Connect with us

Interviews

The Melissa Archer Interview – One Life to Live

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

Natalie Buchanan had endured so many setbacks and so much sadness in her young life that it’s hard to imagine that there is more just around the corner.  But there is.  After all this is soap opera, and One Life to Live. Actress Melissa Archer has been winning raves for over eight and half years as Natalie, the feisty, take-no-prisoners, and loveable young heroine.  Melissa’s strength and raw vulnerability make Natalie’s perils ring true to our hearts, no matter how outlandish they may be.  Take a look at her current state of affairs.  Natalie is still getting over the loss of her husband Jared, who was shot to death by the evil Mitch Laurence.  In retribution, Natalie stabbed Mitch.  Her one time beau, John McBain covered for her, but all went awry when somehow with the machinations of an evil police commissioner, (thanks, Dorian!) Mitch got away.  And now this week, his reign of terror goes to new levels of debauchery!

In this On-Air On-Soaps interview, Melissa fills us in on tomorrow’s road to disaster as several of your favorite residents from Llanview are involved in a car crash that is set to change the course of many lives. So, how does Melissa feel about a re-teaming with Michael Easton (John) in the romance department, and the strange, yet loving relationship between sisters, Jessica and Natalie, and working with her on-screen mom, the legendary Erika Slezak?  Her answers may surprise you.  And in Melissa’s opinion, of all of Natalie’s moments, (and there are plenty) which one did she think she hit out of the ballpark?  A Soap Opera Digest winner for Outstanding Newcomer in 2003 and a winner for Favorite Triangle in 2005, could this be the year that Melissa scores a Daytime Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress?  We shall see.  But in the meantime, here are the thoughts from one of daytime’s most compelling young actresses on her juicy role.

MICHAEL:

There is so much coming up for Natalie, but I wanted to go back a bit in time to when Jared died, and those incredible performances you gave at the graveside.  Were those hard to pull off, or do you love getting the chance to emotionally go there?

MELISSA:

Thank you.  It’s a double-edged sword.  It’s hard, but I think that is what is so gratifying about it.

MICHAEL:

It brought us back to a few years before when Natalie thought John was dead, and viewers witnessed your gut-wrenching performances.  And now Jared is gone.  What goes on in Natalie’s mind, in terms of handling all the loss and grief?  It’s almost too much for one person to go through in such a short time frame.

MELISSA:

© JPI Studios

It’s funny, outside of Natalie looking at it. She has had so much tragedy with the men in her life.  Most of them come back, though. (Laughs)  Imagine it actually happening to a human being who would actually lose so many people in such a short time in their life. It’s a little heartbreaking for that person.  I think that is the thing.  For each love interest and new found thing in Natalie’s life, she took from what she had with the old and you have a growth, and you bring that into the new relationship.  You are going through the process all over again. Then with that person dying, it’s a whole new tragedy in itself. Then of course, how do you deal? That is the next question.

MICHAEL:

How was working with John Brotherton (Ex- Jared)?

MELISSA:

Amazing!  He was awesome.  He is a nice guy, professional and positive, and it was nice to work with him.

MICHAEL:

Now we come to what looks like, or shall I say certain signs are pointing to, a re-emergence of the Natalie and John romance. Why do you think Natalie and John work so well together?  Do you and Michael Easton talk about how that relationship comes across on-screen?

MELISSA:

I don’t know that we have really discussed how it comes across on screen, but yeah, I think it was always an interesting story.  I think what made it so interesting for so long is that they never, until the very end; they never had a committed relationship.  So there was this wanting, and wanting, that built for so long.

MICHAEL:

Natalie is always compelled to help John!  But this time the stakes are very high.  Jessica is in big trouble.

MELISSA:

Courtesy/ABC

Definitely!  She is determined to help John and it’s double sided, but she is more determined to help her sister.  Natalie knows John is the person who is going to help her, and not only that, but she had the guilt associated with the fact that John has been covering for her stabbing Mitch.

MICHAEL:

Yes.  Natalie did stab evil Mitch, and John seemingly will do anything to keep Natalie in the clear of any crime.

MELISSA:

Yes, and this is a little payback to him to say, “Thanks, and let me help you now.”  I think that is the relationship they have had for a really long time.  One helps the other, and they have always had a friendship.  Even though they have not been in each other’s orbit there is always this care for one another.

MICHAEL:

How is Michael Easton to work with?

MELISSA:

I love working with Michael.  He is fabulous, hard-working, and I like what he brings to the story.  He has a very interesting character to play.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

He is not your typical soapy actor.  When something happens to John it’s so devastating to watch because of the way Michael plays him.  The character is very contained.  So those big emotional moments are wonderful to see.

MELISSA:

I think that is what makes him so interesting, because it’s not the typical character.  And, as the character is challenged, it’s challenging for those involved with John.  The goal sometimes for Natalie is to reach the underside of what he hides.  I sometimes think that is a big drive for her.  John is so quiet.  I think Natalie appreciates that to some degree, too.  I think because of where Natalie is in certain points of her life and because she is a feistier character, she could relate to certain things with him that other people couldn’t.

