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Interviews

THE KYLE LOWDER INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

KyleLowder1.jpgBy Michael Fairman

Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:
Kyle, how has it been working with Hunter Tylo (Taylor) in the new budding romance between Rick and Taylor?  Did it come as a surprise to you?

KYLE:
It has been great working with Hunter.  The switch in storyline was a bit shocking for me, because I thought the characters of Rick and Ashley were going to come about, but it’s now been interesting with the Taylor situation.  The fact that she is Phoebe’s mother and Rick and Phoebe had a relationship stirs the pot.  This show, in my opinion, has been very good at taking situations like that and making them very dramatic and believable, and not out of this world far-fetched. Working with Hunter is great!  She is such a gifted actress. The scenes with her have been fun and challenging, and we have had a good time thus far.

TV SOAP:
Challenging in the way that once again Rick is involved in an older woman/younger man romantic situation?

KYLE:
Yes.  It’s challenging because again, it’s the ‘older woman/younger man’.  Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and I would have that conversation where we would say, “I have never done this before in work and in reality.”   Hunter was the same way.  She said, “This is interesting.”  It’s definitely something new for me as well.  I had a little experience with Eileen last year.  The whole younger man/older woman thing is challenging to make work, not personally because of the actors, but the story itself.  I want to make sure that Rick going to falling in love with Phoebe, to falling in love with Ashley, to falling in love with Taylor, is believable with this character.

TV SOAP:
So, to make it work you need to justify it as an actor.  Does it concern you?

KYLE:
I have to justify it, or it becomes an actor just playing this role and playing what’s on the page.  I think at the end of the day, it could be a bit unwatchable, not because the story is poorly written.  You need a character that people can become emotional attached to and not just blow him off because he is man who has no substance to him.  I want to make Rick a guy with substance and believability, and someone a woman can get attached to; otherwise, the fans are not going to take it seriously.

TV SOAP:
Did Brad Bell (exec prod and head writer) “B&B” give you any heads up that this story with Taylor was coming?

KYLE:
I had a brief talk with Brad.  But to be honest, he did not tell me any details.  But he thought of the possibility, and the seed was planted in my head.  I never gave it too much thought till I actually started seeing the scripts.  Now, I have seen what’s going to happen, and it’s well written, and it’s up to me to get people to jump on board and become emotionally involved with it.  Otherwise, they will say, “Oh God! Rick, he is such a weirdo.”

TV SOAP:
Are you at all concerned that it may appear to viewers and fans that they keep testing the character of Rick with different females on “B&B” to see what works?

KYLE:
That’s a good question and I think about it all the time.  Especially on ”B&B” where you do not have a lot of contract players, where at “DAYS” where I came from, you have an hour-long show with 40 cast members, and the possibilities are endless.  Here at “B&B” it can turn into that.  I have heard fan on message boards saying, “Oh, they are just testing chemistry.”  They are not saying, “Oh look at this story,” and “Oh, B&B is testing again.”  I don’t want it to come across that way.

TV SOAP:
How then would you ultimately like the fans to react to the new Taylor/Rick pairing?

KYLE:
In the first script, Rick shows up at Taylor’s house to give her a gift and we see what the writers want to do, and that’s great.  It’s my job to say, “How would this really happen that somehow Rick would become interested in Taylor and fall all in love with her?”   I want to turn it from a chemistry test for the fans to, “Ooh. I like this sexy, hot story with Taylor.”   Or, they have a strong feeling that its not.   I want the fans not to just look at it as a chemistry test between two actors.  That is the challenge.

TV SOAP:
What about Phoebe?  Have you had scenes yet where she finds out that her “ex” is now dating her mother?

KYLE:
I have.  They are fresh and I have taped scenes like that.  I will say, it’s definitely on my mind, like, “What about Phoebe? What happens when the three of us have a scene together?”   It’s pretty crazy though, and I cannot divulge anything more on that.

