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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

Interviews

Y&R’s Gina Tognoni Opens Up About Billy’s Bombshell With Summer & What’s Next For Phyllis

Talk about walking in at the wrong moment and getting an earful!  That’s exactly what happened to The Young and the Restless’ Phyllis on Wednesday’s episode.  Taking the moment to level his revenge and payback for Phyllis’ romp with Nick (Joshua Morrow), her beau Billy (Jason Thompson) tells Phyllis that he slept with her daughter, Summer (Hunter King), right as Summer is standing there!   With that moment now out in the open, and Billy’s intention behind it, look for fireworks to fly!

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Daytime Emmy-winning gem, Gina Tognoni, who brings the complex Phyllis to life on the CBS daytime drama series, to get her take on how Phyllis handles this shocker, and the ramifications it poses to her, and the key relationships in her life.

As to what happens in the near future, looks like Phyllis is not going to do too well with what has just come to light, and that may set her on a whole new trajectory!  But will it be to Jack (Peter Bergman), to Nick (Joshua Morrow), or to someone else?  And, oh, there is that little item of her part in the death of J.T. Hellstrom.  Will that ultimately prove to be her downfall?  Here’s what Gina dished on the latest developments from GC.

When Phyllis gets the bombshell dropped upon her that Billy had sex with Summer, in that immediate moment what does this mean for Phyllis’ relationship with her daughter?

GINA:  Phyllis never saw this coming.  She is gutted and disgusted with her daughter in the moment, and in disbelief that her daughter would turn on her like this.

What about Billy saying to Phyllis and Summer that he had revenge sex with Summer to get back at Phyllis for sleeping with Nick?  Is she disgusted with him?

GINA:  I mean, she is speechless with him.  She’s speechless that he would stoop so low.  In her mind, this is a different offense.  Her sleeping with Nick is something that can’t be put in the same ballpark as Billy sleeping with her daughter.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think Phyllis knew in her gut that Billy would sleep with Summer; after the truth about her tryst with Nick came out at Sharon and Nick’s wedding?

GINA:  I think she was consumed with her own guilt and her own loss of control that it was not in the forefront of her mind.  So, when he plops that on her, that’s what leaves her to be absolutely speechless.  Whether you call it karma, or whatever, she got knocked with some of that, and she doesn’t know what else to say.  She’s devastated by both of these people.  In Phyllis’ mind she had moved on and was trying to make things right, but Billy sleeping with her daughter just crosses a boundary.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I actually thought Phyllis knew in her gut that Billy would go to Summer, after the Shick wedding busted wide open, as she drank out those tiny liquor bottles!

GINA:  She was drinking the bottles, and it was all out, and her life was beginning to unravel, which caused her to want to numb the pain, because it was getting so intense.  It came out at the wedding that she slept with Nick, but what she was upset about was how Billy and she had now imploded, and their relationship has been forever changed.  That’s what that drinking was about.  They had overcome so much.  Here they were trusting each other, she was supporting him, brought him out of his gambling addiction, and she ‘drowns’ herself, and then we come to today. She walks in, and he just unloads it, and says, “I slept with Summer.”   From that moment on, we start to see that she has a break, and the break is in her personality.  Not that she’s a multiple personality, but it’s literally so painful for her that it changes something within her, and we’ll see something within the next two to three weeks on-air of what that means.  Phyllis gets really drastic, which has been fun to play.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Does she think at all, that this is her fault, because she did sleep with Nick?

GINA:  Oh, yes.  She’s so confused and so overwhelmed by how screwed up it’s gotten that she is in survival mode.  We’ve seen Phyllis go in and out of that during the almost five years that I have played her. This is good stuff to play, and the writing is much more detailed than I have ever seen it.  When you see the scenes that are airing the rest of this week, they were done in one take.  Jason Thompson’s performance is so good, and Hunter King is really wrapping her arms around this role in such a cool way, that I just think the viewers are going to feel something.  Phyllis is just wrecked.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

One of the great scenes that you’ve had this year was when Phyllis realized that Summer is going after her man and she confronts her.  Phyllis slapped her own daughter and then went on the offense to keep her daughter from meeting up with Billy.  Summer did try to seduce Billy, and his gambling addiction wouldn’t have resurfaced at this time in his life, if it weren’t for her.