MICHAEL:

In a recent interview I did with Erika Slezak, (Viki) for Advocate.com, I asked her about working with you as her on-screen daughter.  I want to read to you what she had to say and get your comments.  Erika stated, “I think Melissa is one of the best actresses we have ever had on our show.  I know Melissa personally, and I know what she does on-screen and it’s riveting.  I adore that child and I think of her as my own.  Now I think she lives on another planet, but I have told her that.  She cuts through all the nonsense and gets to the heart of who Natalie is.  She has passion and she is the sweetest goofball.”

MELISSA:

I love her! (Laughs) It’s funny, because I have always felt like Erika is a part of my family.  I know it’s television, but Erika has always been so wonderful about taking me under her wing.  I always feel like I can go to her for anything, and she is fabulous to work with.  She is a giving actress, but it’s more than that.  I feel I can learn so much from her, and I appreciate what she brings to the table in helping me, and her professionalism.  It’s so awesome to have that opportunity to work with her!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Would you agree with her goofball comment?

MELISSA:

Yes. Absolutely!

MICHAEL:

We love that about you!  How are you a goofball?

MELISSA:

I am goofy!  I am kind of random and I say silly things sometimes and I act crazy (in a good way), sometimes.  I have a different way of thinking at times. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Tomorrow on OLTL, there is a huge car collision. Natalie has already taken off for Llantano Mountain to try and save Jessica from the clutches of Mitch Laurence, and she is on her way up there with Brody and John in tow.  You are driving the car?

MELISSA:

I am driving the getaway car and it was fun.  I will be honest. I was hoping because there was a remote involved, that we would be driving the getaway car.  I thought it would be so cool, as it is in the movies. 

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

Will Natalie be donning an incognito Chauffeur’s hat?  After all, our three heroes are trying to out-run the cops!

MELISSA:

Yes.  At some point in it, yes I do.  It was a lot of fun to tape this.  Even though it wasn’t driving on the road, it was still really exciting.  They have the car moving, as if you are really moving.  But I will tell you; I thought I would be a much better pretend driver! (Laughs)  I know how the car feels when I am driving, and how much the wheel turns. But, I guess it depends on the vehicle.  For the getaway, this was more of a rugged SUV vehicle.  So I guess I thought the wheel would be tougher.  I kind of thought the wheel would not turn as much, and production had to tell me that I had to move the wheel more because it looked like I wasn’t doing anything.  I thought I was being really cool! (Laughs) And I was bouncing it too, since it’s a rugged SUV.  So I thought it would bounce more than it would shake.  Apparently, it did not read well, so we had to change that. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

You went on location for these exterior scenes. Where did you shoot them?

MELISSA:

The location was the loading ramp outside of the building formerly known as All My Children’s studio, where we are moving to this month.

MICHAEL:

This crash involves many people!

MELISSA:

It is going to involve many people and in reading the scripts, it was kind of exciting. Listen, we are very lucky. We have an amazing production team to make things look as good as they do. When I first read it I was like, “How are they going to do it in the studio?”  They were able to just pull it all off with stunts, and pyrotechnics, and so much more.  It was so cool and looks amazing to me!

MICHAEL:

Once the car accident happens, can we expect a big moment between Natalie and John?  That is what we have heard and long time fans have been begging for. But it seems that Natalie gets very close in proximity to John, and in her delirium thinks she is kissing Jared?

MELISSA:

© JPI Studios

We can say that there is a major moment the week of February 8th for anyone who ever loved John and Natalie.  It’s totally unexpected.  Yes, she thinks she is kissing Jared.  She does not realize what she is doing in the midst of it, but at some point she does.

MICHAEL:

Is Natalie in physical danger?

MELISSA:

Natalie is in physical danger from the car crash.  I am trying to get to Jessica and that is the initial goal. There is something major that happens to them.  The car crash happens, and the stakes were already high, because we have to get to Jessica.  Then this collision happens and then it throws everything off course. Then the stakes are magnified.

MICHAEL:

How do you like the real possibility of working with Michael Easton again in an on-screen romantic relationship with John and Natalie?  And wait….there is another huge complication, John’s current girlfriend, Marty!  I see a triangle!

MELISSA:

Oh yeah! And of course, there is the issue of Marty.  To have a triangle is exciting!  They are fun to play.  I have been in quite a few triangles: Evangeline/John/Natalie, and then the John/Natalie/Cristian, and then Cristian/Jen/Natalie, and at the beginning there was the Jessica/Seth/Natalie triangle.

MICHAEL:

So of all those triangles, what was your favorite to play?

MELISSA:

I think the longest was Evangeline/John/Natalie, and I thought that was a lot of fun. I also would have to say I enjoyed the Cristian/Natalie/John triangle because it was kind of nice to be the apex!  I will say that, too. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

February sweeps seems to be can’t-miss soap opera television at One Life to Live. There is this big issue of Mitch.  Did you ever take issue, as an actress, of trying to justify Mitch’s actions?  Some of it just seems so ridiculous, out there, and borders on absurd!