TV SOAP:
Hunter Tylo has a very unique working style on set.  She is very committed to the work and likes to take lots of notes.  How does her style mesh with yours?
KYLE:
She does take lots of notes, and it’s inspiring.  Working with her is different and her approach is, too.   Hunter is very experienced and talented.  I love her process, and she does have a lot of notes.  She takes the dialog that’s on the page, and the scene at hand, very seriously. She goes above and beyond normalcy to make the scene very believable in her own eyes.  She takes everything to heart.  It is evident when you look at her scripts.  There is chicken scratch written all over them.

TV SOAP:
Is your process similar?

KYLE:
Mentally, I am on the same page as her, but I am not as thorough.  I try to take a situation in the script, and I spend a long time seeing how it would play out.  First, I take my own reactions on how I would react to it.  Then I see how Rick would react to it, which is more dramatic and messed up than mine, only slightly. (He laughs)  I then come up with an average between the two and go with that.  The cool thing about Hunter is we recently filmed some dramatic scenes, and I give her credit.  She was so not just standing on set and really was in the situation mentally.  She is very inspiring!

TV SOAP:
How do you think the recent writers strike affected the scripts you were getting at “B&B”?

KYLE:
If I had to formulate an opinion, because the writer’s strike was a sensitive situation and I don’t want to single out “B&B”, but daytime in general kept going.  Scripts kept coming, writers were tentative, or not entirely comfortable, not experience wise, but just going to work.  My perception of it was that the writing was a bit conservative.  I am saying on the safe side.   I am not saying the scripts were bad or good.  I am just saying, because of the tentativeness of the situation, it came through in the writing a bit.

TV SOAP:
How has Eileen Davidson reacted to the defecting of Rick to a new romance with Taylor? Was she upset?

KYLE:
We had a funny talk about that.  It’s no secret that we felt there was something there between Rick and Ashley, and quite selfishly with me and Eileen, in terms of working together.  We love to work together.  We were teased around a bit when we both first came on the show.  Then the show focused on Rick and Phoebe, which was also great. Now, we come back from the holiday and think maybe something can start up again between Rick and Ashley and we find out, no, it’s Rick and Taylor.  For Eileen, and me we were laughing.  We were saying, “Just give us story!”  Then we thought could we have an Ashley/Rick/Taylor triangle?  I don’t know.  That remains to be seen, but at the end of the day, Eileen and I do have a laugh about it, like, “C’mon! Just give us a chance. One chance, to dive head first into the pool.”

TV SOAP:
So, you were both a little upset?

KYLE:
I don’t want to say we were upset, that would be a bit dramatic. We were more tongue and cheek. We were not pissed off about it.  We just felt we dipped our toes in the water, if you will, and we just wanted to dive in and see where the story would go.

TV SOAP:
Over at “DAYS” so much has been going on behind the scenes. First, with the news that the entire writing staff at “DAYS” was just fired!

KYLE:
Oh gees!  Oh dear. I did not know this.   My wife Arianze Zuker, who played Nicole Kirkiakis, is returning to “DAYS”.

TV SOAP:
That’s great to know, but you mean your ex-wife, don’t you?

KYLE:
No, we are married.  The press kind of jumped the gun on that.  We were never divorced.  Long story short, we, like many normal people in this world, we had issues.  These issues have been resolved.  Thank God!  The press jumped the gun a little bit and our personal statements leaked out and they were never official.  We are still married.  Ariane is going back to “DAYS” in March.

TV SOAP:
Have you been watching “DAYS” and all the mentions of your former character’s name of Brady all the time?  Is something in the works to bring you back to Salem?

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KYLE:
Because Ariane was returning I have been watching “DAYS” with her, and much to my surprise, I am like, whoa!  They are talking so much about Brady and it was an issue.  People have been asking me, “What is going on with that?”  It’s kind of a surprise, because in the States it’s been in Soap Opera Digest, and they posted an article, “Is Kyle Lowder coming back to “DAYS”?  And people are calling me, and I am going, “Nothing is going on!”

TV SOAP:
So, are you saying for the record, there has been no contact with “DAYS”?

