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The Melissa Claire Egan Interview – The Young and the Restless

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

It’s been a whirlwind week for Chelsea Lawson, and her portrayer, the previously Daytime Emmy nominated, Melissa Claire Egan on The Young and the Restless! Chelsea wandered into the dangerous ponds of Genoa City, almost died, gave birth to her baby (with a rescue and an assist from Adam Newman) and then gave up her baby boy to Billy and Victoria. From the looks of it, it sets Chelsea free to migrate into other stories while building a future bond or battle, and a continued history with Y&R’s favorite couple, Villy!  As many know on yesterday’s episode, Victoria decided she wanted to name the little boy, John, after Billy’s dad, in a truly heartwarming moment.

On-Air On-Soaps spoke to Melissa Claire Egan to get her thoughts on all of Chelsea’s antics, the riveting last few Y&R episodes with her front and center, if there is a romantic future with Adam, and the back-story of her parents!  We recently learned that Jeffrey Bardwell is Chelsea’s bio-dad.  And don’t forget mom, grifter extraordinaire, Anita!   With so many stories yet to play out, the Y&R writers and producers are certainly ready to put it in the more than capable hands of Egan.

Of course, many daytime fans know Melissa best from her work on All My Children as Annie, a woman who became so unglued that she became a resident whack-job.  But once again in the hands of Egan, Annie had so such depth, that you couldn’t at times feel bad for her desperation to hold on to the men she loved, or the future she wanted for herself and her daughter, Emma.  What is most sincere, as you will read, is Melissa’s memories of the show and revealing what she felt about the final episode.  And like most AMC fans, she is still not over the fact that the beloved soap is no longer on the air.  Always delightful and full of spunk, here is our conversation with Melissa!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Chelsea’s world has been unraveling and been very interesting this week.  However, it started last week when she fell into the icy ponds of Genoa City.   Did you like the drama of that?  Many residents of GC have not survived those waters!

MELISSA:

Of course, everyone falls into a pond in Genoa City, and then there is some danger. I think like, eight people have died in there.  So I didn’t know if I would make it! (Laughs) I knew about it when I read the script.  I was kind of intrigued and excited by it, because it was kind of my first catastrophic event to happen on Y&R.  And then when I found out she was going to go into labor, I was really excited about it to see how that was going to turn out.  Plus, I was kind of over being pregnant on the show.

MICHAEL:

You must have been over it, having to dress frumpy, when you are so beautiful in real life.  You probably get really tired of the whole pregnancy get-up!

MELISSA:

You do!  I mean I kind of enjoyed it, but it’s a pain wearing that padding and suit.  I was excited to see what would happen story-wise after Chelsea gave birth and how it would all go down.

MICHAEL:

You have had the opportunity to mix it up with some amazing actors on this show.  Now you can also add Michael Muhney (Adam) to the list.  There must be a potential now for an Adam and Chelsea pairing.  What are your thoughts on Michael and his Y&R alter-ego, Adam?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MELISSA:

I love working with Michael.  I heard about him because my mom had watched Y&R before I joined.  So when I told her my character was going to be mixed-up with Adam, she went, “Oh! He is so good, but so bad!” (Laughs)  She told me he was a great character, but an evil one, so I was really excited.  And now knowing Michael, it has been so much fun.  Michael is such a pro.  He makes me look better, for sure.  It has just been fun for both of us to get to know each other’s acting styles and working together.  Everyone seems to think we have good on-screen chemistry, so it’s been awesome.  I think it’s an interesting energy between Chelsea and Adam being the “bad guys” in town.  

MICHAEL:

Adam delivered Chelsea’s baby and then Chelsea gave it up to Billy and Victoria! But is she really going to just let them have the little bundle of joy?

MELISSA:

Chelsea gave the baby up this week, and as of now it looks like she is keeping her word, although you never know.  Adam will be in the equation after all of this.  He has definitely been a support system for her, especially now.  Billy and Victoria now have the baby, and Chelsea is not going to live with them anymore.  She has to decide now what she is going to do with her life … like for her it’s an issue of “Well, what now?”

MICHAEL:

As an actress playing the character, do you think it was hard for her to give up her newborn baby boy? Did Chelsea have some very deep regrets?

MELISSA:

I think it was hard for her.  I mean, I have never had a baby in real life, but I can just imagine if you create this child and carry it for nine months and then go through this tumultuous labor.  I think at this point, she is really trying to be selfless, and do what is best for the baby, which is not to be with her.  She is such a grifter and irresponsible.  At this point, she is doing what is best for her baby boy.

