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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:

© 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:

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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

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Talks On Thomas’ Vendetta With Brooke & Playing The Manipulative Bad Boy Of The Forrester Clan

Since coming to The Bold and the Beautiful earlier this year, Matthew Atkinson is making his mark in the role of Taylor (Hunter Tylo) and Ridge’s (Thorsten Kaye) son, Thomas Forrester.  But while Matthew was a recast for his predecessor Pierson Fodé, his Thomas is quite different.  The new Thomas is a bad boy capable of horrific manipulations to get what he wants, and a young man who has caused so much suffering already for the Logans, Spencers, and the Forresters  But is there a heart underneath that often volatile exterior?

After all, Thomas went to great lengths to keep Hope (Annika Noelle) in a relationship with him and for her to be a “mother” to his son, following the death of Caroline.  So, what did he do? He covered-up and blackmailed many people to keep their mouths shut to the truth – that his sister Steffy’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) little girl, Phoebe, was actually baby Beth, the child Hope and Liam (Scott Clifton) believed had died at birth!

Following the big reveal, and getting a bit of comeuppance, Thomas landed in the hospital with a questionable push from Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) after a fall.  After promising to change his ways, looks like Thomas is back to scheming and conniving – this time to make sure Brooke gets payback and that her marriage to his father blows up to smithereens.  Meanwhile, Thomas needs to be a better father to his little boy, Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri), but will the Logans and the Spencers come between father and son?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Matthew Atkinson to get his take on: the emotional make-up of his incarnation of Thomas Forrester, what his ultimate takedown of Brooke would be, and how he thinks Thomas can find a way back into the family good graces, and more.  Here’s what Matthew had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

Thomas really has a vendetta with Brooke.  The scene where Brooke slaps him illustrated just how deep-rooted his issues apparently are with her. What did you think about what Thomas said to Brooke that came to a boiling point with the slap, and what was it like performing the material with Katherine Kelly Lang?

MATTHEW:  Katherine rocks every chance I get to be around her.  She is such a sweet human being and so fun to work with and takes her job seriously and puts a lot of work in, and I think it shows.  As far as the scene goes, every chance that I get to work with her is fun.  She’s just a great actress.  Brooke basically had this vendetta against Thomas for a while now, and she was the one who unjustifiably went a little crazy about Thomas before anybody knew Thomas was off the rails.  So, it’s kind of this interesting culmination of having that where she has built herself up to hating Thomas at this point, and she is just scared of him and what he could possibly do.  Then you have Thomas, who has hated Brooke ever since she came in and destroyed his family.  There is so much emotion there and so many levels to it.  It’s just so much fun to play around with, and in those scenes especially, it is kind of like neither one of them really has a filter.  They are both just going at each other.

He is punctuating his plan by telling Brooke that she may, “Have his father tied around her slutty little finger, but her reign of terror ends with him!”  I was just like, “Uh-oh.” (Laughs)

MATTHEW:  Yeah, and that’s how Thomas sees Brooke.  He sees her as this slutty woman who came in and kind of giggles her way into his dad’s life and flirted with him and destroyed his entire family.  Thomas sees her and all of her sisters as these air-headed women who are kind of just family-destroying kind of people.  They come in, they do whatever they can to get what they want, and he doesn’t care about them at all.  I think he has kind of gotten to this point, especially with Brooke … considering what happened with Hope and that he has this genuine love for Hope.  Brooke won’t even accept that, or think about that as a possibility with how she views him.   It’s that crazy dynamic and those scenes were definitely an emotional peak for both of them.

Photo: JPI

Thomas seems to become obsessed, and laser-focused on people like Hope, and now Brooke.  What has happened to him?  How are you playing this behavior pattern of his that we are seeing established?

MATTHEW:  Some of the most successful people in the world are people who obsess over things.  I think Thomas is like that, but I think that since Caroline’s death, his obsessive nature has been so focused on things other than fashion.  They aren’t his job and what his talents are, which is where he should focus all of that energy, but instead it’s been on his son needing a mother.  So, getting Hope in his life was key to him, and with Brooke, it’s a woman who has destroyed his entire family.  He wants his dad to be better off.  He wants his entire family to be better off.  He honestly feels that they would be better off without Brooke in their lives, and so that is what he is focused on.  I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad attribute to have when it is focused in the right direction, but for Thomas, since the death of Caroline, his focus has been on things that are a little abstract and are not necessarily objectively sound decisions.