KYLE:
I do not want to say there was no contact, but from my standpoint, there is never an issue as to where I was going to be.  But, I don’t want to comment further on the details.  At the end of the day, I am here at “B&B” and I want to be here

TV SOAP:
But it must be hard to watch “DAYS” knowing they are talking so much about Brady?

KYLE:
From my standpoint, quite truthfully, if I am not going to be there, are they recasting Brady?   Because they are talking so much about him, how could they not have that character return?  It’s bizarre!  At the end of the day they will recast.

TV SOAP:
How would you feel about “DAYS” recasting the role of Brady, knowing you had originated the role?

KYLE:
I don’t know.  I don’t want to be one of those soap operas cliché actors, saying, “It’s my role.” At the end of the day, it would be hard to watch somebody else step into that role.  When you invest in any business, or part with six years of your life in an area, and somebody else takes over when your hands are tied…. it is a bit hard to swallow.

TV SOAP:
But of course, you took over the role of Rick Forrester on “B&B” from another actor, so you know what it’s like.

KYLE:
Completely!  I have said that from day one, that the recast situation in this genre is a very sensitive issue because soap fans love their stories and their characters.  My first feature in a magazine, when I came on this show, was about how I looked at the recasts on “DAYS” when I was there, in particular, with Martha Madison jumping into the role of Belle on the show.  For a major contract player on the show, I was looking at it going, “Wow. I don’t envy that situation because fans get attached to the character, and the actor playing the character.”  And that’s been from day one here at “B&B”.  I am still respectful to the character of Rick and what’s been done.  It was not my intention to come into this show and do something new with the character.  I wanted to continue the work of the previous actors, and to add my own spin to it, and not to just dominate the character.

TV SOAP:
Have you spoken to Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe, “DAYS”) about the recent developments there?

KYLE:
We have spoken a bit.  We spoke a bit before she returned to the show, and we did speak right before the holidays.  Nadia received the scripts for the storylines that are airing now on the show.  She said, “We are talking about you a lot.”  And I said, “I don’t know what you are talking about?”  I will just say I find it a little intriguing… let’s just say that.

TV SOAP:
What would you like to see happen with Rick, and what are your goals moving forward with the character?

KYLE:
My goals with Rick in general, in the zany world of endless money, high fashion, high profile, and beautiful women where ever he looks… it’s a recipe for disaster!  My goal is to keep him as likeable and charming as possible, but at the same time, to keep the edge on him to keep him from being boring.

TV SOAP:
It must be tough to try and strike the balance of not being so “goody-goody”, correct?

KYLE:
You want to be charming and likeable, but you don’t want to be the “goody-two shoes”.  I want to create a balance with him.  At the end of the day, he is a chip off the old block with his mom, Brooke.  He wears his heart on his sleeve.  He is the kind of guy who leaps before he looks, in terms of getting involved in situations.  For instance, with the Phoebe situation, he was smitten with her.  He did not look at all the factors; like the age difference, the fact that he worked with her, and the fact that they thought they were related their entire lives.  Now with the Taylor situation, he is not considering the fact that this is his ex- girlfriends mother, and this is his own mother’s long enemy.   He just doesn’t think about that stuff.

TV SOAP:
Will we get to hear you sing on the show sometime soon?

KYLE:
I don’t know.  I hope so.  It’s definitely something I’d love to do, but that remains to be seen.

Interviews

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

Photo: CBS

I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Photo: CBS

What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Daytime Emmy Winners: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Scott Clifton & Heather Tom Talk Winning the Gold & Returning to Work at B&B

This week, The Bold and the Beautiful has been airing encore presentation of Daytime Emmy-winning performances from some of the cast over the years as a prelude to tomorrow night’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.

The weeklong Emmy celebration concludes tomorrow with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s (Steffy) Emmy-winning performance from last year which won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize for the first-time in her daytime career.

Michael Fairman chatted with Jacqui, along with five-time Daytime Emmy-winner and a nominee for Lead Actress again this year, Heather Tom (Katie) and three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Scott Clifton (Liam).  As daytime soap fans know, Heather and Scott hold the distinction of being the only actors to win in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead.