MICHAEL:

At the beginning of the whole pregnancy mess, do you think Chelsea loved or was obsessed with Billy Abbott?  Or, was it all just a con for her?

MELISSA:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I think at the time when they met and hooked up, I think Chelsea was probably a bad person.  She was trying to take advantage of him and his money.  He has a way with the ladies.  Billy Abbott makes them want to drug him and take advantage of him. (Laughs) I am sure she had feelings for Billy at the beginning, but now too much has happened.  She knows that she is not going to break up the marriage of Billy and Victoria.  I think she has moved on. I really don’t think at this point she has any interest in breaking up their marriage.  She sees how solid their marriage is and I think she realized, “Alright. They are both good people.  They are in love.  This is not going to happen.”   I say, “Go to Match.com, Chelsea!  (Laughs) Go find someone else to try to date.” (Laughs) I think Billy Miller as Billy Abbott kind of liked this commune-hippie fee to his living lifestyle.  There was kind of a “Big Love” thing going on at the Billy Abbott house. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

How is working with your dear friend, Billy Miller (Billy)?

MELISSA:

Terrible!  I will tell you the truth later, off the record (Laughs) It’s great.  We are buds from way back, of course, from our days on All My Children, and so we have been hanging out even before I came to Y&R.  Now being here with Billy I get to see him double!

MICHAEL:

Did the two of you talk before you came on board at Y&R, about if you should take the role of Chelsea?

MELISSA:

I did tell him I was going into a meeting at Y&R, but I knew the character would be involved with Billy and Victoria, and involved with Adam.  So I knew how exciting this was going to be, because in my mind they are three of the very best and most popular characters on the show.  We did not really talk about it too extensively because the whole thing happened so quickly.

MICHAEL:

What do you think of Billy and Victoria?  They are clearly one of the fan favorite couples of Y&R.

MELISSA:

They are my favorite couple on the show.  People would tweet me and say, “You better not be breaking up Billy and Victoria.”  I hope I am not, either.  I am glad that the couple persevered and got their baby and all that good stuff.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Melissa, what has been great to see is how the writers are building anchors for your character, which guarantee longevity for you and Chelsea.  There is your relationship with Billy and Victoria, your child, Adam, your mom Anita and now, your bio-dad has been revealed to be Jeffrey Bardwell, of all people!

MELISSA:

Yes, I agree.  It’s been a lot in a short amount time, but it’s great to have so many people to be intertwined with, if you will.

MICHAEL:

What did you think of the plot point that Jeffrey (Ted Shackelford) was Chelsea’s father?  That was kind of out of left field!

MELISSA:

You know, that came out of nowhere!  I did not know that was going to happen at all. Then, I thought it was really cool.  I knew about Catherine Bach coming on to Y&R as my mother, but I had no idea they were going to go for a “finding my father” storyline, too.  That was kind of put in there in the midst of everything while Chelsea was dealing with her baby.  So it came up and then went away rather quickly.  But I think it will be explored later.  But right now, the show has been so focused on her having the baby, the Billy/Victoria stuff and the Adam stuff.  It’s kind of on the sidelines right now.  I mean, Chelsea had a few busy weeks, there! (Laughs)  You know, falling through the lake, giving birth without having any drugs on board in a cabin, and almost dying.  But who knows?  I am certain they will go back and explore Jeffrey and Chelsea’s relationship at some point.  Right now, she has her hands full … this week! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Y&R’s executive producer and head writer, Maria Arena Bell, recently told me she thinks that you and Catherine Bach, look like mother and daughter in real life.  Do you think so?

MELISSA:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I agree!  My mom jokes that I look nothing like her, and I look my dad.  My mom has blonde hair and is the total opposite of me.  I do wear “Daisy Dukes”, though to bed! (Laughs)  No, I don’t.  I wish I could.  (Laughs)   My real mom keeps joking that Catherine Bach looks more like she could be my mom!  She does.  It’s pretty crazy … the hair… and her skin tone.  Catherine is beautiful.  I have not worn my own “Daisy Dukes” in a while, although I am going to Coachella this weekend, so I might bring them out for that.  We will see.  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

It’s been “Grifter Central” in the Billy Abbott Home. (Laughs) You must have had fun with Catherine and Billy playing the absurdity of it all.  Were there some laugh riot moments?

MELISSA:

I think Billy and I always like to give each other a hard time.  We like to “Bust each others chops,” if you will.

MICHAEL:

From when you and Billy Miller started as the brother/sister act of Richie and Annie Novack on AMC , to your roles on Y&R, who knew this is how you would eventually interact on screen, and how your lives took you from New York City to Los Angeles.

