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The Melody Thomas Scott Interview – The Young and the Restless

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Viewers of The Young and the Restless have begun to experience the grief, also felt by several of the residents of Genoa City, over the news of the passing of Katherine Chancellor, played by the late Jeanne Cooper.  Since Cooper’s death in May, the number-one soap had begun crafting a storyline that would have far reaching implications and impact on several key characters, which will also keep the legacy of Katherine, and honor the iconic Jeanne Cooper on the canvas for quite some time to come.

In story, Katherine has left letters for those close to her … some with instructions … and some with some heartfelt words with specific meaning to them, and more.  One of those most deeply affected is Nikki Newman, who upon trying to cope with the contents of Kay’s letter to her, wept out loud, “Katherine, why are you doing this to me?”  But what is she doing?  There has been much speculation from fans of the show all-abuzz on the Internet, just what is in the letter.  However, Y&R is keeping it close to the vest.   And, so too is Nikki’s portrayer, fan favorite and long time series star Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki)!

However, On-Air On-Soaps sat down with Melody in her dressing room at CBS, to not only get a preview and a tease of her upcoming story, but to get insight on what it was like filming with the cast, Katherine’s memorial episodes that will air on September 3rd and 4th in back-to-back episodes, and the devastating loss it is for Nikki to be without her best friend who was also like a “mother” to her.  Will Nikki need a drink to cope and fall off the wagon?  Melody fills us in.

While Josh Griffith is no longer the head writer of the number-one soap, from this interview, it is clear that Melody is extremely enthusiastic as to the story that was given to her from his regime, and the respect paid to Katherine (and Jeanne Cooper) with the upcoming five-hankie memorial.  Here’s what Mel had to say about it all!

MICHAEL:

The letter Nikki has received has greatly affected her!  How will she handle getting through the upcoming memorial service for Katherine?

MELODY:

Courtesy/CBS

I think that having received the letter probably alters Nikki thoughts while she is at the memorial service, because for her now, she is not just there to remember her dear friend as a person would at a memorial, but in the back of her mind is this letter that is all tangled up for Nikki.  She can’t think of Katherine without thinking about the letter and what that entails.  She has mixed feelings more than just sadness and grief.  She has got a whole other element going on … this letter.

MICHAEL:

How was the shooting of Katherine’s memorial on set with the cast?  Was it difficult and emotional for everyone, given their love for their long time co-star Jeanne Cooper?

MELODY:

I think, and we all said at the time, “We were still in shock and we didn’t believe it.” We needed to get through the taping of the show, but we’re still not used to Jeanne not being there.

MICHAEL:

Given that Nikki and Katherine were the dearest of friends, would Nikki start drinking again, especially given the drama surrounding the contents of the letter, and the death of her confidante?

MELODY:

Courtesy/CBS

Absolutely! And, that was one of my first thoughts when this whole thing started.  I said, “Whoa! This is an obvious point where she might pick up a drink.”  But she doesn’t, not yet.  She did admit to Victoria that she almost took a sip, but she didn’t.   She is still sober.

MICHAEL:

How did you play Nikki’s reaction to the content of the letter?  How does she feel about it?

MELODY:

Uncertainty, shock, ambiguity, unwillingness, yet knows deep down that she should do what Katherine is suggesting.  It’s a topic that Nikki probably felt would never be discussed, or dealt with in her lifetime.

MICHAEL:

Many fans had hoped that Katherine would end up being the biological mother of Nikki!  Was that something you wanted to have happen, as well?

MELODY:

I think it should have happened.  I was not happy when all of a sudden it was Jill who was Katherine’s daughter.  It should have been me, dammit!  (Laughs) Their relationship was very much mother/daughter, and I wish that had been true.  I did call Jeanne “mother” off set, and that is all I did call her.  And sometimes we would have visitors on set, and they would over hear me call Jeanne, “mother” and they would say, “Wait a minute?  Is Nikki Katherine’s daughter?”  And I went, “No, no, no.  I just call her that. Pay no attention to me.”  At least I called Jeanne “mother” in real life, even if I couldn’t on the show.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Nikki is devastated by the death of Katherine … and obviously the letter.  Initially, she turned to Jack for comfort, not Victor.  Will she truly let Victor comfort her in her grief?

