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Guiding Light R.I.P.

THE KIM ZIMMER INTERVIEW – INSIDE GUIDING LIGHT

zimmer-greyblack.jpgQuestion: What would a behind-the-scenes look be into the making of the longest running soap, without its leading actress and four-time Daytime Emmy winner Kim Zimmer to talk to? Answer: Like not speaking to the on-air heart and soul of it.

During my “Inside Guiding Light” feature and trip to New York, we all sat down inside the rather small and very unadorned green room at CBS studios on West 57th street. We spoke to Kim and asked her thoughts on the production module, Reva’s pregnancy and the leukemia storyline. Also, we asked her about looking ahead to 2009 and the current state of soaps, and other items at the top of our Christmas wish lists.

As many “On-Air On-Soaps” soapers know, I have a very endearing relationship with Kim. So, getting to see her in the big apple and giving her a big hug was such a treat for me! (Being a west coaster for the past 13 years, I only see her but once a year now, and that is at the Daytime Emmys.)

Make sure to also listen to the accompanying audio, because there is nothing better than hearing things in her own words, “The Gospel According to Kim,” as I lovingly call it.

Listen to the audio:

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I did ask Ellen Wheeler her take on the audio situation in Peapack, in regards to what was the deal with audio boom vs. lav mics. She informed me, that it takes too much time to put them on the actors and you hear the rustling of the clothes on the actors. I wanted to go back to our conversation from our last interview together. Your current thoughts on wearing lavs?

KIM:

Personally, I do hate wearing them. You could be in the middle of a great scene and something is distorting the sound. I do like the lavs, and we have a guy who does the sound in Peapack and he knows his business. I think it could work, and there are never more than two people in a scene in Peapack. It’s still a problem for me, but I think it’s gotten a little bit better with the outdoor stuff. I think these interior sets are the one’s I have trouble with, because they are claustrophobic. In the studio setting, the boom guys love me because I come from the theater. You could think of yourself as performing on stage when you had the camera as your audience. In reality, it’s more real to me than how we are doing it now. Now, it may be a two-person scene, but there could be seven other people in a small room with two holding lights, and four cameras, and you are trying to have an intimate scene. It’s very difficult. There are times you want to cross from point A to point B, but you have to go around the crew. It’s crazy. So, I like being in Peapack better then shooting here now.

How do you like the story as it stands now for Reva and the journey that she is on? She is pregnant with leukemia.

KIM:

The more they pile on me the happier I am, but it’s has to be written. I forget I have leukemia, and I have not had chemo in a while. They don’t write her like she is sick; they write her great balls ahead. So I forget I have leukemia and I go full force. They have to be consistent in the writing when they force that stuff on you, and they have not been. There are times you have to remind yourself, it’s your job as an actor to remember those things.

branson-group.jpgHow do you like working with Jeff Branson as the recast as your son, Shane?

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KIM:

It’s fantastic! I am so grateful, because I miss Tom Pelphrey (Ex-Jonathan) so much. What’s weird is that Jeff looks like my real life son Jake, all grown up. It’s uncanny, and he has the same kind of brooding looks. I feel like I am looking at
my son ten years older. They finally got one right.
Jeff is big and his voice is deep. I adore him and
he is fitting in nicely here. I was a fan of his on “AMC”.

Jill Lorie Hurst (co-head writer, “GL”) says Reva will have the baby, and I wanted to ask you will she have a healthy baby?

KIM:

I did say to Jill, “I am not playing it if you are going to kill the baby.” I know the baby is born, and I believe it will be healthy. I laugh, ‘ha-ha’ because my contract is up in June. Now they have given me a menopausal baby and thrown in a little leukemia on the side. I will either die in childbirth or succumb to Leukemia. And with Edmund coming back, there will be more trauma ahead and they are covering their bases! I’m kidding. (She laughs). Speaking of that, Edmund is the reason Reva had to give up Jonathan all those years ago. Being pregnant, she is going to be freaky as long a he is around; even though he’s not trying to claim the throne or anything. We are going to have a lot to deal with together. We will have a lot of interaction, and be connected.

How do you feel about the big return coming in February, with Grant Aleksander returning as Phillip?

KIM:

I am thrilled about Grant being back! I am concerned that I won’t get to interact or play with him much. I mean, there is a connection with Sarah, so who knows if that could come into it, too.

Twenty five years later, did you think you could be playing a grandmother on a soap, or having another child of Reva’s?