MELISSA:

Courtesy/ABC

It’s pretty crazy how much has happened to us, and truthfully, I can’t believe it has been so many years now.  It’s amazing the friendships and relationships you make in this crazy business.

MICHAEL:

What has been your favorite Billy Miller scene from your time with him on All My Children, and from your time thus far with him on The Young and the Restless?

MELISSA:

On AMC, I loved when Annie pretended to be shot and “died” and Richie got really scared.  On Y&R, I would have to say, when Chelsea and Billy were flirting at the bar.  I just love flirting with Billy Miller!  It’s so much fun.  Also, when Billy and I are being nasty to each other in scenes.  I have liked that, too!

MICHAEL:

Do you want to see Chelsea mellow out or continue to have a bitchy backbone?  You play the bitchy, crazy, and vulnerable gal so well!

MELISSA:

I really like the bitchy parts (Laughs).  I like that Chelsea has mellowed out a little bit, and she is not as nasty, but I really hope she does not lose her spunk.  She is a fun, bitchy character.  I like that she gives people a hard time and doesn’t care.  It’s fun to play.

MICHAEL:

Adam and Chelsea could really be a pair to be watchful of, if you are a citizen in Genoa City!  Quite the dangerous duo …  would you agree?

MELISSA:

I think so!  I see them causing trouble together in the future, but we shall see!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I hope there is not another custody battle down the line on Y&R over a child, with the fight instigated by Chelsea to get her baby back from Billy and Victoria.  Enough is enough.  Do you think that could possibly happen?

MELISSA:

I don’t think so.  It seems Chelsea really wants the baby to be in a good place and in a strong family environment, which she certainly doesn’t have right now.  I don’t even think she has a house now.  Thanks to Billy, she is kind of on the street! (Laughs) 

MICHAEL:

How has it been working with Amelia Heinle (Victoria)?

MELISSA:

I love Amelia.  I am very impressed with her and she is awesomeness!  She is so lovely and such a great actress, and she is such a pleasure to work with.  It is especially fun when it’s me, Billy, and Amelia working in scenes together.  There is a lot of goofiness between us, and the best part of a long shoot day, is that the three of us can go have a glass of wine after!

MICHAEL:

Where are you at with All My Children being gone, and the legacy of the show, and putting it behind you?  You were such an integral part of its storytelling in the final years of the soap.  Do you still see many of your AMC pals and stay in touch with them?

MELISSA:

I see Chrishell Stause (Amanda) all the time.  She is my “Bestie”.  I talk with Cameron Mathison (Ryan), but he is New York a lot with Good Morning America, so he is kind of hard to pin down.  I saw Stephanie Gatschet (Madison), Christina Bennett Lind (Bianca), and Jill Larson (Opal) recently at this Yoga-thon.  It was so fun to see all those gals.  Especially in this business, you see them at auditions, or the gym, and all over. Luckily now, we are all in the same town for the most part.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Would you say that Pine Valley’s Annie Novak McDermott Lavery Chandler was one of your favorite roles of your career?

MELISSA:

All My Children changed my life in an amazing way.  I was playing that part from age 24 to Age 28, which are such important years of your life.  It was such an important job for me which took me to New York.  Then I got to have all these experiences in New York, and the benefits of having a great job at that age.  I saw a couple of episodes of All My Children on SOAPnet recently, and I am blonde on it!  So, to look back on that, and go, “Wow! That was six years ago,” and that is kind of insane.

MICHAEL:

What do you think about the final episode of AMC?  Many felt underwhelmed.  It was very upsetting to fans that wanted closure, when the writers had to leave things with a cliffhanger on the belief it was moving to the Internet and continuing on via Prospect Park. 

MELISSA:

I did watch it.  Of course I did.  I loved it because I have loved that show for so long.  I loved All My Children when I was growing up.  I was kind of bummed that they did not use the ending we all taped, which showed us all in the future.  I was kind of sad not to see that, because it tied it all up in a bow.  But, I understand also why they didn’t.  I am so proud of everyone involved, but it was so hard to end a show, when you think it could be possibly moving to the Internet.  It was hard.  It was hard for everyone. I think they did a great job.  I was sad to see it gone.  I am still in shock.  I think it’s such an iconic show, and it makes me very sad that it was the final episode last September.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

And as they say, when one door closes, another opens.  And for you, that was coming over to the number one soap, The Young and the Restless.  So, what would you say in a general sense to viewers to look forward to from Chelsea?  And, right now, what do you want for her?

