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Days Of Our Lives

The Kristian Alfonso Interview – Days of our Lives

Courtesy/NBC

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Over the last month, soaps have had much to celebrate! First there was The Young and the Restless turning 40, then came General Hospital turning 50 years old on April 1st! And now comes another stunner: Days of our Lives long-standing fan favorite and heroine, Kristian Alfonso, celebrated her 30th anniversary this week with the NBC daytime drama, playing Hope Williams Brady.

Who can ever forget when Kristian first burst on to the scene as the feisty and beautiful rich girl who stole the heart of anti-hero Bo Brady (Peter Reckell)!  Their love story is truly one for the ages that will go down as one of the most popular in the history of soap opera culture.  But things have changed for this 30th anniversary for Alfonso; no longer does she have Reckell by her side, after his decision to leave the series.  That in turn leads to new possibilities for Hope for dramatic story and a potential new love interest!

This week was a trying week for all Americans with the bombings in Boston during the Boston Marathon, and the deadly explosion in West, Texas.  Kristian is a Massachusetts native, and while at the time of our interview the 2nd bombing suspect had not been captured, Kristian wanted to let every one in Boston know, “I’m terribly saddened by this horrific tragedy.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this nightmare.”

We hope you enjoy this very special On-Air On-Soaps interview as we look back and look forward with Kristian, from her favorite storylines, to her first days on the set at NBC Studios in Burbank, to working with many of her beloved cast mates, to the time she exited the series and returned, and more.  While Bo Brady always nicknamed Hope “Fancy Face”, Kristian is after all … soap opera’s “Fancy Face” as well.  Here now is what Kristian had to say, as we celebrate her accomplishments!

MICHAEL:

So, I hear you got something very sweet and special from the fans to celebrate your big 3-0!

KRISTIAN:

Courtesy/NBC

The fans sent over this cake with the hourglass on it, with pictures of me on it through the years.  And, what the hourglass would sit on, at the top of the logo, was chocolate frosting with Rice Crispy treats!  I got that, and of course I dug right in!  I love chocolate. This was a white cake with lemon filling and marshmallow fluff.  It was amazing!  I have it next to me.  I am lying back on my sofa right now on a sugar high. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Talking about 30 years on Days of our Lives, your fans have stuck by you for three decades!  You have an amazing fan base!

KRISTIAN:

Oh, my Lord!  They are the most loyal, supportive, loving fans in the world.  I appreciate all of their support.

MICHAEL:

When I think back on your career, I remember this beautiful young girl, coming on to Days of our Lives, who just took the soap world by storm.  Do you recall those early days?  Were you awestruck knowing you would be a major character on a top rated soap at that time?

KRISTIAN:

Courtesy/NBC

I was a bundle of emotions.  I remember it so clearly.  I had just gotten my driver’s license to be out in California, because I had to be able to drive to work.  I was living in New York at the time.  Days of our Lives was bringing me out west.  I was so excited that I passed the driver’s test that I went to say “Yay” to the instructor and I ended up on the other side of the road and popped a wheelie!  He said, “Ah, we are not in London!” (Laughs) When I arrived on L.A., I was a nervous wreck, but excited because I could remember arriving in New York City at Grand Central Station with my mom to meet with Wilhelmina (famed modeling agent) and looking up and seeing Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes on the cover of Time Magazine.  And I remember thinking, “Oh what a gorgeous couple.”  And then I went, “And I am going to play their daughter?” Seriously?”  I was a nervous wreck because everyone was so talented and seasoned.  Here is this new green newcomer with a Boston accent, which is why they wrote, “Hope is in boarding school in Boston!”  But I felt incredibly welcomed, and every one was incredibly patient and took time to explain things to me, and of course, they must have seen my little hand shaking holding my script.  Over the loud speaker I would hear, “Kristian, find the light! Find the light!”  I go, “There are five million lights above me! Oh, my God, which is the right light?”  I remember like it was yesterday, which is why it is so incredible.  I can not even get my head around that it has been 30 years.  It is almost as if I have been transported in time thirty years and not sure how I got here!

MICHAEL:

During your 30 year run, there was also a time you left DAYS and went on to star on the hit nighttime soap Falcon Crest, where you played the alluring Pilar!  Was the real reason you decided to leave DAYS at that time, that you wanted to go do other things, and play other roles within your career?

KRISTIAN:

Courtesy/CBS

Yes, I played Pilar Ortega.  I had made the decision to leave DAYS and the nest, and I was approached by Falcon Crest to join their cast.  I was thinking, “Oh, my Gosh! This is such an incredible opportunity and a show.”  The cast was incredible with Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, David Selby, Susan Sullivan, and it just goes on and on and on.  It was an incredible opportunity and they offered it to me, which I have to say, I have never been offered anything! (Laughs)  They believed in me, and so I joined the cast.  I have to say that every show I have worked on has been so welcoming.  I have learned so much from each experience, and of course my heart is with DAYS.

MICHAEL:

No matter what role you do, it is Hope Williams that has been the defining role for you.  You do realize you are sort of a pop culture icon?  Bo and Hope were so incredibly popular, in particular in the 80’s and 90’s.  I remember traveling to New York City and you were doing an appearance at Rockefeller Center, and the fans went crazy … like you were a rock star!

