Connect with us

Interviews

1

THE KRISTEN ALDERSON INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

alderson_main.jpgThis week on One Life to Live, Starr is on a collision course with discovering the truth about the baby she was set to give to Marcie McBain, before the baby supposedly “died”. But as fans know, Jessica’s alter ego, Bess, switched the baby after Jessica lost the child she was carrying on one unforgettable night in Llanview that has created some of the most riveting drama in the shows history. Add into the mix, another eventful Llanview High prom, this time featuring the musical act, The Pussycat Dolls, and Starr is in a for one hell of a week.

Kristen Alderson has displayed her acting chops as Starr, from her teen pregnancy storyline and its’ aftermath, to the complicated and tumultuous relationship with Starr’s father Todd, and with her former boyfriend, the drug-addicted Cole. These moments have given Alderson all the material she needs to justify her finally being nominated and winning the Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series. She hopes to find out if she will be in contention this coming Thursday, when the nominations are announced in New York.

Watching both Kristen and Starr grow up before our eyes, made her soaps “little girl”. So much so, that fans can’t believe how both the actress and her character have matured on-screen. Daily, soap fans and soap pundits can’t wait to see Kristen’s knockout performances. The actress has also become a strong and leading advocate in speaking out on teen pregnancy and the importance of teens and their parents being able to talk about sex.

We are thrilled to bring to you this interview with Kristen!

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

Do you think Cole and Starr will end up together again? Many are rooting for them, but their lives are certainly making it complicated for these teenagers to get back to their relationship.

KRISTEN:

I think they have a lot of drama going on in their lives right now, but they are getting closer and closer. I think maybe something will develop after all the drama dies down; with him going through so much, and her going through so much, and going through so much together. They have really realized that they need each other to help one another out. They’re realizing they are working better as a team than alone. I don’t really know if it’s anything romantic, quite yet. They are putting that on hold while they have so much to deal with.

brandon.jpgMICHAEL:

This past week she helped Cole with his drug addiction. How did that go for you?

KRISTEN:

Actually, in the scene where they are in Starr’s bedroom and he is detoxing, I thought Brandon did a phenomenal job on that. I could not wait to see the air shows, because it was all the ‘buzz’ around the studio how amazing he was.
I was in the scenes with him and caught up in the moment, and kind of shocked
at how realistic it was. It scared me. You know how traumatic things happen, or you see someone that you care about going through something, and it’s so emotional for you that you forget about
it a little, and this is how I felt about this. Brandon did such a great job and was so believable. I don’t remember that much
of it and that is why I was so interested
to see how it came out.

MICHAEL:

This week, and through May Sweeps, the investigation into baby Hope’s “death” is front and center!

KRISTEN:

Yes, there is going to be a lot that is uncovered about baby Hope’s “death”, and a lot of drama. It’s amazing and it’s stuff no one can miss, and if you miss an episode you are going to miss something. I think that what’s so great about it. It’s all coming out and building up to this big explosion! It will be really interesting to see what happens, and I think the fans will freak over all of it!

kristen_baby.jpgMICHAEL:

So, does our Starr finally learn the truth that her child did not “die”?

KRISTEN:

Yes, she finds out. I think it’s going to be quite overwhelming for her. The biggest thing is, while this is so amazing, she is like, “Oh, my God! Now I have this huge decision! Do I keep her? Or, do I still give her to Marcy?”

MICHAEL:

I know! We all know that sadly, Kathy Brier (Marcy) and Chris Stack (Michael) are exiting the show shortly. So the mystery is: are they going to leave Llanview with a baby in their arms?
Or be dejected, and leave Llanview
and start a new life?

KRISTEN:

Right. You don’t know if the baby is going with them. You know, the baby could be taken off everyone’s hands, and there are a lot of possibilities, and it involves almost everyone in Llanview. It’s been amazing to tape it all. Every time I get a script, I go “Oh, my God! This happens?” It’s exciting!

MICHAEL:

Kristen, you have been front and center all year long, and last year, too. If you don’t get the Emmy this year, I am going to throw a fit! You should have won it many times over, already. What did you submit? The nominations will be announced on Thursday… our fingers are crossed!