Photo: JPI

What was interesting was that I did not know how they were going to be able to save the character of Thomas on the B&B canvas after all that he has perpetrated.  But then, there were scenes in the hospital where he is recovering from his “fall”, and Thomas is having big emotional scenes with Ridge and Steffy.  In those moments as the viewer, you say to yourself: “Oh, they’re going to redeem him,” but then they don’t.  He goes right back to a new vendetta.  What did you think of those plot twists?

MATTHEW:  The interesting thing about this character is that I don’t think this guy is a bad guy.  I think he is a guy who is doing a lot of bad things, but I think a lot of people can relate to him and the struggles that he is dealing with: being a single father and having a rough childhood with his family being broken up.  This is a guy who wants his father to approve of him and respect him and he has never really felt that way.  I think a lot of people out there know what it’s like to have a parent who they just want approval from but can’t get it … couple that with the fact that he let his sister down.  Everybody knows what it is like to think that they are making the right decision and end up making the wrong decision and possibly hurting someone in the process … and the kind of shame that you feel from doing something like that.  I think this makes Thomas an interesting character where viewers could say, “Well, he is doing bad things, and I don’t agree with anything that he is doing, but I can relate to him, and I want him to be better, and I want him to get better and become the good person we all know he can be.”  Yet, Thomas just keeps making all of the wrong decisions.

Photo: JPI

I predict that in short order, Thomas will be in cahoots with Shauna (Denise Richards)!

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MATTHEW:  Okay, we shall see.  (Laughs)  They have aligned interests; especially at the moment, when it comes to removing Brooke from that situation.  I think with Shauna, it’s fun that Denise Richards has come into this role and what she has done with this character.

Denise Richards is doing a great job in the role.

MATTHEW:  She’s amazing, but I think that behind the thought process she has is this woman, Shauna, who is not so dissimilar from Thomas, and is willing to blur the lines of what is acceptable and morally sound to make sure that she gets what she wants.

Photo: JPI

When you were taping those emotional hospital scenes where Thomas admits he has lost his way, and reaching out to his dad to try to find forgiveness, how were playing those scenes with Thorsten Kaye?

MATTHEW:  I respect Thorsten a lot as an actor.  I just love having scenes with him because I feel like we play off of each together so well.  When we enter a scene together, we are both in it.  When you are both in it, something real happens from that, and those real moments are kind of magical in a way, and it makes you feel great about the work that you do.  Thorsten shows up, and he’s prepared, he knows what he is doing, and at the same time, there is this connection between father and son.   I think Thorsten and I have definitely done that as father and son, and Jacqui and I have done that as brother and sister.

Since the show usually has you shirtless or sneering in scenes (laughs), I was so happy that they finally let you have some crying scenes.  It was at the point that the audience was able to see you bring another emotional level and dimension to the character.

MATTHEW:  I think he is not a guy who breaks down and cries very often.  It takes something very serious (especially for him) to get to that point.  For Thomas, the most important thing in the world is family, and he has kind of destroyed his relationship with his own family with what he has done, and I think that from the inside out is what breaks him.

Photo: JPI

Speaking of shirtless scenes; in a short amount of time you have been with the show, I think you may have set a record there.

MATTHEW:  (Laughs) Yep.  It’s all the time because the wardrobe sends me mostly pants – no shirts (Laughs).

Obviously, there is the issue of Thomas’s son, Douglas … and will he lose him because Hope and Liam want to gain custody of him. Brooke wants Thomas out of Douglas’ life for good.   This poses a major obstacle for Thomas moving forward. Agree?

MATTHEW:  Sure.  However, Brooke has no legal right to stand on.  You can’t just take a guy’s son.  There’s no legal way to do that, but they can try their hardest to either sign adoption papers or sign over custody, or something like that, but there’s not a legal way they can go and just take his son.  There are a lot of people who I understandably think Douglas would be better off with being raised by Hope and Liam, but I think Thomas has a point of view too, and just because he is going through a bad part of his life at this time, doesn’t mean that he is unfit to be a father.  I think Thomas will prove that he is fit to be father and all the while, a great force to be reckoned with,

Photo JPI

But, Thomas hasn’t been so great to Douglas, either.  Hasn’t he yelled at his son, manipulated him for his own gain, etc?

