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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
Guest
Lynn

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

ricardo
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

TnT 2.0 Forever
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
john gavert

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

pat coggins
Guest
pat coggins

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

Kel
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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

Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Kim Waltrip Talk Plans & Launch Campaign To Make ‘Dial Emme For Murder’ into a Series

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner, and soap opera favorite Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R and Ex-Kristen/Susan, Days) is bringing one of her soap opera mystery novels to life with a proposed six-part series for the soapy and hilarious mystery, Dial Emme For Murder.

Joining Eileen in the cast will be none other than Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R) , Knots Landing favorite, Donna Mills (Ex-Abby), and primetime TV and film actress, Nancy Valen.  More cast members will be announced in the future.

Photo: JPI

In Dial Emme for Murder, Davidson plays actress Emmanuelle “Emme” Peterson, a successful soap star who finds herself smack dab in the middle of a  whodunit.

Now, in conjunction with the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television (PSWIFT), and its president and director/producer, Kim Waltrip, Davidson is launching a fundraising campaign to get the series made.

Photo: EDavidson

In an exclusive interview on the Michael Fairman Channel, Eileen, Judith and Kim exclusive reveal key Intel on the project, campaign and working together.  The proposed series has also launched its official website here.

About PSWIFT:  PSWIFT (Palm Springs Women in Film & Television) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2001 dedicated to promoting our members, both men and women in the Entertainment, New Media Creative arts community. In 2020 Palm Springs Women in Film & Television created and launched a Filmmakers’ Lab to teach members how to make a film, by making a film, hands-on.

PSWIFT is currently seeking donations through their non-profit – which are 100% tax-deductible – to fund the Filmmakers’ Lab’s next venture Dial Emme for Murder.  You can find out more on the different perks and packages if you donate to the project here.

Watch the interview with Michael, Eileen, Judith, and Kim below.

Then let us know, if you think Dial Emme for Murder featuring powerhouse actress, Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Donna Mills, will be a must-see for you via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Chats On Mia St. John’s Powerful Interview on ‘State of Mind’, Winning the Daytime Emmy & Sonny’s Future If Carly & Jason Get Hitched

Since the launch of Maurice Benard’s You Tube series, State of Mind, he has welcomed numerous guests who have opened up and shared their struggles with different aspects of mental health.  But this Sunday, July 11th, Maurice will share for the first time his powerful and emotional sit-down interview with Mia St. John; one that he reveals was one of the most moving of his series thus far.

With Maurice being a huge boxing enthusiast throughout his life, having St. John, who is a boxer, herself, on as a guest was, of course, special. However, as soap fans know, Mia is also the former wife of the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters, Y&R) and they shared a son, Julian.  Both men died, tragically. Julian, suffered from a long-history of mental illness, and his death was ruled a suicide, and Kristoff was consumed with grief following his son’s death which ultimately set him on a downward spiral.  Kristoff’s death was ruled accidental caused by hypertrophic heart disease; which was exacerbated by alcohol use.  In the conversation with Benard, Mia opens about her own personal struggle with addiction and how she coped with these two devastating losses. (See an exclusive preview clip below within this interview)

It’s also been a whirlwind year for Maurice. He just took home his third Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series during the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards for his moving portrayal as GH’s Sonny Corinthos, as he goes through all the stages of a child watching his father, Mike Corbin (played by Emmy-winner Max Gail) slip away due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Since the Emmy broadcast was pre-taped due to Covid restrictions, except for revealing who the winners actually were, Benard shares what went down when his name was called watching the show from home with his family.

 

And … things are heating up on General Hospital!  For months, Benard has been playing an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” who has become taken with deceitful Nina (Cynthia Watros), who knows he is alive and well and living in Nixon Falls, but fails to tell her nemesis Carly (Laura Wright), or anyone else in Port Charles.  With everyone believing Sonny is dead after his showdown with Julian Jerome, Carly and Jason (Steve Burton) find themselves having to save Sonny’s territory and go up against the five families.  So, what are the besties deciding to do? Get married! And as viewers saw, Carly recently removed her wedding rings to Sonny.  So, now the question on GH fans inquiry minds is; will Sonny get his memory back in time, and stop Jason and Carly from tying the knot?

Benard weighs-in on what the future may hold for Sonny, the difficulties he faced during the Covid-19 lockdown with his mental health, his conversation with Mia, and much more.  Here’s what Maurice shared.

