If you watched today’s highly emotional tribute and memorial service to Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless, you may have been caught by surprise, as were the actors who play Christine and Paul! Of course, we are talking about Lauralee Bell (Christine) and Daytime Emmy winner Doug Davidson (Paul) who have kept the secret that during the memorial, Paul and Christine get married! The shocking turn of events brings some happiness and hope to a rather heartbreaking day for Katherine’s loved ones, family, and friends who come together in Chancellor Park, the new set honoring the late Jeanne Cooper, to say goodbye to the Grand Dame of Genoa City.
On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Lauralee and Doug exclusively to get an inside look at what went down during the emotional taping of Katherine’s memorial, especially for these two who had such a deep and close bond to the legendary Jeanne Cooper. Plus, we learn, what was their reaction when they learned that their characters would marry in the middle of the memorial? Fitting, or, inappropriate?
For longtime fans of the number-one soap, Doug references throughout our chat the influences of Lauralee’s dad (Y&R creator Bill Bell) throughout this new storyline involving the letters Katherine left for the residents of Genoa City, that for many is a call to action, and for many a time to contemplate. But for once in soaps, the good girl and the good guy finally get together. What better way than to have their beloved friend and long time cast mate Jeanne Cooper looking over them from the heavens above onto the soundstage at CBS to watch the fictional union of two of her dearest friends in real life. Here is what Lauralee and Doug have to share about the experience with all of you!
How was it for both of you to perform and participate in the memorial episodes for Katherine Chancellor knowing your deep personal relationship with Jeanne Cooper?
I don’t think Doug and I have ever cried so hard, honestly.
What happened was… the part that got me the first time was that during rehearsal Corbin Bernsen is up there as Father Todd, and where does the play stop and real life begin? There are these big pictures of Jeanne around, and he started and he got caught up, and we were OK then, but then he goes to read this poem, and so much of the poem reminded me of Jeanne not really being away. You could feel her presence in the studio. She is such a powerful force. Then having her son read this poem about her. Then, suddenly Doug was getting more emotional than Paul should …
… Right, right! We were all getting so emotional, especially our row. If the camera were to have cut to us, it would have been an odd choice. We could barely keep it together! But there was one little segment apparently that Corbin said, “When I read it at home and was preparing to shoot the episode, I did not see this one sentence that said, ‘my blood lives within you,”’ or something to that effect. It just choked him up immediately, because everything was, and is so real.
And, it’s so contagious. It’s his mom, and you feel for him, and you feel for the loss of his mom, and our friend, and on so many levels, that you can’t anticipate how you are going to react with all of that coming at you.
It was a really hard day.
Were the two of your dreading taping the episodes, because of how close real life and art were this time? Did you like the way the writers decided to deal with Katherine’s death?
What I liked is that Katherine is not off the canvas, and that is the bottom line, and that is why we were both thrilled how it was handled, because she is living beyond her departure through letters she gave to all of these cast members. All of the letters are changing the lives of the people of Genoa City, and she is now still the topic of the show.
I had not really thought about if it would be difficult or not, because I felt like we had been through that. But in some weird way, this was almost harder than Jeanne’s real memorial.
I think we were all eager to do it, because it was such a tribute to an iconic television character. So, I think everybody involved in the story was honored to be there. Our fans deserve a great tribute, and that she be honored in a fitting manor. I guess if you are afraid of emotion, you have got the wrong job of being an actor on a soap opera. From my perspective, it was a privilege to be able to honor her. I don’t think anyone has been honored quite in this fashion: first a memorial for Jeanne, and now her character.
It all ended so nicely, too, because each cast member went up and singly had a sentence about her and for her as they put roses next to her ashes. It was so well done.
Corbin brought some of Jeanne’s ashes to be in Katherine’s vessel. It was very cool.
It was very intense. And when you would look to your left and see the camera operators and the boom guys all choked up too, everyone on that set was involved.
There was no way out.
So, Paul is the last one to get a letter from beyond the grave that starts the turn of events at the memorial that sort of matches up with what Katherine said to Christine in her letter.
Paul is the last one to get a letter!
Christine’s letter said something to the affect of: “No one ever had on their tombstone, you put in great hours. Take time to look at the sunset and take time to live your life, and if something is right there in front of you that you know it is meant to be, get it. Don’t waste your life away.” So the meaning was in there, and then Paul got his letter.
And Paul’s letter says, “What are you waiting for? Marry her!” That is all it said.
What happened to Nina (Tricia Cast) in all of this? On Tuesday’s episode, Kay’s letter impacted her so much that she was ready to let go of Paul, and just in time!
Nina got a letter to forgive. I must say since that story started, it has been more Bill Bell-esque in the style of the show, and character-driven with a heartbeat. It has certainly felt more like Bill’s show since her passing, and that is due to the fact that Jeanne Cooper’s Katherine Chancellor is part of the original creation and concept of Y&R. And, it’s carried through into all the other stories right now.
Plus, I hoped the fans loved all the flashbacks during the memorial. It was great to hear Jess Walton (Jill) talk about how Jill and Katherine met. And, how she was her manicurist, and that is something you forget. Even as an actor on the show, to listen to everyone’s little vignette was. “Oh God. I forgot about that. And Wow, there is such insane history.” It was just all great! So Paul says to Christine, “Will you marry me?” It is a bizarre place, but at least we acknowledge it, like, “I don’t think we should crash Katherine’s funeral!” (Laughs)
But what was your reaction, Lauralee, when you heard about Paul and Christine getting married at Katherine’s memorial?
Personally, I did not believe it!
It was like, “What the heck?”
