile to your face, or, potentially shed a tear.  This marks the second year for this oh-so-heartwarming show, where in its first year, it beat the Westminster Dog Show in the ratings; much to the delight of rescue dogs and their families, who take these wonderful animals into their homes.

The brainchild behind the concept is the executive producer of the event. Michael Levitt (Skin Wars, Daytime Emmys, TV Land Awards), who spoke with Michael Fairman TV to give us all the inside dish and insight into why this dog show is so personally important to him, and how its goal is to create awareness about the plight of millions of abandoned dogs in shelters each year, and to inspire viewers to think about rescuing one of these loveable pups.

Levitt has a collection of notable hosts and judges along for the ride who bring this one-of-a-kind doggy competition to life from the world of TV, film, and animal advocacy.  So, for the lowdown on the competition and more, here’s what Michael shared.

Photo: Crown Media

For those who want to check out the two-night event, is the American Rescue Dog Show in the same vein as the Westminster Dog Show, where the dogs are competing? 

MICHAEL: The format of the show is similar to a fancy dog show, such as Westminster, however, on the American Rescue Dog Show, we aren’t “judging” the dog.  In our show, they all have to be rescue dogs that are spayed or neutered in order to compete, and we are not judging them based on their bloodlines, we are celebrating their cuteness in such categories as, “Best in Wiggle Butt,” “Best in Couch Potato,” “Best in Snoring,” “Best in Special Needs,” and  “Best in Senior Dog” – those are obviously some of the most important.   We have the fancy arena floor with the judges and the tuxedos.  We filmed it at the Pomona Fairplex, which is the same place that they film the Beverly Hills Dog Show.

And you have a bevy of dog-loving celebrity judges along for the ride, too!

MICHAEL: Yes, and this year we are lucky to have the support of celebrity animal advocates that include: Lisa Vanderpump, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, host of CBS’s Lucky Dog, Bill Berloni, who is the dog trainer to a lot of the dogs on Broadway, and Dirty Job’s Mike Rowe.  Our prerequisites for them to be a judge were: they all needed to be rescue-friendly.  So, they either needed to have a rescue dog of their own or support rescue in some way.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are the hosts this year, along with Ross Matthews and Home & Family’s Larissa Wall, who served as co-hosts and cover all of the action ringside.

Photo: Crown Media

So, did the judges get along?  Did they differ on their top picks?

MICHAEL: The judges absolutely got along famously, but as a producer of the show, I was a fly on the wall listening to them when they were deliberating as they were picking a winner.  That was quite entertaining, because each of them had a strong point of view on the dog, or dogs that they thought should win the competition. We found ourselves throughout the filming just turning to each other and saying, “I don’t know how the judges are going to pick just one, because they are all just so incredibly special.”

How was Lisa Vanderpump? 

MICHAEL:  Lisa was wonderful!  When she was being interviewed by Rebecca and Jerry O’Connell, they asked her what she would say to a potential family that is about to buy a dog from a breeder, and it was such a profound moment, because as someone who comes from her socioeconomic level, from her privilege, to see that she has embraced rescue might be incredibly meaningful to someone who might think that rescue dogs are second-hand animals.  Lisa Vanderpump disproves that just by being there, and being a part of it.

Photo: Crown Media

How did you decide on Rebecca and Jerry as your hosts with the most?

MICHAE:  I have a long history with Rebecca from producing my show, Skin Wars, which she hosts.  I knew that she and Jerry had four rescue dogs of their own, and that she is incredibly passionate about rescue and shedding light and creating awareness about the plight of animals that are sheltered.  They were not only organic and authentic to the cause, but they were a lot of fun and clearly had a lot of natural chemistry.  They also brought their own rescue dogs to the show, as did Lisa Vanderpump.  So that was fun.

You have two wonderful dogs of your own.  So, this is your passion project!

MICHAEL: This is a true labor of love for me, because in 2011 when my sister, Jennifer was dying of cancer, my partner and I decided to rescue a dog, and we rescued a pit bull named Trooper, and Trooper rocked our world.  My sister met him four days before she died, and it’s that old adage of “Who rescued who.”  Trooper really was there for me during a really difficult time of my life. I learned first-hand how special not only rescue dogs are, but pit bulls, and that really was the beginning of my animal advocacy.  I ended up taking a year off from producing just to rescue dogs.  I realized at the end of that year, that as a rescuer, I am saving one dog at a time, but as a producer, I could do so much more to bring awareness to the plight of animals in our shelters by creating rescue-themed programming.

Pit bulls seem to always get a bad rap.  Do you feel that way?

MICHAEL:  They absolutely get a bad rap, and after we rescued Trooper, we rescued another pit bull named Nelson, and it was really the two of them who inspired me to get heavily involved in rescue and to be an advocate for pit bulls.  With pit bulls it is such a unique human-animal bond that you don’t find with any other breed.  All they really want to do is please their humans, and it is absolutely true that when you hear these horrific stories about pit bulls on the news, these are rare incidents of pit bulls who have fallen into the hands of bad people who have treated them badly.  It’s really unfair to profile and entire breed of dog, because all dog breeds have some dogs that have behavioral problems.  I have come in contact with thousands of pit bulls, and I have only met one that was human-aggressive, and that dog was severely, severely abused.  Every other pit bull I have come in contact with has been nothing but incredibly sweet.

Photo: Crown Media

So, last year’s American Rescue Dog Show is currently in the running to earn a Daytime Emmy nomination in the ‘Special Class Special’ programming category!