GINA:  Yes. Summer did push it.   I think in life, people disappoint us in such a profound way.  People are human.  We will be disappointed.   You pray to God that it’s not to certain levels, but it happens.  At the end of the day this is still her daughter, and it’s that bond that you have forever, and you love them, and you have to find a way to forgive because it’s natural: that love in your heart for your child.  That’s all I can say about this story, because it’s bizarre. (Laughs)  It sounds so funny, “My daughter slept with my boyfriend.” (Laughs)  You know what I mean?  However, when you really think about it, Summer broke her mother’s heart.

Even though Summer was a big contributor to the combustion of Billy and Phyllis’ relationship, Phyllis wants what’s best for her?

GINA: That’s the way Mal Young (EP and head writer, Y&R) is writing it.  I think that’s the most human way to do it.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t be angry, or that you have to be trusting in a situation like this.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What does this mean for any future for the duo known as “Philly”?

GINA:  I was just saying to Jason Thompson: “I don’t feel like we’ve really worked together or hung out, because we’ve broken up on this show, so I never see you,” and he said, “I know! It’s so bizarre,” and it really is, because you get into such a rhythm with somebody.  You develop this shorthand where you understand each other’s rhythms.  Now, I’m getting to work with different groups of people.  Phyllis and Billy have such a very good dynamic.  It works.  So, to mess with something that’s not broken, (I mean, obviously it’s broken in Genoa City) it’s a bummer.  The good news is, maybe we’ll find our way back to one another.  She loved Billy very much.  That’s very much her soulmate.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Where does Phyllis see Jack in all of this?  At times, in scenes, it looks like maybe she could rekindle her relationship with Jack.

GINA:  Here’s the thing … Jack represented wisdom to her.  Jack is the type of man that no woman should ever walk away from.   Phyllis screwed that up.  She also screwed up her relationship with Billy, but I actually think that Billy had a lot to do with that too.  They both have demons.  Billy and Jack are two great men that she has failed at.  How does she live with that much failure?  How does she see herself?  What does she do?  She can’t make Billy come back, and she can’t be forced to love him.  They’re both so hurt by all of this.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Joshua Morrow was on my podcast Soap Nation Live recently, and we were talking about the hotness that is Phyllis, and how there’s this constant sexual tension between Nick and Phyllis, and how they play videogames as their foreplay, before they have sex.  (Laughs) Where is that relationship at now?

GINA:  Yes, there is that foreplay with the video games. (Laughs)  Gina and Joshua have never really explored the dynamic of Phyllis and Nick.  It was Michelle Stafford (Ex-Phyllis, Y&R, now Nina, GH) and Joshua who played that.   Now we are getting a chance to get Gina and Joshua’s take on it.  Joshua is very present when you work with hum, and that’s a very powerful thing.   So, we’ll see what happens with those two, but right now it seems to be a very physical thing between them.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Then, there are the ramifications of Phyllis’ part in J.T.’s death and the four women in collusion to hide what happened to him. What is it like for Phyllis having to work with Sharon on this, when Phyllis was the cause of Sharon’s wedding to Nick to blow up?

GINA:  Well, she’s compartmentalizing.  She’s got the J.T. thing that she wants to control as much as she can, and she’s got to also be successful in her business career.  She’s proving something to herself, and she’s proving something as a woman.  Phyllis wants to be taken seriously, but she’s got this conflict that’s telling her that she’s a fraud.  She’s got this murder cover-up that she’s involved with.  Again, like in life, you try to go forward, but everyone has demons and things inside them that take them off their game.

Is there any part of her that thinks she could wind up in prison for this crime?

GINA: Yeah!  Her whole life could just blow up to a whole other level! That’s how I see it!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I know throughout your soap opera career; the writers and producers have loaded you up with heavy material, because you are an accomplished actress who can always deliver.  But, how do you feel now getting all of this material and trying to work through it?

GINA:  I’m getting to a place just now where I’m going, “Okay.  We’ve got this.”   For the last month and a half to two months, it’s been a lot.   Now, I’m starting to find my center and balance.  At first, it was a lot to digest.  I even felt emotional not working with Jason, and not working with Peter Bergman.  There is that attachment, were you go as an actor: “That was ours.  We built that, man!”  Then it moves on and it takes its shape, and you have to remind yourself that’s your job: that you are the chameleon.  You have to come in and sell it, and commit emotionally, because that’s your job.  There are certain days that I feel too much, and I have to remember to just breathe.  Day by day is how I take it, but I feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

If you could preview to the audience what they should watch for with Phyllis, what would you tell them? 

