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THE MICHAEL FAIRMAN INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

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Many “On-Air On-Soaps” fans have emailed me and written to me, asking, “When I am going to do an interview with Michael Fairman, who plays Katherine’s new beau Murphy, on “The Young and the Restless”? Also, many fans have asked me, “Are you related to “Y&R’s” Michael Fairman?” Well, in an interview that has been almost 40 years in the making, the two ‘soap opera’ Michael Fairman’s finally meet up face to face in this very profound interview. There is more to this story and our connection than meets the eye. Read the transcript below for all the details and what’s coming up on “Y&R” and more! Without further adieu, Fairman interviews Fairman!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

So you and I share a very interesting past and connection. You changed your last name to Fairman, and actually called my parents when I was growing up to ask permission.
Tell me in your own words what happened?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I became Michael Fairman officially in Milwaukee, Wisconsin around 1967. I looked through the phone book and wanted to find a “Fairman” to see if it was alright to use the name. I happened to call Michael Fairman’s dad. I said, “Mr. Fairman you are not going to believe this conversation, but my name is ‘so and so’, and I would like to change my name to Michael Fairman, and I would like your permission to be a Fairman.” Well, I guess it turned out he had a son named Michael Fairman.

MICHAEL:

It was interesting. I was 9-years-old at the time. I was sitting at the dinner table with my parents and the phone rang. I knew this man called and asked my dad if he could change his name to Fairman. My dad goes, “Sure!” Little did he realize I was going to go into show business on my own, let alone end up in soap operas! And now, every time people would see your name on a soap or episodic shows, they would ask me if I was on that particular show, and I would say, “No.”

fairman-fairman.jpgY&R FAIRMAN:

…And the real Michael Fairman went into show business, and he can’t use his name now after all these years! I feel bad. How am I going to make retribution?

MICHAEL:

You have done soaps such as “Ryan’s Hope” and “General Hospital” and now “Y&R”. Let’s start with “Ryan’s Hope”. How did that come about?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I was on a soap opera called “Love of Life” where I played the power behind the Mayor. He was a nefarious guy. Paul Mayer and Claire Labine wrote that soap opera. When they were doing that soap opera they were creating a new soap called “Ryan’s Hope”. One day Claire called me in her office and said, “How would you like to be on a new soap with a new character called, “Nick Szabo”? He was Hungarian Mafioso, and Julie Barr (Ex- Brooke, “AMC” and Ex- Reenie, “RH”) was my daughter. The whole concept of my character was that he would be in continual conflict with the Ryan’s, especially Frank Ryan. I would be his nemesis, and then Julia Barr, as my daughter, would have my character, Nick, wrapped around her finger.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Daytime Emmy winner Julia Barr?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Julia was wonderful. It was a very interesting concept for soaps at the time. The Ryan’s were working-class people and they had a bar in Manhattan. Then, they had the Mafioso story, which was me, and then there were the doctors, and the newspaperman, Jack Fenelli. So it was real people, not the pretty boys and girls that they have usually on soaps.

NickSzabo.jpgMICHAEL:

What happened to Nick?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

He went away to Las Vegas, never to return after the first year. I was going to be a staple on the show, but an executive took over ABC Daytime and decided he did not want a Mafioso storyline, so I was let go.

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MICHAEL:

Interesting, since now there is Mafioso galore over at “GH”! Now onto “Y&R,” and your audition with thee Jeanne Cooper (Katherine): How did it come about?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I was asked, “Do you want to audition for a soap?” I said, “Why not?” And I looked Jeannie up on IMDB on the website. I had never seen her on “Y&R”, sorry to say, and she had just won an Emmy! I knew she was Corbin Bernsen’s mom. I had worked with him several times on LA LAW, so I decided to audition. When I got there Jeanne was so warm and accommodating, and so accessible. This was beyond. We were at the edge of the table, and on the three other sides of the table were the executives and the casting directors, and we just had a ball. My agent had said, “There has to be chemistry.” So we made chemistry. I did not hear anything for a couple days, and I got a call saying the chemistry was great, and that they liked me. When I came into work the first day, they all said kind things, and it worked out. As I work with Jeanne, she continually tells me how good we get along. It’s like a match made in heaven.