MATTHEW: Right, this was kind of right before the truth about Beth came out, and Thomas was on this massive downward swirl where he wasn’t thinking clearly; he wasn’t himself. I  think in reality, you have a person who went off the rails, he wasn’t being himself, he found the person he wasn’t, and I think that the “accident” of Brooke pushing him off a cliff, the slip, kind of clarified his intention in life to be a good, standup person from here on out.  So, I think his priorities are straight now, and I think he is thinking clearly.  I don’t think he is in the same mental state that he was before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be manipulative and that he won’t get what he wants, because he will.  There was a time that he went through a headspace when nothing was really clear for a minute, and he didn’t really have any moral backbone, but I don’t think that moving forward you’re going to see a Thomas Forrester that would hurt his son.  You’re going to see a Thomas Forrester who will stop at nothing to protect his son.

How does Thomas feel about Hope now, especially since Hope wants to raise Douglas? 

MATTHEW:  Well, here is what I will say; I think that Thomas has always had a love for Hope. I think he respects her as a person, I think he has seen her be a mother to his child, and that is undeniable … how much of a connection that she has to Douglas, and she is incredibly important to him.  Thomas can basically discard any Logan except Hope.  Hope is kind of his kryptonite.  So, going forward, I think you’ll maybe see a guy who wants to discard Hope as a person who he cares for (her and the rest of the Logans), but he may not be able to do that, because she has got a place in his heart that he can’t compartmentalize and leave behind.

Photo: JPI

What can you say about working with Annika Noelle, because you as Thomas had been terrorizing Hope for many months?

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MATTHEW:  Well, she’s a sweetheart, but also, secondly, she is a badass.  She could kick my butt any day of the week.  So, I just had to make sure that in between takes I said, “You understand that I wouldn’t do this to you.”  She’s so sweet, and she was actually one of the first people to talk to me about taking over a role on the show, because she had been one of the most recent people to take over a role, and that was something that was really hard for me.  Coming into a character that has already been there for 30 years, you have a lot to live up to.  She was amazing from the beginning just helping me through that process.

On that note, what did you think of the epic fight scene on the rooftop opposite Scott Clifton; right before all the truth came out to Hope that Beth is alive and Thomas was lying to Hope and up to no good?

MATTHEW:  So much fun.  The shots they got were incredible.  Shooting those fight scenes was so much fun and I love Scott to death.  So, every time we get to work together it’s fun, but just getting outside and literally pretending to beat the crap out of each other is a blast.  We got to go out to Malibu, and I got to fall over a cliff.  What else can you say about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

There is another interesting relationship Thomas has on B&B, and that is with his friend, Vinny.  How has it been creating the on-screen dynamic with Joe LoCicero (Vinny) as these two scheming dudes?

MATTHEW:  I like it, and I love Joe.  This dynamic between these two guys is really funny because you have this shrewd, alpha male, Thomas Forrester, who is extremely driven, and insanely smart, but also very manipulative and he has got a thousand things going on.  On the flipside, you’ve got Vinny, who is just this guy who he has been friends with for a really, really long time, who just kind of lives life.  He is living in his apartment in Venice, he sells some not so legal substances just to his friends, and he’s a decent guy.  It’s just fun when we have these scenes together, because essentially you’ve got him looking at me like I’m an alien creature, and thinking, “I don’t understand this guy.  I don’t know why he is acting this way, but who cares; I’m going to eat my Chinese food.”  (Laughs) I think it kind of grounds some of those scenes especially when you see Thomas going off that rails, and his friend doesn’t even seem to notice. (Laughs)

I know! (Laughs) Thomas has got his own sidekick.

MATTHEW: I think Vinny wants to give sound advice, but he gives all the worst advice.  He’s like, “Well, the way you described it Thomas, it sounds like a good idea, so yeah, go ahead with that,” but maybe doing a little behavioral cognitive therapy and questioning would be good for Vinny.  He just kind of goes, “okay,” (laughs) but I think that’s what makes those scenes so much fun.