How did you first hear about the shocking fact that Christine and Paul would get married at Katherine’s Memorial?
I heard about it from the wardrobe department. I was like, “Have they totally lost it?” (Laughs) And I have got to say when we got on the floor; it once again honored Kay and Jeanne. It sort of all came together there … our emotions and our love for her. It was about the things that stop us in life that maybe we would not have heard when she was here, but you hear loud and clear when she’s gone. I will get messages from our viewers that they have so much more attachment to the veterans on the show since her passing. And there again, they cherish what they lost, and are attaching to the people they have spent 25, 30 or 40 years with.
I went for a fitting for a wedding dress, and I was like, “Right?”
What did you think about how the marriage came about so quickly?
Well, Paul gets down on knee! And … with Reverend Corbin looking on! (Laughs)
Then Jill says, “This will be perfect!”
And Christine says, “I don’t think this is appropriate. It steals focus.”
It makes it so right that it will honor her, in that we are starting a new life together and honoring a life that just past – so it’s a death and birth at the same time.
And there were instructions from Katherine, that this should not be a sad occasion but a party, and all of that. So it did work.
You must have been concerned that this would come off as a bit odd?
In the beginning, yes … but then also what came into this was Lauralee’s relationship with Jeanne, and my relationship with Jeanne, and suddenly we looked at each other and we have our own history together. So, then it becomes about Doug’s working relationship with Lauralee, and Lauralee’s with Doug’s, and suddenly your realize, all of our adult life has been spent in this environment. Corbin pointed out that over half of Jeanne’s life was spent on Y&R, and suddenly we could all relate to the fact that what Bill and Lee Bell created lives on. After the taping of the memorial was all done, Corbin personally challenged all of us in keeping the show alive and working as hard as we can.
He challenged us to take this and take it to the next level, and never give up. Even when you worked with Jeanne, she would force you to work harder to make it a better scene.
At 84! She would show up, ready to go. It was amazing.
And where do you think things were between Christine and Paul before the letters arrived? Were they in a good place where Katherine’s influence would have sparked this to happen so quickly?
All Christine says to Paul is, “I know you are a little disappointed that you didn’t get a letter.” She has been away and she shows up and Paul says, “Do you want to just pass on the memorial?” Christine says, “No, after getting this letter, I feel closer to Katherine. And, I am sorry you did not get a letter.” Paul just sloughs it off and says, “I will just share yours.” But you can tell he is very sad he does not have a letter. But it was pretty immediate, and probably better that way, because if there was too much thought about it, it would not have worked. The whole thing had to be spontaneous.
I am delivered the letter towards the end of the memorial service, and I go off to a private area to read it.
So all this time Christine and Paul loved each other from afar? Lauralee has not been on the show as much recently.
Well, she moved back from Washington to be with Paul. I work a bunch more in the beginning of September, so I think things will become clearer.
I understand there were production reasons why Lauralee could not come earlier, and then for Lauralee she had family plans during the summer.
I don’t know if I will be on more. I hope so. I am auditioning and doing my web series, and when I get the call to come back to Y&R, I am happy to go. It is all good.
Nina seemed happy she got her letter, so she was satisfied to let bygones be bygones. She even was Christine’s maid of honor! But what about Danny (Michael Damian), who Christine has a romantic past with? He did not look to happy about this union!
Nina was happy because she got a letter from Katherine. She was happy to be acknowledged, same with Danny who said something like, “I’ve moved on. I don’t care.” It was pretty funny. (Laughs)
Do you think Christine and Paul ever stopped loving each other?
I don’t think they ever stopped. I think they were driven apart by Michael (Christian LeBlanc) and Isabella (Eva Longoria) and if not for that, I think they would have made it over the separation. But having the two forces; Michael on Chris and Isabella on Paul, it drove a wedge between them when Chris was working in Hong Kong. Upon her return, I don’t think they stopped loving each other. I think it was all still there. I think they became jealous, and because of it, it shrouded their love, but if you recall none of that happened naturally. It was all forced upon.
Paul’s competition really is Christine’s job. That is her problem. She has to figure out what she needs more … a career, or a life. But at this point in life, as people get older this marriage has a better chance of working, because it’s a different stage in your life, and you do realize that life does not go on forever and you re-prioritize. I think that other than the circumstances of Katherine’s wedding, it was an emotional ceremony, and that they are on now on a very adult level with each other in a different way.
The fact that they have such a strong foundation and relationship beyond husband and wife, is the reason it’s probably going to last forever. And, I mean forever as anything is on a soap opera. (Laughs)
Do you think Jeanne would love the fact that Paul and Christine got hitched on the memorial episodes dedicated to the legacy of her character, Katherine Chancellor?
I think you go one step further, too; it was a pairing that was incredibly important to Bill as well. And for me, it was quite an honor that he picked my character to marry the character his daughter plays. If you know anything about Bill, he would never do anything like that lightly. That in itself is an honor, but Jeanne being connected to that goes above and beyond. There is a video clip of where she is talking to me about Chris that was 20 years ago.
Lauralee, do you think Dad would be proud of this story?
I think so. The history is there. It defines itself, and the audience knows what we are thinking without speaking, and it’s characters that our so embedded in the show.
We could not have done this without Bill Bell. This goes so deep into the core and the heart of the entire show, that it’s all him.
Friends who never watched the show asked me, “Oh, you’re getting married again?” Then they asked, “Well, what number is this for you?” And I said, “Surprisingly, it’s only the second man I have married on Y&R.” Again, this relationship was not so all over the place, where Paul was with this person, and that person, and Christine was with half the cast. These two have such a special bond that when you see one; you expect to see the other.