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MICHAEL:

You knew Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), though, and got the low down on Jeanne from her, right?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I talked to Michelle Stafford and she said, “Oh, you are going to love working with Jeanne Cooper.” Michelle Stafford and I go back to before she got “Y&R”. We were in acting class together. Michelle is a dynamite actress. We all thought she would do really well in feature films, but she has done very well in soaps, which she loves. She told me everyone loves working with Jeanne.

MICHAEL:

So, what do you think is at the core of Murphy, on “Y&R”?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

What was in the script is: he was married and his wife died, and he was kind of lonely. So he would go down to the diner and visit Marge, Pearl, and Joe Jr. He is a low maintenance guy who eeks out a living by running a bait and tackle shop. He lives in his trailer. He lets life go by day-by-day, enjoying it and enjoying fishing, and he’s not really very ambitious. Murphy is enjoying his golden years, and once he meets Marge, or who he thinks is Marge, he becomes very protective, and his purpose becomes more active. Life takes on another dimension for him with Marge. Then when Marge turns into Katherine, he finds qualities in Katherine that are attractive to him in a different way. There is a scene where he says, “You could shoot the breeze with Marge, but you could really talk to Katherine.” Katherine is a much more dimensional person than Marge. He liked Marge to pal around with, but I think he could have a real relationship with Katherine.

another-michael.jpgMICHAEL:

Does Murphy feel she is unattainable or does she intimidate him, since Katherine is, after all, “The Duchess”?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Murphy is not intimated by it. But he doesn’t really feel he can fit in. I am a little reluctant to think that I could fit in, although I still care about her. But, as far as taken into her life, I don’t think realistically, he could fit in, and I think it would be awkward for him.

MICHAEL:

Are we finally going to have some DNA testing?!

Y&R FAIRMAN:

She is going to have the DNA. Her  memory has been coming back in bits and pieces, and I believe she is Katherine. Now we have the ring that she pawned, and the pawnbroker has figured out it was Katherine who turned over the ring, and that’s a big plus.

MICHAEL:

How did Murphy feel about Marge?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

He already determined Marge was dead, and it was sad for him. The fact that here is Katherine, sort of mitigates that.

MICHAEL:

Will we soon find out about the DNA results?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

The DNA test results will come soon and she will know she is Katherine. We are already playing a scene where I know she has to go back to Genoa City. It’s kind of bittersweet. She says I can fit in, and I say, “Probably not.” Things will happen that will put things off for a while, in terms of their separation.

MICHAEL:

They will be separated?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

They will and they won’t.

cooperjoes.jpgMICHAEL:

Tell me about working with Jeanne?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

She is very improvisational. In fact, she will be talking to me and I don’t know she is doing the script. It’s such a reality in terms of the character, and we are able to improvise. It’s just that circumstance where two actors are so comfortable with each other and their characters can say or do most anything and it works. In a short time we have reached a level of comfortableness. And she has said, and I have said to her a number of times, “God, I really love working with you.” (and she goes) “And I really love working with you,” and we do. We enjoy it, and we high five each other after every scene. We are the fastest in our scenes of anyone on the set, and we get through our scenes in record time.

MICHAEL:

What about your idea to do a play with Jeanne?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

There is a possibility of doing a play. I had an idea since we play cards on the show, why don’t we look at the play, “The Gin Game”. It won the Pulitzer Prize in the late 70’s. Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke, Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, and Charles Durning and Julie Harris performed it. So I approached the idea to Jeanne and she wanted to read it. So this week I am bringing the play for her to read, and if she can make the time, maybe we could do it ourselves.

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MICHAEL:

If you were writing the show, what would you love to see happen in the Murphy/Katherine storyline?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Since I am her protector and care about her, and probably even in love with her, it would be great if she then says, “Why don’t you come to Genoa City and take part in my business? I will give you a job or I will give you a position.” Murphy could then be her eyes and ears, and he agrees to do that. Everyone else thinks he is after her money. They all get kind of nasty with him and they try to prove she is insane for trying to do that. So now he has to protect her.

MICHAEL:

So he would kill for her?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Well, he’s already said that.

MICHAEL:

He knows he is in love with her?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I have a line where he says, “I am really going to miss you.” He knows. He is not easily open with his emotions, but you know it’s there. I think if push came to shove, he would tell her in a certain circumstance.

MICHAEL:

What do you think Katherine feels for Murphy?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I think she cares about him very much. I think she is almost there on that. I don’t think a man has treated her the way Murphy has, or given her the kind of care that he has. From the first time when he thought she was Marge, and now as Katherine, it has just intensified. He does not care she is a billionaire; it has no affect on him. It’s about the person for him, and I hope it stays that way.