MELISSA:

It’s a funny thing. You have heard strange stories in real life where you are kind of dumbfounded these things can actually happen, but they do.  And to say that this one man can get away with so much, yeah maybe, but you have to take into account the place where it’s happening.  It’s happening in Llanview!  And in Llanview you can do many things. (Laughs)  And what I like about Mitch is that he is the bad guy who never dies and comes back.  I think that is what is great about Mitch.  He is always there to haunt and bring about great story.  He gets away with so much, and that is what makes the stakes so high of, “Oh, my God! How did he come back from the dead?  I thought he was dead this time.  And now look what he is able to do?”  And it is believable in a way because he has a cult and he has a lot of followers.  You hear about this in other states, where the law enforcement is involved in the cover-up.  So is this completely inconceivable?  No, its not!  It can happen.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Roscoe Born as Mitch Laurence?  Natalie had had quite a history with this evil incarnate.  She was married to him at one point in time!

MELISSA:

Roscoe is amazing!  He is able to deliver every single time.  I feel his job is one of the hardest because he has to play not only evil, but also a cult leader.  So he has scriptures and all sorts of stuff he has to pull off and come across like he is so evil.  And truly, Roscoe is a very nice man, and a pleasure to work with, and very funny.  He is so good at what he does.

MICHAEL:

Ok, Melissa, but do you guys ever chuckle in rehearsals?  It’s so twisted!  I mean there were many group and family scenes where Mitch just pops up.

MELISSA:

Sure, oh yeah!  The first day he came back on the show this time, Mitch steps into the doorway of the greenhouse and his line was like, “Daddy’s home.”  It was so eerie!

MICHAEL:

What about when Mitch popped out of Jared’s casket at the funeral?  It was funny, sick and twisted all rolled in to one and there you were playing it for all its worth and delivering another Archer bravura performance!

MELISSA:

It was an interesting thing.  As an actress, I felt that for Natalie to be able to make this higher stakes for her, she would have to have the hope that Jared was not really dead and this was all a bad dream.  Because for her, it’s obviously happened some other times to several other men on the show that have died, who ended up not being really dead.  But she believed as this casket was opening that it was Jared, and that everything was going to be OK.  And then of course, when the casket is fully opened and out comes Mitch, it’s this shock and horror and almost like speechlessness.  Natalie goes to say something, but it’s like, “I can’t even believe this is happening.  How did this happen?  Mitch is supposed to be in prison!  What is going on?”

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

I thought it was good that this time when Mitch came back to the show, head writer Ron Carlivati and OLTL executive producer Frank Valentini, changed Mitch back to the cult guy with his minions.  It stayed true to the original origin of the character.  Now, what about Mitch’s daughter and your sister, Jessica?  I mean after all, Jess’s alter ego, Tess, tried to kill Natalie, but somehow they worked through that.  Now, of course, Natalie is trying to save the poor girl before Mitch erases her memories with electro-shock therapy. It seems like no matter what Natalie and Jessica go through they somehow end up still being sisterly. (Laughs)

MELISSA:

I think that is the best part of Natalie and Jessica.  They have always had such an interesting relationship; going from Natalie pretending to be her friend to revealing that she is not a nice person, and then trying to throw her off the stairs, and then later, somehow finding a way to not only become sisters, but friends. They have their moments, like when Jess was Tess, and Natalie did not like Tess, and Tess did not like Natalie.  There were obviously problems there, and yet at the same point in time, she was able to recognize it was Tess and still love her sister and come out of it having a relationship with her. What is cool about it is even though Natalie did not grow up with Jessica; the sisters have a lot of what you hear people say about what it was like growing up with a sister.  You can love each other to death, and then kill each other the next day.  I think there are more loving times between them then not.  But, I think that they have had their problems.  I like playing both ends.  That is what makes it so real and relatable, except when they want to kill each other.  They use bombs and secret rooms! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Since the time you premiered on One Life to Live, what scenes stick in your mind as the moments you are most proud of playing Natalie?

MELISSA:

© JPI Studios

There have been moments where I thought, “Wow, I did a really great job,” and then there have been other times later on where I felt I did a better job.  I think I feel I have grown as an actress.  But I think I am most proud of the storyline with Jared dying.  I think it’s been most gratifying for me with my work.  I felt really good about my performance.  I can’t say that I felt I loved it every single time, but I put my heart and soul into it, and I really liked it.

MICHAEL:

I also thought it was very poignant how Charlie and Natalie would bond together and help each other through Jared’s death.  Most touching was when he came to the grave and held Natalie.  How is working with Brian Kerwin (Charlie)?

MELISSA:

Working with Brian is great, too.  He has a way about him that is so natural.  He has a likeable quality, not only his personal self, but as his character.  And even when Charlie does wrong he is a likeable guy.  I think it was really, really nice that Ron wrote us having that connection over Jared’s death.  And it’s not each of them grieving on their own, but also to find comfort in one another.  I found it a nice touch.