I hesitate to use the word “old-fashioned”, but it was the hero and the heroine, and Bill Bell was very protective of both our characters, and what we got involved it. I know from my perspective, Bill would never have Paul shoot anybody. He wouldn’t even let me point a gun. That is how pure that was…
… Or, let you solve a case! (Laughs)
Well, while Paul could never solve a case, Christine could! She never lost a case in court! (Laughs)
When I went to The Bold and the Beautiful Ronn Moss (Ex-Ridge) said, “You’re my attorney?” And I said, “You’re gonna win!” (Laughs)
Do either of you have a favorite moment, or scene with Jeanne?
Well, I wouldn’t even know how to describe what we were talking about, but a few years ago, I think I came back for a couple of months. I had a scene with Jeanne where I am assuming I was talking about Paul. I bawled in the scene to her, and it didn’t ask for tears. But in my brain, I had this thing like, “Oh, my God. I bet I am never going to work with her again.” Little did I know that she would live two years longer. But it was so intense for me. She did not say very much, but all I had to do was look at her, and it was sort of like the trust factor I have with Doug. It was such a wonderful day for me. There was no panic about how am I going to say this big monologue with this person, and hope that it comes out right. All I had to do was just look at her. I don’t know if you can call it a favorite scene, but it was so beyond comfort in terms of working with someone, it was just such a gift that day.
Paul and Kay had a professional relationship, and it was not nearly as deep as Doug and Jeanne. I have pictures of me in a scene with her, and she always made me laugh. I would solve crimes, or loved ones for Katherine. So that made my job kind of difficult. Paul would be sad, but not so heartbroken, that you can’t talk.
So Christine got this makeshift wedding, and wore what she had on for the memorial as her “wedding dress”!
Yes. All the girls give me something borrowed, something blue and there is a makeshift bouquet! (Laughs)
Katherine did not want people wearing black, so no tears, no mourning. So that colored the palette of what we were all wearing. It was not a maudlin ceremony, and it took place in a place that never existed before. So for the near future, this park is named after Katherine Chancellor, and we have scenes there with her plaque on the wall. We honor her every time the park is up. That is what I mean she is not off the canvas, and she will never be. She will live on in the hearts of viewers, and all the people that had a personal relationship with her that remain on the show.
The Bold and the Beautiful’s Annika Noelle Chats on Hope’s Feelings for Thomas and Her New Attitude, Moving on From Liam, and Being an Advocate
2023 has been the year of Annika Noelle on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. As Hope Logan, she found herself fighting the fire and passion she felt for Thomas Forrester (Matthew Atkinson), while trying to figure out where she stands in her marriage to Liam (Scott Clifton). As an actress, Noelle has carried much of the story and has been front and center. Something that should be remembered come Emmy time in 2024.
In story, ultimately, a trip to Rome, Italy set the stage for life-changing events in Hope’s life. After the wildly successful showing of her design collection, Hope for the Future, in collaboration with her ace designer, Thomas Forrester, the duo end-up in a passionate lip-lock, initiated by Hope, in front of the overhang at the world-famous Colosseum. Problem was … Liam happened upon the scene and saw his then wife’s betrayal.
Flash-forward, Hope has divorced Liam and is moving on with her life seemingly with Thomas, much to the chagrin of most of the entire Forrester and Logan families given Thomas’ twisted past – yes, they are probably thinking, “Baby Beth” and the “Hope Mannequin!” All that aside, on the surface Thomas appears a new man fully ready to embrace a relationship with Hope. Meanwhile, Hope has discovered more of her independence, has a fashionable new short crop hair-do, and is no longer ruled by what others think she should do.
Michael Fairman TV chatted with Annika to get her thoughts on a myriad of subjects including: is it truly the end for Hope and Liam? Will the duo known as “Thope” have a shot at any longevity? What is Hope going to do now that her father Deacon (Sean Kanan) is engaged to none other than evil-personified in Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown)? And that’s just for starters! Read on to see what Annika had to share about it all, and her about beautiful new rescue dog, Huckleberry.
Hope just found out that Eric (John McCook) is dying. How do you think she will cope with the news from here? What has Eric meant to her throughout his life?
ANNIKA: Eric has been a loving patriarch throughout Hope’s life. One of her mother’s biggest champions, Thomas’ grandfather, and Douglas’ great grandfather. He is someone that has been a guiding force throughout her life and to lose him would be like losing the cornerstone that built the house of Forrester. It would be a devastating loss to her family.
Liam seems to be reeling from seeing just how serious Thomas and Hope appear to be with each other at this point. Is Hope moving forward with Thomas in her mind as a “relationship” or does she see this more as an “aﬀair” for her?
ANNIKA: At this point, she can acknowledge that she has feelings for Thomas and she wants to be with him. However, given his significance in her life (an integral part of ‘Hope for the Future’ as well as Douglas’ father) I think she wants to be extremely careful. She has been burned by love and is hesitant to jump in again. She needs to take things slow and thus far, Thomas has respected that.
You carried a very heavy load in the storyline over recent months: from when Thomas and Hope kissed in Rome, to the fallout, to her divorcing Liam, to her feeling more self-assured and independent. What were the more challenging beats of the storyline for you?
ANNIKA: Honestly? This has been a joy. After the heavy “Baby Beth” storyline throughout most of 2019, I have so enjoyed this story arc. From being able to travel to Rome for the first time with the cast and crew, playing beats of strength, laughter, and love as well as the heavier moments, it has been a story I have embraced and given my all.
You have a new fantastic short cropped hair-do. Was that something you wanted to do, or was it related to the character of Hope moving on with her life from Liam?