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MICHAEL:

What are some scenes or moments you have loved thus far, that you did on “Y&R”?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

There was one time when Katherine went to the mansion, and she recognized the picture of (Victor) Newman and her daughter, and at that moment Murphy realized she was Katherine and that Marge was dead. That was kind of a rich scene for both of us. Because I was equally affected by Marge’s death, and now here is someone I was assuming was Marge is now someone totally different. Another one was on Christmas Eve. The carolers came and they gave me a sprig of mistletoe. She said, “Are you going to stand there or are you going to hang it up?” I go, “Ok. I will hang it up.” Then she went under it and I kissed her. That was the first kiss. I have kissed her subsequently.

MICHAEL:

Is she a good kisser?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Well, it’s not intense yet. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do you watch your performances back after you have taped them?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I prefer not to for this reason: I have in my mind what I have done, and how it actually played out. If I need critique, I have people who will critique for me. But for myself, I don’t like to watch it in order to correct it. I feel so good about doing this, that I don’t want to see things that destroy that. I don’t want that. I have such a great time that doing that would affect me. The feedback I am getting on the show from executive producer, Paul Rauch, and supervising producer, Anthony Morina, and from Jeanne Cooper, is all complimentary. Since it’s an ongoing role, I don’t like that to interfere with my process for the role.

MICHAEL:

Now on “GH” you played another bad guy! Who did you work with the most over in Port Charles?

Y&R FAIRMAN

I worked mostly with Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Vanessa Marcil (Ex-Brenda). They are both great and terrific actors. I was Sonny’s mentor and a bad guy, and he killed me. I was Jewish mafia this time. I was named Harry Singer.

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WithSlezak-2.jpgMICHAEL:

I was with Erika Slezak at ABC Super Soap weekend this past November, and she asked me if I was related to the Michael Fairman that was in the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre with her. I of course, said, “No, that’s the other Michael Fairman”. How was working with Erika?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Erika and I met in Milwaukee in 1965, and we were part of that company for four seasons. She and I were leading actors of the Milwaukee Repertory. Erika was wonderful! We did plays like, “Hedda Gabbler” and “Skin of our Teeth”. She left and went back to New York and eventually, “One Life to Live”.

MICHAEL:

OK, now let’s do a few comparisons. Born?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Bronx, 1934

MICHAEL:

Milwaukee 1961… Favorite color?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Blue…

MICHAEL:

…Blue… Zodiac sign?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Pisces

MICHAEL:

Capricorn… Hobbies?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Photography, working out…

MICHAEL:

…. Working out and music. Married?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Married and have a child from this marriage who is 14, and a son who is in New York who is 42.

MICHAEL:

I am single, single and single with no children, maybe a dog soon…Favorite actor?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Marlon Brandon, and I love Spencer Tracy!

MICHAEL:

Robert DeNiro… Favorite Actress?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Cate Blanchett..

MICHAEL:

Current crop of actors: who do you enjoy?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I loved Johnny Depp in “Finding Neverland”. It was amazing, as are many things he has done…”Edward Scissorhands” and “Gilbert Grape”. I like European actors, too, like Christian Bale and Clive Owen, who is also just super.

HillStreetb.jpgMICHAEL:

When you were on the nighttime hit series, “Hill Street Blues”, that’s when I got a lot of phone calls asking me if I was on the show!

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I had a run on there. I played an interesting character: this smarmy councilman who was this nasty guy who put the screws to Captain Furillo. He abused his power, and one night when he was drunk he killed someone, and that was the end of him. Throughout my career, I have played hard, tough, no-nonsense guys. On, “Cagney and Lacey”, I was inspector of police and they used to call me, “The pig”!

MICHAEL:

Does that come easy?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Yeah. (He laughs) Nasty is fun… the nastier the better. A character who is bad does not think he is bad. The less you play bad, the less you are. But I like Murphy on “Y&R”. He is tough, compassionate, and not a pushover. He was tough on Marge.