MELODY:

Of course!  Victor is struck by the death of Katherine, but in a different way than Nikki.  He had a different relationship with her.  His was more business, and a lifetime friendship.  Nikki’s was more, as a girlfriend and as a mother.  I think if given the opportunity to satisfy Nikki’s hopes, Victor would comfort her.  But, she does not bring this up to Victor, and has not yet.  So he does not know the contents of the letter.  He does not know what Nikki is struggling with secretly.

MICHAEL:

When you found out what your upcoming story was going to be, what was your reaction?  Were you pleased?

MELODY:

I love this story!  Now, I don’t know how it’s all going to turn out, but the premise, the people I get to work with, and the writing, has been spectacular.  That’s all you need; good actors performing a good script, and our fabulous new directing team, and I love them all.  I have not been this happy at work in a while.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Nikki went to Paul at the end of the episode today for help!  Would you say to your fans that you will be working with Doug Davidson (Paul) more often from this point on?

MELODY:

I have been working with Doug the last couple of weeks and enjoyed it, like I always do. So, I hope that the story keeps us together for a while.

MICHAEL:

On the air shows, Nikki is always concerned about Sharon (Sharon Case), and what she is up to. She does not trust her, especially around the Newman clan, and many times for good reason!  Do you enjoy this rivalry?

MELODY:

I love working with Sharon Case, and we love Sharon and Nikki fights!  And even if Sharon is innocent and up to nothing, Nikki always suspects that she is.  Oh yes, even if it weren’t true, Nikki walks into a room and sees her son and Sharon, and the antenna will go up and she is going to try to get rid of her! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

The classic bitch-fight between Nikki and Sharon was the one in the barn where you were dunked in that bucket of water!  Did you love that?  Or, hate it?

MELODY:

Courtesy/CBS

We loved it.  Our director was very gracious, and was very loose and not rigid about blocking, and let us do our own choreography.  So, if you look at it again, there are many elements of an “I Love Lucy” episode.  Guess where that came from?  But I couldn’t resist it.  I had to do it!  All the water and hair pulling and dunking in the bucket, that was all me, because that was “Lucy”!

MICHAEL:

Coming up with the heartbreak of Katherine’s passing, and the letters roaming around Genoa City, do you think Victor and Nikki are in for another bumpy road in their relationship?

MELODY:

Of course! I mean, what else could happen?  This cycle has been going on for 34 years.

MICHAEL:

Are you still amazed that Nikki and Victor are still, to this day, the true star-crossed lovers and central characters of the number one soap in America, and known worldwide?

MELODY:

Yes, and Eric Braeden (Victor) and I often, whether it be at photo shoots or different events, we are posed while the photographers are going crazy.   That always ceases to amaze me!  We were in Monte Carlo and they were screaming, “Oh, my God. Victor and Nikki.”  We would look at each other sometime and go, “We can’t believe after all these years, we are still here, baby!”  We are amazed, and we just thank God, and smile!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite on-screen moment or scene with Jeanne Cooper, between the two of you as Nikki and Katherine?

MELODY:

The sincerity, and all of the rich history that was a part of Nikki and Katherine’s enduring friendship, is something that I know is very important to our audience.   That relationship has been deeply significant for Nikki for so many years.  I don’t think I could ever pick out just one favorite moment between us, but I’ve truly enjoyed every scene where Katherine supported Nikki through the worst parts of the battle with booze.

MICHAEL:

Will Nikki soldier on, even though she may be devastated by the contents of the letter Katherine wrote to her?

MELODY:

I think Nikki will always try to heed Katherine’s advice in life in general.  Certainly without Katherine this current storyline would not be happening.  It’s also a way of incorporating Katherine’s presence, even though you are not seeing her on-screen. Katherine is behind the whole thing in the letter.  So it is keeping Katherine alive, in a way.