KRISTEN:

I submitted the episode when Starr first found out that the baby had died. She was in the hospital and she was talking to Blair and Marcy, wondering why the baby had not come back yet, and she is all excited. Dr. Joplin comes in with the horrible news, and we all figure it out right then and there. I think what was so great about the scenes was that everyone did such a great job. It was so realistic! I tend to get caught up in the scenes, as well. So, I watched my tape, and I am really happy with it. The other years that I have submitted my stuff, they would go, “Oh, you deserve it!” But, I never felt worthy of it. But now, I really feel confident with what I submitted.

oltl_prom.jpgMICHAEL:

Prom is this week, too! Oh, boy, drama! And top pop recording act, The Pussycat Dolls, performs for the kids of Llanview High! How was having them on the show?

KRISTEN:

I love them! They are one of my favorite bands, and I was freaking out. I was so excited that they were at One Life. What’s kind of fun about the prom scenes is that Starr and Cole have been going through so much drama; they haven’t had the chance to be their age and relax about stuff. They kind of go there to take their minds off everything. By the end of the night, they realize they can’t take their minds off of it, because their daughter is being exhumed that night. It’s hard to think, “Oh, Yay! The Pussycat Dolls!” As soon as they stop performing, when you are going through such a tough thing like that, it’s hard to not think about the reality.

pussycatdolls.jpgMICHAEL:

Did you get to meet and talk with Nicole Scherzinger, lead singer of the Dolls?

KRISTEN:

I did. I got to meet all the girls and they were all so sweet. Nicole was actually sick that day and you could not really tell because she was so professional, and she still went out and gave it her all. I said to her, “How are you feeling? I hear you are feeling sick?” And she went, “I am deadly sick.” But they were sweet, and it was great to have them on our show.

MICHAEL:

Trevor St John (Todd) and you are so terrific to watch as father/daughter… and so is Kassie DePaiva, as your mom, Blair. Do you have a close bond on and off the set?

trevor_kristen.jpgKRISTEN:

We all really do. I actually think what makes that bond stronger is that we are all really goofy people. We just laugh constantly. Even when we have serious scenes, there are times where Trevor says one thing and he knows it will crack me up in a scene that is not so traumatic. We all know how to crack each other up. We have a blast, and whenever we are rehearsing our lines, we at least run through it a couple of time in funny voices before doing it normally.

MICHAEL:

What did you think of the duct tape scenes where Starr was held hostage by former Marty gang rapist, Zack Rosen?

KRISTEN:

I thought they were so fun! I was on set going, “I get to be duct taped? How cool!” I know it may sound sick that I thought that was cool, but obviously, it was not real duct tape. So it was not sticky, nor did it hurt. I think it’s exiting to do stunts like that and to do daring things on the show. Zack was saying a lot of creepy things about Starr, and it was all very different. I have never performed material like that where I had a creepy guy coming on to me. I mean it was gross, but kind of funny. It was interesting.

MICHAEL:

Ron Carlivati (Head writer, “OLTL”) and you have an amazing collaboration in bringing Starr’s story to life Starr now seems she is way beyond her years in age, and that she does not enjoy certain aspects of being a teenager anymore. Is that how you are playing her?

duct_tape.jpgKRISTEN:

I realized it after watching the show of her giving birth. Also, after Starr went in to confront Todd and make him admit what he did. I just walked in and I had this different demeanor. I went, “Wow! Starr’s changed so much.” I think the storyline matured me, in a way. I did a lot of interviews about teen pregnancy, and really got the issue out there. I felt like I went through it myself, and learned a lot from it. It’s kind of matured me along with my character, and it’s had an affect on both of us.

MICHAEL:

Now, let’s turn to Starr’s relationship with Mr. “J”. Does she still have feelings for her former teacher, or is that over?

KRISTEN:

I think she was on the rebound and missed Cole. He was her best friend, and she wanted to be with him so bad. Langston is her best friend, but at the same time, Cole was going through terrible times like Starr was. She really related to Cole, because she was at the same maturity level as him. She lost Cole to drugs and she could not get him back, and she felt, “I am too messed up on my own. I can’t be helping him or I will go off the deep end.” So she went off and found this other person to replace her feelings for Cole, not only as a friend, but in another way. I think most of it was not sexual, but more out of desperation.

MICHAEL:

What do you think of Scott Clifton, who plays Schuyler Joplin?