MICHAEL:

Did you always know you wanted to go into acting?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

No. Entertainment was the furthest thing from my mind. It was not until I was in the Air Force that I was interested in acting. I was over in Japan, and someone talked me into being in a theater group, but not as an actor. I wanted to get involved because I had a lot of time on my hands. I liked carpentry and I would build scenery for them on the Air Force base just outside of Tokyo. They talked me into being in a play. I was in three or four plays. I loved being on the stage, and loved what happened after getting all the accolades, and the work was fun for me. I got out of the Air Force, and at that point I went back to NYU. I did not find that was very helpful for me. So I studied with Lee Strasburg, and I did not find that helpful. Then, I studied with Uta Hagen, which was helpful. Then, I went to do Shakespeare in Oregon. I did Shakespeare for four seasons, and became adept at classical plays. Then in 1961, I continued to study with Uta Hagen and then worked professionally. I was not finding a whole lot of work in New York, so my wife, who was an actress at that time, and I both got accepted at the Milwaukee Rep.

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MICHAEL:

So, is that when you decided to change your name?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

It was a little bit before that, because my name was being misspelled in a derogatory way, and it was an ethnic sounding name. So I thought it would be limiting for me. I wanted to keep the MF initials so I found Michael Fairman and I thought it sounded nice. My name was ‘Fuchs’ and my first name was Milton. I used to get kidded as a child because Milton Berle was big at the time and he was known as “Uncle Milty”, and I was called that and I did not like either name. So I changed it to Michael Fuchs. When I started working in Oregon, they would misspell my name in the programs. So I said, “Enough of this”. So when I got to Milwaukee, I legally changed it to Michael Fairman. Milton Fuchs no longer exists.

fairman-headshot.jpgMICHAEL:

Well, I think Michael Fairman sounds ethnic, and I have lived it with since I was born! (He laughs)…In closing Mr. Fairman, if we were to tease fans of “Y&R”, what can we say is on the horizon for Murphy and Katherine?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

A complication of the plot! Here is what I can say: all may seem well with Katherine, and she may be going on the path towards Genoa City and her life. All may seem light and happy, and she is going back to renew her relationships with her old life… but that might not be… and look for Murphy on a white horse.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alum Kevin Spirtas Chats On His Heart-Tugging Series ‘After Forever’ & Love and Life In Your 50s

Filling the void in the digital drama series arena, the eight episodes first season of After Forever (available on Amazon), tackles the journey of a two middle-aged gay men in their 50’s in a deep romantic relationship, and looks at it through its various stages of love, loss, and moving on with one’s life when suddenly your world is turned upside down, when one of them has died.

While the LGBT community has seen other love-centric and dramatic web series, none have really taken a deep dive into the difficulties of starting anew in your 50’s or even older.  Leave it to former Days of our Lives alum and Broadway producer, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley), along with another DAYS alum, writer, Michael Slade, and the two put their shared experiences, and dramatic ideas into this emotional series, that is not limited to anyone who is gay, but touches on the universal themes that anyone may have, or will experience, at one time in their lives.

Spirtas, brought along with him none some notables for his passion project.  First, none other than former Prospect Park One Life to Live EP, Jennifer Pepperman, to bring his vision to life, and some amazing co-stars: Mitchell Anderson (Ex-Party Of Five), MIchael Urie (Ugly Betty), Cady Huffman (Ex-OLTL), Anita Gillette, Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) to  name just a few.

While the series bowed a little over a month ago, if you haven’t taken a look, check out our interview with Spirtas for some juicy insight into the making of and the construct of, After Forever.  Following that, check out the teaser for the series, and the video for the theme song, “My Forever” by Lio Nicol which becomes available tomorrow June 4th on Amazon and iTunes.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

What was the genesis of the idea for the series?

KEVIN:  Patrika Darbo, came to New York close to 7 years ago. She had called me ahead of time, and said, “I was asked to present at the ISA Awards, and you’re coming with me.”  She was getting very involved in the world of the web series. I looked at this amazing presentation of content that was being shown at the ISA’s.  I was blown away. It was better than half the stuff on TV, theater, or film. At that point, I made a mad rush for a gentleman by the name of Sebastian La Cause.  Sebastian had won several awards that night and his material was so well presented, and beautifully shot, and his acting was very unique.

Sebastian La Cause was the star of the web series Hustling, right?