GINA:  Watch the subtle differences within Phyllis.  There is even a different look in my eyes.  I’m bringing her to a place, and she’s bringing me to a place that I have never

So, what do you think Phyllis should do now in her relationships with Summer and Billy? Are you glad the truth is out that Billy had sex with Summer? Who should be the new man in Phyllis’ life? What changes do you think will happen to her personality as previewed by Gina in this interview? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Tamara Braun Talks On: Kim’s Plight With Her Son Oscar, Her Relationships With Julian and Drew & Coming Home To Port Charles

When Tamara Braun stepped back on to the canvas of General Hospital back in November of last year, the one-time and wildly popular Carly Corinthos #2 was now taking on the role of Dr, Kim Nero – a single mom of a teenage son (who is very protective of him), top-notch gynecologist in the medical profession, and a woman with a past with Drew Cain (Billy Miller). It was eventually revealed that Drew is her son Oscar’s (Garren Stitt) biological father.

Now as viewers have seen on recent episodes of the ABC soap opera, Oscar’s life looks like it could very well be cut short after the story shocker that now has the young teen diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor from cancer.  Kim had kept the truth from her son until he confronted her upon learning the news on his own (with an assist from Cameron) and putting two and two together.  This sets the stage for some difficult and heartbreaking moments ahead.

As for Braun, she rose to the top as one of soap operas most critically-acclaimed actresses after having the challenging task of taking over the role of Carly #1 in 2001 from three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Sarah Brown.  Tamara not only met this challenge, but made Carly her own scoring an Emmy nod along the way.  After departing GH in 2005, Tamara returned to daytime in 2008 in the role of Ava Vitali on Days of our Lives, which indeed earned her an Emmy.   Next, she headed to Pine Valley and All My Children to take on the role of Reese Williams, the love interest to Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel), who eventually married from 2008-2009.  Tamara even came back to DAYS for awhile in the role of Taylor in 2011, and later reprised the role of Ava in 2015-2016.  With an impressive resume, GH is lucky to have her back and Braun finally felt the time was right to take on a new role on her first soap home  upon her return in 2017.  Viewers hope that they get to see more of those emotionally raw, honest performances that Braun is known for as more layers of Kim are revealed,

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Tamara to get her take on: the latest storyline involving Kim, Oscar and Drew, where Kim’s relationship with Julian Jerome stands, and how she feels it’s important to shed light on causes of the day needing our help and how we can all ultimately live in a kinder, more thoughtful world.  Here’s what Tamara had to shared below.

In the episodes we saw last week, Kim had no choice but to tell Oscar the truth. What have you thought about this whole story where now Oscar is hating his mother, and upset with her, when she did not come forward with the truth about his medical condition to him, because in her mind she was protecting him?

Courtesy/ABC

TAMARA:  Yes, that was reasoning.  She did all of this to protect him so that he could have a normal teenage life without all of that hanging over his head.  What do I think of it?  I think that it has been hard for me, Tamara, to play.  It has been hard for me to wrap my head around why a physician would not tell her son that he’s ill.  It’s also been hard for me to wrap my head around because the way the writers have made Oscar and Kim’s relationship such a beautiful one that has been seemingly full of honesty and openness, that they can really talk to each other, which is one of the things that I really like.  In terms of the storyline, what it does do is create conflict which is what’s needed in shows.  Things can’t be ‘happy, happy, joy, joy’ all of the time, so it’s created conflict for Oscar and Kim and now Drew, because Kim dragged him into keeping the secret too for a little bit. 

Courtesy/ABC

We just also learned that Kim’s reasoning to come to Port Charles in the first place was indeed because of Oscar.

TAMARA:  Like Kim said, she came because she did an ancestry report, and it turned out that he has relatives in Port Charles.  So, she wanted for them to get the opportunity to know him and him to get the opportunity to get to know them.  I’m sure we will learn something about Kim’s past which would explain why in her mind she felt this was the right thing to do.  We know that it seems like a very controlling thing.  As a mother, take the physician out of it, I still think that Kim would have shared his diagnosis with him, but I don’t think one ever knows what they would do in that situation.  You think you know what you would do, but perhaps she felt that she could control it; she could figure it out.  Perhaps, Kim felt that because she is a physician she’ll find some answer, and she’ll be able to fix it.  These are the questions, and these are the things that as an actor, I have to put in my head because it’s not what I believe I would do.  It’s not even what I believe the character of Kim as I knew her would have done, but it’s what the writers have written.  So, they have to have a reason, and I think that it has got to be more than just to create conflict.  That’s what stories rely on.  It’s soap, and a lot of people on soaps have to do crazy things and find out ways to justify them when they seem out of character.