MICHAEL:

Jess Walton (Jill) has delivered some amazing performances, upon Jill learning of Katherine’s passing.   Would you like to work more with Jess now?

MELODY:

Courtesy/CBS

I love working with Jess, and I adore her.  I got on my knees and begged her to get her ass out of Oregon and move back down to Los Angeles, and delay this damn retirement, because I want to work with her!  Now that Katherine is not physically on the canvas, the story just begs for Nikki and Jill to come together in some way in story.   Katherine’s death in a strange way has brought Nikki and Jill together, because all they have done is snipe for years.  But, there are some very poignant moments coming up where Jill and Nikki can almost laugh, like, “We have always hated each other, but I kind of like you right now, because we are all suffering together.”  It was sweet, because Nikki and Jill have never been sweet to each other!

MICHAEL:

Melody, do you feel the way Katherine’s death was handled on-screen was appropriate?

MELODY:

Absolutely, and some of it was just a fluke.  Who knew in real life how she would pass? The way it turned out, as we all know, we had that footage of Jeanne as Katherine going up the stairs, which was pretty freaky.  And do I think that Jeanne might have felt that it was her last scene?  Yes.  I think that is why she adlibbed, what she adlibbed.  And as far as the writers go, they had a difficult job, as they would never have chosen to kill Katherine, but because Jeanne’s health had been poor the last few years, it was always a possibility.  I felt for the writers.  They had a tough job to do, but Jeanne helped them with that staircase scene.  It worked out very well; in that the last time Nikki saw Katherine they were wheeling her into surgery.

MICHAEL:

Do you think we will need hankies for Katherine’s memorial service?  I hear Corbin Bernsen is presiding over it as Father Todd! 

MELODY:

Courtesy/CBS

I have to say it was odd to have the character of Father Todd being played by the real-life son of Jeanne Cooper, Corbin Bernsen.  It was weird, and he felt weird.  It was just a very unique situation.  I don’t think that has ever happened on a television show, nor would it again.  It was eerie.  I told him Corbin something the day we taped the memorial service, about the month before when Eric and I were in Monte Carlo.  We had to present an award at their film festival. And, who on earth would have orchestrated something like this? I know that Jeanne did it!  There we are in Monte Carlo backstage getting ready to be presenters, and they announce us, and we walk out … and on stage was Corbin Bernsen!  Little did we know he was on stage, because he was on the panel that voted at the festival!  So, at one point there was just the three of us on-stage in Monte Carlo.  It was just like, “Ok, I know what you are doing, Jeanne!”  That was the moment, and something she would do. The most unexpected place, people, and that gathering of the three of us, was definitely orchestrated by her!

MICHAEL:

Melody, you have been the leading lady of Y&R for decades, and many times you have been back-burnered, which your fans have never understood.  Should they feel confident that you will have plenty of screen time in the months ahead?

MELODY:

It’s a curious situation that I don’t know if we will ever know the answer.  There has been a lot of ebbing. (Laughs)  I have been working a lot, and you will see come September … “It’s Nikki month!”  So, I guess I will have to get t-shirt saying that! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

What do you think the fallout will be from the content of Nikki’s letter, when people on the canvas begin to find out what this is all about?

MELODY:

I would imagine Nikki’s story will affect a lot of people, including her family, because eventually they are going to have to find out what is going on.  There is always a trickle down effect in soaps, where the whole town is affected by a situation.

MICHAEL:

Y&R suffered the loss of two of its most powerhouse actresses in the last few months.  Jeanne Cooper passed away in May, and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) decided to leave the show this summer.  Do you think it’s a huge hit for the show, that will be a noticeable for some time to come?

MELODY:

Its’ always difficult to say goodbye to our dear co-stars, but history has proven to us that this show will go on in true show business fashion.  Most of the time, when people leave it’s not our choice, or personal choice, and we are always upset to see that happen, as it does create a challenge for the writers.  But sometimes out of that situation, the writers come up with interesting story that never would have happened if this actor had not left.