Courtesy/StateofMind

Having Mia St. John on as your guest on the upcoming episode of State of Mind was quite emotional for you. What can you preview? 

MAURICE:  I can say that during last ten minutes, there’s a lot of spiritual stuff going on.  I felt it.  She’s very tough.  You can tell that she doesn’t want to hurt anymore, and with me, I don’t know for sure, but I think she felt safe and protected.  We got into Julian and Kristoff and what happened.  I’m pretty sure I asked her and said, “I’d like to get into something.  You could say ‘no’ to me.  It’s fine,” and she told me the whole story.  Michael, I know you were friends with Kristoff, you’re going to really be moved because I was extremely moved.  It really, really hit me hard, because of what I’ve just been through during the pandemic. I just felt the need to be there for her.  I mean, I have that in me anyway, but with her, I did because it seemed like a lot for someone to go through.  I didn’t know Kristoff.  I met him once, and we talked for a bit.  He seemed like a great guy.  I knew he was a great actor because I watched his work.  I do know that everybody seemed to love him, but through State of Mind, it seemed like I got to know him a little better through Mia.  I was looking in her eyes, and taking it all in, and she was telling me everything.

Throughout your series, you seemed to have become more comfortable in the role of the interviewer.  It’s quite the switch isn’t it from always being on the other end as the interviewee.

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve gotten better.  You know what it is with me, and somebody said it, I’ve got a curiosity that I love to hear people’s stories, and I have a way to make people comfortable.

Photo: KSJIG

Does it help you in listening to what other people have gone through in dealing with your own struggles with mental illness?

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve said it before.  It’s like therapy for me.  After Mia, I was drained, but in a good way.  In the beginning of doing “State of Mind’, I was just learning.  I wish I was more well-rounded in my intelligence.  I barely graduated out of high school, but as far as what it is with me, if I know something like acting or mental health, I really completely know it.  I’m into it.

How did the interview with Mia come about?  Did you ask her to come on State of Mind?

MAURICE:  I know who is involved with mental health.  I know who would be interesting to interview, and then I reach out, and I have people coming who are not in the soap world.  I have a WWE person; I have a TV critic, etc.  So, I asked her, and Mia said ‘yes’, and then we did the interview.  I’m a huge boxing fan.  So, to be able to talk to her about boxing and things that happened to her right before her fights, I was just really fascinated.

That is right in your wheelhouse!

MAURICE:  Way up my alley!  If I could have more boxers on, I would love that.  I love sports, but boxing is my one sport, so I was like a kid in a candy store talking to Mia.

How do you feel Mia is doing as she has been very open about her battle with alcoholism?

MAURICE: Any time you’ve been through that much, I think it’s a daily struggle for anyone. In addition, there is a really great organization she works with that I hope people will check out as she is trying to help others.

In terms of all of your State of Mind’s, did this one impact you in a different way?

MAURICE:  The good thing for me about State of Mind is that I learn from each person about things that I didn’t know.  For instance, coming up I have: Linsey Godfrey (Ex-Sarah, DAYS) who got hit by a car.  I mean, you could read about it, but when you’re talking to someone, things come out.  That’s what I love about doing this show.  Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) didn’t know anything about mental illness, personally, but he talked about mental illness more than anyone!  I said to him on the episode, “For somebody who doesn’t know anything about mental illness or didn’t have someone with it, you talk more about it,” because he had a curiosity on the subject.  Mia’s was a little more because of the boxing and how deep we went with her talking about death.  In an upcoming episode with Ken Shriner (Scott, GH), he teaches me a lot about death.  When your parents die at 16, I don’t know how you could keep going.  He taught me how.  It was beautiful.

Photo: NATAS/CBS

Let’s go back to a few weeks ago on June 25th and you win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  How did you find out you took home the gold?

MAURICE:  I was at my place in LA with my son, Joshua and my wife, Paula and we were watching the show.  When they called my name, I was very moved to watch my wife and my son get so excited, it really was sweet.  I liked my speech even though people had a problem with it, which is fine.  It’s always great if Max Gail wins or I get a win, because it’s the Alzheimer’s storyline that gets the attention.  And as I told you already, my dad has Alzheimer’s so it makes it even more personal.