ANNIKA: This actually had more to do with me making changes and starting new chapters but it also happened to coincide with Hope having major life changes as well. I, of course, had to get permission (contractual obligation and what not) and was surprised to get the blessing to go ahead! It’s been a big adjustment as I’ve had long hair my entire adult life but everyone has been so complimentary and supportive. I think I might keep it for a while…
Do you see Hope, Thomas and Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri) being a family at some point?
ANNIKA: In my eyes, they always were a family from the moment Hope embraced the role as Douglas’ adoptive mother. She takes that responsibility very seriously, and was not going to neglect her duties to that child. Even when it was tough with the blended families, she always tried her best to make it work.
Is Hope at all concerned at this point that Thomas could fall back on his former troubled or devious ways?
ANNIKA: I think in order for her to be involved with a man who has done so much to her and her family in the past, she has to truly believe that this man has changed. That he is different. As she has said repeatedly, he has earned her trust and he has done the work. And try as everyone might to ward her away, I think it just makes it all the more appealing. As her father Deacon said… “love doesn’t always make sense”.
Do you see Hope doing anything to intervene with her father Deacon’s relationship with Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown)? She clearly is not happy about this, given Sheila’s past.
ANNIKA: I think at the moment she has a lot on her plate with Eric’s health, Liam’s realization, Hope For The Future, the children, not to mention her love life. I think she’s trying to maintain some form of peace and balance, which involves setting a boundary with that. Plus, Sheila has a few screws loose, so I don’t think she’s about to go punching crazy in the face just to see what happens.
You recently shared some scenes with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy). Within them, Steﬀy and Hope sparred with a war of words, when it came to Liam and Thomas. Did Hope use his past with Steﬀy as justification to divorce him, because she wanted Thomas so badly, or does she truly believe that Steﬀy will always come first with Liam?
ANNIKA: I think both can be true at the same time. Past resentments, insecurities, and repeated infidelity over years can lead to the downfall of any strong relationship. Hope’s issue is not necessarily Liam’s past indiscretions, as she still choose to forgive him and stay with him during those times. It is the fact that he couldn’t oﬀer her the same grace and forgiveness after she had messed up. Over a kiss. And Liam was so quick to run to Steﬀy in the aftermath. That is what stung. So, she had the divorce papers drawn up.
You have an adorable new dog Huckleberry that you showed on your Instagram. What can you tell me about how Huckleberry came into your life? What kind of dog is he?
ANNIKA: Huckleberry is my gentle angel boy who came into my life thanks to Life Animal Rescue. I had been searching for the right fit and I saw a video of him and knew we were destined to be. He is 100% “Korean Village Dog” and was rescued from a meat farm there. He is now safe with me, chasing butterflies, and playing with Burritoman kitty.
You have been a wonderful ally to the LGBTQ+ community and do get involved in charitable causes. Why is it important for you to lend your name and time to help those perhaps misunderstood, or under-presented?
ANNIKA: Funny thing is, I would be doing it even if I didn’t have this platform. I grew up in theatre as much as I did the outdoors. Both have oﬀered me community and a place of belonging. I was bullied as a child so my places of refuge were the forest in my backyard and the escape I found on the stage. So I will advocate, use my voice, and return the love that the community has shown me all my life. They were a safe haven for me, I will fight for their safety too. As Mama Ru says, “we’re all born naked and the rest is drag”.
As her fashion line says, Hope for the Future, what are your future Hope’s for Hope?
ANNIKA: I hope she finds clarity for herself, strength in her voice, and love in her heart. With or without a man. And more screen time with her children!
As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, what would you like to say to all the fans who have been so supportive to you all over the world who watch B&B?
ANNIKA: Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I know it isn’t always easy with the way storyline can ebb and flow. But if you understand me, who I am outside of my character, all I stand for, and you still ride with me? Then my loves, we are family! And I am grateful for YOU. No character choice can ever ruin that.
So, after checking out our interview with Annika, are you rooting for Hope and Thomas to be the end game, or do you think Hope and Liam should find their way back to one another? Share your viewpoints and thoughts via the comment section below.
Rena Sofer and Amanda Setton Talk On Playing General Hospital’s Mother/Daughter Duo of Lois & Brook Lynn, Working with Co-Stars: Jane Elliot, Wally Kurth and Ellen Travolta, and What Lies Ahead
It’s Thanksgiving time at the Quartermaines, and there is a lot to be ‘thankful’ for if you are a General Hospital fan of this bickering clan. Back in October, Daytime Emmy winner, Rena Sofer returned to her soap-famous role of Lois Cerullo, Ned’s ex-wife and the mother of his child, Brook Lynn. It has been over 27 years since Sofer was back in Port Charles bringing with it her Lois’ incomparable nails, that deep Bensonhurst/Brooklyn accent, those ‘Lois-isms’ and more.
GH fans were very excited and intrigued to see what would happen when Sofer appeared in scenes with her TV daughter, Amanda Setton. After all, Brook Lynn is all grown up now and as you can see like mother, like daughter. And if you were to tell us that years later One Life to Live favorite, Setton, would get an opportunity to play Lois’ daughter, we would have been “Get outta here!” That’s because we knew, even on paper, Amanda was the perfect choice.
Now, as the holiday begins, there’s trouble with Turkey Day at the Q’s, and Lois’ mom, Gloria Cerullo played by beloved guest star Ellen Travolta drops in to be with her daughter and granddaughter … let the fireworks and fun begin. Meanwhile, just recently, Ned’s (Wally Kurth) memory returned after months as “Eddie Maine”, and Lois came back to Port Charles after hearing how Tracy (Jane Elliot) messed with her daughter and blackmailed her right out of Deception. Wanting to stand up for Brook Lynn, Lois got a lot more than she bargained for when she came back to town.
