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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)

Guiding Light R.I.P.

Guiding Light & ATWT Alum, Tom Pelphrey Is New Series Regular In Upcoming Season of Netflix’s ‘Ozark’

Well, soap fans knew when they saw the character of Jonathan Randall debut in Springfield on Guiding Light that the young man who portrayed him was going to go far in his career, and that has been what’s been happening since he left daytime for Tom Pelphrey.

Pelphrey, who won two Daytime Emmys for his role on GL and later did a run as Mick on As the World Turns, has gone on to star as Ward Meachum on both seasons of Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix, appeared on Cinemax’s Banshee and more recently did a guest spot on NBC;’s drama Blindspot to name just a few of his projects.

Now comes word via Deadline that Pelphrey is joining the third season of Netflix’s drama Ozark as a series regular.  The series stars Laura Linney and Jason Bateman and details the life of a family as the navigate within a dangerous drug cartel.

Pelphrey has been cast Linney’s younger brother named Ben Davis, and in story, he arrives for an unannounced and inopportune visit. He quickly reminds Wendy (Linney) who she used to be and who she is running from.

Upon the announcement of his casting, Tom took to his Twitter account and said, “Dream job!”

So, will you be checking out Ozark to see Tom in his new role?  Did you love him as Jonathan (Reva’s son) on Guiding Light? Comment below.  But first watch Tom’s winning moments and acceptance speeches at the 2006 and 2008 Daytime  Emmys.

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Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

Another big name is headed to the cast of General Hospital on the heels of the upcoming departure of Michelle Stafford.  Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros had been cast as the the new Nina Reeves.  Fans of Guiding Light remember her star turn as Annie Dutton, and she was last see on on daytime in the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless (2013-2014).

As previously reported, Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford is headed back to her old stomping grounds of The Young and the Restless to play her signature soap role of Phyllis Summer.  She will replace her own recast, Daytime Emmy winner, Gina Tognoni.  Both actresses are said to be finishing taping their current runs on their respective shows in May. Watros will begin her GH run in Port Charles in June,

GH’s EP Frank Valentini tweeted on today’s casting news: “It’s a bittersweet day. I love @TheRealStafford and wish her all the best. I’m also really excited about @watroswatros joining the #GH family and continuing Nina’s legacy.”

PEOPLE.com broke the casting change.  Stafford has been with GH since 2014.  As for Watros, she opted to leave her role on Y&R to join the cast of MTV’s Finding Carter.  She is also known for her run on the hit ABC drama, Lost and other notable primetime series and films.

Michelle Stafford’s on-screen GH love interest, James Patrick Stuart, tweeted on the news: “Cynthia Watros … Big fan.”

So, what do you think of the casting of Cynthia Watros as the new Nina Reeves? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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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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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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