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

Now the big and final question:  If Nikki finds out that Sharon switched the paternity test of Summer, and realizes Nick (Joshua Morrow) is actually the bio-dad; can we look forward to Nikki laying the smackdown on Sharon? (Laughs)

MELODY:

Oh, yeah!  Look out for a catfight extraordinaire for that one!  Forget shoving her in the pool!  It better be something better than that!  (Laughs)

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Doug
Doug

Never been happy the way Nikki has no right trashing Sharon when Nikki has been a stripper and an escort and a drunk and has shared 4 men with her own daughter and the character has been married a hundred times. Really got out of hand with the amount of hate she has for Sharon. She also murdered Diane and got a slap on the wrist. I wish they can make Nikki a better women like Mrs C. Victor also needs to chill and be kind in his golden years 🙂 Let us all hope for better writing and happy times and memories not the negativity

Matt
Matt

I would really just like to see Nikki and others like Chelsea and Phyllis before she left pay for her crimes seems like the one and only person who is blamed for every and anything is Sharon. Everyone steals her man and she is the one blamed for wanting them back . really last thing we need is Nikki with another off spring. Plus he has good in him. He can’t be Nikkis kid! I wanted him to be Sharons had brother! what happened to that story?

judith
judith

Who ‘stole’ her men ? First a person can’t be stolen..Nick chose to have this affair with Phylis and then HE chose to leave Sharon for Phylis (by the way at this time Sharon had no problem sexing up with Brad..you know a married man to her sister-in-law at this time , Victoria ! As for Adam, Sharon chose to dump him no the other way around..the guy after trying to get her back again and once again decided to MOVE ON ! She could have been happy with Adam if only she had wanted it, instead she dumped him and chose to be involved with her former father-in-law Victor Newman of all people. Sharon had it hard in some ways but she is not a saint either and lot’s of things happened from HER OWN doing.

CC
CC

OMG I fast forward all things Nikki and Victor because they are so evil and I can’t stand it after 30 years of the same abuse they spill ! I fast forward all things Chelsea I hate her and hate Avery and so unhappy with the new Kyle. I loved the old days with Neil and Dru and Sharon with Nick and even Sharon with Adam. I loved Malcolm I really miss Kay and Jill together. This is what we want. Please bring back Ashley I loved Brad and loved Amber with Daniel. loved Janna with Kevin. Chloe sucks. Can you tell I LOVED EVERYTHING PRIOR TO 2007! Lol 🙂

Wendy H. W.
Wendy H. W.

Michael we love your interviews. Please have one with if you can with Josh Griffith and find out why he and Jill promised the fans the first order was they would repair Sharon to make her happy again. We are so upset they nearly destroyed her and there will be no turning back. Is that why Josh is not there anymore? He did not fix Sharon? I sure hope Drucilla will come home. Amber also she was so awesome. I miss the old days.

judith
judith

Disagree.. Nikki has made mistakes and has her flaws but the major difference is she never did anything to Sharon.. Sharon on the other hand is destroying Nikki’s family with her schemes. So yep Nikki is not a saint and Sharon is not all ‘evil’ although right now she is really cray cray, almost in Patty’s area..But it doesn’t change the fact that Nikki has some REAL REASONS to be furious against Sharon. And when she will know about all Sharon’s schemes she better give her some big payback !

RUBY C.
RUBY C.

NO NO NO! PLEASE Niiki needs to leave Sharon alone! Sick of that abuse she gives her. Please no smack down NOOOOO! Nikki has no right with all she did in her own past.