MELISSA:

The viewers met Chelsea as a schemester and pregnant with child.  She did not have any friends.  And now, you will be able to see her personality.  We can see her finally in some hot clothes, maybe a skirt, and high heels.  She is no longer the beached whale at the bar.  (Laughs)  I would like to see her maybe more vixenish, and not just a baby mamma, but more of a young girl in a new town trying to make her way.  Maybe, since Chelsea did not get Billy the way she wanted to, maybe she will get some lovin’ in her life.  She has had a lot of hardship lately.  I definitely think she needs to get some lovin’!

 

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Dawn HesterMarie GrandeBrenda LeeKelpat coggins Recent comment authors
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Lynn
Lynn

Thanks for the great interview. MCE has already had a memorable soap history. I wish her lots more!

ricardo
ricardo

bravo michael fairman wonderful interview. i love melissa what a great actress. i hope she stays on the young and the restless for a long time. loved melissa as crazy annie on all my children. now all we need is cameron mathison to come to the young and the restless. that would be a dream come true.

Rhonda
Rhonda

“He has a way with the ladies. Billy Abbott makes them want to drug him and take advantage of him. (Laughs)” Wow, just wow.

Cindy
Cindy

I can not believe you did this interview and couldn’t ask one question about JR and Annie or possible crossover to LA for Chelsea. No further comments necessary Fairman.

Karina
Karina

I must say I agree! The chemistry between Jacob Young & Missy Egan was insane. I would have loved for those two to be together at the end of AMC. But since the writers left us fans in the ditch on that one, a Rick/Chelsea cross-over would be blissful!!!!

Leina
Leina

I just read this interview and was also bummed that the question wasn’t asked if she had any thoughts on a cross-over to B and B or Jacob crossing over to Yand R so they may again be paired together..They were on their way to supercouple status before she decided to leave AMC. Their chemistry was like no other. They were acting soulmates. Jacob could surely use her now as a love interest.

Reel Views
Reel Views

MCE definitely has chemistry with Michael Muhney, but I’ve never seen an actor have the ability to play off of other actors so well like MM does. He’s quite the hat trick: Good actor, great personality, and one hot dude.

MCE/MM’s Chadam pairing is something to look forward too, especially with Sharon’s jealousy of Adam’s attention to Chelsea looking on. I expect fireworks coming too.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

I always liked Annie on All My Children. I think Melissa is gorgeous. She is ALSO the LOOKALIKE of Trista (Rehn) Sutter, the FIRST bachelorette that got married. They look like twins and have the same smile. I wonder if they have ever been told how that they lookalike? In writing this post, I looked up their birthdays to see how close they are in age. Go Trista! You look great! I would never believe that you are NINE year’s older than Melissa (maybe 2 or 3 but NOT nine). Another thing Melissa and Trista have in common is: They BOTH have the same numeral Birthday. Melissa is born September 28th, 1981, and Trista is born October 28th, 1972. Talk about “twin like” faces, numeral (twin birthday’s) almost making their Birthdays in the same month and same year, missing by just one month and one year. Now ‘”that” would of been a coincidence. Still, I cannot believe Trista is nine years older. She has a young face, always did have baby girl looks, just as Melissa does who is gorgeous. They should be put in the magazines as the celebrity lookalikes. Their voices are very simular too. Always a fan of Melissa and her work on AMC. You never got bored with Annie. Great acting, great face, great body. Talented young lady.

TnT 2.0 Forever
TnT 2.0 Forever

Thanks for the interview! MCE is an amazing actress. I am happy for her success and I wish her even greater success in her career.

brandy
brandy

leave shadamam alone.Chadam work good as friends. The ratings are bad enough. She and adam can be friends, with jealous sharon. I also want sharon to be pregnant with adam babt.eery friendship dont have to be romance, just like Michael and phyllis.

Simone
Simone

I am really starting to like the idea of Chelsea and Adam as a couple. I have never really been a fan of Adam, but I love his scenes with Chelsea. I hope that their relationship grows beyond friendship.

Juanita
Juanita

I really love the shirt Chelsea wore on Young and the restless today. Where can you get it. The open shoulder, tye dye look. Loved it.

ToddBlairStarrJack
ToddBlairStarrJack

I am loving the Chelsea/Adam pairing. MCE and MM play very well off each other, Cheldam are my favorite Y&R couple. Please tptb don’t wreck them too much!!

john gavert
john gavert

Y@R fan now for 2 years Think Michael And Melissa are fabulous acting talents.

pat coggins
pat coggins

Is Mellissa pregnant in real life this time around since they haveher pregnant again so soon.

Kel
Kel

I really hate the Adam with Chelsea . I loved loved Adam and Sharon as do sooo many miss Shadam , We can’t forgive Chelsea for giving away her baby just like that!