MICHAEL:  Yes, “Special Class Special”. (Laughs)

You obviously know who wins this weekend’s American Rescue Dog Show competition.  Were you happy with the winner? 

MICHAEL:  Yes, but you can imagine how difficult it is for the judges to pick a winner because every single dog in the competition is beyond adorable. It is really the dogs who deliver on the show, and that’s what makes the show so heartwarming.  The real purpose of the show is to inspire the viewers to rescue their next dog from their local shelter, or rescue organization, so that people who are watching turn to the person they are with and say, “Honey, I didn’t know you could get a pure-bred dog at a shelter!  Let’s rescue our next dog!”  We have really powerful segments in the show about the joy of adopting a senior dog, or a special-needs dog.  We do a segment on debunking the myths about pit bulls, and we have messaging on why it is important to spay and neuter your dog.  So, through this wonderfully entertaining program, we are also educating people and hopefully touching their heart and their soul and inspiring them to be a part of the solution by rescuing their next dog; instead of being a part of the problem by purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder.

Photo: Crown Media

When you look at what you have to take on as a producer when you do this type of show; as opposed to any other type of production you have helmed, what are the major differences?

MICHAEL: The biggest distinction is that on this show we are dealing with living animals, so I take that responsibility very seriously.  First and foremost: is the safety and well-being of the dogs that are participating on the show.  We have to consider everything from making sure that the animals are up-to-date with their vaccinations to having veterinarians on hand, having production personal on-hand standing by with treats and pooper-scoopers. This also means that the dogs are being treated like VIPs.  So, we have a VIP room, but that stands for “Very Important Pooch”, and all of the dogs that are participating have their own dressing rooms with a star on it and their name.  There were over 130 dogs that actually participated from all over the country.  In addition, we had a gifting suite like they do on the Oscars and Golden Globes, but on this show, they didn’t get swag bags, they got “Wag Bags”.

Knowing you as I do, it seems a lot this creative from the categories in the competition, to the backstage VIP room, are very YOU!

MICHAEL:  I have an incredible team of producers who I collaborate with.  None of this would be possible without the good people at Hallmark being such incredible animal advocates.  Specifically, Bill Abbott, who is one of the few network executives in the industry who is really walking the walk and doing so much to be supportive of dogs and cats who need homes.  So, this is right up my alley, because creatively I am so passionate about it that it is so easy to come up with fun ideas that hopefully resonate with the viewers.

Photo: Crown Media

Are there any other fun moments that you can tease?

MICHAEL:  We are celebrating the perfectly imperfect.  So, we love when a dog decides to roll on his back in the middle of the arena and decide he wants to get a belly rub in the middle of the competition.  We had a dog decide that he had to go potty on the middle of a flower arrangement on the arena floor.  Those are the moments that give the show its heart and feel-good sensibility.  We had a couple of dogs in the “Best Wiggle Butt” category where one of their forever parent brings them out initially, and their other forever parent was on the other side of the area, and we removed their leash so that they can run from one parent to the other so that we can really see their butts moving, but … we had a few dogs get so excited that they ran right out of the arena! (Laughs)  They ran right through the tunnel off stage and come running back in, and the whole audience erupted into laughter.  It’s just magical.

How did you find these dogs to compete? 

MICHAEL:  We put out a call-to-action on social media, and we got thousands of responses. People submitted their rescue dogs in as many categories as they qualified for, and they submitted photos and videos. Then, we have a team of producers and rescue experts who go through all of the submissions, ultimately picking the top semi-finalists in each category who come to Los Angeles to compete.  We had a wonderful partnership with Pedigree Foundation in which they provided $100,000 in grant money for the dogs that win for the rescue that saved him or her.  So, in the ten semi-final categories, each winning dog received a $5,000 grant for the rescue that saved him or her, and then the ultimate winner of the competition, which is crowned the title, “Best in Rescue,” received an additional $30,000 for the rescue that saved him or her, again, courtesy of Pedigree Foundation.  We also had a partnership with adoptapet.com, which is the largest online resource for people to find rescue dogs in their own communities. Throughout the show, we have a call-to-action for people to go to hallmark.com/bestinrescue and look for the adopt a pet icon … they click it… then enter their zip code … and they are instantly linked to thousands of available dogs in their own community who are patiently waiting for a loving home.

Photo: Crown Media

The dog handlers are the owners of these pets?

MICHAEL:  Yes.  We call it a member of their “forever family”.  Several of the dogs on the show are service dogs now, or companion animals, working in senior homes or working with military service people suffering from PTSD.  We celebrate each and every one of them.

Is your hope to do a third annual show, and keep the dog rescue competition going?

MICHAEL:  Yes!  My hope is that this show continues to be on for many years to come and be a platform for the 8 million animals that enter our shelters each year and are patiently waiting for their forever home, and that we can continue to be a voice for these dogs that don’t have voices of their own.  Of all of the shows that I have produced over the years, this one is going to be the most meaningful to me, and is going to be my legacy, because it is such a beautiful thing that I can bring my work and my passion together to hopefully make a difference in the lives of all of these animals.  As a result of this show, we heard from numerous shelters across the country that there was a definite uptick in adoptions.  That warms my heart beyond compare.

In closing, you know what they say:  it’s easier to work with animals than humans! Thoughts? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Every show has its challenges, but I would much rather deal with a diva Chihuahua than a diva celebrity.  So, on that level, this show is pure joy to make.

So, will you be watching this heartwarming, creative two-night rescue dog event?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below, but first, check out this behind-the-scenes video of how the American Rescue Dog Show is put together with co-host, Ross Matthews.

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Video du Jour

GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

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