You’re right.  Kim and Oscar had a very open relationship.  Yes, she was a “controlling mother,” if you want to say that, but they were honest with each other.  Garren Stitt has been very endearing in the role.  What can you say about working with him?

TAMARA:  I just adore Garren. I have adored him from the minute I met him.  I think he’s a lovely, sweet, kind person, and I feel so fortunate to get to play his mom.  I really do.  I think he’s wonderful, and I’m lucky.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Now as to the situation with Drew, Kim truly did not know he was in town when she got to Port Charles, right?

TAMARA:  Correct.

What does she feel towards Drew now, and does this situation ultimately draw them closer together?

TAMARA:  I think it absolutely draws them closer together, because now they have to deal with Oscar.  Because once Kim accepted Drew back into their lives (she thought he was dead long ago), she opened up her arms to him in the capacity of being a father for Oscar.  Kim has had to deal with everything with her child all on her own for fifteen years.  It’s just been the two of them.  So, I think that at some point it has got to be difficult to allow someone else in to help make decisions, and to lean on, and to co-parent with.  I think it was difficult at first, but I think now she is grateful to have him to share it with, even though they may not see things eye-to-eye all of the time.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you foresee Kim and Drew, at any point, growing closer romantically?

TAMARA:  I don’t know.  It’s not looking like that.  It’s looking like a nice friendship and one that is very caring and understanding, but as of now, I don’t see hints of it.  You never know.  As you know, it’s a soap.  Anything could happen.

How has it been working with Billy Miller? He has also done some wonderful work as the devastated father.

TAMARA:  It’s been great.  The last few scenes that we had to do, there have been those special moments you get as an actor where the angels are just with you.  It all just kind of connects and flows together.   I think we’ve been lucky to have gotten a few of those as of late, and that’s been really nice.

Courtesy/ABC

In story, it was revealed that Oscar could enter an experimental trial that could help his tumor and the cancer, is that what Kim wants her son to do?

TAMARA:  Absolutely, because she feels anything that could possibly save his life or give him more time, she wants for him.

I also like that they made Dr. Terry Randolph (Cassandra James), Oscar’s pediatric oncologist.

TAMARA:  Yes.  Cassandra is really lovely to work with, and she’s just a lovely human being as well.  I’m fortunate right now.  I get to work with some lovely people.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Kim’s going to let Julian (Will deVry) know about what she is dealing with?

TAMARA:  Julian does not know.  Oscar doesn’t want anyone to know and especially Julian.  He wants his mom and dad together, so he’s decided not to let Julian know.  I think only for those reasons.  Kim really didn’t honor Oscar by keeping this news of him being ill from him, so she has to honor him in his request not to share this with Julian.

Is Kim aware of how Cameron (William Lipton) is trying to maneuver himself into a relationship with Josslyn (Eden McCoy)?  Does she understand what’s going on there? 

TAMARA:  Kim doesn’t know anything about it.

Photo: ABC

Does Kim want Josslyn to be with Oscar?

TAMARA:  She does, because she knows that Josslyn makes Oscar happy, and to be happy, is what’s most important right now, because that also can help any type of recovery.  When we are happy, or are doing things that make us joyful, or raise our endorphin levels in a positive way, that’s good for health.  That’s good for recovery, and she wants her son to be happy.  What mother doesn’t want her son to be happy?  Especially now, with everything going on.

Kim was having an issue that Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco (Roger Howarth) knew about Oscar’s prognosis.  Do you think she’ll be more lax about that now, or do you think she’ll be more even intense about people not finding out?

TAMARA:  I think she doesn’t want people to know because Oscar now knows, and he doesn’t want people to know.  I think that she wants to keep his confidence.  I think she doesn’t want anyone else to know because she needs to respect Oscar’s wishes.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think that it’s possible that Drew’s twin, Jason (Steve Burton) is somehow the bio-dad of Oscar, and not Drew?  The character of Jason has a history of brain injuries and trauma.