Brenda Lee
Brenda Lee

I hate Adam had taged up with the penis hungry Sharom. I wished he would get back with Chelsea/ Sharon needs to get her a viberter, she stays too host. I hope chelsea have a little girl and name her hope. If sharon become pregnate I hope she be forgotten and go away. I will not watch the young and the restless no more until they put adam with chelsea.

Marie Grande
Marie Grande

I love the Y&R, watch it during the day and night. I think Adam is gorgeous and a great actor. I hope Adam and Chelsea get back together, although I like Dylan also. I come from Winthrop, MA, it’s like the Y&R in a way. Keep up the great acting Adam.

Dawn Hester
Dawn Hester

I Love Chelsea, favorite actress on show…Everyday I watch to see what Chelsea is wearing (beautiful) and hated Chelsea at first “just proves what agreat actress you are”.

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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Interviews

Y&R’s Elizabeth Hendrickson and Greg Rikaart Talk On The Return of Chloe and Kevin

Fans of The Young and the Restless were overjoyed to learn a few months ago that Kevin and Chloe played to perfection by Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson were headed back to the CBS Daytime drama following the regime change at the top.

Rikaart had previously with the series for 14 years before he was taken off-contract, and then journeyed to Days of our Lives to take on the role of Leo, while Hendrickson went to General Hospital to take on the role of Margaux Dawson, only to eventually head back to Genoa City.

Michael Fairman sat down with the popular on-screen duo recently on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City for a special conversation via The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

When discussing what happened behind the scenes that led them back to Genoa City, Liz expressed: “It was definitely a surprise to get the call. I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere because I saw Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) was coming back and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) was coming back, and it looked like they were getting the gang back together.  I wasn’t sure if I was next on the list, but when I did get the call, I was really excited, and so I chimed in with my better half (Greg) and he was too, so then I was like, ‘Well, let’s do it.”  Greg related: “I had a conversation with Josh Griffith (head writer, Y&R) and expressed that it was nice being back in the building. and a little bit later, I got a phone call inviting me back.”

Photo: JPI

If viewers have followed recent developments on Y&R, Chloe and Kevin kidnapped Billy for is own protection (Jason Thompson) to a cabin, after he tried to kill Adam.  In the ensuing scenes, Kevin injects Billy with a syringe filled with a drug to knock him out.  Rikaart shared, “Doesn’t it make sense, that if anyone had something on them to knock someone out it would be Kevin .. on the ready!?”

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Liz said of Billy’s deteriorating mental health state and working with Jason Thompson (and Billy’s revenge against Adam): “Chloe also knows that Delia would not want her father to take revenge.”  As far as working with Jason Thompson, Hendrickson shared: “Jason is really, really wonderful.  I have known him personally outside of the soap world from mutual friends.  And in getting to work with him, Jason is just great. He is a really solid guy, as well.

Photo: MFTV Inc

Later, Liz and Greg weigh-in on their favorite all-time scene together.  Greg admitted, “The first one to come to mind is our New Year’s scene, because that is when we first got together. and the build-up to that was a really long time coming. I thought it was so beautifully played where Kevin had finally given up on the idea of them being together, and he is out with spray tan girl and it’s New Year’s Eve and all he is doing the entire time is complaining about Chloe. Meanwhile, Chloe is home in her pajamas eating ice cream with Esther – it was very much a throwback to a John Hughes 1980’s rom-com.”

On their return to Y&R, Greg concluded:  “I think the fans are excited that we are back, and I think that fuels my excitement too, because when I was gone I really missed this place and knowing people missed having me here, I realized I wasn’t crazy …. this was something special.”

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So are you happy to see Liz and Greg back on Y&R? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. But first check out their video interview!

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General Hospital

GH’s Michael Easton Talks On Finn’s Hayden-Less Story, Finola Hughes & Favorite Soap Roles

It was a pretty wonky summer for General Hospital’s Dr. Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton), especially concerning the women in his life.  After proposing to Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) she exits to go deal with her twin sister, Alex, thus facilitating Hughes’ summer break from the series.

Meanwhile, another great love of Finn’s life, Hayden (Rebecca Budig) re-emerges on the canvas during Liz (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco’s (Roger Howarth) wedding reception, and is now clearly involved in some story with Jasper Jacks (Ingo Rademacher).  But what about the unresolved feelings and story with Hayden and Finn? After all, she left him and Port Charles and had his child (who is apparently alive) but is not letting her ex know that little fact.