KRISTEN:

He is amazing! I have known him for five years, ever since General Hospital. We used to do fan events together. He actually thought our age difference was so much more than it was. We are still 6 or 7 years apart. We were out to lunch one day and he says to me, “So you are 14, or whatever, right?” I go, “No, my 18th birthday is coming up,” and he goes, “You are going to be 18?” And I go, “Well you are like 27 or 28!” And he goes, “No, I’m 24.” And we were shocked, because he was always like my older friend, Scott and my buddy. And I was like “little Kristen” to him. So, to find out that we were then playing opposite one another was fun and crazy. When Scott auditioned for the role, I was ecstatic because we were really good friends. He is super sweet and fun to hang out with. Scott said to me, “I was so excited when I found out I would be working with you!”

scott_clifton.jpgMICHAEL:

Do you think their feelings for one another will be revisited, or is this romantic “thing” permanently squelched?

KRISTEN:

I don’t think that it’s going to come up later on. Starr and Schuler talked about everything that went on
and they realized what happened. Starr apologized and let him know that is not really how she felt. So, I think Schuyler had feelings for Starr because he missed Stacy, and she had feelings for him because she missed Cole. So they both understand what happened.

MICHAEL:

Over the next few weeks, are we going to need “hankies” when the bombshell drops about the baby-switch?

KRISTEN:

I know that Starr, and Marcie, and Jessica, and everyone are going to need “hankies”, and so I think the audience will, too! This will happen during the next few weeks and beyond. What’s so great about this storyline is that it is written so that it never ends. It’s written in a way that has explored everything, and has not been cut short, and nothing has been left out, or any important moments or decisions that characters have to make. It’s an actors dream to be on a show where you can develop the character in its entirety.

MICHAEL:

You have been so active in speaking on the subject of teen pregnancy, since Starr’s situation with that began well over a year and half ago. You spoke at seminars and symposiums, did PSA’s, and have really taken the issue and the responsibility of your television role to heart. Why was this so important for you to be speaking out on this very important social issue?

starr_cole.jpgKRISTEN:

It was really important for me to connect with my fans about the storyline I was doing, because I have been on the show for 11 years now. The audience sees me as their “little girl”. I really wanted to let them know how I felt about doing the storyline, and that I wasn’t forced to do it. I felt it was an important issue to get out there. I really wanted to connect with the audience and get this message out there that this does happen to people’s little girls. It’s not just, “Oh, that won’t happen to her,” because everyone thought, “Oh, that would not happen to Starr,” and it did. It happens to children of parents all the time. So, I think it was a really important issue to get out there, and also to kind of express my feelings about people being able to discuss things with each other. I think talking it alderson_dressup.jpgout with someone is the most important thing in someone’s life. If you cannot talk about things with someone… your parents, friends or family… if you can’t talk it out, there are going to be problems, and that is sometimes what happens with teenagers. They feel like they don’t have someone to talk to about sexual issues. So I really wanted to get out there and say, “Please, parents talk to your teens. It’s a really awkward issue but I’m telling you, you are going to feel better about it after, because it can prevent stuff from happening.” That was so great about doing my blog, “Start talking with Kristen”. I thought it was going to be a really big deal to do this storyline, but I had no idea how big it was going to be, and how much a success it would be, and how much I would personally learn from it. Once I was exploring it more and more and more, and learning the statistics of how many teenagers get pregnant, I thought. “We should really do more about this,” and it was great that we could!

Leave a comment | 1 Comment
Advertisement

1

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
amy willard Recent comment authors
newest oldest
amy willard
Guest
amy willard

hey this is amy willard i have been a fan of one llife to live for a long time now i watch it every week day it comes on i really like the starr and cole storylines kristen alderson is my rolemodel for soaps tv i really love her i wish i could meet her i am 26 years old and i also think brandon buddy is cute and hot to i like him to and i think that kristen and him should be together in real life and i like how kristen talks about pregnany that is good

Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: TOLN

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

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

Continue Reading

Interviews

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

 

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: Gilles Toucas

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

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

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

 

 

Continue Reading

Interviews

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

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

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

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

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

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

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

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

Wait, what?

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

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

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

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

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

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: Broadway World

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

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

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

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

Photo: Broadway World

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

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

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

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

Courtesy/ENelsen

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

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

How long was it open on Broadway?

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

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

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

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

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

Photo: Prospect Park

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

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

Photo: LANYEntertainment

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

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

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

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

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

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

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

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

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

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

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

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

William deVry as Julian

General Hospital

Airdate: 11-20-2020

Advertisement

Popular