KEVIN:  Yes, it was Hustling, the first season.  I went up to him and I said, “I’m Kevin Spirtas. I’m an actor, I did a soap …”  He goes, “Kevin, I know who you are.” I was starstruck, and impressed, and inspired, because he is exactly the kind of person I want to work with.  He is talented, and creative and I want to work with those kind of people. I said to him, “If you do a second season, I’d love to be considered for anything you might be doing.”  Wouldn’t you know? He wrote me in. I fell in love with the story. I was very clear to me, that you have to start creating for yourself, because creating your own content in this industry now is king.  The third season of Hustling then crossed me over to appearing in Winterthorne.  That was also the first year that NATAS opened up the judging to the digital world.  I got nominated for an Emmy. It inspired me to start thinking about, ‘What do I know?  What do I have in my life that I feel is worth sharing and putting out there to help heal, or inspire?’  I had been producing in New York City for 3 years at this point.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

It becomes every performer’s concern, as they get older, that they can still be considered for the roles they would like to play.  Sometimes, actors can grow into the types of roles, and sometimes they’ve expired past those types of roles. Was creating After Forever also a way to re-enter being part of the conversation?

KEVIN:  Well, I was hoping to write something for myself … because I just didn’t see the roles coming toward me anymore.  My name wasn’t on them as I imagined them or had seen them in the past. I was worried about that. I thought, “If I have a chance to keep working, I’ve got to keep current.”

And somehow, you and Michael Slade ran into each other, and thus, a collaboration began that would eventually turn into After Forever?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Then, I ran into Michael Slade at a gym… I had never met him before, he was a writer on Days as I was leaving the show.  And I remember saying to myself, “wouldn’t it be great to work with somebody, and see what kind of story we could come up with?”  Unbeknownst to me, Michael, at that particular time in his life, was working on the very same type of story and idea about what it’s like to be who he is, at his age, where he’s at, and what he knows.  I pitched him this idea: “I think there’s some really funny ideas I could express to the world about my experience as a single gay man at this point.” He said, “Call me.” In short, he was living life as a single gay man, and I was living life as a single gay man, and that’s how After Forever was born.  Michael had the experience of losing his long-time partner of 25 years.  There’s a part in the story where Brian and Jason are going along and they have everything in their life that they could possibly want, and then they don’t, because Jason is diagnosed with cancer and it takes him away.

Do we see Jason die in this?

KEVIN:  You just might! … It’s how we incorporated him in the story…

Courtesy/AfterForever

After Forever bounces back and forth in time, obviously, that was part of the unique structure of the storytelling?

KEVIN:  It does do that.  It tells the story through a lot of present, and a lot of flashbacks.  There is also the present with Brian, and his memory of Jason. As Brian is going through the next chapter of his life as a single man, he has to look at his life and learn how to continue to love even though the person’s not there.  When someone dies, the love doesn’t die, the relationship doesn’t die, it keeps growing on a certain level. So, if he turns around, and he sees him, is it real? Is it him working it out in his own mind? It’s a tool to tell more story …

Tell me about casting Mitchell Anderson?  He had retired and moved to Atlanta, and he ends up playing the love of Brian’s life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  When Michael and I were writing, we threw out, “Who do you think would play this part?”  One day, I just dropped the name “Mitchell Anderson” I said, “I just see him as Jason.” Michael said to me, “Kevin, he’s retired.”  I just knew Mitchell and I had great history in the business. We started off as actors together in class. He went one direction, I went another, then he left the business, but I just felt there was something about his persona – not to mention his talent – his unique humor, his sensibility, and style, so I said, “I think we should ask him.”  We did. Mitchell said, “Okay, Kevin. Let me read the script.” He called back immediately after receiving it, and said, “I would love to do this!” I have not stopped thanking him every day. He’s so good in it.

The main character of Brian goes on this journey: he meets other guys, some appear younger than others! (Laughs)

KEVIN:  It’s a year after Jason is gone, Brian is trying to settle into his new life, but he’s guilty that his partner has died.  He has sadness, grief, and so much love for Jason that he’s having trouble moving forward, and everyone is trying to push him forward.  Brian is not necessarily ready, but sometimes his body is ready, while emotionally, he’s not. It’s how we deal with all that navigation of seeing good-looking guys.  He meets a guy in the middle of the series, and it starts to open up the doors. That’s the beauty of what happens when he starts to let himself open up to the possibilities.  There are some great rollercoaster moments that you’ll see.

Would you do another season of After Forever?