Meanwhile as a doctor, Finn has had to deal with numerous medical infectious disease crisis’, with the latest being what happened to Sasha (Sofia Matteson) at the hands of the evil Cassandra Pierce (Jessica Tuck), who Finn would love to put behind bars for all of her nefarious drug-related crimes and for what she previously perpetrated on him.

Michael Fairman TV recently caught up with one of our favorite gents in daytime, Michael Easton, to get his thoughts on the on-screen developments in Port Charles, what he hopes is ahead this fall, a look back at some of his favorite soap roles (from One Life’s John McBain to Port Charles’ Caleb Morley), why One Life to Live was such a gem of a soap and a special time for him and his enduring soap career, and much more.  So, here’s what Michael shared in our irreverent entertaining, and candid chat.

Photo: ABC

Hayden has been back.  But you and Rebecca Budig have not thus far shared many scenes together.  Do you think we will eventually circle back to their story?

MICHAEL:  First of all, it is amazing having Rebecca back.  I’d like to say that I had forgotten how beautiful and talented she is, but I didn’t.  She stays with you, and her performances resonate.  So, coming back to work with her is like falling back into it.  For selfish reasons, I am somewhat disappointed that I thought when Hayden came back; she would completely turn Finn’s life upside down.  So, to be honest with you, I don’t know much more than what you are seeing is going on.

I don’t understand why the show is keeping that apart.  That’s what people wanted to see when Hayden came back, because many fans loved them together.

MICHAEL:  I’ve taken a hit anytime I’ve run into fans because I think (any fans that follow that couple), when they left, are a little disappointed in what they are seeing in that the girl who left is not the girl who has come back.  I think that has been the difficult thing for Finn.  It’s almost like she has reverted back to a character she was a few years prior to that.  In terms of having his life upturned, it hasn’t been upturned because she has been rather cold to him.  So, it probably isn’t the way I would have told the story, but maybe they have some great stuff up their sleeve.  I think the stuff that we have had together has shown promise.  Hopefully there will be more, because I enjoy working with her so much.

So, there’s a baby.  Does Finn ever think the baby Hayden said died, could be alive?

MICHAEL:  I don’t think he does.  I think he (just from Finn’s nature) would believe that she would never to that to him.  I imagine his thought would be, “What did I ever do to you?  You would do this to me,” because he was clearly in love with her, and she broke his heart.  I don’t think he ever sees that coming.  I know it’s hard because the audience all knows that, and it’s hard to play the person who is not in the loop when everybody else knows the truth, but you have to play that.  You have to play that you don’t watch the show.  I think Finn has to come from that place that she would never do that, and I think that will probably take it to a place (if that is the case) that will just make the fall that much grander, but again it is incredible having Rebecca back.

Photo: ABV

Has Rebecca said anything to you like, “What’s going on?  I’m barely talking to you on the show?” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Yes.  I don’t want to speak for her, but I think she probably thought it was going to be more the character that left who was coming back.  I think we’ve all been a little surprised, but maybe the writers have some great surprises up their sleeves, and this will play out.  It’s just different than I thought it would play out.

Finola Hughes had gone off on her summer vacation for awhile which put a pause in what’s next for the Anna and Finn romance, as well.

MICHAEL:  Well, you work with me long enough, and then you need some time off, right?  It’s like PTSD, right?  You need a three-month treatment plan to make it back.  So, I don’t blame her for taking some time off. (Laughs)

Finn proposed to Anna with this impromptu-at-her feet-moment at the Nurses’ Ball.  Did you like the proposal?

MICHAEL:  The only thing that I would have done differently is that I originally thought she said no, just because I love playing uncomfortable, embarrassing moments.  I would have had a lot of fun with that because being embarrassed in front of groups of people is something that I would like to play.  I do that quite often in my own life. (Laughs)  I didn’t watch it back, but in the moment, it felt really nice.  She’s lovely.  Who wouldn’t propose to her?  So, there wasn’t a great deal of difficulty in doing that.

Photo: ABC

Do you sense the on-screen magic between Finn and Anna?  

MICHAEL:  I hope we both bring each other out of our comfort zones a little bit.   I think Finola embraces that, and I embrace that.  I think we both sort of pull each other a little bit.  When the writers write it that way, especially early on, there was a lot of great dialogue and banter, it was like a very adult-type of movie for a while, and I really enjoy that.  It is like Sullivan’s Travels or something like that.  That’s a really dated reference.  Who else do you know that is going to pull out a reference to Preston Sturges movies?  (Laughs) How about Moonlighting?  Even that might be dated now, but it’s closer.  (Laughs)  I think that’s it.  She’ll go with it.  Sometimes just in the flow of it, stuff comes out, and nothing goes by Finola.  There is no ad-lib or gesture that you can make where she won’t go with you on it.  She’s such a pro, and she is so good at that.