Donna
Donna

I agree. Nikki seems to always forget that she has a very checkered past and her recent actions with alcoholism and Diane’s murder proves she is no saint. And yes, needs to back off on Sharon because she needs help, not hatred. I can’t wait to see the skeletons tap dancing out of Nikki’s closet soon. That will be worth watching.

judith
judith

euh..ok so with your logic poor little Sheila, Patty and Adam when he was vilified..deserved help not hatred..hello it is soap, when the characters do some really bad things they got punished then they are redeemed or not and life goes on ! By the way some other characters like Nick Newman or Victor Newman himself should pay a little..that is the real problem with some characters and writing : the whitewashing and insta forgive and forget. Characters can be forgiven and have a nice redemption arc but BEFORE there need to be some fallout and commeuppance..otherwise why bother ?!
Sharon has to face the music before being accepted again simple as that, Sharon lovers !

judith
judith

Nikki’s past HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH Sharon ! Sharon is not the innocent victim anymore, she deserve the commeuppance any scheming soap character get when they are caught !

Therea
Therea

Really really tired of watching Nikki get away with her crimes and sex with all these men now we have Chelsea coming a close second to Nikki. Why must Sharon always be everyones punching bag. I nearly gave up I stopped the show for a month after being loyal for 36 years. Leave Sharon alone or Im done like I did with B&B after 24 years now OVER But thanks michael for the heads up Nikki will never leave my Sharon alone BOOOOOOOO

judith
judith

Please Sharon got lot’s of pass actually over the years although some other characters got even more, far more pass i have to admit (Nick Newman, Victor Newman yep i am looking at you and many others..)..Now let’s hope after all her crazy awful last deeds, she get some real wake up call. And don’t use bipolar disease as an excuse..it is more than offensive, bipolar disease NEVER EVER make people do the things Sharon is doing right now..even soaps can’t mock a real and serious mental illness like that. Stop.

Kim H.
Kim H.

I really had hopes Nikki would leave Sharon to be happy. Why must everyone be happy but Sharon. So tired of having to defend all that has happened to the Sharon character. i think fans had enough of the attacks on Sharon. please don’t there be one single show with Nasty Nikki and sweet Sharon I can’t take much more I will stop watching this train wreck. Any way we can get a message to the writers Michael before we have to endure one more attack on Sharon? can’t we PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEEEASE have her best friend Drucilla back! 🙂

judith
judith

Right now Sharon is not sweet, she is pathetic and delusional. Ah and crazy and kind of nasty, Nikki has nothing to do with that. End of story.

k/kay
k/kay

The movie Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton shows scenes of Y&R when Nikki was pregnant with Victoria and it was Victors child but they all thought it was Kevin the guy she was married to they have been showing that movie on cable and it is a hoot to see the hair and listen to Michael Keaton’s character talk about Victor’s vasectomy not taking. And just listening to the theme music. I am pretty sure it is going to be a long lost son that Nikki had back in the day and gave up and I know why JFP is doing it she does need to try to bring SB into the fold and it will be worth it just to see Victor’s face. I mean let’s face it how many people has Nikki murdered now on this show she needs another kid! SB is here to stay I have finally accepted it I just hope MTS gets more story with this then she has the MS story!

Judy
Judy

Terrific interview! Love MTS aand am so happy to hear she has a big story coming up that she seems to love so much. She’s long overdue for that. I agree totally with her that we need Jill back in GC full time now and wish it would happen. I also love the Nikki and Sharon feud and am happy the actresses enjoy it so much too.

MEK
MEK

Sharon is an absolute horror and has done one vile thing after another for years. Nikki hopefully will wipe up the floor with Sharon when the truth comes out about Summer. Then Sharon can be carted off to a mental hospital never to be heard from again.

Love that Nikki will be front and center again. It is about time.

mary jonas
mary jonas

adore Nikki. very happy Mel is working a lot. Y&R sounds like its getting good coming up.

Allison
Allison

Nikki having a long lost kid is a load of crap (really hope that rumor isn’t true!) but I love her feud with Sharon. The great thing about it is that they’re more alike than either of them want to admit. Hahaha. I root for both of them at different times! Always love Nikki and Victor together too. Just wish would stay together now.

glenda alford vaughn
glenda alford vaughn

I want it to come out that Sharon did the awful, and Nick marries Avery. I hope Nikki stays w/Victor!