KEVIN:  Oh, my God!  Michael and I have already started to script out seasons 2 and 3.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Middle-aged gay men do have it rough in the relationship department, if they’re not already partnered up by this point in their life.  Younger guys think they’re over the hill, older guys aren’t necessarily interested either, and unfortunately, the LGBTQ community is unforgiving to community if you’re not young and pretty, and not in your 20s or 30s. There aren’t a lot of LGBT-oriented shows out there like this.  On that level, I think the concept of the show is an important story to tell.

KEVIN:  We were absolutely committed to writing not just another gay story.  We’ve seen those. I think the beauty of After Forever is that it’s not just a gay story- even though it’s told through two gay men… but, it’s a story about love … it’s a story about loss.  Everyone is going to have to deal with this in their life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Dealing with loss is part of the circle of life, whether it’s a parent, a child, a lover, a friend, or your longtime partner. Many in the LGBT community succumbed to AIDS in the ‘80s and ‘90s, which was a pivotal moment in the gay movement.

KEVIN:  We lost half of our community.  We lost half of our brothers. To jump back to that history with Mitchell, he and I had so many mutual friends who aren’t here anymore.  We would look at the scene that was at hand, take a breath, look at each other, and they’d say “action” and we’d step into these people. Yes, it’s gay themed, because it’s told by two leading male characters who are gay.  But, I have heard more people in the last two months since this has come out, who have not only stopped and said, “Thank you for writing such a wonderful story about love and loss, and new beginnings, but also, what it’s like to have to confront that loss.” They also went on to say, “For so many years, gay people have had to watch the heterosexual world. People are trying to fit themselves into our world now, into our story, and how they would feel navigating it.”

Michael Urie is in it too? And you have some pretty accomplished people in your cast.  

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Yes, there’s Michael Urie, Cady Huffman who sings in one of the episodes.  Tere is a scene in episode 3 that it still floors me, I can’t watch it without losing it.  Then, there’s Anita Gillette, Lenny Wolpe, David Dean Bottrell. Everyone is perfect, and everyone was able to show up, and everyone delivered a million percent.

What’s the response you’ve been getting from people who have watched After Forever?  You mentioned it’s been very positive.  

KEVIN:  Everyone has been touched.  The majority who have seen this, are just moved to tears and full of excitement.

I saw that Jennifer Pepperman, ex-executive producer of One Life to Live, directed your series.  What was it like working with Jen?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  We had a lot of people who we could have pulled from.  Jennifer came up in conversation, because she had sent Michael an invitation to go see her new short film that she had done with Austin Peck (Ex-Austin, Days) and his wife, Teri Conn (Ex-Katie, ATWT).  I said, “Maybe if I go see the show and I like it, I can introduced myself to Jennifer.”  I called him right after and I said, “If we don’t get her, we’re crazy!” She’s so good. What she did is perfection.  We shot the whole thing like a movie. It was shot in 12 days. She knew everything she wanted to do and it shows in the edit.  And, this extraordinarily, talented girl named Colleen Kwok, who was the director of photography. She’s the real thing. She got it.  She got the style we were going for immediately.

So, we want to tell people to binge watch the series on Amazon.

KEVIN:  Binge it, or make it last for 15 days…

How many hankies will I need for this? 10? 5?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  I say Kleenex is not included … Anybody who has ever loved, anybody who has ever lost, must see this show, because it unifies all of us, it shows us that we are the same.  It shows us that we still have love in our lives, regardless of if that person is gone, the relationship never ends, it never dies. That’s what people are getting from this.  That’s what people are taking away from it. You and I were raised with the symbols of a straight world and how we had to fit into that certain way of life. That’s changed now.  We have Will & Grace … we have RuPaul … all these great things that are illustrating our diversity.  Now, people are going, “it’s just a story being told.”

What was Mitchell’s reaction when he saw the final product?

KEVIN:  We saw it together…We just sat there and cried.  It’s hard. Especially, the first two episodes and the last two episodes.  We served it up, Michael, we served it up!

Courtesy/AfterForever

I think you spoke to a greater issue, as you move through this career, you have to remain relevant as things change.  So, you’ve dipped yourself into this pool and now you can do more.

KEVIN:  I hope so.  You and I talked about this along time ago, when I first started on Days Of Our Lives, it was still a different world.

It was so different back then.  Actors couldn’t be out. There was still that stigma that if the audience at home knew they were gay, they wouldn’t buy into what they were portraying.

KEVIN:  That’s where I kind of worked it out, because I didn’t pretend not to be me, I just wasn’t very open about everything in my life.  Not that I still am. There’s certain things that I don’t talk about, because it’s not relevant, or it’s no one’s business.