MICHAEL:

What does Natalie think of Marty?

MELISSA:

In one way, I feel like even though Natalie is trying to be the adult, and it’s a fact of life, it’s always hard when you see someone you were involved with move on, even if you are emotionally over that person.  I think that Natalie has grown up herself, so I don’t think that the animosity is there. Just as John and Natalie have not been in each other’s orbit, neither have Marty and Natalie for a long period of time.  There is not a lot of animosity there, but I think Natalie might feel at times a little threatened by Marty.  I am not sure if she even realized that.  I don’t know if she recognized that she feels threatened.

MICHAEL:

It will be interesting to see how this plays out; when John and Natalie reconnect and Marty is on the outside for a minute.

MELISSA:

© JPI Studios

I think that is why I like this triangle as well.  I feel Susan Haskell brings a lot to Marty, not only the way she plays it, but how it is written for her.  I think it just aired recently, where Natalie went to therapy with Marty, and it was interesting.  Susan really played the part of being the therapist trying to help this person, but also the moments where we see what Marty may have actually been thinking.  I saw the show where Marty was talking to her therapist.  The therapist was saying to her, “Well, maybe it’s because she was talking about your boyfriend.”  And I liked the way she played it because, again, it wasn’t a person recognizing that they feel threatened.  Now, it brings a cool dynamic between these two women in that they are trying to be adult about this. But, they are really feeling something else.  Then eventually, the question becomes, “How long are you not going to be an adult about it?”

MICHAEL:

So, can we then expect a complex human triangle?

MELISSA:

It’s hard to say how it will play out, but I think it’s going to play out interesting, because Marty, with her psychological background, is trying to have a grasp over her feelings and be the bigger person.  And Natalie usually struggles with that stuff, in general. (Laughs)  It will be interesting to see if it will become catty or not.  It’s a soap, and that makes it fun to always see a little cattiness!

MICHAEL:

When fans meet you, what do they say to you the most?  Do they tell you who they would like Natalie paired with romantically?

MELISSA:

It varies.  I still hear people say that they want Natalie with Cristian.  So I think that is what makes soap fans so great.  It’s not just one thing.

MICHAEL:

What can we tell Natalie fans to look forward to in February?

MELISSA:

© JPI Studios

We have seen Natalie grieving, then driven by revenge, and now she is driven to save her sister.  Then something happens with the crash that alters her reality.  Something unexpected is going to happen with John, and when that happens, things change even more.

MICHAEL:

So, is Natalie finally moving through her grief and ready to move on?

MELISSA:

I don’t think Natalie is over her loss for Jared.  I think she is struggling on how to deal with it as I think anybody would in that situation. In February, it becomes trickier. You will see her struggling with all of her feelings, and desperately trying to pinpoint what is real and what is not.

READ MORE
Camila Banus Interview - Day of Days 2019
Click to comment
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

avatar
Cyn
Cyn

Wonderful interview..love getting a small peek into Melissa’s mind…Adore her and Natalie and can not wait to see what they are up to next.

Rae
Rae

Thank you for a great interview! I’ve loved Melissa Archer ever since she set foot in Llanview. I fell in love with Natalie and Christian but when John McBain entered the scene, I knew they were done. Melissa and Michael Easton have such chemistry…they sell a love story like no other pairing on the show. I have patiently waited for a John and Natalie reunion and it sounds like it may be on the horizon. Kudos to Melissa for doing such a remarkable job with her role!

Sharon
Sharon

Loved the interview! Melissa is such a class act! I love her! And, I agree that I think the Jared death story is among her best work. She really knocked every scene out of the park. I am personally thrilled that she and Michael Easton are working together again. They have special chemistry and I love the connection between John and Natalie. I have waited – impatiently – for a reunion and I sincerely hope that OLTL will not disappoint me!

Nilsa
Nilsa

Great interview! Love Melissa. I loved and enjoyed her with John Brotherton(Jared). I miss Jared and Natalie. Natalie’s true soulmate and love of her life!

Eliza
Eliza

Great interview, Melissa has always been my favorite actress and I am so happy she is finally getting some long overdue praise. I love her Natalie and Michael Easton’s John together and so happy and thrilled they are going back to them.

Debby
Debby

I simply adore Melissa. I don’t think she’s ever received the recognition for her acting that she derserves. I would love to see her win an emmy this year. I am so excited to see John and Natalie together again. I have waited for a reunion for a long time and I’d have to be honest enough to say if I don’t get one this time, I’ll quit watching for good.

Mary
Mary

Thanks for the interview! I love Melissa and Natalie is my favorite character. Great interview.

Gin
Gin

Thanks for the MA interview. Love Natalie Buchanan Banks. MA has been doing some great work and brings so much energy to the roll. Also, thanks for the pretty, pretty pictures. Jared and Natalie are missed and those pictures are gorgeous.