Diane T
Diane T

I hope Sharon ends up happy and with Adam inspite of selfish Nikki and Victor

judith
judith

WTF ? Sharon can ends up happy with Adam and Nikki with Victor like she is actually..lol the problem right now is Sharon and Sharon alone ! She is cray cray and pathetic. That is all.

KELLY&MICHAEL FAN
KELLY&MICHAEL FAN

Is she Dylan (SB) mother on the show?

That,s a twist!!

Beacon
Beacon

Dylan will turn out to be Nikki and Paul’s son. This is JFP’s way of making Dylan the central character on Y&R. Eric Braeden will be blowing smoke out of his ears no doubt.

judith
judith

Great that MTS will have a full fronter story at least for few months ! I don’t really like Y&R right now, i find most of the stories boring or awful..but Nikki on-screen is always a good thing, just give her an interestint story and i will watch.

tim
tim

Niki has another child, one no one knew about…. hardly creative is it?

jaybird369
jaybird369

Let me see…
1. Sharon is getting more and more STUPIDER by the minute.
2. Victor and Nikki are back together for the umpteenth time (blah blah blah blah).
3. Y and R (and especially that Jill Farren Phelps) totally ruined the end of Katherine’s beautiful memorial service by horribly tacking on Paul and Christine’s stupid nitwit nuptials at the last minute (more blah blah blah blah).
4. Summer’s, um, crying about Jack and Victor’s feuding and fighting over her is BEYOND ANNOYING!!!!!
5. The WONDERFUL AND FABULOUS Jess Walton is on recurring status…WHAT THE HELL????? No.
6. Arrogant Adam is on a DUMB AS HELL rampage because of Chelsea’s baby. Who cares if Adam is Chelsea’s baby daddy??? Adam is NOT fatherhood material!!!!! No.
7. That Hilary chick is so fake and one-dimensional. No thank you.
8. Neil and Leslie (as a soap couple) are starting to bore me. Not good.
9. Lastly, Y and R needs to bring back the character of Sarge so Sarge himself can knock some much-needed sense into his idiot nephew Mason (aka Hilary’s chump-filled puppet).
The moral of all this: As a so-called executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps did nothing but antagonize and alienate A LOT of other actors and actresses on previous soaps from long ago. Trust me…her tenure (or whatever) at Y and R will be no different. The absolute pits!!!!!

dottie covey
dottie covey

I think that Sharon needs to be put in nut house, she needs to get a life and a job. All the men she has slept with how can she call the kettle black.

dorothy
dorothy

I think Sharon should be put in a nut house
Nick will hate Her when.He found out what She did..I’ll be glad when He do.He don’t love Her she needed to get a life.

denise sutherland
denise sutherland

I am so upset you are taking Delia out like that. I don’t like when kids die like that in a show for the purpose of someone else life. very mush sure that you could have found someone else.
why is the reason I sure don’t no.
once I use to wash An Other World some child die because they made it look like the gangster kill her. This child was only 4 years old I was so up set also. Front that days I never watch that episode. just like I do not like Days of Our Live to phonies of a daytime show. now I have been watching the Do not like it when children end up like that.

Sandra
Sandra

I hope Victoria & Bill always stay together I really like the both of them they both seem to fit together and it nice watching 2 people been happy for once on the Y&R. I used to like Lauren & Michael put I have turned of her now I didn’t think she would ever do that to Michael
I do like Adam hope him & Chelsea work things out Don’t like Sharon & Avery

Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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Dancing with the Stars Juniors

Adam Rippon Talks Judging Dancing With The Stars: Juniors And Stepping Away From His Olympic Figure Skating Life

If you want to talk about perseverance, facing adversary, keeping your eye on the prize, and at the same time sending a powerful message to the world about the LGBT community through his celebrity, look no further than Adam Rippon.

The bronze medalist at the 2018 Winter Olympics for the U.S. Team in the Team Figure Skating competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea made a comeback at 28-years-old to complete his Olympic career after fracturing his foot in 2017; which left him off the 2017 U.S. National Team.