So, do you get the obligatory question, “What’s a guy like you doing being single”? (Laughs)

KEVIN:  Michael said to me one day, “How come a guy like you is single?”  I made a joke out of it and said, “Have you seen me eat? Come on!”

So, intrigued to check out After Forever? What do you think about its central theme looking at what happens when one loses their partner at middle-age and more?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright and Wes Ramsey Talk Their Love Connection & The Demands Of Daytime

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After presenting for the first time together, at the 45th Annual Daytime Emmys since they’ve been a couple, Laura Wright (Carly) and Wes Ramsey (Peter aka Henrik) of General Hospital have certainly been in the throes of a romantic, fun, and cherished relationship. The two former stars of Guiding Light reconnected last year at Emmy time. Now, sharing their over one year anniversary, Michael Fairman TV caught up with Laura and Wes to get some insight into what makes their relationship work amidst the hustle and bustle, and pace of both being on a network television daytime drama series, and with the pressures of Hollywood where often relationships between two actors seem to start hot and heavy but then fizzle out.

If you caught this week’s GH, you witnessed that the town of Port Charles has found out that Peter is the notorious Cesar Faison’s son, and the ramifications that will be felt for weeks and months and potentially years to come. Meanwhile, Carly is in all sorts of trouble, thanks to naughty Nelle (Chloe Lanier). Nelle is making Carly look awfully unstable and what happens next could change Carly’s life forever.

So, what do these two lovebirds have to say about their relationship and their passion for working on the soaps? Check out what they had to share below. 

Wes, you had met Laura originally years ago on Guiding Light.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Yes, 15 years ago in New York.

And what did you think of her then?

Wes: Well, I was smitten, but I had to keep it to myself.

You had to keep it under wraps, huh?

Wes: Yep!

Laura: I was married then.

Wes: She was pregnant with her second child.

Laura: And he’s a good Kentucky boy.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Uh-huh! But we would run lines in the green room and I would try very hard to make sure she didn’t catch me staring at her… too often. But we laughed, and had great conversation.

Laura: I would always say, “Wes, will you run lines with me?,” because I would want to run my lines.

Wes: We never had story together, but she always knew I was game to hang out with her for a moment.

It’s good when you’re in a relationship with someone and you can laugh with them. You seem to be able to do that a lot!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: Oh, gosh. I think that’s all we do.

Wes: Yes, yes, yes, yes…

Laura: Like, we belly laugh. It gets to the point where people would think we were ridiculous. We’ll say things and just think it’s the funniest thing ever and people would be like, “You guys have a problem …” and we’re like, “Yeah.” (Laughs)

Laura, and then he comes back into your life years later…

Wes: That’s right, it was Emmy weekend 2017.

Laura: I totally was not expecting it at all. Even when I gave him my number I walked away going “huh…”

You mean you thought he wouldn’t call?

Laura: No, I didn’t feel that… because he hit on me hard. He’ll tell you that.

Wes: I still am hitting on her.

Laura: I remember I walked away quick after he got my number. I was like, “Oh, my God … I gotta go.”

Courtesy/Instagram

Wes: There was an assertiveness on my part that was for sure 15 years in the making. I did not expect to run into her. I also did not expect for her to tell me that she was recently single. In that split second, it was one of those, “stop the presses!” moments. Like, you need to give me your number, I’m taking you to dinner.

Laura: I go, “Oh, be quiet! Are you like, 32, because I can’t do that.” (Laughs)

Wes: And I said, “Far from it.”

Laura: He’s like, “I’m getting ready to be 40.” And I’m like, “I can do that!”

Then, on top of all of this, Wes, you land a primo role on General Hospital. That of Henrik aka Peter, Cesar Faison’s son.

Photo Credit: Courtesy/ABC

Wes: Yes, a dream come true.

Laura: I’m going to jump in and say it’s a role that he worked all on his own for. He had to screen test against 8 plus guys, 3 different auditions, 2 different days.

Wes: That’s true.

Laura: I can’t say strong enough that the best actor got the role. Meaning, Wesley is so talented and has the ability to give this character the depth, and emotion, and layers that it needs to tell the story that needs to be told. I just think he’s incredible.

So, did you know from the get-go who you were going to be playing?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: I did not.