KRISTIAN:

No, hearing you say that, I am puzzled.  No, I am a working actress who is passionate about what she does.  Thank you so much, but I am grateful that I am able to do something that I do love, and that I want to get up in the morning to do.  My son Jack is ten years old, and in the school that he is going to he has been there since kindergarten … he is now in the fifth grade.  He changes school next year, and he runs through the gates every day to go to school, because he loves it there.  That is how I feel about DAYS!  I can’t wait to get here and work with the people I work with, and share different expeierences and be creative.  I have had our executive producer Ken Corday believing me, and the writing teams … and we have had so many … and producers, but they have given me an incredible opportunity, and NBC too!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/NBC

One of your best performances on DAYS came when Hope and Bo’s son, Zack died. I know that was a hard story for you to play.  I know I cried for months! (Laughs)

KRISTIAN:

I cried for months!  It was very hard to for me to do.  To lose a child and to play that out is incredibly emotional, and to go there and be there, and know that so many people have experienced what these characters are experiencing right now, it brought so much to it.  The writing was incredible, and it was such a complex storyline.  That is what I love about the writers we have had on Days of our Lives.  They don’t forget the past. Your character does one thing and then it parlays into something else, and that parlays into something else, and it continues.  It’s not a storyline that starts and then drops off, and then you never hear about it again.  There is always another road traveled and discovered.

MICHAEL:

Have you had a moment to celebrate your 30th anniversary with your TV parents, the wonderful Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes (as Doug and Julie Williams)?

KRISTIAN:

I worked with Susan the other today, and I love working with both of them.  I was reminiscing with Susan about my 30 years … I don’t get to work with them enough.

MICHAEL:

Let me tell you something I am sure you know.  Susan Seaforth Hayes is, and always has been, an amazing actress.  While the younger generation of soap characters always seems to get more airtime in general these days, I believe the veterans need to be honored and have story, too!

KRISTIAN:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Both of them are amazing actors, and I completely agree with you 1000%.

MICHAEL:

What can you tease us with that is coming up for Hope?  What are they going to do about the status of Bo Brady, when there is no Peter Reckell on board to play him?

KRISTIAN:

I cannot divulge anything, and I wish I could, but I can’t.  Honestly, they don’t even tell us what is going on until we see the scripts, and they are so guarded.  I guess that is a good thing so the audience can be surprised, especially with social media where everything is out there immediately!

MICHAEL:

Has it been at all odd for you, months later, not having Peter there with you to play Bo and Hope’s story?  And after all, he has been your long time scene partner.

KRISTIAN:

It is not odd to not have Peter here.  Peter made a choice to leave.  I was not shocked when he told me, because we had many conversations.  He wanted to spend more time with his daughter and his family, and he needed a break.  He is having a great time, and traveling, and life is great.  Life is great for me, too; I just decided to stay on the show.  I have left the show before, and he had stayed.  Actually, that was when I was pregnant with Gino and I had just finished up at Falcon Crest, and he had continued on with other on-screen relationships, and I was not on the canvas.  We have both had storylines without one another.  Now, do I miss seeing him and him not being here?  And working together?  Of course!  There are many people I wish I was working with.  I wish Thaao Penghlis (Tony) was here also, and Mary Beth Evans (Kayla); I wish she was here all the time.  We all have such history together.  We have all grown up together.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/NBC

What do you think the late, beloved Frances Reid (Alice, DAYS) would say to you if she were alive to be part of your 30th anniversary with the series?

KRISTIAN:

She would look at me and say, “Did you ever think you would still be here 30 years later?”  And then she would make a comment about my hair, and then I would turn around and tell her how much I love her, and then I would say to her, “Do you want some cake?” (Laughs) That is exactly how the conversation would go.

MICHAEL:

Well many fans are wishing that Hope will have big story!  Do you think Hope will have a new man and romance coming soon, since Bo is not in Salem?

KRISTIAN:

Maybe? (Laughs) Maybe? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Tumblr

Hmmm.  I am wondering if it will be someone on the canvas already … or someone new will be brought on the canvas for her?  Speaking of Hope’s world, how is working with your on-screen daughter, little Ciara played by Lauren Boles?

KRISTIAN:

She is such a little sweetheart, and such a little professional.  Lauren probably knows my lines better than I know them.  She is delightful to work with, and she is such a little beauty.

MICHAEL:

Recently, DAYS revisited the John Black/Princess Gina story with this ill-conceived and badly received storyline.  Was it hard going back to play that blip in the story so many years later along with Drake Hogestyn (John)?  Was it odd?