Michael Fairman TV chatted with Rena and Amanda in a heartfelt and candid interview; which clearly reveals that the two would be in each other’s fan club, plus how Rena wants to be respectful to the on-screen relationship between Ned and Lois, given that Wally Kurth and Rena were previously married in real life and since then are married to other people. Coming back to GH, some 27 years later, offers Sofer a fresh perspective to how she was back when she joined the show and how she views work and life now. Amanda teases what’s ahead for Brook Lynn where the ‘spicier’ side of the character is about to make a bit of a return, and what the future may hold for her romance with Chase, and more. Read on for Rena and Amanda’s thoughts on a myriad of Cerullo/Quartermaine topics below.
Rena, so you came back to General Hospital and you meet Amanda. What did you think of Amanda, and how she fits so perfectly as Lois’ daughter?
RENA: Oh, my God! Beyond the perfect daughter! If Lois could have picked her daughter, it would’ve been Amanda. I love her. I know, we as actors, are like, “Oh, I love working with them.” I am not that person. I tend to be very honest about who I like to work with and who I don’t. I’ve always been. Amanda, maybe you don’t know this, but I get myself into a lot of trouble from time to time. (Laughs) But honestly, the second I met her – we met up in a restaurant and Wally joined us a little later.It was just like talking to my daughter except more of a contemporary as opposed to mother/daughter. It just made having her be my daughter on the show so easy. We have a lot in common. There was really an immediate connection between the two of us, which was great.
AMANDA: There’s like an immediate familial feeling. We’re from the same place in the world. We come from similar backgrounds. It was a very easy friendship to strike.
Amanda, was there any intimidation that this was thee Rena Sofer, who created the iconic role of your on-screen mom, Lois?
AMANDA: Not going to lie. She’s like the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen in your life. The fans absolutely adore her. She and Wally have such a history on the show. And so more than intimidation, I was genuinely excited. When I heard that Lois was coming back onto the canvas, I got so excited to explore that mother/daughter relationship with Brook Lynn, because her father is such a central point in all of her story. To be able to play that and then have it be Rena, who’s such a spitfire, and plays Lois so beautifully, so specifically and so clearly, has such a clear point of view, who’s also funny but grounded, I was just so excited. Genuinely!
Rena, has this lived up to what your expectation of coming back into this role and to GH, some 27 years later would be like? How has it felt playing Lois again now?
RENA: It’s interesting, because I think that the gift of time for me is a very important thing. I’ve done a lot of things in my career. I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve had a lot of standstills and also disappointments. I think where I come from now is from a place of gratitude. I feel incredibly humbled and grateful to be able to play Lois again in the way that I am, and that I’m able to play her. I just feel like it’s everything I expected it to be, but it’s so much more than I expected it to be because I didn’t know what I was walking into. I didn’t know if people would want me to be there, if people would be excited for me to be there, if people would be offended that I came back after 27 years, you know? I really walked in trying to have no ego and an understanding this is not my home, that I’m a visitor, and that I just want to have the fun of playing Lois the way I played her when I first created the character. And that did not disappoint. … every single day walking on to that set with those nails and her hair and her wardrobe, and the accent … every single thing I say, even if it’s so difficult to learn, is such a joy.
I had talked with Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) and Wally Kurth for a livestream conversation on my You Tube Channel and she was saying how amazing you were, Rena. You’re so specific in your characters choices that we were also talking about the nails and the hair, and the outfits, and everything that goes into playing Lois, and it works. There’s a lot of thought you put into playing Lois. Wouldn’t you say?
RENA: Yes. I like to put a lot of thought into every character that I play. Not every production allows me to put that much thought in. It helps me to create the character. I’m really lucky that Lois was created already because it allowed me to kind of say, ‘This is now who Lois is’, as opposed to somebody saying, “Well, this is who we want this character to be.”
AMANDA: I just want to add that Rena was welcomed with open arms. Everybody was so excited that she was coming, so thrilled that the character was going to be back in the fold, and that Rena was coming back to play her. It was just a very excited, joyful energy surrounding the storyline.
RENA: Yes, to what Amanda was saying. I just felt that so much.
I can tell you from just my perspective and having a pulse on the reactions and wants of the audience and the fans on social media, they were so excited to have Rena back. And, they were like, “Oh, my God! This is perfect casting! Amanda and Rena!”
AMANDA: Josh Swickard (Chase) and I just did a fan event recently, and everybody at the event was echoing that. Just how, Rena and I were perfect casting as mother and daughter.
RENA: It’s so fun. I was on set the other day and I had to say a line and thank God for Amanda. She was trying to help me say “cab’ properly in how Lois would say it with her accent.
AMANDA: Rena’s accent is so good and she had a big line to say. It was like, “I gotta take a cab.” So, she said, “take “perfectly. And then “cab” was very California. I’m like Rena, its “cab” with a more Brooklyn accent.
Now. another part of the story that’s kind of charming is that Brook Lynn is getting some pointers from her mom on the music business. She’s listening to mom’s advice, and they’re working on Blaze’s music career. Do you think Brooklyn looks up to her mother since Lois has all of this experience with a record label and music management?
AMANDA: Hundred percent! I’m pretty sure a bunch of those scenes aired. Brook Lynn goes directly to her mom, and says, “You need to help me.” She gives me a whole list of things. Brook Lynn is like, “My mother’s amazing. She’s perfect. She can do no wrong, and I love my mommy.”
How is it working with Jacqueline Grace Lopez as Blaze?