Laura: I did! (Laughs)

Wes: I’m thrilled that the writers have been giving me such incredible material to dive into.   Each month that goes by, it becomes more and more complex, and more and more layered and intense. I love the depth… I love the conflicts… I love the humanity… I love the desperation… I love the psychology behind it. It’s a very interesting story and a great journey to tell.

Laura: I was getting ready to say, where you mentally have to go to be the son of Faison and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes)! To blend that together is amazing. It’s incredible to watch.

You used to run lines together on Guiding Light. Do you run lines together now on GH? It’s like a full circle moment.

Laura: We do, and we carpool.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Something we were trying to manifest together. We thought it would be a lot of fun to work together one day.

Laura: The last week we worked, we didn’t. He worked all afternoon. I worked all morning. I was like, “Are they doing this on purpose?” I was so mad! I was like, “Why are you in the afternoon everyday?” (Laughs)

Wes: She lost her chauffeur. (Laughs)

Laura: I did! He always drives us to work. I also love when we both have afternoon calls, because we love having mornings together. So, I didn’t get my morning, nor did I have my chauffeur!

So, two actors can have a good relationship? You see so many Hollywood relationships with actors and they go bust. But that’s not always the case …

Wes: Oh, my God, yes.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: I’m going to say this; I think I can see it being more difficult for daytime actors, because the work we do is so intense. I know the weeks he’s getting ready to go into, and I’m getting ready to go into. Where we go emotionally and psychologically to tell these stories, on the level that we tell them, as quick as we tell them, you kind of have to become really in a headspace. The fact that we can …

Wes: … the long hours …

Laura: Yes, and exhaustion! You really have to go, “Wow! It’s not about me right now. It’s about us individually as actors.” Thank God, we know the workload. I know what he’s getting ready to go through.

Wes: I have always had so much respect for Laura’s work. On Guiding Light, I’ve always been in awe of what she’s capable of doing. So, the level of respect is obviously there. But also, the understanding whatever it is that you need from a personal assistant in one moment… or a life partner in another moment … or a best friend in moment … or whatever it is in order to get through the day-to-day and the week-to-week, so we can do what we love to do. We know we’re very lucky to have the opportunity to do what we love.

Courtesy/welcometolaurasworld Instagram

Laura was such a great co-host on my Soap Nation Live! Daytime Emmy Nomination Specials, in particular when she talks about acting. It’s so rewarding to hear the other actors who are guests on the show listening to what Laura has to say about her craft and respecting the hell out of her.

Wes: Without a doubt. You can’t watch her work and not be in awe. It speaks for itself.

Laura: I just love the journey of going to the places that we go; to bleed for it.

Wes: Leave it all out on the floor.

Laura: I know that process. So, when I see another actor that’s bleeding, I just bow to them, because I know what it takes to go there. I know the work that Wesley does. When I see that he’s spent at the end of the day, I’m like, “Babe, I so get it.” So, I can see where it could be really difficult for people that haven’t been there, because it’s a lot of work and you’re spent. It’s hard! For us, that works.

What do you think of Laura and Wes’ love connection? What do you think of the latest developments for GH’s Carly and Henrik? Comment below.

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Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: 45th Annual Daytime Emmys Winners & Backstage Video Interviews!

Photo : MF Soaps Inc

The 45th Annual Daytime Emmys are in the record books.  And as previously reported, it was a big night for NBC’s Days of our Lives taking Outstanding Drama Series, Writing and Directing in a Drama Series Awards, plus top acting nods to James Reynolds (Abe) and Greg Vaughan (Eric).

Behind the scenes while the ceremony continued on-stage, and as the night’s big winners and several presenters were whisked away backstage following their victory, they took to the Winner’s Walk and chatted with Michael Fairman who got their reactions to winning the gold, or presenting important moments of the night during the live-stream broadcast.

From DAYS Deidre Hall (Marlena), Dr. Oz, The Ladies of The Talk, and GH’Chris Van Etten to DAYS head scribe Ron Carlivati, to Y&R’s actress winners: Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and Camryn Grimes (Mariah), and GH’s Chloe Lanier (Nelle, Vernee Watson (Stella) and more now you can watch the complete backstage series of conversations on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Make sure to “subscribe” for these and more celebrity interviews.

After the jump, check out some of the winners and backstage interviews with Michael.  You can also go directly to the video you are looking to view, by clicking on the blue hyperlink on the interviewees name. (more…)

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Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

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Airdate: 6-14-2018

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