And as you know, my mom had Alzheimer’s and died.  That’s why what you and Max did together on-screen together felt so real and raw and touched so many people – especially those who have a loved one going through this now, or that has passed.

MAURICE:  Yeah, it’s tough. I truly believe with this Emmy win, that it is the Alzheimer’s that really pushed it over the edge because it was a real story, greatly written, everybody deals with it, including you, including me, and you just can’t help but have a feeling about it.  You know, if I have a reel that shows me as Sonny yelling at people, beating people up, it’s not going to give you the impact.

Photo: NATAS

Was it weird coming to the stage and doing a pre-taped Emmy acceptance speech knowing that everybody else that was nominated had to do one too?

MAURICE:  Well, thank, God I didn’t have to do it in front of actors; I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.  It’s weird, right?  I knew I had to adjust.  When I’ve won before, it’s in front of a lot of people, or semi-in front in a lot of people.  So, with this year, your energy is different.  So, you can’t act in a speech like that, because then it would seem kind of over the top, maybe.  So, I just made a speech that I thought would work for what I was doing; which is kind of acting because I didn’t want to come out and say, “Oh, my God!  I can’t believe it!”  So, I said, “Okay, I’ll thank the actors, I’ll thank Frank, and I’ll make it about Alzheimer’s.”

Photo: GFrancisTwitter

I know some fans on social media jumped on the comment you made within the speech about ‘being the star of the show’ and you did tweet out that you went to Genie Francis (Laura, GH) to make sure there were no ruffled feathers there.

MAURICE:  I went to Genie because I thought, I don’t want her to take what I said personally, and she’s like, “What are you talking about?”  Sometimes I respond to a negative comment on Twitter with an emoji which can incite people.  So, I decided, “I’m not going to do that anymore. No more responding.”  Like I always say, you want to be loved and you want to be hated.  You just want to be loved a little more. So, I stopped with the child’s play.  I’m cool with it.

It seemed that things got twisted up, because you had related in the speech, that Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) came over to you and said you have to do the storyline, because you are the star of the show, when you were overcome in the screen-test with Max Gail. 

MAURICE:  Sometimes people love to change the narrative.  If you watch everything … they say what I said, but they don’t say that I also said ‘Alzheimer’s’ was the star, but I’ll take the hit.

Courtesy/ABC

I recently posted a clip of my interview with Cynthia Watros from the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys saying how she is so thrilled and honored to work with you.  How is it working with Cynthia?

MAURICE:  Let me tell you about Cynthia, and this is just my experience because I don’t know her that well.  We hadn’t worked together before. First of all, we tend to overlook, because of her character and the story, or whatnot, is that she is a real actress.  Let’s not forget that, I know she did Lost, and I didn’t watch her on another soap.  I know from working with her.  She can act She makes adjustments, and she listens, and I’m really happy to be working with her.  She is just stuck in a circumstance that is not her fault, but you know what, like I said today I think on Twitter to somebody, ‘but wait’.  I’ve been working this last month doing some scenes with her, and when you see that, there’s a little bit of magic in there!  I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing in the world, I’m just saying there’s a little magic!

Photo: ABC

Have you liked being “Mike “and not having Sonny’s memory because it opened up the story?

MAURICE:  I know people think this story is my idea, like I needed a break or something.  It has nothing to do with me needing a break.  They came to me and said they were going to do this story.  I said, “Let’s do this!”  I’ve been enjoying this.  It’s a different energy.  The energy that Sonny has is dark.  It’s like in third gear.  Mike is like in first gear, calm, relaxed, happy.

You’re just realizing that now?

MAURICE:  (Laughs) Well, I guess until you’ve gone somewhere else you really don’t know.  Often times, when I do movies and other projects, it’s often the same kind of energy that Sonny has. I’ve never played a character like “Mike” where it’s a whole other feeling!

Courtesy/ABC

Is it more challenging to play a character like Mike?

MAURICE:  No, easier!  Sonny can be difficult to play.  But guess what?  The audience – at least my fans – they don’t care how happy I am or whatever, they are screaming “Go back to fricken Sonny!”  I like that in a way, but I didn’t know that it was going to be this vocal from people.  It’s not that they hate Mike, they just want Sonny, and Cynthia is put in a tough situation because of her history in that character.