KRISTIAN:

It wasn’t odd.  I was just really concerned, because of course, that was 15 years ago.  We don’t look the same (laughs) which is why they probably wrote … which is brilliant … “Newly Created Flashbacks”. (Laughs)  It was fun, though.  I am always asked, “What is your favorite storyline?  What did it for you?”   Truth is: they have all done it for me, because they have all challenged me in one way or another, and it has given me the opportunity to work with so many different people.  From when I first started on the show it was: Hope joining the police academy, to the ice skating storyline with the prism, working with Joseph Mascolo (Stefano) who I adore, whose nickname is “Cupcake” because he is such a marshmallow! (Laughs)  He will say, “Ah, good morning Kristian.” And I will go, “Oh, Cupcake.  How are you?”  He kind of giggles.  I love working with Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) and Lauren Koslow (Kate) it gives me such opportunity to act, or when I was Nighttime Hope!  That gave me an opportunity that I have never done, and I got to work with John Callahan in that, as Dr Baker.  It was fun!  I have to say, I don’t believe I have ever repeated a storyline.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

There was nothing more exhausting and exhilarating, I am sure, than when you were playing the original Princess Gina/Hope/ Gina-pretending-to-be-Hope storyline!  What can you say about that stretch of time for you on DAYS?

KRISTIAN:

It was so amazing, and I didn’t know if I was coming or going … and just trying to keep the information straight!  And, who knew what, when?  It was a tremendous challenge, and that is one of the things I appreciate and admire about Days of our Lives.  When I returned back in 1994, my contract said “Gina” on it, because they have to put a character name on there … of course, knowing that I would eventually come around to be Hope, and that she was Hope.  But it was a road traveled that if you turned right or left you never knew where you were going to end up.  Then it would settle down a bit, and then it would pick back up with, “Why is Hope having these memories?  How does she know how to paint?  Why does she know so much about art?”  Little by little she starts to transform.  It wasn’t “boom” here it is!  They really took the time to explain it.

MICHAEL:

I like Hope as a cop, actually.  I think you play “female cop” better than some women I see attempt it on a primetime television series.  You seem to have a knack for it and make it believable.  Do you like Hope’s profession?

KRISTIAN:

I do like playing the cop.  It is a little tricky some times with all the cop shop talk! (Laughs)  And, trying to make it seem as easy and fluent as it could possibly be as I walk around the house trying to learn my lines over and over and over. (Laughs)  I have some amazing scenes coming up that I am sharing with … oh, I can’t tell you, that’s right! (Laughs) And in them I am doing cop stuff and it involves … oh, I can’t tell you, sorry. (Laughs)  But I do enjoy that very much, and that all goes back to when I originally started on the show, and it was all by accident.  Hope becomes the cop…with the big shoulder pads!  Hope is tremendous fun, unpredictable, and spunky.  I love that she still has that fire.  She thinks a little bit more now, before she jumps into a situation.

Courtesy/NBC

MICHAEL:

Well yes, because Hope has got to, as we all do in life, mature.  And as you mature emotionally in real life, so should characters evolve and mature on soaps.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Otherwise, we all will be watching these characters just doing the same thing over and over again with the same goal or motivation.

KRISTIAN:

Of course, otherwise it’s like Ground Hogs Day … it is the same thing over and over. And you go, “Oh, my gosh.  I have had the same dish every day.  I want to change menus.”

MICHAEL:

I just have to tell you, it is a very big accomplishment that this past Sunday on April 14th was actually the 30th anniversary of your start date on DAYS.  You do understand that it is a really big milestone, don’t you?

KRISTIAN:

It is a really big milestone for me that I have been welcomed for so many years by the fans, by the network, and Corday Productions.  I sincerely mean, that I do not take things for granted and I do not take my job for granted.  That is something my parents instilled in me: never take anything for granted.  Always go in and concentrate and earn every cent and give them their monies worth every day.  I hope I have done that because that is my job.  I say job, but it’s not, because it’s so important to me to be able to go somewhere every day that I enjoy going to.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

Since you have been part of such an iconic brand and the longest running NBC scripted television series of all-time, Days of our Lives, do you think the key message is still the same in 2013?  And that message is … it is all about family?

KRISTIAN:

I think definitely that is still the message, that family overrules everything else whether it’s a Horton, a DiMera, or a Brady, or a Kirkiakis, it always comes back to family. Sometimes it is told differently, but it always comes back to family, as it should.  Family should always be number one.

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Joan Faist
Guest
Joan Faist

Have always loved Kristian Alfonso, she’s one of my favorites on Day’s. I grew older loving Bo and Hope.

leslie
Guest
leslie

She is a class act! She had always been one of my favorites❗

Cathy
Guest
Cathy

A classy and beautiful women who I have been a fan of since she came on the DAYS scene for her 18th birthday n the love story of Bo n Hope began! happy 30th!

heidi
Guest
heidi

Thanks Michael… nice interview!!! It is an incredible milestone… congratulations Kristian!!!

jimh
Guest
jimh

Would love to see Julie and Doug more especially in scenes with Hope plus they should bring back Bill and Laura and move them in the Horton home as the new Tom and Alice. Whatever happened to John Clarke(EX MICKEY)…i know hes retired now but whats the update on him? BRING BACK BO! Love Kristen Alphonso and i ‘HOPE’ shes with the show for many years to come! Congratulations for your many years with Days! Thanks Micheal for another great interview! We always get the best from you!

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

Kristian Alfonso

jimh
Guest
jimh

lol…i cant spell even when its right under my nose!