Photo: JPI

You’re both smart actors, in a way.  

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MICHAEL:  She’s smart.  She’s really smart.   She’s extra smart, and I’m a little bit under, (laughs) and she balances us out.

Do you think Finn will finally help apprehend Cassandra?  How is it when you get to work with Jessica Tuck?

MICHAEL:  Yeah.  I would imagine.  I love Jessica.  I think she is fantastic, and I always like when the “bad guy” doesn’t know they’re the bad guy.  I know when I played Caleb on Port Charles; one of the things I liked about him was that he never thought he was the bad guy.  I think that is always the right way to play a bad guy, and Jessica certainly doesn’t play it that way.  She plays it like she is just really devious.  She is lovely. I sort of look at it like a team, and anytime you lose good players, your team is not as good.  So, anytime someone says something about someone coming back who is a really good actor, it’s great when they come back.

Photo: JPI

How does Finn feel now about his brother, Chase (Josh Swickard)?  He just can’t seem to get himself to show his affection towards his younger brother.

MICHAEL:  He does love him, and that’s right.  That’s the conflict, but it’s hard to be mad at Josh because he is the sweetest kid.  He looks at you with those big brown eyes, and you go, “Why am I being such a jerk to this guy?  He’s just too nice, but it’s good.  I think we’ve slowly developed a rapport, and it’s just one of those things that I think every so often, daytime gets right where you can almost tell something in real time.  It wasn’t rushed.  It’s taken a year, and they are sort of coming around to one another, but there are still a lot of secrets.  That’s coming up.

Photo: ABC

Where would you rate Finn in the scope of your characters?  I mean, for me, McBain will always be #1.

MICHAEL:  Is McBain 1?  (Laughs)  You and Steve Burton (Jason, GH).  I’ve never sat and ranked them. Obviously, I played McBain the longest, and it was probably the character who was the most like me I did ride-alongs with cops in New York City for like a month.  So, I was able to ground him in some reality for myself, and I was able to stick to that.  We had a great adviser on the show for over a year who was a former New York City detective, gold shield guy.  Someone once asked why the police department was so good at One Life, and that was it.  They really embraced it.  We didn’t have people sneaking out of the jail-cell with a bobby pin picking the lock. (Laughs)

It was a bit grittier on One Life.

MICHAEL:  I enjoyed that.  McBain not saying “I love you” for 10 years, being on daytime and being able to do that – now that is quite the accomplishment!

Photo: JPI

I remember when McBain FINALLY told Natalie (Melissa Archer) “I love you.” I lost it, but then again, I am sucker for soapy goodness like that. It was a big moment.

MICHAEL:  It was.  Then, he had to kind of retract it and said, “I was drugged.”

Yeah right, he had that “What did I do?” moment.

MICHAEL:  “What did I do?”  That’s right.  So, that was a challenge, and that was really interesting.  Port Charles’ Caleb was probably the most fun to play because that was just an incredible amount of freedom.  There was no grounding it in anything.  It was the biggest sandbox I’d ever played in.  If you wanted to walk over to the couch, you walked over to the couch.  You did whatever you wanted to, and obviously, getting to work with the lovely Kelly Monaco (Ex-Livvie, Port Charles, now Sam, GH) every day… it was just nice.  Caleb only had one intention.  He was in love with this girl, and he just wanted to be with her, and anytime you get one specific need as an actor, it makes it so easy. You’ll stop at nothing to be with this girl, and that’s so fun to play.

Photo: ABC

Right, and Kelly Monaco and you have amazing chemistry when you have been paired romantically together in story.

MICHAEL:  Yeah, I think those things exist in a special place, and they probably belong in that special place.  Although, I thought it was an interesting dynamic for a period of time, it would have been interesting to see where that would have gone on GH with McBain, and Jason, and Sam, because there was something there that they could have built on very slowly.  I don’t know what would have happened, but I think that dynamic was the only dynamic that could have worked for a period of time.   I don’t think Fin would work, but that one dynamic would have been interesting when you have the cop, the outlaw, and the girl who comes between them.

Photo: ABC

One Life to Live recently would have celebrated its 51st anniversary if it was still on the air.  Back in July, I posted these photos of major characters through the years.  I received so many “likes” and so many comments on social media such as, “I miss it so much. Bring it back!”  What can you say about those enduring One Life fans and being part of that one-of-a-kind show?