AMANDA: She’s such a great actress. She’s got such a great attitude. Jacqueline is so grateful and positive to be there. She’s always prepared and just a real professional and she’s become a friend. She’s an absolute doll and she’s like an amazing singer. She has such a good voice. She has such a presence on stage.
Rena, we recently saw on-air that “Eddie” turned back into Ned, when Ned regains his memory. You had some really great scenes leading up to him turning into Ned again. After all, it was Lois who told ‘Eddie’ to “take a leap of faith.” So, he goes and jumps in the water. What do you think Lois’ relationship is with Ned at this point? How does she feel about him?
RENA: It’s interesting, because something comes up soon enough that I will say that’s very honest. She loves Ned. He’s the father of her child. The thing about Lois is; she made the decision to leave Ned. She was brokenhearted by what happened, but she made the choice to not step into that world of the Quartermaines. It was not the place she wanted to live. It wasn’t that she didn’t want Ned, she didn’t want what he came with. She took her daughter and raised her daughter in Brooklyn. Thank God for that. She loves her ex-husband. She never stopped loving him. She’s just not in love with him anymore. She doesn’t want him anymore. She wants the best for him.
Amanda, do you think Brooklyn wants her parents together, or is she fine with Olivia and Ned?
AMANDA: I think she’s totally fine with it. It’s been so long that they’ve been apart. I will also say, I do think that every child of divorce has a secret hope that their parents will be at least friends or on good terms, or that they’ll have times together with both their parents in the same room. I do think coming up, you get to see some of those moments, which is really nice.
RENA: My daughter Rosabel is obsessed with watching GH now. Obsessed! It’s so great for her because for her it’s like, “It’s not that I want my parents to get back together. I know they don’t belong together at all in any way, shape or form,” but she gets to see us together in a way that is friendly and kind, and not affectionate in like a physical sense. But affectionate in a caring sense. She’s like, “Mom, I’m 27-years-old. This is the first time that as an adult I get to see this.” And it’s true. She loves it!
Rena, I was telling Wally, there was that OG montage of Lois and Ned that was contained in an episode. I loved it. It reminded me of back in the day when we first knew each other. Those scenes were great and they hold up today!
RENA: Those scenes were so great. I said to Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital) you took three minutes and you told the entire story. Basically, from beginning to end minus Brenda, and all the other stuff that happened. Our whole story was told in such a perfect and beautiful way. It was really honored. I felt really honored by it and loved watching it.
After Ned tells Brook Lynn, he’s no longer “Eddie” but he is Ned, she’s so happy to have her father back. However, how do you see the relationship moving forward? Will she be supportive of all his ELQ shenanigans?
AMANDA: That’s a really good question. That remains to be seen, to be fair. I do think that historically what we have seen from the Brook Lynn and Ned dynamic is she can give it, she can really tell ’em like it is. But at the end of the day, she really is a daddy’s girl. They have they this very close bond and there’s a real love for one another. I think you’ll just see that as we move forward.
Now, how has it been for both of you working with Jane Elliot in this storyline? Rena, you’re actually working with Jane again years late and of course, Lois and Tracy have a contentious relationship. Tracy has never been welcoming to Lois into the Quartermaines.
RENA: That’s true. I have to say, when I came on the show as Lois in the first place, to be fully transparent, I think I took it personally. As I said, I came back with no ego or tried to come back with no ego. This time coming back, I cannot tell you how much I’m enjoying spending time with Jane and working with her and just watching her and not feeling like I have to prove myself. I wish I could go back in time and smack myself across the face and say, “What are you doing?” I feel like that’s the truth for all of us as youth, to some extent. I wish I could just go back and just say, “All of that isn’t important. This woman is a wealth of knowledge. Just listen to her, have fun with her.” I think that when I was younger, I was a wealth of missteps in my life. Now, I hopefully am entering this phase of my life in a way where I’m more enjoying and receiving than anything. I’m having the time of my life with Jane. She’s just lovely.
AMANDA: Well, you already know! I’m obsessed with Jane. I love her to death. We’re very close. We go out outside of work. I just adore her. Jane is a really deep, deep person who, as Rena said, has a wealth of experience, and she’s willing to share it. I have had nothing but a wonderful time with her. Genuinely, I’ve learned so much from her. And to boot, she’s an incredible actor who makes such specific subtle choices that even in the room, you don’t even feel as much as when it’s on camera. She’s so good at playing to camera. It’s unbelievable. You watch it back, and you’re just floored, and plus, they write really well for her character.
So, is Brook Lynn not upset with her grandmother for what she did to her with Deception?
AMANDA: So, with Jane it’s pure love. With Tracy, it gets a little more complicated. You’ll come to see in the next couple months some scenes that are going to air of how she really loves her grandma at the end of the day. She has a lot of love and respect for her. I think that’s why the whole blackmail storyline was so hurtful, because she does look up to her in a lot of ways. There’s always going to be that push and pull between the two of them. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of love there.
My thought is … Lois and Brooklyn will work together to ensure Tracy doesn’t pull any machinations again.
AMANDA: Well, you’ll just have to watch and see.
RENA: Exactly! And by the way, how are we supposed to control the weather? I mean, come on! It’s so true. We can do our best, but Tracy’s going to do what she’s going to do, and she does it well. It’s who she is, and you know, we can only try to fix the damage. We can’t control the hurricane.
AMANDA: I will say, there’s some stuff coming down the pike with Brook Lynn “Spice” coming back into the fold, which has been really fun to play. I’m excited to have more of that stuff because post-Bailey and falling in love with Chase, she’s really softened a lot, which is great. I think we’ve seen her humanity and her nurturing side as a mother figure, and now as a serious girlfriend figure. But, It’ll be fun to play some of that Brook Lynn nastiness.