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

John Clarke the actor who played Mickey passed away in 2004.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

Sorry, my bad, someone at my house corrected me- told John Clarke retired in 2004; I thought he had passed. Have no idea then. Again, sorry for misinformation ,next time I will google before responding-

jimh
Guest
jimh

Thanks for responding…i forget to google sometimes…i knew he retired…hard to believe its been that many years already…time sure flies.

Betty Hamilton
Guest
Betty Hamilton

Please don’t kill off Hope I been fan of Days our lives every since it been on

Scott
Guest
Scott

Great interview, great beautiful actress, she needs a double cheeseburger ! Way to thin looking !
Hopefully Bo/Peter will be back at some point.

Annie 1
Guest
Annie 1

Truly a lovely lady who adds so much to the show. Congrats on 30 years. Thanks as usual to Michael for another xlnt interview.

Beacon
Guest
Beacon

I feel the Hope/Bo/Carly triangle could have been amazing but the writing was just not there for them, not while Bo and Hope are treated less like human beings and more like superheroes. Sometimes with Days it feels like one is watching cartoon characters and not flawed and vulnerable human beings, which is the obligation of any soap opera that dares pride itself as a legitimate drama.

In truth, Hope has not been a viable character in years. Why? Because she’s been defined by that damn supercouple slogan.

Sheila
Guest
Sheila

Kristian’s beauty has matured as she and her acting have. Too bad Bo is not there anymore, They were my favorite Super Couple.! They were the reason I first bought a VCR so I wouldn’t miss an episode of Days that they were in. I loved the Twin Oaks episode,

Frances
Guest
Frances

I have been watching DAYS since the begining how different is was then, but always managed to capture me…even today its an amazing show, I remember I used to tell my mother to record the show for me every day so I would not miss a thing..Bo and Hope were and still are my favourite couple!! long live days!!!

Gail
Guest
Gail

I watched Days as a child with my my Mum when it first started here in Australia 45 years ago and I’ve been watching myself for 25 years. Tomorrow is a sad day as it is the last time Days will be shown on Aussie TV, having been axed by Channel 9. We hope that a new home on another Channel will be found but who knows? I got to meet Kristian, Peter, Suzanne, and other cast members (Shawn D, Ciara, Abe, Chad …) last year while in LA and they were all so amazing and so friendly, had the… Read more »

Pamela Jenkins
Guest
Pamela Jenkins

I think this woman is such a beauty. She has it radiating from within. She is a great actress abd I feel that she and Peter Reckell make the perfect soap opera super couple. I love her in Days and I love reading her interviews. She is so real and unilke some other actresses that are not down-to-earth. I’ve always thought that she and Peter were a real life couple only to learn they were not. The two are so powerful together. I still watch old clips of them together on you tube. Oh, i wish they would reuinte Bo… Read more »

Days Of Our Lives

Who is DAYS Gwen Really? What is Her Vendetta Against Abigail All About?

We have a new psycho in Salem, and she is played to perfection by Emily O’Brien who has been bringing her brand of quirky evil to the NBC soap opera as Gwen.  Soap fans, of course, remember her as Jana Hawkes on The Young and the Restless from 2006-2011.

Ron Carlivati and his DAYS writing team certainly have some tricks up their sleeve where Gwen is concerned as viewers recently found out she was behind slipping Abigail (Marci Miller) the drug months ago causing her hallucinations.

Photo: JPI

But Gwen is even much darker than we think, when several key clues and moments were revealed on Friday’s episode of DAYS when she went to visit her conspirator in prison, Dr. Rolf (William Utay).

During the exchange, we learn Gwen has been getting the mind-altering drug from one of Dr. Rolf’s concoctions.  She reveals to him that their plan has hit the proverbial snag.  The drug did not dismantle Abigail as she had hoped.  We also learn while she was in the mental institution – Bayview – that is how she tracked Rolf down by researching the drug he had created.

And it appears, Rolf hates Abigail too, citing he always saw her as  thorn in Stefano’s side.  It is then Gwen says he wants another dose of the drug to “melt Abby’s brain!”  Rolf says without anyone else to take the fall for it, he can’t come up with it.

He suggests to her to alter her plan and to instead destroy Abigail’s life piece by piece … and go for the long game instead of the short term – take everything that is near and dear from her including her husband, children, home, everything.

But, what does come to light is that even Dr. Rolf does not know why Gwen wants to destroy Abigail.  That is when Gwen shares she has very good reason to hate Abigail, and he, along with everyone else, will find out why when the time is right.

So, what are your theories?  Who is Gwen?  Is she a character with plastic surgery?  Could she be a sister no one knew Abigail had?  A former mental patient who Abby knew when she was getting help a few years back? And what is her gripe with Abigail all about?  Comment below!

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Days Of Our Lives

Kassie DePaiva, Nathan Purdee & Taylor Purdee Talk ‘Killian & The Comeback Kids’, One Life to Live & Eve’s Reign of Terror on DAYS

It’s ‘all in the family’ + a dear friend that makes the film Killian and the Comeback Kids something that soap fans will want to see. In it, daytime veterans, Kassie DePaiva (Ex-GL, OLTL, GH and Days) and Nathan Purdee (Ex-Y&R and OLTL) are featured in the new movie directed, written and starring Nathan’s talented son, Taylor.