Trudi
Trudi

Thank you so much for the fabulous interview with MA. As always you seem to know exactly the questions I would like to ask if given the opportunity and get straight to the heart of the character. Natalie is such a fascinating character and has a rich and complex history with so many other characters on the show, it’s really fun to hear Archer’s take on things.

Ginger
Ginger

So excited to see John and Natalie reuniting on screen. They are amazing together. So glad Melissa is getting much deserved praise for her acting. She is the best.

Sharon
Sharon

A wonderful interview! Melissa deserves all the recognition for her acting of late, she has been fantastic. Great to see her front and center again. I am absolutely loving the John, Natalie and Brody scenes; their chemistry is fabulous together and they play off one another so well. Sure hope we get John and Natalie back together, they light up screen and bring out the best in the characters and actors.

Christina
Christina

Melissa Archer and Michael Easton are AMAZING together! I loved Christian and Natalie at one time UNTIL Michael Easton came on screen and they were it for me! John and Natalie are true soulmates and simply belong togehter. I am soo hoping for a reunion, and it sounds like it is coming. Thank you, RC!! Just do my pretty Jolie justice!!
Melissa deserves a ton of praise as does Michael Easton! I LOVE THEM TOGEHTER!!

Denise
Denise

Its past time for Melissa to receive a Emmyy Nod! Melissa is doing awesome work in this Mitch SL. Iam very please with this interview, its always great to see the real Melissa shining thru!

Nakita
Nakita

Thank you for this interview. I absolutely love Melissa Archer! I’m not a soap watcher but I flipped threw the show one day, saw her and was hooked! She just has amazing chemistry with everyone. There’s just something about her that fascinates me and I can’t get enough.

Sandy
Sandy

What a fantastic interview!!! Loved Melissa as Natalie on OL and I am really looking forward to see what happens in February. I truly hope that it leads to my fab couple (john/nat) being reunited and having a committed relationship without any outside interference.

Lucy
Lucy

Thank you for a wonderful interview. Natalie is my favorite character and Melissa is my favorite actress. She is the reason I watch OLTL and look forward to her scenes. Here;s hoping she is nominated for an Emmy this year. I also hope Natalie and John will be together again.

Doe
Doe

Another great interview, Michael. I go along with your fans.I also love John and Natalie’s chemistry. Michael Easton portrays the strong silent type and Natalie bounces right off the screen. Melissa has really grown as an actress over the last few years. You love to look at her combustability. But she is truly beautiful. I know something is coming up tomorrow after watching today.There are at least three cars heading for a collision. There should be some exciting days ahead. Go get that looney Mitch! I still think that obsolete contraption he is using to repress Jessica’s memory is hysterically funny,,,,,,

Shelby
Shelby

Thanks for sharing this interview. Melissa You are such an amazing actress!!! Even though I didn’t like the Natalie/Jared paring, I thought you did an amazing job with his death and the scenes leading up too his death. Especially the ones w/ John(Michael Easton)!!! I love the fiesty Natalie…and John always knows how to bring that out in her. 😉 Your chemistry w/ ME always rocks the charts and I think that’s why your one of the most poplar couples on daytime. 🙂 I cannot wait to see what the two of you do with this next storyline….I have no doubt you will both give 110% and it will be AWESOME!!!!

Christine
Christine

Thank you for the great interview with Melissa Archer. She is a wonderful actress and a class act. She and Brian Kerwin have been particularly phenomenal in the aftermath of Jared’s untimely death. And thanks for the Natalie/Jared pictures. “Jarlie” will always hold a special place in my heart, as they brought me back to watching a soap after several years of “soap retirement.” Melissa and John Brotherton (another class act) never disappointed me in two plus years, and I thank them both for giving their all and making me believe that Natalie and Jared are the loves of each other’s lives. Natalie will eventually move on to another relationship, and Jared did die onscreen…but hey, it’s a soap, strange and wonderful things happen; so part of my heart will always hope that JB will someday bring Jared back for his Sparky.

semaj
semaj

bring on jolie again i loved them can’t to see them together again.

Rachel
Rachel

Thanks for the interview. Love Melissa and am excited about what is gonna happen next.

Arls
Arls

I enjoyed reading MA’s interview & found it very interesting. I am overjoyed to hear that it is a very good possibility that there will be a reunion of some kind between Natalie & John McBain. The chemistry they have is over the top & I can’t think of any other couple that I love seeing in a scene better than the two of them. John comes alive so when he is with her…….. & vice versa. Someone mentioned that Jared was the love of Natalie’s life but I can’t see how they could say that. Maybe because they were just an ordinary couple & obviously there wasn’t the passion between them that there always was with her & John. There is no one that she’s ever been with that has brought the feistiness & fierce passion out in her the way that John McBain was able to. Also no one has made him lighten up the way Natalie has & still seems to. You hardly ever see him smile except when in her presence. They are one heck of a sexy, romantic couple & I hope they will finally get to where they are in the same place @ the same time so they can have the type of relationship that they were cheated out of in 2007!! Please bring it on MA & ME, make Nat & John shine!