So, now everyone saw last week that Jason and Carly have decided they have to get married for the sake of the business with Sonny believed-to-be-dead.  What did you think when you heard that they were going in that direction with the story?

MAURICE:  Well, I was the last one to know.  I didn’t know they were going to get married until I heard about it in the makeup room.  I think the first thing I thought of was … we are all going to be having some great scenes coming up, like, “Alright.  Let’s rock and roll!  Let’s do it!  I’ll get into this character of Sonny when called upon.”  It might be and dark and the whole thing, but once I’m in there, I’m fine.

Courtesy/ABC

It would seem if Carly and Jason do actually get married, it’s not going to be an easy road to reconciliation for Carly and Sonny down the line.

MAURICE:  No.  I would say not.  The thing about Sonny is that it’s what Sonny does best, or what I do playing him best, is betrayal.  So, for him, this is not a good thing.  I would assume he’s just going to go, “What the…” and all hell is going to break loose.

Sonny’s body washed ashore and he was very much alive, while the search and rescue mission quickly became a recovery.  Once again, law enforcement in Port Charles isn’t very good! (Laughs)

MAURICE:  So, there you go.  It’s going to be a bigger fight.  It’s going to be a great fight when Sonny does return.

Photo: ABC

Fans are predicting that Jason and Carly are going to be at the altar, and Sonny is going to walk in alive and well with his memory back to the nuptials!

MAURICE:  Well, however it goes, I would say, just let them just watch the fireworks as they unfold.

But you’re enjoying this story?

MAURICE:  I’m cool, man.  I will say this, I’m glad that I have been given this last month playing Mike, and the Nixon Falls story.   I don’t know how much more we have ahead.  I just know that what we’ve taped has been really cool, and I’m glad that they gave me that.

Photo: ABC

I know that the coronavirus pandemic and its isolation was rough for you.  What can you share, and how did you find your way out of a downward spiral?

MAURICE:  Yeah, Covid was just one of those things where I was hit with a lot of different things all at once, which was …  GH shutting down production, my book tour not being in New York (although the book ended up probably doing better because of the pandemic, which was interesting) … my mom and dad moved out …  and I thought it was the end of the world.  We all did at some point, and it all hit me with a rush of anxiety that I had never felt before in my entire life, and it was four months of terror … way too long. I was shaking like a leaf, not sleeping, it was tough.  What I tell people is that when you go through these things, it will pass.  I know, for me, four months was too long, but it did pass.  You’re better because of it.  You can take one of either two roads.  You can get worse, and you can say, “I’m a victim, I’m a victim,” or you can take the other road and say, “I’m stronger now.  Look at what I’ve been through,” and then, look at what happens … a year and a half later, look at what my life is.  I have a pond here at home, and I used to run around this pond crying my eyes out, every morning crying, like I couldn’t do it anymore, and a year later, I walk around the pond like it’s the greatest thing in the world, but that’s what this is, this mental health.  You can think you can’t go on, but then it rewards you with a better life.

Photo: Noah Harmon

I was going to say, that’s pretty profound.  When you were going through the four months, did you think you were going to come out of it okay?

MAURICE:  No,   I’m going to be honest.  I finally got on Lexapro after three months.  If Lexapro didn’t work, I can’t say positively what would have happened.  It gradually made me feel better.  Like I have said, if GH had called me a month before, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the storyline.  It would have been the end.  I wouldn’t have been able to go back to work, because I was in that state of mind.  So, they called at the right time.  I went back to work and I was on Lexapro.  The thing about Lexapro is – and we always tell people to get professional help. There are a lot of people like me, and I’ve got to say, first you get professional help because you’re on the brink of whatever.  So the first five days of taking Lexapro, you feel worse than you did just before you started taking it, and that is scary because you’re like, “I can’t take this.  This is horrible,” and then I stayed on it.  It got gradually better, and just a month and a half ago or so, I weaned myself off.

How are you feeling now?

MAURICE:  Oh, let me tell you, the day that I weaned off, was a Thursday, and I wasn’t going to take it, and I was on my bed, and I felt the greatest I felt maybe, ever.  Now, I’m not saying people should go off it, whatever, because I was on it for like 8 months or something, but it saved my life like lithium for my bipolar disorder, and that’s an amazing thing that these pills could do.  What happened with me with the pandemic is that I had never really taken anything for anxiety.  I had only taken lithium, and I’d been on lithium for 30 years, but for anxiety, I never wanted to take anything, but if you’re bad, if you’re like (you know those gears I’ve been talking about) in 4th and I was like in 5th gear, you’d better get some help, man, because you can’t get off it on your own.