One Life to Live fans will get a kick out of that Kassie and Nathan play a married couple in the film.  In story, a millennial (Taylor A. Purdee) comes home to live with his parents in a depressed rural town after getting a college degree in the big city. The film illustrates the issues facing many of America’s youth today, which could not be more apropos for the times we are living with many children moving back in with their parents. However, the movie shares an uplifting message filled with original music from Taylor’s folk-rock band, The Cumberland Kids.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Kassie, Nathan and Taylor to get the inside scoop on: collaborating together on this project, revisiting Llanview with some memories and thoughts on the cancellation of the beloved soap, plus Kassie’s last turn on Days of our Lives as an unhinged Eve Donovan – a performance that just may garner attention come Daytime Emmy time next year.

This conversation was filled with candor, humor, and a parent’s love for their child. Killian and the Comeback Kid is playing in selected theatres and dates including tonight Friday, September 25th in Atlanta, and October 2nd in Chicago. For more movie info go to the film’s website here And now here’s what Kassie, Nathan and Taylor shared.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

I was really intrigued by the film. Taylor, how did you lure your dad to be in the movie?

TAYLOR:  Oh my gosh, it was the craziest negation ever.

I bet! (Laughs)

TAYLOR:  When I was a kid, Roberta, my mom, made me promise to always write him roles.  So, it was kind of obligatory.

KASSIE:  That is so funny!

TAYLOR:  It’s true.

Had you met Kassie before, or was this the first time? 

TAYLOR:  I knew Kassie from when my dad and her were doing One Life to Live together.   Five years before I was filming this movie, Nathan texted me, “Hey!  Kassie and Jim (DePaiva) are right by your dorm room.  You should go see them!”  So, catching up as an adult was so nice.  I had a non-parentally controlled grown-up hang-out with her.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

What was the journey this film, Killian and the Comeback Kids, went on as far as from the writing of it, to production, to its completion?

TAYLOR:  Well, the front half was surprisingly quick.  I think writing it through to having it finished was about 18 months, and there were about 6 months of, “how’s it going to come out,” and then, we thought we knew what was going to happen, and we were all getting ready for it to hit in movie theatres in the spring when the world ended, and that’s how we got here three years later.

Nathan, tell me about the role you play; because Kassie and you are husband and wife in the film.

NATHAN: Well, yeah, you kind of covered it! (Laughs)  I play her husband, and she plays my wife, and I appreciated the casting situation.  It’s interesting how Taylor chose Kassie because he did say that he wanted someone who was close to his mom’s personality.  I couldn’t think of anybody else other than Kassie because the only difference is Kassie is taller, but they both are such loving, caring people.  They always want to mother you and make sure you’re fed, and you’re safe, and you’re happy, and neither one of them knows the word, “no,” when it comes to the people who they’re taking care of.  I love Kassie anyway, so good for me.

KASSIE:  Yeah, they cut our love scene, and I don’t know what that’s about. (Laughs)

Kassie, what do you remember from when you first met Nathan?  You were at One Life, right?

KASSIE:  No, when I first met Nathan, we were in San Antonio, and we were doing an appearance.  I met Bobbie Eakes (Ex-Krystal, AMC and Macy, B&B) for the first time then too, but I was on The Guiding Light, and I was singing, and Nathan was there.  Nathan and I sat beside each other.  I honestly felt like I had known Nathan my entire life.  We were drinking margaritas and talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking.

NATHAN:  Yep!

Photo: JPI

KASSIE:  Nathan and my husband, Jim are very good friends.  I have to say, Nathan was so lovely when I was going through my cancer journey.  He came to see me every week, sometimes twice a week when I was in the hospital, and he would come up, and he would hang out with Jim.  I will never, ever forget how lovely he was (it makes me tear up right now) to be there with support for my husband and myself as we went through that.  So, when Nathan asked me to be his wife in the film, I thought, “Well, hey, you practically live with me now, so that sounds good.”

So, Taylor, how did they do on-screen as husband and wife?

TAYLOR:  They’re fantastic.  We’ve only had one test screening, but one of the most consistent things audiences tell me is that they’re not just great together, but they each have such a quiet, brooding depth to them that you can’t help but imagine the back-story that they’re not talking about

KASSIE:  That’ll be the sequel!

TAYLOR:  Killian and the Comeback Kids 2: They Comeback Kids Comeback.

KASSIE:  They’ll come back again!

NATHAN:  Thanks for planting that seed in his head, Kassie.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

TAYLOR:  It was important for me to try to synthesize a mixed-race couple.  So, it was really great to be able to have them, not just be so great together, but there was also the issue of we had to have a little girl who looked like she could not just be my sister, but also both of their daughter.  Creating a family from scratch was great because Nathan and Kassie already had the rapport.

Did you watch them on One Life to Live together? 

TAYLOR:  Yeah!  I was in school most of the time, but I would go to set, and over the last 10 years, friends would send me YouTube clips from the show because for some reason none of the soaps are streaming.  There’s not like a soap Netflix!  It kind of needs to happen!  Soaps, they’re epic; there are decades worth of episodes and shows.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

In this film, music is the backdrop.  It’s your music and your band that is featured?