In this candid and fun conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Jacqui, Scott and Heather remember the nights the won Emmy gold, their acceptance speeches, things they wish they would have said, and what it was like waiting for their names to be called, plus taking a stroll down memory lane and remembering when they taped their Emmy-winning performances.

Scott reveals why he chose not to submit himself in Lead Actor this year, even though he has some of the finest performances throughout the Baby Beth baby switch storyline,.

Later the trio talk about The Bold and the Beautiful being the first U.S. soap opera and first U.S. broadcast show back in production following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and how B&B is looking to shoot episodes during the times we live.

Watch the full video interview below.

Then let us know, what was your favorite part of the moments shared by Jacqui, Scott, and Heather in the Emmy conversation?  Do you think Heather might tie Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) tomorrow night with her sixth win in the Lead Actress category?  What do you think of B&B’s return to production following the sentiments shared.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Thaao Penghlis Chats on His Daytime Emmy Nomination & How He Makes Tony DiMera One of a Kind

He has been one of the longstanding cast members of Days of our Lives and certainly of Salem’s notorious DiMera Clan; and while Thaao Penghlis may be off our screens for a time and then comes back again; though the years one thing has been true, he delivers top-notch performances in a way that is uniquely ‘Thaao’.

This year at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be broadcast on Friday night, June 26th at 8 p. m. EST, Thaao is vying for the Outstanding Lead Actor prize amongst a formidable group of other daytime favorites.  And this makes it two years in a row that Penghlis has received an Emmy nomination although this time in a different category.

As fans know, Penghlis takes the art of acting seriously, and expects other he works with to bring their A-game, just as he does time and time again; whether it be playing DAYS dashing Tony or the evil Andre or when he portrayed Victor Cassadine on General Hospital.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Thaao to get his thoughts on: receiving the Emmy recognition and what it means to him what he thought about his nominated scenes, plus what he might be doing at home during the ceremony, and where he hopes Tony DiMera’s future is headed.   Here’s what Thaao shared.

Photo: JPI

Tell me about what scenes you submitted that landed you a Lead Actor Emmy nod!

THAAO:  Well, the week I came back to DAYS, I had 11 shows, and this material was from one show of three I did one day!  When you think of other actors doing 150 shows, and I did less than 50 this past year, my choice is kind of limited.  So, when I came across these particular scenes, which were with Eric Martsolf (Brady) and with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), what I liked about it is that usually when you see other peoples’ work, its histrionic, it’s great tears, it’s drama – and what I was able to put together had a through line and an arc from beginning to end.  It makes it very logical when somebody is following your story, and you can show a whole ebb that makes sense.  I had some lines that were really difficult to say, like, “Coming back from the dead is not easy.”  When I get lines like that, I throw it away, and because of that, it becomes humorous.  I have to say I work well with Arianne.  She was great.  I found in the past, when I have worked with some actors, they step on your lines.  I found the best way to stop that is I put my hand up, and I say, “Hey!” and everything goes silent.  They go into shock mode, and I say, “I haven’t finished,” and then I go on.  (Laughs)  So, when Kristen as Nicole starts to talk to Tony the way she does, and she says, “You’d better behave…” I thought, “This is a DiMera you are talking to,” so, I just snapped back at her.  I gave her a, “Hey!”  So, she shut up, froze, and I went on.

Photo: JPI

Would you say your reel was more comedic … or both funny and serious?