Outspoken, candid, charming and with that oh-so-wicked humor, Rippon launched into his post-skate career with some lateral moves that made sense:  he won the Dancing with the Stars: Athletes competition taking home the Mirror Ball Trophy he has made numerous TV appearances, including one coming up on Will & Grace, and currently he can be seen as one of the three judges on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, the newest reiteration of ABC’s celebrity dance competition this time featuring; 12 celebrity kids who take on the world of the ballroom.

Michael Fairman TV recently caught up with the talented Rippon to get his take on: how he plans to handle critiquing the kids after their Cha Cha’s and Paso Doble’s, but also how he feels putting his skates aside and moving on to the next phase of his life.  Here’s our chat with Adam.

America and the world has come to know your personality from everything you went through during your journey at the Winter Olympics. That is to say you’re humor, off-the-cuff remarks, and being your authentic self.  What will be your take on how to judge and critique the kids on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors?  How did you end up as one of the picks for the judges table?

ADAM:  It was just the perfect storm.  It was so great, because it happened right after my season of Dancing with the Stars, which happened right after the Olympics.  I think the fun thing is that it’s with kids.  So, sometimes I have to turn down my ‘potty humor’ a little bit, but in the skating world, I’ve worked with kids for a few years teaching.  I think that’s kind of the mentality that I bring.  I’ve always found that you want to talk to them like you’re on their level.  You’re still able to find humor in that.  I think that when you’re able to laugh at yourself, you automatically break down that barrier, and you’re ready to listen, and that’s what I hope to do on the show.

Photo: ABC

Could you see yourself doing the Johnny Weir/Tara Lipinski coverage or commentary on the Olympics during the figure skating competitions?

ADAM:  I think that they do such a great job, and they are such a fun duo.   I hope I can continue to do some different things, because I think that they are so good at what they do.

When you look back on your journey at the Olympics now, what do you think? You made such an impact representing the U.S. the gay community, and skaters who never give up to finally live their Olympic dream.

ADAM:  You know, it’s a little surreal.  On one side of it, I’ve just lived in my own world and had my own experience, and yes, I’ve talked to, and met with some really crazy and incredible people.  I think I really focus more on the journey, and how I got there, and how I get to even just be here now at Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.   I focus on each day and every project that I get, giving one hundred percent, and when I really focus on that really cool and special things come along.

Photo: ABC

A lot of good things have happened.  So, when we watch this season of DWTS: Juniors, will you be giving some snippy remarks, or will you be positive and upbeat, too?

ADAM:  You know what?  I think I’ll be giving some honest remarks.  I want the kids to laugh.  I want everyone at home to enjoy the show, and I want to be honest, because I think when you’re honest, kids improve.

Would you ever go back and try to make the U.S. Olympics figure skating team again?

ADAM:  No.

It was so emotional watching your last journey during the Olympics!  So, you’re done with all of that, right?

ADAM:  I am way done.  I have my medal.  It’s done.  I’m done.  When I was at the Olympics, I knew it was it.  It was a one and done sort of thing.  It’s such an amazing and incredible honor, but there are moments where you’re about to go out there, and you’re standing backstage and you’re like, “I could just completely diarrhea-s**t-my-brains-out right now, why do I do this to myself?” (Laughs) It’s crazy, but when you push yourself to those extremes, really amazing things happen. Within skating, I achieved so many of the dreams and goals that I wanted, that to step away, feels right.  

So, will you be checking out how Adam judges Hudson West and the kids competing in Dancing with the Stars: Juniors?  Have you followed Adam’s personal and professional journey form champion skater to TV personality? Share your comments below.

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

TAMARA:  Correct.

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

TAMARA:  Kim doesn’t know anything about it.

Photo: ABC

Does Kim want Josslyn to be with Oscar?

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

Photo Credit: ABC

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: ABC

What attributes of Kim do you like playing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy: TBraunTwitter

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Such a great role!

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

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