TAYLOR:  Yeah, my best friend growing up and I were staring to write folk music around the time when I was deciding what script I wanted to make into a film.  We wrote the soundtrack, all the music that people sing, and the underscore, which was surprisingly the most fun part of it all.

Kassie what did you think of Taylor’s music?

 ASSIE:  I think it’s wonderful.   I love music. It’s totally in the heart of me, and I just think that this movie is so timely. Kids these days are having to deal with not knowing what their future is going to be.  In the film, my son comes home, and he is trying to find himself, and he throws himself into his art and his music.  I just think there are a lot of people right now who are going through that.  I think it is extremely relatable, even more so than when you wrote it, Taylor.  I think people are looking for some type of connection, and I think this little movie is a good start.  It’s about people pulling together, and it’s got a strong rooting factor, and you want people to succeed, and it is great.  It takes you on a really nice journey.

You have some dates coming up where the film will play in a movie theatre- one is on September 25th in Atlanta and then another one on October 2nd in Chicago.  Taylor, how do you feel about making appearances for the film during the pandemic? You’re going with masks on? 

TAYLOR:  Oh yeah.  We will be in a bubble; we are just getting into a car and sticking together.  I and John Donchak, who plays opposite me through the whole film, are going to all of those dates, and my co-songwriter, who also appears in the film, will be in Atlanta, if not at both premieres.

NATHAN:  And let me add, please, they’re going against my wishes as a parent, but he is 28- years-old, so all I can say is that we are hoping for the best because we want him to be safe.  He is very determined and passionate about it, so he’s got our support.

Photo: KarmicReleseLTD

Taylor, in your story, why does Killian come home and live with his parents? 

TAYLOR: His plan at the time is that he has just graduated from a pricey university, and he is supposed to go off with his bandmate on a modest music tour.  He comes home to get his stuff and see his parents after graduating, but his bandmate drops out, and so the plan falls apart, and that’s how he gets stuck in this town and everything is just kind of falling apart. The plan that he had for his life after college gets pulled out right out from under him.

Photo: Getty

Nathan, when Kassie and you were on One Life for years, you weren’t there when it ended, as you had already left the show.  How did you feel upon learning it had been canceled by ABC?

NATHAN:  I was so disconnected by that time.  I just knew it was ending, and it wasn’t the first soap to go.  I saw it happening when the other shows started being canceled due to, I could be wrong about this, but I put the blame on reality TV.  By that point I had moved on in my personal and private life.  I was doing a lot of theatre then, traveling back and forth from North Carolina, really trying to keep busy, and fighting off the depression of not working full-time.  I missed Jim and Kassie the most, but I was thrilled that I could bump into them at any time and visit with them.  I kept in touch with Hillary B. Smith (Ex-Nora) and Bob Woods (Ex-Bo) and also, Timothy Stickney (Ex-RJ); in fact, Timothy Stickney’s wife did Taylor’s hair for the film.

Photo: JPI

Kassie, how do you feel years later about the cancellation of One Life to Live?

KASSIE:  I still miss it.  I loved it. The hard part about this show in particular being canceled is –one – that there wasn’t closure on it.  It kind of happened randomly, and there was still a lot more story to tell.  They kept it going on General Hospital, where they’ll bring some characters there.  So, it’s still in peoples’ minds. The second part is the friendships and the family connections that you’ve made over the many years that you’re there. Nothing lasts forever, that’s for sure, but as you were saying, there’s no streaming of these shows, but if you catch an episode on YouTube, One Life to Live, truly stands alone.  It just has great stories, great characters, and there is connection there that is very real.

Kassie, your last go-around at DAYS was just epic.  Did you guys see it?

TAYLOR:  I did see pieces of some of it.  I caught some of the “super villain”!

Photo: JPI

Eve went in guns blazing, evil as all get out, but so heartbreaking at the same time while she was torturing Ben (Rob Scott Wilson).  What did you think about all of that, Kassie?

KASSIE:  I was really hesitant to watch it because I remembered how “super villain” I was.  I remember getting on the plane, and Jimmy said, “How was it?” and I said, “I’ll probably never work again a day in my life. I’m like this (evil laughs) muah-ha-ha, muah-ha-ha kind of character.”  I mean, you hated what Eve was doing, and you were supposed to, but I think that they did a great job with production values, and it was reasonable what she was doing because she was going off the edge. It’s great to be able to sink your teeth into something that is so out-there and completely different from your own life.  I mean, it was exhausting.  Every day, I would come home and just be like, “Oh my God, give me a cocktail.” Eve had justification for her revenge, even as wrong as it was, and she needed to be heard, and she needed closure, and she made a bunch of wrong moves, and did a bunch of bad, bad, bad things, and now, she is probably in a mental institution somewhere, so…

You and I were on set of DAYS and I was going to interview you.  If I recall, at that point, you did not even know what the story arc was.

KASSIE:  No, I didn’t. When I arrived and looked at the script, I’m like, “Well, who blew up that wedding?”  Then, all of the sudden, “Oh, no!  I blew up the wedding.  This is bad!  I probably am not going to be coming back on this show again.”  I look at story and go, “Uh-oh.  There’s a shut door.”  I like open doors and open windows.