KIM:

Oh, no! But, I never had in my contract that I wasn’t going to be a grandmother, because I wanted nothing more than to be real grandmother in real life. I am ready for that. I never thought about it. So, I like being a grandmother, and that’s what’s great about doing a soap opera, as an actor. People always ask me, “How my husband and I stayed together for so long?” I say, “Because I get to have affairs and get paid for it. It’s my job.” I get to go home to my husband who I love and adore, and I get to pretend here.

zimmr-peacock.jpgSome of the “GL” faithful are coming around to the Jeffrey and Reva pairing instead of Josh/Reva. I think it was a transition that started when Cassie and Josh were paired up. Your thoughts?

KIM:

I have said in the soap magazines, that I think it was unfortunate for Nicole Forester’s interpretation of Cassie, that they did that to her. The fans immediately had a problem with her because she was with Josh. When I think of playing that story together with Laura Wright, because we had such history together as sisters, it would be so different. Again, we need to be more consistent in the writing and follow what the story is and stick with it. You have to have a beginning, middle, and an end, and not flounder around until something keeps you interested enough as a writer to stick with it. I think story on a lot of shows just get dropped before they are complete. I think that’s one of the main things that upset fans; when the story is just dropped

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I posed this question to a very impassioned Ellen Wheeler: Does that concern you that the show could be cancelled at any moment?

KIM:

I think the state of soaps across the board is in jeopardy. Look at Deidre Hall (Marlena, “DAYS”), Drake Hogestyn (John, “DAYS”), and Susan Lucci’s (Erica, “AMC ”) pay cut. It’s a trickle down effect. But it upsets me that they (P&G) has money, and it’s there. I think the longer people agree to pay cuts and downsizing their soaps, the more they get a way with it. That angers me, and I understand the economy is terrible. I think there is money there that they could throw our way. I have great faith that this show can recreate itself to keep going, but they have to pay attention to the quality. If it’s going to be smaller it has to be quality, and it has to be good. It’s the hardest thing for me to watch this once fantastic show, just be pissed away. It’s not by anyone doing anything wrong, but it’s just that it’s getting diluted. It goes back to the stories need to have a beginning, middle and an end.

How can Reva have a set with all her children in it, and have them come home for Christmas?

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KIM:

They try to do it, but I don’t know. We do have this Cross Creek living room in Peapack, even though it’s not the old Cross Creek set. I like the room and the feel of that set, and you could get the whole family in that room.Like, “As the World Turns” is always good about bringing people back to highlight a story or a big event. It almost feels they are afraid here to bring back a story or fan favorite, because the fans will scream, “We want them back!” That’s just me. That’s just my feeling. I don’t know why Marah did not come back for Christmas or Dylan is not around anymore. I am optimistic and hopeful though. We will rubble along and hopefully, have success.

zimmer-red.jpgYou are very vocal about your feelings about the show, and passionate about it wanting it to work. Does that cause any problems for you with the cast?

KIM:

People say, “Just don’t watch, if it makes me so angry.” I cannot, not watch. I am a fan of the show! I read the entire scripts and I know all the characters stories, so the actors sometimes get upset with me, and I will say something to somebody. I need to stop acting and create my own little show that I can control. (She laughs)

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Breaking News

Matt Bomer Says His Upcoming Guest Appearance On Will & Grace Is A “Dream Come True”

Now this ought to be good!  Former Guiding Light alum (where he played Ben Reade), and motion picture, theatre and TV star, Matt Bomer has been cast in the new season of NBC’s hit comedy Will & Grace!

Matt will take on the role of a smooth-talking, self-absorbed TV news anchor who will play a love interest of Eric McCormack’s, Will.

In addition to Bomer, the episode will feature Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, who is also set to be one of the judges in the upcoming Dancing with the Stars: Juniors edition, and Minnie Driver who reprises her role of Lorraine Finster, the arch-nemesis of Karen (Megan Mullally).

Upon the release of the news of his casting on Will & Grace, Bomer took to his social media and tweeted, “Dream come true!”

The new season of Will & Grace bows on October 4th.

So, what do you think of Bomer as a love interest for Will?  Will you be checking out the episode when the airdate is announced? Comment below.

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Breaking News

LISTEN TO THE REPLAY: Soap Nation Live! With Laura Wright, Jason Thompson, Michael Easton, Maurice Benard, Stacy Haiduk & Kim Zimmer

If you missed Thursday night’s season premiere of Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman it was a broadcast full of surprises, fun, and intriguing intel as some of the biggest names in the soap opera genre helped kick-off the series 2018 run of episodes.