TAMARA:  I never thought of that! (Laughs)  That would be a fun kind of plot twist!  I don’t think so because there have been lines a couple of times when Kim is with Jason and she says, “You know, you look exactly like him.  It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around that, but you act so differently.”   You know what?  Even if Jason did have a brain tumor, he is Drew’s twin, and Drew is Oscar’s father, so that does still genetically match and run in the family.  It’s an interesting twist there that you bring up!

I remember watching the episode where the audience learned Oscar was dying and I was completely shocked!   I had no idea where the writers were going with it after the seizure.  When the powers-that-be filled you in on what was going on, what was your reaction to that part of the story?

Photo Credit: ABC

TAMARA:  Illness in any form on a soap gives you something to play.  So, that’s good.  When they start saying in the dialogue, “terminal,” you’re like, “What!?” But then you also have people saying, “There’s always hope,” so, you never know where it’s actually going to go, or how the story lines will play.  I understand how people keep saying that it came out of the blue and they didn’t even hint at that.  So, I will say they did write a scene the day that Michael (Chad Duell) lost the baby, and I believe Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Michael were in the church. There was a scene that I was ready to shoot that day, and it was a monologue in the church.  It was after Nelle’s (Chloe Lanier) baby had died and after Kim and Nelle had scenes.  Kim goes to the chapel and she has a monologue talking to God, and it was a bit of a hint, but they had to cut the scene because the tape day ran long.  I didn’t even shoot it.  I think that had they had left it in; people would have been like, “Oh, that’s what that meant.”  I think now that I see the reaction of viewers and you’re bringing it up, that would have been the moment you could have gone to and said. “Oh!  That’s the moment.  That’s what she meant,” or when it happened, the audience have been like, “What’s going on?  What don’t we know?”  I think had that scene been in there, people wouldn’t have been taken aback so much.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what would you say the audience can look forward to with Kim coming up?  Are we going to see her with a lot of stress on her relationship with her son?  Do you see her holding it together, or falling apart? 

TAMARA:  I think probably all of the above… trying to pull it together, falling apart, a rift between them, trying to bring it back together, making mistakes, doing the right thing … I think it’s everything.  I think reality just smacked Kim in the head, and her son… but when you’re so closed and tight about something in life, and when you no longer have control over it… you’ve got your best-laid plans, and you know what they say about your best-laid plans.  (Laughs).  It explodes, and then you have to deal with the aftermath.  So, hopefully we will see some nuance in there.  I’m hoping for it.  Hopefully, we will see Kim and Oscar work through stuff because people make mistakes; people do the wrong things for what they think are the right reasons all the time.  If Oscar is dealing with an inoperable, terminal brain tumor here, then time is of the essence for them to get it together and come together.

Well, I hope that it’s hankie-inducing, poignant and does have those beats for you to play, and they don’t kind of skip story beats.  As you said, time is of the essence for them and there is, usually no matter what, an unbreakable bond between mother and son.

TAMARA:  I hope so, too!  We can keep our fingers crossed for that!

Photo Credit: ABC

What attributes of Kim do you like playing?

TAMARA:  Kim’s no pushover, which I do like about her.  She’s strong, but she’s a quiet strong.  She doesn’t come at somebody charging, blazing, knocking things down or with a baseball bat like Carly does.  She has strength as a woman, and it’s in a very different way.

Do you think Kim is in love with “Charlie” AKA Julian? 

TAMARA:  I think she loves him.  It’s been a long time since she’s been in a relationship.  Her primary relationship, for better or for worse, has been her son all these years.  She’s made him her number one and didn’t feel she had time or that there was anyone who was worth that time.  So, I think that with Charlie, or Julian, whoever the hell he is (laughs)…

… Wait! She knows he’s Julian, right? (Laughs)

TAMARA:  Yes, she knows, but she likes to call him, “Charlie” because of the bar.  It was a cute little thing from the beginning.  I think that he doesn’t pressure her.  It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s light, and that’s what I think she can handle right now.

How has it been playing the mother of a teenager?  Is that odd for you?  It seems like a bit of a jump.

TAMARA:  It seems like a jump from what people have seen me do for a long time.  If you think about it, the last time people saw me on General Hospital with a kid, it was Michael (formerly Dylan Cash), and I mean, not in soap terms, but in real life terms, he was playing I think 6 when he was 8, and now he’s 23 so he would have been playing 21 if he had stayed.