Photo: JPI

Having appeared on The Young and the Restless previously you know how soaps go.  There is always this fear of: “Will they kill me off if my character has gone too far?” Did at any point in Thomas’ storyline, and as you got the scripts and read all the terrible things Thomas was doing, that the character might get murdered, kicking off a murder mystery, and you’d have to make an exit?

MATTHEW:  I’d had discussions with Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) and I kind of knew where the character was going, so I kind of knew that he was going down a rabbit hole, but that Thomas wasn’t a lost cause.  I knew that he would at least be present for the upcoming short future that I know of, that Thomas wasn’t going to find his demise, which was very nice of Brad to give me that insight into the character to not only know what was coming up, but also know where his head is at by this point.  It helps me with the character work that I do for each scene and prep for each day; because I know where Thomas’ head is going to be at two weeks from now.

Photo: JPI

Have you had any interactions with fans, or are you checking out on social media what the viewers are saying about Thomas?  Do they love him?  Hate him?  Is there a great debate going on?  What is your take on where Thomas sits with the audience?

MATTHEW:  Oh, yeah.  I definitely pay attention.  The fans are the reason I have the job that I have.  All the feedback that I have seen is positive, and by positive, I mean that it is emotionally effective.  Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are happy with Thomas because most people are not happy with Thomas.  They don’t like what he is doing, and that obviously gets them angry or sad or whatever, but that is kind of the point of the show.  If you’re watching a bunch of characters who are all great people and who all do nice things, then it wouldn’t be that much fun to watch.  You’d be watching 40 Liam’s talk to each other, and it would be like, “Yeah, it’s just another day in Happy World.”  (Laughs)  I think that Thomas especially has been such a driving force in the last couple of months and caused a lot of drama.  I think there are a lot of storylines that people have connected to in the past that are really making people enjoy the drama happening now. You have the people who hated Ridge getting together with Brooke in the beginning that are happy with what Thomas is doing now.  You have the people who are pro – Liam and Steffy.  Thomas has been a big advocate of that since the beginning.  There are some people who just can’t stand Thomas and don’t like him, and he makes them mad, but the reality of it is that there is a thin line between love and hate.  So, as long as they love me or hate me, I’m happy.

So, have you been enjoying Matthew’s portrayal of Thomas? Do you think he will rip Brooke and Ridge apart for good and succeed in his plans? Do you think he should somehow pay for his manipulations? Share your thoughts on the current B&B storyline involving Thomas via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Eileen Davidson & Vincent Van Patten Talk ‘7 Days to Vegas’, Their Relationship and Y&R, DAYS & RHOBH

Today’s the day for the highly-anticipated film, 7 Days to Vegas which bows in selected theaters. The motion picture which stars Vincent Van Patten and his real-life wife, two-time Daytime Emmy winning actress Eileen Davidson (Y&R’s Ashley and former Kristen/Susan Banks, Days) is a comedic gambling romp, centering around the character of Duke (Van Patten), an out-of-work actor turned poker player who makes a prop bet that he walk from the San Fernando Valley in California to Sin City, Las Vegas in 7 days.

There are some catches to this bet that make it even more challenging  … Duke has to wear a suit the entire time in scorching heat.  The events in the movie are loosely based on Van Patten’s Hollywood Poker game nights.  7 Days to Vegas features a fictional gang of betting entertainment industry bigwigs, who are hardcore gamblers and of course, jealousy strikes.  Davidson plays Duke’s wife, KC.

Michael Fairman sat down with Eileen and Vincent at their home, and at their famed poker table for the Michael Fairman Channel, to chat about the making of the movie, their relationship and some intriguing tidbits for fans of Eileen’s work on The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives and her time on Bravo’s hit reality franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

In 7 Days to Vegas, Eileen says that Vincent fashioned her role of KC after their real-life relationship adding, “They are in it together. This is a lifestyle that they both enjoy.  That is what somebody does when there is a home game; you call people up, and make sure who is going to be there.  Van Patten said, “There is a host of the game, and that is her role in the movie.”