Photo: State of Mind

I want to conclude checking in on your dad, Humberto.  When did you learn he had Alzheimer’s, and how is he doing now?  

MAURICE: It’s been a while since I found out.  I didn’t really want to talk about it, and then I did something in People magazine with the book, and I asked him if I could talk about it, and he said “yeah”.  So, it gave me the green light, and that was maybe 10 months ago.  He’s actually doing good.  It’s slowly kind of happening but that is how the disease works.  This has been a really great conversation, man!

So, what do you think will happen with Sonny aka “Mike”? Will he return to Port Charles before Carly and Jason tie the knot?  Have you been watching Maurice’s State of Mind series, and has it helped you with any of your mental health issues or concerns? Were you happy that Maurice took home the gold this year for his portrayal in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Shares Her Emotions & Reactions On Her Second Daytime Emmy Win for Lead Actress

Last Friday night on CBS broadcast of the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) took home the gold in the hotly contested Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.  This marks Jacqui’s second win.

MacInnes Wood’s performance in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline, that aired in 2020, was the ticket to victory for the talented young actress and new mom to her second son, Lenix.

As viewers saw, the Emmy telecast was pre-recorded including all the nominees taping acceptances speeches ahead of air; with the winner being revealed for the very first time on the broadcast.

 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqui post-Emmys, to find out how she felt about her speech, her emotions at having her name called for the second time in her career, and how she felt Steffy’s addiction storyline resonated with so many people at home, and obviously, the Emmy voters.  Here’s what she had to say …

Photo: NATAS/CBS

What was it like for you to do have to pre-tape your acceptance speech?  Yours, actually came off very in-the-moment, because you kind of stumbled over a word, but it seemed like you were very excited.

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  I was very excited.  Of course, it is strange to do it that way.  I am very grateful that I was up to my nose in The Bold and the Beautiful scenes and dialogues in the week and the days before, that whole week.  I wasn’t sitting around going, “I’m going to rehearse this in the mirror.”  I just wanted it to be very heartfelt and real.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t like last time – I truly was not expecting it the first time I won.  I think that this time I wanted to be mindful of who to thank and talk about the story, which was so important to bring up opioid addiction, and I really wanted to thank Brad Bell (executive producer and executive producer, B&B) for giving me this story, and allowing me to tell it, because it was such an important message to tell.  Even though this year’s Daytime Emmys were shot differently, I was still nervous. I was so excited to get on a stage. Last year, we were on a Zoom, so it was nice to be able to do this on a stage again.

So where were you on Emmy night?  Were you watching the broadcast at home?  

JACQUELINE:  I was at home, and I was with my friends and my family.  To be honest, it was such a fun way to do it.  Even though it was so wild the way that we shot it – they do this on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Sometimes they’ll do it live, but everyone has their acceptance speech.  I was just happy during the Emmy taping day to be dressed up, wearing high heels, and to be with my cast, Then, I got to celebrate watching it with my friends and family.  It was so cool to find out in that moment, then afterwards we ended up going out.  We went to Ronn Moss’ (Ex-Ridge, B&B) house for a party, where Ronn was performing, and it was great to be with some of the cast and have everybody together.  So, we danced the night away, and it was so much fun.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Of course, if we had been able to be at the Daytime Emmys that way would have been great, but it was nice to be able to go, “Okay, I can celebrate in my casual clothes, and dance, and not be uncomfortable.”

Photo: JMW Instagram

Were your children, Rise and newborn Lenix, with you watching when their mom won her second Daytime Emmy?

JACQUELINE:  My children were with me, and we celebrated together, and of course they don’t really understand what is going on, but they just saw all of us jumping around.  I probably scared my 4-month-old.  My mom ended up watching them.  Then, we all went out.  So, it was a good night.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have an inkling that you were a frontrunner to take home the gold as Lead Actress for your work in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline?