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MICHAEL:  They’re the most beautiful fans.  All of the daytime fans are beautiful, but I think it was a really nice connection with the One Life to Live fans, and we got to know so many of them working in New York on the streets, you came out of the studio, and people were right there.  So, you really got to know them.  You got to engage with people.  I love that show, and I miss it.  Otherwise, I still stay in touch with a lot of them.  I think that speaks to it.  I have lifelong friends who I met on that show, which never happens.  Usually, you walk out of a show on your last day, and you’ll never see anybody again.  You’ll all say, “Yeah, let’s exchange numbers.”  I walk out of there and I go, “Thank you, and I’ll never see you again.”  I don’t even lie to people.  Like, I know I’ll never see you again, and I never have except for that show, and I am still in touch with so many of those people.  So, I think that spoke to how close we were.

Photo: JPI

Were you and Roger Howarth (Franco/Drew) always close on One Life, or are you closer now because you do all of the personal appearance events you do together?

MICHAEL:  Well, Roger and I have known each other; it must be going on… 25-30 years now.  So, it was pre-One Life.  I think at some point we both had long hair, and both had done daytime, so we were pretty interchangeable.  I think one time they called him about a part I did, and one time, they called me about a part when he left.  I actually know Roger because I did a series called 413 Hope St., and Jesse Martin was the lead in it.  It was a Damon Wayans series for Fox.  So, I had known of Roger, but I really got to know him at a New Year’s Eve party in like 1995/96.  Obviously, I’ve become really close to him now because we never did appearances or that sort of thing, but I think we have both sort of gotten over ourselves a little bit now. (Laughs)

Because you weren’t very visible before.  That goes for both of you!

MICHAEL:  No, and that’s by default.  I don’t think we ever discussed it.

Photo: ABC

It wasn’t a conscious decision?

MICHAEL:  No, I just thought (especially when I came back to daytime to do Caleb) it was just more interesting if people didn’t know a lot about me because the character was that.  So, it took me a while to ease into it, and also, I just had to get over myself.  I had a fear of engaging with large groups of people for a while.  In a strange way, Roger and I have kind of gravitated to each other.  I think we are both similar types.  Between the two of us, we make up one real man, you know?  Each of us is like half a man. (Laughs)

Together you can conquer.

MICHAEL:  We are a good crutch for each other!  He picks up my half, I pick up his.  That’s the solution.

So what do you think GH viewers can look forward to coming up with Finn?

MICHAEL:  I’m assuming at some point he is going to get his world turned upside down when he finds out about Hayden and the baby, and how he is going to react to that will probably be interesting.  I hope that’s going to happen.

Photo: ABC

If he became an addict again, how would you feel about that?

MICHAEL:  I think him struggling and getting over that would be interesting.  I would hope that wouldn’t be his reaction, but I guess that always hangs over your head.  Certainly, him falling apart would be interesting.  I think your faith in the universe would be crushed in that moment.  I don’t know how he would react.  I’m just really curious to see how that would shake out and to play that.  I think it would be a challenge.  I think you’re always looking for some way to turn everything … and I invite that.  I always think that sometimes in daytime we play the gimmick, but you should always play to the heart of the story.  What’s going to make you feel something?  If you feel something as the character, as the actor, I think the audience will feel something with you.  I think it is maybe one of the things that we have gotten away from a little bit is that emotional attachment.  When I watch shows that really move me, it’s still that emotional attachment between two people, and at the end of the day it should still be a love story … no matter what it is.   I think that is the heart of what we should be doing.  I think every poem should be a love poem of some sort.  I know they have to weave the other stuff, the science fiction, and the memories, and the missing babies, and the twins, but at the heart of it, it should really be about two people finding themselves in love.

Are you working on graphic novels, movies?

MICHAEL:  I’m always doing something, Michael.  It keeps me balanced, and it keeps me from losing my mind.

Photo: JPI

Will you be producing and directing any new short films?

MICHAEL: Trevor St. John (Ex-Todd/Victor Lord Jr. OLTL) and I are always talking about doing a short film.  Every time we drink too much beer, next thing you know, we are going to be doing a movie.  We have many beers, and then we shoot a film.  Then, we call our friends like Kamar de los Reyes (Ex-Antonio, OLTL), and Sherri Saum (Ex-Keri, OLTL), and Dan Gauthier (Ex-Kevin OLTL), and we go, “Now you guys, drink many beers, and you will join us on this film.”

See, now I get how movies are made!  

So, are you hoping that GH tells more of the story between Finn and Hayden?  Are you hoping that Anna and Finn make it to their “I do’s? What would you like to see happen to Finn? And finally, of all Michael’s soap roles which has been your favorite? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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