Photo: JPI

Taylor, what is your project? Are you continuing to write?  What do you see in the future for yourself?

TAYLOR:  This is my life for me.  The next thing that I think we are releasing is actually something that I made before this because everything is backwards, which is a documentary (very different) about Central American politics, which I’m hoping is out next year.  In terms of new scripts, everybody is a bit torn.  I kind of want to do a biopic of Lee Grant, or I want to do a blues/punk version of something inspired by The Shining.

Well, those are very polar opposite!

TAYLOR:  Yeah, aren’t they?

NATHAN:  Now you see what I’m living with. (Laughs)

Photo: IMDB

Nathan, you must be proud of Taylor, and it must be very cool to see your son have these multi-faceted talents.

NATHAN:  Of course, I’m proud of him and it’s great, but it’s strange because watching Taylor develop into the person he has developed into and continues to, made me realize that I hadn’t had the type of courage he has.  I had my dreams and certain things that I was very courageous about in my life.  I certainly don’t see him doing some things the way I did them, because he has more common sense than I do when it comes to life choices. His courage just blows my mind.  Most of my closest friends are professional musicians, and many of them, if I were to namedrop, you would know who they are, and they’ve had successful careers, and I’ve always looked up to them and admired them, but I was never that guy.  I just wanted to be a musician because I knew them and we were friends, but I didn’t have the discipline to do what they did, and I certainly didn’t have the God-given talent.  I play a little bit of keyboard and a little bit of saxophone myself, but I have to play one song 757 times before I even start to feel comfortable with it, and Taylor can sit down and start strumming on his guitar, and the next thing you know, he’s written a whole song.  It just blows my mind how creative and talented he is.  He has been surrounded by creative and talented people all of his life. He has absorbed a lot from the different people and the different opportunities he’s had, and I look at him sometimes, and I even say it to my wife, “Who is this kid?”  I like to share this story.  We went to see Taylor do Hamlet.  I’m guessing he was 15 or 16-years-old at the time. I’m watching him doing Hamlet, and I’m sitting in the chair, and I’m crying because I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, my God, he is so good!”  I told Taylor, “I would not tackle Hamlet on a football field, yet alone on stage.”  It made me realize that we had a force to be reckoned with.  He’s pretty amazing.  The bad news for him is that I always tell him the truth, and I lied to him once, and he called me out on it, and I promised that I would never lie to him again.  So, be careful what you ask me because I will tell you the truth from this point on.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

KASSIE:  Taylor was also the director of this film, which I mean, “What the hell!”  This guy is doing everything.  He was deciding on the shots, he was deciding on the lighting, he was deciding this and that, he was editing the script, I’m like, “Holy cannoli!”  He’s like, “No, I want her to wear that shirt; I want her to do this.”  You would do the scene, and he’d come over and talk to you a little bit.  I mean, he was just awesome; Taylor brought so much insight to my character because I’m like, “What’s my relationship, and who are all of these kids?  Are we a loving family?”  We did it very quickly, too.  Taylor, look at what you’ve accomplished, and it is such a beautiful piece of art!

TAYLOR:  From a more functional standpoint as a director, one of the really great things about having the two of them was that Kassie came in half-way through filming, and we’d been working with the young actor/musicians a lot.  Some of them, it was their first big job, but pretty much all of them had worked before.  On Kassie’s first day, they didn’t know what they were in for.  She just rolled onto set, and all of the sudden, the stakes and bar of how to be an actor just changed.  From that point on, when Kassie and Nathan started to work with the band, we knew those were going to be fun days because there was going to be acting involved.  Everyone else just had to come up to their level, which was great for me because it gave me so much more to edit with.

Taylor, who are your musical influences?   

TAYLOR:  That’s a really good question.  My musical obsession for the last few years has been this guy, named Josh Ritter, who is kind of a singer/songwriter/folk guy.  My real-life band, The Cumberland Kids, is named after one of his songs.  Also, Weird Al Yankovic, has been a massive inspiration for me and my songwriting partners.

So, your vibe is this folk-rock.

TAYLOR:  Yeah, that’s what I’m writing mostly.  My listening is kind of all over the place, but definitely that is what I’m writing.

Kassie, who do you like listening to?

KASSIE:  It all depends on what cocktail I have in my hand.

Photo: JPI

NATHAN:  Let me chime in on that too! I like jazz, blues, and country music, but imagine what my house was like because I have a lot of instruments here, always with the hope that Taylor would at least become interested in music.  I have congas, bass guitar, keyboards, you name it, and for a while, he wasn’t interested at all, and one day, I woke up and he was playing an acoustic guitar.  Then, the next thing I know, he is writing and singing folk music.  I’m thinking, “Wait a minute!” It was an important lesson for me that just because you want something for your children, doesn’t mean that is what they want for themselves.  We never pushed acting on Taylor.  He chose it on his own.  It’s exciting for me mostly because it was his choice.

KASSIE:  He’s a natural.