JACQUELINE:  Were there times when I thought I could win?  I wasn’t sure, but I knew what we did was very special.  The first time I won, I was very proud of myself knowing I had to do all of these long scenes, but I was not expecting to win.  This time, I thought there was a possibility, and I wouldn’t say that it’s all because of me.  I know it’s cliché, but honestly those days when we were filming, you could just feel the energy.  Everyone brought it.  We do film so quickly, and some performances are great, and some of them aren’t, whether it’s because you don’t sleep that night, you don’t know your dialogue that well, you don’t understand why your character is doing a certain thing, but you’re trying to figure it out.  When we were filming these scenes, I thought it was just such an important story to tell, and I felt like everyone gave it 110%.  I looked at everyone, and I knew we were all connected, and even though it was such a heavy storyline, there was something so magical those days and those weeks of filming.  I was so proud of everyone, and it wasn’t something that was like, “Here I am forcing myself to cry,” I was like, “I am just going to be in this scene and really tell this story that millions of people have gone through.” When I watched back those scenes after they initially aired, it was not only about the cast, but it was just how the audio had been added, how the directing was done (since we had to be six feet away from each other because of Covid-19 protocols) which made it all come to life.

Did you think when you came into this medium that you wind up being a two-time Daytime Emmy-winner?  Was it something that you aspired to have?

JACQUELINE:  I think yes and no.  I can’t sit there and say, “No, I didn’t.”  I have goals for myself, and you want to manifest some things, so I wanted to visualize that one day.  I’m in this industry, and I want to do the work, and I eventually wanted to have the Emmy one day, absolutely.  I’d be lying if I said, “I just want to go with the flow, and if I get an award, great.”  No.  I definitely thought about it and said, “Okay, this is something that I do want one day. I didn’t think I’d have two!  I just wanted an award, one day.  So, I think that’s amazing in itself, but I am very honored.

Courtesy/CBS

So, during the Lead Actress nominee package during the Daytime Emmy broadcast, they showed the gut-wrenching clips of yours, where Steffy admits in front of Ridge, Liam and Finn, “I’m addicted.  I’m addicted.  I have a problem.”  Do you remember performing those scenes?

JACQUELINE:  You know, you remember it sometimes as if you’re out of your body. In that moment, I remember being so in my body, but in a good way.  To say those words, to finally realize how heavy – even in talking to you right now – my body feels heavy.  I felt the weight of what Steffy was finally admitting. It broke Steffy, and it broke me.  I’ve never been in that position, but I did my research, and I looked up people who have suffered from addiction and the families, and to look over at Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) and see the heartbreak in his eyes, in Ridge’s eyes, to see what Steffy was doing to other people – she realizes in that moment, “Oh, my God. I am addicted.”  Looking back at those scenes, there is just so much truth in them, and for so many people who have been there.  It just breaks my heart that people have to go through this every day.  People sent me messages from all over the place, it was amazing.  I couldn’t believe the number of direct messages they sent me on my Instagram.  It was pretty incredible.

Courtesy/CBS

Your performance just felt so raw and real, which is why I think it registered with people who have been in that situation, and for the peer vote for the Emmy.  Whenever I talk to other actors about what they look for in judging other performers work, they always say they look for the truth. They don’t want to see a false note delivered in a performance.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  For sure.  That’s why I’m so proud of everyone in the scenes because they all gave that.  It wasn’t like you look over at a cast member and went, “Oh, what’s my line?”  We were there.  It just gave me goosebumps.  It isn’t just my award.  It was everybody’s award.  When you get to really feel like you’re really alive in these scenes, living in those scenes, it’s such an incredible feeling. After this win, I am just riding the wave right now and really just enjoying it.

Photo: MFTV Inc.

Well, I’ll finish on this last question: How do you rate our Emmy photo together this year? (Laughs) We have well-documented our issues taking a decent photo together; usually because we break up laughing trying to take one.

JACQUELINE: (Laughs) I mean, okay … I am happy that we had those LED bars of light.  We have to have LED lighting around us 24/7.  So, I’ll give it a 9.5 rating   Moving forward, we need indoor, 3-4 LED lights, and we’ll be good.  Now that I have two Emmys, I’m going to be asking for that lighting moving forward … now that I’ve turned into a diva. (Laughs)

Share your congratulations to Jacqui via the comment section below … and let us know your thoughts on her winning her second Daytime Emmy – this time for Steffy’s powerful opioid addiction storyline.  But first, check out our red carpet interview with more with the eventual Lead Actress Emmy winner.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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