Chontil
Chontil

I am a John and Natalie fan. I love MA, she is my favorite soap actress.

sammy
sammy

What a nice article. I loved Jared and Natalie but I am really starting to like John and Natalie alot. I think she has chemistry with everyone.

Christina
Christina

I know I defintely enjoyed this interview with Melissa Archer! She;s one of my favorites. And I am so hoping that we longtime fans get a reunion for Natalie and John. The chemistry with her and Michael Easton is absolutely incredible! These two melt my screen. Please, OLTL, give your fans a John and Natalie reunion!

shay
shay

I hope that natalie and john are going to get back together . Aubrey and Joey she is not a match for him he belong with kelly . I am tired of this tess wish she was gone and jessica was back with brody and not with ford.

vicci
vicci

I just love Melissa, she is a real good actess. I don’t miss a day of one life to live because i can’t wait for John to find out that Natalie’s baby is his One life to live could not of found a better person to play Natalie. Natalie deserves to be happy and her and John look good together. I love you girl keep up the good work.

kathryn63
kathryn63

THAT IS WHY SHE NEEDS TO BE ON GH WITH MICHAEL ASAP WITH HIS HAMILTON FINN CHARACTER!!!!! THEY NEED TO BE RE-UNITED ASAP JOHN&NATALIE ARE THE LOVE OF EACH OTHERS LIVES & COMPLETE & UTTER SOULMATES!!!!!!! JARED ABSOLUTE NOT I HATED HIM SOOOOO MUCH & WAS SOOOOOOO WRONG FOR MY NATALIE! I WAS SOOOOOOO HAPPY WHEN HE DIED & WAS OFF THE SHOW!!!!!! NOW ME&MA NEED TO BE ON GH TOGETHER HIS HAMILTON FINN CHARACTER ALONG/WITH WHOEVER CHARACTER SHE WOULD PLAY. IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NOW ASAP!!!!!!!!!!

nina
nina

Just finished rewatching the last few seasons of OLTL and damn Melissa is an amazing actress. I was happy to find this article and read her thoughts. Jared’s death really was some of her best work on this show and Jared/Natalie was definitely missed. I love seeing relationships in soaps that are built on so much love and trust and free of ridiculous internal drama. They always had each other’s backs and supported each other and it was surprisingly realistic for a soap romance.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Head Writer Ron Carlivati Talks On: Ben Weston, Soap Amnesia, Doppelgängers, and the Time Jump

Days of our Lives viewers have been going through some changes over the past month since the launch of the innovative time jump from the creative mind of the series and Daytime Emmy-winning head writer, Ron Carlivati.  As episode after episode unfolds, the audience has been finding out just where their favorite Salem residents have landed and with whom, in the one year flash-forward.  There have been shocking deaths revealed, longtime couples facing different kinds of obstacles that could change their relationships forever, and some characters brought back on the canvas, in one form or the other, to shake things up.

On the series finale of the Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast,  Ron Carlivati was the very special guest and addressed many of the decisions that went into making the flash- forward happen starting with when Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) wakes up from her coma after her fall, thanks to Princess Gina (Kristian Alfonso), and how it impacts the canvas.  You can listen to the can’t-miss interview here via iTunes or at NBC.com/Inside Salem.

Due to the length of our conversation with the talented head scribe, some of the questions and answers did not make it into the podcast finale due to time constraints.  So, we have brought you the rest the interview here as Ron discusses: the popularity of  #Cin, back-from-the-dead storylines, writing for the original series on the DOOL app and further creative decisions that went into crafting the one-year time jump.  Check out what Ron had to say below.

Photo: JPI

You have been able to make #Cin, the hottest duo on daytime by taking a now reformed serial killer, Ben Weston (Rob Scott Wilson) and pairing him with the daughter of one of DAYS all-time supercouples, Bo and Hope in Ciara Brady (Victoria Konefal).  Were you ever  concerned as to how this story/romance would play to the audience at home, because in reality no parent would ever just stand by and let their child get involved with a man who strangled and killed women, previously? 

Ron:  To sort of try to glorify a guy who strangled women and make him into a romantic lead, we don’t do that lightly.  Not unlike, Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) on One Life to Live who was a rapist, and who became sort of an anti-hero, but also a romantic lea.  And in this day and age, it’s even a bigger decision to do something like that, I think.  So, that said, it is a soap opera and there are certain things where we know we are pushing the envelope.  We know in the real world that no mother would ever get past her daughter being with a guy who murdered, killed, and strangled three women or strangled and shot one, but the pairing worked so well.

Photo: JPI

In the time jump, you gave Ben an intriguing prison cell mate in Will Horton, given that Ben had “killed” him previously.  Add to that you brought back Ben’s criminal father, Clyde back into the mix.  There’s lots of prison orange these days on the screen.