Courtesy: TBraunTwitter

Is it ever odd for you that you aren’t the character of Carly anymore when you see Michael and characters that you have shared and played emotional attachments with your first go-round on GH?  I would suppose as an actress you can switch that on and off, but what about as a person?

TAMARA:  Yes, as an actress you switch it off, but as a person Michael is not the same Michael.  I think if he had been the same because we were so close, and we were so connected it might have been more difficult.  If it were him on set playing him every day, I’d be like, “Hi honey!   Hi my son!”   He was so in my heart.  I think because it’s Chad Duell now playing the part, who is lovely and wonderful, there’s no history with us, and that made it really okay.   I loved Dylan as a little boy.  I still love him.  He stopped in at my fan event, which was wonderful!

When you think back on all of your soap roles, it’s pretty amazing what you’ve done. Although we hated the end of the Reese/Bianca wedding on All My Children, it was the first same-sex wedding, and was a landmark moment.  You were a part of it.  Forget what happened afterwards, but that moment was key.  When you were on General Hospital, you received a Daytime Emmy nomination for your performance as Carly.  And then there was Days of our Lives’ Ava Vitali!  You got to play the psycho.  You won the Supporting Actress Emmy for your performance.  Do you think Ava is somehow still alive? 

TAMARA:  I think she may be alive.   I mean, no one really saw.  They put a sheet over her and rolled her out.  You didn’t see her dead.  I mean, come on now.  Joey (James Lastovic, Ex-DAYS) can strangle, but I don’t know that he’s that strong.  Ava’s got some fire in her.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Such a great role!

TAMARA:  I have been really, really blessed to play very strong or pivotal or interesting, dynamic roles on daytime.  I have been very fortunate to do that, and I have been very fortunate to work with people who allow me to do my thing.  They don’t hamper it.  They say, “Go.  Go for it.”

I love your Instagram posts, and I love when you talk about social issues and things that are important to you.  Could you talk a little bit about how you’re using that platform to make a difference?

TAMARA:  I just like to post things that are important to me. There are a lot of people who are using social media for brand identity.  I’m glad that I don’t even know what that is.  I mean, maybe I should know.  (Laughs)  It probably would be better for me, but –

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You realize on Instagram; if you post a shirtless pic along with a quote from something unrelated and are a guy, or are a very sexy woman, you’re going to get millions of likes.

TAMARA:  Yeah, and that’s not my brand.  (Laughs) I guess if I had to say what my brand is; it would be “Truth. Real. Honest.”  You know, here’s the real deal from me.  I think it’s important to bring awareness to what’s going on that touches your heart.  I think that if you can shed light on issues in a positive way, to make people think, to make people feel; that is important.  I have always wanted to do good things in the world, and you can do that at any place and time in your life as a human being, but when you have a bit of a platform, I believe it is a responsibility to use that to share things of importance to the world for humanity.  We’re given this one life.  Whether you come back, or whatever you believe this is the one life we have, if we don’t do something good with it, what’s the point?   I think there’s too much, “Me, me, me, me, me.”  I mean, that’s what this business is, right?  But we need to step back, and we need to remember that there is a real world going on out there where people are dealing with issues, and we need to be kind.  That being said, I do post stuff of myself, and people want to see it, so I want to give them what makes them happy, but I think that as long as I’m doing that too, I think it also makes people happy to see things good going on in the world, bring light to issues that need light brought on them.  I really just feel that we need more kindness.  We need more positivity because right now is a really hard time in our world, in America especially. It’s important to be more generous and kind-spirited than what we’re so often seeing these days.

So, what have you thought about the way Kim handled telling Oscar of his cancer diagnosis?  Do you hope Kim continues to stay in Julian’s orbit, or would you want her to become involved with Drew?   What do you think will happen next in the story … will Oscar survive?  What has been your most favorite performance of Tamara Braun of all her soap roles through the years? Comment below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Hunter King Talks Summer’s Clash With Phyllis, Seducing Billy, ‘Life In Pieces’ & Being Newly Engaged

On The Young and the Restless viewers just watched the summer of …  Summer!  When the top-rated soap brought back two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Hunter King to the canvas, you knew it was going to be to stir up some major drama.  But, little did viewers know that Summer came back a vixen, ready to steal her mother’s man!