Rena, what was your first impression of Josh Swickard?
RENA: He is adorable. We were sitting there when I really first met Josh and he sang. He sang the song that’s already aired. He looks at me and he goes, “I’m so embarrassed. You know, because I don’t wanna be one of those guys who sings and is like. ‘I’m so great of a singer.”’ Josh is like, “I’m really worried that people are going to think that I’m arrogant, or, or something like that.” I said to him, “Do you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race? And he just looked at me like I was literally from a different planet. And he’s like, “no.” I’m like, “Well, I do. I watch it all the time. I’ve seen almost every episode. And here’s what RuPaul, the brilliant RuPaul says, “It’s none of your business whatever people think about you. That is not your business at all.” If you think about it and you take that in, it kind of saves you from ever worrying about that. That was one of our first interactions. I remember that. Thank you, RuPaul. Josh is just adorable.
Amanda, do you see Brook Lynn and Chase having longevity as a couple on GH?
AMANDA: I hope so. I see it, but we’ll see what the writers cook up.
Ellen Travolta’s going to be back on air for Thanksgiving as Lois’ mother, Gloria Cerullo. Rena, you’ve been friends with her this whole time, correct? Did you have a hand in her return?
RENA: Yes, yes, yes. It was me! I went, “I’d love to come back to General Hospital. Here’s the thing: If I come back, you need to bring back Gloria.” Let me just tell you, everybody loved Ellen. Everybody loves Ellen. Ellen is like the dream mom of everybody in America, in the world. She was Chachi’s mom. She was my mom. She’s the best mom. Emma, who works at at the front guard desk at GH, checks you in and tells you where your room is. I’ve been there for two months. I still walk up to her sometimes and she goes, “What’s your name? “Do you have your pass?” I say, “ I do. I do. Hold on.” I show her my pass. She goes, “OK, and she looks down the list and she’s like, “You’re in this room.” It took Ellen the second day she was there to get settled in. She was like, “Ellen! I want the best room for you. I’ll make sure you’re right near me. If you need anything, don’t you worry, ” and she is giving her hugs. I’m behind her, right? I walk up and I’m like, “Hi!” And she goes, “Name?” “Pass?” (Laughs) Ellen Travolta is a dream, and to work with her is a dream. I’m completely responsible because I almost bullied Frank Valentini into bringing her back. But what a gift it was to have her back, because she’s amazing.
Will we be touched by the scenes, or is it fun and campy during the Thanksgiving episodes? What can you preview?
RENA: I think the audience, as much as they enjoyed seeing Lois and Brook Lynn, the three of us together is a whole other world. You will be touched in many different places. However, you want to take that.
Amanda, what was it like meeting Ellen Travolta and then working with her?
AMANDA: Oh, my gosh. We fell in love immediately. What’s crazy Michael is, my maternal grandmother was Grandma Gloria. I had her till I was 30 and we were so close. She was really like a second mom to me. So, when I got this script and I’m reading “Grandma Gloria”, it was so bizarre. And then in meeting Ellen, she looks like my grandma – same haircut, same high cheekbones. It really did feel like I had a few days with my grandma. It was very, very special for me. Ellen is sweet, prepared, professional, talented and funny to boot. So, it was one of the best weeks I’ve had at work. I hope she comes back. My fingers are crossed.
RENA: Ellen told me when she was on General Hospital the first time she was my age. She was almost 55 years old when she started in the role, and now I’ll be 55 in a couple weeks. It was just very apropos. I loved it.
Olivia’s ready to throw in the towel for Thanksgiving, but Lois will hear none of it. I’m assuming perhaps Lois saves the day?
RENA: Lois always saves the day.
Is there any jealousy between Lois and Olivia? Do you play any of that in your scenes?
RENA: Oh, no. Listen, here’s the deal. I’m not giving the audience any sort of hinting or preconceived notion that there is going to be a triangle or a love story between Ned, Lois and Olivia. Let’s be really clear. Wally and I were married. We are now remarried. It is not fair to either of our spouses to even play that kind of a story. It’s not. It is not respectful. We will not cross that line. It doesn’t matter. It’s not about not respecting the audience. It’s not about how fun that storyline could be, but we have relationships with people that really, it would be difficult for them because we were married and had a child. We have two children together – Megan being my stepdaughter. So, that is not something I’m willing to play. I’m not going to play. I don’t want the audience thinking, “Oh!” I don’t want them asking for it. It’s not acceptable.
I think a lot of viewers were thinking Lois and Olivia might get into it over Ned.
AMANDA. You know soap writers, Michael.
RENA: True. But I will say this, the one thing that I don’t want to play as I get older and if I have any control over anything, and I’m not saying I have any control over the script at all, is I don’t like playing women hating women. I do not enjoy that. Most of the people who watch our show are women. I don’t want to be a role model to then say, “Hey, guys can never do any wrong, but you should always be wary of your girlfriend.” I don’t like that. I don’t think it’s correct. And in this world, it’s a choice I make not to send that message.
AMANDA: Just bringing it back to the Lois/Brooklyn/Gloria scenes. It’s really fun to see three really strong New Yorker comedic women in the same room together. And then of course, you add in Lisa LoCicero and Jane Elliot, of course. Having all of these really strong female characters together, representing the Quartermaines on Thanksgiving is pretty awesome.
As our conversation comes to a close, what would you want to say to the fans and/or your wish for them as the holidays approach?