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As to the scenes where Duke is walking to Vegas, Van Patten shared, “We shot the film in Santa Clarita, California in the hills and the mountains and all of that, and then we out five days after with a second unit shoot and shot with drones in the desert.  So, I must have walked 10 miles a day, shooting, sweating, but you don’t feel it, because when it’s your baby, it’s a labor of love.”

When asked if she would go back to daytime, Eileen shared she would be back for more Ashley on Y&R: “I am supposed to go back to Y&R in a couple of more weeks. So I am popping in and out at this point.”  Davidson also shared she wishes nothing but the best to Stacy Haiduk who inherited her roles on Days of our Lives as Kristen DiMera and Susan Banks. Eileen said she does not watch the episodes of the show anymore, because it makes her feel sad.  The roles of Kristen and Susan were so close to Davidson’s heart.

In speaking of her time on RHOBH, Van Patten shared, “I think she (Eileen) did a great job. It went by real quick. I think she did like three years on it.  I was in the background carrying her purse, going, ‘Yes, yes, here I come.”  (Laughs)  Davidson expressed: “Listen, reality TV … it’s a crazy, wild, Wild West.”  When Michael asked about the time a drink was thrown in her face, Eileen explained:  “I think Brandi (Granville) felt she needed to be relevant to be on the show, and her role was to be a troublemaker. I understand more of it now.  At the time, I was a deer in the headlights for the first couple of years.”  Vincent shared, “People always ask if this stuff is scripted, and it’s actually not, but you can spice it up”   As to if ‘Housewives’ makes up the drama, Davidson elaborated, “Before the season starts they will ask, ‘What is going on in your life?’, and maybe there is some of that behind-the-scenes stuff.  It didn’t happen with me.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it is a reality show, but it is also entertainment, and if all we did was sit around, how fun would that be?”

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Watch the full interview below with Eileen and Vincent and make sure to “subscribe” to The Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interview features.

Now let us know, will you be checking out 7 Days to Vegas, which will also be available on iTunes and VOD come September 24th? Do you hope there will be more Ashley on Y&R? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Interviews

Sharon Case Celebrates 25 Years On The Young and the Restless; Shares With Fans: “Thanks For Going On The Ride With Me”

Over the weekend, The Young and the Restless Sharon Case reached her 25-year milestone in Genoa City! For Case, who was the third actress to take on the role of Sharon Collins, and once believed she would only last six months on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, has become an integral part throughout the years to the drama and the romance that happens on the canvas on Y&R.

To mark the occasion, Case sat-down with Michael Fairman on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City where Y&R is taped; to take a stroll down memory lane, and to share her thoughts with her legions of fans on the life and times of Sharon Collins Newman.

Photo: CBS

From her character’s wrong-side-of-the-tracks beginning, to meeting Nick Newman, to many of the memorable storylines and moments that were among her very favorites including: when Nikki, Phyllis, Sharon and Victoria buried J.T., and of course, to her leading men through the years, Sharon reveals some backstage and on-camera Intel.   As viewers know, Sharon Newman had also had her share of catfights through the years in longstanding conflicts with both Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and of course, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), and Sharon discusses those moments too.

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Sharon and Michael also relive when Cassie’s death, was first aired on the show, and the impact that story has had for decades on everyone who worked on and has watched Y&R over the years.  In addition, Sharon discusses how she felt the night she won the Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series back in 1999.

At the end of the interview Sharon relates this message to the fans of Y&R: “I have always felt like these 25 years wasn’t just working here and playing Sharon … or working here with all the wonderful people … it’s just as much about going through it with all of you, especially because of social media, but even when we didn’t have it, we always knew that you were there and we were partners with you … because it really is sort of a partnership.  I really have felt like we have been in this together the whole time.  We don’t have a studio audience, but we know you’re there, and we love hearing from you.  It really was just as much about you – this journey I have gone on, than it was anything else, so ‘thank you’ for being there and watching the show, and being faithful to the show, and thanks for going on the ride with me.”

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Now below, watch Sharon’s 25th anniversary from the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  For more feature interviews on the channel make sure to “subscribe”.

Then, let us know what has been your favorite storyline of Sharon’s through the years?  Comment below.

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Y&&’s Eileen Davidson and her husband Vincent Van Patten chat with Michael Fairman about their new film “7 Days to Vegas”, her time on Y&R, DAYS, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their relationship. Leave A Comment

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