Last month, it became game on between mother and daughter after their epic showdown, where Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) got wind of Summer’s attempts to put the moves on Billy (Jason Thompson) and her plans to meet up with him in Philly! (And that spelled trouble for the couple known as “Philly” too)  Oh yes, and there was that well-deserved bitch-slap!  So, where will it all go from here?

Michael Fairman TV caught up with King where we discussed: Summer’s new attitude, if Summer will get her wish and have sex with Billy, her real-life engagement, and her upcoming return to the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces, and more. Check out what Hunter had to say below.

Summer is so pursuing Billy! When you came back to Y&R, did they tell you we need her to be really vampy and this seductress?  What has happened to her? (Laughs)

HUNTER:  Yes.  I understood where it was coming from, and I was excited to play the same character, but being able to play it totally different.  I get to sort of reinvent her.   I think when Summer went away she discovered herself, and kind of grew into Phyllis’ daughter … maybe.  But I will say, it has been very vampy, and you don’t even know yet what’s to come!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

How is working with Jason Thompson?

HUNTER:   Working with Jason is great.  He is always so professional and prepared and always willing to collaborate on scenes.  Jason is just so creative, and so in it, and loves to work so much that he just exudes that the scenes.

Let’s just say when Summer and Billy “finally” hit the sheets … (Laughs)

HUNTER:   We don’t yet … we shall see.  The way this whole storyline unfolds you think it’s going one way and then there is a twist, and then twists on top of twists.  The more layers that come into play you start to understand why everything is happening the way it is.

Now, Summer had no idea that Billy had a gambling addiction, which put this whole spiral of his in motion?

HUNTER:  I guess not?  (Laughs)  It’s hard to know. I would say she evidently did not know about his gambling.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Viewers saw Phyllis slap her daughter in the face as the fight between them escalated; when Summer admitted she was going after her mother’s boyfriend!  How was it taping that scene, and working with Gina Tognoni?

HUNTER:  She’s amazing! Gina didn’t really slap me, but I will say afterwards they wanted to put red blush on my cheeks, and I said, “Oh, just pinch my cheek instead, and I wound up bruising my cheek.”  So Gina goes, “I really didn’t hit her!”  It was the funniest banter on set.  Gina was scary in those scenes, like a good scary.  I went, “Damn!”

On August 18th, you got engaged to your beau, Nico Svoboda.  Were you expecting him to propose when he did?

HUNTER:   I was so shocked, even though I had wanted it to happen, very much.  But, I had no idea when it was coming. It was amazing, and the best day of my life and, we are engaged!

Photo : HKingInstagram

And he got down on one knee for the proposal!

HUNTER:  Yes!  I thought it was sweet.  It’s something you dream about when you are a little girl.

What it is about Nico that makes him the guy for you?

HUNTER:  Besides the amazing qualities he has as a person – he’s compassionate, he’s caring, he’s driven, he’s loving, and just cares for others so much – I love the way that he loves me.  I have never felt so loved before, and so accepted, and he is very supportive of my career.

Courtesy/CBS

Are you excited to go back to your role as Clementine on the sitcom, Life in Pieces?  It is slated for a midseason premiere.

HUNTER:  I am super excited to be back.  We are back taping again   I am excited to do the sitcom and Y&R   As an actress, it’s so exciting to get to do different things:  a sitcom and soaps … why not?! (As noted in the press: King took a three-episode break from Y&R to film some episodes of the sitcom due to a scheduling conflict.)

Then speaking of “All in the Family,” it was just announced, your sister, Joey is coming onto Life in Pieces.

HUNTER:  Yes!  How crazy. She will be on for a few episodes, and it will be fun.  I think we will interact a little bit on the show, and we have never had the chance to work together before.

Photo: HKingInstagram

You and your sister have the funniest Instagram videos.  Do you plan those out?

HUNTER:  Joey is so funny.  It kind of just happens when we get together.  Sometimes we film something and sometimes we don’t.  But Joey is so much fun and my best friend. She is the funniest person in the entire world, and so it’s just easy to laugh when I am with her.

So, what did you think of the showdown between Summer and Phyllis?  Are you glad Phyllis slapped her daughter, or was it a mistake?  What do you think will happen next?  Will Summer ultimately sleep with Billy? Do you want Summer to end up with Kyle (Michael Mealor)? Will you be checking out Hunter on Life in Pieces? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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