Ron:  When we knew we were sending Ben to prison, then obviously father and son have to cross path. It just added another element, so it wasn’t just going to be Ben and Will (Chandler Massey) talking to each other, and making a shawl together like Martha Stewart. (Laughs). Ben’s relationship with Clyde was interesting to me.  As horrible as Clyde was and is – there does seem to be some sort of love that he has for Ben.

Photo: JPI

On the soaps, and as has been part of DAYS enduring legacy, characters are killed off, only to be brought back to life somewhere down the road. Many return with classic soap amnesia as a vehicle to drive story.  Is there ever a time when as a writer, or as a soap fan, you think “enough is enough”, and characters should just stay dead?  Many fans who watch daytime dramas get very invested in tragic death stories, where characters have these shocking or sudden, or long goodbyes, and the viewers goes through the grieving process; along with the other characters, for what then seems like a waste of an emotional investment when said character turns back up alive.

READ MORE
Mishael Morgan Talks on Her Return to Y&R and Tackling the New Role of Amanda Sinclair

Ron:  We were talking about bringing Jack (Matthew Ashford) back right around that same time we had the Will story.  We couldn’t bring two people back from the dead at the same time, and that’s why Jack’s return kind of got put on the back-burner, so we could do the ‘Will is alive’ story arc.  Look, the audience will go with you, especially if they want somebody back desperately.  They will overlook how did it happen, and how could they be alive.  They will accept almost any explanation, but I think you’re right, if you do it too much, you tend to water down the permanence of death … especially deaths that you saw on-camera.

Photo: JPI

Viewers know you love doppelgänger storylines.  And, in the time jump you brought back none other than Hattie Adams (Deidre Hall).  Why the decision to bring Hattie back at this time?  I know Deidre loves playing her.

Ron:  I think Deidre likes playing something different than Marlena, because she played Marlena for many, many years, and she knows her like the back of her hand.  Hattie is an escape and something fun, and the chance to do and say outrageous things that Marlena would never do.  So, we bring her back whenever we can to have fun with, and again, it seemed to work because  she was in prison, and we set Eve in prison when we started the time jump off, and we’re like, “Who’s Eve (Kassie DePaiva) going to be talking to?” and we’re like, “Oh, well of course.  It has to be Hattie.” (Laughs)

When do you first see the fruits of your labor?  Do you see a feed from the set as the show is taping? Do you receive episodes where you see how what was written has come to life? 

Ron:  In prior shows, One Life to Live and on GH, I saw it when it aired. At One Life, I was in the studio, so I often saw production shooting scenes.  Here, they send me the completed shows once it has been completely edited, the music has been put into it, and it’s all ready to roll, and they email me the link to 5 or 6 shows.  So, I could in theory watch a couple of weeks ahead of the audience, but I tend to (unless I’m so, so curious about how a certain thing turned out) watch it when it’s on TV.

Photo: JPI

The “Lani (Sal Stowers) and Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) joining a convent” storyline is at a critical point in story.  How did you come up with the decision to put Lani, and of all people, Kristen together and about to take their vows as nuns, and kind of becoming bff’s?

Ron:  I mean, you can’t imagine sort of two more unlikely friends as Kristen and Lani.  We grew to really love the relationship that developed between the two of them.  I think we sat down and said about the time jump, “There have to be enough big changes that you do the double-take.”  Like, Will is Ben’s cell mate, Adrienne is dead, and Justin and Kayla are together now.  You had to have enough of those WTF moments to justify passing a year of time.

You have also been writing series for the DOOL app.  What did you think of Chad and Abby in Paris with that being the initial one and how it all came to pass?

Ron:   It was fun.  I had no time.  I was writing six episodes a week of DAYS, and I was asked “By the way, can you write two seasons of a web/app show for us?” (Laughs) Greg Meng (Co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) has really been the mastermind behind this app and developing this app into something.  I love all of the stuff you guys came up with for all the behind the scenes content, but I know that Greg really wanted original series content on it, too.  Chad (Billy Flynn) and Abigail (Kate Mansi) just seemed like the logical couple to do that with.  You wanted somebody tied to Salem that wasn’t currently on the campus, but you know the audience cares about what their up to, and Chad and Abby just seemed perfect.  The process was totally different because I’m used to writing six outlines a week that are 15 pages long, and all of the sudden, I’m like, “She comes in, this happens, and this happens.” .  That’s like a whole episode of an app series right there.  Corday Productions produced it while they were producing the regular show, and they made a special set into Chad and Abigail’s apartment, which I thought looked incredible.

Photo: JPI

Chad & Abby in Paris had a bit of a different look and feel then the regular airshows, which I think made it enticing.

READ MORE
Rob Scott Wilson and Victoria Konefal Interview - Day of Days 2019

Ron:  I loved the look of it.  I felt it was just a little bit different than Salem.  We had the establishing shots of the Eiffel Tower and all of that stuff, and look, we had to keep it simple, but we added in Austin (Austin Peck).  We had Tony (Thaao Penghlis) come in season 2.  We had the new characters of Juliette (Rachele Schank) and Sylvie (Shawna Della-Ricca).  So, it was fun, and it weirdly just timed out so perfectly because we did 8, took like a week off, did another 8, and that last episode was posted right when Jennifer fell.