AMANDA: Happy holidays to all the fans. Thank you so much for watching. You know, we only get to do this because of you guys, and we’re so grateful for your support over the years and your genuine love of these characters and these storylines. We just hope that we can continue to fulfill all of your storyline wants and desires.
RENA: I wish everybody out there a happy and peaceful holiday season where they could be surrounded by friends and family, and remember what’s important and hold onto what is dear to them. And, just pray for peace everywhere. Everywhere. Pray for peace.
What do you think of Rena Sofer and Amanda Setton as the mother/daughter duo of Lois Cerullo and Brook Lynn Quartermaine on ? Are you looking forward to seeing how Thanksgiving plays out at the Q’s? What are your hopes moving forward for Lois while she is in Port Charles and for Brook Lynn in love and in her professional life? Share your comments below.
‘Neighbours’ Stars Lucinda Cowden, Rebekah Elmaloglou and Stefan Dennis Talk What Went Down On ‘Flashback Week’
If you caught this week’s episodes of Neighbours: a New Chapter on Amazon Freevee, you know that the streaming revival of the beloved Australian soap opera went back in time two years; to fill in the blanks of some of the events that happened from when the original Neighbours ended after 37 years.
In all-new story for “Flashback Week”, Melanie (Lucinda Cowden) was revealed to be the victim of a relentless blackmail and extortion attempts from Krista (Majella Davis) and her troublemaking ‘boyfriend, Eden (Costa d’Angelo). As the story unfolded, its tentacles reached far and wide involving almost the entire cast and those who reside in the fictional town of Erinsborough.
In addition, while Terese is somehow married to Toadie in the reboot of the series, we learn how her marriage to Paul fell apart, especially when Paul covered-up Krista’s death after Melanie pushed her and Krista fell in the pool at Lassiter’s Hotel, which Paul runs.
Speaking with Michael Fairman direct from Melbourne on Wednesday for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel were series stars: Lucinda Cowden, Rebekah Emagloglou and Stefan Dennis. The trio discussed taping the emotional story and scenes, what they hope happens next for their characters, and when they learned the heartbreaking news that Neighbours had been canceled.
However. while the original series came to its heartbreaking conclusion, the streaming revival is delivering compelling drama with a mix of old and new cast members, and this season with special guest star Mischa Barton (ex- The O.C.).
You can check out all-new episodes of Neighbours: A New Chapter on Amazon Freevee Monday through Thursdays in the UK and the U.S. and on Channel 10 in Australia.
Now below, check out our conversation with Lucinda, Rebekah and Stefan. Then let us know what you thought of what befell Melanie, Terese and Paul during ‘Flashback Week’ and what you think of the streaming series reboot via the comment section below.
GENERAL HOSPITAL: Ava Receives a Haunting Letter About Austin’s Murder
B&B’s Katherine Kelly Lang Weighs-In On Hope’s New Attitude: “Brooke is Starting to be Like, ‘Uh-oh! She’s Taking After Me!’ ”
‘The Price is Right’ Decks the Halls with Five Holiday-Themed Primetime Episodes & Pet Rescue & Adoption Week on Daytime
96th Annual Academy Awards to Start an Hour Earlier, While Jimmy Kimmel Shares, “I Always Dreamed of Hosting the Oscars Exactly Four Times”
DAYS Favorite Sal Stowers Debuts in New Role in Tyler Perry’s BET Series ‘Sistas’
The Men of ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ Tell All: Their On-Screen Romances and Love Scene Secrets During Their Visit to ‘The Talk’
General Hospital Pays Tribute to Tyler Christopher at End of Episode, ABC Exec Nathan Varni Shares: “You’ll Always Be In Our Hearts”
THIS WEEK ON Y&R: Aunt Jordan Ramps Up Her ‘Attack of the Newmans’ (Preview)
GH’s Scarlett Fernandez on Charlotte’s Mindset: “She Completely Believes That Anna is Out to Get Her”
Morgan Fairchild, Nicollette Sheridan & Donna Mills Visit ‘Tamron Hall’ to Talk ‘Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas’
‘The Price is Right’ Decks the Halls with Five Holiday-Themed Primetime Episodes & Pet Rescue & Adoption Week on Daytime
The Cast of ‘The Bay’ to Preview Upcoming 8th Season in Live Chat
DANCING WITH THE STARS: Semi-Finals Conclude with A Shocking Twist
THIS FRIDAY: The Young and the Restless’ Hayley Erin to Chat Live
CM Punk Returns to ‘Monday Night Raw’ For First Time In Nearly 10 Years: “I’m Not Here to Make Friends, I’m Here to Make Money”
Video Du Jour
Days of our Lives
Airdate: 7-24- 2023
General HospitalNovember 25, 2023
Josh Swickard, Eileen Davidson & Annika Noelle Star in Netflix’s ‘Holiday in the Vineyards’
NewsNovember 27, 2023
The Men of ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ Tell All: Their On-Screen Romances and Love Scene Secrets During Their Visit to ‘The Talk’
General HospitalNovember 28, 2023
General Hospital Pays Tribute to Tyler Christopher at End of Episode, ABC Exec Nathan Varni Shares: “You’ll Always Be In Our Hearts”
General HospitalNovember 24, 2023
Jonathan Frakes Opens Up on How He Met Real-Life Wife ‘General Hospital’s’ Genie Francis
NewsNovember 23, 2023
Y&R’s Camryn Grimes and Fiancé Brook Powell Reprise Their Roles as Santa and Mrs. Clause for Disney
NewsNovember 22, 2023
The Young and the Restless to Air Classic Episode From 1993 on Thanksgiving Day With Connection to Current Cole/Claire/Aunt Jordan Storyline