And speaking of that, Taylor, in the trailer nothing came across forced or pushed.  Obviously, we are all talking you up here, not that you need it.

NATHAN:  I’ll tell you this, Michael.  During the shoot, Taylor insisted on calling me “Nathan”, and I had a problem with it, but he basically told me to get over it because it’s his set, his movie, and while we are shooting, I’m “Nathan”, and he’ll call me dad later.  I’m still struggling with that but he was the boss.

TAYLOR:  It’s hard to walk that line and not make it weird for your crew, you know?

NATHAN:  I get it.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

KASSIE:  It’s weird for me because when he would go, “Robbie is going to do this, and Nathan is going to do that,” I’d go, “Who are Robbie and Nathan?  Aren’t they your mom and dad?”

TAYLOR:  While I was writing the script I called him over, and I said, “Dad, I wrote you a really good role, and I think we are actually going to do this.  I’m giving you a once in a lifetime chance to name your own character.  Do you want to name him after a Greek hero, or one of your siblings?”  He didn’t take his chance.  So, you know what?  It’s “Nathan” now.  It’s easier for everybody.  We don’t have to break the method acting fourth wall.  (Laughs)

Do you think you would work with Nathan and Kassie again? (Laughs)

TAYLOR:  Oh, my God, are you kidding?

NATHAN:  That’s my contract: Kassie has got to be in it.  So, let me say this about Kassie, you had mentioned something about how much she has been working, and I look at Kassie as the James Brown of daytimes soaps.  She is the hardest working woman in daytime television. 

Photo: JPI

She is pretty spectacular. Kassie started on Guiding Light, had a long career on One Life, and then went to General Hospital, then to Days of our Lives.  It’s been amazing that we have been able to see her have a comeback in more ways that one.

KASSIE:  Nathan has jumped from soap to soap as well, and when you’ve done it, you just think it’s over.  It’s not like your regular acting profession jobs when you go out and you know you’re going to audition for twenty-five things and get one role for a short amount of time.  When you go in day in and day out and are creating all of this stuff on a soap opera, and then it ends, you go, “Well, now what am I supposed to do?”  I haven’t been on a set in 6 months, and I feel like I won’t ever work again.  Soaps are just a totally different head trip and so it can be really hard.

Courtesy/ABC

Nathan, do you have a favorite Hank Gannon moment from One Life to Live?

NATHAN:  Oh wow.  Man, there were so many of them.  I can tell you the funniest, to me, maybe not so funny to Hillary B. Smith though.  I think it was during a live show. This was during the time when I had a lot of dialogue.  But this particular day, I had one line, and the line was to Hillary and it was, “How are you feeling?” and her response was, “Well, I’m feeling the way I always feel, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”.  So, during the entire day, I’d see Hillary, and I’d say, “Hey, how you feeling?”  Maybe nineteen times before we started shooting, “Hey, how you feeling?” and she’d had about enough of it.  So, fast forward to “5, 4,3,2,1 action”, and now, I say, “How you doing?”  If you could see the look in her eyes, it is like, “I will kill you.”  So, she says, “You know how I’m doing.  I’m doing what I’m always doing,” so she could get her line out.  So, once again, she saved Nathan’s ass with that.  One stupid line … and I blew it.  I just remember that one because I just know Hilary wanted to strangle me.  She probably still wants to.

And on that note (laughs) I wanted to thank you all so much for this. I hope you find success with this little gem of a film, Taylor.

So what did you think of the comments made by Kassie, Nathan and Taylor on their film?  What did you think of Kassie’s recent performance on DAYS? What’s your favorite Blair or Hank moment from the history of One Life to Live? Share your thoughts and comments below,  But first, check out the trailer to Killian and the Comeback Kids.

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Days Of Our Lives

Greg Vaughan Shares Farewell To DAYS & Scene Partner Arianne Zucker: “Never a Dull Moment, Laughing or Crying, She was the Party, Always with a smile!”

Tuesday’s episode of Days of our Lives had Eric Brady saying a sudden farewell to his loved ones before he departs Salem for Africa to help those in need.  That marks the on-screen departure of Daytime Emmy winner, Greg Vaughan who will last be seen on Wednesday’s episode.

As DAYS fans were aware, Greg wrapped his run months ago on the NBC daytime drama series, but since before the Covid-19 pandemic DAYS taped almost seven months ahead, Eric’s on-screen exit is airing this week.

Over the past two days, Vaughan took to his Instagram to share some sentiments, ‘thanks you’s’ and some photos of some of his favorite memories with his castmates expressing, “Seeing it’s the last week I’m airing on @nbcdays …I wanted to share some great captured memories this week with my incredible fans & castmates.”

The actor also posted a special photo album of pics with his longtime on-screen partner and love interest, Arianne Zucker (Nicole).  In that, he posted this message: “To my Ride or Die partner Ari!! Never a dull moment, laughing or crying, she was the party, always with a smile! Love ya #ERICOLE”

So, will you miss Ericole? Are you sad to see Greg exit Days on-screen? Share your thoughts via the comment section below … AND what were some of your favorite performances of Greg during his time on DAYS.

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood

The Bold and the Beautiful

Airdate: 9-25-2020

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