Right, so it timed perfect to get Chad & Abby back on the airshows.

Ron:  It timed out perfectly so that we could have Abigail get a call: “Something has happened to my mother.  We have to go back to Salem.”  So, you last saw Chad and Abby in Paris, and then the following week they were back in Salem.

Photo: JPI

Now, with the kind of massive move for DAYS with the time jump, you have to figure out: “Who are the casualties?  Who am I going to lose?” Viewers learned in short order that: Adrienne (Judi Evans) isn’t alive, Haley (Thia Megia) isn’t alive, and Jordan (Chrishell Stause) isn’t alive.  What went into the decision-making process to kill those characters?  I’m assuming it was to further the story of others on the canvas.

Ron:  Yes.  Anytime we kill somebody, it breaks my heart every time, because these are like my babies.  You fall in love with these characters, and you care about them a lot, and you care about the people who play them.  So, it’s a big decision to say, “Let’s kill them.”  It may be a great story, like, “I’m going to get this amazing story if I kill X,” but that’s a person and a job, and it’s not something we ever do lightly.  That said, in a year of passage of time, you know that life and death is going to happen, and to us, it felt like to really signify the passage of time, there had to be at least one or two people who are no longer alive, and then show how that affects our story.

Photo: JPI

Did you ever think that instead of 1 year that you’d do a bigger jump?  Like, “What if I did 5 years?”  Because it’s interesting, I was reading some comments on social media from fans who are like, “What year is it?  Is it just 1 year?  Why didn’t they do 5?” (Laughs)

Ron:  5 seemed like a lot.  I think people change physically a lot in 5 years. I wasn’t prepared to cast little children as teenagers… that would be a lot. (Laughs)  I think you run the risk of it being almost too disorienting for the audience.  Also, then it would be me having to figure out what happened over 5 years instead of just 1. (Laughs)  So, 1 year just kind of seemed perfect, and it had to be an even year so that even though it’s a crazy coincidence that Jennifer woke up 1 year to the day she fell into the coma, you needed Thanksgiving to still be Thanksgiving, and Christmas to still fall on Christmas, and that kind of thing.  So, it had to be an even year.  I think it worked out great and I hope the audience continues to go on the journey with us, because there is a lot more to come!

So, have you been enjoying the DAYS time jump thus far? Which storyline has piqued your interest most? Let us know via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

Rob Scott Wilson and Victoria Konefal Interview – Day of Days 2019

Days of our Lives stars Rob Scott Wilson (Ben) and Victoria Konefal (Victoria) talk with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019.

During the conversation, the on-screen duo known as “Cin” share their thoughts on the series time jump, and the shocking developments that find Ben in prison for the murder of his sister, Jordan.

In addition, Rob and Victoria reveal their thoughts on if a #Cin proposal may be on the way, and much more.

Check out the interview above this fan favorite duo below, then let us know in the comment section what you think of the plight of #Cin currently airing on Days.  Do you want Ben to get out of prison? Ciara to save him? Weigh-in.

For more Day of Days 2019 interviews check out the Michael Fairman Channel here.

READ MORE
Mishael Morgan Talks on Her Return to Y&R and Tackling the New Role of Amanda Sinclair
Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey Interview – Day of Days 2019

Days of our Lives stars Freddie Smith (Sonny) and Chandler Massey (Will) chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019.

During the conversation, they discuss the latest developments for WilSon with the series innovative time jump, which finds Sonny grieving a year later for the loss of his mother Adrienne, and that his husband Will is apparently the responsible party and in jail for her death.

In addition, Will was in for a surprise when his cellmate turned out to be the man that strangled him to ‘death’, Ben Weston.

However, in one of the funniest interviews during the Day of Days event, Freddie and Chandler reveal what really will happen next for WilSon (sort of, kind of, not!)

Check out the chat below. Then, let us know what you think of the current story in the time jump, which looks to be keeping Will and Sonny apart, plus there could be a new man on the horizon for Sonny, now that Evan is in Salem.  Weigh in via the comment section.

For more Day of Days 2019 interviews visit the Michael Fairman Channel here.

READ MORE
Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk Interview - Day of Days 2019
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

  • Kay: “James god bless you and good luck with your recovery remember always it is a every day battle you are…
  • Brady12: “Maybe we will get lucky and this can turn out to be all of our nightmare's not just Jennifer's. I…
  • Brady12: “Stephen is a great actor doing his best with a very poor choice given to him by writers and sorry…
  • Locoo: “I think that the time jump and what they did to steve and Kayla is so stupid he forgot their…
  • Sally Bradley: “I like the change with the exception of Princess Gina. That's just ridiculous, and there is no way Cierra…
Advertisement

Power Performance

Ryan Carnes as Lucas Jones

General Hospital

Airdate: 11-8-2019 –

Advertisement

Popular