THAAO:  It is both.  There are subtleties to it.  There is a teacher I know in Australia, and she is very critical.  She said, “I want to see your work.”  I showed it to her, and she wrote back, “Oh my, God.  How did you make those transitions so readily?”  I went, “Oh.  How did I do it?”  I didn’t think of that.  I think it’s an old technique.  It’s called having to do 3 shows in one day, and you had better get your stuff right, and it’s about how do you make a scene work?  There is one director who I did a miniseries with who said to me, “Where did you get your training from?”  I said, “Daytime.”  He said, “My God.  You certainly know how to have a camera follow you,”   Well, the camera has to follow your movement.  So, when I finished a transition, I’d move to another spot, and the camera had to follow me.  So, what happened in the arc of this Emmy-nominated piece is that I took charge and controlled the scene so that it became a scene of lots of transitions. And of course, charm, I did all of what I thought Tony would be.  He is a DiMera.  I have one of those looks. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe it’s as I get older, but I’ve learned how to work the camera where I may slam something first to get your attention, and then the camera comes onto your face, and you’re going, “Oh, what the hell is he thinking?”  So, I can play the dark side quite readily, and yet in my real life, I’m not so bad. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

You have Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Steve Burton (Jason, GH) also in your category, and these guys who are obviously been soap veterans like yourself.  What do you think about the group you have been nominated with? 

THAAO:  I never worked with Steve Burton, but hear good things.  I know Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH).  He’s a lovely actor.  I have worked with Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R).  He’s a lovely actor.  He is well-trained.  So, it is nice to see that the nominees are all vets.

Right, they are all vets.  It seems like a good group to be with. 

THAAO:  I agree, and I love that the Daytime Emmys are coming back to television.  I think it is an upswing when they think of daytime dying.  I think whoever made this happen is taking on the responsibility of taking daytime back.  It is why people love novellas.  People love the story, they love to follow the characters, and we’ve got fantastic fans.  I mean, what would we do without them?  You can’t sustain the show without them, and you pay a price, you have to know how to entertain them because once they know who you are and what you’re about, they get bored.  So, you have to be ahead of your audience all of the time.  That’s what I have always tried to do with both characters that I’ve played on DAYS

Photo: JPI

They’re doing a virtual ceremony this year.  How do you think you would dress while watching the ceremony?

THAAO:  You don’t wear a tux in your house, do you? So, I’ve invited some people for a celebratory time.  Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS) and her husband Nick Schillace (head of make-up, DAYS) and Leann Hunley (Anna, DAYS) are some of my great friends who have been very supportive of me through some tough times this year, and I’ve got a friend who has got  a wonderful restaurant, and he is going to cater it.  Probably it will be a group of 10.  You know, could you imagine being here on your own, in a tuxedo, with a glass of champagne? (Laughs)

I know, kind of awkward! (Laughs)  You’ll put something nice on for the big night, right?

THAAO:  Yes, you know me.  I’m always dressed.  What would you suggest?  Sweatpants on the bottom and a tuxedo jacket!  How about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Now, you have been previously nominated for Daytime Emmys, too!

THAAO:  Yes, and last year I was nominated as well for Outstanding Guest Performer.  So, it’s kind of nice to be back-to-back, and in 2008, I was nominated for Lead Actor when I played the clown in the Tony and Andre storyline.  Thank God, DAYS recently DAYS had James Reynolds (Abe) wining in the Lead Actor category.  I thought, “Wow.”  That was for years and years of good work that he’s done, and also, Greg Vaughan (Eric) wining for Supporting Actor was very nice, but we haven’t had that many wins in the acting categories over the years.

Photo: JPI

DAYS tapes so far ahead of air; that what was once a seemingly major concern has paid off swimmingly during the coronavirus pandemic.  The soap is the only show to have enough episodes in the bank for months ahead when production shut down and enough even when other shows go back into production.  Who would have thought?

THAAO:  We used to think it was ridiculous that DAYS taped eight months ahead, but look at us now! Who would have thought is right?

What would you love to see happen with Tony when DAYS does resume filming new episodes again? 

THAAO:  I’d like to go back and play the head of the DiMera family.  I’ve never been granted that, and I think, at this stage, with the way I worked with Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) it would be nice to see the transition just like Michael Corleone did in Godfather.

So will you be rooting for Thaao to take home the gold as Lead Actor in a Drama Series come Emmy night?  Do you hope DAYS writes Tony into upcoming story, and if so, how would you like to see him on the canvas? Comment below.

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