Joining Michael in-studio as guest co-host was General Hospital’s Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos).  The show began with a guest call-in to surprise Laura, which was revealed to be daytime drama icon, and four-time Daytime Emmy winner, Kim Zimmer (Ex-Reva) of Guiding Light.  Laura and Kim worked together on the beloved CBS soap where they played sisters.  Kim expressed how much she enjoys checking out General Hospital and the actors performances she has loved watching which included: Max Gail (Mike), and the recently exited Nelle (Chloe Lanier), among others.  Michael, Laura, and Kim bantered on the actresses time on GL and more.

Next, GH’s Michael Easton (Finn) joined the show where he discussed the release of his upcoming 20th anniversary edition of his book 18 Straight Whiskeys, working on GH opposite Finola Hughes (Anna) and Jessica Tuck (Cassandra).  During his segment, Michael Fairman asked Easton to play a game show segment he prepared for him, which was called, “Michael, Who Said That?” In it, Michael Easton had to guess which one of his many soap characters was he portraying in the scene in the audio clip, and it made for one of the highlights of the night.

Calling in from New York City was Stacy Haiduk, who is about to make her debut this week on the August 21st of Days of our Lives as Susan Banks, replacing Eileen Davidson in the role.  Susan is back on the canvas just as John and Marlena’s wedding is about to begin.  The question is: Will more of Davidson’s roles be played by Haiduk during her upcoming rum on the show?  We chatted with Stacy about working on DAYS, and taking over the one-of-a-kind role of Susan made soap-famous by Emmy winner, Davidson.

Then, The Young and the Restless, Jason Thompson (Billy Abbott) was our special guest in the studio.  Jason talked about Billy’s latest stumble back into his gambling addiction, Phyllis’ fling with Nick, and if Billy will be able to resist the seduction attempts by Phyllis’ daughter, Summer on upcoming episodes.  Jason fielded several questions from fans who called-in to chat with him during his segment.  As well, throughout the broadcast, several listeners were able to get through the busy phone lines to pose a question to our guests.

Michael surprised the listeners with none other than Maurice Benard (Sonny) of General Hospital as the last guest on the show.  Maurice was celebrating his 25th anniversary as Sonny on the ABC daytime drama series.  With Maurice, some of the funniest moments of the night occurred when Jason and Laura recounted what happened the first time they met him.  Maurice also expressed that this past week, he taped some of his most favorite scenes of all-time, and Laura said they have been very emotional.  As announced, look for a special Sonny-centric episode in September in honor of Benard’s 25 years as Port Charles’ top mobster.

Finally, one lucky caller won a pair of tickets to the GH Fantasy Event in Atlanta, Georgia, during our game show trivia segment, when he had the correct answers (with an assist from Jason Thompson) to the questions.

Now, click on the play button at the top left of the player at the top of this post, and hear the replay of the Soap Nation Live! Season Premiere with Laura Wright, Kim Zimmer, Michael Easton, Stacy Haiduk, Jason Thompson, and Maurice Benard.

If you want to hear past episodes of the show, click here.

Let us know in the comment section below what was your favorite part of the season premiere.

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All My Children

Morgan Fairchild And Soap Notables Filming New LGBTQ Series ‘Mélange’

Over the next several days in New York, some very familiar faces to daytime soap fans are busy filming episodes of a new series entitled Melange, which stars Morgan Fairchild (most recently ex-Angelica, DAYS).

The series is set against the backdrop of a historic New York City gay bar named “Melange”, and the fight for ownership over it, when it’s proprietor has suddenly and mysteriously died.  Melange will explore themes of sexuality, immigration, addiction, power, and inclusion.

Guiding Light’s Robert Newman, All My Children’s Darnell Williams, One Life to Live’s Scott Evans ,  Kristen Alderson, Ilene Kristen, and David A. Gregory are some of the daytime faves tapped for roles in the series, which is said to be a half-hour drama.

In story, Newman, plays Syd Winchester, the deceased owner of ‘Mélange’. Scott Evans stars as Ryann Parker, a young man who fights to keep Mélange away from Syd’s wife, Vivian played by

Melange was created and being executive produce by Tom D’Angora, with former OLTL director and Emmy Award-winner, Gary Donatelli, and Tony Award winning producer, Tim Kashani.

According to Variety, at this time no network is currently attached to the project.

So, what do you think of the show concept of Mélange?  Intrigued by the cast?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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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

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